Inbound marketing is kind of like falling hopelessly in love or buying a George Foreman Grill. You may not think you need it, you may think you’re fine without it – but once you have it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived in its absence.
Old-school outbound strategies have their place: someone might not fast forward through your TV ad, it’s entirely possible that your immaculate-designed flyer won’t immediately be deposited in the recycling bin, and if you cold call enough people, you may well convince someone to buy your product.
But the benefits of inbound marketing are difficult to exaggerate, even if they sometimes seem a little hard to quantify. Well, we’re not in the business of telling you that something is good without backing it up. People are always telling us that Peaky Blinders is amazing without saying why (and no, “Cillian Murphy’s beautiful eyes” is not sufficient reason), and that’s exactly why we’re never going to watch it.
If your CEO’s a little reluctant – or if you’re just looking to brush up on the subject – we’ve collected some cold, hard, iron-cast, incontrovertible facts that prove the benefits of inbound marketing. As a leading B2B inbound marketing agency, we felt it was our responsibility – enjoy!
1. You’ll generate more leads
Leads: they’re a big deal. In David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, they’re presented in fancy red envelopes, tied with fancy bows, and people literally go to prison over them. For some reason, sales people across the world consider this film something of a holy text, even though it’s a fairly acidic indictment of the entire profession. Eh, what can you do?
Anyway, the point is, when it comes to leads, the more the better. You almost certainly know this. What you don’t necessarily know is that by using inbound marketing, you’ll generate 54% more leads than you would using an outbound strategy (source: HubSpot). That’s 54% more impressionable, receptive would-be customers you can convince of the myriad benefits of your product or service. Woohoo!
2. You’ll generate less expensive leads.
Of course, while leads are important, they can also be fairly costly. The average cost to generate a lead through outbound marketing is an outrageous $373 – and when you consider that many of these leads won’t amount to much more than a slightly irritated “no thanks”, it adds up to a lot of wasted money.
Well, with inbound marketing, you’ll be wasting substantially less money: according to HighTable, the typical cost of generating a lead comes to $143 – significantly less than it would cost with an outbound strategy. A penny saved is a penny earned – and with inbound, you’ll save 23,000 per lead.
3. Outbound engagement is poor
Putting your company out there is never easy. Rejection is an expected and understood part of the process, but it doesn’t help that it’s more often silent and unknowing than loud and emphatic. Often, when you’ve spent money on direct mail or a TV ad, you won’t even know that your target audience isn’t paying attention: 44% of the former is never opened, and 86% of the latter are skipped entirely (source: Voltier Digital).
One of the major benefits of inbound marketing is that you can opt out of this torturous cycle of absolute indifference and bring the customers to your metaphorical doorstep!
4. You’ll get better returns
Still not convinced? Research from HubSpot revealed that 79% of companies with their own blogs report positive ROI for inbound marketing. Not an SEO-optimised blog or a celebrity blog – just a regular old vanilla web blog. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make the most difference.
Those bloggers also receive 97% more links to their website, which increases domain authority – which increases page rank, which increases the chance that a search engine user will click on a site (source: HubSpot).
5. You can make money from tweeting.
Social media: not just for cat pictures and desperate pleas for attention from famous people. You can still do those things, but if these platforms are used correctly, they can be an effective way to turn a profit.
82% of hyper-growth SMEs claim that Twitter, Facebook, and the rest are effective for generating new leads (source: Business 2 Community).
6. You’ll close more deals.
The great necrotising zombie of outbound marketing still stubbornly shambles on, generating a – frankly embarrassing – 1.7% close rate for those few leads it accumulates.
Leads generated from organic search, however, are as vital as ever: with these, the close rate hovers around 14.6% (source: NewsCred).
7. Customers prefer a genuine article.
There have been some terrific, persuasive advertisements in the past: the one where the hippies are singing about Coca Cola, the Go Compare ad, the one where they kill the guy from the Go Compare ad, and countless others. But there’s no denying that they’ve lost some of their power.
Ultimately, it boils down to this: people don’t always trust the motive and word of someone who is paid to sell a thing and sell it hard. When they get useful information from a company instead of a reheated pitch tried out on a hundred other customers every day, they’re better inclined towards that company. 80% of decision-makers prefer to read a series of articles than a bunch of advertising collateral – and given the general standard of most ads, it’s not hard to see why (source: Content Marketing Institute).
8. You’ll reach that all-important whippersnapper demographic
Millennials – young’uns, whippersnappers, meddling kids, whatever you want to call them – aren’t really into “old media”. They’ve got tablets, laptops, iPhones, and Kindles. Many of them have never seen a physical book made of physical paper. It’s their loss, really.
That said, fewer than 3% let traditional outbound marketing influence their purchasing decisions, so if you need to reach these kids, you’ll want to hit them where they live – and inbound marketing is the only reliable way to do it (source: Millennial Branding).
Want to see the benefits of inbound marketing first-hand? Talk to our directors today!