Sales qualified leads are the bread and butter of any organization. Without sales, your company is not likely to succeed. So, what is the best way to generate leads these days? When marketing and sales work together the "Inbound Way" then the end result can be a beautiful thing.
Where does Inbound fit into the mixture? Inbound marketing campaigns, although a fairly new concept, achieve higher ROI than outbound (you know, those who are still sending snail mail and purchasing road-side advertisements). This holds true across different company sizes and budgets, according to Hubspot's State of the Inbound results. The concept of Inbound is to use compelling content over advertising to pull customers to you, vs. being pushy about your message.
So, exactly why does it work? 5 Reasons:
1. It's more, so much more, than Paid Advertising.
It could be considered a waste to spend marketing dollars on paid advertising, unless you have considerable budget to do both paid and inbound. WHY? With inbound marketing you can nurture your sales leads into the sale by caring about what their needs actually are and give them a better experience with your brand. Paid advertising is like throwing a rock into an abyss of people and hoping a few of them come back to you. What about millenials? Clearly they aren't into spam because 84% of 25–35 year-olds are likely to click off a website with excessive advertising. Inbound methods ease the consumer into liking your brand by offering good content and is less "pushy" like old marketing.
2. Inbound brings Marketing and Sales Together by the Responsibility of Content Creation.
One person can't curate enough content to satisfy Google SEO cravings. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, content must be done by everyone as well. The purpose of the content is to naturally bring people to your brand by providing information that will convert, close and delight them as they go through your market funnel. Sales and marketing must come together to make this content happen. If your marketing is doing inbound and your sales are doing outbound then you are working against each other. According to HubSpot's State of Inbound report (chart pictured to the right), about 70% of all content comes from staff members and executives, however paid content is on the rise.
3. Identifying Customers with Buyer Personas Just Works Better
Researching the target audience to market to takes work, but in the end you'll be sending marketing materials to the right people, which will bring in more sales qualified leads. If you are out there just marketing to anyone, how will you know where to spend the most time to get the best results? The most important part of knowing who the buyer personas are is creating content that they actually care about. It doesn't really matter what you are selling, you still need to know who wants to buy it.
4. Call Your Personas to Take Action & Measure That ROI Success
Now that you know the "who" you are marketing too, you can ask them to take action. Adding a call to action, or CTA, to the end of your content is a great way to get potential buyers onto a landing page in a marketing funnel, thus giving them the nurturing content in exchange for the valuable information you need as a marketer. One important part in all of this is using a CRM (customer relationship management) tool. This is super effective in holding client information, creating lists, workflows, content creation, distribution and MEASUREMENT. Measuring your success is key to knowing where to spend your time and where to distribute your content most effectively. One of the complaints most marketing departments share is how to measure ROI and with the use of a CRM, all efforts will be measured.
5. Proven ROI Within a CRM = More Budget $
So you'd like some more money to throw around? How do you get the boss to give it to you? Show some real numbers. Everything you do in a CRM, like HubSpot, is measured into easy to download reports that are perfect for those upcoming budget meetings. According to State of Inbound 2015 (graph on the left), Demonstrating positive ROI makes you nine times less likely to see a lower budget the following year than if your team failed to show a positive return. No ROI tracking, no demonstrable ROI. No ROI, no budget. Makes sense, doesn't it?
So, now that we know 5 good reasons Inbound Marketing works for any business, we suggest you give it a try. For a FREE digital marketing assessment, click HERE.
Kristen is a HubSpot certified marketing consultant specializing in social media. She has a BA from Ball State where she studied art, English, and journalism. Her true passion is social media marketing.