What is Inbound Marketing

What is Inbound Marketing

By Manuela Vulpescu

Are Inbound & Outbound Marketing Friends or Enemies?

Outbound (traditional) marketing is the glamorous, flamboyant, and flirty extrovert, the life of the party and the talk of the town, always focused on making an entrance that blows minds. It’s all over the place: on radio and TV, on billboards and print, at trade shows and events, pushing a message out, and hoping to get your attention.

Inbound marketing, on the other side, is an introvert. Not necessarily a socially awkward one, but definitely a nerd who’s always busy searching for facts and arguments, professional advice, and detailed answers to questions you ask online. It may surprise you, but he also enjoys socializing and can be extremely refined, brilliant, and charismatic. Still, he will never be the one tugging at your sleeve at the party.

In other words, while outbound marketing is a “narcissist” desperately seeking validation from the masses, inbound marketing is a “pleaser” focused on creating content that speaks to different audiences, capturing them exactly where they are, and helping each individual to learn more about shared subjects of interest.

It may sound like the relationship between these two “guys” is toxic, but in reality, at least for now, they complement each other. Clearly, large portions of the budgets that used to be initially invested in traditional outbound lead generation approaches are now transferred to digital. However, the allocations between the two are still balanced.

Is Inbound Marketing really working, or is it just a trend?

It absolutely rocks, and it is here to stay because it generates crystal clear measurable outcomes. The return of investment is working for both enterprises and SMEs and for B2B companies and B2Cs. When smartly organized and implemented, it becomes a less expensive and more efficient source for lead generation than any other traditional method.

Facts about Inbound Marketing through the Lens of Experts

  • According to Exact Target, 80% of business decision-makers prefer to receive information in the form of news or educational articles instead of getting them delivered as advertisements.
  • When properly done, inbound marketing can double the average conversion rate of a site as it concentrates not only on generating leads but also on nurturing them.
  • According to Hubspot, websites with 51 to 100 pages generate almost 50% more traffic than sites with less than 50 pages. That’s probably an aspect B2B marketers should pay a lot of attention to in the near future.
  • Most companies are inclined to do business with those that deliver them fully customized content.
  • Companies that act as bloggers can get more than twice the number of leads generated by companies that do not regularly post articles to attract more website visitors.
  • More than 80% of businesses that use blogging acquire customers this way if their content is relevant. Actually, Social Media B2B mentioned that firms with blogging activity generate 70% more leads per month than those without.
  • Still, inbound lead generation is not enough. It helps when you invest in nurturing your potential customers at each stage of the sales funnel. There are 50% higher chances to do business if you constantly care about your audience.
  • It’s probably worth mentioning that leads generated via SEO have between 10% and 20% close rates, whereas classic outbound leads have a conversion rate of about 1% to 2%.
  • As long as everyone goes online when looking for a solution or a product, it comes as no surprise that 80% of SMEs decided to use Social Media to attract new customers.
  • As old as it is, Email still rocks. It is actually 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter in generating new business.

How to make things happen?

Unlike other marketing approaches, inbound marketing is a long-term relationship that needs dedication and consistency. You may have to treat it as an ongoing campaign during which you test anything from design to calls to action, analyze things, and adapt for the better. Usually, it takes about three months on average just to set up the process for low to normal complexity projects. In-depth analysis is absolutely mandatory to customize solutions as what works for similar companies may not work in your case. It also takes a lot of expertise to establish what type of content is supposed to be developed to reach your goals.

How long does it take for you to get results?

As with SEO, you should not expect amazing results in the first six months. While you may experience an increase in traffic and leads generation immediately after starting the campaign, significant feedback can be registered in the long term, usually between one and two years, depending on your resources, the industry, the market you act on, and a series of other similar variables.

What competencies do you need?

In the tech era, things change faster than ever. What is valid today may not be working tomorrow, and teams that cannot keep up with such rapid transformations won’t be a great match for your business. Here are some areas to always keep an eye on when choosing your digital marketing agency :

  • what interests your customers, and how do they search and find solutions online
  • social media trends and development
  • News about search engines and algorithms
  • SEO new techniques and best practices
  • UX and UI updates

Don’t look exclusively for people who have coding and design skills. If you want your inbound marketing to work properly, you need experts to strategize and create amazing content that is valuable and relevant for your clients. They should also be familiar with marketing automation for you to get the best out of your efforts.


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