When inbound marketing is suggested to businesses not yet engaging their target market with the practice, it can seem a bit daunting. Inbound marketing isn’t a quick fix; it takes time. While that wait time can be off-putting to some stakeholders, the benefits of using inbound marketing are much greater than traditional efforts.
Consider the real world
People don’t typically get married after the first date nor do people label someone a “best friend” when they first meet. Even if you have a great product or service, simply touting all the benefits via traditional advertising doesn’t always win customers. Getting to that point requires steps that take time:
- Connection and attraction
Consistency (or courtship)
Think back to a time before social media and the Internet. Many brands advertised their products, but people turned to friends and family to gain insight, advice, and recommendations before making a purchase. Word-of-mouth has always been a great way to gain a loyal following. Statistics show it is still the case. In fact, 92 percent of consumers trust referrals from people they know, and 77 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from someone else. Research shows word-of-mouth is 10 times as effective as traditional advertising.
Where word-of-mouth gets the most traction in the digital world is via inbound marketing efforts. Creating content (such as whitepapers, e-books or blogs) that provides information a target audience needs and wants, draws a connection. Consistently delivering that information provides the opportunity for the audience to engage and refer others. Using social media to promote this content helps the process. Some experts find, “receiving a recommendation on Facebook has almost the same effect as receiving it in person or over the phone.”
Be a magnet, not a bullhorn
When you think about inbound marketing for your business, consider what is most effective for developing real-world relationships (like a spouse or best friend). You can be a bullhorn and shout out your message with traditional outbound marketing methods such as ads, commercials or telemarketing. These old-school outbound marketing tactics to “spray and pray” may grab attention, but can be overwhelming.
Today’s consumers are much more sophisticated and seek ways to engage that are more organic rather than simply being sold something. Inbound marketing efforts are more effective for gaining loyal customers.
To get those loyal customers, businesses need to be magnetic and more naturally draw in prospects. Inbound marketing puts priority on building relationships and customer retention. These types of customers will not only return again and again, but they will also care enough about your business to spread the word. These people are influencers and research shows consumers trust them more than other marketing methods. In fact, 90 percent of brands say influencer marketing is effective for generating brand awareness. Another 69 percent say it’s best for boosting sales.
With the rise in social media use, it’s not just high-profile celebrity influencers making an impact. Companies with smaller budgets are finding the success with micro-influencers whose loyalty and engagement inspire others.
In addition to inbound marketing being more effective than outbound efforts, inbound costs less. Organizations that use inbound marketing tactics see a per-lead cost that’s 61 percent less than their outbound-centric counterparts. This is often due to the fact that hundreds or thousands of dollars can be spent on one-off advertising that may or may not be effective. Inbound marketing tactics such as writing blogs, white papers or other content and creating social media posts cost very little in comparison and can be repurposed and reused a number of times.
Of course, no marketing effort works well without a strategy. This is where T.E. Digital can help. Check out our free e-book about how to run an inbound marketing campaign. Then, if you find you need further assistance, give us a call. Let’s discuss your goals and target audience to find ways to create a marketing strategy that incorporates inbound marketing efforts to turn your business into a magnet that draws customers in.