Do you like being interrupted by irrelevant ads while watching your favorite movie? I bet not. What about being bombarded by ‘salesy’ emails that you never subscribed to in the first place? Those land in the trash bin, I’m sure.
These mass marketing strategies (outbound marketing) no longer work with modern consumers. Nowadays, people don’t like to be told what to buy and from whom. In fact, they want brands to solicit permission for advertising.
Image via Edelman
As outbound marketing loses its sheen, businesses have started embracing inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a marketing technique that focuses on drawing in consumers by answering their questions and providing them with timely information. This helps foster trust and brand loyalty – making you their preferred brand when they are ready to buy.
There are many other benefits of inbound marketing as well, which I will explore in this post. So, let’s get started.
Key Benefits of Inbound Marketing for Small Businesses
Inbound marketing is based on a simple maxim: deliver the right message to the right person at the right time so that they start trusting you. When you simplify their brand journeys, you become their ally and they turn to you whenever they need information.
Once you have their trust, you can easily nudge them towards conversion and brand advocacy. This way, you nurture leads into customers and promoters of your business.
Still not convinced?
Then, take a look at the top five reasons why you need to nail inbound marketing:
Businesses are always looking for new ways to cut costs and improve their bottom lines. In that sense, inbound marketing is a sure shot winner. According to HubSpot’s research, inbound leads are cheaper than outbound leads. Moreover, marketers are more satisfied with ROI from inbound channels compared to outbound channels.
Image via HubSpot
Outbound methodologies like tradeshows and advertising turn out to be more costly in the long term than inbound methodologies like SEO and blogging. Not only that, brands can actually add to their revenue once they get established. For instance, they can make money from blogs by offering advertising spots and sponsored guest posts.
Outbound marketing, on the other hand, can be quite risky. If a small business blows their entire marketing budget hosting an exhibition and still doesn’t get the desired results, it can be disastrous. That’s why inbound marketing is a better bet for cash-strapped companies.
It Boosts Customer Loyalty, Trust, and Credibility
88% of people research their purchases before shopping in-store or online. This means you need to grab their attention and earn their trust before you can even think of leading them to make a purchase. That’s where inbound marketing can come in handy.
When you serve informative content that is tailored to the needs and interests of your audience, you gain their trust. This is way more effective than shouting “buy from me” on a billboard.
While formulating your content marketing plan, you create content assets for each buyer journey stage. To that, you add a personal touch with dynamic content and custom offers. Naturally, consumers love the attention and reward you with their undivided loyalty and perhaps sales.
Even if your audience doesn’t convert at first, you continue serving them useful content in a non-promotional manner. This cements your credibility and improves your chances of winning them over.
Once they convert, you keep nurturing them with post-sales content. Delighted with your devotion, one-time customers turn into repeat customers, rewarding you with sales and referrals.
It Produces Quality Leads and Traffic
Inbound marketing is not only about driving sales; it’s about building relationships. Since these relationships are cemented in trust, they have a long shelf life. You don’t have to work too hard to lead them down the conversion path.
But how does that happen?
The people who land on your website are genuinely interested in your content. That’s because the content matches their intent. The more content you produce, the more frequently you draw visitors to your website.
Once these people reach your website, you delight them with compelling offers, action-packed landing pages, and calls-to-action. This way, you nudge them towards the next buyer journey stage organically. The control is always in the buyer’s hands.
Compare this to outbound marketing. The spray-and-pray approach attracts all sorts of traffic. The uninformed method paired with generic content does little to earn consumer loyalty and sales.
It Improves Brand Awareness and Visibility
Inbound marketing helps people discover your brand and spread the word about it.
By employing methods like content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing. Content marketing helps you cater to audiences with diverse tastes with different content formats. Tools for SEO can pinpoint the keywords that your target audience is searching for. And, social media marketing can help you grow your online presence.
Once you build a solid brand reputation, it’s not hard to attract traffic, leads, and customers in droves.
It Aligns Marketing and Sales
Inbound marketing requires marketing and sales to join hands and work together. Your marketing team collects and assimilates customer insights and buying patterns. Armed with this information, your sales team can build targeted content that is designed to educate, nurture, and convert consumers.
When there is complete harmony between both teams, your revenue engine goes into auto-pilot mode. Without much additional effort, you can keep driving sales and nurturing customers.
Ready to Kickstart Your Inbound Marketing?
That’s quite a solid case for inbound marketing. To reiterate the main points, inbound marketing helps you cut costs, produce loyal customers, and build your brand reputation and trust. Plus, it makes the job of your marketing and sales teams easier. What more can a small business ask for?
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant for 15 years with an emphasis on Influencer Marketing in the last 5 years. He is specialized in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.
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