Did you know that only 56 percent of small businesses have a marketing plan?
But when it comes to companies that have at least 1,000 employees, 81 percent have a marketing plan. This should tell you quite a bit about the importance of having something in place.
When it comes to marketing online, one of the most important things to have is an inbound marketing strategy. Without it, chances are you won’t be able to convert with your online presence.
But knowing what other benefits there are might be confusing. Lucky for you, this article is going to break down everything you need to know. Soon, you’ll know all the benefits of having an inbound marketing strategy.
Read on to learn more!
Let’s not be dramatic, but when it comes to inbound marketing, it’s easy. While it might have a strong learning curve, doing the work on your own is something a lot of people can do.
Of course, making time to do inbound marketing might be a bit more difficult. You might see results at first with your strategies. But chances are you’ll need a professional to help you improve your strategy later on.
But getting started with inbound marketing takes as little as a few hours a week of your time. Writing a simple blog post, sharing it on Facebook, and sending out a newsletter blast isn’t hard to do. It’s just about making time to do it.
If you’re someone with a lot on their plate, though, it might be better to find a professional to help you do it. It’s easy to get started with it. But you can bet that a professional marketer will have more success with their inbound strategies.
Keep in mind that inbound marketing can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. The more complex, the more it will work, but every business should be able to do some type of inbound marketing.
We’ve already talked about how easy inbound marketing can be. But believe it or not, having an inbound marketing strategy doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, simple marketing can cost as little as $0.
And unlike some marketing, spending more on it doesn’t always mean it will be more effective. An expensive blog post that targets the wrong people won’t be nearly as effective as a shorter blog post with the right buyer persona in mind.
Inbound marketing lets you target the exact people you want to speak to. With traditional marketing, like television and radio, you’re taking a shotgun approach and hoping for leads.
With inbound marketing, almost every click becomes some lead. Why? It’s because the people interested in what you’re talking are the sole people that come to you.
Inbound marketing is also cheap because it is often evergreen. Let’s say you buy a magazine or TV ad. Once you pay for that ad, it runs for a certain time and then never again.
It’s not so with inbound marketing because most of you create and publish the majority of your marketing. Your blog posts, tweets, and videos aren’t going to go anywhere. They could bring leads to you forever.
It Helps People
Do you want to help people?
Chances are you said yes to that question. Most people would, and plenty of people start their business for that very reason. Believe it or not, small businesses give an average of about 6 percent of their profits to charity.
Whether you did or not, you have an opportunity to help the people that support your business. And it will also help you get more business too.
It’s not supporting a charity or donating large amounts of money. While those things are great, we’re still talking about inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing serves the people that use your product or service. Even if they don’t buy from you, it gives you a chance to help people understand what you’re doing better.
For example, let’s say you own an investment firm. There are plenty of complex terms and concepts within your industry. That’s why you and some of your employees have master’s degrees in it!
While you can’t teach people as much as you know, you can teach them just enough to see why they need a financial advisor such as yourself. They won’t want to do it on their own, but they would see the benefits of having one.
This teaching through inbound marketing also helps you out when you meet with people. Using inbound marketing to educate them about the subject before they sit down to meet with you means you have much less to explain to them.
Some business owners worry they might lose business if they teach too much. But, keep in mind that it would be pretty difficult to teach someone enough that they don’t want your service.
And in some instances, like construction, they don’t have the tools or certifications to do it without you. At most, they might try to do a small project on their own.
For most business owners, it can take months or even years to build a good relationship with their customers. A couple of rounds of golf and a Christmas card later, and you might have a loyal customer.
But building relationships with your customers can be much easier with inbound marketing. If someone gets on your site and spends plenty of time on it, they will start to feel like they have a relationship with your business.
As discussed before, inbound marketing teaches people about your industry. This helps them feel like they can trust you and your business.
To make them trust your content, it has to be new and fresh. Content that they’ve seen before or isn’t interesting will make you look boring and untrustworthy.
You need to make sure that your content teaches them well enough that they feel they learned something for real. Too much content online is simple and boring.
Instead of writing, “Best Mochas You Can Try” write “How to Determine Which Country Your Coffee Comes From” on your blog. The latter lets the reader walk away knowing that they have learned something.
And, the more you teach them, the more likely they will remember you. If they think about your blog post or tweet every time a specific topic comes up, there’s a better chance they’ll work with you later.
For most people, they don’t trust your business unless they have a reason to trust it. This can be a serious hindrance for people who find you online.
That means you should work to build credibility by giving your audience something to see online. If you’re the first site to show up on Google, you look more credible than other sites.
And if you have tons of content on your pages and an active social media, chances are people will think you’re a professional for that alone. Even if your content isn’t the best out there, having it is better than not.
Inbound marketing also gives you a better chance of another site featuring you online. If some website or industry blog discusses what you’ve done on your site, it’s more likely that people will flock to you.
Of course, you want to make sure that the content you have online does more than build credibility. If it isn’t creating tangible results, it might not be working.
Make sure to look through your marketing or click funnel. This will help you determine how people are interacting with your site and social media channels. Use this information to get an idea of how effective your content is.
Beats the Competition
Did you know that an estimated 90 percent of marketing resources still focus on outbound marketing?
It might seem counterintuitive to tell you that, but it’s actually a great thing for your business. The less amount of money people spend on outbound marketing, the better it is for your business.
The reason is that because it gives you a better chance to beat your competition. As you know, inbound marketing works, but if you’re the one out of all your competition doing it, you can be sure that your strategies are going to work well. In fact, over half of small businesses don’t even have an SEO budget.
If you get a head start with your inbound marketing, chances are you’ll be way ahead before your competition even thinks about starting. Not only does this give you a win online, but it also might give you a win on your bottom line.
Why the Low Numbers?
The reason most people haven’t moved to inbound marketing is that it does take time to learn how to do it. Many of your competitors might have heard about inbound marketing but don’t know where to start or might not believe it works.
Some of your competition has started with inbound marketing and might not even know it. A social media page or blog roll they have might be a good start, but it’s not enough to beat a well-thought-out strategy.
And if you’re able to make that strategy first, you’ll have a huge leg up on the competition in no time.
This might sound a bit silly, but one of the big benefits of inbound marketing is that it’s fun. It’s fun for customers, potential customers and for your team.
Marketing to your own customers isn’t something that you do on purpose. But if someone has worked with your business for 20 or 30 years, they might get excited to see some content online.
Without knowing it what they’re doing, they consume your marketing. This gives them another way to appreciate your business.
Potential customers also appreciate this content, as we’ve already talked about. Your content will help them out and give them a chance to learn something.
Finally, inbound marketing is a great way to boost employee morale.
You might choose to outsource to a marketing company. That’s okay. New blog posts and an active Instagram page are great ways to help your employees feel proud.
Plus, your employees might enjoy helping a marketing team work with the business. Instead of sticking to their everyday jobs, they might get a chance to be creative.
Inbound marketing is also fun for you. Even if you aren’t looking to manage all the aspects of it, an improved marketing presence will help you feel proud. Plus, you should see a growing number of leads come to your site, which means more money.
And who doesn’t think more money isn’t fun?
Inbound Marketing Works
What’s most important is that inbound marketing works. Marketing can feel like a guessing game. But you can almost always determine how effective inbound marketing is.
And for most businesses, it is quite effective. You can study this yourself though with analytical tools and ROI
Keep in mind that what works for some businesses might not work for you. You shouldn’t see immediate results, but it’s not impossible. Make sure to go through a stage of trial and error to determine what works best for you.
Ready to Get Started?
You’ve read this article. That means you should be ready to get started with your inbound marketing strategy. Remember that there are plenty of ways to do it, so don’t get stuck in a rut — no matter how successful you are or aren’t.
Digital marketing isn’t always easy, and that’s why it can be a huge help to have someone on your team. If you’re looking for a teammate, you’re in the right place.
Contact us to learn how we can help you transform your inbound marketing.