A digital marketing strategy has multiple layers to it. How you choose to define it entirely depends on the nature of your business. However, it calls for choosing between inbound and outbound marketing. Before we discuss at length about why inbound marketing is important for your business, let’s first understand the concepts.
Inbound marketing is relatively a new marketing practice. It focuses on ‘pulling’ the target customers by feeding them two-way engaging and interactive content. It uses mediums like blogs, social media, influencer marketing, websites, search engines, etc. On the contrary, outbound marketing is the traditional practice which focuses on ‘pushing’ the content to the customers, whether they find it relevant or not. The communication happens only one way – from brand to customers. It uses mediums such as television advertisements, print advertisements, billboards, telemarketing, etc.
The term ‘inbound marketing’ was coined by HubSpot co-founder and CEO Brian Halligan. Today, inbound marketing has disrupted the way products and services are promoted. Given the massive rise in the usage of internet and smart devices, most marketers have switched to inbound marketing. According to 2017 State of Inbound Report, 68% of marketers believe that their inbound strategy is effective!
If you are still hesitating about the merits of inbound marketing strategy, you should read these reasons that speak in its favor:
- Low Cost
As compared to the outbound marketing which can eat away the major chunk of the budget, inbound marketing offers true value for money. The entire inbound content can be delivered online across multiple digital marketing channels. There are no printing or material costs, nor there is need to hire expensive brand advertising agencies. It has been found that inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than the outbound marketing. The Inbound Marketing Statistics 2017 report states that marketers find inbound strategy worth investment and there has been an increase in its budget by at least 37%.
Outbound marketing is targeted at masses, irrespective of the fact whether the customers are interested or not and whether they want to hear it or not. Hence, it does not yield desired results. Whereas inbound marketing is high on personalization – it sends messages to only a specific group of people that fit into the brand’s segmentation of target audience. The strategy and content can be tailored to suit the preferences and relevance of such segmented customers. Given its personalized messages, the inbound marketing generates more interest and engagement from the customers. Hence, it also generates better quality leads. The Inbound Marketing Statistics 2017 mentions that inbound marketing strategy provides 66% quality leads vis-a-vis 15% through outbound. Don’t these numbers speak for themselves?
- Two-Way Communication
As soon as you post something online, you are likely to get instant response from the audience. Let’s say; you are a tour operating company. You post the video of any destination on Facebook and pictures on Instagram. You followers will click on it and give their feedback via likes, shares and comments. Inbound marketing paves the way for two-way interaction so that marketers know what customers want and customers get information on what they want. As a brand, you get an opportunity to show your customers that you care for them. Based on their feedback, you can give them quick responses or solve their concerns within a matter of minutes. All these efforts earn you customer loyalty. When customers are happy with you, they will spread a word about you and return to your brand frequently. Either way, two-way communication through inbound marketing gives you leverage to attract more customers and retain the existing ones.
- Reach New Markets and Customers
Inbound marketing is a global strategy. There are no geographical or time barriers. You can expand your business outside your base hub to other cities and countries. This is because customers can find your products and services online no matter where they are located or what time it is in your home country. Your business is accessible 24/7. If you are selling apparels in India, you can sell them to international customers by charging them shipping cost. If you are selling a consultancy service, you can offer it through video or voice chats. The physical boundaries have vanished with inbound marketing. What does this indicate for your business? More sales, more profits and more revenues!
- Easy to Measure
How will you determine the success of your marketing campaign? The outbound marketing may not have the answer, but the inbound marketing does. There is a host of tools, techniques and metrics that help you measure the impact of your marketing efforts. In fact, you can get both snapshot and detailed view on the dashboards. You can generate various types of reports for every campaign and every digital channel in real-time. With the performance numbers at your fingertips, you can modify the marketing strategy and plug the loopholes in real-time.
Inbound marketing strategy is the need of the hour for every business. If you are not doing it, it’s not too late yet.