With 2020 fast approaching, each company should have its own unique marketing and sales strategy. To simply say companies need to focus more on digital marketing is a no brainer. What successful marketers already know is you need a solid approach. Simply implementing a few tactics, like SEO, paid ads and a few social media posts won’t cut it. That’s where Inbound Marketing comes in. What is inbound marketing? According to Hubspot, “Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t want, inbound marketing forms connections they’re looking for and solves problems they already have.” While inbound certainly uses tactics, like SEO, email marketing and blogging, its main driver is content. Content that is part of a larger strategy that helps you attract qualified prospects, convert them into leads and customers and grow your business. A traditional inbound marketing approach looks like this:
Research and data can provide us a clear picture of what challenges businesses are facing and what marketing strategies are working the best for today’s marketers. Let’s explore some of those challenges and how inbound marketing can effectively help marketing overcome them in 2020.
Inbound Marketing Brings a Higher ROI
Every year, Hubspot does research and deep analysis to uncover what’s happening in the real world for companies as it relates to their overall marketing. In its latest report, State of Inbound in 2018 Global Report, Hubspot reports that marketers are seeing a higher ROI from inbound marketing tactics. In fact, 53% say inbound marketing gives them a higher ROI. This versus the 16% who say outbound marketing gives them a higher ROI. See the graphic below for a breakdown of the percentages:
Outbound marketing, just to be clear, uses marketing tactics like radio, TV, billboards and direct mail that generally focuses on building awareness. It tends to cost a tremendous amount of money and often interrupts audiences with content they don’t want. Think about it, when’s the last time you actually watched a TV commercial or listened to a radio ad? It’s not ironic then to find our next big takeaway:
Marketers Rate Paid Advertising as Overrated
Broadcast TV (traditional ads on TV), print, outdoor, radio… these are all the highest overrated marketing tactics in Hubspot’s report. On the flip side, those tactics used in inbound marketing, like SEO, blogging, sales enablement and marketing automation, are some of the lowest overrated marketing tactics. See the graphic below for the breakdown:
Does this mean you shouldn’t use paid advertising? No, in fact, we often use Google Ads, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads (to name a few) to supplement our inbound marketing campaigns. The key takeaway here is these types of ads are running on platforms that are able to target your audience very specifically; they can integrate with your overall inbound strategy, are easy to measure and are often used more heavily in the beginning of an inbound campaign to get traction, learn and solidity messaging. Over time, as your inbound campaign becomes more successful, these paid tactics can be trimmed back, and sometimes, even stopped.
Inbound Teams Are More Likely to Rate Their Marketing Strategy as Effective
When compared against outbound marketing, the Hubspot Report shows inbound teams are more likely to rate their marketing strategy as effective. Inbound marketing teams felt their strategy was 75% effective versus the outbound marketing teams, who felt their marketing strategy was just 62% effective.
Inbound Marketing Helps Marketers Solve Their Number One Challenge
The number one challenge company’s say they have is generating web traffic and leads. In fact, 61% of marketers surveyed in Hubspot’s Report say generating traffic and leads is their main challenge. This makes sense, considering marketers also feel that outbound marketing tactics are the most overrated. TV ads may be cool, but they don’t do a great job at generating web traffic and leads. But, you know what does? Inbound marketing.
Inbound begins with a focus on strategy and SMART goals. From here, distinct buying personas are targeted with content specific to them. The goal of inbound is to attract website traffic using organic tactics, like SEO, blogging, video distribution, social media and email marketing. Unlike outbound marketing where the message is all about the sale, inbound begins by educating your personas first with valuable content. Using a platform like Hubspot, marketers are able to gather information, then leverage marketing automation combined with the right offers to pull the persona through a series of steps in order produce more leads.
So there you have it. We just provided a few of the top reasons companies should begin embracing inbound marketing in 2020. If you’re interested in learning more, we invite you to download our complimentary guide, The Beginners Guide to Generating Inbound Leads. This is a powerhouse guide that really goes into great detail regarding how to leverage inbound marketing to generate viable, real leads for your midsize business.