Hubspot have recently released a new report for 2015 talking about the “State of Inbound”. According to the source of all knowledge Wikipedia, Inbound marketing is “promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel.”

They spoke to 3,957 people across the world, 55% in marketing, 14% sales and 31% other.

Some interesting facts for you:

  • 3 out of 4 marketers prioritise inbound marketing
  • Paid advertising is seen as the #1 most overrated marketing tactic
  • Track ROI – this will unlock budget
  • Inbound is not a quick win
  • It’s the preferred marketing strategy for both B2B and B2C
  • Inbound out performs outbound in ROI (across all industries)
  • Establishing a SLA (service level agreement) leads to a higher ROI

 

So let’s look at some of the priorities for marketers in the coming year:

  • Converting leads

The top priority for marketers in the report was bringing in more leads and then converting them to sales; (state the obvious why don’t you, but) this is essential to understanding your ROI. It is all very well having the leads, but what’s happening when they reach you? This priority was nearly 30% more of a priority than the next one down (bringing in revenue from existing clients).

Conversion of leads comes about from understanding your audience, and providing them with a product or service that they actually want.

  • Demonstrating ROI

Still, even in an age when absolutely everything we walk past seems to be marketing something to us, companies often slash the budgets of the marketing department first. I know, I know – those marketing brochures just appear like magic… and even better they don’t cost a thing! I think not!

Showing your boss, or your boss’s boss that there is a return on the money you are spending is essential. Even working in a not-for-profit industry you can still see the value of the work that you are doing – membership numbers, online tracking mechanism etc, etc.

  • Outbound marketing isn't the only option

Outbound marketing is essentially paying for your messages to be placed in key areas on websites/brochures/literature that will “ensure” that your audience see them. Out of the companies who said that they favoured inbound marketing – 20% more named paid advertising as the most overrated marketing tactic. And 32% of companies who predominantly use outbound marketing said exactly the same thing!

This method of marketing – does not guarantee sales. It might drive traffic to your site, but if the content there is rubbish, or the user journey isn’t great, then it’s all been a waste.

  • Inbound works across B2B, B2C, not-for-profit

Out of the nearly 4,000 people surveyed 75% were likely to choose inbound as the marketing approach of choice. This was across all industries – so if you’re thinking it’s not for you… guess again!

Inbound marketing is content and driving your audience to that content. As I mention above, you could pay the most money for advertising, have the key to getting people to your site, but if you don’t have what they want on your website then it’s all for nothing as they will leave and that opportunity for conversion is lost.

  • Get writing – whoever you are!

Inbound writing is not just for the in-house copywriter any more. The writing needs to be engaging, relevant to your audience, reflective of the company, but this doesn’t mean your employees need to write it. Look outside to your stakeholders – they will have a different perspective/view point so get them on board.

If you’d like any help with getting messages out to the right people, through articles/blogs, newsletters/emails or social media then get in touch with me to see how we can help you…all your messages, our contacts!