Modern businesses have come a long way from the traditional type of outbound marketing procedures. Cold calls, banner ads and trade shows have relatively become inept at driving the primary objective of achieving growth, which every company yearns. In today’s digitally-driven world, marketing is about gaining recognition, for which it has to stand out from the competition. There has been constant change on the type and aspect of marketing campaigns, but 2017 could see inbound marketing foray in as one of the leading methodology that can help companies to achieve the desired growth. In inbound marketing, marketers have now found a tool through which they can offer their target audience only those specific things that they are interested in. It’s about creating quality content to attract them towards where they would love to be. Subsequently, they can convert these leads into customers, and keep them delighted overtime.
There are a plethora of reasons why companies could augur well in adopting it as their favorite marketing tactics. However, we first need to understand what inbound marketing is. And the ideal way to start is by differentiating it from the more familiar method of outbound marketing – the traditional method that we have all grown up experiencing. The television commercials in between the weekend movie, radio jingles, huge billboards, power-jacket ads in our daily newspaper are some of the numerous examples of outbound marketing. In addition to the crass messaging, this strategy has also pervaded the digital distribution techniques in the form of email and PPC, etc. In short, outbound marketing has left the two pivotal aspect of marketing ideology – messaging and distribution, thoroughly exploited. This is where the divergence of these two marketing philosophies begins.
- Inbound marketing queries the audience based on their subject of interest and using the medium which they are interested in subscribing to. This creates a steady-stream of interested audience that increases overtime. As no marketing segment is isolated or unique, it gradually builds momentum, which in turn increases the rate of conversions exponentially. On the other hand, in outbound marketing, every effort is unique and isolated. For example, a television ad played out for few seconds may be able to capture the attention of the viewers, but is quickly forgotten when several other follow.
- Traditional marketing techniques have been rendered ineffective as they no longer create a sense of interest among the audience. Not long ago, catchy messaging on banners, and appealing proposals on cold calls was enough to grab the audience’s attention. However, with overuse of such techniques, consumers have become immune to them. They now know it’s a sales call and disconnect it immediately. As the consumers have grown smarter, so have their preferences. They no longer need anyone to guide them on what is right; on contrary, they prefer doing research on finding what ideally fits their bill. This is where Inbound marketing has taken precedence. It creates as series of engaging content categories that consumers find it trustworthy in order to locate what they are looking for. With warm leads at their disposal, sales personnel can convert them to customers much more easily; because anyone who is already shown interest in your product or service is more likely to convert than a person who is irate on being approached.
- In today’s digital world, there is no such dearth of information. In-depth details, reviews and rating of almost all products is readily available online. So when companies want to reach out to customers through outbound marketing to products that have no online presence, they may be skeptical to buy it. This makes Inbound all the more important, as it can also be a great tool for building trust apart from promoting your offering through the consultative approach. On the other hand, outbound method relied upon sales driven counseling of the audience and worked well when people had limited access to information. For instance, a person looking to buy a refrigerator would make the final decision of buying a product based the promising claims of the sales personnel, while there would be various other products much better than it.
Another important advantage of inbound marketing is the ability to measure results through digital activity. Heavily reliant on digital marketing tactics, it offers similar advantages. While traditional tactics look to convert website visitors during their visit, inbound marketing is more about nurturing visitors for a considerable period of time before getting them to convert. As this is a unique approach, it also requires a special set of tools and metrics to measure it.
- Website Objective
It is primary action which you want your website the visitors to take. It can vary based on the type of Call to action, and could range from a form submission to a phone call. For example, an e-commerce portal will have online sale as its website objective.
- Landing Page Conversion Rate
The metric derives the effectiveness of your website landing pages when it comes to converting visitors. Calculated using the below formula, a conversion rate of 25-30% is termed normal.
- Visitor Conversion Rate
It is an augmented metric that takes both the website’s traffic and its usability into account. It is derived by dividing the number of goal conversions by total site visits, and has a usual range of 6-10%.
In addition, Inbound marketing provides one of the highly effective tools for improving outbound sales prospects, i.e., lead-nurturing. Once you have created your campaign, lead nurturing can be used to tenderly move the prospect down the sales funnel. Creating specially premium content offers and personalised communication in-line with the prospect’s buying journey is the ideal way to achieve it. In 2017, we would see more of such innovative techniques from repertoire of Inbound Marketing that could go a long way in helping businesses to boost their profits.
- 2017 could see Inbound Marketing emerge as one of the leading methodologies to help businesses achieve the desired growth.
- In outbound marketing, every effort is unique and isolated; whereas Inbound Marketing creates a steady-stream of contiguous engagement that gradually increases the audience over time.
- Audiences voluntarily showing interest in your offering are more like to convert to customers than those who don’t.
- Inbound marketing has the ability to measure results through digital activity, and has specialized metrics to calculate it.