Wondering whether it's time to embrace inbound marketing? Inbound marketing is about creating marketing that prospective customers love because it helps educate them and answers their questions. Rather than interrupt the way outbound (as in traditional) marketing does, inbound attracts. (See 21 Inbound Marketing Definitions vs. Outbound.) It sets the stage for developing a relationship with prospects and makes it more likely that they become customers.
It's particularly critical when you realize that at least 60 to 70% (as as high as 90%) of your prospects' decision-making process is done before they even contact you. And it's done online...
Here, then, are 15 reasons to get serious and make inbound happen.
15 Reasons For Embracing Inbound Marketing
1. Your tried and true ways of generating sales aren't as effective as they used to be. Perhaps those include print ads, billboards, the Yellow Pages, cold calling, trade shows, banner ads or even in person networking. They don't seem to be generating the kind of traffic as before.
2. Customers aren't finding you. They used to drive by or stop in or call you because of your storefront or your signage. Now, they try to find you online first and you don't appear in search results.
3. Your website is a brochure and hasn't been updated in forever. It's limited to a handful of pages filled with virtual cobwebs, little information and what's there is out-dated. See What Goes Into An Inbound Website Redesign?
4. You'd like to update your website, but you can't access the back end to change anything. Working with your web developer to do so may cost you your first-born.
5. Your website is so dated that it can't be viewed on a mobile device. It's neither clean, responsive, easy-to-navigate nor visually inspiring.
6. You've never thought of your website in terms of conversion rates. In fact, you've never viewed your website as an extension of your business or as a business asset or thought how it might help you pre-qualify prospective customers. See What is a Landing Page and How Does it Work?
7. You have no means of collecting email addresses from your site.
8. You've not thought strategically about how to generate business with your marketing and how your website might support that. Nothing on your site supports your sales or business process or helps prospects become better educated about your solution.
9. You used to be perceived as a thought leader/respected in your industry. You're now considered irrelevant because your peers can't find you on LinkedIn or other professional social networks like SlideShare.
10. You don't show up in search when you Google yourself or your company. However, bad reviews about your business and incomplete directory listings do appear.
11. You don't know your target audience. You haven't thought about customer segments and how your products/services solve their problems compared to how your competition might. Your eyes glaze over when someone suggests developing buyer personas to keep your content hyper-focused on your target audience's goals, interests, and concerns.
12. You're buying lists and not getting results. You're surprised when you get angry calls or are flagged as SPAM because the recipient knows nothing about you and never opted in to hearing from you.
13. Your prospects and customers aren't engaged. You're wondering why your hard sell sales messages are falling on deaf ears.When you share them on social networks, you're surprised when no one pays attention.
14. You have high customer acquisition costs. When you add up how much you're spending on newspaper ads, pay-per-click, direct mail, lists and more, and compare it to the revenue generated, you're shocked at the high cost. According to 10 Stats About Inbound Marketing That Will Make Your Jaw Drop, which references Search Engine Journal,
"... inbound leads cost 60% less than outbound leads. Considering the amount of waste associated with traditional, impression-based advertising, inbound marketing provides a much more focused program that matches today’s buyer behavior."
15. You don't have a blog for publishing content that can answer the questions your prospective customers have about doing business with you. From the same article, this time quoting Social Media B2B,
"... B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that don’t... If you have an active blog, you have a better chance of making a connection with your website visitors. With educational content delivered in a conversational tone, your prospects get to know your business in a more personal way."
If you still aren't convinced that it's time to take the leap, evaluate your company's current inbound marketing efforts using the following 22 Inbound Marketing Assessment Questions.