For businesses, the biggest advantage of having a website has always been the ability for customers to immediately access information about about a company, no matter where they are. To this day, no other medium allows businesses to broadcast their products and passions to such a large audience, in a way that matches their brand.
One of the biggest challenges, however, has been getting this great website content in front of the eyes of the people who want to see it. Outbound marketing techniques, such as advertising, continue to be one solution to this frustrating problem—but it’s far from a perfect answer. Costs continue to rise, managing a campaign is becoming ever more complicated, and without the proper understanding of analytics, ads still may not be finding the right people.
So where do leads come from (if not from advertising)?
Most ad campaigns are designed to seek out potential customers, but what if the customers were the ones seeking out companies? When you boil it down, that’s what inbound marketing is all about.
As web technology evolves, companies have more opportunities to be creative in their marketing efforts; Creative in ways that could have been potentially harmful to their brands just a few years ago.
Easy-to-change websites, ever-evolving search engines and widespread social media adoption now allow companies (both big and small) to run mini-campaigns that come with a whole slew of advantages.
Find marketing concepts that work.
Experimentation has always gone hand-in-hand with modern marketing. Nobody knows for sure what’s going to work well and what’s going to bomb miserably. An inbound marketing strategy lets you try new things to attract potential customers. By keeping a close eye on what people like most, you can hone the effectiveness of your entire marketing strategy. You can expand on the concepts that work best to bring in new customers… and ditch the ones that don’t.
Get to know new target markets.
Any good small business will have a pretty good idea who their target market is. However, this is typically based the market they’ve been able to sell to in the past. A creative inbound marketing campaign can expand that potential audience tremendously simply by measuring the interaction of each of their efforts. A new age of analytics for websites, email, social media and search make it easier than ever to figure out who’s interested in what, and more importantly, where you can find them.
Do it all for less.
@Hubspot, an undisputed guru on inbound marketing, recently published the results of their annual survey. They found that 54% more leads come from inbound efforts as opposed to outbound. This is particularly significant given the massive amounts of money being spent on traditional advertising (like TV, radio, billboards, print, etc). One of the most compelling reasons for a small business to practice inbound marketing techniques is the low overhead cost. But what’s even more valuable, as any good business knows, is a great return on that investment.
Inbound marketing allows even the smallest of companies to experiment like the big guys, without giant budgets and massive risk.