During these times when consumers tend to ignore billboard ads, block telemarketing calls, and fast forward through television commercials, inbound marketing is a hot topic.
Tactics typically categorized as inbound marketing are ones that encourage interested prospective customers to come to you, as opposed to simply purchasing their attention through advertising and other methods of pushing out marketing and sales communication. Inbound marketing tactics include activities like blogging, search marketing, social media, and content marketing (producing videos, creating infographics, writing articles, etc.). While both inbound and outbound marketing certainly have their merits, the benefits of incorporating inbound marketing strategies into your long-term plan are unmistakable.
According to a 2012 Hubspot report, “inbound marketing-dominated organizations experience a 61% lower cost per lead than outbound marketing-dominated organizations.” While a lower-cost outcome might not be surprising for organizations that don’t spend as much on traditional, costly tactics like advertising and direct mail, what is interesting is how strong the leads turn out to be. Not only do inbound marketing-driven leads cost less to bring in, they are also better qualified. Hubspot’s survey results show that leads driven by organic search have a “14.6% close rate, while outbound sourced leads have a 1.7% close rate.” That’s an impressive stat. Because organic search tends to deliver prospects that are actively looking to fill a need, the leads are often better qualified (provided you’re optimizing for a tightly targeted keyword set) than those coming in from other channels.
The best news about all of this, at least from a search perspective, is that, while valuable on their own, all other forms of inbound marketing – blogging, optimizing and posting on social media sites, constructing valuable content pieces – also directly contribute to improving your organic search rankings. Inbound activities are natural sources of keyword-rich copy, linking and sharing opportunities, and opportunities for community generation. Boosting search performance while connecting with an interested audience and lowering your cost per qualified prospect? I can’t think of a good reason to wait.