These days, the phrase “inbound marketing” is becoming almost as commonplace as phrases like “social media” and “email marketing” — and for good reason. Inbound marketing is a cheaper, more efficient alternative to the outbound marketing strategies of the past, which relied on pushing marketing messages onto consumers through various channels. Inbound, on the other hand, brings buyers to you through a combination of SEO and valuable marketing content like white papers, webinars, blog posts, videos, and more — positioning your company as a helpful resource and cutting advertising costs along the way.
But what does an inbound marketing strategy really have to offer companies? Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of inbound marketing, from increased brand awareness to lead generation and beyond (and if you want more information on this topic, take a look at our free Inbound Marketing & Automation white paper).
Make Yourself Heard
According to Pardot’s 2013 State of Demand Generation study, 72% of B2B buyers start their research on Google. Buyers are looking for the major players in your industry, the most common concerns or testimonials about your product or service, and the best insights into the purchase and implementation process. Your company needs to be in those search results, and inbound marketing helps you get there.
Creating helpful content targeted toward these initial industry searches increases the odds of a customer finding your company, simply by creating more pages for them to stumble across. In addition, search engines will crawl this content and determine that your website is relevant to industry searches. Promoting your content through channels like social media will also add relevancy while giving you greater reach.
Build Long-Lasting Relationships
Even after a buyer has completed their initial research on your industry, they probably won’t make an immediate purchase. The odds are better that they will continue to conduct research, absorb relevant content, and educate themselves before reaching out to a sales rep.
Your content provides the perfect opportunity to create a relationship with these buyers by offering insights, tips, suggestions, and answers to their questions and quandaries. Buyers will begin to view you as a trusted authority in your industry, increasing the odds that your company will be the first they reach out to when they decide to make a purchase.
Bring in New Business
In addition to the brand and thought leadership benefits mentioned above, inbound marketing can help you generate more leads to fill your sales pipeline. These leads will often be higher quality and farther along in the sales cycle than leads brought in through traditional outbound marketing tactics like direct mail or cold-calling.
By using gated content (content that can only be downloaded by completing a form), companies can gather data on a prospective buyer and better tailor their marketing messages and sales pitches. In addition, leads that convert via content downloads will have a better understanding of your industry, business, and what they’re looking for in a product or service — meaning that your sales team won’t have to spend time educating them when they enter the buying cycle.
Want more information on inbound marketing? Check out our new Inbound Marketing & Automation white paper to see how you can get started implementing an inbound strategy, and how marketing automation can help you along the way.