When deciding upon anything in life, we all do a risk-benefit analysis. When it comes to inbound marketing strategies, most times in our technology-driven world, the benefits almost always outweigh the risk. In this blog, I will cover some of the benefits of employing an inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing can be an investment, either monetary or time. But, in my opinion, the benefits outweigh the cost. Here are a few of the most common benefits:
Build Credibility and Trust
Have you ever had to sell to a prospect who seemed a bit squirrely? Have you ever had a sales conversation where the prospect refutes everything you recommend? This is common and I can’t say that inbound marketing will completely eliminate that.
However, inbound marketing will certainly reduce friction between your sales team and prospects by building credibility and trust.
How? When following the inbound marketing methodology, you will be producing consistent and relevant information that informs and helps your prospects. This helps remove a hidden barrier.
People are naturally inclined to listen to recommendations and suggestions if they come from a place of helping vs. selling. Inbound will help to soften your conversations by providing prospects with context and information to aid in your recommendations for products or services, leading to more closed sales.
Recently, I added a new software for our company. I researched the software, learned its capabilities and shortcomings, and decided to make the purchase. At that point, I only had two simple questions. When I reached out to the sales rep, I asked the two questions, which were answered quickly, and then I said, “ok, let’s get started.” Talk about a sales-ready lead.
If you provide your prospects with enough valuable information in your process and pricing, you’ll be surprised at how many people will self-qualify. This saves your sales team time and helps them close more deals.
As buyers today, we do more and more research on our own before talking to a salesperson. When our research aligns with what a salesperson is telling us, it is a subliminal way of confirming that we’ve made the right decision on a product or service.
More ROI vs. Traditional
I’ve had the opportunity to sell both traditional and digital products in my career. The hardest part of selling traditional marketing or advertising tactics is the inability to attribute effectiveness or return on investment.
Digital marketing, and inbound marketing especially, can track and report on the effectiveness of efforts. Utilizing tools like HubSpot, Databox, Lucky Orange, (some of our favorites) as well as many others, we’re able to drill down into data. With this data, we formulate a view of what content a prospect or new client consumed.
This helps marketers refine their efforts and maximize effectiveness, unlike traditional efforts, which leave you guessing.
Search Engine Optimization
Prospects often contact me about wanting SEO, or asking “I want to show in the top results for this key phrase.” More often than not, these prospects haven’t been producing content regularly, or sometimes not at all.
Sure there are a lot of different contributing factors to generating SEO results. However, one of the biggest contributors is producing relevant and timely content consistently. The connection between content and SEO is two-fold. First, Google rewards fresh content. Second, search engines reward companies that frequently use those key phrases in helpful content.
If you are exploring inbound marketing as a potential approach, SEO is one of the biggest benefits. To be successful, make sure you, or the partner you are working with, develop a strategy for effectively using keywords and phrases that will help you rank.
I suggest reviewing your efforts over a period of months to see what is working, and what is not. You can do this analysis by reviewing traffic in Google Analytics. Or use a tool such as SEMRush or Moz. Use these analytics to adjust your strategy accordingly, and use this data to fine-tune your content for both your audience and SERP rankings. SEO is a long-term game. Don’t expect your results to happen quickly, but with a steady dedication to producing strategic content, the benefits are immense.
It doesn't matter if you are new to using an inbound approach or have been using inbound marketing for a while, make sure you use the content effectively.
Taking the time to develop consistent content, whether that be blogs or premium content offers, videos, etc., is an investment of time and money. So, make sure you strategically develop those items for multiple uses. There are so many digital platforms and places where you can now share your content. Having your content on various platforms will bolster your brand's visibility, even if someone doesn’t read or consume your content.
Organizations that consistently show up in social media timelines regularly, over time can get a prospect to finally give in and say “Hey, who are these people I keep seeing?”
The only caution is to make sure you don’t overshare. There is a fine line between being consistent and annoying. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect. Think about how much you would want to see from another organization before saying this is too much.
Ease of Conversion and Softer Selling
Chances are if you are exploring an inbound effort, you likely have a product or service that requires a considered purchase. This means you sell something that is typically a high cost or something that people will take their time before deciding.
In these circumstances, the easier you can make the sales conversation and soften the sales process, the better your chances of converting that prospect to a customer. The inbound methodology of help vs. sell aims to do this exactly.
You should aim to provide your prospects with just enough information to help them make a decision. To do this, educate them on your process or product so that when it is time for a sales discussion, your sales team can come in and reaffirm what they have read, and answer any additional questions. Nine times out of ten, at this point, the prospect will be ready to make a decision, and hopefully an easy one. Who doesn’t like buying from a company that has provided everything before you had to ask for it?
One of the final benefits I'll discuss is the ability to tailor your organization's messaging. Many companies sell multi-channel products, so you will likely have different prospects and different sales cycles.
Inbound marketing gives you the ability to tailor each specific message, to the unique buyer’s journey, for each prospect or product. In my opinion, this is one of the most beneficial elements of inbound marketing.
Someone who is buying an expensive microscope will need different information and messaging than someone who may simply be in the market for add-on equipment.
Take the time to plan out each of your buyer personas, and their respective buyer’s journey, then tailor your messaging for your content. Also, consider where that content will be consumed. This will help your prospect gather the relevant information they need, in a tone that makes sense.
When committing to an inbound marketing strategy, make sure you are ready to invest time, money, or both.
Inbound requires a lot of effort, but the value, in my opinion, can certainly outweigh the costs. If you are looking to grow, or improve your ability to close more leads, start thinking about ways to take advantage of inbound marketing. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let us know!