The Truth About Inbound Marketing Benefits

Do you understand where Inbound Marketing can add value to your business? Inbound Marketing Agencies are great at pitching the nirvana of their inbound marketing strategies; but do you know how much of it is real? How it applies to your company?

We examine 4 common claims by inbound marketing agencies and the truth behind them.

1. Inbound Marketing Costs Less

Claim:

Inbound Marketing costs 61% less than per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.

The facts

True. Three out of four Inbound Marketing channels (blogging, social media, SEO) cost less than any outbound channel.

Pitfalls

  • 61% is the high mark; not all companies can achieve this.
  • Positive ROI can take many months to achieve, depending on the size of your company, your current brand visibility and the competitiveness of your marketplace.
  • Your staff may not be suitably skilled in producing, editing, distributing, measuring and analysing inbound marketing content.
  • Inbound Marketing is an investment in talent and experience and can be as expensive in the as traditional outbound marketing.

2. Produces Higher Quality Leads

Claim:

Leads that inbound marketing attracts are of higher quality, which may shorten the sales cycle or increase the closing rate.

The facts

True. Inbound marketing attracts only prospective customers that show interest in the content of a company. Self-qualification is embedded in the process of finding a company through search engines or social media.

Pitfalls

  • Just because a prospect engages with your content doesn’t mean they are ready to buy; most inbound leads are not ready to buy.
  • Prospects who are researching for your solutions may not be the decision makers.
  • If you don’t have a process to nurture leads, you will waste most of the leads generated by inbound marketing.
  • Sales cycles are not necessarily shorter. You still need a talented sales rep since every first-time conversation is a cold call, even if the prospects calls you.

3. ROI Increases over Time

Claim:

Inbound Marketing ROI increases over time.

The facts

True. As employees develop expertise and invest less time on implementation, ROI improves. Also, content is an investment which increases the impact of the brand over time, unlike traditional marketing which disappears as soon as it ends.

Pitfalls

  • As Inbound Marketing becomes more common, more content competes for attention. You’ll need to produce more content, higher quality content or invest more in promoting their content in order to get the same attention.
  • Certain industries are not very open to inbound marketing; they might be laggards in terms of technology, or IT policies prevent them from researching at the office

4. Puts the Customer in Control

Claim:

Inbound Marketing recognizes the power is in the customer’s hands.

The facts

True. With inbound marketing, you wait for buyers to take action when they feel ready.

Pitfalls

  • There are times when you need someone to act – for example, signing up for an event.
  • Inertia is a very real effect and sometimes people need a push, not a pull, to take action. This is especially true for targeting pragmatists and late adopters who don’t actively seek out alternatives and new solutions.
  • Clients have always held the power in the buyer-seller relationship.

Hopefully, you now understand the benefits of an inbound marketing strategy and the pitfalls which may prevent you from realizing the full potential of adopting inbound marketing.

Most importantly, you can now figure out which benefits your company can actually realise, by considering your particular situation.

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