The marketing landscape and the way that customers and brands interact has forever changed.
Where an outbound model used to be the standard, inbound is now the key to brand success. But, many executives are resistant to this newer marketing paradigm. They've always done outbound, or they don't know how to start or how to quantify success. But more companies are adopting inbound marketing every year—and they're discovering why industry analysts are calling it the future of marketing.
Here are the top reasons you can't afford to wait any longer to switch to inbound marketing.
1. Your Competition Incorporated It a Long Time Ago
According to HubSpot's latest State of Inbound report, three out of four marketing executives consider inbound marketing integral to their efforts. If you aren't using inbound marketing yet, chances are your competition is getting benefits that range from better organic search engine ranking to stronger relationships with clients.
2. Inbound Marketing's ROI Beats Outbound's
Recent research shows that 93% of companies using inbound marketing increased traffic to their websites; nearly half of those saw an increase of 75% or more. And, 42% see their lead-to-sale conversion go up. You have a responsibility to use every dollar of your marketing budget effectively. By incorporating inbound methods such as blogging, SEO, social media marketing and others, you can get more bang for your marketing buck.
3. Inbound Can Increase Customer Retention
You're familiar with the Pareto Principle: 80% of your company's future revenue will come from 20% of your current clients. And according to experts at Bain and Company, an increase in customer retention can boost your company's profitability by 75%.
Inbound marketing is a great way to nurture relationships with people who already do business with you. Offering informative blog posts, articles, ebooks, and white papers that are aimed at your current customers can keep your company in their minds and keep them coming back. They'll reward you by sticking with you in the future and continuing to buy.
4. Inbound Can Increase Your Referrals
A recommendation from a friend, family member, or colleague has more weight than a random product found in a Google search. We call that "social proof." Your customers recommend you, and you get an increase in authority based on the trust your new prospect has in their friend.
Inbound marketing gives your current customers a great vehicle to promote you. Sharing buttons on your blog and social media pages allow people to pass your most useful posts along to friends or family members who can use them. When they read an especially helpful blog post, watch an explainer video you've produced, or see any other useful and compelling piece of content, people will share it. This is especially true in B2B settings where sharing your expertise makes them look more helpful and knowledgeable, as well. Whether they share via email or on social media, they give you access to new prospects who you may not have reached on your own.
5. Search Engines—and Prospects—Prefer Inbound Marketing
Industry thought leaders have written reams about the latest best practices in search engine optimization. But Google has always been very upfront about what they want from web publishers—useful, quality content. Without high-quality content that meets prospects' needs, you'll be all but invisible in the search engine results. With inbound, the trick is that customers come to you and make their decision based on what they see on your website. Without that search engine visibility, the process never starts.
6. The Way That Customers Find Products Has Changed Forever
In the past, customers visited a store and a salesman told them about the products and services available. Now, 81% of shoppers do independent research online before making a purchase. By providing useful content that helps them make a decision, you make your website the destination where they gather information. Customers can learn about their choices and the benefits of your products on their own, in a zero-pressure environment.
The most successful businesses will be those that recognize what customers want, and adapt. Inbound marketing allows you to fit into the new landscape where customers lead the way. Give them the quality content and service they desire and they'll reward you with their business again and again.