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Outbound marketing practices, like newspaper advertising, billboards and direct mailers are dead. That’s right, we said it. DEAD! But so are intrusive pop-ups and unsolicited IMs. And for good reason.
These interruptive advertising approaches are annoying and, oftentimes, untargeted— blasted to whatever phone numbers, emails or eyeballs old-school marketers can reach.
If you’re still relying on trade shows and cold-calling to reel in leads, it’s no wonder your sales team is struggling.
Inbound marketing, by contrast, is outbound marketing’s polar opposite. It’s about creating content that helps your customers. Instead of pestering prospects, people naturally find you while problem-solving online. When done right, you become their source for all their answers over time.
But don’t just take our word for it. Let these inbound marketing strategy statistics do the talking. Then, bring these stats to your boss for some convincin’!
“ Thirty-three percent of inbound marketers and 31% of outbound marketers rank outbound marketing practices, such as paid advertising, as the top waste of time and resources ”
If you’re currently running paid ads, how are they performing? Well, according to a pretty decent chunk of marketers— and HubSpot— the return ain’t so hot.
Even if you are getting some leads from your ads, they’re quick wins, without any long-term sustainability. That’s because, if you aren’t getting traffic to your website naturally— AKA through organic search results— then the benefits stop when your daily investment in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising stops.
Inbound marketing involves creating content that’s optimized for search engines and solves the problems of consumers. They find you, without you having to dip into your wallet.
Let’s pair that with this stat from MarTech—“70-80% of search engine users are only focusing on the organic results”— and putting an emphasis on your SEO and inbound marketing strategies seems like a no-brainer.
“ Eighty-one percent of consumers have closed a browser or exited a webpage because of a pop-up ad. ”
We all know how annoying pop-up ads are, yet they’re still a popular outbound marketing tactic used today. Why? Just why?
If these ads are causing 81% of consumers to leave your webpage, or have a lower opinion of your brand, what motivates marketers to use them? An outdated mindset, that’s what. An inbound marketing strategy doesn’t involve disruptive ads or intrusive, unsolicited tactics— and that’s why it’s more successful.
People don’t like to be forced to look at anything, especially if they’re on the hunt for information and you interrupt them! There are, however, other visual elements that work quite well. For example, video marketing, when used effectively and voluntarily, can be super effective for driving conversions.
“ Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published zero to four monthly posts ”
Now, 16 blogs might seem like a lot, but let’s be real: in a large organization with two writers easily pounding out two blogs a week, that’s totally doable.
Even B2B companies that blogged 11+ times a month got three times as many leads, while B2C companies got four times the conversions!
So why is it that blog writing takes a backburner so frequently in your organization? Because blogging— like many wonderful things in life— takes work. We don’t always have the time to pump out quality content, so we convince ourselves to wait to do it right, and then it never happens.
Is the allure of quadrupling your website traffic convincing enough for ya? It’s time you think twice about developing a powerful blogging strategy— better yet, think about developing both content and inbound marketing strategies. Let this next stat explain why.
“ Forty-seven percent of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. ”
Almost half of people interested in a product or service view multiple pieces of content before making any purchases, according to Demand Gen Report. A website without the right content to consume could mean bad news for searchers, who could move onto the site of a competitor who does, before your sales team even gets a chance to talk to them.
Do you have at least three to five pieces of content supporting each of your services or products? Then, are you consistently pushing new content? Google and other search engines value freshness, and so do people
Plus, “content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising,” according to a study by the Content Marketing Institute.
Give your sales team the chance to get conversations started by earning your prospect’s trust with content first. If a potential buyer is getting hounded before they’ve had time to consider their options, your sales people won’t get too far.
“ Only 18% of marketers say outbound practices provide the highest quality leads for sales ”
It’s not all just about getting leads— it’s about getting quality leads. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 report, traditional outbound marketing practices aren’t serving up worthwhile prospects, nearly three quarters of the time.
When you broadcast yourself to everyone, you’re bound to get a wide bunch who aren’t interested. Inbound marketing doesn’t work that way. It centers around developing buyer personas and targeting their unique pain points. When you’re there to solve their problems, they naturally begin to trust and prefer your brand.
With 69% of marketers saying converting leads is their top priority (according to HubSpot, yet again), it’s becoming less about quantity and more about the quality of leads.
“ 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales, the common cause being lack of lead nurturing. ”
After someone downloads a content offer or subscribes to your blog, they become a lead. This means you can immediately start trying to sell to them right? WRONG!
Just because they gave you a little bit of information, it doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy anything. In fact, they’re probably only in the first stage of the buyer’s journey: the awareness stage. Here, they’re just starting to discover some solutions to their problem, and likely haven’t even started to consider who can help them.
The time to reach out to a lead is not right after they convert into a lead, but rather, after they’ve been nurtured.
A lack of nurturing is why over three quarters of leads don’t convert to sales, according to Marketing Sherpa. How do you nurture a lead? Well, you can start off by scoring them, or assigning a point value based on actions they take. Once they trip certain triggers, like viewing a new blog post for example, then you can start guiding them towards a purchase decision. Developing lead scoring metrics is an integral part of any inbound marketing strategy, that outbound marketing certainly lacks, and is a great place to get started.
The Time to Develop your Inbound Marketing Strategy is Now
If these stats peaked your curiosity, keep exploring. Read up on the four key differences between inbound versus outbound sales.
Looking for help developing an inbound marketing strategy? Our Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing will help you get started. We’ll walk you through implementing a success marketing campaign as well as address best practices for creating powerful landing pages and other lead generation methods.