A recent study by HubSpot concludes that the cost per lead for inbound marketing is dramatically lower than the cost of lead acquisition through outbound channels! That’s great news for businesses suffering due to the economic downturn. What’s more, the effectiveness of the leads does not end there. The organic leads that you acquire through social media, blogging and other inbound channels are also of better quality in terms of loyalty, referrals and bringing repeat business.
The HubSpot report states that because the method of inbound marketing complements the way buyers make purchasing decisions, businesses are able get higher conversion rate using these inbound marketing channels. Customers like to research, read reviews, compare and hear what other customers have to say about a product or service before making a purchasing decision. That type of insight is exactly what blog posts, Twitter, Facebook and other social media provide them with: reviews and information from other social media users that customers consider more credible than an advertisements by advertisers!
There are numerous other advantages of taking the inbound marketing route or supplementing traditional marketing channels with social media and other organic search marketing programs. Here are some reasons why increasingly savvy businesses are making inbound marketing the essential ingredient in their marketing mix.
5 Benefits of Social Media Marketing
- Lower Cost: Unlike the expense of outbound marketing, businesses do not require big budgets to gain visibility. Inbound marketing means creating content through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube etc. and allowing users to participate in the content creation providing higher ROI.
- Improved Targeting: Inbound marketing organically attracts the right prospects who self-qualify themselves. They are interested in your content and seek out your products or services and hence are more likely to convert.
- Ongoing dividends: Unlike traditional advertising, inbound marketing does not end with the campaign since it is based on relationships with the customers and is not only transactional. A blog for example, lives forever unlike a print or a banner ad that has a limited life. Quality content that is ranked highly in search results will stay organically for a long time and continue to bring traffic and brand awareness in the long term.
- Credibility: Word of mouth (WOM) has a power that no other form of marketing can compete with. Before the internet and the advent of social media, businesses had limited opportunities to harness this powerhouse of lead generation. Social media offers a win-win platform for both businesses and their customer. User generated content not only costs less but has also gained more currency with prospective customers because they trust the source that it is coming from!
- Immediacy & Real-Time Delivery: Twitter live updates can be made at any time during an event, even as it is happening and provide instant, real-time feedback to customers. Similarly, Facebook updates are now being indexed by search engines and populating search results. A blog post can be whipped out quickly as a response to some unforeseen development or to address a specific issue. In my opinion one of social media’s biggest strengths is the immediacy and flexibility that it offers to users who can communicate instantly and concisely or with great detail depending on their objectives.
Inbound marketing provides a grass-roots level marketing power-house to businesses to grow their business organically by enlisting the support of their customers and allowing their customers to actively participate instead of being passive recipients of one-way, sponsored messages!