Although inbound marketing is now widely used among many industries, some sceptics still perceive it as a digital “fad.” Fortunately, this view leaves a clear runway for businesses who’re working to be leaders in their industries by taking advantage of the huge opportunities presented through inbound marketing.
According to research – 3 out of 4 marketers across the globe prioritise an inbound approach to marketing. Once a competitor in your industry reaps the advantages of inbound campaigns, others will likely follow suit so it’s important to try and stay ahead of the game. Be a leading force, not a follower!
The truth is actually the reverse – digital marketing is a revenue generator, not a cost. When you think about it, digital marketing provides a higher return-on-investment over a longer period of time. Outbound marketing, on the other hand, has a shorter shelf life with unpredictable, lower ROIs.
Inbound efforts often achieve higher ROI than outbound regardless of a companies size or marketing budget. As we’ve discussed before; Marketing is a Marathon, Not a Sprint and the distance gained by creating a well-thought-out digital marketing strategy far outway’s a “sprint” to the finish line.
No more of this “if you build it, they will come” mentality. You have to put yourself out there for people to notice you. Hundreds, maybe thousands of companies are competing with you on the web for your ideal client’s business.
If you are not putting yourself in front of them on that digital screen with valuable information that catches their eye and helps answer their questions, you most likely will not be discovered. And you definitely will not be able to use the most effective and valuable tool to grow your business – the Internet. We no longer live in a world where you can simply have a website and that’s good enough.
In 2015 Google began to penalise businesses that were not mobile-enabled, as Google will not show your website on their mobile search results if your site is not mobile-enabled. Mobile literally means anything that is not an actual desktop or laptop. Don’t be fooled by this myth if you want prospective customers to find you online!
While a pretty website with all the bells and whistles may be nice to have, if you can’t get traffic to your website, then it means nothing. The digital world outside your website is just as important as the world inside your website. So if you think that by just getting a website redesign your sales will dramatically change, think again.
The first thing you need to determine is what the root problem is that makes you think you need a website redesign. You may find that it’s much more than simply your website that needs an overhaul.
Many companies, and even entire industries, still rely heavily on word of mouth for their marketing and sales. We like to refer to this as the “old school method.” For many “old-school” industries, word of mouth and referrals have been their marketing bread and butter.
While we do not believe you should stop this well-established method, we just know that in today’s world it can no longer be the only method for winning more contracts. In order to advance your firm above your competition, you need to adapt and embrace the digital world’s “word of mouth” methodology.
When we conduct a competitive analysis for clients that compares them to their top competitors on all areas of marketing effectiveness, SEO is just 1 of 30 analytical components we look at.
Why? Because SEO is only one factor that affects your company’s visibility and exposure to your audience. This is not to say that SEO is not important. It is very important. It is to say that SEO alone is simply not enough in today’s competitive digital presence to grow your company.
When a buyer is assessing your products or services, they will likely want to look at examples in which you have performed similar work. Prospects want to know the bottom-line effectiveness of your work. If you give them hard numbers, a detailed description, along with testimonials from past work as a case study, you leave very little room for them to wonder if you are right for that job.
Many companies have a website that features pictures of their work, with very little substantial information about the actual work that was done. There are a couple of problems with this that immediately jump to mind. Less content typically results in less SEO. Google will not have much information to pull from in order to get your company on the first page of the search results.
Another problem is that when you don’t have enough content, case studies, a compelling value proposition, or specific information of your company’s work, a potential client will not know what you bring to the table that is different from other firms. Why should they choose you? Can you solve whatever problem they are having? What makes you so unique that they wouldn’t consider using another firm? A picture and a brief paragraph barely scratch the surface to answer these questions.
Good news! You do not have to be a marketing expert in order to market your company successfully! In fact, some people in highly technical fields are experts in their specialisation but are intimidated by the idea of marketing, so they just don’t put much effort towards it.
The solution? Engage a marketing team to help you. More specifically, retain a marketing agency that specializes in inbound marketing. That way, you know your team will learn your business and market it knowledgeably and correctly. So you can do your job, and your inbound marketing team will do theirs. What a wonderful collaboration.
We’ve all heard the “quality over quantity” advice for some aspect of our life. This couldn’t be truer than in the case of your marketing articles. It’s disappointing when you go as far as clicking on an article because you think they have the answer to your problem, only to find that the article was shallow and pretty much wasted five minutes of your time. Impress your audience by your wealth of knowledge. Impress them and they will come back looking for more.
We have yet to find a company that has said they would prefer to stay as-is instead of growing and gaining more business. That is not to say that there are no companies like that out there. But if you are still reading this article, then we’re pretty certain you are more than interested in growing your company.
If you have a technical firm with highly specialized products, then you may find it difficult to justify investing in a top-notch marketing strategy for such a specialized product or service. But the more you invest in your company’s marketing, the more return on investment you will see. And the more return on investment you see, the more your company grows. Growth comes from actively putting your company in front of your ideal clients and continuously reinforcing your company as the thought-leader in your industry.
This myth is the reason why some industries have gained the stereotype of being the “social media wallflower.” What does social media and engagement have to do with getting more projects?
Social media helps position your company at the forefront of your ideal buyer’s mind throughout every stage of the bidding process, even for projects that haven’t been opened for bidding yet. In fact, 97% of buyers use online media when researching products and services in their local area – so if you aren’t on social media, prospective customers may not find you.
Inbound marketing is not exclusive to any size business because it produces growth and expansion for all sizes. All companies have room to grow. Especially smaller businesses. The Internet provides smaller businesses with the opportunity to blast past their competition to become experts and thought-leaders in their industry. To be the trusted provider of information can help transform any size firm into a thriving, prosperous business.
To not market your company through the Internet is a huge disservice to your company’s growth. But many companies believe their clients do not search online and therefore, they do not need to put much effort into marketing their firm online.
Yet 81% of buyers conduct research online before making a buying decision. If you aren’t marketing online, then you just missed out on 4 out of 5 buyers. The odds at that point are not in your favour.
To know exactly what your buyers want requires hard data, analytics, tracking and feedback from clients themselves. If you have that, then you are probably already implementing inbound marketing and automation. It is easy to think that you know what is important to your clients and what they want to read and see but sometimes you need to take a step back to ask and listen.
Integrating the correct CRM and Analytical systems will enable you to access reliable data that prove what is actually attracting and maintain your existing clients. Analytics is a powerful tool and a blessing to the marketing community. Tailor your content to what your clients say they want. Not the other way around.