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Why Inbound is the Most Cost-Effective Form of Marketing

You’ve got your SEO in place. Your social media strategy is soaring. You’re driving more visitors to your website than ever before. Your team’s done a great job, and from where you sit as marketing manager, things are looking pretty good—but that may be because you don’t know how much better your results could be. By implementing an inbound marketing campaign, you can send your marketing ROIs soaring through the roof.

Over the past decade, inbound marketing has been lauded as the go-to marketing tactic for companies across the globe. And more businesses than ever before are heeding the call for a better strategy. The State of Inbound 2016 report revealed that 73% of organisations now use inbound marketing as their primary approach.

Companies that connect inbound marketing campaigns with their main marketing strategy are four times more likely to be successful. What’s more, businesses that mainly rely on inbound marketing save more than $14 for every newly acquired customer—and in business-speak, that $14 is a lot.

If you want to start reaping the benefits of this cost-effective strategy, but don’t know where to start, this is a good place. Here’s what you need to know to integrate and launch your inbound marketing campaigns.

Convert First-Time Visitors

Statistics show that businesses today are more focused on converting leads than attracting them. After all, in the current digital shift, virtually every business has carried out some form of digital marketing, whether SEO, social media or PPC. Finding leads is no longer the problem. After spending considerable time and budget driving lead generation, marketing managers want to see existing leads convert.

But therein lies the problem. How can you convert your leads more effectively?

Every user that visits your website is a potential lead. But without an inbound strategy in place to nurture and convert them, they’ll likely be a statistic, a one-time visitor never seen again. Unless you’re able to immediately convert the curious visitor who stumbled upon your page from a Facebook or Google ad, your paid ad spend has been wasted. That’s where nurturing comes in. Nurtured leads increase your sales potential by 20% or more.

Develop a Strategy to Drive ROI

With all the ins and outs, and existing and emerging marketing tactics, leading your marketing team to success can be tough. But inbound marketing can save the day—and your ROI. By developing a strategy that nurtures visitors in a way that converts them into customers over a period of time, you’ll see more returning visitors than ever before. This means that more first-time visitors will become leads, who, in turn, may turn into paying customers. As a result, an inbound marketing strategy doesn’t just help to convert more leads, it increases the ROI of your SEO and social marketing efforts, too.

Develop an Effective Funnel

Seventy percent of companies struggle with closing sales effectively. The path to turning one-time visitors into leads that convert is to create a strategic sales funnel that leads customers through the buyer journey toward your solution.

  • The top of the funnel (TOFU)
    This is where you draw clients to your website. This can be achieved with paid marketing (PPC or social advertising) or organic means. Web users are in search of solutions, and they will most often go to your website on the promise that you can solve one or more of their challenges. But having a ton of TOFU leads is pointless if you can’t capture their information and turn them into MOFU leads.
  • The middle of the funnel (MOFU)
    This happy space is where you qualify prospects, capture their information and start to weed out the good leads from the bad. This is a really important part of the funnel, and where an inbound marketing campaign excels. The MOFU is all about nurturing leads and warming them up to take action at the bottom—if not sooner.
  • The bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
    You’ve fed them content. You’ve nurtured them to see that there are solutions to their problems. Now they’ve entered the BOFU. This is where the well-prepped lead should be ready to buy—but from whom remains to be determined. Now is the time to hit them with offers and free trials in an effort to convert that warm lead into a sale.

Move Leads Through the Funnel

If you already have a solid SEO and social strategy in place, then the top of the funnel takes care of itself. You can focus your marketing dollars on moving leads through the funnel rather than attracting them. Content marketing and email marketing are prime tactics to feed and nurture your leads to your bottom line—and theirs.

  • Content Marketing
    Content marketing encompasses a whole array of online material including videos, white papers, in-depth guides, ebooks, case studies, lists, blogs—basically anything that your leads will consume. Sixty-one percent of consumers have a better opinion of, and would buy from, a company that produces it’s own quality content. Content marketing allows companies to bypasses the barriers that users have built up against pushy sales tactics by connecting with them on the things they care about—information, education and entertainment.Even the best pop-up blocker can’t prevent a well-crafted piece of content that users actually want to read from reaching its destination. That’s why content-focused companies drive 6 times more conversions than their competitors.On average, a B2B business with a blog will generate 67% more leads than their non-blogging competitor. If you’ve already got an SEO or social strategy in place, then hiring a copywriter to create content can save you money. Promotion is already taking care of itself. For a small up-front cost, you’re creating the opportunity to move hundreds or thousands of readers down towards the bottom of your sales funnel.
  • Email Marketing
    This highly cost-effective approach shares the good fortune of being equally effective at driving ROI. With more than 3 billion global users by 2020, email is still expanding and providing green pastures for lead nurturing. Seventy-five percent of businesses in an Econsultancy study said that email marketing tactics provide good to excellent ROI. Emails generate 50% more sales, are 33% less costly than other lead-generation methods, and are a lauded way of developing customer-company relationships.Most modern businesses already have an email delivery software in place. The only other cost is to hire a writer to create a series of emails with the aim of keeping your leads warm. They may not be ready to buy when they provide their email address, but by sharing valuable content, they may be ready by the fourth or fifth email.

Improve Your Marketing ROI

Effective inbound marketing at every stage of the sales funnel, especially the middle, doesn’t just convert more users. It improves the ROI of all of your marketing efforts and channels. In fact, the stats reveal that an inbound strategy can double online conversion rates from the average 6% to 12%. By integrating inbound strategies into your SEO campaigns, you’ll improve your sales funnel and convert more users without increasing your SEO spend. Similarly, if more visitors are providing you with their information and following up with a purchase as a result of your inbound marketing efforts, you can justify higher advertising spend to attract more leads.

Measure Your ROI

Like everything, there’s a cost to inbound marketing. Even if you are intent on creating all content in-house, it will take a substantial amount of resources like time, or perhaps a dedicated, salaried new hire. That’s why 62% of companies are opting to outsource their content marketing to experienced writers who live by best practises that drive results. However you approach your content marketing, you should ensure that your ROI justifies your spend. While gauging your costs and conversions in relation to inbound marketing might seem nearly impossible at first glance, here are a few quick measurements you should be taking to ensure that your content is paying off.

  • Customer Acquisition Cost
    What’s the cost of that customer? Add up all you marketing costs, including salaries, paid ads, etc., then divide it by the number of customers you’ve acquired within a given period—like a year.Sales and marketing cost/Number of new customers = CAC
  • Customer Lifetime Value : Customer Acquisition Cost
    Is your spend per customer justifiable? Determine a customer’s spend within a given time frame—like a quarter or a year—then divide it by the Customer Acquisition Cost. The higher the ratio, the higher your profitability.LTV/CAC = LTV : CAC
  • Conversion Rates
    Tracking your leads through the funnel and seeing where they disappear or convert will provide information to tailor your inbound marketing strategy to drive more leads through to conversion.A successful inbound marketing campaign has the power to dramatically boost your bottom line—at 61% less per lead. By implementing a funnel-focused inbound marketing campaign, you’ll turn one-time visitors into leads, leads into customers and customers into brand advocates.

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