Welcome to part 2 of our "What Is Inbound Marketing and Other FAQs". In part 1, we answered "what is inbound marketing?" and "my business uses social media, do I really need inbound marketing?" If you missed part 1, you can find it here.
Below are two more frequently asked questions about inbound marketing and their corresponding answers.
CAN MY BUSINESS AFFORD INBOUND MARKETING?
The cliche "can your business afford not to use inbound marketing?" applies here. Remember, the essence of inbound marketing is connecting customers to your product. That's a vital part of any business. In fact, investment in inbound marketing has shown an impressive ROI compared to other strategies for large corporations and small businesses alike. So the better question becomes, which inbound marketing techniques can my business afford?
As stated above, there are "free" inbound marketing tools like social media and blogging. However, even in these free tools, investment can be the key to success. Facebook, for example, has moved increasingly to a "pay for exposure" model that encourages monetary investment. If you're going to investment in things like social media advertising, though, ensure you understand how to optimize your investment. Here is a good place to start.
If you want to start implementing other inbound marketing techniques, your first step should be investigating your own online presence. How does your website look to the public? What information comes up when you search for your own company? Where does your target market go to find information about your industry?
Ultimately, your investment in inbound techniques will have to be strategic and your ability to invest will be an important factor. You may hire a firm to design your website, for example, or use a template site such as WordPress or have it designed internally. It is important, no matter your investment, that your inbound strategy is comprehensive. A beautiful website is great, but if no one find its, it will not have been worth the investment. That is an example of the comprehensive nature of inbound marketing: keyword research and implementation, website deisgn, email campaigns, social media, sales and more must be aligned for maximum ROI.
HOW CAN WE MEASURE INBOUND MARKETING SUCCESS?
Just like traditional outbound marketing, or sales, there are many metrics that you can use to judge the success of your inbound marketing campaigns and strategy. Sales figures. Customer retention. Customer satisfaction. Website traffic. Likes. Followers. Market saturation. The specific objectives of your inbound marketing can be adjusted to your goals and your business. What is important is that you have specific objectives and you have goal prioritization. For most businesses, the priority will be to sell its product. But all of the things listed above should have their own strategic goals so that you can diagnose a problem if your sales are not where they need to be. Do you have a strong enough presence on social media? Are your customers unhappy? Are not enough people finding your website?
Inbound marketing services such as Hubspot can offer great tracking and optimizing of metrics so that you can make your inbound marketing investment more efficient and have even more data with which to judge its success.
All businesses in 2016 and beyond should at least have an inbound strategy. The amount of immersion your business has in inbound marketing strategies will vary depending on your industry, your product and your ability to invest. But, if you have no strategy, you will not be able to capitalize on the potential customers who are seeking information and seeking to buy on their own terms.
If you want to start implementing inbound marketing strategies with a proven track record of success, check out our "How To Run An Inbound Marketing Campaign" resource at the bottom of this page. If you are ready for to take your inbound marketing to the next level and achieve greater success, contact Ontario's inbound marketing leader, Hughes and Co, today.