Why your startup needs an inbound marketing assessment
Inbound marketing, as the name suggests is about attracting customers via content and interactions rather than approaching them. Inbound marketing focuses on brand awareness and lures customers in. On the other hand, outbound marketing fights for a customer’s attention once they’re in.
Inbound Marketing is a pretty powerful tool as far as marketing goes because here, your client approaches you (the seller) rather than the other way around. Think of it this way, Inbound is more pull while outbound leans more towards the push.
So, what do you choose if you happen to be a startup? Startups, well … let’s just say startups tend to have some pretty sketchy numbers on the success meter. As a newbie business, you’ve probably spent hours upon hours reading up on market strategies or listening to ‘expert’ advice about how a business must be run.
All that is well and good, but ask yourself this: “How does it work for my business?” And there you have it! Startups can avoid failure by adopting a strong marketing strategy that helps them solve multiple problems at once.
And an Inbound marketing assessment (IMA) helps you do just that. The strategy works because it focuses on engaging only with prospective customers, permitting you to gauge both your online presence and the areas you need to improve.
5 Major reasons to give your startup an IMA
Let’s face it. Digital marketing doesn’t exactly have the best street cred. With great power comes greater responsibility seems to have gone out the window with ads getting even more obnoxious than before. And the Internet agrees.
And unless you happen to be in the business of selling home security systems, we’d suggest laying off from giving your customers stalking vibes. With Pop-ups at every corner, autoplaying videos and a dozen ads that need to be scrolled through to reach the actual content – marketers have a lot to answer for.
But as it turns out, consumers don’t hate ads per se; they just hate the bad ones. And like many people before them, they are absolutely delighted to discover a new product through a well-placed, well-executed ad following (you guessed it!) the Inbound marketing method.
Inbound marketing helps businesses, particularly the newer ones, to classify their customers and get noticed by them in return. As mentioned earlier, it’s the technique that matters. Online users already know what they want. All they need to do is hit up a quick search to find out everything they need to know and ad bombing won’t help your cause.
Which is where inbound marketing comes in. It analyzes and refines your vending strategy, optimizes both resources and customer insight, makes the best use of search engines, blog posts, reviews and social media platforms and keeps your consumers engaged.
So, the next time you question whether you’re pulling in the adequate amount of customers or re-connecting with the older ones, remember this: An IMA will not only help you get that presence, it’ll help you maintain it with aplomb.
And doing so means focusing on two key areas: (a) Content and (b) Social Media presence. Since a vast majority of the buyer population spends time researching online before making any purchases, it’s critical that your online presence has a good rep.
The awesomeness of your content
Keep in mind that not only do you want to capture your reader’s attention, you want to hold it even past the first line. Which is why your content needs to be memorable. Fun fact about Inbound Marketing - it places a higher value on the written word.
An Inbound strategy helps keep your content fresh (whether catchphrase-rich or precise selling points with facts and details about a product) and helps generate more links via increasing publication frequency. This way you not only get to educate potential clients, but also showcase your expertise and drive more site traffic.
The hashtagging world of Social Media
Join in on the online conversation. Social Media is a great way to get yourself noticed. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, sign up and start listening. Trust us when we say this but, social media is a doozy when it comes to engaging with one’s audience.
Social Media helps the Inbound market to focus on 4 key areas:
- Attraction - Blog posts with in-depth analysis, specific keywords, important page links and pages help attract customers to visit the site.
- Connection - The next step is maintaining the connection with them (It could be a call-to-action link on the blog) This also helps create contacts.
- Engagement - Once leads have been converted, it’s time to keep them engaged via emails, workflows, lead scoring etc; establishing an effective relationship with the consumers.
- Delight - When it comes to Inbound sales and social media, after sales services are the most important criteria. Responding to problems, keeping customers updated and following a proper information flow helps retain customers as well as acquire new ones.
Social media allows you the chance to collaborate with potential clients and in return, gives them an opportunity to provide feedback.
Making your marketing count
“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” ~ Craig Davis
Apologies Don Draper, but seems like your marketing’s going the way of the dinosaurs. Television or radio ads, billboards, pop ups, print ads, phone calls, flyers etc are all examples of marketing that’s too aggressive in its pitch - it doesn’t speak to the audience, it speaks at them. There’s no “Buy. Or else.” here, because that’ll just end in “Bye, let’s move someplace else.”
When it comes to an Inbound strategy, it’s a little more subtle than shoving messages under customer’s noses whether they like it or not. And let’s be honest, many organizations fail at tracking consumer behaviour; making it difficult to evaluate effort efficiency.
And this is where an Inbound Marketing Assessment soon becomes your best friend. An IMA helps you out with:
- Website evaluation
- Better understanding of lead conversion rates and web analytics
- Monitoring sales and sales lead quality
- Supervising website traffic
- Brand upliftment
- SEO rankings
- Customer renewal rates
- Subscriber count and so much more!
Inbound marketing is all about establishing a two-way conversation by giving customers something they value, want, need or love - no strings attached.
Let’s first take a look at some good solid stats shall we?
- Inbound leads cost up to 61% less than Outbound ones.
- Inbound tactics cost up to 62% less but generate 3x the leads compared to Outbound strategies (we know, right?!)
- Average cost-per-lead drops by as much as 80% after consistent Inbound marketing (say 5 months)
So, with that bit of impressive info out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks. Generating high - quality leads is quite frankly, many a marketer's nightmare. And if you’re a start – up? Hoo Boy. But, but we’re not here to dish out the discouragement.
All we’re saying is that just getting people to come take a look around your site isn’t enough to pay the bills. An Inbound marketing assessment will help you determine how well your marketing efforts translate to visitor conversions and how well those same conversations land you deals.
Your website is your first point of contact with potential customers or clients and a major influencer of results. Which is where an IMA can help you, by focusing on building your landing pages, contact forms, mailing list subscriptions, all Social media connections and engagements, content downloads, purchases etc
Everybody knows advertising costs an arm and a leg these days and for most startups, investing that kinda money on marketing tactics is often times not the best option. Which is why Inbound marketing practitioners have a unique advantage. In fact, businesses save $14 for every new customer acquired when they prioritize the Inbound method.
While most companies spend their dollars and days creating massive ad campaigns, Inbound Marketing helps you create content that is both well researched and well targeted. Apart from focusing on ROI (btw Inbound marketing achieves a higher ROI, regardless of company size or marketing budget), an Inbound strategy can help divvy up your costs through intelligent automation. And for a newbie business, that could just be the thing that tips the market balance in your favour.
Getting Personal with the Customer
Inbound marketing is defined by one simple statement - “They come to you” . That’s it. There’s no hard sell. In fact, there’s absolutely no sell at all! Because when someone reaches your offer on their own, they do so because something drew them in.
An Inbound assessment lets you create valuable relationships with your customers, helps develop their awareness, provides solutions to problems and eventually builds trust. From product surveys to referral schemes, it’s about making the customer feel important, rewarded. And since we’re talking startups, earning credibility and loyalty from your customers is important.
An IMA is a measure of what works for you and what doesn’t. An evaluation of sorts, it compels you to audit your business performance and the areas you need to focus on. From social media engagement to lead generation, brand awareness to sales strategies, an Inbound marketing assessment is just the thing your startup needs.