If blog posts, social media shares and webinars are to be believed, inbound marketing is growing like crazy, eclipsing more traditional marketing efforts and rapidly turning into a necessity. But, does the data match the hype?
In short, the answer is yes.
If your company isn’t making the most of inbound marketing strategies, you’re leaving the field wide open for your competitors. And, as you’ll see below, most of those competitors are taking full advantage of inbound marketing strategies. Some of the most common and most successful inbound techniques in play include:
- Social media
- Premium content offers
- Search engine optimization
Among these, most marketers agree that blogging takes the lead by a significant margin. In part, that’s because blogging works inbound marketing from a variety of angles: blog content helps build search engine rankings, provides content to share in social media, offers frequent opportunities to drive traffic to landing pages, offers a forum to engage with prospects and may generate direct leads.
Of course, there’s more to inbound marketing than just putting good content on the Internet. Your content only plays its role when you pair it with well-crafted landing pages, strong calls to action and adequate incentives for your visitors to take the next step and make contact with you. But, it’s well worth the investment.
The trend toward inbound marketing is still growing, but already most businesses employ some kind of inbound strategies. While the rate of inbound marketing adoption is somewhat higher among B2B marketers than their B2C counterparts, the numbers are growing across the board. The statistics below, drawn from HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report, illustrate the increasing popularity of these techniques.
- 60% of companies have adopted inbound marketing to some degree.
- 45% of CEOs say that inbound marketing is completely integrated in their organization.
- 48% of marketers are increasing their inbound marketing budgets in 2013, making this the third year in a row posting significant increases.
- Past inbound marketing success was the # 1 reason for changing a budget in 2012.
- Outbound marketing amounted to just 23% of marketing spending in 2013.
- 82% of marketers who blog daily acquired at least one new customer through their blogs.
- 79% of companies that have a blog reported a positive return on their inbound marketing investment this year.
In a nutshell, your competitors are using inbound marketing, and those efforts are paying off. If you’re not blogging, optimizing your website and otherwise making use of content to draw prospects to your website and your company, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. If you have any doubts after looking at the numbers above, stay tuned: in my next post, I’ll share some information about how inbound marketing impacts prospect impressions of your company and the likelihood that they’ll do business with you.