When an organization engages people enough to have them seek out information about their products and services, it’s called Inbound Marketing. The process of pulling prospects and customers toward a business is becoming widely accepted because it is the way that consumers prefer to make their buying decisions — via the Internet which is now the first responder to consumer questions about how to solve their needs and wants.
Inbound Marketing differs from traditional Outbound Marketing methods such as advertising, direct mail, telemarketing, etc. that seeks customers via intrusive, unsolicited messages. Since consumers are able to omit these intrusions from their lives and use technology to filter the messages they want to receive, the prospect’s real value as a lead is greatly improved. Inbound Marketing also “sweetens the pot” by offering consumers useful tools and resources that attracts them to the organization’s website and creates a relationship with them.
Inbound Marketing primarily uses social media to drive consumers to their website and to communicate with them creating a relationship. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are popular and effective social media methods; although, their effectiveness is influenced by the market a business intends to reach. The leads created from social media and a company’s website are considered to be more valuable than any outbound channel because the prospect has sought out the information about the services or products that they have identified as a need in their life.
With a track record for valuable sales leads and today’s economy, businesses welcome the 60% savings on their cost per lead — from an average of $332 per lead for Outbound Marketing to $134 for Inbound Marketing leads, according to a HubSpot report, “The 2010 State of Inbound Marketing.” Budget allocations to Inbound Marketing have risen 67% and have been shifted from the traditional Outbound Marketing line items.
The HubSport Report further identified social media and blogs as the fastest growing category in lead generation budgets and they continue to be ranked as the lowest cost lead-generation channel. Businesses who use these tools cite specific sales results, proving that Inbound Marketing isn’t just for branding anymore!