Thinking about starting a business? Or maybe you already have one started and are looking to improve your web presence.
If you have read HubSpot’s recent “The State of Inbound Marketing 2012”, then you know just how invaluable inbound marketing can be for your company.
When it comes to inbound marketing, you basically have two choices: to do it yourself, or you can hire an inbound marketing firm to do it for you. Being that most small businesses that are just starting up have a rather small budget, a lot of them consider doing inbound marketing themselves. Sounds easy enough, right? I mean, all you need is a blog and some social media sites… anyone can do that… right?
What Goes Into It?
The truth is, inbound marketing involves a whole lot more than simply having a website and a Facebook account. According to the HubSpot study we mentioned earlier, “inbound cost per lead is 61% less than outbound leads”, or that the average cost per lead for an outbound-dominated business is $346 while the average cost per lead for an inbound-dominated business is $135.
This is a huge difference in costs. Imagine saving well over $200 per lead that you bring in. This is great and all, but you’ll only see that kind of return on investment on your leads if you play your inbound marketing game right which means you’ll have to do a lot more than have a blog and social media account.
Where Do I Start?
First let’s consider what inbound marketing is. Inbound marketing isn’t just about landing pages and calls-to-action, but also content creation. It’s about search engine optimization (SEO). It’s about pay-per-click advertising, press releases, web maintenance, prospect intelligence, email marketing among other services. The goal of inbound marketing is to drive more relevant traffic to your website, turn those traffic into leads, and hopefully, sales.
Now think about this: how long will it take you, the business owner, to learn how to do all of those aspects of inbound marketing to perfection? Are you willing to pay for courses and regular refresher training? Bear in mind that the very most basic of internet marketing courses will take a minimum of 2 years of schooling to complete. If you consider yourself a quick study and plan to learn through numerous free web resources online, then all power to you.
But again, take the time you’ll spend doing this into consideration. The more time you use trying to learn about SEO or lead intelligence, the more time that you’re giving your competition to swoop in and steal invaluable leads.
What Do I Need?
There are also certain tools that you would be using. This may include e-mail marketing or CRM software, analytical software, landing page creation software among many others. While you can get some of these tools online for free – and a lot of the free tools are quite useful and handy – you have to learn how to use them and, when it comes to analytics, learn:
- What information you want to interpret; and
- How to interpret that information
Tools require frequent upgrades and updates. Are you prepared to make continual investments in those tools and to keep your finger on the pulse so you know just what tools are the best for your needs?
You should never be scared out of doing your own inbound marketing. If you feel that you can take on the task, then all power to you. But just as you would hire a lawyer for their legal expertise or an accountant for their bookkeeping skills, a smart business will hire on an inbound marketing firm to help with their marketing strategy. Most inbound marketing firms will set you back up to a few thousand dollars, which is probably not what new business owners want to hear. But consider these facts:
- You’re paying for a team full of experts, and at a less cost than you would pay 2-3 individuals yourself to do the job in-house.
- You’ll have access to top notch marketing tools and be continually supplied with the best tools out there.
- An inbound marketing firm will teach you how to interpret important data and learn how to use those tools when they are not present.
- You won’t miss out on valuable web presence and get a big leg-up on any competitors.
Having an inbound marketing firm will save you a ton of money. For one, you’ll get a larger ROI for each and every lead, which in itself will pay off for having an inbound marketing firm. You won’t have to waste your own time and money on schooling (which would easily cost more than hiring a firm) and you free up more of your own resources to do what you know how to do best – run a business!
If inbound marketing is something you are interested in but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.