The most important benefit of inbound marketing is that it aligns better with real, modern buyers, both in terms of their behavior and their psychology.
Buyer todays want to feel like they’re in control of their own destiny. They like the convenience and speed of finding the answers to their questions and pain points online. They don’t like being force-fed sales pitches.
With more than10 billion monthly searcheson Google alone, people are searching for answers on their own. They’re also listening to more of their loved ones opinions on social media and review sites.
Traditional outbound marketing methods focused on sharing one, big message for every person who sees it, are becoming less and less effective.
Your audience is already blocking ads in their browser, zoning out during commercials, and tossing marketing mail in the trash.
Guy Kawasaki, one of the original marketers for Apple’s Macintosh computer line, encapsulates the difference between inbound and outbound withthis quote:
“If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.”
Like we just said—everyone wants to feel smart, so Kawasaki is obviously arguing for inbound marketing here. But let’s look at what he’s actually saying.
Outbound marketing is the easy way out if you have money to burn (and you’ll often need that much). Buying TV commercials, print ads, and billboards can quickly get very expensive, and there are no guarantees as to your ROI.
By purchasing enough ads and launching enough campaigns, you’re sure to get someone’s attention. Whether that someone is actually part of your target audience, however, is another question.
Inbound, on the other hand, requires you to think smart and lean, instead of gaining customers through brute force. It educates readers instead of imposing your message.
No matter if your marketing budget is small to begin with or if you just want to cut costs, inbound is usually significantly cheaper than an equivalent outbound campaign. With so many free and low-cost platforms out there, starting an inbound marketing campaign can cost you next to nothing.
Facebook and Twitter accounts are free of charge, and so is installing WordPress so that you can get started on blogging and SEO. Marketing software companies such as HubSpot even have free versions of their products that are perfect when you’re just starting out.
With the barriers to entry so low and the possible rewards so high, it’s hard not to make the case for using inbound.
The lower costs of inbound automatically mean better opportunities for ROI, but the benefits don’t end there. By collecting data from your readers and prospects, inbound helps you make better-informed decisions and more wisely spend your time on the right activities.
Running an inbound campaign is perfect for data geeks who want to crunch the numbers and optimize their efforts. From the moment people arrive on your website to the moment you seal the deal, you can track and analyze nearly every aspect of an inbound marketing campaign.
You’ll immediately see how prospects react at each stage of the buyer’s journey, and you can run experiments to find out what gives you the most bang for your buck.
Inbound marketing’s higher ROI is also thanks to the fact that campaigns can last much longer. When you write quality evergreen content, you can execute an inbound marketing campaign that can stay relevant and pay dividends for months and even years to come.
The results speak for themselves: when properly executed, inbound marketing is10 times as effectiveat lead conversion as outbound.