When introducing inbound marketing to our potential clients we focus on the metrics that will matter most in the end. This, in most cases, is return on investment, or ROI. And, the beauty of inbound marketing is that we can talk in terms of ROI! For those of you that have played in the marketing space, you know that traditional marketing and advertising tactics are very difficult to tie back to ROI because of how they are tracked and measured.
So, when we are selling our inbound marketing agency services we determine how many customers we would need to generate for our clients, through our inbound marketing efforts, in order to provide a return on their investment (and eventually, a profit).
Leads and customers, ROI, revenue, gross profit – these are the metrics that matter when potential clients are deciding whether or not to spend the money. And, they matter to us, too; as an inbound marketing agency that has committed to proving our work works, these are the metrics that drive our efforts.
Warning: Side Effects of Inbound Marketing
Beyond ROI, inbound marketing can create incredible results that often get overlooked as we proceed full-steam ahead to reach the dollars and cents goals. Much like the countless side effects listed on commercials for drugs like TAMIFLU and CHANTIX, inbound marketing efforts can produce significant side effects. Unlike the drugs, however, these side effects are positive and something you will be happy to notice.
Content Lives Forever
Content creation is one of the pillars of inbound marketing. Blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, oh my! All of the time and money you spend producing great content will produce results that extend far beyond the moment you post it or share it on social media.
If your content is good and well optimized, it will live on and be searchable forever. For one of our clients, one of their first blogs published remains a top-viewed blog month after month (and it is more than a year old already).
So yes, while fresh content is important, know that each piece of content created, from day 1, will continue to contribute to your success forever.
Content Positions You as the Expert
How often do you visit WebMD or the Mayo Clinic to look up your symptoms and determine what ailment you have when you are sick?
Why do we do this? Because they are the experts. We trust our doctors to know what is wrong with us, we trust our bankers to know the best way to get a loan, and we trust our mechanics to know how to fix our vehicles. We rely on trusted experts for accurate information, education, assistance, support and much more.
The good news is that the content created through your inbound marketing efforts can do this for you. You become a trusted expert in your industry by publishing valuable content that your potential customers are looking for, and want to read. Well-optimized, remarkable content will appear in search engines so your target audience can find you. If they can find you, then they can rely on you for information, help, support, etc.
Data to Make Smart Marketing Decisions
When using the right tools well, you can gather a limitless amount of data. But, data is just a bunch of numbers until you analyze and make sense of it. The data generated from inbound efforts can help you identify traffic patterns on your site, behavior patterns caused by certain activities, overall effectiveness of your inbound marketing efforts and so on. Once you have your data analyzed, you can act accordingly.
For example, let’s say you have a piece of content that gets downloaded a lot, but nothing ever happens afterward. This could be a great opportunity to create a nurturing workflow that delivers a second piece of content or an opportunity to act – which keeps your potential customers engaged and interested in what you have to offer. This type of analysis, done a hundred times over on each piece of your marketing, can provide you with endless ideas for improvement.
Personal Data Collection
The personal data of your potential customers can also be collected through inbound marketing. When giving a reader “free” downloadable content, you should ask for some personal information in return. It may be as simple as an email address – or it could be their company name, location, revenue and more. The value of your content should drive the amount of information you ask for from your reader. Gathering this data not only allows you to build your database, but it gives you the ability to continue communication with and nurture these readers through your buying cycle.
Benefits Outweigh the Costs
When it comes to inbound marketing, there is a lot to do, but a lot to benefit from as well. The one thing many businesses lack is the time to do it all, and this is where I shamelessly plug a partnership with an inbound marketing agency. You may not have the time, but we do! Every day we generate leads, analyze data, create content, and convert customers for our clients. We make it our job to know your business. We develop, and grow your online presence. Our primary goal is to hand you qualified leads that can be converted into paying customers.