Inbound marketing is still a relatively new concept to the marketing industry. In fact, Hubspot just released only their 5th Annual “State of Inbound Marketing” Report. It’s 175 pages of inbound marketing statistics and technical jargon, so we hardly expect you to read the entire thing. However, a LOT of important information is discussed in it and we feel you, as an inbound marketer, should know that information. That’s why we have put together this short and sweet blog paraphrasing what is said in the report. If that’s not good enough, you can always go download the full report.
Inbound Marketing is Growing Rapidly
In a nutshell, a majority of companies do some form of inbound marketing now, more of their budgets are going into inbound than into outbound marketing, and inbound budgets have increased at an approximate rate of 50% over the last 3 years. Inbound marketing has never been growing at as fast of a rate as it is now, and it is only going to grow even more in 2013. Don’t think inbound is important? You might want to think twice about that, because the industry is taking off.
Inbound is Still Cheaper Than Outbound–By a Mile
Inbound delivers 54% more leads than outbound while doing it at a lower cost per lead. Inbound marketers will also literally double website conversion rates and testing has made this even more efficient. You can see this in the major ROI improvements over the years. This is good to know in the digital age where the customer is control of buying and the buying process starts with search results. If someone lands on your site, the odds of them becoming a lead are much higher. Also, remember that testing is not hard or expensive to do, so do it! It will help you become a much more effective marketer by focusing on what’s working, getting rid of what’s not working, and smoothing out everything in between.
Inbound Marketers Are Still Learning
When Hubspot surveyed inbound marketers, a significant amount could not actually define inbound marketing. A majority of them also did not know how to effectively analyze and leverage ROI in their favor. If you’re wondering, the report defines inbound marketing as “a holistic, data-driven strategy that involves attracting and converting visitors into customers through personalized, relevant information and content-not interruptive messages-and following them through the sales experience with ongoing engagement.” It’s a lot to swallow, but most marketers can’t even get the basic gist of what inbound marketing is. Don’t be one of those people.
It also mentions that marketers are having a problem analyzing their ROI. In fact, 34% of all businesses couldn’t, or do not, compute overall inbound ROI. If you are planning on getting serious about inbound, then you need to get serious about establishing marketing metrics. If you want to earn your executive team’s respect and secure the budget you want or need, then you need to learn how to effectively measure your ROI, and then apply what you’ve learned from that into your inbound marketing strategy.
Inbound is Seen as a Lot of Work
The report literally mentions, and I kid you not, that a lot of people shy away from inbound marketing simply because they view it as a lot of work. Really? Well if you are too lazy to even try at inbound marketing, then so be it. You’ll just be another one of the companies who will fall by the wayside purely because they refused to implement an inbound marketing strategy. The choice is yours.
Inbound Marketing is a STRATEGY
Inbound is not a channel, nor is it a technology; it is a STRATEGY. Inbound requires you to alter your approach to marketing and highlight your end-to-end marketing practices. So you want to stay true to your customer personas and consistently and constantly track your progress. There are mounds upon mounds of reports and studies that strongly suggest that you create high quality content, and publish it often. This has not been disputed either. If you want to develop an effective inbound marketing strategy, then you will have to be able to sit down every once in awhile and pound out a blog or article. If you simply refuse to do this, then you’ll want to hire an in-house copywriter or blogger.
You Must Focus on the Customer
According to the report, 50% of businesses consider their companies to be customer-centric, while 25% stated that their top priority this year is reaching the correct audience. This is great to hear, but one has to wonder what those other 75% of companies are focusing on instead of their customers. Want to answer this question? Visit their websites. Guess who they’re talking about. Yep, themselves, not the customer.
Inbound Could Use More Support
Before we jump into this, keep in mind that manpower doesn’t necessarily mean marketing power. However, 51% of inbound teams claim fewer than 6 people and, at the enterprise level, 31% of teams were made up of 5 or fewer employees. It’s hard to analyze exactly how this is affecting these teams’ ability to create and manage an inbound marketing strategy. If we think about it, the question we should really be asking is how many of those 5 or so employees TRULY understand inbound marketing and how to apply it. If you have 5 employees, but only 3 are true inbound marketers, then you only really have 3 employees on your inbound marketing team.
Content IS Important
The report says that “only 18% of marketers are purely focused on developing quality content in 2013″. This is a problem. There has been argument in the industry for quite some time whether or not content marketing is important. Let’s set the record straight; it is. As a marketer, your bottom line is to increase the number of leads your are getting and converting. Without quality content on a regular basis, you are not going to get any leads. People may visit your site, and you may get leads through other channels, but without content you are not providing your customers, clients, and leads with information that is of value to them. Without content marketing, you are working for yourself, not the customer.
This a very, very brief summary of everything that was said in the report. Of course, if you want to read the report, or at least get a glimpse of it, you can always download it for FREE. There you can go in-depth on a variety of topics concerning inbound marketing and the state it is in today. The bottom line is that inbound marketing has a very, very bright future ahead of it. There are still problems and obstacles to overcome, but those wrinkles are being smoothed out as we speak. Couple that with the fact that inbound marketing is growing faster than ever before, and you have yourself several very good reasons to integrate an inbound marketing strategy into your overall marketing strategy today!
Some Quick Hits on Inbound Marketing Statistics
- 58% of all businesses plan to execute inbound marketing strategies in 2013.
- 48% of marketers plan to increase inbound marketing spending in 2013.
- Twice as many marketers say inbound delivers cheaper cost-per-lead than outbound methods do.
- 54% more leads are generated by inbound than by outbound.
- 43% of all marketers generated at least 1 customer from a blog this past year. (Blogs require about 9% of marketer’s time and 7% of their budget.)
- 17% of marketers have stated that traditional advertising and direct mail have become less important in the last 6 months.
- 100% more website conversions come from inbound compared to outbound.
- 125% increase in inbound marketing hiring is predicted for 2013.
Blog Written By Brett Gordon
Certified Inbound Marketing Strategist | Content Marketing Specialist | Social Media Strategist | SEO