Inbound marketing works. You know it; your whole department knows it. But the boss isn't convinced. He or she doesn't see the worth of adding a business blog to the company website. Little value is seen in creating videos or podcasts, or publishing short eBooks that would prove to be useful for consumers. Attempts to convince your boss to let you include inbound marketing in your campaigns have been met with comments like "Let's stick with what works" and, “our company’s offering is very niche and no one is searching for us online”.
The problem is that traditional marketing methods (in and of themselves) are no longer enough. In an information-driven world where consumers are attracted to businesses that provide them with useful, life-enriching information as well as excellent products or services, inbound marketing is necessary. Where traditional marketing grabs attention, inbound marketing provides value while bringing the consumer closer to your brand. It's all about connection. Read on to learn more about seven ways you can get your boss on board with inbound marketing so he or she can see the benefits you already know it will bring.
1) Share Consumer Interaction
With outbound marketing methods, such as billboards, radio advertisements and print ads, one entity is doing the talking...your company. If the consumer doesn't buy in to what you're telling them, they'll move on. Inbound marketing encourages two-way conversation and interaction in the form of blog comments, replies to social media statuses and feedback. Show your boss the consumer interaction your competitors are enjoying with their outbound marketing techniques for convincing proof that it will help expand your customer base.
2) The Sad Statistics of Outbound Marketing
The numbers are down, when it comes to outbound marketing methods. Eighty-four percent of 25 to 34 year old consumers have left a website because of the irrelevant advertisements placed on it. Eighty-six percent of consumers skip TV ads*. More than 200 million people have added their phone number to the "Do Not Call" list. Numbers speak loud and clear...consumers don't want to be talked at.
3) Other Businesses Are Benefiting
Just as data shows that outbound marketing is less effective, the numbers also show that inbound marketing is benefiting other businesses. Two-thirds of companies who have a business blog find it to be an impactful component of their business-building plan. Likewise, marketing departments are spending more on inbound marketing than they have in years. In 2011, the amount had increased by 61 percent.
4) Let Money Do the Talking
When all else fails, remember that money talks. Businesses who employ inbound marketing methods save 62 percent per lead compared to the cost of obtaining leads through traditional marketing methods. Additionally, maintaining a blog and social media presence are some of the most effective and practically cost-free marketing methods.
5) Less Chasing, More Relationship-Building
Since inbound marketing is about drawing the consumer into a conversation by establishing value and connection, your company will have to do less chasing. A reduced amount of time spent trying to grab consumers' attention gives your company more time to convert consumers to buyers and buyers to loyal customers. Today's consumer wants to deal with business people who care and are trustworthy. These and other important traits are much more easy to convey through inbound marketing.
6) Nearly Endless & Budget-Savvy Options
From social media to blogging to white papers to eBooks, the opportunities are endless. Convince your boss that inbound marketing will benefit your company by focusing on a few marketing options you feel are an excellent fit for your particular business. Use cost-effectiveness to your advantage by including one or two low- or no-cost techniques.
7) Brand Building
Creating valuable content yields many benefits. Perhaps the most important factor of all is building credibility. Show that your brand knows your stuff and build thought leadership in your industry. You may be surprised to find that your competitors’ sales reps will start sharing your resource-based content with their prospects, and hand delivering you leads!
Bonus Tip: Run An Inbound Marketing Campaign Test
If your boss is still teetering on the edge of uncertainty, despite the statistics and ideas you've shared, suggest an inbound marketing campaign test. With your boss's input and permission, choose a set length of time and specific marketing campaign in which to try out some of the inbound marketing techniques you believe would benefit your company. Plan your campaign wisely for the greatest impact. Track its effects so you have data to show your boss how inbound marketing is helping the company.
Some people need to see it to believe it. Perhaps your boss is one of those people. Maybe, he or she has had a negative experience with trying new business tactics, and is concerned that inbound marketing will cause the business to lose ground. A short-term commitment for a trial campaign will give your boss the security of knowing there's an out if one is needed. But, as you know, this will be your golden opportunity to finally prove the value of inbound marketing to your business.
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