Inbound marketing is used by companies who prefer to generate online leads for business prospects rather than using traditional outbound marketing techniques such as cold calling, and television, radio and newspaper advertisements. When appropriate, inbound marketing can be incredibly effective but in other cases it is a huge waste or money and resources. For this reason, you should look for the signs in your company that an inbound marketing agency is what you require to drive your business forward.
This decision depends on two factors. One, whether your company is suitable for inbound marketing, and two, whether or not the inbound marketing can be completed in house. The factor question is more simple; in your company do you have:
a team of professional writers
an SEO expert who can assure that content will be found by search engines
a community manager focused on distributing content throughout social media networks
the time, resources and expertise to work on such an operation?
The majority of the time, the answer to this question is no, implying that you may need the help of a inbound marketing agency.
The first factor is slightly more complicated and can be decided by considering three questions:
Do you have an extended sales cycle?
Do customers purchasing your product or service require some prior knowledge before they can decide on its suitability?
Do you have a high profit margin?
It may not initially be clear how these points affect your need for an inbound marketing agency so let's consider each in turn.
Extended Sales Cycles
An extended sales cycle denotes a period of 60 to 90 days before your clients decide whether or not to buy your product or service. Inbound marketing takes advantage of this by developing relationships with potential clients over a long period of time. Visitors to your website are provided with useful information that allows them to understand their options. This can be in the form of blog posts or other materials that are given at no cost to the user. Interested prospects are required to provide you with an email address in order to receive regular emails.
Customers purchasing products or services that require an extended sales cycle want to be helped rather than sold something, which is exactly what inbound marketing achieves. In contrast, this method is highly unsuitable for short sale cycles where people need products or services immediately such as in an emergency.
To decide whether inbound marketing is right for your product or service, you can conduct market research on its general perception. A sign that inbound marketing may be effective is if the people who are asked know little about the product or would not know how to assess their options when deciding on the most suitable choice. High priced products and services often fall into this category while commodity items that do not differ greatly from one another tend to be unsuitable for inbound marketing strategies.
Initial costs to begin an inbound marketing campaign are often expensive. Unless your profit margin is high and can cover expenses, inbound marketing will not be valuable. You typically need around $500 per sale or more but an inbound marketing agency may be able to help you with sales as low as $300. If you have the funds, inbound marketing is a fantastic tool as the potential sales are far higher from the very beginning.
Have you benefited from the assistance of an inbound marketing agency?