For the seventh year in a row, HubSpot took the liberty of providing marketers with an in-depth report on the “State of Inbound.” For any of you who are late to the party, inbound marketing uses helpful content that attracts visitors and encourages them to engage based on their own needs, a healthy alternative to bombarding your audience with interruptive ads. Providing a personalized user experience is quickly becoming the most efficient way to generate leads.
With an additional section reporting on inbound sales, this year’s installment is 68 pages of infographics, statistics, and best practices for your inbound marketing strategy to live by. As a gift from us to you, here are the 3 most important takeaways from the report, in far less than 68 pages.
1. Inbound > Outbound
This is pretty much HubSpot’s moto, so it isn’t surprising to see it here as well. If you’re a small business, the findings in this report will have you feeling like you’re standing toe to toe with the largest companies in your industry. Gone are the days where cash-filled pockets dominate the playing field with outbound marketing practices like paid advertising. Three-quarters of the nearly 4,000 marketers surveyed for this report are prioritizing an inbound marketing approach. Outbound Marketing has quickly been identified as an overrated practice, and even outbound marketers think so! The report found that approximately 32% of survey respondents whose companies identify as primarily outbound organizations called paid advertising the most overrated marketing tactic – the number one answer by a wide margin.
Generating quality content and personalizing the user experience is more important than it’s ever been. If you don’t have the money to pour into print ads, television ads, billboards, etc., you have NOTHING to worry about (more money, more problems, right?). A website that boasts creative, helpful content encourages prospects to come to you, and hopefully reach out for more.
2. Generate Leads, and Convert
Year over year, Hubspot’s State of Inbound Report has identified a trend that most marketers are well aware of. You need more leads, and you need to convert on more of the leads you already have. Potential leads have danced their way around the heads of marketers for a long time, keeping many of us up at night. While the concern surrounding lead generation and conversion is to be expected, it is not without the opportunity for solution.
For small businesses, which make up a majority of the industry, “increasing number of contacts/leads” and “converting contacts/leads to customers” were over 30% more likely to be cited as a priority than the next closest item (Around 70% of ALL companies surveyed made this top priority). While many large companies continue to pour dollars into advertising, SMBs (and some large) are personalizing their content, and raking in leads ripe for conversion. Instead of projecting your company’s message to everyone with a set of eyes (or ears), you should be marketing to the persona of your prospective client. Leading marketers are using automation software that allows them to identify their best content automatically and continually, personalizing the experience for every website visitor based on what THEY are looking for. An effective inbound approach holds the hand of the prospect, feeding them exactly what they need as they descend down the marketing funnel and into the hands of your sales team.
3. Measure your ROI, Prove it Positive, and Collect a Higher Budget
Return on investment has always been a cornerstone of success in the marketing world. It’s simple. If you want a higher budget, you need to prove to the executives upstairs just how much bang they’re getting for their buck. The report found that if you can demonstrate a higher ROI than the previous year, you are twice as likely to secure a higher budget. If you fail to demonstrate this, you’re nine times more likely to see a decrease in your budget.
Knowing your ROI is a blend of analyzing what you’re putting into your marketing strategy, and what you’re getting out. By using automation tools and reviewing your metrics multiple times a week, you can ensure your efforts are paying off (marketers who check their metrics 3 times a week are over 20% more likely to achieve a positive ROI). Lead generation, conversion, and revenue will represent your true ROI, but you’re far more likely to please the bosses by making the most of low-cost content personalization efforts. In fact, proving past success with inbound marketing is the best way to secure higher budget. 97% of marketers surveyed for the report received a higher budget after proving triumphant in their inbound marketing efforts.
With the right tools, you can provide the exact content your prospect is looking for exactly when they want it. Whether it’s suggesting a list of relevant blog posts, or prompting them to exchange contact information for a whitepaper, a focus on persona-based marketing will undoubtedly be a catalyst in massaging a prospect into a lead, and eventually a paying customer.
How will you use persona-based marketing to improve your Inbound Marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments section!
The post Key Takeaways from HubSpot “State of Inbound 2015” appeared first on BrightInfo.