Research conducted by HubSpot for its 2015 State of Inbound Report showed that three out of 4 marketers across the globe prioritise an inbound approach to marketing.
Interestingly the report also showed that over six times as many respondents from companies with fewer than 25 employees cite inbound as their primary marketing approach, while more than double the number of 26-200-person companies cite the same.
The figures indicate that SMEs have rapidly adopted inbound as their marketing method of choice. But why has it found such sudden popularity?
Here’s five reasons why Inbound has resonated with the SME sector, and why your business should consider adopting the principles of inbound if they’re not already in place.
1. It’s Responsive
Consider the time it takes to develop and approve a newspaper ad, brochure or television campaign. Compare that to the time it takes to write a blog post, upload a video to YouTube or write a tweet.
Inbound allows you to respond to immediate and emerging trends, placing your business as a relevant thought leader with a potentially enormous audience. Outbound tactics on the other hand are costly and time consuming, and don’t typically allow the flexibility to be responsive and proactive to real-time events.
2. It’s Cost Effective
Some of the most powerful and influential inbound marketing tools are free, or come at minimal cost. Today’s buyers are found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, SnapChat and Pinterest — and anyone can start an account and join the conversation in a matter of minutes.
A blog hosted on your website allows you to create and control your own content, and amplify it through social media. In today’s environment it’s possible for a SME to design and deliver a campaign that has as much reach and impact as big budget companies.
In fact, according to HubSpot, inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads than outbound marketing. As for cost, HubSpot research has found that inbound costs 62% less than traditional outbound marketing.
3. It Levels The Marketing Playing Field
The philosophy of inbound marketing is to create content people love. The driving force growing inbound marketing success is because content creation isn’t dictated by budget size, but by understanding your buyers. A viral video can be created with nothing more than a GoPro and a YouTube account. Well written eBooks and Blogs can reach a mass audience in moments through the power of social media, attracting people to your business at a time when they are looking for the services you provide.
Suddenly SMEs have the ability to reach audiences traditionally only available to large companies through paid advertising.
4. It Generates ROI and Delivers Bigger Budgets
Inbound marketing is leverages digital technology, meaning your tools and tactics can be easily measured. For example, you can know the ROI of various platforms; how many people visited your website and how long they spent there; who has downloaded your e-book, who has been retweeting your content, and so on. This data gives you insights into which specific marketing campaign has been most effective for your business, allowing you to invest in proven marketing tactics rather than wasting time and resources on less effective tactics.
The flow on effect of being able to demonstrate positive ROI is that it gives your marketing team a strong business case for larger marketing budgets. HubSpot research has showed that teams who demonstrated positive inbound ROI were more than twice as likely to receive an increase in budget the following year.
5. It Builds An Audience and Creates Brand Ambassadors
Inbound Marketing is a commitment that you’re going to create great content and build an audience over the long term. The benefits you can enjoy over years far outweigh the boom and bust cycle of outbound tactics like advertising.
For example, a Google Adwords campaign will only be effective for as long as you’re willing pay for it. A well planned and maintained blog however can generate leads for years - and it’s totally free.
By producing regular and valuable content, your business can start to build an audience and people who are loyal to your brand. These dedicated customers become ambassadors for the business, sharing your content with their own audience and generating more leads and even further reach for your brand.
Ready to learn more about publishing content your audience loves? Download this guide.