This is it! 2016 is the year your company invests real time, effort and money into Inbound Marketing. But how exactly do you approach inbound, and what are the industry benchmarks you should aim for?
Thankfully, when it comes to implementing inbound, you’re not on your own. HubSpot’s annual State of Inbound report surveys marketers from around the world and asks them how they approach Inbound Marketing to achieve long term success. The results are always compelling, and offer useful insights into inbound trends and practices around the world.
So, what practices should you adopt when delivering your Inbound tactics this year? Let’s see how the best in the business do it.
1. Top marketers rely on inbound to make their budgets go further
Inbound is the preferred marketing method for all companies that spend under $5M annually on marketing. In fact, companies that spend less than $100,000 on marketing annually are four times more likely to practice inbound than outbound. Even more interesting, every company surveyed, regardless of marketing spend, was three times as likely to see a higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound.
2. It’s time to move away from outbound
Tired outbound tactics such as advertising and direct mail are losing their appeal. Fifty-seven percent of respondents from companies that saw greater ROI in 2015 than 2014 said that paid advertising as the most overrated marketing tactic.
3. Measuring and evaluating your results is key
The marketing budgets of best-in-class companies are routinely increased. They achieve this by tracking their tactics and results, and demonstrating a positive ROI, proving that they are worth the extra dollars.
SOI respondents were 20% more likely to receive a higher budget in 2015 if ROI was tracked in the first place, and twice as likely to see an increased budget if that tracked ROI was shown to be higher than in 2014. What’s more, respondents were nine times more likely to receive a lower budget if they failed to demonstrate a positive ROI.
With this in mind, there is a strong case to be made for dedicating time and resources to establishing links between marketing activity and results.
4. Leading marketers let results drive decisions
Respondents were asked to identify the factors that caused a change to their inbound budget. As was the case in 2014, past success with inbound marketing drove higher budgets. Interestingly however, past failures with inbound also resulted in higher budgets. Of those who failed with inbound last year, 81% increased budget as a result. What does this mean? Top marketers realise that inbound is a long game. If you get off to a slow start, you shouldn’t back off. In fact, you might consider increasing your spend.
5. Leading marketers’ content comes from in-house and out
The most successful marketing organisations launch a balanced attack on publishing compelling content. In particular, organisations that saw an increase in ROI from 2014 to 2015 were more likely to employ both staff writers and guest contributors in their content creation efforts than their less successful peers.
Want to improve your marketing ROI in 2016? Download this ebook to learn more.