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    The State of Inbound Marketing for Your Business

    by Jan Beery on Jun 4, 2013 8:37:40 AM

    “Sixty percent of companies will execute inbound marketing strategies in 2013.”

    The following statistics are impressive. Why do you suppose that is?

    • 61% of global Internet users research products online. (Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012)

    • The average click-through rate for paid search in 2010 (worldwide) was 2%. (Convario, January 2011)

    • Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links. (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report, 2010)

    • Blog frequency impacts customer acquisition. 92% of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog. (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)

    • 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. (Source: Aberdeen)

    • Call to actions promoting ebooks get almost twice the click through rate as emails promoting webinars. (HubSpot)

    • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)

    • The adoption of marketing automation technology is expected to increase by 50% by 2015. (Source: Sirius Decisions)

    We’ve seen a fundamental shift in the way businesses are marketing to their customers, and those who incorporate an inbound marketing strategy are coming out ahead. The results have been amazing and continue to drive the importance of why we incorporate inbound into everything we do, both for ourselves and our clients.

    It’s a rallying of the company’s entire team.

    Inbound marketing isn’t isolated to a marketing department. Inbound not only draws in prospects, nurture customers, and drive leads, it draws in the entire organization. Everyone has something to contribute and something to gain. No longer is it marketing --> capture a lead --> hand it off to sales --> forget it. Now, it’s an opportunity and a necessity for everyone to work together. Inbound marketing in isolation isn’t enough. It's a first step in integrating an ongoing, viable business plan.

    Corporate executives are key in driving the success of an inbound mindset. 82% of Fortune 500 CEOs are missing out on the opportunity to lend an authentic voice to their brand, share product news, and hear from customers.

    A clear opportunity for improvement!

    We find salespeople are still reluctant to embrace the benefits of inbound marketing. Why? I truly think, coming from a sales background, it's the fear of the unknown. When we have executive support to educate and demonstrate to sales teams, the business will make a fundamental shift.

    When, as a sales person, you open your eyes to how inbound strategies and the use of social media actually function, you'll experience a number of opportunities:

    You are then taking your value even further by being the person to educate, gain trust, and ultimately grow your business. Sales now becomes more strategic and efficient. You are now implementing an approach to prospecting and selling that will shorten your selling cycle, and close that business!

    Working closely with sales, Marketing is now a profit-driver.

    A great approach, referenced by 2013 State on Inbound Marketing is to “Create a service-level agreement (SLA). An SLA gives both teams a measure for success by defining expectations. It gives marketing hard numbers on how many quality leads to generate each month and sales a plan for how to follow up with those leads.”

    Why Inbound Marketing Shouldn't Be Considered a Marketing Expense

    In his post, Building Inbound Marketing Assets Are Not Marketing Expenses, David Meerman Scott shares how content is an investment. I repeat, blogging, ebooks, Youtube, targeted emails, etc., should all be considered long-term investments. Why? Because they are accessible over and over.

    For example, our clients has content that was developed two years ago, that is still being accessed and driving leads, today. That’s the power of being a resource!

    The secret sauce really is content plus context. It's having your content in the right place, at the right time. It enables inbound marketers to truly delight consumers and generate more business.

    What does the State of Inbound Marketing mean for your business?

    If you’re incorporating an inbound strategy with your organization, congratulations! You’re ahead of the curve.

    If you haven't gotten on board, I’d encourage you to research, ask questions, and pay attention to the results. You’ll be drinking the Inbound kool-aid in no time!

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