Before I go into the benefits of inbound marketing for getting the most out of your return on investment (ROI), first here’s a reminder of what outbound marketing is. The most classic example is the old-fashioned vacuum cleaner salesperson. At one time it wasn’t so weird to have your doorbell rang by a stranger selling something. As a matter of fact, it was what people expected. And wanted! People used to anticipate to be reached out to with advertising, and sold to with clever jingles and fancy packaging. But nowadays, with so much choice available online and in the stores, door-to-door sales are a lesson in futility.
Flyers, which are also an example of outbound marketing, were also once an effective way to get word out about your business. But you can hardly pass a mailbox these days without a “No Flyers” sign, and even if people do accept them in their mail, they rarely even look at them. Oh, yes, and remember cold-calling? That’s outbound marketing too. Dozens of people used to sit in rooms with a phone book in front of them, dialing endless numbers in the often-fruitless hope that a) someone will actually answer the phone, and then b) stay on the line long enough to listen to a sales pitch.
Outdated and expensive, outbound marketing methods are resource-intensive, imprecise, depend on a numbers game to get results and rely on a customer being receptive to making a purchase upon their very first interaction with you (which very rarely happens anymore). In this information-savvy world, people do a lot of research on their own before making a purchase, and they want to be able to compare their options. Inbound marketing provides a way for people to do this, and it’s vital to your online marketing efforts in Calgary. It’s a better, more effective way of doing business, and is the best way to maximize your return on investment (ROI).
The Internet is a Way of Life
Most of us spend a great deal of our day online. A 2016 We Are Social study estimated that Canadians used the Internet an average of 3.9 hours each day, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that number hasn’t risen at least slightly since then. Because of this, centering your business’s efforts on the online realm makes good sense. Inbound marketing guides interested, targeted customers to your business in an unobtrusive manner, and provides them with the information they are looking for. You no longer have to cross your fingers and hope that someone is specifically looking for your product, and that you are knocking on the right door and delivering to the correct mailbox.
With inbound marketing, accuracy is part of the package. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. When you have a question about something, where do you look for answers? If you’re like most people, you turn to an online search. The listings on the first page of search results don’t land there by accident. Inbound marketing is what allows those businesses to inhabit that prime real estate.
The intelligent use of tools like SEO, social media, content marketing, and ecommerce for your website makes sure your message – and your product – lands in front of the people who want to see it. By marketing in this way, you allow customers to find you on their own terms, which means you get more qualified leads.
Inbound for Small Business
Because inbound marketing works to draw in customers, build their trust and establish a relationship rather than broadcast to everyone out there it is more affordable for smaller businesses. Unlike the scattershot approach of traditional outbound campaigns, through the effective use of analytics and customer relationship management systems, inbound marketing provides you with a lot of useful data about your potential and existing customers. You can then use that information to improve your communication with your clientele by creating original, useful content for your site that your customers seek out and want to interact with.
Inbound marketing keeps your efforts concentrated in the right places and is therefore more likely to bring you results. It challenges you to keep improving because it provides the data and the tools needed to do so. Plus, the risk is much lower with inbound marketing. Methods like A/B testing allow you to measure what is going wrong (or right!) with your online marketing plan with smaller samples, so you know you have a solid platform for success before you embark on a larger campaign.
Emphasize Website Design and Inbound Marketing in Calgary
Ready to learn more about what inbound marketing can do for your business? Emphasize Design has the solutions you need to maximize the value of your online marketing in Calgary and beyond. Start the process today by considering which marketing solution is the right fit for your company’s unique needs and goals.