We understand that it can be risky doing something you’ve never done before – taking up an extreme sport, betting a small fortune on a rugby result, or adopting an entirely new approach to generating leads and revenue for your business. First, there’s the money you’ve got to invest, then there’s that excruciating waiting period before you see results. Then it’s either the realisation that you’ve screwed it all up, or that mix of relief and joy when you achieve that 50% growth in profits. Deciding to introduce inbound marketing to your marketing mix is a risk – you never really know it’ll work until the results are in. That said, a lot of that risk can be mitigated by simply knowing how to spot the signs of whether inbound marketing can work for you.
Your customers use the internet
This might sound like a rather obvious sign to include, but it’s one of the most important requisites for adopting inbound marketing. If your target customers don’t use the internet to look for your products, then inbound marketing won’t help you attract more customers and grow revenue. Inbound marketing, for the most part, is a digital channel: it uses your website as a means of generating more traffic to your website. If you’ve got more web traffic, you’ve got more opportunities to convert visitors into leads, and then into customers. But for this to work, you need leads that are already using online search to look for the solutions you can offer them.
You know a lot about your target audience
How much do you know about your current customers? If the answer to that question is ‘a lot’, then you’ve already got a great head start at introducing an inbound marketing strategy. The power of inbound marketing lies in personalising your marketing messaging and material to very targeted customer groups, rather than inundating them with generic pitches. But to execute this properly, you need to know who you’re marketing to. The more information you have about your audience, the better you’ll be able to create personas around which your content, keyword strategy and lead nurturing revolves, and the higher the chance your strategy has of succeeding.
Your margins cover the annual cost of inbound marketing
ROI is integral to any type of marketing – be it TV ads, print ads or inbound marketing. Before leaping into inbound marketing, you’ve got to figure out whether your margins are enough to cover the annual investment required. Inbound is no quick fix, and to see results, you need to give it at least a year (although, that isn’t to say you won’t see results before then). If your current margins are enough to cover the cost of inbound marketing for the first year, you’re good to go.
You want to vamp up your online presence
Ever feel as if your online presence – your website and social media efforts – aren’t as glittering as they could be? Inbound marketing can help. As we’ve already mentioned, inbound uses your website as a vehicle to drive web traffic and, through SEO and high quality content, attracts the right leads. This content not only adds value to your treasured leads, it acts as brand building fuel and a bridge to the world of social media. You share content on the right social platforms to build buzz around your brand – buzz that’s amplified when your audience re-shares it.
Customers aren’t responding to your current marketing efforts
Perhaps you find yourself in a bit of a marketing and sales rut. Your tried and tested techniques for success aren’t yielding the great results they were a few years ago. Social media engagement might have fallen, or your sales guys simply aren’t closing deals with their old-school methods. If you recognise any of these symptoms, it’s time to adopt a new paradigm. The great thing about inbound marketing is that it’s all about continuous improvement and optimisation. It relies heavily on the collection and analysis of data on a monthly basis to determine whether your inbound marketing strategy is on track to achieving its goals. If it isn’t, you tweak things until it is. With inbound, you’ll never find yourself in a rut again, because you’re constantly adjusting your strategy until it works.
The list of tell tale signs that your business could benefit from inbound is by no means exhaustive. If you’re still not sure whether your business could be a suitable contender for an inbound strategy, an inbound marketing agency will be able to advise you. Or for more information about inbound, download our guide: