If your job has anything to do with digital marketing, whether its creating online content, doing SEO or running social media campaigns, by now you have heard of Inbound Marketing. Its a very popular marketing methodology that encapsulates various online tactics and strategies to attract visitors to your site, convert them into leads, turn them into customers and create advocates for your brand.
In their State of Inbound Marketing Report, Hubspot (Full Disclosure, we're a Certified Hubspot Partner), a leader in marketing automation software, found that Inbound marketers double the average site conversion rate of non-inbound marketers, from 6% to 12% total. The same report also reveals that inbound delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound leads.
With numbers like these it is easy to see the appeal and increasing popularity of Inbound Marketing among small and big businesses alike. But as with any hot new way of doing something, there are skeptics -- and with skeptics come myths. Here are 5 common Inbound Marketing myths debunked.
Myth 1: Inbound is Replacing SEO
Definitely one of the most common myths we hear: Inbound is replacing SEO. As if SEO is dead (it's not). Nor are they rivals. SEO and Inbound Marketing are two sides of the same coin, employed with a similar goal in mind: the creation of killer, effective marketing.
Under the Inbound approach, SEO is still very important. You still need to do your keyword research, on-page optimization, attract quality links and ensure search engines are able to crawl and index your site properly.
However, the goal is to create a useful site with relevant content that not only search engines understand but people as well...giving them a reason to come back and share your great content.
Myth 2: Inbound is Only for Big Companies
In the same sentence that you hear Inbound Marketing, things like Marketing Automation, Lead Scoring, and Dynamic Content get mentioned as well. When you lump them all together it sounds like Inbound Marketing is only for big enterprises. But those are merely software and features that enable some of the components of Inbound Marketing.
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from the Inbound approach. Here at Search Engine People, we've successfully onboarded small businesses that have just 25 employees, and the web is full of examples of organizations of varying sizes and industries doing Inbound, and doing it effectively. For more inspiration, check out case studies from Marketo and Hubspot.
Myth 3: Inbound Marketing is Only for B2B
Following the previous myth, Inbound being only for B2B businesses is just as pervasive. No matter what industry you're in, what you sell and to whom, you can still utilize an Inbound Marketing approach. All businesses share the same goal: attract customers. Customers that will love the product or service so much that they'll voluntarily recommend it to their network.
But first, you need to be found. you'll need to showcase your expertise. Build trust, and then delight your customers. Inbound helps you plan and execute a strategy that moves customers through all these stages.
Myth 4: Inbound is a Fad
It's been nearly 10 years since Inbound Marketing was first introduced. If it was a fad, it'd be dead by now. If anything, it keeps on growing and growing. Every year more and more businesses are adopting the approach, new marketing automation companies have sprung up, some have filed IPOs or been acquired by industry giants; but more importantly the customers have responded.
A survey by Custom Content Council states: Consumers appreciate companies efforts to provide custom media: More than three-quarters say they understand that these companies are selling something, but feel it is okay since the information provided is valuable. 7 in 10 consumers say they prefer to learn about a company through a collection of articles rather than in an ad.
So, don't be surprised if your own company will shift more marketing dollars and resources towards content and Inbound Marketing.
Myth 5: Can't Measure ROI
If we were talking about outbound methods, such as all the billboards along the highway, you'd have an argument here. But we're talking about Inbound Marketing, where all the activities happen online. Measuring ROI and keeping track of other analytics couldn't be any easier. Every time you publish a post you get to see the number of views, where the visitors came from, how much time they spent on it, if they clicked on your CTAs, if they downloaded anything or if they called you. When you land a customer through an Inbound Marketing program you have the ability to retrace every single step that led to a sale.
By internet standards, Inbound Marketing isn't new. The approach has recently been formalized and is making its way across the internet as a better way to do marketing. It's not replacing SEO, it's not exclusive to specific industries and company sizes, nor is it a fad. As studies, surveys, ROI metrics and its steady growth suggest, it's here to stay.