Why should Startup founders and marketers care about Inbound Marketing?
As a founder or marketer your primary aim is to position your company for success and to drive revenue (in turn profits), but the trends of information abundance and attention scarcity mean that the tried and tested ways of accomplishing these goals don’t work that well anymore.
Fortunately, customers put down their “anti-marketing” shields when they are actively seeking information or passively looking to be entertained or educated.
That’s when companies can begin to engage and build relationships with them – and influence the buying preference – using inbound marketing.
When executed well, this approach returns dramatically better results than traditional marketing techniques that rely on interrupting prospects. However, it requires an investment of time and energy (or blood, sweat, and tears depending on who you ask).
In other words, inbound marketing is about applying more brains, not more budget, to drive revenue.
Below are 3 more ways that startups benefit from using innbound marketing.
Customers must find you before they can buy from you.
Historically, the main way companies built awareness was through advertising. But with inbound marketing, companies can build awareness organically.
According to some studies, majority of buying cycles start with a search online. The potential customer is actively seeking information, so if your company shows up high in the search results, you’ll get “free” brand awareness.
Potential buyers can also get exposed to your content and your brand through their social networks. If you create content that people are compelled to share, you are earning highly relevant brand exposure – and you minimize the chance of being tuned out.
It’s not enough for people to be aware of your brand; you also want them to prefer your brand (B2B branding this means avoiding risk and building trust).
Search plays a role here; good inbound marketing often leads to high organic search rankings, which many buyers correlate with brand leadership and trust.
Inbound marketing also builds preference by engaging with buyers early in their buying process, even before they are looking to make a purchase.
By helping or entertaining them at this early stage, you are building a relationship with them. All other things being equal, people are more likely to buy from a company with whom they have a relationship. Of course, this requires you to create content that people like – or even love.
Mediocre content may get you noticed, but it
won’t do much to build “Likes.”
More Leads for Less Investment
Due to the declining effectiveness of marketing tactics that interrupt the buyer, inbound marketing can generate qualified leads for less investment over time.
"Traditional" marketing suffers from declining marginal returns.
For example, if you double your investment in traditional marketing, you won’t get twice the results.
In contrast, inbound marketing has a tendency to build on itself over time; great content pays off dividends for a very long time, and this effect multiplies as you create more and more content.
Image Credit: Mathias Klang