WTH? Inbound Marketing costs how much?
by Tony Shannon
WTH? Inbound Marketing costs how much?
You know that inbound marketing is needed to move your business forward, which is why you decided to check into a few companies.
You were prepared to share your vision for advertising and promoting online, but you were unprepared to swallow inbound marketing costs that were well into the thousands. So what exactly is inbound marketing and why does it cost so much?
What is Inbound Marketing?
Hubspot CEO Brian Halligan coined the phrase, "inbound marketing" to explain the process of businesses attracting new customers to products and services online. Spreading buzz about a company's operation via inbound efforts usually involves a bit of content marketing, social media posts, and search engine optimization (SEO). Some companies also conduct email marketing campaigns in which they strongly encourage potential customers to follow and support their brand.
Contrary to some who believe that inbound and outbound marketing are one and the same, the two terms are completely different. Outbound marketing is all about pushing the service or product through channels. Inbound marketing seeks to create awareness by reversing traditional relations between customer and client.
The Cycle of Inbound
There are three steps in the cycle of Inbound marketing: get found, convert, and analyze. The Get found stage focuses on making content visible to a particular group of people. Many companies make the mistake of marketing to everyone who comes across its scope, but the central idea behind getting found is having the right clientele discover your service. What good would it be to market the latest electronics to an audience that can care less about having a flip phone? None.
Figuring out your audience and getting discovered is the first step in the cycle that allows you to convert fans into prospective customers. While it is relatively easy to convince someone to like your Facebook business page, it is not as simple to persuade them to purchase your product. Such is the reason why the conversion step is so time-consuming.
Analyzing the process is the final stage of the inbound marketing cycle. It isn't enough to create a stellar process that grabs the attention of customers. You must also make sure that the plan continues to be an effective avenue by which your firm can grow. The analyzation process lets you take a step back and observe what you have already accomplished so that you can make improvements for future sales.
Inbound Marketing Tools
The primary reason why you may think that you need help with inbound marketing is due to the many intricate parts of the practice. There are several tools associated with this marketing avenue that can either help or hurt your advertising efforts. Here are four of the more common inbound marketing options that companies rely on for success in the market.
They are informative and useful for brand advertisement. Blogs are go-to options when you want to present yourself as an authority on a matter. Let's say you are a pediatrician. Instead of hoping that prospective patients take your word for being the best in your field, you should consider launching a blog that sheds light on your knowledge. Delivering weekly posts that give readers tips on how to better care for their feet tells potential clients that you have experience. The information also leads to better rankings with Google since the search engine often crawls websites for updated and useful information. Blogs are, essentially, a win-win in the field of inbound marketing.
What is inbound marketing if it's not centered around search engine optimization (SEO)? Yes, you want to present valuable information to the reader, but you also want the reader to find such information online. SEO practices are all about structuring web pages in a manner that makes it easy for search engine crawlers to evaluate your site. The tool also utilizes the benefits of keywords to convey the purpose of your web page to Google and other search engine robots. All of these efforts connects you to the right audience so that your product has an increased chance of being in high demand, which is why we ask for help with inbound marketing in the first place.
Similar to SEO, search engine marketing (SEM) also seeks to increase a website's visibility online. This form of inbound marketing, however, primarily relies on paid advertising to get the job done. The following is important when determining SEM success:
Keyword research and analysis to determine if the site can be indexed
How many times a website is indexed by search engines
Whois and other back-end tools
Facebook and Twitter present significant opportunities for advertisement. Such is the reason why inbound marketing specialists encourage business owners to establish social media presence in hopes of finding their niche of followers.
The Inbound Process
Much of why inbound marketing costs are so high is because of the complicated process involves following steps to the letter to find success. Every inbound marketing plan requires businesses to attract customers, convert them into paying customers, close the deal, and then keep in touch with buyers for future revenue. All of these steps are lengthy and require many hours of work. There is no way that you can get all of the nuts and bolts of inbound marketing down in one day, which is why you need a team to monitor progress regularly. A team costs money, and you should look forward to paying lots of it if you want good inbound marketing.
So How Much Does Inbound Marketing Cost?
When thinking about inbound marketing costs, you should consider percentages and not dollar signs. A company that earns under $25 million annually typically reserves around 10 percent of its budget for inbound marketing efforts. Corporations that make over $25 million per year spend less than 10 percent on inbound efforts.
One would think that larger companies would spend more on online marketing efforts, but it's important to remember that inbound marketing is all about visibility. Target doesn't need to be as intentional about being seen online as a neighborhood boutique would need to be since the masses know about the red circle with the dot in the middle.
It is important to remember the following while you're trying to put your coins together to finance inbound marketing efforts for your companies:
Inbound marketing is dependent on your business's revenue. There is no need to live beyond your means by funding massive campaigns.
Costs depend on factors that are not limited to your need for lead generation and how much content is required
The condition of your website will affect how much you pay for inbound marketing. You can expect a higher quote if your site is not already SEO-friendly
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