Inbound Marketing Overview

Marketo, a marketing automation software company, wrote a fantastic article on what should be included in a firm’s marketing mix with both inbound and outbound marketing. They are very adamant on just how much inbound marketing can help a business, just not completely carry the business as outbound marketing is an essential part as well. Marketo describes inbound marketing as the process of helping potential customers find your company, sometimes even before they are looking to make a purchase. Inbound marketing offers extra help to reach customers at little or no charge.  There are TONS of different ways for inbound marketing but a few ways could include blogs, articles, search engine optimization (SEO), landing page optimization, and social networking such as a twitter, LinkedIn, or a Facebook page. Inbound marketing can and has proved very beneficial to multiple companies in a lot of different ways. For a start-up company that lacks a big advertising budget, different forms of inbound marketing can help those companies get up and running. Here are four different start-up companies that have achieved success with low advertising budgets but have mostly used inbound marketing.

After reading the article and doing a little research, SEO seems like one of the most important types of inbound marketing. An example of achieving success through SEO is Meridian Financial Advisors LLC. Before completing SEO optimization, their monthly website traffic was around 138 visits. After optimization, it went up to 343 visits a month which was a 168% growth rate. One year later, visits were up to 442 per month. Now if you ask me, it seems like SEO can be a low cost, effective, and efficient way to get your name out there when being searched.

Although up to this point inbound marketing seems perfect, it can definitely go wrong as well. In the Marketo article, they describe a company, Acme Software, who created a blog, twitter, Facebook page, and a LinkedIn group. At the end of the year, they were only able to close a couple deals from it. Just because a company is getting their name out there through social media or any other form of inbound marketing, does not mean it will be successful. Here are 7 reasons why blogging and inbound marketing are failing for so many agencies. The main problem is the time being spent performing the inbound marketing techniques, but receiving such little return.

The Marketo article describes the most ideal way to market through their inbound marketing multiplier which provides the perfect mix of inbound and outbound marketing in order to run a successful marketing campaign.

The next case I read was about HubSpot and their increased success with inbound marketing. First off, HubSpot is a company that develops and markets a software product for inbound marketing. Their system is designed to help companies attract prospects, qualify their potential, and turn them into paying customers. The software includes templates to design content for websites, blogs, and social networking sites. They also help create traffic through SEO and offer tools to help customers optimize their exposure on the internet as well as tools to help engage the right customers. They also offer tools to help analyze their results. After reading the case, HubSpot will pretty much help your company in almost all forms of inbound marketing and to reach exposure to new markets.

For numerous companies, HubSpot has been a main cog in helping them get exposure. For example, Maryville College was using conventional marketing techniques before using HubSpot. After purchasing HubSpot software, they were able to improve their organic search rankings and increase engagement with prospective students in the search process. They ended up with a 126% increase in web traffic within the first year.

I also read a few specific customer reviews (not on the HubSpot website) for non-bias opinions on the product. This article by Marcus Sheridan provided many legitimate reasons as to why HubSpot is almost a necessity in today’s market and outbound marketing is becoming less important compared to the rise of inbound marketing. He claims HubSpot made his swimming pool site one of the top sites in the country for that product category. I think this is a great article for anyone trying to learn how HubSpot can directly affect certain businesses and help them get their name relevant for what they are trying to sell.

With anything, there are the pros and of course, the cons. Inbound marketing is supposed to have little or no cost, right? Well, if you use HubSpot’s software, it can become a very costly alternative to the point where if it isn’t working for your company, your company might not survive. HubSpot will work if you are able to use it correctly and have the funds for it, but this is why businesses may fail when using it.

Overall, inbound marketing is an increasing form of marketing and one of the best ways to increase exposure to your company. After all my research, I would agree with the Marketo article that the best way to market your business is with a good mix of inbound and outbound marketing for maximum exposure.

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