28 Jul Inbound Marketing
What Exactly Is Inbound Marketing vs Content Marketing?
When HubSpot coined the term “inbound marketing” back in 2006, they loosely defined it as meaning: “a methodology that focuses on making quality content that pulls individuals toward your company and products.” Defining that differently, inbound can be defined as the conjunction of high quality content and a selection of “magnetic” techniques for online marketing in digital agencies.
Since then, an analogous methodology referred to as “content marketing” has taken root. Maybe because content marketing wasn’t championed by one organization, it tends to possess a less “ratified” definition. Nonetheless, it’s become a preferred term among many digital agencies. In fact, Google Trends information shows search volume is significantly higher for “content marketing” than for typical “inbound marketing”.
More than half of Marketers (59% to 33%) hypothesized that content marketing could be a subset of inbound. While the information showed less variance for sales and services teams, “content marketing could be a subset of inbound” was still clearly the foremost well-liked answer even for teams newer to inbound.
Inbound increases ROI; ROI increases budgets
If you are running a marketing program and not following your ROI numbers, you are doing your team, company – and your career – a complete injustice because inbound marketers who track their ROI are greater than 12 times more likely to be generating a larger return on investment as opposed to a lower annual return.
Proving that you are increasing your return is extremely significant for a few reasons, the largest being the positive impact it has on budget. No other factor had a larger impact on marketing budget – positive or negative – than did “past success with inbound marketing.” Increasing your ROI may even safeguard your budget against factors beyond your control, like the regional and local economy itself.
“Getting found” is priority #1 for high performering digital agencies.
If we zoom in on the portion of inbound marketers who are showing positive ROI it grants us a view of if they pushed diferent types of projects to the forefront over low performers. High performers are creating programs designed to get their content, and by extension their company, found most effectively. In order of priority, blogging, organic search, and content amplification are at the top of the list as the most effective marketing methods for Inbound campaigns. Blogging appears to have the most impact on campaign performance overall.
Given the fact that a digital agency that highlights blogging is 13x more likely to drive a positive return on investment, it is not a surprise that this tactic tops the highest performers’ most important inbound projects for a campaign.
Data facilitates alignment.
If inbound were respresented as a sports team, data would be in the coaches position. The chart below shows the very close juxtaposition between digital agencies and their executives with director and above titles. Data is truly an objective medium. It is mostly immune to the feelings and instincts that directed the previous generations of “arts and crafts” marketing.
Digital Agencies lead the pack.
Inbound measured performance is increasing in all specialties. More companies are running inbound marketing campaigns and more marketers are measuring ROI, and are seeing campaigns with improved ROI. Inbound is pushing into other areas of business, and those newly involved departments are experiencing overall positive results. It is even increasing revenue worldwide. The group that’s setting the standard, however, is the marketing agencies – beating other companies by creating nearly half (47%) of all their leads through inbound marketing channels.
The age of “inbound selling” is here.
Inbound is not limited to “solely” marketing. We can see that more than a quarter of marketers reported that their company sales teams practice inbound methodolgies, and it is not just a veneer. By contrasting the charts below, you will immediately see that sales professionals are more “inbound” than most marketers who favor outbound practices.
As a digital agency, we strongly suggest that your team take a close look at how you can integrate Inbound into your sales and marketig departments. Also, look at how other aspects of your business can become involved to increase your contact and trust with clients.