Holistic Marketing Will Help Your Overall Marketing Strategy
The more you read online, the more you hear about inbound marketing and the leads it can create by sitting behind your computer and creating content that answers your customers questions. It sounds too good to be true, right? I am going to go out on a limb here and say inbound is not always the answer, not all the time.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am writing this post because inbound marketing works. In fact, I have built my business around helping others implement and maintain a sound inbound strategy. But I want to take you back to the beginning and tell you a little more about my company growth and why you need more than just inbound to be successful.
When we first started, I jumped in with both feet into inbound marketing. “I can sit and create content about the thing I know best and the leads will come to us?” It was too good to be true. The problem was that the leads never came through the door. At least not initially. This is a hard pill to swallow as you are getting your business up and running.
The problem is that inbound marketing takes a lot of time to implement and generate leads. It is a long-term investment in your company, not a quick over the night solution. You must take the time to gain credibility in your industry before you can see the impact of inbound marketing. In fact, it took us over six months to start seeing the inbound marketing methodology start working.
There is a better way to market your business. Let’s take a look at what a holistic marketing approach can do for your company.
Why Outbound Marketing
The “old school” way to fill the top of the sales funnel is by trade shows, seminar series, email blasts to purchased lists, internal cold calling, networking, outsourced telemarketing, and advertising. This “disruptive marketing” can be a huge turn-off for many potential buyers because it is not what they are looking for. However, if it was not for this “disruptive marketing” Mammoth may not be around.
This is how we got our first client and built awareness. We have found that it is very useful to get involved and get in front of people. For example, our first clients had no idea what inbound marketing was but knew they needed more out of their website. They had a great looking site, but no traffic. We met them at a networking event and had the opportunity to sit and explain our services. If we did not go “old school” and attend this networking event, we may have never met this great company.
Outbound marketing is still a great way to get out in front of people. We see advertising every day from billboards, to direct mail, to commercials on TV, and even in our social media feeds. It still works or nobody would be investing the money in these forms of marketing. I would not give up on outbound marketing because it helps create a holistic marketing plan.
One of our best marketing strategies comes from doing seminars, it is a great way to expand our brand and show a group of people that we are the expert in the field. It is also a great way to guide potential customers back to our site and use inbound tactics to finish the sale.
The Problem With Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is hard. It takes time, money, and hard work (hustle). The very biggest issue that we have found with our outbound marketing strategy is that the ROI on the activities is low. But when you say the word “return” in any marketing effort it is a win in my book, a profit is a profit.
For example, if you attend an expo or conference and want to sponsor or set up a booth, you are talking thousands of dollars, not to mention the labor hours that go into the event. It is also an exhausting day working from sun-up to sun-down. I don’t know about you, but after a full day running around, I am beat.
Another issue that we have seen with the outbound marketing approach is the lack of targeting. Yeah, you can buy a list from a vendor, but what are you getting in return? You might get some attributes in a database that meet your criteria, but the list might not really be the target customer, market segmentation is huge for your marketing strategy. If you are lucky you will have a conversion rate in the high single digits.
The Outbound Marketing Solution
Does outbound marketing still work? Yes, we take part in seminar series, networking event, or anything that makes sense for our company. The trick here is to pick and choose events and opportunities that make sense in your marketing strategy. If your company is going to spend the big bucks on an expo or sponsor a conference, make sure that it fits in your marketing strategy. Ensure that there are going to be enough potential leads to make it worth your while.
One final tip, I never turn down a speaking opportunity, many times this is free exposure or a free ticket to a conference.
Why Inbound Marketing
Now that we have talked about how we started our company and got enough clients to keep us in business, let’s look at how we keep the sales funnel full of potential leads and continue to grow our company.
There is no mistaking, inbound marketing does generate leads by creating content and answering questions of your potential customers. Inbound marketing does attract visitors to your website and helps to capture leads and nurture them through the sales funnel. This nonintrusive form of marketing uses multiple channels of communication to generate traffic to your website.
The “new school” form of marketing is becoming more and more important in our overall marketing strategy because of the low cost and 24/7 sales team (our website). Inbound marketing has helped us connect with clients outside our state and even outside our country. It is a marketing tactic that companies must look into.
If your company does not have an inbound marketing plan in place, you need one. Inbound marketing is the single best way to serve up content when your potential customer is looking for it and after time continues to deliver results on marketing content published in the past.
We continue to see our monthly organic search traffic increase month over month, by as much as 68%. Inbound has helped us scale our marketing and cast a wide net that outbound marketing just cannot deliver.
The Problem With Inbound Marketing
The initial problem with inbound marketing is that it takes time to get up and running.
You have to learn the software, create a plan, develop your content, and promote your efforts. We did not notice a significant jump in our web traffic for almost 6 months, even then it was not blowing anyone away. We would get a lead here or there, but not any paying customers.
There was a time when I debated if it was still worth our time and effort. I know there are companies that have turned on inbound marketing and have huge success the next day, one blog post goes viral and they are set. But this is not the norm. Inbound marketing must be part of a long-term marketing strategy. If you have not started, it is not too late, but you must get started today!
The Inbound Marketing Solution
Does inbound marketing work? Of course. Your company must have an inbound marketing strategy in order to be successful in today’s tough business environment.
Give yourself at least 6 months to start seeing a return on your efforts. If your business is in the infant stages it makes sense to start the inbound marketing process and take it slow until you stabilize your business and start to see results from your inbound tactics.
We try to create content daily, but this is not doable for most business. The goal is to get one piece of extraordinary content finished per week that will hit a home run with your target customer. Inbound is a long term investment into your overall marketing strategy, so get out there and get started.
Get More With Holistic Marketing
Outbound versus Inbound, what is right for your company.
Both. Introducing holistic marketing. You can develop a holistic marketing strategy by thinking about your business as a whole, its place in the broader economy and society, and in the lives of your customers. It attempts to develop and maintain multiple perspectives on the company’s commercial activities. In order to get the very most out of your marketing, you need to include outbound and inbound marketing into your strategy.
A holistic marketing approach will identify the very best tactic to get the highest return on investment. If there is an event that your company could benefit from, do it, but continue to create content for your website to attract customers 24/7. It is best practice to use your inbound marketing to help promote the event your company will be at. It could create buzz with your potential leads and help you close the sale at the event.
Make sure that both your outbound and inbound marketing work together to create a holistic marketing plan.
Example of A Holistic Marketing Campaign
Your company attends a conference and you receive 20 new leads (outbound). When you get back to your office you input your new contacts into your contact database. Now you can track to see which new contacts open your emails and view your website content (inbound). Now this new lead that is active on your website and engaging with your content and continues to dive deeper into your products and services. This creates a “marketing qualified” lead. This “marketing qualified” lead is now sent to your sales team for the follow-up to close the sale. This frictionless sale helps improve close rates and creates happier more efficient salesmen. Everyone benefits from a well oiled holistic marketing plan.
There is no more inbound marketing versus outbound marketing. Using an outbound marketing strategy and an inbound marketing strategy will help your company create a holistic marketing plan that will increase your return on investment. As you continue to read the internet and it tries to push you away from doing conferences, seminars, and “disruptive marketing”, think twice. Never give up on an opportunity to create a relationship in person or online, this relationship could become a customer in the future. Get more out of your marketing with holistic marketing.