For years now, content marketers (myself included) have been banging their drum on how the old outbound tactics of email blasts, unmeasurable magazine ads and carpet bombing messages aren’t working anymore.
Today’s buyer is too savvy. They’re not as clueless as they were 10 or 20 years ago. With so much information at their fingertips, they’re doing their own research: checking reviews, downloading buyers guides and seeking real information that makes them feel about their choices.
In fact, it’s estimated that two thirds of the buying cycle is now over before they even speak to a sales rep, such is their ability to answer their own doubts and queries.
So what should we do? Throw up our hands in defeat, burn our moleskin notebooks and kneel in submission to the power of the internet? Or update our tactics?
Two thirds of the buying cycle is in the hands of marketing, not sales
When you hear all the stats coming out, it’s no wonder content marketers are a happy bunch these days.
If two thirds of the buying cycle is over before they speak to sales, this means more marketing activity is needed at the research stage. And you want it to be your client’s website they visit to get all the answers they need.
Inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on creating all the informative blog posts, buyer guides, lead generation emails and other trust building collateral and then feeding it to prospects in a predefined sequence. This approach enables you to create marketing people actually want to read and takes them from curious to convinced and ready to buy.
Inbound marketing generates more leads for 61% less
A stat now emblazoned on business cards, home pages and eBooks of every inbound marketing agency is that inbound marketing can generate leads for 61% less than other methods.
So whatever viewpoint you want to look at it from, whether theoretical, pragmatic or based on the numbers, inbound marketing is a smart approach that ties content together in a process that builds trust, confidence and fulfils today’s hipppy mantra of ‘selling without selling’. After all, who wouldn’t want to cut marketing spend while getting more clients?
So if you’re not offering content marketing or inbound marketing (I’ll leave it to the experts to debate semantics) services yet to clients, I recommend getting up-to-date on how it’s done. Good books to start with are Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah (founders of Hubspot) and, friend of this blog and the ‘Jack Bauer of Content Marketing’, Joe Pulizzi’s Epic Content Marketing (who also has an excellent weekly podcast on the subject).
These books are both excellent. But they do cost money. If you’re already in money saving mode for Yuletide, then you can pickup my own Inbound Marketing in Two Weeks guide for absolutely FREE. Call it an early Christmas present. Hop over to the info page to find out more:
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