A survey by HubSpot shows that inbound marketing is grabbing a preeminent position in the hearts and minds of B2B marketers. Inbound marketing tactics include Web site search engine optimization, Google Adwords, blogging, social media and networking (LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook), word of mouth (buzz), referrals, and interactive public relations. We call them “inbound” because prospects find our messages as they search the Web, chat with colleagues, or network online.
The HubSpot study reported that inbound marketing channels are maintaining their low-cost advantage. Organizations that use this strategy experienced a cost per lead 62% lower than outbound marketing-dominated companies. It also showed that since 2009, inbound marketing’s share of the surveyed companies’ lead generation budgets had doubled to 17%.
Blogs and social media channels are winning new customers
More than half (57%) of the companies confirmed they acquired customers from leads generated directly from their blogs. And the number of businesses publishing blogs is growing. From 2009 to 2011, companies with a blog grew from 48% to 65%. Eighty-five percent of these businesses rated their company blogs as useful, important, or critical to their marketing efforts.
Tiziani Whitmyre’s experience is that clients who use social media and blogs as platforms for their content marketing strategies are more likely to generate results. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are good channels to offer the white papers, management briefs, and technology reviews that are so effective in generating sales leads. Social media should become an important element of a B2B company’s inbound marketing and demand creation processes.