Why Australian Businesses are Switching to Inbound Marketing
Business isn’t running the way we might be used to in Australia. Advancements in technology and the rise of social media have changed Australia and the rest of the world in a big way. Our time online affects more than just our social life or the way that we read the news; marketers have been able to take advantage of our online habits to generate more leads and close more sales for their clients. Gone are the days of cold calling and paid television ads; if you want to increase ROI and see more customers begging for your business, it’s time to make the switch to inbound marketing.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Before we talk about inbound marketing, let’s talk about more traditional (outbound) marketing methods. More traditional marketing methods pushed marketing messages out to potential leads through paid advertisements, cold calling, and direct mail. Unfortunately, pushing a message out gives marketers little control over who sees the advertisement. A television ad will cost more to target a larger audience that may not have a need for the advertised product. Cold calling isn’t very personal, and reaches many people who just aren’t ready to buy. Consumers are starting to see through ads; 86% of people fast forward through television advertisements and 44% don’t open direct mail. Pushing a message can be counterproductive, wasting your time and resources.
Enter inbound. Inbound has turned marketing upside down by drawing customers in to a business’s website. Businesses can optimize their website and provide content that provides customers with useful information where they want to see it. Creating this information is a win-win for both parties: customers enjoy a more positive experience choosing when and where they decide to hear from brands about products, and businesses enjoy speaking to higher-quality leads that are more likely to close the sale.
Why Australian Businesses Are Switching to Inbound Marketing
They Want To Adapt to A Changing Digital World
Customers aren’t searching through the phone book to find businesses – they’re going online. In 2015, Australians spent over 552 million hours on Google. Over 86% of the population over the age of 14 has used the site to find something. Inbound marketing focuses on putting your business in front of customers as they search for information, including information about specific businesses and general answers. Customers may not be looking to make a purchase when they search for terms like, “back pain,” they may just want information on how to treat back pain or identify more serious symptoms. A chiropractor can still provide valuable content, like blog posts or eBooks, that answers the customer’s questions and brings the customer to their business’s website.
Once the customer is ready to inquire about chiropractors and specific procedures, they will hold more trust in the chiropractor because they have already visited their website. If the blog post was helpful or informative, the customer will be more confident in visiting the physical office or signing up for a free consultation.
They Want to Keep Up with Competitors
When potential leads are searching for information on your industry online, who appears first: you, or your competitors? If your competitors have switched over to inbound marketing, it’s safe to say leads will see them before you. While you are on hold going through a long list of wrong phone numbers or disinterested leads, your competitors are converting leads into customers – without even picking up the phone.
Every day, more and more Australian businesses are turning on to benefits of inbound marketing. One in three marketers believe that outbound marketing methods are overrated. Studies show that if you want to convert leads, inbound marketing is ten times more effective than outbound
Why is inbound so effective?
- A customer-centric approach makes the overall customer experience more positive, encouraging more leads to convert to customers, and more customers to actively promote your business to potential leads.
- Leads find you when they are ready to take action, increasing the likelihood that they will convert.
- User-generated content offers social proof and builds trust quickly
They Want to Create a Better User Experience
Inbound marketing follows customers along the buyer’s journey, offering different types of content and value to create a smooth transition from “stranger” to “customer” and “active supporter.” Each step of the buyer’s journey has a specific goal to work with the customer as they discover the solutions to their problems and the benefits of purchasing from specific brands. Let’s dive deeper into the buyer’s journey, and appropriate goals along each step of this journey.
Before people are your customers, they are complete strangers to your company. In order to build a relationship with people who have never heard of you before, you will have to deliver content that is interesting and informative. Put this content in front of strangers as they begin to search online for answers or solutions to their needs. Carefully placed content is more likely to attract online visitors who are most likely to become leads.
Once a visitor has visited your site (through blog posts or general online searches,) it’s time to convert them into a lead. Most businesses will deliver additional content (an eBook, white papers, etc.) in exchange for the visitor’s contact information. This way, the business has hard data on the visitor, and can begin to speak to them directly. Leads decide when they want to give up their contact information, so marketers are more likely to have a list of high-quality leads who are interested in learning more about the company. Marketers often begin email marketing at this stage to tell a story about their business or products, and how it can help leads.
After you have told your story and built trust with informative content, it’s time to close the sale. Whether your business strategy involves personally reaching out to leads through email or offering exclusive discounts for frequent visitors, your content can take customers on a journey can concludes with your final question.
The sale has been made, but your relationship with your customers is far from over. Keep customers satisfied through multiple purchases with exclusive deals and other content that shows your appreciation for their business. Once your relationship is strong enough, your customers can create content for you. That’s right. Surveys, testimonials, social media posts, and other forms of user-generated content allow you to sit back and watch your customers promote and support your business.
And that’s how inbound marketing works!
They Want To Increase ROI
You may have noticed that the marketing strategies mentioned above don’t include too many forms of paid advertisements or high costs. One of the best parts about inbound marketing is that it cuts costs for Australian businesses of all sizes. Blogs, social media, and SEO strategies cost less than any outbound marketing channel, but bring in more leads. Mid-size businesses can save up to 31% by shifting their focus from paid searches to inbound marketing strategies, including SEO.
Inbound marketing gives your business the opportunity to make the most out of your marketing budget. When you create and distribute the right content and help customers find you through search results and social media, your ROI will skyrocket.
Begin Inbound Marketing With a Top Australian Agency
So you want to join the Australian businesses who are switching to inbound marketing methods, and let leads come to you. Where do you start?
Optimize Your Landing Page
A landing page can drive traffic and generate leads, but only if customers can find it through Google searches. In order to “optimise” your landing page, you will have to make it user-friendly and easy for Google to pick up and recommend to users searching for relevant keywords.
For example, if you own a car dealership in Melbourne, you may discover that potential customers are frequently searching on Google for terms like “car dealership Melbourne” or “used cars Melbourne.” In order to optimize your landing page and bring people to your site, you will have to make sure that you rank as one of the top results on Google. That way, people who are using those keywords see your business first.
Start a Blog
Writing a blog has become the top content strategy for businesses. Similar to optimizing your landing page, blogs can bring in traffic by answering questions that people search for on Google. Let’s revisit the car dealership example. Keyword research may tell you that potential customers are searching for information about safety features. A useful blog post may be titled, “The Top Five Safety Features To Protect Your Family.” This gives the users important information and brings them to your website.
Begin by writing and publishing a blog post (or hiring copywriters and content marketers who specialize in writing optimized blog posts) every week. The more frequently you post, the higher you will find yourself on keyword rankings. In 2015, 49% of Australian marketers published content daily or weekly; frequent posting is required in order to keep up with your competitors. Inbound marketing strategies don’t result in top rankings and thousands of leads overnight, so be patient and keep writing!
Consult a Top SEO and Inbound Marketing Agency
If search engine optimization and the ins and outs of content marketing seem overwhelming now, you’re not alone. Inbound marketing is still a new frontier for many Australian businesses, and the world of inbound changes everyday. In order to keep up, consider hiring a SEO and inbound marketing agency that specializes in optimizing your content and generating more leads. An experienced agency knows how to produce and distribute content for minimal costs and maximum returns.
Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after backpacking for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.