4 Inbound Marketing Numbers to Convince Number Crunchers
4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42.
If you were a fan of the series Lost, you probably remember those numbers. The show’s characters were required to type the numbers into an old computer, with disastrous consequences if they failed to reenter the numbers every 108 minutes.
If you’re a B2B marketer trying to sell your boss on the value of inbound marketing, those numbers aren’t of much use to you. But if your boss is a number cruncher, there is another set of critical numbers you need to know: 90, 270, 100, and 60.
90: The Percentage of B2B Customers Who Go to Google First
Over the past few years, B2B consumers have undergone a serious change in the way they purchase products and services. The effectiveness of traditional outbound marketing—things like cold calling, print advertising, trade show events, telemarketing, and direct mail—are plummeting as customers turn to search engines like Google to help them research problems, find new vendors, and make their purchase decisions. There are even online trade show events now, so they never have to leave their computer. In fact, over 90% of B2B customers now consult Google before more traditional sources like trade shows or trade journals. By the time your sales team has their first contact with the average B2B prospect, 57% of the buying process is already complete. If a prospect is talking to you, chances are extremely high that they’ve already researched you online and you’ve made the A list.
Whether you realize it or not, you must now rely on the effectiveness of your website, blog, online video, and social media presence to make a good first impression. When potential customers find your website, are they greeted with a stagnant, outdated page full of sales pitch – or a rich, interactive experience, including a collection of content tailored to the needs of your target market(s)? Does your website provide enough content to convince a prospect that you should be on their A list?
When you’re trying to reel in today’s B2B customer, inbound marketing (including content marketing, ongoing search engine optimization, or SEO, and social media marketing) assists you in two ways: it helps your business rank higher in online searches so prospects can find you, and it positions you as a thought leader so your best foot is always forward. Without an effective inbound marketing strategy, you’re essentially giving business away to competitors who are better-positioned, online.
270: Increase Quote Requests by 270% Through Content Marketing
Many B2B managers still believe that inbound marketing only benefits B2C companies. That couldn’t be further from the truth. B2B companies that have implemented strategic content marketing plans have seen staggering gains in areas that any number cruncher should appreciate.
Lynden is a worldwide freight and logistics company that specializes in delivery to challenging locations like Alaska, Canada, and Russia. When the company implemented a new marketing plan centered on the firm’s blog, the results were noticeable (and measureable, which we’ll discuss in a moment). The company saw a 93% increase in call center inquiries and a whopping 270% jump in quote requests. And this was just from blog posts! Imagine what might happen if you were also posting (and marketing) video, articles, webinars, and other forms of content?
100: All Inbound Marketing is Measurable Marketing
The fact that inbound marketing is measurable is music to a number cruncher’s ears. In fact, with a little planning, 100% of your content marketing efforts can be measured and reported to management.
Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to track advanced customer behavior, giving you actionable data on the performance of your inbound marketing campaigns. Through Google Analytics, you can now answers questions like:
- Where are your greatest sources of traffic coming from?
- Which blog authors are most popular?
- Which content topics are most popular?
- Which social media pages drive the most traffic to your content?
- Which demographics respond best to which types of content?
The Goals feature of Google Analytics allows you to drill down even further into the behavior of those who visit your website, providing hard numbers on how many people perform specific tasks on your website (like sending an email to your sales team after reading your latest blog article).
You can go a step beyond Google Analytics and use a phone call tracking system that provides a record of who came to your site and then called your company. It’s possible to assign a different dynamic phone number “swap” for every marketing campaign, which tells you the number of people who called as a result of each of your marketing initiatives. The phone tracking record includes the phone number and company (if applicable) that was called from. If the caller arrived at your site by using a search engine, like Google, the call record includes the keyword used in the search. Even better: calls can be recorded, so you are actually able to monitor how many calls were genuine business inquiries during a given period. Explaining the use of this measurement tool should make any number cruncher’s ears perk up.
60: Inbound Marketing Costs 60% Less
At the end of the day, there’s one number that a number cruncher cares about most: the price tag. Happily, inbound marketing is unbeatable when it comes to bang for the buck.
Inbound marketing costs 60% less on average to implement and maintain than traditional marketing efforts. Most inbound marketing is also a gift that keeps on giving: a well-targeted piece of content can deliver search engine traffic for years, resulting in an ongoing stream of leads and business opportunities.
90, 270, 100, and 60. These four numbers are the keys to proving that inbound marketing is both more effective and less expensive than the marketing strategies your company may currently be using. And while Hurley’s numbers on Lost may have been bad luck, these numbers could be your good luck charm when you walk into your boss’ office to present your inbound marketing plan.