In January, HubSpot surveyed almost 1,000 professionals about their businesses’ marketing strategies. Below are some of the findings, which drive home the fact that inbound marketing, social media, and blogs are the way to go.
Focus on Inbound Marketing
Businesses are tweaking their marketing strategies to focus more on inbound marketing, which involves pulling relevant prospects and customers towards a company and its products using blogging, content publishing, SEO and social media. These channels have the advantage of providing a low-cost alternative to pricier tactics like direct mail and purchased advertising. In fact, companies that focus on inbound marketing experience a cost per lead that is 61% lower than those of outbound-focused companies. Businesses are leveraging this advantage; of the companies surveyed, 89 percent are either maintaining or increasing their inbound marketing efforts.
Traditional Channels Slip
More traditional marketing channels – such as trade shows, direct mail, and telemarketing – are decreasing in value to businesses. HubSpot’s survey showed that 30 percentof respondents judged these channels as less important than newer ones. Not only are these channels becoming less influential in marketing strategies, but they also tend to be more costly than Internet-based forms of marketing.
The Rise of Social
Businesses are becoming more social – they are increasingly using blogs, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to get their message out and to engage with customers. Both the 2012 and the 2009 HubSpot surveys showed increased importance for these social platforms. Company blogs were most cited as the social channel that is “critical” or “important” in both 2012 and 2009. Facebook gained importance by a margin of 15 percent since 2009, and Twitter gained 15 percent. However, other social media channels have decreased in importance, including StumbleUpon and Digg.
The Importance of Blogs
As I mentioned, blogs are holding steady as the most important social media channel. In fact, 25 percent of survey respondents said their blog was “critical” to their business. Blogs offer tremendous SEO value, as fresh content and links are supplied through a steady stream of blogging. Blogs also allow companies to feature new products in detail, highlight upcoming events, and show a more personal side of the company to customers and prospects.
How about you? Has your businesses shifted its marketing efforts to more social channels such as Facebook and Twitter? Are you giving your blog the time and attention it deserves?
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