One of the first thing I quickly realized when I started my first business was this: I do NOT want to chase business.
I’m not that old by the way, that was 12 years ago. The landscape was completely different even though it wasn’t that long ago. I think I shared this with you before, I got started by doing some small print ads on local magazines and ended up producing my own TV spots and running them on national networks. I had to learn everything from writing to casting, producing and even doing my own media buys and running all kinds of reports.
I did all that just to avoid chasing business. The end result was about 600 incoming daily calls.
I did learn how to generate a lead through Inbound Marketing. But there was something I figured out besides making the phone ring 600 times in a day. The quality of the lead generated through inbound is much much higher than outbound, where you are pretty much trying to convince a person about something they did not ask for.
The concept of Inbound Marketing remains the same, only today, we have the social web providing a leveled field and a potential for exposure that was never put on the table before for small businesses. See, just now I was shamelessly bragging about how I was able to generate that volume of calls, what I didn’t mention is the investment that took. Let’s just say that when I think about it today I feel sick.
Let’s not make a mistake here, while it offers incredible opportunities, marketing in the social web is not free. Having a presence online is one thing but turning actual leads and sales is something else. I have no statistics about this but my feeling is that more and more small businesses have been actually getting to that point in the last 2 or 3 years.
This infographic shows a few interesting facts about how small business is adopting inbound marketing strategies more aggressively than brands. I specially like the breakdown of where marketing budgets are being allocated, small businesses are clearly investing more on social media, SEO, blogs and email than on paid search, direct mail and telemarketing. Also, notice how the closing rate (leads to sales) is clearly higher on inbound initiatives like SEO and direct traffic.
Over to you
What is your online inbound strategy? What kind of results are you getting from this strategy compared to outbound initiatives? How are you measuring the results of your blogging, SEO or social media efforts?
I’d love to hear from you. Enjoy the infographic!
This infographic is courtesy of gplus.