Potential clients often ask, what is the cost of inbound marketing? Providing an answer is to this question is always difficult without actually understanding the scope of marketing services the potential client really needs. Nevertheless, we will attempt to offer insight into what some average costs might be incurred. Ultimately it is necessary to understand your specific set of circumstances you are starting from and what goals you want to obtain.
Small Business B2B Marketing Blog
Inbound marketing is an effective and affordable way of marketing a small business that sells consultative products and services to other businesses. Why, because inbound marketing principles and tactics mirror offline factors for successful business-to-business marketing.
Given no marketing strategy is perfect, what are the pros and cons of employing inbound marketing for your small business.
The Internet has changed everything related to the way business-to-business sales prospects begin their buying process. Prospective business buyers go to the Internet first to get ideas, get educated and gather information about how to solve business problems.
To reach your sales prospects you need to be where they go on the Internet to make these prospects aware of how your company can help them. That’s right I said help them, not sell them. Stop thinking you’re going to sell somebody something. Today, a business is not going to be sold anything. However, they are interested in talking to smart people who can help them solve problems.
We think inbound marketing is a primary marketing strategy that should be utilized by any small business that sells consultative products or services. Why, because inbound marketing is aligned with the Internet and the basic principles of business-to-business selling.
Basic Business-to-Business Selling Principles
Building Initial Rapport: In selling consultative products and services building initial rapport with your sales prospect is paramount.
Inbound marketing allows you to attract prospective B2B clients based on your posting quality content relevant to your sales prospect’s needs. The tip of the spear for inbound marketing consists of quality, relevant content that provides insights into your potential customer’s business problems. This builds the initial rapport that is critical to business-to-business sales lead generation.
Examples of inbound marketing content that help build initial rapport are your:
Most small business selling consultative products or services to other businesses don’t care what type of marketing they employ. Their marketing goal is simple; help me generate qualified clients and make it affordable for my small business budget.
The Internet Has Changed Everything
In the age of information is power, the power to sell resides in the information messages you disseminate not in “annoying your prospects to death to buy from you. Your customers need to buy, but what they want are real solutions not just a product or service. Simply put, they want solutions that solve real world business problems. Let’s look at the difference pre and post Internet.
Outbound Marketing Was the Carnival
Remember being a kid and going to the community carnival? The smells were overpowering, the noises were overwhelming, the signs were huge, colorful, and piled up one right after another? The images were mind-blowing and the carnies, the people at the doors to every new adventure were loudly yelling, ‘step right up’ for an experience you must see to believe!
The Carnies Were Salesman
The carnival was like a sales floor. If you were so brave as to step onto the sales floor, you stepped into a very well-prepared area – one with well-trained people who were threatened with quotas in order to knock you down and push you into something you didn’t quite understand and would probably have remorse over.
Similarly, akin to carnival signs, not so long ago our highways were covered in billboards and our televisions, radios, magazines and newspapers with more advertisements than actual programming, all trying to pull our attention to their products and services, slickly presented with bold promises of a better life and future.
Outbound marketing takes a fireworks approach that directs your marketing message to the masses hoping it might catch the attention of someone who might be looking for what you have to offer so that you might make a sale. This is the essence of mass marketing not suited for selling consultative products and services where substance rules over sizzle.
Inbound Marketing Is ‘Cheers’
Now consider finding the local watering hole where your clients are searching for business solutions, the Internet. Inbound marketing attracts prospective clients based on having knowledge about the business problems your prospective clients are seeking solutions for with your products or services. Inbound marketing is less costly and more effective in lead conversion because it allows you to build initial rapport with your prospect before ever meeting them on their terms.
The Internet is a place where you can engage in conversation with prospects and build trust with your quality content by sharing stories about how you understand their problems and how you have helped others solve those same problems. Inbound marketing empowers you make the business connections that lead those that need your products and services to you.
Inbound marketing is about helping the people who are already looking for the products and services you offer and encouraging them to find you. Unlike outbound marketing considered slick, underhanded, closed, pushy and one-sided (I-win-you-lose) , inbound marketing is welcoming, inviting, conversational, questioning, understanding, patient, educational (I-win-you-win). Everything is out on the table and you are encouraged to engage with others in open and honest dialogue in order to not just make a quick sale but build long term clients.
At some point people stopped watching and listening. They grew tired of the noise and deception. They began looking for fulfillment instead of remorse. And they found a local watering hole where everything was out in the open – the Internet.
According to CMSWIRE.com
- 86% of people don’t watch television commercials
- An irrelevant or intrusive ads are reasons why people leave a website
- 9 out of 10 e-mail users will unsubscribe from a company e-mail they previously opted in to
- Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound
B2B inbound marketing recognizes the simple facts that:
- B2B buyers are the driving force in every sale
- They are the first source of money
- They exist
- Nobody makes a business buyer buy, not even advertising
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Tired of the same old marketing distribution methods, then discover why small business inbound marketing maybe the perfect solution.