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There is an I (and a Me) in Inbound Marketing

By John McTigueApr 30, 2010

In putting together a solid inbound marketing strategy, we usually focus on building relationships with potential customers by giving away valuable information and offers. We put ourselves in our customers' shoes and ask "what's in it for me?" Then we give them what they want, convert them to leads and nurture them into customers.  But when we put our own shoes back on, the same question applies. What's in it for me, the inbound marketer, and my company?

Direct Impact on the Bottom Line

inbound marketing what's in it for meAssuming that you follow the inbound marketing mantra of consistently publishing great content, engaging in social media, optimizing for search and nurturing leads you should see:

  1. Increased volume of qualified sales leads
  2. Increased conversion rates from lead to customer
  3. Increased direct sales via e-commerce (if available)
  4. Improved customer retention rates
  5. Increased repeat sales from current customers

Performance metrics depend on the amount, frequency and quality of the content you create and the use of social media channels for communication and support. Much depends on how committed your organization is to inbound marketing as a strategy and using social media as a natural tool to communicate with customers and co-workers.

Brand Awareness

Inbound Marketing will have the most immediate effect on brand awareness. Every time someone visits your website, reads your blogs, subscribes to your feeds, signs up for your free downloads and webinars or follows you on one of your social network venues, you have helped to cement your brand in their subconscious. Each time that happens, you are one step closer to gaining a new customer. You can monitor brand awareness over time via:

  1. Website traffic
  2. Search engine optimization and analysis
  3. Real-time search metrics
  4. Social media monitoring

Brand Reputation

Brand awareness is just half the battle. As your footprint becomes larger, you will get more feedback. That's what you want, to start a conversation and build a relationship with potential and existing customers. These conversations will happen with or without your presence. Successful companies monitor social media channels and respond to all kinds of questions and comments. Many of them use tools such as Twitter for customer service, which helps to funnel customer feedback into a single channel. Benefits of participation in social media include:

  1. Improved customer satisfaction and retention rate
  2. Quick and pervasive response to positive and negative feedback
  3. Building a community of brand supporters (and virtual sales reps)
  4. Competitive edge over companies that are less involved

So, next time your boss, your investors or your co-workers express their doubts about the value of inbound marketing and social media, rattle off these bullet points. Then, show them your data.

Any questions?

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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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