Establishing a positive online presence is important for any business, but some business owners are still hesitant to throw money at social media and blogging. In this post I’d like to outline some inbound marketing statistics discovered by Hubspot in their white paper, ‘The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report.’
‘The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report’ by Hubspot
In January 2012, Hubspot surveyed 972 professionals familiar with their businesses marketing strategies. The study found that 47% of respondent businesses had increased spending on inbound marketing (social media, blogging and organic SEO.) The shift is due to continued success in inbound marketing strategies for these businesses. The average budget spent on company blogs and social media increased from 9% in 2009 to 21% in 2012. While at the same time outbound marketing budgets have been steadily decreasing over the last four years. Small businesses allocated a greater amount of their budget to inbound marketing than larger businesses (43% versus 21%.)
When looking at a sample of more than 150 businesses using closed-loop marketing analytics, Hubspot’s report found that inbound leads not only cost less, but they have a higher closing success rate than outbound marketing. Specifically SEO leads have a 12.9% higher closing rate and are 8 times more likely to close than outbound leads.
You can view the full report and other white papers at Hubspot’s Marketing Whitepapers and eBooks
Now I’d like to share with you some FAQs I’ve encountered from local business professionals regarding their reluctance to invest in inbound marketing.
Social Media FAQs
Why do I need social media for my business?
I hear this question a lot. The answer is, you don’t ‘need’ social media, just like you don’t need customer service representatives. You should want social media because you care about your community and the people who support your business. Social media is a great way to show your willingness to engage with and listen to your supporters. Out of Hubspot’s 972 professionals surveyed, 62% of respondents rated social media as more important than outbound marketing.
I’m not convinced that my customer base uses social media. So why should I use it?
Hubspot’s 2012 report discovered that different customers are acquired through different social media channels. It found that LinkedIn is the best channel for B2B customer acquisition, and Facebook is the best platform for B2C customer acquisition. Here is a graph of channel effectiveness by industry based on over 150 business analytics:
Check out some of these cool stats about social media use in 2011 …
What am I supposed to say in my posts? Who cares about what kind of muffin I ate this morning?
Nobody cares about the muffin. Everybody cares about your expertise and what you can bring to the conversation. Social media is all about constructively giving back to your community. What should people know about your field? Why are you the person they should listen to? Social media not about mindless self-promotion. Be interesting and selfless. Remember content is key.
Isn’t blogging just for personal sites?
It used to be! CMS platforms like WordPress began as a simple blogging platform. Today, WordPress is the largest CMS (Content Management System) platform, running %55 of the 1 million CMS websites in the world (beating out Joomla and Drupal.) There still is a large number of bloggers who use WordPress. But there is a growing number of professional users. Here are a few sites you may know that are powered by WordPress:
Does blogging help my SEO?
Blogging is one of the best ways to organically boost search engine rankings. CMS platforms like WordPress make it easy to integrate blogging into your official site, and WordPress’s built-in blogging system allows for easy implementation of: headers, tags, page titles, links and captions. CMS platforms like WordPress are totally SEO friendly! Especially WordPress code that is simple and easy for search engines to read. There are even plugins that your website could use to boost your ranking.
Just keep in mind these blogging tips:
- Use headers like h1, h2 and h3 so search engines pick up your main keywords!
- The better your wording and word placement, the better your ranking.
- The more you blog, the better your ranking, and your community benefits too!
- When blogging, try not to get too caught up in SEO. Content is key if you want returning visitors!
Will blogging bring me customers?
Of a sample of more than 150 businesses using closed-loop marketing analytics studied by Hubspot, 57% of these companies acquired customers from company blogs. Out of 972 business professionals, 25% said blogging was critical, 34% said blogging was important and 22% said blogging was useful to their business. According to Hubspot’s report, “The blog is the channel most frequently reported as critical or important, both in 2009 and 2012.”