It’s the old proverbial “rock and a hard place.” You know you need to market your small business, but your budget is already bursting at the seams. Most small business owners I’ve talked to have very similar stories. It all started as a dream. Building a business gave them a rush of excitement. Until one unexpected expense after another started piling up. Before they knew it, they found themselves in debt and no money to market the business they love. As a result, they struggle to grow and the future is filled with a lot of unknowns.
I found myself at this same crossroads about 7 months ago. I spent so much time marketing others that I forgot to market myself. Without prioritizing my budget and putting marketing first, there is no way I’d be writing this post today. So if you’re trying to figure out what to do next, let me give you 5 reasons inbound marketing is the best option to grow your cash-strapped small business.
Table of Contents
#1. With Inbound Your Dollar Goes Further
Small businesses that use inbound are three times as likely to see a higher ROI, than ones that use outbound methods such as paid ads, mailers, and commercials. This means that the dollars you spend with Inbound not only go farther but produce better results. The cost of mailers and ads can add up pretty quickly and are usually ignored by the people they are being sent to. But inbound draws people to your business who are actually interested in what you do. So lower cost and better ROI, seem like a no-brainer.
#2. Inbound Produces Real Business Results
The problem with many outbound marketing tactics like direct mail, paid ads, or commercials is that proving ROI is much more difficult. Inbound focuses on tracking results month-by-month and year-over-year. This allows you to see trends and look for ways to increase ROI. By establishing links between marketing activities and results, Inbound once again drives down the cost per lead and increases conversions. This means more money in the bank for your small business.
#3. Stops the Guessing Game
Instead of dictating to your audience what they want or need next, Inbound lets your audience lead the way by how they interact with your offers, products, and services. By looking at past successes and failures, we can make educated guesses as to what we need to do next. This once again drives costs down because you focus on the things that are producing results and stop doing things that don’t.
#4. Using Analytics Increases Overall ROI
Ever heard the saying, “What gets measured, gets managed?” While many business owners have Google Analytics, most never look at it. According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2015, respondents who achieved greater ROI in 2015 than the previous year were approximately 20% more likely to check their marketing analytics three or more times per week (or have someone on their team do so). By checking and tracking your data you can make a better decision on whether or not what you are doing is actually working. When you are already running on a tight budget, it’s even more important that you spend your time and money on things that produce results.
#5. Inbound Marketing Increases Sales
Because inbound revolves around your buyer personas, the information you learn in the marketing process is invaluable to your sales process. Just imagine knowing what your buyers are looking for before they ever contact your business. Better insight from inbound will increase your sales leading to a bigger budget, which means more inbound marketing which means more sales!
In the past 7 months, my agency has grown exponentially. We beat last year’s revenue in July and are setting ourselves up for even more success next year. None of this would have been possible if we sat back and made the excuse, “We just don’t have it in the budget to market ourselves right now.” The truth is, you have to market if you want to grow. So, if you are going to market your business, wouldn’t you want to do it in the most effective way?