If you aren’t sure about the value of online marketing (sometimes referred to as inbound marketing) you definitely need to check out the latest HubSpot study: The State of Inbound Marketing 2012.
It’s definitely worth reading even if you’re unsure about the value of online marketing to a small business like yours.
The report is based on a survey conducted in January 2012 of 972 marketing professionals. The study includes data and insights about marketers’ costs, budgets, lead quality, and priorities.
One piece of data that you might want to take note of is that, according to the HubSpot study inbound leads cost per lead 61 percent less than outbound leads.
Or to put it another way:
The average cost-per-lead for outbound-dominated businesses is $346…The average cost-per-lead for inbound-dominated businesses is $135
I don’t need to tell you as a business owner how significant a saving this is; however, be wary of these figures.
Whilst I don’t dispute the figure per se, it takes considerable effort to put your business’s web presence in a position where you are going to see that kind of ROI.
The cost of developing a significant web presence – design, development, strategy, content creation, analysis, etc – is not cheap. Yes, you can start a blog, start reading a lot of great advice, tips, and material that’s out there to support you. But it takes several months to generate results and that’s if you’re really good and / or lucky.
Blog for it!
Although blogs seem to be associated with purveyors of bling (in Sweden at least!) and have a whiff of 2004 about them, HubSpot’s report also reveals that blogs are a fundamental part of inbound marketing strategy.
57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog…92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog.
What’s more: “25% of marketers report that their company blog is “critical” to their business”…and “81% of businesses reported that their company blog is useful to critical for their business.”
So don’t disregard the power of blogging just because social media is all the rage at the moment. Yes, everyone might be talking Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, and to a lesser extent Google+, but a good old fashioned blog can be worth it’s weight in gold.
Think of it this way. If you google for:
“How do I fix troublesome widget?” you’re not going to get to a Facebook page or a tweet. You’re going to get a blog that hopefully clearly and succinctly tells you what you need to know.
Over to You
What do you think is the biggest stumbling block to generating leads from business blogging? I’m curious.