Content marketing services provider HubSpot has released its annual ‘state of inbound marketing’ survey. It looks at strategy, budgets and where inbound marketing fits in with marketing overall. Respondents come from 3,500 companies of varying size across the globe.
Here are a few findings that stick out:
The report found inbound marketing is on the rise with three out of four companies saying they are making it a priority. Paid advertising, meanwhile, is the most ‘overrated tactic’.
Another major finding is that marketers are still struggling to understand the importance of establishing ROI. It has long been known that targeting and proving ROI are likely to have a positive impact on a campaign.
Use of agencies
There was an uplift in 2015 in the number of companies employing agencies for content marketing. Additionally, use of agencies was more likely to see an increase in effectiveness.
Lead generation through
Unsurprisingly, lead generation is still the main focus of inbound with conversion growing in importance. Among SMBs, “increasing number of contacts/leads” and “converting contacts/leads to customers” were more than 30 per cent more likely to be cited as priorities than the next-closest item.
The use of inbound on its own is more likely by SMBs than it is by larger companies, which prefer more conventional methods of marketing. This is probably a reflection of larger budgets.
Finding the right marketing software and managing a website are understandably major anxieties for small companies fighting to reach the growth phase. For firms employing fewer than 25 people, these twin concerns were only 10 per cent less likely to be cited as the top-ranked “proving ROI”.
The conclusion is that inbound continues to be on the rise. Yet it has also still to reach maturity. This is particularly true of the issue of ROI, which we have written about extensively over the past year.