Inbound marketing might seem like something of a buzzword these days, but it is much more than that. The digital marketing industry is booming the world over, with inbound marketing one of its core strategies. Inbound marketing comprises a variety of techniques – including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media engagement, blogging and more. It’s an integrated approach that has been gaining a lot of traction in South Africa, especially in the past couple of years. But just how effective is inbound marketing in South Africa?
The marketing landscape is rapidly shifting. There is a clear move away from traditional, so-called in-your-face techniques like banner ads on websites and direct mail. Research shows that prospective customers prefer subtler, more informative methods of marketing and advertising. These tend to have a more favourable effect. Marketing tactics that take too hard of an approach can drive potential customers away from your business. Inbound marketing is the go-to solution; it offers customers something useful – an information service in addition to a possible sale.
Inbound marketing is part and parcel of the digital age we live in. At the end of 2015, there were 25 million internet users in South Africa. This number is fast increasing. Research shows that 61% of global internet users research products online – the buying cycle begins on a search engine like Google. Having a strong online presence, with a website, blog and additional platforms like Facebook pages and other social media accounts, is essential for businesses to be competitive in the 21st century. In South Africa alone, there are currently 13 million Facebook users, 7.4 million Twitter users, and 2.68 million Instagram users. And these figures are only going to climb.
Inbound marketing brings visitors to your website; and they can then be converted into leads, generating a pool of potential customers. It has been found to result in double, even triple the number of leads that traditional types of marketing bring in. Blogging can be particularly useful in this; it provides free, interesting content to visitors to your website and may or may not include a call to action, depending on your strategy. Even blogging just once or twice a month rewards businesses with significantly more leads compared to businesses that don’t bother to blog at all.
More affordable and accessible than older types of marketing, inbound campaigns work very well for businesses large and small. Inbound marketing levels the playing field, helping “the little guys” get their voice and product or service out there to compete with larger companies. It boosts brand awareness and can expand your business’s reach.
In answer to the question of how effective inbound marketing is in South Africa, it is highly effective and will become increasingly so as more and more people and businesses come online. To put it simply, it is the way forward. The digital marketing industry is only going to expand, and businesses are wanting to get, and stay, ahead, are encouraged to take advantage of inbound marketing sooner rather than later. For any queries visit www.hublink.co.za
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