About 60% of companies in Europe are applying an inbound marketing strategy today. So do the same portion of companies in the U.S. You could call it the inbound marketing revolution. Why? Because the intricate and thoughtful ways of inbound really do work, and because the equal growth of inbound marketing in Europe and in the States show that this is not a small, localised phenomenon.
What's so great about Inbound Marketing?
As HubSpot put it, inbound marketing is all about creating links and lasting relationships with people. It’s a H2H (human-to-human) holistic approach that proves a true match for consumers' increasing power of choice. That’s why more and more companies in Europe are adopting this methodology and even integrating it in their larger communication and branding strategies.
With the help of useful high quality content, the power of inbound can create miracles when combined with outbound. By creating relevant content targeted at buyer personas, a brand will not only show consumers that it cares about their pain points, but it will also gain reputation as a thought leader. The result? Customers come to love the brand and become business evangelists.
Due to its revolutionary efficiency, inbound marketing is seeing a strong growth in Europe. Let’s check out the details.
Ever wider reach
Not only has spending on inbound increased through 2013 in Europe, but its wide penetration is reaching new highs. The resources spent on inbound are actually significantly more than those spent on outbound, showing a general shift to its novel methodology.
While many companies may still not be clear that they are actually doing inbound marketing, awareness is gradually rising. That’s why 42% planned to increase their inbound spending last year, according to Hubspot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Annual Report.
Lead generation, conversion and ROI
According to Hubspot’s report, the top three lead generation sources in Europe were SEO (13%), social media (13%) and blogging (11%). Use of social media and SEO also leads to decreased costs and improved ROI. This shows that the increased number of companies turning to inbound have had good reason to do so.
As for conversions, SEO remains at the top. The fact that social media does not convert very well so far, can be explained by its inadequate nurturing of leads that does not turn them to sales. To help fix this and improve other lead generation optimization strategies, conversion success needs to be tracked with analytics.
Analyzing ROI from inbound can be a bit tricky, also, as not all marketers are calculating it yet. Nevertheless, 30% confirmed positive ROI for their company. If inbound is bound to spread even more widely in Europe, though, companies will have to be more diligent in calculating ROI. Investing in it must be documented as profitable in order to be encouraged.
Social media in the mix
Social media has gained a greater part in the marketing mix of European companies than in previous years. 22% of marketers note that it has become more important in their work. The budget allocated to social media is on average 13%.
Naturally, as inbound channels grow in popularity, disruptive and outbound tactics are losing importance. It is no wonder this happens, when you keep in mind that inbound generates more leads at a cheaper price.
The most popular social media for customer acquisition in Europe are Facebook and LinkedIn. Next in line are company blogs, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
Goals and integration
Research shows that European companies are, to a large extent, grasping the way inbound marketing works and are choosing adequate goals for their marketing efforts. These revolve around speaking to the right audience and ultimately turning leads into actual customers.
A reassuring 80% of companies embed their inbound marketing tactics in their larger vision and aims. This is a great sign that they understand inbound more in-depth than before and are diving into it wholeheartedly.
HR and inbound marketing in Europe
Inbound marketing is on the look for talent. It offers inspiring opportunities, which are blossoming more with each passing year. European inbound marketing teams are expected to hire on average 2.5 more members. With increased focus on inbound and growing budgets dedicated to it, this comes as no surprise.
As for companies’ allocation of HR to marketing needs, 14% have an employee who deals with social media, 10% with content marketing and 10% with blogs. According to Hubspot’s stats, inbound genius will be in high demand in Europe, as more and more companies are switching to these marketing tactics.
Inspired by the growth of HubSpot or inbound marketing in Europe? Get in touch and we'll help you become part of the revolution today!