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Inbound Marketing: A Cut above Outbound for Social Media Marketers

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Marketers are increasingly opting for inbound marketing methods such as blogging, search and social, while there are reasons to believe that traditional outbound techniques are generally heading – well, outbound. These are some of the major insights gathered from a leading industry study.

Based on interviews with 3,800 B2B and B2C marketers from the US, Canada, UK and Australia, the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner sheds light on the ways marketers use social to grow and promote their businesses.

Video, Facebook, Twitter and blogs rule the roost in social

The study found that social media marketers plan to take the following steps to promote their businesses in 2012:

-          A whopping 92% of marketers are using Facebook, with 72% planning to step up their Facebook activities.

-          76% of marketing practitioners will increase their video marketing efforts, with a focus on YouTube.

-          69% plan to tweet more.

-          68% will boost their blogging activity.

-          67% will put more effort into Google+.

-          66% will make more use of LinkedIn as a networking channel.

-          38% of marketers will focus on image-based sites such as Pinterest and Instagram.

Traditional advertising is on its way out

According to the study’s findings, more and more marketers are opting out of traditional advertising, especially TV and radio ads. Here’s what the respondents are choosing not to do:

-          75% of marketers are not planning to use TV ads.

-          67% will not advertise on radio.

-          48% have no plans to organise webinars.

-          42% will not use print ads.

-          34% have no plans to use direct mail.

-          29% will not use paid social advertising services such as PPC.

Email, SEO and events:  marketers’ favourite channels

The gold-old email remains marketers’ favourite channel, with 87% of the respondents planning to practise email marketing to promote their businesses and 61% thinking of increasing their email use.

It looks like search is currently enjoying a rising popularity among marketers, with 68 per cent indicating that they will increase their SEO efforts in 2012.

Although the study’s findings indicate that inbound marketing techniques prevail over outbound methods, trade shows remain a tried and true marketing channel, with 56 per cent of the interviewees planning to increase their event marketing efforts.

What marketing channels are you investing more resources in this year? Are they delivering the desired ROI?

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Image: 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner

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