Inbound Marketing Examples: What Results Can I Expect?

Written by Lucy Donovan

Jun 4 2018

blog_5_lead_gen_headerWhat results can you expect from an inbound marketing campaign? We review three inbound case studies as an example of what can be achieved. 

Why Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing puts customers - your best-fit buyer personas - at the heart of your marketing strategy. An inbound approach is designed to be relevant rather than interruptive, working across digital channels, at every stage of the funnel, to help you attract, convert, close and delight your best-fit buyers. As the B2B landscape becomes ever-saturated and customer expectations evolve, outbound methods have become increasingly outdated, so marketers have turned to inbound and other strategies such as ABM to deliver personalised, relevant messaging and drive ROI.

Related: Inbound Marketing Vs. Outbound - Why Inbound Has The Advantage

What Results Can You Expect From An Inbound Marketing Campaign?

Before investing in an inbound solution, you’ll want to know what results you’ll achieve. Of course, every campaign has unique goals, and will use a range of differing activities to achieve them. In a typical inbound campaign, common goals may be to:

  • Improve lead generation and quality of leads
  • Prove marketing ROI
  • Align sales and marketing teams
  • Improve sales enablement processes
  • Enhance conversion rates throughout the funnel
  • Increase referrals and customer satisfaction
  • See improvements in revenue.

To ensure that inbound campaigns deliver on these goals, in-depth planning is important. Only with the right, realistic planning process in place will a campaign achieve ROI and avoid common errors.

Related: A CMOs Guide To Planning the Perfect Inbound Campaign

3 Inbound Marketing Examples That Show Results

At Strategic IC, we’ve seen results that have proven the value of inbound and achieved or surpassed our clients’ goals. Here are three brief case studies demonstrating inbound success:

1. Increased Conversion Rate

Our client, Cabling Science, provides classroom training and e-learning services to the communications infrastructure community. Although Cabling Science already had 9,000 organic site visitors a month, their challenge was to turn this traffic into conversions - in particular, they wanted to grow conversions for a new awareness stage eBook. They also wanted to improve clarity over marketing as a whole and improve conversion tracking.

Cabling Science were already promoting their content via blog CTAs, social and paid campaigns but were unable to track relevant leads through the funnel. At Strategic IC, we knew that we needed to close the loop and improve visibility throughout the funnel. Although Cabling Science were already conducting some inbound activities, implementing HubSpot would enable them to grow conversions as well as improve accountability.

This campaign used multiple HubSpot features, including the Ads Add On, Social Tool, Lead Flow Widgets, Sales Navigator Integration, Workflows, Lists, and the CRM to nurture leads, through all stages of the funnel.

Ultimately, an inbound strategy using HubSpot tools - particularly Lead Flows - enabled Cabling Science to solve both of their challenges; achieve conversions and track leads as they progress through the funnel. Within the first three months of using the Lead Flow widgets, we generated 1238 leads, 21 MQLs, and 19 customers, with a conversion rate of 16%. Other HubSpot activities brought the total number of contacts generated in three months to 1961.

Read the full case study: Growing Inbound With HubSpot: C.2000 Contacts & A 16% Lead Flow Conversion Rate  In 3 Months

2. Improved Sales Enablement

Learnlight is an EdTech company that provides language and skills training to corporate clients in more than 150 countries. Our recent work with Learnlight has focused on helping them develop a successful sales enablement process to align with their inbound marketing activity. Although they were already conducting a full inbound marketing campaign via HubSpot, their sales process was more traditional. Learnlight wanted to develop a process to increase alignment between sales and marketing and create a more persona-centric sales strategy, putting the buyer first.

HubSpot states that “sales enablement is the technology, processes, and content that empowers sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity” so Strategic IC delivered sales enablement value for Learnlight by addressing all three of these areas.

For example, we trained and advised Learnlight sales staff, to help them develop an understanding of the inbound sales methodology and adapt to sales enablement processes. In addition to helping Learnlight use all areas of the HubSpot Sales platform and CRM, our training also emphasised the value of sales and marketing alignment to achieve true sales enablement. The HubSpot CRM (which allows both sides of the business to make contact record notes, share actions and more) along with HubSpot Sales Dashboards, helped to ensure both marketing and sales were equipped with the insights needed to align.

Strategic IC also helped Learnlight with the practical execution and optimisation of their activity across the HubSpot CRM and Sales platforms, ensuring that they made the most of their HubSpot technology, by:

  • Encouraging the Learnlight team to optimise Sequences to ensure the best open rates, engagement, and conversions.
  • Reviewing deals and advising on lifecycle and pipeline status.
  • Helping Learnlight review how they could best leverage their many buyer-focused HubSpot-hosted content assets, to use within sales messaging.
  • Supporting Learnlight in the creation of their HubSpot Sales Dashboard; which provides quick, easy business-wide reporting and insight over detail such as revenue, sales performance and content lifecycle pipeline.

As a result, Learnlight saw clear improvements in sales efficiency within the first 2 months of implementing sequences, with a c.50% reduction to their sales cycle. Their average close rate in 2016 was 6 months, and it is now down to 2-3 months.

Read the full case study: Sales Enablement With HubSpot: Halving The Sales Cycle By Aligning Inbound  Marketing & Sales Activity

3. Quality Lead Generation

Data and Technology experts, Acxiom, enables people-based marketing everywhere, through a simple, open approach to connecting systems and data that drives seamless customer experiences and ROI. Acxiom needed to boost their thought leadership position, given the shift towards inbound marketing, and generate more quality B2B leads.

Strategic IC helped Acxiom to refine their campaign targeting, first by identifying the right personas (looking for certain job titles in the right brands and verticals) and then by engaging them directly with the right content and thought leadership.

Strategic IC also ensured that Acxiom made the most of social channels (especially Twitter and LinkedIn) to generate inbound links, and helped them with SEO. Strategic also helped make the most of their thought leadership content by breaking it down into smaller pieces, sharing it on social and turning it into a series of blogs.

These inbound tactics generated some compelling results: not only did Strategic and Acxiom generate 121 high quality leads within a few months, but they also achieved a click through rate of four times the industry average, demonstrating that the audience found the content relevant and engaging.

Related: B2B Tech Inbound Campaign Generates 121 Quality Leads In Just 3 Months

Ensure Your Campaign Will Secure ROI

An inbound campaign can help your organisation yield great results and accomplish marketing goals. To achieve the best results, keep in mind that an inbound methodology applies to all stages of the funnel and that your sales and marketing teams must be aligned; it’s important to consider your inbound strategy as a whole, from attracting prospects to your content to delighting customers and turning them into promoters.

Take a look at our ROI calculator to map your revenue target to your goals and assess the return your own campaigns could see with inbound.

B2B Marketing Zone