Inbound marketing has completely overturned conventional marketing that focused on continuously pushing the product onto the customer. These inbound marketing statistics, updated for 2020, show how digital strategies like SEO, blogging, and social media marketing are better suited to the mindset of the modern consumer.
They also underscore an ongoing shift in the inbound marketing domain itself, with some tactics becoming more relevant on account of technological advances.
So, read on for some general stats and facts on inbound marketing, along with info about its effectiveness and how it compares to outbound marketing. We’ve also covered the most common channels of inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- Inbound marketing is the primary marketing approach for 74% of marketers worldwide.
- 32% of outbound marketers think that outbound marketing tactics are overrated.
- Content marketing ranks as the most effective inbound marketing tactic.
- Inbound leads cost 61% less on average than outbound leads.
- Inbound marketing can be 10X more effective for lead conversion than outbound.
- Organic search results can generate leads 5.66 times better than paid search ads.
General Inbound Marketing Stats
1. Inbound marketing is the primary approach to marketing for 74% of marketers worldwide.
A vast majority of digital marketing specialists globally prefer Inbound marketing over any other means. The figure is even higher for North America at 79%. While Latin America, EMEA, and Australia and New Zealand see a preference for inbound marketing among 75% to 76% marketers, the figure is the lowest in Southeast Asia at 64%.
2. 41% of North American marketers see traditional outbound marketing tactics as overrated.
This inbound vs outbound marketing stat further highlights the relative trust the industry has in inbound marketing. While the figures are slightly lower in some other geographies, marketers globally are consistent in rating traditional paid advertising as the most overrated marketing tactic. As much as 32% of outbound marketers further think that outbound marketing tactics are overrated.
3. 61% of marketers cite growing organic presence as their top inbound marketing goal.
This shows that SEO remains a very important inbound marketing strategy for businesses. Blog content creation is the second-most cited priority, named by 55% marketers. Other top priorities, according to the latest State of Inbound Marketing report, include marketing automation (50%), content distribution/amplification (47%), interactive content creation (36%), and longform/visual content creation (35%).
4. Content marketing ranks as the most effective inbound marketing tactic for 20% of marketers worldwide.
It’s also interesting to note how diverse the opinions of marketing professionals are. There is no one foolproof tactic for excelling at inbound marketing, and any method requires careful consideration. The other key tactics, as per these stats on inbound marketing effectiveness, are AI and machine learning, big data, social media, marketing automation, mobile marketing, CRO, SEO, and so on.
5. Lead conversion is the top marketing objective for B2B marketers in 2020.
Lead conversion, as multiple data points show, is better achieved today through inbound marketing strategies, as is the next most important objective of increasing sales leads. Tactics like social media use and SEO also become more common, which also helps with raising brand awareness, producing thought leadership, and boosting website traffic —the other important objectives, according to B2B inbound marketing statistics.
6. Lead nurturing helps companies generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower costs.
One of the advantages of inbound marketing is that it helps nurture leads across multiple channels. Lead generation statistics show that leads are generally not immediately ready to commit to a purchase when generated; marketers can use different channels to provide leads with the required information and push them gradually toward a sale. Lead nurturing has several other benefits, including nearly 50% higher value of orders than non-nurtured leads. For more comprehensive information on the topic, check out these lead nurturing statistics.
7. Inbound marketing statistics for 2020 show that businesses that leverage AI for customer insights could make $1.2 trillion more than those that don’t.
The use of artificial intelligence in marketing is one of the trends to look out for in 2020. Whether it is used to make chatbots more conversational or automate tasks, AI will be one of the key factors that set apart the marketing leaders from the laggards. Another important area where AI has already had an impact is the way businesses draw insights from customers visiting and engaging with their sites, apps, etc.
8. 82% of consumers consider a recommendation made by a micro-influencer that they follow.
One of the most notable inbound marketing trends that is set to continue in 2020 is the role that micro-influencers — individuals with 1,000 to 100,000 followers on social media — play in generating leads and driving conversions. This trend is further highlighted by the growing popularity of influencer marketing agencies. Related to this is the importance of user-generated content, which internet users trust 50% more than traditional media.
9. 50% of all searches will be voice-based by 2020.
With 2020 having already started, there are sufficient indications that this claim might turn out to be true. The implications for inbound marketing are that websites and blog content have to be made voice search friendly through the use of natural human language.
Stats on Inbound Marketing ROI
10. 53% of marketers say that inbound marketing gives their organization a higher ROI.
Only 16% say that outbound marketing gets them higher ROI, while others don’t calculate ROI or aren’t acquainted enough to answer the question. The vast difference between inbound and outbound marketing’s ROI is reason enough to focus more on the former. That said, there are multiple inbound marketing channels, and marketers need to identify the one that works best for them.
11. Inbound leads cost 61% less on average than outbound leads.
In the digital age, the low-cost nature of strategies such as content and social media marketing is responsible for the high inbound marketing effectiveness over many conventional methods. A higher ROI for inbound marketing is the result of more leads generated for the same amount of money. Another piece of research shows that businesses relying mainly on inbound marketing save more than $14 per newly acquired customer.
12. Properly executed inbound marketing is 10X more effective for lead conversion than outbound.
Among other benefits, inbound marketing also lets you reach your targeted audience better. Moreover, the inbound audience’s behavior can be better analyzed, which allows you to adjust your strategies. In addition, many of the tools used in inbound marketing can stay relevant over a long period, which further enables a high inbound marketing conversion rate.
13. Only 18% of marketers believe outbound practices generate high-quality leads.
That compares to 60% for inbound practices. Inbound marketing doesn’t only get you more leads at a low cost, these leads are also likelier to spend more when converted since they come to you of their own volition, looking to fulfill a need through your product or service.
14. SEO-generated inbound leads have a 14.6% close rate.
By comparison, outbound sales conversion rates hover around 1.7%. Sales and marketing professionals know the impact of these figures on a campaign. The main reason for the much better conversion seen in inbound marketing is that the leads here get initiated by the potential customers themselves when they visit a website or make a call.
15. 70% of people would prefer learning about a company through content than through advertising.
Another reason why inbound marketing works better is that it can help provide consumers with information that is more relevant than what they get through typical ads. Digital marketing statistics show that traditional ads are often considered intrusive, while some forms of inbound marketing allow consumers to engage with a business in their own time.
(Content Marketing Institute)
16. 75% of inbound marketing teams rate their organization’s marketing strategy as effective, compared to 62% of outbound marketing teams.
These results point to the greater confidence of marketing team members in their strategies. The higher satisfaction rates of inbound marketing teams, evidenced by multiple inbound marketing stats, logical given that the same level of effort and investment earns them more and better-quality leads.
17. Omnichannel campaigns see 90% higher customer retention rates than single-channel campaigns.
Inbound marketing consists of a wide range of channels, with more than one often utilized by marketers. Data shows that customers prefer businesses to be consistent in their messaging across all the channels they use, with such campaigns resulting in nearly 20% better engagement rates and 250% better purchase frequency as compared to single-channel campaigns.
Inbound Marketing Channels
18. 93% of online shopping experiences begin with an organic search.
This is why businesses continue to give high priority to SEO in 2020. Stats further show that 81% of consumers do online research before a large purchase. It makes sense that consumers who take initiative to reach your website would require less convincing to make a purchase, which is why inbound marketing gets better results.
(Search Engine Journal)
19. At least 70% of consumers who use search engines only click on organic results.
Consumers seem to have become wary of paid ads on search engines, as indicated by the latest internet marketing statistics, and prefer to rely on results that rank high organically. Another interesting stat is that organic search results can generate leads 5.66 times better than paid search ads. Of course, the greatest benefits of organic search are for those that manage to rank near the top of the results.
20. B2B researchers do 12 searches, on average, before engaging on a specific brand’s site.
Branded search has long been the focus area in B2B marketing. The latest B2B marketing stats, however, show that decision makers are nearly 60% down the decision path before performing an action on the vendor’s site. In fact, as many as 70% of B2B buyers start off with a generic search, looking for a product and not a specific brand. This is bound to force a change in how B2B marketers employ search in their marketing strategies, with greater focus needed on ranking high in organic search results.
(Think with Google)
21. Companies using blogs see 97% more links to their websites being shared than those that don’t.
Blogging stats show that this tactic remains one of the most effective ways to engage, inform, and attract leads. Statistics also show that 55% of decision makers consider it their organization’s top content marketing priority. The reason for this can be found in the high returns a well-maintained, informative blog can earn, with businesses prioritizing their blogging efforts getting 13X higher ROI from content marketing.
22. 72% of organizations use paid social media ads or promoted posts for content seeding.
Interested in improving your blogging ROI? Try using paid distribution channels, which can provide a tremendous boost to your content by bringing it in front of people who wouldn’t see it otherwise. This combination of inbound and outbound marketing is employed by 84% of organizations engaging in content marketing, with the additional investment proving worthwhile in terms of the greater reach it gets you.
(Content Marketing Institute)
23. At least 80% of consumers have purchased a piece of software or an app after watching the brand’s video.
If content marketing using text is effective, using video is even more so. Content marketing stats consistently prove that visual media sees high engagement amongst audiences, which is also reflected in the demand from more than 50% of consumers for a greater amount of video content from the brands they support. Whether it’s on blogs, websites, or social media accounts, a significant number of consumers admit to being influenced by video content.
24. 65% of consumers prefer to use a messaging app when contacting a business.
Your inbound marketing efforts get customers to come to you, but once that is achieved, it is also important to be available to answer their queries promptly. Website marketing stats show that this means being good at your messaging game. Messenger apps and chatbots are being used by the most responsive businesses in this regard, with the former also allowing companies to broadcast information for effective two-way communication.
25. 90% of brands rely on social media to create brand awareness.
With over 3 billion social media users across the globe, many of whom access multiple platforms regularly, there is no better place today to reach potential customers than networks like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Mobile social media marketing’s revenue yield is estimated to have crossed $32 billion by 2020.
26. As per inbound marketing statistics, email marketing can earn you an average return of $32 for every $1 spent.
An outbound channel that also finds effective use in inbound marketing is email, which remains relevant in the age of social media and messaging. With effective tactics like segmentation, marketers can ensure high open rates — as much as 50% — while the multitude of marketing automation tools makes it easy and cheap to send timely emails to mailing lists.
It is difficult to argue that any business in the digital age can do without inbound marketing. Outbound strategies are not completely irrelevant, but as these inbound marketing statistics show, tactics such as SEO and content marketing cater better to consumers who believe in conducting their own research before making a purchase. Marketing teams meanwhile need to be on their toes because strategies that might have worked for years might turn redundant.