The internet has been a complete game changer in every industry, marketing included. Before the internet, a brand had to put themselves in front of consumers using a very wide in-your-face approach — casting a wide net and hoping to connect with someone interested in what they had to offer — the spray and pray approach. There were very few targeting options and measuring results was essentially a guessing game.

Today, those archaic tactics, even though still used by some brands, simply can’t produce the results that a well thought-out inbound marketing campaign can deliver. The term “inbound marketing” was made popular by HubSpot, a Boston-based marketing software company, nearly twelve years ago.

The company defines inbound marketing as, “…focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.”

Additionally, HubSpot began referring to push marketing — radio, TV, print, cold calling, direct mail, etc. — as outbound marketing. They further explain the two by stating, “Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing does not need to fight for potential customers attention. By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.”

In simple terms, inbound marketing involves attracting interested prospects, converting them into a lead and then nurturing that lead through automated marketing until it converts into a revenue generating action.

Below are four reasons, along with an in-depth explanation, which I am hoping will help you understand why the return potential can be significantly higher when you adopt an inbound approach to your marketing.

I wanted to dive into the reasons why inbound marketing, when executed correctly, can deliver a higher ROI than other marketing strategies..


SEO and organic website traffic improvements is a byproduct of well thought-out inbound marketing campaigns.

Attracting high quality organic website traffic is a top priority for most brands, yet it’s also one of the most difficult to achieve. When you executive inbound marketing correctly, your SEO and traffic can benefit significantly, as a result. This happens because:


  • It gets you publishing target-specific content on a regular basis.

When you create content for an inbound marketing campaign, you are creating assets geared towards a very specific target audience. For example, let’s take a blog post for a nutrition company that is looking to target consumers looking for information on the benefits of taking a BCAA supplement.

A long-form blog post about the benefits is going to feature a lot of content designed to answer common questions, and then ultimately, have a call-to-action worked in that more than likely is a purchase option for a BCAA supplement. The more value-packed content you publish on you blog, the more organic traffic opportunities you create.


  • Attracts and earns quality relevant backlinks.

Using the same nutrition company example above and same topic, let’s flip the content asset to an infographic that visually explains the benefits of BCAA supplements. Now, you have a highly shareable piece of content that can be used to not only attract potential customers, but also leverage as a link acquisition tool.

It all comes down to quality and the value provided. A generic infographic about supplements that reeks of self-promotion isn’t going to be well received, but an infographics that really dives into the benefits of BCAA supplementation is something that other relevant blogs and websites are likely to cite and link to within their content.

Earning relevant links contributes to the increase of your website’s authority, and the more authority your domain possesses, the higher your content will rank in the organic search results.


  • Social sharing is an SEO benefit as well as a referral traffic source.

Whether or not social signals come into play when it comes to Google’s algorithm is a debate with valid points on both sides of the fence. Social shares do, however, expose your content and message to a whole new audience, which can then lead to earned links, which is an undeniable SEO benefit.

Now, let me be brutally honest here for a minute. Earned links happen, but it takes a lot of work. It also take a lot of time, so while this is a great link acquisition strategy, I want to also be transparent and say that most large brands are also buying links, to give them a healthy mix of both purchased and earned links. When they are bought the right way they still appear to be “earned” in Google’s eyes.

Also, social sharing brings you referral traffic that you don’t have to pay for. By creating something of value that your readers find helpful and informative, triggers them to share it with their audience. When you publish a truly epic piece of content the referral traffic alone can be responsible for a healthy ROI.



Traditional sales and consumer prospecting is becoming more difficult.

It doesn’t matter if you are B2C (business-to-consumer) or B2B (business-to-business) — getting decision makers to pay attention to your brand using traditional marketing is becoming more difficult.


Because that attention requires sacrificing time, which more people are learning is the most valuable commodity they possess. When you run a banner ad in the sidebar of a website or sponsor an email newsletter, while your effort might receive impressions and views, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will receive click-throughs and attention.

In order for someone to give you that attention, they need to give up some of their time. This is why inbound marketing is so powerful — you are attracting prospects that are actively seeking out information on the service or product you offer. You aren’t attempting to force feed offers down their throat. Consumers see ads as being intrusive — they don’t want to see them so even if they aren’t using an adblocker they are mentally blocking them.

When you take into consideration all of the time, effort, money and resources requires to deploy traditional marketing campaigns and map out what could be accomplished with those same resources in terms of inbound marketing you quickly see why the majority of brands have shifted their focus and strategy in recent years.

Now, I’m not saying that traditional marketing should be abandoned altogether. That’s not feasible or practical — many brands still do and will continue to drive business this way. But, these traditional prospecting channels will only become more difficult, so the sooner you split-test and optimize various inbound efforts, the quicker you can add them as additional channels of your online marketing effort.


ROI from inbound marketing can be greater than that of outbound efforts.

The State of Inbound is HubSpot’s resource on the current state of inbound marketing, sales strategy and operations, released annually. The 2018 edition of the report says that more than half of respondents — 53 percent –reported that inbound campaigns resulted in a higher ROI compared to outbound efforts. Additionally, 16 percent reported outbound efforts resulting in a higher ROI than inbound.

While it often comes down to a case-by-case basis, there is no denying that the ROI generated via inbound marketing can be much higher than outbound, and one contributor to this is the fact that inbound marketing can be measured much more precisely than outbound efforts.

If you deploy print ads, direct mail and radio or TV ads, you might notice sales come in, but it’s very difficult to attribute what channel each came from. When you are able to do this, it allows you to clip the poor performers and scale the winning campaigns.

With inbound efforts — SEO, social media, content, webinars, etc. — you are able to track every visitor from referral source throughout every step of your automated marketing and conversion funnel.

When you are able to measure and account for every dollar spent, and see what it generated, you can then further optimize your efforts to lower your conversion costs. When you are able to lower your acquisition costs and funnel your marketing budget into the campaigns that you know, without a doubt, are performing, then the ROI becomes greatly multiplied.



Consumers and audiences are becoming immune to traditional old school advertising.

So, why is traditional advertising becoming far less effective?

Well, it has to do with consumer attention, and where that attention gravitates toward when those traditional advertisements used to work. Let’s take a television ad for example. When someone was sitting in front of his or her TV, watching their favorite evening program and a commercial came on, what did they do? They sat there and watched it, consuming its message.

Whether or not the message resonated with them is irrelevant — the advertiser was able to get in front of a potential prospect, even though they weren’t targeted. Today, there are two major problems that make TV advertising less attractive from a marketing standpoint.

First, when a commercial comes on, the person is more likely to grab their mobile device and check their email or social media feeds. Even further, many consumers record their favorite programs and watch them at more convenient times, skipping right past the commercials.

It’s simply harder to connect through the old channels these days. Many consumers are now opting for paid subscriptions like Netflix, rather than commercial-filled network and cable TV. Radio is quickly being replaced by streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, along with satellite radio.

So, the combination of technology phasing out commercials and consumers becoming almost immune to them creates an almost certain losing battle for most brands in terms of traditional old school advertising and marketing.


  • Here’s an example of how inbound marketing replaces traditional advertising — TV in this situation:

A local sports bar in Dublin, Ireland wants to increase the number of patrons during the Irish Rugby games. Rather than run a local TV commercial during the games on the broadcast channel, they launch a highly targeted Facebook ads campaign.

This way, during a commercial break, they are able to get in front of Rugby fans that turned their attention to their mobile devices and away from the TV. By targeting Facebook users 21 and over that like the Irish Rugby Team and live within a 20-mile radius of the sports bar, they are able to put an offer directly in front of their ideal customer base.

Now, rather than a blatant ad for the sports bar that would likely get scrolled right past, they create a call-to-action offering weekly Rugby highlights and stats delivered via email or text message. The sports bar is going to collect an email address or cell phone number and the consumer is going to receive information they deem valuable.

By sending out these informative emails and texts the sports bar is building a relationship, and then when they slip in a coupon or special offer that consumer is going to be more likely to bite. The sports bar is attracting its ideal customer base without being annoying or in-your-face.

It’s creative inbound campaigns like this that deliver the kind of ROI that trumps traditional advertising.



Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are several valid reasons why an attraction-based marketing strategy can outperform a more traditional (and old school) approach. Consumers are evolving constantly, and it’s come to the point that many are now immune to push marketing.

The internet — through content marketing and social media platforms — gives your brand the opportunity to put out information and assets that act as lead magnets, pulling in interested prospects with very little to no resistance or hesitation.

When you are able to attract leads that are seeking out your product or service or opting-in for more information on their own, you generate a much higher quality lead and your overall conversion rates improve.

Inbound marketing is designed to educate and inform the consumer, which builds instant trust. An individual moving through the conversion path of a brand he or she trusts, is going to require less “selling” to convert.

If you would like to explore how inbound marketing can benefit your business, feel free to contact my agency. We would be more than happy to start a conversation and discuss how we can help your business grow.

What are your thoughts on inbound marketing and how the attention of consumers has changed over the past few years? Do you think inbound efforts are the way to go? What are your experiences? Let me know in the comments below.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

© SerpLogic 2023. All Rights Reserved.