In order to understand Inbound Marketing, you must first understand its opposite. Outbound Marketing refers to the traditional marketing tactic whereby a company actively seeks customers through initiating conversations and relaying specific messages. This includes television/newspaper/radio/online advertisements, cold calling, trade shows, and mail-outs. On the contrary, Inbound Marketing, or Content Marketing, is a less aggressive, non-interruptive marketing tactic whereby companies produce unique, high-quality content available to any prospective customer… without asking anything of them in return. This helps to build relationships with prospective customers in hopes that they will see your company as credible and helpful, thus availing of your products or services as needed.
How does inbound marketing work?
Companies that employ Inbound Marketing develop Internet-based content including (but not limited to) blog posts, webinars, eBooks, how-to videos, and mobile apps. This content is created to help prospective customers before they choose to purchase your products or services. Nowadays, consumers spend over 75% of buying time researching products or services – inbound marketing gives these consumers a taste of your expertise and ability, thus making them more likely to choose your company to fulfill their needs.
How do consumers find this content?
Once a company develops its content, be it a blog post, webinar, eBook, how-to video, or mobile app, it then employs search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure these posts will appear on search engine result pages (SERPS). Search engine optimization is the process of maximizing the amount of traffic seen by a specific website. This is done by meaningfully and carefully choosing things such as titles, words, links, and website addresses. If done correctly, SEO will cause your website to appear at the top in search engine result pages, thus drawing in more visitors to your website.
Why use inbound marketing?
Inbound Marketing is designed to promote your company’s presence and services. Content specifically designed to suit the needs of ideal customers directs traffic to your website, and thus, your business. Building an online relationship with potential customers by providing them with high-quality content will build trust, credibility, and brand awareness over time. In turn, when these consumers need to avail of a service, your company will quickly come to mind.
Inbound Marketing enables your company to be helpful and accessible instead of interruptive and overwhelming. This will cause your company to come across as benevolent rather than “salesy,” and thus, more appealing to prospective customers. Inbound Marketing is also much more cost-efficient than Outbound Marketing… Need not pay for advertising space or cold calling – existing employees are able to work as a team to develop inbound marketing content. This is not only cheaper, but also great for promoting teamwork and interdepartmental collaboration. Additionally, once posted, your content will stay online for as long as you choose – it will be available to consumers at any time.