Whether you’re a CEO looking to grow your business, a Marketing Manager who needs to demonstrate tangible results and ROI, or a Sales Manager who craves a greater number of quality leads, Inbound Marketing may just be your ticket to success.
The best way to describe Inbound Marketing is to compare it to Outbound Marketing, which is something you already know.
Outbound Marketing is the advertising you see on TV, hear on radio, and read in print vehicles like newspapers, magazines and direct mail. It’s referred to as “outbound” because, by definition, it is pushing a message “out” to the total potential target audience at any given point in time.
In essence, Inbound Marketing is the opposite of Outbound Marketing.
Inbound Marketing is the process of using helpful content like blogs, eBooks, podcasts and online videos, social media, and search engine optimization to attract your target audience to your website like a magnet, landing pages with forms to capture leads, and marketing automation tactics like drip email to nurture those leads to the point that they become willing buyers of your products or services. It is referred to as “inbound” because, by definition, the process pulls customer prospects “in” to discover what you and your business are all about.
The Advantages of Inbound Marketing
Have you noticed that your traditional Outbound Marketing activities are becoming less and less effective in helping you reach your revenue goals? If so, you’re not alone. And guess what? This issue isn’t going to go away.
The problem is that traditional Outbound Marketing inevitably tries to sell things to people before they’re ready to buy. It forces a message upon the whole universe of customer prospects whether or not they happen to be in a buying cycle for your product or service at that particular point in time. As you can imagine, this represents a huge waste in marketing spending. Unless consumers are currently in the market for your product or service, they’ll naturally resent being “interrupted” by your unsolicited marketing messages (like you feel every time your dinner gets interrupted by a telemarketer).
To make matters worse for Outbound Marketers, advances in technology have given consumers the ability to “tune out” these interruptive messages. They now use their PVR to skip over your TV commercials, SiriusXM to avoid your radio spots, and SPAM protection to block out your unwanted emails. Admit it … you do this too!
Inbound Marketing lead generation tactics are inherently very efficient because the customer prospects initiate the process themselves at the time they are starting a buying process for your type of product or service. Their buying process always starts with a research phase and having your valued content easy to find online as they start their Google searching is appreciated rather than resented. They voluntarily give you their name and contact information, and provided that you don’t try to sell them something immediately and just keep giving them access to more helpful information as they move through the buying cycle, they start to like you and trust you and want to do business with you. Makes sense, right?
The Origins of Inbound Marketing
In 2006, a company called HubSpot, based in Cambridge Massachusetts, developed the concept of Inbound Marketing because they wanted to replace the world’s annoying, interruptive marketing with marketing that was relevant to, and appreciated by consumers while they were searching online for information to help them make more informed buying decisions. Over 9,000 companies in 56 countries now use HubSpot’s software to create Inbound Marketing to attract, nurture and convert leads into an accelerating stream of new customers and revenue.
In case you’re interested in learning more about Inbound Marketing and how to implement a successful Inbound Marketing program in your organization, I’ve developed an eBook in partnership with HubSpot to explain everything you’ll need to know. Click here to download the 33-page Essential Guide To Inbound Marketing Lead Generation.
By reading this eBook, you’ll gain an understanding of how Inbound Marketing can help you achieve growth for your business and build stronger customer relationships.
I welcome your questions and your comments.