Have you heard the term inbound marketing and found yourself wondering what it is or what is means to your business? Does your current marketing budget cater for cold calling, print advertisements, and email blasts? If you answered yes to the second question, then this article will get you up to speed with the developments and importance of online marketing.
What is inbound marketing?
The easiest way to explain what inbound marketing is, is to think the opposite of outbound marketing. Many outbound marketing activities are hit-and-miss and rely on disruptive marketing techniques to try and grab the attention of potential customers (think of cold calls and email blasts). Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is a subtle marketing technique that focuses on providing prospects and clients with the content, tools, and resources they are looking for. Accurate and effective inbound marketing activities, such as search engine optimisation, paid search marketing, and social media marketing, allow you to get prospects to come directly to you, instead of you reaching out to them to sell your product or service.
The importance of inbound marketing
There are three main benefits of inbound marketing that trump traditional marketing. First is that inbound marketing is natural. What this means is that you are proving your readers/prospects with valuable information when they are looking for it. By speaking the right language, providing valuable insights and accurately targeting your audience people start coming to you to find out more. Secondly, inbound marketing is affordable. You can create as much or as little content in a week or month as you deem appropriate and that fits your marketing budget. By being targeted, you also spend more time and resources on your target audience than generic marketing activities – lowing your cost of sales. Lastly, inbound marketing brings in more qualified leads. By providing valuable information and resources you become a trusted adviser and the ability to quickly distribute content and information to multiple online resources makes your call-to-action messages a lot more effective.
So, why your business needs inbound marketing
The digital world is constantly growing and evolving. Businesses that do not keep up with these trends lose out on valuable leads as more and more people start to search and review products and services online before initiating any contact. By having a website with high quality content, as well as other online channels, you put yourself in line to be considered by your target audience. Not only will you become considered, you will be considered in a natural way that is both cost-effective and trust-worthy.
Considering all the points about inbound marketing, it is still important to note that all element of the marketing mix play an important role in the overall effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Outbound marketing has its place, as does many other marketing techniques, but it is important that you realise the benefits that come with inbound marketing.