The term inbound marketing has been making quite the appearance in blog posts and marketing-related articles. Many companies are starting to realize that their marketing efforts don’t have to solely focus on their efforts finding their customers, but that it can also allow their customers to find them.
Inbound marketing refers to using tactics that allow your customer to find you through the use of search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing and social media marketing. With inbound marketing, your company focuses on integrating different tactics together in order to make your brand stronger.
What’s the point of inbound marketing?
Today’s consumers are not the same consumers as years ago. Before, customers were swayed by your outbound marketing tactics, took your message as their only source of information, and if they liked your message, you won them over as a consumer.
Today, thanks to the power of technology, consumers are not being swayed by your messaging as easily as before. Instead, they are taking their purchasing decisions into their own hands and seeking out their own information. They’re turning to the Internet to research different products and services. They’re using social media to see what people are saying about certain products and services or to ask for recommendations. And they’re also using apps on their mobile devices to find the best possible pricing. Today, the consumer is in control.
How does inbound marketing work differently than outbound marketing?
Inbound marketing works by attracting traffic and converting this traffic to leads and then to sales.
Traditional methods, such as radio or newspaper ads, are considered outbound marketing. These ads are sent out in hopes that they land in front of your target audience. You can place a radio ad, but if it gets played when your audience isn’t listening, you’re not going to see much ROI from it. The same goes for print ads—if nobody sees it, it’s not going to be successful.
Plus, outbound marketing efforts tend to be viewed by consumers as nuisances. An individual doesn’t listen to the radio for the commercials, and people don’t read the newspaper solely for the advertisements.
What are the benefits?
With inbound marketing, you’re allowing your customers to find you when it’s most convenient for them. It’s successful because it’s reaching the target audience that already wants your product or service. Think of it this way: with outbound marketing, you are placing an ad in a location hoping that your target audience comes across it and is interested in your product or service. With inbound marketing, you implement strong tactics, such as search engine optimization, that allow your customers to easily locate you when they want to. If you create a website that contains strong keywords, you’re allowing your customer to locate your site when they perform a search for your products or services. Now, you have reached a target audience that is actually interested in purchasing your products or services, and you’re more likely to gain a sale from these tactics than through outbound efforts.
How do I implement inbound marketing?
We already mentioned the importance of search engine optimization for your inbound marketing efforts, but content is also important. Blogs, podcasts, white papers and eBooks are all great sources of inbound marketing. These tactics reach an audience who is already looking for this information, it allows your company to stand out as an expert and makes the consumer choose you when it comes time to making a purchasing decision.
Inbound marketing is all about focusing on your brand and making your information readily available to your consumers. Implement the tactics that allow your customers to find your business when they’re looking for certain information.
Joshua Reynolds is an SEO consultant. He writes valuable marketing articles for SEOMAP – the keyword strategy experts.