What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is marketing focused on getting found by customers.
In traditional marketing (outbound marketing), companies focus on finding customers. They use techniques that are poorly targeted and that interrupt people. They use cold-calling, print advertising, T.V. advertising, junk mail, spam, and trade shows.
Technology is making these techniques less effective and more expensive. Caller ID blocks cold calls, TiVo makes T.V. advertising less effective, spam filters block mass emails, and tools like RSS are making print and display advertising less effective. It's still possible to get a message out via these channels, but it costs more.
Inbound Marketers flip outbound marketing on its head.
Read: 7 Things Inbound Marketers Usually Get Wrong
Instead of interrupting people with television ads, they create videos that potential customers want to see. Instead of buying display ads in print publications, they create their own business blog that people subscribe to and look forward to reading. Instead of cold calling, they create useful content and tools so that prospects contact them looking for more information.
Instead of driving their message into a crowd over and over again like a sledgehammer, they attract highly qualified customers to their business like a magnet.
The most successful Inbound Marketing campaigns have three key components:
(1) Content - Content creation is the core of any Inbound Marketing campaign. It is the information or tool that attracts potential customers to your site or your business.
(2) Search Engine Optimization - Search engine optimization makes it easier for potential customers to find your content. It is the practice of building your site and inbound links to your site to maximize your ranking in search engines, where most of your customers begin their buying process.
(3) Social Media - Social media amplifies the impact of your content. When your content is distributed across and discussed on networks of personal relationships, it becomes more authentic and nuanced, and is more likely to draw qualified customers to your site.
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