At this age where modern methods and revolutionary strategies shape the way people sell, buy and interact, inbound marketing has definitely placed itself as the most effective tool to date.
Now if you’re running a business, then you’re in the right place.
Today, I’ll be giving you the essentials of inbound marketing and why you need it. One thing you must understand though is that success and bundles of bucks don’t come in overnight. Even with the use of inbound marketing, it will take a bit of time and a lot of effort to put you on top. But remember this: the rewards are more than worth it!
So What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a powerful online marketing tool that attracts potential customers with the use of creative content (content marketing), search engine optimization and of course, social media interaction.
What’s the purpose? The main purpose of inbound marketing is to drive web traffic, generate leads and eventually turn those leads into sales. From there, those sales need to be sustained as the cycle continues.
Essentially, these are what you need to make your inbound marketing strategy work:
- Well-established concepts
- Creative executions (unique content)
- A good working relationship with keywords (not just page ranks)
- Well-managed social media and networking sites
- Numerical results of your efforts
To give you an idea, imagine this: you’re an environmentalist advocating recycled paper. If you’re going to make use of inbound marketing, in a nutshell you’ll need to:
- Write a creative blog or make an engaging video about it.
- Make use of keywords that generate traffic and incorporate these into your content.
- Spread the word via website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites.
- Review the numbers and see how you’re doing.
Now that know what inbound marketing is, let’s discuss what it is not. To illustrate my point, I’ll give you a rundown of inbound marketing VS outbound marketing.
|Outbound Marketing||Inbound Marketing|
|Medium||TV, radio & newspaper ads, Cold calls, posters, flyers, trade shows||Search engines, websites, blogs, webinars, social networking sites, online press releases|
|Communication||One-way pushy selling to customers||Two-way subtle pull of customers|
|Cost Comparison||Costs 62% more per lead||Costs 62% less per lead|
As you can see, traditional marketing is not really working for people nowadays. Considering majority of people use the Internet as their top source of information, no one would really bother to seek information elsewhere.
Why Is Inbound Marketing Important?
Now that we’ve covered what it is all about, I’ll give you top 5 reasons why inbound marketing is essential and why you should already be using it.
1. It puts you in a very good position.
Would you like to be known as a company desperately selling their products and services to customers? Or would you rather be respected as a company that knows how to make customers come to them?
The beauty of inbound marketing is that it teaches businesses to step back and approach potential clients with more subtlety. Because of this, you can build a good reputation of engaging them with your products and services. Most important is, let those who need your products and services engage with you instead of you have to hard sell to them.
2. It give you better ROI
Think of all the money you spent on all those flyers, posters, billboards and TV commercials. Didn’t that cost you a lot? Does this channel still give you the ROI it used to give you in the past?
Now, if you set up a website yourself, the startup won’t cost you anything. If you set up a Twitter, Facebook or other social networking sites, it’s all for free too. Of cause you can always outsource Inbound Marketing and let the good hand to do it for you.
Doesn’t that sound a lot better than placing all your hard-earned money on below-the-line advertisements? To give you the numbers, 47% of people respond more to social media and only about 19% of people wouldn't even bother to go to trade shows to learn more about your company. See the big difference?
3. It targets your market directly.
Another amazing thing about inbound marketing is that it filters out your audience and only drives your target market into the sales funnel. When companies do cold calls, they’re only wishing on a chance that someone would actually want to make a purchase.
As for inbound marketing, there’s no room for wishful selling. Businesses make sure they have a call-to-action. Considering they already have a centered content for a target market, their customers will be the ones to approach them.
4. It stimulates the senses and emotions of your audience.
Inbound marketing allows you to build a relationship with your audience in an entirely new level.
Let’s take my example of promoting recycled paper. Instead of just posting a billboard of a disgruntled tree in it, why not make a video showcasing the current situation of illegal logging and its effects?
This way, your audience will understand where exactly you’re coming from. They will certainly feel a lot more connected with you— and the more they feel connected, the more they will want to be involved.
5. It relies on the power of the Internet.
In the United States alone, there are about 240 million people using the Internet. In Singapore, 70.1% of the population is connected to the internet. You can only imagine how people is dependent on the Internet to find what they’re looking for. Now, all you need is to do is bank on that dependency and use it to put your products/services out there.
So you see, inbound marketing is important because your needs as well as your customers’ are met. Who wouldn’t want that kind of satisfaction, right?
If you still totally depends on traditional marketing today, it is time for you to study how inbound marketing can work for your business. Think about it.