Inbound marketing fits in with the internet marketplace much more effectively than traditional, interruptive marketing. It interconnects with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and is typically much more cost effective.
The way people shop has changed dramatically. The internet has transformed the buyers’ process, placing the customer now in control. Consumers are now in the driver’s seat as opposed to being dragged along for the ride.
It’s no longer good enough to just say, ‘this is good, buy it’. There’s now a wealth of information and reviews marketing a much more transparent process.
So what is inbound, why is it important?
Inbound is a modern and effective way to market businesses. It’s more cost effective, nurtures warmer leads and improves public perceptions of a company.
In outbound ‘interruption’ marketing, those shouting the loudest and most crudely are heard. The advertisements aren’t tailored to the audience, having little relevance with most.
When yelling irrelevant information at anyone and everyone, it results in the majority of the population feeling irritated and only a small number ever actually making a purchase.
It’s like standing in a shopping centre with a salesperson yelling down a loudspeaker. Disruptive, intrusive and irritating.
Whereas inbound marketing would be the customer information point, providing helpful information, which shoppers are actually looking for. Answering questions, making lives easier, creating insight and delight.
Inbound marketing is all about forming engaging content, written and visual. Being helpful and aiding rather than pushy and disruptive.
Why has marketing changed?
The best analogy I can come up with is that traditional marketers looking to garner interest from new potential customers are like lions hunting in the jungle for elephants. The elephants used to be in the jungle in the ’80s and ’90s when they learned their trade, but they don’t seem to be there anymore. They have all migrated to the watering holes on the savannah (the internet). So, rather than continuing to hunt in the jungle, I recommend setting up shop at the watering hole or turning your website into its own watering hole. – Brian Halligan
The internet has changed consumers buying behaviours dramatically. Now preferring to extensively research a product, look at reviews and read blog posts. Businesses know that real people’s opinions are far more valuable to consumers. The marketing arena constantly shifts In tune with technology and the resulting consumer behaviour. Historically, advancements in technology have affected the way people behave. The invention of televisions, mobile phones and search engines have all brought about massive changes.
We have more control over what we watch. Our lives have become busier, our time is now much more limited. On-demand has grown in popularity, we now want access to everything, as and when we want it.
We’ve all visited a website that loads an irritating pop-up ad that distracts us from the content we’re wanting to see, attempting to sell us something we have no interest in.
We’re getting more and more creative in our attempts to block intrusive advertisements, spam filtering, ad blockers and the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
Traditional outbound marketing is a generic one size fits all approach, a bought email list, a banner ad, pay-per-click, print advert. They treat everyone as one of the same and therefore dumb down to ensure they appeal to the broadest audience. Which ends up pleasing nobody in any deep, meaningful, helpful way.
Why does inbound marketing work where traditional marketing is failing?
Inbound is really an extension of content marketing. The creation of remarkable content increases traffic and encourages engagement.
Word of mouth has always been the most powerful means of encouraging sales. People can engage, have their worries, ideas, and questions all answered. Inbound marketing addresses typical consumer concerns over the medium of the internet. Therefore instantly enriching the buyers’ process.
In general, people are becoming more aware of the financial motives which drive businesses and corporations. And therefore are more reluctant to place their trust in what they have to say. Real people are more relatable and often have similar issues and concerns.
The most successful outbound advertising comes from sources we trust as a study from an International marketing agency, Nielsen realised. Trust sits hand in hand with relevance. The internet has allowed us to be relevant. We can create custom content to suit specific audiences. Instead of putting a generic ad in a newspaper, it’s usually more cost effective to target specific markets, especially for smaller businesses.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO sits hand in hand with content marketing and inbound. Search engines adore good quality content.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a key feature of any inbound marketing strategy. It’s important to make sure your first class content includes SEO tactics like the correct use of keywords, page titles and meta descriptions. This serves to guide users to your content. There’s little use in creating fantastic content when nobody can actually find it.
Social media is also a key way to increase traffic to a blog and to promote content. Aim to create content that resonates with your audience, producing sincere social interactions with them.
It’s really important that companies adopt transparent practices, embrace social media and never shy away from it.
Solve customer queries. Provide insight, delight, engage and impress. Make your customers feel valued. Inbound is all about positioning yourself as a market leader, an expert in your field, encouraging trust whilst creating positive perceptions of your brand. Social media is a way to publicise your inbound efforts and to further enrich your customer relationships.
Social media has meant feedback is now done on a public platform, reviews for products are now effortlessly accessible. A hundred Amazon reviews saying a product is useless is likely to put off consumers in their droves, no amount of fancy advertising will overcome that.
Inbound marketing is great for website visitors and therefore Google sees that your creating value too. This is why it’s fantastic for SEO.
What’s the point of creating great content if you don’t make it easy for visitors to subscribe and find out more?
It’s like going fishing with holes in your net. Making lots of effort to attract and then just falling short at the final hurdle.
There need to be clear calls to action to ensure you convert a proportion of your visitors into contacts.