Before we jump into Why Inbound Marketing, Let’s quickly review what it is.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is also known as content marketing, native marketing, or owned marketing. At it’s very simplest, it’s the planning and execution of providing your customers as much information (content) they need to make an informed decision. A more formal definition of inbound marketing is well put in the book Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi:
“Content (Inbound) marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing valuable and compelling content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
A graphical representation of Inbound Marketing could be helpful here to wrap your head around all of the activities it takes to execute an inbound campaign. HubSpot has perfected what they call the Inbound Methodology:
As a brand or a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), you could be thinking, “Great, I’ve heard this internet marketing fluff before, how does this help me?”
Why Inbound Marketing?
Here’s a few ways it may help:
1. Low Cost - From small business owners to CVB’s, budgets are always tight. I have yet to come across a client that has told me, “Hey, you have an unlimited budget!” Most website and blogging platforms are either free or come with a very modest cost. That said, it’s pretty easy to get things going and start providing useful information to your potential customers.
2. Measurable Activities & ROI - When it comes to marketing activities, there’s nothing more elusive than ROI . I learned this lesson the hard way with print ads. At one point, I had paid so much money on a couple print insertions, I thought the publication was going to ask for my first born the next round of ads. I never could figure out if the person standing in front of me came from the print ads or from some other channel. With Inbound Marketing, I’ve since paid a fraction of what I’ve paid for in print and I can track just about every activity. Inbound helps to know if a certain campaign is either under performing or surpassing expectations. You get more data to make informed decisions on where to focus your activities.
3. Conversion of More Qualified Leads - We’ve all heard the saying, “Time is money.” Every minute that we spend trying to nurture a lead that doesn’t really care about our service or product is a minute lost with a lead that wants to hear what we have to share. With Inbound Marketing, by creating compelling content for YOUR customers, you’ve already taken that lead one more step closer to conversion. Remember, people search what they NEED. So if you are producing content that meets their need, you’ve engaged with a lead on their terms.
4. Less Interruption Marketing More Permission Marketing - Commercials and internet pop ups would be considered interruptions. If you’re like me, you either fast forward through commercials or quickly click the “x” in the corner of the pop up. It’s annoying. Inbound Marketing is serving your customer with information they are interested in. Where ever they are in their Buyers Journey, they will be looking for quality information to make a decision. You want to be the product or service your customer chooses because you’ve provided all of the information to help them make a decision.
Inbound Marketing strategies may not be the ONLY answer to your marketing needs, however it should be a strong component of it.
Here’s a parting quote:
“Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world that you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world that you are one.”
- Robert Rose, Lead Strategist, Content Marketing Institute