Inbound marketing can help you capture the attention of potential buyers. When exposed to traditional marketing, buyers are now more likely to put up a perceptual defense (they see only what they want to see and block out the rest). Outbound marketing – tv commercials, billboards, magazine ads – can start to annoy buyers. How can anyone like you if you’re being annoying? As I said in a previous post, buyers are smarter and less trusting. With buyers becoming more emotionally driven and capable of educating themselves, marketers need to add inbound to their marketing mix.
What is inbound marketing?
According to Marketo, an innovative marketing software company, inbound marketing is “the process of helping potential customers find your company – often before they are even looking to make a purchase – and then turning that early awareness into brand preference and, ultimately, into leads and revenue.” This post can tell you more about the growth of inbound.
Content. Quality content. Lots of it.
Make sure that some of your content is educational – let people know who you are and what you do. The rest of your content should be genuine and should start a conversation or inspire. This can be in the form of a blog, videos, brochures, social media, forums, reference guides, press releases, ebooks (like the one above from Marketo), and infographics.
Spread your content, but not like a disease.
You want to get a lot of traffic to your content, but again, don’t be annoying; people get annoyed when you shove things in their face. Anything that looks like spam will be ignored and can hurt your rankings on SERPs.
Read this post from SEER interactive about effective outreach. They talk a lot about how to find where your audience is, so that you can be relevant. They also have some practical tips for writing effective calls to action.
Let customers help you.
As inbound marketing creates loyalty and interest – you should listen intently to any feedback given. If you make your customers happy, they will spread your content and recommend you to friends. Consumers want to help.
In the end – Inbound marketing is essential to your marketing mix, but you need to be intentional about your content and the placement of that content. You want people to care about what you have to say and when they come across your blog post, or video, or infographic – you want them to feel like they’ve found the golden Easter egg.