What is inbound marketing? And why is it replacing outbound?
Over the past decade, there’s been a fundamental shift in the way companies reach their audience. In 2005, when the internet was booming, brands were in control. Buyers were constantly bombarded with billboards, commercials, online ads and cold calls trying to sell them a product or service.
As marketers, we used to rent our buyers’ attention with traditional marketing. Turn to 2012 and NOW the customer is in control. Buyers are tuning out from loud, interruptive advertising and consuming information online.
Unfortunately, the old playbook of traditional marketing is BROKEN. Latest statistics show that 86% of consumers skip tv ads, 91% of consumers have unsubscribed from an email database that they opted into, 200m people have registered on the ‘Do Not Call’ list and amazingly, 44% of direct mail is never opened. Those traditional methods of marketing have lost effectiveness and new methods of marketing are beginning to gain steam.
The way humans shop and buy has changed dramatically. Buyers have unprecedented access to more information online. Buyers are more engaged in the buying process, not wanting to be sold If companies want to connect with their audience today, they have to update the way they market and sell.
This is where we welcome inbound marketing
Inbound Marketing is a holistic, data-driven approach to marketing that attracts individuals to your brand and converts them into lasting customers.
At its core, inbound is about building relationships with your audience by providing them with value. By creating authentic content and personalized interactions throughout the buying process to attract leads, engage with prospects, and delight customers.
Inbound Marketing is connecting with your audience in a meaningful way. It’s publishing interesting, educational content, (the right content), in the right place at the right time, and your marketing then becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, - its marketing they will love.
Most specialists use a variety of content marketing resources, which include, whitepapers, eBooks, podcasts, video, blog articles and infographics, all of which are used to help your buyer learn more about solving their pain or problem. The goal is to help buyers make smart, well informed decisions.
So what are the differences between inbound and outbound (traditional) marketing tactics
- Inbound marketing is two way engagement, a helpful, informative discussion built around the buyer pain points, whereas traditional marketing is a one way communication channel.
- Inbound marketing is a strategy that’s focused on being found by the customer, where traditional tactics are intrusive and often delivered through direct marketing tactics.
- Inbound marketers seek to offer value and educate the prospect, building a relationship and trust, rather than trying to sell, beg and bug their way to make a sale.
- Inbound Marketing is about SEO, Blogging, seeks to attract and is Customer centric Outbound Marketing is about cold calling, cold ads, interruptive marketing and marketer centric
How To make inbound successfully work
The inbound marketing funnel (HubSpot)
Traffic: Create blog content, search engine optimize (SEO) your content, and promote it on social media sites.
Leads: Place calls-to-action throughout your website to drive visitors to landing pages with forms. Visitors fill out forms to get whatever you’re offering and become leads.
Customers: Send your leads automated emails to drive them along your buying cycle. Provide your sales team with lead intelligence so they can make more effective sales calls.
Analysis: Analyze the success of your marketing campaigns and determine which areas need further optimizations for future success.
Got it! Inbound marketing is that simple……
Inbound Marketing is proven. If we finish with these marketing ‘facts’’ you will see why Inbound Marketing is the future and why so many marketing managers are adopting this methodology.
Inbound Marketing statistics: (Source: State of Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, 2013/2012)
- Inbound Creates 54% more leads than outbound
- Inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound ($346 - $145)
Using Inbound Marketing platforms: (Source: MIT Sloan ROI Report)
- 92% of companies using an inbound marketing platform increased their traffic
- 93% of companies using an inbound marketing platform increased their leads
- 65% of customers reported an increase in 4 months or less using an inbound marketing platform
- 50% of companies using an inbound marketing platform increased their sales conversion rate. Source: HubSpot