“It no longer makes economic sense to send an advertising message to many in the hopes of persuading the few.”
– M. Lawrence Light, Former Chief Marketing Officer, McDonald’s
It’s All Thanks To Seth Godin
Inbound marketing is staking its claim as the most effective form of marketing. It’s hardly a new idea; American entrepreneur Seth Godin first introduced the concept way back in 1999 in his New York Times Bestseller, Permission Marketing. The approach was popularized even further by HubSpot Founder and CEO, Brian Halligan, who coined the updated term of inbound marketing six years later in 1995. More recently, it is the buzz phrase of the moment in the marketing industry and is rapidly becoming the best way to approach consumers.
What It Is and How To Do It
The focus of inbound marketing is about making the customer come to you. They come because you provide value in some way or because they like your message but above all they come because they want to. The method stands in direct contrast to traditional marketing strategies like cold calling, mailshots and TV commercials. That stuff, the so-called interruption marketing, is virtually dead in the water.
Inbound marketing is a fairly broad term in that so many different techniques are involved in the process. Any inbound strategy worth its salt is going to include a hefty dose of organic SEO; targeted keywords, optimized websites and blogs combined with a carefully planned linking strategy. It also involves the extent to which a company participates on the various social media platforms and perhaps more importantly the message it perpetuates. Lastly, it includes content marketing; blogs, e-books, white papers and the like – inbound marketing needs content and it needs a lot of it.
What You Can Look Forward To
Adopting an inbound approach to marketing is going to bring about some significant benefits for your business and ultimately your bottom line.
– Lower cost per lead: lead generation is going to cost you less. According to HubSpot, it’s going to cost around 61% less. That’s a fairly significant cost savings for a business of any size.
– Increased customer engagement: you can expect to be involved in direct communication with customers. That level of engagement is going to offer a level of insight that could never be achieved with outbound methods.
– Measurable Results: the techniques involved in inbound marketing make it easy to track and measure results. Knowing what works, what doesn’t and what to tweak can be incredibly valuable.
– More leads: By putting in the effort to develop optimized pages, connect on social media and deliver a bucket load of quality content, you’ll reap the rewards in terms of lead generation. Thanks to your efforts, those leads will be warmer and easier to convert.
You Need To Do This Now
There’s little point in putting this off. Inbound marketing is here to stay. You need to think outside the box to guarantee your marketing gets through to the customer. Gone are the days when you could throw some keywords into a PPC campaign and let the profits roll in. You’re going to have to work for it, but the rewards will be more than worth your efforts.
About the Author
Linda Forshaw is a freelance writer and published author from Liverpool in the UK. She is a contributor to Degree Jungle and specializes in social media, marketing and technology. Contact her on Twitter at @seelindaplay.