What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is about potential customers seeking you out, rather than you chasing them down.
It’s about driving more engaged, more qualified leads and turning them into customers.
It’s about working in a new way with your prospects, leveling with them and giving them the information they are looking for, and being rewarded with details about their buying behavior that is richer and more accurate than what could ever be gathered before.
It’s about attracting prospects to you by helping them solve their problem rather than shouting at them from across the proverbial room.
Inbound Marketing isn’t any one thing. It’s a strategy that uses a number of different tactics (content, SEO, social media, blogging, etc.).
Marketing has never been tougher.
Customers are more connected, they are consuming more and more content via the Web through more and different mobile devices, and they are just more demanding. They want to get their questions answered (without talking to a sales rep), find what interests them, make educated choices, and feel in control of the process when they buy (and don’t kid yourself, they are in control). And if they love what you offer, they want to talk about it, share it, discuss it – on the platform of their choice.
Marketing has become a four letter word to them. They don’t want to be marketed to. Especially not the old style of marketing: annoying advertisements, in your face email blasts that have them clamoring for the unsubscribe link, boring pitches for products that they just don’t care one bit about.
Today’s customer is knowledgeable – chances are, they’ve already done research into whatever product or service you’re selling before they ever land on your website or doorstep. The world (and your competitors) is a Google search away.
The average cost to generate a lead through Inbound Marketing ($143) is about half the average for outbound marketing ($373) (according to Econsultancy).
9 out of 10 B2B buyers say when they are ready to make a purchase, they will find a vendor.
Be ready for today’s customer with Inbound Marketing
You need to engage customers on their playing field.
They want help figuring out what questions they should even be asking potential vendors. Help them.
They want information about your products and your services. You need to give it to them.
They want to read about you from wherever they’re at, be it home, the office, or on the road. Be there.
Finally, they want the straight scoop. They want valuable information that is relevant to what they are looking for. Be real with them!
What does it all mean?
Inbound Marketing is about leveraging all of your knowledge, and turning it into content your customers really want to read (or view, or listen to).
It cuts across your:
- Social media channels
- Google search results
- Marketing campaigns
- Face-to-Face interaction at tradeshows, conferences and other networking events
Why do it?
- It’s Effective – 92% of companies that focused on Inbound Marketing increased their traffic significantly to their site (Hubspot).
- It’s Cheaper – Organizations focused on Inbound Marketing experience a 61% lower cost per lead than those focused primarily on traditional marketing. (Hubspot, State of Inbound Marketing 2012).
- It’s Critical – Google’s search algorithms are increasingly promoting sites that feature the most useful and quality content, and penalizing those that don’t. (Google)