Unleash the Power of Inbound Marketing

Inbound MarketingIn the pre-digital era, firms employed traditional outbound marketing strategies and tactics to engage consumers. From cold-calling and televisions advertising to cold-calling and trade shows, these firms relied on invasive techniques that lacked finesse and ultimately results that bolstered the bottom line. The digital revolution, however, has introduced a new arsenal of strategies and tactics to companies and organizations seeking impact, namely inbound marketing.

This form of marketing is the antithesis of past approaches in that it seeks to engage consumers by letting them find the brands seamlessly. Rather than invade people’s space with pestering phone calls, solicitations or television commercials, these savvy practitioners develop multimedia applications that new customers desire. They develop sharp blogs instead of taking out expensive print ads in outdated publications. Ultimately, they elect to draw their clientele in slowly and smoothly rather than beat them over the head with a hammer.

Origins of Inbound Marketing

Following the dot-com bubble in 2001, many marketing experts began to realize that customers were initiating their buying process more on search engine sites such as Yahoo! or Google rather than on traditional media sites like the New York Times. Subsequently, they soon realized that efforts invested in search engine advertising and optimization paid far more dividends than traditional costly display marketing efforts. This coupled with the emergence of social media and self-publishing applications transformed the Internet from a passive reading experience to an active arena where people could connect and share information seamlessly.

Inbound Marketing Tactics

Inbound marketing tactics employ the use of blogs and white papers to formulate their messaging. Viral videos, search engine optimization (SEO), webinars and RSS are utilized to carry that message seamlessly to their desired demographic. Content, of course, is critical to any inbound marketing effort, as it serves as the foundation of information to attract consumers to your business or organization’s efforts.

SEO becomes paramount in facilitating the ability of your potential customer based to access your offerings. This step involves the development of your website and accompanying links to drive inbound traffic and optimize your search engine rankings. This becomes critical, as this is the stage where most consumers begin their search for a desired service or product. Social Media, furthermore, accentuates the breadth and impact of your messaging. As it is shared and discussed over a medley of networks such as Facebook, the discourse around it becomes more sophisticated and compelling, thus driving more potential consumers to your institution.

Cost Benefits of an Inbound Approach

Inbound marketing efforts enable large organizations to assert more dominance in the marketplace while emerging players have the capacity to leverage it to establish themselves. As this method is a more effective method for investing in marketing resources, when compared to more costly outbound strategies and tactics, the advantage goes to those entities who are the most savvy. In other words, the largest wallets do not necessarily win in the inbound marketing game. For example, a blog requires no input costs for an aspiring entrepreneur to start, while opening a Facebook or Twitter account is free. All of these tactics present immense potential for harvesting new clients.

Impact of Inbound Marketing

In addition to its cost benefits, inbound marketing facilitates enhanced targeting efforts for entities. Traditionally outbound efforts such as cold-calling and e-mail campaigns suffered from poor focus in converting potential customers from a database. In contrast, inbound marketing enables you to engage consumers who essentially self-select themselves for your product or service. They demonstrate an inkling for your content and now are ready to engage you on the precise service or product you offer. Small business owners across the United States have been able to employ this approach to develop multi-million dollar businesses, while established large brands have employed this approach to grow their marketshare. Ultimately, this form of marketing pivots on empowering both the consumer and provider with the information and motivation to meet each other’s needs.