These days, a new technique is revolutionizing how businesses market their products. It is known as Inbound Marketing. Many companies are successfully implementing an inbound marketing strategy and reaping the rich and long term benefits that it provides.
Today, let us talk about what Inbound Marketing is, how it is changing the face of traditional or outbound marketing, and why you should be interested about it.
Outbound marketing or traditional marketing is a way in which companies go out and find customers. It is a push strategy. Outbound marketers mainly adopt two strategies:
Remember how you have received calls from marketers while you were attending that urgent meeting, or that ad that came on TV just before the climax of the movie was about to start? What was your reaction to these interruptions?
I remember having blacklisted a financial services company because a sneaky cold caller from its office called me thrice in a single day, and finally got very upset because I couldn’t talk to her as I was on a business tour!
Needless to say, only a handful of those who receive these calls or see the ads actually remember the product and buy it. Outbound marketing relies on purchases made by a small percentage of people who see the ads, or receive such calls. This results in wastage of the money spent in reaching out to people who are not interested.
Another problem is that, with the advancement of technology users are now able to block these marketing messages easily. Most of the direct mass emails land up in the junk mail folder. There are reports that people have also developed a blindness towards most of the ads that are shown on television. And let’s not forget how people get irritated with cold calls made to them. As you can see, the outbound method of marketing is losing its sheen rapidly.
Inbound Marketing on the other hand, is not an interruptive strategy at all. It adopts a Pull Strategy, wherein instead of reaching out to your customers, you attract them to yourself.
Its foundation lies in adding value to the users instead of bombarding them with marketing messages. This value is provided in the form of useful content which helps the users in one or more ways. Many users go online looking for a solution to a problem that they are having. Inbound relies on solving their problems or giving them valuable information first, and building up engagement with them afterwards.
When users get benefited by what you have to say, they try to hear from you more often. Over time they start trusting you and would also be interested in using the product or service that you have to offer. When people come to you looking for solutions, it is far easier to delight them, and increase your sales eventually.
Thus, unlike in outbound marketing, where the communication with the customer starts with trying to sell something to them, in inbound sales is something that comes later, only after the user has become comfortable, and has started trusting your business.
An inbound Marketing strategy is created by combining the best of the digital marketing techniques. The exact techniques that are used in this strategy depends on the type of the business, its goals, and the customers that it wants to cater to. The following are the digital marketing techniques that are used to create and Inbound Marketing strategy:
All these tools are combined to form an effective inbound marketing strategy that completely changes the way the business markets its products. Inbound can also result in significant cost savings when done correctly. However, the results from the inbound marketing strategy will take some time to show up. Businesses have to consistently do it over a period of time before reaping the benefits. However, once the transition is complete, the benefits keep flowing in.