Without realising I’ve been helping clients execute Inbound Marketing strategies for years. A a bit of a surprise to me since I thought I had absolutely no claim to being ‘in the marketing biz’.
Yes, “Inbound Marketing” sounds like one of those annoying buzzwords. But as it turns out, a huge (really huge) part of my job is centred on delivering one of the key tools for Inbound Marketing & Content Marketing: a well-planned website.
Yeah ok, you already knew websites were important. This is not new information. But I was interested to learn more about Inbound Marketing principles.
Sometimes it seems like businesses largely focus on Outbound Marketing when they have the ‘I-need-to-reach-more-customers’ or ‘time-to-grow-my-business’ moment. Outbound marketing involves traditional forms of marketing where you ‘push’ advertising messages out to people through avenues like catalogues, radio, TV, billboards, etc. These forms of Outbound Marketing have caveats – they can be expensive, are often impersonal and are also difficult to gather accurate data on to measure their reach and effectiveness.
By contrast, Inbound Marketing flips this concept and is about creating quality content and experiences ready for when customers actually want to find your information.
It’s about people finding you on the web and through social media, and you delivering quality information and experiences at the precise moment the customer wants and needs it. The real bonus? It also provides easily measurable data. Oooh, we like good data!
These days people (people = your audience) are weary and very savvy about ‘pushy’ marketing – I use the unsubscribe link on marketing emails more and more ruthlessly every day. The greatest benefit of Inbound Marketing is that your customer is the one contacting you!
This very blog is an example of an Inbound Marketing strategy: Business Blogging is probably the most common form of Inbound Marketing. Write about what you know and they will come.
A while ago I wrote about how a good website is like having 4.5 full-time sales employees; a great website that delivers your brand to customers when they want to find you is the absolute best starting point for a solid Inbound Marketing strategy.