What is inbound marketing?
The definition of inbound marketing is fairly fluid, as it is a method that is still being defined as it is used today. The best way to understand it is to contrast inbound and outbound marketing, which is the more traditional way to reach customers.
Outbound marketing is called such because it is a “push” of the product message on consumers. Any marketing that has the business going out to seek customers is outbound marketing. This could be cold calls, direct mail, email campaigns, commercials, billboards, etc. This form of marketing is distrusted by its very nature, as it is a polished message specially designed for persuading customers.
In contrast, inbound marketing creates content that is designed to draw the consumer in. Using social media and content marketing strategies, the customer gives the brand permission to interact with them (rather than the interruption of outbound marketing messages). This creates more of a relationship with the brand on the part of the customer, and helps build loyalty for future.
Why are inbound marketing strategies beneficial?
Inbound and outbound marketing have the same goals- to convert views into purchases. How is inbound marketing better?
There are roughly 100 million Twitter users worldwide.
Google reported an estimated 400 million users in 2012, and it has been found that 84% of all internet users go to Google’s search engine to find what they need. Users of the website Pinterest have gone up 145% in the last year.
The potential for reaching your target market via social media is vastly better than hoping someone in that demographic is sitting in the room when your commercial comes on.
According to MindJumpers, roughly 20% of businesses have reported closing sales using inbound marketing techniques on Twitter. Inbound marketing tools on average yield 54% more leads than their outbound counterparts, and in a survey roughly 77% of internet users said that having business social media sites was an asset to a company website.
Conversion rates in inbound and outbound marketing have always been difficult to estimate. How effective is your marketing campaign?
Inbound internet marketing is much more quantifiable- every click through and search query is recorded. It is much easier to see what is working and what is not in your campaign.
Inbound and outbound marketing are both valuable tools in a business’s arsenal of seeking customers. However, in the information age, it is necessary for businesses to adopt new technologies, and in this case, that technology will innovate the way they communicate with their customers.