What is Inbound Marketing?
I often see people offer a definition of Inbound Marketing that is not very accurate. I have even seen blog posts that state Inbound Marketing is dead, and that what I do is actually Outbound Marketing. I would have to disagree.
The reason why some believe it is Outbound Marketing is because of the methods used to generate leads. You see, typically I use a combination of methods that include posting to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and other social media outlets, blog posts, search engine optimization and online advertising. All of these activities would be considered outbound marketing if it was not part of the bigger marketing plan which is to drive traffic back to my site.
Traditional Marketing Efforts
Let me see if I can explain using a different method. A large corporation that sells products or services typically has 2 sales teams. They have an inbound sales team and an outbound sales team.
The inbound sales team has it relatively easy. They field calls from potential clients who are already looking to purchase the product or service that the company is offering. All the inbound sales rep has to do is take the order and possibly up-sell. The outbound sales rep (sometimes door to door sales) is essentially cold calling. They are trying to produce something out of nothing in reality.
What both groups have in common is a marketing team who is trying to develop a brand and offer awareness. The marketing team’s job is to make you and I aware that the company and what they are selling exists. Traditionally they would use advertising through television, radio and magazines/newspapers. The marketers really help the inbound sales team more so than the outbound sales team. Well fast forward a few years and we have a new form of marketing.
Connecticut Inbound Marketing Expert
What I do is use the formula I mentioned early, although that formula is a bit simplified. Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ and a blog I can target people who are already interested in the product or service that a company has to offer. In fact, the targeting is so specific that most people are ready to buy when I get them to your online presence (which should be a website).
I also optimize your site (repeatedly) to get the most traffic possible, and the most interaction possible. Getting a website to the top of Google, Bing, and Yahoo is only part of the battle. Your site also has to be ready to convert the visitor once they do come to your site. It’s not enough to have a static page that does not engage the customer.
Finally, we may include online advertising on either social media, Google, Bing, and Yahoo or a combination of social media and search engine advertising. This method is used sparingly by me, usually more so in the early stages of a campaign.
If you want to play with the big boys you have to be prepared to put in some work. Having an active presence on Social Media, maintaining a blog and constantly re-evaluating your website for opportunities are very time consuming but in today’s economy people are more likely to get information using the internet than any other resource.
This is a very scaled down overview of Inbound Marketing.
So Why Call It Inbound Marketing
It’s simple..all of those outbound activities serve one purpose. The primary goal is to generate inbound traffic and conversions. It is the economy of the internet now. People do not trust one-sided TV or Radio commercials anymore. And even if they showed any interest chances are they will take to the internet to find out more. What happens if they can’t find you? Even worse, what happens if they find your competitor first? Can you afford that, especially after you paid all that money for the Radio or TV ad?
This image gives more detail, some things I did not really touch on in this post including calls to action and landing pages. Something you can see I obviously do on this site and even on my Facebook page and Twitter Account. I can’t give away all my secrets now can I?
If you are looking to find out more about what I do just fill out the form at the bottom of the website. If you want to see how your website performs against your competition then you might be interested in my Free Inbound Marketing Audit.