What the heck is inbound marketing?

Inbound Marketing is defined as the process of bringing attention to yourself and your business through content creation. It is one of the most effective and cheapest approaches to converting new viewers into new customers.  What it is, and why it’s so incredibly important is our topic for today.

You may have heard of it revered by others under several other names such as “content marketing”. Some more vague titles such as “lead generation” leave a lot of people shrugging and scratching their heads but essentially, they are all talking about the very same thing. By creating appealing content designed for your customers, inbound marketing brings prospective customers back to your business again and again.

Below are examples of traditional or OUTBOUND marketing approaches:

  • Cold Calling
  • Print Advertising
  • Spam
  • Telemarketing
  • Direct Mail
  • Radio Advertisement
  • Canvassing

Traditional marketing methods are almost always outbound marketing… TV ads, print ads, radio, email, billboards. Heck, even trade shows are outbound. Ultimately outbound just means that we are going out into the world and offering our message. There isn’t anything wrong with the old way of doing things. It’s still obviously a valuable service to provide and to continue to focus on. There are plenty of reasons to keep doing it, but for today at least we are focusing on how inbound can add to your business and how it can complement your outbound approach.

Below are examples of INBOUND marketing:

  • Blogs
  • Social Media
  • Podcasts
  • Video
  • Ebooks
  • Newsletters

The difference as you probably guessed by now is that INBOUND methods rely heavily on content creators. By providing high quality content that attracts attention to your brand you can create inbound flow of potential new customers.

Everywhere you look your customers are already out there online, they are watching tutorials, they are comparing different products and services. Our goal when creating inbound marketing content should be to have unique content that appeals to strangers, leads to visitors and will create new customers. You probably already know your customers and their interests, by providing them with content that your customers will value, and placing it where they will discover it organically, you will naturally attract the type of traffic that you want. Ultimately, driving new inbound traffic you can offer your services or products to with those more traditional methods we already use.

Offering premium videos, tutorials, ebooks, content and services is a surefire way to get contact info or to get traffic but more importantly than ever, once you convert a stranger into a customer, you absolutely need to continue to create useful content that continues to be valuable as they continue to use your services. The drawback of harnessing the power of inbound marketing is that you create an audience. An audience can sing your praises or it can spell out your failures so customer satisfaction needs to be your highest priority.