If you fell into the marketing profession after 2005 it is more than likely you have become acquainted with the term “inbound marketing” –a strategy that involves attracting prospective customers to your business by creating and distributing your content. It’s about bringing in your customers organically as opposed to reaching out to them aggressively. And with 61 percent of global Internet users researching products online, it’s time for marketers to make sure they are dipping their toe in the inbound marketing pool.
Blogs, video, podcasts, eBooks, enewsletter, whitepapers, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and other forms of content marketing have given life to inbound marketing, especially as marketers everywhere look to draw customers to their businesses by producing compelling, driving content.
With 83 percent of marketers indicating that social media is important for business and 80 percent of US social network users preferring to connect to brands through Facebook, it is clear that the use of inbound marketing is rising. Accordingly, we are already starting to see companies earning their way into customers hearts as opposed to buying their way in with forms of “outbound marketing,” the prehistoric form of marketing that involved cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, email marketing, telemarketing and traditional advertising.
In fact, SEO leads have a 14.6 percent close rate while outbound leads have a 1.7 percent close rate. So where does this take the marketing world?
Coined by HubSpot’s Brian Halligan, inbound marketing is known to be especially effective for small businesses that deal with high dollar values, long research cycles and knowledge-based products because it allows businesses to attract traffic, convert visitors to leads and ultimately to sales and then to higher margin customers. Afterwards, businesses can analyze the inbound marketing campaigns to assess success rate and to identify areas on which to improve. In short, these campaigns will contribute valuable information to businesses wishing to improve upon their bottom lines.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin