Understanding the Tenets of Inbound Marketing
Most marketing tactics can be defined in two categories, inbound marketing, and outbound marketing. Understanding the difference between the two is a priority when understanding the right tactic to use for your business. How each style works can be detrimental or positive to your ultimate goals.
Outbound marketing actively seeks out potential customers. It displays information in an “in-your-face” presentation. This can be in the form of TV commercials or Youtube video ads. Ads are built with an expository/sales motivated narration. Most likely, the purpose is to grab the viewer’s attention and help them never forget which company the advertisement is for.
Another common tactic for outbound marketers is email blasts. Have you received spam in your inbox? This is a form of outbound marketing. The ability to solicit sales through emails is a proven tactic. Perhaps the best example is moveon.org, an activist group.
Doesn’t matter what your politics are, these guys have outbound marketing and email lists down to a science. Their email list is so large that their organization is able to solicit millions of dollars for candidates every year. One of the most effective ways they have for grabbing people’s information is petitions. People love signing petitions and moveon.org/change.org love collecting email addresses and increasing their outbound marketing list.
Outbound marketing works, in certain scenarios. Spending time and resources collecting email addresses is a proven tactic and one your business should invest in.
Inbound marketing is the practice of adding value to the consumer’s life while simultaneously creating a brand. It lacks “in-your-face” tactics and instead relies upon building trust with a potential consumer.
Before the popularity of the internet, inbound marketing was a niche way to sell your business. But because of the internet and more specifically, social media, people are more connected than ever before and inbound marketing is the best way to sell products.
Let me explain.
Now that smartphones and computers are used as windows of entertainment and utility more so than television, people are hungry for content. The average American stares at a screen for 10 hours a day, not including sleep, that’s more than half the day.
And this is the reason for the explosion of inbound marketing techniques. Never before has there been so much opportunity to engage with your user base. Back when television was the only screen, outbound ads were necessary, to break through the mind of the consumer. But now, the consumer comes to you, they seek out articles to read and comics to laugh at. Most people even use their smartphones at work, think about that. There is almost never a time of day where your brand cannot be reaching new customers.
Social Media Fixation
People will spend more time on social media than eating or drinking or even socializing in person. That is a lot of time. So much time that social media is now integral to inbound marketing strategies. Interacting with your customer base and building individual relationships has never been easier. Create your own social media accounts and start creating a following.
Think about it, most people are simply online to find content to fill their time with. If your source of income is dependant on their views, the content you create will be a million times better than most. As a business owner, you are in an enviable position to utilize social media for your own purposes. Every blog post you write and video made will have direct impacts on how much sales occur.
Social media is popular because people are hungry for community. With more and more time being spent in front of a screen, our need for interaction has not decreased. There is a demand for inbound marketing and most consumers will appreciate the efforts made to create a brand that gives value.
Inbound Marketing is the Future
Solving problems and offering solutions are why your business succeeds. With inbound marketing on your side, you can create a consistent and loyal community around what products and services. Market your brand and understand when to use outbound marketing and how best to implement inbound marketing.