January 12th, 2015

Understanding Inbound Marketing

Business owners will be very familiar with traditional advertising methods. Simply speaking, as marketing goes, the more advertising you do to get your business' name out there, the better. But how about inbound marketing? Have you heard of this emerging new marketing trend? Let's look at a comparison of the two and 6 reasons why this new strategy of inbound marketing will soon beat out the traditional advertising methods.

Traditional advertising methods can be seen almost everywhere. They include brand-awareness campaigns, participation in trade shows and expos, listing in business directories and advertising in newspapers, magazines, radio and television, location based ads such as billboards, transit ads, sandwich board ads or posters in movie theaters, hotels and resorts, taxis, monitors in airports, shopping malls and so on. The idea is to create as much visibility for your business as you can, in hopes that your potential customers will see one of the ads and take action. The advertising market is very fierce though. At times your ad may even be placed side by side with that of your competitor in the same business category. Ads also need to be constant or repetitive to really impact and build up that residual effect on consumers. Thus often, it is the bigger fish who will always dominate in these traditional advertising methods compared to the smaller type businesses. Traditional advertising methods are also often the in your face type. On average, consumers are fed with more than 2000 advertising messages daily!

Inbound marketing can be considered as a more subtle approach to advertising. It utilizes the internet as a marketing tool that allows consumers to find and research brands and products online before making their purchasing decisions. Inbound marketing focuses on winning the consumer's attention through interesting, informative and up-to-date online contents such as through blogs, online forums, videos and podcasts. This myriad of useful and engaging contents creates a positive connection with the consumer making them more likely to purchase the product or service in the end.

Here are 6 reasons why we feel that inbound marketing will soon beat out traditional advertising:

1. Harnesses the full capabilities of the internet, facilitated by social media.

Inbound marketing harnesses the full capabilities of internet marketing. As of 2011, there are 20 billion internet users worldwide. Social media and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter allows users to like, recommend and share product and business information with just a click of the mouse. This brings a whole new meaning to word of mouth advertising. Your online contents have the potential to go viral within hours as it is shared by millions of users online.

2. Customers look for you!

This is a welcome change for business owners. Instead of having to go out and about to promote and sell your products and services, customers are actually the ones knocking on your door. The internet has empowered users to search for product and business information online. Because of this vested interest and because they are the ones who looked for you, the likelihood that they make that final purchase is very high.

3. Targeted audience

With inbound marketing, your information and contents is targeted to those who are interested in what you offer. You no longer have to shoot in the dark and hope that consumers notice your ad and call you about it. Search engine optimization features allow users to easily find what they are looking for online.

4. Not interruption based

Consumers no longer have to deal with the interruptions of telemarketing calls or salespersons knocking at the door. They don't have to go through all the radio and television ads, no spam in e-mails, any brochures or pamphlets on products they aren't even interested in. With inbound marketing, the World Wide Web is their oyster. They simply search for what they are interested in on their own.

5. Lower cost compared to print advertising

Traditional advertising relies heavily on print advertising. And the cost of print advertising to execute a really good marketing or brand awareness campaign can be very high. Inbound marketing costs very much lower than this. And you save on paper as well!

6. Mobile marketing

The internet changed the face of our lives and now the whole world has gone mobile as well. With mobile and wireless technology, the average person has access of the internet anywhere and everywhere they are. They can search online, e-mail, like, share, re tweet your product and business information on the go!

These are 6 reasons why inbound marketing is the marketing trend of the future. It is not to say that traditional marketing methods should be abandoned altogether. It remains an important marketing tool for businesses. But in this era of information technology where the internet and social media rule, inbound marketing is a definite tool that businesses can not afford to be without.