We’re huge proponents of inbound marketing. But before we go into the reasons why you should be using the inbound methodology, we should probably tell you what it is! For a detailed description, you can read our whitepaper on inbound marketing. If you want the short and sweet version, read on:
Outbound marketing focuses on reaching OUT to your target audience with advertising, buying email lists, sending direct mail, cold calling, etc.
Inbound marketing focuses on using content that educates or entertains to draw your target audience IN. Typically, your audience is directed to your website where they can learn more about what you sell on their own accord.
Here are four reasons why we believe you should be focused on inbound marketing:
1. Consumers prefer to come to you.
Outbound marketing methods have become more and more ineffective. Advertisements, commercials, postcards and cold calling can be effective for certain organizations, but the vast majority of consumers are overloaded by the daily influx of marketing messages they receive.
The average consumer tunes out radio ads and tosses junk mail in the trash without giving either a single thought. The reason inbound works for today’s consumer is because it meets them where they are, when they are ready. If a consumer Googles a question relating to your product or service, they will likely come across your website, social media accounts and online reviews. They are actively seeking your organization or what you sell. When the consumer clicks through to your website, they’ll find a wealth of information about you and your products and services. They’ll also be prompted to fill out a form to receive a particular offer (download, newsletter sign up, promotion, etc.). That form contains valuable data about that consumer, which gets sent directly to you.
2. Social media provides the opportunity for you to interact with consumers.
One of the most common ways that consumers choose to come directly to you is through social media. After all, what do most consumers spend their time doing? Checking Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on their phones. They’ll likely investigate your product or service on one of those platforms.
Why is this important?
Besides the fact that engagement on social media is positive for your reach, it also sets up opportunities to interact directly with consumers. You can demonstrate what great customer service you provide by quickly and thoroughly answering someone’s inquiry on Facebook or Twitter. When consumers are ready to know more, you’re there waiting to address their questions and comments directly and provide existing content for more details.
3. Inbound marketing optimizes your website for SEO.
As you execute your inbound marketing strategy with content such as blogs, resources and videos, you’ll be adding those content pieces to your website. The more specific content you have on your website about your company and its products or services, the better. Why? Because Google loves when your website is consistently updated. It’s even better if you add keywords to your blog posts and webpages to boost your SEO.
Why is SEO important? The more things you do that make Google happy, the more likely you are to show up first in Google search results for key terms related to your business. All thanks to inbound tactics!
4. Inbound tactics yield more effective and accurate tracking and reporting.
Let’s be honest, it is difficult to track the ROI for outbound marketing strategies. You send out a direct mail piece, but you never know if someone read it. You pay for a print ad, but you aren’t positive that it drove registrations for your event.
Results from inbound tactics are much easier to track. For example, if you post a blog, you can track how many views it gets. You can also place that blog in your digital newsletter and track how many click-throughs it produces. And, if you are using marketing automation software, such as HubSpot, you can track individual consumer behavior related to that blog post. So, not only can you see that the blog post garnered 152 clicks, you can pull a report to see exactly who in your contact database read it. That is powerful data!
These are just a few reasons why we practice inbound marketing. If you’d like to know more about how you can implement inbound marketing into your company, please contact us any time.