Have you heard this term?
Fancy, right? What the heck does it mean?
I’ve seen some fancy definition that make no sense. (I think some people write definitions just to confuse you… and sometimes that’s so you’ll throw money at them and tell them to do their thing.)
But a writer I work with has a superb explanation of it on her site.
Inbound Marketing: Marketing whereby people who are already learning and shopping in your industry find you. It allows you to truly “get found”.
Examples: Blogs/Article Marketing, PR, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, Networking, Newsletters, Online Events/Webinars
This is contrary to Outbound Marketing (A traditional style of marketing whereby a company initiates the conversation and sends it out to an audience. See: TV commercials, print advertising, tradeshows, cold calling, email blasting, direct mail, radio spots).
Why do I think this is important?
It’s simple really… don’t get stuck doing just one.
Do a mix of both inbound and outbound marketing. Balance is key to practically anything, and marketing is no different.
The key is though… you have to know what you’re doing.
Have a purpose for every piece of marketing you put time and/or money into. Every post you put on social media. Every phone call you make.
This goes along with the “Work smarter, not harder” idea. Which I’m a big fan of… My time is very important to me, and one of my biggest pet peeves is wasted time.
And in business, who wants to waste time and money and get lost in everyone’s noise?
I certainly don’t.
Where’s your focus?
I would venture to say many people focus on the outbound marketing. It’s traditional, everyone knows how to do it, a known quantity…
But is that best for your market? Are the people you’re trying to reach really “cold leads” or should they be people already looking for what you have?
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, takes a lot of time, energy, and focus on your marketing strategy. And you often have less people looking at your product/service.
You’re depending on the customer to come find you, but it also develops a relationship.
You may have less leads coming in, but they will be more targeted too.
And what does that mean? A long-term client, not just a one-time customer. Traditional, outbound marketing is spectacular at getting someone to check you out (lots of eyes seeing you), but the inbound marketing is getting someone who already wants what you have to check you out. They are choosing you over the competition.
You’re already one step ahead of the game by investing in inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing Does More Than Bring In Customers
When you think about marketing people usually think of the initial advertising that brings someone to your company. E.G. Outbound marketing. But inbound marketing does so much more than that.
One. It allows potential customers to check out your brand before buying, thus creating a stronger initial brand-customer relationship.
Two. It reminds all contacts of your brand and products.
Three. And it creates advocates of your brand.
Okay, so above I said that it takes more time with less eyes. But you’re also doing more than just advertising to new people.
Do you really need to know what inbound marketing is?
Yes. Yes you do. Don’t completely ditch outbound marketing if it’s a good way for you to reach your target market.
Again, it’s all about balance. Know your target audience and how to get their attention. Don’t do something just because everyone else is doing it, but make sure your focus isn’t about one-time advertising but about creating a way for people to connect with your brand long-term.
Are you working on both your inbound and outbound marketing? Which one do you need to commit more time to in order to have a better balance?