Every business, at least in today’s times – whether they are small, medium or large, are trying to reach out to their audiences in newer ways. Among the many forms of marketing, one which deserves more than a passing mention is inbound marketing.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Marketers use inbound marketing when they want to reach out to their targeted audience and actively encourage them to try their services or products. This is primarily done when there are shoppers out in the open looking for certain products or services. Through inbound marketing, marketers strive to turn shoppers into active and loyal customers.
While theoretically this form of marketing may seem to be unique and different, in reality almost all businesses are practicing it. The only thing is that they haven’t yet realized that it is called inbound marketing. Some of the common techniques that are included in this form of marketing are:
- Search engine optimization of websites
- Digital Advertising
- Social media interaction and marketing
- Maintaining an updated blog
- Sending dedicated emails to an opted-in list
While most businesses, even the smallest of them all, might be following one or all of the above mentioned outreach initiatives they may not bother about measuring outcomes. Inbound marketing is thus a means of attracting prospects to a business’ website or web store and turning leads into sales.
What Makes It Different From Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing is the effort made by businesses to reach out to customers. As most commonly seen in B2B marketing efforts, businesses go out, scout for their customers, tell them about their services or products and try to turn them into customers. Outboard marketing most commonly takes the form of –
- Trade events
- Direct mailing to a huge list
- Buying data
In this form, marketers go all out to lure customers. They target almost anyone – and all leads do not turn into customers. The success rate in much lower because this is a more intrusive and disruptive form of marketing whereas inbound marketing is more nuanced, targeting specific leads.
In inbound marketing, the idea is to connect to leads who are already interested in your kind of services. Tracing their search pattern and understanding their behavior plays an important role here.
Another key difference lies in ROI and cost of marketing. Participating in a trade show is much more expensive than emailing to a select list of leads. Inbound marketing is less expensive (with better results) while in outbound marketing you have to spend more with lesser conversion rates.
Does Inbound Marketing Really Help Grow Your Business?
Yes, this form of marketing helps. But if we are to be specific, it works really well in digital marketing. When more leads are using the Internet to search for information, interacting better on social media platforms, reaching these discerning people fetches better results for a business.
The best way to really be successful with inbound marketing is to understand how this works and how it can truly help improve your marketing opportunities. Writing a well-articulated, informative blog post will be read by more people today. This means that you can in reality reach out to those people who are actively looking for information about your business. You understand their needs and fulfill them while keeping your objectives in mind. The idea behind inbound marketing should always be to build trust with your leads, turn them into your customers and make them loyal followers of your brand.
If practiced diligently, this form of marketing can give consistent results over many years with lesser investment. The ROI is much greater since your investments are all on cost-effective digital platforms. If you want your business to grow, start paying attention to inbound marketing today!