So, you’ve got a business – whether long-established or new to the scene – and, consequently, the task of promoting that business. How can you get the word out? Well, perhaps you should place rather less emphasis on what you are getting “out” and more how you could draw your firm’s target customers “in”.
That’s the basic principle of “inbound marketing” – which, being less disruptive and invasive than comparatively traditional “outbound marketing” techniques, can sit more easily with your intended audience and therefore run much less risk of repelling consumers of your marketing content.
Inbound marketing defined in a nutshell
Conventionally, you have probably marketed – of thought of marketing – your business by getting it onto TV screens and print billboards, over radio airwaves and into press releases. However, the problem with these tactics is that they are all rather intrusive by nature.
In other words, they are basically the equivalent of waving frantically to a customer and yelling: “Look, look – I’m over here!” You probably don’t need to be reminded how annoying it can be, as a customer, to be on the receiving end of such marketing messages.
With outbound marketing, however, you would change tack. You would simply focus on generating online content – perhaps in the form of articles, blog posts, social media updates, videos and more – that draw prospective customers to you rather than the other way round. It is a more passive approach to marketing.
Why is inbound marketing so effective?
Research highlighted by Search Engine Land attests to the effectiveness of inbound marketing. Over 91% of marketing leads in a study arrived through inbound calls, while 84% of Millennials in one survey have admitted to “leaving a favourite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising”.
One simple reason why inbound marketing excels is that it directly addresses customers’ pain points and suggests, to these customers, how the company could help them to remedy those issues.
Outbound marketing is inherently riskier than inbound marketing – as, with the former, you would be distracting the customer from their existing flow and just hoping that, despite this, they will be receptive to what you have to say. However, your hope would be better-justified when it comes to inbound marketing.
That’s because, with inbound marketing, these people are unlikely to even come across this content in the first place unless they are looking for the kind of information it offers.
Inbound marketing is also easier than outbound to track
Forbes Councils Member Chris Leach observes that, though outbound marketing can bring quick results, “those wins are difficult to measure and trace back to a specific tactic or effort”, adding: “Because of the broad and linear nature of an outbound campaign, there is too much room for error.”
Inbound marketing, in contrast, is entirely digital – making the extent of its success much easier to track. These days, business phone systems like Gamma’s particularly sophisticated Horizon Collaborate enable you to more easily monitor incoming calls to assess which of your inbound marketing strategies work best at attracting them.