Inbound Marketing 101: What’s the Big Deal?

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Inbound marketing, which is oftentimes referred to as online marketing, is all about driving qualified, relevant traffic to your website. The hope is that through the use of a number of inbound marketing tactics that you’ll able to entice visitors to your site, and then turn those visitors into leads, and then nurture those leads to the point that they become customers and perhaps even brand loyalists.

There are a number of different tactics that are used in inbound marketing to accomplish this, such as:

  • Blogs
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO (search engine optimization)
  • PPC (pay per click advertisements)
  • Press releases
  • Landing pages

But inbound marketing goes beyond just the methods used to draw qualified leads to your website. It’s also about using proper tools to analyze the success of each of these methods, which in turn can help you further tailor and improve upon your online marketing strategies.

What Inbound Marketing Isn’t

Most of the more traditional methods of marketing are exactly what inbound marketing is not (also known as outbound marketing techniques). This includes direct mail campaigns, tradeshows, and telemarketing.

Why Inbound Marketing is More Effective than Outbound Marketing

Simply put, outbound marketing techniques are old and stale. When’s the last time you actually used a phonebook to look up a service provider or an address? When’s the last time you really gave a telemarketer the time of day? Even television commercials have become redundant since the dawn of the DVR and TiVo.

Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing also isn’t about just sending out random blasts to as many people as possible. It’s all about targeting specific people who will be interested in your products and services, which increases your chance to convert users and save money on marketing.

What does this mean? That outbound marketing techniques are being ignored by consumer. What’s even worse is that inbound marketing is 61% less in cost per lead than outbound marketing (HubSpot, 2012). So not only are you spending more on outbound marketing, but it’s less effective too. It’s no wonder that more and more companies of all sizes are spending more of their marketing budget on inbound marketing and reducing what they’re spending on outbound.

Techniques Used in Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing consists of a number of different techniques and strategies, such as:

  • Building a successful marketing strategy
  • Building and designing an optimized website
  • Creating strategies to drive qualified traffic to your site
  • Blog creation
  • Social media marketing tactics
  • Traffic to lead conversion
  • Lead nurturing
  • Creating attractive offers (i.e. eBooks, white papers, promotions, etc.)
  • Landing page and form creation
  • CTA (call to action) creation and implementation
  • Lead management and segmentation
  • Closed loop and web analytics

The bottom line is that the world is moving online to find products, services and information that they want and need. This is even becoming more prevalent as more people worldwide are using their mobile and smartphones to research and make purchase decisions on your products and services. If your company isn’t online, then you’re missing out the chance to convert handfuls of potential customers.