With the rise of technology, the way we are marketed to has changed drastically. Digital marketing has gone from nice to have in the early 2000's to absolute necessity and if you don't have it I need to ask you this, what the hell are you doing if you don't have a digital marketing strategy in 2023? No longer do you believe the greaseball salesman and just take his word because he "must be an expert" on the topic. Now days, if someone tells you they're product or service is number one you can jump on Google, check out their rating, compare them to the competition and test it.
Traditional marketing or outbound marketing is all about saying "look at me... look at me, look at me... look, at, me." You're fighting with the millions of other brands out there vying for the attention of consumers, any consumers. Outbound marketing is like the people in the street trying to get you to sign up to save the racoons in Russia. You're not even sure if there are racoons in Russia so you put your head down, pretend you're on the phone and avoid eye contact at all costs but they won't stop until they have your attention.
Inbound is different, it's not just about marketing, it is a 360 approach that should have your customers coming back for more every time. It's not just for marketing teams, it's for sales and services too. Businesses practicing inbound build trust and credibility with their customers and the industry they are in. They add value at every stage of the customer's journey that show they aren't just 'Scrooge McDuck'-ing you (trying to get their hands on your money), they genuinely want to help.
The inbound methodology is about attracting visitors to your business, converting them into leads, closing the deal so they become customers and continuing to delight them so they tell their friends and become promoters for your business. Hence the process of attract -> convert -> close -> delight. Inbound is a digital marketing strategy that is based on organically attracting leads and customers to solve a problem they face using your product.
So what does that mean? Inbound marketing is about delivering the right information to your lead, customer or client at the right time. If you're a bald man, chances are you aren't looking for haircuts in your area so why does that salon down the road continually keep sending you 50 percent off long hair cuts? There's no personalisation or thought for you and your chrome dome. If they offered you 50 percent off head massages, then you're slightly more inclined to check them out.
It's about understanding who you're talking to (your target audience), and tailoring the messages you send to give the sales team the absolute best chance of closing the deal. This is called lead nurturing and it's just one part of an overall strategy.
If you've got a problem that needs solving where do you go? You Google how to fix it. You find a blog from a business dropping knowledge bombs on the issue and how to solve it. You think to yourself "Damn, these guys really know what they're talking about." You decide they can solve the issue for you so you contact them to learn more. This is an example of inbound marketing, you had a problem, their content (blog post) answered your question so you approached them, they didn't shove their marketing in your face.
This brings us to the key to an effective inbound marketing strategy: content. You can't just post any old content and expect results, it has to be quality content. When creating content, a basic understanding of search engine optimisation (SEO Marketing) is necessary so that it ranks on Google (how will people find it?) but equally as important is that all your content should be written with the purpose of identifying an issue or problem that your potential customers face.
Inbound marketing has broken away from the traditional way of marketing and is a different way of working in business that is tailoring the way you market to the way your customers purchase!