What is Inbound Marketing?
Simply put, inbound marketing is a series of marketing activities that attract users to your site or business through the creation of incentives and content that motivate those users to identify themselves to you or share information with your business, all with the end goal of converting them into clients. It’s a modern approach that recognises that users are real people who spend their whole lives being impacted with commercial advertising and are somewhat immune to this constant assault. They are people like you and I, and they’re more interested in useful information, entertainment and value-added offers than mere advertisements.
Inbound marketing is often done in concert with outbound marketing, which is a more classic approach which centres on distributing press or TV advertising, billboards and posters, direct mailing, massive emailing, cold calls, event sponsorship, trade shows or other large-scale activities that have the intention of impacting potential clients. Outbound marketing is a more traditional method and is very effective in creating brand awareness but it can be quite expensive.
An example of the difference between the two would be if we handed out a flyer about our language academy on a highstreet in the city centre (outbound), versus if we published a free English learning guide that people can download if they give us their email address, later receiving a some information on our language academy offers (inbound). .
Inbound marketing is related to content marketing in that content marketing is really a type of inbound marketing in which we develop a content plan to attract the consumers most relevant to our business. However, inbound marketing is a complete methodology which can also include incentive techniques that encourage users to complete certain actions that put them closer to a final conversion, all with the goal of capturing their interest and ultimately winning them over in the long term.
A good inbound marketing strategy takes advantage of measurement and what the data tells us about potential clients and their interests. It goes beyond content snippets and contemplates how we can help, inform, delight and seduce an anonymous user with our website, emails or offers, pampering them until they become a known and recurrent customer.