If you want to understand what inbound marketing is, it helps to compare it to outbound marketing. Here are two bullet points that can show the distinction, with information borrowed from Hub Spot:
Outbound marketing focuses on more traditional ways of pushing out messages to potential consumers. These include cold calling, email blasts, seminars, and trade shows. Outbound marketing tends to be more expensive and usually provides a lower return on investment (ROI) than inbound.
Inbound marketing is a less intrusive strategy that invites in potential customers. Instead of pushing a message out to broad, un-vetted audiences, inbound marketing draws interested people in through quality content and social media tactics designed to spread brand awareness.
Some industry watchdogs feel that outbound marketing is on the way out, as more marketers are coming to realize the benefits of inbound. Outbound marketing attempts to create a need to make consumers act, while inbound is more about initiating relationships and brand loyalty that leads to purchases. Inbound marketing is less expensive, more cost-effective, and better at targeting potential customers.
Why Does Inbound Marketing Matter?
Inbound marketing matters more than ever, and the Business Development Bank of Canada explains some of the reasons why. You already know that it is cost-effective, and research supports this claim. Companies that rely on these strategies have a lower cost per sales lead when compared to ones that use outbound marketing strategies. Mojo Media Labs writes that almost 80 percent of companies with blogs report that they have positive ROIS for inbound marketing.
Still not convinced? Think about this: a blog costs your company the same amount of money whether it attracts 500 or 500,000 visitors to your website. Compare this to the cost of running a TV ad, making telemarketing calls, or mailing out flyers. Content and social media publishing tools are also inexpensive and are very easy to use once you get the hang of them.
Most of all, though, consumer buying patterns have significantly changed over the past decade, especially during the pandemic. People devote more time during the buying process, have become more educated and want to stay in control. Relevant, high-quality content now draws consumers, and if you can attract them to your company and provide the results they're looking for, you will have a loyal customer base.
Why Else Does Inbound Marketing Work?
Analytico breaks inbound marketing down to its core with this insight: this marketing strategy reaches potential consumers who dislike interruptive content and messages. Inbound marketing gives potential customers information that they are already in the process of seeking. In other words, an outbound marketing message such as a loud TV commercial for a new SUV might be annoying for many people who can change the channel. Every person who changes the channel means potentially wasted advertising dollars.
Your digital information can teach these audiences about your brand, products, and services during the buying journey, allowing them to lead their paths. As it continues, you can solve their problems and develop long-term relationships. Remember the phrase "good customer?" Good customers return to a store repeatedly over time, and inbound marketing is the way to develop ones of your own.
Inbound Marketing B2B
B2B marketing has also changed dramatically, with digitization helping to empower buyers who are better educated about their options than ever before. B2B marketers now understand the importance of focusing on-demand generation and expanding their lead pools. Smart Bug Media shares some helpful tips for inbound marketing B2B strategies that are well worth learning about, and the first one is the same for B2C: keeping content fresh and exciting.
Of course, you don't have to rewrite all your content thoroughly, but you do need to refresh it. Weekly blogs are a good idea, repurposing existing content into new formats like stand-along social media posts and what is on every marketer's radar – multimedia and infographics. Try to position your company as an industry thought leader and increase the number of outbound links to pages that rank high on search engine result pages (SERPs).
With all B2B marketing, you want to make your customers feel as though they are treated well and appreciated. Provide logical calls to action (CTA), like links to free resources such as white papers and eBooks. Also, be sure to thank them for their business, which is even more critical than B2C because the goal is to forge and strengthen long-term business relationships. Offering rewards is never a bad idea either, and you can consider offerings like free webinars, discounts, and invitations to company-side events.
When you're ready to bring in that experienced professional, we are here to assist you. Contact Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing today for help with your marketing needs.
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