Most of us are more familiar with outbound marketing than inbound marketing. Outbound marketing is when we would go out and find customers. This could be anything from knocking on doors to making phone calls. This worked and worked very well for decades. But around and about the 1990s, as he Internet took over and everything changed.
Now, in order to get buyers interested in a product or service, the way to go is with inbound marketing. Here’s the big diff… the customer comes to you, no more knocking on doors.
A good working definition of inbound marketing is the following:
Inbound marketing is based on the sharing of quality, credible, and pertinent information, that generates traffic to a company’s website and, along with it, interest in its products and services… leading to sales.
The goals of an inbound marketing program would include such things as the following:
Increases Web Traffic.
Every marketer wants increased web traffic and an effective inbound marketing program can make it happen.
Improves Brand awareness.
This is especially true when end-customers read an article published in a quality B2B publication. They learn who you are and what your company is all about.
Produces More Leads.
Visitors who take the time to read and understand the educational content on your site – provided by content marketing strategies – develop a connection with your company, making them more comfortable to make a purchasing decision.
Generates More Sales.
With new leads comes trust, followed by sales.
Is Cost Effective.
Inbound marketing is far less costly than traditional advertising. Further, as leads come in with this strategy – resulting in more sales – it may be time to reevaluate the need for other, more costly marketing programs.
Improves Customer Retention.
One of the most valuable benefits of an effective inbound marketing program is that it can keep current customers loyal and “emotionally” connected to your company. The goal of an inbound marketing program is for end-customers to come back and make purchases over and over again.
It’s Where Its At
I published articles in major trade publications for more than twenty years. When I started in the late 1990s, this was the most effective way to reach end-customers. However, as social media marketing became more than effective, and manufacturers realized it was also very cost effective, they abandoned trade publications in droves. It was the beginning of the decline of trade publications. While things appear to have stabilized, and those trade publications around today have found ways to make money and survive, what has proven the best way for manufacturers to reach end-customers is through an effective social media based inbound marketing program.