Push marketing, pull marketing, inbound marketing! Do we really need another method to market better to prospective customers? Isn’t it all really just marketing, anyway? Let’s find out.
The short definition of push marketing is a method of putting products and services in front of a potential customer who has not expressed an interest. This can be perceived as interruptive to a consumer that isn’t interested.
Pull marketing is a method designed to draw potential customers to a brand through SEO and other non-intrusive methods. This method reminds me of inbound marketing, which I will explore in detail today.
Inbound marketing is a method by which you attract prospective customers to learn about a brand’s or business’ products and services via content creation. This usually transpires in the form of articles, email newsletters, blog posts, guides, eBooks and other types of interaction that are organic in nature and are initiated by the consumer taking a specific action.
Inbound marketing allows the consumer to approach a business from their own turf, versus sales where the consumer is approached on the salesperson’s home turf.
To give credit where credit is due (and as a fun fact) the phrase “inbound marketing” was coined by the CEO of HubSpot, Brian Halligan, back in the ’90s. When Brian came up with this term the internet was certainly not what it is today. Social media was pretty much non-existent, though there was a site called Six Degrees created in 1997. (Looking back, it could be considered a social networking site.)
People were definitely not searching nonstop on Google, nor downloading free guides and eBooks on a whim, and inbound marketing was a totally different animal than it is today. The internet has made inbound marketing easier, more convenient, and something that any business on pretty much any budget can implement.
That’s right – any business can take advantage of online inbound marketing, and from just about any budget, so dive into the mechanics of inbound marketing starting with these helpful tips.
1. Find Your Audience
Hopefully you already know who your audience is and where to find them in the digital world, but if not, that is your first step. It doesn’t matter how amazing your content, newsletters, or blogs are if they are not being seen by the right people.
2. Build Their Trust
Inbound marketing is all about building trust, making your brand the thought leader in your industry, and creating brand fans. Your content should always focus on the consumer, their needs, and what they want. Show or tell them how your product or service solves a problem they have, or how it enhances their lives.
3. Include a Call to Action
Every piece of content, no matter what it is, should have a call to action in it. Yet that is not a guarantee of conversion. You have to be diligent in watching which call to action or which type of marketing makes people covert from content readers into brand customers.
4. Conversion is Key
The end goal for any strategy is conversion – and the same holds true for inbound marketing. If your audience isn’t converting into sales, then something needs to change. Find out what gets them to click the buy button, or to come into your store or office. Remember, consumers can be fickle. They may like videos today, and prefer something totally opposite tomorrow. You should constantly be paying attention to the results of every content marketing campaign.
5. Who is the Best Person to Handle Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing isn’t the job of one person, but of a team working together seamlessly to create a process that converts interested prospects into customers. From the content writer to the graphic artist, from the web developer to the sales guy responding to a “request a demo” form – everyone involved in the conversion process is a member of the team.
Each person involved in the creative process needs to understand what it takes to convert the prospect into a customer. It will take time to build trust, loyalty – and to make you their go-to business for your product or service. It’s a slow, subtle, but extremely effective method for bringing in sales for any business. And it usually results in not just a short-term score, but in long-term sales.
Are you ready to dominate inbound marketing in this digital world?
What are your biggest inbound marketing success stories? We would love to hear them!