First, what kind of marketing is inbound?
In its most simple form, Inbound Marketing is a way to generate more qualified leads via a website.
But getting past that simple definition opens a huge opportunity.
There are several places on the web to find an expanded definition, and one of the best comes from our friends at Hubspot. They define the effort as:
“Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.”
That’s one way to describe it.
Another is to describe what it isn’t. So the opposite is of Inbound is Outbound. Outbound Marketing is what you hear when you turn the TV on in the morning while cooking breakfast. You’re assaulted with screaming mattress commercials, hair restoration and erectile dysfunction ads (my personal favorite is the one claiming “Erectile Dysfunction is on the rise.”) and before you know it, your calm morning is interrupted and you want to pull out what hair you have left.
Outbound marketing assumes there are messages you want to hear, although the reality is you probably don’t care to hear about new mattress options at 6:30 in the am. Outbound marketing pushes messages. Outbound marketing can be loud. Outbound Marketing can be obnoxious. Outbound marketing will do whatever it needs to do to get your attention.
Ironically, it rarely does.
And it’s expensive, it’s a shotgun approach (even tho several will say otherwise) and often runs the risk of turning people off by relying on a common attraction: A low price. Remember too that outbound messages are based on the premise customers will benefit by having their day interrupted with an offer they weren’t considering at that time.
For the business owner, the theory is simple: Carefully study a demographic, plan your ad and spend, spend, spend to publish. If your audience is large enough the conversion percentage will make it all worthwhile.
Inbound Marketing offers a different approach. But before we bring up those details, let’s look at some suggested steps to prepare yourself.