A good outbound approach is one where a marketer is engaged in pushing out the business’s promotional messages to the target audience. Inbound marketing companies prefer to utilize the other option-and that’s the pull approach. The pull approach is designed to share messages to those who are already looking for the merchandise and services that the organization is offering. The bottom line is, facts are facts – all the conventional outbound techniques including direct marketing and telemarketing are no longer king of the hill. Each conventional outbound technique generates only 10 percent of leads. Two third of brands prefer inbound approaches for promoting their business and reaching their audience.
The inbound methods such as organic rankings, paid search, and PPC are gaining ground quickly. Social media presence and engagement is another spoke of inbound marketing which is increasingly impactive.
So have you made the transition with your business? Still thinking about if and when?
That’s understandable, these are rapidly changing times in terms of marketing paradigms, of that there is no doubt. We can however distill a few reasons why you might want to consider making the switch, and sooner than later.
Reasons to Make the Switch to Inbound Marketing Strategies
There are various reasons why inbound marketing trumps outbound marketing. One reason may be the long-term value of inbound marketing campaigns, as opposed to the “quick surge” qualities of typical direct marketing campaigns. Through inbound marketing, marketers invest in long-term worth versus those quick and temporary surges in traffic, which certainly are a staple of traditional outbound marketing campaigns. You send out 20,000 postcards, you get a surge of activity. Ebb and Flow. With inbound marketing however, it is a continuous campaign that you feed over time, and the results are spread over a much longer timeframe.
Inbound marketing can be broken down into numerous, relatively simple actions. However it will take a concerted effort to bring all of those simple tasks together to bring an effective inbound strategy to fruition.
One of the fundamental tasks is deciding on what content is to be shared with your target audience. We live in the digital age, and, as people are exposed to more and more information and digital marketing, they have developed mechanisms in the brain to help process and filter that information. In a nutshell, people filter out 90% of the marketing messages they see online. So how do we get past the filter?
There are many ways, such as powerful calls to action, but our focus here is on visual media – images, infographics, and video. Humans are extremely visual creatures. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get past the filter with words alone. So we use our natural inclination towards visual engagement instead. This is why visual media is a centerpiece of an effective inbound marketing strategy.
So now we know what kind of content to share – focus on visually engaging media. Now, we have to figure out what platform to use to share that media. You guessed it – we want to use the social media hubs that have the highest visitor use and popularity – Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Google+, and other Web 2.0’s.
Next we have to decide how often we will share visually engaging content on those popular social media hubs. The best approach is to reach a minimum threshold of activity on at least 3 hubs, perhaps Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, or, if you prefer, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. When we say reach a minimum threshold of activity, we mean fully fill out your profile for your business, and then engage with others on those sites as necessary to begin securing some followers/fans/likes/plus 1’s on those sites.
Now, once you’ve reached the minimum threshold, you can focus on 1 or 2 and ramp up your activity. For Facebook, a great approach is to write a few short, engaging posts, attach engaging pics, and then do one-time “boosts” of those posts where you basically pay per thousand impressions through Facebook’s CPM network. A tutorial on Facebook Ads is outside the scope of this article. But trust me, it’s fairly intuitive. And the idea is to write and share, then “boost” selected posts however far you want. $20 a post for your first few is plenty. Once you have your audience growing, you can elect to let it grow organically, occasionally boost, or boost all your posts. That part is up to you and is dependent on your online marketing goals. Again, the idea here is to pick a few popular hubs and get the ball rolling.
So this is basically what inbound marketing is all about. It’s about letting your prospects find you rather than broadcasting your marketing message to the masses hoping it reaches a prospective customer (as in traditional outbound marketing). No need to be overwhelmed. No time like the present, as they say. So why wait? Go ahead and take the plunge!