Inbound marketing is based on the concept of earning the attention of prospects, making yourself easy to be found and drawing customers to your website. Blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, SEO, social media marketing are considered inbound marketing. In contrast, buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, telemarketing and traditional advertising are considered “outbound marketing.” The inbound marketing term was coined by HubSpot’s Brian Halligan, in 2005. According to HubSpot, inbound marketing is especially effective for small businesses that deal with high dollar values, long research cycles and knowledge-based products. In these areas prospects are more likely to get informed and hire someone who demonstrates expertise.
- Attract traffic
- Convert visitors to leads
- Convert leads to sales
- Turn customers into repeat higher margin customers
- Analyze for continuous improvement
Inbound marketing was founded on the basis that traditional marketing and advertising like billboards and TV spots have become less effective. One info graphic showed that 86 percent of viewers skip commercials and 44 percent of recipients never open direct mail. In contrast companies that blog have 50 percent more website visitors than those that don’t and inbound marketing leads cost 60 percent less on average. One criticism of inbound marketing is the time and effort required to create content (i.e. why who hire out someone to help you with this!!). HubSpot suggests today customers conduct online research and contact the vendor closer to the moment of making a decision, in this way, customers become more informed on their own and sales teams are used more efficiently.