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Out with the Old, In with the New: Why Inbound Marketing is the Answer

Dustin Brackett
March 9, 2016

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Remember the days when your marketing plan centered around television commercials, radio spots, newspaper ads, and billboards?
How much of your marketing budget is spent on these tactics today? For most industries, the answer should probably be "very little". Consumers have changed, businesses have changed, buying habits have changed, so the way we market has had to change. Welcome to the era of inbound marketing. We have transitioned from a world where marketing was focused around being the loudest, buying the most marketing real estate (radio spots, tv commercials, magazine ads, direct mail, etc), and getting in front of everyone (whether they were a potential customer or not) to a world where being helpful has become the expectation. Attracting quality visitors and leads has become a game of providing great content, being helpful, and really understanding our customers. Just shouting "SALE!" as loud as we can doesn't work anymore. 
Let's dive into why inbound marketing may be the answer for your business.

1. Persona Development

Do you really, truly understand who you're targeting? Who your ideal clients are? Who your content is developed for? This was never a concern in the past because traditional (outbound) marketing was focused on mass marketing. We were never concerned with who we were reaching, just that maybe a small percentage of those we reached would be interested in our product, service, or business. Now, researching, developing, and utilizing personas is vitally important. We have to really understand who our target customers are, what they're interested in, what their story is, and why they need us.

2. Helpful Content

Content is king in marketing today. When you have a problem, what is the first thing you do? You Google it. Understanding what your personas are struggling with, what questions they have, and what solutions they may be looking for are how you can attract high quality traffic to your business. Providing helpful content through your blog, website, content offers (such as eBooks, whitepapers, videos, etc), and social media is one of the most successful ways to attract customers and move them through the buyer's journey. Thinking about customer acquisition from a helpful perspective instead of a strictly sales perspective is the way today's marketing is most successful. We, as a society, just tune out sales pitches.

3. Analytics

One of the hardest things to accomplish in business has always been proving ROI (return on investment) for your marketing initiatives. Do you know what the ROI is on your billboard campaign? Probably not. Inbound marketing gives us the ability to prove and improve ROI for our marketing campaigns. Figure out what is working and spend your time and money there. It also gives you the ability to spot an issue in your process much quicker. You'll be able to see where your content may not be resonating with your audience and adjust immediately.

4. Lead Nurturing

Do you have a  process to nurture your leads through the buyer's journey? Do you have leads that fall through the cracks? We've all been guilty of that in the past. Follow up is the secret to closing the sale. Through inbound marketing, you're able to provide great content that relates to the stage that your lead is in.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Not every lead is ready to see your pricing list or to receive a proposal. Some leads need more convincing that they have a problem, that there is a solution to that problem, or that the solution that you're offering could be the answer. Going right for the sale will alienate a large segment of your leads.

5. Captive Audience

How many times have you seen a billboard that you were actually interested in, but because you were driving, you ended up forgetting about it? It's probably happened to all of us. Reaching someone when they're not able to act can cause your business to lose potential leads. Through an inbound marketing campaign, you reach your potential customers on their terms. You won't reach them when they're not ready because the entire focus is on you attracting them when they're looking for you. This way, when someone sees your content, they're in a position to act!

Every business is different, but inbound marketing tactics have application and benefit for many industries. Don't take our word for it though, businesses of all sizes, locations, and industries have had success utilizing an inbound marketing approach. Check out case studies from Hubspot.

Inbound marketing isn't for every business. It may not be for your business, and that's fine. Interested to see if inbound could be the answer for your business? Get a FREE consultation with one of our inbound marketing specialists today!

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