Inbound Marketing: Catching Leads From A Sea Of Prospects
In our ever-constant, noisy world, marketing efforts are more crucial than ever for your business’ success. With inbound and outbound marketing efforts constantly being thrown in our faces, the difference between the two becomes skewed. To clarify the difference between inbound and outbound marketing, take a second to visualize two scenarios:
A nomad, shrouded in animal hide, equipped with a spear, is trudging through shallow water searching for fish. A fishing pro, the nomad stabs at every fish in sight. He needs no bait.
Fast forward to today, in that same river, a fisherman approaches the water and takes a seat along the bank. Equipped with his tackle box and fishing rod, the fisherman waits patiently for a bite on the bait. Minutes go by, and suddenly, a fish bites on; the fisherman begins reeling in the fish frantically.
Although it might seem unparalleled, these two scenarios seamlessly relate to both inbound and outbound marketing approaches. In the first scenario, the nomad represents outbound marketing—also known as the push marketing approach. He doesn’t let the fish come to him, he goes out and finds them.
With outbound marketing, the company or brand starts the conversation with the consumer, ultimately leading to more work and initiative. In today’s society, outbound marketing is beginning to lose its effectiveness. Consumers see the approach as interruptive and salesy, and they are conditioned to ignore these tactics.
On the other hand, we have the fisherman patiently waiting for fish to be attracted to his bait—this represents inbound marketing. His bait was found naturally by the fish, just like with inbound marketing. With inbound marketing, customers find you and initiate the interaction either through direct contact or by filling out a form. These efforts are often fueled by content creation, social media and blogging.
Today, inbound marketing has become a more effective way to reach your target audiences. In fact, according to a study by Hubspot, “79% of companies that have a blog reported a positive ROI.” This is because it allows customers to fully engage and get to know a brand by having an open sense of communication, returning power to the consumer.
When planning your marketing strategy, be the fisherman who allows leads to come to him. You want to draw in leads with compelling content rather than hunting prospects one-by-one.
Leah Hillegas is a current Advertising Major at Temple University interning at Flackable, a national financial public relations and digital marketing agency. Learn more at www.flackable.com. Follow Leah on Twitter at @leahhillegas.