Inbound marketing is when your customers come to you without being directly asked to. Sounds great, right? Imagine cutting your marketing costs drastically by reducing or eliminating many of your company’s traditional outbound efforts. Though the term inbound marketing is relatively new, the general concept has been around forever. To many, it sounds too good to be true – and without the right approach, it can be.
Though inbound marketing can allow us to decrease the amount of dependence, time and money spent on some of the traditional outbound techniques like direct mail or radio, most often it doesn’t provide an instant or overnight solution. Those that have this perception of inbound marketing will fail to utilize it to its maximum potential. These individuals will join a long list of naysayers; probably the same naysayers that are now scrambling to catch up because they said social media was just a fad.
The truth is, though outbound marketing can still be an incredibly valuable asset to any company, the industry is moving away from it because it can be incredibly costly and let’s face it, people just don’t respond as well as they used to. Like most things that will benefit your company, utilizing inbound marketing takes time. You’ve got to develop and cultivate an audience that is willing to come to you on its own – rather than be asked to. So how do you go about attracting the attention of such an audience?
There’s only one place to start and that’s with a company blog. Use it to consistently share the insight you have about your industry with the rest of the world via the web. In the simplest sense, inbound marketing begins to take effect when you utilize the blog to regularly generate quality content that others find valuable and wish to share again and again.
When you have interesting, helpful or thought provoking knowledge to share on a regular basis, people will come to you to hear it. They’ll talk about it amongst themselves and share the information across the web and social media at your benefit. By encouraging and participating in the conversation surrounding your brand and your industry, you have the opportunity to benefit from inbound marketing with every new piece of valuable content your create. Be mindful that the results are not instantaneous. It takes time to build a repository of valuable content to use, as well as time for people to start noticing it. That being said, you should probably get started!