What is Inbound Marketing and How Does it Differ from Outbound Marketing?

Traditional marketing methods are often referred to as outbound marketing as they rely on the marketer pushing their message as far and wide as possible in the hopes that it will reach those that may be interested. This needle-in-the-haystack approach may have worked well in the past but that market is changing rapidly and companies that wish to remain successful will have to keep up. Trade shows, seminars, outsourced telemarketing, and traditional advertising have been great ways to promote your business in the past but these methods are losing effectiveness for two main reasons:

  1. The average North American consumer is inundated with thousands ads, like-requests, and emails every day and we have gotten very good at tuning them out; and

  2. It is generally more convenient and cost effective to perform most tasks online instead of in person: for example, webinars are quickly overtaking seminars in popularity and attendance.

Instead of wasting time, money, and effort on outdated strategies that no longer work, turn your marketing into something that your customers will seek out by providing useful, helpful, and relevant information. Turn your website into a hub for your industry by addressing hot button issues and relying on earning people’s interest rather than trying to buy it. Modern day audiences do not have time to be bored and have a very short average attention span so the best success a business can have is by attracting visitors naturally.

Inbound marketing seeks to help your website get found by the type of people who are looking for what you provide. Many companies rely mainly on outbound marketing with only a small fraction of the budget set aside for inbound marketing but ideally this should be reversed. Not only is inbound marketing more effective it is also about 60% less expensive per lead as you are focusing your efforts on the consumers that more likely to convert.

70% of the links clicked on Google are organic links, not paid advertising, and potential customers are more likely to listen to your previous customers’ reviews than they are to accept your advertising promises. This demonstrates a clear bias against traditional advertising which is only confirmed by the extremely high rates of cancellation for elective newsletters: over 90% of email subscribers have at some point decided to opt-out of a subscription they previously signed up for. Even on well-liked websites intrusive, irrelevant, or too much advertising can have a significant negative impact on whether or not users will return with 84% of 25-34 year olds stating that they have left a favourite website due to the advertising.

Search engines, blogging, and social media have fundamentally changed how customers interact with businesses and with each other and companies that continue to use blanket marketing techniques will find their success diminished greatly. Remember, 79% if adult Americans use the Internet regularly and of these people 78% research products and companies online before purchasing. If your company does not have a strong online presence and an inbound marketing strategy, you are bound to be missing out on valuable connections.

By: Tyson Huggins

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