Since the inception of the Internet, marketing has evolved from the days of the family sitting around the TV in the living room, watching a smoking turtle sell them dishsoap, to a completely interconnected digital web that encompasses social media, text, video, it’s literally everywhere with users accessing and sharing information on a plethora of mobile devices.
Consumers are no longer bombarded by flashing neon lights, billboards and the dreaded telemarketing phone call during dinner that traditional or outbound marketing relied on, in the digital frontier, consumers are looking to be engaged in the process and you have to establish a two-way conversation, one that is entertaining or educational and solves an immediate need. Digital consumers want to be in control of what they choose to watch and how they choose to watch it. This is known as Inbound Marketing.
In 2012 a study found 44% of direct mail is never opened. That’s a huge waste of money and paper. It’s not the environments fault you can’t adapt.
90% of viewers skip the television commercials since TiVo was invented.
84% of 25 to 34 year olds have left website because of a “spammy ad.”
The cost per lead in outbound marketing is way more expensive than effective inbound marketing leads.
Inbound marketing is mostly facilitated over social media platforms and therefore with the explosion of social media it makes sense to see this form of marketing communication evolving. For the small business owner the question becomes how do I transition my marketing strategy and budget from traditional outbound marketing methods, which are increasingly failing to produce results, to the modern interactive methods of inbound marketing?
To take advantage of inbound marketing you must first understand what emotional triggers and needs that this type of marketing effects and the consumers it is engaging. Whereas outbound marketing was a one-sided communication with the radio ad or TV ad telling consumers what to do, or where to go, inbound marketing requires advertisers to earn the consumers trust and attention by providing meaningful and engaging content, that provides a service or answers a question immediately, and provides options to purchase additional goods and services alongside the entertaining or educational content the consumer is engaged with.
The business that understands how to produce affective content that can engage consumers and convince them to take the step of sharing your content in their social circles, with their friends and family, will find great success through inbound marketing methods, and will achieve an outstanding ROI because this type of content is evergreen. Focus on answering an immediate need that your reader to your website might have based on the keywords that have caused them to click on your link and visit your site. Try to use methods of conveying the information that engage the consumer and encourage them to take action or give feedback, such as videos, white papers, infographics, blog comments, quizzes, polls or podcasts. These inbound marketing methods hold the consumer’s attention and if the consumer finds value in your content, these methods are easily shared across multiple social platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
Making the Transition.
As you evolve your old marketing strategy, whether it was e-mail spamming, print advertising, radio advertising, or even banner ads, over to more effective inbound marketing methods, focus on adapting your current methods to fit with the inbound marketing. As an example, if you have a large e-mail list that you blast product offers or service offers to, instead of abandoning those leads, why not write a series of informative e-mails that engage and inform your prospect and ask for them to be involved and give feedback? If in the past you relied heavily on cold calling, why not put the phones to work gathering polling information as a means of collecting data to provide better services to the people you contact? You could always give them the address to your website during the conversation and instead of being a bother; these people will perceive you as providing a service!
Regardless of the exact methods you use to adapt an inbound marketing strategy to your business advertising, the most important part is that you focus on engaging your customer, solve an immediate need or service and make it easy for the customer to feel involved in the process. Adapting inbound marketing to your business plan will bring you many more loyal customers and much success into the future!