Simply put, inbound marketing, also commonly referred to as “pull” marketing, is the term used to describe the process of helping potential customers find a company. It’s a promotional strategy used by marketers whose main goal is to “pull” the customer to a product or service. It’s a softer, long game approach that is perfect for driving brand loyalty and repeat business rather than the opposing outbound marketing (or “push” marketing) tactic that seeks out customers to market products or services to. A “push” approach is generally used by businesses and marketers who are prioritising short-term sales.
Traditional, outbound methods used by businesses to market themselves typically include, print ads, radio ads, press releases, brochures, cold calling, direct mail campaigns, email marketing campaigns and newsletters. You will notice that each of these types of marketing goes out, hoping to find a receptive target audience and ideally grab their attention enough to carry out the desired call to action (call, visit your website, visit your showroom etc). They can sometimes be deemed intrusive by recipients – clogging up mailboxes with large, unwanted files and taking up precious time dealing with unwanted cold calls. Many recipients of this “push” approach find it slightly off putting and uncomfortable.
An inbound marketing strategy will use many “pull” tactics including content marketing, blog posts, search engine optimisation (SEO), social media and more, to attract and retain business. It focuses on creating useful, engaging, valuable content that makes recipients feel at ease rather than feel like they are being sold too. The content provided by inbound marketing is often educational, entertaining, and welcomed by consumers and allows them to connect with a company and take interest in developing a relationship with a brand. It naturally draws people in rather than getting pushed under their noses. Ultimately, successful inbound marketing will allow you to build brand awareness, develop relationships and obtain consistent lead generation. It’s an open invitation to engage, which will return better results for your business. However, as we have already mentioned, inbound marketing is a long-term strategy worth taking if you want to drive revenue and business growth.
The single biggest inbound marketing asset you have is your business website.
It’s true, your website is the best way of hooking in potential customers and reeling them in.
In order to generate leads and bring in more revenue, you want to go beyond a brochure style website where you simply tell customers who you are and what you do and move towards addressing your prospects or customers and their needs. For example, if you own a plumbing and heating company, you may well be proud of how polite and well-groomed your engineers are, but your prospects are not searching for “polite plumber” or “well-groomed boiler installer”. They’re looking for “emergency plumber” and “boiler repairs”.
Google is a massive fan of engagement, so if you want to rank well within its results you will need to create engaging content for your site. Without traction in the organic search results, your reach will be limited.
Focus on adding content to your site that;
- engages site visitors,
- provides valuable information,
- solves potential customer’s problems, and
- demonstrates how doing business with you will benefit them…
….and you won’t go far wrong.
There you have it. Inbound marketing is the art of pulling customers to your customers by creating high quality, relevant content that not only opens the doors for your business to engage and have a connection with people that are genuinely interested in what you have to say but will help your company rank higher in search results too. The knock-on effect? More leads to convert into revenue.