Inbound marketing is a relatively new philosophy in the world of online marketing. It is a customer centered approach that focuses on providing quality educational or entertaining content to drive traffic to your website, thus creating prospects that can be transformed into leads, and eventually into customers. Many of the online marketing techniques used in the past have had a distinct focus on the marketer. This traditional marketing (or outbound marketing) uses loud, flashy, interruptive advertisements to try to grab the viewer’s attention and push products and services on them. Inbound marketing throws this approach out the window, and shifts attention to attracting customers by use of quality content that the viewer is interested in or looking for, as well as utilizing SEO practices and social media presence.
One of the first steps of any inbound marketing strategy is to create a buyer persona or multiple buyer personas. A buyer persona is a representation of the type of customer that you are trying to reach with your product or service. Buyer personas are used throughout the inbound marketing methodology to effectively target your content to make it more attractive to your ideal customers.
Attract Your Ideal Customer
Inbound marketing involves attracting the right customer to your product. If done right, an inbound marketing strategy can create quality leads that are genuinely interested in your product or service. This makes them much easier to sell to, and leads that have been closed on can even become promoters of your business. This is all part of the inbound methodology.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is one of the core concepts of the inbound methodology. Optimizing your website for the most popular search engines will help the right customer find your website through organic search.
Social Media Publishing and Monitoring
Social media is an important tool for any inbound marketing strategy. Social media can be used to distribute your quality content, create more content, establish direct relationships, and even gather data on existing customers.
Another core concept of inbound marketing is educating your potential customers. This step is crucial in attracting visitors to your website. Publishing quality educational content with your buyer personas in mind can attract the perfect customer. Blogging can also serve as a way to improve your SEO value.
This is the core difference between inbound and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing is interrupt based marketing. The marketer interrupts a large target audience with an advertisement with the hope that a percentage of people will interact with the ad, and eventually turn into a customer. Inbound marketing is permission marketing. This means communicating in a way the audience has given you permission to.