Inbound marketing is a fairly new term. Its concept is not new, just revised and developed. There are many days when I tell someone my job title or give them my business card, and they say, "Inbound Marketing Consultant, what's that?" And the explanation begins. Next time you're talking to someone about what you do every day or the type of marketing strategy you use, you'll easily be able tell them what inbound marketing is and what it isn't.
Inbound marketing isn't a trend. Inbound marketing is here to stay. It's not a trend, it's a methodology. It may seem new to some people, but it's really just a modern take on human marketing. It's what we've been waiting for all along, as both a consumer and a marketer. Inbound marketing has revolutionized the way we look at how prospects search for information and making buying decisions. Inbound uses the methodology of attract, covert, close, and delight, when it comes to website visitors. It also utilizes a variety of channels including social media, blogging, SEO, email, landing pages, and forms.
Inbound marketing isn't about selling. It's much more than that. As marketing makes this paradigm switch, we have started to notice that selling isn't about selling anymore, it's about people. Inbound marketing gives you the tools to answer questions, provide solutions, and attract your ideal customers. Essentially, as a marketer, you are now a problem-solver.
Inbound marketing isn't interrupting people. Inbound marketing works like a magnet instead of a bumble bee. Consumers generally believe ads to be intrusive, always buzzing around their heads, waiting for a moment to land in front of their face. They consider ads annoying, even obnoxious at times. Buying habits have changed and therefore marketing habits had to as well. Now we know that the best way to get people to engage is to give them what they're looking for. Attract them like a magnet to a beautiful site where they can find what they need, learn, and make an educated decision.
Inbound marketing is content centered. Unlike old marketing techniques that harass people via cold calling and direct mailing, inbound uses content centered strategies. Knowing where your ideal customers go to shop is key. Do they spend time searching LinkedIn? Do they use Twitter or Facebook? Do they enjoy educating themselves on topics via blogs? Or do they prefer to download detailed eBooks to read at a later time? The beauty of inbound marketing is that it works with all of these types of content. It's a content centered methodology that considers its buyer personas and how best to attract them to it.
Inbound marketing is about humans. This is the basis for all things inbound. We are no longer hammering ads and products into consumers' heads. We are no longer bombarding them with things we think they want. Instead, we listen, we understand, and we empathize with our prospects. We don't push our sales on them. We provide them with information they need to make an informed buying decision. People don't want to feel like they are interacting with a robot online. They want to know they are talking to a human and forming a thriving relationship.
Inbound marketing is about trust. Just as I mentioned above, human to human marketing is about relationships. It's about forming a trusting bond with your prospective customers. It's showing them you care by being there for them, answering their questions, providing feedback, and educating them. Once you prove to them you have their best interest, they will seek you out. They will continuously choose you over your competitors. They may even become brand evangelists. This is the successful and proven cycle of inbound marketing.
What we do know about inbound marketing is that it's fresh, it's real, and it's evolving. Next time someone asks you, "What's inbound marketing?", you'll know exactly how to answer. You can work happy knowing that you're in the new age of marketing. You'll be satisfying your prospects before you know it and easily turning them into customers.