An Inbound Marketing Approach For Your Business

Are You An Innie or An Outie?

How many of you out there are guilty of making trips to the bathroom and/or refrigerator during a break from your favorite television show? (Put down that mask; we all know who you are.) Many commercials are ignored because they are about as welcome as ants invading a picnic. One survey cited 86% as the number of viewers who never watch commercials.

Effective marketing is vital to the success of any business. Think of it as a giant tuna net cast over an infinite population of perspicacious fish who are mesmerized by its promise to improve their lives with its product or service.

For many decades, outbound marketing techniques such as billboards, cold calling, television and radio commercials, flyers, telemarketing and direct mail have been utilized to capture as many fish …er customers as possible. They push, shove and cram their messages as far down consumers’ throats as possible seeking that proverbial needle (or in this case, the potential customer hiding in the haystack and seeking refuge from the constant barrage of phone calls).

The average person is inundated with 2,000 outbound marketing interruptions daily and highly annoyed consumers have figured out ways to “bam spam”. Spam filtering, Tivo, Sirius satellite radio and Caller ID have sounded the death knell of many outbound marketing operations.

Inbound marketing draws customers in rather than reaching out and grabbing them in places too impolite too mention. It focuses on sustaining a buyer’s attention rather than seizing it with a death grip. Being an innie means utilizing search engine optimization techniques (SEO), which will target and screen potential customers who are ALREADY interested in your product or service. (No haystack search here; this is a direct hit on the soft sell head.)

The success of an inbound marketing campaign will depend on the level of “pre-meditated savvy” employed in the selection of those techniques that will best promote your particular product or service. Although inbound marketing currently accounts for only about 20% of most marketing budgets, more and more this percentage is growing as marketers realize their brand message must shift its distribution from business to consumers in order to be successful.

Inbound marketing is less intrusive and leads cost 60% less on average than outbound varieties. Opponents claim that the time and effort required to create inbound marketing content offsets its cost. While it may be true that blogs, videos and white papers take more time to create, unlike media or pay-per-click ads, they can be recycled indefinitely via social marketing venues.

Bob Dylan once wrote about the “times that are a-changing.” Marketing has always been based on traditional methods but since the hegemony of the Internet in the last decade or so, there has been a shift in media power. For all of its ubiquity, television cannot offer a communion of dialogue between buyer and seller but social media can and does.

A successful inbound marketing campaign will offer useful website content, effective search engine optimization (SEO) and social media exposure via Facebook (500 million members so far), Twitter, forums, webinars and RSS feeds to spread your content to potential customers.

Become an innie and leave the world of the outies behind.

Inbound marketing is the wave of the marketing future and a powerful tool for the emerging entrepreneur.