Inbound marketing may be a methodology that draws (versus interrupts like outbound marketing) users with experiences personalized to their wants, challenges, and interests. Strategies like email marketing, program optimization (SEO), and content marketing all work as inbound marketing strategies.
What is inbound marketing, though? How did it start? Why does it work? How can businesses use it?
These are all excellent questions, and this inbound marketing guide answers all of them . Keep reading to find out all about inbound marketing and obtain actionable advice for launching your inbound marketing strategy.
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The definition of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing refers to any marketing activities that bring people in, as against marketers having to succeed in bent them. It also can be summed up as any quite activity that earns attention, as against an activity that pays for it.
Inbound marketing is typically something that was desired by the person consuming it, as against something that was offered or exposed to someone without their permissions or desire for it. this is often why you’ll also sometimes hear inbound marketing called “permission marketing” (a term coined by author Seth Godin).
Examples of inbound marketing
A few samples of inbound marketing are blog posts, podcasts, emails, social media posts, and videos. In contrast, a couple of samples of marketing that might not be considered inbound—also referred to as outbound marketing—are commercials, spam , cold calls, and spam email.
Do you see the difference?
Inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing
Inbound marketing methods are sought out and consumed by those that have a desire for them, or who are trying to find them in their time of need. On the opposite hand, outbound marketing methods tend to be intrusive, unwanted, or maybe spammy.
As time goes on, consumers are learning to tune out outbound marketing methods, or are even finding ways to avoid them. for instance , when a television commercial comes on, a consumer may simply change the channel. A spam email may automatically be filtered to the “spam” folder, or deleted without being read. those that rely solely on these methods are finding that they’re not as effective as they once were…nor do they supply the specified return on investment.
Inbound marketing, on the opposite hand, gives marketers an opportunity to “earn their way in.”
For example, rather than a television commercial, a corporation may produce an in depth how-to guide or blog post. When the buyer needs it, they’re going to find it during a search, and become conscious of that company. This earns more trust than an intrusive commercial, and should even have a better ROI.
As mentioned, inbound marketing brings people in, as against requiring marketers to succeed in out. this is often the crucial difference between the 2 .
How did inbound marketing start?
Along with asking “What is inbound marketing?” you’ll be wondering how this new sort of marketing came to be. Truthfully, inbound marketing has been around for several years, and lots of companies are using it—but the term “inbound marketing” wasn’t coined until 2005.
Brian Halligan, CEO and co-founder of HubSpot, a marketing software company, came up with the term to explain this sort of selling . In 2009, Halligan and fellow HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah, released a book on the subject titled Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs.
In addition to making the term and methodology, HubSpot also developed a flywheel to demonstrate the inbound marketing process. This flywheel grew to encompass not only marketing but also sales and customer service.
The flywheel features three components:
Attract: The “attract” element focuses on reaching and bringing your audience to you, like with helpful blog posts, funny social media content, or optimized content for search. Attraction strategies center on generating audience-focused resources that your audience can find easily.
Engage: The “engage” component revolves around communication. How you engage with clients and leads, whether on social media, over the phone, or via email, influences their decision when it involves choosing your business, products, and services.
Delight: The “delight” element centers on customer retention. you would like to stay your clients happy and satisfied, also as motivated to recommend your business to others. This stage combines both attract and have interaction , as you still provide resources and communicate.