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Inbound Marketing is the Future

June 22nd, 2011 · 2 Comments · Marketing

Big Ideas:

  • Traditional advertising is becoming less effective.
  • Content marketing is the most cost effective way to generate leads and build trust.

Advertising is Dead

“Marketing in the future is like sex. Only the losers will have to pay for it.” Jon Bond via FastCompany

With print, TV and radio all suffering from declining viewership, traditional advertising is losing it’s effectiveness. Internet based content and applications are decimating print, radio and television based media sources so it only makes sense that marketing dollars are shifting to the web.

Of course, there is still advertising on the internet but it has a drastically different dynamic. Online ads can be highly targeted and everything is completely measurable. The old shotgun approach to advertising is dying fast.

Outbound versus Inbound Marketing

Traditional advertising or outbound marketing is about broadcasting messages out to a mass audience. It includes TV and radio commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, direct mail, telephone soliciting, spam, event sponsorship, etc.

In contrast,  inbound marketing, is about attracting people already searching for your products and services. Instead of paying to market to a general audience, most of whom are not interested in your message anyway, inbound marketers create valuable content their target market is searching for.

Bloggers and internet focused businesses intimately understand the value of inbound marketing. Visitors to your website and social media outposts are the lifeblood of every forward thinking company. The most effective way to attract eyeballs is online content.

Most offline companies still haven’t made this realization. They are still blasting out newspaper ads, radio commercials to a mass audience trying their best to ignore the message. As consumers we are sick of being interrupted with advertising that doesn’t interest us.

Blogging for Business

The most cost-effective way to generate leads is to create valuable content that educates your potential clients. Write informative blog posts, case studies and ebooks that focus on substance over sales pitches.

  • If you want to sell custom WordPress set ups, teach your visitors how to use WordPress, search engine optimization and copywriting.
  • If you are a marketing agency, teach how to use CRM applications, crowdsourcing, social media and other key elements of the sales and marketing process.
  • If you are a real estate agency, focus on your neighborhood and write about everything happening in that area. Try to become an online hub, connecting everyone in the community.
  • If you are a restaurant, offer video cooking classes and share recipes.

People buy from people they know, like and trust. The best way to get noticed and established those bonds with customers is to create value, not spam them with cheesy sales pitches.

Action Items:

  • Start blogging helpful articles that are directly related to your potential customers’ needs.
  • Share valuable content from other sites on social media.
  • Write helpful ebooks, white papers or case studies that you give for free in exchange for email addresses.
  • Get comfortable with video, because it is the most effective way to teach complex tasks like how to use software or play a musical instrument.

More Links
Hubspot.com – the company that coined the term ‘inbound marketing.’
Content Marketing on Copyblogger.com.

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2 Comments »

Comment by Jannell
2011-06-24 20:17:54

Great post, John! I share your viewpoint and these suggestions are very helpful. Thank you.

 
Comment by Diana
2011-07-08 23:26:08

That’s interesting, I’d never heard of the term inbound marketing until now. What’s funny is once bloggers get people to their blog, they slap AdSense banners all over and it’s outbound marketing paying the bills all over again.

 
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