What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is slowing becoming one of the main focuses for B2B marketers and an increasing buzz topic in the business world. I think it’s worth a more in-depth look considering everyone blogging about it  and proclaiming  it’s going to change the way we handle marketing campaigns and business relations in the future.

Advertisers, product managers and other B2B professions are tossing this phrase around like it’s a hot new movie, however just what the heck is inbound marketing and why is it so important to business?

Business experts talk in circles about vague reasons why it’s a more effective method than outbound marketing, and assume that you’ll know what the heck they’re talking about while having an opinion of your own.

Here’s how I define it: Inbound marketing is any strategy where you create an environment which allows the potential customer to come to you. The customer, by showing interest in your product or service, actually makes the first move in establishing a relationship. Pretty straight forward, however, it encompasses more than you’d initially think.

Why Inbound Marketing is Become Vital

With social engagement, social media and the 24/7 blogging trends of the modern internet age, inbound marketing has never been more important for B2B businesses. Inbound marketing has become an effective way to bring in residual leads.

Passive engagement through blogs, combined with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr is a great tactic to acquire customers. It allows potential customers to stumble upon the content you publish, simply by chance. Then, once they have an interest in what you have to say, they become a lead.

A big advantage of inbound marketing is it doesn’t irritate customers. Constantly bludgeoning people with outbound marketing tactics (traditional television commercials, radio ads, emails, and printed signs) will actually have the opposite effect. Potential customers will become annoyed and ignore you out of spite, or negatively associate your brand. Another advantage is that, if strategized correctly, the leads will be an easier sell since they already know your company and have identified an obvious pain-point.

Aspects of Inbound Marketing

One of the main goals for B2B marketers is to create opportunities and lead gen, while positioning your company to be the market/thought leader. We’ve seen the ways content marketing can expand your brand while becoming a prominent influencer. However, many fail to harness the lead gen aspect of effective inbound marketing.

Quite possibly the simplest, and most effective, way to capture the leads is to place a gateway on your content.

Requiring contact info for:

  • White papers
  • Ebooks
  • Blog posts
  • Videos

Will immediately return the ROI of content marketing and revamp the entire inbound marketing process. Make sure your content provides relevant information — quality is essential for inbound marketing. Your potential customers need to feel as if they are receiving fundamental inside knowledge that will improve their process.

This will also positively correlate your company when it’s time to make a sale.

If you don’t want to be up in their faces, you must approach your potential customers inbound marketing style — put the power in their hands. It gives them the (illusion of) control.

At the end of the day inbound marketing is passive yet effective. I’m a proponent of this tactic, what about you?