Thanksgiving is a day for family reunions. It’s a time to catch up and reconnect with one another while simultaneously fielding invasive questions about general life choices, apartments, relationships, and careers. For all of you inbound marketers out there – we can’t really help you with the other stuff, but we can help you find a way to explain inbound marketing to everyone at your Thanksgiving dinner.

While your cousin is on the other side of the table blissfully talking up his new role at a law firm, here you are trying to explain the mysterious intricacies of what inbound is, why it works, and how you implement it as a strategy. It can be challenging to find the words to explain inbound for a few basic reasons:

  1. Inbound marketing is a relatively new concept. The definition and practices behind the industry are growing and changing every single day.
  2. To accept inbound as a legitimate strategy makes people uncomfortable because its core ideas contradict previous norms – and people always fight against what’s different.
  3. To explain inbound, your audience must have some basic knowledge of digital marketing, social media platforms, search engine functions, etc.

Let’s be honest: inbound is awesome – and you want your family to know why! But each person at your Thanksgiving dinner is different and, therefore, requires a different approach. So let’s go around the table.

The Parents

inbound marketing thanksgiving

Parents can be your biggest critics, but they’re also your biggest fans – so brag a little! Inbound marketers are expert researchers and writers. Campaigns need detailed informational content for emails, social media, landing pages, blog posts, ebooks, and more! Your content is specially designed to provide expertise for people on the topics that matter to them – and it takes a lot of legwork to get it there!

The Grandparents

inbound marketing thanksgiving

They’re used to old-fashioned and traditional marketing methods like sales calls. But inbound is more fun (for them and you) because it’s non-interruptive. Interruptive methods like telemarking are invasive, annoying, and they target the wrong people. By publishing helpful content, you build trust and establish your reputation as an expert. People who are seriously interested in your services contact you – instead of the other way around.

The Skeptical Uncle

inbound marketing thanksgiving

“These millennials and their Twittering.” The inbound marketing methodology is fresh and new, but it has also been proven successful. Organizations want to see a return on investment (ROI) with marketing methods and proof that their marketing tactics are making money for the business. Some might see non-traditional tactics as risky, but research shows that inbound campaigns are achieving higher returns on investments than traditional methods of marketing.

The Curious Kids

inbound marketing thanksgiving

When they ask, “What’s your job?” keep things simple and relate back to them. Their brain-banks of potential careers still only include teachers, firefighters, astronauts, and Olympians. Any kid today is familiar with the practice of going to the internet to solve a problem or answer a question. When people have questions about how to do something, it’s your job to have answers to those questions and to put those answers within easy reach on search engines like Google.

The Younger Sibling

How to Explain Inbound Marketing

Impress your little bro’ or sis’ with the fact that you know all about the latest and greatest apps, mobile technologies and websites before they’re even available. What’s cooler than being a trend predictor? It’s basically your job to be on the internet and social media all day and to know things other people don’t.

The Attorney Cousin

How to Explain Inbound Marketing

Becoming a lawyer is impressive and your cousin is probably pretty smart. But without some professional digital marketing help, odds are that his or her firm’s website and social media efforts look and function like mushy, half-baked apple pie. The basic outline might be alright, while the innards are confusing, unstructured and scare people away – inbound marketing would bake that stuff up really nicely.

The Aunt Who Makes The Gravy

Inbound Marketing Analogies

Your aunt makes perfect Thanksgiving gravy from scratch every year. It’s the best part of the dinner and goes on everything at the table. Good SEO is kind of like the gravy recipe. Many people simply buy it at the store and heat it up. But your aunt painstakingly mixes, adds ingredients, and stirs until it’s perfect. As an inbound marketer, you have to make sure websites have everything they need to achieve high rankings on search engines. Shortcuts and faked ingredients (like link and keyword stuffing) might seem like a good idea at the time, but you’ll pay for it later when Google drops the site’s rankings. It may take longer and require more effort to include SEO-friendly site aspects like backlinks, blog posts, landing pages and custom meta descriptions, but the end result is worth it!

Don’t let the inner workings of inbound marketing get you tongue-tied this Thanksgiving! Use these analogies to nail the question and answer portion of dinner and get down to what really matters – a delicious dinner and time with family and friends.