Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of inbound marketing or you’re at least familiar with the term. But what many marketers don’t know is why it works. Here we aren’t focusing on what inbound marketing is (because you can find that information all over the web) but instead on why it has allowed so many companies become successful marketers.
Out With the Old
To understand why inbound works, we need to first take a look at what caused the shift from outbound marketing to this new era of inbound. Outbound marketing tactics primarily take place offline and include purchasing newspaper ads or radio space, exhibiting at a trade show booth, or sending out a flyer in the mail. While these strategies have been effective in the past, this style of interruption marketing has become less convenient with the growth of the internet. Comparing products, reading reviews, and connecting with key stakeholders became easier by leveraging the internet which sparked the transition away from offline marketing. Prospects began doing their own research and sales and marketing needed to migrate online in order to keep up.
Give Them What They Want
Inbound marketing works because the notion behind it is simple– provide people with what they need. In turn this will help prospects come to you and become a lead. Your prospects have an unfulfilled need or are experiencing a challenge and inbound marketing closes that gap by providing educational content for that person’s or business’ challenge.
Build Better Relationships
Inbound marketing allows marketers to build better relationships with their prospects. By providing useful information without self-promoting, prospects are more trusting and likely to engage with your company by following you. If they see you as a trusted source of content, they are more likely to recommend you, purchase from you and in some cases, pay more for a product or service.
It Does the Work for you
Using an inbound marketing strategy, gone are the days of cold calling. Inbound relies on ‘pull marketing’ where prospects are drawn to the business rather than push marketing, which more or less explains itself.
People Love Free Stuff!
Inbound principles recommend offering premium content to your prospects free of charge. These are digital resources with useful information packaged into eBooks, comparison guides, or white papers. People love free stuff whether it’s offline or online which is what makes inbound so successful: give people the information they need, for free.
You’re Set up for Repeat Business
Building a community of followers and evangelists has become infinitely easier with the help of the internet and more importantly, social media. As more and more people follow, subscribe and comment on your content, more people see your content. This makes your marketing strategy extremely scalable as publishing a blog for 100 readers will not cost any more or take extra time to publish a blog for 100,000 readers. Building a base of fans also encourages repeat business as you can use specific types of content for customers.
A great example of why inbound marketing is so successful is Hubspot. This company that grew from an idea to over $100 million in revenue, using inbound marketing. Sparked from the frustration with receiving cold calls, Hubspot was created to align with this new way consumers are digesting information and has helped over 15,000 businesses launch successful inbound marketing strategies.
If that hasn’t convinced you of inbound’s success, check out this video.