Inbound Marketing Explained for Small Business
Inbound marketing grew out of the shifts from traditional marketing and advertising like billboards, direct mail, radio and TV ads, and paper-based directories to online marketing where customers search for businesses and information about their products online. Traditional marketing is becoming increasingly less effective. TV viewers skip commercials, almost half of all direct mail is unopened, and today’s gadgets put information at our fingertips leaving paper-based directories piled in recycle bins.
While these traditional methods are failing, small business is discovering that customers expect a company to be online and that blogging brings in 50 percent more website visitors than companies that don’t provide that frequent online content. Useful online content that answers prospective customers questions is the way to build leads. One concern small business has with inbound marketing is the time and effort required to create content. But, frequently small business overlooks the savings from abandoned traditional marketing methods that offset those costs. In fact, studies shows that inbound marketing leads cost an average of 60 percent less.
The inbound marketing term was coined by Brian Halligan of HubSpot (an inbound marketing specialization company) in 2005. I would define inbound marketing as a strategy for how to use online marketing tools effectively. Some would say it is a solution set for online marketing. Really, it is both. HubSpot’s wiki entry states it is especially effective for small businesses that deal with customers who invest high-dollar values, devote time to long research cycles , and purchase knowledge-based products. When these sales cycle characteristics are present, prospective customers spend a lot of time researching and buy from the company that demonstrates expertise with budget in mind, of course. But the key is, to capture the prospects’ attention, convert them to leads, then convert them to customers, upsell to higher margin products or services, analyze, and repeat with justified modifications designed to increase conversion rates.
What is Inbound Marketing, Show Me!
So after that introduction to inbound marketing’s history and why it is important, let’s jump right to The Whole Brain Group’s awesome infographic that provides a super simple explanation. The infographic compares inbound marketing to traditional marketing strategies and outlines how inbound marketing strategy works. After you have checked it out, comment to let us know if you have had success with inbound marketing or what is keeping you from investing in an inbound marketing strategy.
Courtesy of: The Whole Brain Group
Comment below to let us and your fellow small business owners know your experiences!