With all of the changes that have taken place in the marketing realm over the past few years, it is easy to see how anyone (even us marketers, sometimes) can be confused by some of the new terms that are floating around out there. These days, change happens quickly and constantly. It is your job to identify what matters most to your business.
If nothing else, learn this term: inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing integrates SEO, social media marketing and content marketing in order to generate traffic, leads and sales online. This is in contrast to outbound marketing activities, such as traditional advertising, cold calling and direct mail. The term, “inbound marketing,” was coined by Hubspot founder, Brian Halligan.
Inbound marketing works to establish a relationship with the prospect based on the ability to create or add value. When you provide the customer with useful information (on your blog, via podcast or video, whitepaper, e-book, etc.), you demonstrate your expertise, establish thought leadership, and build the foundation for an ongoing relationship. Then, you expand upon this value-based relationship to convert the prospect into a customer.
All good things come in three’s.
There are three phases involved in a successful inbound marketing strategy:
Phase 1: Get found – The goal here is not only to increase traffic to your website, but to get the right traffic.
Phase 2: Convert – Once you “get found” by the right audience, generate leads.
Phase 3: Analyze – Track everything. Learn what is and is not working and identify opportunities to generate more of the right kind of traffic and leads.
And, it’s awesome.
Check out some of the benefits of a successful inbound marketing strategy. We’ll discuss how to achieve these in detail in future posts.
• Prospects are knocking on your door, instead of you knocking on theirs.
• Increased brand awareness.
• Everything is measurable, so you know what is and is not performing and can make adjustments in real time.
• Clear link between marketing efforts and ROI.
• Better data on who customers are and what they want, which equips the sales team with better intelligence before they make their first touch.