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Developing an inbound marketing strategy is proving essential for today’s businesses looking to leverage the web as a business development tool. Customer attitudes and preferences have changed, and online businesses in particular need to understand how to adjust their marketing efforts to pull in the right eye balls. Here is an explanation of inbound marketing and why it is important for digital triumph.
Consumers need facts and advice in order to make wise purchases. No one is going to buy a major appliance, a vehicle, or even a new book without first obtaining background information on the item. In years past, this was accomplished by walking into the place of business and visiting with the salesperson. In this internet age, however, consumers have more efficient options. Inbound marketing is designed to supply people with the information they need through a variety of online channels, and to do so at the precise moment the information is needed.
Traditional outbound marketing tries to attract buyers by placing advertisements out into the world, with the hope that those looking to purchase the particular good or service will happen to notice. A billboard is an example of outbound marketing. These methods are not as effective as they once were. For example, television commercials – one of the most intrusive of all outbound strategies – have suffered greatly as technological advancements now allow people to record television, and then skip the commercials.
Consumers with even the most basic internet skills can navigate their way to the information they need to make a purchase. Within minutes, they can comparison shop, research a new product, or learn about a professional’s experience. The information is available not just using a search engine, but through a host of internet-based services, including social networking sites. Furthermore, there is no longer a need for consumers to be at home on their computers to have access. The proliferation of mobile devices is simply another reason inbound marketing works.
Businesses can capitalize on this shift in consumer behavior by building a strong, authoritative online presence. People want information they can use. They want information from a trustworthy source. Businesses developing an inbound marketing strategy should focus on presenting themselves as experts in the field. And unlike the experts of previous eras, successful marketers today make their expertise available for free, to everyone, on the internet. Acting as a resource creates credibility and goodwill, and ultimately leads to greater sales.
As might be expected, online businesses are well-positioned to make the most of an inbound marketing campaign. These businesses sell online, meaning the point of purchase is always nearby when consumers are searching for information on the internet. Online businesses should work to establish a network of websites and other points of contact to supply expert advice. Again, the purpose is to become an informational resource, and bring in new customers by giving them the advice they need, when they need it.
There is a lot of discussion taking place about inbound versus outbound advertising techniques. Some business owners may be asking themselves, what is inbound marketing, and do I need to pay attention? The answers to these questions are critical – especially for online businesses.