When trying to find new customers, businesses are often tempted to send out their message, blindly hoping that it will reach someone interested in their services. Strategies that push out a message (like direct mail, cold calling, print ads, and press releases) are known as outbound marketing. Inbound marketing, also known as content marketing, focuses on developing relationships with potential customers by creating helpful content that is available to everyone. This two-way communication approach engages customers with your business.
Think of it this way: With outbound marketing, you are shouting your message in a crowded area. Your shouts are easy to ignore because it’s not hard for the crowd to tune out your shouts and keep walking. Not to mention that you are not the only one shouting messages to the crowd – there are others trying to do the exact same thing. Because of this over exposure to messages, yours isn’t getting through. But even if you do get through to an interested crowd member, no one is going to try to talk to someone shouting to a crowd; it’s impersonal, and awkward.
Now imagine that you’ve set up a booth in this crowd. You’re giving out things that the crowd wants, like food. Because the crowd is drawn in by something they want, they come to you instead of you pushing your message to them. By handing stuff out, you are able to have a personal, one-on-one conversation that makes the crowd member feel taken care of.
It is the same way with marketing. People are bombarded with an overwhelming number of messages every day. Some are relevant, and some are not – but a lot of them are ignored regardless. With inbound marketing, you create content that brings in potential customers. This could include blogs, social media, videos, and search engine optimization. Creating a more personal experience by providing helpful information for potential and current customers is much more effective than just shouting your message and hoping it resonates with someone.
Inbound marketing can be time consuming; creating content is not always easy. On the other hand, it is cost effective. Traditional outbound marketing is typically much more expensive than inbound marketing techniques.
Are you stuck using traditional outbound marketing techniques? Contact us to find out what inbound marketing can do for your business. Feel free to post questions in the comments, give us a call at (501) 683-7229, email us, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.