definition of inbound marketing
So while you were searching for tips on your internet marketing campaign, you came across someone mentioning inbound marketing and how it is simply the most important form of marketing out there. But as a business owner you have no idea what that is or why in the world it’s theoretically so important. Here is an inbound marketing definition to help ease your confusion and hopefully set you in the right direction for improving your customer base.

The most simplistic way of explaining the definition of inbound marketing is to explain what it is not. The old way of internet marketing, buying ads or sending mass emails to bought email lists, is called outbound marketing. The advertising would interrupt another action or would market to people who may or may not be interested and frankly is a bit of a roundabout way of getting customers.

Inversely, inbound is creating and publishing quality content and increasing your online presence to bring people to your page because you are in line with the personal interests they already have. You want to target the correct audience to ensure that they land on your page as opposed to bombarding people with a lot of information randomly and hoping someone is interested rather than annoyed.

Here’s a general idea of how it works:

Let’s say that a person is preparing to go on vacation to a ski resort and they need to buy a new winter jacket. They get on a search engine and look up “Best winter jacket for skiing”. Up pop several pages and after looking around at blogs and websites, the person decides to buy one. It just so happens that your company sells winter jackets and because of your web content and overall presence online, your inbound marketing tactics were successful and it was your jacket that she bought.

And while it sounds very simple, it takes quite a bit of purposeful work. Inbound marketing is made up of four actions that must be completed to be successful.

  1. Attract by implementing blogs, social media, and SEO to gain attention from potential customers.
  2. Convert visitors into leads by getting their contact information. Do this providing a call-to-action, like watching a video or downloading information. If they did not decide to buy right away you
  3. Close the deal by sending out emails related to their chosen call-to-action to garner more interest. Once they have become a customer continue the process to keep them around by causing
  4. Delight in the customer. Keep providing them with useful information and introduce them to new products or services through more calls to action and tailored emails. The goal is to keep them excited and happy so they continue to buy from you.

To get the best results you’ll want to hire, or at least consult, a marketing professional to help you figure out the most effective course of actions for your particular business.

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photo credit: Armando Maynez via photopin cc