Inbound marketing is the current buzzword for a relatively new paradigm shift in the world of online or Internet marketing. It is new enough to be only mildly understood by many. Even practitioners often misrepresent it. But it is a distinct and important process and should be considered as a significant part of your current and ongoing search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Inbound marketing means taking a big leap of faith. For that reason alone it probably shouldn’t be your only approach. At least not initially. You will want to work yourself into it. Jumping blindly is probably not a good idea.
What Is Inbound Marketing
There are many definitions of inbound marketing. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia tells us, in part,
Inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers in contrast [to] buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, telemarketing and traditional advertising [which] are considered outbound marketing.”
I would go a step farther, as explained in this article, Inbound Marketing – A New Paradigm, to say that the process is more about giving than about selling. You need to give value in order to attract interested parties who, through observation of what you do, not what you say, become sold customers or clients.
Three Points To Consider About Inbound Marketing
- Honestly represent who you are and what you do.
- Give something of value freely to others.
- Cheerfully accept the business that comes as a result.
It is about what you show you are, not what you say you are. It is about what you actually do, not what you say you do. This process builds foundational trust which leads to those individuals, or companies, who want and/or need the products or services you offer coming to you and purchasing, or subscribing to, them.
Properly done, inbound marketing should require no call to action, though you may still utilize one. It should also require no, or only little, closing. In most cases the deal is already set when the client approaches you. The only thing left is to name the price and process the funds.
In the online world, inbound marketing is a powerful and successful strategy that can be applied to almost any product or service. It should be considered seriously, but learned thoroughly before application. It should be used wisely and with honest engagement or it will fail miserably. It is not for the weak of heart, nor for those lacking in sincerity. Trust me on this!