Have you noticed that your traditional marketing efforts aren’t working as well as they used to?

Perhaps you’re feeling pressure from your boss to justify all the money you’re spending on advertising and events like trade shows?

If so, Inbound Marketing could be the solution you need.

The best way to describe Inbound Marketing is to compare it to Outbound Marketing.

Outbound Marketing is the advertising you see on TV, hear on radio, and read in print vehicles like newspapers, magazines and direct mail. It’s referred to as “outbound” because, by definition, it is pushing a message “out” to the total potential target audience at any given point in time.

In essence, Inbound Marketing is the opposite of Outbound Marketing.

Inbound Marketing is the process of using helpful “digital” content like blogs, eBooks, podcasts and online videos, social media, and search engine optimization to attract your target audience to your website like a magnet, landing pages with forms to capture leads, and marketing automation tactics like drip email to nurture those leads to the point that they become willing buyers of your products or services.

It is referred to as “inbound” because, by definition, the process pulls customer prospects “in” to discover what you and your business are all about.

The Problem With Outbound Marketing

Traditional Outbound Marketing inevitably tries to sell things to people before they’re ready to buy. It forces a message upon the whole universe of customer prospects whether or not they happen to be in a buying cycle for your product or service at that particular point in time.

As you can imagine, this represents a huge waste in marketing spending. Unless consumers are currently in the market for your product or service, they’ll naturally resent being “interrupted” by your unsolicited marketing messages (like you feel every time your dinner gets interrupted by a telemarketer).

To make matters worse for Outbound Marketers, advances in technology have given consumers the ability to “tune out” these interruptive messages. They now use their PVR to skip over your TV commercials, SiriusXM to avoid your radio spots, and SPAM protection to block out your unwanted emails. Admit it … you do this too!

The Advantages of Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing lead generation tactics are inherently very efficient because customer prospects will automatically initiate the process themselves when they begin a buying process for your type of product or service.

Their buying process always starts with a research phase, and having your valued “digital” content easy to find online as they start their Google searching is appreciated rather than resented.

They will voluntarily give you their name and contact information in exchange for information they need to help them make a more informed buying decision. Provided that you don’t try to sell them something immediately and systematically nurture them by providing ongoing access to more helpful information as they move through the buying cycle, they’ll start to like you, and trust you, and want to do business with you. Makes sense, right?

Companies that focus on Inbound Marketing tactics have a 61% lower cost per lead than companies that use outbound tactics exclusively. Furthermore, Inbound Marketing is an investment rather than an expense, because all aspects of the program can be tracked so you can calculate the ROI on your marketing efforts.

So … could your business benefit from Inbound Marketing?