What Is Inbound Marketing?

what is inbound marketing

In marketing, we talk a lot about getting your brand out in front of the masses. After all, that’s how you make the big bucks, right? While that traditional form of marketing — often called outbound marketing, which we’ll discuss in detail next week — is important for your small business, there’s another strategy you might be missing: inbound marketing.

With inbound marketing, you’re focusing less on making the sale and more on making the introductions. It’s not a fast-talking carnival barker intent on getting you to buy tickets to the sideshow; it’s the unassuming booth at the edge of the circus grounds shrouded in beaded curtains and mystery that seems to whisper, “Come see what’s inside.”

So what is inbound marketing, and why does your small business need it? Here’s the scoop.

Inbound Marketing 101

Inbound marketing is all about content. It focuses on your owned media (like your website, social media channels and blog) and earned media (awards, accolades, press coverage, reviews, etc.).

In short, you’re luring customers in with information and resources, not paid ads or email campaigns.

Examples of inbound marketing include:

  • White papers
  • eBooks
  • How-to guides
  • Webinars
  • Blog posts
  • Social media pages
  • YouTube videos
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics

So what do all of these examples have in common? They’re all passive. You’re not interrupting a potential customer’s scrolling with a pop-up ad or piping your latest podcast straight into their living room without their consent. They are coming to you.

Why Is Inbound Marketing Effective?

That’s inbound marketing in a nutshell. Here’s why it works:

It Establishes Trust

If your transmission breaks, you don’t want any old shadetree mechanic with a wrench to fix it; you want someone who with proper training and proper equipment.

Inbound marketing proves that the small business you’re dealing with is up to the task. They didn’t call you up out of the blue and tell you, “We’ll fix your transmission.” You sought them out, visited their website, read their reviews, checked out their blog posts and watched their videos. And that’s how you knew they were right for the job.

When a business empowers their customers to do their own research and come to their own conclusions, it comes across as much more credible than one that employs high-pressure sales tactics.

It’s Inexpensive

Inbound marketing draws customers in with a lot of things you’re already doing anyway. You’re not spending money drawing up a brand-new campaign and trying to find brand-new people who haven’t seen you before. You’re plugging along as normal, updating your social pages and writing your blog posts to entice people who know you to seek you out.

It Creates Better Traffic

It doesn’t matter how many people visit your website or follow you on Twitter if they don’t need or want what you have to sell. Inbound marketing doesn’t just draw traffic to you; it draws the right kind of traffic to you.

These people often aren’t just casual browsers, and in most cases, you aren’t going to have to spend a ton of time making a pitch. They’ve already read the menu, decided on the steak and mashed potatoes, and they’re coming to your restaurant with their credit card in hand.

It Can Be Static

An outbound marketing campaign doesn’t last forever; once it’s over, it’s really over.

Inbound marketing doesn’t have to expire. Sometimes the content you create can remain in play for years. Sure, you may need to update occasionally, but you’re not constantly reinventing the wheel.

Are You Ready to Try Inbound Marketing?

There’s a lot to be said for this marketing strategy. It’s an inexpensive, permanent way to establish trust and attract the right kind of traffic to your small business. And if you’re not already using it, it’s time to give it a shot!

Ready to give inbound marketing the green light? Let Mischa Communications help devise your strategy. We’re ready when you are!