There’s been a lot of talk lately about inbound marketing. In truth, it’s been talked about for years, but with such a strong focus on millennial marketing these days, it seems more important than ever. So what’s the simplest way to sum up the difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing? Inbound marketing is inviting, outbound marketing is interruptive. Inbound marketing is like a kind grandmother who says “If you come visit me, i’ll give you plenty of tea and cookies.” Outbound marketing is like a stern dad saying “Clean your room if you wanna go out with Bradley tonight!” Outbound tells you what to do. It’s radio advertising and television commercials, it’s screaming in your face, telling you what to do. Inbound is a blog you stumble upon while searching for a good chili recipe, the company that shows up in your Google search for a new pair of shoes. It’s content that’s there when you’re looking for it, but not screaming for your attention.
What type of items fall under inbound marketing?
Pretty much any type of content your company is creating that’s not a traditional advertisement could be be considered inbound marketing. If it’s content a potential customer or client might be looking for, it’s inbound marketing. Some items this might include are blogs, videos, white papers, newsletters, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and some elements of pay-per-click (PPC) are all forms of inbound marketing.
Can we inbound market on our own?
In short, of course. Other agencies or companies may tell you differently, but the simple answer is, yes. Like many things in life, inbound marketing is a ‘what you put in, you get back’ type of scenario. It reminds me a bit of art school when I think about the process. Put in the work and reap the rewards, or simply coast by and leave it up to chance. If you are willing to put in the efforts required for inbound marketing, you will see the rewards.
How can a marketing agency help?
If you don’t have the time or bandwidth to be writing new blogs every week, crafting landing pages that convert, perfecting user experience, researching keywords your customers are searching for, and creating content your customers are looking for, you may benefit from help. You don’t need to hand over the keys completely, maybe you just need help with blogging and white paper ideas, maybe you need help on promoting those items once they’re created. There’s no one size fits all approach when it comes to inbound marketing, you have to find what works best for your business.