After conversations last week with a variety of business owners, I feel like writing an educational post.  I realize that digital marketing in general can be an abstract concept, but inbound marketing for some is even more abstract.  So, let me try and educate on this very useful and effective “concept”.

Inbound Marketing is really the process in which you use a variety of tactics to attract customers to your business.  Traditional outbound techniques are what old sales guys like me have used like cold calls, emails, trade shows, etc.  Inbound marketing involves using blogs, eBooks, white papers, paid media strategies, etc. to educate your potential customer base about your companies products and services. It seperates you from the competition. It is all about generating leads for your company. Sales guys love it.

Inbound Marketing

How about an analogy?  Inbound is like a Discovery Channel documentary (I read this idea on a HubSpot blog).  You lure an animal in, capture it, tag it, and then release it back into the wild….knowing that with the right bait, the animal will come back for more.  Here is how it works:  Find the right bait (blog, whitepaper, eBook, etc.) with a great Call to Action (CTA), and lure them in with a compelling offer and promote it with some well crafted messaging.  Once you have the animal in, CAPTURE it!  Have the right landing page, make sure it is written with clear copy, and is well optimized.  Now that you have the animal in your grips, TAG (online form) it.  You want to know some information about the animal.  You need to know some things about the animal when it comes back for another visit.  Each time it comes back, gather another piece of information.  Each time the animal comes and enjoys your bait, you RELEASE them…and give them a Thank You (page).  Let them explore other elements of your environment (site or even off-site elements like your social media accounts).

If you do it right, pretty soon that one animal goes back into the wild and tells some of his animal friends about some of the cool bait you are offering, and you get to start the process of capture, tag, release all over again!

Now, I know what your are thinking.  Do I really think of prospective customers as animals? NO!  :):).   Just trying to put the concept of Inbound Marketing in terms you might understand and relate to.  The power of buying has never been more in the hands of your buyer than in today’s digital world.  Inbound is a lead generation system.  Although many of the outbound methods of yesterday are less effective, a properly structured inbound model can very much compliment those efforts.

If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to contact me.