Before the birth of the Internet, consumers relied on billboards, newspaper ads and television commercials to learn about new products, a type of advertising called outbound marketing. Fast forward to today where 44 percent of direct mail is never opened, 86 percent of people skip over television commercials and 200 million are registered on the “Do Not Call” list. How are companies reaching consumers? Inbound marketing.
With inbound marketing, you’re earning your way into the hearts of consumers instead of having to buy into them, and because there’s an initial interest from the consumer, they’re open to what you have to say. Communication becomes an interactive, two-way street, and marketers are able to provide content that holds real value for readers. Examples of inbound marketing include blog posts, white papers, podcasts and ebooks.
Inbound marketing makes sense. Imagine how many times you’ve had to click out of an intrusive ad that pops up and interrupts your browsing experience. People are more likely to become bothered than interested. Now imagine you want to learn more about buying a tablet. Through research, how-to videos and social media, marketers have the chance to earn your interest in their product.
There’s more to inbound marketing than just generating leads; inbound marketing generates revenue. Since these marketing strategies cost less than just about any outbound channel, you also save money off your marketing strategy. Just think about the cost of attending a trade show or sending out direct mailings and compare it with the cost of writing a blog or updating your status on Facebook. If a simple tweet can generate more revenue than a direct mailing that requires printing and postage, what would you rather send out?
Inbound marketing is cost-effective, reliable and just plain smart. With a greater ROI and the ability to grow your presence in social media, now has never been a better time to reallocate your budget toward more inbound marketing strategies. More than half of businesses have already said that they’ll be investing more in inbound marketing – where do you fall?
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