Inbound marketing is marketing for today’s internet-connected world. By providing customers with valuable information online, you invite them to engage with your company.
Compared to traditional marketing that employs cold calls, billboards, television commercials and print advertisements, inbound marketing is less expensive, less intrusive and more effective.
Engage with Valuable Content
Today’s content marketing is all about establishing a relationship with customers. And, like any relationship, it evolves through communication and discovery, without intrusiveness.
Content marketing (done well) provides valuable information and reveals the character of a company (otherwise known as the brand personality). If a company knows its customers well, its content will convey that and engage them.
While traditional marketing intrudes on the lives of customers and potential customers, inbound marketing lets them choose whether or not to interact.
With content marketing, brands publish original, helpful content on a blog. They optimize that content so that it ranks well in the search engine results pages (SERPs). That’s how people discover it and connect with the brand. The idea is that the content is used to generate leads who can then be converted to paying customers.
Another popular means of inbound marketing is social media marketing. However, in this case, social media marketing isn’t paid advertising. It’s instead used to put a human face on the company. Digital marketers will often use social media to connect with an audience by posting something witty or a touching story that’s shared by people and has the potential to go viral. Brands get exposure and gain more followers when they adopt a sound social media strategy.
According to research by HubSpot, the average cost per lead in traditional marketing was $346 in 2012, while the average cost per lead for inbound marketing was $135.
And because potential customers choose whether to engage with inbound marketing, the chance that they’ll convert is higher. Essentially, inbound marketing draws in higher-qualified leads.
When comparing cost-efficiency of both traditional and inbound marketing, leads from traditional marketing have a 1.7% close rate while leads from inbound marketing have a 14.6% close rate.