In the past, companies used commercials, cold calls, email blasts, and other intrusive strategies to fight for a potential customer’s attention. A business pushed its message out to attract attention. But in the internet age, this method of outbound marketing is less effective as people seek ways to block, skip, or ignore advertising.
Inbound marketing is the answer to traditional advertising falling flat. Instead of going out and potentially interrupting potential customers’ lives, a business turns its attention to create engaging, useful content that audiences want and delivering it at the right place and the right time.
No, But Really—What Is Inbound Marketing?
Say you’re the only person on your street with a snow blower—and winter is here. Everyone wants to clear their laneways but the thought of toiling away for hours, back hunched over a shovel, is too much. So people start to knock on your door with a sheepish, “Can I borrow your snow blower?” Inbound marketing is about creating a snow blower for your ideal customer.
Mashable.com has a great infographic comparing inbound and outbound marketing. Instead of spending time and money on interrupting a potential client’s life, your company focuses on creating content that solves problems for your ideal customer. This content is helpful, relevant, and search engine optimized (SEO)—so when this potential lead searches for a solution to a problem online, he or she finds you.
How Does It Work?
Your goal is to bring prospects to you, while building your business’ credibility as an expert. You do this by hitting that sweet spot where content, place, and time overlap.
Without good content, inbound marketing doesn’t work. It’s not a trick—your blogs, social media posts, webinars, etc. must fulfill a need or answer a question for a specific audience. By creating content your ideal clients will search for on their own, you’re spending your time focusing on traffic that is already interested in your service or product.
On the surface, place may look like outbound marketing, but there’s one important difference. Outbound marketing looks for the largest possible audience to try and attract a large number of interested people. Inbound marketing goes to where an interested audience is. You focus on specific demographics and users. When you’re selling bedazzled dog vests, why waste your time promoting on #CatsRcool? Focus on the places where dog lovers are already going and become a part of that community with timely articles, helpful hints, and other relevant info.
The right time is even more important. When you’re the team that’s there with the solution just as a potential client needs it, you’re positioning your company as the expert that truly understands your clients’ wants, needs, and challenges. There’s no one more appreciated than the person selling bug repellent when the mosquito swarm descends!
What’s the Deal with HubSpot?
HubSpot is the company that coined the term inbound marketing. It’s also the company that provides you with tools to help with blogging, SEO, social media, email, landing pages, marketing automation, and web analytics. HubSpot is a great partner to help you grow your business through inbound.
What HubSpot Is Not
As much as it will feel like a magic wand once you get used to using the technology, HubSpot software isn’t magic on its own. You will not attract visitors nor convert leads just by purchasing the software. With time and effort on your part, what it will do is support your inbound strategy with helpful tools and strategy, which will bring home those leads.
It’s time to stop fighting for a potential client’s attention. By creating content that solves a problem, clients will come to you! Through social media, blog posts, and optimized SEO, your future customers will seek you out for quality, engaging content. And if you’re looking for some helpful ways to activate and use your inbound strategy, HubSpot has your back with some powerful software.
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.