Confused as you may be by the litany of jingo surrounding Everything Internet, there’s a term you will want to embrace: Inbound Marketing.
The “inbound” modifier sets forth an important distinction between the conventional idea of marketing employed by businesses for decades. It refers to a trending 21st Century concept of capturing both the lifestyle factor and the online engagement of customers and potential customers. “Outbound marketing” involves pop-up ads, direct-sales emailing, and anything produced as a proactive attempt to sell your brand or product.
With the proliferation of information made possible by online commerce, and the evolving comfort level of humans warming up to an increasing amount of time spent online, marketing strategies in current times demand more creative adaptations. Inbound marketing seeks to make your brand part of a consumer’s life, avoiding the tendency to disrupt their focus with unsolicited communications.
Analysts call this “interruptive marketing,” citing dismal results as consumers already inundated with an overflow of stimuli are more inclined to seek out their own personalized content that will lead to buying decisions. The advent of mass interruptive advertising and marketing has led to a greater demand for technology that blocks such content, and that demand has been mostly fulfilled.
Currently about one-quarter of web crawling prospective clients employ ad-blocking software. This is a disaster for any business still clinging to proactive, interruptive advertising. Worse, the traditional display ad on digital media shows a click-through rate of less than 1 percent among those who do not block ads.
The moniker may be all 21st Century, but the concept of inbound marketing is far from new. As far back as the 1970s, major brands have courted customers with related materials intended to lure customers with real-time relevance. Food manufacturers, for example, have long published recipes using their own ingredients. That’s one of several examples of early inbound marketing. And it worked.
Fast forward to 2020, when entities such as YouTube have made video communication a web mainstay. Tutorials on product use, do-it-yourself projects, and beauty regimens are fast-growing. But here are more stats that may make you sit up and take notice:
By demonstrating how your product will easily fit into a customer’s lifestyle and fill their needs, you are overcoming the greatest obstacle to online commerce: the lack of personal interaction. Now that consumers are gravitating more and more toward the internet for pretty much everything from shopping to researching, and planning to socializing, the captive market is at your fingertips, if you are willing and able to seize upon its potential. Come back next week for a list of ideas that will translate inbound marketing tactics into sales for your business.