Inbound marketing is becoming a popular strategy for increasing website visits, leads and sales. It’s being used by a variety of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, software, financial and legal.

It’s ideal for businesses who have a complex service and need to educate prospects as they make a buying decision. But before you can take advantage of this methodology, you need to develop a basic understanding of how it works and what it takes to achieve success.

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

Traditional marketing methods, which are also known as outbound marketing, require you to reach out to consumers by placing advertisements in mediums such as TV, radio, magazines, newspapers or the Yellow Pages.

You pay for this space, and you need to carefully consider each ad placement to ensure quality results. Unfortunately, the cost of outbound marketing continues to rise and it’s becoming less effective as consumers ignore traditional advertising. TEST

Conversely, inbound marketing attracts potential customers to your business rather than bombarding them with a message that doesn’t interest them.

Consumers search the internet for nearly everything, and when you have an optimized internet presence, you can attract potential customers to your website.

Industry statistics indicate that companies that choose inbound marketing will triple their lead generation for 62% less than the cost of outbound activities.

How Does Inbound Marketing Work?

Your website, blog and social media pages offer numerous opportunities to connect with consumers. The best way to utilize these opportunities is by offering quality written content that will make people interested in visiting your site.

This can include blog posts, white papers or an e-book. You can also use non-written content such as webinars and videos to capture attention.

The goal of inbound marketing is to offer people a valuable reason to visit your website. In other words, you will be focused on getting customers to find you instead of the other way around.

Although this might seem like a more difficult way to increase your customer base, it actually ties in nicely with the average Internet user’s process for making purchasing decisions – 61% of global Internet users research products and services online.

Also keep in mind that SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate. This will require a major shift in thinking for many business owners who have written-off internet leads as a waste of time, when in reality they need to spend time nurturing those leads

This is what the inbound methodology looks like:

Getting the Most Out of an Inbound Strategy

Consumers prefer to buy products and services from companies that are industry leaders. It is also more important now than ever to provide people with useful information without forcing them to purchase it.

For example, a paint company that offers tips about selecting accent colors and building a cohesive look will connect more readily with people who are looking for this information.

By getting your visitors excited with engaging content, you can dramatically increase your closing ratio. As an added bonus, quality content provides the impression that you are an industry leader, which instantly makes your services seem more trustworthy.

The Role of Content Marketing

Content has been mentioned several times in this article, and this is because it is one of the most important components of inbound.

Without content such as blog posts, e-books and videos, it will be much harder for people to find and visit your site. So you definitely want to place a major emphasis on boosting the quality and quantity of your online content.

This commitment to publishing quality content will determine your success with inbound marketing – it’s by far the most labor intensive task associated with inbound.  You need to carefully consider your target markets and develop content (at least twice per week) that will appeal to them.

Final thoughts

Minimizing your outbound marketing might feel intimidating at first, but statistics and online retailer surveys consistently showcase the power of switching to an inbound strategy.

If done correctly, you should experience a much higher closing ratio. Between this and your reduced marketing expenses, your bottom line will become much more profitable.

Have more questions about inbound marketing or content marketing? Leave a comment below and we’ll respond.

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