By Linda Forshaw
In the last few years, outbound marketing — so-called interruption-based techniques like cold calling, mailshots and TV commercials — have become about as popular as Anthrax. Aggressively targeting prospective customers is old hat and the trend toward inbound marketing has eclipsed previous methodologies. It’s not exactly a new approach; it was first introduced in Permission Marketing, the 1999 best-seller from American entrepreneur, Seth Godin. HubSpot’s Founder and CEO, Brian Halligan, took it a step further in 2005, coining the term Inbound Marketing. Back then, the idea of engaging your customers in a two-way dialogue might have been considered an oddity, but fast forward a few years and we’ve got major brands directing a huge portion of their marketing budget toward inbound marketing methods.
The scope of inbound marketing is fairly broad. It includes tactics such as organic search engine optimization, content management systems, social media participation and consistent branding. Above all, it relies on you providing quality content. That article on your blog stuffed with awkward keyword phrasing? Yeah, you guessed it, readers think it’s shit. Delete it now and start giving your audience something they actually want. Social users are hungry for decent content. They lap it up faster than a starving dog, so it’s up to you to deliver a new class of content marketing if you want to succeed.
Success won’t happen overnight and it’s not going to be handed to you on a silver platter like hors d’oeuvres at a party. It’s going to take a bit of time and effort, but in return you’re going to benefit from improved lead generation, including warmer leads and a lower cost per lead. Did that get your attention? You’re looking at saving around 60% compared with the cost of a lead gained from outbound techniques. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get out there and join the conversation. Otherwise, everyone will be talking behind your back and you’ll only have yourself to blame.