An Updated Overview of Inbound Marketing

"Outbound Marketing" is the way marketers have always been broadcasting messages in the hopes to interrupt customers. The more recently (5 years-ish) branded "Inbound Marketing" is a less expensive and more automated way to be found by qualified prospects as they search for what you have already put up on your site and Social Media.

Below is the lead-to-sales process in a visual from Structured marketing. The top of the funnel is when interested prospects go to your site and Social Media ... AND after they click on YOUR RELEVANT link in a search engine results page ... that THEY are interested in... at that moment... get it?

Social Media is cheap... not easy.

Web tools are inexpensive and free BUT you need to commit time and creative resources. Read a nice overview at HBR about "Why Social Marketing Is So Hard."

In fact, with Outbound, you are limited by your budget... with Inbound you are limited by your creativity. 

Let me know when you want to dig into what your specific next steps are. Meanwhile, below is an overview from Hubspot and a report from Marketo.

 Inbound Marketing is:
The process of helping potential customers find your company – often before they are even looking to make a purchase – and then turning that early awareness into brand preference and, ultimately, into leads and revenue.  
In the world of inbound marketing, the marketer’s job is not to find leads; it is to help leads find you. 

In traditional marketing, companies need to buy (or beg) to get exposure using other people’s media. Whether it’s a display ad on a website, a booth at a tradeshow, or an email sent to a third-party list, companies are essentially “renting” attention that someone else built. This can be effective, but it’s also expensive. 

In contrast, with inbound marketing, companies build up their own audience and attract their own attention. They do this by creating relevant and compelling content to attract and convert leads – that can be found when buyers search for information online or ask their social networks. 

Hubspot has a Content Management System to turn your Blogs and other online content into a sales funnel of qualified leads. Below is a ecent presentation for you to flip through and learn that:

- Blogs, social media and organic search are the least expensive marketing channels.

- SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound sourced leads have a 1.7% close rate.

- 65% of B2B companies report that they have acquired a customer through LinkedIn.

The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Webinar

Want More?
With the abundance of information on the internet, the job of marketers is no longer to find leads; it is to help leads find you. Inbound marketing is a key component of this new strategy. This white paper (see PDF here)  explores the marketing executive’s role in shaping a successful inbound marketing strategy.
You will learn:
  • What inbound marketing is and what it means for CMOs
  • The strengths and limitations of inbound marketing
  • How to successful incorporate inbound marketing into your overall strategy
  • How to staff and budget for inbound marketing
  • How to measure the ROI on your inbound marketing efforts