Do you want to run a successful marketing campaign? Then you should be using inbound marketing tactics.
A few decades ago a solid marketing strategy would include direct mail campaigns, billboard advertisements, television commercials, telemarketing, advertising in the yellow pages and local newspapers, and exhibiting at tradeshows.
Today an SEO agency would not include any of these items in a successful inbound marketing campaign. Advertising today is much different than it was in the past. Since 2006 the most successful campaigns use inbound rather than outbound marketing methods in order to attract customers.
What do all of those old school forms of marketing have in common?
With the exception of tradeshows and newspaper and yellow page advertising, all of the other forms of marketing listed above are quite intrusive. Telemarketers interrupt your work day or your dinner at home. Commercials are an unwanted nuisance. Billboards and direct mail pieces likewise are quite obnoxious forms of advertising. Unlike commercials which interrupt your entertainment, however, billboards and mailers can be read at your leisure, which makes these forms of advertising a little less annoying to the average person. Today’s counterparts would include commercials on YouTube and spam email marketing campaigns. Fortunately, technology has made it possible to avoid many of these unwanted forms of advertising. We can record television shows and fast forward through commercials, use caller id to screen calls, and set up our emails to send spam directly to trash. Inbound marketing tactics focus on benefiting the customer.
Advertisements in newspapers and in the yellow pages are much less intrusive than telemarketing, commercials, billboards, or direct mail. While newspaper readers might consider the advertisements to be annoying, they would be just as likely to read a well-written advertisement as they would a news article. Newspaper readers would also be attracted to coupons. Pop up ads and banners on websites today are very similar to the newspaper advertisements of the past.
On the other hand, yellow page advertisements are not intrusive at all. People read the yellow pages when they need to find the phone number of a local business. The larger advertisements cost more, but they are more likely to be seen by prospective customers. These potential customers are not turned off by large ads, on the contrary, they appreciate the large, easy to read phone number and the extra information provided in the ad. Unlike the single line listing, the yellow page half page or quarter page advertisement is much more likely to attract a customer. In the 21st century, the yellow pages is now online, and competes with Google business listings and hundreds of other directories. Companies can pay Google or online directories for larger ads to increase visibility on the internet. Search engine optimization firms utilize Google AdWords advertisements and paid listings in directories to supplement a strong inbound marketing campaign.
Tradeshows are the one form of old school advertising in which customers are willing to go to an advertising venue voluntarily. An example of this in the Cleveland area is the IX Center. This center provides a place for home and garden fans to visit booths of area businesses. The IX Center also hosts home improvement expos and bridal expos throughout the winter and spring.
In the 21st century, spending time and money investing in inbound marketing strategies is exactly like exhibiting at the IX Center. Think of the internet as a 24 hour a day 365 day a year tradeshow that is never ending. Your website is like a booth, and if you are updating your website constantly, it is as if there are actual employees manning your booth, providing feedback to your customers via comments in blogs or through an online chat. Fill your booth with freebies. Think digitally, however: while you might give away a magnet or coffee cup at a tradeshow, think about giving away an eBook or a coupon to someone who visits your website and signs up for an email campaign. These simple and subtle inbound marketing tactics prove to greatly benefit your customers and your business.
Inbound marketing is all about building relationships. It’s impossible to develop trust in your brand if you are relying on spam, intrusive commercials, and telemarketing to attract clientele. Instead, attract customers through writing relevant, engaging content for your website, social media pages, and paid advertisements.