What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is the practice of converting clicks to online content into deeper relationships with potential customers, with the goal of selling products or services. Inbound marketing targets website or social channel visitors to hold their attention and prompt them to learn more about a product or to make a purchase.
How inbound marketing works
Inbound marketing starts with great content that is SEO-driven and designed to keep the reader's attention. It designs a path for a website or social channel visitor, based on the pages they view online, to eventually convert them into a customer.
Content doesn't just focus on extolling the virtues of a company or its products. It allows the consumer learn something new about a topic, thereby establishing credibility with the consumer and creating a deeper relationship more likely to lead to a sale.
Inbound marketing is also driven by posting content to third party websites that will link back to a company's site. Industry association sites, blogs, and other high-profile, third-party sites are used to drive inbound marketing traffic.
Why inbound marketing matters
As opposed to outbound marketing strategies such as advertising or direct mail, companies can ascertain why a potential customer is on its website and create the customer experience based on that data. If a customer has searched for a particular product on Google, the inbound marketing strategy knows.
Generating leads can be expensive, but inbound marketing offers opportunities for companies to collect leads at a much cheaper rate through the gathering of contact information during the inbound marketing process.
A company is five to eight times more likely to sell an existing customer another product than it is to sell a product to a new customer. Inbound marketing is built around familiarity and leverages a customer's past online experience to sell more products.