The internet is driving changes to the business world at a fast and furious pace. What was true yesterday may not necessarily be true today when it comes leveraging your web presence. One thing we do know is that traditional outbound marketing tactics are being replaced by an ever-evolving inbound marketing methodology. This shift started several years ago and is now dominating the discussion among marketing and business professionals around the world. In this first article of a four part series, we are taking a closer look at this shift to help you understand how to take advantage of the opportunities in the new world of internet, inbound marketing and social media.
Outbound Marketing Defined
On a basic level outbound marketing utilizes traditional methods of promoting, selling and pushing products and services on to potential customers. You are the unwilling recipient of tactics such as TV commercials, email blasts, phone calls and piles of direct mail in your mailbox. You have little choice but to receive it and determine what to do with it. However, there is a fundamental decline in the efficacy of these tactics due to our ability to filter them out. People resort to channel surfing, spam filters, do-not-call lists and the trash basket to eliminate what are increasingly perceived to be nuisance marketing.
Inbound Marketing is the New Standard
The basic tenet of inbound marketing is to create the opportunity to be found by potential customers in their searches on the internet. This methodology is the direct opposite of the outbound push and promote tactics we mentioned above. The two core tools of this method are content marketing and social media participation. The idea is to create content that educates, entertains and attracts your target customer. The most common formats are blogs, white papers, ebooks, infographics, slideshares, podcasts and videocasts. Combining these formats with active social media participation gets people talking about your business and sharing what they find in a viral or word-of-mouth manner.
What Works For Your Business
Ultimately the best strategy for marketing your business is one that thoughtfully blends both inbound and outbound marketing tactics. You should not abandon an outbound marketing tactic that continues to serve you well in bringing leads to your business just because it’s outside of the current trend. However, you must now incorporate inbound and content marketing into your ongoing strategy to stay relevant to an evolving socially savvy customer base.
We recommend starting with a simple plan that includes a blog and the appropriate social media platforms based on your target market. And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that at Evolve Systems we offer a variety of marketing support plans that include online marketing, blog writing, social media and website management.
In our next article we’ll tackle how to decide which social media platforms are best for your business.