Nicole will join SEMrush on February 10 for a free webinar, "Inbound Marketing: The New SEO Lifecycle." One lucky webinar attendee will be selected to win a FREE one-hour inbound marketing consultation and strategy map with Nicole and her team (a $500 value!). Learn more about the webinar after the jump!
The digital age has created a buyer’s market. Even your marketing is on-demand: consumers are in control of what they see and hear.
Don’t believe me? Let’s break it down:
- 40% of US households have DVR, enabling them to skip through commercials.
- Direct Mail is often thrown in the trash without even a cursory glance.
- Podcasts enable you to listen to your favorite radio show on your own time.
- Platforms like Spotify enable consumers to listen to exactly what they want, rather than enduring the top 40 rotation of traditional radio.
Bottom line: Consumers want to listen, watch and read on their own terms, and in their own time. This represents a huge shift rendering outbound marketing far less influential than it used to be.
Indeed, the old model is practically dead, and it’s time for businesses to adapt to the new digital marketing landscape.
We no longer have the captive audience of consumers willing to accept advertisements as payment for being entertained. Consumers aren’t passive anymore. You can’t just run a television or radio ad and expect to generate quality leads. And, let’s face it, most entrepreneurs, small-business owners and independent consultants don’t have the money to throw away on short-lived campaigns with little return.
Fortunately, there is a silver lining.
Since the wide net of outbound marketing is no longer effective, you can focus your marketing efforts on helping truly interested consumers find you with inbound marketing.
What’s inbound marketing, you ask?
Inbound marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing. It involves establishing yourself as the authority in a particular niche, creating credibility and generating discussion among your target market.
One important part of inbound marketing is creating great, informative and relevant content using various mediums, including:
- White Papers
- Industry Research
It’s not enough to just create great content people want to read. You have to create content that people are compelled to share. This is where your shift starts to happen; this is evidence that you are becoming a respected authority in your niche. It means people believe you know your stuff and want to share it with others.
Ultimately, the power of inbound marketing is in its sustainability. Inbound marketing attracts your target market right to you, generating qualified leads. It enables you to develop and nurture relationships, turn those leads into prospects, and eventually, into paying customers.
There’s another benefit to inbound marketing that should never be underestimated: It also allows you to continue nurturing your existing customers, which reduces the likelihood they’ll be lured away by the competition.
Still not sure where to get started? Next week I’ll be leading a webinar where I’ll introduce you to my 5-5-5 plan for inbound marketing success. If you’re ready to get out of the “content marketing” rut, turn your content into a lead magnet, and learn how to nurture prospects through the buying cycle, join me for an Inbound Marketing webinar on February 10 at 12 p.m. (EST).