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Inbound marketing (a.k.a. content marketing) is a term we hear often now in the digital space, thanks to firms like HubSpot.

So what is Inbound Marketing?

We’ll get into it all in this video, where you’ll learn:

  • A non-digital example of inbound marketing principles
  • The three E’s of inbound marketing
  • How we use inbound marketing online
  • Stats to confirm inbound works.

Ever go shopping for a car?  Take this situation: You visit the first lot and immediately get approached by a salesman hounding you for what you are in there for.  Your response that you’re “just browsing” seems to fall on empty ears as the salesman tells you about all the different features their newest model has — the refined engine, fresh paint job, and fourteen cup-holders.

You do your browsing (probably quickly), and move onto the next car lot, already a bit frazzled.  (We tend to end up in this state when we are buying a complex product or service anyway, but that salesman didn’t help.)

Now, we’re approached by another salesman.  Again, we say, “just browsing, thanks”.

We can almost expect what happens next — we hear about the features of their latest model and their excellent financing deals — right?

What if the salesman responds,

Great, I’ll be happy to help if you need anything.  Why don’t you just let me know what you are looking for in your car so I can point you in the right direction?

And then the salesman stops, listens, and replies by educating the consumer on the benefits.

“Oh, you want a safe car? Check out the model X that recently got awarded safest car in America, which means you can feel safe when you hook up the baby seat in your new car.”

“Reliability and durability?  You might want to look into model Y.  Our customers let us know they love how they so rarely have to go to the mechanic beyond oil changes, so they save time and headaches.”

Enough examples — what’s the point?

Rather than blasting out a message like the first salesman did, the second salesman educated the shopper and explained the benefits of what they were discussing.

Inbound marketing is really about educating, engaging, and entertaining.

And, it isn’t done in car lots, it’s done online. (I thought that was a nice way to explain it though — no?)

How do we use inbound marketing online?

  • Blog posts to answer commonly asked questions and raised objections
  • Email marketing to further the interaction and bring it to a more personal level than blogging
  • Conversion with CTAs and value offers

Let’s talk about how companies have found inbound marketing effective

  • Inbound Leads Cost 61% Less Than Outbound (HubSpot – State of Inbound Marketing report)
  • Interesting content is a top 3 reason why people follow brands on social media (Content+)
  • 67% more leads per month are generated by companies who blog (Social Media b2b)
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links (Social Media b2b)

I think the numbers can speak for themselves.

Inbound works.

I’m curious — have you tried inbound marketing in your company? If not, why? If so, how did it go? What strategies did you implement? What challenges did you face?

Would love it if you could share this below in the comments.

David J. Bradley is the Best Selling author of Getting Digital Marketing Right and Managing Director of Primal Digital Marketing. He is an entrepreneur dedicated to the growth of his clients, his team, and himself. To learn more about David, click here.