Inbound marketing is an advertising methodology focused on creating valuable experiences for customers. The idea is that by supplying your audience with meaningful moments, you’ll give them a compelling reason to keep coming back to your brand.

Buyers make decisions based on their emotions. When you attract prospects to your brand through valuable and relevant content or conversations, you satisfy their needs. These positive feelings lead to an improved chance of consumer loyalty.

What is inbound marketing?

The concept of inbound marketing first appeared in 2005, in response to the falling success rate of outbound solutions. Cold calling, billboards and catalog advertisements were no longer working as well as they used to.

Customers don’t want anonymous “spray and pray” marketing anymore. Today, they actively block out the content they don’t want to see. 27.5% of users are expected to use ad-blocking software by 2020.

Outbound marketing is all about fighting for your customer’s attention. With inbound marketing, you pull your audience to you by providing the information that they’re searching for. Businesses can answer customer questions with blog posts, respond to concerns on social media and deliver meaningful moments through webinars. All of these touchpoints build trust, credibility and momentum for the business.

Types of inbound marketing

There are many different forms of inbound marketing available to companies today. In each channel, the focus on delivering value remains the same. The best campaigns involve combining multiple digital and offline avenues to support consumers through every stage of their buyer journey. Options for inbound marketing include:

  • Social media: On social media, companies share information, interact with customers and deliver real-time support.
  • Blogging: Blogs and articles allow companies to share the information their audience is searching for. These pieces of content also supplement social media and SEO strategies.
  • SEO: With keywords and backlinks generated through social media and blogs, businesses improve their rank on search engines, increasing their presence online.
  • Live events and webinars: Videos, streams on channels like Instagram Live and Q&A sessions all show a more human side to your business.
  • Email marketing: With emails, businesses supplement their social strategy and continue to nurture leads towards a sale.

The benefits of inbound marketing

In a world of social media and growing digital connections, inbound marketing may be the best way to promote yourself. Inbound advertising aligns better with the needs of modern buyers. Your consumers don’t want to be shouted at with irrelevant information. Instead, they want to be empowered to serve themselves and seek out the answers they need online.

Outbound marketing methods concentrate on delivering a single message to an increasingly diverse audience. With inbound marketing, you create more unique, memorable experiences for each of your customers. The results include:

  • Reduced expense thanks to leaner, more focused advertising spend.
  • Improved brand reputation and customer affinity.
  • Better engagement with customers through social media, offering the opportunity to learn and evolve.
  • Increased brand awareness on multiple channels.
  • Stronger networking and collaboration opportunities.

Inbound marketing initiatives also compound in value over time. A strong social media presence and regular stream of content bring attention to your company through word of mouth advertising, enhanced SEO and better results.