We’re on the cusp of a revolution. Whether you consider it a marketing revolution or a business revolution, the world is changing. The bottom line is this: businesses must adapt or die. Do I have your attention? Good. Let’s dig a little deeper into this revolution called Inbound Marketing.
When was the last time you needed something – a service or a product – and thought back to a billboard you passed on the highway? When was the last time a TV commercial actually drove you to make a purchase decision? Do you still listen to local radio? Have you kept a phone book delivered to your door in the last 3 years? All of these traditional ways of reaching an audience are shrinking in their power.
You see, there’s a power transfer going on in today’s marketplace. No longer are consumers at the mercy of 3 big television networks and one newspaper. Now, we all have the world at our fingertips. Hundreds of TV channels, a constant news stream from social media and the all-knowing Google (and its hipster cousin Bing) all mean consumers can go where they want for their answers.
Content is king, and businesses need to understand that. You are what you publish online. Consumers can now go to their Facebook friends and ask for recommendations on plumbers. You can go to Google and search for company reviews. Services like Yelp and Urbanspoon turn everyday people into food critics. This is an exciting time.
The future of marketing is education. For instance: a mortgage banker could spend hundreds of dollars on billboards, thousands on a radio jingle and the air time to reach listeners, and even more on a TV commercial that airs twice a day for a week. All of this shouting will be tuned out by drivers (with phones in hand), iPods in the car (no more local radio ads) and DVRs (you love skipping commercials, admit it). Plus, whatever leads might come from these sources can’t be readily tracked and nurtured.
Instead, this local lender could create a home buyer resource center with a blog full of educational articles, how-to videos and free guides for home buyers. All of this material now becomes shareable online, trackable and nearly free to produce. The return on investment (ROI) of this educational material is much greater than traditional outbound advertising.
With inbound marketing, businesses no longer need to shout at customers for attention. Now, customers can find your content through search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing and video marketing. Educational and engaging content drives people to share with their networks, furthering your reach. It also brings social proof into the equation. If a friend recommends a plumber on Facebook, their friends are more likely to go with that plumber. And because that plumber has a blog teaching people how to change their wax rings under the toilet, he’s an expert willing to share expert advice. These clicks from Facebook are trackable. Of course, because this plumber is an inbound marketing genius he includes a call to action in his article to a free guide, gathering more email addresses he can nurture. Plumber Bob is now a revolutionary on the edge of a paradigm shift in the business world.
This is the future of marketing: truly trackable marketing efforts in the hands of business owners rather than giant advertising and PR firms in New York City. The Main Street crowd can have the same power as Madison Street. Consumers can now choose the content they consume rather than get force-fed ads and other junk they don’t want. It’s a win-win situation for consumers and businesses alike. Well, businesses who get it anyway. Inbound Marketing is the Revolution – will your business join the ranks?
Bio: This is a guest post from certified inbound marketing specialist Dan Moyle. When Dan’s not creating content for AmeriFirst Home Mortgage, he’s spending time with his wife and daughters. If you can’t find Dan, check Twitter.
The opinions and views expressed within these articles are the opinions of the designated authors and do not reflect the opinions or views of Inbound Marketing Agents, LLC , any of our affiliates, associated companies or individuals.