What is Inbound Marketing?

Weslie Oeftering
What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is about attracting potential customers (most commonly content marketing, blogs, and social media) to your content channels based on the value, timeliness and relevance of the information provided.

Instead of pushing a brand toward consumers using paid media like advertising, telemarketing, seminars, and in-store displays to spread a brand’s message as far as possible in the hopes that it reaches its target market (aka traditional or “outbound” marketing), companies that use inbound marketing tactics make consumers come to them by attracting those who are most likely to be interested in a brand.

Think of it this way: inbound marketing is pulling customers toward a product, outbound marketing is pushing a product toward customers.

To the untrained marketer, outbound may seem like the way to go because it gets the most eyes in front of your brand and therefore generates the most sales. However, because the average American views hundreds, and maybe thousands, of ads each day, attracting consumers’ attention using only outbound marketing is becoming an increasingly expensive uphill battle with little, if any, ROI.

Further, just because thousands of people have seen your ad doesn’t mean that they are all suddenly interested in buying your product. In fact, the ad may have just interrupted the season finale of their favorite show so now they are both uninterested and annoyed.

In contrast, inbound marketing involves a customer choosing to engage with a brand. In order to keep them from changing their mind after they have been attracted using earned or owned media, inbound marketing then becomes about giving them a positive and engaging experience that builds trust and credibility using multiple owned channels.

Not only does a good inbound marketing experience make prospects more likely to actually purchase something, but they are also more likely to come back to that specific brand the next time they are in the market for that kind of product. A good experience also means that a customer is also more likely to tell their friends, which means more potential customers!

Inbound marketing has seen incredible growth in the last decade in part because of how well it turns one-time customers into repeat buyers. Another reason is that when someone has a great experience with one company they often ask, “why can’t it be this easy to shop at Company X, too?” In other words, inbound marketing is changing the relationship between brands and their customers – for the better.


About Weslie Oeftering: Weslie is a student at The University of Texas at Austin and Swyft’s resident PR and marketing intern. She supports clients with social media, blogging, and tech PR activities. Swyft is a digital marketing agency in Austin with offices in Denver, Houston and Antwerp that provides digital marketing services and trade show lead gen support for tech companies around the world. Some of their services include media relations, content and inbound marketing, CPC campaigns, and marketing automation consulting.


Featured Image: Demi DeHerrera via Unsplash

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