Inbound marketing is a methodology that brings potential customers directly to you, rather than you promoting your brand to them, as you may have done in the past. Inbound marketing relies on content that is targeted and designed to help customers at each step of their buying journey.
Inbound marketing is generally viewed as a subset of digital marketing, a term that represents all of the marketing activities you do online — such as email, social media, and your website — to attract and engage with users as a brand.
The Difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing
In the past, B2C companies have mostly gone for a traditional approach, such as newspaper ads, direct mail, and publications to generate awareness of their services and products among customers. This type of outbound marketing techniques takes an interruption-based approach, where the company, and not the customer, is trying to create a consumer-relation.
These methods also aren’t ideal to target the customers who would be most interested in your product or service. Instead, you may be left with the feeling that all you can do is just wait and hope it works without the opportunity to fully explore the potential of your marketing investment. With inbound marketing this changes. Seller control of the conversation went away as soon as the customer gained access to vast resources for information.
Customer in Control
Potential customers use the web and social media to become educated about their options before ever contacting a company for their services or making a purchase. Considering that your prospects are looking on the internet for general information about services or products similar to what your company offers, you want to bring them in by providing content that attracts these potential customers to your website.
By offering valuable information, your visitors become confident that you are a thought leader and a reliable resource for information. Whenever they are ready to buy, they will approach your company as a trusted partner, rather than being convinced by an aggressive seller. In order to accomplish this, your website should be more than just a digital brochure. B2C inbound marketing with inbound marketing transforms a website into a selling machine.