To attract hummingbirds, I couldn’t just place a feeder out there and expect them to just show up. Instead, I needed to know where they were “hanging out”, what type of flowers and food they search for, and what type of habitat they require. I know you are asking yourself, “what does this have to do with the importance of inbound marketing?”
Inbound marketing focuses on attracting prequalified prospects to websites that offer products and services they intend to purchase. It’s all about being found online.
“Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online.” – by HubSpot
In contrast to outbound marketing, inbound marketing reaches out to the social “hang outs” instead of just putting products and services on a website waiting to be discovered. It utilizes the key words in articles and blogs that are being searched online to unite the prospect with the ideal product and services that they are seeking and wanting. Most of all, it provides needed and useful information to convert a prospect to a sale.
Prospects “hang out” in social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. They “tweet” and connect with colleagues on LinkedIn. With laptops, smartphones, and tablets in hand, they actively discuss products and services. They talk about what they like, dislike, and openly submit comments for online readers to view.
Because prospects are qualified to purchase, they already know what product and service they need or want. They are also seeking quality and reliability. The supplier that meets those requirements will ultimately close the sale. Prospects do not hesitate to search key words online to discover articles and blogs pertaining to what they are interested in purchasing. The “key” here is information. Informational landing pages redirect prospects to websites that take them from the internet highway to the showroom of a business.
The more reliable and trustworthy a company website is, compared to other companies that provide the same wares, the more likely the prospect will be lured to choosing the best one as the winner of their purchase.
As with the hummingbirds, I saw them “hang out” around my red petunias. By my own research online, I found they also needed a sheltered feeder with an endless supply of nectar. If the feeder was red, sheltered, and reliable the “tweet” would get out and others would visit and feed.
Inbound marketing is a reliable strategy because it reflects the way prospects socialize, it gets the words out there to be searched, and provides the needed information to promote a sale. Sales are not won by just placing the products or services out there.