While flipping through mail today I stumbled upon the usual suspects: direct mail postcards and fliers advertising amazing deals and sales that I’m completely uninterested in.
I don’t know about you but I don’t even bother to read them – off to the garbage can they go. And I feel helpless to stop this unnecessary slaughter of trees somewhere. If only these companies diverted their energy to inbound marketing instead.
Outbound Marketing Is Dead
Outbound marketing is where a marketer pushes his message out far and wide hoping that it catches your attention and initiates a response. Typical outbound marketing efforts are email blasts to purchased lists, internal cold calling, outsourced telemarketing, and advertising.
These old school methods used to work well enough in lead generation but that changed when internet became widely accessible and consumers got smarter.
Today outbound marketing is dead.
More than half of all US residents and more than ¾ of all US adults are online. That’s 164 million adult internet users. One third of US consumers spend at least 3 hours online, ever day.
At the same time, most Americans block TV ads (Tivo), are on the FTC “Do not Call” list (or don’t have a home phone altogether) and a good half of us never open direct mail (44% to be exact).
Marketers have taken notice. They understand that “interruption” advertising such as print and TV ads and direct mail are being blocked by the consumer and they shifted gear.
Inbound Marketing is Much More Effective
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers. In “inbound marketing” you help yourself “get found” by people already learning about and shopping in your industry. Your goal is to attracts visitors naturally through the search engines, through the blogosphere, and through the social media sites.
Inbound marketing is a lot more cost-effective than traditional outbound marketing. In fact, inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.
Consumers Lead Marketers
Many Americans begin their purchasing experience by doing online research to compare prices, quality and the reviews of other shoppers. 46% of daily searches are for info on products or services. 20% of monthly Google searches are for local businesses.
Business owners understand that it’s critical to be visible and rank well in Google and other search engines. If you can’t be found in Google, you don’t exist.
Ranking well in organic search results (70% of search clicks are organic) should be your top priority. Blogs have become very popular in inbound marketing and for a good reason. As I’ve written before, small businesses who blog have an average of 97% more inbound links, 434% more indexed pages and 55% more visitors. Get yourself a WordPress website today.
Consumers want information and if you’re there to provide it, you’ll get noticed. By potential clients and search engines. Get on Google Local today!
I’ve worked with small businesses where increased Google visibility after adding a blog to their site was almost immediate. And it only got better with each month. If you don’t blog, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
I know social media marketing is still a questionable matter to many. Social media involvement should be thought of as brand/reputation and community building channel. Social media marketing goes hand in hand with content sharing as well – it’s really the best way to market your blog. Besides, with real-time search getting lots of traction and Facebook overtaking Google as the most visited website, how can you stay in the sidelines.
So get out there. Make us proud. Be a smart marketer.