The term inbound marketing was coined in 2005 by Brian Halligan, CEO, and co-founder of HubSpot. The term refers to the attraction and drawing in of customers. Co-founders of HubSpot, Dharmesh Shah, and Brian Halligan, felt the need for such a holistic approach because previously successful marketing tactics no longer provided the desired results.
Inbound marketing, as a marketing concept, found its roots in permission marketing and content marketing. Additionally, it also incorporates elements of other online marketing tactics such as SEO (search engine optimization), social media marketing, email marketing, CRM (customer relationship management), web automation, and more.
The Cycle of Inbound Marketing
The main idea behind inbound marketing is to attract visitors to a website, by creating and distributing quality content, for instance on LinkedIn. The next step in the process is then to convert these visitors into leads, earn their trust through useful products, and then finally turn them into customers. This approach is focused on pull marketing tactics rather than push marketing tactics which interrupts the internet user with an advertising message.
The aforementioned content is meant to be made available and shared through multiple online channels such as search engines and social media. In the context of internet marketing, the term “content” refers to a variety of formats, including news, web articles, videos, photos, e-books, infographics, how-to guides, etc. This content thrives and attracts potential customers on a variety of social media platforms, such as LinkedIn.
Since push marketing tactics or outbound marketing are proving less and less effective, many marketers are now focusing on pull marketing tactics including inbound marketing as a holistic strategy. The innovativeness of inbound marketing lies in the idea of bringing together pull and client-centric marketing techniques, that work independently and collaboratively under an umbrella term. Yet, it also refers to the practice of these techniques simultaneously to achieve the best results.
Inbound marketing is the best and most efficient way of conducting marketing in the digital age. It is the most prominent way of spreading your marketing strategy across different channels.
Inbound marketing is the most efficient way of organically reaching your customers. Inbound marketing doesn’t rely on older, one-dimensional marketing tactics but rather increases the exposure to your company on a number of platforms. Organic reach is key to marketing in the 21st century. Instead of “pushing” your product on internet users, you simply inform them of your presence, through the distribution of content that generates value for the user, either in the form of entertainment or education.