As an inbound marketing agency, we still field this question a lot. Maybe less than we did four-five years ago, but it’s still a relevant part of our agency’s conversations.
If you Google the question, you’re met with a spot-on definition:
Inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and branding.
That’s accurate. But I can help make that definition even more clear. Simply put, inbound marketing is about crafting content in a way that speaks to your buyer personas – or ideal and potential customers and prospects.
The goal of any and all content is to answer questions before your personas even have them. It’s anticipating what steps they’ll take in their online journey to find you. What research do they need? What type of content do they prefer to consume? How can their trust be fostered in a genuine, expert way?
Magnet vs. Megaphone
At Leighton Interactive, we use an analogy to illustrate inbound marketing as a magnet – in contrast to traditional (or outbound) marketing’s megaphone approach.
The magnet is about nurturing and being there when your prospects or customers have needs. When they take their search online, your brand is already there as a resource to provide clarity, direction, support, and even comfort. Traditional media is less about speaking intentionally to segmented or targeted audience – hence the megaphone comparison.
Bottom line? Inbound marketing is about growing your customer base in a supportive, nurturing way.
A deep love of art and design drives me as I navigate the ever-changing waters of marketing. I am constantly looking for new and better ways to give the inbound marketing methodology the beautiful face it deserves. As the Art Director, I ensure that all of the design work we produce is top notch and designed with a purpose. When I’m not trying to solve creative problems, my life revolves around my family and friends, my passion for music, and my addiction to stories.