Are You a Magnet or a Megaphone When it Comes to Marketing?
Let’s imagine you’re visiting one of the biggest wholesalers, Costco. As you stroll through the warehouse, you’re offered samples at every turn. From pizza to peanut butter-filled pretzels, you have the opportunity to taste Costco’s wares. It’s a relaxed and fun environment, but it’s also carefully orchestrated to promote sales of a specific product. Inbound marketing is founded on the same principle. In a non-threatening manner, you offer small samples of your expertise to prospective clients.
What is Inbound Marketing?
We hear a lot of talk about “inbound marketing” these days. Don’t be embarrassed if you feel a bit confused by the term. Inbound marketing is a term that was originally coined by Brian Halligan in 2005. The term “inbound” refers to the reaction of the prospect to certain types of marketing.
Traditional forms of marketing, (also called “outbound”) such as ads and direct mail pieces, are an effort to make your existence known to as many people as possible. Inbound marketing refers to a concentrated effort to disseminate valuable information to a niche group of prospects, usually by digital means, and by so doing establish relationships and attract them as clients. If traditional marketing is going out and finding clients, inbound marketing is about creating incentives for clients to find you.
The Magnet Versus The Megaphone
At FMG Suite, we like to use this metaphor for inbound versus outbound marketing because it demonstrates the goal of each form of marketing. In the case of outbound marketing, service professionals try to sell themselves to as many prospective clients as possible by disseminating their message to many different audiences and producing blanket statements to appeal to many people.
In contrast, inbound marketing refers to service professionals acting as a magnet by sharing insightful content, becoming a thought leader in their field, and targeting specific prospects by educating themselves on what those clients are looking for. Service professionals that participate in inbound marketing draw their clients closer by building a relationship of trust and knowledge. Also, inbound marketing is usually more cost-effective than traditional models. According to Business 2 Community, a brand saves over $14 per new customer attracted through inbound marketing rather than outbound.
Outbound marketing (or traditional advertising) seeks to reach as many people as possible with one blanket message. Inbound marketing is the attempt to reach out to the individual with a carefully tailored message and, if possible, to inspire that individual to respond by reaching out to you. If outbound marketing is a megaphone, inbound marketing is a magnet.
How to Be a Magnet
We focus on inbound marketing because we believe that if service professionals can more efficiently attract the clients that they work well with, they will ultimately reap the rewards. At FMG Suite, we offer different inbound marketing tools to help service professionals create a strong content marketing strategy.
A successful inbound marketing strategy contains many moving parts, including social media posts, curated content, personal disclosure and professional expertise. We help service professionals put all these pieces together and build a branded marketing strategy that educates and draws prospects in. By providing their audiences with useful content, service professionals that take advantage of inbound marketing act as a thought leader in their field and distinguish themselves from the competition. Valuable information that is given freely is the key to effective inbound marketing.
Instead of projecting to every email on the list as a megaphone, draw in the select clients that value your expertise by acting as a magnet. Free samples are necessary to Costco’s sales because they draw customers in with delicious bites of what they have to offer. Offer samples of your expertise and prospects will come back for more.