Let me explain online (inbound) marketing by comparing it with outbound, or traditional marketing. Radio, TV, newspaper, magazine, direct mail, and billboard marketing are all examples of outbound marketing — your message is delivered to prospective clients at a time when they are not actively looking for what you have to offer. Some people call this “interruption marketing” because it takes a person away from what he or she is doing in the moment.
The yellow pages is a good example of pre-Internet inbound marketing. In general, people go to the yellow pages because they’re looking for a specific product or service. For decades yellow pages providers were able to charge very high rates to their advertisers for one reason — this form of marketing works. It works because the best time to sell someone a product or service is when they’re actively looking for it. No big surprise here. Trade shows can also function on the premise of inbound marketing.
Reciprocity is a very important notion to understand when you are trying to upgrade your Internet marketing in Santa Rosa or anywhere else. The key idea is that people want to make informed buying decisions and the Internet is where we all go to search for information. You want to be at the end of a good percentage of those searches so you can provide your prospective clients with helpful information.
If the information you provide can give people an understanding of how their problem can be solved you put yourself in a good position to win their business. Creating a content strategy for your prospective Internet clients is an essential part of any Inbound Marketing strategy.