Instead of annoying advertising, that scares away potential customers, inbound marketing is placing online content strategically – often on social media channels - so that interested parties can independently provide information on products and services and get in touch with the sales department just when they are willing to buy. This means you, as a company, have to provide relevant content (draft papers, professional articles, reference reports and recommendations), besides offering appropriate added values to prospective customers.

Hubspot describes inbound marketing as marketing with a magnet, not a sledgehammer, and points out that it is the content itself that attracts and nurtures prospects - not spam that interrupts them. So, particularly small and medium enterprises, that wish to use professional online marketing to increase the number and quality of their leads, can benefit from inbound marketing.

According to Hubspot, there are three stages for a successful inbound marketing concept - get found, convert and analyse:

Get found: your online channels and the content you provide should cross-reference to your website and push your services to the forefront. In that way you get more website visitors and communicate your offer more efficient and easy to customers and prospects.

Convert: website traffic alone doesn’t really help you, as it is ultimately about lead conversion by getting users’ e-mail addresses or phone numbers. That’s why it is most important that your content is convincing, and of use for your prospects. Offer white papers, case studies or eBooks for download, and try to make sure your visitors do not leave the company website without further interaction.

Analyze: marketing is measurable and must be measured! Only in this way can be proved how marketing activities influence the sales pipeline and what possibly has to be optimized.

Fact is that inbound marketing is easy on the pocket, thus, the expensive traditional marketing campaign has had its day. Besides, through intelligent online channels and strategically placed content you can simply reach more interested parties nowadays, as customers buy when and what they want. And in doing so, they don’t want to be influenced by aggressive advertising, but inform by themselves about products and services at their own pace.

By Daniela La Marca