Does Inbound Marketing work? What is it anyway?

Well, outbound marketing is when you reach out to prospective clients in the form of: cold calling, advertising, email blasts, direct mail, linked-in messaging, etc… This is what most of us think of in terms of what we understand marketing to be. Problem with outbound marketing is that it’s disruptive. You’re listening to a radio program and an annoying commercial interrupts your experience. You get turned off. It’s not targeted. The list goes on and on.

Inbound marketing is when you create a piece of content that your audience actually wants. This can be in the form of: a blog, article posting, education video, product review, e-book, digital tool/app, etc… This is much more effective because instead of pushing someone something they don’t want, you are pulling them in with a lead. It’s not a direct pitch of services.

An effective way to market and get new clients is to do a combination of both. For example, you could create a “lead magnet” (an downloadable piece of content) for the exchange of someone’s email address. You could run a target Adwords campaign with a very specific search string, so that if someone is looking for an answer to a question, your page comes up.

Now, back to the original question. Does this work?

Absolutely. I have proof. A little while ago, I wrote a post called “Fail Your Way To Success” where I chronicled our struggles to “jump the curve.” Our industry was slowing down and I could see the writing on the wall. We needed to change or die, and so we did.

Coincidentally, a prospective client read it and noticed that we were in the brand strategy space. What makes this interesting is that we spoke to these same clients 3 years ago when were mostly focused on making TV commercials. It wasn’t a good fit then because they were looking for a marketing company to partner with, which we were not. So that post prompted him to message me so that we can discuss our capabilities. Voila.

The number one question creatives ask me is, “How do I get more/better clients?” They want some kind of magic bullet answer like: read this book, join this group, talk to this person, but the answer is more complicated than that.
Define your customer. Know their pain points and challenges. Align your brand to match and mirror them. Focus your body of work and build expertise. Create content (video, posts, articles, images + type) and help your clients and you just might get a new client in the process.