Inbound Marketing: The Basics

The usual form of marketing doesn’t work as well as it used to. On TV and radio – or rather – podcasts, we wait for the commercial breaks so that we can flip channels, change stations, or dash to the bathroom. Online, we use ad blockers to avoid pop-ups, and even when they sneak past, we subconsciously skip over them. Sometimes, we don’t even know we’re doing it. It’s a reflex borne of prolonged internet use. But what does this mean for businesses that still need to reach their customers? Well, it means they need to switch to inbound marketing.

What is inbound marketing?

In the past, the term ‘subliminal advertising’ was used to describe ‘hidden’ forms of advertising. It included product placement in your favourite show, or cleverly positioned billboards, such as a hair shampoo ad outside the public pool. Inbound marketing takes this a step further. It’s contextual advertising that doesn’t feel like an ad at all. It informs the consumer and entertains without overtly trying to sell anything. When it’s done well, it’s a natural part of a user’s regular feed, whether it’s a social media timeline or a curated list of articles. This builds trust in the brand and leads your consumers to buy from you simply because they like the content that you’re providing. Examples include:

  • Viral videos
  • Trending topics
  • Listicles
  • #Challenges
  • Offline meetups
  • ‘News roundups’ by Pocket or Buzzfeed

How to get past the ad blocker

You need to ensure your target customer actually sees you. Some platforms do this by labelling a post as ‘sponsored’ on Facebook / Instagram or ‘promoted’ on Twitter. They’re regular posts, but the tag marks them as paid content, adhering to T&Cs. However, if you make your content interesting and fun, it will get attention even without a budget. Offer helpful hints, tips, and tricks. Make your targets laugh or invite them to think about something from a different perspective. Engage them directly and start conversation. Act like an intriguing new acquaintance instead of a salesperson with potential ulterior motives. For guidance and assistance with your inbound marketing campaigns, call Convrt today.