Historically, inbound marketing doesn’t have a clear definition because it’s still a relatively new concept for marketers today.
The emergence of inbound occurred about a decade ago with the rise of the internet and digital culture.
When buyers began to realize they could choose their own journey and have more control, especially in terms of research and product discovery, products like marketing automation began to emerge to accomodate new consumer behavior cycles and help businesses thrive.
Instead of relying on vendors for their information, they began to turn to the Web to conduct their own research on the products and services they were interested in.
Perhaps the closest comparison to inbound marketing that is reflected in history is peer-to-peer referrals, because at its core, inbound marketing is all about getting customers to come to your business.
Today, inbound marketing is defined as activities that are designed to attract the attention of customers and prospects with the purpose of giving them a reason to come to your business.
If you compare inbound with outbound marketing, for example, outbound can be classified as push marketing and inbound as pull marketing. Why?
With inbound, you are using a number of tactics and attractive content to pull the attention of your prospects to your brand; whereas, with outbound you are pushing them to pay attention.
Inbound marketing tactics include practices like blogging, SEO (search engine optimization), social media, content marketing, and review/referral sites. This proves there are MANY ways to successfully implement an inbound strategy!
All of these tactics offer a certain level of autonomy to empower prospects to find information on their own. If executed properly, they will help pull attention into your business.
Inbound marketing is unsurprisingly one of the hottest trends in marketing today. It gives prospects the freedom to determine their own path to your business, and you the freedom to be creative and leverage different team member skill sets to drive inbound success!
While many businesses use inbound to build brand awarness and improve customer retention, it’s commonly used as a top of funnel tactic because there are so many benefits.
Learn more about best practices for blogging, SEO, social media, and content marketing in the eBook, “What Inbound Marketing Is and Why It’s Your Friend”.