15 Mar Inbound Marketing Campaigns Keep Working Even When You Stop
“Evergreen” used to refer to those trees that didn’t lose their leaves during the dead of winter. Even when the snow fell (which in Mississippi is at best every couple of years) they stayed green. Today, the term also applies to marketing and advertising material which no matter the season can always be expected to remain profitable, useful and relevant.
The key strategy behind an inbound marketing plan is this evergreen content. What is relevant to your customers regardless of the season? What questions do you answer over and over again? What are the main misconceptions about your industry or company?
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: The Delivery
In the past, you’d create a campaign for various traditional media and push the message out over the course of weeks or months or in the case of some large companies a year or more. Making your brand, slogan and ideas stick with your customer was the goal. Many companies would see a sudden uptick following an traditional (or outbound) marketing campaign and call the ads a success. What they found very quickly is the outbound marketing beast has an insatiable appetite. When the ads dry up, many consumers move on the next brand whose advertising catches their eye.
What we enjoy most about content marketing is the ability to keep drawing in consumers long after the initial outreach ends. Our best performing blog post was written following a trade show we attended several years ago. One of our best performing resources is a case study written last year about a non profit client.
While it took time to compile both of these resources, along with all the other resources on our website, once completed, they continue to drive traffic to our website organically and through social media.
That’s our story.
As an inbound agency, when we talk to B2B companies and non profits, we stress an inbound marketing campaign isn’t the fastest way to grow your company. However, the sustained growth over time outpaces outbound marketing easily.
Consider this: When you stop paying the television station/newspaper/magazine/adwords to run your ad what happens? They stop running your ad. You stop receiving phone calls from those ads because customers are no longer seeing your message.
What happens when you slack off from your blog writing or email marketing for a month or two months? You will continue to receive traffic to your website because all the content you had previously published on your website is still working to draw in customers.
The more you write about a topic on your website (thought provoking, meaningful articles not junk articles ladened with keywords), the more Google and other search engines will begin to see your company as a leader in relation to those keywords. Which means traffic to your website grows even more.
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: The Data
In addition to just driving customers to your website, inbound marketing offers you a vehicle to get to know your customers better. Compare the data of an inbound marketing vs outbound marketing campaign? What do you know about the people receiving your outbound marketing messages? All you know is the demographic information given to you by the media company, right?
What if you could know the person reading your blog, listening to your podcast or checking out your contact information was actually searching for your products or services? We all agree that would be much more beneficial. By using content to draw in your ideal customers, you know your reader is looking for you. By offering additional information in exchange for more information about them, you can also know who they are.
Yes, you’ll reach fewer people, but the people you are reaching are the quality leads you need. For companies who need 1,000 prospects instead of 100,000, content marketing allows you to narrow down your target, collect relevant data and close leads more easily.
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: The Time
Just like it takes time to grow an evergreen tree, it takes time to develop a sustainable inbound marketing plan. A year from now and two years from now, however, you’ll have content that reaches your audience over and over again. You’ll also have a more full view of who is finding your website and what changes you need to make to attract more of those people.
Don’t just think about how quickly you can grow your company, but think about the best way to create a long-term plan for sustainable growth. Do you really want to have to start over every season?