There is a type of marketing we need to talk about. It’s all around us, on our phones, in our emails, on Facebook. Every day we experience it, we notice it, and we love it. It’s time to talk about inbound marketing.

So what is Inbound Marketing, really?

In marketing, we have both beasts – inbound and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing focuses on going after clients that are putting content in front of customers as much as possible. This can range from cold-calling to television advertising, even YouTube advertising, which makes customers watch something they aren’t necessarily looking for, on the off chance, they might want to buy a car, or remember they need life insurance.

According to 360 Leads Australian companies rank social media and outbound telemarketing as equal top performing lead generation channels; while other countries preferred outbound telemarketing

Inbound marketing is much more subtle and focuses on customers coming to the business for information or content. That is generating interest in business’ own site and online hubs, which leads to purchases.

Seth Godin commented “Real permission [marketing] works like this: if you stop showing up, people complain, they ask where you went.” We live now in a world where people can search for their own answers and over 90% of people begin their online search for a product or service using a search engine.

Where outbound marketing is more traditional, inbound marketing is showing amazing potential in the space. According to HubSpot’s 2014 State of Inbound, the number of marketers who had a greater ROI in 2014 than in previous years is significantly larger than those whose ROI fell in 2013.

How do we generate interest?

You might be asking yourself how we generate interest and there are many ways to do this. The most sought-after concept is constant viral marketing however; most inbound marketing will reach a much smaller but desiring audience.

Our techniques for this include SEO, helping to put business content in front of consumers, so they find it when they search for it. We also have content creation, which takes the idea of advertising and turns it into something people want to share and pay attention to.

Content is seen as the key to success by 70% of the 414 who participated in the ‘B2B Marketing Outlook’ study. From blogs to videos to podcasts, content creation is about consumers actively taking part in the buying process.

This sounds a lot like content marketing…

It does, and you could say inbound marketing and content marketing are inextricably linked. 95% of Australian marketers use content marketing, according to Content Marketing Institute.

Content marketing is obviously about creating content, from blogs to articles to videos; however that content could be used both in an outbound or an inbound context. To generate interest, both inbound and outbound content marketing can be beneficial.

So where does that leave us?

With inbound marketing, we focus on clients coming to the business, and making that process as smooth as possible.

It is about being easily found and the go-to business for a particular problem or with a need. Inbound marketing is about fixing needs which already exist and directing the market towards businesses that solve the problems.