Inbound marketing, are you on board?

I was privileged to attend an Inbound Marketing seminar at the beautiful Hampton Inn and Suites - SouthPark run by Rachel Cogar of Puma Creative.  The purpose of the seminar was to educate wedding professionals about what inbound marketing really is, and why it's important to all business owners. MashableRachel explained the definition of 'outbound' marketing - print, radio, television, direct mail and other sources of advertising that in essence are 'pushed' out to consumers.  Many of these methods are not trackable, and in many cases very expensive ways to spend your marketing dollars.  Without an ROI, it's tough to maintain this level of 'outbound' marketing for very long, especially in the small business realm.

Now, we are seeing a shift towards 'inbound' marketing.  Inbound marketing is pulling your customers towards you like a magnet, but on their terms through your valuable, relevant and remarkable content!   Through the use of social media, blogs, SEO, websites, whitepapers, premium content offers, email marketing and much more, consumers are making decisions and decreasing the sales cycle by doing their research, getting involved, sharing your content and becoming advocates and disciples of your product or service.  That's not the beautiful part - the beautiful part is - it's all trackable through analytics and data research.  Sigh.  We've really reached nirvana as marketers!

So, all of this sounds great, right?  You're ready to climb on the 'inbound' marketing train and ride it into the sunset.  Hold on there, cowboy - it's not that simple.  A plan needs to be put into place, a content calendar needs to be developed, and well, the content isn't going to magically appear.  Inbound marketing is tough, but it's also creative with a low cost and low barrier to entry - ANYONE can do it.  They just need to put in the work.

Do you have some awesome ideas you want to implement or do you need a nudge in the right direction?  Have you tried outbound marketing?  How about inbound?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Stay Social, Terri