Done right, inbound marketing works. It's a fact. We have demonstrated it in our client projects, and HubSpot has shown it in several State of Inbound Marketing reports. Many inbound marketing agencies and HubSpot partners have also shown success in generating positive ROI for their clients. But why? What is it in our psyche that attracts us to webinars and whitepapers, tweets and posts enough to become sales leads for their host companies?
This one's pretty obvious. We're fed up with e-mail blasts, TV ads and direct mail. But that doesn't mean we want to be marketed-to some other way. It just means we hate the old ways. What is it about inbound marketing that keeps us engaged?
We're starved for information and entertainment that's just not available on TV anymore. Marketers are clever enough to require a sign-up for just about every viral video, game and how-to e-book that's out there. Heck, it's only your name and e-mail on the form, and we can fake those, so why not?
Sorry, if I touched a nerve, but it's true. We want something for nothing. We don't want to pay for anything unless we absolutely have to. Most inbound marketing content is information or education. We want that, and depending on its perceived value, we may be willing to surrender our real name, e-mail and more to a landing page. If the download comes from a trusted source, one that we follow and subscribe to, then signing up as a lead is a no-brainer.
Let's face it. There are very few original ideas out there. The trick to good inbound marketing is packaging ideas into a convenient, quick-read format. We all want the "Cliff Notes" version so that we don't have to spend hours researching the topic ourselves. We want the experts to tell us how to become experts in 10 easy steps. Gone are the days of weeks-long training courses and manuals.
We skim. We want bullets. Give us the main points in 140 characters or less. We don't have time to read a book on the subject. Just boil it down to its essence. Better yet, give us a podcast so we can absorb the information without stopping our other important tasks, like texting and driving at the same time.
To use one of my favorite overused expressions, "it is what it is." You can't help the way people are, so why not go with it? Successful inbound marketers will continue to feed the beast as long as it's hungry. When appetites change, it's our job to anticipate that and create new demand. That's what marketers have always done.
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