As a current squire for Hüify, I have been introduced to the world of online inbound marketing.
What is that, exactly?
Inbound marketing is advertising a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.
In today’s digital age, inbound marketing is a necessity. Why? Because at least 60% of the time people spend online is used for researching for business information, browsing through interest websites, and just plain old catching up on the world sort of thing.
Inbound marketing is so successful, because most people don’t realize they are being marketed to.
Websites such as upworthy, and buzzfeed provide interesting content that delights the user. I should know, I am addicted to buzzfeed… by addicted, I mean the kind of addiction that rivals crack addiction. I will spend hours on that website, checking out an interesting story, and then before you know it, several hours have passed. How? Well, at the end of the story, there’s more links related to that story, along with ad sponsored stories. I click on one of those links, every single time. That’s how they get you. The content is clearly delightful, and many pages on that website have sponsors, and sometimes you just find yourself looking at it without thinking, “Oh, another one of those pesky ads.” The content is so interactive and interesting that most people don’t think twice about signing up for the website, and even download the mobile app.
On Upworthy, their layout is basic. Their method: KISS. Keep It Simple, Silly. They focus on what is important. As soon as you hit their landing page, on the top, in large text, social media buttons, and an entry box: ” I want more stuff like this! Sign up for the Upworthiest daily email, and never miss out on our most popular stories.”
It’s that simple. They figure that people are so delighted by their content, they don’t beat around the bush. Upworthy has a lot of youthful content, with eye catching infographics, pictures, and videos. This keeps the content interesting.
Nobody wants to read a full text article without any breaks in the text. People like to keep it short and simple, while getting to the point. I was reading an article earlier, and it was full on text, and I will be honest… I literally fell asleep reading it. Oops. That’s a big no-no in the marketing/advertising industry. But that proves my point…people need stimulating content. Here’s a picture of my dog wearing mardi gras beads from New Orleans, just to break the string of text, to keep you reading!
Upworthy also cross-posts to Facebook. Buzzfeed does the same thing. That’s how they can get their incoming traffic so easily. This is super effective. Imagine if they tried to use billboards… that probably wouldn’t work. It’s all about being interactive, and that’s what people want nowadays. Our attention span and patience is in short supply.
More people use the internet than not, so online inbound marketing is very successful versus outbound. People like to believe they found these goods and services themselves… Nobody wants to feel pressured into getting a product or service.
And that is how online inbound marketing works. They create ways to delight you, and market to you without being obvious about it. That is why it is much more effective than outbound marketing.