As a way to increase sales and obtain new customer retention, inbound marketing is a strategy used by companies to take advantage of social networks, luring consumers to purchase their products.

Inbound Marketing Uses the Social Web to Gain Consumers

In a report carried out by HubSpot, research has shown that consumers are reluctant to buy products when pressured by traditional marketing techniques. Such techniques include pushy advertisements and non-stop telemarketers, which are proving to be less and less effective. By opposition, inbound marketing focuses on how to get found by consumers. Inbound marketing is meant to have customers find out about brands and companies through indirect means, such as creating videos instead of advertisements with product information or creating blogs for consumers to subscribe to. In this context, social media has proven to be a highly effective way of attracting web users to purchase products.  More specifically, 71% of people more likely to buy something based on social media referrals. While outbound marketing involves using cold-calling and junk mail to target potential consumers, inbound marketing uses using social media venues like YouTube to allure customers, by posting clips and videos for instance.

Social Media Referrals are Key

Another strategic goal of inbound marketing is to have information about a brand or a business passed on by word of mouth. According to the HubSpot study, 90% of those surveyed trust brand recommendations from friends. Though only 41% of people believe that banner ads on search engines are a reliable source for product information, 70% trust consumer opinions as a reliable source of information, meaning that consumers are more likely to trust strangers over ads themselves. Only 8% of consumers trust Internet advertisements as the most effective source of product information.

Consumer Resistance to Traditional Marketing

The rise of inbound marketing seems to be due to several key elements, among which a general disdain among people for aggressive marketing. 86% of those surveyed mute the television or change channels in order to avoid having to sit through advertisements. Furthermore, two-thirds of Americans appear on the FCC’s do not call list, indicating that telemarketers have become a nuisance for over 200 million people.

By Marcus Burke