Reaching out to potential customers by providing relevant marketing content is among the most effective advertising and brand awareness strategies and one that enhances the experience of doing business with you. Developing good marketing content is the foundation of an Inbound Marketing strategy. The content you deliver demonstrates both your expertise and grasp of the basic goals and challenges faced by your potential clients and can inspire them to reach out to your organization to obtain more specific information, as they envision how working with you could be good for their business. Traditional advertising, email campaigns and PR, better known as Outbound Marketing, reach out to a broad audience that has been vetted and tailored for the presence of target customers, yet still includes many that fall outside of those parameters.

Outbound Marketing “pushes” information about your company out to an audience that has not necessarily demonstrated an interest in learning about the company and its products and services. Moreover, Outbound Marketing assigns to the intended audience a limited role: buy the product or attend the event. Outbound Marketing usually costs more money than time to create and ROI can be difficult to measure.

Inbound Marketing is well-suited to the digital age and its use has grown exponentially as a result. Inbound Marketing is driven by content that functions as a “pull “, drawing prospective customers who are interested in posted content to read, learn and perhaps take action. Inbound Marketing lives on the internet. Slide Share, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, company websites and other social media platforms host a broad range of content and those in search of information choose to visit those sites.

Content production usually costs more time than money to create and ROI can be much easier to measure. Relevant white papers, topical videos and podcasts, surveys and your blog or newsletter form the basis of high-quality content that presents your message and your professional acumen wrapped in a package that prospects want to open. Prospects must take an active role to engage with Inbound Marketing content. They initiate and control the interaction.

When planning your Inbound Marketing campaign, be advised that it is not necessary to either produce a wide variety of content or post to numerous venues. The type of content provided, frequency of postings and selected platforms will be guided by target customer preferences. Develop Inbound Marketing goals and devise an appropriate campaign strategy. Brand awareness, customer acquisition / retention and lead generation will no doubt top your list.

Be mindful that Inbound Marketing content is based on giving and not receiving (despite your goals). Prospective customers are hungry for information and those who provide high-quality content will obtain trust, respect and top-of-mind status that is reflected when decisions are made to purchase your category of product or service.