Inbound marketing has become the focus of modern marketing because of its intense focus on engaging with a target audience. While last century was all about the product, this century is all about the consumer. Outbound marketing presents the product to the consumer through traditional marketing channels while inbound marketing searches for the target consumer using the product as the magnet through new media. The two schools of thought within inbound marketing are active and passive modes. Balancing these modes is important as active strategies can accelerate reactions to passive content designed to attract an online community.
Active Inbound Marketing
Social media has become the foundation for a large portion of active inbound marketing because of its interactive nature. Anything that involves marketers spending time or money to connect with their online market can be considered active inbound marketing. Active strategies encompass communication that presents a call to action which invites consumer response, such as Facebook interaction, newsletters, email marketing, surveys and PPC ads.
The reason active inbound marketing is just as important as the passive approach is that it completes the communication cycle with the consumer. Without a call to action there may be no action and therefore no rewards for all your hard work creating content. All of that hard work pays off when you set the wheels of thought leadership in motion to pave the way toward sales conversions. Neither active nor passive inbound marketing is designed to resemble last century’s hustle to push sales on people. Both simply help connect consumers with what they are looking for.
Passive Inbound Marketing
Search engines do a lot of work for you that bring traffic to your website, which seems to be the essence of passive inbound marketing strategies. The passive approach revolves around creating web content without a deliberate attempt at interacting with readers. Passive strategies include SEO, videos, ebooks, blogs and other one-way messages that do not depend on audience feedback. Through a passive voice, bloggers can create personas that earn respect from users based on delivering consistent quality content that directs users toward purchasing choices without resorting to marketing pressure.
In many ways passive inbound marketing reflects personal conversations rather than mass communication of slogans that are typical of traditional outbound marketing through television, radio and newspapers. Ideally, bloggers will identify places where consumers hang out to feed their interests. Then they create content that will associate a brand with the blog that rounds up people from various hangouts, forming a new meeting place that becomes the entrance to a sales funnel. From there, the blogger leads their readers down a path to becoming loyal customers.
Mixing Active and Passive Inbound Marketing
Focusing on the combination of both active and passive inbound marketing will likely produce the best consumer response than trying to emphasize one or the other. Your goal is to attract new visitors who should know about you based on their interests. By mixing TV, radio and print with social media and online advertising, you will develop a broad base of communication with consumers. This process reveals how websites develop into new pop culture hotspots.
The best approach for getting repeat business is to develop a strategy of marketing stages. The first stage should be a mix of active and passive marketing, using traditional media, email, blogging and social media. The next stage should tie everything together with passive marketing such as SEO, blogs, email and anything that provides useful information. Mixing up marketing gives you the opportunity to reach a cross section of people that may not be readily found through narrowly defined channels.
What active or passive inbound marketing strategies do you use? Share your tips for success below.
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