What if Inbound Marketing is outdated, obsolete, out of touch? When I founded the 1min30 agency in 2012, it was a pioneer in Inbound Marketing in England. But beyond applying it to my own business, I have always been a fervent defender of the discipline … For many years, I tried to evangelize the Inbound to my audience. Seven years later, it is clear that the work of evangelization is done, but also that my approach has also evolved somewhat, and that I have some reservations today about the effectiveness of Inbound Marketing …
1. But by the way, what is Inbound Marketing?
Before deciding on whether the Inbound is exceeded or not, let us return to the term as such. Inbound means “bring in”, “inward”.
Unlike Outbound which means “go outside”. Besides, the first time I heard of this term was in New York. There, the trains that enter the city are called the Inbound Trains.
While those who leave it are called the Outbound Trains. But the democratization of this term in the world of marketing is mainly due to the company HubSpot, publisher of marketing automation software.
Before that, we mainly talked about push and pull marketing.
For me, Inbound Marketing is about becoming your own media, converting your audience into a customer.
Before, it was expensive to address your audience. Television, radio, press … to exist in the media, you had to pay. Today, with a simple smartphone and an internet connection, you can get your messages across.
It’s a fact, digital has broken the codes and offers new communication opportunities for all companies.
2. Why is Inbound not so effective anymore?
Nowadays, it is complicated, even impossible, to practice inbound marketing as in 2012. The era of pioneers is over, its implementation is no longer as effective as before … And that, several factors explain.
First factor: SEO
7 years ago, regardless of the theme, any blog article was easily referenced, it often came in first position, or in the worst cases, in the top 10.
This is no longer the case today.
Another factor to take into account: the democratization of the newsletter
When I started, when I shared my articles via my newsletter, it was educational, not promotional.
And it was one of the first of its kind.
But today, which company does not produce a newsletter?
This democratization, this massification creates a problem: the newsletters are less and less open and read.
Another major factor is the decline in reach on social networks.
Facebook, LinkedIn and all social platforms have reduced the reach of our messages on their respective platforms. Before, these were still widely visible by our networks. They understood that it was interesting to sell sponsored content to us.
And all of these factors add up to others …
Popularization of the white paper, increase in the price of campaigns to generate lead … the levers of Inbound Marketing have taken a serious hit in the wing.
To tell the truth, if I were to start the agency today, I would probably not bet on Inbound Marketing … This strategy is too democratized, not differentiating enough …
3. How to approach Inbound Marketing in 2019
In my opinion, marketing must once again be approached from a 360 ° angle. The idea is not to display your creations on ALL the supports at your disposal, but to directly rethink 360 ° marketing. In other words, to exploit all the channels to make known to your audience: your editorial line, your messages, your added value.
Whatever the point of contact with your brand, your audience must live a unique, coherent and strong customer experience.
The question is not whether you should do more or less digital, but how you will reach your audience. Be creative, focus on the customer experience, innovate, take risks …
Because it is all these components that today and tomorrow will constitute the new face of marketing.
So, here is the strategy I would put in place if I were to launch my agency today, in 2019 …
Firstly, I would rely less on my website, because it would no longer be able to federate 150,000 visits per month.
I’d also be focusing more on the video tool and developing my YouTube channel. There are many great stories to tell about marketing.
Then I would write a book on marketing and offer it to my most important prospects.
Well, in reality, I’m already doing it. The physical gift remains a good way to conclude an appointment.
To tell the truth, I wouldn’t give up inbound marketing. Simply it would not be the Inbound as it was imagined and promoted by HubSpot at its origins.
I would bet on inbound in the dimension which is to become your own media, to seek to convert your audience into a customer. Then as an ambassador, I would try to strengthen this feeling of belonging to a community. I would try to build a relationship that goes beyond the commercial aspect, I would try to build a bond, of enthusiasts, of friendship, of love.
If you liked this article, find our Inbound Marketing white paper: making your brand a media and transforming your audience into customers, and contact our Inbound Marketing agency.