Traditional marketing is dead and inbound marketing buried it!

Content marketing and inbound marketing are relatively new terms in the marketing sphere but if you’ve been burying your head in the sand, it’s time to pull it out! Traditional marketing is dead and inbound marketing has buried it!

When I was at uni (many, many years ago) and studying communication, the interruptive marketing model was drummed into us.

Here’s what we were taught:

Traditional marketing is dead. Inbound marketing buried it!

What we were taught in the marketing days of old!

What’s happened to traditional marketing?

It’s no secret that broadcast media have been struggling. Newspapers, magazines and television stations have always relied on advertising revenue to make a profit. However, with more readers looking to the internet for news and the rising dominance of inbound marketing tools (including social media channels, Youtube, more sophisticated email marketing technology, blogging and mobile apps), fewer and fewer small businesses (the backbone, not only of whole economies but of the advertising industry as well) are investing in traditional media.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is where you pull people into your business rather than push your business on them by getting them to alter course (interruption). You attract them rather than distract them! You communicate rather than manipulate. You focus on a niche rather than broadcast to a crowd.

Inbound methods include social media marketing, content creation and curation, permission-based marketing (via email) and personalisation. Here’s a great definition by Hubspot, if you need help getting your head around Inbound Marketing.

Why inbound marketing is gaining more traction.

Rather than focusing on a large crowd, instead, you focus on a specific niche, on creating conversation, being helpful and leading your right people to make an informed decision about investing in your offering (and in themselves).

In terms of how this has changed advertising, the difference is huge. Social media enables businesses to narrowcast rather than broadcast. Narrowcasting enables you to reach out to a specific niche, thereby making your advertising and communication more personalised and relevant to your intended audience. Growth occurs as a result of providing value to your niche, creating conversation and amplified word of mouth (when people in your niche share, likes and interact with your content).

inbound marketing has buried traditional media

However, there are still a lot of small businesses out there that haven’t caught on to inbound’s power in the modern marketplace.

What’s stopping small businesses from investing in inbound marketing?

Recently, I started a content marketing campaign for one of my clients, an inground pool builder based in Ipswich, Queensland, who had previously invested heavily in traditional advertising. The other day, I went looking for other blogs about swimming pools to share with my client’s followers on social media.

I found only a handful of websites from local industry peers that featured articles and of those, very few were current or had more than a few posts. Most pool builders were opting for Google Ads, but my client was already on the front page of Google for his main keyword without spending anything (other than what he paid for my services).

As we add more content (and we have lots and lots of ideas), my expectation is that his business will rise in prominence on search engines and social media for his primary keywords. If he does decide to invest in Google Ads, he’ll have a strong content campaign to back it up.

This process will take time, maybe even up to a year. However, as most people don’t make snap decisions to buy something as big as a pool, this is okay. In the meantime, my clients will develop relationships with their followers and subscribers through Pinterest and Facebook, be helpful and keep sharing valuable content that will help their buyers make informed decisions about investing in an inground pool.

What is stopping small businesses from making the investment is perhaps unrealistic expectations from the outset. Inbound marketing is a long term strategy, not a short term fix. As a content marketing strategist, it’s my job to ensure my clients are fully informed about what it takes to gain traction from inbound marketing methods.

In Hubspot’s recent State of Inbound Marketing report, they highlighted that inbound marketing is more than a marketing method; it’s a philosophy. I’m inclined to agree.

For inbound marketing to work, you need to put your heart into your content, and focus on meeting the needs of specific niches at specific points in the client lifecycle, rather than spreading a wide net, hoping you catch something good.

Have you embraced inbound marketing yet? Do you believe traditional marketing is dead? Leave a comment below.

  • Cas McCullough

    Thanks Alison and you are so rockin’ it with your new website girl! Way to go!

  • Valerie Lindsay

    Great article. A by-product of inbound marketing is that small businesses have to spend time finding out who their users, buyers and audiences are – something that most have failed to assess in their rush to get products to market. This makes inbound marketing even more important than the traditional route.

    • Cas McCullough

      I totally agree Valerie. It’s the first thing we do in the Content Marketing Cardiology program… identify a business owner’s ideal client. Thanks for your comment!

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