Is paid advertising dead? To hear the experts, it’s certainly on life support. Inbound marketing is all the rage.
HubSpot is credited with coining the term inbound marketing and the company makes its living by selling services to help companies figure out ways to get customers to come to them instead of the other way around. HubSpot describes it in this diagram:
It’s true that consumers are tuning out paid advertising and more often finding you by searching the web – your blog, through your participation on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and now Google+. Those of us who write blogs are continually fretting over key words and SEO. We distribute our content to a wide range of social media networks. Build it, promote it, and they will come. Or, maybe not.
Inbound Marketing Campaigns
Thing is the companies that are reaping the rewards of inbound marketing are spending millions on inbound marketing campaigns. They run sneaky display ads to get you to their Facebook pages and corner the market for keywords by bidding up the prices of Google ads that will get you to visit their sites. More power to them.
So the notion of inbound marketing being “free” is a misnomer. Of the hundreds of thousands of blogs out there, many thousands never receive a visitor or get a comment. A lot of marketers are sitting around still waiting for their first visitor.
I may be in the minority. But going offline has me intrigued. You remember offline don’t you? That involves calling a prospect on the phone and making an appointment to discuss your business in person. Two live people in an office talking to each other. How novel!
I’m being a little facetious, I know, so please forgive me. But it’s important to re-evaluate how we communicate with our customers and how we sell to them. There are too many social media “gurus” out there who are selling programs that promise to “monetize” your blog. Take their advice and rake in the money from products and services you sell directly to consumers. Web searches will lead them to you like the Pied Piper.
What Works For You
Can we all take a breath for a minute and think, really think, about how we’re going to build our business? Inbound marketing is great and growing but it’s not the whole story. I have a friend whose husband is a lawyer with a special niche. She spends $100 a month for a local Google ad that’s always at the top of the page and that’s how he gets all his leads. Paid advertising.
Some people do make a nice living monetizing their blogs. But others use their blogs as brand builders and as portfolios of their work.
Find what works for you. Don’t be embarrassed just because you found your newest customer next to you in line at the movies or in an elevator leaving a networking meeting, like I did.