On: July 19, 2015
Well mostly, at least.
That’s harsh, but it’s true. Those old standbys, the 30-second TV spot and ¼ page newspaper ad, don’t work very well anymore when trying to reach and influence an audience. Sure during the Mad Men era this kind of advertising was very effective. But in those days, the number of channels people could turn to for entertainment was fairly limited. Don Draper had it easy.
That was a time of scarce content and abundant attention. Advertisers could interrupt that content – an episode of Friends or Seinfeld – with an ad that would reach and influence the buying behaviour of a large enough segment of the audience to make it all worthwhile.
But now the script is flipped. An advertiser’s audience is widely fragmented. Anyone with a wifi connection can access a world of content. We’re not limited to our local media. It’s all there, just a click away. And we certainly don’t gather around our TVs on Thursday nights for “Must See TV” anymore. With Netflix, PVRs, YouTube and Torrents, no one watches a TV show at the same time (with the important exception of sports or awards ceremonies).
We’re living in an era of abundant content and scarce attention. Most advertising has become little more than ambient noise, always there buzzing in the background but never quite registering. By some estimates, the average person in North America is bombarded with up to 5000 advertising impressions every day. So what connects?
Think about last year’s Super Bowl, the biggest advertising event of the year. It cost millions of dollars to run a 30-second spot and millions more to produce it. Dozens of commercials aired. Now how many do you remember?
So if advertising (mostly) sucks, what should someone do to reach and motivate an audience? More and more organizations are turning to “inbound marketing” to reach and connect with the people they care about.
Inbound marketing is the opposite of interruption marketing. With inbound, you produce content that people actually want to consume – blog posts, infographics, photos, videos, white papers – that draws them to you. It’s content that is posted online and often shared through social media or found through carefully optimized search engine results.
Our friends at HubSpot, the world’s top inbound marketing platform, describe the inbound process like this:
With inbound marketing you build your own audience, unlike in advertising where you are “renting” one from a newspaper or magazine. Inbound starts and sustains relationships, often allowing you to automate parts of the process.
Inbound marketing is a powerful tool, one that is becoming a central marketing strategy for many organizations around the world. Still, dipping your toe in the inbound marketing world can be daunting – there is always security in the old ways of doing things (even if they don’t really work anymore).
So we’ve created a new Bonfire eBook that explains inbound marketing, how it works, and how your business can use it. Download it today. And give us a call if you have any questions.