There is a lot of talk these days about inbound marketing; the forms of marketing that involve customers finding you at the moment they are searching for the solution you have to offer, as opposed to you going after them. As Internet video becomes more accessible and available on more devices, the next evolution you'll begin to notice is inbound video marketing.
Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing
Before we get into how video fits into the equation, let’s take a step back and explain the difference between inbound and outbound marketing. Outbound encompasses most of the more traditional forms of marketing. These may include:
- TV Advertising
- Radio Advertising
- Newspaper Advertising
- Direct Mailings
- Cold Emails
- Cold Calling
- Door to Door Sales
- Many more…
Essentially, any kind of marketing that involves you approaching the customer at a time when they are not necessarily looking for your product or service is an outbound method. Outbound marketing is perhaps best personified by the annoying telemarketer that interrupts your dinner or quality family time on evenings and weekends to get you to buy his product.
Marketing the inbound way, on the other hand, is the process by which you position your company to be found at the time when your target market is searching for what you have. This may include:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay per Click Advertising
- Email Opt-Ins
- Articles/Blog Posts
- Press Releases
- Earned Social Media Promotion
- Online Videos
- Many more…
The Internet has made it possible to target specific prospects like never before. By knowing the exact keywords your target market is typing in during each step in the buying cycle, you are able to attract prospects to your online properties, engage them with quality content, close them on your product/service, and make them happy customers that will become your personal ambassadors – promoting your company to their circle of influence.
In the long run, inbound marketing generally provides a higher ROI than outbound, because you are building a relationship with the customer from the beginning – establishing trust and creating a much higher likelihood of repeat business and referrals from the customers you acquire.
What Is Inbound Video Marketing?
Inbound marketing has become the preferred method of a growing number of businesses in recent years, with more and more companies dedicating the majority of their budgets to this endeavor. But one thing many of these companies are overlooking is the power of video within their inbound marketing process. And as technology improves, inbound video marketing will become increasingly more important.
When the Internet started out, most people were on a dial-up connection, and very few people could watch videos back then. But as Americans began to migrate to high-speed connections, videos began to follow. This is why Google acquired YouTube in 2006, because they saw that the future of the internet was video. Today, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. Only its parent company Google has a larger market share.
Another reason inbound video marketing is critical is the rise of smartphones and tablets. These mobile devices make up an ever-increasing share of the web search market. But the problem is many websites have not caught up and optimized themselves for mobile. Instead, they have sites with blocks of text that is nearly impossible to read on a smartphone. -- I’m sure you’ve probably experienced this. For a website to be optimized for a mobile device, it is essential to have video prominently displayed.
Quality Video Content is Essential
Inbound video marketing is only effective if the video content you produce is professional and reflects well on your brand. For example, if you create cheap videos with a slideshow and some music, what kind of message are you sending to your target audience? They’ve seen a thousand videos like that before, and it doesn’t really offer them any value. Create videos that establish a deep emotional connection with your audience and give them a chance to get to know you and your business better. Educate them on your industry, tell them a story, do something unique.
Bottom line: develop an video marketing strategy that will make you stand out from the crowd and position you as the authority in your area of expertise. If you do this effectively, you will stay ahead of the curve in 2014 and beyond.