How a Luddite Learned to Appreciate Inbound Marketing

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

I’ll admit it – I have a love/hate relationship with technology. While it can be handy at times, I get awfully frustrated when something isn’t going right.

Computer freezes up? I’m banging my fist on the desk.

When the phone does something I didn’t intend to do? I have a sudden urge to throw it across the room.

That’s right – someone who bills himself as a content/inbound marketer really doesn’t like technology very much. I really enjoy days that I don’t have to get on the computer or smartphone.

(BTW – I only joined the smartphone world late last year. I avoided them for as long as possible, and while my Samsung Galaxy 5 phone is a good one, I do get frustrated when things don’t seem to be going right).

So how in the world can I call myself a content/inbound marketer with a straight face?

Again, while I often times loathe technology and feel it can consume our lives if we let it, I do think the Internet, smartphone apps and other tools do offer a lot.

With content marketing specifically, I enjoy the fact that our efforts help people learn about a specific problem they’re encountering or question they have.

The world is full of useless advertisements claiming certain virtues like “best price,” “top-quality” and so on. We’re bombarded with these messages literally from the time we wake up to when we turn in for the night. It seems you can’t turn around without some sort of advertising message being blasted in your face.

Fortunately, the Internet seems to be changing this reality. Consumers today are much more skeptical about the sort of generic claims we seem to encounter just about everywhere we go.

Data is backing this up – between 2010 and 2011, the amount of information required by Americans to make a final purchasing decision. Or, as put by Jay Baer, consumers are “…kicking the informational tires like never before.”

This of course means businesses must harness the web to demonstrate their value to site visitors and prospective customers. Show them you care about their situation and help them find a solution by preparing engaging and informative content. This “content” can include:

  • Blog postings
  • Social media postings
  • Infographics and digital presentations (i.e. SlideShare)
  • White papers
  • Case studies
  • How-to videos
  • ….and more

As for me personally, I find this revolution to be exciting and very customer-oriented. I think businesses will rise and fall on how helpful they are rather than how much they boast about their products and services.

As consumers get pickier about the businesses they trade with, ones who understand that you simply can’t slap up some ads will have a competitive advantage over a firm who sticks with the Yellow Pages or a highway billboard.

The web makes producing this much more cost-effective, and allows businesses to engage in a two-way conversation to get to the bottom of what their customers’ are facing. When used in this capacity, technology can be a wonderful thing.

While there will always be spammers and other unsavory characters circulating the web, today’s audience is much more discerning.

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