Interactive Fundraising: Getting Into the Inbound Marketing Game
It’s happening all around us — marketing is changing. It has to. Many traditional marketing methods (where we pushed our messages at the audience) are becoming more expensive and less effective, as people get better at tuning out marketing messages blasted at them. For example, we use TiVo to record TV shows and fast-forward through the commercials, and we use caller ID to screen phone calls and spam filters to protect against unsolicited e-mails. More and better tools help us screen out messages we don’t want — and other tools have emerged to help us find the stuff we are interested in. Our ability to screen out the "noise" and find the "good" stuff forms the underpinnings of inbound marketing.
For-profit businesses have increasingly embraced the principles of inbound marketing via efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Google AdWords, YouTube and search engine optimization, among other things. These tools may have started off as buzzwords or hype but are starting to demonstrate their utility and promise, as hundreds of millions of people embrace (and even start to depend upon) these services.
Dharmesh Shah, the founder and CTO of HubSpot, an online marketing company that is at the forefront of the inbound marketing revolution, recently spoke to a group of nonprofit leaders in Washington, D.C. He said that “nonprofit organizations can benefit from social media even more than businesses for one simple reason — they are much more likely to have a message that people want to spread. Social-media sites like Facebook and Twitter can help promote a cause in ways that were not possible a decade ago.”
A key principle to inbound marketing is getting found by people who are interested in what you do. Shah does an outstanding job of describing the essentials of inbound marketing in his book, "Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs," which he co-authored with Brian Halligan and David Meerman Scott. Three high-level principles discussed are: