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Inbound

Marketing and advertising practitioners have spent decades formulating and re-formulating odd, complicated, and even divisive audience segmentations. Primarily, these partitions were based on age: Baby Boomers, Generation X’s (that’s me) and, recently, Millennials. These designations are an attempt to homogenize a population so that mass messaging can be “directed” to a particular audience. They work, at least sometimes. (We had some good results launching a cool ebook called For Your Inspiration that showcased quotes by Millennial leaders.)

While there are unique and distinct age-based audiences, there is also a better way: truth-telling and helpfulness. Simply put, today’s consumers want to inform themselves. Armed with easy access to information, prospective buyers, across every generation and demographic, today make decisions about what they will buy and from whom they will buy it before contacting a business. In fact, one study found that 81% of consumers do online research before making a purchase. In the B2B world, data suggests that buyers get 60% of their way through a sales process before speaking to a sales rep.

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The Facts About Inbound Marketing

mad men vs inbound marketing

Is Inbound Marketing right for your business or organization?

We have been experimenting with inbound marketing for the better part of the past year and it is incredibly powerful. Inbound marketing is an online-based system designed to develop buyer, donor or membership relationships by providing meaningful information and offers to audiences. The companies that do it best articulate and demonstrate the advantages of their ideas, values, and services and help visitors to their site access information easily. These companies don’t rely on impulse buyers but instead look to attract considered purchasers—people who do their research before they commit to investing in a service or opportunity.

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keyboard and hand with coffee cup

Before we get started, I’d like to introduce myself – my name is Giuliano Bellabono, and I’m a graduate from Red River College’s Creative Communications program.

I’m writing a series of three blog posts (including this one) as part of a series called, Reaching the Next Generation. The focus is on helping businesses and organizations better understand Millennials when marketing to them, designing for them, and connecting with them.

Millennials are generally between the ages of 18 and 34 and will soon be inheriting a very big, complicated world from Baby Boomers and Generation X. Millennials are also inspiring tremendous change in how we conduct business and live sustainably.

While preparing for this series, I came across a study by Nielsen. Its study reported that 49% of Millennials prefer to work for a sustainable company. Additionally, 51% will pay extra for sustainable products. By and large, it’s clear that Millennials care tremendously about the future of our planet.

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logos from around the world

Over the next few years, websites will change from validation tools to learning platforms. Through your website, people will want to learn from your business, connect with your ideas, and develop strong relationships. Remarkable content, coupled with smart design, will help make those connections. The best communication professionals will help drive those connections and must be prepared for the changes immediately ahead. The talk will discuss a brief history of the web, how content is changing online, why we talk about learning, and where design and communications will be most impactful in the next few years.

For us poor folks who are in the communications, marketing and public relations field, the web at the moment looks something like the below. It is a very crowded, very busy, very intense marketplace of ideas, information, and transactions.

Last week, I presented on the topic of distinguishing your site from the rest by designing to educate customers, which I believe is the future, or definitely a future, of the web. The event was sponsored by the local chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society, a membership-driven organization that supports professional communication and PR professionals.

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laptop on desk

In college, we were tasked with writing a weekly blog that would be worth 10% of our final grade. To be honest, it wasn’t an exercise that I particularly enjoyed at first. The workload for my program was intensive, so my blog fell to the bottom of my priority list. Oftentimes, I felt that my blog writing was rushed and fell flat. Additionally, I wasn’t sure who I was writing for.

I started using a few easy strategies to make my blog more appealing and I ultimately grew to enjoy writing it. A couple of my posts were even published in the online edition of my local newspaper. I think university administrators assigned to writing blog posts can relate to some of my challenges. They have hectic schedules, have the challenge of trying to sound professional and entertaining at the same time, and must write for wide and varying audiences like students, prospective students, their parents, and faculty and staff.

The tools I used to grow my blog can also be used by any university administrator to get more mileage out of their blogs. So here are some tips to help you write punchy blog posts for your university.

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