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HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan Champions ‘Inbound’ Marketing

Brian Halligan discarded the traditional marketing playbook six years ago and started his own business. Now the HubSpot CEO has 10,000 customers in 56 countries using his company’s Internet marketing software to generate leads and attract new business—the nontraditional way.

Halligan believes that the marketing paradigm shifted a long time ago. Marketers today need to be more like publishers. Unique, interesting, relevant content needs to be created and shared in today’s real-time marketing environment—something Halligan calls inbound marketing.

“Each piece of content is like a magnet that pulls someone in,” Halligan said during a Dec. 5 web chat hosted by Inc. and attended by EverSpark. “Inbound marketing is about the width of your brain rather than the width of your wallet.”

Spending gobs of money on rented ad space—TV, radio, print, billboards, banner ads—doesn’t cut it anymore. Instead, Halligan suggests that marketers create content that people will rave about and share with friends and colleagues.

He harkens back to his days following the Grateful Dead, one of the first bands to encourage concert-goers to record live shows. What happened? Dead Heads—including Halligan—recorded concerts, copied the music on cassette tapes and distributed them to friends, who passed them on further. The band’s popularity exploded. The same concept can be used to promote businesses today.

Create a dynamic piece of content that is relevant and compelling and users will pass it on. Ebooks, blog posts, webinars, social media posts, videos, web chats, and similar digital content is invaluable marketing currency. Google looks at all the websites that point links back to your site and your online popularity rises. Links are a “permanent marketing asset,” Halligan said. And the best way to get links is for other online entities to share your riveting content.

Halligan suggests that companies devote at least 3-4 hours per week to inbound marketing initiatives. Identify a handful of your biggest competitors and implement content strategies and calendars that will give your popularity a boost. HubSpot offers an all-in-one software package for companies to streamline digital business-building efforts. Or you can enlist an SEO company like EverSpark to do everything for you with a dedicated account manager.

Change your focus from outbound to inbound marketing, and kick that outdated playbook to the curb.