Popular marketing resource SEOmoz announced this morning a relaunch and rebrand of their site and products. Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz CEO — now just Moz — declared his company will "power the shift from interruption to inbound marketing.”
He wrote on their blog:
“We believe that in the next decade, the effort and dollars put toward web marketing will become more sophisticated, and growth in channels like SEO, social media marketing, content creation, etc. will dwarf the growth rates of those in more traditional, interruption-based endeavors.”
There is truth to this statement, that marketing is growing away from interruption; but that growth is not all toward inbound.
That Fishkin fails to note is that advertising is changing too, in sync quite closely with the values that Moz is positioned around. Outbound marketing is, in it’s own way, moving away from interrupt-based endeavors as well.
Thinking of interruption calls into mind images of annoying, disruptive display ads. Disruption is the old style of online advertising — where ads compete for your attention in any way possible.
But there is much more important type of disruption occurring in advertising today.
It’s the kind of disruption where companies are bucking the status quo, offering a new kind of advertising — one that entertains and informs audiences.
These ads are content-rich, interactive and interesting, transforming the ad experience into a way to reach audiences with something that they may enjoy or provide value.
Technology has become sophisticated enough that brands are now pulling their content marketing forward into paid advertising. Sometimes they pair brand marketing with a publisher site’s own content.
You see this with video, which is growing massively because it appeals to consumers. Some of the best short films created each are just commercials.
Native advertising is also on the rise, where sponsored content on sites like Buzzfeed and Mashable often competes for top spots with the non-sponsored content.
The growth in consumer-focused marketing is happening because companies are learning from social media that they can — and must — grow business in a way that respects consumers. But that doesn’t only mean inbound marketing.
And while content-rich ads may still be interrupting a user on some level, they’re doing so in an attempt to provide enjoyable content and value.
So while Fishkin asserts the importance of inbound, the reality is that most companies cannot rely on inbound alone.
Paid media is a necessary and important way to reach new audiences. It's the entire business model for almost every publisher website you visit. Ads are not going anywhere, because of they provide simply unmatchable scale and reach to marketers.
I’ve heard it said, “if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” Ads are a sort of necessary tax levied on content. As consumers, we agree to be subjected to ads in exchange for not having to pay (or pay as much) for content.
As Fishkin notes, what is changing is how companies are going about their marketing efforts, reducing or eliminating taxes like ads by providing value through content.
So yes, marketing is growing toward content creation and non-interruption based endeavors. But no, it’s not all inbound.
To learn more how to scale content marketing into paid media, check out the new eBook: The Essential Guide to Paid Media Publishing.