What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing focuses your marketing energy on attracting customers through content and interactions that provide value.  Contrast this to traditional marketing methods which focus on you or your product, and interrupt whatever your potential customer is doing.

Major themes in Inbound Marketing

Multi-Channel

Inbound marketing is all about approaching people where they are, and thus is a multi-channel marketing approach from step 1.

Contextual

Inbound marketing content is tailored to the person who is viewing it.  The more you learn about your leads, the more contextual and on the spot your messaging becomes.

Integration

With proper tooling, inbound marketing melds content creation, publishing, and the tools you need to track your performance into a well-oiled machine.  This allows your focus to remain on producing the right content, at the right time, and publishing it in the right place.

Content Creation & Distribution

With Inbound Marketing, you create content that educates your customers by answering their questions and providing for their needs.  Then you share that content, pushing it as far and wide as you can!

Lifecycle Driven

Evangelists for your brand are made, not born.  They start out as strangers, become visitors, are converted into a lead, and then closed as a customer.  Inbound marketing gives you the tools and strategies required to help your customers follow that journey.

The 5 Pillars of Successful Inbound Marketing

Content Strategy

With Inbound Marketing, your marketing strategy hinges upon high-quality educational content designed to educate your readers.  Your content strategy should define your target audience and anticipate their needs and the problems that you will help them solve.  Once you have that focus and definition, it’s time to create the following types of materials:
  • Blog Posts
  • Videos
  • eBooks
  • other downloadable materials
Always keep your content focused on solving problems, and educating people.  Never focus on you, and making sales, always focus on the customer and helping them fulfill their needs.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is dead, long live SEO.  The web continues to change and evolve, but at the core of it, the search engine still thrives.  Modern SEO focuses on providing clear, helpful, and educational content that your prospects love, rather than tricks designed to encourage an artificial brain to love your content.  Make sure your content is well-organized, helpful, and easily understood by man and machine alike.

Social Media Marketing

According to the Global Web Index, people spend as much as 30% of their online time on social media.  Social media outlets allow you to reach customers in unusual places, and as they consume content.  This means the customers come to you, and that makes social media a perfect pairing for a good inbound marketing strategy.  Social media has a little something for everyone, and it’s important to find the right way to approach your audience on each platform in order to get the best results.  The inbound marketer approaches social media from a truly ‘social’ perspective, spending their time engaging with customers and being helpful, rather than pitching products.

Email Marketing

You’ve probably heard that ’email is dead’.  If you are using the old ‘spray and pray’ email marketing techniques, the ubiquitous ‘they’ might be right.  However, according to Direct Marketing Association, email has a 3800% ROI when used properly.  Approaching email from the ‘inbound’ mindset means triggered, personalized emails closely related to what your prospects are doing, instead of one size fits all email marketing that has been used in the past.

Marketing Automation

Once all the other pieces are in place, marketing automation streamlines the process of getting all of that marketing collateral into the hands of your prospects.  Goodbye repetitive tasks, and remembering to send the right thing at the right time, hello 27/7 marketing machine that allows you to make sure that every prospect gets what they need, regardless of when they approach you.