SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the practice of optimizing websites or web pages to rank higher in search engines such as Google and Bing. The goal of SEO is to get your site ranked high enough so that potential customers see your page when they type keywords into their search bar.
Inbound marketing is a term coined by Hubspot founder Brian Halligan. It refers to the idea of attracting new leads through relevant content, rather than relying solely on paid advertising or other methods of advertising.
It’s important for SEOs to understand the concept of inbound marketing because it helps them better serve their clients. If you want to attract more traffic to your site, then you should focus on creating quality content that answers questions and solves problems. This is a big part of inbound marketing.
Also, creating engaging content that really drives readers to your blog is the goal: by identifying audience pain points and creating content that they find interesting and engaging, it’s possible to drive traffic and increase the results your blog can get.
What, Exactly, is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is the process used to help potential customers find your company online. This frequently happens before the consumer is ready to purchase. But making contact early can lead to brand preference and eventually leads and revenues.
Pull marketing techniques are often used to create brand awareness and draw attention to your product or service. They include:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Optimization
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Mobile App Development
The goal is to make it easy for consumers to learn about you and what you do.
The Benefits of an Inbound Marketing Strategy
Inbound marketing is often confused with outbound marketing. While both are forms of marketing, they have some key differences. Outbound marketing focuses on making sales calls, sending emails, and creating ads. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, focuses on providing useful information about your products and services to potential customers.
This includes things such as blogs, social media posts, videos, etc.
The main benefit of inbound marketing is that it makes prospects feel like they’re getting something of value from you, rather than being sold to. They’ll feel more comfortable engaging with you and sharing personal information.
How does inbound marketing work?
When a customer types in a search term into Google, Bing, Yahoo, or another search engine, their results will be populated by websites that rank highly for those terms. These websites may be owned by businesses or individuals who want to get found online.
An example would be if someone searches for “best dog food” and your website ranks high for this phrase. You could then use these rankings to send them to your site.
You can also use SEO (search engine optimization) to increase traffic to your own website. If people type in keywords related to your business, you can direct them to your website using paid advertising.
What is the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is about creating great content that attracts people to your site. Once there, they want to know why they should care about what you’re offering, how you can benefit them, and how they can find out more. They don’t just come to your site because they wanted to; they’re looking for solutions to their problems.
Outbound marketing is about finding those people already interested in your product or service, convincing them to become your customer, and keeping them happy once they’ve bought from you. It’s about getting into their head and changing their mind.
A common mistake businesses make is thinking that one type of marketing is better than another. While some types of marketing are very effective, others are less useful. For example, email marketing works well for sending messages to existing customers and prospects. But it doesn’t work nearly as well for reaching new customers.
The same goes for social media marketing. Facebook ads are good for targeting specific audiences, but they won’t reach everyone. And while paid advertising like Google AdWords can be effective, it’s expensive and requires lots of data to target effectively.
If you focus too much on one form of marketing over another, you risk wasting money and missing opportunities. Instead, use both forms of marketing together. You’ll find that they complement each other really well, and you’ll see greater success overall.
The ROI of a Potentially Successful Inbound Marketing Campaign
The acronym ROI stands for Return On Investment. A good inbound marketing strategy will help companies increase revenue and decrease costs, while improving customer experience. However, many marketers are unsure how to implement such programs. Some common questions include: How much does it cost? What do I need to start? Where can I find qualified leads? And what metrics tell me whether my program is working?
Here are some tips on implementing an effective inbound marketing plan:
1. Start small. Don’t try to take on everything at once. Focus on one aspect of your marketing strategy at a time and make sure it works well before moving onto another area. If you’re just starting out, focus on email marketing because it can provide immediate results without requiring too much effort. You can always expand later.
2. Find qualified leads. Once you’ve identified your target audience, look for ways to connect with them. For example, you could offer a special discount to people who subscribe to your blog. Or you could promote a contest where customers enter a drawing for a free product. This way, you’ll attract potential buyers who want to buy now.
3. Use automation tools. Automation is key to creating an efficient workflow. Tools like Hubspot allow you to automate tasks, set up campaigns, track performance, and analyze data. They also give you insights into which parts of your marketing funnel work and which ones don’t.
4. Measure results. When you launch your inbound marketing campaign, use analytics tools to see how it’s performing. Track response rates, conversion rates, and sales conversions. Then adjust your next campaign accordingly.
5. Be consistent. Your goal is to build trust among your prospects, so consistency is important. Make sure every piece of content you produce follows the same style and tone. Also keep in mind that there’s no single formula for generating quality leads. Every brand is different, so tailor your approach to fit your needs.
Inbound Marketing: Content Types That Work
The most effective way to reach customers is through content. Content Marketing Institute found that 92% of marketers are creating more content than ever before. But what type of content works best for you? Here are some examples of content types you might use to attract leads, increase brand awareness, and grow revenue.
Blog posts – These help establish thought leadership and build authority around your industry. They’re great for generating traffic and building relationships with prospects.
E-books & white papers – If you want to educate people about a specific topic, e-books and white papers provide a cost-effective solution. You’ll find that many businesses offer free downloads of their whitepapers.
Infographics – An infographic is a visual representation of information. They’re often used to explain complex concepts in a simple format. Infographics are popular because they’re easy to understand and share.
Videos – Video content is growing in popularity. People love watching videos online, especially video blogs. A video blog is like a regular blog post except it includes video clips.
Webinars – Webinars allow you to host a live event where attendees watch presentations and ask questions via chat. This allows you to connect with potential clients and expand your network.
News articles – News articles are another form of content that’s gaining traction. In fact, 93% of B2C companies now publish news articles. There are a variety of ways to use news articles to generate interest in your products or services. For example, you could write an article about how your product solves a problem that’s relevant to your audience. Or you could write an article that compares your product to one of your competitors’.
Webcasts – Webcasts are similar to webinars. However, they’re usually recorded rather than live. Like webinars, webcasts allow you to communicate with your target market.
It’s Not Just About Getting The Most Sales
Inbound marketing is about helping people solve problems. It’s about creating content that helps your audience find what they want. And it’s about making sure that content is useful, interesting, and relevant enough to keep them coming back. But it’s not just about sales. Inbound marketing is about helping your customers become advocates for your product or service. It’s about providing them with information they can use to form opinions about your brand and products. And it’s about building trust and credibility over time.
The best way to think about inbound marketing is to imagine yourself working with someone else. You’re trying to help them do something, whether it’s finding a good doctor or buying a car or just getting better organized. Maybe you’re helping them figure out how to pay off their credit card debt. Or maybe you’re helping them start a small business. Whatever it is, you’re there to provide them with some guidance and support along the way.
You don’t know anything about the person you’re helping. You don’t even really care much about their specific problem. All you care about is solving their problem for them. When you achieve that goal, you’ve done your job well. You helped someone.
Who Uses Inbound Marketing the Most?
The answer is simple: everyone. Even big companies like Amazon, Dell, Walmart, and Target use inbound marketing to connect with buyers and prospects. Smaller businesses use inbound marketing too. They just don’t call it that. Instead, they’re leveraging social media, blogging, email marketing, webinars, podcasts, video, etc. to attract leads and nurture relationships with current clients.
Inbound marketing isn’t about selling more products. It’s about helping people find solutions to problems through education, inspiration, and guidance. When you provide helpful information, you empower people to make decisions that lead to buying behavior.
Why Use Inbound Marketing?
Small businesses are using inbound marketing in order to grow sales, as well as increase the time-to-value for their customers. Here are a few reasons why this could be a fantastic vehicle to increase your overall business as well.
1. It’s Empowering For Your Buyers
When you help people solve problems, they feel empowered. This gives them confidence that they can handle whatever challenges come next. If you want to build trust and loyalty with your audience, you’ve got to give them something worth trusting.
2. It’s Easy To Measure
If you have any doubts about the effectiveness of your inbound marketing efforts, all you need to do is measure results. By tracking conversions, you’ll be able to see which channels and messages are most effective at converting visitors into leads. From there, you can refine your strategy and focus on the ones that work best.
3. It Builds Trust With Your Audience.
People buy from brands they trust. The same goes for buying online. People will only purchase from sites they trust. That means if you want to increase conversion rates, you need to earn the trust of your audience.
4. It Gives You A Competitive Advantage
It’s no secret that when it comes to digital marketing, bigger businesses tend to dominate the market. But what if I told you there was a way to compete with those giants without spending millions of dollars on advertising? There is. And it’s called inbound marketing.
5. It Makes Your Brand More Human
It’s easy to forget that we’re not just talking about a company here. We’re also talking about real human beings who have hopes, dreams, fears, and aspirations. So why wouldn’t you treat your customers as such?
6. It Helps You Stand Out From The Crowd
There are so many other businesses doing similar things right now. How do you stand out from the crowd? One way is by being different. Be unique. Be authentic. Be genuine.
Creating, Implementing, and Optimizing Your Own Inbound Marketing Campaign
Inbound marketing generally includes a comprehensive content marketing campaign.
Content marketing isn’t just about throwing money at something and hoping it works. In fact, creating killer content is about brains, commitment, and strategy, not budget. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to produce quality content. There are ways to start small and build up over time.
The good news is that there are five easy steps to follow to help you plan, implement, and improve your content marketing efforts. These include:
Step 1: Define Your Goals and Audience Personas
If you want to sell your products online, you must identify your target audience and learn everything there is to know about them. If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to craft content that informs your customers.
This is why it’s important to define what you want out of your marketing efforts. What are your business goals? How does each piece of content help achieve those goals? Who is your ideal customer? Once you answer these questions, you can begin writing content for people like them.
The next step is to research your audience. Learn everything you can about them. This includes demographics, interests, behaviors, buying patterns, and anything else that might affect how they interact with your brand.
Once you understand your audience, you can start creating content that speaks directly to them. Content that doesn’t speak to your audience isn’t worth publishing.
Step 2: Create Content for Every Stage of the Buying Process
Inbound marketing is about attracting, engaging and converting leads into paying customers. But it’s also about providing value long after you’ve closed the sale. In fact, according to HubSpot research, 80% of buyers say they prefer companies that provide useful information even after they purchase. This includes offering support via email, social media, phone calls and video chats.
The key to successful inbound marketing is knowing what type of buyer you want to reach, where they spend most of their time online and how best to use the tools available to engage them.
For example, if you sell software, you might focus on creating helpful blog posts, writing case studies, recording webinars and sharing videos. If you sell health products, you could offer educational articles, publish infographics and host live events. And if you sell financial services, you could post tips about saving money, write guides on investing, and produce tutorials on budgeting.
Once you know your audience and understand their needs, you can start developing useful content that addresses those issues. You can also identify opportunities to help people along their path to purchase, whether that’s by answering common questions or helping them find the right solution.
As you build out your strategy, don’t forget to think about the different stages of the buyer’s journey. For example, if someone visits your site looking for product recommendations, you probably want to give them something else to read once they’re ready to buy. If they’re researching financing options, you might send them to a separate resource to learn more about credit cards. Or if they’re considering a career change, you might suggest some resources to check out.
As you develop your content strategy, keep in mind that preemptive answers to potential problems are one of the best ways to improve your conversion rates.
Step 3: Choose Your Content Delivery Platforms
The most important step in creating great content is choosing where to publish it. There are many different ways to create content, including social media platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat; email marketing tools like MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, and GetResponse; blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger; and others.
Each one offers unique benefits and challenges. For example, some platforms allow you to easily customize your content based on what works best for your target market. Others require you to design everything yourself. Some offer free plans while others charge per month. And some let you build relationships with people who want to hear from you, while others don’t.
There are pros and cons to each option, and it’s up to you to decide how much control you want over your content creation process. Ultimately, however, the choice boils down to three things:
1. What type of content do you want to produce? Do you want to write blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, podcasts, ebooks, or something else entirely?
2. How often do you plan to post? If you’re producing a lot of content every day, you’ll probably find that blogging platforms work well for you because you can keep track of your progress without having to manage anything else. But if you rarely update your site, you might prefer a tool that allows you to create multiple types of content in bulk.
3. How much money do you want to spend? You can use a variety of tools to help you create content, ranging from free options like Microsoft Word to paid ones like Adobe Creative Cloud. Depending on your budget, you could pay hundreds or thousands of dollars annually to access a wide range of features.
Once you’ve determined the best place to host your content, you’ll need to choose a publishing platform. Here are a few popular options:
Blogger: This is a simple platform that lets you set up a personal blog quickly and easily. You can start writing immediately, and you won’t have to worry about hosting or managing your site. However, there aren’t many customization options, and you’ll need to know HTML code to make changes.
WordPress: This is an open-source CMS (content management system) that makes it easy to create websites and blogs. It has tons of plugins available, which means you can add lots of functionality to your website. The downside is that you need to be technically savvy to install and maintain your own site.
Wix: Wix is a web development company that specializes in building sites using their drag-and-drop interface. They also offer a service called “Wix Sites,” which lets you upload your existing site and turn it into a mobile-friendly version.
Duda: Duda is a cloud-based solution that helps you create beautiful websites and blogs. It includes a built-in editor that automatically formats text, images, and other elements so they look good across all devices. You can also integrate third-party apps, such as Google Maps and Facebook, to give your site more personality.
Step 4: Create Your Content Calendar and Execute The Plan
Content marketing is about creating great content. But it’s also about scheduling that content throughout the week. You don’t want to just post something once every few days.
Instead, you want to publish content regularly — and consistently — so that people know what to expect from you.
To do that, you need a content calendar. A content calendar helps you plan ahead so you never miss a beat. And it lets you see how much work there is left to do each day. So let’s dive into step four: create and execute your content calendar.
First, think about when you’d like to release new content. For example, maybe you want to share a new blog post on Monday morning at 9am Pacific time. Or perhaps you’d rather wait until Thursday afternoon at 3pm Eastern time. Whatever works best for you.
Next, decide where you’ll distribute your posts. Will you write them yourself? Hire freelance writers? Use a social media tool to schedule your tweets? There are plenty of ways to get your content out there. Just pick one and stick with it.
Finally, figure out who will actually read your content. If you’re planning to promote your content through email blasts, then you should probably include everyone on your list. But if you’re going to post it on Twitter, you might only want to target followers who are most likely to engage with your brand.
Now that you’ve got everything planned out, it’s time to execute. Start by making sure you have enough content ready to go. Then, take some time to review your entire content calendar. Are there any dates that feel rushed? Can you remove anything that doesn’t fit into your overall strategy?
Once you’ve made any necessary adjustments, it’s time to start publishing!
Step 5: Analyze and Optimize the Results of Your Inbound Marketing Campaign
Whether you decide to analyze SEO ranks, inbound links, the number of articles published or the amount of traffic generated, these resources will provide invaluable insights into how your campaigns are doing. But it takes time to do proper research and set up a baseline. So, we recommend setting aside some time each week to review your data and make adjustments where necessary.
The most effective way to identify what works and what doesn’t is to look at your overall performance over time. You want to track metrics like SEO rankings, inbound link growth, article views, social shares, and even visitor numbers. Then, compare those results against your goals. If you’re looking to increase conversion rates, you might find that increasing the number of blog posts leads to better conversions. Or maybe you see that your best performing articles tend to rank well on search engines. Whatever metric(s) you choose to measure, it’s important to keep tabs on them throughout the entire campaign.
We suggest starting with three key metrics:
- Visitor Traffic
After you’ve identified which keywords perform best, you can use this information to refine your keyword selection process. Next, you’ll want to focus on building backlinks.
This means finding relevant sites that would benefit from linking to yours. Finally, you’ll be able to determine whether visitors are converting based on the type of content they consume.
If you’re not already using Google Analytics, now is a great time to install it. It’s free and provides detailed stats on all of your site’s visitors. Plus, it allows you to create custom reports so you can easily monitor your progress.
If you’re still struggling to understand why people visit your website, consider hiring an outside agency to conduct user testing. They’ll help you discover exactly what makes your audience tick.
Inbound Marketing is Not the Be-All, End-All Strategy, But It’s Still an Excellent Way to Reach Potential Customers
While inbound marketing is one of many types of strategies that you can use as part of your SEO mix, it’s not the be-all, end-all strategy that will guarantee results all the time.
You still need to analyze and adapt over time, along with making sure that you continue optimizing everything when you can.
If you need to switch up your content strategy, that’s fine too. The best thing about inbound marketing is that it allows you to go with the flow and adapt to new strategies for producing content as they are needed.
Nobody just “builds it and they will come.” It’s more accurate to say that they “build it, promote it, and continue promoting it, and they will come.”
When do you plan on starting your inbound marketing campaign?