We’re often asked, “So, exactly what is Inbound Marketing?” For answers, we have an elevator speech; a painfully long explanation; a version for those who know a little; one for those who know a lot; and, lastly, a textbook inbound marketing definition for those who are just being polite.
To all, my favorite reply is, “Inbound Marketing focuses on creating an online vacuum that sucks in qualified leads by educating and helping them.”
If that’s not quite enough information to satisfy your “What’s inbound marketing?” curiosity, here’s a synopsis that gives inbound marketing meaning and explains its long term appeal to your ideal buyer personas.
Inbound Marketing Definition
Inbound marketing strategy focuses on helping customers while simultaneously driving business growth. It revolves around a specific set of marketing tools and processes that allows you to attract, engage and delight prospects and customers.
More to the point, the inbound marketing flywheel methodology helps you make prospects and customers central to business growth.
RELATED: What’s the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?
What does inbound marketing mean to you? It’s the surest way to align your content with the way today’s buyers make purchase decisions. An inbound marketing strategy requires you to:
- Look at the facts. Recognize that today, the internet is how people research, decide, and buy — not just consumer purchases, but complex B2B products or services, too.
- Focus on search engine optimization (SEO). Continually improve your best-performing content through keyword research and other inbound techniques to help your website rank higher in search engine results.
- Emphasize user experience. Make it easy for prospective customers to navigate your website and get answers. Eliminate friction from your prospects’ and customers’ experiences and provide interactive, personal touches so they’ll continue to look to you for information and guidance.
- Create valuable content that demonstrates your expertise. Make sure content on your site provides answers to the "What's in it for me?" and “Why you?” questions target audiences inevitably ask. Add to it often. Here are some ideas that will be helpful as you develop high quality content.
- Convert traffic into leads, then nurture those leads. Execute a turnkey process to attract visitors, target customers, and respond to prospects' interests and guide them along their buyer’s journey until they’re ready to buy and beyond.
- Build trust and credibility. Over time, prospects need to identify your company as a go-to resource for information. By providing content that is focused on their needs instead of your own, you’ll earn their trust (and likely their business, too).
All these marketing methodologies are executed seamlessly with the help of marketing automation software that is fully integrated with your website CMS and CRM. An integrated marketing automation platform (like that created by HubSpot, a highly respected leader in the field) will help you attract, engage, and delight customers by creating quality content in ways that outbound marketing simply can’t.
Even though much of the engagement and nurturing process is automated, it can still be highly personalized to the needs of customers through a holistic approach and customized workflows.
If you're looking for a way to visually answer “What is inbound marketing?” for your leadership and sales teams, here's a helpful infographic (And if you're wondering why you need organizational buy-in, we've got a resource for you on that too: What Does Organizational Buy-In Have to Do With Inbound Results?).
Common Online Content Marketing Strategies
The foundation of any successful inbound marketing strategy is relevant content. But even that can be broadly defined. Here are the most common types of inbound marketing content.
- Blog posts. Connect with potential customers regularly by demonstrating your industry expertise and ability to address their pain points.
- Case studies. Share success stories of others who’ve relied on your product or service to meet their needs.
- Guides, eBooks. Provide in-depth information on a topic to educate and maximize lead generation.
- Tip sheets and checklists. These quick-win pieces provide fast, actionable tips for prospects.
- Landing pages. Entice leads to exchange their contact information for additional helpful content or relevant offer with a compelling call to action.
- Infographics. Use visual representations for content that contains quick-win tips and supporting statistics.
- Videos. One of the best marketing methods for capturing the attention of prospects is explainer videos, customer testimonials and more.
- Email marketing. Nurture prospects down the sales funnel through email nurturing that’s tailored to their needs.
- Social media. One of the best ways to spread the word about your content is through organic and paid social media campaigns.
With an Inbound Marketing agency at your side to help develop a strategy and do SEO, web design, content creation, and more (Hey! How about Weidert Group?), you’ll have turned your website into the hardest working sales tool you have — and the one with the greatest ROI.
Want a deeper dive into the world of inbound marketing for industrials? Check out our online guide for everything you need to know. Just click the link below.