This guide provides a complete understanding of Inbound Marketing including strategies, examples, etc. Learn the differences – Inbound vs Outbound Marketing:
In this article, we have covered the definition of inbound marketing, some facts related to it, examples, strategies, the difference between inbound and outbound marketing, HubSpot inbound marketing, need, importance.
Also, explore some of the best inbound marketing agencies based in the US and some frequently asked questions.
Let us begin our learning.
What You Will Learn:
Understanding Inbound Marketing
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing Definition – Inbound marketing refers to the business methodology to target right-fight customers that help the brands to get the attention of prospects in a way to create brand awareness and attract new customers.
It aims to make the prospects don’t feel like they are sold, instead, it has a stronger influence on them and leads to brand preference in their future purchasing decisions. It facilitates brand awareness, brand preference, more leads, and less investment.
Market Trends: According to the study on the effectiveness of inbound marketing by Invesp, inbound leads cost 61% less on average than outbound leads and if inbound marketing is executed properly, it leads to 10 times more lead conversion than outbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing Examples
#1) Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is an example of inbound marketing where customers are targeted based on keywords already searched by customers. It aims at optimizing the websites with these keywords to let interested customers come to your website. It lets quality customers come to your website instead of irrelevant traffic.
By continuously generating content with updated keywords, one can improve SEO inbound marketing performance and can attract a targeted audience.
The approach of SEO is to engage with customers in a more human way rather than a pushing approach where customers are being pushed to go through your ads.
Suggested Reading => Most Popular Inbound Marketing Software Tools
Blogs are another example that aims at attracting customers through writing appealing content on blogs with the most searched keywords, which leads to ranking higher on search engines.
It is important to make blogs as you can not post sufficient content on the main page of a website. So to cover maximum keywords or to get high on search engines, you need to constantly post blogs on your website.
According to stats from Hubspot, BufferApp, and CMI, 5x more leads are generated when you post blogs daily, 434% more index pages in search engines are given to websites that generate blogs.
#3) Web-based Seminars
Web-based seminars or webinars are considered a form of inbound marketing. It is an Internet seminar presented to an exclusive web audience.
The aim is to provide valuable content to the audience that they are looking for and therefore generate leads from there. It leads to immediate lead capture by asking the audience to fill out forms for registration and from there, the audience then converts into qualified leads.
It facilitates direct engagement with prospects, as they can ask questions, or they can poll directly. The cost of implementation is low as it eliminates traveling and hosting expenses. It also can convey large amounts of information.
Ebooks play an integral part in inbound marketing practice. It facilitates demand generation by helping in increasing project credibility in various ways.
It provides customers with large pieces of information on long-form content that enhances your credibility. They are inexpensive to produce as compared to other marketing materials and print media, as the production cost is minimal.
The distribution process is also very simple. You can offer your Ebooks via website download or can sell them on Amazon or other sites. It is a subtle form of marketing that means it is not only available to audiences but they want to access the information. It uses a content syndication plan to target the desired audience.
#5) Viral Videos
Videos are another example of inbound marketing that enables you to attract organic traffic to your website through meaningful interaction and thoughtful or unique content. Social media videos are eye-catching and attract more audiences to your content and they are free. You do not need to pay for posting on social media.
Video hosting sites provide a content library and also allow you to add links or blogs in the description of your videos, ultimately increasing your website traffic. By posting blogs with videos, the customers can be more engaged.
They increase search engine ranking 53 times more if you use it wisely.
Inbound Marketing Strategy
#1) Attracting Strategies
It includes marketing strategies that help brands attract customers with marketing practices that pull customers to the brands themselves. This is done by creating and updating content daily with the most searched keywords. This leads to getting organic traffic to your website by appearing on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
You can write blogs on how to use a particular product, solutions for different problems related to the usage of your product, customer reviews, and testimonials or details about your product and its promotions and discounts.
This includes strategies like
- Blog articles
- Social media
- Content offers
- SEO strategy, etc.
#2) Engaging Strategies
Customer engagement is very essential to the growth of any organization. This includes strategies that help the organizations in engaging the prospects that have come or are attracted to your website. It includes practices that help in communicating and dealing with prospects to make them want to build long-term relationships with the brand.
In these types of strategies, information about your brand’s products is imparted in a way they feel you are providing a valuable product to them.
This includes practices like,
- Inbound sales calls
- Solution selling strategy
- Customer feedbacks
- Compensation programs (like referrals, rewards, and so on)
- Responsive email marketing
#3) Delighting strategies
Delighting strategies refer to those strategies that help in assisting the customers at any point they need and making them feel more satisfied and supported. Delighting customers leads to brand loyalty, repeat purchases, and new customers through word of mouth. It converts the customers into promoters.
Delighting practices are never-ending. It starts from the very beginning of a customer’s journey and continues even after the closure of the deal.
The strategies involved at this stage are:
- Follow-up emails
- Hosting surveys and events
- Marketing Automation
- Social media listening
- Smart content and much more.
Differences: Inbound vs Outbound Marketing
The table below explains the differences between inbound and outbound marketing:
|Difference||Inbound Marketing||Outbound Marketing|
|Meaning||Inbound marketing refers to the type of marketing wherein audiences are attracted towards the brands through getting appealing content on online platforms tailored for them.||Outbound marketing refers to that type of marketing wherein the brands reach out to the prospects to promote and sell their products. It is the traditional way of connecting to prospects via advertising.|
|Examples||Videos, webinars, blogs, social media, ebooks, SEO content and so on.||Direct mail, billboards, cold calling and emailing, magazine ads, TV ads, radio ads and so on.|
|Target audience||Messages or content are tailored to target a specific audience.||Content is not tailored for a specific audience rather it is created for people as a whole and must stand out among millions of other ads.|
|Performance measure||Performance is measurable through digital marketing software.||It is difficult to measure performance or attribution through physical advertising.|
|Engagement||The message or practices involved are interactive cross channel communication with the readers.||It follows a one-way communication method or linear communication method where the brands just reach out to prospects without any interaction.|
|Approach||The pulling approach is followed where interested prospects are pulled towards the brand.||Here the pushing approach is applied. In this, the message is pushed and forced on the prospects.|
|Type of data and its attribution||It includes digital and quantifiable data.||It includes immeasurable and hard to track data.|
|Platform||Websites, blogs, eBooks, opt-in emails, SERP and social media||TV ads, billboards, pop-up internet ads, telemarketing and magazines.|
|Focus||Focus on customer's needs||It focuses on the product's needs|
|Type of message||It includes messages that are educational, specific and useful in nature.||It includes messages that are broad, forced and complicated in nature.|
HubSpot Inbound Marketing
HubSpot offers a free certification course for inbound professionals and marketers in inbound marketing that helps in understanding and developing techniques for effective inbound marketing.
In this course, they make you understand how to create educational content to nurture leads in their buyer’s journey, making the content relevant to target desired prospects, and how you can use automation and AI tools to optimize your marketing processes.
The overall course includes 7 lessons, 24 videos, and 7 quizzes that are covered under 3:25 hours. It includes content marketing, lead generation, automation, inbound marketing, and reporting and performance.
Benefits of this course:
- It provides 100% free sign-up for academy accounts with access to education libraries and software tools.
- It provides a customized course as per the individual’s needs to help them develop knowledge and skills.
- It offers globally recognized certification that helps individuals in getting better positions by showing off the skills and knowledge learned here in this academy.
The course offered contains seven lessons:
- Inbound marketing fundamentals
- Getting to know your customers
- Creating content for the buyer’s journey
- Creating a content distribution strategy
- Understanding Behavioral Marketing and Customer Segmentation
- Maximizing ROI with Marketing Attribution and Experimentation
- Utilizing Marketing Automation and Artificial Intelligence
HubSpot Inbound Certifications:
HubSpot offers two inbound certifications
- Inbound: In this course, you are provided with teachings on the fundamentals of inbound marketing and its methodology. It teaches how to set business goals and company purpose, buyer’s journey, and so on.
- Inbound marketing: This is unlike inbound certification where you are given teachings on fundamentals. It covers the implementation of various inbound techniques and strategies, like- content strategy, creating blogs, and more.
- It lets you understand core principles and the software itself.
- You can add these certifications to your resume to get better positions.
- It gives you an edge over others while applying for any job, as they can see the value and time you have invested.
Inbound Marketing: Need and Importance
- Cost-effective: Inbound marketing, as compared to other forms of marketing like outbound marketing, is cost-effective. Its methods like SEO, webinars, etc. are easy and low on the cost to start. It can be used by small businesses as well because it does not require large funds for marketing practices.
- Higher trust and credibility: It creates higher trust and credibility from the customers towards the brands. The content strategy makes your content appear higher on the search which builds trust in the minds of customers. With wider coverage and brand awareness, it leads to more credibility.
- Quality traffic and leads: With a proper targeted and informed approach, inbound marketing attracts not only maximum organic traffic to your website but also quality traffic that is more likely to be interested in your product.
- Opportunity to learn and evolve: It gives you space and opportunity to learn and evolve your shortcomings by going through communication with customers as conversations, questions, and feedback on social media platforms.
- Increase visibility: A proper inbound marketing strategy that includes content creation with SEO leads your brand to appear higher in Google search results and hence increases your visibility.
- Nurture lead: It helps in nurturing the leads. Viewers who come to your website in search of similar products are not ready to purchase from you. But proper inbound marketing lets them convince through various nurturing techniques.
- Delight customers: It helps in delighting customers by providing various perks and rewards even after the sale to convert them into happy promoters of the organization.
- Facilitate brand awareness: Inbound marketing techniques facilitate brand awareness through continuous blog updates, social media marketing, and SEO. At the time of purchase, the customers are then aware of your brand.
- Long-lasting business relationships: It builds relationships and connections with customers by creating and updating blogs, content, and posts regularly. It not only connects with new customers but also potential customers.
- Irrelevant ad saturation: As compared to outbound marketing where ads are imposed on viewers even if they are not interested and do not pay attention to any one of them, inbound marketing provides relevant content to attract the right customers.
Top Inbound Marketing Agencies
Here is the list:
- SmartBug Media
- Kuno Creative
- Salted Stone
- New Breed
- Element Three
- Screaming Frog Services
- Media Junction
- Lean Labs
- PR 20/20
- Ignite Visibility
- High Level Marketing
- Comrade Digital Marketing Agency
- Direct Online Marketing
Also Read =>> Top Inbound Marketing Agencies
Frequently Asked Questions
Q #1) What are the types of inbound marketing?
Answer: The main five types are:
- Interactive content: It includes polls, slideshows, infographics, etc. The content needs to be updated daily to be at the top of the search engine results page.
- Webinars: Through this type of marketing, you can connect your prospects with a greater personal touch and help in building email lists.
- Social media videos: These help the brand in increasing awareness, keeping people engaged, and sharing relevant content.
- e-Newsletters: It lets the subscribers know about the updates of the brand on a continuous basis.
- High-quality images: Infographics are more liked by the audience as compared to other content.
Q #2) Is Social Media Marketing Outbound or Inbound?
Answer: Social media marketing comes under inbound marketing strategies as it aims to reach the audience most humanly. The approach is not to force content but to pull the audience towards its brands in a way to make connections with the brand.
The organic content used on social media is considered to be an inbound marketing practice. It can be used as outbound marketing in case the brand uses paid ads as its form of marketing.
Q #3) Is HubSpot inbound marketing certification worth it?
Answer: Yes, HubSpot marketing certification is worth it. It provides a ten-section course wherein those marketing strategies are included that help in taking your prospects into your marketing funnel. It also teaches how to create effective content by using different platforms, how to convert and nurture leads, and so on.
It is all about teaching how to create the right content at the right time for the right person so that it could be trustworthy, knowledgeable, and able to form relations with the customers.
Q #4) How do you develop an inbound marketing strategy?
Answer: To form an effective strategy, you need to follow the following steps:
- Building buyer personas
- Setting strategy objectives
- Knowing your customers’ marketing triggers
- Sorting and making a list of keywords
- Organizing content for the buyer’s journey
- Creating ways to lead nurturing
- Conversion-focused blogging
- Building a team of experts
Q #5) What are the 5 inbound principles?
Answer: The five main principles are:
- Standardize: It refers to making your content consistent to suit different audiences.
- Contextualize: It refers to tailoring your content relevant to target the desired audience.
- Optimize: It is to make your content better after analyzing and identifying the shortcomings based on the audience’s behavior.
- Personalize: It means to personalize your content in a way to adds a personal touch to it.
- Empathize: The aim is to make the content more human rather than just focus on data.
Q #6) What are inbound leads?
Answer: Inbound leads are defined as those leads that connect with your brand through any specific marketing platform like any social media post, direct referral, or any other educational content.
These are of three types:
- Marketing Qualified Leads
- Sales Qualified Leads
- Product Qualified Leads
Q #7) What is inbound demand generation?
Answer: It is defined as the demand generation in a way that the buyers themselves attract to the brand through self-education and discovery. In this form of marketing, the information that the buyers need is provided in the place where they search for it and whenever they need it throughout the buyer’s journey.
Through our research, we came to know how important inbound marketing could be. We discussed its various strategies that help in attracting, engaging, and delighting the customers in the best possible ways.
After discussing the difference between the two, inbound and outbound marketing, we came to know that inbound marketing is better than outbound marketing in anyways.
There are various examples of inbound marketing, like webinars, viral videos, social media, ebooks, and so on.
We concluded that an inbound marketing strategy for any organization is worth it and positively affects the organization as well as the customers. It helps in attracting customers, building trust, and fostering loyalty in the long term.