Inbound Marketing – Short Conceptual Explanation

Inbound marketing is a strategy that companies and businesses use to attract customers to their brand. Unlike traditional advertising methods like television commercials and online ads that push people towards a sale, inbound marketing draws the attention of potential customers with the use of online content that provides real value.

Inbound Marketing

The differences between outbound and inbound marketing

Outbound marketing is sometimes considered as the “push method”. It focuses on “pushing” products or services on customers through means of traditional advertising methods. Many companies are reducing the money and time they spend on outbound marketing because it is not as effective as it used to be decades ago.

Marketing experts refer to the problem of outbound marketing as “advertising blindness”. People today consider traditional advertisements as being disruptive and avoid it actively.

Some statistics surrounding the effectiveness of outbound marketing include:

  • 45 percent of direct mail is never opened
  • 85 percent of people skip television commercials
  • 84 percent of 25-35 year-olds will exit a website with excessive advertising

Because outbound marketing is not as effective as it once was, marketers are turning to inbound marketing. Instead of “pushing” customers towards a product or service, it “pulls” customers by earning their interest and trust. Therefore, it is often referred to as the “pull method”.

Some statistics surrounding the effectiveness of inbound marketing include:

  • Companies that increase their blogging tactics can double their leads
  • Companies with more Twitter followers can generate over 100% more traffic
  • Social media has a 100 percent higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing
  • 94 percent of links users click on are organic, not paid

Because of the fact that inbound marketing is proving to be more effective in the 21st century, it is also more cost-effective. Today digital marketers focus more on inbound rather than on outbound marketing because it provides businesses and companies with the most bang for their buck.

Inbound Marketing

Types of inbound marketing

Inbound marketing primarily involves content that can be found on the internet. It includes:

There are also some unexpected choices for businesses that want to stand out from their competitors. Online quizzes, eBooks, studies, infographics, and interactive games are a few other inbound marketing options companies have at their disposal.

In contrast, outbound marketing includes:

  • Television commercials
  • Radio ads
  • Direct mail
  • Telemarketing
  • Print ads

Inbound marketing is more effective than outbound marketing because it has the ability to provide real value to customers and clients. It can provide them with information, entertain them, or enable them to connect with companies they are interested in on a personal level.

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The importance of SEO in inbound marketing strategies

Because inbound marketing takes place online, SEO is important. It involves the use of keywords and phrases that optimize content so it ranks well on search engines like Google.

SEO is considered a form of inbound advertising because it leads searchers to content based on their query. By typing in a word, phrase, or question, a search engine will pull out content from the internet that matches their search. With this method, customers and clients are able to seek what a company has to offer instead of the company seeking their business.

Because of the fact that the majority of clicks to any website results from organic searches, it is imperative for a company to optimize their content in order to ensure that it ranks well in search engine results.

SEO techniques for this kind of marketing include:

  • Doing keyword research to identify high-value words and phrases
  • Building an informative website that utilizes those keywords
  • Continuing keyword research and integrating new phrases into blog articles
  • Including links on the website and throughout blog articles
  • Creating unique content with a relevant title and URL
  • Integrating keywords and popular hashtags on social media posts
  • Tracking analytics so SEO strategies can be adjusted

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing methodology

Because inbound marketing focuses on pulling customers, it has the ability to attract attention from a wide variety of people. Where those people are located in the funnel will determine the inbound strategies that are used.

The four phases of inbound methodology include:

  • Attracting the right people using relevant, SEO content through blogging, social media, and website content
  • Converting those people to leads by using forms, online messaging, and meetings
  • Closing the deal by making sales through the use of email marketing and lead nurturing
  • Delighting existing customers by providing an outstanding experience with great content, conversations, and customer service

Inbound marketing methodology is frequently compared to a funnel where the most website visitors are at the top of the funnel, seeking information. Shoppers can be found in the middle of the funnel, considering a purchase, while the fewest number of visitors at the bottom of the funnel are the ones who follow through and make a purchase. The more detailed methodology outlined above takes the funnel one step further by reminding businesses that there is more work to be done after closing the deal by keeping customers interested in their brand.