Good day my sister and brother webmasters! What is inbound marketing? Do you use it? We’ve introduced here in our Search Engine Academy SEO classes. If you’re not sure what it is, read on, because SEO is a part of inbound marketing! Let’s get started, shall we?
Put simply, inbound marketing is envisioning, creating and implementing a high quality content creation program that you execute for web sites. When we say “content creation,” not only are we talking about web pages, we are also referring to blog posts, white papers, case studies, podcasts and videos, for all of this is content that web searchers love to consume.
Inbound marketing and content creation is designed to appeal to your target audience’s interests and needs. By creating and publishing interesting, unique, useful content, you are attracting, or pulling prospects to your site to learn more about your products and services.
The real success of inbound marketing is getting those prospects to return to your site multiple times until they are ready to take the desired call to action you created – a contact form, a download, a phone call or viewing a video.
Inbound marketing typically involves creating landing pages with motivating content that contain the call to actions (CTA) listed above.
With all that, I have an inbound marketing colleague, Christopher Antonopoulos. Christopher works with companies to increase sales pipelines, boost revenue and capture more market share by building and leading teams that execute his marketing processes, techniques, systems, and reports. Christopher started out in search engine marketing (before it was cool) by applying both organic and PPC SEO for companies such as Tandberg, Cisco, and Network Solutions.
Full disclosure: Christopher and I are sailing buddies, and I’ve supported him in previous SEO programs for various companies.
What I know of inbound marketing, he has taught me. Christopher answered a couple questions for me about inbound marketing that I’d like to share with you.
Why should we care about Inbound Marketing and how does it work?
I don’t know about you, but I am getting tired of people trying to guess what I want and sending me invitations to webinars, lunch and learns, download white papers, and the occasional direct mail piece. I am getting really good with email filters and sorting mail. Amen to that. Most of the time there is specific information I want to find or get new ideas from an expert and am very impatient. Inbound marketing at its best is a way for someone like me to find the information I am looking for when I need it and when I want more I know exactly where to go. As a marketer it is the way for customers to find you on their own terms and turn themselves into a prospect.
How this works is you need to provide relevant information that people care about and make it easy for people interested in hearing what you have to say find it.
How To Get Started With Inbound Marketing: Ask yourself the following questions:
- If I want to find info on “X,” where do I go?
- Who do I trust for information?
- When it comes time make a decision to buy something, what information do I need?
Your answers to these questions are actually the fundamentals of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is figuring out the right places to put the right information so prospects can find you. Asking your customers and prospects is the first step in figuring out how to do it.
Thank you, Christopher!
What does inbound marketing have to do with SEO? Everything! Keyword research is critical for finding those “topics of interest” that asks and answers prospect’s questions. Take those phrases and develop a content marketing strategy that is part of the overall inbound marketing strategy. You will still create and optimize all the elements of:
- Web pages/Landing pages
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- White papers
Linking still matters…you do inbound marketing to also create “link bait” – content that is so interesting, unique and compelling that other sites link to it.
Social media is a huge factor in successful inbound marketing. You need to find the right social media channels your prospects are using, and feature your content there as well.
Other aspects of inbound marketing:
- Newsletters – Don’t let anyone tell you email marketing via newsletters is dead. They are wrong. You can build awesome relationships with newsletters delivered via email.
- Podcasts – Record some interviews and post them via your content marketing channels. Readers also love to listen to information as well as look at it.
- Webinars – Get interactive – host a webinar to answer questions, highlight problems/solutions or show off a new product.
- Pay Per Click – Do all of your organic SEO first, then set up and administer a PPC campaign to drive prospects to your most important product and service pages. Remember, a successful ROI or conversion can be an email, phone call, information download or viewing a video featuring your company.
Does your business already do inbound marketing? Are you now considering it to promote what you offer? If you’re doing inbound marketing, how’s it working for you? Let us know in the comments below.
Until next time, stay safely between the ditches!
All the best to you,