Inbound marketing is a methodology that uses digital marketing assets to attract, convert, close, and delight customers online. Inbound marketing falls under the umbrella of digital marketing. It focuses on creating and optimizing content that will attract your target audience (personas), engage them early on in their buying journey, convert them when they're ready to become leads and customers, and delight them at every stage.

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Sounds easy right?

Inbound marketing has been proven to be very effective for almost every industry regardless of whether your business sells to consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B).  But for it to be successful, you need to start with a strategy and be persistent and consistent.

Inbound Marketing Professionals Strategy Development Meeting

Strategy Development - Start

You need to start with a great strategy that includes understanding how your website performs today (benchmarks), how you want it to perform (goals), how you're going to get there (plan), and what the expected ROI should be.
 
But that's not all, you can't develop content for your unique personas if you don't know who they are. A deep dive through your data, or surveying of existing clients is needed to help you understand who your most important personas are.
 
Once you know who they are you can develop content to solve their specific problems and help them through their unique buyer's journey.
 
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Blogging - Attract

Blogging is one of the single most effective tools to attract qualified website visitors. In fact:
To be successful, you need to be persistent and consistent with your blogging.  But a blog doesn't always have to be text.  You can create a podcast or vlog.  The more variety there is (as long as you're using formats your personas like) the better.

Content Marketing - Convert

Content drives inbound marketing.  Every business has information and insights their target personas may find valuable.

The persistent and consistent development and promotion of content help drive the right audience to your website—and then converts them into leads.
 
Content can be whitepapers, case studies, ebooks, newsletters, guidelines, tips and tricks, infographics, webinars, market research, and so much more. And the format can be .pdf, webpage, illustration, infographic, podcasts, videos...you name it. As long as it's a format your personas like.
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Bring It All Together

Okay so you have the plan, you know who your personas are and what kind of content you need to develop.
 
Now you need to bring it all together, what keywords are important to your personas, when are you going to develop the content (editorial calendar), who is going to do the writing (in-house, outsource, or combination), and how are you going to promote the content (campaigns).

Optimize Everything

Don't forget that inbound marketing is NOT  a set-it-and-forget-it type of marketing.  Regular performance analysis is required in order to optimize anything and everything—to ensure your website performance keeps improving. Don't forget about:

  • search engine optimization
  • calls-to-action creation
  • landing and thank-you page creation
  • email / lead nurturing campaigns creation and much more.