Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that aims to be beneficial to customers through useful content with added value. Inbound marketing assumes that customers are looking for products in any case and only have to find the right product.

General information

Inbound marketing is clearly distinguishable from classical strategies. While inbound marketing, email marketing or direct sales are characterized by the advertiser sending a message to the customer, this is not the case with inbound marketing. The customer’s attention is won when useful, discoverable content is placed on the web with the purpose of lead generation.

Because the potential customer is looking for useful information and products, it is assumed he just has to be directed to the right product to generate a sale from a lead. This is done by creating and maintaining content with added value, which the customer will automatically find in his search. In other words, inbound marketing is about finding and communicating to potential customers through content, topics, and solutions to problems.

How it works

Inbound marketing can use different channels and instruments, including search engines, social media, blogs or online press, for example. Depending on the channel, different tools are available to turn visitors into paying customers. Marketing experts state that inbound marketing is the basic strategy to generate revenue in the online area.[1]

Therefore, inbound marketing is an integral part of search engine optimization, online press or the maintenance of social media profiles. Gaining the attention of potential customers is essential for the success of inbound marketing actions, which is multiplied by such channels. Visitors who have been attracted to interesting content will be qualified leads, which can turn into a sale later if the content found matches the visitor’s initial search request. The last step is converting as many customers as possible into regular customers.[2]

The HubSpot software, which includes tools for several areas of online marketing, can be used for the efficient implementation of inbound marketing.

The content used to generate leads is a key factor in successful inbound marketing. Content marketing can therefore be understood as part of inbound marketing. Blogs, podcasts, web videos, e-books, infographics or white papers can be utilized to answer and satisfy the basic questions and needs of customers. The approach is as follows: By creating high-quality content, visitors can be turned into customers. By distributing through different channels, more visitors can be attracted. The slogan “Content is King!” is appropriate for inbound marketing as well.

Relevance to SEO

If search engine optimization is understood as an integral part of inbound marketing, the rules of SEO can be applied to inbound marketing. The content must be findable. The content has to be marked up so that it can be found by search engines and thus by potential customers.

This begins with the selection of keywords, and ends with link building and on-page optimization. Customers usually start their search with keywords, therefore linking the content to the right keywords is paramount. It is important to mark up the content correctly depending on what type of content is used to attract customers. For example, images can be tagged with an ALT attribute or videos should have a concise description along with relevant keywords.

Blog posts or landing pages can be considered a starting point for inbound marketing according to SEO guidelines and should be appropriately marked up.[3] Duplicate content should be avoided in the distribution of content across different channels. Teasers for an interesting article or video should be unique, since the first text lines from a post on Facebook, for example, can now be read by the search engines. Only when inbound marketing uses different SEO tools can long-term success be obtained.

References

  1. The Decline of Outbound Marketing. Cmswire.com. Accessed on 12/10/2013.
  2. The New 5 Step Inbound Marketing Methodologie. Business2community.com. Accessed on 12/10/2013.
  3. Inbound Marketing. Hubspot.com. Accessed on 12/10/2013.

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