Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on attracting customers, or leads, via company-created Internet content, thereby having potential customers come to the company rather than marketers vying for their attention. This type of marketing tries to make it easier for customers, who are already actively looking for goods or services via the Internet, to find what a company offers.

Inbound marketing targets customers through online platforms such as blogs, social media and search engines and is intended to create content that shows up in these places in order to drive organic traffic (rather than advertising-driven traffic) to a company's website. A main way in which traffic is generated is through the use of inbound links that maximizes the visibility of content on search engines and other websites by boosting its ranking in search results.

Since inbound marketing content is promoted by companies on social media, it can spread through word-of-mouth and have a long-term effect on prospects by reaching them on multiple social channels. Older pieces of content can attract more leads over time as the ranking increases, giving a company fresh leads without spending time or effort on creating a new piece of content. Feedback is easily obtained through leads leaving comments or initiating conversations on social media.

The disadvantage of inbound marketing is that only the prospects that have chosen to view the message are reached, therefore limiting a campaign's audience. The wealth of various kinds of inbound marketing content might overwhelm a prospect and cause a company's content to get lost in the shuffle. Companies have less control over what a potential lead sees since he can look on the company website and may miss an opt-in offer that the company is trying to target him with. It takes longer to determine return on investment since prospects that come in might not be sales-ready at the time and will need additional nurturing to become customers. The two-way communication aspect can also backfire, with the spread of negative comments or bad reviews of a company, product or service.

Inbound Marketing has 5 essentials parts as listed down :

#1: SEO

SEO is the process of optimizing your website’s content and structure for search in order to receive organic placements on the search engine results pages or SERPS. Having a quality website and content optimized for SEO ensures that Google’s web-crawling technology is able to identify and index your site’s content to have it appear for free to people searching.

#2: PPC

Paid search is technically still part of the inbound marketing family since search ads appear when a user is actively searching for something, therefore PPC ads are not interrupting another activity. Not all aspects of PPC will quality as inbound (like display ads), but ads on the search network are certainly one of the strongest elements of a strong inbound strategy, because search queries show so much intent.

#3: Content Marketing

Now that you’ve warmly welcomed your leads in the door through PPC and/or SEO you need to provide them the content. Without fresh and useful content there is no chance of keeping and converting your leads. Your content should come in multiple forms with the goal of helping your audience answer a question or solve a problem.

#4: Social Media

So you’ve created phenomenal content, published it on your site, so now you need to be attracting new and returning readers by sharing and promoting your content on social media. Creating the content is only a small piece of the puzzle. Ensuring the content reaches relevant people is where social comes in. This is inbound marketing because only people who want to see your content will follow your brand, and it's a great way to "subsidize" your organic traffic if you don't have great rankings yet.

#5: Landing Pages

Your landing page is where your leads land after clicking on your call-to-action (another important element of your inbound marketing strategy). Whether it be a product page, a form fill-out to download a whitepaper, or a subscription service page, you need to ensure your landing page is top-notch unless you’d like to jeopardize potential conversions from coming in.

If your brand can’t be found online, then it’s not likely your business will survive in the current competitive environment. To ensure that your brand gets discovered, you need to use inbound marketing.