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Inbound Marketing Basics

Inbound marketing in simple terms

Inbound marketing is a technique that’s growing in popularity as it’s one that’s proven to be effective in increasing traffic to websites and improving awareness of brands. There are many facets to inbound marketing — a big one being content marketing — that can be used on their own or grouped together.

What is inbound marketing?

To understand inbound marketing it’s important to understand what it’s not.

 

Its opposite is outbound marketing which is made up of a lot of traditional techniques. These are methods where the marketer reaches out to the consumer and can often be interruptive — these includes adverts, cold calls and letterbox drops. Depending on your market these can still be effective, but people are becoming more savvy and better at tuning out or ignoring these influences.

 

Inbound marketing is about getting people to come to you. It’s about making a useful video rather than creating an ad, about keeping an up-to-date blog full of informative or inspirational posts, creating ebooks, educating through tutorials, optimising for SEO or hosting webinars. Whatever medium you choose, it’s about providing something of worth for people who discover it.

 

With outbound marketing you push out to potential customers, with inbound you draw them in.

Why use inbound marketing?

No matter what kind of product or service someone uses, there’s a very high chance that they’re going to research it online.

 

Whether they’re looking at pictures of products to buy, for information on how to solve a problem or details on how certain products compare, you want to be there to help them out. By providing answers to people’s problems, you can get your name out there, build your brand and increase buyer confidence in your business.

How do you get started?

One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to begin with inbound marketing is to consider content marketing, specifically starting a company blog.

 

No matter what industry you’re in you’ll be able to publish something of worth to clients and potential customers: articles that tell them how to achieve something, stats that show them how valuable a product or service is, reviews or comparisons of popular items, explanations of new or complex matters and answers to common questions can all be highly valuable.

How do you get your content found?

There are three main ways people will discover your content: through search engines, through social media or through your own site. Knowing about the type of content to produce for different Google searches can help put you a step ahead, being active on sites like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube can help build a relationship between you and potential customers and having your own newsletter can develop it further.

 

Which one is most effective varies from industry to industry and website to website, but it’s good to try to cover all bases if you can.

 

Like with many aspects of marketing, inbound marketing is something that’s most effective if it’s sustained over a long period of time. While a blog post can keep attracting traffic for as long as it’s on your site, by continuing to post useful content you widen your funnel for attracting new visitors and new customers.

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