Here at First Page Strategy, we are constantly asked questions about inbound marketing and how the best inbound marketing companies execute an inbound marketing plan. While you may know the definition of inbound marketing, executing an inbound marketing plan may leave you scratching your head. You may also be wondering whether you need inbound marketing services in your marketing strategy to attract more eyeballs to your business. Content can take on many forms, including online blogs, PDFs, videos, emails, SEO, webinars, social media, and paid online advertising. Despite your goals, your priority is to create genuine content that establishes trust with your ideal audience or customer. The good news is inbound marketing is ideal for establishing trustworthy connections with those you are trying to reach.
Let’s dive into what inbound marketing exactly is and whether it’s the right marketing strategy for you and your team.
What Does Inbound Marketing Include?
Simply put, inbound marketing is the process of helping potential customers find your company and the services you provide. Inbound marketing is a way to generate more leads for your business or increase brand awareness. According to the Content Marketing Institute, inbound marketing generates three times as many leads per dollar than traditional marketing strategies. It’s important to invest time into developing an inbound marketing content strategy with your team.
As mentioned earlier, content for inbound marketing can include many content types. You can break down what type of content you want to use for your inbound marketing strategy based on this Inbound Marketing Methodology developed by HubSpot. The methodology breaks it down into three phases — Attract, Engage, and Delight. Below is a chart from HubSpot detailing the three phases and the types of content you could use for each inbound marketing phase.
Depending on what your goals are, you may want to center your inbound marketing strategy around a product or service. For example, in the attract phase for a product, you could create content such as short videos demonstrating the product, online blogs describing the product benefits, or social media posts using graphics describing the product benefits. Now that we have a better idea of what inbound marketing includes, we can determine if there is a difference between inbound marketing and SEO.
Is SEO and Inbound Marketing the Same?
Based on what we’ve learned so far, SEO is another method used to improve an inbound marketing plan. Search engine optimization is one of the most important pieces of inbound marketing because SEO is particularly useful when you are searching for people to attract to your website.
For example, if you wanted to connect with your audience on a deeper level, you could include an SEO strategy around the content you create during the attract phase of your inbound marketing plan. HubSpot provides a detailed look on how to develop a proper SEO strategy for 2021 if you’d like to learn more about SEO strategy.
As you plan content for your inbound marketing plan, keep in mind SEO is something that takes time to build. Building credibility in the search engine results page (SERP) is a time-consuming investment, but worth the payoff once you begin to rank higher in the search results for specific keywords. Since 68 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, you will want to include SEO into your inbound marketing strategy. The time spent on this investment will pay off by attracting the right people to your brand.
Should We Do Inbound Marketing Instead of Outbound Marketing?
As we begin to get a clear picture of inbound marketing, we cannot ignore outbound marketing tactics in our marketing strategy. If inbound marketing is all about creating a genuine connection with people interested in your product, outbound marketing is the opposite. Outbound marketing is about getting your message out to as many people as possible through traditional marketing channels such as trade shows, seminars, email blasts, cold calling, telemarketing, and advertising.
While outbound marketing can be beneficial for some, businesses have shifted to using inbound marketing over the past few years because you can personalize your content to the consumer. People appreciate a personalized approach, so much so that 70 percent of people would prefer to learn about a company through an article instead of an advertisement. This is why many marketing agencies create blogs and why we love posting content for our blog here at First Page Strategy!
So, while using both inbound and outbound marketing isn’t a bad idea, using inbound marketing in your content strategy will be more effective in creating authentic connections. As we dive deeper into inbound marketing, let’s explore the different channels available to us in greater detail.
What Channels Are Inbound?
Earlier in this article, we reviewed what inbound marketing is and the three phases of an inbound marketing plan. The attract, engage, and delight phases all include the different channels involved in attracting potential customers to your brand. The most popular that come to mind are:
If you think about how most companies are attracting their audience, blogs and social media are most useful in capturing a new audience. Getting online publications and blogs to post about your brand or company is something that should not be underestimated. According to Oberlo, there are 31.7 million bloggers in the United States and 600 million blogs worldwide, solidifying the importance of including online blogs in your marketing strategy. Creating quality content for these channels using an inbound marketing strategy will be a multi-phase approach, but the rewards are endless. Inbound marketing can increase your brand awareness, generate a buzz on social media, and improve your SEO efforts, unlike outbound marketing.
Can I Do Inbound Marketing Without Inbound Marketing Software?
The way to think about this is, does inbound marketing software help accomplish your inbound marketing goals and make the process easier? It’s the same reason why social media managers use tools like Hootsuite. Planning and coordinating their social media content ahead of time frees up time. The same is true for inbound marketers using HubSpot to create their content strategy and manage their inbound marketing strategy.
HubSpot and other inbound marketing software will allow you to manage everything under one platform. You can always piece together an inbound marketing plan using a variety of content management systems, but that can become hard to manage. For example, you can execute inbound marketing through a website, email, CRM, and social media if you can manage keeping up with all the analytics and data on the various platforms. Applications such as Zaiper make it easier to automate your workflows when executing your inbound marketing. What you use all depends on your budget and your business's ability to manage your plan properly through inbound marketing software.
Does a Tech Company Need Inbound Marketing?
As with any marketing strategy or plan, you need to weigh the pros and cons of how the plan will benefit your business. For tech companies, we find inbound marketing to be the most effective strategy for growing your business or bringing awareness to a product.
This case study shows how we grew a tech client’s organic traffic and keywords by 400 percent and their revenue by 300 percent in just one year. The three phases of inbound marketing will do exactly what they say for your potential customers: attract, engage, delight. Through a solid content strategy, you can set up your brand for long-term growth.
We’re in the trenches every day and understand how overwhelming it can for brands to create, implement, and manage inbound marketing methodology successfully on their own.