Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities in the online sector on the basis of which customers find a company. The provision of high-quality content on the part of the company is the main focus here. Inbound marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing, which aims to actively send out advertising messages to potential customers.
The term inbound marketing was significantly coined by the founders of the marketing software Hubspot. Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah founded Hubspot in 2006.
The background to this was that they realized that many of the tools of traditional advertising and direct marketing were no longer working. The increasing amount of push marketing, such as promotional mailings, banners or phone calls, led to so-called advertising blindness among many users.
The advertising messages in the online and offline areas were faded out and no longer achieved the desired effect. Instead of actively addressing potential customers with advertising, as is the case with many classic marketing methods, inbound marketing ensures that they become aware of the company on their own. Inbound marketing is therefore a form of pull advertising. The user finds the company via high-quality and helpful content.
The goal of inbound marketing, as in outbound marketing, is ultimately the sale. But first, inbound marketing is about using content to attract the attention of the target group. The next step is to generate leads, which are then converted into sales. Inbound marketing also has the advantage of providing backlinks naturally.
Instruments of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing essentially encompasses all areas of online marketing that function as pull advertising. In doing so, they all have the goal of generating leads via high-quality content.
The instruments of inbound marketing include content marketing and public relations. Thus, in addition to creating relevant content, it is equally important to maintain relationships with relevant influencers to optimize content seeding.
However, email marketing, search engine advertising or SEA (Google AdWords) and search engine optimization, social media as well as customer relationship management can also be assigned to inbound marketing.
Following Hubspot, the following tools belong to inbound marketing:
The attention of the target group is gained through relevant content in the blog that is tailored to the respective company. In blog marketing, search engine optimization of the content plays an essential role.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Through measures designed to improve the ranking in search engines such as Google, companies are better found by potential customers. New website visitors need to be converted into leads.
Distributing content via social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn increases awareness among the respective target audiences.
Landing pages can increase conversions and generate new leads.
Personalized emails can target interested users with the appropriate content.
Inbound methodology from Hubspot
Inbound marketing follows a multi-step process, at the end of which is the sale. Inbound marketing takes into account the fact that customers go through different phases in the buying cycle and therefore need to be addressed differently.
This phase is about attracting the attention of users with useful content. Good keyword research can be used to create content that appeals to users, for example because it solves a particular problem. Attracting works, for example, by publishing relevant content on the blog and sharing content via social media.
Now it is important to convert the visitors to his content into leads. Leads can be collected through forms, call-to-actions, and landing pages, for example. For example, potential customers are encouraged to leave their contact information in exchange for downloading a free e-book or white paper.
After visitors have been attracted and leads generated, the next step is to turn them into sales. To do this, leads can be targeted via personalized emails, for example.
In order to convert new customers into regular customers, it is important to maintain one’s network and actively retain customers. Enthusiastic customers can become brand ambassadors.
Inbound marketing is considered by many experts to be the future of marketing. In contrast to outbound marketing methods such as mass emails and cold calling, inbound marketing is primarily about providing content that is relevant to the target group.
Via high-quality and useful content, users become aware of a company and can be converted into leads and sales. In order for potential customers to find the company via Google and the like, search engine optimization is enormously important in inbound marketing.
In addition to content marketing, inbound marketing also includes other online marketing measures such as search engine marketing, social media marketing and public relations (media relations and influencer relations).
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