Inbound marketing is a term that describes various marketing activities directed towards getting found by potential customers, rather than going out and finding them.
The goal of an inbound marketing strategy is to attract strangers and turn them into leads, then customers, and finally promoters of your business. In order to do this, you need to implement some killer inbound marketing strategies.
There’s no one-size-fits-all inbound marketing strategy – what works for one company may not work for another. However, there are top inbound marketing strategies that tend to be particularly effective.
In this article, we’ll cover 22 of the best inbound marketing strategies that really work. By implementing these marketing efforts, you can drive more traffic and conversions and ultimately grow your business.
But before we dive into the strategies, let’s first look at what inbound marketing, is and why it’s so important.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
This is a term that was coined by HubSpot founder and CEO, Brian Halligan. As a marketing methodology, it focuses on attracting strangers and turning them into leads, customers, and promoters of your business.
It’s a mutual journey where you empower the prospective customers to achieve their objective, and in the process, you succeed in yours, as well.
The marketing strategy works perfectly whether you are in an online-based business, or in a brick-and-mortar business.
For example, if you sell e-commerce products, to attract new customers you might start by creating quality content attractive to your target market.
For instance, for those selling kitchen appliances, you might want to create fantastic recipes, for their staple meals, how-to articles, and YouTube video content.
This will stamp your authority as a go-to person on matters of kitchen appliances. That way, any time a prospective customer searches for this type of item guess, who shows up on search engines?
In other words, the inbound methodology is about giving customers utility first, before trying to sell to them.
Current marketing trends show new customers prefer to be walked through the buying journey, with the provision of value before the big “ask”. This is unlike the hit-run traditional marketing methods.
By doing so marketing professionals create a holistic, data-driven approach to marketing that attracts people to their brands and product organically.
The inbound strategy covers the entire buyer’s journey from awareness, to purchase and involves an array of marketing strategies, including content marketing, SEO, social media, web design, and more.
Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing
Outbound and inbound strategies are two sides of the same coin. They both aim at lead generation and conversions. However, they go about it in different ways.
Outbound marketing is the traditional form of marketing that involves interrupting people with your message.
It’s a more passive approach in which you try to reach as many people as possible with the hope that a small percentage will be interested in what you have to say.
Outbound marketing includes tactics like TV commercials, radio ads, print ads, cold calling, and email blasts.
It’s a numbers game – the more people you reach, the more leads you’ll generate.
Inbound strategy, on the other hand, is a more active approach. It’s all about creating valuable content that pulls people towards your brand and product.
Examples of inbound marketing tactics include SEO strategy, content marketing, social media, and web design.
The goal is to attract strangers and turn them into leads, customers, and promoters of your business.
Outbound marketing is a shotgun approach while inbound marketing strategy is a sniper approach.
Outbound marketing casts a wide net in the hope of generating leads, while inbound marketing strategies target a specific audience with the goal of generating qualified leads.
An inbound marketing plan is more effective than an outbound one, because it’s more targeted, and it doesn’t require interrupting people to get their attention.
Why Is Inbound Marketing Strategy Important?
The marketing strategy is important because it’s the most effective way to generate leads and grow your business.
Marketing efforts like cold calling and email blasts are becoming less and less effective as consumers become more resistant to interruption.
Marketing strategies like SEO and content marketing are more effective because they provide value to the consumer and pull them towards your brand. This automatic pull reduces your active chase for customers.
The marketing strategy is also more cost-effective than outbound marketing. For example, online marketing tactics like SEO and creating high-quality valuable content generate leads for years after they’re created.
In contrast, outbound marketing tactics like TV commercials and print ads only generate leads for a short period of time.
The overall marketing strategy is also more efficient than an outbound one. For instance, marketing automation is possible for Search engines and content marketing, while outbound marketing tactics like cold calling and email blasts require manual effort.
Strategies of Inbound Marketing
At a glance is a list of marketing strategies that really work.
- SEO: Improve your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) to attract more organic traffic.
- Content marketing: Create and publish valuable content to attract organic traffic and turn it into leads.
- Social media marketing: Use social media marketing channels like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to generate leads and grow your business.
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: Use search ads to drive website traffic to specific pages such as landing pages.
- Storytelling: Use stories to engage your audience, build relationships, and close deals.
- Calls-to-action (CTAs): Include CTAs on your website and landing pages to encourage visitors to take action.
- Landing pages: Create specific pages designed to convert visitors into leads and make more sales.
- Email marketing: Use email to nurture leads and close them into customers.
- Demo videos: Create video content to show how your products or services work.
- Web design: Optimize your website for conversions by including lead generation forms, calls-to-action (CTAs), and compelling copy.
- Influencer marketing: Work with influencers to reach new audiences and generate inbound leads.
- Webinar: Host webinars to generate leads, build relationships, and close deals.
- Customer service: Provide excellent customer service to keep existing customers happy and promote retention.
- Guest posting: Write blog posts for other websites in your industry to reach new audiences and generate leads.
- Podcasts: Start a podcast to build relationships, close deals, and generate leads.
- Public relations: Earn media coverage to reach new audiences and generate leads.
- Event marketing: Host or sponsor events to reach new audiences and generate leads.
- Trade shows: Exhibit at trade shows to reach new audiences and generate leads.
- Retargeting ads: Use retargeting ads to reach leads who have already shown an interest in your product or service.
- Referral marketing: Use referral programs to generate leads and grow your business.
- Partner marketing: Find partners in your industry to help you reach new audiences and generate leads.
- Loyalty programs: Offer loyalty programs to encourage customers to continue doing business with you.
1. Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website for Google search with the goal of earning higher web traffic levels and improving your SERP rankings.
The benefits of SEO are numerous, including increased brand awareness, higher web traffic levels, and improved ROI.
To improve your SEO website traffic, start by ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive, as Google favors these types of websites.
Next, create high-quality relevant content that is keyword-rich and informative, as this will help your website to rank higher in search results.
Finally, build links to your website from other high-quality websites to improve your website’s authority.
2. Content Marketing
Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
To start off, with this inbound marketing, identify your target market and the type of content it is interested in.
Next, create a content calendar to help you plan and publish your content on a regular basis. If you’re new to content calendars, backlinko.com has perfectly defined it in the screen grab below.
3. Social Media Marketing
Using social media platforms to connect with your audience and promote your brand, product, or service, is one of the emerging digital marketing methods.
As an inbound marketing strategy, the benefits of social media marketing include increased brand awareness, higher web traffic levels, and improved ROI.
Before starting on social media inbound marketing, find out the platform that is most relevant to your target audience, and create a profile.
Next, create engaging and informative marketing content that will resonate with your audience. You can also use social media to run contests, and offer discounts.
Courtesy of sproutsocial.com, the image shows an interesting statistic on the value of social media as a successful inbound marketing strategy.
4. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC is a type of paid advertising that allows you to display your ad on Google’s search results pages (SERPs).
When someone clicks on your ad, you pay Google a predetermined amount. The purpose of PPC advertising is to increase brand awareness and higher web traffic levels.
The starting point is creating the right user persona. This will ensure your inbound marketing campaign is successful, as it is targeted to the right audience.
Next, create a PPC campaign on Google Ads and set your budget. Then, create ad groups with specific keywords and write search ads that are relevant to those keywords.
Finally, track your results and adjust your campaign as needed to ensure success.
When it comes to PPC the frontline platforms are Google Ads and Bing Ads.
5. Use Storytelling in Marketing
Storytelling is powerful inbound marketing that can help you connect with your target audience, and make your brand more relatable.
Think about the stories you want to tell about your brand. Then, create content in a way that will resonate with your target audience.
You can also use video, podcasts, and other multimedia formats to tell your stories.
Disneyland is one brand that is popular for weaving stories around its brands.
A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link that you include on your website, or in your inbound marketing materials that encourages your audience to take a specific action.
Usually, it is a feature of a lead magnet such as an ebook, a free consultation, or any other digital product as an enticement to part with the prospect’s email address.
Before creating a CTA, think about the action you want your audience to take. Then, craft a CTA that is clear and concise, and make sure it stands out from the rest of your content.
You can also use colors, images, and other design elements to make it more Attention-grabbing.
Checking all the above boxes is the Hulu CTA below.
7. Landing Pages
A landing page is a standalone web page that is designed for a single purpose: to generate leads.
It is the copy within which the lead magnet is contained. The best landing pages are focused, relevant, and easy to use.
This Airbnb has a well-designed landing with a prominent header and pink CTA prominently sticking out.
Then, include a headline and copy that are relevant to your target audience. Finally, include a strong CTA and make sure your page is easy to navigate.
8. Email Marketing
Using email is still a powerful marketing tool, despite some misconceptions about its efficacy as a marketing strategy.
It involves sending emails to customers or prospects in order to promote your product or service.
Its benefits as inbound marketing include, increased brand awareness, higher web traffic levels, and nurturing inbound leads.
Email marketing starts with building an email list of potential and current customers. Then, create valuable and relevant email content that you can send to them on a regular basis.
You can also use email marketing to run contests, offer discounts, and provide customer service. Finally, include a CTA and make sure your email is easy to navigate.
You can see the simple yet effective promotional email from Dropbox. It sounds like an email from your best friend.
9. Video Marketing
Creating marketing videos is fantastic inbound marketing. It creates a rapport with your prospects, increasing inbound leads, and making more sales.
Video marketing benefits include increased brand awareness, higher web traffic levels, and improved ROI.
When creating a video marketing campaign, start by identifying the goals of your campaign. Then, create a script and storyboard for your video.
Next, film your video and edit it to perfection. before promoting your video on social media and other marketing channels.
For example, GoPro encourages sharing videos on its platform which is great for its brand visibility.
10. Web Design
Your website is often the first impression that potential customers will have of your business, so it’s important to make sure it’s a good one.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when designing your website.
- Make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly.
- Include relevant and keyword-rich content.
- Use images and videos to break up your text and add visual interest.
- Make sure your website is easy to navigate and includes a strong CTA.
All this enhances user experience and encourages them to take the desired action on your website. Hubspot has an excellent web grader tool. You can check it out.
11. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the converting inbound marketing. It is about partnering with influential people in your industry to promote your product or service.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, influencer marketing is a $16 billion industry in 2022.
And that is for a good reason. Influencer marketing works. To do influencer marketing the right way, be sure to work with the right influencers.
The popularity of an influencer is not sufficient, they must be relevant to your intended audience.
If done correctly, the benefits of influencer marketing are immense. These include increased brand awareness, higher web traffic levels, and improved ROI.
Webinars are great inbound marketing strategies as they allow you to interact with your audience in real-time. It is a great way to build trust and rapport with potential customers.
It is an effective inbound methodology as customers must give out their names and email address to participate.
For instance the straight-to-the-point Pinterest webinar page below with a prominent sign-up banner.
When planning a webinar, start by identifying your goals and target audience. Then, create a schedule and promotional plan.
Next, choose a webinar platform and make sure your audio and video are of high quality. Finally, practice your presentation and promote your webinar.
13. Customer Service
Customer service is providing assistance to customers before, during, and after they purchase a product or service.
As a marketing strategy, customer service is often underrated, though it is a powerful marketing strategy.
According to data on Statista, 40% of customers stopped doing business with a company due to poor customer service. That’s a huge percentage of lost sales.
However, tapping good customer service can help you build trust with your customers, increase customer satisfaction, and improve customer retention.
In contrast, bad customer service can damage your reputation, cause customers to take their business elsewhere, and lead to financial losses.
To tap into this inbound marketing, start by training your marketing team on how to handle customer inquiries.
Then, make sure they are easily accessible and always provide prompt and courteous service.
Finally, follow up with customers after they purchase your product or service to ensure they are satisfied.
14. Guest Blog Posting
Guest blog posting is when you write a blog post for another company’s website. This is great inbound marketing, as it allows you to reach a new audience, build your credibility, and drive more traffic to your site.
When guest blogging, start by finding websites that are relevant to your industry. Then, pitch your ideas for guest posts and write high-quality relevant content.
Be sure to include a link back to your website in your guest post. Finally, promote your guest post on social media and other channels.
HuffPost is a prominent site that allows qualifying guest posts.
A podcast is a digital audio file that can be downloaded from the internet. Podcasts are a phenomenal marketing strategy as they allow you to reach a wide audience.
According to Edison Research, over 62% of Americans aged above 12 years have ever listened to a podcast. This is a huge market to base your inbound marketing on.
Podcasts are a great way to connect with potential and current customers. They can help you build relationships with customers, which can lead to increased brand loyalty and customer retention.
This inbound marketing can also help you generate leads and drive more traffic to your website or landing pages.
When starting a podcast, begin by choosing a topic and format. Then, find a co-host and create high-quality audio content. Once you have recorded your podcast, be sure to edit and promote it.
16. Public Relations:
Public relations is about managing your organization’s communications with the goal of creating a positive public image.
If handled skillfully, public relation is a powerful inbound marketing tool. It can increase brand awareness and improve reputation, which is great for promoting your brand.
Check how KFC used PR to avoid backlash during the covid19 pandemic over its unhygienic, “finger-lickin’ good” tagline.
To get started with public relations, create a press kit that includes information about your business.
Next, identify media outlets that are relevant to your target audience. Use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for lead generation to grow your business.
17. Event Marketing
Planning and executing events to promote your product or service is one of the effective inbound strategies.
The benefits of event marketing include increased brand awareness, improved reputation, and increased sales.
To get started with this inbound marketing, start by planning your event. Then, promote your event through various channels such as social media, email marketing, and content marketing.
Finally, follow up with attendees after the event to thank them for their attendance and encourage them to stay involved with your brand.
A successful Facebook event marketing as analyzed by the Marketing Insider Group.
18. Trade Shows
A trade show is an event where companies in a specific industry showcase their products or services.
Attending trade shows is great inbound marketing as it allows you to meet potential customers and partners, learn about new trends, and network with other businesses.
When attending a trade show, start by researching which trade shows are relevant to your industry.
Google Home showcasing its products at Consumer Electronics Show.
This is another inbound marketing strategy that is quite effective for bringing in qualified leads.
Retargeting ads are advertisements that are shown to people who have already visited your website.
It works by the use of browser cookies to monitor the browsing patterns of website visitors.
This is a great marketing strategy as it allows you to reach people who are already interested in your product or service.
To get started with retargeting ads, you will need to install a retargeting pixel on your website. Then, create attractive ads that are relevant to your target audience. Finally, choose the right platform to display your ads such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.
Facebook is one of the platforms that offer robust ad retargeting services.
20. Referral Marketing
Referral marketing is a form of word-of-mouth inbound marketing where customers are incentivized to refer new leads to your business. The benefits of referral marketing include increased brand awareness and improved reputation.
It works by offering incentives for customers who refer new leads to your business. You can also create a referral program where customers can earn points or discounts for referrals.
To get the word out, you can promote your referral program through various channels such as social media and email marketing.
Wise’s popular referral program.
21. Partner Marketing:
Partner marketing is a form of co-marketing where two companies promote each other’s products or services.
The benefits of partner inbound marketing include increased brand awareness and improved reputation.
To start off, identify companies that are relevant to your industry. Then, reach out to these companies and propose a partnership.
Once you have partnered with another company, promote your partnership through various channels such as social media and email marketing.
One of the popular examples of a partnership is between Apple and Master Card.
22. Loyalty Program
A loyalty program is a great way to reward your best customers and encourage them to keep doing business with you.
Rewards could be as simple as sending direct mail on their birthday or anniversary. They make a huge impact in encouraging new leads and retaining old customers through customer satisfaction.
Take a look at Sephora’s Loyalty program with its “Rewards Bazaar.” Customers have a wide variety of ways of redeeming loyalty points.
Creating loyalty in a program starts by identifying the goals you want to achieve. Then, choose the right rewards for your loyal customers.
Inbound marketing is a great way to attract, convert, and close customers. However, it’s also important to choose the right marketing strategies for your business.
When it comes to inbound marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best way to create successful inbound marketing efforts is to experiment with different tactics and see what works best for your business.
However, the strategies in this article are a great place to start. Test them out and see how they can help you attract, convert, and close more customers.