How To Create an Effective Inbound Marketing Strategy?

Sayani Deb

Inbound marketing tactics generate 54% more leads than traditional paid marketing.While it may be a mind-blowing fact for you, folks who are into full-fledged inbound marketing are familiar with its results (and complexities too!)If you want to get ‘seen’ in the sea of competitors and be a happy entrepreneur, then a solid inbound marketing strategy is what you need.Come along, then!Let’s discuss inbound marketing – definition, examples, importance, benefits, and how to create a strong inbound marketing strategy.Get set, go!

What is Inbound Marketing?

An inbound marketing strategy is an approach to crafting valuable content aligned with the needs of your target market and tailored to their experiences.Inbound marketing tactics inspire long-term customer relationships. They engage the target audience by connecting them to valuable content and actionable insights through organic means, like shared links and search engines.An example of inbound marketing is a blog post crafted with industry-specific valuable information. It will communicate with the target market in a way that ad posts cannot.

Inbound Marketing

Best Inbound Marketing Examples

Though I have mentioned an example to explain what inbound marketing is, here are the top examples of inbound marketing.Using these inbound marketing methods, you can also create a solid inbound lead generation strategy. These marketing efforts do get customers!

Example #1: Blogs

Ask about the best inbound marketing technique, and the answer you get will always be ‘blogs’. According to HubSpot, marketers prioritizing blogging are 13x more likely to see a positive ROI.

Best Inbound Marketing Examples

Blogs work well when you’re consistent. Wordstream says that those who publish blog content at least 16 times a month generate 3.5x more website traffic and 4.5X more leads than companies that update their blogs only a few times a month.Blogs are a terrific way to generate traffic and answer the most pressing questions of your prospects. How-to guides, current trends, statistics, listicles, and other educational long-form content can help your prospects trust and remember you.Thus, you can move them towards the bottom of your marketing funnel.

Example #2: Webinar

It is not easy to make personalities evident in your textual content.Though you can write something witty, crack jokes, and create informal blog posts, other written contents like eBooks and white papers are more formal and polished inbound marketing techniques.Enter the world of eBooks and white papers; a few prospects may want something simpler and more human. That’s when you need webinars.Webinars are digital seminars. They are organized online, where lecture-style content is presented to an online audience.With webinars, a few of your content team members can come forward to provide valuable information to the audience. The best thing about webinars is that you can avoid the formal lecture-type environment and make the session more interactive, engaging, and relatable.

Example #3: Podcasts

Much like webinars, podcasts are a way to attach some personality to your brand. They are the buzzword for now (they may stay as well, who knows🤨).Through podcasts, you can make your brand worth remembering. That way, when prospects make a buying decision, they will consider you for delivering valuable and relatable content.Also, creating podcasts isn’t very laborious. All you need is a laptop, good-quality mics, and perhaps, a co-worker who need not necessarily be Steve Harvey (a super popular American TV host).Create a 30-minute episode every Tuesday to engage with your prospects and convert potential customers while they travel to their workplace.

Example #4: Video content

Video content engages a massive audience. It’s growing by the day.In fact, short reels and videos are proving to be highly effective for inbound marketing.According to 2022 trends, two-thirds (66%) of marketers will either increase or maintain the same spend on video content this year. Also, 88% of people want to see more videos from brands in 2022.As per statistics, video content is huge. It is the content form people want to see when they scroll through their Facebook and Instagram feeds.Videos make content more consumable. They are the best, especially for bite-size information. But remember not to make your videos no longer than a minute or two as people lose interest.So, use videos to bring your brand to life, interact with consumers, and build long-term relationships.

Example #5: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

An inbound marketing strategy to make all of the above four more effective is SEO.SEO is a strategy that covers a suite of practices to make your content more visible in search engine results.SEO is the reason behind finding your content through organic search. No matter how fun your podcast or informative your blogs are, people can find them in a sea of content if they are optimized.So, no matter what inbound marketing strategy you use, keep SEO constant. On-page SEO, off-page SEO can directly make your stuff more visible to the audience.

Why use an Inbound Marketing Strategy?

There are three significant reasons why you should use an inbound strategy. But before I tell you the reasons, here are three statistics to explain why an effective inbound marketing strategy is vital.82% of companies say that they actively engage in content marketing – one of the most popular inbound marketing strategies. (HubSpot, 2021)A properly executed inbound marketing campaign is 10x more effective for lead conversion than any outbound tactic. (Thrive, 2022)Inbound marketing leads cost 61% less than outbound leads. (99 Firxms, 2022)

Why use an Inbound Marketing Strategy?

Now, here are your three reasons why inbound marketing is important.

1. Inbound marketing strategy is cost-effective.

To start inbound marketing, you only need a website and content. That costs a lot less than outbound marketing strategies like printing ad banners and TV advertisements.Even building a website, social media profiles, and creating content may seem intimidating for small businesses. But they can always start small and scale the inbound marketing tactics as the business grows.Also, you can tweak your inbound marketing campaigns by considering the outcomes of the previous ones.All in all, an inbound marketing strategy reduces your expenses drastically compared to traditional ads like posters, billboards, TV ads, etc. While traditional marketing is effective for mass awareness, they are not as effective at engaging, converting, and retaining customers.

2. Inbound marketing gives long-term value

Inbound marketing gives you long-term value. Content such as blogs, instructional guides, demo videos, or eBooks has a longer lifespan than outbound content like posters and ads.You can update inbound marketing content with the latest industry trends and republish them to increase usability. Also, you can keep your content up-to-date to ensure relevance at all times.Inbound marketing strategy helps you build long-term customer relationships based on trust and value. It focuses more on building a strong, high-quality customer base than on increasing the number of customers.

3. Smart customers prefer inbound marketing

Tech-savvy and smart customers are more inclined toward inbound marketing. In fact, in the current times, traditional marketing is losing its traction with customers.Research says that since 2020, inbound marketing tactics like social media and paid search have increased by 26%. On the other hand, television, direct email, and print media have declined by 46% 😮So, it is quite evident that inbound marketing is here to stay.As more people stay indoors and browse through their phone screens, they spend most of their time on digital platforms. Thus, they are more likely to discover brands and learn about their products from online content before purchasing.

Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing

There are several differences between inbound and outbound marketing. Before I give you the differences at a glance, let me explain it most simply.Inbound marketing focuses on creating and distributing content across different channels to attract the target market to a company. By contrast, outbound marketing involves proactively reaching out to the target audience to get them interested in a product or service.Further, inbound marketing strategy is generally subtle. It focuses on approaching a specific group of people to purchase over time. On the other hand, outbound marketing is a more aggressive approach that targets a larger mass with an expectation that some people will convert.Here are a few other differences between inbound marketing strategy and outbound marketing.Inbound MarketingOutbound MarketingInformative and valuable digital content crafted to address customer issuesNon-digital content crafted to capture the audience’s attention and copies are product-oriented. They are written to sell products.Content comes in interactive forms like blogs, social media posts, webinars, reports, etc.Content forms include magazine ads, billboards, TV ads, direct mail, etc. The content is mostly passive.Targeted content for a specific groupThe content or message must stand out in the crowd to be noticed by the target market.Inbound marketing strategy is all-encompassing and implemented across multiple channels.Linear strategy implemented across limited channels.

How To Create a Rockstar Inbound Marketing Strategy?

How To Create a Rockstar Inbound Marketing Strategy?

There are nine steps to creating a killer inbound marketing strategy. These nine steps will help you save planning time and directly get into action.So, take a glance at all the nine steps, and then I’ll explain each.

Step 1: Build your Buyer Personas

The process starts with building your buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They help you identify your high-value prospects.For example, your target market comprises of various buyers. Your product may be frequently purchased by sales managers, accounting executives, and marketing executives.Now, each of these buyers will have different goals and priorities. When defining buyer personas, you need to understand and define each buyer's personality.Identify your ideal customers, find out their problems, how you can address them, their goals, preferences, interests, demographics, etc. It will help you create targeted content to attract these ideal customers.

Step 2: Define your Marketing Triggers

Okay, let’s get into the second step. Identify the events and pain points that tick your ideal customers to look for solutions like yours.What makes your customers search for your product?Once you identify these marketing triggers, you’ll know how to hit the bull’s eye. I mean, you can then position your product right at the customer’s point of need. Create highly informative and relevant content directed towards them.Such an inbound marketing strategy works way better than creating content and scattering them for the right audience to pick up.Let’s take an example to understand marketing triggers better.So, what would be the marketing triggers for interior designing company customers?

  • New homeowners or property buyers
  • New business organizations
  • Houses and offices undergoing renovation
  • People with a desire to stay up-to-date with the latest interior trends

Any individual or entrepreneur experiencing any of these events may be triggered to look for an interior designing company.Once these customers begin their online research, you have a perfect point to make your top-of-the-funnel offer. Introduce your product and communicate how you can help.

Step 3: Build your keywords list

Buyer personas. Check. ✅Marketing triggers. Check. ✅Now, it’s time to find out how your customers search for information about your product. Here keyword research begins.Keyword research shows the search volume of the keywords or phrases internet users type to search for your product. It is significant to understand the terms that your potential customers use so that you can build your content around the keywords.Not only topping the search results, keyword-rich content will also help you address the common customer questions and challenges they face.Google Keyword Planner can help you quickly generate a list of relevant keywords and search terms to target in your content.

Step 4: Set your Inbound Marketing Goals

Without goals, you can measure the effectiveness of your inbound marketing strategy. The first step to measuring returns is setting goals you want to achieve.Use HubSpot’s Smart Goal Framework to outline specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals for inbound marketing. You can begin setting goals by evaluating your website’s current traffic, lead conversion, etc.A few KPIs you can track and assess are

  • Number of inbound leads per month
  • Unique website visitors per month
  • Traffic sources – social media, blogs, email, PPC, etc.

Consider a competitive analysis to set your goals, follow the industry benchmark, and then set your targets.

Step 5: Chalk Out your Content Strategy Aligned to the Buyer’s Journey

Outline your content strategy before crafting content. Align the content with your buyer’s journey.Generally, prospects fall into one of these three stages:Top-of-the funnel – In the Awareness stage, buyers typically search for general information about a product/ service.Middle-of-the funnel – Leads in the Evaluation stage must be introduced to the brand. You must tell them what it is like to collaborate with you.Bottom-of-the-funnel – Leads in the Purchase Decision stage look for content that conveys the benefits and functionality of your product/ service.

Chalk Out your Content Strategy Aligned to the Buyer’s Journey

The top-of-funnel content must focus on spreading brand awareness. Social media posts, blogs, infographics, reels, and videos are ideal at this stage.The middle-of-funnel content must focus on positioning your product. Case studies, webinars, free samples, and catalogs are best for leads at this stage.The bottom-of-funnel content must focus on giving a little taste of your product to the leads, as leads at this stage are caught up in the dilemma of whether to buy the product or not. Free trials, demonstration videos, live product demos, tutorials, complimentary consultations, or assessments work well for this stage.To build a leakage-proof content strategy, assess your present content for gaps. Ensure that all three stages have appropriate content so your leads do not leave mid-way resulting in funnel leakage.

Step 6: Build a Lead Nurturing Process

If you want the best lead nurturing process, automate. Implement a sales automation or lead conversion software to help you manage leads while you focus on strategies.Automation can include a series of valuable automated emails scheduled for prospects. It can be a phone call or a pop-up message for the lead when they return to your website.Further, it can also be retargeting ads focusing on people who have already visited your site in the past month, but it did not result in a conversion.Automating your lead nurturing process will ensure that your prospects do not have to wait. They can get whatever information they want whenever they want. Thus, the chances of leads going cold will be significantly reduced.You can also design your lead nurturing process aligned with the content strategy. For instance,

  • Automate emails for top-of-funnel leads that answer basic queries. Or proactively reach out via AI chatbots to make your lead better-informed and more qualified to learn more about the product.
  • Offer middle-of-funnel leads an email series automated to deliver specific brand information. Address anything specific about your business, product, or service.
  • Once the leads reach bottom-of-funnel, they become sales qualified considering their actions. At this stage, they are handed over to the sales team, who directly engage to make a successful sale.

Step 7: Create Conversion-Oriented Blogging Strategy

Conversion-oriented blogging involves strategies designed to attract highly-relevant website traffic to convert maximum leads.Each blog post must answer the common questions of your buyer personas, encouraging them to read your content.For instance, let’s consider the interior designing company example. If you write an eBook on ‘The Top 7 Living Room Interior Ideas’, you can then craft a closely related blog post series that help you to attract traffic to the exclusive eBook download. Your blog topics may include:

  • Does your Home need a Renovation? Check out the Best 5 Interior Trends.
  • 5 Design Ideas for your Contemporary House
  • Top 4 Best Designed Living Spaces

Embed a ‘The Top 7 Living Room Interior Ideas’ eBook CTA in each blog post to ensure maximum reach and downloads.

Content Strategy Aligned to the Buyer’s Journey

Step 8: Choose and Implement Inbound Marketing Tools

Make things easier with inbound marketing platforms. These solutions can automate your repetitive tasks and let you focus on your business.Since an inbound marketing strategy has bulk work, getting technology to manage things better is always a good idea.

Step 9: Set up An Inbound Marketing Experts Team

Building an inbound marketing strategy requires a diverse yet specific skill set. Based on your in-house team expertise, hire additional resources who can contribute to your inbound marketing success.Typically, a well-rounded inbound marketing team comprises of the following skill sets:

  • Web design
  • Inbound marketing strategy
  • Blogging
  • Copywriting
  • Email marketing
  • SEO
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Social media management
  • PPC marketing
  • Web analytics, etc.

Top 5 Benefits of Inbound Marketing

Once you have your inbound marketing strategy and inbound marketing best practices in place, you’re bound to enjoy its benefits!Here are the top benefits of inbound marketing that can significantly contribute to your business growth.

1. Build trust and credibility

Inbound marketing strategy is about creating content that attracts customers to your company.Prospects research their product and find your brand through organic search. It is much more trustworthy than a ‘buy now’ billboard.Inbound marketing builds long-term customer relationships by delivering valuable and informative content. As prospects consume your content, they start trusting the brand more.

2. Quality website traffic and leads

Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing isn’t about creating brand awareness only. An effective inbound marketing strategy draws the right kind of web traffic and leads.Since inbound marketing involves building more targeted content in an informed approach, it attracts leads interested in your product or service.

3. Reach out to new markets

Inbound marketing is purely an online strategy. Hence, it has immense potential to reach various audiences and diversify your customer segments through different campaigns.Say, you are an SEO services agency and you decide to add social media marketing in your list of services. With inbound marketing, especially PPC campaigns, you can reach people looking for social media services by targeting the related keywords in your campaigns.This is one type of example. There are several other aspects of inbound marketing where you can select your exact target market and craft very specific and targeted content.

4. Achieve higher ROI

Inbound marketing is undeniably cost-effective. As I have explained it above, an inbound marketing strategy costs much lesser than outbound marketing techniques.Think about the price tag associated with magazine ads, TV ads and blog creation or social media. Further, inbound marketing has paid options like paid search and PPC campaigns, still, the prices are reasonable.As a result of its cost-effectiveness, inbound marketing brings down your cost per lead. Moreover, it contributes significantly to closing more sales. Thus, your returns are much higher than your investment.

5. Precise measurements to show effectiveness

One of the best things about inbound marketing is that you can access the readily available data to measure your inbound marketing strategy’s effectiveness.Inbound marketing analytics can show you the best leads to prioritize and follow up on. By tracking inbound marketing metrics like clickthrough rate, keyword ranking, customer acquisition cost, etc. you can know what’s exactly working and what’s not.Thus, you can tweak your ad campaigns or strategy to generate better results from your inbound marketing tactics. Also, you can make better-informed decisions in real-time based on the inbound marketing data and analytics.

Wrapping Up

It’s quite huge for a business to transition from outbound or traditional marketing to inbound marketing. It feels so much out-of-comfort zone!But once you take the leap of faith and make your inbound marketing investments, the benefits would be undeniable. So, the sooner you start building your plan and getting into action, the better.Put your best foot forward and all you’ll get is – more leads, at lower costs, better conversions, and higher ROI.To make your inbound marketing strategy fool-proof, don’t forget to take help from the various automation platforms. RevenueHero is one such inbound lead conversion platform that automates lead capturing, qualification, routing, prioritization, and instant scheduling of meetings. Learn more about the platform here.So, ready to implement your inbound marketing strategy?!

Inbound Marketing FAQs

Though inbound marketing is pretty easy to start with, here are a few common questions that often cloud the minds of entrepreneurs.

Q1: How does inbound marketing work?

Inbound marketing strategy works towards making your business easily visible and accessible to customers who look for products similar to yours. By using SEO and crafting targeted content on the website, social media, CTAs, emails, etc. inbound marketing techniques attract customers to your company.

Q2: What type of content should I create in inbound marketing?

When creating content, choose media that can introduce your brand, explain your product, and offer educational information. Based on the buyer’s journey stages, you can craft different types of targeted content like videos, product demos, blogs, eBooks, infographics, and social media posts.

Q3: Which social media channel is the best for inbound marketing?

Though it depends on the industry you are in, there are a few key platforms that businesses use for their inbound marketing strategy. These include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Q4: Do I need a massive budget for inbound marketing?

No. Absolutely, not. You have the option to start small when it comes to inbound marketing. All you will need is a website, content, and social media profiles. The inbound marketing strategy is quite cost-effective.However, you can also scale your budget and expand your inbound marketing strategy by implementing paid options like paid search, PPC campaigns, etc.Hope these FAQs have cleared the web of queries about inbound marketing. Time to get into action! 😎

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