Inbound Marketing Strategy

With a strong inbound marketing strategy, your content and your website will pull in prospective customers, rather than you having to make cold calls or send mass emails to get buyers (outbound marketing).

Inbound marketing is increasingly important, since it's more cost-effective and more targeted than traditional outbound techniques.

Inbound Marketing Strategy Definition

What is inbound marketing strategy?

Basically, inbound marketing includes any marketing activity that helps pull customers to your website, store, or product without reaching out to them directly:  website pages that drive visitors from Google, blog posts that get shared, and social media that gets liked and followed.

In contrast, outbound marketing includes the more traditional types of marketing:  cold calling, mass emails or direct mail, TV or radio advertising, etc.

What does Inbound Marketing Strategy Include?

Your inbound marketing strategy plan should encompass these for focus areas:

  1. Your website (or physical store presence),
  2. Third party content platforms, like a blog, other websites, video platforms or podcast sites,
  3. Search engines,
  4. Social media.

Inbound VS Outbound Marketing

Traditional outbound marketing is increasingly challenged by higher costs, privacy regulations, ad "blindness" and ad blocking tech, and an inability to target your customer to the degree that buyers expect in today's market.

On the other hand, inbound marketing allows you to establish more trust with your customers by sharing helpful content "for free", providing information on their terms (when they are searching for it on Google, rather that interrupting them with a phone call), and an ability to target niche sub-markets with personalized messaging.

Tips for Inbound Marketing Strategy

As you plan your inbound marketing strategy, keep these tips in mind:

1. Know where Your Buyers are Online

It's important for your inbound marketing content to be available in the places where your prospective customers expect to find it: 

  • are they searching on Google? 
  • which social media platforms are they using? 
  • are there online communities where they are asking questions?
  • where is your competitors' content visible online?

2. Use Marketing Budget Carefully

Ultimately, your marketing plan will probably include a combination of inbound and outbound strategies. Since outbound techniques are usually more expensive, make sure you're using your budget wisely where it has the most impact.

3. Use content marketing to establish thought leadership

Your inbound marketing strategy should include ways that you can use online content to show your brand's thought leadership in your market, thereby establishing trust with your customer base.

4. Plan for 2-way customer conversations

One of the advantages of inbound marketing is that you can develop 2-way relationships with your audience and your customer base. Develop strategies to engage them on social media, via polls or survey questions, or content pieces that elicit comments, shares or engagement.

5. Know your keywords

Use keyword tools (such as Google's free tool) to research what phrases and keywords your customers are using to search for information related to your product or service.  Write content that delivers what they are looking for, and answers those questions. This will help your website rank well in the search engines, and pull in more traffic.

6. Consider sub-market strategies

Inbound marketing gives you the ability to develop content for different sub-market niches, or different customer stakeholders within your target market. Make sure you're producing content that targets all potential niches or stakeholders with personalized messaging.