What is inbound marketing?

Posted on: March 21, 2010

Inbound marketing is part of a transformation of marketing driven by the digital revolution. Some people call it the digital marketing revolution allow this is a much broader topic. It is a marketing strategy that focuses on being found by clients when they need you.

The essence of the changes is as follows:

    • BEFORE (push out the message)
    • Broad appeal
    • Brand/reputation
    • Advertising (inc PPC)
    • Telemarketing calls
    • Email alerts, brochures and newsletters
    • Invite to events
    • One way communication
    • Web site
    • Big cash investment
    • NOW (pull in interested people)
    • Niche appeal
    • Internet marketing (e.g. viral campaigns)
    • Provide information/Gain influence (e.g. blogs)
    • Social marketing (Facebook, Twitter etc)
    • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
    • On-line communities (LinkedIn)
    • Interaction and dialogue
    • Web analytics
    • Big time investment

Early in 2010 I reviewed a book (it appeared in Professional Marketing magazine) called ‘Inbound marketing – Getting found using Google, social media and blogs’  which is one of the CIM’s standard texts for its Digital Marketing diploma (along with ‘Understanding Digital Marketing: Marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation’ by Damian Ryan and Calvin Jones and “Online marketing – A customer led approach” by Richard Gay, Alan Charlesworth and Rita Esen).

There were lots of interesting facts in the book, for example:

    • The open rate for emails has fallen from 39% in 2004 to 22% in 2008
    • Spend half your time writing your (blog) article, and half your time writing a catchy title
    • 75% click on organic listings (rather than PPC and sponsored links)
    • The 10 results on the first SERPs page captures 89% of the traffic
    • Front page Digg articles can receive 25,000 views in a single day
    • You should have a 1% visitor to conversion rate on untargeted traffic
    • A good landing page can convert 50% of visitors into qualified leads
    • Spend 80% of your time getting more visitors and 20% converting them
    • On average, inbound marketing leads are 61% less expensive than outbound leads

Although it is an introductory book – and sometimes provides guidance on the most basic of Internet features – there is plenty of pragmatic advice that you can apply simply and easily yourself for instant results.

Particularly easy to remember guidance included:

    • VEPA (Valuable. Easy to use. Prominent. Action oriented) calls to action
    • DARC (Digital citizens. Analytical chops. Reach. Content creators) hiring policy – and what questions to ask digital marketers and digital PR agencies at interview.

Happily, the need for quality content – and good titles – is stressed throughout the book. There were several helpful tools mentioned in the book, most of which are produced by Hubspot (the company of the authors), and I defy you not to be tempted run your own site, blog and Twitter accounts through them, for example:

    • www.website.grader.com
    • www.twables.com
    • www.google.com/addurl
    • http://twitter.grader.com
    • http://www.facebookgrader.com/
    • www.Compete.com
    • www.inboundmarketing.com

At the end of the book there is a valuable checklist of what you should do if you are just embarking on your use of inbound marketing. A summarised version is below:

    1. Pick a name that works
    2. Put up a simple web site (with a CMS)
    3. Get some links to your web site
    4. Set up a Twitter account
    5. Set up an email subscription
    6. Get a nice logo
    7. Setup a simple Facebook business page
    8. Create a simple Facebook URL
    9. Kick off a blog
    10. Write a blog article
    11. Set up Google Alerts
    12. Find your three closest competitors
    13. Update your LinkedIn profile
    14. Find related Twitter users
    15. Create a Stumbleupon account
    16. Subscribe to Linkedin Answers
    17. Find bloggers who are writing about your topic area
    18. Start building business contacts on Facebook
    19. Grade your web site on website grader
    20. Install web analytics software (why not at the outset?)
    21. Engage your blog commentators
    22. Promote your promoters
    23. Grab your company name on Youtube
    24. Create and post a screen cast
    25. Make a list of the top people in your industry
    26. subscribe to your personal LinkedIn RSS feed

 

I do not restrict access to the FAQs but I politely request that you let me know by email and acknowledge the source (www.kimtasso.com) if you wish to use the material anywhere.

As always, if there are particular topics you would like me to address in the future, please let me know. You will also find a source of more and up to date information on a broad range of management and marketing issues in the professions by checking out the blog where I also post regular reviews of books that might be helpful.

Original branding by Matt Playford · A site by Fresh01