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Top 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies


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This whitepaper shares top 10 inbound marketing strategies, followed by details on our Integrated Inbound Marketing Process with an accompanying infographic. Finally, an inbound marketing case study example will illustrate best practice implementation.

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Top 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies

  2. 2. Modern Marketing Partners Top 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies 1 Top 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies Inbound marketing, one of the top marketing buzzwords emerging over the past of couple of years, will be used by 58% of companies this year. In addition, 48% of marketers plan to increase their inbound marketing spend in 20131 . Inbound marketing is a term coined by Hubspot, defined as the practice of drawing potential customers to you, as opposed to broadcasting communications to potential customers through traditional methods like advertising (now categorized as outbound marketing). For the old-school marketer or traditionalist, inbound is considered a “pull” strategy, while outbound marketing is considered a “push” strategy. Below we will share the top 10 inbound marketing strategies, followed by details on our Integrated™ Inbound Marketing Process with an accompanying infographic. Finally, an inbound marketing case study example will illustrate best practice implementation. 1. Thought Leadership 2. Blogging 3. Social Media 4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 5. Integrate with PR 6. Paid Search Advertising 7. Calls-to-Action and Registration pages 8. Generate Word of Mouth 9. Leverage events 10. Integrated Inbound™ Marketing TOP 10 INBOUND MARKETING STRATEGIES
  3. 3. Modern Marketing Partners Top 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies 2 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies 1. Thought Leadership – Establishing your brand or key spokespersons as thought leaders in your industry through content marketing, publishing and public speaking. If possible, leverage educational opportunities including associations, institutes, or training programs. Content types include blogging, case studies, white papers, eBooks, surveys and industry studies, videos, and more. Demonstrate how your company or brand solves problems. Be informative and educational, not promotional. Use content as material for public speaking. 2. Blogging – A blog is a great opportunity for your company or brand to establish thought leadership, while also generating leads. Arguably, one huge benefit of blogging can also be leveraged as an search tactic. A properly search- optimized blog builds up your indexed pages count, is a source of fresh content to your website (which search engines love), allows you to discuss the “keywords” associated with your company, and increases website traffic. The SEO benefits are clear, but don’t write for the search engines, write for your customer. Provide value. Provide additional resources, and social share. 3. Social Media – Social media is no longer an option and represents the essence of inbound marketing itself. Not only is social media another touch point to reach and interact with customers and prospects, it provides an outlet for all your content. Establish a social media strategy. What networks are right for your brand? What content will we use? Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come. Be sure to post/share regularly. To increase your reach, add social profile icons and links to your website and blog, and add social sharing tools. For business-to-business marketing, LinkedIn will likely be important, along with Twitter, YouTube and Google+. For business- to-consumer marketing, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are important (along with YouTube and Twitter).
  4. 4. Modern Marketing Partners Top 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies 3 4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – An estimated 93% of online experiences starting with a search engine2 , and the majority of searchers only click on the top 1-3 results. Making SEO improvements to your website can increase your rankings in a search engine results page (SERP) and ultimately, increase website traffic and leads. For a more detailed analysis of SEO improvements you can make, read our white paper: Search Engine Optimization – Top Priority for Modern Marketers. 5. Integrate with PR – Publicity or PR is by definition, free. And PR can build awareness and reach new and different customers. What makes PR part of the inbound marketing mix, is the ability to social share publicity through the several social networks mentioned above, along with the traffic PR can deliver to your website, blog, or social networks. Finally, PR can be used to cost efficiently announce new thought leadership assets like studies, eBooks, and whitepapers; again, with links to the respective content. 6. Paid Search Advertising – or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising has created some controversy in the inbound marketing world. People debate whether or not PPC should be classified as an inbound marketing tactic. While PPC does straddle the line, we consider it to be an inbound marketing tactic, and a powerful one! PPC can help supplement your website traffic while you are trying to build natural or organic search authority through SEO improvements. And for high commercial intent searches, PPC outranks natural (organic) search results. 7. Calls-to-Action – You’ve established yourself as a thought leader, blog regularly, and have built a social following. But, are you converting? Having powerful calls-to-action (CTA) in all of your content can help turn prospects into customers. Provide incentives. Use action verbs. Place effectively. Constantly test and track the effectiveness of your calls-to-action and make updates. Use landing pages and registration pages to capture prospect information. Integrate with CRM or marketing automation to support ongoing lead nurturing.
  5. 5. Modern Marketing Partners Top 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies 4 8. Word of Mouth – 93% of word of mouth advertisement occurs off-line. So why is it important and relevant to inbound marketing? Think of inbound marketing tactics as a conversation starter. Inbound marketing gets people talking about your company. Though these conversations may happen offline, you can still influence and shape them early one. Promotions, events, contests and interactive tools communicated through digital channels (website, social networks), increase engagement, and build traffic. 9. Leverage Events – both live and virtual events (webcasts), can help your company establish itself as a thought leader and generate leads. Webcasts are an effective, and cost-efficient way to boost your content marketing program. Live events including trade shows provide opportunities to reach new customers interested in your services. 10. Integrated Inbound™ Marketing – integrate Inbound and Outbound Marketing initiatives for maximum impact and results. Start with research, planning and strategy. Outbound includes advertising, PR, events, direct mail and email, and sales. Inbound includes SEO, content, blogging and social media. Cross-promote websites, blogs and social profiles in advertising, emails and more. Use Calls-to-Action and registration pages to capture leads. Finally, measure analytics of websites and social networks.
  6. 6. Modern Marketing Partners Top 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies 5 Integrated Inbound™ Marketing Inbound Marketing is hugely popular thanks to the tireless efforts of marketing automation software publishers including Hubspot, Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot, each with a different spin on what constitutes effective inbound marketing. Still, each of these sources is selling software, so there is clear bias for Inbound Marketing, and bias against many traditional or outbound marketing techniques. In some cases, this bias is so exaggerated, that it borders on conspiracy! Consider Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report, which compares Inbound to Traditional or Outbound marketing, identifying lower costs and greater effectiveness of Inbound. The conspiracy? Hubspot defines outbound marketing as trade shows, direct mail and telemarketing. Ok, what about advertising and PR? What about email and brochures for sales staff? No question, the marketing mix has has significantly changed, shifted, and evolved from traditional marketing to Internet-centric approaches. But are marketers eliminating advertising, PR, trade shows, email and replacing with inbound marketing? Not even close. Sure small companies that never did marketing might only implement Inbound marketing, but most brands active in marketing employ a full complement of marketing elements and approaches. Here at Modern Marketing Partners, we put forth a new theory of effective, best-practice marketing. A marketing mix that is multi-disciplined with a consistent brand identity and message. Outbound marketing integrating seamlessly with inbound marketing, and more measurable than ever before. We call it Integrated Inbound™ Marketing, and we illustrate the components and inter-relationships via the Inbound/Outbound Marketing™ Process Infographic on the next page.
  7. 7. Modern Marketing Partners Top 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies 6 -metrics/dashboards THE Research Analysis Planning Strategy Branding Advertising, PR, Events, Direct, Sales Support Measurement/Reporting Analytics, Metrics, Dashboards, Activity Calender Advertising, PR, Events, Direct, Sales Support Outbound Marketing Advertising, PR, Events, Direct, Sales Support Advertising, PR, Events, Direct, Sales Support Inbound Marketing SEO, Content, Blogging, Social Media Advertising, PR, Events, Direct, Sales Support Lead Generation Offers, Registration Pages, Promotion, CRM/Automation INTEGRATED INBOUND™ MARKETING PROCESS
  8. 8. Modern Marketing Partners Top 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies 7 Inbound Marketing Case Study – Construction Marketing Association (CMA) A great example of the power of inbound marketing to achieve measurable results is the launch of the Construction Marketing Association (CMA). Established in January of 2010, CMA employed a comprehensive inbound marketing program to build awareness, drive memberships, and launch such initiatives as the STAR Awards, professional certification program, and a career center with the help of Modern Marketing Partners. Like all successful inbound marketing, a search-optimized website was foundational, coupled with extensive and relevant content. An award-winning blog and integrated social media profiles distribute content and communications. Frequent webcasts and white papers reinforce thought leadership. Results: Growing memberships, e-commerce sales, website traffic, registrations through multiple offers, and importantly excellent search authority across a wide range of topics. MMP was recognized with the following awards for the CMA inbound marketing campaign: 1. Communicator 2011 Silver CMA Social 2. Communicator 2011 Silver CMA Blog 3. Hermes 2011 CMA Blog
  9. 9. Modern Marketing Partners Top 10 Inbound Marketing Strategies 8 Modern Marketing Partners is a full service marketing and communications agency based in the Chicago region. MMP implements and manages many inbound marketing campaigns for clients. To request a complimentary inbound marketing analysis, contact Neil Brown at 630-868-5061, or visit our website ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: 1 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report 2