There are two main types of marketing strategies, outbound marketing and inbound marketing. The former involves proactively reaching out to customers to get them to buy a product, while the latter involves creating and distributing content that drives people to your website.
Outbound marketing is more aggressively sales-oriented and goes out of its way to promote a brand or product. Meanwhile, inbound marketing is more subtle and focuses on providing quality content to consumers who are looking for it so that they trust your brand and remember it when they need your service or product in future.
Both of these marketing strategies have their advantages and disadvantages, but in this article, we’ll focus on inbound marketing, its benefits, and examples.
Table of contents
- What is inbound marketing?
- 5 examples of inbound marketing
i. Blog posts
v. Case studies
What is inbound marketing?
The concept of inbound marketing was introduced to respond to the failing effectiveness of outbound solutions.
Outbound marketing can be interruptive, such as advertising and billboards, and many consumers are continuously looking for ways to block out these unsolicited promotions through ad-blocking and spam filtering services. This method is also likely to be much less targetted and more expensive but may fulfil a short-term need for exposure.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, involves creating valuable content that answers customers’ questions and solves their problems. Your audience actively seeks you out, typically through online searches, rather than waiting for you to go to them. It requires you to understand the marketing funnel and create content for each stage in order to turn visitors into buyers and promoters of your business.
Inbound marketing is a long-term investment that requires time and consistency, but the results are also long-term and cumulative.
Read more about the differences between inbound and outbound marketing in our post.
What are some examples of inbound marketing? 5 that work
We explore 5 of the most popular types of content for inbound marketing.
1. Blog posts
Blog posts are the cornerstone of most if not all inbound marketing strategies. They target online users at the top of the funnel, trying to get educated about a particular topic.
Blogging is a great way to attract organic traffic to your website, but for it to be effective, you must incorporate SEO elements such as keywords and backlinks. Doing this will help you rank higher on search engine result pages, making it easier for users to find your content.
If you are just getting started with blogging, mixing up your blog content will help keep your readers engaged and help you overcome writer’s block. Some of the different blog types you can use include:
- How-to guides
- Tutorials and guides
- Infographics or data-led posts
- Reviews and comparions
Find out more about the basics of SEO in our series.
Videos are currently the best performing type of digital content, and with good reason. They are easy to share, stay visible for longer and rank higher in search engines.
As an inbound marketing tool, videos help increase user understanding of your product or services, which helps customers have more confidence in their purchases. If well done, video can be a powerful tool for raising brand awareness, generating traffic, and increasing sales.
According to SocialMediaToday, video content offers better results across different social media platforms. Here are some stats to take away:
- Video generates 10x more engagement on Twitter and Instagram,
- LinkedIn users are more likely to share a video than any other type of content, and
- Pinterest users are more likely to make a purchase after watching a branded video.
If you are just getting started with video marketing, here are a few video content ideas to get you started:
- Demo videos to showcase your products
- Behind the scenes videos
- How-to videos and tutorials
- Customer testimonial videos
The definition of a whitepaper varies from one industry to another. In marketing, a whitepaper is in-depth, well-researched educational content that’s more formal than your average blog post.
Whitepapers are usually mid-funnel content, and they aim to establish you as an expert in the industry and keep visitors on your page for longer.
In addition to that, whitepapers offer a great opportunity for you to ask for contact information which you can use later on to nurture visitors closer to conversion through email marketing.
When writing a whitepaper, don’t focus so much on the length. Content is the most important part of a whitepaper, and that is what determines its success.
Ensure that your topic of choice is relevant to your industry and conduct extensive research to see if it has been covered before and how you can tackle it differently.
One unique advantage about eBooks is that they’re downloadable, which makes them feel like a real object of value to visitors. They also allow you to showcase your expertise and authority on a specific subject, further establishing you as a leader in your niche.
Marketing experts like Neil Patel use eBooks as lead magnets, i.e. to increase traffic and generate more leads. Therefore, it’s safe to say that eBooks should definitely be part of your inbound marketing strategy.
Creating an eBook can help strengthen your brand and build trust with your prospects. It allows you to create content about a topic that your prospects care about and answer any question and concern they may have in a creative and engaging way. If you are considering writing an eBook, consult your buyer personas to examine your target customers’ wants and needs.
Like whitepapers, eBooks make it easier for you to build an email marketing list. Due to their perceived value, visitors are more willing to offer their contact details in return for the valuable information you have to offer. Therefore, ensure that you create a well-designed landing page on your website with a call to action to sign up.
5. Case studies
Most customers turn to their peers to see how a product or service has been of value to them before making a purchase, and this is where case studies come in.
A case study is used as social proof to persuade potential customers that a product or service can solve their problem because it has done so in the past. Case studies are invaluable for business owners and marketers trying to win over customers who are actively comparing solutions that can solve their problems. They are incredibly effective, so ensure that you have a dedicated case studies page on your website, where prospects can read other people’s testimonials.
To further increase the chances of every website visitor stumbling upon evidence of your happy customers, consider adding case studies on your home page through a call-to-action.
✏️ Now you know the most popular forms of inbound marketing, find out how to create quality content that converts.
Header image: Headway