What is Inbound Marketing: The Definitive Guide

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Inbound marketing is an important part of finding success with your business online, and it can prove to be challenging at times. Actually, inbound marketing is a culmination of several different strategies and tools to move a stranger to become a promoter including: blogging, search engine optimization, social publishing, calls-to-action, landing pages, email, workflows, marketing automation, and social monitoring.

Inbound marketing uses a “pull” approach that “attracts” buyers to your business when they are actively searching for your products and services.

That way you can help potential customers make purchasing decisions by providing valuable educational information that engages their interests, and keeps them coming back for more.

By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

If you're looking to drive more visitors, leads, and customers through your website (and who isn't?) then inbound marketing is a must.

There was a time when old outbound marketing methods dominated by buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads.

Those days are long gone. Thanks to the way buyer behavior has changed. Today’s consumers have a wealth of resources at their fingertips. No matter where they are in the world, they can access an infinite number of customer reviews, blog posts, and competitor websites.

 Which puts your customers in the drivers seat.

That said, outbound marketing can still work. It's just not nearly as effective as it used to be.

Websites that are successful today put their resources (time, money, and effort) into content creation, distribution, search engine optimization, lifecycle marketing, personalization, and lead generation.

When you have a well oiled inbound marketing machine, you'll find high-converting traffic from search flows to your website. Which means more revenue for you, and less time of having a website that just sits there.

The Ultimate List of the Web's Best Resources for Inbound Marketing

From visitors to promoters, this guide has you covered.


Chapter 1

Inbound Marketing Fundamentals

If you are new to inbound marketing, or just looking to figure out the difference between inbound and outbound, these resouces will help set you on the right path. They will help you understand how to start with inbound marketing, while also showing you how outbound marketing is different.



Chapter 2

How to Build Buyer Personas the Right Way

Creating buyer personas for your business is a smart move that takes commitment and quite a bit of research. Whether you realize it or not, the work you’ll do to identify one or multiple personas may be the difference between strong growth or the same old status quo for your business. You'll learn how to create buyer personas the right way (data & research driven) and how they can increase your website's targeted traffic.



Chapter 3

How to Design an Inbound Marketing Website

An inbound marketing website is focused on conversion. A good website will have a clear "step 2" or call-to-action to turn your anonymous website visitors into leads. You'll learn the characteristics, elements, and best practices of designing pages for an inbound marketing website.



Chapter 4

Create Amazing Content to Drive Engagement and Following

Content creation is a key differentiator between an inbound marketing designed website and a traditionally designed website. The content you create should come in two primary forms. The first being your blog, the second being advanced content that you can use to turn visitors into leads on your landing pages. You'll learn how to write the perfect blog post as well as how to create content marketing offers.



Chapter 5

Increase Visibility With Proper Search Engine Optimization

An important aspect of SEO is making your website easy for both users and search engine robots to understand. Without a website that is well optimized for search you may find yourself struggling to drive traffic to your website. You'll learn the difference between on-site and off-site SEO, beginner and advanced SEO tactics, plus how to build links (arguably the most important part of SEO).



Chapter 6

How to Increase Lead Generation Through Your Website

If you are not building your email list you are making a huge mistake. Email is one of the most engaging channels for marketing. If you offer high quality information on your website, people will be more likely to open your emails and come back to visit your site. You'll learn how to generate leads through your website and landing pages, as well as tips to grow your email list. 



Chapter 7

Promote Your Content and Engage With Prospects

There’s a lot that can be done using social media platforms, to the point where it can be overwhelming when trying to figure out where to start and what to do. You'll know how often you should post to social platforms, resources to make your posts better, and how to engage with your audience.



Chapter 8

Build Meaningful Relationships with Lifecycle Marketing

Your promoters won’t just materialize out of thin air: they start off as strangers, visitors, contacts, and customers. A key part of inbound marketing is lead nurturing with lifecycle marketing to transform strangers into promoters. You'll learn the basics of lifecycle marketing and strategies that actually work.



Chapter 9

Speak to Your Visitors, Leads, and Customers with Personalization

As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs. Personalization may start with email, but it certainly doesn't end there. Here are some fantastic resources on how you can use personalization throughout the buyer's journey.



Chapter 10

Save Time and Energy by Doing Marketing Automation Correctly

You can very quickly waste your marketing budget if you do not have an effective lead management and prospect nurturing system. Having marketing automation in place that connects multiple touch points and marketing channels including social media, email marketing, and content marketing will save you time and energy. Here are a few resources to help you understand marketing automation, prove it's ROI, and the mistakes you'll want to avoid.



Chapter 11

The Best Tools to Help You Take Your Inbound Marketing to the Next Level

These are some of the tools that you'll want to use to make using inbound marketing easier. While HubSpot does have a lot of inbound marketing tools under one roof, they don't have them all.


Download our free PDF version of the The Definitive Guide to Inbound Marketing

Topics: Inbound Marketing

blog author

Hunter Liptrap

Hunter is Certified Inbound Marketing, Growth Driven Design, and HubSpot Design. He has a passion for the conversion rate optimization process. With 3 years of experience he has designed and built multiple websites across various industries.