The building blocks of an inbound marketing strategy
An inbound marketing strategy draws on a variety of techniques, channels, and content types that marketers use to attract and engage customers and prospects.
Marketers use search engine optimization to increase traffic to a website. Executed correctly, SEO techniques push a marketer’s web content toward the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) without paying for a prime position.
Marketers use SEO techniques to make it easy for internet search engines like Google to find, index, and rank their content, increasing the likelihood that it will be served up to searchers. These techniques include the use of keywords (words and phrases internet searchers are likely to use when researching a topic), the use of relevant links and backlinks on web pages, and compelling, high-quality content that is share-worthy.
A landing page is simply the destination page you reach by clicking on a search engine result. While it could be a website’s homepage, in an inbound marketing campaign it will most likely be a standalone page on a company’s website created for a specific campaign.
As the first stop on a visitor’s journey, a landing page should deliver on visitor expectations set by the search engine result they clicked on. A landing page might provide a high-level overview of a topic, product, or service, or it might provide more in-depth content available to download. In any case, it should be highly focused on incenting visitors to take a single action like clicking on a link or completing a form to continue the journey.
The key to an effective landing page is to keep it simple. Use a short, impactful headline, clear and action-oriented copy that promotes your offer or offering, and a call-to-action (CTA) button that attracts the eye and drives action.
When creating landing pages, it’s also important to consider that more than half of web traffic today comes from mobile, so they should be designed to be responsive.
A form is the part of a landing page where visitors are converted into leads and moved into and through the marketing funnel. Marketers often incentivize visitors to share their contact information by offering high-value content in exchange for filling out the form appearing on a landing page. The key to a high-converting form is balancing your desire to capture a lot of information about a prospect with their caution about providing it.
Content marketing includes media like blogs, e-books, videos, newsletters, webinars, and events that prospects and customers perceive more as useful information than advertising. Content marketing boosts engagement by delivering high-value content that informs and educates—without an overt “hard-sell” approach.
"Only two-thirds (66%) of content marketing programs prioritize their audience’s informational needs over their organization’s sales/promotional message. Yet, 88% of the top performers do."
Content Marketing Institute, 2020
Pay per click (PPC) advertising is used to improve the ranking of its content in internet search results and drive traffic to its inbound content. While PPC might bring a marketer’s content to the top of search results, the telltale “sponsored” or “ad” notation may cause searchers to view it as being less credible than content appearing in organic search results.
Using these components to execute a well-developed inbound marketing strategy will boost lead generation and guide those leads to and through a demand generation path that takes them on an engaging and meaningful customer journey.