Inbound Marketing is designed to harness the three most powerful elements of Internet marketing into a single, connected, trackable process. This can be something that you can achieve in-house but many companies opt to work with an inbound marketing agency. The starting point is to create and publish high-quality content, either in words, pictures, audio or video. Next, you need to optimise this content for search engines, so that it appears in organic search results on Google. Finally, you need to share the content via social networking sites such as Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, to stimulate the viral spread of your content. The theory is, if you’ve done all three steps correctly, customers will come to you; hence the term “inbound marketing”.
You might think we’ve been publishing, optimising and sharing content for years – so what’s so special about Inbound Marketing? Well, to date most companies have focused their web marketing budget on a combination of traditional “interruption” marketing (i.e. advertising) and SEO. The content on most corporate websites has been less than interesting and most business blogs are little better. In terms of sharing content, most companies have only dabbled with social media in a piecemeal way, often without truly understanding it and usually relying on external resources to help them.
What’s different about Inbound Marketing is that it requires an end-to-end approach to online marketing. It requires us to put thought into creating interesting, valuable and remarkable content that inspires word-of-mouth referrals. It forces us to optimise everything we publish and then devise workable social media strategies to ensure it reaches as many receptive individuals as possible.
It requires us to monitor the results of the campaign not just in financial terms, but also in reach, share of conversation, new contacts, influence and positive outcomes towards your brand. These are the currency of the social media age.
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Leadin is an easy-to-use marketing automation and lead tracking plugin for WordPress that helps you better understand your website visitors.