What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring in potential customers, rather than outbound marketing, which relies on marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. In both inbound and outbound marketing, each potential customer, whether it’s a person or a company, is considered a “lead”. Leads can be individuals who interact with the content on your website, sign-up for a newsletter, or someone who has been referred to you by others. Generally, anyone who provides you with his or her email address or phone number can be considered a lead.
How to Generate Leads With Inbound Marketing
There are a number of ways you can generate leads through inbound marketing. We will discuss each of these in the following sections of this guide:
2. Content Marketing
3. Social Media
4. Email Newsletters
5. Downloadable Assets
6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
GETTING THEM TO YOUR SITE
At the core of inbound marketing is having a prospect discover you. There are several ways to do this, but the best way is to create great content. This could be a blog post, a YouTube video, or a great
Fundamentals Every Website Should Have
Your website is an integral part in facilitating your inbound marketing strategy.
Here are elements your website should have to execute your inbound marketing plans.
CONTACT US FORM
Have a form on your Contact page that potential customers or partners can fill out to connect with you. If your website is built with WordPress, you can use plugins such as Contact Form 7 (http://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7) or Gravity Forms (http://www.gravityforms.com, $39) to create the form.
EMAIL AND PHONE NUMBER
Website visitors should be able to easily see your contact information, no matter what page they arrive on at your site. Ensure your phone number and
email address is prominently displayed at the footer or header of every page on your website.
Follow buttons – add follow buttons for the social networks your company is active on, such as on the blog sidebar and website footer.
Social sharing buttons – use a plugin such as AddThis (http://www.addthis.com) to add buttons on blog posts to let readers share relevant content with their social networks.
DIGITAL ASSET DOWNLOAD
To promote your downloadable white papers or guides, you can display banner images on the sidebar of your blog, underneath blog posts, or in a popover.
EMAIL NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP
Email forms on your website is a great way to collect subscribers. You can place forms on the blog sidebar, in a popover or as a slide-in when readers get to the bottom of a blog post. Your email software provides code snippets you can use, or you can build your own form with plugins like SumoMe
(http://sumome.com) that connects to email providers
BUILDING A WEBSITE
• WordPress (free) – www.wordpress.org
• Google Analytics (free) – http://www.google.com/analytics
• SumoMe, WordPress plugin (free) – http://sumome.com
• LeadIn, WordPress plugin (free) – http://leadin.com
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
• Google Keyword Planner (free) –
• Google Webmaster Tools (free) –
• Yoast for WordPress (free) – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo
• Moz ($99 and up) – http://moz.com
SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING
• HootSuite (free) – http://hootsuite.com
• Buffer (free) – http://bufferapp.com
EMAIL MARKETING SOFTWARE
• MailChimp (free and $10/month and up) – http://mailchimp.com
• Campaign Monitor ($9/month and up) – https://www.campaignmonitor.com
• GetResponse ($15/month and up) – http://www.getresponse.com
LANDING PAGE TOOLS
• Unbounce ($49/month and up) – http://unbounce.com
• LeadPages ($25/month and up) – https://www.leadpages.net/products