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What is Inbound Marketing?

Originally posted on September 17, 2015; Updated on January 21, 2022

What is Inbound Marketing?

I hate to be captain obvious here, but the internet is the place to be when it comes to marketing. The developed world has gone digital! We’re all glued to our smartphones and computers, and we practically fall apart when the internet goes down.

As a business owner, you want to get online and in front of your audience in the places they hangout, like on Facebook, in search engines, on Google My Business, Twitter, Instagram, whatever! And at the same time, you want to get the most out of your marketing budget.

People don’t want ads to interrupt their flow, they seek out what they want and are naturally pulled toward companies and products that reflect their values. As a brand, the idea is to attract your ideal customers—bring them in. That’s why the name for this type of marketing is called inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing, by definition, is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content that is tailored to your specific audience.

So as marketers, we define who these people are and then build everything around them. Essentially, we figure out who we want, and we want these people to want us, so we create a brand that they can buy into.

Blogs and web pages can be tailored to be shiny, pretty morsels that lure in the perfect customers. We want to enrich people’s lives and become trusted friends who give them what they want.

So where to start? The four main ways to turn strangers into visitors are the following!

Blogging

While some people may think that blogging is so 2000 and late, we assure you, it’s not going anywhere! Blogs are an amazing way to give your potential customers valuable content by answering questions that they didn’t even necessarily know they had about how your products and services. The more blogs you write and post, the more chances your have to attract people looking this relevant information that you are providing them! Your blog also gives your company a voice. They way your blogs are written gives your readers (and potential customers) insights into your brand. Blogging is also incredibly valuable for search engine optimization, which leads us into our next topic!

SEO

SEO is vital to inbound marketing, and to be frank, without inbound marketing, SEO is kind of useless. SEO is all about increasing your organic traffic, right? Using the right keywords in your content to bring the right customers to your website via a search engine. Inbound marketing is all about creating content that is useful and valuable to people to attract them to your website. If the content your keywords are ranking for is not valuable, people are going to leave your blogs or landing pages before even making it your actual website, with no chances of ever converting them to a customer, no matter what keywords you are using or how high they rank.

Website

Your valuable content and other strong supporting marketing campaigns can drive all the traffic you can handle to your website, but if your website isn’t functional, what’s the point? Make sure to avoid rookie web design mistakes such as:

  • Unresponsive web designs – it’s 2022. There’s no excuse for this anymore. Point blank.
  • 404 errors – even though there are cute “our bad” ways to handle these, it’s best to just avoid missing pages all together.
  • Bad or generic images – your website should really showcase your brand!
  • Hidden information – all the things your customers what to know, like your shipping and return policies, your contact information, warranties, privacy policies, etc., should be clear and easy to find on your website.

If your inbound marketing strategy has brought potential customers who have found your content valuable and gained your trust to a website that can no longer do anything for them, you have wasted both their time, and yours.

Social

Social media is the latest and greatest tool when it comes to creating content for inbound marketing. People want to see and hear from the people behind the businesses they interact with. Having social media profiles for your business allows your customers to see a human element of your business as you showcase your personality through all the bite size content social media allows us to create, like photo posts, reels, stories, and more. Not to mention, having a social media presence boosts your SEO, and we talked about that SEO/inbound marketing loop.

Let’s Meet in the Middle!

One of the most appealing things about inbound marketing is that it meets customers where they are, rather than more aggressive marketing tactics that can make people feel like you’re chasing them down. Ever get a catchy radio jingle for something you have literally no use for stuck in your head? You didn’t ask for that! Not to say that tactics have no place in today’s market! There are just different approaches that are better suited for the digital space. To learn more about inbound marketing or discuss how it may fit in to your overall digital marketing strategy, call Smart WSI Marketing today.

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Consultant
Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.

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The Web Marketing Association (WMA) has just wrapped up it’s 26th awards season. WMA is made up of a committee of industry leaders and expert judges dedicated to raising the standards of excellence in web development. The committee receives global nominations in 97 categories across the industry, and since joining the race in 2007, the WSI family has received over 150 WMA awards, including top agency twice!