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What is Inbound Marketing?

Marketing To User IntentJust when you thought you knew every digital marketing term there was to know, another one emerges. This time, it is inbound marketing. Fortunately, inbound marketing is not a hard concept to grasp; in fact, it is comprised of techniques you are (hopefully) already doing.

Inbound marketing is exactly what it sounds like: a concept that involves drawing consumers in (to your business/website), rather than broadcasting your message out into the marketplace (usually through traditional advertising). Outbound marketing tactics include renting billboard space, buying TV ads, paying for radio airtime and becoming a print media advertiser. Conversely, inbound marketing techniques include all the aspects of digital marketing offered by your social media agency or SEO company, including:

  • Content marketing through blogging, video and website articles
  • SEO through organic channels, including local search and mobile search
  • Social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.
  • Link building and other traffic referral methods (i.e. guest blogging)
  • Pay per click advertising
  • E-mail marketing, including scheduled e-mail newsletters and blasts
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Improving user experience on the website

However, a couple of non-digital activities could certainly be considered inbound marketing as well. For instance, any activities you engage in to retain your existing customers, digital or not, are bringing people back to your business; therefore, they are inbound marketing techniques. Community engagement and various customer service tasks also fall under the inbound marketing umbrella.

Inbound Marketing Techniques

In the e-book “The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing,” HubSpot reported on a January 2012 survey of 972 professionals familiar with their business’ marketing strategy. It revealed that inbound marketing-dominated organizations experience a cost per lead that is 61% lower than outbound marketing-dominated organizations; perhaps that is why the distribution of marketing budgets continues to shift to inbound channels.

In fact, as of the date of the report, the difference between inbound and outbound marketing expenditures grew by 50% from 2011to 2012; most likely, it has grown more in the year that followed. Considering this trend, it seems sensible to shift your marketing budget towards inbound marketing, if you haven’t already done so.

A quality social media agency or SEO company can deploy inbound marketing strategies that help you increase conversion rates for deeper profits. Contact Los Angeles SEO and social media agency Crest Media to learn more.

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