Inbound marketing is a method of marketing that encourages engagement around your brand. It provides a way to build a foundation of content supporting and attracting customers to your value proposition. Inbound marketing is a way to attract, convert, close, and delight customers into your brand’s most valuable word of mouth marketers. It is designed around the idea of attracting new customers while cultivating a relationship with your current customer base in a way that provides value and thought leadership, and insight into their purchase decisions and motivation.
There are four stages of inbound marketing. Attract, convert, close, and delight.
By developing useful content and providing value to the individuals who visit your website you are more likely to attract a more qualified prospect than that of traditional means of marketing.
Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. (HubSpot)
In order to pull off a successful inbound campaign you must employ white hat marketing tactics. These are generally content based initiatives that include beneficial information to your customer, website visitors, and qualified leads. By providing insight on industry trends and relevant information as it pertains to your product or service you can begin to build a community around your brand.
Marketing industry thought leaders weigh in on the tactics of white hat marketing to better your marketing mix.
"White Hat: Growing your Audience. The best way to grow your audience is with a variety of engaging content. This includes informative posts, images, videos, promotions, polls and any other type of interactive status update that grabs audience attention. Once this type of content is being created on a regular basis, social media managers should also consider either advertising on social networks or promoting their content so that more people can see it, which can be done on both Facebook and Twitter. These strategies spread the word about a brand’s social profiles, which helps increase real fan and follower numbers.” (WebsiteMagazine)
White hat SEO defined by Webopedia - "In search engine optimization (SEO) terminology, white hat SEO refers to the usage of optimization strategies, techniques and tactics that focus on a human audience opposed to search engines and completely follows search engine rules and policies.
For example, a website that is optimized for search engines, yet focuses on relevancy and organic ranking is considered to be optimized using White Hat SEO practices. Some examples of White Hat SEO techniques include using keywords and keyword analysis,backlinking, link building to improve link popularity, and writing content for human readers."
"Write some high-quality blog posts with your audience in mind. Before I begin a blog post, I like to think about some of the questions someone looking for my services might be asking about. For example, since we do Web development one of our recent posts was 14 Questions to Ask Your Web Developer. This article has already gotten us several relevant links, as well as some phone calls from clients who were interested in our services after reading the post. Some other ideas for blog posts can be industry related guides as well as announcing sales, contests, new products, or special offers. (Pro tip: Contests are a fantastic type of blog post that can lead to a lot of high-quality links.) (DigitalListMag)
"Use these contact generating landing pages to gather lead information and convert them into contacts. In order to generate the biggest return on investment, be sure your Landing Page content optimization is at the forefront of development. An optimized landing page can make a game-changing difference in your marketing performance.
Use a company blog, or media publication section on your website to help generate organic qualified leads. Be sure to utilize this real estate to advertise your campaigns.
Generate more traffic to your business blog by sharing your campaign-attached blog posts on your social platforms. Be sure you are addressing each community individually. Not all social platforms behave in the same manner. Refer to your Buyer Persona Workbook to review content consumption habits of your target buyer persona. This will ensure you are delivering the right information, to the proper recipient, at the proper time. Crucial!” (DirectImages)
As you can see, white hat marketing is more about the customer than the search engine. If you can dig down deep into the foundation of your brand and provide the necessary information at the proper time within the buyer's journey you marketing efforts will become less painful, and more productive and beneficial for your customers, website visitors, and even help convert your qualified leads. Remember to focus on a business goal and not a content goal. Success is thought leadership within the inbound marketing world.
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