What is Inbound Marketing? A 2018 Guide

If your company is anything like many other small to midsize businesses, you’re interested in taking advantage of a fresh, new start in 2018. This means putting together and executing a killer marketing strategy that will empower you to build up your client base, grow your brand, and increase profits. You can’t move forward into success, however, if you’re remaining stuck in your old ways. It’s time to let go of the marketing tactics of the past and embrace what’s working right now: inbound marketing. But, what is inbound marketing, exactly, and how does it work? What else can you do to step up your marketing game in the new year? Read on for the answers to these and other important questions that every small to midsize business should be asking.

What is Inbound Marketing?

By this point in time, you’ve certainly heard about inbound marketing. This buzz term seems to be everywhere, but an alarming number of business owners don’t actually understand what it means. In order to be successful with inbound, you need to know what the heck it is, how it works, and what to expect from it. Fortunately, we’re here to clear the air.

In many ways, inbound marketing is the exact opposite of the traditional outbound marketing tactics you’ve been using throughout the years. Instead of blasting your advertisement at your target audience via print ads, billboards, radio and TV spots, or even cold calls, you’re now laying out a breadcrumb trail that will pique your prospect’s interest and lead them right to your door – completely ready to buy. There’s no more trying to force your message onto anyone you can reach in hopes of converting a few souls. With inbound marketing, you create valuable, engaging, searchable content that will allow customers to find you in their hour of need. All you’ve got to do is close the sale.

How Do I Reach My Target Audience with Inbound Marketing?

In order for inbound marketing to work, your target audience must be able to find your brand and obtain the information it craves. This means putting in a little bit of effort on your end in terms of getting to know your current and prospective clients. The process of creating “buyer personas” is a crucial step. Here, you’ll consider the types of individuals who may be in need of your products or services. You’ll brainstorm their demographics, their pain points, their desires, and what drives them. From here, coming up with content that will cater to your audience is simple.

In addition to creating the right type of content for your clients and customers, you’ll also need to use the right words and phrases. Keywords are an extremely important part of search engine optimization (SEO). Consider the search terms that your prospects might use in order to find your business. Building content around these words can help increase your rankings and expand your reach.

What Are Some Common Channels for Inbound Marketing?

We’ve already established that it’s time to ditch the billboards, TV ads, and cold calls – so how in the world are your prospects supposed to find you? There are a number of great channels for delivering high-quality content to the masses with your inbound marketing strategy. Two of the best and most effective inbound channel types are business blogs and social media platforms. You might also consider re-doing your website’s content, creating videos for sources like YouTube, or engaging with your audience via email marketing (which can be considered outbound, but not when it’s done right – we’ll have a blog on that subject very soon!). Take advantage of these channels and you’ll see returns that you may never have expected.

Need some assistance with creating a gameplan for inbound marketing in 2018? Madison Taylor Marketing has helped many small and midsize business reach their goals and is more than happy to team up with your brand today. Give us a shout to learn more.


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