October 24, 2019 | Sean Foo
Attracting random attention with your inbound efforts isn’t enough, you want the best prospects and targeted audiences to come to you – and that will require utilizing the right type of content that resonates the best with your audiences.
Inbound marketing is simply the act of creating content that is helpful, interesting and compelling to your audience that will get them to discover and understand more about your brand and what you offer.
Over time, you will be building goodwill by adding enough value to their lives to the point that when it comes time to buy, they will buy from you!
Whether you are in the B2B or B2C space, creating brand awareness is key – and there is nothing better than to be present and provide value where your customers are intentionally searching for information.
After all, it will take your audience on average 3 to 5 encounters with your brand’s content before they turn into a sales lead (we are talking about quality hot leads) or convert into a direct sale!
From big corporations to Saas startups and even lifestyle brands, inbound marketing has become the main strategy for the incredible benefits they bring including:
– 6 times higher conversion rates for businesses using inbound content marketing versus those that do not.
– A 9x increase in conversion rates (leads from organic inbound search have a 14.6% close rate vs 1.7% from outbound methods)
– Helping you speed up your sales process (especially if your business has a long sales cycle)
Only with inbound marketing can you experience such results – but only if done right!
In this article, we will be breaking down some of the best inbound marketing examples and strategies used by companies and entrepreneurs to exponentially grow their business.
It’s time to learn from the best!
Blogging is one of the most traditional (and effective) types of inbound marketing around and allows businesses to start bringing in traffic from search engines like Google (which accounts for over 44% of the world’s referral traffic).
Boasting over 1 million subscribers, the Oberlo blog is focused on providing entrepreneurs with valuable advice on launching, marketing and maximising their dropshipping business.
They do this with long-form blog articles that regularly clock over 2,000 words!
Covering a wide range of topics, the Oberlo blog focuses on 4 main categories from the basics of dropshipping and selecting your products to the marketing of your store.
While Oberlo focuses on the core challenges their users face daily in the daily operations of their dropshipping business by creating blog posts such as an Instagram marketing guide giving actionable advice…
They also create content that targets the top of funnel prospects on topics that have a high search volume on with potential targeted audiences to build brand awareness with posts that cover seasonal product trends.
The key of inbound marketing is not to just more consistent traffic to your blog, you need to capture their attention and turn it into something tangible – subscribers of course!
With a well-designed subscription form at the top of their blog plus using the power of social proof and benefit-driven copywriting, they make it worthwhile for their readers to be willing to trade their emails for on-going value.
As you grow your blog resource & loyal subscriber base that keeps coming back, take the time to make your blog posts easy to search for.
Oberlo does this in spades by having a very slick design that segments all of their blog posts into clear content silos (or categories) that not only help readers locate the articles that really matter, but also helps with their SEO as well!
An iconic sports and surf apparel brand, Quiksilver intelligently uses blogging to get in inbound traffic from surfing and snowboarding enthusiasts all over the world.
Knowing your audience well is key before crafting your blog content and Quiksilver does this in spades.
Their blog content is spread out across:
– Entertaining & wowing their audience with exciting travelogues
– Interviews & stories of surfing and watersports legends
– Tips & tricks to surf and snowboard better
– Awesome locations to visit for surfing and snowboarding
While many B2C companies (especially apparel and clothing brands) tend to favor social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, having a blog is a great addition to your inbound marketing efforts – if you can match the content to your audience tastes.
Not all blogs require long-form content, especially in the lifestyle apparel business where consumers just want bite-sized information with cool inspirational shots.
Most of Quiksilver’s blog content provides quick helpful tidbits and insights to complement their beautiful scenic shots that play up the lifestyle appeal of their brand.
A blog doesn’t have to be a standalone inbound strategy for your business – it can be integrated with your other inbound channels such as social media platforms and video channels.
Quiksilver cleverly integrates videos from their YouTube channel into a generous portion of their blog posts.
In fact, quite a few of the blog posts are crafted to complement their videos and to drive traffic from Google search back to their videos and not just rely on YouTube’s search audience and algorithm.
By doing this, they can maximise the inbound traffic they are getting from search engines and convert more eyeballs into YouTube videos subscribers – allowing them to consistently stay top of mind in their audience’s lives to influence their buying decision when the time comes.
One of the biggest B2C challenges of blogging is to create content that will be evergreen and stand the test of time without becoming obsolete in a few months.
As a platform focused on giving advice on personal finance, their business model is based on drawing in as many consistent visitors as possible to their blog (monetised through advertising and events) – and they can’t do that by just relying on trending and seasonal posts such as ‘The top 5 Credit Cards For 2019’.
Seedly creates evergreen content by targeting the core issues and challenges of their audience (local Millenials and office workers in Singapore) that won’t go away anytime soon.
Take their post of ‘Saving $100K by 30 Years Old – Is It Even Possible?’. This 1,600-word post addresses a challenge most young working adults face (and will face if they are younger).
Instead of just spewing standard financial advice of saving money and earning more, they give actionable advice and take the reader from zero to hero with a step by step format.
Filled with many scenarios and charts, they put themselves into the shoes of their different readers making it highly relevant and relatable.
Evergreen content doesn’t have to be long-form or interactive – it just has to be easily understood, highly helpful and tailored as much as possible to your reader’s situation.
As one of the premier SEO tools in the market, Ahrefs has many inbound marketing avenues that drive them quality leads but perhaps nothing is stronger than their video series teaching how to market your business using SEO.
More companies and brands are beginning to use videos as part of their inbound marketing strategy, but smarter businesses create a series of videos that is part of a whole course or experience, making each piece of video content evergreen.
Ahrefs’s free online video course ‘Marketing with Ahrefs’ is essentially a series of YouTube videos categorized nicely on their website.
Covering core parts of SEO, from link-building to keyword research, their video series is a powerful piece of content that doesn’t just bring in new inbound leads, it also helps their current customers maximise the effectiveness & experience of their SEO platform.
Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
While creating a video series is a good inbound strategy, try to integrate your product or service into the content you are creating.
Sure, Ahrefs’s video series gives in-depth actionable advice into the topics of SEO, but the execution of the advice revolves around using their SEO platform.
As a viewer, you will not only gain value from watching, at the back of your mind you will be so familiar with Ahrefs’s tool that when it comes to the purchasing decision, going with Ahrefs will be the path of least resistance.
Not only do you instil brand awareness, but you are also making your audience reliant on your tool even before they have even touched it.
When you search for blogging advice, you probably expect to learn it on a website’s blog itself – but Income School teaches their audience how to blog through videos on YouTube!
And it’s no wonder why!
The passive income niche is getting so saturated when it comes to blogging that it is almost impossible to gain traction if you are starting from scratch, but in YouTube, getting inbound traffic is much easier for the same keywords.
It’s simple really, there is just less competition.
With an end goal in promoting their video course on creating a niche website business from scratch, they create awesome content that literally gives away the farm, creating content that includes:
– Instructional how-to-guides on key topics on starting an online niche site
– Motivational stories to inspire
– Interviews with successful niche site owners to draw lessons from
They even give out free successful niche sites themselves announced through their video content – how cool is that!
When you are choosing your inbound channel, always do prior research on how competitive your space is.
If you are looking to blog but realise your keywords are all dominated by big entrenched competitors with a ton of backlinks behind those posts, pivoting to video platforms such as YouTube might be a better choice.
Social media is one of the most powerful inbound avenues for B2C companies and with a solid strategy, platforms like Facebook can be a powerhouse that grows and engages your community.
With over 3.6 million followers on Facebook, Dollar Shave Club has created a social juggernaut where they can engage their community, get them interacting and most importantly get organic shares of their posts – further increasing their reaching and spreading brand awareness.
To accomplish that, Dollar Shave Club’s content strategy revolves mainly around bite-sized mini-infographics that are entertaining while being educational as well as seasonal illustrated content that is thought-provoking, fun and highly shareable.
Depending on your brand, audience and industry, your content will have to be adapted to the medium of your platform for it to be truly effective in bringing in the inbound leads that you want.
Where long-form content might excel in B2B blogging, bite-sized content on social for B2C audiences would probably work better.
With over 2.6 million followers, Grant Cardone understands the potential of Instagram to become a powerful inbound marketing avenue.
As Forbes’s #1 marketer to watch, Grant Cardone markets a variety of his businesses on Instagram, including his business programs, speaking engagements and private equity investment firm.
With a strategic mixture of content revolving around motivational videos, marketing and sales tips as well as an incredible show of his wealth and lifestyle, Grant Cardone knows how to use Instagram as a marketing platform – a place to grab attention and pique interest.
Instagram Stories also opens up a world of opportunity for your audience to further discover your brand and build credibility.
Holding a conference? Showcase is going on at this exact moment.
Having a power-packed week? Share the experience with your viewers and let them peek into your life.
Because Instagram currently only allows one link on your bio, you will need to be highly strategic with where you intend to drive your inbound traffic to.
If your entire business is pushing one main service or product, a dedicated landing page will be ideal to capture your traffic and start the lead nurturing process as soon as possible.
However, if your business has multiple offerings, your audience is diverse plus your content hits on many different topics, showcasing your products page or general website would be better.
One of the most effective inbound marketing strategies is to create a tool that directly solves a challenge or problem facing your audience.
While this will take effort and programming prowess, creating an online tool is far superior to writing a blog post teaching your reader how to do it – people just want the result!
When it comes to SEO, backlinks is one of the biggest ranking factors that marketers will need to constantly track, however, you would have to subscribe to a full SEO tool that could cost you hundreds of dollars a month to be able to track your backlinks.
Ahrefs created a free backlink checker online tool that has no restrictions, allowing anyone to check their website’s (or a competitor’s) backlinks, domain strength and top-performing pages.
This allows for supreme brand awareness and the building of goodwill amongst marketers, making Ahrefs the top of mind brand when the time comes to shop for an SEO tool.
How effective is it?
It has gathered backlinks from over 1,200 unique websites, further strengthening their overall website’s online presence.
When creating your online tool, make sure it fully solves the problem (no matter how small) it intends to.
When it comes to coming out with content ideas for your blog or YouTube channel, answering questions is one of the best ways to go, but where do you start finding these questions?
Enter Answer The Public’s free research tool. This tool is a standalone solution that helps you scour the internet and visualizes search questions into a search cloud image.
Instead of charging a fee to use it, Answer The Public makes this comprehensive tool completely free to all and has a ‘Pro’ option to make the experience easier with features such as unlimited searches, saved reports and data comparison.
If your entire product is based around a premium version of your free tool, locate it as early as possible in your homepage.
You will want your visitors to immediately gain value from using your tool as well as attract backlinks directly to your root domain, maximizing your SEO benefits.
Answer The Public’s website is by itself a big free tool that anyone can use and that is why it is highly shareable and actively promoted by users themselves in blogs and social media.
Perhaps one of the oldest (and still effective) inbound strategies, the ebook lead magnet is a fantastic way to get warm leads.
The premise is simple, in exchange for an ebook that gives value, the subscriber will give an email to download it, allowing you to nurture this relationship into a sale through email marketing.
While this helps to build authority to your brand, this is a big undertaking and your ebook will need to have hard-hitting material and give tons of value – much more than your free content (like posts or videos) and should not be taken lightly.
Partnering with other sales tools companies, Close’s 2020 Startup Sales Playbook is an enticing lead magnet promising a solution to solving the common sales challenges facing startups.
The key lies in the copywriting of the ebook’s page, not only must it be benefit-driven, it has to be concise, punchy and leave some mystery to entice the download.
Like in the 2020 Startup Sales Playbook squeeze page, making your ebook’s cover and overall design of the page aesthetically pleasing is also important to maximise the conversions of the traffic you have driven here.
Sometimes having a more formal and structured seminar is the best way to present a solution to your audience – that’s where the webinar comes in.
Akin to a university lecture, a webinar allows your content team to present a topic or solution to your viewers in an engaging way that is personable, mixing audio with slides as well as a face to face Q&A section.
It doesn’t have to be a live webinar, you can easily record it and reuse it as a lead magnet for years to come!
Hubspot utilizes their webinars to cover a variety of digital marketing topics as well as to humanize their brand instead of being just another faceless corporation.
Like an ebook lead magnet, the key here is for your attendees to exchange their contact information (normally an email) in order to attend or view the webinar.
Because a webinar is conducted by real human beings, your webinar’s squeeze page has to feature your speakers so that your audience will know who is teaching the lessons.
Invest some time in a neat and concise write up for your speakers.
Focus on the tangible and relevant results they have delivered to entice your audience even further to sign-up like how Hubspot has done below.
You probably heard the word ‘podcast’ hundreds of times and how awesome it is to spread your message and content without much investment.
After all, all you need is a computer, a microphone and a good voice (ok, this part might not be that easy).
But still, podcasts allow you to attach your personality into the content which can range anywhere from 10 minutes to hours long.
Because your audience will probably be doing something while listening to your podcast such as driving or exercising, it is actually preferable for your podcast to be long-form covering the topic as much as possible.
Ryan Robinson’s podcast, The Side Hustle Project, focuses on interviews with entrepreneurs on how they got their side businesses going from humble beginnings to million-dollar successes.
Focusing on delivering value, the aim of the podcast is to spread brand awareness and get referral traffic back to his blog where he monetises the attention through affiliate marketing and his consultation and content services.
While you might be tempted to lock away your podcast with a register wall forcing your listener to give an email to listen to it – don’t!
A podcast is meant to seamlessly integrate with your listeners’ lives.
Your main goal here to attract audiences and inbound leads is to focus on distributing your podcast far and wide as possible.
That means uploading it on your website and publishing it onto as many 3rd party platforms such as Google Play, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher & YouTube.
Leave the self-promotional material either at the start or at the end of the podcast.
In today’s marketplace where adding value is key, inbound marketing should be at the heart of every smart business’s strategy.
Let these 12 inbound marketing examples inspire you to create the best and most relevant content possible for your platform.
Every piece of content you create is an asset that will help you attract more inbound leads and will serve you for months and even years to come – much better than sending tons of email outreach or making cold calls!
Need more convincing?
Discover the 14 awesome benefits of content marketing that will blow you away!
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