What is Inbound Marketing?

Solomon Thimothy - December 2, 2013

the single most effective method of online marketing. period.

The web has changed more than just how people interact with each other. It’s changed the way that they interact with brands, advertising and the barrage of marketing noise that tries to interrupt their daily lives.

Outbound marketing techniques like telemarketing and sending mass emails are unpredictable at best, and don’t take advantage of what the web has to offer. If you want to get found by the right people and turn them into customers, you need an inbound marketing approach.

how inbound marketing works

Inbound Marketing involves a methodical approach for attracting prospects to your website, converting them to leads, and then nurturing leads to become clients. At OneIMS we utilize a four-step process to develop and execute a successful inbound marketing campaign for our clients.




Outbound marketing uses an interruption-based approach to marketing. Your audiences have grown immune to such methods or have established ways to tune those messages out.

Today’s consumers are educated shoppers. They use the web as a tool for discovery, learning, comparing and making decisions independently. If you want to be on your audience’s radar, you first need to provide valuable and helpful content that they would consume and share.

Getting found means driving traffic to your website. Inbound marketing focuses not just on more web traffic, but better web traffic. By determining who your ideal buyer persona is and what they’re looking for, we design an attraction strategy that draws them to your website when they’re looking for businesses like yours.

How do you get found? High quality content that delivers the information your audience is looking for. This includes:

  • Blogs – Blogging is one of the most advantageous inbound strategies in practice today. It improves your search engine performance, gives you endless opportunities to demonstrate your authority, and provides a space where you can answer the questions your audience is asking.
  • Social media – Whether you’re B2B or B2C, a strong social media presence is as critical as having a website. It is a great communication outlet to engage your audience and distribute your content.
  • Keywords and SEO – Search engine optimization is more than just the content your audience sees. By optimizing your site’s coding, tags, sitemap and more, we make it easier for search engines to index it and for audiences to find it.
  • Infographics, video and multimedia – Shareable, informative multimedia takes advantage of the web’s capabilities and can go further than the written word alone. Engaging visual content is a powerful traffic magnet.


Once you attract an audience to your site, the ball is still in their court, and it’s up to you to engage them. By demonstrating your value and engaging your audience, you compel them to take action and engage in return. This turns brand awareness into brand preference and valuable relationship.

Engaging involves:

  • Landing pages – These short, compelling pages are designed to elicit action and give the reader something in return, like a free download or special offer.
  • Articles, white papers and downloads – Sophisticated web content that engages your audience establishes an increasingly strong relationship between business and consumer.
  • Calls-to-action – These are the buttons or links on your website that prompt an action from your readers. Without them, your site does not give them a proper opportunity to engage whenever they’re ready.

Step Three: Nurture

Establishing a relationship with an interested audience is oftentimes only the beginning. If you don’t nurture your leads, they can fall through the cracks in the sales cycle, never to return.

Lead nurturing maintains contact with your leads, so you can turn more of them into customers and in less time. This strategy relies on tools like:

  • Marketing automation – Instead of pursuing each individual lead on a time-consuming, one-to-one basis, marketing automation streamlines the process and significantly reduces the risk of lost leads. Automated email messaging tailored to a lead’s demonstrated interests, for example, keeps them connected to your business without taking time from your sales team.
  • Lead scoring – When is a lead ready for a sales call? Are they becoming more or less interested over time? Lead scoring answers questions like these by assigning values to actions like site visits, automatically tracking your leads and letting you know when it’s time to take action.
  • Drip emails – Make it easy for your leads to gather the information that leads to conversion. By automatically sending personalized emails on a schedule informed by statistics, you maintain the contact that improves brand awareness and creates a path to your business.

Step Four: Convert

Inbound marketing doesn’t just convert leads into customers. It converts customers into brand advocates, making it easier to obtain repeat business and attract even more new prospects. Instead of just selling to a customer, you can impress and delight them, using tools like:

  • Social media – Consumers rely heavily on networks like Facebook and Twitter to engage with brands online. Real-time customer service on networks like these ensures that you respond in the way your audience prefers and expects.
  • Ongoing marketing automation – Tools like automated emails allow you to reconnect with customers, delivering special offers and announcements custom-tailored to their interests and purchasing behavior.
  • Sophisticated analytics – By automatically tracking and analyzing the efficacy of different inbound marketing tools and solutions, you can see what your customers respond to the best, allowing you to tailor your approach to improve the user experience.
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