Skip to content

What is inbound marketing?

Written by

Last editedJan 20212 min read

Marketing is key to any brand, but there’s more than one way to go about it. For the modern company, inbound marketing is a craft they should certainly learn the art of.

Inbound marketing meaning

Inbound marketing is marketing that draws in customers through content, social media, blogs, and SEO, as well as other tactics. Essentially, inbound marketing aims to get your brand on the radar of potential customers in your target market, even if they aren’t planning to make a purchase soon. Inbound marketing helps build your brand awareness, and generate leads by engaging with customers in ways beyond conversions.

Inbound vs. outbound marketing

Inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing in the way in which it interacts with audiences. In short, outbound marketing doesn’t involve much interaction, using more traditional methods of advertising like TV ads. These messages interrupt other content, and give information on your brand to an audience that never asked to see it.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, aims to answer a demand that the customer has, even if that need isn’t something that can be answered with a purchase of a product or service. For example, you may have a blocked sink, so you run an internet search for how to fix it. The top answers are blog posts from brands that offer services such as plumbing and home insurance. You get your answer from their blog, and have no intention of buying home insurance, but the seed has been planted that the brand is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and has provided help in the past.

Outbound marketing examples

  • TV adverts

  • Pop-up adverts

  • Magazine adverts

  • Billboards

Inbound marketing examples

  • Blogs

  • Social media

  • SERP descriptions

  • Websites

  • eBooks

How to create an inbound marketing strategy

Creating an inbound marketing strategy can help you build your customer network long before they even become customers. You need a solid marketing strategy so you can reach the audience you want.

Ask the following questions:

1. Who is your buyer?

What is the demographic you’re looking to engage with? Is your offering high-end, mid-end, or affordable to this buyer? What does your target buyer value in their content (ease of use, aesthetics, trustworthy credentials, etc.)?

2. What content would resonate most with this customer?

A young customer base will likely engage more with social media than with older users, while they will also be more driven by trend-led imagery and content. An older customer who is also more affluent will be looking for a more timeless approach. That doesn’t mean you can’t use social media and have a strong following through quality image-sharing, but it also opens up other possibilities, like eBooks.

3. Are you credible?

It’s not just potential customers who will think better of you if you are proven to be a credible source, Google will too. The better your content is, the more it will be shared, and if your credible content is shared by other credible sites, then Google recognizes that you must be a good place to turn to for advice. That means you will slowly rise up the ranks of the Google pages and become one of the first pages a user sees when they search a relevant term.

Moving up with inbound marketing

After you have created an action plan, all that’s left to do is to get started. Make sure to always keep your target customer in mind, but be open to new customers who may appear as your engagement grows, and adjust your inbound marketing strategy accordingly.

We can help

GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

Sign upLearn More

Try a better way to collect payments, with GoCardless. It's free to get started.

Try a better way to collect payments

Learn moreSign up