What is Inbound Marketing?
Download our Inbound Marketing Playbook
Take a PDF copy of our Inbound Marketing Playbook with you to read on the go.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful company-created content, adding value throughout a customer’s buyer journey. Despite its modern feel, inbound marketing brings in potential customers through traditional digital marketing channels.
Our team of inbound marketing consultants serves as an extension of clients’ internal teams. Specializing in lead generation websites, we build trust with potential customers through leveraging a digital marketing strategy that add value at the appropriate time of the buyer’s journey.
Inbound Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
Some of the major differences of inbound marketing compared to outbound marketing related to how customers interact with a company’s products or services. Traditional routes, sometimes referred to as outbound marketing, are found everywhere in the modern world. From billboard ads, to short 3 second clips before a YouTube video, the goal of these advertisements is to grab your attention. However, the issue at hand is simple, people hate being told what to do. More and more, consumers are finding ways to ignore the steady flow of commercials they see on a day to day basis. New technologies such as Gmail’s ability to categorize emails, Adblocker on Google Chrome, and various other technologies make typical marketing automation inefficient. How then should a firm look at gaining the business of prospective clients? Enter: Inbound marketing.
Consumers have more options than ever with who they choose to do business with. Gone are the days of single suppliers of any good or service. Increased competition might seem daunting, but is in fact a blessing. Advances in smartphones and website development have made it possible for individuals to find companies whose values and principles align with their own. A key way to do this is by developing authentic content that speaks to the ways people learn, live, and experience their own lives. Instead of constantly interrupting people with annoying messages, a good inbound marketing campaign brings the the content they need when they need it. Then, in turn, it brings those new leads to you.
Why Use Inbound Marketing?
At first glance, it might seem like inbound marketing is a lot of extra work for a company to take on, so many businesses wonder whether it’s actually worth their time. But in the long run, inbound marketing is a better way for a company to target potential customers.
Progress isn’t an overnight thing, we know that’s the case from being based in DC. SEO, social media outreach and email marketing are no different, but are more optimized than growing via traditional marketing. Our DC SEO, social and email clients get the most out of their efforts because of our insights and experience in the industry.
First, inbound marketing, including blogs and social media accounts, is cheaper than traditional print and media advertising, as most of the content can easily come in-house. Viewers are also more likely to pay attention to inbound marketing, as people are paying less and less attention to outbound methods like direct mail, television ads, and phone calls.
Second, inbound marketing helps you create a lead generating website by targeting people who are already interested in your product. Inbound works to put your ads only in front of specified audiences, so instead of casting a big net, you are casting a small one but into a pool of people that are more likely to be interested in you and the product or service you are providing.
Third, inbound marketing is an adaptive type of marketing that can be made to fit with current customer needs and can be used to change the entire buying experience. Inbound is inherently more flexible than traditional marketing and therefore it is easier for a company to adjust based on past performance and metrics to cater to modern consumers.
Curious about creating some of your own inbound digital marketing? Check out our tips on how to create videos for social media and how you can use SEO fundamentals to make your website easily accessible for visitors and search engines.
The Flywheel model
Inbound marketing doesn’t just stop after the deal is closed. In fact, it’s a buying cycle that creates lasting relationships which utilizes your clients as the ultimate marketing tool. By attracting customers to your site, engaging with their specific needs, and delighting them with customer service, the old “funnel” model of business is over.
Science tells us that people often rate their overall experience within the last stages of the purchasing process, so it’s extremely important to leave a good lasting impression. Content marketing, search engine optimization, and customer segmentation are all important aspects to a successful inbound marketing plan, but by following the Flywheel model the consumer is placed at the center of all business transactions.
Inbound Marketing Consulting Services
Brand and Social Media Management
Brand awareness is the first step of the buyer’s journey. It is important that your potential customers get the right impression of your brand using social media marketing.
DC Dev Shop can help your team with brand management and forming your digital reputation. Our inbound marketing services include logo design, branding, image assets, and more. We also provide social media marketing and management services, increasing your visibility across multiple social media platforms.
To attract potential customers, you need to have a responsive website that looks great and speaks to your target audience. DC Dev Shop specializes in demand generation and lead generating websites, and is foremost a website development and design agency.
Our design team incorporates traditional marketing efforts into award winning websites and campaign landing pages. We primarily use WordPress to create modern and interactive websites that are responsive to all devices. Learn more about our website design services.
Your website and brand might be great, but it won’t do you much good unless you can provide content that is search engine friendly. Content for your website about your company and what you do is crucial for attracting customers, as is interesting and relevant content for your social media pages. DC Dev Shop offers services in content creation for both platforms, helping you to provide the information that your customers want and need.We stay up to date with the best WordPress plugins for writers and best practices for social media marketing.
Email marketing is not dead. In fact, email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach out and engage with your audience. You need to make sure you send emails that are informative and visually appealing for both desktop and smartphone viewing. DC Dev Shop can help your business with your email marketing, from email newsletter creation to overall email marketing campaign strategy.
Website optimization is the process of changing aspects of your website so that it appears higher in search engine results and improves your website’s ability to drive digital marketing goals. While building or redesigning your website, DC Dev Shop will stick to industry best practices in both development and design to make sure your website is perfectly optimized for search engine results. We know that for businesses across the world, let alone in DC, SEO is everything.
Sales enablement uses technology, internal processes, and content strategy to empower sales teams to sell more efficiently and effectively. In a nutshell, it provides businesses with the information and tools they need to successfully guide a customer through the buying process. DC Dev Shop will provide you with lead generation strategies and contact information to help you with your business’s sales enablement.
Inbound Marketing Tools and Resources
There are so many different tools you can use to boost inbound marketing, that it can often be scary or nerve racking when looking for the right ones. Luckily, we have done the hard work for you. Through our experience in defining inbound marketing and what it means to the average consumer, we have selected some of the best inbound marketing resources available that cost a fraction of larger marketing softwares.
One of the premier customer relationship management tools in the industry, inbound marketing pioneer HubSpot, is a favorite at DC Dev Shop. Created by founders Brain Halligan and Dharmesh Shah at MIT, HubSpot’s focus has been to assist businesses in creating lasting growth through inbound marketing. The software operates as a trifecta of marketing, sales, and customer service. With loads of free content open to anyone on their personal blog, they clearly know that their product sells itself. If you are looking to get serious about your relationship management tools, whether it’s creating a call-to-action in emails or learning the best marketing methods, HubSpot is a great resource.
We are a HubSpot Solutions Parter agency. Meaning that when you are ready to jump into inbound, we’ll be there to help set you up!
Google has over 90% control over the search engine market in the entire world. Having better SEO can mean having better clients, better social media presence, and much more. As customers move away from traditional outbound marketing avenues into a more personal-styled information feed, ranking higher on search engines is huge.
That’s where SEMrush comes in. Showing the top ranked words, phrases, and cost of paid clicks, the software offers assistance in where to focus your search engine marketing efforts. SEMrush also offers extensions in Google Docs, as well as various other business software for content creation and organic SEO monitoring.
This service sounds straight out of a science fiction film. An online behavioral marketing tool, Hotjar allows you to see exactly what users are viewing on websites. By using analysis and feedback tools, the platform is able to show which areas of sites are hot or cold – where the most action is and isn’t.
It then gives users the chance to look at what their customers are saying about them. An amazing product for anyone looking to improve their web design and understand how clients interact with user interface choice. When it comes to behavioral marketing, Hotjar is the choice for us.
A resource rich guide to making amazing content for company blogs, Buzzsumo can give an edge to any developing business. Inbound marketing requires companies to produce strong quality content, and that can be hard sometimes. Buzzsumo takes some of the weight off your shoulders by providing tips and tricks on what works or doesn’t. Popular topics, breaking news, and other information that’s vital to producing fantastic content can be found within the service.
How to Pick an Inbound Marketing Agency?
Sometimes you might need help with your inbound marketing strategy, and that’s why it’s important to pick the right inbound marketing agency for you and your company.
Here are some things to consider when choosing an inbound marketing agency:
When picking an inbound marketing agency, the first thing you need to consider is their track record. Industry experience is nice, but it is more important to focus on the proven results the inbound agency has provided to other companies. Can they give you concrete evidence that their inbound marketing plan has benefited other clients?
Something else to note is whether the agency uses inbound marketing themselves. If they don’t have a good inbound strategy for their own business, it’s unlikely that they will be able to do much for your business.
Accountability and Transparency
It’s important to find out early in your relationship about how accountable and transparent an inbound marketing agency is with their clients about their project management process. What exact actions are they going to take, how are they going to do it, and how are they measuring the results? Also ensuring that there is transparent reporting is very important so that you know exactly what is going on, so you can change your marketing direction if need be.
You don’t need to have a set pricing plan when you first start working with an inbound marketing agency. In fact, it would be weird for an inbound agency to give you an exact number before knowing precisely what they will need to do for your company’s marketing. But it is important that the agency is completely upfront with you about how much their services cost. You don’t want to be caught blindsided when something is three times more expensive than you budgeted for.
This may be one of the last things you consider but it is still very important, and that is whether your personalities align. When two businesses work together, it is important that they share some of the same core values and goals in order to make the agreement work. When looking for an inbound marketing agency to help you with your inbound, make sure to ask about their primary beliefs and values to help gauge whether or not you’d be a good fit for one another.
Our digital team would love to help your organization out with inbound marketing campaigns. Contact us for a free consultation today. Interested in doing it yourself? Check out our blog post on the most recent digital marketing certifications new graduates should have to jumpstart your digital marketing knowledge.
Why choose us?
Our team of inbound marketing consultants works side by side with your business to better understand and measure project goals that you want to achieve. Our team specializes in our craft, thinking holistically about projects, bringing a unique perspective to every step of the process involved in your web design, WordPress development or inbound marketing plan.
Let's Work Together
We are the leading WordPress development and HubSpot Inbound Consulting agency in the D.C. area, working with brands to attract and retain clients by leveraging web technologies and inbound marketing methodologies.
Don't be shy, drop us a line. Whether you are aiming to launch a new website yourself or want to hire a team of experts to build a custom site, we'd love to hear from you.