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Justin Lubomirsky
Justin Lubomirsky 25 July 2022

What is Inbound Marketing, and What is Content Marketing?

Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing: Everything You Need To Know In 2022. This article provides an overview of what inbound marketing and content marketing are and how they work together to attract the attention of potential buyers.

The terms "content marketing" and "inbound marketing" are often mistakenly used as synonymous concepts in B2B marketing. This is because content marketing and inbound marketing work together to attract the attention of potential buyers.

Inbound marketing is a business strategy that provides prospects with solutions to their immediate problems. It is focused on creating content that addresses the potential buyer’s problems and needs. 

When done effectively, inbound marketing can grow your business by turning leads into buyers. For inbound marketing to be successful, it requires an established content marketing strategy. This entails creating content intended to satisfy the prospect's requirements at each stage of the B2B buyer's journey.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these strategies and clarify their differences, as well as their similarities.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a strategy that leverages tools and processes to align B2B marketing with the way prospects buy today. Rather than chasing audiences, such as with outbound marketing, inbound relies on drawing in prospects with the value of content and offerings advertised.

Essentially, it harnesses human behavior to drive traffic, build relationships, and generate leads.

Inbound marketing is fundamentally about identifying audiences that are most likely to convert to buyers and then assisting them in finding solutions to their issues.

The inbound methodology is the cornerstone for all elements of the marketing mix, from strategy to content creation, distribution to advertising, SEO to lead nurturing, to marketing and sales alignment.

It leverages relevant content and resources designed with the specific wants and needs of target buyers in mind to allow them to self-nurture and progress organically along the buyer journey.

Inbound Marketing Strategies in 2022

To achieve the above goals, marketers must consider the following strategies to improve their B2B inbound marketing strategy.

Traffic Attraction

The purpose of inbound marketing is to drive traffic to your brand's website via other marketing channels. Instead of attracting a large number of visitors, the emphasis should be on higher-quality users who match your ideal buyer profile reaching your website.

Social media can be a powerful tool when employed as a part of a larger inbound marketing plan. Depending on the platform and the audience targeted, social media can be used to share content from your website, increase engagement, and promote interaction.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is a valuable inbound marketing strategy that uses a variety of tactics to improve a website's search engine position through web design and content. SEO aims to have a website appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), attracting more visitors and increase conversions.

Your website's metadata, which search engines use to find and classify your website, is a fantastic place to start. This is housed in the page titles, descriptions, and keywords for each of your web pages. 

SEO is equally as beneficial when within the text of your website or content. Make sure your text is evenly populated with relevant keywords, especially in the titles, subheadings, introduction, and additional features such as checklists or tables.

Website Building

Building a website enables content discovery through featured content, easy and intuitive page navigation to related content, and compelling CTAs. This content discovery is what converts visitors into considerations and, ultimately, conversions.

An effective website must include certain features such as: 

1. User-friendly design

Search and navigation are two of the most critical factors for inbound marketing. You are more likely to lose business if your prospects have to search hard to find what they want.  Having just a visually appealing website is insufficient. This means that consumers must be able to browse and complete the desired actions on your website easily.

2. Landing pages

Instead of directing prospects and clients to your website's home page, use landing pages as part of a more extensive inbound marketing campaign. When a visitor types in a search engine query, your landing pages can provide the information they require.

3. Content

Your content should aim to reach a large audience. One way to do so, as explored in SEO, is to include a broader range of relevant keywords, which will help to produce more qualified leads and conversions. The most successful strategy for doing this is to add a blog section to your website. 

Doing so can improve your position in search engine results as publishing more valuable information online makes prospects more likely to find your business.

What is Content Marketing?

Essentially, content marketing is the consistent generation and delivery of relevant, valuable, and high-quality content to attract and engage a specific target audience—and ultimately, drive profitable buyer action.

It is a mission-critical growth strategy for most businesses that, if implemented correctly, can be one of the most effective methods of increasing audience engagement, creating brand presence, and generating sales.

Content marketing is the backbone of any inbound marketing strategy as it boosts traffic and time spent on sites. Understanding which buyer personas your content is aimed at can help you create a content marketing plan specifically tailored to your brand, objectives, and capabilities.

Content Marketing Strategies for 2022

Here are some of the most efficient forms of content marketing your brand can employ to attract and convert more leads, improve buyer relationships, and develop your strategy this year.

Blog Articles

Businesses that blog often earn 13 times more ROI and receive 67% more (Semrush, 2021) leads each month. When written well, blog entries assist digitally savvy buyers in finding your website and discovering your products and services via organic search.

Videos

The typical person watches 19 hours of video online weekly, and 69% use video (Wyzol, 2022) to research products and services. This is indicative of how potential clients who might otherwise not engage with longer content, may connect with video in a meaningful way. After all, video is a quick and simple way to digest a multitude of information.

Email

Email continues to be a successful technique to keep your audience up to date with your business and offerings, with an average ROI of 4,200% (Litmus, 2021).

Keep your outreach brief, educational, and non-salesy. Inboxes fill up rapidly, so if you want to reach your buyer, you must be clear about the value you are offering for them to open, read, and appreciate your email.

How to Support the Buyer Journey with Inbound and Content Marketing

Creating unique content for your users at each step of the buyer journey is an essential element of the inbound technique. To help you on your way, here are some efficient methods and tools to help you produce content that speaks to the particular needs buyers have at specific points in their journey.

Attraction Stage

A successful inbound marketing approach will draw in your target audience and buyer personas with the help of high-quality content and creative work. Create educational content for your audiences, such as blogs and content offers.

Utilize an SEO plan and choose specific keywords related to your products. This way you can optimize all of your content to engage your target audience more deeply through inbound marketing. This will make it possible for people looking to find your material naturally on search engine result sites.

Convert

The conversion process is an essential step in the inbound methodology. To increase conversions, your content will need to encourage visitors to fill in lead contact forms. Creating a strong call-to-action (CTA) and value proposition is essential for motivating conversions.

Make sure that your CTAs are action-orientated and easy to find. Your message should be clear, concise, and visible for visitors to understand the value of your content and why it is worth them sharing their information.

Your content should center around a key offering to ensure more conversions and for leads to fill in multiple forms. After all, this will result in higher quality leads. 

Close

This is where leads become buyers. Your tactic should recognize your prospect’s stage in the buyer journey. As they reach the bottom of the funnel stage (BOFU), it is important to ensure that prospects have access to content that will encourage them to close a deal.

While you will most likely be in direct contact with them, supporting your outbound marketing and sales teams with inbound marketing is essential. Feature a breadth of content that suits this stage such as awards showcases, case studies, or product-related webinars. 

Delight

Keep buyers satisfied even after closing a deal to not only increase client lifetime value but also leverage them as future brand advocates. Your teams should act as consultants and subject matter experts for clients. While your outbound will likely focus on follow-up emails, your inbound marketing should focus on continuing to establish your expertise.

Produce and share excellent content that is relevant to your audience’s needs. This could be done via a monthly newsletter that clients and prospects alike can subscribe to. Talk about the importance of other products, without being too salesy. Focus on customizing the content to their needs and getting across the value of your continued services. 

Final Words

Remember, inbound marketing is simply not possible without first creating a wealth of content for your audience to consume. Although inbound marketing is not the only technique for lead generation and nurturing, in today’s market of well-informed buyers, allowing your prospects to discover the value of your offerings at their pace, is essential. 

Devote time to both methods to lay the groundwork for an effective marketing strategy. 

Integrating inbound and content marketing with your overall business goals can lead to long-term success. However, what is truly important is ensuring that your content is relevant and sparks the interest of both your prospects and your clients to boost your growth. 

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