Inbound marketing, in very simple terms, is simply the process of getting your business noticed by potential clients. Whereas outbound advertising seeks out new customers, inbound marketing emphasizes visibility, thereby bringing potential buyers to you for services or products. Instead of seeking clients through an ad in the classified section of a newspaper, businesses using inbound marketing concentrate on new ways geared towards making themselves and their businesses known to potential clients.

The first step towards creating an effective inbound marketing strategy is knowing who your target market is. The goal of any marketing strategy is to draw as much attention to a brand as possible. Knowing your target market is essential when creating an inbound marketing strategy that will draw attention to your brand and cause potential customers to seek you out. Some common categories of people who seek services or products from a company include:

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o Prospects that want to receive information about a service or product. o Prospects that want to obtain additional information about a service or product. o Prospects who are seeking advice about a problem they are having. Prospects who are seeking a social media presence can be found through online social media outlets, but inbound marketing can also be done through various social media outlets including blogs, podcasts, and videos

Once you have identified who your target market is, your inbound marketing strategy should seek to increase brand awareness among these people. One way this is accomplished is through SEO. SEO or search engine optimization is one way that businesses can increase the traffic to their site by optimizing their content for search engines such as Yahoo, Google, and MSN. This is done through researching what keywords or phrases are more likely to be used by consumers when looking for the particular product or service your business offers.

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Another way this strategy can be achieved is through email marketing. By sending short email mini-ties via email, you are able to inform potential customers about a service or product as well as further solidify your position as an expert within your industry. This is unlike traditional inbound marketing strategies, which often times target consumers on a one-to-one basis. With email marketing as a part of your inbound marketing strategy, you are able to target a group of individuals who may be interested in your product or service but have not yet reached your site.

Inbound is always defined as, “coming in front of us, or right behind us.” Outbound is defined as, “leading off of us.” Inbound is designed to pull customers into a sales or informational site. Outbound is designed to convince a potential customer to actually go to your site. The goal between the two is to convince a potential customer that you are an expert, therefore making the sale.

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