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Inbound Marketing Best Practices & Insights

What is Inbound Marketing? 4 Components to the Inbound Methodology

Posted by Elyse Flynn Meyer

Inbound-Marketing-Sales-FunnelYou've probably heard of inbound marketing, but you might not be familiar with how it differs from traditional online marketing.  So what is inbound marketing exactly?  Inbound marketing is the proven marketing methodology for the digital age.  

Since 2006, inbound marketing has been one of the most effective marketing methods for marketing your business online, generating leads, and decreasing your conversion times.  Inbound marketing takes your digital strategy to the next level of lead generation and customer engagement. Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and hoping for leads (likely less than qualified leads), inbound marketing focuses on delivering quality to your audience where and when they need it the most. By aligning the content you publish with your audience's interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your ideal prospects, inbound marketing attracts these qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.  The best part about inbound marketing is that it is not a paid form of advertising, so your content can live on your site as long as you want it to.  The difference between that and paid, is that when you stop paying for ads with Google Adwords, Facebook ads, etc., your leads and website traffic will stop as well. This is not the case with inbound marketing.

There are 4 marketing stages that are critical when you are talking about inbound marketing:  Attract, Convert, Close & Delight.  Let us explain each of these in more detail.

  • AttractAttracting prospects is the first step in the inbound marketing methodology. At this initial marketing stage, the prospect is provided with the right content, at the right place, and at the right time through search engine optimization and social media marketing.
  • Convert:  Once you attract the right visitors to the site, the goal is to now convert them into leads through obtaining their contact information on a landing page. In order to receive this valuable information, the remarkable content they need at that very moment is offered to them. This helps give them the information they are looking for, while providing you, the marketer, with their contact information to effectively market to them.
  • CloseThe closing stage is where leads are transformed into customers. At this later marketing stage, specific marketing tools such as email marketing, marketing automation, lead nurturing, and social media monitoring are utilized to ensure that the correct leads are closed at the perfect time. 
  • DelightInbound marketing revolves around providing outstanding content to both your leads and your customers. This means that even after a lead becomes a customer, they still must be engaged through dynamic content, social media, and trigger marketing. The goal of delighting customers is both solving their issues, and turning them into promoters of your business. 

You can learn more about each of the phases of inbound marketing in more detail, including tools and tips to help you maximize each stage of the inbound marketing process, by clicking on each phase below.


The Inbound Methodology involves the marketer in every stage of a prospect's journey to finding the perfect product or service by attracting the right visitors to your website, converting them into qualified leads, closing more sales, and delighting your customers.

What is so remarkable about the inbound methodology is that you are in charge of your results. The most successful results are achieved through inbound marketing channels and tactics that allow you to create and deliver specific and rewarding content and marketing for your leads and customers at exactly the right time. 

If you're looking for ways to integrate more inbound efforts into your overall digital marketing strategy, we invite you to speak with one of our inbound marketing experts. You can also subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date on the latest inbound marketing news, trends and insights.

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Topics: inbound marketing

Elyse Flynn Meyer

Posted by Elyse Flynn Meyer

Elyse Flynn Meyer is the Owner and Founder of Prism Global Marketing Solutions, an inbound marketing agency and HubSpot Platinum Partner based in Phoenix, Arizona. Elyse is also a HubSpot Accredited Trainer, author, and contributor for Forbes.