How Blogging Fuels Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
If you work in marketing, you’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king”. In the last few years, brands have put an increased emphasis on content creation, publishing everything from videos to tweets in order to get in front of their audience in the right way, at the right time.
In the age of information, blogging has become an integral part of any marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is no exception. In fact, blogging is so essential to inbound marketing, it would be hard to have an inbound campaign without it.
Here’s how inbound marketing and blogging go hand in hand, and why you need to start an inbound marketing blog for your business, if you haven’t already!
Inbound Marketing: A Brief Introduction
As a HubSpot Agency, we could talk to you about inbound marketing for hours. For those of you who are new to marketing, or new to inbound, we’ll stick with a high-level definition.
Inbound marketing is a methodology that uses “pull” marketing to bring customers to your business. Some key attributes of this methodology include having a customer-centric focus and providing value through every step of the buyer’s journey.
Inbound Marketing campaigns can be broken down into 4 stages:
Let’s explore how a smart blogging strategy applies to each of these stages.
Stage 1: Using Inbound Marketing Blogs to Attract Visitors
Inbound marketing campaigns begin with the “attract” stage. The focus of this stage is to bring new visitors to your site. Customers in the attract stage are usually at the top of the funnel, or very early on in their buyer’s journey. Brands can appeal to these customers by creating content that addresses common customer needs, which is where blogging comes in.
Brands can use blogging as a way to publish solutions that potential customers may be searching for. As these potential customers are taking to the internet to research their needs, your blog can act as a salesperson — pitching a solution you offer. Do keep in mind, it’s not a matter of “if you build it they will come”. Simply writing relevant blog posts is not enough to attract new site visitors.
That’s where SEO and social media should be employed as promotional tactics. Optimizing your blog posts for search queries will help your pieces show up at the top of the results pages. But, including keywords or phrases in your blog post is only one piece of the puzzle. Providing high-quality educational information is now considered a best practice for improving rankings and attracting new visitors.
When it comes to social media as a promotion strategy, make sure that you are sharing the high-quality content that you worked so hard to create on your branded pages. Encourage employees to share blog pieces as well. It’s a free way to improve the reach of your blog posts and help potential customers find you.
Stage 2: Inbound Marketing Blogs to Engage Your Audience
The next stage of an inbound marketing campaign falls deeper into the funnel. It’s the “engage” stage, and it’s where site visitors become leads by creating content that encourages engagement.
Blogs that are engaging will need to be written with your buyer persona in mind. Your goal should be to create blog content that your readers can’t get enough of. Write posts that are valuable to each persona by diving into your industry’s topics and providing information your readers never knew they needed.
At the same time, make sure your headers and titles are indicative of what your readers will get out of your blog posts. Click-bait headlines are seen as deceitful, which is the opposite of the inbound methodology’s customer-centric focus.
Stage 3: Writing Inbound Marketing Blogs to Convert Leads
When a site visitor becomes a lead, the next stage of an inbound marketing campaign focuses on converting that lead. Blogging is useful in this stage because posts can be written to highlight your products and services, and ultimately convince your leads to turn into customers. According to Hubspot, businesses that use blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67% more leads than those who don’t.
For example, a marketing agency in this stage of an inbound marketing campaign could publish a post detailing the benefits of outsourcing marketing efforts. Within that post, the agency could include the strengths of their brand and the services they provide. This post would then act as a sales tool, promoting those services in the right place, at the right time, to the right person who is researching marketing agency options.
Stage 4: Using Your Inbound Marketing Blog to Delight Customers
Once your leads have become customers, it’s time to keep them coming back for more! In this stage, brands can write inbound marketing blogs to highlight additional services that current customers may need down the road. This is where you turn customers into loyal fans who will want to continue to engage with you. Loyal fans can become brand influencers and will want to share their positive experience with others.
As another example, we will look at why automotive dealers might consider blogging as part of their inbound marketing strategy. An automotive dealer’s “delight” strategy may include content about taking care of a vehicle post-purchase. The dealer may then promote this blog post by sending automated emails to customers who recently purchased a vehicle and encouraging them to bring their new vehicle back to the dealer for regular maintenance. Blog posts in the delight stage should aim to keep your customer happy, and you at the top of their mind!
Inbound Marketing Goes Beyond Blogs
These examples are a simple look at how blogging helps drive the inbound methodology in your overall efforts.
Blogging is just one of many strategies we recommend if you’re looking to improve your marketing strategy. Whereas inbound campaigns are important for improving your marketing as a whole. Check out our Marketing Guide to learn how to create a successful inbound campaign, to learn how to take your marketing campaigns to the next level.
This content was originally published in 2018 and was refreshed in 2020.