What is Inbound Marketing? Let’s start at the beginning.

Like the name suggests, this is a form of marketing that is aimed at drawing customers towards the company instead of marketers reaching out with older, less effective outbound marketing techniques: telemarketing, radio, flyers etc. This is done through creating blogs, podcasts, newsletters, videos, and other means which serve to draw people to you. Peak the curiosity of your target audience through value-added content and build their trust with you in order to convert them into customers, and ultimately brand advocates.

Some of the most commonly asked questions we receive are about the numerous inbound marketing terms used by marketers in the industry. We have compiled some of the more important to form an ultimate glossary for any beginner looking to understand the very core of what inbound marketing is about.

Above the fold

This refers to the part of the webpage the prospective leads can see without having to scroll down. This part of the page will consist of the most interesting and enticing information, capable of luring in potential buyers. After all, an uninteresting page will more likely cause the leads to exit out instead of scroll down!

Analytics

This is the driving force behind every inbound marketing technique. It is the process of figuring out what the data at hand says, thereby determining an actionable approach for the future. After all, for any form of marketing to be a success, it is necessary to make the right moves. Analytics is the secret that helps professionals take all these right steps.

BOFU

Also known as ‘Bottom of the Funnel”, this stage is exactly as the name suggests. It is the last stage of the process and is the point at which prospective leads are just about to close as new clients. As a result, this stage presents the prime example of inbound marketing success.

CTR

Opening an email is not enough. If you want to attract leads, you need to entice them enough to click on the URL to reach your landing page. As a result, the Click Through Rate will show you the percentage of recipients who did so. You can then experiment to attain a higher CTR by improving the CTA and content of the emails sent out!

Closed Loop Marketing

When you’re engrossed in inbound marketing, it is essential to understand how your overall strategy has performed. Nothing is perfect, and so by employing closed-loop marketing, you will be able to note the success rate of your various advertisement endeavours. This, therefore, refers to the process of tracking consumers from the moment they are closed as leads to the point at which they become customers.

Content

If you’re not producing amazing content that peaks the interest of your target audience, you haven’t a hope of spreading awareness and widening the pool of prospective clients for your business. You shouldn’t think of content as just blog posts. While they are important, content can also include podcasts, videos, eBooks, tutorials, how-to guides and much more. Whatever you do produce, it must offer value and entice others to share it through their channels. 

Context

If you’re focusing on content, context is even more important. After all, the customer is King, so you wouldn’t want to disappoint someone who could potentially bring in business, would you? As a result, while the content needs to be interesting, it is important to keep the context in mind. For example, you wouldn’t want to be caught sending out a discount coupon for milk chocolates to a vegan, would you? Not only would this waste your coupon, but could potentially lose you a customer. 

CTA

Also known as ‘Call to Action’, this is just as exciting as it sounds. It is the wake-up call that could arouse prospective customers to become potential leads! It can be a button, web link, image, or even catchphrase which will encourage an individual to visit the landing page and therefore become a lead.

Phrases like “Get your Membership Today!” and “Subscribe Now” are common CTAs employed by websites to increase their traffic. They can be seen as ‘baits’ in the sea of potential customers. However, since consumers are far smarter than fish, you have to ensure that this phrase is as enticing as can be!

Dynamic Content

While context emphasises the importance of relevant content, dynamic content is the means to this end. User data is often captured based on previous website interactions. This can give an insight into their preferences, thereby customising the content presented to them to their likes and dislikes. After all, consumers are bombarded with advertisements every day to the point that they are often desensitised to many deals and offers unless they directly appeal to them. With dynamic content, you won’t be sending out promotional fish and chips offers to vegetarians – all thanks to the latest in internet technology! (Perks of living in 2015, eh?)

Landing Page

Just as the name suggests, this it the page where you can finally ‘land’ the customer. Simply speaking, here the page digests visitor data in exchange for a valuable offer, thereby allowing a consumer to make the transition from a lead to a customer.

Long-tail Keywords

As the name may suggest, long-tail keywords are slightly longer than head keywords.

They’re specific phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re further down the funnel i.e. they’re closer to a point-of-purchase. While their search volume is typically smaller than head keywords, they’re more cost-effective and have lower competition.

Meta Tags

While it is important to present the content of a page in such a way that the search engine is able to crawl and digest it, there are some other additional tags you should add to your page as well. Meta tags refer to the tags presented in images, captions, titles and other keywords across the page which can be recognised by the search engine that help it to understand the relevancy of the page to the search conducted by the user.

Mobile Marketing

A majority of the world owns a mobile phone. Scarily, an average person looks at their mobile phone nearly 150 times a day. If this isn’t a dead giveaway of the ever increasing importance that these little devices are gaining in our lives, then I don’t know what is. As a result, one of the most effective means of marketing would be through the use of preference and location sensitive recommendations made to leads directly through the most indispensable devices in their possession!

MOFU

Also called ‘Middle of the Funnel’, this is the state between creating a lead and landing a customer. It is the point where the lead is still looking for a solution to their problem. Here, inbound marketing tactics could involve anything from past experiences and case studies, to a brochure. They are all meant to bring your business into the spotlight as the answer to the problem the lead is looking to solve.

Off Page Optimisation

This refers to external factors which affect ranking of your website in search engine results pages. Typically it’s best to think of these as the volume of backlinks and referring domains you have pointing to your website. These backlinks act as a vote to the quality of the content you have on your website and the relevance of it to the user. Commonly the term link building is used to refer to off-page SEO due to it involving the building of links to your website from external blogs and websites.

On Page Optimisation

Don’t you want your web pages to be enticing to prospective clients? In order to do so, you have to ensure that these pages come within their line of sight. On-page SEO refers to the steps you take to optimise individual web pages to rank higher in search engine results, which in turn will earn you more relevant traffic; and hopefully more customers! While off-page SEO can be a little out of your hands at times, on-page SEO factors are controlled by you. The quality of the content you create, the architecture of your website, the relevant keywords you optimise towards and the crawlability of pages are all factors you need to consider here.

Open Rate

The success of marketing lies in it’s ability to capture people’s attention. So with every email campaign you undertake, how can you determine its success? The Open Rate is your answer! It will let you know how many people opened the email they received, from the total emails that were sent out. Once the results are noted, you can always improve on your next campaign by experimenting with and therefore improving the presentation of the Subject phrase and content.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay per Click marketing has been around for a long time now. Simply put, when you place banner ads on websites or opt to pay for text ads in Google Adwords, you only pay when a visitor clicks your link, thereby becoming a potential lead.

Personas

You need to market your wares wisely. In order to devise the ideal marketing technique, you need to first understand your buyer. A persona helps the marketer visualise their prospective clients, thereby aiming the full force of their campaign towards them. A complete and well-defined buyer profile can help you create a target specific marketing plan.

Remarketing

This is a clever way of marketing even when customers aren’t browsing your website. It is the process of displaying banner advertisements to the previous visitors of your website even when they are browsing an entirely different website. Google allows you to do this via the Google Display Network which is a great way of increasing brand awareness, even when potential customers have drifted off to look at something entirely different.

Segmentation

This refers to separating your target consumer base into multiple personas. After all, the world is filled with multiple personalities, and the more people your product can appeal to, the more business you will get. So by separating your target audience into different personas, you will be able to create campaigns catered to different people altogether, thereby increasing the appeal of your product.

SEO

‘Search Engine Optimisation’ is the heart of your online marketing campaign. After all, how would you gain new leads if your web page was often the last to be displayed in search results?. Due to the innumerable web links offered by search engines, the last web pages are often the most ignored and considered a graveyard by digital marketers. With the right SEO skills, you can ensure that your page is among the first to be displayed when prospective customers search for your products!

TOFU

If you’re new to this subject, no, we aren’t talking about the food here. While Tofu is delicious in Thai dishes, TOFU is essential to inbound marketing. Also known as ‘Top of the funnel’, this is the beginning stage of the buying process. Prospective clients, or leads, at this stage, are still looking for more information, and it is the marketer’s job to make content extremely helpful and enticing to lure these leads in.

Want to learn more about inbound marketing? Be sure to grab a ticket to the next Learn Inbound event in Dublin. At each event, we have leading inbound marketing experts sharing actionable tips and advice that you can incorporate into your day-to-day role. Along with this, we always have awesome swag to give away from our sponsors and snacks to keep you focused for an evening of learning.

Mark Scully

I'm Learn Inbound's co-founder, a geek and introvert at heart. When I'm not busying myself with inbound marketing, I'm relaxing with my Netflix account and a strong cup of coffee.

All articles by Mark Scully

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