We are a few weeks into the new year, and if you resolved to get more business leads in 2017, it is time to sit down and get serious about making your 2017 resolutions a reality. One of the most effective ways to increase business leads is to incorporate inbound marketing into your SMB marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is a concept you have probably heard a lot about, but what exactly is it? And how can you get started with inbound marketing today?

What is inbound marketing?

An inbound approach to marketing focuses on attracting customers to your business instead of going out and trying to draw them in with traditional marketing techniques. Instead of the outbound marketing methods that you are probably familiar with – including TV and radio commercials, direct mail campaigns, and intrusive website pop-ups – inbound marketing focuses on drawing in customers through valuable content, social media, SEO, and other means.

We have previously shared our Lead Generation Funnel, which perfectly sums up the inbound marketing process. The process starts with attracting visitors to your website and then moves to converting visitors to leads and converting these leads to customers. It ends by focusing on customer retention.

How to get started with inbound marketing

No matter how familiar you are with inbound marketing, it can be intimidating to get started on what may seem like an enormous undertaking, but by focusing on incorporating three key areas of inbound marketing into the online presence of your brand, you can easily get moving towards your 2017 inbound marketing and lead generation goals. The three areas that we will focus on in this post are the most common marketing methods utilized by inbound marketers, and most importantly are all easy steps that you can achieve without any fancy training or knowledge. So what are they?

Content Creation

Creating quality and educational content is at the heart of inbound marketing. Some of the most common forms of content used for inbound marketing include blogs, infographics, e-books, and webinars. If you don’t have any content strategy in place at the moment, we recommend starting by establishing a company blog. Blogging is a favorite method employed by inbound marketers, with over 60% considering this their most important marketing priority. Still not sure it’s for you? Consider these six ways that blogging can benefit your business. Once you have established your blog, you can work on expanding your content creation empire into other content creation methods.

Social Media

Social media is another key component of inbound marketing. Intimidated by diving into the world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Google+, and Pinterest? Don’t be! If you 10-year-old nephew can do it, how hard can it be? There are many reasons that social media is an important part of any inbound marketing strategy. With 72% of adults active on social networking sites, these channels are excellent ways to boost SEO rankings, reach potential customers with your content, and find out what your target customers are looking for.

SEO

Like it or not, search engines are one of the main ways that customers find new products and companies. So if the goal of inbound marketing is to bring the customers to you, not to go out and get them, you’d better make sure that your website is optimized to rank well with search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Some of the most critical elements of ensuring your website is SEO-friendly include: having a responsive web design, creating a company blog, implementing keywords, and regularly update your website with new content.

Now that you know some of the basics of getting started with inbound marketing, you may be ready to delve a little deeper. If so, we have you covered with our Introduction to Inbound Marketing, that includes further information on inbound marketing methodology, a detailed inbound vs. outbound marketing comparison, and a closer look at the buyer’s journey from a visitor to a customer. If you are ready to get serious about lead generation through inbound marketing this year, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started today!

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Does your company rely on regular, new leads to sustain itself? Learn how inbound marketing can help create an automated source of quality leads for your company!

Get our “Intro to Inbound Marketing” Guide and discover how it can help your company

Sources: HootesuiteMozHubspot

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