Inbound Marketing – A Happy Home for Some SEO’s ?

by on July 26, 2011

I have been spending a lot of time reading and working with inbound marketing strategies lately. The more time I spend in the world of inbound marketing the more interesting it becomes.

Hubspot the Inbound Marketing King

Most people are probably aware of Hubspot who are the poster child for inbound marketing. Their rise to stardom as been phenomenal:

Growing Search for Inbound Marekteing

What I love about Hubspots strategy is they don’t just own number one spots for search queries relevant to their market, they created the market with all relevant search queries around “inbound marketing” related to something they own:

Hubspot Relevant Search Queries

Hubspot have an awesome blog, they own the inbound marketing university (which has great content), they have a great book out called inbound marketing book (highly recommend it) and are involved in the inbound marketing summit (something I plan on attending). That’s how you become a thought leader.

What is Inbound Marketing

The best description of inbound marketing comes from hubspot. Traditional outbound marketing is “interruption” based marketing. It’s when companies pay to get their company in front of eyeballs, TV Ads, Display Banners, Cold Calls. Inbound marketing is “permission” based marketing. Customers sign up to an email list, rss feeds, your social channels to receive your content, because that content is something they want to have. Maybe it’s fun, entertaining, informative or in the case of Hubspot, important for their customers (marketing consultants) to keep up with an ever changing industry. Outbound marketers are lions in the jungle chasing their prey, but their prey have all legged it to the watering hole. Inbound marketers build their shop right beside the watering hole. Learn more on inbound vs outbound marketing here.

Creating Remarkable Content

The reason I feel it could be a happy home for a lot of SEO’s is because at the core of inbound marketing is creating remarkable content and promoting it to relevant audiences. I wrote in this keyword strategy post how you can use personas to direct your keyword research. Justin Briggs wrote a great piece on content outreach for link building. In it he uses the concept of creating personas to know who you are targeting for links. Another great post from iDoneThis discusses how they used outreach to get their first 5000 visits. A core part of a link builders job is to create remarketable content and promote it to a user group they know will find it interesting. Link builders have to wear a lot of hats to get the job done, from social, to pr to content creation to promotion. Many of these traits are applicable to a good inbound marketing consultant. Building content personas, strategy, content types, platforms to promote and CTA mixture are a core part of creating a strategy targeted for your audience.

Of Course There is More

There is a lot more to the role of an inbound marketing consultant such as strategy, landing page optimisation/conversion optimisation and lead nurturing. Again, these are all traits SEO consultants (some) would have. Most of my biggest wins in SEO have come from using analytics to drive strategy. Landing page optimisation and conversion page optmisation have a lot in common with good SEO on-site practice (make sure you read don’t make me think). I don’t think you can be or need to be a master of all these traits, trying to keep up with SEO alone is a time consuming job, but for SEO consultants who like traffic acquisation as a whole, the role of an inbound marketing consultant may be a lot more appealing that just a plain SEO role.

It’s not all gravy

Of course, inbound marketing isn’t something most companies could or should jump on tomorrow. The internet is a wash with blogs that haven’t been updated in years. Implementing a consistent content strategy in any company is difficult. For a lot of industries it may also not be required or extremely difficult to produce interesting content (insurance). Link building strategies are also a lot more diverse than just outreach and content strategy.  Sectors like gambling, insurance, finance would be extremely difficult to dominate from a search perspective without doing a variety of link building.

Still, when thought leaders like Rank Fishkin begin to show up with inbound marketing presentations, it’s definitely an interesting space to keep an eye on.

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