Special Report - Inbound Marketing: Top 10 Inbound Marketing Tactics

Direct marketing has traditionally been an outbound business: Send offers via mail, email, TV, telephone, etc., take orders from the percentage who convert, repeat. Inbound marketing turns that on its ear by using online tactics like content creation, social media and search marketing to make the company very easy for potential customers to find when they’re looking to learn more about your industry, to trust and, ultimately, to buy.

While some of the tactics may sound more like brand marketing—especially the thought-leadership aspects of content marketing—inbound marketers use those tactics as part of a long-term, scientific marketing plan to bring qualified prospects onto their lists, track their interactions with the brand, nurture them, build relationships and, ultimately, convert them into customers through classic direct offers.

Some old-school marketers still refuse to accept this as true “direct marketing,” but no one can argue it hasn’t been one of the most influential marketing strategies of the past 10 years.

Top Tactics

Defining “inbound marketing” tactics can be tricky, because the term itself means attracting people to come to your website, not pushing ads out to them. However, there are many “push” tactics that are used to support inbound marketing and make sure the content and brand website are found.
Here are the Top 10 Inbound Marketing tactics Target Marketing readers reported using during our “Media Usage Survey” (results of which were reported in the March issue of Target Marketing).

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.
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