Inbound marketing is being frequently adopted over traditional outbound marketing methods. Inbound methods involve engaging with customers with relevant and helpful content that is not interruptive, with channels such as blogs, social media, infographics and podcasts.
If your inbound content is good enough, it will address the problems and needs of your customers, attracting them to your products or services. This technique builds trust and your brand will be associated with relevant and helpful information. The Moz blog is a leading example of inbound content: by offering SEO advice and free tools, the name ‘Moz’ has become a household name (among digital marketers at least!)
Let’s explore some other topnotch examples of inbound content so that you can figure out what types of inbound content you should be creating…
Whether email marketing is inbound or outbound is open for debate. However, many marketers believe that you’re doing email marketing right if you’re engaging your customers in a dialogue or offering them something rather than spamming them with discounts.
This email from Loft asks their customers to update their information to allow the brand to deliver more personalised emails. This is a very customer-focused approach and it makes the customer feel that Loft sees their thoughts and opinions as a priority. The use of words “happy life” aligns the brand with positivity, not email spam!
The BBC has recently been nominated for a Webby Award following their ingenious use of social media for the #SherlockLive event. This event was to promote the final episode of Sherlock, and it involved the fictional character ‘taking over’ the BBC One Twitter account and engaging with followers to create a buzz. Followers were encouraged to participate by solving riddles and questions posted in real-time on the Twitter feed.
Get involved with popular hashtags, or create your own interactive hashtag event to publicise your brand.
Hashtags work well with events and you should always use them on seasonal posts.
Fictional (or real) takeovers are a great social media strategy,
Samuel Adams beers cleverly leveraged the April Fools’ Day holiday to create a piece of viral content that reached almost 1.5 million views on YouTube. This content is successful because it’s very funny – rather than persuading customers directly to buy their beers, Samuel Adams took the alternative route and offered them a hilarious fake advert for a product called ‘HeliYUM’ beer to entertain them. Watch it for yourself here.
Going against the grain and creating viral video content is a great way to get your brand noticed. Consumers really value being entertained, rather than being bombarded with product placements.
Featuring a blog on your brand’s site is one of the best ways to engage with your customers. If done correctly, blog posts can assist your customer through their buyer’s journey. Consider using your blog for buyer’s guides, lookbooks or behind-the-scenes peeks of your business. Blogs are your opportunity to develop your brand’s story and personality, and even subtly promote your products.
The Topshop blog offers customers lookbooks, industry news and suggests ways that products can be styled. Remember, it’s all about offering interesting content for your page visitors – blogs shouldn’t be overly promotional.
Do you fancy yourself as a radio presenter? Then establishing a regular podcast might just be the best thing for your blog. Enthusiasm, energy and passion come through in a person’s voice in podcasts, and they can be very powerful, inspirational pieces of content that add real value to the lives of your page visitors.
Shopify have got this down to a tee with their Shopify Masters podcast. The podcast features interviews with online store owners who currently use the ecommerce builder package, sharing their success stories to inspire new entrepreneurial talent.
Does your brand have an important pearl-of-wisdom to share with the world with the potential to go viral? Perhaps an infographic would work for you! Infographics get your message across in a very efficient way, and are very shareable across social media and beyond.
Renegade Pharmacist designed this infographic to teach the world how unhealthy the sugar content of Coke drinks are. The content was designed to shock the viewer with its honesty, and it’s an infographic that will likely come to mind next time you consider buying one of these drinks….
So, there you have it – 5 great examples of inbound content to inspire you and your marketing team. Your inbound content should be fit to purpose, for at least one part of the buyer’s journey from attract to delight. Your techniques should be non-interruptive, subtly persuading your page visitors to develop from strangers to promoters. Which method will you use for your brand? Let us know in the comments.
Patrick Foster, ecommerce entrepreneur & writer
I am a freelance writer and contributor to many digital publications specializing in business, ecommerce and blogging. I enjoy nothing more than sharing my knowledge with others in the industry, and teaching