A Short and Sweet Introduction to Inbound Content Writing
Updated: Jun 4, 2019
“I can help you write inbound content that acts as a magnet to attract your ideal buyers.” I ended my pitch and sat back down. I had noticed a few frowns in the room. Surely, everybody here at this networking event knew what 'inbound' meant?
Although 'inbound’ marketing has been on a steep upward growth curve since 2012, not everybody in business is familiar with the term yet.
Considering that it generates three times more leads than traditional methods, I think I’m right when I go around shouting: “If you want serious growth, go inbound!”
So, here is a short and sweet introduction to inbound content writing for you:
1. A Definition of Inbound Content
“Inbound content is the creation of something great for others. They notice you, are grateful and then buy from and spread the word about you.”
In a nutshell: You create articles, videos or podcasts featuring solutions to the specific problems of your target audience. They search for answers and find your content. If this is of help to them, they will love you for it. Once they are ready to buy, they turn to you, their help guru. Boom!
'Hm,’ you say, 'but how do I do this?’
Here we go:
2. How to do Inbound Content Marketing
“Use blog posts, social media, SEO articles, videos, podcasts, opt-in email lists and free e-books to distribute content to your ideal customers.”
There are many ways to create a successful inbound marketing strategy. You can find everything you need to know about Inbound Marketing at Hubspot, the creators and number one experts in this field.
But, I want to keep it short here and focus solely on content.
An excellent way to start your inbound content strategy is writing and distributing (via social media) a series of blog posts with helpful tips on how to overcome problems specific to your industry’s prospects.
Let’s start with an example:
You’re selling dandruff shampoos. The posts you write and send into cyberspace are listing easy-to-use home remedies against dry scalp. (And, before you say: 'But, people won’t use my shampoo if they find other free ways of dealing with dandruff!” Hold on. It’s a novel idea to pour ale over your head once a week, but is it sustainable? How long will it take before the person is yearning to buy a dandruff shampoo? I rest my case.)
You make sure to insert the relevant keywords into your articles to get the organic search traffic from all those desperately dandruffy people looking for a solution.
You end each post with a CTA leading straight to your website and products.
But! The key to successfully reel in those prospects is: "Do not sell!" As soon as your copy turns 'salesy’, you’ve lost them. Make sure you give real, unbiased advice as an expert in the field. The CTA leading to you should read as a suggestion of how to proceed.
For some inspiration on different types of inbound content, Wordstream has got some great examples for you. Check it out.
As you can imagine from your own experience, once you’ve found valuable info from one source over and over again, you earmark (bookmark) this source as your go-to authority to get answers.
However, putting down a few words here and there won't do. You have to consistently create quality content with real solutions to turn it into a customer magnet. If you haven’t got the time or inclination to do this yourself, you could hire an inbound experienced content writer for this (like me!)
“But,” you say, “I’ve got an advertising strategy already. I’m paying Facebook/Google/LinkedIn £50/£100/£200 a month for ads that target exactly the right people. Why should I invest time and money into this inbound thingy now?”
Ok, I get your point.
What you are doing here is called outbound marketing.
Let me explain the difference:
3. What is the Difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?
"Outbound marketing (traditional marketing) brings your offering to your prospects. Inbound marketing brings your prospects to you."
In outbound marketing, you send your marketing messages out
(in emails, adverts on TV, in print or online, etc.), hoping that prospects will see them and act on them.
The big difference (and problem) here is that you impose your content on your audience. Just remember the last time you opened your inbox and had to wade through a ton of emails you didn’t have the time or inclination to read. Or, when you watched that dramatic TV programme, suddenly interrupted by those annoying dog biscuit adverts (and you haven't even got a dog).
Outbound marketing is often annoying for consumers – and who would want to buy from a company that has annoyed them?
Now, in inbound marketing, the prospects have a problem and want a solution. They are looking for help, and once they find it, they are grateful.
Annoyed prospects versus grateful prospects – who's the winner?
Now, hands up! Who wants to do this inbound thingy?
If you've just shouted: "I do, I do!" why not get in touch for more information on some inbound word magic?
You can contact me at email@example.com.