What is Inbound Marketing? - Definition, Types & Examples

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Instead of going to consumers, what if you could get the consumers to come to you? In this lesson, we'll discuss just that, a concept known as inbound marketing, its various types and a few examples.

Reeling Them In

Many people enjoy fishing as a favorite hobby. Catching fish requires a fisherman with patience, skill and, most importantly, the right bait to reel them in. Fish aren't just jumping into your boat and buckets. It requires going after them with something attractive and appealing, and then pulling them once you have them hooked.

Inbound marketing is much like attracting fish and reeling them in.
inbound, marketing, seo, ppc, content, social, media

That concept is very similar to the idea behind the marketing strategy known as inbound marketing. It involves using content and other tools as bait to reel in the big catch - the consumer. Let's dive deeper into the depths of inbound marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing works through attracting consumers to your brand so that they seek you out as a source of information. With inbound marketing, businesses create content such as blogs, social media posts, search engine advertisements and optimized websites in an effort to appeal to consumers on the hunt for information. How? By creating useful, informative, entertaining and/or relevant content that serves as a hook to draw them into your brand.

Inbound marketing differs from its cousin, outbound marketing, which you'll recognize in the form of things like television and radio commercials. Outbound marketing is about you finding the customers, while inbound focuses on strategies that help the customer find you. Inbound marketing creates content that helps customers seek you out because they find what you have to share to be useful.

The goal of inbound marketing is to attract the right traffic through things like blog posts, websites, SEO and social media engagement; convert those visitors into leads (such as capturing an email address); closing the deal by making a sale; and delighting customers with fresh content and effective customer service.

Types of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing can take many forms to pull customers in. Consider the following:


Search engine optimization is a strategy that involves making improvements to a website in order to appear higher in search results and generate more traffic. The keyword in SEO is, not ironically, keywords. By choosing keywords that are relevant to what searchers are looking for online and placing them on webpages, website owners can place higher in search results and grab that organic traffic.


Pay-per-click advertising is another inbound tool that relies on the use of keywords. In this scenario, marketers create ads on search engines with relevant keywords to a user's search. When someone searches for your particular information on a search engine, the PPC ad will show up first. Marketers only pay for placement when their ad is actually clicked.


Content is king, including in inbound strategies. Creating useful, relevant information for people on the hunt is an effective way to reel consumers in. And, content can be varied. One piece could be a video; a second, a blog article or a podcast. Content works well because consumers are always searching, so having available resources as a part of your marketing establishes your credibility and makes you a go-to resource.

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