What is Inbound Marketing?

Table of Contents

At Soulheart, our clients are always looking to get their marketing messages in front of the right audience. Out of all the marketing strategies out there, we’ve found that the best way to get our clients the traffic and leads they want is to use the inbound marketing methodology.

What exactly is inbound marketing? Why is it better than the traditional “outbound” approach? Let’s start with comparing inbound and outbound and then look at how inbound marketing can grow your business.

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

According to our friends at HubSpot

“Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.” [emphasis added]

In other words, outbound marketing:

  • Puts marketing messages in front of potential customers until they finally make a purchase.
  • Uses cold calling, mailing out flyers, door-to-door sales, website pop-ups, etc.
  • Casts a wide net in hopes of eventually catching the right customer.
  • Is often interruptive, inefficient, and expensive.

On the other hand, the inbound methodology:

  • Focuses on building a valuable relationship with potential buyers.
  • Nurtures the customer relationship all the way to the final sale and beyond.
  • Casts a precise line to reel in customers who are already looking for what you offer.
  • Creates “raving fans” of your business who do repeat business with you and tell their friends.

Inbound Marketing = Smart Marketing

After growing our own business and seeing clients win with the inbound methodology, we can confirm that inbound marketing = smart marketing! With the right pieces in place, it’s the most efficient way to attract the right leads, build customer relationships, and convert prospects into not just paying customers, but brand promoters.

Now let’s break down the inbound methodology into its main components: the goals, the customer journey, and the tools to make it all work.

Inbound Goals: Attract, Engage, Delight

The overall goal of inbound marketing is to build a lasting relationship with your ideal customer. Like any relationship, there are different stages of getting to know each other and building trust. HubSpot describes this business-customer relationship progression as the inbound flywheel with three main stages: attract, engage, delight.

Attract: This is your first date with your target audience. Your main goal is to gain the attention of those who are most likely to become paying customers. As you provide them with valuable information through different channels, they start looking to you as a guide they can trust and engage with.

The Inbound Marketing Flywheel from HubSpot.

Engage: In the engage stage, your main goal is to nurture your relationship and keep building your audience’s trust. You are the guide to their success, so show off your knowledge of their pain points and of the solutions you offer. This is how you provide value that helps your audience move to the point of purchasing from you.

Delight: After a customer has purchased from you, it’s time to make them happy about their decision! In the delight stage, continue to nurture your customer relationship so they feel fully supported and equipped to use what they’ve bought. As you keep nurturing this relationship even after the sale, you’re creating loyal customers who will be eager to tell others about their good experience.

Inbound Customer Journey: Strangers, Prospects, Customers, Promoters

The Inbound Marketing customer journey flywheel from HubSpot.

As someone moves through the different stages of the inbound flywheel, they play four different roles in the customer journey: strangers, prospects, customers, and promoters.

No matter what stage a customer is in, your top priority is to provide a good experience that helps move them onto the next stage. And as you continually nurture these relationships, your customers will start doing the inbound work for you! In an article about inbound marketing, HubSpot says,

“Once you attain enough customers and engage and delight them, they can keep your flywheel spinning by promoting your organization and bringing new customers to you. Over time, your flywheel allows you to grow without continually investing in customer acquisition.”

THIS is smart marketing — providing customers with so much value that they tell others and send you more prospects that you can nurture into customers, and the cycle continues.

Inbound Tools: Content, Ads, Social Media, and More

Now that you know what you’re trying to accomplish and who you’re trying to attract, it’s time to use the right tools to make it all work. 

Tools to attract: In the attract stage, you’re reaching people through low-commitment platforms like:

They haven’t given you any information yet, they’re not on your email list, etc., but you’re reaching them through ads and content that they’re already searching for. Your goal with these tools is to increase interest and help strangers learn about what you can do for them.

At Soulheart, we’ve found that running social ads is a super effective way to reach the exact people who are most likely to become customers. Here are some ads that we’ve used to reach our target audience.

Tools to engage: In the engage phase, you are fully nurturing your relationship with prospects and providing as many avenues as possible for them to learn what and how to buy from you. You can start using more “insider” language with this audience and use tools like:

Tools to delight: The delight stage is all about helping your customer succeed after purchasing from you. Your focus shifts from closing the sale to assistance, support, and listening to feedback. The best tools to use in the delight stage are:

  • chat platforms
  • email marketing
  • satisfaction surveys.

Start Using Inbound Marketing Today

Ready to invest in a marketing method that will grow your business? As a certified HubSpot Solutions Partner, Soulheart is here to help you get started. We fully rely on inbound marketing for our own business and our clients, and we’ve seen incredible results using this methodology.

Start by checking out what’s included with our inbound marketing services and get a free website analysis to learn where you can better align your website with the inbound methodology. We can’t wait to help you get the business results you deserve!

Hire Us Today

Bring your brand out of the shadows into the spotlight with Soulheart. Our comprehensive digital marketing services will give you the thrust you need to grow.

View Our Services

Your organization can grow with Soulheart.

Post by

Picture of Madison Lewis

Madison Lewis

As a writer and Soulheart Content Manager, Madison loves helping others communicate their passions to the world with clarity and excellence. She’s a Colorado native who spends her free time hiking in the Rocky Mountains and frequenting coffee shops in every corner of Denver.
Picture of Madison Lewis
Post by

Madison Lewis

As a writer and Soulheart Content Manager, Madison loves helping others communicate their passions to the world with clarity and excellence. She’s a Colorado native who spends her free time hiking in the Rocky Mountains and frequenting coffee shops in every corner of Denver.

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