Marketing is a hefty topic with many methodologies and best practices. It’s a world full of buzzwords like SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per click advertising), click-through rate, inbound vs. outbound, and lots more. And with our world becoming increasingly more digital, it’s an area of focus your business needs to be paying attention to.
These days, you don’t need a marketing degree to be a great marketer. You don’t even have to be a marketer to benefit from the many online resources providing education and ideas about digital strategy, marketing, and content. Some of the biggest names in marketing practice the inbound marketing methodology, which is all about providing value to your leads and customers with relevant, informative content. You can take advantage of the excellent content being produced by these inbound experts to boost your own marketing game. But before we get to the experts, let’s talk about inbound marketing and why it’s so popular.
What is Inbound Marketing?
The inbound methodology is a way of doing business where you attract leads and customers with valuable content that speaks to their buying journey, problems, and goals. Inbound marketing includes creating digital and print content that establishes your business as a trustworthy and knowledgeable source of information about your industry, products, and services.
Unlike outbound marketing, where your content and marketing efforts are focused only on bringing leads in to close the deal, inbound marketing provides valuable resources and information for your leads throughout their entire buyer’s journey and even past their point of purchase. By addressing your buyer’s problems, providing educational content to help them make an informed decision, and positioning your business as a trustworthy resource, there’s no need to convince your leads of anything — they’ve done the research, found the answers to their questions, and are ready to make a buying decision with the company that has earned their trust and respect.
Whew, alright. I’m climbing down off my inbound high horse. Whether you’re new to the inbound marketing methodology or a seasoned professional, there’s always more to learn. And incorporating inbound marketing methodology into your business practices can help boost your leads, improve your web traffic, and create happy, lifelong customers. A quick Google search will bring up lots of information about inbound marketing, but we’ve gathered a few of our favorite influencers, educators, and resources so you don’t have to do any digging.
Inbound Marketing Educators and Influencers
We couldn’t talk about influential inbound influencers without talking about Rand Fishkin. Rand is the co-founder of SparkToro, previous co-founder of Moz and Inbound.org, an author, frequent keynote speaker, and long-time blogger. He’s been writing about marketing and SEO since the early 2000’s.
You can absorb Rand’s inbound wisdom in a variety of ways. He runs the SparkToro blog, where you’ll find blog posts covering a wide array of marketing topics. He is a frequent contributor to the Whiteboard Friday series on the Moz blog, which covers a huge number of marketing techniques in short, entertaining videos and educates thousands of marketers each and every week. You can also find him dropping marketing knowledge in 280 characters or less on the official Rand Fishkin Twitter account.
Inbound marketing is all about providing valuable content to your leads that speaks to the problems they’re having. You can’t create valuable, educational content that speaks to your leads without, well, writing your content.
Ann Handley is a content queen who has been called a top thought leader by Forbes, written two best-selling books, and is one of the most influential marketers on social media. She writes a bi-weekly newsletter sharing writing tips, marketing ideas, and other content-savvy insider tips that you should subscribe to. Creating content is a challenge that anyone who’s tried to write a blog knows well. Upping your content writing game can be a huge boost to your inbound marketing education and efforts.
The original inbound specialists are the team at HubSpot, who put out a ton of education about inbound marketing, sales, and customer service. The HubSpot blog is a wealth of information and downloadable resources that covers everything from content planning to lead generation. If you’re looking for more in-depth education on inbound topics checkout the HubSpot Academy. The Academy offers free online courses and certifications in inbound marketing, sales, and service topics. Some of the courses are specific to the HubSpot software, but others can give you a great inbound education that you can use anywhere your digital travels take you.
Neil Patel is another giant in the marketing field. He is a best selling author, international speaker, a top digital influencer, and has been recognized as a top entrepreneur by President Obama, the United Nations, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Alongside earning his many accolades, Neil runs a marketing blog that sees over 4 million monthly visitors and covers a huge range of topics. He also has a series of digital marketing training packages where you can dive into courses about SEO, content marketing, and e-commerce.
HIVE Digital Strategy
As an inbound marketing agency, we’re inbound pros with a wealth of high-level and actionable knowledge about converting leads and gaining customers with tailored, valuable content. We don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk — we provide marketing education and resources for your inbound education and business success, whether you’re looking for agency help with your marketing or are only interested in furthering your knowledge. Check out our digital strategy blog or listen to the Gettin’ Buzz’d podcast to boost your inbound IQ.
Mari Smith is known as the Queen of Facebook, and for good reason. She’s a master of social media marketing (a notoriously difficult digital realm to master) and a frequent keynote speaker. Mari is so good at social media marketing for Facebook, that Facebook themselves hired her as a consultant. You can benefit from her extensive social media and personal branding knowledge by reading her blog, subscribing to her YouTube channel, or following her on Twitter.
Looking for more Inbound content?
Here’s a sneak peak at what you can take away from the HubSpot Academy and the Fundamentals of Inbound Marketing.
Confused about the difference between Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing? Click that link to the left for more clarification.
Looking for inbound marketing services for your business? Check out this blog post about The Cost of Inbound Marketing.
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