Which Inbound Marketing Tools Are Most Powerful? All of Them, Together.

Rick Burnes
Rick Burnes




If you were paying attention two years ago, you knew that the fastest way to turn your company into an online marketing juggernaut was to master search engine optimization.

Last year? Blogging.

This year? Social media.

The conversation in online marketing swings faster than  David Ortiz . If you follow it, your business gets whiplash -- one minute focused on one set of tools and tactics, the next focused on a completely different set. You end up spending all your time dabbling in the latest approach to marketing, but moving on before you really figure out how to make it work.

If you're a curmudgeon or a Luddite, you don't pay too much attention to all this fuss. You don't take any risks with new-fangled techniques, so you don't get caught up in useless hype. Of course, you miss useful hype, too. When other businesses figure out how to use new techniques profitably, you get left behind.

At HubSpot, we encourage our customers to experiment with new technologies, but to do it in a methodical, analytical way. The  Inbound Marketing  framework helps keep these tactics clear.

SEO, blogging or social media -- the components of inbound marketing -- can't be done in isolation. Businesses need to focus on getting found by customers, and using these tactics together to achieve that goal.

To keep from getting swept up in the hype surrounding any one of these tactics, we focus on a series of specific goals for each channel:

Blogging & Content Goals

  • Create more  inbound links , i.e. improve off-page SEO. Content gives people a reason to link to your site. If you only have five pages on your website, there are only five reasons to link to your site. If you're creating new pages every day, there are new reasons to link to your site every day.
  • Increase our website's keyword density, keyword volume and freshness. More content means more content with keywords for Google to index. 
  • Increase our company's reach (its ability to drive direct traffic) via RSS & email subscriptions.
  • Increase our company trust and transparency. Huge reach and great SEO is useless if nobody trusts or understands our company.
  • Create content that we can share on social networks. Networks like Twitter and Facebook are better when you have content to share.

Social Media Goals

  • Distribute our content, which builds our reach and increases the liklihood of links coming back into our site (links improve both direct traffic and seo).
  • Listen to customers and prospects. 
  • Develop trust and transparency. This improves conversions once you get people on your site, and makes people more likely to spread your content and come back to your site.

On-Page SEO Goals

  • Increase search engine traffic to our site.


What are your goals for each of your inbound marketing channels? How do you avoid getting swept up in the hype that surrounds each specific channel? 

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