The inbound marketing methodology, at its core, is actually pretty simple and easy to understand. It consists of 5 main components: Attract visitors with content, socialize your materials to connect with more of your audience, convert viewers with compelling offers, close your leads to customers, and finally, analyze your results to understand your results. But understanding the core of the inbound methodology is only the first step. The second piece of the puzzle is understanding the tools you need to make it come to life. Having the right tools to help you along in the process can not only make your job a lot easier, but it can also help you connect all the pieces together in a way that makes it all much more streamlined. Here are our recommendations for 61 inbound marketing tools to help you get started.
1. Attract with Content
When you are looking to attract new visitors to your website, the best place to start is with content. Creating content that resonates with your target audience creates many opportunities for viewers to find and interact with your brand. Webpages, blogs, and videos are all content — focus on creating pieces that answer customer questions, clarify how to solve problems and ultimately, present solutions. Your pieces at this stage of the process should really focus on awareness. There are a few tools that will really help you start creating content:
Keyword Research Tools
Finding the best keywords is the first step in the content process. First, identify the keywords that your audience uses when they search and then use that as your framework to create compelling content. Use these tools to get started:
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Google Keyword Tool
- SERPs Keyword Research Database
- HubSpot Keyword Tool
- WordStream Keyword Tool
Once you've narrowed in on your target keywords, it's time to create your titles. Some keywords might be easy to come up with titles, but with others, you might need some help. Here are few great tools to help you think creatively about titles.
- SEOPressor's Blog Title Generator
- Portent's Content Idea Generator
- HubSpot's Blog Topic Generator
- ContentForest Blog Title Generator and Inspiration Tool
- BlogAbout Title Generator
- Build Your Own Blog's Idea Generator
- Link Bait Generator
- Fat Joe's Blog Post Title Idea Generator
Now that you have a list of keywords and blog titles, it's time to start writing. While there are tons of blogging platforms out there that are easy to use, make sure to think about what you want to be able to do after you create a blog. You can pick a stand-alone blogging platform, like Wordpress or Blogger, but if you are planning on using marketing automation software, it might be worth checking to see what connections or integrated options you have. With that in mind here is a list of some of the best blogging platforms out there.
Creating video is no longer an option for companies. With the prevalence of video online, it's important to join the conversation with video. Create video blogs, explainer videos, product videos, company overview videos, bio videos. All of these pieces will give prospects and visitors insight into your company. Once your video content is created, use these tools to host your videos online:
2. Convert Viewers with Compelling Offers
Attracting new viewers to your website is great, but if those viewers never convert to leads, then you have no way to connect with them. Creating real, relevant, helpful offers is a great way to convert your online visitors. Try to think of it this way: Your visitors' contact information is like their digital currency, what information can you give them that is worth their email address or phone number? Don't expect to just put a form on your website and see the leads start pouring in.
Create a Content Magnet
Start by creating the content magnet. This could be a brochure, PDF, one-pager, pricing guide, webinar, tip sheet, checklist, instructions, online tool, calculator. The possibilities are endless. Get started with these tools:
- Beacon - Online eBook Creator
- Canva - Easy Graphic Design Tool
- Webinar Tools:
Converting your website visitors isn't about just having a form on your site. It's understanding how to speak to your user's pain points and creating conversion opportunities that speak to those. Having the right tools can help you create beautiful landing pages and conversion opportunities, so check out these conversion tools:
3. Socialize Your Materials
The world is social — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat. No matter what product or service you sell, there is a social network that can help you connect in a real way with your audience. If you've done your job creating real, relevant, helpful content, then you shouldn't have a hard time finding an audience that's interested in your content. Still, it's important to have tools to schedule and analyze the success of your social media channels:
- Canva (Create great social graphics)
- HubSpot Social Monitoring & Publishing
- Sprout Social
4. Nurture and Close Your Leads
Not all leads are created equally. Some leads will be ready to buy from you right away, but most will not. Make sure that you understand your lead flow and create a process to nurture and follow-up with those leads. By continuing to converse and share relevant content with your leads, you can educate them about your products and services over time, establishing a relationship of trust and thought leadership.
Nurture Your Leads
There are a lot of different tools out there to help you nurture your leads. Each one has a slightly different price point, interface, and process. While they all offer a similar suite of tools, it can be worth looking into the different options to find the tool that most resonates with your style of business.
Closing out more customers is the bottom line of what we are trying to accomplish with marketing and sales. Having tools that help your team track, communicate, and close customers is essential.
- HubSpot CRM
- HubSpot Sales Tools (Lead Revisit Notifications, Email Scheduling, and Open Notifications)
5. Analyze Your Results
This 5th step of the process is really important if you want to really set your marketing on fire. Not only understanding what is working, but why it's working, and how to repeat it, is just as crucial as the initial data building. It's so easy to get caught up in all the tactics and forget to take the time to truly analyze the results. These tools will help you create measurable campaigns that you can track and analyze:
It's important to know that you shouldn't need ALL of these tools (and this is definitely not an exhaustive list of options), but by creating a marketing suite of different tools to draw on, you can create a strategic, data-driven marketing strategy that will help take your company to the next level. If your head is spinning, don't hesitate to contact us, we'd love to talk to you about how to create a marketing strategy that drives results for your business.