The percentage of businesses doing content marketing is staggering: 88% of B2B companies use content marketing, which is highly integrated with inbound marketing.
But where do you begin if you’re new to inbound marketing?
Where do you start? Who do you contact? Is there an app for that? How do you just go out and learn inbound marketing? Unfortunately, the scope of inbound marketing is far too vast for any one source to give you all the information you need, so to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of our seventeen favorite inbound marketing resources.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Before you can learn the ins and outs of inbound marketing, you first have to understand what all this strategy entails. Simply put, inbound marketing is “creating and publishing content over a broad range of platforms that will help drive traffic to your business, helping you to attract, convert, and delight new customers.”
So what does that mean exactly? It means that, instead of posting ads everywhere in hopes that potential clients will see it, you instead create content that people will be interested in that will lead them to you. No longer will you be chasing down leads, now your customer base will be “inbound”. As we mentioned, this topic is far too broad to cover in a single place, so here are the top seventeen sites that can help you get the most out of your inbound marketing strategy.
HubSpot practically coined the phrase “inbound marketing”. Started way back in 2004, the founders of HubSpot have one goal in mind: to help companies achieve the best, most organic marketing possible. If you want to find out the foundations of inbound marketing, this is the place to go.
Their free inbound marketing certification program is probably the best place to start before you do anything else inbound related. They’ve absolutely mastered inbound marketing themselves, so you should follow what they say and how they do it. Don’t be surprised when they start reaching out to you after your “lead score” is high enough.
I always recommend Moz as the first place to go to learn about SEO, but they’ve expanded well beyond SEO to include content, UX, analytics, social media, and so much more.
One of the best ways to increase brand awareness is through Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO. If you’re still struggling with getting your content optimized, then the good folks down at Moz can help you get started. The site has dozens of articles and how-tos that can help you make the most of your content and improve your SEO in a white-hat way.
If you’re completely new to the idea of inbound marketing, then it can be quite a daunting task to take it on all at once. One of the best places to get started, however, is Inbound.org. This site was actually created by the founders of HubSpot and Moz, so you know that the site has some brains backing it’s direction. Inbound.org is one of the premier destinations for all things related to inbound marketing, so if you have any questions at all, this is a great place to find an answer.
It’s one of the best ways to check in on the latest trending inbound and content marketing topics without trolling through dozens of sites on your own.
One of the most important parts of inbound marketing is to create proprietary content that will attract customers. If you’re new to the concept of content marketing, then this is a fantastic place to learn the ins and outs of the whole process, from understanding what content your customers will want, to knowing how best to tie that content into your overall marketing strategy.
If you still need some extra pointers on content creation and curation, then the Content Strategist is another excellent place to go for information. This site is the official blog of the New York company Contently, so you will get real-world advice from people who know what works and what doesn’t.
If your company is mature enough, you will have a team of dedicated copywriters or bloggers who manage your content for you. However, finding the right talent can be tricky, especially if they are remote workers. To help your team improve its skills, Copyblogger is a perfect site that provides advice and even certifications for any content creator on your marketing team.
Social media is already at the core of modern marketing strategies, and inbound marketing relies on using social media as a promotion and amplification channel. One of the best sites to get advice and find out more about incorporating social media into your marketing strategy is Buffer. This blog specializes in how to scale your marketing outreach as well as how to really connect with your customer base.
If you want inspiration on how to do content really well, take a look at everything they’ve written and shared.
In marketing lingo, when you convert someone that means that you have successfully transitioned a visitor into a reliable customer. Conversion rates are a fantastic way to identify what parts of your marketing are working and what aspects are lagging. To help ensure that you become more successful (via higher conversion rates), the blog Convince and Convert can give you the tools and the advice to reach your marketing goals.
One of the biggest problems with social media is managing all of your different accounts and profiles. Even if you just stick with the major three (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) that can still be a full-time job. Thankfully, the good folks down at Hootsuite are all about social media management and can help you become much more efficient at maintaining a constant presence across all social media platforms.
Their Hootesuite Academy is a great resource for learning social media and other digital marketing skills.
Another aspect of social media that can be difficult to manage is the speed with which information travels. These days, you have to stay on top of current trends and avoid any embarrassing gaffes that could occur. For example, DiGiorno pizza tried to latch onto a trending hashtag (#whyistayed) by remarking that pizza was the reason. Unfortunately, the hashtag was relating to domestic violence, so it came off as extremely distasteful. Social Media Examiner is a great source for learning about social media best practices and how to avoid such blunders.
Backlinko is the personal mega-blog of Brian Dean that has achieved astounding exposure and fame after publishing under 40 posts. Brian makes his blog posts extremely in-depth and actionable.
Many, many SEOs love Brian Dean’s enthusiasm and inspiration that comes from every word he writes. As a former full-time copywriter, it really shines through in his writing.
He also has a high-investment SEO training course that has some positive reviews if you want to dive deeper into his training.
As we mentioned above, conversion rates are huge with regards to how successful your marketing strategy is. If you need further advice and help with increasing your conversion rates, then Conversioner is the place to go. This site also specializes in helping you create emotionally satisfying content that will deepen the bond between you and your customers.
While Copyblogger is a fantastic site to help your content writing team develop its skills, Copyhackers is the next step in ensuring that your landing pages and ad copy are successful in driving business to you, as well as increasing conversion rates. Simply put, Copyblogger sets it up, and Copyhackers closes the deal.
One of the most reliable methods of inbound marketing is email marketing. However, this process is not as simple as it may seem at first. Thus, if you’re new to the email game or just want to help make your campaign more successful, then check out AWeber. This blog is perfect for beginners and intermediates who want to fine-tune and create exceptional email marketing campaigns.
Just as Social Media Examiner helps you identify and execute best practices on social media, so does Chief Marketing Technology with c-suite marketing technology. This blog will help you to ensure that your next campaign is both successful as well as natural and organic.
The site’s audience is chief marketing technologists – or those that aspire to be one.
To have the best results from an email marketing campaign, you first have to create email content that will engage your readers. To help out, Email Design Review will give you the tools you need to create a stellar email design that will hook readers and help get you repeat business.
17. Email Monday
One of the best resources you can have is experience. Unfortunately, if you’re just starting with inbound marketing and email in particular, then you don’t have years of experience to draw on. Fortunately, at Email Monday, Jordan Van Rijin has over thirteen years of experience generating successful email campaigns, so you can use his expertise to craft a truly remarkable campaign.
Although we’d like to tell you that this is a comprehensive list of the best places to learn inbound marketing, the truth is that there are dozens of different sites out there that can help you with all facets of your marketing portfolio. The best inbound marketing strategy doesn’t stick to just one thing; you have to adapt to a variety of platforms so you can reach the widest audience possible. Nonetheless, hopefully, this list will get you on the road to making your next marketing move a successful one. Happy inbounding!