Inbound Marketing Definition

Inbound marketing attracts customers to your company by creating a good shopping experience while outbound marketing interrupts your target audience when they do not want your help.

Inbound instead creates a bond between your buyers and your business by solving problems they already have.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a way for companies to build trust with their potential buyers by sharing advice and knowledge without paying for it, and at the same time guiding them further in their decision-making process and buying journey.

Inbound marketing is an established strategy for attracting, engaging and gaining new customers through the use of digital channels.

It is about combining activities online and offline to support the customer in the digital buying journey they go through.

Further Explanation of Inbound Marketing:

Inbound Marketing is a kind of philosophy and methodology that is based on helping people around you. It’s about creating meaningful relationships with everything from strangers, acquaintances to your closest customers. It’s about meeting people on their terms.

Instead of spending time and energy forcing people to listen to you and engage with your content, you can focus on attracting the right visitors to you in the long run and encouraging interactions with the most qualified leads.

Today we are more loaded than ever. We already often know a great deal about companies, their products and the competition that exists.

And something very important – we do not want to be disturbed or interrupted in our everyday lives.

However, we want to find answers and solutions to our problems. And right there and then the Inbound marketing methodology comes in.

It helps people on their own terms. With the right information, to the right person and at the right time.

Inbound Marketing Vs. Outbound Marketing

Now that you hopefully have a little better understanding of what inbound marketing means, I can easily tell you that outbound marketing is the exact opposite.

Outbound Marketing is often referred to as the more traditional marketing. These can be newspaper ads, radio & TV commercials, cold sales calls and posters.

The content is designed for the general public and can therefore become very impersonal.

An advantage of outbound marketing is of course that you can reach a large target group, but in connection with that advantage comes the direct disadvantage that it is difficult to measure how or if your campaign has been successful or not.

When you work with outbound, it happens in a one-way communication. In other words, there is no possibility for the recipient to integrate with the company or the content that has expired.

In many cases, you can even avoid taking part in the content from the beginning.

How does Inbound Marketing work?

Inbound Marketing is a really lead-generating marketing method. It’s about identifying strangers who may become your leads.

To get in touch with them and find their challenges in order to provide them with as much valuable and relevant knowledge and inspiration as possible.

So you need to identify and create your company personas!

In Inbound, it is your job as a marketer to guide your visitors throughout the customer journey. Every lead, prospect and customer is on a journey towards one or more goals.

Your visitors may not yet know where their journey is going or where it will lead them. It is therefore your job as an advisor and expert to guide and provide them with answers when they need it most.

Work with Content Marketing throughout the customer journey.

Content is king. In fact, it can not be stressed enough. Your content acts as your company’s voice.

You have the chance to talk to maybe thousands of people who are constantly looking for knowledge and inspiration. Take advantage of that chance!

The effect of good inbound marketing

Inbound marketing has quickly become a buzzword but there are still few who really know what it means to work strategically with inbound marketing.

Some people think that it is a quick recipe to get more leads to keep the sales team going. Others think that inbound is about using marketing automation.

The key to success lies in looking beyond that.

To use inbound as an approach throughout the organization where market, sales and customer service act as one and where the customer’s customer journey and experience are at the center.


Search engines, podcasts, ads and social media – make it easy for your buyers to discover your business in the channels and services they use themselves.


Through the right content, to the right person and at the right time, you make sure to drive valuable traffic to your website.


By understanding your buyers’ challenges and needs in different parts of the buying price, you can increase demand and generate more sales-qualified leads.


With methods that optimize your website to both generate and manage leads, you get increased conversion on your contacts.


When your content becomes a central part of your daily sales work, you simplify the customers’ decision-making process and get shorter sales cycles and a better pipeline velocity.


Defining the right KPIs and creating the conditions for joint growth work between market and sales gives you increased growth in both the short and long term.

The four steps in Inbound Marketing

As I mentioned, Inbound is about attracting more (and above all the right) visitors, which are then converted into leads and which in turn are converted into customers.

Last but not least, make your customers happy and loyal customers. Let your customers be your ambassadors!

Investing in new customers is between 4,8 and 25,6 times more expensive than retaining existing customers.

Many companies have a strong focus on the first stages of the customer journey – to attract and convert leads. When working with Inbound, you go all the way.

Satisfied and loyal customers can be an incredible asset and growth for your company.

They can even become your own ambassadors and reach out to your target audience in a new and genuine way.

1. Attract more leads

2. Convert more leads

  • Form
  • Call-to-actions
  • Landing pages

3. Transform more leads into customers

4. Make more customers your ambassadors

  • Knowledge
  • Inspiration
  • Webinar
  • Event
  • Live chat

In conclusion the Inbound method itself is based on supporting customers through the buying process in four steps:

  • Attract visitors
  • Convert visitors (convert)
  • Get to the end (close)
  • Exceed expectations (delight)

A simple example:

A company that offers training services and products could with a training blog with attractive material (eg instructional videos, product tests, training tips, etc.) shared on social media could be visited by people as in the example above (attract visitors).

By offering, for example, a downloadable guide with ten examples of the benefits you get from exercising regularly, the person in the example would provide contact information to take part of the information (convert visitors).

A few days later, the company could send out a personal offer to get started that the person accepts (get a deal).

When she then started her training, the company would be able to continuously publish interesting training tips and training pictures on her blog, which further motivates the person (exceeding expectations).


No “quick fix”

The core of an inbound marketing venture is thus to attract visitors to your website. On the website, you have all the content that the visitor needs to be able to make informed decisions and move forward in their buying and deciding journey.

It is about having a well-thought-out plan for how to support the visitor with the right content in the right channel and at the right time to help them move forward towards a decision.

However, you have to be patient. Inbound marketing is not a “quick fix”, it is a long-term strategy. You must be willing to spend at least 3-6 months doing the basic work and continue to produce relevant content continuously to succeed.

It will not start raining hot leads the week after you write a blog post. It requires more strategy and operational work than that.



This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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