7 Inbound Marketing Examples You’ll Want To Try Yourself

5 Inbound Marketing Examples You’ll Want To Try Yourself

What do tight-knit relationships, delicious cookies, and excellent inbound marketing have in common?

None of them happen by accident. And sometimes, the best way to get inspired to improve one of them is to see what is working for someone else.

Any piece of inbound content that boasts astronomical conversion rates or through-the-roof traffic is very likely the result of methodical planning. If you are looking to give your content a boost, these seven crazy-effective inbound marketing examples may be just what you need.

1. Bentley’s “Long-Tail” Article

To preface, a “long-tail keyword” is just a fancy term for a keyword phrase that is highly specific (and is usually three words or longer). In the case of this article, the targeted keyword was “mba interview questions,” which had 2,400 Google searches per month and a low competition index. We decided to take advantage.

The Result

Bentley’s article 12 MBA Interview Questions You’ll Be Asked currently gets thousands of visits per month and ranks #2 on Google for the keyword phrase.

5 Inbound Marketing Examples You’ll Want To Try Yourself

How It Was Done

This article is an example of great inbound marketing for several reasons:

  • The article targets the keyword perfectly—the keyword phrase is “mba interview questions” and the headline is “12 MBA Interview Questions You’ll Be Asked.”
  • The article fits the persona it’s aimed at—someone applying for an MBA.
  • The keyword has a solid amount of searches each month but low competition.
  • The keyword is resource-based, which makes it easier to write a helpful article.

Also, this article receives more visits per month than the listed number of searches because long-tail, resource-based keywords nearly always help the article pick up rankings for searches related to the keyword as well. So, the potential for an article targeting a long-tail, resource-based keyword is usually greater than the listed Google search volume.

How You Can Do It

If you want to target a long-tail keyword, you’ll need to master the keyword research process first. This section of our 19,000-word inbound marketing plan (which we’ll discuss next) will walk you through the process for selecting competitive keywords your personas are looking for. When you go to write the article, be sure the keyword is directly targeted in the article and that it is truly helpful for your ideal persona.

2. Nectafy’s (Very Long) “Long-Form” Article

A while back, we wrote a 19,000-word article that details our inbound marketing process—and targets a list of inbound marketing keyword phrases in the process.

The Result

We’ve noticed two crucial trends in our rankings since this post has gone live. First, we’ve seen some of our other articles and website pages increase in their authority around other keywords. From the time our 19,000-word article was published (on May 5, 2015) to the time this article, which details some SEO trends we’d been tracking, was published (September 18, 2015), we found the following results:

Additionally, this 19,000-word article has landed on the first page of Google for many of the specific keywords we targeted within it:

  • We moved from outside of the top 100 results to position #4 for  “inbound marketing plan.”
  • We moved from outside of the top 100 results to position #5 for “inbound marketing strategy template.”

5 Inbound Marketing Examples You’ll Want To Try Yourself

How It Was Done

Long story short? Google likes “long-form” content. (Long-form is typically considered anything over 2,000 words.)  When you write thousands of words about one particular topic, Google will likely see it as a valuable resource.

How You Can Do It

Marisa’s article SEO For Startups: 4 Tactics That Actually Work For New Websites has some great advice about why creating long-form articles is important and several important steps you should take if you want to create a (very long) long-form article.

3. ClearPoint’s CTA-Conversion Article

Like the Bentley University article, this ClearPoint article also focuses on a very specific long-tail keyword: “key performance indicator examples.”

The Result

This article gets a phenomenal amount of traffic—roughly 30,000 visits every month.

5 Inbound Marketing Examples You’ll Want To Try Yourself

How It Was Done

When this was originally published, it only had one call-to-action (CTA) at the end of the article. As the traffic began to grow rapidly, we revisited our strategy and added basic, relevant links as CTAs throughout the article. For example, in the image above, you can see that the three “people metrics” are followed by a link to “Download the full list” of 33 HR KPIs and measures.

This action nearly doubled the number of visitors who became leads, taking it from a 1.5% to a 2.5% conversion rate.

With 30,000 visits per month, that means we continue to add 300 new leads to ClearPoint’s database each month—and we were able to do this just by revisiting CTA placement within the article.

How You Can Do It

Here’s something you can do today to capitalize on this method:

  • Take a look at your articles that have high traffic but aren’t converting as well as you’d like.
  • Examine your CTA—does it directly correlate to the topic you’ve written about? If not, change it.
  • Add more value to the article by linking to additional offers throughout the article text (as shown in the example above).
  • Track the conversion rate over time; you may be pleasantly surprised with the results!

4. ClearPoint’s Offer Introduction Post

This ClearPoint article doesn’t come near the 30,000 visits the previously mentioned article gets monthly, but it boasts an extremely impressive conversion rate.

The Result

Roughly 1,500 people visit this article each month. One out of every four clicks on the CTA, and one in every 10 becomes a lead. A 10% conversion rate is absolutely huge. (Really, if you’re looking at even a 3% conversion rate, you’re crushing it.)

5 Inbound Marketing Examples You’ll Want To Try Yourself

How It Was Done

This is a testament to how important it is for your CTA to match the content in your article. The article was written specifically as an introduction to the offer in the CTA. It describes how to create a Balanced Scorecard (a strategic framework) in Excel—and then offers a free template to create a Balanced Scorecard in Excel. It doesn’t get much more closely matched than that!

How You Can Do It

It isn’t always possible for every article you write to line up with your CTAs this well—but you can create introductory posts for any new offers you create. Be sure not to divulge everything your offer discusses; you want to create interest in downloading the offer, not give the whole thing away!

5. Nectafy’s Helpful “Inbound Link” Article

A couple years back, Lance wrote a huge article (over 6,500 words!) titled 59 Benefits Of Content Marketing From 50 Expert Marketers. It lives up to its headline and provides a ton of great advice and quotes from big-name marketers.

The Result

This article ended up being linked to by several well-known sites, including an Entrepreneur.com article on must-have tools that take the guesswork out of content marketing. “Inbound links” (as HubSpot calls them)—especially those from authoritative sites like Entrepreneur.com—do great things for the article and overall website authority.

5 Inbound Marketing Examples You’ll Want To Try Yourself

How It Was Done

Simply put, Lance wrote an extremely helpful, all-encompassing article—and Entrepreneur recognized that.

How You Can Do It

There are no shortcuts for creating an article like this.

Throwing together something in hopes that it will attract inbound links from a big-name website is a strategy waiting to fail. But if you write something truly helpful, don’t be surprised if you see some inbound links start to come in!

6. Nectafy’s Online Videos

According to HubSpot, 90% of users say that product videos are helpful in the decision process—and 80% of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days. In short, people like videos, and they trust them

Our “Chief Nectafier” Lance has been creating video clips to embed in web pages and in blog posts for over three years now—and we’ve seen some neat outcomes.

7 Inbound Marketing Examples You’ll Want To Try Yourself

The Result

The reason short video clips are such effective inbound marketing tools is that they bridge the gap between online marketing and a sales meeting. They help leads get a sense of how talking to Lance (or working with Nectafy) might be—just by watching his mannerisms and personality in the video. While we don’t have any hard data on these video clips, we have had many leads (and now current clients) mention that they watched one of Lance’s videos before contacting us.

How It Was Done & How You Can Do It

Anyone with a camera and an internet connection can film a video—but if you want your video to attract and convert your personas, you may need to give it some extra time and attention. At a minimum, you’ll want a decent camera with a tripod (to prevent camera shake), great natural lighting or a video lighting kit, and a well-thought-out script. (Learn more about what you need to shoot video here.)

7. Social List Articles

A “social list article” is simply a list your persona would find value in. We call them social list articles because they’re lists that have “sharing appeal” on social media. A list like this may highlight experts, tools, statistics, quotes, links, or books your persona would have an interest in.

The Result

We’ve created social list articles for nearly all of our clients and seen some excellent results. ClearPoint’s article The Top 8 City Managers To Follow On Twitter now has 4,500 all-time visits, and most of those visits are from Twitter and sites referring to it. ClearPoint also got three links from government sites to this article, which is extremely valuable for ranking. 

And we don’t just recommend that clients create social list articles—we create them as well! In January 2014, Lance wrote a 6,000-word article called 59 Benefits Of Content Marketing From 50 Expert Marketers. Since publication, it has received 13,000 all-time views and 27 external links.

7 Inbound Marketing Examples You’ll Want To Try Yourself

How It Was Done

We’ve found that when we create this kind of content that is extremely useful for a persona, they’re likely to share it via social media for two reasons:

  1. They’ve been mentioned on the list (as was the case with the ClearPoint “Top 8 City Managers” article) and want to share it with their followers.
  2. They found enough value in the list to share it with their friends and/or followers who may also be interested (as was the case with the Nectafy “59 Benefits Of Content Marketing” article).

How You Can Do It

The most difficult aspect of creating a social list article is gathering the information you need. After all, your persona is going to find value in this article simply because they don’t have to do the leg work—you’ve done it for them! 

Here are a few tips to get you started in your research:

  • Help A Reporter Out (HARO): HARO is a platform that allows companies to gather information for articles, while providing thought leaders an opportunity for media coverage. It is often used by journalists, but it holds a great deal of value for inbound marketers.
  • Twitter is the main platform for sharing this information—so consider starting your search there! Try searching relevant hashtags that may help you compose your list.

Ask your clients or customers for their perspective on your list—they may provide you with some industry insight that would otherwise be overlooked.

Have an inbound marketing example that is just as crazy-effective as these?

Tell us in the comment section below or tweet us @nectafy—let’s learn from one another!


Download: 11 Types Of Lead-Generating Content You Can't Afford To Miss