Tips & Tricks

Inbound Marketing Strategies: 40 Marketing Pros Reveal the Single Most Important Ingredient for a Successful Inbound Marketing Strategy

Inbound marketing is a must for modern enterprises, but a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy has many elements and moving parts. From calls-to-action to opt-in forms, multiple buyer personas to target, data to analyze, myriad touchpoints for engaging your audience, and other tactics and practices to integrate seamlessly into a cohesive strategy, it’s not all that shocking that a crucial piece of the puzzle may fall through the cracks from time to time.

Ideally, you want to be sure that all those crucial components are included and leveraged fully. While falling short on a less-important piece of the puzzle may not have a noticeable impact on results, there are some must-haves that can make an otherwise stellar inbound strategy fall flat if they’re allowed to fall to the back burner. To help you avoid making such a mistake, we reached out to a panel of inbound marketing experts and asked them to weigh in on this question:

“What is the single most important ingredient in any successful inbound marketing strategy?”

Meet Our Panel of Inbound Marketing Pros:

Find out what must-have ingredients your inbound marketing strategy might be missing by reading our experts’ responses below.

Gregory GolinskiGregory Golinski


Gregory Golinski works as a Digital Marketing Executive for YourParkingSpace.

“For your inbound marketing strategy to be successful, you should…”

Make it easy for people to share your inbound content.

You should add social sharing buttons at the top or bottom of your piece, or plugins that let people share your images, videos, or infographics in just one click. This may sound obvious, but asking people to share your content with a call to action is a very good idea too.

Brad ShawBrad Shaw



Brad Shaw is President and CEO of Dallas Web Design Inc., an online marketing firm. He has  been in this business since 1997.

“Being in the online marketing business for 10 years made me realize that the most important ingredient in inbound marketing is…”

Having HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT. This is because it’s the content that entertains, educates, and encourages your reader – your potential customers. Nowadays, it is more about enhancing your reader’s experience.

Kevin NamakyKevin Namaky


Kevin Namaky is the Founder of Gurulocity. As a brand marketing leader and as Head of Strategy at a global consulting firm, he created billions in new value for companies big and small. Kevin founded Gurulocity to help small business owners and entrepreneurs hone their strategic marketing craft and unlock their potential.

“The single most important factor in determining your success is actually the exact same factor as outbound and non-digital marketing…”

How well you intimately know your target customer/audience. Chances are, your marketing target is too broad. It’s more common than not. Maybe you want to reach Millennials… Baby Boomers… moms… small businesses… Broad targets like these put your business or brand in a weak competitive position. It’s a mistake to assume that these broad groups are homogeneous. It makes you less relevant. In today’s economy, the sharper and more specific you can make your target, the better – especially online.

If you sharpen your marketing target and then begin to intimately know them (by talking directly to them and learning from them), it will not only make you more relevant and distinct, but it will give you endless ideas for how to tailor/upgrade your products or services, endless ideas for new content to create (making you relevant and also improving your SEO), and it will also help you focus only on the channels that they consume instead of spreading yourself too thin with too many tactics.

When I work with small businesses, it’s the single factor that most predictably determines whether or not they’ll be successful. If you don’t have a specific target profile in place, I suggest you start there. Write it down and document it using a template like this one.

Kali HawlkKali Hawlk


Kali Hawlk is the founder of Creative Advisor Marketing, an inbound marketing firm that helps financial advisors grow their businesses by creating compelling content to attract prospects and convert leads. She started CAM to give financial pros the right tools to build trust and connections with their audiences, and loves helping advisors find authentic ways to communicate in a way that resonates with the right people.

“The single most important ingredient in any successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

Knowing who you’re talking to. You MUST know your audience inside and out – otherwise, it doesn’t matter how much content you produce, how many email addresses you manage to gather to nurture into leads over time, how many Twitter followers you have. It’s all for nothing if you can’t create content that resonates with that audience.

You have to know who you’re talking to, and by that I mean you must know not only basic information like their gender, age, and where they live, but deeper insights like what they believe about the world, how they think, what their desires are, what they’re afraid of, and so on. You can’t just guess this stuff, either. You need to go out and have conversations with members of your target market so you can deeply understand them as people, not just as some demographic you want to target with an inbound marketing strategy or campaign.

You have to know your audience. Get in their heads; walk in their shoes. Be as empathetic as you possibly can to really get how they experience life and what worldview they use to navigate it. Meet them where they are – literally and figuratively.

Nothing else matters if you don’t know your audience.

Brianna ValleskeyBrianna Valleskey


Brianna is a marketing consultant and founder of Brave Ink, a content marketing and lead generation company in Detroit. She helps high-growth companies execute marketing strategies with a heavy focus on thought leadership and multimedia content. She has more than a decade of experience writing for publications and works with clients locally, nationally and internationally.

“The single most important ingredient in a successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

Extremely high-quality, unique content. Every piece of content you create (including blogs, email, webinars, social media posts, and more) is a reflection of your brand. If you produce content that is bland, your brand will have no personality. If your content has punctuation or grammar errors, consumers will think your company is sloppy. If you’re creating content that is similar to your competitors, you won’t stand out. High-quality content increases your signal-to-noise ratio. Instead of focusing on top 10 articles or keyword stuffing to reach to the of search results, create content that helps your ideal buyers address their most difficult challenges. Interview prospects and customers. Find out what their greatest pain points are in their job and what strategies they use to overcome them. Then create unique content that specifically addresses those problems. Your prospects will not only notice your company, but appreciate that you’re trying to help them and, ultimately, take a greater interest in what you do.

Maria MoraMaria Mora


Maria Mora has been working in digital media for 15 years. As Content Director at Big Sea, she leads a team of innovative, empathetic marketers.

“Every successful recipe has a secret ingredient. Real butter, fancy salt, a touch of spice…”

With inbound marketing, the ingredient isn’t a tactic but a philosophy. Treat your audience like human beings. They’re not numbers. They’re not data. They’re not even leads. They’re people. People crave emotional connection – and they don’t love being marketed to. Every inbound marketing tactic has to be rooted in human connection, and crafted with empathy. Without that, marketing is nothing more than white noise. Approach this ingredient by thoroughly researching audience personas. Do your best to understand their hopes and dreams, and their biggest fears. Check everything you say and do against their core needs.

Danielle KunkleDanielle Kunkle


Danielle Kunkle is a founding partner and senior executive at Boomer Benefits, a national agency specializing in Medicare-related insurance products since 2005. Serving thousands of Medigap policyholders in 47 states, Boomer Benefits helps baby boomers learn the ropes regarding Medicare.

“For us, the single most important ingredient of our very successful inbound marketing has been to…”

Personalize our marketing. Instead of using your logo and vague words like us and our, speak to every customer as if you were one-on-one with them throughout their journey to becoming a client. Make your blog conversational – you speaking to the reader, telling personal stories and then asking them questions to engage them in your comments sections. Your Facebook ads should be the same – speak directly to your potential customer base on video and ask for their comments or input in the comments section. Invite them to a webinar where you also speak to them conversationally and stay afterward to read each question and give a personal answer. Follow up by email sequence where your mails use their first name and ask them questions about themselves and their situations.

I’ve noticed that when we personalize each step, this helps our clients feel a very personal relationship with our agency, and it sets us apart from our competition. So my best advice is to look at your funnel and ask yourself how you can connect with every prospect at each stage of that funnel to make them feel like they are engaging with us individually and are important to us.

Kate NeuensKate Neuens


Kate Neuens has been in SEO and digital marketing for over 6 years, working in higher education at Harvard University, and also working in the insurance, legal, and finance fields.

“Content needs to be your primary focus when establishing your inbound marketing strategy…”

Conduct keyword research and see what your audience is looking for, the questions they have, and how your content and product can help answer those questions. Your content should useful, high quality, and relevant for your customer base. And when it comes to content, make sure you have clear goal and intent with each piece. Is this piece of content for the top of the funnel or the bottom of the funnel? Who are you targeting exactly? This will help shape what you’re producing and the format it should be in. If you are hoping to convince C-Suite level employees to buy your B2B SaaS product, a white paper showcasing your results is probably a good choice for you. But if you’re looking to target millennials for your new tech device, a white paper isn’t going to catch their eye.

Daniel LambertDaniel Lambert


Daniel Lambert is your average motorcycle riding, puppy loving, jiu-jitsu fighting digital marketer. He’s the Founder and President of Plush Republic, a digital marketing agency in Orlando, FL and the Marketing Operations Manager at IZEA (NASDAQ: IZEA). A passionate growth hacking enthusiast with an extensive background in lead generation for B2B and B2C and a specialty in digital marketing automation.

“The single most important ingredient in any successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

High-quality content. There is no inbound marketing without draw. Understanding your target audience and creating answers to their questions, providing them with articles on trending topics and being an ongoing resource for relevant information is the foundation of inbound marketing.

Based on your audience demographics (particularly age and gender) select the platforms and methods they use to get their information. (ex. Pinterest is more highly trafficked by women) Create compelling content for those platforms and distribute it effectively.

Kimmie MarekKimmie Marek


Kimberly Marek, is the Owner and CCO of the successful e-commerce jewelry brand 7 Charming Sisters. 7 Charming Sisters has been featured in O Magazine, Redbook, Woman’s Day, and People Style Watch, just to name a few. 7 Charming Sisters differentiates itself from competitors by creating a library of value-added content for leads and customers.

“The biggest key to inbound marketing is knowing what content is actually desired…”

This may seem overly simplistic, but it’s really where a lot of brands miss the inbound mark. They produce content that they think leads are looking for. Be data driven and research the search volume of content types and target your efforts from there. Try a plug-in extension called ‘Keywords Everywhere’ to determine demand volume for your idea and work backwards from there.

Our best performing inbound webpages pages are built around questions and information people are truly seeking: What necklace works for this neckline? How to stack rings? They are real questions and we provide real answers. Provide value-added content that people are actually searching for and your website visits will skyrocket.

Alex BiyevetskiyAlex Biyevetskiy


Alex Biyevetskiy is the founder of, a home services marketplace for roofing consumers. He is a former Global SEO manager at Kaspersky Labs, and a former a SEO lead at Catalyst Digital. Alex blogs about SEO, inbound marketing, startups and entrepreneurship on his blog:

“Consistency is the the single most important ingredient in any successful inbound marketing strategy…”

You have to consistently deliver the most helpful and insightful content that builds trust and delights your audience. You have to consistently improve the usefulness and helpfulness of your content, stay consistent with your editorial calendar, expand your reach, and work on content distribution and brand building. Consistency is truly the key to success with inbound. Consistency, relentless execution, and constant improvement.

Christina MayChristina May


Christina is an award-winning marketing strategist who has a proven record of establishing strong, effective marketing programs and organizational initiatives that produce lasting impact. After a twelve-year career working in the publishing, tourism and real estate industries, Christina founded Illumine8 Marketing & PR in the spring of 2013. She has won numerous marketing awards, including four Maryland National Capital Area Gala awards for marketing achievement and the 2013 Gala award for Best Sales Center Design. In 2015, Christina was presented the prestigious Mount St. Mary’s University President’s Medal for outstanding achievement in business. She is a popular speaker on topics that include branding, integrated marketing communications, inbound marketing, and digital conversion strategies.

“The single most important ingredient in any successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

The persona. Just like making a recipe, you need to know your audience in order to make the perfect dish. Researching, understanding, and building character profiles for your customer base or target market, otherwise known as the persona development process, is the cornerstone of any inbound marketing strategy. Truly knowing who your customers are unlocks the potential for highly attuned marketing personalization, product/service development, and increased sales. Built from both quantitative and qualitative data, personas represent fully developed answers to questions addressing the 5W’s – the Who, What, Where, When, and Why.

  • Who is the customer?
  • What does the customer do with our product/service?
  • Where does the customer interact with our product/service?
  • When does the customer interact with our product/service?
  • Why does the customer interact with our product/service?

Once you understand that Persona Development is the essential ingredient to the inbound marketing approach – including a deep history, a repeatable methodology and a track record of success – it’s much easier to craft the perfect recipe of content, offers, social media content promotion – all essential to your inbound marketing strategy.

Jason LavisJason Lavis


Jason Lavis has been involved in sales and marketing for over 25 years, the last 7 as a serial online entrepreneur. The last 3 years have been devoted to the energy industry where he is currently involved in 2 start-up companies. He is the Managing Director at Out of the Box Innovations, Ltd.

“The most important factor has got to be regarding…”

Problem resolution. You ought to think of every question, issue, or dilemma that you can solve in your niche and publish content about it. Whether that’s a how to video, a comparison chart, or a white paper, keep publishing content that solves your customers problems. Those who have more money than time will pay you to do it for them once you’ve clearly demonstrated that you can.

Jennifer PhillipsJennifer Phillips


Jennifer Phillips brings a wide range of digital marketing, social media, and travel web design expertise to Traktek Partners. Her experience ranges from the successful implementation of marketing campaigns, launch of award winning websites, and the management of SEO efforts for increased website traffic.

“The most important ingredient in any successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

An effective, conversion-driven online presence. Whether you’re driving traffic to a landing page or your website directly, the ability for that page to convert is the main driver for success of that campaign. If your campaign is suffering, focus on why it’s not converting. Is the form too long? Is the content or offer on the landing page compelling enough? Are your calls to action prominent? Our best advice for improving conversions on your site – A/B testing!

Cristian RennellaCristian Rennella


Cristian Rennella is the CEO & CoFounder of They have 9 years of experience in online entrepreneurship in South America, now with 34 employees and more than with 21.500.000 users internationally in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia. He is thinking about sharing what they have learned working on the Internet through all these years.

“The most important ingredient for inbound marketing is to…”

Share your content not through a single format, but through as much as you can.

For example, suppose your inbound marketing team generates content online through an article on how to use Chatbots to retain customers and then close the sale.

What you then have to do is to re-use that same content to create a YouTube video lesson, also an iTunes podcast episode, and even an e-Book.

This is the key to amplifying your efforts in inbound marketing. Thanks to this approach, in the last 3 years we have grown 214.1%.

Nikki HallgrimsdottirNikki Hallgrimsdottir


Nikki Hallgrimsdottir is the VP of Growth for Algomus – an enterprise artificial intelligence company for global industry leaders such as Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Brothers.

“Properly optimizing your website and content (SEO) and organic search traffic are the most important ingredients in a successful inbound marketing strategy…”

Think: when you’re in need of a product or service, the first thing we do is Google a search term. By effectively leveraging search engine optimization, targeting high traffic keywords, and analyzing data trends, you’re positioning your brand higher in search engine results pages and increasing your web footprint and visibility. Prospects are forming opinions and building relationships with brands by what they discover on search engines and social platforms; by being cognizant of the customer research journey, you can effectively craft an inbound marketing strategy that prioritizes organic search traffic and content marketing.

Zack RebolettiZack Reboletti


Zack Reboletti is the Owner of Web Focused, a personable internet marketing consultancy specializing in search engine optimization and content marketing.

“I would have to say Empathy…”

Whether we realize it or not, empathy underlies everything we do as marketers, from researching topics to writing great content to designing effective ads. The more we understand our customers’ fears and frustrations / wants and aspirations, the more we can help them meet their needs with our marketing, and the more likely they will be to choose our solutions over our competitors.

Jim EdwardsJim Edwards


Jim Edwards is the CEO of SpryIdeas, a leading content marketing agency and publisher based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Jim is a recognized expert in content marketing for the pharmaceutical, automotive, and industrial B2B markets. Using his 7-Step Content Mastery Framework, Jim has helped clients create meaningful customer engagement, position themselves as thought leaders, and drive profits by implementing the unique methods and approach to content (marketing) traditionally used by publishers.

“The single most important ingredient in any successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

Creating relevant content at each stage of the buyer’s journey, which is how you build customer relationships. The majority of B2B marketers are embracing content marketing, but nearly half (49%) do not have a content strategy. That’s problematic because it’s impossible to create meaningful content and achieve your marketing goals without a framework.

It begins with developing detailed buyer personas. You can’t produce valuable content without knowing who your audience is, what they’re interested in, and what their pain points are. Once you have a clear picture of your audience at each stage of the journey (awareness, consideration, and decision), then you can answer their questions, address their concerns, and solve their problems at the right time with the right content.

Think about how you can impact buyers at every step in the decision-making process and then begin engaging your audience and maintaining an ongoing dialogue. Of course, this requires research, such as website analysis, keyword searches, employee feedback, customer surveys and even competitive analysis, but this work will provide a strong foundation for content creation going forward. As I always say, Content isn’t what it is… it’s what it does.

Yves FrinaultYves Frinault


Yves Frinault is the Co-founder and CEO of Fieldwire Construction App, a technology company that has built a mobile collaboration platform to improve efficiency and communication between construction workers on site.

“Ranking in organic search results for your target keywords is a critical component of any successful inbound marketing strategy…”

Not only does it help you generate quality leads and get your company name in front of the right people, it also brings your brand a lot of credibility. Potential customers are significantly more likely to click on a brand that shows up at the top of organic results compared to one that is displayed via a paid ad. Ultimately, the primary benefits of targeted keyword execution are an increase in online traffic and enhanced brand awareness.

Andrew GardinerAndrew Gardiner


Before founding Property Moose, Andrew worked as a solicitor for a top-tier US Corporate Finance firm, as well as a leading Private Equity firm in the City of London. Property Moose was founded in 2013 as the first property crowdfunding platform in Europe. It has grown quickly and now has over 24,000+ members in over 90 countries. Having had 4 rounds of venture capital funding, the company is focused on building the most robust investment tech in the world.

“From a customer’s perspective, outbound marketing is like a noisy megaphone in a busy street, but inbound marketing is like a busker singing your favorite song…”

From a business’s perspective, it’s the difference between net fishing and rod fishing, or the difference between a hammer and a magnet. With targeted SEO strategies, lead generation tools and pipeline management, the power of inbound lies within its approach. It is customer-led, responsive, and smart.

While it’s hard to simplify a process which is built upon so many vital elements, the success of an inbound marketing strategy can be boiled down to customer segmentation. Gone are the days where marketing campaigns adopt a one-size-fits-all policy. It’s highly unlikely that the same CTAs, pieces of content, types of content, and keyword strategies will work for your entire client base – especially considering their varying locations along the buyer’s journey. Respecting that your customers are interested in your product for different reasons, and understanding that idiosyncrasies exist across the board can help you create a smarter, more tailored approach to driving conversions.

The issue, of course, is that there are so many ways to do this; behavioral segmentation, demographic segmentation, and intentional segmentation. The latter importantly draws attention to the big Why? The inbound logic is to let your customers tell you why they’re here, where they want to be, and then to help them get there. Successful inbound
marketing responds to different customers having different needs, budgets and goals. In essence, customer segmentation paves the way to offering a tailor-made journey – one that cuts through the busy street noise and sings a song they know the lyrics to. It puts the customer at the heart of moving forward. Naturally, it feeds into and supports multiple pillars within the process. For that reason, I believe it’s the most important aspect of an inbound marketing campaign.

Matt BentleyMatt Bentley


Matt Bentley is an entrepreneur, data scientist, and rock climber with 15 years’ experience building internet startup companies. He is the Founder of SEO and content marketing software, and intelligent marketing assistant

“A solid content strategy with strong SEO is what drives our inbound marketing strategies…”

Content strategy is the most effective way to start conversations with your customers, by engaging with them on topics that they’re likely to be interested in. Incorporating SEO boosts your content’s reception and relevance by grouping them around relevant keywords. Altogether, a well-crafted content marketing strategy can prove incredibly useful for business owners looking to build credibility and increase their brand reach.

Sid SoilSid Soil


Sid Soil is the owner and founder of DOCUdavit, a document management company that has served dozens of businesses throughout Canada. They rely heavily on our inbound marketing strategy, and they’ve learned that the most important aspect is nurturing their leads properly.

“One of the most important aspects of inbound marketing is to…”

Properly nurture every lead that comes through your sales funnel. For most advertisers, traffic is irrelevant without conversions. Unfortunately, not every lead is ready to be a customer. Having a great lead nurturing strategy ensures that individuals who do not purchase from you immediately will remain engaged with your brand until they are ready to purchase. Connect with your leads regularly as they move further down your sales funnel and your inbound marketing success is guaranteed to increase!

Phyllis Zimbler MillerPhyllis Zimbler Miller



Phyllis Zimbler Miller has an M.B.A. from Wharton and is the Content Marketing Strategist at digital signage company in Los Angeles.

“The single most important aspect of inbound marketing is…”

Creating content and messaging that speaks to what the target audiences need to hear in order to act on the content/messaging. It is not effective to create content and messaging that describes what the business is interested in discussing if that is not what interests the target audiences.

As an example, a tech company might create content and messaging around the specs of the company’s product while targeted audiences are only interested in how the product is going to make their lives easier.

Damon GochneaurDamon Gochneaur


Damon Gochneaur is a Digital Marketing Entrepreneur and Founder and Partner at Aspiro Digital Agency.

“By far, the single most important ingredient in any successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

Empathy. As marketers, understanding our customer, their motivations, desires, and frustrations, is the single most effective way we can be better at helping our customers along their journey.

Raj ShahRaj Shah


Raj Shah is an enterprise SEO professional for Takelessons Live. He loves extracting technical marketing lessons, basketball, and kesar mangoes.

“The most important ingredient is a rather invisible one…”

Technical SEO.

A robust technical foundation on your website stretches your inbound marketing efforts – generally focused on content, SEO, and social marketing – further. SEO Meta data and page elements, including titles, descriptions,
canonical tags, headings, image settings, and internal links all help ensure unique pages targeting unique keywords get properly ranked in search engines. Properly implemented Social Meta data such as Facebook’s Open Graph protocol, Twitter Summary cards, and Pinterest Rich Pins display your content’s images, titles, and descriptions on those sites optimally. XML Sitemaps automatically invite search engines to crawl and re-crawl your most important pages.

All of these settings can be set up to scale and fire automatically across every page on your website, or you can override them using your CMS. And because a good SEO foundation empowers scalability, technical SEO is even
more important for larger sites, such as e-commerce and publisher sites, which generally struggle with duplicate content, broken links, and poor internal linking.

David BosleyDavid Bosley


David Bosley is Managing Partner and CSO of PBJ Marketing, an NYC and Washington, D.C. based digital marketing company. David has over 12 years of digital marketing experience and holds an MBA from NYU Stern.

“The single most important ingredient to any successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

Clearly defining your measure of success and ensuring you have robust conversion tracking in place to record and prove your measure of success. I have seen so many disastrous inbound marketing campaigns over the years that are largely due to not having proper tracking in place. In fact, many reports show that nearly 50% of sites are tracking or are not properly tracking their goals properly. If you aren’t tracking correctly, then how can you possibly analyze what’s working or not or, moreover, prove an ROI on your inbound marketing efforts? This is very reason why Google created Smart Goals in Google Analytics recognizing that most users aren’t tracking data correctly. So stop wasting your marketing dollars and going with your gut feelings – that’s no way to run a marketing campaign or to manage a business.

Bret BonnetBret Bonnet


Bret Bonnet is a co-owner/founder of Quality Logo Products, a $40M distributor of promotional products located in Chicago, IL.

“The most important ingredient to any successful inbound marketing strategy is asking yourself one simple question…”

Why should your customer care?

Especially in today’s society, if something doesn’t affect an individual, they’re more likely to not care about what you’re spewing their way. So from start to finish in your inbound marketing strategy, make sure you’re giving your customers a reason to want to continue clicking on links that send them to different landing pages on your website. Describe to them how interacting with your company will benefit THEM.

There’s more to your inbound marketing strategy than just getting your customer to click on your initial link. You have to convince them to click on all of your following links/explore your website! To do this, make sure that it’s not just your first visuals/media pieces that look good in your campaign. All your pages need to be consistently branded and have quality content on them. Most importantly, the content needs to continue to be centered around the customer and the reason why they should care about the product/service you’re offering them.

In order to measure if what you’re doing is effective, select a KPI that’s easily measurable so your actual performance can be accurately evaluated.

Tracy JulienTracy Julien


Tracy, VP of Marketing at GuidedChoice, has over 15 years of experience working in consumer marketing and her main passion is to serve the needs of the consumer best by uncovering insights that are crucial to a brand’s growth.

“The most important ingredient in a successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

User-friendly and interactive content on your website.

SEO is a huge component of any inbound marketing strategy and truly is where most companies should be placing their emphasis in our prominently online-based society. It is crucial to have a strong online presence by focusing efforts on optimizing your website, since that is the first place where consumers may interact with your brand, and first impressions are important to set a positive tone with your consumers so that they will want to learn more or eventually return again to your company’s site.

There are multiple ways to increase the usability and attractiveness of your website, such as by making sure that it is mobile-friendly, creating content that is both valuable and insightful to your end consumer, and providing interactive features, backed with written descriptions for SEO, such as video and infographics to further engage online visitors. It is well-known that by making the user experience as seamless as possible online, for SEO value, it will help to lower bounce rates. On the flip side, high engagement doesn’t necessarily mean good SEO. There are plenty of ways to optimize content for SEO, although it is not always centered around engagement.

Content is the most important factor in creating this experience, as it has to be interactive, engaging, and relevant to the consumers you are trying to attract. The path to finding this content should also be easy and functional so that your consumers can find out as much vital information about your brand as possible in a small amount of time. For example, including 30-60 second videos on the products or services that you provide could be beneficial to your consumer by relaying what you have to offer to them as a company and also will be more interesting to engage with than a long-form article. For SEO purposes, be sure to transcribe your videos so that robots can read it online.

Mark SchmuklerMark Schmukler


Mark Schmukler is CEO and Co-founder of Sagefrog Marketing Group, LLC. He brings more than 35 years of global marketing and consulting experience to the agency, leveraging his B2B background to lead brand strategy and business development.

“Integration is one of the most important aspects of an effective inbound marketing strategy…”

Disjointed campaigns can confuse potential customers and interrupt the decision making process throughout the awareness, consideration, and decision stages of the buyer’s journey. What makes a standout campaign is remembering to integrate design, content theme and the way each content offer links to the next. This also means integrating your marketing and sales teams to make valuable connections with leads at every point throughout the strategy, creating a seamless experience for your audience.

Jeff RobertsJeff Roberts


Jeff is the inbound marketing director at Olive & Company in Minneapolis, Minn.

“The single most important ingredient in any inbound marketing strategy is…”

Quality content. Delivering the right content to the right person at the right time is what inbound is all about. But the right content is something clients and agencies continue to struggle with. I’m tired of hearing content is king. Content isn’t king; quality is king. I’m talking about the type of quality that comes from implementing into your inbound strategy some of the tried-and-true best practices from the journalism field.

For example, is the content you’re creating objective? Are you using original sources? Are you using data from authoritative studies and surveys? Are you using active verbs and limiting adjectives? Are you breaking up huge chunks of text to optimize for readability and user experience? Are you matching your content to a specific persona in a designated phase of the funnel? Are you utilizing primary and secondary keywords in natural, conversational prose? These are the core components to creating quality content; staying true to them is how you get your audience—and search engines!—to take notice.

Jack AnzarouthJack Anzarouth


Jack Anzarouth is the President of Digital Ink Marketing.

“The single most important ingredient to a successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

Originality. To be frank, if something already exists online, it’s not worth putting up there again (unless you can vastly improve it). If you’re creating content by Googling something and just rearranging the words to post under your own name, you’re wasting your time. If anyone can Google the information and write about it, then what exactly is the point of regurgitating it? Your expertise, your experience and your thoughts are where you should be getting your content from because the only content worth putting up is the content that isn’t up there yet.

Shana HaynieShana Haynie


Shana Haynie is Co-Founder, Creative Director, and COO at Vulpine Interactive.

“This is an interesting question because you really can’t have a successful inbound marketing strategy unless there are multiple ingredients working together…”

You can have stellar content, but if you don’t have an inbound funnel set up to direct people towards that content, you will fail. You can have a solid funnel, but if you don’t know your customer persona, you will fail. You can have a fabulous brand story, but if you don’t have a great offer, you will fail.

Successful inbound marketing happens when you have multiple pieces of the puzzle figured out and put together in a cohesive way. There is no one magic ingredient.

That being said, having the right offer is probably the most important component for inbound marketing success. Your entire strategy should be reverse engineered based on what you ultimately want people to do: buy a product, become a subscriber, attend an event, whatever, so the first step in this process is to identify this action and develop an offer they cannot refuse around it.

If your offer misses the mark, the rest of your funnel will likely fail, and it will be much harder to remedy the situation if you’ve already gone ahead and built out the rest of your funnel based on this wrong offer.

Tim JerniganTim Jernigan


Tim Jernigan is the Head of Product Marketing at Badger Maps, the #1 route planner for field salespeople. He develops, implements, and executes customer-centric marketing strategy, including inbound and content marketing campaigns.

“Segmenting your market is the most important piece in a successful inbound marketing strategy…”

So many companies think they can make broad, uninspired content for everyone who uses their product. The result is never great. In order to make high-quality content, it has to be targeted. It has to solve specific problems for specific groups of people. Segmenting your market forces you to research and understand who you’re selling to. If you create content for defined segments it ends up being much more appealing, your inbound campaigns perform better as a result.

Rachel CahillRachel Cahill


Rachel is a Senior Marketing Manager at inbound specialist Digital Agency Big Rock. Hugely passionate about Inbound marketing and digital performance, Rachel is responsible for implementing game-changing marketing strategies for B2B companies. She also spearheads all of Big Rock’s marketing initiatives.

“The single most important ingredient in any successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

Knowing your audience.

Without a thorough and insight-based understanding of audience, every aspect of an inbound strategy will suffer and marketing efforts will be fruitless. Alternatively, a marketing strategy based on a well-researched understanding of a key audience persona will be able to consistently connect with the right people in the right places at the right times, delivering content that is fine-tuned to the needs, challenges and habits of your key demographics. This is how you get results with inbound marketing.

The most effective way to gain a true understanding of your audience is to pursue just one buyer persona at a time, making sure to fully delve into who they are. What interests them? What challenges do they face? What keeps them up at night? These are the sort of questions you need to ask yourself.

Once you have outlined your buyer personas, you should create content that responds to these needs and challenges across every stage of their buyers’ journey. You need content that attracts, content that converts, and content that delights!

With these bases covered, you will naturally add value to the lives of the people you are trying to attract, building trust across your key topics, issues and demographics. Over time, as you build this relationship of trust, the right people will come to you when they need your service or product to solve their problem.

My tip: Begin by developing just one persona: focus on who they are, on the things that makes them them, find out what their challenges are and what their goals are. Then ask yourself, how can I help them?

Perry OlsonPerryn Olson


Perryn Olson, Marketing Director at My IT, is a sought after B2B marketer that specializes in brand marketing and content marketing for the construction and technology industries. He develops cost-effective initiatives that seamlessly integrate business development, recruiting, culture, and marketing. Perryn is a certified marketer with SMPS and wrote Construction Executive’s Guide to Brand Marketing.

“The most important ingredient in any successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

Being audience-centric. You need to focus on your audience (your buyers) and content should be developed to benefit them, not you. If you focus on your company, products, sales, or anything but them, they will know it and not engage with you. Being audience-centric allows you to build a fan base or community that loyally follow you, enjoy your content, and a group that buys from you, refers you, and defends you.

When marketers get a lot of traffic, but doesn’t get conversions or repeat visitors, usually their focus is on SEO, not building an audience.

Valerie TurgeonValerie Turgeon


Valerie Turgeon is journalist-turned-content creator. She’s currently a Digital Content Specialist at Brandpoint, a Twin Cities-based content marketing agency.

“Developing detailed buyer personas is the most important ingredient in a successful inbound marketing strategy…”

What are buyer personas? They are fictional characters that represent the traits and needs of your ideal customers, supported by research. Once you’ve gathered information about each of your brand’s personas, you can create a document that resembles a baseball card with a fake photo, name and detailed characteristics. This provides a visual element and humanizes each general persona.

This guides the entire inbound strategy, especially your content marketing strategy. Depending on your customer’s characteristics, you’ll know where they hang out on social media, what they’re issues are, what kind of jargon they use, etc. This information will also help you create personalized content to answer customer’s questions, teach skills they might lack, and help them achieve their goals.

Depending on how many personas a company establishes, you could create content strategies based on each persona. For example, you may want to create a different case study for each persona, different blog categories, different topics, and types of content.

The bottom line: Personas help marketing teams better serve their potential and current customers by delivering the content they want to consume. Without knowing who you’re targeting or what messaging works best with a certain audience, your marketing efforts won’t be as effective.

Mark GoetzeMark Goetze


Mark Goetze is the owner of Motion RC.

“You can’t underestimate the importance of…”

A creative and enticing call-to-action. All of your inbound marketing tactics have, or at least should have, a goal. The call-to-action directs the audience to do a task which correlates with that goal. Without it, your marketing goals won’t be met. Be sure you put time into wording it, it’s the last step of your message but should be thought about first.

David KleinDavid Klein


David Klein is a San Francisco-based marketing executive who focuses on technologies that empower people and businesses. He is currently the Director of Marketing & Communications for ClickTime.

“The power of messaging cannot be overlooked when it comes to inbound marketing…”

The closer you are able to align your organization’s message with the needs of your audience, the more effective your marketing initiatives will be.

Marta KaczmarekMarta Kaczmarek


Marta Kaczmarek is a Community & PR Manager at Survicate. She is certified in inbound marketing with Hubspot Academy. She works within inbound rules every day and tries to improve its elements together with her team on their daily routine.

“To have success with your inbound marketing strategy, remember the importance of…”

Listening to your customers and empathizing with them. Since inbound marketing is all about the content, identifying your target audience’s problems and questions is the key to deliver what people are looking for. You can easily do it by implementing surveys with your inbound strategy. What’s more, using targeted surveys is the way to reach any segments or personas you need and enrich their profiles with more specific data which provides even more detailed segmentation. With all the data collected, you can personalize your content and present the offers tailored to your customers’ needs.

Laura HallLaura Hall


Laura Hall is a Marketing Executive for Shiply.

“The most important ingredient in a successful inbound marketing strategy is…”

User experience. If your website is not easy to understand and easy to use, potential customers can easily take their money elsewhere, most likely to spend with a competitor of yours who is only a couple of clicks away. Your website should be professional, informative, and easy in this digital age where attention spans are short and expectations are high.