Isn't Inbound Marketing only SEO?

Customer calls to discuss business issues are always exciting.

There is always something to learn - a key insight or a "yet to be public" information.Last week, in one such call, I was making a case for email prospecting. The project sponsor remarked, "Isn't that outbound?"

All this while, I was straining my left ear to make up for the poor phone signal. But, this question was so loud that I moved the phone to a distance.OK; email prospecting is outbound.Isn't it also part of inbound?Yes? No?I could not help but think about this confusion "all week".SEO is pure Inbound MarketingTaking a purist view, inbound marketing is about helping users and prospects. For that to happen, users have to ask for help. That 'ask' manifests itself as a 'search intent' on a search engine.Thus, SEO to make sure that our website pops up for every relevant search query that the user makes. When users express an intent and find answers to their queries on a website such as ours, magic happens. SEO creates that magic. SEO is inbound marketing at its best.

Inbound Marketing goes beyond SEO

Not every user asks for help. The reasons could be many. How does inbound marketing help them? Especially since they are not expressing their intent via 'search'.

It is not easy. But one way, is to first prompt them using social media and email channels, assuming they are present. Aren't these channels crowded? Inbound will have to find a way to cut through the clutter.The content used for prompting should be useful and relevant to the users' problems. If it is salesy, inbound will fail. The challenge is to create such clever content that encourages the users (fence sitters in this case) to jump and engage with joy.

To do that you may need to take help from SEO, sometimes.

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