Understanding Inbound Marketing Attraction Factors

By Scott Anderson Miller

Inbound marketing = attraction + conversion. Attracting qualified traffic to your website affects your conversion rates and you can’t convert without attracting visitors. Hence, attracting visitors is your first inbound initiative.

There are several methods of attracting visitors. By measuring each of these attraction factors, you learn which of your attraction efforts are paying the most dividends. Specifically, you can learn which of your attraction factors are

  • Attracting the most visitors

  • Generating the most leads

  • Creating the most opportunities

  • Generating the most revenue

These inbound marketing attraction factors are as follows:

  • Owned media: The term owned media refers to the media channels you control. Their success as an attraction factor is based on the content you create and deliver. Generally, this content has longevity (is “evergreen”) and functions as a relationship bridge between your company and your prospective customers. Examples of your owned media include:

    • You website and your mobile site

    • Your blog

    • Your social media content, including your Facebook page, Google+ page, Twitter, and others

    • Your apps

    • Your webinars

    • Any niche websites geared at a particular target customer segment

  • Earned media: Earned media is the most credible attraction factor because it functions as a sort of electronic “word-of-mouth.” The most transparent companies succeed as earned media because their customer base and their loyal “lifestylers” spread their message. Examples of earned media are:

    • Search-engine optimization (SEO) — that is, your SERP (search engine results page) rank based on your SEO is an earned attraction.

    • Customer reviews

    • Viral videos

    • Social-media affirmations such as Facebook Likes, Pinterest pins, and Twitter retweets.

    • Business-to-business partner channel rankings on an industry-specific site.

    • Online news media exposure

  • Bought (paid) media: For paid media to be a useful attraction factor for inbound marketing, the key is for your paid media to be relevant rather than interruptive. Often, a well-planned and flawlessly executed paid media campaign has high conversion rates. Examples of paid media are:

    • Paid search results on Google and Bing/Yahoo

    • Retargeted campaigns directed toward your prior website visitors

    • Display network paid search

    • Targeted social media ads and sponsorships

    • Banner ads

Each attraction factor, whether it’s owned, earned, or bought, serves a function in attracting visitors and customers to your website. Paying close attention as to which attraction factors attract the highest volume and best quality helps you create a balance among the three to best manage your inbound marketing efforts and results.