Ayodeji Onibalusi knows marketing. His work on Effective Inbound Marketing is focused squarely on building a great search reputation on great content. He was kind enough to speak with us about the basics of inbound marketing, and what to do with it.

Hi, Ayodeji ! So tell us, what is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a form of marketing that uses user-focused techniques to bring buyers to a business instead of pushing your brand to uninterested and unlikely buyers. Unlike outbound marketing, where bombarding readers, listeners and viewers with often irrelevant paid content is the norm, inbound marketing focuses on positioning your brand where your customers are searching for help.

Inbound marketing uses content that come in the form of blog posts, whitepapers, newsletters and podcasts to attract, nurture and convert leads into delighted buyers. It’s a lifecycle process.

What are some common misconceptions you often see about inbound marketing?

Most of the misconceptions I see about inbound marketing are:

Confusing content marketing for inbound marketing: While content marketing is very similar to inbound marketing and also much needed in inbound marketing, content marketing solely uses high-quality contents in the form of videos, blog posts and eBooks to broaden the reach of your brand and connect your business to more customers. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, attracts users to your brand by leveraging high-quality content, scores the leads, nurtures and convert the leads and makes sure you have a delighted customer. The three final stages are what content marketing is really not doing.

Ruling out PPC from inbound marketing: The main aim for inbound marketing is to be there when the customer is looking for you, and not to be the one interrupting someone that might not be interested in your product. Since PPC will get you seen when a consumer searches for terms related to your business offering, then it’s safe to consider it part of inbound marketing.

Confusing “inbound” for “free”: The honest truth is that marketing can never be free. If you’re doing inbound marketing on your own, you’ll admit that the time spent on related activities could also be spent improving your products, which equals more money for you. Time spent on inbound marketing equals time subtracted from your business. So in the long run, inbound marketing is not absolutely free.

Why is linkbuilding so important?

Linkbuilding is so important for inbound marketing because one of the main targets of inbound marketing is search. Search is the best place for users to discover brands, and links are needed to optimize your page to rank better.

What are some common linkbuilding mistakes that you see?

Going too fast in getting links to a new website: Everyone, as well as Google, knows that it’s a rare fit for a new website to gain a high number of links almost immediately. With the high increase in cracking down on web spam by Google, building links too fast will trigger a penalty for your website.

Building links from irrelevant sources. If there’s anything that’s been said over and over again about how not to build links, it is building links from non-related sources. Yet a staggering number of webmasters still pursue linkbuilding opportunities outside of their niche.

How do linkbuilding and content intersect and support each other?

Linkbuilding and content go hand in hand in inbound marketing. To increase visibility for your content in search, you have to build links. And without high-quality content, your website will struggle to attract natural backlinks. You need links as much as you need content.

What’s next in inbound marketing? What trends should we be aware of?

One of the trends I’m beginning to notice in inbound marketing is the increasing focus on video and easier-to-digest content. Another trend that will take more prominence in inbound marketing is collaborative content. It’s already being done – think The Advanced Guide to Link Building by Neil Patel and Brian Dean. This form of content will continue in popularity, and more inbound marketers will start using it soon.

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