Inbound marketing is all about great content, and it takes creativity to make that content. There's no better way to fire up the creative centers of the brain than taking in a healthy dose of inspiration!
The following list runs down some of the best places in the inbound marketing world to go trawling for ideas right now.
If inbound marketing had blown up sixty years ago, The Content Strategist would be the glossy magazine in the lobby of all the best ad agencies. No, scratch that - Content Strategist would be the dog-eared magazine religiously passed around the copywriter's bullpen. It's still the best place to keep an accurate finger on the pulse of modern content marketing.
This sassy company is the outgrowth of one woman's irreverent approach to copywriting, and it's grown into an extremely smart, no-nonsense advocate for stronger content in all types of marketing. Checking out Joanna Wiebe's posts (http://copyhackers.com/author/admin/) is a great place to start, but the whole blog is gold.
As an expert who spends most of his time teaching other marketers to market, one might suspect Marcus Sheridan has lost his touch. A quick look at his blog is enough to dispel that notion. Marcus is plugged into the main line of cutting-edge marketing, and inbound aficionados will learn plenty from him.
As a creative team that's strongly focused on building brands, Adhere has a lot to teach the aspiring inbound marketer. They're also a great resource for picking up cost-effective marketing ideas that can be implemented without a giant checkbook!
Like a lot of inbound marketing firms, BluLeadz runs a blog. Unlike many others, the BluLeadz blog isn't just a tool for self-promotion; the team delivers tons of useful (and relatively unbiased) information on a regular basis.
Although jInbound is strongly focused on Joomla-oriented marketing, the blog is packed with great tips, tricks, and insights for all aspects of inbound marketing. (Considering where this article comes from, finding jInbound in this list shouldn't be a surprise!)
Copyblogger likes to say they were doing content marketing before it had a name. Since 2006, they've been preaching the gospel of great content through articles, blogs, books, and webinars. Their blog is a never-ending fount of great ideas.
If you want a perfect model of what a good inbound marketer and his team should look like, look no further than Paul Roetzer and PR 20/20. A superb website, an informative blog, and even a book (The Marketing Agency Blueprint) all await.
Don't let his company's name fool you; Gianluca is an early and passionate convert to the cause of inbound marketing. You won't find much on his own site; check out his Moz profile (http://moz.com/community/users/108403) to see some of the best articles and comments in that vast community
With 10 years of experience playing for the big boys of traditional marketing, Peter Kim isn't exactly a newcomer. His blog Being:Peter Kim is always refreshing, though, and it gives excellent insight into the way the world's largest corporations are evolving their marketing work.
A veteran content strategist who specializes in the way new technology is changing human storytelling, Michael's blog (Story Needle) offers very deep pieces on the future of compelling content. It's not a place to pick up the latest SEO tips, but it definitely makes visitors think.
An industry leader in the field of marketing analytics, Avinash has managed to turn raw number-crunching into compelling and fascinating blog posts. An hour or two spent perusing his content and links will definitely not be a waste!
As you'd expect from a strong propent of multimedia advertising, the very best part of Loz's site is actually his weekly podcast. The blog is full of useful information too, but it's the spectacular audio insights that have propelled Loz to marketing stardom.
One of the best sources for hard data and statistics to explain the explosive growth of inbound marketing principles, the CMI also runs an outstanding blog. Well worth reading regularly!
Heidi's experiences at the forefront of modern marketing have helped her tie together all the key components of effective inbound marketing - social media interaction, content generation, and mobile-friendly development. Her blog is a rich source of fresh ideas and new perspectives, and her email tips are well worth a try.
Danny Brown's blog is half social media insight and half contemplative meditation. It's a strange mix, but sometimes it's exactly what the reader needs to set the wheels turning.
With its heavy focus on generating compelling content, inbound marketing requires a lot of compelling "juice." Violeta Nedkova's blog makes an excellent place for exhausted marketers to fill up, offering an eclectic mix of posts on topics both creative and marketing-oriented.
Portent is a bit of a strange fish in the inbound marketing pond. They truly have been around forever. (Yes, twenty years counts as forever!) Yet their blog is chock full of cutting-edge information about the way the marketing world is currently evolving. With an even split between general industry news and useful advice, Portent's blog is always worth a visit.
Nobody is going to mistake Convince & Convert for a "mom and pop" startup. Their site makes it clear they play in the big leagues. When it comes to their blog, that means visitors can't expect too much in the way of insightful instruction. For up-to-the-minute updates on where corporate marketers' heads are at, though, a glance at C & C does just fine.
As another full-service ad agency that's embraced the digital frontier, echogravity might seem interchangeable with many other entries on the list. A closer look at their blog reveals an important diference, though: Echogravity understands that sales and marketing are coming together in the world of inbound marketing. That's an important lesson to grasp!