LinkedIn is continuing its hot streak. They just announced that membership surpassed 277 million, and last year more than one million new members joined each and every week.

Equally as hot is the concept of inbound marketing.

But what really is inbound marketing, and how can you and your company use it in tandem with LinkedIn to accomplish your business growth goals?

Here is a simple, to-the-point explanation from Wikipedia:

"Inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, white papers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to bring customers in closer to the brand, where they want to be.

"In contrast, buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, telemarketing and traditional advertising are considered 'outbound marketing.'

"Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content."

Here's how some of the best LinkedIn features and tools fit into this inbound equation:

Earns the attention of customers

Getting involved in discussions or posting your own discussion in your industry groups and your customers' industry groups is a great way to grab attention. Also, posting status updates regularly keeps you top of mind with your audience.

Makes the company easy to be found

Make sure you have the right keywords in your profile and on your company page so you're found when people are looking for someone like you or your company.

Draws customers to your website by producing interesting content

Your personal profile and your company page should have specific calls to action, video, and a clear lineup of the products and services you offer. The special sections (Projects, Publications, Certifications, etc.) and Professional Gallery on your personal profile and your company's products and services pages will help you display your wares and get the reader to click to your website to get more information.

I developed a detailed checklist so you don't miss any of the LinkedIn inbound opportunities. I shared this resource when speaking at a recent inbound marketing conference, and it's called Top 10 LinkedIn Tactics to Boost Your Inbound Marketing.

Click here to download your FREE copy. It's full of easy ways to quickly improve your LinkedIn profile and boost your inbound marketing results.