You can use the same syntax which you use for nested nodes also inside inline content inside angle brackets. Please note that the syntax is an abbreviated notation compared to html as there is no opening or closing tag, but only one zml-node inside angle brackets.
p: View this <strong: simple> rules to assign inline semantics to text.
You can also use attributes inside the inline semantics:
p: View this <strong.green data-info='cite': simple> rules to assign inline semantics to text.
The rendered result:
<p>View this <strong class="green" data-info="cite">simple</strong> rules to assign inline semantics to text.</p>