Chances are you didn’t arrive here by accident; you followed a link from either a search engine or a Blog or links from a social network site…welcome to inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing refers to the New World of permission-based marketing strategies. The Old World of interrupt marketers, obsessed with ROI, bombarded supposed prospects and demographically selected masses with advertising, direct-mail, telemarketing, email spamming and their really useful Web content required registration to read.
Inbound marketing is a World where interested consumers find you: - primarily through keyword searches on Google and other search engines, social networks or recommendations from friends; choose to learn more about you by subscribing to your RSS or email feed, opting into your email newsletter, freely downloading and sharing your E-Book or white papers, watching your videos, listening to your podcasts, visiting your social network or commenting on your BLOG or Twitter stream.
Migrating to the New World of Inbound Marketing is a journey, not a destination.
There are many concepts to grasp and tools to be mastered on the inbound marketing journey, but it’s not rocket science…anyone can do it and using tools like Keyword Grader and Page Grader from HubSpot, you don’t need a PhD in computer science or search engine optimization (beware of SEO experts with expensive price tags). Whether you are a sole-trader, a fast growing software company or a multi-billion dollar corporation, the principles are the same, but the tools may differ and the time it takes may vary. Many of the tools we use in our business are the same tools used by some of the World’s leading corporations.
What is the Tool-set?
The tools we use and are learning to optimize are;
|SFA & CRM system||Salesforce.com|
| Web analytics
|Content Management System||Hubspot.com|
|Social-media feed aggregator||Hubspot.com|
| Inbound lead management
| SEO on-page and off-page
| EMAIL& calendar
| Web conferencing
|Social network - business||LinkedIN.com|
|Social network -microblogging||Twitter.com|
| On-line collaboration
|E-Learning and ETraining||CogBooks.com|
| Website design
Guidelines in Getting Started in Inbound Marketing
1. Your Website is your #1 asset in the Inbound Marketing World. How does it rate? Run a simple, free check of your site and that of your competitors at www.Grader.com to get some valuable feedback on where it could be improved.
2. What is the goal of your Web-site? How do you want visitors to find you? What do you want people to do as a result of landing on your site? What are your calls to action?
3. Unless your current Web-site is dreadful and you are not getting any traffic, don’t go for a big-bang rewrite, tune pages and add new pages incrementally. Don’t obsess over graphic-design or Flash animations, Guy Kawasaki states that people want quick access to content not glitz.
4. Use a Keyword grading tool to optimize each page on your Website so that you will get found by the right buyers for the right reasons.
5. Don’t obsess over brand message and try to control participation in social media in head-office. Make your interesting content freely available and easily shared.
6. In every corporation there are lots of really smart people who could contribute brilliantly in creating mind-share and attracting inbound visitors if they were empowered; - empower them.
7. Understand your target-buyer persona! This is an essential first step connecting with buyers who are interested in what you sell or do.
8. Sales and Marketing Messaging Alignment uses buyer personas to create a framework for a Customer Messaging Architecture which can be shared across the organization to enable global participation in the social media across small and large corporations to drive inbound marketing traffic.
9. Create corporate social-media participation guidelines and allow employees to access useful business and social networking tools at their place of work.
10. Encourage your employees to update their online business persona and connect with their clients, former colleagues and business friends.
The Inbound Marketing Pay-off
What ROI can I expect from migrating from the interrupt driven World to the permission based World of inbound marketing. Significant! See inbound marketing ROI report from Hubspot.com.
We have only just begun and will let you know our own 6 month ROI in June 2009.