Posted on August 11, 2011. Filed under: Business Management, Business Strategy, Communications, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media | Tags: Ellie Becker, HubSpot, human business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Pat Morrow, Small Business, Social Media |
Every time we hit a moment when the stock market crashes – or worse, fluctuates wildly – it’s predictable that smaller businesses will instantly turn off their marketing engines.
This is just as short sighted as selling off stocks the day of the crash and similarly forfeits the upside. The smartest investors and financial advisors, like my networking partner Pat Morrow, who runs a private wealth management practice at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, are exploring the current landscape for opportunities for their clients. And they’re finding them, too.
On the marketing side, I’m similarly engaged. In this environment, it makes sense that if our competitors panic and stop promoting their businesses, we stand to pick up market share.
The reason that I like Inbound Marketing is that it’s possible to create great efficiencies. Does it take time and money resources? Of course. But if cash flow becomes a problem, or if business slows down a bit, it gives you time to take on some of the marketing tasks that you might otherwise outsource. Pay only for what you can’t do yourself.
Even though I sell marketing services to businesses like yours, I can empathize with you. I’m in the same small business boat. Limited time. Limited resources. But today I took some time to build an email marketing campaign to my opt-in list giving them some reasons to consider Inbound Marketing and my services in an uncertain economy.
My Hubspot content management system allowed me to do this without any assistance. As far as I’m concerned it was a cost effective use of my time. When I got back from some meetings late this afternoon, I sat down and wrote this blog post, which will bring traffic to my site and help me engage with my audiences.
I have no intention of cutting back my marketing efforts. I’m happy to invest to get my company in front of opportunities that will help me build through these uncertain economic times. And I don’t mind putting in some sweat equity.
What can you contribute to your own marketing efforts? Farm out less. But don’t stop marketing.
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Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for August 9, 2011 — where we take a look at tweets from my Twitter feed for do’s, don’ts, best practices – and sometimes just for fun. Keep in mind that what we examine here is in no way personal. We’re all learning about building audiences online. In that spirit, if you disagree with my assessments, let me have it! I’m learning, too!
This is from Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz. The link is to a blog post comprised of notable quotes from content the author has read during the week – including some back and forth dueling quotes. I wonder what Rand would think about Tuesday Tweets. It’s definitely helped me build relationships with some of the Twitterati I’ve reviewed.
Next…Tuesday Tweet Quiz: See if you can figure out the nature of the following Twitter Chat based on the tweets excerpted from it.
@dazglo36 Darren Glover
@CalebRamblexxx Caleb Ramble
Figure it out yet? No? Follow the link in the last tweet above to solve the mystery. Sounds like fun. I might even join in next week!
What don’t you understand about Twitter? I’ll look for tweets that answer your questions and discuss in a future Tuesday Tweets.
The recently adopted Tuesday Tweets graphic is from Freshalex Online under Creative Commons license.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Posted on August 8, 2011. Filed under: Business Strategy, Communications, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: Caramoor, Ellie Becker, Inbound Marketing, James Farm, Jazz, John Coltrane, Johnny Nartman, Jose James, Joshua Redman, Juan Carlos Formell, Mark Murphy, Marketing, New Media, Small Business, Social Media |
I read a recent study revealing that only a small percentage of small businesses are using social media and other online tools for their marketing. Of those who have used or are using online marketing, even a smaller fraction considers the new tools essential.
These statistics support what I’ve been recognizing anecdotally as I speak with small businesses about inbound marketing and new online marketing tools. There’s indeed a resistance to adopting these new methods, even though there’s plenty of evidence that online is where potential buyers are already looking for products and services these days.
I’ve been chalking up this phenomenon of reticence to a need for more education. And I still believe this is true. But a personal experience I had this past weekend triggered another thought: The way to encourage adoption of the new is to synthesize it with familiar experiences and expectations.
Here’s what happened. Jeff and I attended the annual jazz festival at Caramoor, a marvelous summer music venue outside New York City.
The first artist on the bill was a wonderful guitarist from Cuba, Juan Carlos Formell, with a group called Johnny’s Dream Club. All of the tunes were new to us and sung in Spanish. They also shared an enervating sameness of tone and tempo, so although the music was beautifully played, at the end of the set we were happy to move on.
The next set brought James Farm to the stage, a group of fine young players led by the saxophonist Joshua Redman, son of the legendary Dewey Redman and now becoming a legend in his own right. The program notes asked that we, “keep an open mind,” for an hour of original music composed by members of the band. That meant another hour of nothing familiar and in a musical style that had Jeff, a musician and drummer, complaining that he couldn’t even tap his toes or bop his head to it.
We were expecting more of the same in set three, to be performed by a vocalist Jose James, who apparently has been around for awhile, but who neither of us had heard before. The program notes cited his influences, which included Prince, hip-hop, electronica, spoken word jazz and avant garde poetry in addition to jazz standards.
I can’t wait to hear Jose James again and will go to some trouble to seek him out. First of all, he has a marvelous baritone voice, reminiscent of the late Johnny Hartman who recorded an iconic album with the great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. In fact, Jose James is reviving that collaboration on a tour with former Coltrane pianist McCoy Tyner.
That said, the set was anything but a re-churn of the past. James synthesized all of his contemporary influences with historic expectations of a swinging jazz set to create one of the freshest hours of music I’ve heard in a long time. It was fun to hear street rhythms applied to standards.
His love of spoken word makes him an innovative scat singer qualified to grab the baton from none other than my all time favorite jazz singer, Mark Murphy, who is almost 80 now and whose artistry I’ve shared on this blog – beginning with the second post back in 2009 where you can hear him. The set included covers of well-known R&B tunes, which helped carry us along into less charted waters – an original or two with hip-hop riffs.
During the set, the familiar and the new brilliantly synthesized into something so appealing and energizing that we wanted to embrace it. As I approach existing clients and new prospects about the benefits of applying new marketing approaches to meet their business goals, you can bet that I’ll be referencing marketing basics that still provide a solid foundation for what’s now and what comes next.
How are you synthesizing past and present techniques to motivate wider acceptance of today’s marketing tools?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for August 2, 2011 — where we take a look at tweets from my Twitter feed for do’s, don’ts, best practices – and sometimes just for fun. Keep in mind that what we examine here is in no way personal. We’re all learning about building audiences online. In that spirit, if you disagree with my assessments, let me have it! I’m learning, too!
This tweet comes under the, “Why Twitter is fascinating” heading. Any day on Twitter can take you to a place you’ve never been before. This tweet introduced me to crowd-sourced poetry. It comes right out of the moment and the news. The link takes you to a poem using keywords sourced from the poet’s Twitter stream about the U.S default crisis, which has been a trending topic on Twitter for awhile. Regardless of political point of view or quality of poetry it shows the creative uses people are making of Twitter.
This tweet makes me scratch my head. It’s brilliantly lazy. Someone bothered to do a word count on this url – which contains a description of the subject matter shared by the link. It’s 139 characters so they didn’t have to shorten the link or write tweet content. First time I’ve ever seen this.
Here’s a tweet from Peter Shankman who founded and sold HARO (Help a Reporter Out) a service that connects journalists to expert sources. Peter started tweeting under the handle @skydiver. The fact that he now has his own name as a handle makes a statement about how Twitter has evolved into a serious business tool. This is an in-the-moment tweet Peter put out from an event he’s attending. As the social media guru that he is, Peter used the tweet to share a piece of info while publicizing future tweets he’ll put out to share more info from the event. I’m interested in the future of NASA and especially any positive news about our involvement in space – so I’ll be looking for Peter’s additional info.
I clicked on this because as a foodie and home cook I’ve always had a fantasy about being a Food Network star – and I’m also getting a little hungry. I’d propose a show about five-minute meals you can put together between writing blog posts and feeding cats. More tweets next Tuesday!!!!
Aren’t you even tempted to share a tweet or two of your own in the comments?
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Posted on July 26, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Communications, Social Media, Twitter, Writing | Tags: Barron's, Blogging, Blogs, Brian Halligan, Ellie Becker, Entrepreneur, jerichotech, Mashable, Rajesh N Rao, TechCrunch |
Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for July 26th — where we take a look at tweets from my Twitter feed for do’s, don’ts, best practices – and sometimes just for fun. Keep in mind that what we examine here is in no way personal. We’re all learning about building audiences online. In that spirit, if you disagree with my assessments, let me have it! I’m learning, too!
@jerichotech Michael R.H.Stewart Quirky: The Solution to the Innovator’s Dilemma | Jericho Technology | http://ht.ly/5NTOK
The surprise here was on me. First, the title intrigued me because I’m fascinated by innovators – a true keyword for me — and how they come up with creative ideas. Then I thought the link would take me to Jericho Technology’s latest blog post.
But no! It took me to a terrific article in Entrepreneur about a start-up company (another interest of mine) called Quirky that’s crowd sourcing innovation and product development. It’s led by a quirky young entrepreneur who already has a great track record of success in his early twenties.
This is what I love about tapping into my Twitter stream occasionally during the day. I feed my interests with pertinent information.
@bhalligan Amazon’s revenue up 51% y-o-y in Q2 to $9.9billion. Awesome growth at that size. http://t.co/Is5csVW
@RajeshNRao Amazon Revenues Jump 51% Amid “Fastest Growth in a Decade”: Amazon‘s revenues jumped 51% in the second quarte… http://bit.ly/qh6JoL
OK. Here’s a case of two different tweets on the same topic that came in one tweet apart. They’re both about Amazon’s earnings report today. The first is from Boston, MA-based Brian Halligan, co-founder of HubSpot and co-author of the best selling book, Inbound Marketing – which has its own Amazon earnings story.
The second tweet is from @RajeshNRao of Magpur, MH (Maharushtra) India. He’s a senior marketing analyst at www.copperbridgemedia.com. Here are two people on two sides of the earth with a shared interest in online business, tweeting about news they acquired at the same time – and at a moment when probably one of them should have been sleeping
Brian’s link went to an article on Barron’s and Rajesh’s to Mashable’s version of the story. Talk about your news roundups!
@TechCrunch Video: Motorola Triumph Screens Flicker Black And White, Owners Seeing Red http://tcrn.ch/qQvVum
This tweet from TechCrunch resonates with the memory of great newspaper headline writing. The story – TC’s own review – is about problems with the new Motorola Triumph smart phone having flickering screen problems. And you can see it on video. Truthfully, my inner writer focused on the great headline and only now did I realize that there’s video showing the problem. Think I’ll go back and watch.
Obviously this week I’ve selected tweets that represent the best of Twitter. I must be in a good mind frame not to have gone looking for the worst examples. Oh, well. Next Tuesday will be here in a flash!
The recently adopted Tuesday Tweets graphic is from Freshalex Online under Creative Commons license.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Posted on July 25, 2011. Filed under: Business Management, Content, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: Brian Halligan, David Meerman Scott, Dharmesh Shah, Ellie Becker, HubSpot, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Social Media |
Inbound marketing has been around for several years now. It’s the subject of bestselling books by David Meerman Scott and HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. In fact, HubSpot has surpassed the 5000-customer mark for the Internet-based content management system they invented to put all of the pieces of inbound marketing together.
Yet, when I sit in a roomful of business owners and ask how many people know what inbound marketing is, frequently all hands stay down. Or a hand will shoot up and the eager contributor will say, “Social Media.”
It’s clear to me that we inbound marketers have a lot more work to do educating the marketplace about the approach. Yes, social media is a component of inbound marketing, but it’s only one.
There seems to be pretty widespread awareness of other inbound marketing components, too, like SEO, blogging and email marketing. Yet there’s little awareness of how all of these efforts can coalesce in an effective and measurable process. This post is one of a number I’ve written to help flesh out the process in a way that’s meaningful to business people.
At heart, inbound marketing is just marketing updated to reach our potential customers where they are – online – then to get their interest and win their trust so that when they buy, they buy from us. These days, it’s harder, if not impossible, to find our prospects by advertising in newspapers (why they’re shrinking), by telemarketing (think voicemail), on TV (thanks to TiVo and DVR) and other traditional channels. But future buyers are almost all online – at least enough of them to keep our businesses growing.
Business owners and managers I speak with will often say, “Well, we’re driving lots of traffic to our website, but we’re not sure what it’s getting us.” Then I ask, “What’s your bounce rate? And what are you doing to convert traffic to leads?”
They begin to understand inbound marketing when I explain how it serves as a lead generation and lead nurturing system. When they realize that inbound marketing can be planned and implemented with the objective of helping them reach revenue goals, it becomes a much more interesting idea to explore. It becomes a compelling idea when they recognize that analytics can be integrated and success measured.
There are a lot of steps to inbound marketing. It can seem daunting at first. It does take some re-thinking about how you do marketing. And it does take an investment of time, staff resources and budget. But, properly done, it works and pays big dividends.
I use HubSpot’s content management system for my own company’s inbound marketing. There are other ways to approach and handle inbound marketing using multiple sources. But for me, HubSpot offers the best system, education and support – especially for small to mid-sized companies I work with.
As the product matures, there’s now a developer’s marketplace growing up around HubSpot that’s yielding and will continue to produce plug-ins, variations and customization for the original software, similar to WordPress. They’ve also made some recent acquisitions that will beef up various aspects of the product – including middle-of-the-funnel and larger enterprise functionality.
At minimum, HubSpot walks the walk regarding sharing useful information. The company is a virtual content factory and you can immerse in free educational downloads, blogs and other information, free webinars and a free trial to get a good feel for how inbound marketing works.
In the interest of disclosure, I’m a HubSpot Value Added Reseller in addition to being a user. But I don’t mean this post to be a commercial. I became a VAR because HubSpot is the most intelligent and efficient inbound marketing system I’ve found. It can help my clients to grow their businesses and I can help clients to better utilize the system from the VAR position.
Have you learned enough about inbound marketing to begin implementing it in some form?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
At a moment when we’re trying to get our arms around Google+ and its Circles concept, I continue to have people asking me about how and why to use Twitter. I’m beyond a novice about Google+, having just gotten in today for the first time. And I have no idea yet whether it will swallow Twitter.
But I continue to love Twitter – a highly searchable micro-blogging platform for identifying and staying in touch with defined communities – Circles?
Some of you may have read one of my Tuesday Tweets features where I review individual tweets from my Twitter feed. I intend these posts to serve as a tutorial about Twitter and how to use it effectively as part of online/inbound marketing.
To figure out Twitter you first have to spend some time exploring via Twitter search to find people and organizations with whom you want to engage. Take an hour and keep plugging in search terms that have to do with your company, products, services and industry. Do this until you find yourself viewing a Twitter stream that you can benefit from – by sharing your expertise or gaining the expertise of others — and best of all, both.
Image via jmilles under Creative Commons license.
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Posted on July 19, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Communications, Content, Inbound Marketing, Social Media, Twitter, Uncategorized | Tags: Ellie Becker, Jason Peck, Marketing Sherpa, Social Media, Twitter, Wall St Journal |
Couldn’t help but click to see what this link might hold. Pretty wild. I’ve seen iPhones that worked for awhile after the screen was smashed – but they had fallen out of a car – not from the sky. Put this story into the A-mazing category. Some of the comments will give you a real giggle!
I don’t know about you, but for me the quantity of @names, links and hashtags gets in the way of meaning. I couldn’t make myself read this it looked so confusing and unapproachable. Once in awhile you have to pass on an audience or consider sending a couple of tweets in the interest of people understanding what you’re trying to communicate.
As someone who has done a lot of work marketing in the medical sector and in healthcare technology, I’ve followed WebMD closely. This nice clean tweet of potential alarm from the Wall Street Journal grabbed my attention. I followed the link to a précis of the article which implied the problem is attributed to loss of customers for WebMD’s private portals – rather than the well-known public site. In addition to picking up a good morsel of info – I gave Rupert and James Murdoch a chance to entice me to subscribe to get the full story. I declined after tuning in for a little while to their testimony before Parliament earlier today.
As an inbound marketer, I feast on lead generation case studies. This tweet definitely got my attention. I was pressed for time when I saw it and almost passed, but them took the time to look. @JulieTNL had plenty of characters left to say the link was to Marketing Sherpa – a respected source that lots of us IM consultants read. I had seen and saved this post. A bit more info would have saved me the time of clicking. In this case less might not have been more. I’m guilty of this, too and will pay more attention to letting the choir know when I’m singing songs to them that they may have already heard.
I met @JasonPeck almost three years ago at the Inbound Marketing summit inBoston. I’ve been following his tweets ever since. He knows his Web marketing stuff and shares good info. I also enjoy seeing him get all excited when one of the sports teams he follows is in the playoffs – or the dumps. The tweet caught my attention for two reasons. The headline was compelling and Jason posted a gravatar I hadn’t seen before – sporting a cool western hat. I’ve had the same image up for a long time now. Maybe it’s time to freshen up my online persona.
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Posted on July 18, 2011. Filed under: Business Management, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: Ellie Becker, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media, Web 2.0 |
Welcome to Monday. After a very lovely weekend break – my darling Jeff and I jumped on the Harley and did 150 miles each way on an overnite to the Berkshires – I’m back with my nose to the grindstone. First on my agenda is how do I move my business ahead this week? I consider this a fundamental focus for getting better results for my clients.
Following is my list – in priority order – for today. You’ll notice that before I implement one client project, I’m focused on my own marketing. If I don’t ensure that I can keep my company moving forward, I can help no one else. And then my company has no reason to exist. After Monday I spend more daily time on client projects, but I dedicate time each day to my own marketing — and so should you.
- Write a blog post for publicizing and publicizing later in the day. (This is the one for Monday)
- Check my website and blog stats and see what’s resonating with my audiences. Based on that, establish marketing objectives for the near and longer term.
- Read and comment on trade blogs and news to keep abreast of market developments.
- Write/Edit my co-authored column for theFairfieldand Westchester County Business Journals.
- Write collaborative letter for joint marketing affiliation.
- Spend time on my Hubspot content management system to plan traffic and lead generation and lead-nurturing campaigns.
- Touch base with affiliates and networking groups and set personal get-togethers for the week.
- Work on responding to requests for proposals.
- Read and reply to imperative client emails.
- Review projects and create client to-do list for the week.
- Work on strategies to meet client objectives.
- Research, write, review, edit, publish client content and perform SEO activities as required by online project timelines.
- Email clients to obtain sign-offs on previously submitted concepts and content to move projects forward.
- Make calls to clients to expedite project issues that are better served by phone that email.
Although the list seems longer for a.m. activities, there are far more moving parts in implementing successfully for clients.
The point of this post…Our clients are our primary focus, but if we don’t put our own businesses first for at least a morning a week – and for some concerted time each day, we’re abdicating our ability to remain successful contributors to the business world.
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Posted on July 12, 2011. Filed under: Content, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Twitter, Uncategorized | Tags: Ellie Becker, Inbound Marketing, Social Media, Tuesday Tweets, Twitter |
Welcome to Tuesday Tweets where we take a look at tweets from my Twitter feed for do’s, don’ts and best practices. Keep in mind that what we examine here is in no way personal. We’re all learning about building audiences online. In that spirit, if you disagree with my assessment, let me have it! I’m learning, too!
- @recovengineer Conflict Resolution Lessons From A Lifeguard: A Drowning Man Doesn’t Care About You http://tinyurl.com/3d85rwp #leadership
I retweeted this. The tweet was provocative. And when I clicked on the short link, the post behind it was meaty and full of psychological analysis – very interesting to me. Whether it is to you or not, the point of this review is that if you write it right, you’ll attract the right people.
Tweets 2. and 3.
- @michaelbathurst Dismantling Fukushima reactors will take decades: Japanese expect it will take decades before the FukushimaDaii… http://bit.ly/ogFMpz
- @michaelbathurst Missing woman a murder victim: The body of a young woman found over the weekend near Uxbridge has been identifi… http://bit.ly/pfuNGb
Sometimes you follow people because they follow you. Putting together this week’s Tuesday Tweets, I focused on these two consecutive tweets from @Michaelbathurst. All of a sudden I said to myself, why am I following this user? I went to his Twitter profile to see if this was a fluke and it wasn’t. The bio said, ‘We are living in very exciting times. All walks of life are opening their hearts and minds to understand the nature of the universe.’ And there was a link to a Follow Friday popularity website. Nothing wrong with any of the above and he has about 25,000 followers. But the time I spend on Twitter is focused in a different direction. Moral of the story…You can always click ‘Unfollow.’
- @Alex_Carrick Calling it a nite. Sweet dreams @Donna_Carrick & all T-pals in Eastern Time Zone. Every1 else please don’t stop (as if you would). Tweet on!
I don’t know. What do you think? A lot of people sign on and sign off of Twitter each day offering good mornings and I’m having coffees and time for an afternoon siestas and good nights. And plenty of people who have great social media credentials.
My vote is out. While I believe in a consistent presence on social media that are relevant to your audiences, having the feeling that people live their lives on Twitter or any other social media makes me question their sense of balance. Would you hire a consultant who tweets every 15 minutes?
If you share some of your Twitter questions and issues I’ll try to find examples and discuss them in future Tuesday Tweets. Thanks!!
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