Inbound Marketing

Tuesday Tweets for 8-23-11

Posted on August 23, 2011. Filed under: Content, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Twitter Tweet Reviews

Reviews of Tweets from My Twitter Timeline

Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for August 23, 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!

@Georg_Grey Georg Grey Please follow ===> @7shines @AyaMones @haceeb @karine_frigon @BrensView @Vernon_J_ @ProNetworkBuild @reneedobbs @bigmoneywebs @RDavidMacNeil

This is a typical booster tweet – similar to #followfriday (#FF) but for any day — to promote people whose tweets we find of interest an with whom we’d like to build stronger relationships. Even though it seems like a time saver to string a bunch of Twitter handles together as in the above example, it’s actually more useful and powerful to do one at a time and include something about why we should follow that person, who they are, what they do, what they share. If you have two people who have similar reasons to recommend them you can send them both. But let people know why.

Since the 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the east coast of theU.S.an hour or so ago, my Twitter timeline is full of earthquake tweets. So I’m going to give in and dedicate the rest of Tuesday Tweets to the best of the earthquake tweets that are coming in. Hope you didn’t get too shook up. The windows rattled here and the building shook a bit, but fortunately it looks like there were no serious consequences.

@Chase_TheHour Chase Wright by TheHourNews

Did you feel the earthquake? Tell us about it @TheHourNews

My local daily paper seeking citizen journalists to help them report on the earthquake.

@alexashrugged alexashrugged by richmac  Co-worker “We didn’t have earthquakes like that when Bush was president” #earthquake

Yup. A D.C. earthquake would be sure to stimulate political commentary! ;-}

@muz4now stan stewart The D.C. area quake was powerful enough (5.8) to rattle my chair in the Poconos at 2PM Eastern. Wow. Haven’t felt that sinceOakland.

This poor guy thought he’d escaped earthquakes when he moved east.

@paulhelmick Paul Helmick West Virginia Shaken Not Stirred #earthquake

Good one. Hope it’s also dry. Anyone have other Martini references?

@typeamom Kelby Carr Did the CNN anchor seriously just suggest the quake could have possibly been terrorists? Oh my.

Why am I not surprised?

@petershankman Peter Shankman So bummed I don’t have any pressing deadlines I can miss by blaming the #earthquake.

I felt the same way. Though I was sorry it cut into Dan Zarella’s HubSpot webinar at 2.

@benjaminstrong benjaminstrong  Did you feel the earth move? “That’s what she said!” #DCearthquake #earthquake

Love an old saw brought out at the perfect moment!

@shashib Shashi Bellamkonda DCRestaurants : Good day for a earthquake Happy Hour Special

Shashi is Network Solution’s social media guru down in DC and a great guy. He’s always thinking of opportunities for 4square promotions! ;-D

And today I’ll end with my own contribution to the #earthquake discussion, which was the number one trending topic on Twitter this afternoon.

@elliebpr Ellie Becker Nothing like an #earthquake in CT on a sunny day. At first I thought it was the impact of my latest blog post. ;-}

The recently adopted Tuesday Tweets graphic is from Freshalex Online under Creative Commons license.

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Tuesday Tweets

Posted on August 16, 2011. Filed under: Blogs, Content, Inbound Marketing, Small Business, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Twitter Tweet Reviews

Reviews of Tweets from My Twitter Timeline

Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for August 16, 2011 — where we take a look at tweets from my Twitter timeline 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!

@TechCrunch TechCrunch  DIY Device Mutes Your TV When Someone You Don’t Like Is Mentioned http://t.co/TkphmcD by @johnbiggs

If you want to stay on top of what’s going on in technology, following TechCrunch is a must. This tweet is the big one from TechCrunch, though; the one I’ve been waiting for. Finally someone’s invented a way that I the tube will mute itself when I’m lunching in front of the screen and a pharma ad comes on, complete with a long list of nauseating potential side effects. I’m already compiling my list of keywords to trigger the blessed silence.

@ItsCoachNick N Jones Budget Friendly Fashion Blogs http://t.co/0TFSZp6

This chick-friendly tweet from Nick Jones got me seeing visions of shopping bags dancing in my head. When I clicked the link it got me to a page with the right headline and a video that said, “The video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated.” How disappointing. L But then I saw a link that said, “read the rest of the story…” so I clicked. It did get me to a blog post with links to a few bargain fashion sites, but it seemed as though – even though the post date was today — the content was recycled on this news aggregator site as the post referenced Spring clothing in the stores andHollywoodawards show glam season. It was a bit confusing. Nice idea, but it’s a good reminder to check out what’s at the end of links before we tweet them.

@dragonblogger Justin Germino Challenge me in the Random Twitter Poetry game. Send me 1 word to use in today’s poem.

A few weeks ago in Tuesday Tweets I referenced @dragonblogger’s interesting idea of twitter-sourcing a poem – and stated at the time that it was unique and looked like it would be fun to play. Well yesterday I did. I sent the word ‘vision’. Here are the subsequent tweets and the results.

dragonblogger Justin Germino  @elliebpr thanks for playing today’s poetry game.

dragonblogger Justin Germino Twitter poem finished today >> http://t.co/qjggJBq read and share @elliebpr @rajanbalana @opinionatedant

The Climb is a poem about climbing the corporate ladder but doing so any way possible even at the expense of integrity or honor.  This poem was inspired by the 10 random submissions (in bold) provided by the following Twitter players:
@ptaylor98 (enthusiastic), @eileencan (peck), @techwork_dk (Monday), @laraca44 (softly), @sweetnote (fiducia), @alanhbush (cacophony), @elliebpr (vision), @rajanbalana (crystal), @opinionatedant (quest), @wordzeal (salacious)

Word Definitions:
Fiducia means trust, faith

The Climb

Monday‘s crystal vision
salacious quest of life
you softly peck your way
silently over the cacophony

Enthusiastic measures pay off
corporate ladder with sawed rungs
caring not for loss of fiducia
as long as you reach the top

Poem by Justin Germino

@elliebpr recommends you follow @dragonblogger who does this out of his passion for poetry. I was pleased to join the others to contribute to his creative ‘vision.’ No corporate ladders at all cost for me!!

Come on and send me some of your favorite tweets!!

 

The recently adopted Tuesday Tweets graphic is from Freshalex Online under Creative Commons license.

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Have Fun with Content: No Telling Where It Will Go

Posted on August 15, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Communications, Content, Inbound Marketing, Small Business, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , |

Content Creation Offers Big Possibilities

Creating Great Content Opens Endless Possibilities

I’ve written before about the sense of possibility I feel every time I tweet a link or hit ‘publish’ on my blog. Get that content out on the Internet and no telling where it will go, who will read it, who will connect with us as a result.

The reason I’m writing about this again is to drum up deserved enthusiasm for the content creation that’s a required element of today’s marketing. We tend to do what’s pleasurable and I want to convince you that creating content and getting it out into the world can provide you with surprising results that feel very good.

Why am I sitting here writing this post before having dinner? It’s because I’ll feel so good tomorrow when it drives new eyeballs to my blog, website, Twitter timeline, LinkedIn profile, and when it leads new and old friends to interact with me online.

Here’s what motivated me to write this. I don’t always check my @mentions on Twitter, but I did today. This shows me who has mentioned me on Twitter. I found that three times last week, a blog post I’d written was incorporated in followers’ paper.li.

What’s that? If you’re unfamiliar, paper.li is a Twitter curation software. Register on paper.li and in a minute or two you can create a newspaper format piece of content that pulls from the links tweeted each day by the people you follow on Twitter. You can focus your paper’s content by indicating a topic, hashtag or Twitter list as the source of your paper’s content. The content is culled from your Twitter timeline via an algorithm + content you refer specifically – a recent improvement.

Paper.li papers can be shared with anyone. And the creator’s followers can subscribe to them. It all adds up to expanded reach for your content. All you have to do is publicize it on Twitter. Use hashtags to help assure your content will come up for paper.li keywords.

All you have to do to take advantage of this extended distribution is to create interesting and useful content. Let me tell you that I got a kick out of discovering that my content was useful enough to be featured beyond my blog. All of this happened without anything but  my initial effort to produce the content and publicize it on Twitter.

Paper.li is only one of many ways that your content can proliferate around the Internet. Make it as good as you can and open the door to opportunity.

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Smaller Companies: Keep Marketing Through Adversity

Posted on August 11, 2011. Filed under: Business Management, Business Strategy, Communications, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

 

Keep Your Marketing Engines Running

Keep Your Marketing Engines Running!

 

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.

Image by Nathan E Photography Under Creative Commons License

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Tuesday Tweets

Posted on August 9, 2011. Filed under: Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , |

Twitter Tweet Reviews

Reviews of Tweets from My Twitter Stream

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!

@randfish Rand Fishkin  Really like this “quotes of the week” format: http://t.co/TVmOk5W Others should steal this idea; it’s great content + builds relationships.

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.

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Thanks everyone for joining in #nuts today #GroupHug

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q10. Green is the color of the US dollar. Given an unlimited amount of money, what do you do? #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q9. Favorite movie/book with the word ‘green’ in the title ? #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q8. You’re given the job of ‘energy sheriff’ for the entire planet. What ONE thing do you change to save energy? #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q7. My favorite green item of clothing is #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q6. You’re given a green thumb & your very own garden. What do you grow? ….. #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q5. Favorite ‘no-fuel’ alternative to driving #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q4. You’re given a green crayon & a sheet of paper. What do you draw? (Be imaginative) #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q3.Favorite ‘green’ hotel or restaurant #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q2. Bust idea/place for a totally ‘green” getaway #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q1. What’s your favorite green food/drink #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Please excuse the unusual nature of my tweets for the next hour, I’ll be in therapy #NUTS

@dazglo36 Darren Glover

They’re now having a “planking” comp in Mecca. Here’s @dianeglory28 ‘s attempt! #nuts http://t.co/vuCiFeJ

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Tuesday is the best day on Twitter! #NUTS #cruisechat #TravelTuesday #TTOT & #FriFotos theme announcement!

@sheffieldmick Mick Berry “@OliverKayTimes:Just been sent this. Amazon reporting 5,000% increase in sales of baseball bats over past 24 hrs http://t.co/mi3pvC7#nuts

@CalebRamblexxx Caleb Ramble

@MagicMichaelXXX: Anyone else travel with #nuts in their bag??? http://t.co/gDk5MTn” yuk!

@WriterChick47 Vicky Akins Voted FUNNIEST chat on Twitter #nuts #MadeThatUp

@KatrinaMauro Katrina Mauro hoping I can participate…busy day at work today! @eatsleeplaugh: don’t forget about #NUTS !

@JeanetteJoy Jeanette Joy Fisher Me too! RT @rickgriffin: Please excuse the unusual nature of my tweets for the next hour, I’ll be in therapy #NUTS http://bit.ly/lhoIlE

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.

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How to Move Clients from Old Marketing to New: Synthesize!

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Synthesize old and new marketing.

Jose James Synthesizes the Old and The New Jazz

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?

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Competition and Other Annoying Business Realities

Posted on August 4, 2011. Filed under: Business Management, Business Strategy, Communications, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, News, Online Marketing, Small Business | Tags: , , , , |

Business Competition

We can be our own competitive edge!!

The Dow fell more than 500 points today. Bad news was exuding from every media outlet. I had an opportunity to get some perspective on it in my weekly networking group meeting from members who are highly sophisticated financial experts.

Then I came home, shared some conversation with my neighbor on her garden swing, pulled a bunch of weeds that have been bothering me while thinkingabout what my blog topic would be for today. Relaxing and getting still allowed me to realize what was concerning me – and probably you, too.

When markets go crazy and economies are shaky and there’s less business to go around, we can’t help but think about how we’ll compete for what business there is. This has been on my mind for some time and brought to the forefront by today’s events.

Bottom line, I’ve decided not to worry about who else is competing for a piece of the online/inbound marketing pie. Instead, I’m working on my own story. Thinking harder about what I bring to the table that will have value for my clients and that I can speak powerfully about to prospects. I’m thinking about my strengths – what I really do better than anyone I’ve encountered.

Then I’m evaluating my lighter abilities — what I fully understand but need partners to execute well.

And I’m working on my messaging so that I can communicate clearly and effectively. That includes listening and testing… talking to as many people as I can find who are willing to offer feedback as I hone my messages.

I’m asking myself:

  • Are my offerings aligned with the needs of my client/prospect?
  • Is my language completely understandable, or too jargon-y?
  • Am I creating enough curiosity that people will be willing to stick around and learn more?
  • Am I explaining my services so that the benefits and value come through loud and clear?
  • Am I being human enough to connect and credible enough to build trust?

I believe that refocusing my energies on being as meaningful as possible to my market is my competitive edge.

How are you dealing with the competitive and business realities of the current economic environment?

Image from tableatny under Creative Commons license.

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Tuesday Tweets

Posted on August 2, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Inbound Marketing, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Learn About Twitter

Twitter Is Still So Interesting. Love It!!

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!

@dragonblogger Justin Germino #Nothing_Changes: #Random_Twitter_Poem for Aug 2nd http://bit.ly/mOyJer

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.

@techsrus TechsRUs … http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20087115-266/broadband-subscribers-mostly-get-what-they-pay-for/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

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.

@petershankman Peter Shankman #NASA Administrator Bolden just told us whyAmerica is still HUGELY involved in space. I’ll break down his answers into 140 chars soon.

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.

@CTBites RT @omnomct: You know anybody who might be interested in trying out for next Food Network Star? This Friday, 8/5: http://t.co/9FJEafX

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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Learning and Teaching: Do Both for a Dynamic Career

Posted on July 27, 2011. Filed under: Business Management, Communications, Education, Inbound Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Learning and Teaching a Dynamic Lifelong Cycle

Both learning and teaching contribute to a dynamic career

I’ve been thinking about the learning and teaching cycle.

When I first started this blog, I was an inbound marketing neophyte, just starting to transition my communications practice from traditional PR to an array of online services. At the time I was acutely aware of being a student and sought teachers and mentors.

Ironically, I was moving from a place where I was highly competent and knowledgeable and where I was teacher and mentor to interns who sought me out and went on to make it in the business. Stepping into their shoes turned out to be an exciting and energizing experience.

Today, I’m still a student because there’s always something new to learn. And I love being engaged in learning. It’s stimulating. But almost three years into this transition, with a body of good work to point to in my new service areas, I’ve begun to feel credible as a teacher again – even moreso with my new knowledge and skills integrated into my earlier experience.

It’s a good thing, too, because businesses still need a great deal of education in order to begin taking advantage of the powerful marketing tools available to them. Teaching is so gratifying because it reveals to us just how much we’ve learned and can apply to helping our clients. It also clearly points the direction to our next student stint.

The cycle of knowing and needing to learn keeps us moving productively into the future. What are you learning and teaching?

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Inbound Marketing Education is in Middle School

Posted on July 25, 2011. Filed under: Business Management, Content, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

HubSpot Inbound Marketing System

HubSpot Developed an Efficient System for Inbound Marketing

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?

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