Moving Day. Come with Me and Come Back.

Posted on November 14, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Business Strategy, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , , |

This Blog is Moving. Come With Me and Subscribe

This Blog is Moving and Will Now Be Known as 'the inbound-i blog'. Click the link and come subscribe for uninterrupted service. I'll miss you if you don't!

Dear Subscribers,

Today is moving day. I’m launching a new blog called ‘the inbound-i blog’. It’s a continuation and evolution of New PR Words and Music, which will remain here so that you can come back and access the 110 posts created here. When you click on the link to the new blog and read the first post, you’ll understand why I’m making the change.

While you’re there, please subscribe by email or RSS feed so that you receive the latest information, ideas and intelligence about inbound marketing without interruption.

The new blog is a result of the evolution of online marketing and my own business focus. In explaining why the new blog, there’s also some good information for you about the importance of tailoring your online marketing to maximize the use of inbound marketing analytics.

Come with me to the new blog for future posts and come back here as often as you like to re-read and to re-listen to your musical favorites.

I will, too.

The moving image is from the Flickr photostream of aldenjewell under Creative Commons license.

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Proof: Hot Topics Can Get Posts to Google Page 1

Posted on November 9, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Communications, Google, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, Search | Tags: , , , , , |

Kardashian Post Makes Google Page 1

A search for Kim Kardashian Divorce PR Strategy got my post to Google Page 1 Positions 2 and 3

My last post has made it to Google Page 1 for searches related to the Kim Kardashian divorce – the intended point of an experiment I conducted with it. See above and below for the proof.

The post contended that including hot and trending topics in your blog posts can boost your traffic by getting your post to come up in more searches. As an experiment I created an Inbound Marketing metaphor to the Kim Kardashian Kris Humphries Divorce.

The post also referenced Siri, which had brought another of my posts to Google Page 1 for sumerous searches and led to the topic of the last post and the Kardashian experiment. Here are more results.

Kardashian Experiment on Google Page 1

A search on Kim Kardashian Siri brought my post to Google Page 1 Position 2

The searches are actual searches that got people to my blog. Note that the first Page 1 positions were out of 165,000,000 results and the second was out of 7,030,000 results. Case made. Hot topics can get you visibility you’d never get otherwise!

What trending topics and current events will you tie your next post to?

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Blogging: Why Wouldn’t You Do Something That Works?

Posted on October 5, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Business Strategy, Content, Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media, Writing | Tags: , , , , , |

Blogging Opens Doors

Blogging Opens Doors

Why would you not do something guaranteed to bring people to your website and introduce your company’s expertise and offerings? There are so many marketing efforts people chase that cost time and money with no guarantee that they’ll yield anything. So, I ask again…Why wouldn’t you spend a few hours a week on an activity guaranteed to pay off?

I’m talking about blogging. I guarantee you that when I write and publish this post today, I will get traffic. And I’ll get more traffic than yesterday when I didn’t post. I get traffic to my blog every day when I’m posting at least three times a week.

Some of it comes from publicizing the posts on social media. But lots of it comes from organic search – people searching online for topics represented in keywords contained in the posts — and they find me.

I almost talked myself out of posting today in favor of other things that require my attention. But I prioritized getting a post out – regardless of how short. Because I know it will get results. It will provide opportunities for new relationships and potential business.

That feels great to me and I hope that sharing this with you will be motivating and helpful. Success feels great. Blog for success!

 

Image from Ben Zvan under Creative Commons license.

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Social Media Does Not Equal Inbound Marketing

Posted on September 30, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Business Strategy, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , |

 
Welcome to Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing is a bigger, more strategic concept than Social Media

When someone asks me what I do for a living and I say, “I’m an Inbound Marketing consultant and they get that blank stare, I try to help them by saying, “Online Marketing,” as a potentially more understandable explanation. Almost inevitably, they then say, “Oh. Social Media. We’re doing that.”

Then I say to myself, “There’s still so much education necessary to help people understand that:

  • Inbound Marketing is a total process for growing business online
  • Social media engagement is one important part of implementing Inbound Marketing, but to really make social media pay off, you first have to understand its purpose in the big picture.

 Here’s a list of what Social Media is good for:

  • Identifying people online who can buy your products/services or refer others who can.
  • Cultivating relationships with those individuals.
  • Publicizing your website, blog posts and other valuable original content to drive traffic.
  • Providing outposts for your company other than your website to engage with audiences in different ways.

This is all great and these activities can stand on their own to a point. But Inbound Marketing as an overall approach:

  • Originates from a more strategic than tactical mindset.
  • Looks at marketing as a driver of growth and takes business objectives and metrics into consideration.
  • Is concerned with not only creating online traffic but converting it to sales.
  • Tailors tactics to address a prospect’s progress in the purchase cycle.
  • Incorporates analytics to measure success and set productive marketing directions.
  • Offers ROI proofs.

So if your company has a Facebook page, a Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Google+ account – even if you’re blogging like crazy in addition to your social media efforts – and you’re not sure what it’s actually contributing to the bottom line, it’s time to graduate to the next level of online marketing. Start thinking and implementing like an Inbound Marketer.

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Tuesday Tweets for August 30, 2011

Posted on August 30, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Business Strategy, Communications, Content, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Twitter, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Twitter Tweet Reviews

Reviews of Tweets from My Twitter Timeline

Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for August 30, 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 week we’re adding an extra special treat – a musical accompaniment to your read. Be sure to hit the play button if you’d like to smile.

The most frequent comment I hear when I broach the topic of adding Twitter to the social media mix is, “We have an account, but have no idea what to do with it.” So I decided that it might be useful to use this week’s Tuesday Tweets to show how a number of businesses and organizations are using Twitter to move toward their objectives.

@NewsTimes It should read $15,000. Good catch! #correction RT @JackBouffard @NewsTimes $1,500 or $15,000?

Here’s a daily newspaper using Twitter to interact with a reader to flag and quickly correct an error in its reporting. This is the kind of nimble use of social media that might help traditional media evolve and survive.

@TheArtsCenterNY  Red Cross is here until 5:30PM accepting blood donations! By taking a short time to donate blood, you can save lives.

This arts center is using Twitter for real time promotion of a Red Cross blood drive – a nonprofit boosting another nonprofit’s mission, helping its community and boosting its own engagement and value at the same time

@dancommator Social Media Check-In Promos Reward Frequent Branch Visits http://t.co/EJ… via @FinancialBrand #financialservices #banking #sociallmedia

Can you believe that a few banks are reversing the trend of pushing customers from bank branches to online banking, and are using social media check-ins to encourage branch visits – and human contact! This retweet could be a harbinger of a new era of bank service. One can hope!

@ScottMonty RT @ThePeoplesFleet : Help @abetterla win $5K by simply watching a video! Check it out here: http://t.co/Ic… #tpfla

Another smart nonprofit is using Twitter to boost its chances to win a $5000 grant from Ford by asking folks on Twitter to vote for them. Using the hashtag gets them beyond their own followers.

@AMAnet New programs added to the AMA’s upcoming events calendar — Webcasts are FREE! —http://t.co/6t…

The American Management Association is using Twitter to get the word out about a new free Webinar series, a great way to develop its membership.

@1day1brand  Are you ready for a bold new brand? Complete our assessment below, and we’ll email you the results right away – http://ow.ly/6…

@1Day1Brand used this Tweet to recruit participants to take a survey that was designed to subtly (sort of) educate about its brand building seminars and generate leads. A bit obvious, but not bad.

@MichelleDamico Change supply parents into demand parents. I tell principals: parents yelling at u are engaging. #CPS #Brizzard #chicagoPublicSchools

Thanks to live tweeting, an address by the Chicago Public Schools Superintendent gets wider attention. You can get similar visibility and leverage for your organization’s spokesperson and amplify public speaking engagements.

@HourWestport Connecticut Humane Society is having an emergency Cat Adoption Event. Locally try theWestport location:455 Post Road East, 203-227-4137

Another local newspaper is using its Twitter bully pulpit to get out community news that it probably doesn’t have room for in the print edition.

@SierraSez  It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a bus? More details coming soon…you won’t want to miss out on this.

An enterprising tweet creates anticipation for one that’s yet to come. I’ll put up a Twitter search for @SierraSez so that I’m sure not to miss whatever it is. Curiosity is a powerful motivator! ;-}

@MagicSauceMedia Looking 4 SRProduct & Co Evangelist 4start-up in search,aggregation,content & semantic search space. Loc: San Fran or NYC.Email me w/leads

And we’ll end with a highly practical – and hopeful – tweet. Here’s a company using its Twitter updates to seek and hire a new employee.

It would be great if you’d share the creative ways your business or organization is using Twitter.

The 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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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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More on Networking: The Power of Connecting Others

Posted on July 28, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Networking, Small Business | Tags: , , , |

Connect Others

Be the Connector of Others in Your Network

What’s more powerful than re-tweeting someone’s tweet or answering 1000 questions on LinkedIn? What will build relationships faster than the speed of light?

Connecting people to each other.

If you listen carefully to what people in your online and offline networks are trying to achieve, you’ll think of people in your network who would be a good fit for them. Make the introductions proactively.

You’ll be surprised at the results, not the least of which will be deeper relationships with the people you connect.

I had a few examples of that today, which reminded me to share the thought with you.

How have you benefited from connecting people in your network with each other?

Image from Jeff Sandquist Under Creative Commons License.

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Tuesday Tweets

Posted on July 26, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Communications, Social Media, Twitter, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Tuesday Tweets

Why We Spend Time on Twitter

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.

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5 Steps to Finding Your Key Messages for Better Content Creation

Posted on July 15, 2011. Filed under: Communications, Content, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Key Messages for Better Communication

Identify Key Messages for Better Communication

When you’re about to undertake a major communications project – a new website, for example – you have an opportunity to review your messaging. What are the most important points for an audience to know about you and your business, the things you will need to repeat continuously and consistently, regardless of the kind of content.

Many companies have never purposely developed key message lists. This exercise is more important than ever. Especially online. Messaging consistency and redundancy comes into play on websites, as you never know what page will be the entry point for a visitor. It’s not always your home page. It’s also important to include key messages in content you offer for download and that you post aound the Internet.

Here’s a 5-step process for identifying the key messages that will resonate and stick with your audiences.

1. Review your existing content and marketing materials. Sometimes we go on auto-pilot when writing or speaking about ourselves and our companies. Keep an open mind for stale messages that can use an update – or that you can lose altogether.

2. Interview your employees, customers, referral sources and others who know your company. Create a brief questionnaire (it may vary by auience) that asks for impressions about different aspects of your business. Anywhere from five to ten interviews should yield the raw material that will offer up key messages. The interviews will confirm some of your notions about what’s important about your business and refute others. Some of what you’ll learn will truly surprise you. You’ll likely get more candid answers if you hire an outside consultant to help you, rather than asking the questions personally.

3. Read the home page information of a few competitors, or non-competing companies similar to yours and take notes. See how they’re talking about their businesses, products and services. This will not only give you some ideas of what to say and not to say, but will also help you position your messaging to reflect your company’s market differentiation. 

4. Review the interviews and your competitor notes. In the interviews you will almost certainly see repeating comments and ideas. Some of these will be key points that you’ve made historically, some will be fresh ideas.

5. Let your review of the process sink in for a day or two. Then sit down at the computer and make a list of your key messages. They should not be in any order of hierarchy. Put them down as they come to you. You’ll never use all of them in one place, but will pick and choose from the list as appropriate. You’ll also vary the language from one place to another, as long as the key idea is in there someplace. Tweak the list. See if anything is glaringly missing. Ask a few of the interviewees to review the key message list to be sure they reflect your company authentically.

Once you have your key message list, you’ll be amazed at how easily you write your content. The copy will flow. You’ll find yourself working in the right key messages in the right places. Your key message list will also provide a good starting point for key word and search term research.

By the way, you don’t need a new website as a reason to review your messaging. Do it at any time. It will definitely help your ongoing content creation.

How do you identify your key messages?

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