Inbound marketing refers to aligning all marketing efforts to a customer’s interest and needs. You get the customer to come to you and your content, rather than trying to sell them on an idea. It is a product of the internet era and is a relatively new marketing concept. Its rise in popularity is thanks to the influence of both social media and the internet.
The best thing about inbound marketing is that to the customer it does not feel like marketing. The content created for the campaign should be educational for the customer. To the customer, it feels like discovering an article and sharing it with friends. All while gaining interest in the products used in or as part of the article.
You can easily map Inbound marketing campaigns to the sales funnel. This mapping allows unprecedented customization of content towards the audience. Several segments of the same target market could have different campaigns from the same content.
The biggest con for inbound marketing is the time. With traditional outbound marketing, the results are fast and roll in as soon as the campaign begins. With inbound marketing, it takes time for people to discover content and share it. Inbound marketing requires time and patience for potentially better results. The minimum time for a typical campaign could be as long as 12 to 18 months. However, rememeber that once the visitors share the content , it takes little effort and cost to continue the campaign.
Inbound marketing is currently the most effective method of marketing in the digital age. The old methods of outbound marketing involved buying the exposure, which leads to product sales. Missing from that calculus was product and brand loyalty. With inbound marketing, content is the draw. Since the content is hosted internally (usually on a blog) and is branded, there is higher brand recognition. Here is a quick systematic guide to applying this method:
Content – None of the following steps matter without quality content that potential customers will find useful. For example, if a company that marketed cleaning products were to create content, the most relevant would be comprehensive cleaning guides that used their own products.
Market – Inbound marketing exists because of two channels that did not exist: Search engines and social media. SEO and social sharing alone provides enough traffic for a business to garner sufficient leads. Quality content makes this step much easier.
Convert – This is the hardest part. It requires constant experimentation and should feed back to the content creation phase. Figuring out what drives a market segment to purchase products is time-consuming but ultimately very rewarding. When there in insufficient conversion, make gradual changes and measure the impact of those changes.
This is a simple method of looking at how inbound marketing works. Even the smallest of businesses can take advantage of the opportunities we have thanks to search engines and social media.
Every webmaster or blogger should have a system in place for content creation and ranking those pages in Google. There is evidence that sites that update more frequently has a fresh content association with their site. Here is a three-step process that any webmaster can use to getting content out there and ranking well.
Step 1 – keyword research
No system will be complete without the research component. There needs to be a reason for writing each article and keyword research can provide the best titles to target. Don’t limit yourself to a single tool. If possible, combine the data from multiple tools to identify the best articles to write that will have the most potential for traffic and ranking.
Step 2- content calendar
There are advantages to planning out when each item of content should be published. To take advantage of this, plan out a content calendar with all the posts you want to write from the previous step. This way seasonal trends can also be taken into consideration when looking at the keywords. Think about how quickly content can be produced and have a realistic target.
Step 3 – create the content
The final step is to create the content according to the calendar. Write as much as possible whenever you can. Writing articles that are ahead on the calendar will mean that when there is a life emergency, there is sufficient slack to keep the content on track. A structured approach to writing will also see improvements in the quality of writing as it is more consistent.
When e-commerce sales are broken down by sources, the sales generated by referral traffic and recommendations are third largest behind direct traffic and search engine traffic. That is more sales than from traffic referred from social media. What makes this traffic so valuable?
The problem with shopping online is the sheer number of options available. People are simply overwhelmed when it comes to buying something. They first need to find a site to buy from, then choose from the various combinations of brands, types, sizes etc. This is why the referral invitation is so powerful. Let’s take something as simple a razor. The sheer number of permutations of what is available is painful enough, but which one is actually good? Now you get a mail from a friend recommending one? Would you really bother looking around for other options?
This is the basis of an email campaign run by Harrys. They are razor company and used this marketing tactic to pick up two referrals from every customer. In order to make the recommendation work for the referrer, they offer razors to two friends free. In addition, this works even if you were just referred from a friend got a free razor.
Customers love free gifts and tend to see such products more favorably when referred to by a friend. This is what drives the referral process and is an extremely smart and effective strategy to use customer’s social networks to bring in other potential customers.
Sean Garrity of DealCrunch recently sat with Pierre Zarokian, the CEO of Submit Express, to discuss new techniques for reputation management and online marketing. 2016 saw Google bringing even more updates to its robust ranking algorithm, and small businesses should stay up to date with this knowledge if they hope to succeed.
Who is Submit Express?
Pierre started the company back in 1998, with the goal to help other businesses reach the top of Google. At the time, SEO was new and it was an intriguing way to draw in-store traffic from the World Wide Web. Today, Pierre works with businesses to improve marketing and sales efforts for restaurants, major distributors across the United States, and big brand names.
Reviews and Web Presence
In 2017, Pierre suggests that companies who want to succeed are going to have to focus on developing a Web presence online. For restaurants, that means good Yelp scores. For retailers, that means lots of reviews and multiple points of contact. Submit Express recommends that businesses first claim all social profiles, and then work on improving the quality of search presence online.
Here are some of the services the company focuses on with new clients:
If you want to learn about these strategies in-depth, check out the write-up from DealCrunch.
One of the best ways to improve as a writer is to have an editor who can go through your articles and make corrections accordingly. There are automated online services that do this, but none of them are partially effective. For those who don’t have access to an editor or find it too costly, here is a mini-checklist that can be used to check your writing and how it is placed on the page.
Headline – It needs to grab attention and should be placed in a prominent location at the top of the page
Metadata – The post meta data needs to be simple, placed somewhere under the headline and be smaller but legible.
Read the post – Read the entire post aloud to yourself. This will easily show most of the issues in the pacing and how the article flows and when it breaks.
Uniqueness – If uniqueness is a factor, then do so by telling a story. You can also share an opinion. For data or advice, spin it in such a way that it is from your perspective.
Subheadings – Don’t be afraid to break the articles into sections that use sub-headings. They should be scan-able and add value to the article.
Scan-able – Make the entire post scan-able by using the above sub-0headings and also use images, bullet points and short paragraphs if applicable.
Spelling and grammar – Double check the post for grammar and spelling issues. There are services online that can spot common issues. However, nothing will beat a person reading the article line by line.
As a webmaster, you might have heard of two of the most important parts of the core Google algorithm: Penguin and Panda. Penguin looks at the quality of incoming links. Panda, on the other hand, takes the opposite tack and looks for low-quality content on the site.
Panda was initially introduced to deal with the issue of the vast number of content farms populating the internet at the time. It has now evolved to become part of the core algorithm and is now running continuously. The side effect here is that it makes it harder to know when a site has been penalized for a Panda violation.
It was also initially rumored to consider user-generated content such comments into consideration. This is not true and Panda only looks at the content on the page. Another myth was that of the length of the content. Numbers like 250 words or 350 words were thrown about. This also appears to be wrong as Google recommends that the word count should reflect the needs of the content in question. There are sub-100 word posts that rank at number one along with featured snippets.
What we do know is that first of all the content should match the query. If the title of the page or the anchor text of an inbound link does not match the content, then this could be an issue. In that case, it would be better to add a paragraph or two adding relevance in order to avoid getting penalized.
Going forward, create high-quality content and you will have nothing to worry about.
Search engine marketing in California goes beyond simply having a WordPress-fueled site and picking and choosing keywords and phrases. Once you optimize your content for search engines, the next step is to do the same with your WordPress pages.
Cut the Clutter
WordPress comes with some defaults that are fine for when you’re first creating your site. After you have everything set up, remove defaults you don’t need to minimize clutter and make your site more appealing to visitors, especially mobile browsers.
Create Relevant Categories
Change the “uncategorized” default in the admin area and replace it with a category that’s actually relevant for your site. For SEO purposes, relevant categories for your posts will definitely help with ranking.
Switch to a Static Page
If you want to do more with your WordPress page than showcase blog content, make your page static. This feature minimizes indexing and duplicate content errors and places more of an emphasis on other content on your site.
Install Google Analytics for WordPress
Avoid 404 errors and be aware of what’s going on with your WP pages by installing Google Analytics for WordPress. No California Internet marketing strategy is going to be effective without accurate stat tracking. Visitors are tracked by username, so you also won’t get false data from administrators accessing the site.
Choosing the right California Internet marketing company is another step you can take when looking to get the most out of your WordPress site. Working with a team that stays aware of trends and technology shifts can give you more time to focus on your business.
Sticky Web Media is a Los Angeles marketing agency that helps increase visibility in search through localization and SEO marketing.
By now you probably have a website for your company. A lot of work has gone into fine tuning the content and on page SEO and now you need to address the other big requirement of being online: Social Media.
The first step is to get on the three main social networks. That would be Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The Facebook page for your company is extremely important as a lot of Facebook users, first check on the social network for your company when searching.
The importance of the LinkedIn presence will depend on whether companies in your category share a lot information in the space or if you are looking to hire regularly. Still you will need a basic presence.
A Twitter account is another basic necessity to reach specific types of people. Technology, News and Health are good reasons to be on Twitter.
Once you have the big three networks, then you need to claim your company’s account name on as many networks as possible. On the larger networks, you will need to be able to start promoting your company whenever the need arises, for that a long term account on those will be important. On the smaller networks, claiming your company’s name can also avoid misrepresentation and fraud.
The easy part is done. Now you can focus on figuring out which network to start promoting your content and company.
There are a lot of good free tools available online to help with SEO and online marketing tasks. Unfortunately finding them is not easy. There are thousands of useless shareware/paid tools, ebooks etc. Here are the best free tools we found:
Google Webmaster Tools – This is a must have for any webmaster or website owner who wants to improve their seo and organic web traffic. It is now known as Google Search Console
Bing Webmaster Tools – Some sites still get a lot of traffic from Bing so while it is not as essential as Google’s, it is still worth signing up.
Google Instant – This is the Google Search feature that autocompletes as you type. It can be a very good indicator of what people are searching for online.
Google Trends – Use this to check out trends, search volumes and the seasonality of keywords. This uses historical data so it might not always be accurate as certain circumstances can change.
Ubersuggest – Will give you all the Google Instant results for a broad keyword search. Good tool for keyword research.
MailChimp – Is an email list marketing service that is free for lists up to 2000 subscribers. Good way to start your email list.
MergeWords – Take two words and it will give every different combination of those words that work. Great for working on the long tail content.
SEO Tools for Excel – This turns Excel into a dream for SEO professionals. This does have a learning curve so is not recommended for beginners.