Inbound Marketing Consulting and the Central Hub Model

Inbound Marketing, the Central Hub (spot), and The Ultimate Internet Image

The focus of recent blog posts here at The Ultimate Internet Image (UII) has been on the initial inbound marketing consultation and competitive assessment with prospective clients. However, while discussing much of what we cover with new UII clients, we left out a critical concept, perhaps the most important component of all:

The inbound marketing concept I left out is the one that pulls the entire strategy together, providing its emphasis and its focus.

I refer to the above mentioned inbound marketing component as the central hub strategy or, in its complete form:

The Ultimate Internet Image’s Central Hub Strategy!

For those of you serving small to medium-sized, traditional brick and mortar businesses, service organizations, service-oriented businesses, associations (non-profit and for profit), and professional practices; and, in particular, for those of you plying your trade in the inbound marketing consulting field, the name probably sets off bells and whistles. However, the name for the strategy was developed independently of, and before I personally knew anything about, the King Kong of inbound marketing – software – firms:

Hubspot!

Great ideas spring to mind everywhere and at once…or simultaneously. It has happened throughout history in business, science, manufacturing, inventing, and myriad other pursuits. The Theory of Evolution, the telephone, the telegraph, and many other theories, ideas, and inventions were independently developed because, whatever it was that was created, it was the next, logical step in science, manufacturing, academia or whatever; and, it was obvious to many individuals separately, and at once.

In other words, great minds think alike!

The idea of an inbound marketing central hub, a hub spot, is also the logical, next-step in a line of thinking that was at first revolutionary and has now taken hold and become accepted across the Internet and around much of the developed and developing world when we discuss and apply marketing strategies.

You have, no-doubt, viewed several of the central hub spot models various inbound marketing consultants and inbound marketing consulting firms have developed for social media, specifically, and the various segments of inbound marketing, generally.

Here are a few variations on the inbound marketing central hub model:

The Idea of a Central Inbound Marketing Hub Strategy Illustrated Here

This is one of the better images for illustrating the inbound marketing central hub strategy model. This image, from FredCavazza.net, shows the arrows pointing out from the center. They need to point in with the attention, focus, and traffic being driven inward towards the center hub.

This social media landscape image is one of the better ones I have found. There are a myriad of images, as many images as artists and the inbound marketing consulting firms hiring them to create them. This image can also be found at East One Marketing.

Unfortunately, the inbound marketing central hub model images are still all over the place when it comes to focus and message! I am certain this will change in time but for now we have to take the good with the bad. Hopefully, distinguishing between the former and the latter and choosing wisely.

The inbound marketing central hub strategy seems to be heading in the right direction with the starfish imagery. Simple, attractive, and easy to understand, this is a much better visual representation of the central hub model.The Central Hub Model Meets the Starfish Model

This image, an interesting take on the central hub model and visually attractive, has also made the rounds. I am acknowledging both although provenance appears to belong to WebGuild.org with permission to use the image being granted to Cyberconsulting.com

I suggest that the inbound marketing central hub image directly above is on the right track and is visually attractive…while simple and easy to follow. Some key ingredients are missing but it is effective and closer to the idea of an inbound marketing central hub than many others being offered today.

This image can be found at CyberNet Consulting Inc: Innovative Technology Solutions, as well as at WebGuild.org.

Inbound Marketing Central Hub Strategy

The Inbound Marketing Central Hub Strategy Meets NYC Transit. Source is Intersection Consulting's Flickr photostream at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/intersectionconsulting

This image is attributed to Mark Smiciklas, MBA of Vancouver, BC. Mark is a Vancouver Marketing Consultant. Mark has several very interesting images added to his Flickr photostream, noted above, and he invites visitors to his marketing consultancy’s site to find him on Facebook and to view is LinkedIn profile. I would also recommend Mark’s slideshare Social Media Strategy, it is quite good.

This is the more conventional take on marketing via The Social Media Syndication Network flowchart.

This image appears to belong to David W. Crompton, Special Brands, Amsterdam, Netherlands http://specialbrands.net/2009/02/26/friendfeed/

The trouble with attribution is provenance. The LocalGoogleGuru has offered this by way of his Flickr photostream. He appears to have been granted use of (rights to) the image by Daniel Crompton (Technorati profile) and his General Musing blog, mentioned above. I want to make sure both men get credit for the work. Their links are embedded here.

The flowchart has been around since Christ left Chicago, to put it bluntly. The flowchart has it uses and has been around for a long time because people learn linearly, from A to Z. Consequently, the flowchart has remained a mainstay of many marketing presentations. I would argue that for our purposes, for inbound marketing consulting presentations, the flowchart may not be as effective as the inbound marketing central hub model.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

The flowchart meets the central hub model: Where do we go from here?

The Social Media Process: Can you follow this? Will a client be able to? Unfortunately, we see a lot of this being offered. I have doubts as to whether or not Damien Basile was serious or kidding around with us but this kind of thing shows up...a lot! http://www.flickr.com/photos/damienbasile/3629544077/sizes/z/in/photostream

As you can see, I hope, we are heading in the wrong direction. The image above is what I call Social Media Flow Chart Run Riot! Based on one of the comments under this image on Flickr, this may have been offered in jest (?). This sort of thing shows up a lot in inbound marketing and social media presentations.

Who can follow this?

If you were making a presentation to a client who is attempting to make head or tails of the Internet, will they know what this all means?

Probably not!

The Mind Map and Inbound Marketing

The Mind Map is an interesting adaptation and it often looks more like art then a marketing tool. This image came from http://www.flickr.com/photos/zipckr/4688416205/sizes/z/in/photostream

The Mind Map is an interesting phenomenon. In many ways it reminds me of Where’s Waldo? I have received mind maps so intricate I actually had to use a magnifying glass to see everything because when I tried to enlarge it, it grayed out on me.

Some are very cool, like this one.

This image came from the Flickr photostream of Zipckr. From Zipckr’s photostream I ended up at a very cool mind map site with mind maps that truly seem more like art.

Check out the How to Twitter and How to StumbleUpon Mind Maps!

As you can see, when it comes to imagery, we are still all over the place with hard to grasp charts, graphs, maps, etc.

There are many more social media and inbound marketing graphs, tables, flow charts, and the like.

Check them out by “Googling” the search phrase:

Social Media Images

The main problem is that, not unlike many of the inbound marketing strategies I have come across and/or heard discussed in the past year or two, inbound marketing strategies and the methods used to communicate those strategies are indeed all over the place.

Why?

I think has to do with the following:

  • Miscommunication between the client and the inbound marketing consultant. This goes back to communicating the message, verbally and visually!
  • Fear of loss! Rather than stand up to the new client and tell them a new direction is required, that to simply add the new media on an old idea is folly and will result in a Meatball Sundae, many inbound marketing consultants will take the line of least resistance and go along with what the client wants, even if it is wrong, rather than lose a client. In most cases, you will lose the client anyway, particularly if you can’t stand up to them and convey your message. So, it is much wiser to stick to your guns early than to flee a sinking ship later and be blamed for it.
  • An unqualified inbound marketing consultant. While this is becoming increasingly rare as the incompetent are weeded out by a sort of natural selection, incompetence does exist and it gives the entire inbound marketing consulting industry a black-eye.
  • An inadequate budget to get the job done properly. Yes, organic listings are free…but a solid and effective inbound strategy is not. Do not make a sale just to make a sale…it will come back and bite you. And, there is a very good chance you won’t get paid.
  • A client unwilling or unable to see the big picture and move beyond an outbound marketing mindset to take advantage of the new media and effective, search-based inbound marketing strategies…including the inbound marketing central hub model.

The fact is, an inbound marketing central hub strategy makes sense, it is easy to understand, and it works!

Inbound marketing is about targeting the proper audience or target market and then creating interest through an interesting and effective USP (unique selling proposition), developing quality content, and increasing brand awareness in the marketplace.

The new media is one of the most effective ways to get your client’s message out. An inbound marketing central hub strategy will focus the attention inward, towards the principal Internet real estate or, to put it bluntly, the money page. Then, it is about conversion strategies and metrics.

If an inbound marketing strategy is ultimately developed in such a way as to focus traffic, leads, and so on in towards the center, the center being the central hub where the call to action can be found, again, the money page, then it is all about creating a landing page that converts.

And that means an integral compenent is the inbound marketing strategy is testing.

Metrics!

Test! Test! Test!

As stated, The Ultimate Internet Image Central Hub Strategy entails developing a central hub, first in the form of a central site, and then driving traffic to the hub from various points online (also hubs and we will develop this over time) to the money site and the to the traditional brick and mortar business, association, organization, or professional practice.

Once the business has acquired the client’s information, either as a result of some of enticement or as part of the sales process, the final stage in the inbound marketing strategy begins:

Short term and long term relationship building!

The chief aim is to get the prospect to opt-in to a lead capture system of some sort or drop them straight onto a sales page of some sort (depending on the type of client you are dealing with). In every instance, the idea is to convert the inbound marketing prospect into a client and then develop a client for life, some say “customer for life,” by attending to the relationship building process after the sale.

In effect, the relationship begins with the initial transaction and a relationship builds from there.

The entire process is a step by step relationship building one that:

  • Delivers a client from somewhere online
  • Places them in a sales funnel that makes it easy to track, measure, and convert
  • Produces an initial transaction
  • Builds on the initial transaction creating a client for life

Once we are able to do all of that, we have an inbound marketing central hub strategy that works.

Drop them into the funnel, direct them toward the central hub, convert them from new prospects into clients, and then build a relationship that created life-long clients, patients, donors, and friends.

We will discuss how to take a prospective client through the sales funnel in an upcoming post. We will also discuss how to tap into the greatest resource your inbound marketing client owns, their database of current clients, clients who have trusted them in the past and, even if sorely neglected, will do so in the future if they are contacted and developed properly.

An aside: Many of these articles, blog posts, and videos are just the tip of the iceberg, as I have noted before. If you are an inbound marketing consultant or someone considering the sales and inbound marketing services of The Ultimate Internet Image, please feel free to contact us anytime. We will be happy to discuss any of these topics at length and in much greater depth.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and please leave a comment.

Your feedback is appreciated!

Contact UII anytime!

John Zajaros
The Ultimate Internet Image
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
Skype: johnzajaros1
216-712-7004
440-821-7018 (cell)

Note: I have made every attempt to provide proper attribution for source materials and images. I have actually added links I didn’t have to in an attempt to be fair. The links are to sites claiming to own the rights to and/or have permission to use the images below. I have taken every precaution and have not used some images I would have liked to because I could not get in touch with the individuals or companies I needed to in order to obtain permission. If you know of better images or would like to have me post your images here in a subsequent post, I would be happy to do so. Just leave a comment and I will get back to you quickly. Thank you!

Inbound Marketing: Laying the Groundwork for Page One Dominance

The Initial Inbound Marketing Consultation:

Discussing Inbound Marketing Strategies, AdWords,

Social Media, SEO Factors, and a Secret Ingredient

Whenever I meet with a prospective inbound marketing client for the first time the conversation invariably settles upon what the most effective marketing strategies, those required to build a significant Internet presence, what we at UII refer to as The Ultimate Internet image.

The most common advertising and inbound marketing related questions I am asked in the initial consultation have to do with getting to Google’s page one as soon as possible, and staying there.

AdWords: Many prospective clients invariably ask about paid advertising and, in particular, Google AdWords (PPC or pay-per-click) as a means of getting to page one quickly. My response is always the same:

“It depends on what your goals are, short term and long term, how deep your pockets are, and how thick your skin is.”

That is not always a popular answer…but it’s the truth!

There is no faster way to get to page one and stay there, guaranteed, than to pay for it. However, if a prospective client isn’t familiar with PPC advertising, the risks as well as the rewards, it is generally not a great place to start an inbound marketing consulting relationship. That being said, I do work with clients with sizable AdWords budgets from day one and they’ve done quite well.

However, you must have clearly defined parameters going in and there has to be a degree of comfort and confidence that usually takes time to build with a new inbound marketing consulting client.

OK! Back to organic inbound marketing strategies!

Social Media: Once we dispose of the AdWords question, the next question that comes up has to do with social media.

Social media is everywhere!

Social media is on Primetime TV with various NCIS characters checking their Facebook pages while solving crimes and being “friended” by employers and fellow employees. When I say social media is everywhere, I mean it’s everywhere! It is rare for the nightly news to run without some mention of Facebook or Twitter or YouTube. The problem is, many prospective inbound marketing clients have seen and heard the hype, they have been exposed to the sales pitch, but they understand very little about how it works or what it takes to pull off a successful social media management campaign.

Notice I didn’t say social media marketing campaign?

That’s because, if you have read any of my previous posts you already know this, social media marketing is an oxymoron. Why? Because, in every instance, attempting to market anything overtly via social media is not only ineffective…it is indeed moronic.

I probably lost a couple of readers with that statement…but so be it!

Advising a client to market anything other than a solid Internet image, an online presence via social media is playing Russian roulette with your client’s brand. Social media marketing puts your client at risk for Terms of Service (TOS) violations and having your client’s brand name permanently banned from the social media platform in question.

It is an unnecessary risk and it is a disservice to your client.

Enough said!

Finally, after we have gotten through paid advertising and social media, we get around to talking about websites, which we will cover in great detail in an upcoming blog post, and then to the best ways to get to Google’s page one organically.

The best ways to get to page one of any of the search engine results pages or SERPs, and stay there, are:

  • SEO: I am talking about a well designed program from the bottom up and that sometimes means dismantling the existing Internet image and starting over from square one with the proper foundation and the right architecture. This is a radical approach but if your client is nowhere to be found on the SERPs for the keywords necessary and their PR (page rank) is 0/10, what do you have to lose? Better to start fresh and do it right. If you do so, Google, Yahoo, and Bing will reward you, at least in the short term, and certainly long enough to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
  • Links: There are a number of different kinds of links and we will discuss them all in depth later. For now, all your new inbound marketing client needs to know is that links are the way the Internet confers authority on your site, on your Internet image. Links are the Internet’s way of saying: “This webiste offers something of value, it has something to offer!” Links from the right kind of sites, related sites with an equal or higher PR than your own, will enhance your Internet image and your authority online.
  • Pages: Pages alone are not enough. However, pages are generally a reflection of the time and attention paid to the site by the webmaster, owner of the business, inbound marketing consultancy, or whoever is responsible for its upkeep. After all, if a website is getting enough attention to build pages on a consistent basis, chances are also very good that the type of content offered on those pages is good. Usually…not always…but usually. Interestingly, if your site has a lot of pages the new ones will get indexed quickly. There are a number of advantages to developing a big site filled with quality content as quickly as possible and then continuing to build over time.
  • Content: Some say Video is King and others say Content is King. The fact is, both are so incredibly important you simply cannot have an effective inbound marketing campaign without both. Content affects your message and, without the proper message conveyed in just the right way, your blog posts, articles, descriptions, and so on will not be read. If your video does not offer quality content, it will not be watched. Video without great content is useless. Articles without quality content are useless. Blog posts without quality content are useless. Meta descriptions without….Well, you get the picture. Additionally, the more content you add, the more often you add it, and the more related pages it builds, the higher your ranking is going to be.
  • Longevity: Longevity is one of those things you just can’t push. The time your website has been around is pretty much set in stone. That being said, you can tweak it a bit. Interestingly, many webmasters and inbound marketing consultants fail to take advantage of these small adjustments that, cumulatively, make a big difference. One of the best things you can do in this regard is to purchase your domain name for at least two and, optimally, five years…up front. Domain age is a crucial factor and it has been noted by many SEO authorities that investing in your domain reflects well on your site and the search engines reward you for the investment. There are other factors and we will discuss them in our next post.
  • There are reportedly as many as 200 different SEO factors that affect your overall ranking. That’s right, 200! Some of the others include:
    • Keyword in the URL
    • Keyword in the Domain name
    • Keyword in the title tag – close to the beginning (10 to 60 characters)
    • Keywords in Description – It is said Google no longer relies on it but they do in fact still use it on occasion
    • Keyword in the keyword meta tag – be careful with this one of you can be penalized for getting it wrong (see link in resources below)
    • Keyword density in the body text – Careful! 5-20% of all keywords in total but watch for % threshold
    • Keyword density for individual keywords – 1% to 6 %
    • Keywords in Heading tags – H1, H2 & H3
    • And so on! Like I said…200!

There are many more issues covered during the initial inbound marketing consultation, particularly as we begin the process of building an inbound marketing strategy designed to get our client to page one.

The SERP page one ranking for the various keyword phrases determined to be of greatest significance for lead, appointment, and traffic generation, and ultimately converting the leads to sales,  is crucial to our new client’s success.

Every factor must be addressed, all 200 SEO factors as well as the additional inbound marketing components mentioned above and others we have yet to discuss.

Ultimately, your inbound marketing client’s success is based on how well you communicate what you will be doing and how your new client can help. Significantly, there is one final component that is necessary, one characteristic that can make your job easy and your inbound marketing strategy a success.

Without it, your inbound marketing strategy will certainly fail!

And that secret ingredient is:

Patience!

All of the above will come together if patience is part of the overall marketing strategy. With the addition of quality video and articles (which we will discuss next), along with an ongoing blogging strategy, your inbound marketing strategy will surely succeed. However, if your client is not willing to invest the one ingredient that must come from them, you should part friends before you begin.

Without patience in the mix, there is no amount of money that will be worth the aggravation of attempting to deal with an impatient client.

Key Point: If you explain things clearly up front and do not make promises you have absolutely no control over, you will have a great relationship and your new inbound marketing client will allow you the time and the flexibility you need to deliver amazing results.

However, if you make outlandish claims in order to make a quick sale, it will come back to bite you (you know where) every time.

Ultimately, and I am certain this goes without saying for the vast majority of inbound marketing consultants out there: be honest; be realistic; and, do your homework. If you do those three things, you will have a client long term and you will be able to deliver results that will make you look like a super hero; and, you will make your client a lot of money!

How great is that?

Next we will cover video marketing and distribution followed by article marketing and distribution. Then, we will discuss various website options and why I do everything but stand on my head to get new clients off the idea of a static website on into something far more effective. Then, we will cover linking and how to get more sites to link to you.

An aside: Don’t always believe what Alexa tells you about links, or traffic for that matter. Use Google Analytics and Quantcast, as well as one or two others that we will discuss in the coming weeks, for a more accurate picture. Google and Yahoo also seem to keep better track of links and reflect a more accurate number of indexed pages. We will discuss how to use all of these measures, and more, very soon.

If you have questions, contact me anytime. Please leave comments or feedback…I would love to hear from you!

John Zajaros
The Ultimate Internet Image
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
Skype: johnzajaros1
216-712-7004

Resources:

Check out Vaughn’s Summaries for all 200 SEO Factors

Google Analytics

Quantcast

Alexa

Inbound Marketing, Internet Usage Trends, and The Digital Future Report 2010

Marketing Myopia: Inbound Marketing, Hybrid Marketing, and the Offline World

While a recent blog post published on the Hubspot blog entitled Survey: 0% of Internet Users Would Pay for Twitter, written by Kip Bodnar, grabbed my attention for a number of reasons, including the title, there were several significant online advertising and Internet marketing takeaways to be derived from the post and the  original resource used for the post, The Digital Future Project 2010: Surveying The Digital Future YEAR NINE (see resources below).

The title took me back for about half a second because as an inbound marketing consultant I look at Twitter as a resource with multiple applications, a tool, a vehicle, and a means to an end.

Significantly, the majority of people do not view Twitter in those terms, they view Twitter as an end in-and-of-itself. Interestingly, most users look at Twitter as a way to communicate with the world 140 characters at a time, and they have no way to monetize it…nor do they want to.

That being said, a significant minority do engage in buying and selling behavior:

  • 42% of Twitter users use Twitter to find out about products and services
  • 41% provide opinions about products and services
  • 31% ask for opinions about products and services
  • 28% look for discounts
  • 21% purchase products and services
  • 19% seek customer support

These numbers are based on  Twitter Usage In America: 2010 – The Edison Research/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Study by Tom Webster, VP of Strategy and Marketing for Edison Research. For more on this study , see the link to the video below under resources.

In fact, and here’s the kicker, most Twitter users look at marketing and the monetization of Twitter as an intrusion and an interruption. Incredibly, everything we mainatin as being wrong with outbound marketing (intrusion, interruption, etc), many Internet marketing “gurus” and inbound marketers (many in name only) are pulling the same shenanigans online.

Yup! Intrusion and interruption!

So, here is the million dollar question:

Where is the balance?

And, more to the point, how can we achieve a balance so we don’t alienate the prospective clients we are trying to attract while still getting our message out?

This is the typical marketing strategy on Twitter:

Throw up a Twitter page, throw up some links, Seth Godin calls it yodeling, I call it shouting (or something else) into the wind, tie into Twitter search for the keywords being targeted, watch for what is trending, and then:

Spam! Spam! Spam!

The same is now being done with Facebook Fan Pages, complete with lead capture systems, glitzy graphics, and giveaways.

All for the elusive…or not-so-elusive:

“Like!”

We have indeed taken the old stuff, thrown some whipped cream and sprinkles on it and created a very ugly and nasty tasting concoction…

A Meatball Sundae!

As I moved through the Hubspot post several questions popped into my head. That shouldn’t be surprising if you’ve read any of my previous work…or if you read the post critically, as I am ceratin many of you have. It wasn’t so much what was written in the Hubspot post as what was written in their resource material; and, what had been left out.

Whenever I see a quote, I always check the source for the “rest of the story.” I guess it is the scientist in me?

So, the Hubspot post lead me to the resource document and that really opened my eyes! Then, the resource document led me to an additional worldwide report (see link below) and a number of additional issues, questions, and challenges surfaced.

Ultimately, the Hubspot post turned out to be the tip of a virtual Mount Everest-sized inbound marketing iceberg!

I was going in several different directions by then.

I will explore several of the issues below but the main takeaway from the Hubspot post had to do with something I have been writing and talking about for some time now:

I call it marketing myopia but it may also be referred to as inbound marketing myopia!

This is a huge marketing takeaway!

Marketing myopia has to do with bias. Because inbound marketing consultants work with the Internet each and every day, we tend to think everyone else does…and they do not!

While an increasingly large number of households have Internet access and approximately 82-84% of all Americans use the Internet to some degree (numbers vary with source), the degree of usage is a crucial factor…as is the age cohort, the demographic group of the individual or individuals and how they fit into your marketing.

In other words, are they part of your target market?

I will attempt to explain how marketing myopia, and in particular inbound marketing myopia, relates to what we do as inbound marketing consultants. And, I will also attempt to explain how our perspective, and our approach to marketing our client’s message, their USP (unique selling proposition) and their brand, have a direct impact on our results and, consequently, on our marketing client’s Internet image and their brand.

While marketing myopia isn’t mentioned in the Hubspot post per se, what is mentioned are some of the findings of a University of Southern Califiornia (USC) study conducted by Jeffrey Cole, Director of the Center for Digital Future at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Dr. Cole has been at the forefront of media and communications research for decades and is recognized internationally as one of the authories in the field.

Interestingly, the findings of the USC study point to what I have been referring to for some time and seem to validate my point that unless a balanced approach to advertising across channels is applied to a client’s marketing strategy, we are doing them a grave disservice.

In other words, marketing has less to do with us versus them, this versus that, inbound versus outbound.

Marketing is about what works. Marketing is about what effectively develops our client’s overall image and their Internet image over time. Marketing is about brand awareness. And, of course, marketing is about sales over time leading to an ongoing relationship and a healthy bottom line.

Marketing is a balancing act and marketing is about reaching your client’s target audience with a message they will be receptive to and will act upon.

In other words:

  • Views
  • Clicks
  • Comments
  • Feedback
  • Leads
  • Appointments
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • Sales
  • Upsells
  • Downsells
  • Referrals
  • Ongoing Relationship
  • Profitability

Yes, it is true that we have witnessed a paradigm shift and many are now fully invested in what has been referred to as the new media and permission marketing. We have witnessed the rapid evolution of permission marketing. We have also witnessed several offshoots and now we have:

  • Permission Marketing
  • Relationship Marketing
  • New Media Marketing
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Web 2.0
  • And  so on!

While we have witnessed all of this and more, and this is significant, there remains another world out there, an offline world, and it would be folley, particularly as marketers, to ignore it.

The challenge is, as it has always been:

How to do effectively reach ALL of our clients’ target markets?

The Good Ole Days and Outbound Marketing

I remember the good ole days, and Seth Godin alludes to them right off the bat in his book Meatball Sundae, it was 1964 and all you had to do was throw enough money at an average product and you were set. In fact, the same was true in 1974 and even in 1984…down turns, oil embargos, and recessions aside.

Publish a full page spread in the Sunday Plain Dealer or the Chicago Tribune or the New York Times (if you had really deep pockets) and you were set. In fact, all you had to do was sit back and wait for the traffic because it was pretty much a done deal!

There were “Invitation Only Sunday Sales” at car dealerships, all done by direct mail. Invitees stood in lines, many times for 2 or 3 hours, for a $500 savings and free steak knives!

Better still?

If you got your commercial on Bonanza or the FBI, “Starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr.,” on Sunday nights?

You could make book that Monday morning you would be busy taking orders, a lot of orders. Those two shows, and others like them, were family institutions and the equivalent of a Super Bowl ad playing once a week.

The world was different and those days are gone!

Or are they?

***I would argue there are a lot of people who still sit down and watch American Idol and Criminal Minds, there are still people who sit down on Sunday morning with a cup of coffee or a can of Diet Coke and read the New York Times, there are people who still listen to their favorite radio station, and there are still people who get home from work and the first thing out of their mouth is:

Yup!

“Did we get any mail?”

There are people who have a computer but rarely turn it on, there are people who can’t set up an email account and have no inclination to learn now, and there are people that will never use a cell phone, will never send an Instant Message, have no idea what Skype is, have no idea what a tweet is, and they still think MySpace is a website for kids!

OK! Back to the future!

The 1950s through the early 1970s were the Wild Wild West for many advertising, marketing, and PR firms, particularly the 50s and 60s. Things remained good through the late 1980s, with the exception of a few hiccups in the economy.

Embargoes, Recessions, and Carter…Oh my!

In the old days, advertisers had a captive audience and, as long as we (advertising firms) put our clients’ products in front of viewers enough times, we looked like heroes.

Radio stations synced their ads at specific times, so there was no running away from them, you could flip stations but just got more of the same, more commercials. Television shows all had their commercial breaks at the same moments so, other than a bathroom break, you weren’t likely to stray to another channel, at least until cable came along and ruined the party…and the monopoly on your time.

As a result, we lived with the intrusions, we lived with the commercials. Some people bought 8-track tapes, cassettes, and then CDs. Or they bought VHS tapes, then DVDs, and finally Blue Ray and HDDVDs…and so on.

I would suggest there is a very large segment of our population that still lives in the offline world and avoids intrusions in the old fashioned way.

Is it shrinking? To be sure!

But it is still there and they can only be reached by effectively marketing to them in addition to your inbound marketing strategies.

Heresy?

Perhaps. But it is also reality.

There are two worlds and you must market to both!

Enter the Internet, New Media, and Inbound Marketing

The Digital Future Report 2010

  • Americans: Over the 80% barrier. 82% of all Americans use the Internet in some way.
  • 19 Hours Weekly: While the average time per week is 19 hours and 66% of all Americans report having used the Internet for more than a decade, the most significant gains have been the year-to-year gains over the past 2 years.
  • Internet Usage and Age-Related Trends: Interestingly, 100% of individuals under 24 years of age report Internet usage (saturation due to expose in schools?). The report notes that a surprisingly high number of individuals from age 36 through 55 are not Internet users. In the age bracket from 36 to 45 years of age 15% are non-users. The age bracket from 46 to 55 shows 19% of all Americans in that age cohort are non-users.
  • Incredibly, while the youngest age cohort, the under 24 years of age grouping, has accepted and uses the new media, the majority of the remaining groups go not (and this too goes along with what I’ve been saying about marketing myopia and two worlds):
    • 24 years of age and older: 50% do not use Instant Messaging (IM)
    • 24 years of age and older: 79% do not work on a blog
    • 24 years of age and older: 80% do not participate bin cat rooms
    • 24 years of age and older: 85% do not make or receive phone calls online

Marketing Myopia

One can only guess what the numbers look like for other forms of new media. Once again, this makes my point about their being in fact two worlds and focusing on one (inbound marketing) to the exclusion of the other (through other effective forms of advertising) is folly and leaves a huge gap in your market strategy. You will fail to reach a large portion of your client’s target audience…particularly if they are older.

  • Technophobe versus Technophile: The techophobes are gaining ground! The longstanding debate has taken an interesting turn and, of the individuals 16 years of age and older who thought that communication technology made the world a better place in 2002 (66%), now only 56% believe we are better for the communication technology we share. Interestingly, the gains made in the eight year period from 2002 through 2010, when the study was released, are disproportionately vast when viewed against the gains of the previous decade…and yet we seem to be going backwards. Are we in for a technological backlash? And, what sort of implications would that have for inbound marketing?
  • Politics and the Internet: The most interesting case of Internet usage for political gain is the last Presidential election in the United States.  Perry Marshall offers an interesting recording of a discussion he had with David Bullock. Bullock de-constructed the Obama campaign one slice at a time and the results are interesting, to put it mildly.
    • Interestingly, The Digital Future Project 2010 report states that while 70% of all users agree that the Internet is an important component in political campaigns, significantly less than half (29%) believe it will give people more say in government and less still (27%) believe politicians will be any more responsive or will care more about what people think.

The Internet and Buying Behavior

  • Buying Online: 65% of all adult Internet users make purchases online. Interestingly, this number has not increased since 2008. That means that of an estimated population of 310,232,863 (CIA July 2010 est) with 15 years of age and over population of 247,852,853, adjusting for those individuals between 15 and 18, approximately 97,500,000 adults make an average of 35.2 purchases per year online, up from 34.1% in 2008. That’s a staggering 3,432,000,000 purchases per year in the United States alone! That’s 3 and one-half billion, with a “B,” purchases annually. Not dollars…purchases. The dollar amounts are mind-boggling!
    • What goes to my argument about marketing myopia is that 35% of the adult buying population is not being accounted for. Think about those buying numbers, particularly in light of the fact that they are likely to be generated by the older and more-affluent portion of the age cohorts from 36 to 45, 46 to 55, and 56 to 65. These are the age cohorts using the Internet less and yet they are a huge part of the economy. Marketing myopia?
    • And this is huge, the buying behavior of teens is not adequately accounted for in this study. This oversight may be a major flaw in this research. Teen buying behavior, given a 100% penetration as far as usage goes, cannot be overlooked.
  • Internet Sales Impact on Traditional Brick and Mortar Retail Business: If 82% of all Americans use the Internet and 61% have said they purchase less through traditional retail stores as a result of their online buying (down from 69% in 2008, interesting, perhaps the novelty has worn off for some?), what does this trend suggest even if reversed slightly of late? Depending on what set of figures you use, 124,000,000 people (being conservative) are buying less “at the store.” In this instance, the numbers      suggest that if traditional brick and mortar businesses do not make the shift and create an Internet image many will be extinct in less than 5 years, probably less than 3. Well, the picture is not rosy, is it?
  • Purchases Online – Top 10 Internet: If you are an inbound marketing consultant and you are working with brick and mortar retail clients in these niches? Get them online yesterday!
    • 59% Books and Clothing
    • 55% Misc Gifts
    • 53% Travel
    • 47% Electronics and Appliances
    • 46% Videos
    • 41% Computers and Peripherals
    • 40% Software or Games
    • 40% CDs
    • 38% Hobby Supplies

The Center for the Digital Future study noted above and entitled The Digital Future Project 2010 has 203 pages of useful data. The research in the study can be used to better inform your marketing clients. The highlights of this report are available free but the full report or reports, there is also the World Internet Project 2010 report, are only available in complete form as part of a license purchase running anywhere from $500 for an Individual License of a single report to $2000 for a Corporate License for both reports.

The report is worth the investment, both in terms of time and dollars. The Digital Future Project is the most important and longest running longitudinal study focusing on Internet usage and the impact of usage behavior, trust, trends, advertising, and marketing online.

In other words, this is a must for anyone engaged in advertising and marketing consulting…and particularly for inbound marketing consultants.

Ultimately, the Hubspot post, the other resources they used, and the reports I added here to bring you this overview are all suggestive.

Marketing is still in a transitional period and the ultimate reality may be very different from the one we are experiencing today.

How will it differ?

I would suggest a hybrid marketing approach will emerge. I believe the hybrid marketing strategy will offset the current Internet marketing – inbound marketing mania or craze we are currently in. The love affair with the new media and Web 2.0!

Why? Because it is the nature of the beast!

We have a tendency, particularly in the United States to:

  • Adopt something wholeheartedly, often to an extreme.
  • Then, after a period of time there is a knee-jerk reaction, a tendency to sway back in the opposite direction, almost as a correction for going overboard to begin with.
  • Finally, we achieve a balance, something we would have created to begin with if we hadn’t been so darned excited about the new stuff….the new toppings…the new media.

Much of what we see will be gone in 5 years, in 10 years we will laugh at ourselves for our foolishness.

Doubt me? Think about some of the trends we have jumped in on with both feet and lived to regret…or at least laugh about.

In the meantime we have to figure out how best to serve our clients with the resources we have. As marketing consultants our responsibility isn’t to the communication vehicle, it isn’t to the media, it’s to the client!

If it takes jumping upside down on green bananas to get the job done you have a choice…don’t you?

Right now the green bananas are Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and Vimeo and EzineArticles and so many more for the inbound marketing consultant. And, they remain well-designed and well-thought out direct mail pieces and campaigns, follow up thank you cards, asking for referrals and then following up on them, tracking traffic onsite and engaging walk-in traffic so you can track them whether they make a purchase on the first visit or not, and a myriad of other tried-and-true marketing methods that work. and that cannot be considered inbound, and are perhaps not strictly outbound, although some are, and they work!

Actually, there is enough here for several books on marketing. In fact, there have been several very good ones written on inbound marketing. There is also a lot of other “stuff” out there, “stuff” (the four letter kind) that is a complete waste of your time and mine. And that is the topic of another blog post, a post on trust and the quality of online material. Many people are losing faith, they simply do not trust what they read online to be useful and accurate.

Everything I have written here can be verified and I have posted the links below, something I rarely do. However, this material is important and it is very dense. So, it may be helpful to walk in my shoes and discover, as I have, that there is another picture out there and it hasn’t fully developed yet.

One thing is for sure…it will be interesting. Marketing is never dull!

I hope you will comment on what you have read here…if you are still reading! If you are, thank you…it is appreciated! Please, provide your own insight. It will greatly enhance ever reader’s time here.

Thanks for stopping, for reading, and, hopefully, for commenting!

John Zajaros
The Ultimate Internet Image
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
Skype: johnzajaros1
216-712-7004

Inbound Marketing and Communication Media Resources

The Ultimate Internet Image, Inbound Marketing: Twitter Usage 2010 Video by Edison Research

Main Page of The Center for the Digital Future

The Digital Future Project 2010 (link to highlights and full report)

Ericsson’s 2020 Shaping Ideas (Very Useful and Insightful)

The World Internet Project International Report 2010 (303 pgs, 463 Graphs, 9 Major Areas of Study, 87 Specific Subjects and Detailed Responses)

Hubspot: 0% of Internet Users Would pay for Twitter

Dave Bullock’s Report on the Obama Campaign and the De-Construction of Social Media

Perry Marshall’s Interview of Dave Bullock Re: Obama’s Social Media Campaign

CIA Population Statistics

Ideas, the New Media, and the Inbound Marketing Week in Review

Monday Morning Quarterbacking and the Inbound Marketing Week in Review

Many of the observations I’ve made and ideas I’ve had over the past week are still floating around in my head from last night’s post: Inbound Marketing Week In Review – Inbound Marketing, the New Media, and Meatball Sundaes.

I was still weighing two or three ideas for this past week’s Inbound Marketing Week in Review when I settled on the list of new media and inbound marketing topics I wrote about, the topics I usually cover with my inbound marketing consulting clients…and my take on them.

In a way I am of the Stephen King School of Writing. I get an idea, or a thought begins to crystallize in my mind, and I will either let it sit in my head and see if it takes hold, or I will write it down in my notebook and let it sit there instead. In either instance, I will wait and see if it has traction, if it takes shape over a few days to a week. If it hasn’t taken shape or I haven’t done anything with it after a few days, chances are I never will and it really wasn’t that good or that exciting, at least to me, to begin with.

However, every once in while I get an idea that does take hold!

When I get an idea that grabs me, something with some traction, a sense of excitement comes along with it. The excitement begins to build and that’s when I know I really have something. The idea then moves to the next stage and I begin to write an article or a blog post. On occasion, I take the idea and create a video. But that’s the topic for another article or blog post.

See? It never ends!

The same process I use for developing ideas holds for the articles I write. I begin writing articles all the time, some days I begin several. I begin reading several books at once too. It’s just they way my mind works. It really isn’t about focus, it’s more about appetite.

Then, once I have several ideas that have taken shape and articles or blog posts have been started, one of the articles usually takes off. The article or post will either take shape immediately, and that’s when it is fun because everything just flows, or it will sit for a time. If I let something sit and it makes sense when I reread it, then I know I have something.

The funny thing about many articles and blog posts I write, even at this stage, is that they just don’t stand the test of time. What looked great as an idea and even started off nicely as an article or post just kind of fizzles out. Actually, there are quite a few more that fizzle than pop!

It’s just that way with ideas, and articles, they may seem great when they first pop into my head but only a few stand the test of time and fewer still stand the written test.

Significantly, ideas are a lot like dreams, they are fleeting. As a result, ideas should be written down or otherwise cataloged. If you try to remember dreams, you can’t. The same is true of ideas, most ideas you have are gone a few minutes later, so if you want to keep them, write them down or record them.

Recording Ideas

I use a digital recorder and a lot of little black books for my ideas. The Little Black Books are made by Moleskine and I buy them by the dozens. I use them for ideas and for taking notes at meetings with clients. I am never without one. I’d love to say I thought of it on my own but such notable artists, thinkers, writers, and scholars as Van Gogh, Picaso, Hemingway, and Chatwin have used the very same notebooks for the past 200 years.

So, if it is good enough for them….

The nice thing about all of this is that in writing everything down, ideas are never an issue. Or rather, lack of ideas is never an issue. Interestingly, ideas that seemed very good and very important when floating around in the gray matter often do not stand the test of time or the test of ink and paper.

Yet, others do!

There are times when there are so many ideas I simply do not know where to begin. It is a nice problem to have and it all begins with writing ideas down, working the ones that really seem hot, giving the rest some time to percolate, and then building upon the ones with legs.

This is one of those occassions! Lately, I have a lot of ideas and not enough time in the day…or at least not enough of me to go around! It’s not because I’m some sort of a machine when it comes to great ideas. In fact, most of my ideas are terrible. But in writing them down or using my digital recorder to store them, and then putting them through the process described above, I am never at a loss for solid ideas. Once I get to the point where I feel I have a few solid ideas, then I begin to apply them and see if they survive.

At times like this, when I have so many in the queue, so many that seem to be solid, I simply use the most scientific method I know. I close my eyes and point!

No, not really…but almost!

I generally pick the ideas I can get excited about, the ones that intrigue me the most, because those are the ones I’ll put more time and effort into. And those are the ones that are likely to work for my inbound marketing consulting clients.

The Ultimate Dilemma: “Choose Wisely Grasshopper!

Yes, I like to pick ideas to work on that intrigue and excite me but this is also the real world and I have to eat. Ideas with no hope of generating even a little interest are shelved, not forgotten, particularly if they seem interesting to me, just put aside for a time when I can play with them.

As an inbound marketing consultant I have a myriad of responsibilities, many of them are vitally important. Many of my responsibilities as an inbound marketing consultant will have a direct impact on whether or not my client stays in business. That is not arrogance or conceit, it’s the truth…and it is humbling. If you are not just a little in awe of the repsonsibility you have, you probably should think about doing something else for a living.

I’ve stated time and time again, as inbound marketing consultants, we hold a scared trust!

As inbound marketing consultants we are responsible for the success or failure of our clients’ businesses. When everything else is pealed away, it is our ability, or inability, to apply our ideas to the new media, and hence to the inbound marketing strategy we develop for our client that will define the overall success of the business, practice, organization, or association we are working with.

The better the ideas, the better they will translate and apply to the new media, the better the inbound marketing strategy!

Seth Godin’s Meatball Sundae

As Seth Godin has stated on more than one occasion and in more than one way (read: Meatball Sundae), the health and welfare of a company is a direct reflection of the effectiveness of its marketing. In today’s world, that means the use of new media in the right way and not simply as a new “topping” on an old organization.

Inbound marketing strategies are based on original ideas, and the ability of its inbound marketing consultant to shape how the new media is applied to a new way of doing business.

Ideas! Ideas! Ideas!

A great idea often means the difference between success and just another Meatball Sundae….some of the new marking stuff sprinkled on top of the old organization.

So, get a lot of ideas in the hopper and then do your homework. Check for interest, trends, keywords and keyword phrases with legs, and then apply your ideas to the new media and your inbound marketing strategy.

Then, be prepared to do a few things:

  1. Think of more inbound marketing ideas!
  2. Test more inbound marketing ideas!
  3. Apply more inbound marketing ideas!

The success of failure of your inbound marketing strategy has everything to do with the ideas you are able to generate and how you process them; and then apply them to the new media.

Ultimately, your client’s success and yours are inextricably linked so happy idea hunting. The nice thing is you really don’t have to hunt for ideas, ideas are in infinite number. You are constrained only by your imagination and your ability to recognize and apply ideas once envisioned.

Inbound marketing is and exciting and intriguing endeavor. All things are possible if you simply open the floodgates of your mind. Prepare yourself to receive, and then record, the myriad inbound marketing ideas, good and bad, that will issue forth!

Good luck and don’t forget The Little Black Book and a small, handheld digital recorder. In combination, they will transform your life and your inbound marketing consultancy.

John Zajaros
The Ultimate Internet Image
Lakewood, Ohio
Skype: johnzajaros1
216-712-7004

How to Create an Inbound Marketing Strategy Using the New Media

Inbound Marketing A through Z: Beginning a Marketing Consultancy – Part III

Once you have come to know your prospective client and have agreed to go forward, making sure you will be able to work together for some time to come, it is time to get down to business!

Up until now the discussion has been about strategies and branding, unique selling propositions (unique selling point – USP) and video marketing, the power of the new media to build relationships and how inbound marketing is the best thing since sliced bread. You have no doubt discussed how, with the proper mix of inbound and outbound marketing strategies to include blogging and the use of social media, you will be able to enhance your new client’s Internet image, getting them to page one of the various search engine results pages (SERPs) for the keywords that will reach their target audience.

If you are really sharp, you have also discussed how you will, at the same time, use traditional marketing, now referred to as old media, outbound marketing strategies, to gain additional traction.

Please note: It is crucial to use what works.

Marketing is not an either-or proposition, as in inbound marketing or outbound advertising, it is about converting leads, prospects, and prospective patients into life-long customers, clients, and patients. The proper marketing strategy will yield an ongoing relationship that profits both sides of the equation for years to come.

When viewed as a comprehensive strategy, there is one goal:

To increase traffic to the website and through the door, literally or figuratively, converting traffic into leads, appointments, and sales; thus building a relationship before, during, and after the initial sale and, as stated, gaining a client for life.

How?

Well, whether you are reading this as a marketing consultant beginning to build your own inbound marketing consultancy or as a prospective marketing client, attempting to get an idea of what is in store for you if you take the next step and initiate a formal, inbound marketing consultation and competitive analysis, the process is fairly straightforward.

If you have been through the inbound marketing consultation, whether as the consultant or as a prospective client, you will know many things about your niche and your target market.

The information you need can be derived from the following resources:

  • First, “Google” you’re your client’s business name and personal information, if relevant.
  • Alexa Rank
    • Traffic Stats: Daily Traffic Rank Trend (up or down over 30 and 90 days)
    • Reach (percent of global Internet users who visit your site if your client has one)
    • Pageviews (percent of global pageviews)
    • Pageviews/User (daily pageviews per user)
    • Bounce % (the percentage of visits that consist of a single pageview)
    • Time in Site (daily time of site)
    • Search % (the percentage of visits that come from a search engine)
    • Search Analytics
      • Search Traffic
      • Top Queries from Search Traffic
      • Search Traffic on the Rise and Decline (based on keywords)
      • High Impact Search Queries (popular queries relevant to the client’s site)
    • Audience
      • Audience Demographics
      • Visitors by Country
    • And much more
  • Quantcast
    • Daily, Weekly, Monthly Traffic
      • Per Person
      • Visits
      • Pageviews
      • Pageviews per Person
      • Visits per Person
      • Global Traffic Frequency
    • Geographic Data
      • Countries
      • States
    • Demographics
    • Business
      • Small
      • Medium
      • Large
      • Business Activity
  • Google
    • Keywords (Free Adwords – External Keyword Tool)
      • Wonder Wheel
      • Current Trends
      • Video for Keywords
      • And much more!
    • Analytics
    • Page Rank
    • Ultimate SEO Tool
    • Google Rankings
  • Market Samurai – In my opinion the best overall keyword tool available
    • Keyword Research
    • SEO Competition Research
      • Extremely useful analysis of page one competition, analyzing a myriad of factors
    • Page Rank Research
  • SpyFu – In my opinion the best competitive analysis tool on the Internet
    • In Depth Keyword Research
    • In Depth Competitive Keyword Research
    • In Depth Competitive Comparison and Analysis
      • Includes competitors’ advertising trends, budgets, keywords purchased, and ads run over the past 12 months
        • Incredibly valuable tool
  • KeywordSpy – Competitive research is on par with SpyFu and should be used together with SpyFu when possible
    • Excellent resource for tracking variables over time
    • Easy to use Mozilla plug-in
    • Amazingly powerful window into just what the competition is doing!
  • Google, Yahoo, and Bing
    • Check for number of pages each of the Big 3 acknowledges
    • Check for number of links

If you have used most or all of the above, you are ready to create an inbound marketing strategy what will work. If you haven’t…what are you waiting for?

If I had to pick 3 tools and was contrained by budgetary concerns, the 3 I would choose are:

In that order!

If budget is not a concern, and it shouldn’t be by the time you begin servicing clients, all of the above mentioned resources are vital. Significantly, most are free.

Research completed, the first step is to create a social media profile. The social media profile should be comprehensive and across an array of niches but focusing primarily on social media sites relevant to your client’s audience.

Use the following socioal media hubs as a guide. There is a great deal of overlap but if you cover the four mentioned below your client will have excellent inititial coverage and you will have an easier time getting their message out.

  • Ping.fm
    • Crucial – I use Ping.fm for all of my clients, daily. Use Ping.fm’s list of “networks,” setting up all of the networks available.
  • OnlyWire
    • As important as Ping.fm and as easy to use – Again, set up all the “services” available.
  • HelloTxt
    • Once again, a very useful hub – set up all the sites that link through HelloTxt.
  • XeeSM
    • Like XeeSM a lot! XeeSM has a super array of apps and is very easy to use. The creators are very responsive and it fills out the four hubs I set up for every client.

If you have set up all four of the social media hubs above your client will have approximately 225 social media profiles and you will be able to control the daily message through the four hubs.

Not bad, huh?

The video sharing and article directories are next.

Video marketing is absolutely crucial for a number of reasons.

You have undoubtedly heard the saying:

Video is king!

Consequently, video is essential to new media, inbound marketing success. We live in the video age. Video will reach incredible numbers quickly and the shelf-life of well produced videos is worth the time and expense to do it right.

The best tool available to get you message out quickly and efficiently is TrafficGeyser (or Traffic Geyser). TrafficGeyser is a powerful resource, one you simply cannot do without. TrafficGeyser combined with something as inexpensive as a $200 Flip MinoHD and a decent tripod will get you started creating quality videos in no time.

TrafficGeyser offers a number of advantages when setting up your client’s inbound marketing strategy:

  • TrafficGeyser allows you to set up multiple profiles for clients, thus allowing you to control all your clients’ campaigns from a single platform. At TrafficGeyser’s Platinum level you will have access to approximately 125 additional sites, including:
    • Social media sites
    • Social bookmarking sites
    • Article directories
    • Video sharing and video marketing sites
    • Podcast sites
    • Blogging sites
    • TrafficGeyser will then allow you to upload blog posts to all of the blogs you set up to reach through TG.
    • TrafficGeyser allows you to upload all your videos to the various video sharing sites, thus saving you hundreds of man-hours over the course of a year. Control all of your accounts through a single interface.
    • TrafficGeyser allows you to post articles to the various article directories with a click.
      • That’s right! You can set up your article directory memberships through TrafficGeyser and then upload them to the various directories from a single platform.
      • This feature allows you to set up all of your article directory profiles from one platform and then control them from your TG account. This is a real timesaver!
      • TrafficGeyser allows you to post to the various podcast sites.
      • TrafficGeyser allows you to set up RSS feeds.

By the time you have completed setting up the first four hubs (Ping, OnlyWire, HelloTxt, XeeSM) and your TrafficGeyser profile for your new client they will have approximately 350 new media marketing profiles across the Internet. With this kind of coverage, provided you create quality content, your client will see a significant bump in traffic, leads, prospects, appointments, and sales within 90 days and a huge jump in the first 12 months.

The secret is really no secret at all, it simply takes quality content delivered consistently over time. If your client already has a USP or you help them create one (upcoming blog post) and combine that with the right inbound marketing strategy using all the resources available to you and mentioned above, you will be a hit and your clients will love you!

The formula is simple:

Links + Longevity + Quality Content = Increased Traffic

A well-focused message will reach the proper target audience. If you develop a unique seeling proposition (USP) that captures your target market’s imagination and deliver quality content over time, you will have people linking to your site and it will increase in authority. Couple the above with a well-constructed video marketing, delivering first-rate, well-written articles to the various directories and you will own you niche in less than a year.

Consistent, quality content delivered over time equals inbound marketing success and guaranteed profitability using the new media.

Above, you have everything you need to get the ball rolling!

In the next article we will talk about site construction, blog versus static website, premium WordPress theme versus the freebies, and the various shopping carts available. We will then get into email marketing and the various providers. We will also consider a number of other resources and various factors to consider when building your client’s Ultimate Internet Image.

I will then go into detail concerning the various resources available to streamline submissions even further, how to upgrade your video equipment, including why and why not, and what audio program is the best and when to use it.

For now?

You have enough to get started, beginning to serve your clients well!

If you would like a comprehensive inbound marketing consultation, to include an assessment of your current marketing strategy, as well as a comprehensive competitive analysis, contact me today at The Ultimate Internet Image (see the number below).

Good luck!

John Zajaros
The Ultimate Internet Image
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
216-712-7004
440-821-7018