Inbound Marketing and Social Media:
A Recipe for Success Online
Inbound marketing is successful when you view it in terms of a combination of permission marketing and search driven marketing. In other words, you want to be where your potential clients are….when your potential clients are searching for your services. If you are not, you will be ineffective and your inbound marketing strategy will fail.
Central Hub: You must view your website in terms of a central hub. The idea is to drive as much traffic as possible to your hub by creating excitement, authority, and, above all, interesting content.
Video: We are in the video generation most online advertising and inbound marketing is driven by video. That is where the lion’s share of your clients will come from. An effective video campaign will send your business soaring, a lackluster video campaign will kill it!
Blogging for Business: Blogging is crucial! In fact, the static website of just a few pages is on its way out…if not dead already! The website that is primarily image-based, particularly when it comes to text, is worthless. You will derive ZERO SEO value from images alone. When a website full of images is crawled, it shows up as blank. A balance of text, images, and video is essential. Blogging also develops interest in your business and provides a line of communication between you and your clients that is invaluable. Blogging is essential for any business trying to grow and relate to their target market long term.
Viral Video and the Rest of the Online Guru Hocus Pocus: Forget about viral! Yes, that’s right…forget about it! If you intentionally set out to create a viral video or make some other sort of online media go viral, it will almost certainly fail! Focus on quality content that will interest your target market and get shared.
Note: I have videos and articles on websites around the world and very few, if any, would be considered viral. But they all get shared and it all translates into backlinks, subscribers, social media connections, clients, and friends.
Redirects: Redirects can be useful but if you are hoping to derive any SEO value from a super domain name that you are only using as a redirect to your not-so-great url, you are wasting your time, money…and a quality domain name too boot!
Articles: Articles accomplish several things at once. Articles establish you as an authority in your niche, they deliver backlinks to your main hub (although this is changing), and they drive traffic to your main hub. Even with the new shifts in Google’s algorithm, article marketing is still a crucial component of a solid inbound marketing strategy.
John Jones: Who is your target market? What does he look like? What are his interests? How does he dress? You must be able to SEE John Jones in order to relate to him…or Jane Jones for that matter!
Social Media: Social media is also essential! All of the components of an effective inbound marketing strategy must work together, in concert, if you are going to succeed. This is not an optional strategy, it is imperative if you want to compete in today’s market. Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook (both personal and a fan/business page), YouTube, Dailymotion, Break, Viddler, Foursquare, and others are the key to social media success. Ping.fm is the best way to reach most of the core social media sites in one blast, Hellotxt is another, and XeeSM.com is the third. If you integrate these social media hubs into your overall strategy it will make your job much easier.
Warning: Do not use social media as a vehicle to spam your followers or you will kill any suucess you may have otherwise achieved! Additionally, if you spam, all you will have following you are fellow spammers…and they will eventually unfollow you as well!
Additional Blogs: Google’s Blogger, Squidoo, HubPages, and others are also useful and can be tied directly into your social media hubs for constant updating! These should be included, as they are virtually effortless to maintain and they do end up on page one!
Keyword Research: Most keywords are insignificant. Many businesses beginning to explore inbound marketing focus on keywords that drive ZERO traffic to your website. The key is to know not only what terms are searched for, something Google does well, it is crucial that you know which keywords get the most CLICKS! Click through rate is crucial.
Google Analytics: Metrics are also key! You must know who is visiting your website and where they are coming from if you are to develop and intelligent and effective, long term inbound marketing strategy.
Testing: A/B testing is probably the simplest and most effective, at least when starting out. Long term strategies can be added from there.
Consistency: An inbound marketing strategy must be applied daily if it to work! Social media can be time intensive at first. The longer you do it, the easier it will become. Blogging must be done at least 3 times per week for best results. A video blog with adequate text to introduce and provide a synopsis of the video can make all the difference in terms of SEO value.
SEO: SEO or search engine optimization is a long term strategy! Yes, there are certain tweaks and some people believe Google provides a bit of a nod to new entities on the web…but that is debatable. Google is King Kong on the Internet right now and they are changing their algorithms constantly. The best strategy is one that is keyword rich and delivers superior content.
Video, Article, and Social Media Delivery Software and Memberships: There are several delivery systems in the form of membership sites and software that can be used to make you job easier. It is crucial to use these systems in order to reduce the amount of time you must spend on tedious projects…or get your employees in on it and have them do it. In the long run, your labor costs will kill you. It is best to use the membership sites available to you. We will review many of these as we progress.
Video Creation: There are several video sharing and video creation sites online. Animoto is simple and effective for creating short, interesting videos. Vimeo, Viddler, YouTube, Dailymotion, and several other video sharing sites will allow you to add your own logo and message for a fee. It is well worth it long term. While placing YouTube videos on your blog and website may be cost effective short term, long term you want to create your own identity without relying on YouTube. I have integrated my Flip MinoHD videos through Camtasia to Screencast. Others use Amazon’s video platform and still others Brightcove. Whatever the platform, make sure you learn all the ins and outs, so it remains trouble-free and cost effective!
In the next article I will discuss several sites I recommend you set up profiles on and how to do it for next to nothing and with little effort. Your profile should be keyword rich and your image a professional and/or easily identifiable one. In addition to Google’s Keyword Tool, I sincerely feel that Market Samurai is the class online at this time. Check it out for free & then upgrade if you like it!
I love it!
Discussion: We will discuss any questions or comments you may have and raise here. I hope this helps you as you begin, at once, to create your new and Ultimate Internet Image…or help others to get there!
I look forward to sharing ideas and/or working with you and believe we can position you to do great things in your niche as a brick and mortar business, an online business, or as an Internet, inbound marketing consultancy!
John Zajaros (Jack)
The Ultimate Internet Image
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
Note: Just assume links are affiliate links and that way there can be no misunderstandings!