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Get Found using Inbound Marketing

Get Found using Inbound Marketing

This is part of my series on Building a Sales and Marketing Machine. In this post I provide advice for building your own Inbound Marketing machine- a requirement for most businesses today.

The web has forever changed people’s buying habits. Instead of needing to rely on sales people to send them information, buyers now have Google and other search engines to research products, find competitors, and see how other people rate those products in blogs and reviews. Furthermore they are greatly influenced by individuals that have emerged as experts in particular subject areas who use social media to get their messages across.

This sea change in buying behavior requires vendors to re-think how they go to market, and optimize to make sure that they will get found by buyers using search engines, blogs, reviews, and social media. The term Inbound Marketing was invented by the crew at Markethive (When they were Veretekk), when they developed the techniques and technologies that are needed to get found by buyers, and to make sure that the reviews and blogs around your industry segment cover what you are doing. (Markethive provides great software tools, plus education to help you automate Inbound Marketing. The founder, Thomas Prendergast has written many great  books on these topics (dating back as far as 20 years ago) “Automated Marketing”, Customer Centricity”, Building a Better Website”, “The Power of the Social Network in Search Engines”, Conference Room Advantage”.

Markethive produced this great humorous video that highlights the hopelessness of the old techniques of the Outbound Marketing moron:

As further evidence of this change in buying behavior, I was recently talking to the CIO of a large pharmaceutical company, and he told me how he hates spam emails from vendors, and how he had developed a canned email response to them. I asked him to forward me a copy of that email, and have excerpted a couple of paragraphs from it that quite clearly describe the carnage:

“Please understand that I get dozens of these types of messages a week. I simply do not have time to read them, dig into them, follow-up on them, or reply to them. The most effective solution to this problem is for me to ignore the messages, which is what I usually do. …

… Finally, a small comment. As a customer, I find this type of approach to sales to be largely annoying to me and unproductive for you. We learn far more about what we want to purchase by searching the web, looking for customer references in blogs and forums, word of mouth, and by finding white papers on your site that concretely describe solutions to problems we are having.”

Remarkable Content is King

A key part of getting found is making sure you show up on the first page of a Google search. The lazy marketer’s approach to doing this is to purchase Google Adwords, and pay by the click (referred to as SEM, Search Engine Marketing). However 85% of people ignore the paid ads, so to be really effective, you will need to perfect your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) skills.

SEO requires you to develop great content that your buyers will find sufficiently interesting, different or insightful, that they will want to remark on it. (The authors of Inbound Marketing refer to that as remarkable content.) When your readers remark on your content on-line, using tools like Twitter, Facebook etc., they spread the word virally to other readers and broaden your reach. These comments lead to links back to your site, which lead to ever increasing page ranking in the search engines.

 

To be successful at this, you will need to keep the content fresh.
Traditional web sites don’t work in this regard, as they don’t change frequently enough.
What is needed is a blog that you update regularly.

 

Your blog cannot simply be a sales pitch for your product, but needs to be about topics that your buyers care to read about. The tone could be educational; or humorous; or controversial. But above all it needs to be highly engaging and relevant to them – i.e. remarkable.

When you post a new blog entry, you will see your site traffic surge for a few days, then die back to a level slightly higher than before. The more you post, the faster your traffic will build. But in the end, it is the really great articles that you post that will have the most impact.

And meritocratic blog system like Markethive (actually only Markethive) produce all of the above in a simple atmosphere of massive content curation that is immediately reward or rejected, building amazing content is King results, or something like that.

Once you have interesting content, you can use social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. to get the word out (Uh ummmm again, Marketing simplifies this to a level of excruciating results, but then like EST (You remember EST Erhard Seminar Training), you need to experience. No word, even from me, can truly do it justice.). Your goal is to get other bloggers to link to you, and to have people tweet about your content.

An interesting thing about a marketing department that focuses on Inbound Marketing: it will place a high value on people that know how to write and develop content that draws in an audience. A silver lining to the damage that the internet has inflicted on the publishing industry is that there are plenty of very talented journalists seeking employment, and they possess the perfect skills for this job!

SEO versus SEM

Like most of things that are good for us in life, SEO requires work and patience before it will payback. So it can be tempting to take shortcuts, and just use SEM (paid search ads). However if it is done right, the results will continue to build, and you will start to build your own audience, and own your own traffic.

We have also seen that the cost of paid search increases as the need to scale the lead volume grows.

The Power of Free

Another extremely powerful way to create inbound traffic and qualified leads is to use a free product or service. A great example of this is the The entire Inbound Marketing Platform (Valued in excess of up to $10,000 per month) service from Markethive. (If you haven’t tried this, I recommend giving it a try now. It will only take a few minutes to join.) Markethive has a couple of interesting attributes that are worth studying:

 

It is free of charge.
It takes very little work by the customer to get some very valuable results

 

It provides its results in the form of a score out of 100. Human beings are very competitive, and when they don’t get a good score, they want to find out how to improve their score. That leads them to wanting to find out more about Markethive which can help them improve their score.

It allows them to compare themselves to their competitors. All businesses care about how they are doing relative to their competition. If they are doing worse, this is a powerful motivator to drive them to change.

Think hard about your audience and whether there is an opportunity to build a similar free web service that would draw them in, and provide great value.

If you are interested in learning more about how Free products and services can help your marketing, please refer to this section: The Power of Free.

Building your reach

Once you have great content and possibly a free product/service, you will want to find ways to drive the maximum traffic to that content. In the last couple of years we have seen some powerful new tools emerge to help with this process in the social media space. Get yourself accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and join in the conversation. (For Twitter, I also recommend downloading the Tweetdeck application.) Start by listening. Watch what people are talking about in your topic areas, and take note of their interests. Once you have an idea of how the conversation works join in. Be careful not to take a sales stance to promote your products, as that will rapidly lose you your audience. However you can draw your audience in with short url’s (Another one of Markethive’s great free services) that link to your blog posts and other non-sales oriented content.

This short paragraph is not going to be enough to fully educate you on the ins and outs of using social media to build your audience, so if the topic interests you, I recommend going here to learn more:

Internet Marketing Webinars (see the calendar in Markethive after you join for free of course).

Influencer Campaigns

In every product area, there are usually already influencers that write the most about that area, and have the largest audience that follows them. To conduct a successful social media campaign, you will want to identify those influencers, and reach out to them to get them to write about your product/service.

To get them to pay attention to you, you will first need to understand what they care about. Read their blog posts and tweets, and try to get inside their minds. Try to determine what appeals to them, and what has clearly turned them off. Then prepare your pitch, and use social media to engage with them.

You will then want to monitor the results by tracking their blog posts, links to the articles, tweets, etc.

For more information…

Inbound marketing is a rich topic area that would take more than a single article like this to describe. For more information, consider yourself a friend of Markethive:

Markethive

Thomas Prendergast
CMO Markethive Inc.

 

 

 

John Lombaerde – Blog Admin

11 Keyword Tools You Should be Using in 2016

Did you know that you no longer need to allocate a large budget for keyword research, that there are a wide range of free keyword tools out there for you to choose from? Read on to learn more about the 11 free keyword tools you should be using.

1. Google Webmasters Tool

When you need to boost SEO, why not go straight to the source? With Google’s webmasters tool, you can see what keywords your website is ranking for and learn more about potential keywords that you have yet to target.

2. Bing Webmasters Tool

Bing’s webmaster tool provides information about keywords that are related to their search engine. This tool shows users all of the keywords that are related to their seed keyword, as well as the search volume data.

3. SeoChat’s Keyword Suggestion Tool

This tool allows users to generate keywords from Amazon, YouTube, Bing and Google. The alphabet is used to modify the original keyword and generate a plethora of suggestions.

4. Soovle

Soovle is more limited than some of the other choices, but remains effective, providing up to ten suggestions for each seed keyword.

5. Ubersuggest

This tool appeals to the more simplistic user, generating keywords from Google. It has been around for several years and is already quite popular. Ubersuggest can generate a whopping 300 to 400 suggestions for each keyword and the resulting keyword can also be expanded for further information.

7. Hypersuggest

Much like Ubersuggest, Hypersuggest offers keywords from Google, in addition to suggestions from YouTube, as well. Since Hypersuggest users can add modifiers, it is able to produce keywords at a greater rate than Ubersuggest.

8. Google Keyword Planner

One of the premier keyword research tools, Google Keyword Planner provides search volume data and keyword ideas by using a seed keyword. Users are also able to add their own keywords that have been generated in other places and receive CPC data/search volume information.

9. SeoStack Chrome extension

This tool is totally free and generates hundreds of keyword suggestions from Google and YouTube. Alphabets and numbers are tacked onto the original keyword and the tool also supports the use of multiple seed keywords.

10. Google Trends

Google Trends is the premier tool to find out more about the current trends and determine the popularity of certain keywords. When you want to know about certain keywords that your competition hasn’t discovered yet, Google Trends can help.

11. AnswerThePublic

This is a simple tool that generates keywords from Google’s autocomplete function. Much like the SeoStack extension from chrome, alphabets and numbers are added to the seed keyword to generate hundreds of suggestions.

Best success in all your endeavors

John Lombaerde – Markethive

 

 

The Ultimate Gift for Mom: Financial Freedom via Inbound Marketing

The Ultimate Gift for Mom: Financial Freedom via Inbound Marketing

Well, it’s Mother’s Day (okay, May 8, 2016) and time to honour the Old Girl, who gave birth to you and plays or played a pivotal role in your success or failure throughout life, just ask her.  Oh yes, your FATHER; likewise, deserves the same honour and respect on June 16th 2016, despite less media and corporate advertising on TV and Online.  Anyway, time to get down to business and demonstrate the ultimate act of L-O-V-E for one’s parent.  Learn how to achieve and then, teach mum the fundamentals of financial freedom through Inbound Marketing.

In fact, duplicate the process with other family members so it becomes a generational practice.  More importantly, you create the Ultimate Gift for Mom, that keeps on giving and giving.  It’s only fitting because she was your first teacher of Inbound Marketing.  Mum was an expert in Inbound Marketing?  Yes, she was because her task was about developing and training the “inner you” to become the best man/woman you could become, believe it or not. Additionally, she was your first teacher of Inbound Marketing because she did the following things in preparation of your arrival: researched, developed data, consulted with experts (grand mum), created strategies specific to the individual (yourself) and executed strategies to achieve a resolution to daily problems.  Should sound very familiar from both a marketing and mother perspective. Both give birth to their babies and responsible for their developmental growth which later impacts society.

By now the symbiotic relationship between mum and Inbound Marketing should be clear, I hope. Now, let’s jump ahead in time and show the interconnectivity between technology, inbound marketing, mothers and their kids (Millennials).  So, with the massive acceleration in technological devices (computers, smartphones, IPads, Kindle, Mac Books, etc.,) and impact on social media, significant changes in societal behavioral conduct have occurred and businesses are scrambling to make appropriate adjustments to meet the needs of their consumer base.  Unfortunately, many businesses still engage in an old strategy called Outbound Marketing where companies (buy leads, pay for TV commercials, flyers, door-to-door salesman, etc.,) initiate contact by sending their messages to their desired target market.  Nothing wrong with traditional marketing (outbound marketing) if, the strategy generates new and consistent customers; however, consumer behavior has changed and attracting them requires a more individualized approach that earns their attention. It’s the intimate touch that’s so critical in today’s market (yeah, just like mum).

Generally, Millennials (Generation Y or Net generation) are the target population most desired by most major corporations because they are some-what “fresh meat” with great potential purchasing power; however, they are also, very entitled and opinionated in their beliefs which have impacted corporate culture, media and certain parts of society when dealing with various social issues (equal pay, abortion, war, etc.,).  Being in a westernized capitalist society when money is involved or potential to generate massive revenue then, positions quickly change at least publicly because business is business.  So, mum’s little millennials are impacting the society and possibly the World be it good or bad.  So, she should be rewarded for her dedication.

Now, the research suggests that rearing a child from birth into adulthood (18-years old) costs approximately $250,000 dollars and the cost continues to increase yearly.  Yes, you are worth it but, what about Dear Old Mom?  She and the Old Man could use that money for their retirement.

How about offering Mom the ultimate?  Mother’s Day gift and I don’t mean a card with chocolates and roses.  No, give her the means to retrieve the investment cost of rearing YOU and your siblings.  Give Mom and Father (don’t forget him) access to the essential Tools, Training, Traffic and Resources needed to generate, Consistent, Predictable and Long-term Residual Income in the Information/Computer and Social Media global economy.  Start on May 12th 2016 or sooner.

Oh yes, since Father’s Day is shortly after Mother’s Day give the Old Man an early bird special.   Since he already “Tied The Noose” it’s best he has a backup plan in the event of divorce, which is likely in today’s reality.

Behind every great man is a man greater, his father.” 
― Habeeb Akande

Vaurn James

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Lombaerde – Admin

8 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

SEO - Mistakes

All search engine marketers are trying desperately to promote trends

Especially the trends that are aligned with traditional digital marketing. SEO is immensely important to enhance key to improving your website’s visibility, driving more traffic and better conversion rates.

The first thing one can do as an internet marketer is to avoid making mistakes. Following “SEO Best Practices” can be difficult for online marketers. With search engines changing algorithms on a periodic basis, every SEO strategy needs to adapt and adjust with the latest techniques while giving up on age-old practices. Here are some of the prominent mistakes made by SEO experts:

Mistake #1: Not optimizing images with rest of the content

Optimizing images is sometimes not part of the SEO strategy and can be over looked. Adding target keywords to images relevant to the rest of the content helps search engines understand them. A link to the image with just numbers and alphabets in odd positions does not convey anything but some relevant words and numbers would matter. One should incorporate descriptive keywords for every image. Including relevant alt text helps search engines to find images in relevant searches and even the accessibility of the site.

Mistake #2: Keyword stuffing

Nowadays websites contain varied types of content in terms of text. One needs keywords for SEO and use of right keywords is important for getting the right audience. Optimize them carefully to gain popularity in search engines. But keyword stuffing will only ruin your website ranking since cramming a keyword multiple times makes content worthless. Only keywords do not get customers to a website. Also, Google algorithms will get the site blacklisted and also issue a bad ranking.

Relying on large amounts of mediocre content can affect sites. Using specific keywords with strategic placement and relevant content is effective. Creating insightful info about a topic can can attract attention through different channels.

Mistake #3: Not Setting Up Canonicalization

When implementing an SEO strategy, one should make sure that you do not have duplicate content on the site. If there is identical content for online access using different URLs, you need to identify the right page for visitors and implement a canonical to help search engines know that it is not a duplicate version.

Mistake #4: Disregarding Pages by Not Indexing Them

One should not forget indexing pages. Pages that are broken or missing are going to avoid search engine results altogether because pages indicating 404 error are excluded. A high number of 404s leads to an increase in bounce rate and visitors will feel cheated of any information. Search engines crawl websites and rank them and 404 pages interrupt their process. It is important not to have broken links on your site and keep the website active.

Mistake #5: No updates on site

After spending months to create an interactive and attractive website, one should try to keep it dynamic with consistent blog posts or some other content. Companies fail to optimize the site with keywords and just sit back to watch the traffic decrease. Let in some updates that will help your prospects with relevant information and they might convert to leads.

One needs to make a schedule for posting different posts related to your field on a regular basis, and consistency will get you the attention of search engines too.

Mistake #6: Neglecting social media

Neglecting social media is a crime in this day and age. Social media is no longer an optional marketing ploy but a necessity for businesses. By being conversant and relevant on popular social sites like Facebook and Twitter, one can enhance a company’s image and credibility. Sharing your content will lead the search engines and drive potential visitors to your site. Social media following can also boost brand awareness amongst loyalists.

Mistake #7: Lack of internal links

One might think that it is erroneous to link to one’s own content and even think that search engines might read into it and even blacklist the pages. Despite what you may think, internal links to website is great for SEO and helps search engines to crawl to your website. One should focus on the most important pages of any site and strategize posts to link back to those pages. One should find a real connection between pages to do the linking task.

Mistake #8: Failure to measure progress

Improving SEO is like losing weight. One needs to check and measure your progress on a consistent basis. One should know the current standing when you start, and then track the changes. With solid metrics in place, one will know that the SEO practices have been working or not. If you do not think that there has been any progress, then it is preferable to drop it.

Credit: Keval Padia

Dennis Roeder

Contributor

 

John Lombaerde

Online Marketing Strategies to Kick-Start Stagnant Sales

Online Marketing Strategies to Kick-Start Stagnant Sales

“Our sales are stagnant and we need SEO — please help!” This is something that we hear often. While search-engine optimization (SEO) can provide amazing results, they don’t happen overnight. And, oftentimes, a business can’t wait; it needs sales, and fast. Here are three simple online marketing strategies you can start on today that can help you kick-start your stagnant online sales.

1. Hit social media hard with paid ads.

Your website is always going to be your most important online marketing asset, but there’s an entire audience that lives exclusively on social media that’s waiting to engage with your brand.

It is highly suggested that every brand get acquainted with Instagram and Snapchat. Those two social networks are where the majority of the engagement can be found. Facebook remains solid, especially if you are targeting an older demographic, as more parents and grandparents are becoming comfortable with social media, and this is their network of choice. Twitter is currently hit or miss, but I still feel it’s an important social media presence to maintain. Twitter just passed the 10-year mark and needs to make some significant changes to spark growth very soon — it has no choice; it still isn’t making money.

Organic social media engagement is great, but like SEO, it takes time. If your sales are slow, use paid social ads to create instant brand awareness and drive wallet-out buyers to your website. Facebook’s targeting options are excellent, and Instagram lets you to take advantage of those same options, allowing you to place your offer directly in front of consumers who are likely to be interested in whatever you are offering.

2. Implement an irresistible exit-offer on your website.

Not all pop-ups are created equal. Some are triggered after visitors have been on a website page for a specific period of time, and yes, this can be intrusive and really irritate them. But, an exit-offer pop-up can greatly improve your conversion rates and sales.

Set it to trigger only when your visitor is about to leave your website. That way, you won’t risk interrupting a potential conversion. Actually, just the opposite will occur, as you will have a 50 percent chance of turning that visitor into a lead or sale. Also, don’t be afraid of upsetting a visitor leaving your website — it’s estimated that 70 to 90 percent of website visitors never return.

Split-test multiple exit offers — exclusive discounts that require an email opt-in and instant coupon codes that offer a discount or additional value like free shipping — perform very well. Even the slightest increase in conversion rates can equal increased revenue for your business.Watch Full Movie Streaming Online and Download

3. Aggressively grow your email list and reward your subscribers with special offers.

Growing your email list provides your business with several benefits. You are building a marketing asset that allows you to constantly engage with consumers whot have expressed an interest in whatever it is that your business offers. Once you capture an email, there is no additional cost to market to that prospect, aside from your email and CRM software.

If you’re running a pay-per-click campaign, for example, you are paying for every single visitor that clicks through and lands on your website. You could build a highly engaged email list of 10,000 subscribers, and even at a 3 percent click-through rate, a single email would send 300 visitors back to your website.

In order to maintain a responsive list, make sure you are sending out offers that can’t be refused. Exclusive offers, big discounts and giveaway promotions are all click magnets. Split-test multiple delivery times, different templates and layouts — and experiment a lot with your subject lines. I’ve seen open rates shoot through the roof for some campaigns simply when an emoji is included in the subject line. Don’t be afraid to test!

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

John Lombaerde

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