Inbound Marketing

First allow me to provide definitions to some common terms so when I use some below you’ll know what is meant.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The technical aspects of ensure web pages and websites are findable by the various search engine robots. Discussions of SEO tend to include terms like; Title, Focus Keyword, SEO Title, Meta-Description, Sitemap.xml and various other technical aspects of webpages and websites.

Content Marketing

Providing useful and interesting content (articles, tips, etc) to your prospective client base in order to to help ensure they think of you when needing to buy whatever it is that you sell.

Contrary to the way we describe content marketing, it is not new and is not a result of the Internet age we live in today. In 1895, John Deere (who makes tractors) started a magazine titled The Furrow and sent it free of charge to feed stores throughout the American mid-west. In terms of a marketing and sales tool, it is considered to be a raging success as in it helped them sell a lot of tractors by being a useful source of valuable information to farmers.

Social Media Marketing

The promotion of ideas (from a business perspective the goodness of certain products and services) via various social media neworking websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and the host of others that seem to sprout up every day.

Call to Action

Suggesting (or flat out telling) people to take a specific action. Calls to action can be as straight forward as “Sign up for a free trial” or as unobtrusive as “While planning your bathroom remodel, talk to us, we can help”. It is the way we marketeers turn web site visitors into interested prospects for businesses.

Conversion Strategy

The process of walking (nudging may be more accurate) someone step by step into becoming a customer of your business. Your conversion strategy will consist of one or more Calls to Action. If you’re selling something inexpensive you conversion may be a simple call to action of “Buy this now”. If you’re selling consulting services, your conversion may be blog post -> success stories -> fill out Contact Us form. Implementing an effective conversion strategy requires an understanding of the decision process your customers go through in the process of becoming your customer.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is none of the above and includes most of the above. Inbound marketing is the finding of prospects for your business via organic search. It includes SEO, Content Marketing, Calls to Action, Conversion Strategies, and some amount of Social Media Marketing (twitter tweets are not behind a login name and password and therefore are searchable by search engine robots, Google is making GooglePlus relevant because they’re Google and they can).

How You Do Inbound Marketing

This a very terse summary of what is involved.

Publish a steady stream of useful, interesting, and relevant content to YOUR website, in small easy to digest chunks, at frequent intervals, for an extended period of time.

Wrap all that with your marketing intention: your conversion strategy, your calls to action.

Monitor, measure, adjust, and keep going.

Inbound marketing is conceptually simple. Anyone can do it. What makes it hard is the persistence and dedication required.

At the core of Inbound Marketing is content and publishing and “frequent intervals”, a phrase used above does not mean twice a week, it means multiple times a day.

So the hard part of Inbound Marketing is you set a standard for your content (in terms of usefulness as well as SEO formatting), establish a publishing schedule, hit that schedule, and verify everyone involved in adhering to the standard.

Anyone can do it, but few do it well.

If you want extreme detail on how to do this, please refer to this article on Inbound Marketing 101: How To.

Inbound Marketing generates quality leads. Remember THEY found you. As a result leads from Inbound Marketing generally convert twice as often as leads from outbound marketing sources.

SEO Needs Link Building

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