Maximizing the potential of your inbound marketing campaigns is not the herculean task you might think. There are plenty of strategies you can use to make your marketing campaigns more successful, and the volume of information can be daunting. But rather than sorting through or trying everything to find ways that work, you can make a big difference in your inbound marketing campaigns with these seven tips:
1. Provide Details About You
Take advantage of opportunities to give visitors a more detailed look at your company, products or services, values, and purpose by using "About" options and company profile pages. Include links in external content back to your company's website as well. When you are more than just a company name it will create stronger connections and inspire a greater atmosphere of trust and confidence.
2. Website Design & Copy
You may be surprised to know how quickly online consumers lose interest in websites over things like grammar and spelling errors. They feel that if the company doesn't care enough about its public image to ensure that online content is professionally designed and error-free, the company will likewise not care about the wants and needs of its customers. Pay close attention to not only how your website is set up, but also be sure to proofread and copy edit everything. It may take longer to have a few extra people have a look, but in the long run, it will be worth it.
3. Publish Reviews & Testimonials
You do not need to be an inbound marketing consultant to be able to check this one off your list! When you conclude business transactions with a satisfied consumer, simply ask for a testimonial and publish it on your website. By providing site visitors with accolades from real people, you are establishing trust and authenticity that motivates visitors to become customers themselves.
There's a reason why a blog is listed as one of our top 5 inbound marketing tools. But surprisingly, many companies still don't have one. Blogs can help you achieve recognition as an industry expert and can provide readers with information about yourself, your company, industry trends, relevant regulatory changes, and - most importantly - they provide answers, information, and advice to purveyors of your products or services. A blog is your time to shine – take advantage of it!
5. Optimize Properly
Search Engine Optimization is just as important as it’s ever been. But top rank on search engines is meaningless if your content isn’t useful or lacks value to your target audience. Create stellar content that provides answers to questions your customers may have. Then, keyword optimize that fantastic content and you are well on your way to climbing the search rankings with inbound marketing.
6: Revamp Your CTAs
Gone are the days of "click here" buttons that take up half a page, and scrolling versus clicking has practically nullified the above-or-below-the-fold debate when it comes to where to place a call to action (CTA). The key to conversions is to make your CTAs actionable. An actionable CTA must create a need within your visitor to click it, and there should be as few distractions or clickable alternatives on the page as possible.
7: Use Analytics & Other Measurement Tools
Keep track of site metrics and marketing campaigns with analytics tools to see where your traffic is coming from (and, conversely, where it's not, which can indicate a failing campaign). Use the results of your analysis to tweak your inbound marketing campaigns until you find those that drive the most traffic to your website or landing pages, or those that are producing the most leads, clicks, or conversions.
There are other tips you can use to improve your inbound marketing campaigns like defining your audience, using responsive design for mobile users, and creating an editorial calendar. When you combine essential elements like those with the seven tips listed here, your inbound marketing campaigns will be well on their way to producing measurable results that will help you reach your marketing goals more quickly and easily.
So, you’ve probably heard the term “inbound marketing” over the last few years or so. It’s become the main marketing strategy for many companies and has proven itself much more powerful than it’s predecessor, outbound marketing.
But for some, this term is still new. And it can be a little overwhelming if you aren’t exactly sure what the term fully entails. Even if you have a general understanding of the term inbound marketing, you may still need some clarification on a few things so you can feel confident moving forward with your inbound marketing efforts.
The following are 10 answers to the most common inbound marketing questions:
1. What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a strategy in which companies make their products and services easy for consumers to find on their own using a number of different tactics, including SEO and content marketing.
2. How is inbound marketing different from traditional marketing?
Traditional marketing, which is known as outbound marketing, is a tactic in which you force information on consumers via TV ads, radio ads, newspaper ads and more – the opposite strategy of inbound marketing.
3. Why should I use inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing has proven to be an incredibly effective way to increase brand awareness, brand loyalty, brand trust and your customer base. It’s a long-term strategy that will help grow your company – and one reason companies focus more on inbound marketing than on outbound marketing is that it’s often much more affordable. It is also a much less intrusive way of marketing to your target audience, providing them with resources, answers, and solutions when they need it.
4. Can I do it by myself?
If you want to do the bare minimum, yes you can. But your inbound marketing won’t be very effective if you do. If you are actually planning on implementing a full-fledged inbound marketing campaign, you’ll need web designers, graphic designers, content writers, customer service providers, individuals that analyze your metrics, individuals that run your social media and team managers to keep everyone organized. Trying to go at it on your own may seem possible, but save yourself the time and energy, and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
5. Does inbound marketing require a strategy?
Yes. Sure you can dive right in without a strategy, but you won’t know if your marketing is successful if you don’t have any goals to measure your success against. Not to mention, you may be wasting resources on things you don’t need to be doing depending on what your goals are. Decide what your main goal is and set milestones to judge how effective your inbound marketing is.
6. Is having a blog really necessary?
Yes. A blog isn’t just a public journal. It’s a way to provide valuable content to your consumers that can help build trust and loyalty as well as help you foster a reputation as an expert in your field. It’s one of the most effective tactics for inbound marketing. A blog may seem daunting at first, but just like anything else in your business, a little planning ahead can break long-term content marketing into very manageable tasks.
7. Do I really need to use social media?
Social media is not only a great way to provide consumers with content and to increase exposure, it’s also a fantastic way to engage directly with your customers and build strong relationships. Any platform that allows you to engage with your customers in a fun and creative way, is one you want to take advantage of. No inbound marketing strategy should be without social media marketing.
8. Can inbound marketing actually improve my sales?
Absolutely. Not only does inbound marketing help increase exposure to your brand, thereby helping to provide more potential customers, it also helps to build trust and loyalty, resulting in more repeat customers.
9. How long will it take to see results?
Inbound marketing requires some time and patience – it’s all about gradual but steady growth. Don’t expect to see results over night, but if you have patience, you will most definitely see results.
10. Can I do inbound marketing without a large budget?
Yes, even smaller companies with low budgets can manage a website and a single social media profile. However, don’t try to cut costs if you don’t have to – the more resources you put into your inbound marketing strategy, the more successful it will be.
There you have it! Now that you know the basics of inbound marketing, it’s probably easier for you to wrap your head around what will be required of you and your team.
Set some goals, get creative, and don’t forget to ask for help when you need it!
The past few years have seen a dramatic shift in how you should market to certain people. Bombarding people with TV commercials, newspaper ads, popup ads, cold calls, unsolicited email and other outbound marketing tactics simply does not work as well as it used to. The unlimited access to information that the internet provides has made people more resistant to outbound marketing; this is evidenced by statistics such as:
- 200 million Americans have registered themselves on the FTC's do not call list
- 84% of people between the ages of 25 and 34 will leave their favorite website if it includes intrusive ads
- 86% of all people actively find ways to skip TV ads
This means that while outbound marketing still has some effect, spending countless marketing dollars on ads, direct mail, etc is essentially a waste. Fortunately for marketers, all is not lost. You can effectively attract sales leads through inbound marketing by getting people to independently choose and identify your products or services as the best choice.
You may already know all of this, but where do you begin? To help you build a foundation for your inbound marketing campaign, we will discuss the five inbound marketing tools that you absolutely must use.
1. A blog
In order for your inbound marketing campaign to be successful, two things have to happen: relevant consumers have to find you and you have to keep those people engaged. Informative, entertaining and engaging content is the best way to do this, because it provides the following benefits:
- Better SEO results
- It positions your company as an expert and industry leader
- Your audience trusts your organization more
That being said, the foundation of your content marketing strategy should be an up to date blog. This will give you a platform from which you can deliver a constant stream of easily consumable content.
2. Social networking
72% of the billion internet users out there are active on social media. These people constantly open their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc feeds in hopes of coming across informative, entertaining, engaging content. Social networking is a great inbound marketing tool for delivering insightful blurbs, informative infographics, engaging video and even direct links to your best blog posts.
Although many marketers use randomly obtained email marketing lists to bombard consumers with unsolicited emails, this channel is not exclusively used for outbound marketing. The first step towards using email for inbound marketing is to obtain an email subscriber list by inviting people interested in your content so subscribe. After this, you deliver useful email content relevant to people's needs -- instead of blatant advertisements.
4. A CRM tool
As your inbound efforts begin to thrive, you will start to have a long list of leads to nurture. Each one of these leads is an individual person with a unique life; you can most effectively nurture these leads when your timing is perfect. CRM tools like Salesforce and the HubSpot CRM will manage your contact list, timing, scheduling, etc so that you can take full advantage of every opportunity.
5. Analytical tools
No matter how successful your inbound marketing efforts are, it won't help your very much if you don't know how you ended up with those results. By using analytical tools such as Google Analytics and Moz, you can not only repeat the actions that led to your success, but also adjust as sudden changes in consumer behavior occur.
These tools are critical for inbound marketing success.
Using these five tools will make you fully equipped for successful marketing in the modern era.
Still feeling a little lost? No problem! Let us guide you in the right direction!
Sometimes we get really excited about new Wordpress Themes. We found this theme during a strategy session with one of our clients, Big Real Estate Investing. We are completely platform agnostic so when we find something that impresses us, we want to share it with others!
How to Pick a Wordpress Theme
Get ready, because Windows 10 will be here soon and Apple has already redefined the interface of the Web. The surge of mobile devices over the past three years has meant that Web publishers have had to keep step with mobile-optimized sites and navigation. Here are the essentials:
- Retina-Ready Graphics. A Fresh and clean design that look outstanding on today's mobile devices, iPads and high-resolution monitors
- Responsive and Mobile Optimized. A flexible, responsive platform that automatically adjusts to the user's screen size, no matter how small or how large
- Play Vimeo and YouTube videos.
- Highly Flexible. You can make the site look exactly like you want it to.
- Ongoing Support. For updates as new versions of Wordpress become available
Easy Wordpress Development
Has it been more than 5 years since you last updated your website? Tablets and mobile devices have changed the way people interact with the Web, so it might be time for a facelift. If your website is converting fewer than 1% of all visitors, then an outdated website could be part of the problem. Does your site take longer than 1.5 seconds to load? If so you are being penalized by Google and other search engines. Newer, more responsive Wordpress themes can help solve that problem. Do you have to pay someone else to update your own website? In 2015 the ability to update your web page is the most important success factor for digital marketers and technical marketing agencies. Talk to us if you would like to have the ability of quickly updating your own blog, share event photos from your own website (not Facebook) and keep your digital home on the Web current and fresh.
If you are in need of a website update, look at our website development portfolio projects and examples. We offer a complimentary website review for any business with 10 web pages or more (a $150 value).
Let us show you how we can help your businesses get more inbound marketing leads and sales. We use a proven, 8-step program that brings down your cost-per-lead and increases conversion rates for your website. Our services include content marketing, social media and lead nurturing through email.
Key Website Development Features
This popular business Wordpress theme features a number of impressive features:
- Accordian & Toggle text. Used to display collapsible text content panels for showing information in a limited amount of space. Users simply tap on a title panel to show/expand content that is hidden into different sections.
- Featured Works and Blog Posts. Great for artists, photographers and creative studios. You can display the latest or random posts depending on the settings you specify.
- Pricing Table. You can set price, description, link and highlight or feature one column over the others so that the best value option pops and is noticeable. No more struggling with tables. Your price chart will fit perfectly for promotion or display.
- Google Map. Designed specifically for this theme. Simply copy your iframe code from Google map and insert it in the Google code field. Includes full responsive support.
- Testimonials. Show new or random testimonials and set the number of testimonials to show. Includes support for a featured image so testimonials will fit perfectly.
Want to see a demo? Contact us for a free live 15-minute walk through. Simply fill out this form.
Join Kinoshita Communications and the HubSpot Hawaii User Group for an Interisland Google Hangout on January 29th, 2015 at 8 AM.
HubSpot now provides a sales platform with new CRM and sales tools to help sales professionals deliver a more effective process to prospects. Learn how you and your team can take advantage of these new tools at this Google Hangout. In this one hour, online event, you’ll learn about new marketing features, HubSpot sales tools, and CRM Functionality.
Are you new to the HubSpot Hawaii User Group? No problem! The HubSpot Hawaii User Group provides local HubSpot users quarterly meetings to discuss inbound marketing success, tools, and network with other inbound marketers in your area.
Head here to register for this event, and receive an invitation to this Google Hangout. You can also check out our LinkedIn Group to keep up with HubSpot Hawaii discussions, other events, and getting to know other HubSpot Hawaii users.
We're hosting a livestream Google event on February 11th, and you're invited to join us!
It's a great opportunity to learn about how to grow your business from our in-house marketing agency expert and Google AdWords evangelists. We'll provide the refreshments--all we need is you!
This event WILL be recorded for those who can't join in person, so even if you can't be there in person, please RSVP with your interest and I will send you the link afterwards. Please RSVP as soon as possible, space is filling up:
Who Are the Speakers?
Todd Rowe, Managing Director at Google, and Fred Vallaeys, Google AdWords Evangelist. Todd directs one of the world's fastest growing sales organizations worldwide and is responsible for selling Google's AdWords, video and mobile products to small- and mid-sized companies through third parties in 25 countries. Mr. Rowe will be talking about how to leverage technology to thrive and is a frequent keynote speaker at technology conferences.
Fred Vallaeys is an AdWords Evangelist and will help you better advertise your business online. Fred will talk about how small businesses can navigate the Web and expand their online presence through smarter business intelligence and insights.
You can learn more about both speakers when you click the button below:
Please arrive early for refreshments and conversation about the value of online advertising and how to achieve success on the Web. This event is complimentary to registered guests.
Marketing agencies know there are two major aspects to having a successful inbound marketing blog – one is having great content, and the other, is knowing how to properly optimize that content so it has the best chance of being found by your target audience. And one doesn’t necessarily work without the other: stellar content doesn’t do much unless it’s found, and keyword optimizing lousy content won’t benefit anyone either.
Once you create a great blog post (and have your editorial calendar mapped out with more excellent content to follow on a regular basis), there are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that you are doing everything you possibly can to have it found.
Keep this guide handy for each and every blog post to achieve long-term success with SEO.
There are a number of keywords that your target audience is searching when your competitors pop up. Adding those keywords or phrases into your website in *useful ways, will allow your site to start ranking higher in search results.
Read your content, and determine two keywords that are most relevant to what you are writing about. If you find yourself having trouble, you may want to reevaluate what the article is about. Chances are, you might be able to break that one post into two or even a series of posts. While this might take up more time, it will work in your favor: if you are having a hard time figuring out what a particular article is about on your own site, search engines and potential customers won’t be able to either. By breaking it down, you’ll have more opportunity to keyword optimize and clarify your topics.
*It’s important to remember to make sure you are keeping the relevance of the blog post you are working on, and not just adding in keywords that don’t make sense in hopes to get higher search results. Stick to the point, and make sure you don’t steer off topic just to add in a particular keyword.
Once you have determined the target keywords, you should try to incorporate those words 1-2 times every 100 words or so. You should also try to hyperlink those keywords and phrases to other relevant content within your site. Having one or two hyperlinks is a great way to get people back to other content you’ve produced.
The title of your article should also include one, if not both of your keywords. Not only is your blog post title the first thing that readers will see, but it’s also the main thing that explains to search engines what your post is about. Make a great first impression with a killer title that is clear, to the point, and packed with your primary keyword.
Putting your keyword in a blog post title is a very important step for SEO, but don’t underestimate the importance of meta data. This short, 150 word (or under) description dives more into detail than the main title, but sticks to the point. By shedding a little more light on what your post is about, you can draw people in with this short description. Include your keywords in this section as well.
This is a portion of SEO that often gets overlooked. You may be thinking, “how can I put keywords in images?”
If you save your image file with a name that includes your keywords, you are allowing search engines to read your images. The best strategy would be to put the primary keyword with the most prominent image, and then the photos to follow will have the secondary keyword.
The file name of the image should include dashes between each word. The ALT text of the image should include the same text, but without dashes in between.
File name: Blog-Best-Practices-For-SEO
ALT text: Blog Best Practices For SEO
While SEO is not rocket science, it is however, time consuming. By following all of these steps for every page on your website, you are telling search engines what your content is about, and therefore, making it easier for them to rank you higher when those terms are searched. Pair these steps with an editorial calendar and stellar content, you will be well on your way to higher search rank.
Do you know the full extent to which Facebook uses your personal information?
Few people do.
The following is provided by a Pasadena marketing agency based on actual published news accounts and interviews with Facebook employees:
1. Facebook keeps everything, forever.
By far the biggest misconception is that once you “remove” or “hide” something on Facebook, it’s gone forever. Not true. Whether you’ve deleted, untagged, hidden, removed or interacted with anything, Facebook keeps a record of it. Click on a profile, upload a photo, update your status, change your profile, Facebook remembers. This is how they keep track of who your best friends are and make the site so engaging and satisfying to use. When you type a letter in the search box, what appears isn’t arranged alphabetically, but rather who you interact with the most. The Friends that appear first in search arearranged according to who you send messages to the most, or whose profile you view the most, or people you interact with the most. So Facebook needs to keep track of every message, chat and poke. They even keep track of which people you are tagged in photos with, and how often.
2. Facebook has multiple versions of every photo you’ve ever uploaded.
When Facebook saves photos, they don’t just make a copy of the original, but instead they make multiple copies to use in various ways. For example, they store one version for the newsfeed, another version for your profile, another for your timeline and so on. And each photo that is uploaded to Facebook carries with it the metadata that digital cameras include with each image. This type of data often includes the manufacturer of the camera, themodel number and even its serial number, as well as properties such as shutter speed and exposure time. On some cameras, such as the iPhone 4, metadata can also include the precise GPS location of where the photo was taken.
3. Facebook stores multiple data “snapshots” throughout the day.
Snapshots include every viewable screen, and every piece of data behind every screen. These “snapshots” are taken every hour, of every day, of every month, for every year. That’s how Facebook can provide timelines that go back to the day you were “born,” (or the day you started using Facebook.) This data is stored in multiple data centers around the world, including San Francisco, New York and London. In each data warehouse there are approximately 10 thousand servers, and each location has essentially the same data on it as every other location. If a world disaster ever brought the entire Internet down, Facebook could be back online within just a few days, regardless of where the disaster took place.
4. Facebook engineers can look at any message, chat or photo without having to login to a specific profile.
In the early days of Facebook there used to be a “master password” which allowed a few engineers view any user’s profile from within Facebook headquarters, but practically speaking, the use of a password is irrelevant for an engineer who has access to Facebook servers. “It’s just for style,” said one employee. That’s because everything uploaded to Facebook is saved in a simple database. Whether deleted or not, every message, chat history, photo and so forth lives on in a database that can easily be accessed by Facebook engineers.
5. Facebook keeps track of every device you use, and how often.
A privacy group named Europe v. Facebook discovered this fact when they requested a copy of every piece of data Facebook had on record for two European Facebook users. One of the Facebook profiles contained more than 880 pages of information. Included among the messages, chat history, photos and viewing history was also a record of every device the person used to access their profile on Facebook, including how often they logged in from each machine, as well as all the other Facebook profiles which had ever been accessed on that same machine.
6. Facebook uses scientific research to make its site as appealing and addictive as possible.
When Facebook wants to introduce new features, they conduct a variety of scientific tests to find out which ones will be the most emotionally appealing and engaging for the greatest number of users. For example, Facebook used eye-tracking tests to find a better way to display photos. Testing revealed that one design improved the number of page views by 77% while also reducing bandwith and page load time. That test changed the way photos are displayed on Facebook.
7. Facebook’s “Frictionless Sharing” enables the site to track your browsing activity even after you log out of Facebook.
With frictionless sharing, once you approve a website or application to interact with Facebook, all your activity on that website and application will be automatically shared with Facebook, whether you’re logged into Facebook or not. The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the FTC saying that Facebook puts secret, persistent identifiers in users’ browsers. Privacy advocates also complain that the process for people to opt-out of frictionless sharing is confusing and impractical. Facebook responds by saying they provide more granular control of data to users than any other site, and that their privacy controls are superior.
When it comes to blogging for business, most people are aware of blogging best practices and the necessity of having a visual to go along with your content. But if you are a small business, or even just an individual, you probably don’t have a photography team at your beck and call to get you that perfect image. Sure, you could go out and take that photo yourself, but isn’t it easier just to take one off the Internet and call it a day?
Absolutely. But marketing agencies know there is a right and a wrong way to go about obtaining and using an image found off the Internet when it isn’t an owned image. In many cases, finding an image online is the easy way to go about things, but only if you use it and give proper credit to the person who owns the rights to that image. If you use it incorrectly without giving proper attribution, things can backfire and escalate very quickly.
So why is image attribution so important?
Photographers and graphic designers work very hard at what they do. Just the same as authors and writers work hard to create books, blog posts, or news articles. If you don’t think it’s fair for someone to steal your words or ideas and pass them off as their own, you have just put yourself in the shoes of a photographer in regards to their photos.
Giving proper credit is not only the law, but it’s also just the right thing to do. Even if businesses that use photos incorrectly don’t necessarily get into legal trouble right away, they will likely get a bad reputation. Don’t be that guy.
So how do I get an image to use without violating copyright law?
Luckily, we’re all in the same boat here. And there are many options available to bloggers and small businesses that need an image for their websites, many of which have instructions on how to give proper credit or attribution. Take a look at our list of options below for royalty free or low cost images.
Royalty Free Image Sources:
Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Anything produced by the Government (public domain): http://www.dotgovwatch.com/?/archives/8-The-Best-Copyright-Free-Photo-Libraries.html
Flickr Images under “Attribution” license: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/
Not free, but low cost:
Do you have a source that we didn’t cover here? Let us know in the comments!
The ROI of Twitter is associated to larger brand mindshare and better customer service for the hyper-connected consumer.
Surveys have confirmed that a growing number of marketers are using Twitter to promote their business. Of those using Twitter, 27% said it had helped generate new business leads and 33% said Twitter had helped them close new business.
To start using Twitter for your business, start by identifying the reporters and top-tier editors of the publications that write about your industry. A freelance PR consultant can help you if you don’t have the time to do this yourself. But once you have your list, don’t start tweeting high-profile reporters right away. Your Tweets might look like spam. Instead, look for ways to insert yourself into the stream of conversation. Here's how:
Use these 4 Steps to Build Your Influence on Twitter
1. Regularly interact with 15 people that are already connected to someone who influences your industry, but have small or medium-sized followings of their own. Look for 10 or 20 people with a few hundred followers and see who Retweets and Replies to their message. This tip works because it’s easier to get noticed when you’re one of a few dozen rather than one out of a few thousand.
2. Create an “influence map” for your business—the 10 or 20 people that the leaders in your industry pay attention to. You can find these people by looking at Twitter streams and Klout topic lists. If the person you’re trying to engage with regularly Retweets or Replies to the same group of people over and over again, then see if you can establish relationships with those people first. Soon, you might be included in the conversation! As your influence grows, you will eventually become part of a “ladder of trust”—as long as you regularly create and share valuable, compelling content for your followers.
3. Once you’ve identified your “ladder of trust,” ask, “How can I give something of value back to the people I want to engage with?” Look at your own research, industry reports and always be on the lookout for ways you can be helpful. Share their content, but add extra value. For example, ask questions of your followers, then use that feedback to write an article about that subject. Then share that article with the person who originally tweeted the inspiration for your idea. They will likely share your content to their entire network!
4. Be supportive and go the extra mile whenever you can. Always be looking for ways to help and give back. Over time, your extra effort will help you get noticed, while showing the type of value you can bring to a relationship. Be unique and worthwhile. Plan to build relationships for as long as a year or more before asking for something in return. What are other ways that you can think of to help build your influence on Twitter? Start the conversation by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below: