Posted on February 16, 2010. Filed under: Books, Business Strategy, Marketing and Public Relations | Tags: blogging, book review, Brian Halligan, communications, Dharmesh Shah, how-to, hubspot, Inbound Marketing, lead conversion, lead generation, marketing, marketing strategy, online marketing, sales funnel, search engine marketing, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SEO strategy, Social Media, tactics, web |
Start a company, write a bunch of blog posts and offer webinars — all based on the concept. Once the idea gets some traction, write a book about it.
Do this and you own the keywords for that concept.
That’s the deal with inbound marketing, a term popularized by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah — the founders of Hubspot, an internet marketing company, and co- authors of Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs (The New Rules of Social Media).
Present your message when people want to receive it
What is inbound marketing? Well, it’s the opposite of outbound marketing, a.k.a. traditional marketing, a.k.a. interruption marketing. Which is to say, the opposite of print, TV and radio ads, direct mail, telemarketing and any other way companies push a message in front of consumers.
All this is becoming less effective because we tune it out, either psychologically, or for real — via DVR, satellite radio, spam filters and do-not-call lists.
Meanwhile, we’re ever more inclined to shop, and do research on what we want to buy, through search engines, and by reading information and recommendations posted on social media sites.
Enter inbound marketing, where you create ways for people find your message when they’re amenable to receiving it.
How do I find thee? Let me count the ways.
It’s things like RSS feeds, opt-in email newsletters, blogs that are not simply about your product or service but are more broadly informative about the industry in which you operate, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising and having a presence on social media outlets.
All of which is addressed in Inbound Marketing, a guide for success with this 21st century marketing method.
Smart strategic advice
The book presents step-by-step plans plus strategies and tactics. It explains the fundamentals; RSS, blogs, SEO, Twitter, etc. — to include how to track your progress. Halligan and Shah are data guys — hey, they’re MIT grads — sticklers for measuring results.
Smart advice supplements copious how-to material. For instance, a “Getting Found on Google” chapter notes the importance keywords play in search engine optimization while cautioning that choosing only the most popular relevant terms is not necessarily the way to go — because the most popular keywords are also the most competitive, making it harder to achieve high rank.
For sites just starting out the authors advise choosing keywords with low competition: “Then, as you build authority for your web pages, and start ranking for these keywords, you can move up to higher volume keywords that have more competition.”
If you’re hedging between several keywords, the suggestion is to “consider launching a small PPC (pay-per-click) advertising campaign to determine what your best keywords might be.”
A practical primer
Advice on how to drive traffic to a website is all well and good, however, Halligan and Shah realize the ultimate goal of all that effort is to drum up business. Once you figure how to get found, Inbound Marketing provides tips for turning interest into sales, with landing pages and calls to action.
Each chapter concludes with a case study plus handy to-do list for implementing an action plan.
Concise and straightforward, there’s no fancy theories or eloquent prose. This is a practical primer. Read it and learn how to be found on the inbound.
- Deni Kasrel
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