Overcoming Inbound Marketing Challenges - What if I have no budget?

Inbound Marketing Challenge: How to Implement Inbound with No Budget

One of the biggest barriers to entry to inbound marketing is a lack of budget.  So, what is a business to do? Not market at all? Just wait for business to flow in on its own? That is just going to lead to a bigger challenge, the “my business is in ruins” challenge. And we can’t help you there! So, before it goes that far, let’s find a way to make it work.

Stop Spending Money on Ineffective Marketing

Is there something you’re doing now that used to work, but just isn’t working as well now? Perhaps you’re still spending money on television or billboard advertising. Or, maybe you’re sending your sales team to several trade shows that just aren’t living up to your expectations. Used to be those brought in a decent amount of business, but perhaps now you are just throwing money away trying desperately to return to the days when that worked.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Most of us have those skinny jeans in the back of the closet just in case one day they …

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Let's turn content marketing strategy upside down - with Pinterest!

Content Marketing, Popstars, Pinterest, and Music Videos

If you follow Scalable on Instagram, or me anywhere, you know I’ve developed a slight addiction to running. It’s not the running so much as the feeling of accomplishment. And I need a good dose of distraction to keep me on the treadmill for three or four miles. I tried tv, music, music plus scenery and only ended up with motion sickness. Next stop – YouTube and music videos.

I started with a Mumford & Sons mix, which turned out to be a good choice. Some of the videos were just gorgeous – and totally distracting. Perfect! Some of them still have me puzzled. For instance, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. I cannot understand what the muppet beating up on stuffed animals has to do with anything – unless they were going for a dog-fighting feel without the actual horror of it. No idea.

Some of the videos were fun, some predictable, and some were so beautiful that the music seemed just a nice addition. And a fair number of them were just plain …

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JeffSiehInterview

Manly Pinterest Tips – An Interview with Jeff Sieh

So, we all know that Pinterest is for women who like to pin shoes, wedding dresses, recipes and kid’s crafts, right? Well, yeah, that’s true – but it’s also great for men, and more of our fella friends are figuring that out – thanks in no small part to our Manly Pinterest Tips pal, Jeff Sieh.

Jeff and I connected over a “Pin of the day” when he featured a blog post of mine and we have kept in touch all over the interwebs since. He has a personality as big as his home state of Texas and I know you’re going to love him!

Tell me about Jeff Sieh. How did you get started in online marketing, and how did you end up as the “Manly Pinterest” guy?

“I stared my company in 2002 after I left a local design company. I created websites, commercials, corporate videos, CD-Roms, etc for many years before I started getting into social media. I started managing social media accounts for a couple of national clients and then finally decided to take my own …

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Pinterest Smart Feed

Pinterest Smart Feed – Time For Businesses to Get Smarter About Pinterest

This morning I listened to the “Oh So Pinteresting” podcast with Cynthia Sanchez. She and her guest, Susan Wenner Jackson from Ahology, discussed the changes that quietly made their way in to our Pinterest feeds in August. It is absolutely worth a listen. You’ll get insights that you can’t get anywhere else because it seems, Pinterest isn’t really talking. You may have noticed the changes to your own Pinterest feed starting about a month ago. The first thing I noticed were related pins. Then I noticed you could follow interests instead of just pinners or boards. Well, it seems those were all symptoms of a big Pinterest algorithm change rolled out in August.

What Pinterest is Trying to Do with Smart Feed

Pinterest has been about discovery from the very beginning. Discovering new interests, new ideas, new recipes… Now discovery is becoming almost mandatory. Looking at my feed right now, approximately one third of all the pins I see are labeled “related pin” meaning, they were not pinned by someone I follow, but are related to content I do pin …

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6 Things to do before you start marketing your business online

Six Things to do Before You Start Marketing Your Business Online

Nearly all business owners understand that online marketing is of vital importance to your online success. And while you don’t want to get so bogged down in planning that you never start, there are some things you simply need to do before you jump in feet first. These principles also apply if you are considering revamping your online marketing.

Step One: Take an Honest Look at Your Business Overall

Believe me, I get it. Your business is your baby. But with successful online marketing comes a magnification of every aspect of your business – the good, the bad, and (especially) the ugly. Is your product or service truly valuable – one you have reason to be proud of? Is the pricing reasonable? You don’t have to be the least expensive, but if you’re the most expensive, there had better be a good reason for it.

Step Two: Perfect Your Customer Service

Review sites and social media interactions have taken customer service from private phone call to public spectacle. While there is likely already some talk about you online (for good …

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H2H-marketing-jargon

Why We Don’t Need “H2H” in Our Marketing Jargon Dictionary

Some real smart marketing folks have started to say, “It’s not B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer) – it’s H2H!” I want to agree. Really. I’m all about conversation and making your brand more than a faceless entity by imbuing some real personality in to everything you do. But, here’s why I think “H2H” has to go.

PS – you might have read my recent post on OverGo’s website about what was missing at HubSpot’s Inbound 2014 and start to conclude that I’m just grumpy because my trip to Maine didn’t include quite enough lobster. Not so! Perhaps my brushes with greatness there just gave me the confidence to go out on a limb a bit more. How’s that for “human”?

“Human to Human” is Over Simplified

Sure, companies are made of humans and consumers are humans, but the behavior of a human acting as a business and a human acting as a consumer is different enough to warrant the basic persona differentiation of “B2B” or “B2C.” Buying patterns and motivations are different for each. …

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Is your business at the "corner where history is made"? via @scalablesocial

Is Your Business in “The Corner Where History is Made”? – Inbound14 Shorts

This week, I’m at HubSpot’s Inbound14 – a world-class marketing conference in Boston, MA. It’s amazing being with ten thousand (?!) other people who “get” marketing. The speakers have been amazing and though my accommodations are definitely on the sketchy side, it’s a great time.

Yesterday’s opening keynote address was by Guy Kawasaki – chief evangelist at one of my favorite companies – Canva!!! He’s also smart enough to work with the fabulous Peg Fitzpatrick, and has also worked with some of the world’s most successful companies, including Apple – a company which has definitely made history. So, I was looking forward to his part.

Guy is known as a dynamic “Enchanting” speaker (he wrote the book, “Enchantment”) and I am happy to say I was not disappointed. There was nothing earth-shattering, but it was interesting to hear about his experiences at Apple. The point I most appreciated was this idea that there is a special corner we should all be aiming for in our businesses.

That Elusive Corner Where History is Made

I really enjoyed his visual depiction of the winning combination …

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One Tip for Massive Pinterest Leads via @scalablesocial

The One Tip You Need to Generate Massive Leads with Pinterest

Last month, 14% of our website visitors AND new contacts came from Pinterest. Pretty good, right?

Well, for one of our clients, 48 percent of his traffic 57% of new contacts came from Pinterest. Insane!

How do we do it, you ask? Well, it has a little to do with the industry. This particular client is a pharmacist and nutritional counselor, so it’s not too hard to find a topic that will really do well on Pinterest.

Every month, we create a new piece of downloadable content for his website. Often, our ideas are inspired by what we see on Pinterest. For instance, if we see that a pin on featuring smoothie recipes is really popular on Pinterest, we might create a collection of ten smoothie recipes.Because of the focus of our client, we’ll make them healthy smoothies. They have to taste great AND be good for you. Tricky, but not impossible (we know because we did this). Also, one of them is now what I eat for lunch. Every. Single. Day.

I digress. Now that we have our offer, our landing page, …

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Why should I pin to group boards? Wouldn't it be better to pin to my own boards? via @scalablesocial

Pinterest FAQ: Why Join a Group Board?

Wouldn’t it be better to put images on your own Pinterest boards? After all, when you don’t own the Pinterest board, you have no control over who else pins, what they pin, and even whether that board will still exist tomorrow.

That’s right – entire group boards disappear when a frustrated owner deletes the entire thing. Not to mention the fact that when people follow that board, it doesn’t add to your own follower count.

So, why would you add pins to a shared board?

It’s about exposure. Let’s say you have 100 followers. When you pin something, your 100 followers might see it. If you pin to a board with 1,000 followers, even if those people are NOT following you, those 1,000 people might see your pin. Even I can do the math on that and figure out that 1,000 is better than 100!

Aside from that initial potential exposure, you have a better chance of people repinning your content because so many more are seeing it. I’ve seen this happen in a big way. Pin to my own board …

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brand-advocate-fans-canva

How Canva Creates Brand Advocates and Raving Fans

Brand advocates. Everybody wants them. They give you referrals, they advertise for you for free. They stand up for you when you’re under fire. How does a company attain and retain brand advocates? Sometimes the best way to figure it out is to follow the example of a successful company.

We’ve been on Canva since the days when you needed an invitation. We’ve written about them extensively online and even in print. Yes, I said, “them,” without even meaning to because though Canva is a tool, there are very real people behind it, and it is obvious at every turn. And this, my friends, is how they build raving fans who becoming walking billboards for their amazing service.

Brand advocates share your content, they tell other people about you – and you don’t have to pay them a cent. Which is why all businesses need to do everything they can to create and delight your own. Here’s how Canva does it:

With a Valuable Tool

Canva lets us create amazing designs even though we are not designers – for free. …

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