What is inbound marketing?

What is Inbound Marketing?

Is the term “inbound marketing” a complete mystery to you? If so, you’re not alone! Even those in the business of inbound marketing don’t always agree on its exact meaning. The term “inbound marketing,” is sometimes used interchangeably with “content marketing.” Branded terms like Jay Baer’s “YOUtility” further attempt to clarify the mystery by indicating that it’s useful.

To me, inbound marketing is marketing that people love. It fills a need at the right time, in the right format, on the right platform and guides your visitors into a sales funnel that they actually enjoy.

I had an opportunity to collaborate on HubSpot’s new ebook, “The ABCs of Inbound Marketing,” and it got me thinking – how do other professionals explain what inbound marketing means?

How Inbound Marketing Professionals Define Their Marketing Strategy

I asked around on Twitter for some inbound marketing professionals’ one-sentence answers to “What is Inbound Marketing?” Here’s what they said:

“Inbound Marketing is fun, effective and trackable marketing– being there when prospects search, it’s my kind …

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Selling Social

Social Media Platforms Not Created Equal [Infographic]

Forty-nine percent of businesses surveyed for the Social Media Examiner 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report feel that Facebook is the “most important” network for them. Interesting. I wonder if the criteria for that claim goes any deeper than gut level.

While Facebook can be beneficial for many businesses, LinkedIn actually works better for lead generation (especially for B2B) and Pinterest generates a higher dollar amount per sale. Meanwhile, there is no arguing the SEO power of Google+! My guess is that they’re guessing, and going with what is comfortable to them.

Which brings up and important point – for whom are we doing this? Ourselves or our customers? Not that there isn’t something to be said for working with a platform that is comfortable for you – I just wonder how much brand recognition and sales increase is left on the table because of false assumptions.

Something else that caught my eye is that “improved …

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Six Time-Saving Social Media Tips

How to Save Time on Social Media Marketing

Ever feel like your entire day is spent hopping from one social media site to the next? Responding to comments, RTs and shares, commenting on other people’s content, updating your accounts, it can seem endless. But social media marketing is not the only thing you need to do all day. You have email campaigns to run, content to create, phone calls to answer, a business to maintain – you know!

Time-Saving Social Media Tips

1. Schedule

Facebook allows you to schedule updates for later, but the ultimate time-saver is a tool that allows you to schedule all (or ALMOST all) of your updates from one place. We like HootSuite for scheduling most updates. Viraltag is a fabulous tool for scheduling Pinterest pins.

When I want to schedule a few days worth of Tweets, though, my go-to is Buffer. You can schedule tweets at regular intervals and just load them up and forget it! Buffer will also schedule updates to Facebook and LinkedIn, but …

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LinkedIn Smart Networking

LinkedIn for Lead Generation and Relationship Building

LinkedIn can be a tremendous driver of website traffic and leads, especially for companies who sell products and services to other businesses. In fact, a 2012 study by HubSpot showed that LinkedIn generates 277% more leads than Twitter or Facebook! As with all social networking for business, the key is to subtly promote your business without using LinkedIn as an advertising platform. This post focuses on using your personal profile to build connections. Your business LinkedIn page is limited to posting updates and products.

Complete and Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

This could be an entire post of its own, but we’ll cover the basics here. Try not to leave any section, or any field in a section blank. Make sure your profile image is uploaded (no one wants to do business with a faceless avatar) and professional. Though that photo of you on the boat with your son is fine for your Facebook profile, it doesn’t belong here. This is a place for your professional head shot – close …

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How to Change Your LinkedIn Profile URL

LinkedIn – How to Change Your Public Profile URL

When you first create your LinkedIn profile, you are assigned a profile URL that will be a combination of your first and last names, and a string of numbers. You may want to put this on your business card – but not in its current form! Instead, choose a URL that reflects who you are and what you do – incorporating keywords if possible.  If you believe people may search for you by name, use your full name, perhaps in conjunction with a short keyword.

It’s best to set your URL when you first create your profile, as people may bookmark your URL and search engines may index it. When you change it, your old URL does NOT forward to your new profile URL. Still, if you haven’t been very active, or your existing URL is not usable (johnsmith23419234, for example), you may wish to change it.

How To Change Your LinkedIn Public Profile URL

From you home page, hover over the Profile box and select “Edit Profile. Find your public profile URL under your photo and click “Edit” to …

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Is your LinkedIn Company Page a Ghost Town?

How to Grow Your LinkedIn Company Page Following

LinkedIn is the highest lead-producing platform in all social media for many businesses (especially B2B companies), yet the bulk of the activity seems to happen between people – not on company pages, and that makes sense.  But, what if you are involved in multiple businesses, or, what if you are responsible for maintaining the LinkedIn company page of a business you don’t plan to work for for the next forty years?  Being the conscientious employee you are, you don’t want to leave their LinkedIn presence desolate when you move on.

So, how can you get a little more action on your LinkedIn company profile?

Optimize your LinkedIn Company Profile

Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth double-checking to make sure you have a compelling cover and profile photo, all the details are filled in and current on your page, and your services section is filled out.

Share Relevant Content

People use LinkedIn for professional networking, so tailor your updates accordingly. Unless your business is about cats, sharing a popular Facebook cat meme on LinkedIn might not go over well. Focus more …

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masksfeatured

Should I Outsource My LinkedIn Account Management?

We offer social media support for pretty much any platform out there.  We’ll help you optimize your profiles, network with others and respond to comments, and even add updates for you. Except on LinkedIn.

We’ll optimize your profile and company profile and add updates for you (and, indeed, more than one of our clients has been complimented by connections on the content we share), and even work with you to provide a strategy and suggest groups for you to join, but we won’t build connections and participate in LinkedIn groups on your behalf.

It’s not because we don’t see value in the platform (LinkedIn is HUGE for B2B). It’s not because there isn’t a demand for outsourced LinkedIn management, either.  Just this week, I had to turn down a prospective client who wanted us to manage LinkedIn for him. I hated to have to do it.

 

Why I Won’t Manage LinkedIn For You

Unlike activity on any of the other major networks, all interaction on LinkedIn (besides posting updates) is done through a personal …

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Add Share Buttons to Websites and Email

Reach More People When you Use Social Share Buttons for Email Messages and Websites

“Websites that display Twitter sharing buttons are linked to on Twitter nearly seven times more often than sites that do not display tweet buttons.” (Entrepreneur.com) Clearly, adding “Share This” buttons to your websites and emails is a great way to increase the distribution of your content.  Make it easy for people to share, and they’re likely to do so!

Want to add “Share This” buttons to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ to your website or Email messages? Many platforms have plugins or built-in methods to do so (we like Slick Social Share Buttons for WordPress), but some landing page providers don’t, so we gathered the code for each. No javascript required, so they all work in email as well.

Just change the parts of the code in ALL_CAPS to your own values.  To try them out, click on my text or button links.

Share to Facebook

 

<a href=”http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=YOUR_URL/”>Share to Facebook</a>

Tweet This button

 

<a href=”http://twitter.com/share?url=YOUR_URL/&text=TEXT_FOR_TWEET&via=YOUR_TWITTER_USERNAME&related=yarrcat” target=”_blank”>Tweet …

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Name Tag - Peer Pressure & Social Media

How do You Measure Up? Peer Pressure & Social Media

You put great effort in to marketing your business. You design logos, websites and establish social media platforms. You spend time blogging and tweeting, in the hope of developing a loyal fan following. Blood, sweat and sometimes even tears, are shed getting your business off the ground.

And then it happens. Browsing through your feed a business page catches your eye. You click on it, maybe to check out the competition or gain some inspiration. Immediately your good mood disappears.  Their logo is designed at epic levels, their products are trendy and fun, they have a million followers (or at least it feels that way compared to your 200) and fans are raving about how wonderful they are.

Don’t pretend it hasn’t happened to you. In an instant, you’ve lost your social media identity.

Peer Pressure and Social Media

What you felt may not have been envy, but inadequacy. Left unchecked it’s just not healthy. Experts call it “yardsticking,the impulse to privately …

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The LinkedIn & Twitter Breakup – Who Benefits?

On July 2, 1012, after nearly three years of partnership, LinkedIn and Twitter parted ways – for the most part.  In the past, users could send all Tweets to LinkedIn as updates – but no more!  Strangely, Twitter will still publish your LinkedIn updates of you want.  Well, maybe it’s not so strange when you consider the perceived motivation for the switch.

Unlike some other social networks (LinkedIn will still allow their updates to auto-post to Twitter), Twitter seems determined to make users come right to its own platform.  Why?  It’s about the money, of course – and more specifically about their goal to have $1 Billion in revenue by 2014.

So, what’s a business to do?

If you use a service such as HootSuite, you can add your LinkedIn profile AND company page and then easily schedule updates.  Or, you can visit LinkedIn and update your personal an company account status manually. You may find this method encourages you to interact more frequently with your contacts on LinkedIn, which …

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