7 Must-Do Inbound Marketing Practices For 2010 (and beyond)
Historically, I have offered core organic SEO services to my clients. But in the new year I will most definitely be incorporating many extra marketing strategies into the mix. Not only is search changing in a big way, but also, the approach I take in order to market my clients services and products.
SEO is great for attracting new organic search traffic and visitors and myself and my clients have had much success, but alone It is not enough. In a changing online world of search a more holistic approach has to be adopted in order to make use of all the channels that are available to marketers.
With the recent introduction of personalised search, universal search and real time search, obtaining top 10 placement on Google is becoming harder and harder, and we all know that languishing on page 2 or more is of no use whatsoever. As Google butchers the results pages more and more, organic results are getting pushed further and further down the pecking order and lets face it, organic search results just don’t pay the bills for Google do they?
This is why the “social web” has become so important. Couple this with an ever increasing need for trust in the world we live in, its important if not vital, that we truly “connect” with our customers and establish more engaging business relationships both online and offline.
So trust, credibility, transparency and UVP (Unique Value Proposition) will become even more important. But how can we adopt such an approach? Simple. By practicing the below and using them as part of your inbound marketing mix.
- Use Social Media – In the last couple of years social media has seen a huge spike in usage. Facebook now has around 350 million active users 65 million of these are accessing via mobile devices! Then we have Twitter which has a reputed following of 80 million users its easy to see that if utilised ethically, this is a great channel to help increase brand awareness. But unless you have some remarkable content to market (#3 below) you wont get far.
- Start Blogging – There were 133 million blogs online in January 2009 and I am sure that this number has exceeded 150 million or more over the last 12 months. By creating a blog with an RSS feed you get the opportunity to create regular “remarkable” content and have people subscribe to it automatically using their feed readers. If you use applications such as twitterfeed you can also automatically post to Twitter and Facebook. A blog is a must have for any business and if you don’t have one, you are missing a great opportunity.
- Create Highly Focused Content – With inbound marketing the main focus is that you are creating a “hub” that draws people into your site and keeps them there by providing great content and ways to “stay connected” (RSS feed, Twitter, FB etc) so that you can keep them coming back. Content can be informative blog posts, interviews with industry leaders, videos, infographics, how to’s, top x lists, industry news or anything else provided by your creative juices. Remember, “You have to give in order to get!”
- Use Your RSS Feed – As mentioned in #2. If you create a blog you need to allow people to view your posts and content not just directly on your site but indirectly via a blog feed reader such as Google reader.
- Practice Regular Blog Commenting – As there are so many blogs out there, they provide you with a great way of enforcing your own authority within your field. Most blogs allow you to add a comment at the end of each post, so why not use this opportunity to provide your own opinion. You can agree, disagree, add further resources or info or enforce what the blogger is saying. By blog commenting on a regular basis you start to become “known” within your niche and can help to establish yourself as an authority. Users can then click on your link in order to view your site. It’s a good way to gain extra visitors to your site if done ethically, i.e., not in a spammy fashion. If you follow the blogs via RSS reader, why not make sure that you are always one of the first to comment making sure that everyone gets to read your comment rather than have it buried by dozens of others?
- Install A Bookmarking Widget – A bookmarking widget is easily integrated into any site and allows users to bookmark, email to a friend or add your page to social media sites. It’s easy to implement and is effective in gaining more links and mind share. So do it! No excuses. I recommend addthis.com
- Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly – Apparently there are more mobiles in the world than there are computers and TV’s! 65 million people access Facebook using mobile devices! There are going to be many more in the coming months and years. Mobile web is picking up momentum in a big way. Google has now brought out its own Nexus One smart phone which I am sure will sell like crazy and we also have the Apple iphone and other such devices which are already well established. The “mobile web” is going to be huge and means that owners are going to have to make sure that their websites are “mobile friendly” if they want to garner visits from the more tech savvy user.
I would love to hear your views on this and perhaps even your own tips for marketing online in 2010. As ever, please feel free to comment below, bookmark, subscribe to my feed or connect with me on Twitter.