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David Meerman Scott (@dmscott) is the man behind The New Rules of Marketing and PR. If you haven’t read this book, I’d encourage you to check it out (the future of your business may depend on it)! Yesterday, David gave an exciting keynote speech at the 2012 Inbound marketing conference in Boston, MA. Not familiar with inbound marketing? Let me briefly define it as an umbrella term used to refer to marketing strategies which attract prospects to you at a moment of interest or intent.
Inbound marketing includes things like pay per click advertising, search engine optimization, and social media marketing. Inbound marketing stands in sharp contrast to traditional marketing strategies like direct mail, print, TV, etc. which pushed (mostly unwanted) messages at often uninterested people. During his presentation, David described four different types of inbound marketing strategies and he gave a variety of other online marketing tips.
Here are a few of my favorites how you can use them to attract more web visits, leads, and sales:
The Four Types of Inbound Marketing
According to David, inbound marketing strategies fall into one of four categories. Most companies tend to focus either on the first, which he calls ‘broad and thin’, or the second, ‘specific and vertical.’ Broad and thin would be creating content to get your website ranked for a (relevatively) generic phrase. If you own a plumbing company in Chicago, broad and thin inbound marketing might target a keyword phrase like, “Chicago plumber.” Contrast this with so-called ‘specific and vertical’ inbound marketing strategies which might target keywords like “best drain cleaning company in Chicago” or “top rated plumbers in Lincoln Park.”
There’s nothing wrong with broad and thin or specific and vertical inbound marketing strategies, but David argues that the future of inbound is going to be all about ‘real-time’ and ‘location-based’ strategies. With real time inbound marketing, you’re creating content RIGHT NOW designed to attract prospects to your website. Location-based inbound marketing is self-explanatory.
How do you make real-time, location-based inbound marketing work for you?
Here’s an example of how a home service business might use it to get more business. Let’s say you own a plumbing company serving the Baltimore-Washington area. You have a truck doing a series of jobs in Baltimore and your plumbing tech finishes early. Wouldn’t it be great if you could alert people in Baltimore, in need of a plumber, that you have a guy in their area right now? Getting your guy to do a few more jobs in the area – even at a discounted rate – sure beats having him drive home early or spend half the day driving back to your shop. Using real-time, location-based inbound marketing, you might update your company’s Facebook and Twitter status to offer a discounted rate for anyone in Baltimore that calls you RIGHT NOW while your truck is still in the area.
Although it might be depressing for those of you 35 years and older, we’re moving to a society that demands instant information. Need proof of this, watch how frequently your younger employees check their phones! Real-time inbound marketing might represent getting ahead of the curve right now, but in the future, it will be the requirement.
Using the News to Attract Attention, Visits, Leads & Sales
Another concept David mentioned yesterday was the idea of Newsjacking. With newsjacking, you take a breaking story or event and re-frame it with your perspective or angle on it. For this form of real-time inbound marketing to work, you’ve got to be incredibly FAST as well as creative. For example, at most online marketing conferences, bloggers are writing their posts as the event (keynote, announcement, etc.) is happening. To grab attention, you’ve got to get your content out there quickly and angle it in a way that is interesting/compelling.
Breaking stories can drive massive volumes of online searches as well as interest and follow up stories from other bloggers and journalists. If you’re quick and creative, you can create content related to breaking news stories or trending topics to drive large amounts of traffic (and eventually leads) via your website. It’s not easy, but newsjacking represents an under utilized traffic/lead generation opportunity for businesses of any size and from any industry. It also has very little cost – aside from the time to create the content – and can have a long shelf-life.
How Being a Deadhead Can Help Your Business
Whether you love them or hate them, the Grateful Dead are, without question, one of the most popular touring bands in the history of rock and roll. What the heck does this have to do with marketing your business? A lot more than you might think. What made the Grateful Dead so successful was hardly the quality of their music; it was their “if everyone else does it this way, we’ll do it that way” approach. Essentially, they broke every “rule” in the music industry book – they allowed fans to record shows and create bootleg tapes; they sold tickets directly to fans; and instead of focusing on record sales, they focused on live concerts. They build a fan-base so dedicated that being a “deadhead” became a way of life.
How does this apply to your business?
If you want more website visits, leads, and sales, create compelling content and give it away for free. Notice I said “compelling content” – just sharing the same thing that everyone else is no longer enough. Far too many companies refrain from publishing their best stuff online for fear that they will be ripped off by a competitor. Whatever you think you shouldn’t publish (for fear that someone will steal it), is exactly what you should publish! The bottleneck in the modern marketing world is one thing – attention. The benefits of the attention that come from sharing amazing content far outweigh the potential harm that could come from a competitor stealing your content.
The Grateful Dead knew this (or quickly realized it). By encouraging their fans to record and share their concerts – breaking every rule in the music industry playbook – they reached an exponentially larger audience than they otherwise might have. And they built this massive audience without all the modern tools available to your business! In today’s connected world, you need to start looking at your prospects and clients as marketing partners, and this phenomenon is only going to become more true in the future.
Contact us today to more about how inbound marketing can help you grow your business!
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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