What is inbound marketing?

The vast majority of your market is not looking to buy your product or service today.

Or tomorrow, for that matter.

A small percentage is actively looking.

Inbound marketing brings these people to you.

The result is more sales enquires and sales.

Inbound marketers share information with prospective customers via digital marketing, in creative, interesting ways.

The information needs to be helpful and informative.

The problem is that many enterprises do not wish to share their knowledge.

“We have never done this before!” they exclaim.

“Why should we give away what we know for free?” they ask.

The counter-argument is that their competitors are already out there doing it.

Sharing knowledge sure beats asking strangers if they would like to buy from you (I know, as I used to do this for Rank Xerox when I was a young salesperson).

Besides, I have found that the more I share, the more I have to learn.

Here is an entry within The Marketing Compass Encyclopedia regarding inbound marketing.

Here is a blog regarding Push versus Pull marketing.

How to structure your knowledge

If you are a subject expert, you may have written a single book, several books or a series of blogs. You may have slide decks, course handouts or articles that you have written. You have probably answered questions via email and during meetings.

The information surrounding any given subject is continually expanding and you may have considered creating a knowledgebase, wiki or encyclopedia.

For some time, I have been in this position and I have looked at a number of ways of achieving this. Finally, I opted for a premium WordPress plugin called Enclyopedia Pro.

Here is the project so far:  The Marketing Compass Encyclopedia

There is a long way to go, as I have several thousand entries to add.

I am finding that this project is making me think about my subject area (marketing) in new ways and how everything fits together.

There is an SEO benefit from publishing your knowledge.

Personally, I do not have any problems with sharing my knowledge. I wonder whether you feel the same?

Stepping out of the shadows

If you want to generate better results on social media, engage with people. You can do this via Likes, Comments, Shares and Messages.

When you do this…

Be interesting. Be positive. Be inquisitive. Be yourself.

I have noticed that many enterprises don’t engage, they only broadcast. For example by continually sharing their blog posts.

Think of it this way. Do you prefer to be shouted at or to have conversations with interesting people?

Many people don’t want to draw attention to themselves.

I quite understand this, however, when it comes to promotion you have to step out of the shadows and start interacting with customers.

Website link building: 10 ideas

Google sees inbound links – AKA backlinks – to your website as votes of confidence. In general, the more inbound links you have, the better as long as they are of good quality.

An inbound link = a hyperlink which is pointing at your website.

Website link building should form part of your ongoing SEO strategy.

1. Gradually build inbound links to your website. Google doesn’t like sudden spikes.

2. Work manually i.e. don’t use bots / software programs / suspicious services from people you don’t know.

3. Include keywords within the anchor text*, where appropriate.

4. The links should come from relevant websites.

5. The links should come from sites with high authority i.e. credible websites.

6. Don’t use paid links.

7. Don’t use email spam to request links.

8. Don’t use link farms.

9. Do keep a meticulous record of your in-bound links.

10. Do check from time to time that the links still work.

*Anchor text: The text within a hyperlink,
i.e: www.nigeltemple.com or Digital marketing consultant

SEO Course – click here

How to write a Description tag

Within The Marketing Compass 2019 SEO Course (which NavigatorPlus members can access for free within the Resource Centre), we discuss Description tags. They provide a concise description of a web page, within a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). If a description tag is not there, the SERP result may show random wording, drawn from the web page.

On the one hand, since 2009, Description tags have not counted as Google ranking factors. However, because of the way in which they can make your search engine listing look better, they are important and well worth paying attention to. To put it another way, well-written Description tags will help you to get more visitors to your website.

Here is a screenshot of a Google search result. Notice that the Title tag (MailChimp training – Learn how to…) reads like a headline and that I have included a phone number. The Description tag text begins: ‘The training can be….’ These two elements in combination have always struck me as looking like an advert.

SERP page 1 for MailChimp training
You can have up to 300 characters including spaces within a Description tag.

Write about the benefits that are to be found within the web page. For example, as opposed to writing: ‘Here is our widgets page. It lists all of the widgets that we sell.’

You could write this: ‘Find the right widget for your requirements. You can specify your widgets by size, material, colour and price. We’re the leading widget supplier and we are here to help. Our vast warehouse ensures that we’re always in stock. Order online or apply for an account. Questions? Call: 01234 56789.’

(292 characters including spaces between words; it is quite a lot of text, isn’t it?)

Use the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ within your Description tags, as this will feel more personal for the reader.

It is better to write in an upbeat, positive way.

Use short sentences and short words.

Where you are marketing a product or service, include a call to action.

If you are a WordPress user, Yoast is helpful.

You will find more detail and ideas within the SEO course – click here.

Nigel offers Google SEO training.

PS This article first appeared in my marketing tips email which you can subscribe to here.

Too many browser windows open?

Do you find that that, as your working day progresses, you end up with dozens of browser windows?  I used to have so many that I would have several different web browsers on the go.

Station can be downloaded for use on your computer. It is free to use and it enables you to work with several hundred apps such as email, accounting, online storage, MailChimp, social media accounts (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter), Skype and many others (about 300 in total).

The result is that your website browser is much less cluttered. In addition, you can search across multiple apps within Station and move from one app to another in a variety of ways.

Station groups all your pages by app, automatically.  You can turn notifications off, when you need to concentrate.

No more getting lost in 50 open tabs. Decision making speaker and NavigatorPlus member and decision making speaker David Knowles-Leak kindly brought this to my attention.

Visit Station’s website here to find out more and download the app.

This story first appeared in my marketing tips and ideas newsletter. You can subscribe here.  “Your newsletter is the most useful I have ever subscribed to!” Steve Munden https://ibizify.net

Choosing an internet marketing consultant

Digital marketing consultant

Impartial, independent third party advice and feedback on your internet marketing activities can make all the difference. Here is a checklist for choosing an internet marketing consultant:

* Begin by deciding what you want the consultant to help you with, i.e. creating an internet marketing plan, increasing traffic, a website review, web copywriting review, an SEO audit and feedback, improving social media engagement, improving conversion rates,  generating more enquiries / sales (or all of these).
* Look for someone with a wide range of experience in different industries
* Does their website give you confidence? Is it well designed, does it look professional and is it easy to navigate?
* Do they display testimonials within their website?
* Does the consultant also teach? Where have they taught internet marketing?
* Does the consultant understand web copywriting?
* Can they demonstrate a thorough understanding of SEO?
* Do they have professional marketing qualifications, for example a marketing degree?
* Has the consultant built any websites? How successful are these sites?
* How many clients has the consultant worked for?
* How quickly do they respond to your enquiry?

Choose three or four consultants and talk to them on the phone. Ask them to give you some initial feedback on your website. Request a written quotation for their services by email.

Read about Nigel’s digital marketing consultant services.

Here is some typical feedback:
“I revamped the site taking into your comments and the bookings have gone crazy. We’ve just had our best ever week! Thanks so much, your magic has worked!” ~ Neil Ross

Nigel Temple internet marketing consultantNigel Temple is an internet marketing consultant, author, speaker and trainer. He shows business owners, professionals and teams how to get better results from 21st century marketing – including online brand awareness, improved search engine rankings, social media effectiveness, website traffic and sales enquiries / sales.

Nigel has taught internet marketing since 2000. He served as a Faculty Member and Course Director at CIM (the Chartered Institute of Marketing) for 12 years. He led over 500 Business Link workshops, focusing on website effectiveness, SEO and social media. Today, he delivers internet marketing events for The Marketing Compass which provides impartial marketing advice for business owners. He has worked in dozens of countries around the world including the USA, Dubai and Japan.

To find out more about Nigel’s services email joanna@nigeltemple.com or call Joanna on +44 (0)1628 773128.

He welcomes media enquiries about 21st century marketing, social media and digital marketing. He has appeared within the national press and broadcast media.

Nigel is the founder of The Marketing Compass – join thousands of business owners, tell us about your business and ask some marketing questions,

Here is an online SEO course.

Follow Nigel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nigeltemple

Are Google AdWords effective?

Are Google AdWords campaigns effective? The answer is that yes, they can be, in the right hands. This is also true of advertising in a wider context. You may be asking yourself: will advertising work for my enterprise? If you have a good offer and are prepared to stick with it, then advertising can work.

However, bear in mind that there are 36 promotional mix categories to choose from and over 300 promotional techniques, so there are many options – including paid for advertising.

Google Adwords has been part of many successful promotional campaigns, however you have to invest time and money to make them work.

The challenge is that there are many factors to take into account including objectives; the length of time that you are prepared to spend learning how the system works; your daily / monthly budget; how much you are prepared to pay for a click through; how good your headlines are; the offer that you make within your advertisements; where the click through takes the customer; your landing pages; your skills as a copywriter and your approach to measurement.

If you are starting out with AdWords, you should spend some time familiarising yourself with the user interface. Shift + ? …will show you the keyboard shortcuts, incidentally.

It is important to have a well organised Google AdWords account. It is all too easy for the account to become cluttered. For example, ensure that ad groups, adverts and keywords are related.

AdWords can be confusing, particularly for first time users. Here is a tip: start with (Google) search network campaigns. When someone uses a search engine for they are looking for an answer to something, i.e. where can I buy a product that I am interested in? Getting your ads into the top of the search results page is much more effective than seeing them appear at the foot of the page, by the way.

Effective Google AdWords campaigns start small and begin with testing. Don’t run one ad – run at least two ads containing one changed variable, i.e the headline.  This is time consuming, which is why many people seek outside help.

As Henry Ford said: stopping advertising to save money is like stopping a clock to save time.

Digital marketing checklist

Are you ticking the right digital marketing boxes i.e. plan, CRM, website, content, SEO, social media,  email marketing, smartphones and advertising? Increasingly, the boxes are connected. Here is a digital marketing checklist to get you started:

Digital marketing strategy plan

The digital marketing plan should include:
*  Objectives
*  Sales targets
*  Target markets
*  Online promotional mix
*  Budget
*  Metrics (including analytics)

A digital marketing plan includes an integrated approach to online brand awareness, customer acquisition and retention.

It sees things from the customers’ perspective, as marketing always has done. The perspective, however, has changed with the new ways in which consumers and business decision makers research and buy products and services.

CRM

*  Has a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system been chosen and deployed?
*  Have all customer facing staff been trained to use the CRM?
*  Which cloud based marketing apps and services connect with our CRM?
*  Are we using our CRM every day?

Website

*  When was our website last updated?
*  Is our website optimised for mobile devices?
*  How many sales leads / sales do we receive from our website every day / week / month?

Website content

*  Does the website navigation bar still make sense?
*  Do we have an uncluttered homepage?
*  Is the website content easy to read?
*  Does Google like our website?
*  How often do we publish new content?

SEO

*  Do we have an up-to-date understanding of  Search Engine Optimisation?
*  Do we have an SEO strategy?
*  With regards to SEO, what are we measuring?
*  What are our SEO results?
*  Here is an online SEO course

Social media

*  Do we have a social media strategy and plan?
*  Which social media platforms are we focusing on?
*  How often do we post original content within each platform?
*  Do we use social media metrics?

Email marketing

*  How many opt-in subscribers do we have?
*  How often do we send out newsletters?
*  What are our open and click through rates?

Smartphone marketing

*  Do we have a mobile first digital marketing strategy?
*  How do customers interact with our website when they use a mobile device?
*  How are we catching and keeping customer’s attention via smartphones?

Online advertising

*  Which paid for online advertising platforms are we using?
*  Is our online advertising strategy effective?
*  How much do we budget each month for online advertising?
*  What is our CPC (Cost Per Click)?
*  What is our CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)?
*  How can we improve results in this area?

Marketing automation

*  Do we have a marketing automation strategy?
*  Have we deployed software for sales lead nurturing, scoring and lifecycle management?
*  Can our software help with cross-selling, up-selling and customer loyalty?

Additional digital marketing checklist questions

*  What is working?
*  What isn’t working?
*  How can it be improved?
*  Current cost of customer acquisition
*  Target customer acquisition cost
*   Do we have a digital marketing learning strategy?
*  Should we get some impartial advice / training?

Digital marketing is a vast subject and I have been thinking about it whilst I have been rebuilding my Digital Marketing Consultant page.

Here is an online SEO course that I have created.

If you need some help, you are welcome to get in touch with me.