TIPS ON HOW TO INTERNET MARKET
I was recently presenting inbound marketing to a mid-market manufacturer when out of the blue, the VP of Marketing asked, “Is it important to optimize your blog titles?” What do you think I did next? You guessed it. I immediately etched a comment on my note pad….next Market One blog, “Is it important to optimize your blog titles?” So like the title says, is it important to optimize your blog titles? Many industry experts have varying opinions, but as for Market One, we believe it is very important and we are about to tell you why.
A few months ago, I was conducting an inbound marketing assessment (IMA) with an SMB manufacturer of widgets (let’s just say). During the IMA, it became clear that the client had no clue as to what it takes to get his website to rank among the major search engines. But after a short while he grasped the concept that Google is controlling his sales, net revenue and profits. When he asked me: “How is Google and the other engines controlling my sales”?, he looked like a deer in the headlights. Now please don’t misunderstand, I’m not approaching this with the slightest bit of arrogance, I am simply relaying a story. I began to explain of the major shift in buyer behavior that has occurred. Gone are the days of big and clunky product directories bound in cardboard….the new era buyers have subscribed to “In Google we Trust”. So what does all of this have to do with businesses blogging? Good question. Blogging is the key driver in authority creation and authority creation is the key to ranking for key phrases for your website. Let me lay forth 5 key elements as to why business blogging is the new era ad unit.
SITUATIONAL OVERVIEW: Owned by a leading Japanese based conglomerate, EYE Lighting International is at the forefront in the manufacturing and marketing of specialty lighting technologies including commercial and industrial lamps and luminaires. The company offers lighting design professionals and building owners a wealth of knowledge in the field of lighting solutions and provides extremely high levels of customer satisfaction. This case study will explain how EYE Lighting achieved a 4x increase in web conversions/leads and a 400% increase in website traffic in just 4 months.
It may seem simple, yes even very simple, but much remains a blur about the topic of blogging. My sales team and I have garnered much success in client meetings explaining
that blogging isn’t about two pre-teens exchanging juicy information about the boy next door. That in fact, it is the serious business of publishing remarkable content for the world to read which grows traffic, followers, leads and sales.
The Sales Funnel has been the symbol of the selling process since Moses came down from the mountain. The Sales Funnel is simply about creating a community of followers (in the top of the funnel), nurturing them to understand the benefits of what you have to offer (the middle of the funnel), and eventually converting them to be evangelists for your cause (aka; customers – in the bottom of the funnel).
Understanding how to SEO is critical to getting found on the Internet. In Part 1 of our series we learned the basics of what and how Google’s new search algorithms changed the game of ranking.
In a recent survey, customers said their first engagement with sales occurred after they were 57% through the purchase process. In other words, they had done their research prior to letting any vendor know of their purchase intentions. Today, marketers must meet the demands of the more educated, self-reliant and social buyer. And be prepared to meet them where they are…on the internet.
The easiest way to close the loop is to make your website the central hub for all your marketing. Search engines, social media, email marketing, referral links, paid search, even offline campaigns should get filtered to your website. Once someone visits your website, you can cookie them and start tracking their activity.
You’ve done your homework and written some great blog posts. Now it’s time to hit “Publish” and send your awesome thoughts out into the internet. The most important aspect of your blog is to provide valuable information your audience will be interested in and find helpful. But just as important is – Getting readers! Just because you build it….doesn‘t mean they will come. Promoting your blog is as important as the content it provides.
The 8 steps of new blog promotion:
1) Friends, Family & Industry – Oh My!
Do not be afraid to email everyone you know and love and ask them to read, share and comment on your blog. In fact, the more shameless the better. (One blogger commented that her best friend threatened her with string cheese if she didn’t promote her blog. Her friend now has 9,000 monthly visitors). Also, put together a list of industry contacts and customers that you think would appreciate your content. Send them an “exclusive” invite asking for their comments and asking them to share the blog too! People like to help others. Ask them to help you, while helping them too (posting comments on their blogs, etc.).
2) Don’t be a wallflower at the party
Find other great industry blogs and publications that have comments open on their stories. If you can, leave a thoughtful comment and include a link to your blog in your contact information. This will show your thought leadership and draw in readers that have an interest in your industry. Set Google Alerts for industry news stories so that you can comment on those too! Successful blogging is all about give and get. Give others feedback and get feedback from others. Don’t be afraid to get out there in the ‘internet’ world. And put your best foot forward.
3) Press release
If you have some available budget, consider doing a press release with PR NewsWire or PRWeb. You can specify certain aspects of the release – just be sure that you weigh the costs against the options you pick.
4) Open your blog to guests
Find and ask people in your industry or complimentary industries (e.g., you do window installation and you have a friend who does drapery design), if they would be a guest blogger. Not only do you get a free blog post (win!) but they will most likely link to the post from their site and share it with their network of readers too! A huge part of optimizing your web site is getting backward links. Whenever someone has your website URL posted on their website, that’s another backward link and ‘ding’ for your site’s optimization.
5) Don’t let that email signature go to waste
Have every employee add a Check out our blog! Blog.URL.com link in the signature of their email. If it turned Hotmail into the email provider with the most members, it can work for you!
6) Teach others in your neighborhood
Contact your industry associations, trade shows and other forums where people you’re trying to reach meet and share ideas. See if you can be a speaker at an upcoming event. The best part about that is your information (including your blog) will be included on all the marketing materials and you can also throw it out during your talk as well. (And even if people at the talk are not all in your industry, there is a great chance they know someone who is!)
7) Bartering is so 2011!
Is there a newsletter, industry publication or email group that has the audience you’re trying to reach? Contact the publication and see if you can do a trade! Placement in the newsletter in exchange for your product or service. It never hurts to ask, since the worst you can hear is “no”!
8) Blogging optimizes your website and drives traffic
Many folks are not aware, but if your blog resides on your website (or resides on the HubSpot platform linked to your site), each time you blog it creates a new “indexed” page on your site. The more indexed pages your site has, the more your authority with Google goes up. The rule of thumb is to blog at least twice per week. If you’re doing that, you’re putting up 8 new ‘indexed’ webpages per month. How easy is that?