Part III: Inbound Social Marketing — How to Attract Business
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ — whether it’s social networking, video sharing or microblogging, your customers are using social media, and you need to know how to work with this new media to reach them and draw them to you.
Social media marketing is a linchpin of any strategic inbound Internet marketing program.
The DigitalEYE Media team of Orange County Internet marketing specialists wants businesses to know:
—how to leverage Internet commerce, social media and digital marketing.
—how to get prospects to find you through blogs, search engines and social media.
—how to get found on the Web by the right prospects and convert more of them into leads and customers.
Inbound marketing is about operating your business as a sort of a mega-hook, a grand attractor pulling in the interest of online prospects who are trying to find products or services in your industry.
All about ‘Pull’, not ‘Push’
The easier you make it for potential customers to find you, especially at the exact point when they want to find a company like yours, and the more educational, engaging or entertaining you make your content, the more successful you will be. Inbound marketing is a permission-based methodology that focuses on driving relevant traffic to your website, converting that traffic to leads and, finally, turning those leads into sales.
Social media — supported by effective search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and dynamic content creation — can drive relevant traffic to your website. This method of attracting qualified traffic is much more effective than the alternative — blasting marketing messages to uncounted numbers of uninterested people in the hopes you’ll have a return rate of around two percent.
Marketers who are embracing inbound techniques have available to them a variety of resources for learning how to manage the process.
“Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs” by HubSpot’s Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah is a primer for those looking to learn how to make the most of social media to pull in customers.
“Seven Reasons Your Inbound Marketing Needs Social Media” by Sean Johnson says that if you are having doubts about the value of social media, consider the following statistics:
— U.S. Internet users spend 3x more minutes on blogs and social media than they do on e-mail (Source: The Neilson Company, November, 2010). When folks have downtime, they are turning to social media to keep up with what’s going on both professionally and personally.
— 63 percent of the companies using social media say it has increased marketing effectiveness (Source: McKinsey Global Institute, December, 2010).
— 48 percent of businesses using social media reported that it improved their search results by driving inbound links (Source: BTOB Magazine, July 2010). A critical component of Inbound Marketing is increasing inbound links to bring prospects into your sales funnel.
— 57 percent of companies using blogs reported that they acquired customers from leads generating directly from their blog (Source: HubSpot, The State of Inbound Marketing Report 2011).
— B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads than those who do not (Source: HubSpot, State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report, 2010).
— LinkedIn drives nearly 1.5X more referrals for B2B sites than any other channel (Source: Leadforce1, June 2010).
— 86 percent of B2B companies are using social media, compared to 82 percent of B2C companies (Source: White Horse, March 2010).
Your competitors are out there. Can you afford not to be?