What Inbound Marketing Is And Why You Should Have It
What Inbound Marketing Is And Why You Should Have It
by

I spend zero dollars marketing my business. “Marketing” in its traditional sense includes advertising, baiting media outlets with press releases and, to paraphrase David Meerman Scott, buy, beg and borrow for leads and attention. The way people find out about my business is through two primary mechanisms: Word-of-Mouth recommendations and finding me through search engine results.

Word-of-Mouth, in this instance, is inclusive of people passing recommendations online. If an account manager at a public relations firm is looking for a social media consultant and asks his or her network online for a recommendation and my name surfaces, that’s word-of-mouth. When that recommendation comes from an electronic source, we have a tendency to say it’s not word-of-mouth. Machines don’t have mouths so we can’t quite wrap our head around the inclusion.

But when we’ve spent only time and energy producing digital footprints that enable machines to make those recommendations, we’re not buying or begging for the attention. We’re simply making it easy for potential customers to find us. This is called, “inbound marketing.”

Raised hand by Charles B. Ming Onn on Shutterstock.comSome examples of inbound marketing:

  • You blog about interior design and, because you use several relevant terms to people searching for an interior decorator, begin to climb in organic search rankings. Emails or phone calls come in (inbound) from people asking if they can hire you to decorate their homes.
  • You find and share valuable content with people interested in stock market tips on Twitter. Some of your followers start reaching out to you asking if you can help with their investment advice.
  • Your thoughts about your industry become noted by your peers and you wind up ranked on a Top 10 List of blogs relevant to your field. Potential customers go searching for experts in the field and find the Top 10 List, thus finding you, and call you to inquire about your services.

Friday I took a call from a gentleman who makes speciality software for a niche industry. He has little reason to know who I am or even where to turn for social media, public relations or Internet marketing advice. He spent a couple of hours last week researching those three topics online and, “my name kept popping up.”

This is inbound marketing at its finest. I spent nothing more to acquire that customer (I haven’t yet, but for the sake of argument, let’s say I do.) than the 45 minutes or so each day I spend sharing good content on Twitter and Facebook, 3-4 hours per week I spend writing blog posts and 3-4 additional hours per month I spend writing my monthly newsletter. That equals about 20 percent of my time, which is about what many businesses spend on marketing in some manner.

I provide content that is of interest to people wanting to learn or know something about social media, public relations and Internet marketing. I share similar content from other people who do the same. And the calls, emails and other messages keep coming in.

This is your primary reason for using social media marketing. Yes, there are others. No, I don’t recommend most businesses use only social media and/or inbound marketing techniques the way I do. But if you’re looking for a way to get a leg up on the competition, there’s a pretty good chance they either aren’t using inbound marketing, or they aren’t doing it well.

The pros and cons of inbound marketing are interesting to consider as well. While you can spend significantly less money than traditional, outbound marketing, you can also spend considerably more time producing the content and other digital footprints that attract leads. Depending upon your business, you audience, your content and so on, this varies.

Perhaps the biggest pro, in my opinion, is that the leads you gain through inbound marketing are pre-qualified and are looking to buy your particular product or service. This not only enhances your chances of making a sale, but makes a world of difference on the relationship you can build with that customer. They come to you ready to spend. They want to give you their money. If you “sell” someone on your services, there’s a cautionary skepticism about spending their money with you.

When your customers choose you rather than you targeting them, you are more than a vendor.

For more about inbound marketing, you should get to know the folks at Hubspot, come to an Inbound Marketing Summit or do a search for the term and see who’s talking about it.

But inbound marketing isn’t new. People have been doing forms of it for years. Think on the process a bit and let me know how you’ve been performing inbound marketing. The comments are yours.

IMAGE: Raised hand by Charles B. Ming Onn on Shutterstock.com.

About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at JasonFalls.com.
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  • Darren Davis

    Great article Jason!

    3 years later and Inbound Marketing has only gotten larger, more popular and changed the way I’ve done business. I personal just became a Certified HubSpot Partner at my company http://LinkCaffeine.com and am very pleased at the results it’s brought myself and my clients who have signed up with HubSpot :)All my best,
    Darren Davis

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  • Thanks Jason for the great post on Inbound Marketing. As an aspiring marketer myself, I would hope that more companies and professionals alike begin to adapt to this effective and quite necessary approach. I really liked how you point out that, “the leads you gain through inbound marketing are pre-qualified and are looking to buy your particular product or service.” This nicely summarizes the whole Jaffe/ Flip the Funnel urgency for marketers to invest more in the retention of existing customers and letting the acquisition of new customers follow suit. I like to argue the same methodology on my blog: http://www.missnewmarketing.blogspot.com. Hope you will check it out. Thanks again!

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  • I agree your article. Our biggest challenge is becoming a marketing traditional wrap their minds around the content marketing and social media – especially the material that is distributed online is not egocentric blubberish you products, but rather readers of a value-added content / value recipients. This is an interested article. I like this post very much.

  • I agree your article. Our biggest challenge is becoming a marketing traditional wrap their minds around the content marketing and social media – especially the material that is distributed online is not egocentric blubberish you products, but rather readers of a value-added content / value recipients. This is an interested article. I like this post very much.

  • When I add new content to my It's all about applications and virtualization” Blog, I use a lot of pictures.

    This way the readers always know what do do next instead of gettings lost in 250 pages of documentation. Keep It Stupid Simple

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  • Great article.. Inbound Marketing and social media have leveled the playing field for small businesses who couldn't afford outbound marketing.. They don't need it anymore.. For a fraction of the big businesses outbound marketing budget ,the small businesses can get found via inbound marketing and play with the large businesses.
    Great article.. Thanks for posting.

  • Great article.. Inbound Marketing and social media have leveled the playing field for small businesses who couldn't afford outbound marketing.. They don't need it anymore.. For a fraction of the big businesses outbound marketing budget ,the small businesses can get found via inbound marketing and play with the large businesses.
    Great article.. Thanks for posting.

  • Hi Jason,I am from Singapore, your blog post is impressive, I do see the value and potential of inbound marketing, it will benefit lots of small business, I am not a computer savvy but really interested into IM, I am currently taking inbounding marketing university courses, I love the interesting program and I would like to learn more from you. Best Regards!

  • Hi Jason,I am from Singapore, your blog post is impressive, I do see the value and potential of inbound marketing, it will benefit lots of small business, I am not a computer savvy but really interested into IM, I am currently taking inbounding marketing university courses, I love the interesting program and I would like to learn more from you. Best Regards!

  • Thanks for the additional insights my friend.

    I had to make the generalization for the sake of time and space (I can only imagine how exhausting it must be responding to 30 comments each posts :).

    Thanks for illustrating some strong examples!

  • Thanks Brenton. I think generalizing here is a little dangerous. Inbound
    marketing in general can do a lot of different things and serve a lot of
    different purposes. It's also not always harder to measure (measure the
    effectiveness of a billboard vs. the search results won organically because
    of a blog, for instance) and while building trust and relationships takes
    time, it can also be something that happens quickly. (Dell Outlet on Twitter
    started selling stuff and had 10s of thousands of followers almost
    overnight.)

    If I were to pick one inbound marketing method to employ, it would be a blog
    focused on winning keywords your business is focused on. Recent research
    I've helped with (along with Chris Baggott, Debbie Weil and Jay Baer) shows
    us that 85% of corporate blog traffic comes from first-time visitors (search
    engines and referring sites), not a community of followers. By having
    strategically written blog focused on capturing keyword search results, then
    having specific calls to action to capture those visitors once on site, you
    have an inbound marketing funnel driving business.

  • Hey Jason,

    Inbound marketing is absolutely essential especially for service based business models. It's cost effective, authentic and it drives qualified leads (for the most part).

    On the other side of the coin it takes a long time to gain influence, it's harder to measure than outbound and sometimes it produces more questions than business opportunities (don't worry I do see the value in every opportunity and understand that it's beyond sales conversions).

    What do you think is the best inbound practices a new company or consultant can do? I believe it may take a little more creativity and working with some influencers for anyone to gain traction in a saturated space (like social media consulting).

    Would love to hear your thoughts…and the community's thought.

    Thanks as always Jason!

    -Brenton Gieser

  • Hey Jason,

    Inbound marketing is absolutely essential especially for service based business models. It's cost effective, authentic and it drives qualified leads (for the most part).

    On the other side of the coin it takes a long time to gain influence, it's harder to measure than outbound and sometimes it produces more questions than business opportunities (don't worry I do see the value in every opportunity and understand that it's beyond sales conversions).

    What do you think is the best inbound practices a new company or consultant can do? I believe it may take a little more creativity and working with some influencers for anyone to gain traction in a saturated space (like social media consulting).

    Would love to hear your thoughts…and the community's thought.

    Thanks as always Jason!

    -Brenton Gieser

    • Thanks Brenton. I think generalizing here is a little dangerous. Inbound
      marketing in general can do a lot of different things and serve a lot of
      different purposes. It's also not always harder to measure (measure the
      effectiveness of a billboard vs. the search results won organically because
      of a blog, for instance) and while building trust and relationships takes
      time, it can also be something that happens quickly. (Dell Outlet on Twitter
      started selling stuff and had 10s of thousands of followers almost
      overnight.)

      If I were to pick one inbound marketing method to employ, it would be a blog
      focused on winning keywords your business is focused on. Recent research
      I've helped with (along with Chris Baggott, Debbie Weil and Jay Baer) shows
      us that 85% of corporate blog traffic comes from first-time visitors (search
      engines and referring sites), not a community of followers. By having
      strategically written blog focused on capturing keyword search results, then
      having specific calls to action to capture those visitors once on site, you
      have an inbound marketing funnel driving business.

      • Thanks for the additional insights my friend.

        I had to make the generalization for the sake of time and space (I can only imagine how exhausting it must be responding to 30 comments each posts :).

        Thanks for illustrating some strong examples!

      • Remarkable content is the most important factor to get found.

        The more posts you produce the more outposts and chance you have to get found and seen from target audience.

        Great post :)

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  • Awesome. I'll go read ASAP! Thanks.

  • Hey Jason, I've been playing around with some numbers for a few client projects and in the process was looking at some off our “marketing” efforts and comping them against content strategies. Riffing off of your post in early January, this one here as well, found some compelling real time costs under the hood. It is somewhat apples to oranges, but to steal a line from Mr. Portokalos “in the end we all fruit”. As everyone is hashing out these value metrics, just thought I'd share a little bit of insight http://bit.ly/9tiQdh

  • Hey Jason, I've been playing around with some numbers for a few client projects and in the process was looking at some off our “marketing” efforts and comping them against content strategies. Riffing off of your post in early January, this one here as well, found some compelling real time costs under the hood. It is somewhat apples to oranges, but to steal a line from Mr. Portokalos “in the end we all fruit”. As everyone is hashing out these value metrics, just thought I'd share a little bit of insight http://bit.ly/9tiQdh

  • annejaa

    The most important part of a successful inbound marketing strategy is creating great content that will bring people into your sales process. Another important element is ensuring that you have a site that is optimize to close leads into deals and engages visitors once they land on your website.

    how to get him back

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  • socialmediaexpert258

    Inbound marketing refers to the efforts you put it in that drive customers to find you. Using social media sites is essential for effective inbound marketing.

  • socialmediaexpert258

    Inbound marketing refers to the efforts you put it in that drive customers to find you. Using social media sites is essential for effective inbound marketing.

  • Thanks for the comment. I think your marketing mix is dependent upon a lot
    of factors. If you can reach a mass audience with effective direct mail,
    outdoor advertising, television, etc., then you use that to drive people to
    the engagement points on- or off-line. But it depends on where your audience
    is and if a mass marketing appeal would drive the type of interactions you
    want. I know that's a broad and generic answer, but it really is how I would
    approach it.

  • Yst

    Thanks for the great information about inbound marketing.
    You recommended not to only do inbound marketing. In this day and age, what do you feel companies whom deal with many customers each paying a bit (e.g. social network, niche amazon) do for outbound marketing that would be most effective?
    PS: You'd be surprised how clueless some “senior” executives are about some things. I can share a story with you privately about a big company I once worked with.

  • Yst

    Thanks for the great information about inbound marketing.
    You recommended not to only do inbound marketing. In this day and age, what do you feel companies whom deal with many customers each paying a bit (e.g. social network, niche amazon) do for outbound marketing that would be most effective?
    PS: You'd be surprised how clueless some “senior” executives are about some things. I can share a story with you privately about a big company I once worked with.

    • Thanks for the comment. I think your marketing mix is dependent upon a lot
      of factors. If you can reach a mass audience with effective direct mail,
      outdoor advertising, television, etc., then you use that to drive people to
      the engagement points on- or off-line. But it depends on where your audience
      is and if a mass marketing appeal would drive the type of interactions you
      want. I know that's a broad and generic answer, but it really is how I would
      approach it.

  • Thanks, Anne. Glad we could give you food for thought.

  • Thanks, Anne. Glad we could give you food for thought.

  • anne jaa

    Well that's good and helpful information you have given!I didn't know much about inbound marketing and its effects.So now i will keep looking around for more information.

    investor business daily

  • anne jaa

    Well that's good and helpful information you have given!I didn't know much about inbound marketing and its effects.So now i will keep looking around for more information.

    investor business daily

  • Thank you kindly for the conference nod. :)

  • Thank you kindly for the conference nod. :)

  • Well said, Shane. Thanks!

  • Thanks, David. Always appreciate the perspective and links for further
    reading.

  • Jason – Totally agree with your article, but then again, I'm in the choir. The biggest challenge we face (in large and small companies alike) is getting traditional marketers to wrap their minds around content marketing and social media – specifically, the stuff that gets spread online is not self-centered blubberish about your products, but rather, value-added content that the readers/recipients value. Traditional marketers are sooooo conditioned to talk about/focus on their own products – it's really tough to break that thinking and get across the point that content and conversations that focus on EVERYTHING EXCEPT products and services is the better approach. I wrote a similar (but longer) article on the subject of Inbound Marketing a.k.a. “Why I Hate the Term 'Social Media'” – http://davemorse.net/2009/09/02/why-i-hate-the-

  • Jason – Totally agree with your article, but then again, I'm in the choir. The biggest challenge we face (in large and small companies alike) is getting traditional marketers to wrap their minds around content marketing and social media – specifically, the stuff that gets spread online is not self-centered blubberish about your products, but rather, value-added content that the readers/recipients value. Traditional marketers are sooooo conditioned to talk about/focus on their own products – it's really tough to break that thinking and get across the point that content and conversations that focus on EVERYTHING EXCEPT products and services is the better approach. I wrote a similar (but longer) article on the subject of Inbound Marketing a.k.a. “Why I Hate the Term 'Social Media'” – http://davemorse.net/2009/09/02/why-i-hate-the-

    • Thanks, David. Always appreciate the perspective and links for further
      reading.

  • ShaneRQR

    Great post!
    Inbound marketing is a very interesting and important concept. It's definitely the way to go, as more and more diverese offers are available and people are more likely to find the perfect match for what they are looking for. That's what all the long-tail and niche marketing business is about, after all.
    Don't try to be the guy who sells the best batteries. Be the guy who sells the best weather-proof batteries for Nikon cameras intended for outdoor use, including a solar-panel charging device. :)

  • ShaneRQR

    Great post!
    Inbound marketing is a very interesting and important concept. It's definitely the way to go, as more and more diverese offers are available and people are more likely to find the perfect match for what they are looking for. That's what all the long-tail and niche marketing business is about, after all.
    Don't try to be the guy who sells the best batteries. Be the guy who sells the best weather-proof batteries for Nikon cameras intended for outdoor use, including a solar-panel charging device. :)

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  • Rachel Vincent

    Jason, I completely agree with your post. For me, the hardest part of inbound marketing is providing the measurement tools to show others that this is a valuable way to spend time. That putting good, helpful, interesting information out there makes a difference. Knowing how that potential customer found you is obviously a very helpful measurement, but for many businesses (say a restaurant), it can be difficult to easily measure exactly where each customer comes from. This is why I think it is so important to track and compare in-bound marketing techniques to something like google analytics, if a website, or customer numbers, if a real-life entity too. Looking for patterns that show a clear relation between the two can be critical to getting that support from others in your company.

  • Jason, I completely agree with your post. For me, the hardest part of inbound marketing is providing the measurement tools to show others that this is a valuable way to spend time. That putting good, helpful, interesting information out there makes a difference. Knowing how that potential customer found you is obviously a very helpful measurement, but for many businesses (say a restaurant), it can be difficult to easily measure exactly where each customer comes from. This is why I think it is so important to track and compare in-bound marketing techniques to something like google analytics, if a website, or customer numbers, if a real-life entity too. Looking for patterns that show a clear relation between the two can be critical to getting that support from others in your company.

  • Dear Mike,
    thanks for your speedy reaction to this question. I was already suspecting that you had taken quite some time with the preparations before the launch. As Chris always points out, you need to have set up relations before you even need them.
    I guess if I wasn't located in Germany I'd ask to work on your case study, as it would make a great book guide to follow your work step by step. Maybe if I start my PhD I can contact you on your work.

  • Won't argue with that. Thanks Jamie.

  • I agree. No one ever said this was a sprint. You put in what you get out of it. You can either throw dollars at trade shows or you can try connecting with the people who are in your niche to solve their problems. Which I think is smarter in the long run.

  • I agree. No one ever said this was a sprint. You put in what you get out of it. You can either throw dollars at trade shows or you can try connecting with the people who are in your niche to solve their problems. Which I think is smarter in the long run.

  • Thanks! I was flattered to be there.

  • Superb post, Jason. Also, I'm delighted – and not at all surprised at all – you are in the Top 10 Social Media Blogs :-)

  • Superb post, Jason. Also, I'm delighted – and not at all surprised at all – you are in the Top 10 Social Media Blogs :-)

  • Did someone call my name :)

    Thanks Jason. Really appreciate your kind words.

    Tom, what I did required a massive amount of effort and planning. In fact it will ultimately be the subject of a book.

    We at Social Media Examiner practice the very tactics we preach. We spent a lot of time nurturing relationships long before the launch. In fact Jason was very instrumental in that process.

    I spoke at Blog World Expo in Vegas in October. I also took a camera crew with me and we did about 15 expert interviews with folks like Chris Brogan and company. See http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/category/vid

    Also it helped that I published a report earlier in 2009 that went viral and it was about social media marketing. See http://www.whitepapersource.com/socialmediamark

    But truth be told, this was almost 6 months in the making before we went live.

    I am waiting for someone to realize what we have done and do a case study, as I think this is very unique.

    Anyhow, thanks for asking!

  • Well put. Thanks for the additional thoughts.

  • I've heard it referred to as, “Word-of-Mouse” advertising or marketing. There are many different approaches to social media marketing and even more cased results from efforts and campaigns. What we've observed is that the organization shouldn't assume their customers want an open social relationship with their organization, let alone the parameters of what such a relationship should be. Ideally, we are talking about developing a community of customers that our business value resonates with and empowering this community to share that value with their sphere of influence. Small businesses are uniquely poised to benefit immediately from social media marketing as their existing customer relationships translate very well in to a social media environment. Strong existing relationships plus superior products and/or services, enable small businesses to maximize their return on investments in social media marketing.

  • I've heard it referred to as, “Word-of-Mouse” advertising or marketing. There are many different approaches to social media marketing and even more cased results from efforts and campaigns. What we've observed is that the organization shouldn't assume their customers want an open social relationship with their organization, let alone the parameters of what such a relationship should be. Ideally, we are talking about developing a community of customers that our business value resonates with and empowering this community to share that value with their sphere of influence. Small businesses are uniquely poised to benefit immediately from social media marketing as their existing customer relationships translate very well in to a social media environment. Strong existing relationships plus superior products and/or services, enable small businesses to maximize their return on investments in social media marketing.

    • Well put. Thanks for the additional thoughts.

  • Thanks, Dan. It's not an overnight process, but one that can prove to be a
    valuable long-term strategy. Good luck to you!

  • Very interesting article. I've found your column through “inbound marketing” when I was searching for “social media marketing” a few weeks ago. I'm trying to translate your ideas into a retail format. In these trying economic times, getting yur name out not just to our websites, but our brick and mortar locations is becoming more and more important.

  • Very interesting article. I've found your column through “inbound marketing” when I was searching for “social media marketing” a few weeks ago. I'm trying to translate your ideas into a retail format. In these trying economic times, getting yur name out not just to our websites, but our brick and mortar locations is becoming more and more important.

    • Thanks, Dan. It's not an overnight process, but one that can prove to be a
      valuable long-term strategy. Good luck to you!

  • Agreed, John. Fortunately, in my line of work, I don't need to divide up the
    metrics all that much. My consultancy is just me, so I can manage the
    metrics manually, but other businesses must fine tune their measures to see
    what works. It's certainly the approach I take with clients, almost
    annoyingly so, but knowing what is working and what isn't makes us more
    efficient. Thanks for the thoughts.

  • jmctigue

    Jason, you've definitely hit the mark on the “getting found” part of inbound marketing, which is what drives qualified leads to your door. The other part that is missing from most “outbound” techniques is being able to quantify results, i.e. to measure the leads that come from a certain type of blog post or subject or from a landing page with a certain offer. As in all kinds of marketing, you want to know what really floats your customers' boat and do that as often as possible. Measuring and analyzing results helps you get there.

  • Jason, you've definitely hit the mark on the “getting found” part of inbound marketing, which is what drives qualified leads to your door. The other part that is missing from most “outbound” techniques is being able to quantify results, i.e. to measure the leads that come from a certain type of blog post or subject or from a landing page with a certain offer. As in all kinds of marketing, you want to know what really floats your customers' boat and do that as often as possible. Measuring and analyzing results helps you get there.

    • Agreed, John. Fortunately, in my line of work, I don't need to divide up the
      metrics all that much. My consultancy is just me, so I can manage the
      metrics manually, but other businesses must fine tune their measures to see
      what works. It's certainly the approach I take with clients, almost
      annoyingly so, but knowing what is working and what isn't makes us more
      efficient. Thanks for the thoughts.

  • Nice thoughts, there. Thank you for that.

  • Great read. Inbound marketing plays on the reality that people trust their own networks, not marketing that targets them directly. Trust flows horizontally across networks, not vertically down them.

  • Great read. Inbound marketing plays on the reality that people trust their own networks, not marketing that targets them directly. Trust flows horizontally across networks, not vertically down them.

    • Nice thoughts, there. Thank you for that.

  • Well said, Scott. And a great argument for social media in the B2B space.
    Well said.

  • Ah yes. The old way of inbound marketing – good, old fashioned networking –
    is still hugely effective. Get out and shake people's hands. No better way
    to build trust and awareness. Thanks, Ian.

  • That would be great :-)

  • scotttownsend

    I agree Jason. Inbound marketing tactics are great from a B2B standpoint. With the buying cycle so far apart from each other, you have the time to build a case for why they should choose your business over your competitors. When a customer's contract is up with another vendor and it is time to re-sign or look for another vendor, the inbound marketing strategy you have in place helps pre-qualified buyers find you faster and bring your relationship with that buyer up to speed faster.

    The best time to start your inbound marketing efforts was yesterday. The next best time is now.

  • scotttownsend

    I agree Jason. Inbound marketing tactics are great from a B2B standpoint. With the buying cycle so far apart from each other, you have the time to build a case for why they should choose your business over your competitors. When a customer's contract is up with another vendor and it is time to re-sign or look for another vendor, the inbound marketing strategy you have in place helps pre-qualified buyers find you faster and bring your relationship with that buyer up to speed faster.

    The best time to start your inbound marketing efforts was yesterday. The next best time is now.

    • Well said, Scott. And a great argument for social media in the B2B space.
      Well said.

  • iancleary

    Cool post, what I also do is back up my online activity with lots of networking. One particularly good way of building up knowledge about what you do in the market is to volunteer to give talks at whatever network group you can find. Over time people begin to remember your name and company name and a lot will sign up for your blog or newsletter. Over time when they need someone in the area you talk about they'll hopefully remember you from the blog, twitter or they will find you from a search. The good thing about speaking at events like this is that this is also advertised on different sites and that helps spread your name even more!
    Ian
    Ian

  • iancleary

    Cool post, what I also do is back up my online activity with lots of networking. One particularly good way of building up knowledge about what you do in the market is to volunteer to give talks at whatever network group you can find. Over time people begin to remember your name and company name and a lot will sign up for your blog or newsletter. Over time when they need someone in the area you talk about they'll hopefully remember you from the blog, twitter or they will find you from a search. The good thing about speaking at events like this is that this is also advertised on different sites and that helps spread your name even more!
    Ian
    Ian

  • iancleary

    Cool post, what I also do is back up my online activity with lots of networking. One particularly good way of building up knowledge about what you do in the market is to volunteer to give talks at whatever network group you can find. Over time people begin to remember your name and company name and a lot will sign up for your blog or newsletter. Over time when they need someone in the area you talk about they'll hopefully remember you from the blog, twitter or they will find you from a search. The good thing about speaking at events like this is that this is also advertised on different sites and that helps spread your name even more!
    Ian
    Ian

    • Ah yes. The old way of inbound marketing – good, old fashioned networking –
      is still hugely effective. Get out and shake people's hands. No better way
      to build trust and awareness. Thanks, Ian.

  • Thanks, Jody. Hopefully more folks can start seeing their name “keep popping
    up.” It's a better way to develop meaningful customer relationships.

  • Thanks, Jody. Hopefully more folks can start seeing their name “keep popping
    up.” It's a better way to develop meaningful customer relationships.

  • Mike would be better to answer, so I'll leave it to him. I'll see if he can
    swing by.

  • Mike would be better to answer, so I'll leave it to him. I'll see if he can
    swing by.

  • Thanks, my man. Good to see you stop by!

  • Thanks, my man. Good to see you stop by!

  • Thanks for your reply Jason.
    Just visited the Social Media Examiner Blog. He really put some effort into that. It's encouraging to see his success in such a short period of time.
    I might just ask him how he managed to get there so fast and how to own support from established folks.

  • Thanks for your reply Jason.
    Just visited the Social Media Examiner Blog. He really put some effort into that. It's encouraging to see his success in such a short period of time.
    I might just ask him how he managed to get there so fast and how to own support from established folks.

  • Love the article, Jason! I agree wholeheartedly. The days of interruptive marketing have passed and the world of Internet strategy and inbound marketing are here.

    That's neat that your name kept “popping up”… that's the buzz that you've created. Great advice for “marketers” who haven't 'gotten it' yet. It's a world that changes by the second, or nano-second, and if you are not in the game (inbound marketing), you are missing the opportunities.

  • Love the article, Jason! I agree wholeheartedly. The days of interruptive marketing have passed and the world of Internet strategy and inbound marketing are here.

    That's neat that your name kept “popping up”… that's the buzz that you've created. Great advice for “marketers” who haven't 'gotten it' yet. It's a world that changes by the second, or nano-second, and if you are not in the game (inbound marketing), you are missing the opportunities.

    • Thanks, Jody. Hopefully more folks can start seeing their name “keep popping
      up.” It's a better way to develop meaningful customer relationships.

  • Very good points, Tom. You're right. Inbound marketing is seldom an
    overnight process. But some methods – paid search, a well-orchestrated
    outreach plan, etc. – can jump-start an effort. I case in point that comes
    to mind is what my friend Michael Stelzner did with Social Media Examiner.
    He launched it just last fall but is already looked upon as one of the top
    social media resources online. He got big, fast with his strategy of
    identifying influential, established folks to help him get his blog started.
    Sure, it would be harder to do in other industries and Examiner isn't an
    inbound strategy for consulting or a traditional business (he does paid
    online “summits” primarily), but you can go from scratch to something
    quickly with the right strategy.

    I was fortunate to have a paying job for several years while I built an
    audience and digital footprint for Social Media Explorer. When I decided to
    leave Doe-Anderson, the fact that I had a “hub” to use Hubspot's verbiage,
    already established made that decision easier and attracting clients in a
    more “now” fashion easier.

    Fair to say that you can't just flip a switch. But if you gradually build
    you can see customers start to come to you and can spend less money figuring
    out how to go to them.

  • No argument here. Thanks Jeff.

  • Katadhin

    Great post Jason. Especially important in a marketing word tnhat is increasingly making standard tools very inefficient.

  • Katadhin

    Great post Jason. Especially important in a marketing word tnhat is increasingly making standard tools very inefficient.

    • Thanks, my man. Good to see you stop by!

  • The main advantage is, as you point out, the fact that people who have already researched the topic and know what they are looking for are getting in contact with you. Standard marketing or advertising often times spreads the company name and product, but looses much of its power as it is presented to the wrong people.
    What is a bit of a problem with inbound marketing the way you describe it, is that it takes time until all the effort put into it comes into effect. Getting into the top 10 list will require long time effort as well as high search engine ranking.
    Any thoughts on this? How was your experience on these points?

  • The main advantage is, as you point out, the fact that people who have already researched the topic and know what they are looking for are getting in contact with you. Standard marketing or advertising often times spreads the company name and product, but looses much of its power as it is presented to the wrong people.
    What is a bit of a problem with inbound marketing the way you describe it, is that it takes time until all the effort put into it comes into effect. Getting into the top 10 list will require long time effort as well as high search engine ranking.
    Any thoughts on this? How was your experience on these points?

    • Very good points, Tom. You're right. Inbound marketing is seldom an
      overnight process. But some methods – paid search, a well-orchestrated
      outreach plan, etc. – can jump-start an effort. I case in point that comes
      to mind is what my friend Michael Stelzner did with Social Media Examiner.
      He launched it just last fall but is already looked upon as one of the top
      social media resources online. He got big, fast with his strategy of
      identifying influential, established folks to help him get his blog started.
      Sure, it would be harder to do in other industries and Examiner isn't an
      inbound strategy for consulting or a traditional business (he does paid
      online “summits” primarily), but you can go from scratch to something
      quickly with the right strategy.

      I was fortunate to have a paying job for several years while I built an
      audience and digital footprint for Social Media Explorer. When I decided to
      leave Doe-Anderson, the fact that I had a “hub” to use Hubspot's verbiage,
      already established made that decision easier and attracting clients in a
      more “now” fashion easier.

      Fair to say that you can't just flip a switch. But if you gradually build
      you can see customers start to come to you and can spend less money figuring
      out how to go to them.

      • Thanks for your reply Jason.
        Just visited the Social Media Examiner Blog. He really put some effort into that. It's encouraging to see his success in such a short period of time.
        I might just ask him how he managed to get there so fast and how to own support from established folks.

        • Mike would be better to answer, so I'll leave it to him. I'll see if he can
          swing by.

        • Did someone call my name :)

          Thanks Jason. Really appreciate your kind words.

          Tom, what I did required a massive amount of effort and planning. In fact it will ultimately be the subject of a book.

          We at Social Media Examiner practice the very tactics we preach. We spent a lot of time nurturing relationships long before the launch. In fact Jason was very instrumental in that process.

          I spoke at Blog World Expo in Vegas in October. I also took a camera crew with me and we did about 15 expert interviews with folks like Chris Brogan and company. See http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/category/vid

          Also it helped that I published a report earlier in 2009 that went viral and it was about social media marketing. See http://www.whitepapersource.com/socialmediamark

          But truth be told, this was almost 6 months in the making before we went live.

          I am waiting for someone to realize what we have done and do a case study, as I think this is very unique.

          Anyhow, thanks for asking!

          • Dear Mike,
            thanks for your speedy reaction to this question. I was already suspecting that you had taken quite some time with the preparations before the launch. As Chris always points out, you need to have set up relations before you even need them.
            I guess if I wasn't located in Germany I'd ask to work on your case study, as it would make a great book guide to follow your work step by step. Maybe if I start my PhD I can contact you on your work.

  • jeffbullas

    Couldn't agree more. If you provide great content on your blog, regularly and consistently and promote it on Twitter as well as other social media, then you are giving yourself a good chance of people finding you on line. The rules of marketing are changing!

  • jeffbullas

    Couldn't agree more. If you provide great content on your blog, regularly and consistently and promote it on Twitter as well as other social media, then you are giving yourself a good chance of people finding you on line. The rules of marketing are changing!