SEO a practice of Inbound Marketing
SEO best practice is just one facet of what is now widely termed “Inbound Marketing”. Inbound marketing is all about pulling in an audience and then converting that audience into a desired type of active user, whether that be a user by association or commercial interaction
The internet has always been a vehicle whereby users pull information from an ever
growing source of data. This information is pulled via search activity. Search engines now dominate the manner in which online data is organised, prioritised and therefore found by users of the web. SEO practice. However, we also now have the power of a socially interactive internet. As with dominating the search engines and therefore exploiting where the eyeballs are going social media as it has become known represents another source of eyeballs. And what a phenomenal growth already in social networking, that has in just 6 or so years embedded itself as an integral part in what now happens on-line. Where the eyeballs go Business must follow….
Inbound marketing literally turns traditional outbound marketing techniques upon their head. Outbound marketing seeks to create demand in their target markets by, lets face it intruding upon the lives of their desired audiences, so as to capture their attention. I’m not saying that all outbound marketing practices are bad, or worthless, I’m not. But on-line they are ! It’s a completely different marketplace driven by different forces all together. For example mass television and mass radio based advertising. These occur when their audience is maybe expecting an advert but not knowing of what kind and would often rather miss them all together ! It’s often because they are positioned during primetime viewing audiences are more time sensitive. Importantly, audiences now have control over what they allow to take up their valuable time. Due to devices such as TiVo and recordable TV, no longer do you purchase a captive audience and that’s the problem with outbound marketing practices, they are losing the eyeballs and therefore their value, but the costs still remain high. The internet is a totally different type of economic platform with an economic agent that maximises their utility in different ways, but is always in control of the media and information it consumes. Direct telemarketing is another example of an established element of outbound marketing that is becoming less efficient. In the consumer market especially this is the case. These calls are often made badly,without any prior notice and seek to create demand. Their cost of operation is increasing as their value is diminishing. Online we simply draw in target audiences or go to where they are going and deliver messages they were all ready seeking out in the first place ! That is the massive difference between inbound (pull) marketing to outbound (push).
Business to Business (B2B) marketing differs slightly. Especially, with the sales call. Introduction calls are often welcome and scheduled, mutually beneficial communication between organisations will always be important. The power of the spoken word will never disappear. However again, these are becoming costly in comparison to internet marketing expenditure. Plus you can talk in real-time online now anyway and more and more companies are doing so each day. Saying this, I do know of organisations whose policy it is not to take unsolicited sales introduction calls. However, when I was in sales I always took that as ….call back and get the M.A.N on the phone ! The person with the Money, Authority & Need. If you add value for these people in business, it often follows that you interact to each other’s benefit.
inbound marketing has three core, interrelated practices that seek to ensure that the data found online is both relevant, and attractive to your target market(s) and importantly YOUR data. These practices consist of: 1) Organic SEO/Search Engine Optimisation 2) Content Generation and 3) Social Networking./Social Media
A brief outline of each shall now be given with emphasis more upon the effectiveness of inbound marketing.
SEO – Keyword analysis & selection. Keyword driven, quality content, on and off page link building etc.
Now Good SEO as discussed on this blog’s page should steer the user towards the content of which they seek. Straightforward stuff. In terms of inbound marketing however, the SEO should steer the user in the direction of all your related content. Your site, blog, twitter account, facebook fan page, YouTube channel etc.
Content Generation – Sites, Blogs, Videos, White papers, EBooks, Press releases and Online Article writing etc
There are so many opportunities online now to create great content about your business or passion. Inbound marketing is about seeking out the most authoritative blogs to write upon, creating fantastic SEO friendly web sites, viral videos, writing thought leadership white papers, EBooks and press releases alike. Generating as many relevant, engaging sources of content online as possible with a commercially driven purpose. Inbound marketing is all about getting your content found as opposed to that of your competitors! The goal is to create as many backlinks to your main sources of conversion as humanly possible with that conversion being the start of a long-term relationship built on mutual benefit and trust.
Social Networking – Peer interaction of common interest in a subject and or related products and services.
This is a fantastic practice within any inbound marketing campaign. Good SEO already incorporates social networking sites to increase the page ranking and popularity of your content. As such Inbound marketing utilises such platforms so as to engage the target segments of customers of which you have researched as being important. Social networking /media is still young but represents the biggest cultural shift in the way in which we use and therefore do business on-line that we have experienced to date. A socially driven internet !
Facebook is always the example but really the company is younger than my own son (who is only 9 by the way) and look at the power it already yields across the entire media landscape, and the sums of money involved . For an internet company of such an age ? Social media is here to stay and it will only continue to grow. Twitter likewise has seen even more recent phenomenal growth as it is proving to be a fantastic business tool. LinkedIn is a social site that is dedicated to business professionals. I use all three to increase my business network. The amount of business that I now do through and with LinkedIn is massive compared to only this time two years ago. I use it to employ staff, win business deals, network, join relevant groups etc. It has me fully engaged as a user.
If you are new to these tools (as that is exactly what they are), I suggest you research and find the one that best suits your needs initially and play your strengths to theirs. Be aware of over saturation also when using them in terms of promotion alone. These are places where you seek out and join with partners, engaging with them so that doing business is just the inevitable consequence of the relationship built.. if you use these tools incorrectly you can do more damage than good ! That’s why it’s sometimes best to get some advice from an
Here is a pictogram demonstrating the interrelationship of the internet based inbound marketing practices discussed above: