Vine Ripened Leads: Know When To Pick 'Em

When using automated marketing software, there can be a tendency to use the traditional "it's a numbers game" approach and as soon as a lead comes in, it's forwarded to Sales, leaving Marketing feeling like they've done their job. But you stand to alienate prospects these days with tactics like that.

Just like homegrown tomatoes, you want to pick them at the right time at their peak for readiness.

Interacting With Your Hidden Prospects

interact with hidden prospects onlineSo, you want to take the next step and use email, mobile marketing, the internet or social media to generate more leads for your business? You know it's a good idea, everybody's doing it, but what does it mean?

3 Tips To Make Your Message Fun

In working with some of our clients, I've noticed a commonality about how they think they could improve their marketing message. When wanting to take it to the next level, many people want to add video to their mix, which is an awesome idea. But simply describing in a video what your business does and what the benefits are simply creates an alternative to reading the same information on the page. This is a step up, since it gives the visitor a choice as to how to take in the information, but if you want the video to be shared by others, you need to up your game.

Get to Third Base With Your Marketing Automation

Marketing automation tools do expand your ability to send messages based on visitor behavior, but if you think about lead generation like dating, you can't move too fast when building a relationship with your visitor.

To illustrate this point, I'll share a recent experience that paints the picture of how a potential marketing "date" turned into a "stalking" experience.

To Post Prices Or Not - 3 Considerations

There's always a debate among business owners and marketers about whether or not you should post your pricing for your product or service. I myself have gone back and forth with my own opinion on that. That's when I realized that the answer is based upon that simple, yet difficult phrase: "It depends...".

Fertilizing Your Marketing: Organic vs Artificial

I've planted a few lawns, a couple more than once. And I've seen different results.

Sometimes I used the chemical weed and feeds for fast growth and results. But, in those lawns, there were no robins plucking worms.

Conversely, I planted a yard with high quality seed and soil enhanced with organic compost. Took a while, but after some time, every morning, I'd see robins picking about 2 dozen worms from the yard. Pretty cool.

Marketing/advertising is like that. Especially inbound marketing.

4 Cost-Effective Keyword Tools For Your Business

A couple of weeks ago, we focused on selecting the right keyword. If you couldn't tell from the fishing metaphor, summer is on our mind here at Inbound Edge, but it’s not the only thing we do. We have houses, yards, or apartments that need upkeep. Tools assist us in getting the job done; they make it easier. You could cut your lawn with scissors, but it wouldn't be as simple or efficient as using a lawnmower.

The same goes for keywords.

The Dangers Of Measuring Your Marketing

As you may have read in the headlines, GM has decided to stop it's advertising campaigns on Facebook due to the ads having little impact on consumers. While the news first appears as a hairline crack in Facebook's IPO, it's actually a gouge in the eye for traditional advertising in general. (Note that you've not seen any headlines that GM (or companies like it) has decided to stop advertising on TV or radio). This is the downside of being able to accurately measure your marketing effectiveness - you start to see how poorly traditional advertising does in the digital world.

Keyword Selection Basics-An SEO Fishing Metaphor

Greetings internet marketers! The past two weeks we went over the importance of keywords and how to brainstorm a killer keyword list. But how do you choose the right keywords? Dartboard? Dice? Let's get you out of the game room and help you make an educated decision for your keywords.

Inbound Marketing Strategy Is For Ants

There are several differing opinions about whether you can really strategize your inbound and social media marketing. Project managers want solid milestones and contingencies, while "creative" types want to float freely through inspiration from dandelions. At the end of the day, you just want to maximize your profits.

Here's how we advise clients about creating a social media, inbound marketing, interactive or whatever-else-you-want-to-call-it "strategy". Usually, because your business has some sort of focus, you probably want to have your online content generally pointing in that same direction. Got it. But let's see how the ants get results.

Avoid the Rabbit Hole of Search Engine Analytics

As you gain more experience using search engine analytics, you'll want to begin linking your insights with your marketing activities. Similar to last week, some metrics (and how they are reported) can lead you down a rabbit hole, and I'm not talking about the Easter Bunny, Alice.

In order to get a true picture of your site's activity, remember these 3 things before you take action on your search engine marketing strategy: 

Good Data Gone Bad - Analytics & SEO

In the world of search engine optimization (or search engine marketing), you can't be that effective without the use of some type of analytics. Google Analytics (which is free) is the most popular, but analytics in general are built into several website platforms. However, these are often misunderstood and misused.

The analytics data provide feedback about your web pages that can help you make future decisions and changes to improve your inbound marketing effectiveness. Analytics users sometimes confuse success with a lot of "hits" to their site. It is exciting to see large numbers, but look behind the data to see how it's generated.  

There are a ton of different metrics to discuss, but let's look at 3 basic but popular ones that can be confusing:

Is Your Competition Who You Thought They Were?

Okay, here we are in the third and final post to answer the last of three marketing strategy questions:

  1. Who pays you for the work you do?
  2. What do they pay you for?
  3. Why do they choose you over a competitor?

From our last two episodes, you'll recall that our client, D.M.C. (short for Direct Mail Company) provides direct mail services to small businesses that want to be hired by homeowners. For the sake of these blog posts, we have been collectively referring to these businesses as "Happy Home, Inc.".

D.M.C.'s answers to the first two questions so far...

Do Your Clients Get What They Pay For?

This week, we'll explore the answer to "What do they pay you for?". If you recall from last week, our client, "D.M.C." (short for Direct Mail Company) had answered the first of these three questions:

  1. Who pays you for the work you do?
  2. What do they pay you for?
  3. Why do they choose you over a competitor?
The answer to #1 for D.M.C. was "local businesses who want to sell products/services to homeowners" (we'll refer to these businesses as "Happy Home Inc."). While this answer was clear, part of their actual strategy wasn't in line with it.

Message Sharpening Tip - Market To Who Pays You

A key part of our internet marketing coaching is working with business owners to sharpen the message and bring laser focus to their marketing strategy.

To achieve this objective we help clients answer 3 key questions:

  1. Who pays you for the work you do?
  2. What do they pay you for?
  3. Why do they choose you over a competitor?

While these sound like simple questions, knowing what to do with the answer is sometimes quite complex.

Niche Marketing Thoughts - Learn to Say "No"

find your inbound marketing nicheIn the early days of Inbound Edge Marketing, our motto was "we will do for you whatever you need done...we will even wash your car!".  We were customer centric, trying to please all comers, and excited about helping people solve their marketing problems.

It felt like we were creating enticing marketing ideas in our internet marketing kitchen and the delicious aromas were simply drawing customers in. People heard about us and asked us to do all sorts of internet marketing projects. We had no sign or menus, but we kept cooking and customers kept coming. Mike and I had a hard time saying no to anybody. We became just another Jack ("Jack of all trades").

How Cloud Computing Gives You Time For Inbound Marketing

The biggest objections we hear from small business owners about adding more inbound tactics to their marketing mix is the time and money it takes to do it. Truth is, there is never enough time or money when you own your own business. But, if you take a look at your current activities that take up your time and money, I know you can swap them out with cloud-based technology that will save you time and money in the long (and short) run. The infographic below shows some interesting data about small and medium sized businesses and cloud computing.

Customer Service - Better With Social Media!

Being a 50-something year old businessman, I have been around the block a few times and had become a little complacent. It took me a while, and some painful realizations, but I finally caught the internet inbound marketing and social media bug. Now my business life has become stimulated by learning everyday about the new world of internet marketing and utilizing inbound marketing tools. I am thankful for a fresh business outlook, but is that really it, or is there something more to it?

One of my big eye-opening moments came last spring when I read Gary Vaynerchuk's book, The Thank You Economy (see video below). In it, he described how powerful customer service can be when you are authentic. It struck me that the real beauty of social media is the ability to engage with people on a personal level, like our grandparents did, only using new technology. We can listen to what our customers and prospects are saying and respond with "Thank You" or "I'm Sorry" directly to them. The ability to personally engage is what makes me so thankful.