The vitals of success for inbound marketing are (1) well-written and relevant content, (2) in-bound links, and (3) fans, friends, and/or subscribers. The first two figures are largely covered by SEO, but once you throw blogging and social marketing networks into the mix you open up a whole new realm of possibilities. We already know that Google is looking more closely to see if your efforts incorporate all of these things, and so good marketing practices should incorporate all three.
We recommend using social networks like stumblepon.com, twitter.com, linkedin.com, facebook.com, etc. Stepping into the social media realm also means making yourself more public via the use of online videos, webinars (online video training or web seminar) and podcasts (like a radio broadcast), and don’t forget to go Mobile (stay tuned for more on this).
Social media really isn’t the next big thing anymore, but it’s not too late. Like with all good things it’s best to get started later in the game than not at all. What is new, however, is the way that it’s being used in conjunction with the tried and true search engine marketing practices.
Ever curious about what people are saying about your business? When you become part of these larger networking communities you’ll start to get more of a sense as to what is being said, and in the event that someone has a negative review about you (she said what?)… now you have a means by which you can counter and respectfully disagree. Of course you’ll also want to promote yourself in a more flattering way any chance that you get. And, don’t forget, all those fans and/or friends that you are gathering will help you promote your content as well.
Ultimately, you want to become more engaged with others, and in turn engage others in your community. Beside publishing good content you will want to monitor not only what people are saying about you but also what is being said about your field (hint: your key words). Sure you can use Google Alerts, but why not give Twitter a try. Hubspot recently published a good article on “how to use Twitter for marketing“… so use it. Through Twitter’s search application you can actually see what people are saying about things and/or you, and then you can subscribe to a feed for your query. It just might be your next lead!
As Twitter and other social media services evolve, they are becoming a key part of search engine optimization strategies. All of your efforts should work together; (1) SEO (plus PPC), (2) your blog, and (3) your social marketing network. These efforts, combined, help to increase the number of inbound links and spread your content through more and more channels … all of which makes for a highly efficient inbound marketing strategy as you head into the new year.