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    6 Ways to add Real-Time Marketing To Your Inbound Marketing

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    Today I sat in on a presentation by the visionary David Meerman-Scott. Leading the way in how marketers market – his latest book “Real Time Marketing and PR” is about the value of Real-Time Marketing to business.  Even though I haven’t had a chance to read the book, it only launched today, what he says makes perfect sense to a marketer.  Using social media as a tool we can identify Real Time opportunities to better market our business. So I wanted to share what I learnt, Real Time, so you can start implementing into your business strategies too.

    Here’s a review from todays webinar  (mixed in with some of my points) and how to apply Real Time Marketing and PR to your marketing strategies:


    1. Take the time to learn the influencers in your industry
      • Bloggers
      • Journalists
      • Consumers
    2. Learn where they are and start following them:
      • Subscribe to their blog, articles
      • Follow them on Twitter
    3. Determine what keywords you need to be following:
      • Brand names
      • Company names
      • Competitors
      • Keywords your customers use
    4. Set up a system to be monitoring, engaging and leveraging trends and conversations
      • Google Alerts
      • Hootsuite/Tweekdeck
      • RSS
      • Twitter trends
      • Headline news
      • Local news
      • Specific news to your industry: sports, health and lifestyle
    5. Make the time to track these conversions, or appoint someone within your organization to be responsible
    6. Identify how you’ll leverage the conversations to achieve your business objectives
      • Customer service
      • Rapport building
      • Damage control
      • Lead opportunities
      • Public Relations
      • Exposure/awareness

    … now Im off to buy the book!

    Need some help with choosing the right keywords or Real Time Marketing? See if our Inbound marketing packages are right for you.

    What are your thoughts on Real Time Marketing? Do you have any questions?




    How to start Social Media Marketing in 1 hour a day

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    Recently I was asked on a Linked Group: “Where would you recommend someone start? How much time do you recommend spending working the social media?”

    This is a very good question, thanks for asking Bryan. And a question, Im sure, many business owners would like an answer to.  Unfortunately it’s not that easy, however, I will attempt to give you some answers.

    The key thing to remember is to align social media marketing with your business objectives.  No doubt your goal is to increase your bottom line.  Increase revenue and decrease expenses. There are many ways this can be achieved:  brand and company awareness, improved systems, better understanding of your customers’ needs, competitor knowledge, reputation, customer feedback, market research and referrals. Each one of these is important to building a successful and sustainable business, however their importance to your business depends on whether you’re a B2B, B2C, where your business is located, your industry, trends and many other factors. 

    Social media can provide solutions for all of these. So the answer is in the questions:

    1. What’s the most important element to your business right now?
    2. What do you want to use social media for?
    3. How are they aligned with your business objectives?

    I would recommend focusing on the three main sites: Linked In, Facebook and Twitter. Use them to:

    • Build your network and reach
    • Build your authority and awareness
    • Promote (not sell) your expertise: blogs, webinars, presentations, ebooks
    • Promote events – that are relevant to your audience

    Have a long term plan to build relationships and friendships with the right people. It’s no different to building relationships face to face. The first thing you’re going to do is introduce yourself, get to know your connections and let your connections get to know you. It’s a lot easier to sell something to a friend or someone you know who respects you, rather than a stranger.

    Knowing that business owners are very time poor,  I recommend finding 1 hour day – maybe in the evenings whilst you catch up on the news or watch TV.

    1 hour each day to monitor Google Alerts, Read Blogs and review Twitter
    • If you set up Hootsuite – that is an easy way to monitor all your social media accounts, and post links and status updates to all of them at once.
    • Use Google Alerts to stay up to date with conversations that are happening on the web about your industry, company, brand and competitors. This is great way to connect with bloggers who have a following that represents your target audience.
    • Set up RSS on iGoogle: I don’t like to have my email filled with blogs and alerts. What I find works well is to have it all syndicated through RSS to my iGoogle home page. Each night I scan through all the blog articles, read the ones that interest me, comment if appropriate and scan the Google Alerts for what’s happening in my industry. This keeps me up to date with my industry and competition.

    Spend 2 hours a week (1 hour x 2 days per week)
    • Finding groups to join on Linked In
    • Search for people to connect with on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.
    • Set up and run your own group on Linked In and Facebook
    • Answer questions on Linked In– search through your groups and Answers for topics you know.
    • Connect with everyone you come in contact with
    • If you have something that is of value and interest to your groups like a great blog or webinar – let them know about it.

    This is a great lead generation strategy that can prequalify your prospects before you start selling.

    Does this help?  Let me know what you think.


    Inbound Marketing: Why Keyword ‘Rank’ Shouldn’t be Your Goal

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    I sat in on a webinar recently by Hubspot, explaining keywords and how to use their keyword grader to determine the best keywords for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy.

    A lot of my recent projects have involved helping businesses determine the best keywords and SEO strategies and tactics. One of the things that was brought up in this webinar is ‘rank’ shouldn’t be your goal. Your goal is to get visits to your site and convert the visits to leads. A high rank in Google can lead to more visits but it isn’t a goal.  And it is better to focus on a keyword that is highly relevant than one that has high volume.

    A keyword that is highly relevant  to your product or service offering will yield a higher number of conversions. And this is why:

    Let’s say you choose a keyword that has high search volume and you spend a lot of time creating great content around that keyword and eventually start to rank in Google’s top 10.  If that keyword is not highly relevant to your product or service offering, your prospects will do one of two things:

    1. Click on your site, and then leave because it’s not what they’re looking for, or
    2. They won’t even click on your site at all.
    Think about another scenario where you focus on a keyword that is highly relevant.  Even if it has a low monthly search volume if it is highly relevant to your product or service offering chances are the prospect will click on your site. 

    Now the challenge is to convert this website visitor into a lead. This is achieved through:

    1. Knowing the keywords your prospects are using
    2. Understanding their challenges, frustrations, needs
    3. Writing content that appropriate based on the above two points
    4. Having a conversion tactic on the page
    5. And making sure it is clear to visitor what they need to do next

    Hopefully this blog article has helped you see that 'ranking' for a particular keyword is not a 'business' goal. And that focusing on relevancy and conversion strategies is what you need to do to acheive your business objectives.

    Do you have any questions? Think you need to spend some more time on:

    1. Choosing the right keywords for your business?
    2. Content strategies?
    3. Lead conversation strategies?
    4. A complete website analysis?

    If so, the first place to start is identifying the right keywords.

    To find out how we can help, check out our Keyword / SEO Starter Package.

    Inbound Marketing Tactics For Lead Nurturing Success

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    Following  on from my last blog: 3 Steps To Planning Your Inbound Marketing Conversion Tactics Im going to share some inbound marketing tactics that work for lead nurturing success.

    Lead nurturing is about communication and connection between you and your prospects. It’s not only an opportunity to move people along the sales process but an opportunity to build rapport and trust with your prospects.  This is done by offering information that is of value for nothing in return. The key is to speak in the value system of your prospects and to ‘not’ over sell.

    When developing a lead nurturing email campaign make sure you leave enough time between emails, possibly between 3-5 days, it really depends on what you have to offer and the nature of your business.  The last thing you want is to have them ‘opt-out’ because they’re sick of receiving your emails, and not getting any value or benefit out of them.

    Think about your industry in a broad sense. Think about the solution or need your product or service fulfills and think about the generic terms prospects would be searching for. Can you create a free whitepaper or ebook or tool that provides some answers to their questions?

    For example: if someone is searching for ‘landscape maintenance’ the offer needs to be about landscape maintenance generally, not Bob’s Landscape Maintenance Service.  Industry research and reports are a good conversion tool at this point. An idea might be some industry research that elaborates on the benefits of hiring a landscape maintenance company. Or an ebook called "The Things No one Tells You About Landscapers and How to Find the Right One for You."

    However, for people further down the funnel, they want to learn about Bob’s Landscape Maintenance  Service. They want to know what makes Bob so different from his competitors. They are looking for reasons for why they should choose Bob? Is it price, convenience, service or expertise? At this point you want to offer information that is going to increase their confidence in your company. Case studies, demonstration videos, presentations and How-to guides are good conversion tactics at this point. What would work well here are some informational videos showing Bob's Landscape team at work, prospects can see the presentation of the team, quality of work and expertise of the crew.

    At the bottom of the funnel are the hot leads, they are ready to talk to a sales person. They want to know what the process is and what the cost is. Information on ROI, testimonial videos from past clients and presentations work well at this point.

    It’s important at each stage of the funnel to make it clear to your prospects what they need to do. Do they know how to reach your sales department? Do they know who is your sales team and do they understand what the process is? For example, complete this form and our sales manager will call you within 24 hours to set up a free consultation. Call this number if you would like to receive a quote. Or what about a personal email that says:
    Thank you for downloading our pricing guide. If you would like to speak with our trained staff regarding your specific requirements. Our representatives are available to meet you, on site at a time that meets you. All you need to do is...

    Please let me know if you found this helpful. And if you liked this article please remember to hit the 'like' button above. Thank you for reading.


    3 Steps To Planning Your Inbound Marketing Conversion Tactics

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    If you fail to plan, you plan to fail and old adage but an important one that is being lost with today’s technology.

    With the introduction of the internet and social media people seem to be jumping onto both of these marketing channels with very little thought and planning.

    I have a 3 step approach to developing inbound marketing strategies and tactics using the sales funnel as my map:

    1. The top of the funnel: these are prospects that are researching your industry for generic information. They are searching for answers to a problem or a need without any focus on a particular brand or company.
    2. The middle of the funnel: these are warm prospects, maybe leads, that are aware of your company or brand and want to learn more about you, your brand or your service.
    3. The bottom of the funnel: these are prospects, or leads that are hot! They are ready to talk to a sales person.

    Now with this in mind, we can start to develop inbound marketing tactics that are designed to convert prospects, at each stage of the funnel, into leads. And with a well thought out lead nurturing campaign, move your leads down the sales funnel so they are sales ready.

    Inbound marketing tactics that work are; How To Guides, Tools to try or test your product, Case Studies, Reports, ebooks  that provide the extra information that prospects are looking for. They should provide answers to their questions and offer enough value to the prospect, that they are prepared to share their email address.

    Example: Local Gym

    Top of the funnel: An ebook:  The Daily 15 Minute – ‘At Home’ Exercise Guide: No equipment Necessary

    Mid funnel: Tool or test:  Try out the XX Fitness tool to discover a healthy daily meal planner that fits in with your lifestyle or Learn the best exercise and workout routine for you, to achieve your goals, that fits in with your lifestyle.

    Bottom funnel: Personal email to a FREE open day, Coupon , Free consult with a personal trainer.

    The importance to the marketer here is that you now have the contact information of someone who was on your site and is interested in what you do. Because they gave you their information they have indicated their interest in your company. It is okay to offer them additional information that may be of value to them.

    In my next blog, which I'll publish next week, I’ll explain in more detail about: Inbound Marketing Tactics For Lead Nurturing Success

    Did you find this helpful? If so, please 'like' this article by clicking on the 'like' button at the top.

    I would love to hear from you.

    Hubspot’s Social Media Tool: How To and Why, From a Hubspot Partner

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    Hubspot is a tool! And like all tools if it’s not being used correctly you won’t achieve the results you desire or expect and that it is capable of delivering.

    As a Hubspot Partner and Hubspot client I thought I’d share some of the ways I personally use the Hubspot tools. And like most of you out there, I too am time poor and guilty of not being consistent or using my Hubspot tool correctly.

    Today’s article is about the Social Media Tool.

    I plan on sharing more about the tools on Hubspot and how they help business so please subscribe to this blog if you would like to receive my Inbound Marketing and Hubspot updates.

    The Social Media Tool:

    Click on the top tab “Promote” and then “Social  Media”

    If you haven’t already, set up the keywords you would like to be tracking across the social mediasphere and add in the relevant filters by clicking on ‘edit’.

    This is also where you set up your social media accounts. Click on the option 'social media account' and choose to 'add' the accounts you have ie: Facebook, Linked, Twitter and Youtube. Then scroll down to choose how you want to use them. There are options for choosing whether you want them included in your Reach report or if you want to auto publish your blog to them when you publish your blog, or if  you want to be able to access them from the social media tool. And there is an option to have the link show up in the "Follow Me" widget.

    Why is this tool so important?

    No matter what your business goals are or strategies to achieve them, monitoring the social mediasphere for relevant keywords is a valuable tactic and here’s why:

    1. Competitor Analysis: Monitor your competitors’ brand names, company, key personnel and stay up to date with what they’re doing.
    2. Research and Development:  By monitoring what prospects are saying about your industry you may learn about new ways to market your product or service, or how you need to change your current products to better meet market demand or make valuable connections.
    3.  Lead Generation: By monitoring keywords that represent the problem or need you provide a solution for, you have the opportunity to meet and connect with new people who may become valuable business partners or clients.
    4. Build Authority: By monitoring keywords that represent your industry and area of expertise you have the opportunity to connect with bloggers and individuals who are posting questions on Linked In.  This provides a great opportunity to share your knowledge and position yourself as knowledgeable in your industry.
    5. Link Building: Comment on blogs to get inbound links. The focus really needs to be on providing a valuable comment, otherwise you can do more damage to your reputation than good. But with that being said, remember that commenting often provides a link to your website so this should be part of your ongoing inbound link tactics.
    6. Awareness: Engaging on social media sites is like networking, letting people know about your company, product or brand without using any pushy sales tactics.


    If you use Hubspot I would love to hear from you. Are you wondering how to use a particular tool or how it’s going to help your business?  If you want to add to my list of benefits for using the Social Media Tool, Hubspot client or not, please do.

    If you liked this post, please don’t forget to click on the ‘like’ button at the top. Thank you for reading.



    Social Media Optimization News Updates - Its all about location.

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    I found this Social Media Marketing article on Foursquare - this one is worth reading and worth sharing.

    Im yet to get involved with anything new to social media. Ive decided to sit back, to wait and see how long they stick around. My guess is social media is heading down the road of the boom and bust and there will be a lot of new comers trying to make a quick buck, but very few will survive. And even fewer will add value to businesses. I want to make sure that when I suggest a particular social media strategy or tactic to my clients that its worth their investment. With that being said, Foursquare (which I haven't had any experience with) appears to be gaining in popularity with proven results. Especially for location based, B2C business like Restaurants.  Diane's article on Foursquare is really a worthwhile read and will open your eyes to the possibilities of social media and the role it will play in our lives, in the not too distance future. Now Im intrigued... time to sign up to Foursquare? Maybe :). Check it out, its a good read!

    Social Media's New Mantra: Location, Location, Location
    Fast-growing network Foursquare is luring potential buyers

    Author: Diane Brady
    Publication: Bloomberg Business Week


    Do you use Foursqare? Please share your thoughts or experience. 

    Did you like this article? If so, please click on the Facebook "like" icon to share it with your friends.

    If you're a business owner or marketer and would like some assistance with developing a Social Media Strategy for your business please click on the Free Marketing Consultation and fill out the inquiry form. 


    My Top Inbound Marketing Articles on Social Media Optimization

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    Social Media Optimization (SMO) is now an important factor in SEO. Will it be more important than SEO, will Facebook take over Google as the king of searches? 

    The technology behind social media is evolving quickly and all I can say is it's a full time job keeping up. To make your life a little easier Im going to provide quick list of top articles Ive found on a hot topic - SMO and the social media giant, Facebook and how they're changing search.

    This article; How To Use Social Media to Rank on Google is a good read and gives some good examples and links to tools to help you understand how to use social media for your SEO.

    What Facebook's Announcements mean for SmallBiz
    At the recent Facebook developer conference, the social media giant announced a number of major changes to their platform that will affect the way developers create applications and the way users interact with them. The most important change for small business owners to be aware of, however, is the launch of the Facebook for Web Sites platform and specifically, the new social plugins. No matter where you're at with Facebook or technology, as a business owner or marketer you owe it to yourself to read this article and know what is available out there.

    Why is Social Media Keyword Search Becoming More Important for a Small Business? I like  this article because it shares why we should be using social media to search for the keywords our target audience is using.  The answers are right there for us, our prospects are all over the internet and social media - it's just a matter of knowing where to look.

    Facebooks Universal Like Button Added to Over 50000 Sites and GrowingThis is a must read for anyone wanting to stay up to date with social media, SEO and SMO. This article explains how SEO is now evolving, from "links" to "likes" and highlights the early adoption to Facebook's "like" plugin just announced last week.

    How do you use social media in your business? What are your thoughts on Social media optimization (SMO) replacing SEO?

    If  you need help developing your social media content and communication strategies or with the technology please click on the "marketing consultation" button and submit the form.



    Practical Solutions For Measuring Marketing and ROI

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    It's become evident to me that one of the biggest marketing challenges for business owners is how to measure their marketing and return on investment (ROI).  

    I've included a link at the bottom of this blog to an excel sheet for Measuring Marketing and ROI which I've adapted from a document received from Hubspot. But before you jump ahead and download the excel sheet, take the time to review my notes on what you should do before starting any marketing and what to measure.

    Before You Start

    Before starting out with any marketing take the time to plan and set goals. The benefit of doing this is to make sure you get the best return out of your marketing efforts.  Often marketers will blame a particular marketing tactic when really it was the message. You need to know what your goals are, who your customers are and what they want, before you even begin an effective marketing campaign.

    From here you can craft your marketing message, addressing problems and outcomes that speak to the value system of your prospects.  If you have the budget I would suggest speaking with a professional marketing consultant.  They will work with you to create a Marketing Plan that will communicate your message (value proposition) to your prospects (target market) via different channels, and develop a lead nurturing program that will attract prospects into your sales funnel, and keep them moving down the funnel until they are ready to convert to a customer.

    All your marketing efforts need to be monitored. Test and measure, test and measure and test and measure again, to see what yields the best returns.  

    What To Measure

    There are a lot of different metrics out there but what really matters is what is impacting the bottom line.

    Visitors: What's driving traffic (visitors) to your site
    Leads: What's encouraging the visitors to convert to a lead.
    Customers: What's encouraging the leads to convert to a customer

    Personally, I believe Hubspot offers the best tools for monitoring specific marketing campaigns. One of the great features of the Hubspot tools is that it allows you to track specific marketing tactics, even something as simple as a Tweet (ie Tweeted with a link to blog). I find it interesting to see how much extra traffic I get just by changing my status in LinkedIn.

    Converting Your Visitors Into Leads

    A visitor becomes a lead once they've indicated some interest in your product/service.

    Of course traffic on its own doesn't mean much if there are no conversions. This is where a professional marketing consultant can really help. Once you have visitors to your site you need to:

    1. Offer the information they are looking for and

    2. Give them a compelling reason to provide you with their valuable contact details.

    What can you offer that is of value to your prospects? Some suggestions are: Blog subscriptions, eNewsletters, free ebook, free tool or kit. And don't just direct all your traffic to your home page, offer a link to a ‘landing page' which is designed to convert visitors to leads.  Without this in place, your marketing efforts will seem futile if no visitors are converting.

    Test and measure. Change your offer, heading, message, channel and landing page to see which yields a better result.

    Download this Measuring Marketing and ROI excel sheet to track your results, compare and measure against different channels and campaigns.Check out the tools at Hubspot and test drive their 7 day free trial. Remember to start out with a plan and seek professional marketing advice if needed.

    I would really like to know if this post provides you with practical solutions to Measuring Marketing and ROI?  

    Does Social Media Confusion Have You Paralyzed? Want Solutions?

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    social media marketingIf you're a busy business person who is interested in learning how social media can help your business but you're overwhelmed by the whole social media thing. Where to start and what to do... then this article is for YOU!


    Here are six things you need to do:

    1. Make the decision to start.
    2. Put aside 1 hour per week.
    3. Keep it simple!
    4. Don't lose site of your business objectives.
    5. Focus on just 1 or 2 social sites.
    6. Be Patient!

    Your objective when starting with social media should be to:

    1. Build your network based on your target audience and your industry thought leaders.
    2. Build a rapport with your target audience and to position yourself, and or your company as a trustworthy, thought leader.

    NB: Forget selling or promotions at this point, you'll push people away. You may see results initially but it's a short term strategy with short term results.

    Because the majority of people have a  Linked In account I chose this site as the first social media site to concentrate on when starting with social media.

    Linked In

    • If you haven't already set up a profile go to and follow the prompts to set up your account.
    • Search for groups that represent your target audience and industry, and join them. Engage in this group and comment in discussions and answer questions - don't promote yourself or your company. Your insightful, intelligent and helpful answers and comments will do that for you.
    • Search for your keywords in Answers, and answer any questions you can. Remember to avoid the sales and focus on offering professional advice that is of value.
    Here's a couple of articles on how to use Linked In for business.

    4 Minutes To Optimize Your Linked In Profile for SEO

    Linked In For Lead Generation

    The other two social media activities I would recommend - in order:

    1. Blogging
    2. Twitter

    Did this article help? Do you have any questions regarding social media for business?

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