We Want To Sell thru Inbound Marketing

14 Oct

I met with a technology startup recently. The founders are entrepreneurs with one successful exit already and are building their next company. They live in Europe but are considering moving their fledgling company to the US because they feel the majority of the customers are found here. When I asked them how they wanted to go to market, they replied, “We want to sell through inbound marketing….because cold calling does not work anymore.”

Leaving aside the thought that I don’t agree that cold calling doesn’t work anymore (me, who’s been writing about referrals all the time!?!), there’s still the discussion of what inbound marketing means and how to do it.

There are a bunch of great books and products out there to help you do inbound marketing. One of the popular ones is from Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, the co-founders of HubSpot. Their book is “Inbound Marketing” and I recommended the book to these founders. We white-boarded the salient points of the book.

Inbound Marketing:

  • Create remarkable content
  • Optimize content (for search, RSS, social media)
  • Publish content (and not just on your site)
  • Market content thru social media and blogs
  • Measure what’s working and what’s not working

The real hard part here, which made the entrepreneurs look at each other to see who was volunteering, is “create remarkable content.”  Anyone can create content (see, I’m doing it right now) but is the content remarkable?  Remarkable gets found.  Unremarkable gets buried.

Blogs:

  • Visitors come to blogs to learn
  • Write remarkable content and allow guest bloggers
  • Allow content without approving it first
  • Read and comment on other’s blogs and link back to your blog
  • Track what’s working and what’s not

Search:

  • Visitors are looking for content
  • You must consider paid search (pay-per-click) vs organic (free) search
  • Look at your website for what’s searchable (links, tags, inbound links)
  • Most importantly – what’s the trigger event that’s causing your visitors to search for you

Social:

  • Visitors are looking to interact with you and colleagues
  • Top social sites include LinkedIn Answers & Groups, Twitter, YouTube, Digg

So most everything you need to do for inbound marketing can be found in this easy-to-read book.  And the authors’ company helps you measure what’s working and what’s not working.  The challenge remains, “Who’s going to write the remarkable content?”

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