Social Media Sells & Other Inbound Marketing Fabrications
We’ve convoluted our business sense to the point of believing several widely told lies about inbound marketing which peruses out thinking elsewhere causing potential for missed opportunities or simply trashing out ideas altogether. In a last-ditch effort to straighten businesses’ directives, we’ve carefully commandeered the multitudes of articles, videos and other periodicals which profess singular inbound marketing efforts will prevail over another. Since many entrepreneurs are concerned about losing ground, and ROI, we believe this piece was necessary to straighten conventional thinking and arrest potentially errant beliefs before they dismantle online marketing as we know it.
Content is King
Google unveiled Panda and Penguin to disseminate websites that felt plagiarizing content or simply writing BS would raise their organic rankings. From these updates, we believe that content has now become the prevailing search denominator which Google uses to adjudicate websites as being worthy of ranking high due to relevance or decides to shoo the spammy content away. Unfortunately, content is not the king of the land, my friends. Keep the below ideologies in mind before you expound your marketing efforts solely upon content:
Well-written content needs to have relevant pictures, original or from Creative Commons;
Content needs to have internal linking to other written works which, inevitably, tell a continuous story;
Outbound links leading to related content and websites are given praise;
Content needs to be engaged in; in other words, commenting or sharing needs to take place.
Content is largely looked upon as the telltale sign of originality. It’s also seen as the springboard for gauging websites as search-friendly in the sense that it will be what people want to read. It is not, however, the sole basis by which Google and other search engines will judge your website; it would behoove your marketing team to get this thought imbued deep into their marketing plans.
Liking Means Buying
Phot Credit: Flickr
Another entirely far-fetched ideology is that social media is the drivetrain in which our businesses should be pulled towards inevitable sales. We spend hours gathering ‘bot-likes’ which simply inflate the number of people who really appreciate out business in hopes that other ‘real’ likes will be achieved. We Tweet until our fingers turn blue, hoping the hashtags we use are widely searched. Yes, it’s true social media interactivity is important when Google ranks websites. It does not, however, mean that sales will come your way because of heavy social media engagement. Here is why:
A blank Facebook wall means you care little about social injection into your business, leading people to believe you’re either scamming or wanting to get rich quick.
Tweeting is best used for contests or nights at the pub. If you can find any business value in Twitter, aside from having a sponsored account, you probably have stock in their company.
LinkedIn is great for networking with other entrepreneurs and business groups. Thousands of people are already trying to sell to thousands of people – good luck making an honest sales push through LinkedIn.
I like chocolate, the Chicago Bears and long walks with my wife; this doesn’t mean I’m going to buy your thermal casserole dish. In other words, I may like your Facebook page or follow your Tweets, but this doesn’t mean you’ve proven your business as plausible enough for me to become a customer. This ideology has sunk thousands of people who pivot their entire business plans upon social media.
Mobile Marketing Doesn’t Work
Another strong part of inbound marketing is resonated through mobile platforms, more specifically in mobile marketing. While a recent Google market research report revealed that 80% of mobile searches are out of spontaneity, this doesn’t compel enough businesses to vie for mobile marketing plans. They simply believe it doesn’t work. Well, my friends, I’m here to tell you that:
Four billion people currently use mobile phones of some sort, of which
26% are smartphones, and out of the original four billion mobile phones,
75% are SMS enabled.
An amazing 86% of mobile internet searches are done while watching television and overall,
Mobile internet will surpass desktop internet searches by 2014.
Tell me again that mobile marketing isn’t going to work with facts plainly in front of you contradicting your naysaying beliefs. Tell me that 29% of those mobile users aren’t looking for coupons to scan. Tell me that 2.7 hours a day aren’t spent on mobile social media channels. In other words, having mobile inbound marketing plans in place before 2014 will prove advantageous to your overall social media and content marketing strategies and will squash any thoughts of averting from this platform.
Locally Based SEO is Awash
Our conventional standards of pay per click marketing would target the entire universe just to collect 100 or so implausible leads. This strategy not only wastes advertising dollars, it tends to draw unwanted visitors to your website or landing pages. Many people have previously believed that local based search engine optimization would shrink the number of leads which are collected, an untruth from the get-go. Here is why locality optimization should remain high upon your wish list:
- It builds brand loyalty.
- It draws people to your physical presence, which builds business trust.
- It harvests targeted leads better than most any other source.
- It’s what Google is nearly expecting every business to do.
Reconstruct your marketing plans to include more specific areas where customers could want your offerings, and watch your ad spend shrink while your lead counts increase. Listening to unprofessional SEO strategists and targeting the entire galaxy for your next marketing campaign will cost you more than just advertising dollars.
Inbound Marketing Alone is the Answer
Now that people see aggressive social media campaigns and PPC campaigns not working well enough, those campaigns are being set off to the side, and lead capture pages and other inbound marketing techniques are the sole driving forces behind businesses seeking leads of any sort. Truth be told, inbound marketing alone will not work without companion campaigns running behind the scenes to keep your name out there. Along with your regular lead capturing and nurturing techniques, you still need healthy balances of:
- Mobile search engine optimization.
- Social media engagement and contest creation.
- Permission-based email newsletters with useful information in them.
- Continue working towards beating the problem instead of forcing an unproven solution upon consumers.
Balancing every known marketing technique so well-blended results can be achieved should be your primary goal when rocking your marketing plans. Concentration on one individual facet will bury your lead generation efforts either in debt, or in vain.
Inbound marketing already has one major foe: status quo. Why give yourself more problems by believing the socially spread lies about which marketing techniques work, don’t work or have never worked when the evidence is before you? Our future will go nearly entirely mobile, or have virtual reality behind searching. You must incorporate what has been proven to work while adding your personalized twist to the inbound marketing campaigns you promote. Finally, if you’re consistently worrying about providing solutions without addressing problems, your lead funnels will land right inside your trash can since we’re becoming a society of ‘show me proof’ before the purchase is made.
Tim Wilson works as content manager for HostPapa, a website hosting company serving over 100,000 customers around the world. Since launching in 2006, HostPapa has offered reliable, budget-friendly, easy-to-use web hosting solutions for small to medium-sized businesses.