So you’re no longer skeptical that your industry is too boring to blog about and you’re considering taking advantage of an inbound marketing program. The logical next question is how quickly you will be able to rise above your competition and land on the first page of Google.
Although there are no guarantees, if you follow this step-by-step guide, your chances will increase many times over:
1. Hire an inbound marketing consultant
Sounds self-serving, but I’m not the only game in town. Unless you have hundreds of hours to invest in learning the tricks of the trade, don’t try it on your own.
2. Get involved. I mean really involved
I can’t stress enough how important it is not to delegate the decisions to your IT department or marketing intern. Embracing inbound marketing is a strategic choice and will need your full support in order to get the program off the ground.
3. Find a really good writer (a.k.a. “Chief Content Officer”)
There are three ways to produce content:
• Hire an employee
• Find an outside vendor
• Write it yourself
There are pros and cons for each. This will be a future blog post. Stay tuned.
4. Post Educational, non-Promotional Content
Most business owners and entrepreneurs are very proud of their accomplishments and accolades. They should be. A blog, however, is not the place to pound your chest. In the words of Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion, “It’s a blog, not a brag.”
5. Blog Frequently
You’ll need to produce a minimum of two to three articles a week in order to gain traction (more if you’re in a competitive industry). Google will start to notice your hard work and index your site on a more frequent basis.
6. Blog Strategically
You’re going to need the right tools and platform to put you in the best position to succeed. Google’s Keyword Tool is very helpful and it’s free. Wordpress is the most popular DIY blogging platform. If you are looking for a more comprehensive all-in-one program, take a look at HubSpot or consult with your web designer.
7. Make Sure Your Site is Conversion-Ready
You could have the best search rankings in the world but, if your site doesn’t inspire confidence and trust in your brand, you won’t convert the traffic into leads and customers.
8. Promote Your Blog Using Social Media Tools
Facebook and Twitter are probably the two best platforms to get the message out about your blog. If your focus is on driving B2B sales, you should also look at Linked In. Just don’t get too hung up on “likes” and “tweets;” for most companies being found on the first page of Google is what pays the bills.
9. Promote Your Blog to Your Friends, Family, Employees and Vendors
Make sure you to leverage your network to the maximum extent possible and turn them into evangelists for your brand. You’ll be shocked how quickly your profile becomes elevated as soon as people start talking about you.
10. Communicate and Collaborate with Employees
As I said in Tip #2, success at inbound marketing needs your involvement but it also needs buy-in from your employees, especially those in Sales, Marketing and IT. The best way to get that buy-in is to bring them all together with your inbound marketing expert and let them see how they can help and how they will benefit.
I purposely omitted paid search, but it is also an option. You can start ranking for keywords immediately, but if it’s not set up correctly (please re-read #7 above), you can go through a boatload of cash in no time. Your best ROI will come from improving your organic SEO rankings through Inbound Marketing.
Fellow internet marketers and bloggers – did I leave anything out? I’d love to get your take.