15 Surprising Digital Marketing Trends

In this post, we’ll explore 15 surprising digital marketing trends that you need to know.  The charts below are pulled from Google Trends and show search interest over the last decade.

Inbound Marketing

InboundMarketing

This is the phrase that is changing the way marketing is done.  You’ll see a VERY close resemblance to the graph below for “HubSpot”, the all-in-one Inbound Marketing software (and marketing content giant). (more…)

Inbound Marketing Insights: Frustrated with Social Media?

Enough with the cute kittens and pictures of what you are eating for lunch!

Grumpy Cat is Frustrated with Social Media

Grumpy Cat is Frustrated with Social Media

In the last installment, we looked at reasons that business owners and marketers are often frustrated with SEO, and the lack of results they see from their efforts.  We concluded that the main problem was that the primary goals associated with SEO alone, were not in line with the overall goals a successful marketing plan will exhibit.  In the same way, many business owners and marketers are frustrated with social media.  They are frustrated with keeping up with it, as well as seeing the apparent lack of results for their effort.  If the solution lies in realigning our social media goals with sound marketing goals, how do we go about doing that?  That is the topic of this post.

Social Media, by itself, is not a marketing strategy.

The wisdom of the day used to sound something like this.  “You need to engage your customers in meaningful conversation through social media channels to build interest in, and loyalty to your brand.”  Countless books and manifestos were written on this subject.  Conversation and engagement were the big buzzwords during the early days of the social media revolution.  But, what exactly does conversation and engagement get you?  The goal of generating this type of buzz about your company int he social media channels is to gain exposure – or in social media terms, reach.  The simplified version of this is if you have 10 friends who are talking about products to at least 10 of their friends, then all of a sudden – you have reached an audience of 100.  This is the viral power of social media, and this is why it is an integral part of a comprehensive inbound marketing plan  What is reach, though, and does this “reach” put any money in your pockets?  Here is where we have to hone our social media strategy into a sound marketing strategy, and here is how we do it. (more…)

Hubspot Pricing – Is It Worth The Cost?

Hubspot Pricing and Return on Investment (ROI)If you have had a chance to read up on the features and benefits of Hubspot, then you know what a game-changer it has been for Inbound Marketing professionals.  Hubspot makes managing your Inbound Marketing campaign simple and effective.  What’s more, the integrated reporting makes showing your results and ROI a piece of cake.  The only part of Hubspot that many see as a downside is that it is Hubspot Pricing.  But as with most products or services that cost money, you can’t just look at the dollar going out – you have to consider the dollars coming back in, AND, the dollars saved as a result of using Hubspot. (more…)

Author Rank + Plus: Google’s Secret Weapon To Beat Facebook

Author RankWant to know how Google is going to get users to leave Facebook and use Google Plus?  They are going to pay them to do it (indirectly).

Author Rank is only being talked about in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Content Marketing circles at the moment, but the effects of the coming SEO earthquake it causes could be felt by everybody before it is over.  It is not just a tool to improve their search engine.  It is an asset they intend to use to take over social media. I’ll explain . . .

If you’ve followed social media over the last few years, you’ve seen Google launch round after round of social platforms, each with a characteristic belly-flop ending — Friend Connect, Lively, Wave, Buzz, and Plus.  But slow down. Maybe we’ve written Plus off too quickly.

A Bunch Looked, The Geeks Stayed

Plus launched in 2011 and didn’t gain a lot of marketshare.  The tool itself seems to be excellent, but there wasn’t a good enough reason to leave Facebook and Twitter for the (more…)

How To Build Links And Influence People

How To Win FriendsAre you looking to get some momentum with web traffic?  Trying to figure out how to build links and bring in more customers?  This post is for you.

I’ve been listening to that lavishly written classic on human relations “How To Win Friends And Influence People” while jogging lately.  What a powerful book.  This is probably my fourth time through the audio version.  It will not be my last.

It got me thinking about how building web traffic (link building, SEO, social media) is basically winning friends and influencing people online.  So it makes sense that we can take what Dale Carnegie said back in the 30s and tweak and update it some to implement his techniques on the web.

There is a great deal to be learned here for content and inbound marketers.  The outline below is verbatim from Dale’s book with his statements in bold and my comments following each.  Some of the points deal with winning friends (and getting links), while others deal with influencing people (converting visitors into customers).  Parts 1 through 3 of the book relate to content marketing, while Part 4 is about leadership which doesn’t apply here.  These comments are through Part 3 only.

How To Build Links And Influence People

Part One

Fundamental Techniques In Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.  In all online interactions, keep on the sunny side. This is especially true with the use of sarcasm, which never plays well in text form.  Stay light years away from negativity, whining, and sarcasm. (more…)

Shift of Power to the Consumer

Shift of Power to the Consumer

My nephew Oliver illustrates the new found power of the consumer.

I am 4 pages into writing a new eBook.  We’re working on an accompanying InfoGraphic as well.  Stay tuned.  I’m having a blast writing it.

In some of my research, I came across what I think is one of the best statements of the tectonic shift away from Outbound and toward Inbound Marketing that I have ever read.  And it is not from a company that has anything to benefit from promoting Inbound.  Here you go . . .

Shift of Power to the Consumer

Euromonitor International published a study in January titled “Online Travel: Shift of Power to Consumers” with the following synopsis . . .

The online travel revolution which has taken place in the last 10 years has led to substantial changes in the travel industry’s competitive environment. These are so significant to force companies to re-think their business models. In particular, consumers now play a much more central and active role, while technology players have become essential partners for travel companies. Customer knowledge and social interaction are key requirements to compete successfully in this new environment. (emphasis ours)

Those are heavy words.  Revolution. Substantial. Significant. Force. Re-think. Essential. (more…)

Author Rank, Consumer Trends, Email Campaigns, Facebook, Google, Hubspot, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Managers, Marketing ROI, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SEO for Small Business, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Web Marketing