Getting started can be the most overwhelming part of marketing on the web. But there’s no reason why you should be stopped in your tracks.
Here are the easiest ways for you to get your marketing started on the web.
1. Get your contacts into an email marketing system
The biggest asset you are sitting on is your email contacts. They can be activated easily and immediately. Take all the different places your contacts live, like spread sheets, CRMs, databases and business cards and store them in one email marketing system. Campaign Monitor, Vision 6 and Mail Chimp are all great places to start.
2. Start sending regular emails
The fastest way to begin building your reputation is to send valuable information to the people in your email marketing system.
Naturally you must comply with all the SPAM requirements and you should follow ethical email etiquette. The main two issues to be aware of are always have an unsubscribe button and never buy email lists. If your list has been non-existent or dormant for a while, write to say what your intentions are. Invite them to be part of your email newsletters, and equally give them an easy opt-out if it’s not for them.
The hidden benefit of kicking off your email marketing efforts is that you will be able to monitor what content is most popular with your readers. Simply look at your email analytics reports to see what is clicked on the most and use this to produce more of the stuff your readers like!
3. Blog and share on social media
Use your knowledge of what is popular with your email subscribers to craft interesting blog posts. You want to be attracting more first time readers and turning these strangers into repeat visitors, referrers and email subscribers.
Share your knowledge generously on your blog and gently encourage readers to connect with you on social media or subscribe to your email newsletters or blog.
4. Create a valuable, free download
Don’t skimp on quality here. This piece of content will hopefully be your flagship e-book or tool that will attract loads of leads and inbound links.
You want it to be so good that people will tweet about it, link to it and share it with their friends. Put all your best stuff in there, and don’t be afraid of giving too much away! The more you can educate prospects and add value, the more likely they are to become customers.
Send this valuable free download to all your email subscribers, and encourage them to forward it to their friends. The more people that read it the better!
5. Set up a landing page
Put your valuable, free download on a purpose built landing page on your website. Landing page best practice includes removing your normal navigation menu to eliminate distractions. Put the download behind an email opt-in form so you can grow your email list, and include social media share buttons on the page so that people can share it easily.
Spend an hour or so doing keyword research so that you can optimise the page for search terms that have high traffic and low competition. This investment of an hour or so will pay huge dividends. Use the free Google Keyword Tool to get an idea of what keyword phrases people are Googling.
These are the first five things I’d encourage you do if you are wondering where to focus your inbound marketing efforts. To get more of an understanding, you may find this one-page Inbound Marketing Methodology useful – it’s a free download.