Tag Archives: marketing

Six Easy Steps To Measure Social Media Success

social media

social media

Six Easy Steps To Measure Social Media Success

Measuring social media success is a very important matter to business minded people. Many people are talking about these because marketing in social media is one of the effective keys that unlocks success.

A true business minded person really need to blog, making sure that the blog has fresh post.

In addition, making daily tweets on twitter and consistently posting status on your friend’s wall etc. are the usual social marketing tactics done daily.

Sometimes doing all of these steps are not enough, you cannot really tell if these works effectively and worth all of your effort. If you want to step up your game, and you can admit that your one of those business people who are unsure of the strategies that their conducting. You’re in luck today, because this article lists the Six Steps on How to  measure, Social Media Success below:

Step 1 – Identify your goals. All your strategies and plans are useless, if you don’t set your goals. It will be impossible for you to know what plans and strategies will affect the business. You need to have realistic, clear and systematic goals in order to achieve your goals. This is the same thing if you want success in your marketing moves in social media. Just like in real life, planning a step by step process and targeting short term goals to reach longer goals are important to achieve success in social media marketing.

Step 2 – Be familiar with web analytic tools. Web analytics will help you measure the success in your marketing endeavors. These tools have a great role in the analysis of marketing in social media. They calculate the amount of website traffic and determine which sites get the most number of visitors. At the same time, demographics of visitors are recorded with the tools, to include duration of website visit, language and nationality of the visitors, conversion rates, unique visits and others. Overall, these tool analysis aids to be familiar with the behavior and activities of the customers, which serves as a guide on what, when and where to improve.

Step 3 – Be familiar with ROI (Return on Investment). This measures and evaluates the efficiency of the investment. You should consider the well-defined and realistic goals for a campaign in social marketing. This includes the increase subscribers, followers and fans to create a large foundation of customers on social network sites. You should also watch out for the amount of traffic that you receive to your website. It is also important to increase consumer interaction and engagement. The number of sales if it increases or decreases is also important. The number of conversion should also be checked in order to understand your investment returns.

Step 4 – Create a strategic plan. Creating strategies for your social media is an easy thing to do, utilizing this strategic plan to your advantage, is a different thing. It is then more important that you understand how the strategy you created will be useful to your marketing solutions.

Step 5 – Identify the latest usage of techniques with regards to the combination of marketing in social media. Remember the current social media activities that you are utilizing. Determine the duration of time that you’ve been engaging in the various activity and write down the important channels you are using.

Step 6 – Appoint a social media focal person to your business. A person knowledgeable with marketing in social media, who can evaluate and analyze the development of your marketing social media efforts is a big help. Monitoring your progress, will make you keep on track while informing you where and when to perform changes when needed.

These are the six steps to know how you’ve did with using social media.

Your business will then have tangible information which you could use for various facets of your business, particularly sales, marketing, and customer relations. Implementing these steps will help you with tracking you efforts!

Ida Mae Boyd

The attitude is practice!

The attitude is practice!


I read a blog post about “practicing” one’s skills. The author stated, “… Practice, to me is an attitude! You need to decide to practice and keep at it until you conquer and master the skill! …”   The author stated that, “… persistence can ultimately result in achieving the successes you aim for.”

Have you ever heard someone say (or post on social media) that such and such business opportunity didn’t work, this or that marketing system didn’t work, etc.  After all, they tried it for 6-weeks, maybe even two months.  A new guy in a business opportunity once told me he couldn’t find anyone after only two or three days into the business. We talked about what he was doing and I asked him how many people he talked to.  He said he talked to three people. On that small sample size, he concluded that he couldn’t do the business.

Isn’t that the disease of our time? People expect instant gratification or instant results.

Internet marketing has many components, i.e., social media, blogging, websites, etc. Every one of them involve multiple skills that we need to master before we realize the desired results. We have to practice, practice, and practice again, for days, weeks, maybe even months or years before we achieve the desired results.

There was a time when each of us didn’t know how to walk. We saw parents, siblings, and other children walking and we wanted to do as they were doing. We tried it and fell down on our diaper-padded bums, got up and tried again, stumbled and fell, got up again, and repeated the process. Before long, we were walking like pros, speeding around our homes with parents in tow, hot on our little heels protecting us from walls, doorways, and other obstacles. Our practice paid off when we were toddlers. So it will for one’s internet marketing skills.

If you are new in the internet marketing arena, you are starting off as a toddler. You can’t expect to get expert results on your first excursion when you are new. When your methods don’t work the first time out of the chute, are you going to get frustrated and give in to defeat? I hope not. Seek out training and learn new skills. Practice those skills; refine them; hone them to a razor edge. Persistence and practice will pay off.

Internet (online) marketing works well when we master the components and the skills. Many successful internet marketers readily report their successes, but they certainly had their own challenges to overcome and conquer before they became recognized masters.

Successful internet marketing is doable. However, you need the right attitude.  Decide to practice, practice, practice the necessary skills. Be consistent and do it daily.

Victory awaits you just around the corner.  Just reach the corner and make the turn.

Remember the historic words that Sir Winston Churchill spoke during some of the darkest hours of WWII, “Never, never, never give up!”

Thanks for reading.

Rix Robinson




Tips about Network Marketing

Tips about Network Marketing

A direct-selling expert shares what it takes to start out and make it in this industry.

You probably have an image firmly planted in your mind of what network marketing (also known as direct sales or multilevel marketing) is all about–housewives buying and selling Tupperware while gossiping and eating finger sandwiches, or a high-pressure salesperson trying to convince you how easily you can become a millionaire if only you and your friends and their friends and so on would buy and sell vitamins with him.

Both of these images couldn't be further from the reality of network marketing. It's neither a hobby nor a get-rich-scheme but an opportunity for you to earn money running your own part- or full-time business.

But what does it take to succeed in this industry? Vincent J. Kellsey, director of member services for the Direct Selling Women's Alliance, an organization that provides a variety of resources to women and men in the direct-selling industry, offers these tips for making it:

Choose wisely. There are six key elements you should be looking for [when selecting an opportunity]. Number one: stability. How old is the company? Number two is excellent products or services that consumers will use and need more of.

Number three is the pay plan–how even and fair and generous overall is the distribution? This is really crucial as the pay plan represents exactly how you'll get paid–or not get paid. There are really only two questions to ask [regarding this]: How many pennies out of each sales dollar get paid back to the distributors each month, and how fair is the distribution of these pennies between the old members and the new members?

Number four is the integrity of the company and the management. As much as possible, [investigate] the experience of the CEO, [their] experience in the network marketing industry, and their background. [Have] they been successful in other companies in the industry? Do they have a good reputation?

Number five is momentum and timing. Look at where the company's at, what's going on with the company, and if it's growing.

Number six is support, training and business systems. You may have [chosen] a great company with excellent management, products that make a difference, a pay plan that's uniquely fair and very generous, and momentum and stability, but if you don't have a system in place that works, all of that [doesn't matter]. Most companies will have a transferable training system that they use, and that's where mentorship comes in.

Practice what they teach. [To succeed,] you need to be willing to listen and learn from mentors. The way this industry is structured, it's in the best interests of the [MLM veterans in your company] to help you succeed, so they're willing to teach you the system. Whatever [your mentor] did to become successful, it's very duplicatible, but you have to be willing to listen and be taught and follow those systems.

The higher-ups. It can be called various things, but the general term is the "upline," meaning the people above you. How supportive are they? Do they call you? Do they help you put a plan in place? Are they as committed to your success as they are to their own? You should be able to relate to [the people in your upline] and be able to call them at any time to say "I need some help." How much support there is from the people above you in the company is very important.

Take up the lead with your downline. There's a term in the network marketing industry called "orphans"–when somebody is brought in and then the person who brought them in is just so busy bringing in other people that they don't spend the time to teach and train [the new person]. You should be prepared to spend at least 30 days helping a new person come into the industry–training them, supporting them and holding their hand until they feel confident to be able to go off on their own. You really need to ask yourself, are you willing to do that? Are you able to do that? This is really about long-term relationship building. It's not about just bringing people into the business and just moving forward. It's about working with these people and helping them to develop relationships.

On the net. People are utilizing [the internet] as their main marketing tool. [You can set up your site] with autoresponders so when you capture leads, the autoresponder can follow up with that person. One of the greatest keys to success in this industry is follow-up. Many people will have someone call them who's interested or they'll call the person and say they're interested, but then they don't follow up with it. Automation on the internet has allowed a much more consistent method of following up.

The only drawback with the internet is people who utilize it to spam. If there was one thing I could put forward to say, "Do not do" when utilizing the internet as a marketing tool, it's spamming because that can give a very bad reputation not only to you but also to the company you're working with.

Taking care of business. This is a business, and just like if you were running a franchise or a storefront, you [should have an] accountant. You have all the same write-offs tax-wise that you have with running a [full-time] business, so it's very important to [do your research] prior to getting involved, before you start making money from it. How is that going to affect you tax-wise? What are your write-offs?

It's important to set up a [support] team around you. I'd suggest seeking out lawyers who deal in network marketing, so they're very versed in all the laws and how that affects [your business.]. There are also accountants who specialize in dealing with homebased businesses specifically in the direct-selling industry.

Don't quit your day job…yet. Never leave your full-time position unless you're absolutely certain that the income that's coming in with this company is going to be there. [Be sure that] you've been with the company [for awhile] and that you know it's a stable company, and the income that you're earning is equal to or greater than the income you're earning from your job before quitting.

Chuck Reynolds

Network Marketing Master Tips

Network Marketing Master Tips

Learn the secrets of MLM experts so you can follow in their footsteps.


Network Marketing is amazing. During my more than 30 years of working, it's the only form of business I've found that offers a level playing field. In other words, anyone can become successful in this industry. And the best part is that others have already blazed the trail to success, so you just have to look at what they've done and follow suit. There are things you'll hear over and over again as the principles to success in MLM. Here are the top five:

1. Be coachable. MLM is a business of duplication. Those who've already been successful will share their secrets to success, and all you need to do is listen and then do what they tell you. Unfortunately, I wasn't very coachable in the beginning. I was successful in traditional business and figured I could do the same things and be successful in network marketing. Boy, was I wrong! Because I didn't listen to my upline leaders, I didn't make any money at first. Successful MLMers have been there, done that–and have the paycheck to prove it–so be coachable, and duplicate their success.

2. Develop your dreams, goals and objectives. Studies have shown that very few people have written dreams and goals, yet those who do achieve high levels of success. Identify your dreams first. As yourself, if time and money weren't inhibitors, what would your life look like? Describe your dream house in great detail. Likewise, get a mental image of your dream cars, vacations, wardrobe, lifestyle and so on.

From those dreams, develop your goals. A dream is the big picture, and goals are the steps that will get you to your dreams. For example, let's say your dream car is a Mercedes SL65 with a cost of $225,000 and a monthly payment of around $3,800. What are the steps you need to take to achieve that dream? An increase in your income might be necessary, so your goal would be to increase your monthly income to, let's say, $10,000.

Next, you break your goals down into bite-size objectives (in our example above, this would be the things necessary to increase your monthly income to $10,000). Each day, you should review your dreams, goals and objectives in order to determine your daily activities.

3. Work. Network marketing has probably produced more millionaires than any other industry, and although each of those people built their businesses with different companies and using different methods, they all did one thing–work. MLM isn't a get-rich-quick scheme; you'll only get rich through hard work.

One of the main differences I see in those who fail vs. those who succeed is their level of work. Most people who've failed treated their MLM businesses like a hobby, working whenever they had some spare time. The top income earners, on the other hand, work at their businesses every day.

Let's say that after a thorough evaluation of your schedule, you can only devote 10 hours a week to your business. Take a daily planner and block out those available time slots. Remember, work isn't filing, checking e-mail or surfing the web. Work in MLM is prospecting, presenting, following up, registering new associates, training and support.

In the beginning, you should spend 90 percent of your time on prospecting, presenting, following up and signing up new people. As your network builds, you can devote more time to training and support. But never, ever stop prospecting, or your business will die.

4. Be consistently persistent. Most network marketers give up too early. They expect to make $10,000 their first month, and when they don't, they quit. But it takes time to build an MLM business. You're going to have to contact a lot of people, give many presentations and endure a great deal of rejection. However, it's the person who is consistently persistent who will succeed.

If you're duplicating a successful system, the only thing separating you from success is time. When things are looking dark, keep going. Make one more call. Talk with one more person. Follow up one more time. If you're with the right company, you should never give up because you'll eventually be successful.

5. Make a million friends. The advice that made the biggest impact on my success in network marketing was to go out with the idea of making a million friends instead of a million dollars. You can only be successful in network marketing if you help others become successful. So go out and find some new friends who you can help become successful in your business. Forget about your wants and needs, and serve these friends instead. This concept is called "servant leadership"–you lead by serving those you lead. The more friends you make and serve, the greater your success in network marketing.

These five principles of success are just the start. I'm sure that your sponsor and upline leaders have their own list, so make sure you ask them how they became successful. And finally, realize this: It's one thing to have this knowledge–and a whole different thing to actually do what you've learned. So be a doer, and watch your business and income skyrocket.

Chuck Reynolds

Here are 4 Content Marketing Metrics

Here are 4 Content Marketing Metrics

You may be pleased with your email open rate or the number of Facebook “likes” your most recent post received, but these numbers won’t impress your CEO. In fact, sharing these metrics with your CEO may demonstrate that you are out of touch with the true needs of the business. Using vanity metrics does not position you as a strategic player, but rather as a tactical marketer lacking a vision for how marketing can truly drive growth. Instead, deliver content marketing metrics that truly illustrate how your work is impacting the business.  

1. Number of sales-accepted leads

A sales-accepted lead (SAL) is a lead that your marketing efforts generated, and that the sales team has accepted as qualified. This metric is primarily applicable to B2B marketers using content to fuel their lead-generation strategy. “Sales accepted” usually means that a salesperson was able to set up a meeting with the prospect.

This metric speaks both to the quantity and quality of the leads you’re passing to the sales team. Simply telling your CEO that you produced 800 leads last month won’t cut it. You need to tie that number directly to its revenue potential. While you may have an average conversion rate for your leads, why rely on a calculation when you can simply provide a number that reaches further into the sales pipeline and is therefore, more reliable?

If you need to make the case for content marketing then you could go as far as tying SALs to individual pieces of content. For example, let’s say your business sells recruiting software to human-resource professionals. If your CEO questions why you spent a quarter writing a thought-leadership piece on best practices for hiring top talent, determine the number of SALs tied to the content, and then calculate the revenue potential. Better yet, provide your CEO with the actual revenue coming from SALs generated by that specific piece of content. You could do this by tracking the content piece’s downloads in your sales-enablement software, such as Salesforce, and looking at the potential or actualized deal size of each prospect who downloaded that content.

2. Share of voice

Your share of voice is the percentage of the conversation about a particular topic that your business owns versus that of your competitors. Share of voice used to be a term that primarily applied to the public relations field, but now content marketers are driving these conversations. You can look at share of voice in terms of press hits/article mentions or shares of that content on social media.

For example, let’s say you have two major competitors. One of them is older and more established than your business and has more market share. The other is a start-up company creating a lot of buzz with its blog. Using a competitive analysis tool like TrackMaven, you can easily determine which company is dominating the online conversation about your solution and the problem it solves. The start-up company may be blogging like crazy, but are readers sharing its content? The older, more established competitor might not be investing in content marketing, so is the audience talking about it online?

Show your CEO how your business stacks up to the competition when it comes to the digital conversation. If your content is being shared more frequently than your competitors’ content, and if more articles are being written about you than about your competitors, then you have a solid KPI that may suggest future growth.

3. Branded search

As a marketer, you are no stranger to SEO. But what about the people who come to your website by typing in your company’s name? You may not think that your content marketing has generated these website visits, and you disregard them when looking at your content marketing metrics. But these visitors are arguably at a later stage in the buying cycle (perhaps they are already customers), which makes them extremely valuable.

Monitor your branded search and direct traffic stats over time. This is a KPI for “word of mouth” and as these numbers grow, your business likely will too. While you cannot attribute this website traffic directly to your content marketing efforts, there is likely a correlation – particularly if your share of voice is also growing. Use this metric in combination with share of voice to paint a picture of growth for your CEO.

4. Customer sentiment

Customer sentiment is a measure of how customers (and prospects) feel about the brand, or a particular interaction with that business. Most CEOs are interested in the customer experience at all stages of the buying journey – from awareness to purchase to the ongoing relationship. If you are delivering content to customers at each stage, then the CEO will likely need to know how that content is impacting overall customer satisfaction.

Consider this B2C example. A large food company places a video on Instagram that features a group of college students on a beach enjoying this company’s snack. The video is funny and engaging, and receives over 1,000 “likes” with 200 comments. As stated, providing the CEO with the vanity metric of “likes” is meaningless without context. Instead, the marketer analyzes the comment section via text analytics software that interprets context and emotion attached to certain words to identify the sentiments about the video and the brand overall, such as joy.

These types of insights are far more actionable than vanity metrics. They can help you – the marketer – understand what type of content is resonating with buyers. And they can help your CEO make customer-centric decisions.


Don’t waste your CEO’s precious time with metrics that are meaningless. Provide metrics that truly demonstrate how the business’ investment in content marketing is driving growth. If you can’t demonstrate how your content marketing is driving growth, then perhaps it’s time to rethink your strategy. If you don’t have the tools to generate these metrics, then make the case to get budget for them. Otherwise you and your CEO are flying blind.

Chuck Reynolds

Guest Blogging For Small Businesses


Solving the Content Problem For Small Business Owners
by Art Williams 


Small business owners never have enough time to do all the things they need to do. And now,  since good content on a blog or social media site has become recognized as a necessity for any business wanting to pull business in from the internet, these business owners have even more tasks to regret that they don’t have time to do.

Luckily, the internet has also created the answers to many of the problems faced by small business owners when it comes to content creation. The simple fact is that there are lots of people who, for certain reasons, would love to write something for that business owner’s blog.

Business owners understand the idea of ‘delegation’. That’s all this is. The business owner just needs to recognize how this situation can be turned into a win-win situation for him and certain people who have the time and writing talent that he may not.

First of all, there’s a lot of reasonably talented writers who will write for little or nothing… as long as they can get their name of the content they write. These are people who are trying to capitalize on the huge ‘content-writing’ opportunities that the growth of the internet has created. They need this kind of work not simply for the money but so that they can build up their portfolio and solicit other customers as their skill grows.

Next, there is something called ‘guest blogging’. Guest bloggers are (usually) recognized experts who have the knowledge to do something well and/or to write about it in such a way that it’s interesting reading. These outside experts are building their reputation too so they also appreciate the exposure for their expertise and knowledge of their subject.

If the business owner already has a blog, he/she can let these guest-bloggers write articles on his blog. The business owner’s customers and blog readers get good content and the guest-blogger gets exposure for his expertise… with his contact info for those who desire to do so.

Another angle for the business owner who needs content is that, if the content he needs isn’t too sophisticated, there are a lot of people who can be given instructions (from the business owner) on what topic to write about  and they can often do a very good job.

In some cases these content-freebies can be had for free as long as the writer can get their name somewhere on the content as the author. In other cases the writer may want to be compensated.

But… again depending on how much stature they already have, the writer might agree to work for a very low price or possibly even accept ‘merchandise’ or services from the business for their work (e.g. a nice restaurant could trade a big ‘meal credit’ for a writer’s work).

But don’t forget that even if you have to pay for good content, it’s usually worth it. Guest blogging experts’ writing rates are usually very reasonable. Remember… they’re using guest blogging to build and/or promote their career too so they’re benefitting by the business owner giving them the ‘forum’ to display their expertise.

Established writers who write strictly for pay get easily $1 @ word. So, guest blogging usually is much cheaper than simply hiring a big-name writer to write content for your blog. The only advantage to outright hiring a writer is that those kinds of writers are a bit easier to find…i.e. easier compared to looking for an expert who’s willing to write strictly for professional exposure.

Guest blogging has been around for a number of years. Long before it became a popular marketing method, it began as a way for knowledgeable experts and bloggers to share their insights with readers of other websites.

And for those business owners looking to economize, there have always been talented apprentices who were happy for a chance to learn and practice their trade. You could probably even find good writers at local educational institutions… again, depending on how sophisticated your needs are.

Businesses owners have another option for using good content too. Their content doesn’t always have to appear on their own blog. Of course, it probably should and would. But if it’s good enough, it can sometimes be placed on another blog (a related but not directly competitive business). It’s simply a matter of finding the right match.

Lots of blogs are always looking for good content. For example, if a restaurant wants to get the word out about their business, they might consider writing an article about the various kitchenware they use and how it contributes to the quality of their food. If that kitchenware is sold at a local specialty shop, it would make a great article for that specialty shop.

Most business will want the better content quality that they get from experienced writers or guest bloggers but there are different goals that businesses set for their guest blogging campaigns. Your individual goals will help determine the type of content you procure and how much you pay for it.

But the point is, there’s plenty of writing talent out there. You’ve just got to look for it.


Art Williams
Case Study Writer and Markethive Developer

A Story About Inbound Marketing

A Story About Inbound Marketing

Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs

Inbound Marketing:

Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs is a comprehensive guide to increasing online visibility and engagement. Written by top marketing and startup bloggers, these books contain the latest information about customer behavior and preferred digital experiences. From the latest insights on lead nurturing and visual marketing to advice on producing remarkable content by building tools, readers will gain the information they need to transform their marketing online.

With outbound marketing methods becoming less effective, the time to embrace inbound marketing is now. Cold calling, e-mail blasts, and direct mail are turning consumers off to an ever-greater extent, so consumers are increasingly doing research online to choose companies and products that meet their needs. Inbound Marketing recognizes these behavioral changes as opportunities, and explains how marketers can make the most of this shift online. This not only addresses turning strangers into website visitors, but explains how best to convert those visitors to leads, and to nurture those leads to the point of becoming delighted customers.

Gain the insight that can increase marketing value with topics like:

  • Inbound marketing – strategy, reputation, and tracking progress
  • Visibility – getting found, and why content matters
  • Converting customers – turning prospects into leads and leads into customers
  • Better decisions – picking people, agencies, and campaigns

These books also contains essential tools and resources that help build an effective marketing strategy, and tips for organizations of all sizes looking to build a reputation. When consumer behaviors change, marketing must change with them.Remember, Inbound Marketing is  attracting, engaging, and delighting customers online.

Inbound Marketing: is a comprehensive way to increasing online visibility and engagement. Written by top marketing and startup bloggers, provide information about customer behavior and preferred digital experiences. From the latest insights on lead nurturing and visual marketing to advice on producing remarkable content by building tools, readers will gain the information they need to transform their marketing online.

Gain the insight that can increase marketing value with topics like:

  • Inbound marketing – strategy, reputation, and tracking progress
  • Visibility – getting found, and why content matters
  • Converting customers – turning prospects into leads and leads into customers
  • Better decisions – picking people, agencies, and campaigns

There is reading material that contains essential tools and resources that help build an effective marketing strategy, and tips for organizations of all sizes looking to build a reputation. When consumer behaviors change, marketing must change with them. Inbound Marketing

With outbound marketing methods becoming less effective, the time to embrace inbound marketing is now. Cold calling, e-mail blasts, and direct mail are turning consumers off to an ever-greater extent, so consumers are increasingly doing research online to choose companies and products that meet their needs. Inbound Marketing recognizes these behavioral changes as opportunities allowing marketers can make the most of this shift online. This not only addresses turning strangers into website visitors, but explains how best to convert those visitors to leads, and to nurture those leads to the point of becoming delighted customers.

Gain the insight that can increase marketing value with topics like:

  • Inbound marketing – strategy, reputation, and tracking progress
  • Visibility – getting found, and why content matters
  • Converting customers – turning prospects into leads and leads into customers
  • Better decisions – picking people, agencies, and campaigns

There are essential tools and resources that help build an effective marketing strategy, and tips for organizations of all sizes looking to build a reputation. When consumer behaviors change, marketing must change with them. With Inbound Marketing, you learn about attracting, engaging, and delighting customers online.

Chuck Reynols



Inbound vs. Outbound: Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing?

As CEO of a digital marketing agency and inbound marketing convert, I’m always talking about the differences between inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, or, more to the point, “Why inbound marketing is better than outbound marketing?” In case you can’t tell from the header graphic, I’m more partial to the complexities of inbound marketing than the simplicity of outbound marketing. But seriously, I’m pretty sure people keep asking this question because the same answer seems to be given no matter whose blog you read. It’s as if someone (Hubspot and Pardot) wrote a canned answer and it’s being regurgitated without real life experiences and insights into the actual evolution of inbound marketing.

The canned answer usually goes something like this:

Why try to buy customers with traditional “outbound marketing” when consumers aren’t even paying attention?

  • 45% of direct mail never gets opened, 200 million people are on the national Do Not Call Registry
  • 85% of people fast forward through commercials
  • 84% of 25­–35 year-olds are likely to click off a website with excessive advertising
  • You have a better chance of surviving an airplane accident than having someone convert on a banner ad
    Etc., etc., etc. …

Forget about trying to reach a prospect under 40 with outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is different. Inbound marketing works by earning someone’s attention, rather than buying it.

It’s a good enough answer with compelling supporting statistics, but there’s more to inbound marketing than this. In this post I’m going to give you my insights. I’m not just going to harp on how outbound is reaching increasingly diminished audiences and how inbound is more engaging and more accessible — although both statements are very true.

I’m going to speak from experiences that are real. And in the spirit of full disclosure: Vital is a Hubspot Partner Agency, so I could simply repurpose Hubspot’s experiences and playbook like most partner agencies. But we also consider ourselves a Moz shop, with a Moz Pro account, and we develop using the WordPress CMS with the Yoast SEO plug-in (not the Hubspot COS), which means we have some independent experiences and additional tools that frame our perspective.

No experience is more relevant to that perspective than our own inbound transformation. Over the past three years we went from referring to ourselves as a creative agency (web design, SEO and branding) to wholeheartedly embracing the moniker “inbound marketing agency.” But we weren’t sold inbound — we experienced it. We are our own best inbound marketing case study. In an industry many say is difficult to scale, Vital has experienced 300% growth in revenue and 300% growth in employees, all of which is solely attributed to our inbound and content marketing strategies.

First, let’s define inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, keeping in mind two aspects of marketing strategies: distribution and message.

Inbound vs. Outbound marketing strategy infographic

Inbound marketing — if Hubspot didn’t coin “inbound marketing,” they have certainly spent a lot of time and money branding it as their own. Here’s how they define it: “Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.” This is a decent definition, if somewhat oversimplified.

The term “inbound” is relatively new. It took Vital a while to embrace the term “inbound” to describe what we were doing with our clients. In the beginning we referred to it as “SEO” and “content marketing,” and although we weren’t a Hubspot partner agency, we were reading their content. We knew a term was needed for the paradigm shift we were seeing in online marketing, because SEO had fundamentally changed and digital marketing was becoming increasingly more disparate from traditional marketing. Digital distribution made analysis highly measurable and results-oriented, showing that inbound marketing was exponentially more successful than outbound marketing, when done correctly.

It’s not just that traditional distribution was so different from digital distribution; the message was changing, too. And the more we were learning about the message, the better the results we were getting. The terms “digital marketing” or “traditional marketing” only spoke to the distribution aspect of the message, and “inbound marketing” included the new message itself. This new message was educational, it involved thought leadership, and was transparent and engaging. So, in the absence of anything better, we drank a little of the Hubspot Kool-Aid and gave in — today we call it inbound marketing, too. But there’s more to inbound marketing than the statistics on the dwindling audience of outbound and the engaged and accessible audience of inbound.

Outbound marketing is inherently obfuscated, duplicitous and full of shit.

Jeff Rosenblum Questus Inbound vs Outbound

Outbound marketing, or traditional marketing, is the marketing we grew up with: radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, direct-mail, billboards, event sponsorships, etc. The traditional outbound strategy can even be found in such digital distribution forms as email blasts, banner ads, PPC, and SPAM. But the defining qualities of outbound marketing is message. Outbound marketing’s message, as eloquently stated by Jeff Rosenblum of Questus, “is inherently obfuscated, duplicitous and full of shit” (check out his keynote speech “Can marketing save the world?” at Hubspot’s Inbound ’13).

Outbound is a world of jargon where the loudest and most obnoxious are rewarded. Back in the day, clever was rewarded, but due to the escalating costs and increased competition to reach dwindling audiences, marketers have had to dumb things down to the lowest common denominator to maximize their conversions. So we are left with advertisements that use fluorescent pink, bold print, BIG discounts, exploited women and puppy dogs. How dumb do they think we are? No wonder a paradigm shift in advertising had to take place.

Now that we have defined inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, here are some of the comparisons we like to use at Vital:

Interruption-based vs. Permission-based

best inbound marketing Interruption vs permission based

Outbound Marketing: Outbound marketing is interruption-based marketing. Its premise is to find a medium with a large following and periodically interrupt that following with disassociated ads. The hope is that with some careful planning and a study of the demographics, a small percentage of the audience will listen to the interruption in the storyline and convert in to a customer. If you can find a large enough following or an above average association, the small percentage of conversions will be worth the investment. Those opportunities are increasingly more like a needle in a haystack.

Examples: TV, Radio, Direct Mail, Newspaper, Billboards.

Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing is permission-based marketing. There are two premises here:

  • First, communicate via mediums in which the audience has given you permission to communicate.
  • Second, answer the questions people are asking and proliferate those answers around the web in anticipation of the question.

Both of these premises are permission-based.

In the first method, the audience is smaller in numbers than mass media, but because the audience is inherently more friendly and has already raised their hand to get your messages, the audience coverts at a 750% higher rate than interruption-based marketing.

Examples: subscription based email marketing, social media, blog subscribers, webinar attendees, etc.

In the second method, the numbers are virtually limitless, since your audience online is infinite. Thanks to targeting keywords, you can answer the questions prospects might be asking about your products and your industry. Since this audience is looking for the answers that you are proliferating throughout the web, the conversion rates are unparalleled.

Examples: SEO, keyword targeting, landing page strategy, content/blog strategy, etc.

An example of permission-based marketing that will put inbound into context is the Yellow Pages. Before websites, subscription-based email and blog subscriptions, the Yellow Pages was one of the few places you could advertise where prospects were actually looking for you and you weren’t interrupting them. Yellow Pages was so successful that companies would name themselves AAA or ABC to be at the top of the listings. In 2001, Vital had a $10,000 a month Yellow Pages marketing budget, buying enhanced listings (bold) and an ad in every book from Boston, MA to Portland, ME.  Why? Because it worked, and there was an undoubted ROI.

– See more at: https://vtldesign.com/inbound-marketing/inbound-marketing-vs-outbound-marketing/#sthash.BienW617.dpuf

The Case For Canva.com


The Case For Canva.com
by Art Williams

One of your goals as a content creator is to turn out the best product in the shortest period of time and at the lowest cost. One of the easiest strategies of doing that is by either adding a ‘value added’ service or doing something more efficiently.

Chefs know that ‘presentation’ is very important and the same comparative applies when comparing an article without a good graphic to that same article with a good graphic. Offering custom images is one way very practical way to do that..either starting to do it or doing it better. Not only is a picture worth a thousand words but it’s also worth some respectable extra bucks too.

In this situation, the right tools can more than pay for themselves. So….have you heard about Canva.com?

Canva starts at ‘free’ and then goes up from there. But even when you chose to pay for extras on Canva, it’s very reasonably priced (Note: the image on this article was priced at ‘FREE’… I did it myself in about 2 minutes). It also might make a lot more sense than paying for fancy software you never or rarely use (you've done that too, right?)

Canva has been around only about two or three years now. It’s loosely comparable to such other graphics products as Stencil.com (formerly shareasimage.com) and Youzign.com. Youzign is somewhat pricier but Stencil is about the same price as Canva. But there is a free account on Canva too. The difference between free and paid-for, on Canva, is in the amount of resources and elements you get.

Using Canva is very easy. You can make high-quality images blog posts, social media graphics of many types, blog headers, banners, and even custom sized items. And….if you do see an element on Canva that you like but it’s not free, the extra element is only $1.00….and then the finished product is yours forever.

One of the advantages of Canva is that its individual elements are all very high quality. This includes everththing from the fonts, to the images, the backgrounds, and the graphic elements. This means that all you need to do is put them together the way you want. If you’re just looking for an article header, that’s seldom very hard at all.

Here's the basic steps to use Canva. Even I can do it and I don’t consider myself a ‘techie’.

  1. Choose your graphic type ( you can start creating before you sign up)

  2. Choose the size.

  3. Choose a template (or specify a custom size).

  4. Change the elements such as type fonts and images (if you wish).

All the elements are customizable in both size, position, and color and I can’t imagine anybody not being able to find and/or customize something they like. 

You can make your images customizations by drag n’ drop from the elements inventory over on the left of the screen onto the work area. Everything is pretty handy and, for images, there is a search feature.

If you want to try out a custom image first, before you decide you like your finished, creations, that’s cool with Canva too as they won’t let you download it anyway until you pay for it. (Premium images have a watermark too).

If you’re gigging as an article writer, it’s hard to imagine not being to charge at least $30 for putting a nice image in an article. Matter of fact, I’ve seen articles indicating that some writers get as much as $50 for adding a nice graphic. And this is a task which rarely will take you longer than 5 minutes.

By adding the option of a custom image to your writing services you’re actually doing your client a favor too. After all, they know you already and they like dealing with you and they probably don’t want to have to ‘vet’ another service provider.

Indeed, while simply being able ‘to write’ is ‘Freshman’ level for writers… being able to provide stunning custom images and graphics for you customers definitely puts you a level about most of your competition. And this is not to mention what it does for the ‘stickiness’ of your article if you’re writing for your own projects.

Personally I use images from Unsplash and Stencil (both of which I pay a little bit for but it’s reasonable). Having said that, the one big difference I see in Canva is that (for most cases) it’ll be an ‘all-in-one’ solution.

You can pay monthly but you get a significant discount if you pay for a year. Incremental monthly is only $13@ month. So, you can try it for a month and, if you like it, the yearly price comes out to only $10 @ month. I think that’s fair.

Note: I mentioned Youzign.com. I have it,  but frankly I haven’t gotten into it. For basic needs, it might be a bit more than I’ll ever use unless I actually pick up a more pricy ‘gig’ from somebody.


Art Williams
Case Study Writer and Markethive Developer


6 Reasons Articles Should Include Images


6 Reasons Why Articles Should Include Images

You might not have consciously thought about it but I’ll bet you’ve noticed that you’re seeing more images in articles and elsewhere on the internet these days. You’ve probably also noticed the deluge of internet marketing products coming out which pertain to images and/or videos.

If you follow Facebook’s growth strategies you’ll also remember that one of the biggest reasons they changed their Timeline format a couple of years ago, to include a bigger image, was because they made a decision to become more image-centric in their format.

It’s true. Images are indeed an international language. People on the other side of the world might not speak your language, or you theirs, but everybody recognizes a mother holding a baby, old men dancing, a happy dog catching a frisbee, and two young people holding hands.

And then, of course there’s the rapid growth of two image-oriented websites in particular, Pinterest and Instagram. Very few people anticipated how valuable these two sites would become in marketing.. but that's what happened. Most people thought they were strictly for amusement and artistic tinkering.

With well over 2.5 billion camera phones in use today, it’s become apparent that we live in a very visual culture. Even many people in developing countries have them. People use them and huge amounts of money are being made in services relating to their creation.

Before I enumerate the six major reasons images are valuable and important in articles and marketing, let’s be sure we remember the three steps leading up to this present-day situation.

First Phase: Massive increase in photo creation

Data shows that 10% of the photos ever taken by have been taken in the last 12 months. Bet you didn’t know that!

Second Phase: The rise of image-oriented social media platforms.

As mentioned above, images are becoming a universally language. All the fastest growing social networks are heavily image-centric: Facebook (heavily weighted with images), Tumblr (a blogish platform but very intensive on images), Instagram (totally images), and Pinterest (images and graphics). Snapchat is growing rapidly too but it’s not only about images in the traditional sense.

Another influence these networks have had on marketing is that they have it very easy to upload images. Thus people are getting accustomed to working with images as well as seeing.

Third Phase: Images Become Interactive

Pinterest was the first major social network to make their images ‘hot’ (you could put a hyperlink behind them), thus conditioning people to expect some more information when then click on images.

So… having said that, why are images important and why should you be using them in your articles and other kinds of content?

6 Reasons Why Images are Important

Whether you’re simply building your Facebook or other social media platform followers or if perhaps your have a traditional business you’re trying to build awareness of and pull in customers for, here are 6 reasons to publish images and photos as part of your business marketing tactics.

  1. Articles with images get 94% more total views.

  2. Including a Photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%.

  3. 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results.

  4. In an e-commerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product.

  5. In an online store, customers think that the quality of a product's image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%)

  6. Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text)

What Can You Take Away From This?

So… how can you adapt to the age of “Visual Culture” in your business?

1. If you have an online business (product oriented or otherwise) you need to include high definition images to drive higher engagement and sales.

2. If your business issues press releases (which most don’t) your should include images with your article.

3. If you use Facebook as an important part of your social media marketing strategy (which you should) then you need to include photos in your updates. Note: Photos are a great way to save time too… ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, right?

Image use on most plaforms (including email systems) is as simple as one or two click. Most popular blogging platforms (blogger.com, wordpress (.com and .org) make it easy too. And, there are plenty of good image and photo editing, sharing, and archiving services too. Many of them are free.

So there's no reason for your next article not to have some images and/or graphics, right?



Entrepreneurial Social Networks

Top 5 Social Networks Entrepreneur Strategy

There are hundreds of social networks out there. You can’t be everywhere and we all need to focus our efforts and time on the most effective social networking sites. Here are the social networks I would recommend most for entrepreneurs.

Looking for a job? Consider creating your own. There are a number of social resources to help you connect with other entrepreneurs and get your business ideas off the ground.

Here are the top 5 social networks for entrepreneurs. Each helps entrepreneurs succeed by providing them with the guidance, tools and resources they need to setup their company and gain exposure.

Nothing compares with the brute force horsepower Inbound Marketing engine that comes free with Markethive, but we need to build alliances among our peers and this list is the top 10 of other Entrepreneurial social nets we recommend you frequent as well.

1. Markethive

I am putting Markethive as number one for many reasons, including a serious case of bias. I built it, aside from that. Markethive is a traditional easily navigated and profile oriented network similar to Facebook, oriented like LinkedIn but unique in that it's engine is a multimillion dollar Inbound Marketing platform. As entrepreneurs, we invest (spend) millions on autoresponder systems, capture page systems, blogging platforms, broadcasting technologies, known as Inbound Marketing today. Markethive's founder is the same man the developed Veretekk and invented Automated Marketing, auto responders, capture pages basically what has become today known as Inbound Marketing. There is no other Inbound Marketing solution on the Internet that comes close, has the level of integration found on the Internet at any price and the other systems cost upwards of $10,000 per month. Markethive's Inbound Marketing platform is free included and built into the social network.

2.  StartupNation

Most social networks neglect the content aspect that makes StartupNation so useful.  With articles, forums, blogs, on-demand seminars, and podcasts, entrepreneurs will be better prepared for their ventures and have the resources required to make better business decisions. 

There are a wide range of topics being discussed on StartupNation right now, including business planning, marketing and web-based business.  The site also offers a series of competitions, such as a dorm-based 20 contest and an elevator pitch competition. If you're an entrepreneur or hope to become one, this site is definitely one you can’t miss out on.

3.  LinkedIn

It’s difficult to leave LinkedIn off of any social networking list because it’s so useful for anyone who's either searching for a job, is trying to network with like-minded individuals, or building a company.  LinkedIn offers many resources for entrepreneurs, such as groups, including the very popular “On Startups” group that has over 54,000 members. 

Entrepreneurs on LinkedIn should brand themselves properly so they can attract the right kind of business opportunities, and perform searches to find service providers or partners.  As an entrepreneur, you should also be looking to participate in LinkedIn Answers, events and applications to spruce up your profile and become a valuable member to your community.

4.  Perfect Business

If you want to meet thousands of serious entrepreneurs, experts and investors from a variety of industries, then Perfect Business might be the perfect social network for you.  The type of people you’ll find are potential business partners, potential clients and advisers. Additionally, the site has leading business partners like Entrepreneur and Virgin Money.

From business networking to a video center where you can learn from successful entrepreneurs, a business plan builder and even an investor center, you’ll have most of the resources you need to create or regenerate your business. There is a free basic membership and a gold membership that costs $29.99 per month.

5.   The Funded

The Funded is an online community of entrepreneurs who research, rate and review funding sources.  Entrepreneurs can view and share terms sheets to assist each other in finding good investors, as well as discuss the inner workings of operating a business.  General benefits of this site include viewing facts, reviews and commentary on funding resources, and accessing RSS feeds of the most recent public comments by members. 

By joining the site, you have access to detailed fund profiles with specialty, reference investments, and investment criteria, in addition to accessing partner vCards that have full contact information of all partners at venture funds.  In order to get any value out of this social network, you pretty much have to become a member.