Many of the ideas we outline here, will cost you nothing more then your time. (Which is always valuable we know.)
Once you set them up, they can be self maintained, or handled easily by someone on staff. The idea is to start Inbound Marketing. It means reshaping the way you think about marketing. Stop pushing your message at people. Start attracting. Stop interrupting. Start engaging. You need to make marketing that people will actually love – earning quality leads and loyal customers.
[quote]On today’s websites “There is a lot copy, messaging and engagement to push out to your audience. This is
why the inbound marketer’s role is one that requires so much creativity. Content has to be timely, accurate,
relevant, thoughtful, unpredictable, informative – even funny. The same old content day in and day out can
get stale, losing that community engagement you were after in the first place. [/quote]
[column1_2][toggle title=”A free plug for Hubspot”]Hubspot is an marketing website that’s set up for online marketing tracking and advice. They charge based on your number of contacts and have a range of prices for different ‘grades’ of support. The monthly costs appears expensive, at least for small businesses but if you’re not going to handle that kind of tracking yourself, it should be weighed against an employee’s or your time and could be worth it. You should see their demo and even take a free trial (it’s free to subscribe to their email newsletter which has lots of tips like the ones here). They say ” Your full inbound marketing strategy means attracting prospects with this content, converting them and then analyzing the results to see which of these ideas works for your brand and audience. HubSpot offers a host of tools that will help you do all of this. Want to learn more?” [/toggle] [/column1_2]
[column1_2_last]That’s a quote from a Hubspot e-book that we’ve drawn heavily from here as we’ve collected the ideas we know work and can provide good examples for.[/column1_2_last]
First, and the easiest way to test these inbound marketing ideas, is to create a blog on your website. Why do you need one? Here’s an article with some good reasons. “Company blogs allow you to give a personality and voice to your business and brand. They are a great way to communicate with consumers
in a more informal setting and encourage consumer feedback and conversation.” And here’s another with some good rules to follow. “Ultimately, a blog can be a highly effective and low-cost marketing tool for differentiating your business from the competition and encouraging customer loyalty. All that’s required to be a successful small business blogger is planning, creativity, commitment and, most importantly, something worth saying.”
(This is pretty much the verbatim list from Hubspot, but it’s only temporary if you’ve landed here while we’re building)
Add Multi-media and Visuals
1. Do a screencast with Screenr of your product and share it on your blog.
2. Show a step-by-step guide on how to do something in a screencast, how-to video, or show the steps in a series of photos.
[column1_2] Create a music video for your company and post it on the blog. Kevin Jones, one of new owners of the Bungendore Newsagency was well known for his Christmas party musical sendups and had this ditty in mind when his website was setup. They really only needed a notification page that had their opening hours and contact information. But this video drew a lot of interest to that page, was mentioned in the local paper, and was the talk of the town.[/column1_2]
4. Share a cartoon or create an original one.
Offer How-to’s and Tips
5. Write a how-to article. Give instructions with screenshots or photos on the steps someone needs to take to do something.
6. Point out common mistakes in your industry and offer solutions on how to fix or avoid them
7. Offer a list of benefits for doing something.
8. Share a list of some things to avoid.
Use Existing Content12. Find tips in other content, create a list of those tips and give links to those articles as the sources.
13. Share an excerpt from an eBook or white paper with a call to action to download it for the rest of the information.
14. Share an excerpt from an upcoming webinar with a call to action to get the rest of the content in the webinar.
15. Share your PowerPoint slides from a recent presentation.
16. Share conference takeaway documents.
17. Do a round-up of last year’s/last month’s/last week’s most popular posts.
18. Re-interpret existing content: Collect the top motivational YouTube videos for your audience, top eBooks, top webinars or infographics.
Incorporate Other Platforms
19. Create a Slideshare presentation of new statistics related to your space and share that in a blog post. Tag the Slideshare presentation with relevant keywords for your company to leverage SEO benefits of the platform.
22. Respond to industry research with your own perspective. Offer a fresh angle to spark conversation.
23. Do a survey with Survey Monkey among your community members and create an infographic based on the results.
24. Do a poll of your Twitter community with a Twtpoll or your Facebook community with a Facebook Question and post the results on your blog.
25. Do an in-depth case study about one company, or offer a few examples of how other companies do something successfully.
26. Record an interview with an expert in your field and post it to your blog.
27. Get experts to offer a tip and do a round-up of their recommendations.
28. Feature guest posts from industry experts.
29. Publish responses to frequently asked questions about your industry.
30. Create a list of trends to watch.
31. Compare and contrast: Different products, different approaches, different companies, different people, different places, etc.
32. Do a review of other non-competitive products or services that your community cares about.
33. Be a journalist: Be the first in your space to offer industry takeaways about breaking news.
34. Explain what a current event or topic in the news means for your industry or community. Example: “What ____ Means for ____.” “Why _____ Matters for
35. De-bunk common myths.
Make it About Your Community
36. Interview your favorite customer.
36. Post a Flickr slideshow of pictures from a recent event.
37. Run a contest and give away something relevant to your community.
38. Ask for guest posts from community members.
39. If you have company news to share, talk about it in a way that makes it about the reader. Example: If someone gets promoted, talk about how why were successful. Inspire your audience.
40. Publish a post relevant to the current season or holiday.
41. Outline the top practical use cases for your product, service etc.
Twitter Content Ideas
Responding to Followers
42. Check your @replies regularly with a Twitter client. Reply to your users questions.
43. Assign Tweets to the appropriate team member who can answer the question if you cannot.
44. Offer to email with a community member if they have further questions.
45. Have a blog post answering FAQ’s that you can refer to. Link to it regularly.
46. If you work in a regulated industry, pre-write 140-character responses to common questions that are pre-approved by stakeholders so you can still engage in real-time with those who are asking questions.
47. @reply someone if you only want your followers who follow them to see the Tweet. Use the .@ trick if you want all of your followers to see the Tweet.
48. If a conversation turns to a heated debate, know when to take it off of @reply and use Direct Messaging.
49. Thank people who comment on and share your blog po
50. Thank people who share your webinars and ebooks.
51. Write as you would write in regular conversation. Use emoticons and exclamation points. Write in first-person. (Example: “I’m sorry.” “We’re excited.”) It shows that an actual human is behind the Twitter account.
52. Find and follow your competitors’ followers using FollowerWonk. Learn from them, and Tweet the type of content and hashtags that they care about.
53. Use a separate Twitter app on your phone for your personal account and for your business’ account to avoid posting content meant for your personal account on your business account.
54. Add UTM codes to your Tweets to track your referring traffic from Twitter in
56. Use SocialBro to identify demographic information about your Twitter followers. Learn factors like nationality and gender, and participate in relevant holidays.57. Measure your click-throughs on the links you share with Bit.ly. Replicate the kind of language you use in those Tweets to increase engagement from your followers.
58. Don’t wait for Google Alerts. Maintain and monitor a Twitter list of the actual publications and companies that matter most to your industry and community. When news breaks about your industry, you’ll be the first to share it. This builds authority.
Sharing Your Content
59. Post Tweets of your blog posts. Use a variety of headlines and test what drives the most click-throughs.
60. Schedule Tweets of blog posts on the weekends, as people read on the weekends too. Also post Tweets of blog posts at night, as this targets people in other time zones.
61. If your blog post is a list of tips, offer one tip with a link to the post as a “teaser.”
62. If you feature tools or other companies in your blog posts, cc them on the Tweets to let them know so they retweet your content.
63. If you’re creating evergreen content on your blog, don’t be afraid to schedule Tweets of old blog posts. A few months later, they are still valuable to your audience and they may have missed it the first time.
Incorporate Other Platforms
64. Let your Twitter followers know about a great contest or discussion happening on your Facebook page or LinkedIn group and invite them to be a
part of it. Don’t beg for likes and members, though.
65. Share your email newsletter on Twitter. Invite people to sign up for your newsletter by sharing a link to the landing page where they can sign up.
66. Do a Twtpoll – ask your followers a question. Use the results for blog content.
67. Participate in relevant Twitter chats related to your community.
68. Don’t cross-post your content to Facebook and LinkedIn – they are different platforms. Treat them individually.
69. If you’re working on a blog post, ask your community members for help. Reach out to them and ask for their tips. It shows that there’s a person behind the Twitter account.
Create Original Tweets
70. Offer a daily tip just for your Twitter followers.
71. Tell a joke or a riddle.
72. Use pictures. Show what you’re working on. Offer a behind-the-scenes look. Take a picture at a conference or event.
73. Ask your followers a question or for their opinion on a relevant topic. Collect the Tweets with Storify and use them for a blog post.
Facebook Content IdeasPosting Statuses on the Wall
76. Don’t automate Twitter updates to your Facebook page. They are different platforms, so treat them differently.
77. Tag other companies and people in your statuses for increased engagement and cross-promotion.
78. Reply to users’ comments and “likes” on your statuses.
79. Have a guest host. Have a celebrity, influencer or company executive take over your Facebook page for an hour or a day to interact directly with community members and answer their questions.
80. Ask for your community’s opinion – Talk about a question that was asked somewhere else (blog, Twitter, etc) and pose that to your Facebook audience.
81. Ask for your community’s ideas – Ask them what they would like to see in your next blog post, ebook, webinar, advertisement, event etc.
84. Ask a hypothetical question. (Example: “Would you rather ____?” “If you could _____”)85. Share links to your blog posts on your wall, and use the status area to pull out one key fact, statistic or tip from the post as “teaser.”
86. Share a link to your weekly or monthly newsletter. Create a custom tab for signing up for an email newsletter with a tool like Shortstack. Make sure to keep the sign up form on the Facebook tab for higher conversion rates.
87. Share information about your company: news coverage, job openings, promotions and milestones. Use numbers, as those stand out to people.
88. Tag real people in photos – Their friends will see those photos, and it will drive a new audience to yours
92. Did you interview an industry expert for your blog? Post pictures of the interview93. Post pictures from a conference or event.
94. Post pictures of your product. Use the captions for descriptions. (Example: recipes, styles tips, an update about a new feature etc.)
95. Compare and contrast two products in a photo. Prompt your community to add their thoughts in the comments.
96. If you share an infographic or image on
your blog, share just that image on your Facebook page and a link to the post on your page as a “teaser.”
97. Use the top photo strip of your Facebook page in a creative way. Spell out a word for a particular campaign, make a cartoon by connecting the images or show unique headshots of employees.
98. Celebrate holidays – Post a status wishing everyone a happy ______. Use the demographics information in Facebook Insights to learn about what regions are represented in your community.
99. Use the Feedback metric in Facebook Insights to see which statuses get the highest %. Replicate that type of content, as this is the kind of content with the highest engagement and best value for news feed optimization.
100. Add UTM codes to the links you share on Facebook to track what leads are coming to your website from the page.