When you ask someone with a successful social media presence how to build your own audience, the answer most often is, “Write a blog post, Tweet it to your following, and share it on Facebook and LinkedIn.” But what if you do not have many followers on Twitter or Facebook Fans?
A few weeks ago, my company decided to start a process to answer the question: “How can a business that does not have many hits on their website, has no followers on Twitter, and no Fans on Facebook, generate sales leads using inbound marketing in only 30 days?”
Catching leads on social media ain't easy without a plan (image credit)
Our goal is to get people to sign up for a webinar where we will share this marketing plan.
Below is how we are getting webinar attendees:
Create a Story
The web is a crowded space and you are in constant competition to earn your target audience’s attention. We have come to realize that your competition does not just reside in your industry, but is everywhere. Think about what you read – whether it pertains to your business or not. What stories resonate with you the most? It can be a blog post on how to grow your business, or news relating to your favorite football team, or the heartfelt story of a mother reunited with her child. All content producers are competing for your time, and no matter how you spend it, you only have 24 hours a day.
Before writing a blog post, and before building your social media plan, you first need a story that will resonate with your ideal customer. At Cloud Marketing Labs, we want to be known as the firm who can deliver sales leads in 30 days using Social Media. We feel this is something our audience can wrap their hands around, and will help us stand out from some of our marketing firm competitors.
You cannot join every network and be successful at all of them in 30 days. You need to focus all of your time and energy on 2 or 3 platforms. We chose blogging, public relations and Pay Per Click (PPC).
After writing great content pertaining to your story, you need an audience to read it. In order to grow our audience, we would share our most helpful posts with friends and customers by emailing them a link to the post and asking them to share it with their friends. The key here is not to abuse your contacts. Only send a few posts, otherwise, you risk becoming a bit of a spammer and annoying. Even if you do not have a large following on Facebook, Twitter, etc., chances are someone who you are in regular contact with does, and will be happy to share helpful information with their network.
We found many blogs, such as the E-Biz Booster Blog, looking for guest posters and fresh content. If your story is compelling and unique, chances are they will allow you to leverage their network and help you grow your audience and expand your reach.
By pitching our “Sales Leads in 30 Days Using Social Media” story to various blogs and friends, we have been able to set up a few guest posts over the course of these 30 days. We get the benefit of expanded reach, and they get the benefit of new voices.
We are also going to submit a news release announcing a webinar where we will share this story with small and mid-sized business owners. However, instead of emailing the news release to journalists, we are going to use the online distribution service PRWeb. This will help with our search rankings and increase the visibility of our story as it gets picked up by various news aggregation sites.
Pay Per Click
Our final focus is on PPC advertising. However, instead of using Adwords, we decided to use Facebook’s advertising platform. There are two main reasons for this. First, it is cheaper. We are in a competitive space, and Adwords clicks would be well over $1.00 per click to get onto the first page. Second, Facebook ads will help you develop your buyer persona. You have visibility on things like age, gender, likes, and job titles that you are unable to see using Google Adwords. This will help us target our ads more precisely, increasing the efficiency of our campaign.
founder of Cloud Marketing Labs gets you leads.
Greg Digneo is founder of Cloud Marketing Labs, a marketing service that helps small and midsized businesses generate sales leads in 30 days using inbound marketing. He is hosting the webinar “How to generate sales leads in 30 days using social media” (offer has expired), is co-author of the Cloud Marketing Labs blog, and guest author on the reputable site Copyblogger.
A business owner who publishes a monthly email newsletter asked me for advice. The business in question is a European based specialist for color trends and consults with designers in the fashion and home design industries. In this particular case, Carol, wanted to know how to increase the open rate for her newsletter editions. Her company publishes the newsletter once a month.
The content and design of the newsletter I was giving the advice on is rather intriguing. However, it is a constant challenge to keep readers engaged and interested over a longer period of time. I gave Carol the following tips to think about.
5 Tips on how to engage your readers and increase your open rate
(1) Make it more personal!
Have an editor, a spokesperson write the newsletter in a colloquial tone. Introduce that character as a person with a back-story, and also address the reader on the personal level. An email is communication from one person to another. A newsletter should not be an exception.
Yesterday I reported about local DNS problems happening everywhere in the world lately. I am talking about the underlying service that tells your web browser where the server for a webpage is located.
I did not even notice until my blog suddenly disappeared from the Internet. Luckily this was just from my perspective. 99.2% of my regular visitors did not notice any problem accessing my blog.
And as of today, Telefonica, the large ISP operating in Europe and South America, servicing millions of customers with usually quality low- and high-speed internet access has fixed the problem.
This is truly a misleading statement, because most likely the problem has fixed itself. What I mean is that the Domain Name System guarantees that all changes are replicated throughout the globe within a maximum of 48 hours.
I know we have been spoiled with the way .com top level domains for example are set up nowadays, which is, you register a new .com domain and it will be accessible in huge portions of the globe within minutes or a few hours.
However, if a network administrator of an internet access service provider (ISP) messes up the DNS configuration by accident it can take up to 48 hours till the system is fully operational again. That's inherent with the IT/network architecture in use. Nothing or very little one can do to speed things up.
Again, my blog can be reached “normally” again without using any DNS magic tricks, which I wrote about yesterday.
Business Strategy Lesson - Repeated
I used this as an opportunity to write the article, How Safe Is Your Web Business?, stating that once your business is rolling and bringing in money, you should spend some effort to build redundancy and diversify your income streams, remove bottlenecks, single points of failure, and so forth, …
Only because you have the “Hacker Safe Logo” legitimately on your Web site doesn’t mean your web-based business is 100% safe.
Your site doesn’t need to be attacked by criminals there are many different possibilities for having your web based income stream disrupted. Now I remember that I wrote about the subject of protecting your virtual assets back in December 2007, too.
Let me be honest with you right up-front. My friends and I need your help. But, we've prepared something for you in return. All you need to do is to vote for “Stay Hungry” in the Johnny Bunko contest. And tell all your friends to do the same.