Inbound Marketing Rocks! Now What?
By Penny Sansevieri
Crafting a Message Your Audience Will Care About
So at this point, you probably all know that Internet/inbound marketing is not only the wave of the future, but the best way to sell yourself, your book, your product, or your service. So maybe you're on Twitter, Facebook, you might even have a blog that you keep updated but if it feels like nothing seems to be meshing.
Before you plug in another tweet, take a moment to step back and really focus on who you're tweeting to. The point really of a good inbound marketing campaign is to bring consumers "in" and you can't do that if they don't care about what you're saying.
How can you determine what your reader wants? Well, ask them. If you do a lot of speaking events, or any at all, you probably get questions. I find that audience questions can really help to seed ideas, meaning that the Q&A portion of any author event is often a great resource to gather the needs of your market.
There are other ways that you can figure out what your reader wants, the first is to stay current. You can do this by subscribing to blogs, following industry leaders on Twitter or getting Google Alerts (which you should do anyway). Getting Google Alerts for your keywords is a great way to see who's writing what about your market.
Let's say that you have identified a message, maybe two, that is crucial to your market. How do you know if you've hit on your right marketing model? Well, the numbers never lie. By "numbers" I mean site hits, increased Twitter followers, etc. Here are a few ways to measure results:
1) Measure effectively: in order to know if stuff is working you'll need to measure effectively. Here are a few ways to do that: Retweets on Twitter: the best sign of success on Twitter is the amount of retweets. Are you getting them and if so, how often? If your tweets are good and your followers are active, you should see a few a week at least (depending on the amount of followers you have).
2) Site hits: are the hits to your site increasing? Are you watching your analytics to be sure? If you're not, you should be. Watch your site stats closely and monitor the increase in traffic and where it's coming from.
3) Inbound links: how many new ones are you getting? Did you do a vanity search before you started this campaign? If not, do that now. Make sure you know how many new incoming links you're getting as a result of your efforts.
4) Sign-ups to your mailing list: are they increasing? If you're doing the right stuff in your social media they should be increasing weekly.
Finally, before you launch headfirst into any marketing campaign, be sure and set some clear goals. For example, you might ask yourself, what are your goals are for Twitter? If it's just about gathering followers then you are missing a big piece of this social networking tool. For many marketing people it's all about the number but numbers don't make as much sense unless they are driving interest to you and your book. If the numbers keep growing along with traffic to your website then you're on the right track. But if you're just growing numbers for the sake of being able to say that you have 10,000 followers then it makes no sense. That's like buying a fancy car you can't really afford. Eventually the debt of it will drag you down. It's the same with Twitter and Facebook and any other social media site. It's not about the numbers. It's about the activity.
In another issue, we're going to look at the specific marketing tools available to you online. We'll take an in-depth look at Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. For now, find your message and determine your goals!
Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com
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Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing