Inbound Marketing Gets Easier Over Time
If you’ve been doing inbound marketing correctly and for long enough, you might start to feel like it’s getting a bit easier to generate new visitors, leads and customer opportunities. There is a perfectly good reason why it “feels” a little easier.
The science behind that feeling is what we refer to as the “multiplier effect.” The multiplier effect kicks in when your earned audiences cross over a numeric threshold. Every business has a different threshold, as the variables contributing to its activation are very business-specific.
Here are a few practical examples of how to focus on getting the multiplier effect to activate.
Blog articles serve two very different masters. Blogging helps you drive new visitors to your website and is, hands down, one of the best ways to drive up organic visitors. But, the other objective for your blog is to communicate with customers and prospects on a very regular basis.
Your blog is going to be one of the most reliable ways to stay in front of prospects and customers. The more you blog, the more you’re sending out high-quality, educational information that pulls people closer to your business. Your list of blog subscribers is a company asset, and you should treat it as one.
When you start out, you’ll have only a handful of blog subscribers, but over time, this number needs to rise, and quickly. You should be adding between 30 and 50 new blog subscribers each month. This effort is not only marketing’s responsibility. It must be everyone’s responsibility. The entire company should be talking up the blog and the content that resides on it. People should be offering to subscribe others or, at the very least, sending out the subscribe link to everyone and anyone.
There is NOT a qualification requirement for blog subscriptions. You want as many people as possible. You never know who is going to share your articles. This is a very efficient and effective way to get your stories out into the public and, specifically, in the hands of your potential prospects.
Now, fast-forward to the day when you have 5,000 blog subscribers, and every day or so, those 5,000 people are reading a story about your business’s thought leadership. This is very powerful, and it’s exactly how the multiplier effect starts to work.
People visiting your site are also subscribing to your monthly educational emails. Some will want to read your blog and be active in your community, while others are going to be more passive and simply wait for an email to show up in their inbox. No worries. Part of inbound marketing is creating compelling offer options that appeal to a wide variety of people.
Just like your blog subscription list, your email database is a company asset, too. Don’t ever sell it or share it. Make sure that the people signing up are crystal clear on your privacy practices. These should be posted on your website.
You want to treat these people with care. The more you email them, the more likely they are to opt out of your future emails. So, achieving a balance between education and annoyance is critical. Once or twice a month is typically fine as a starting point, and you could test adding a third to see if opt-out rates shoot up. Remove the third if you see this negative outcome.
Since all of these people have granted you permission to market to them, you’ve earned their attention. You need to treat that permission carefully. Resist the urge to sell to them. Resist the urge to overcommunicate. Instead, continue educating them, entertaining them and helping them get to know, like and trust your company. This ensures that your email list will continue to grow month in and month out.
Indexed Pages And Backlinks
These two metrics are key performance indicators for search engine optimization. The more indexed pages and backlinks you have, the more likely you are to rank for targeted keywords on search engine platforms like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
These are two numbers you want to measure on a weekly basis and work aggressively to push up. If you’ve set up your blog properly, every new article is also a new indexed page, which definitely contributes to organic traffic to your site.
Backlinks represent the quality of your content. When other people read your stuff and link to it from their site, that’s a vote of confidence that Google uses prominently in its search ranking algorithm. The domain authority of these sites also has a major impact on rankings. So, for instance, getting cnn.com to publish a link to your site is going to give you much more ranking juice than having mikelieberman.com (just an example) link to your site.
The more indexed pages and backlinks you create, the more likely you are to rank on page one. Ranking on page one, as opposed to pages two through 10, often contributes to activating the multiplier effect.
Social Media Reach
You’re going to be creating content, and the more people you have to read it, click on it and visit your site as a result of it, the more potential you have to generate leads for your business. In the beginning of your inbound journey, you might only have 20 Twitter followers, 200 LinkedIn followers and 50 Facebook friends. But, over time, those numbers have to go up.
Remember that all the people you are connected to are also connected to other people. Data shows that for each contact on LinkedIn you have, they have another 20 potential contacts for you. The numbers go up very dramatically, very quickly. For example, your initial 200 LinkedIn followers connect you to 20 of their fellow followers, and you’re talking about an audience of 4,000 people.
Now, fast-forward to when you have 2,000 LinkedIn followers, and they connect you to 20 of their fellow followers, giving you and your content exposure to an audience of 40,000 people. What if you had 4,000 followers? Then, your content would be seen by 80,000 people. No, they’re not all potential prospects, but as more people see what you have to say, the better your chances are of reaching your perfect prospect, having them click over to your remarkable website and turning them from an anonymous visitor into a hot prospect for your business. This is the multiplier effect in action.
The same way you’re collecting friends, followers and fans, you also want to be collecting influencers and the audiences that come along with these very popular cyber celebrities. Influencers get their label because they control high-domain-authority websites, have large blog subscriber audiences, have high social media followings, have high-volume email databases or all four.
One link or comment out to their audience, and the referral visitor numbers to your website could skyrocket – along with the conversion of that visitor traffic into new leads for your sales team. You need to target key influencers and start the outreach exercise to these people. But, tread lightly. They are being contacted by everyone, all day long.
Start the contact with an offer to help them instead of a request for them to help you. Come up with a compelling offer that you think moves their agenda forward. After you’ve been able to do something for them, you should be in a better position to ask them to do something for you.
Keep track of the influencers you’re working with and the potential audiences associated with each one. Just because they have large audiences doesn’t mean it’s going to translate into large gains for your inbound effort. You need to track and test everything. Focus your energy, time and investment on the influencers who deliver, and pass on those whose audiences are not responding to your message or offer.
We’ve been talking a lot about collections. Keywords ranked on the first page are another element you want to start collecting. The more highly ranking keywords you have, the more new visitors you’ll see on your website. Target a portfolio of keywords and track them weekly. You should see the more important ones (those keywords that are supported by blog articles and new content offers) moving up in the rankings.
These should be highly searched terms, very important terms (regardless of search volume) and terms with low difficulty. This portfolio approach allows you to focus on a manageable list instead of putting all your eggs in one basket of highly searched terms that are very competitive. Otherwise, you might spend a lot of time and money on trying to rank, yet never really gain any traction with organic search visitor volume.
There are other ways to measure your progress toward multiplier effect activation. The reality: The more of these levers you activate, the greater the multiplier effect. In other words, you might get 5,000 blog subscribers one day, while the rest of the metrics lag behind dramatically. This subscriber asset is going to help you amplify your stories, but not as significantly as if you had all the variables in play.
One of the little-known secrets to inbound marketing is that you need to invest time and energy in all of these tactics early on in the engagement so that they all move up and to the right from the beginning of your inbound effort. This ensures that you get the full benefit of the multiplier effect before, during and especially after you cross over the activation threshold.
Once you get a few of these KPIs over the threshold, you’ll start to see leads increasing exponentially. For some companies, this happens in year two. For others, it happens sooner. The faster you get these tools running in a highly optimized manner, the closer you’ll be to seeing the multiplier effect activated.
Start Today Tip – The best tip we could give you today is to work on all of these inbound elements simultaneously. The more you do, the faster you get results and the better your chances are of seeing the multiplier effect kick in. Yes, this takes more time and investment, but the results should pay for this increase. If resources are a constraint, focus on one or two elements, get them performing at a high level and then add another one or two to your inbound mix. Keep in mind that you need to maintain the first two while you add the second two. There is no such thing as maintenance mode with inbound marketing. You’re either growing or declining.
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Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.