Are you just getting started with inbound marketing? Have you been doing inbound marketing for sometimes now? How long do you think it should take one before they start seeing results? If you are getting started with inbound marketing, you will definitely find it very challenging. Many marketers wonder how much it could cost to regularly generate content, improve social media outreach and all aspects of inbound marketing.
The good news is that there are countless ways you can increase your inbound marketing activities without having to break the bank. In other words, the basics are not out of your reach. From writing your own content to utilizing thousands of available website tools to help you reach your potential customers, here are 10 no-cost inbound marketing ideas you can try.
- Create high quality free content
Publishing high quality content remains the key to successful inbound marketing. If you want to attract customers to your website, you must publish high quality, valuable content. Content can be in the form of blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, white papers or tweets, among others.
At the very least, dedicate a few minutes of your time to create well-written content that is relevant and useful to your audience. of course if you are unable to produce the content yourself, you can contract a marketing agency or freelance content producers to help you publish the right content that will not only be right for the search engines but also one that your users will love.
- Create a loyalty program
You can develop a simple strategic partnership with your prospects through loyalty programs. A good example is B2B referral software known as Advocate Hub. This software allows users to build a loyalty program so that the firm can trigger customer enthusiasm and boost referrals of qualified leads.
Loyalty programs are done by incentivizing partners, customers and employees so that they become brand ambassadors of your target audience. Incentives can range from discounts to reward for content created such as guest posts and online reviews and testimonials.
- Use social media networks
Social media networks have become the cornerstone of inbound marketing, thanks to their global outreach. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Google++ can be used to promote and share content, products as well as special offers. Social media also allows you to not only interact with your customers, but also create brand loyalty.
Remember to keep track of your social media interactions both on your website and on your social media profiles/fan page.
- Lead nurturing
Lead nurturing is the process of ensuring that your prospects are ready to buy before directing them to your sales team. Sometimes your sales department can waste valuable time and resources on leads that are not qualified. Here are some tips on how to ensure successful lead nurturing:
- Ensure the timing is right: do not rush your prospects such that you start bombarding them with your sales emails soon after they hit the subscribe button or like your page. It is important to take your time to bring them closer to wanting to open their wallets
- Constantly and consistently refine your messaging: know the kind of information your prospect wants to hear based on the data you have collected. By ensuring that you keep giving them the right and relevant information, you will be building rapport and trust with your customers.
- What do you want to give them? State what you want to provide them and what they stand to gain from your offer.
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One of the easiest ways to grow your social media community the whole day is to post consistently. Studies show that different audiences react to different posting frequencies, so you need to make sure that you have tested the optimal frequency with your own audience and look at the engagement levels in comparison with your other audience. The minimum post frequency on Facebook should be once a day and 4-6 times a day on Twitter. Also be mindful of the time of the day you post to increase engagement. You can automate the process by using tools like Buffer and Sway.
Use Images When Posting to Facebook
Including photos in your Facebook and Twitter posts will generate more engagement. According to various studies, posts with relevant images generate 50% more likes than the average text post. When you want to post about an offer or an announcement, include an image. This will significantly increase click-through rates.
Increase Exposure of your Communities With Social Buttons
Embed social media share buttons within your site and within your marketing communication to increase engagement. Does your blog have social sharing button displayed prominently within the posts to encourage leaders to share the article. Some of the places you need to consider include:
- Footer of the website or blog
- Header of the website or blog
- In your newsletter
- In your email signature
- Within your blog posts
Run a Launch Rock Campaign
What is a Launch rock?
A Lauch rock is a free service for gathering email addresses of people who want to get an early access to the launch of a new product, service, app or really anything. A lauch rock can be an effective marketing tool because it encourages word of mouth. One can integrate social buttons within the subscription process which is a very powerful component when it comes to turning a campaign into a viral marketing channel.
Here is an example of a launch rock:
The idea is to offer a free give-away or some other offer which works on friend-bring-a-friend model. Make sure the message has a powerful incentive.
Invest on infographic
Over the last few years, infographics have become very popular. A professionally designed infographic is a very potent traffic generator. A professionally designed infographic can cost you anywhere between $100 and $2,000 but will be worth the investment.
Write amazing headlines
The headline of a blog post carries a lot more weight than what many people think. No matter the quality of your content, a bad headline can drive away visitors. Here are some tips for optimizing your blog titles:
- Use every day, simple language
- Keep it short and catchy. Leverage common psychological traits like fear, urgency, desire, etc.
- Use negatives such as Never Do This, Don’t, Avoid, etc.
Create Micro Content
Many people are now suffering from information overload, which means that they have less time and patience to consume content. A growing trend which Australian marketers and business owners should consider is the creation of micro content for easy consumption. A great service that has mostly been used is the Vine and SoundCloud.
Host a Twitter Q&A sessions
One way to keep your social media fans engaged is hosting a periodic Twitter Q&A sessions. The idea is to encourage your community to ask questions and seek clarifications concerning your product, industry or business. You can provide answers, take their feedback and even create a blog post from that. Over time, more people will begin to take part and slowly your brand and audience will grow.
The World Wide Web came with endless possibilities. It is now easier even for small businesses to create and maintain business presence. However, it is easier said than done. Many marketers have found themselves in a situation where they are spending a lot of money in advertising and marketing but end up wasting their money. According to Forbes, almost 50% of advertising is wasted. That is a lot of money considering the fact that companies spend billions of dollars to gain customers. So how do you ensure that your marketing efforts are strategic, effective and low-cost? Here are some tips you need to consider.
- Know your market
It is imperative to have a clear understanding of your market if you are to succeed in online marketing. Before you even start spending on marketing, you need to figure out your market. That invariably entails knowing your product very well. Once you know your product and how it can help solve your clients’ needs, it will be easier to identify your target market. Once you can identify your target audience, it easy to design a winning marketing strategy without even having to hire an expensive marketing agency.
- Your advertising decisions should be based on research
No one goes into the battlefield without designing a winning plan. The case is no different when it comes to marketing and advertising. It is important to come up with a well-researched and well-thought-out marketing plan. This will help you to determine the best and most effective marketing channels to reach your audiences. Remember customers don’t care about you. They only care about what is important to them.
Things like demographics, CCP, frequency, readership and BPA should be familiar to you. It is important to know how each marketing channel will contributing to your overall growth if you want to make a difference and reap big from your efforts.
Did you know that networking is one of the most effective marketing tools you can use without the need to break the bank? As a first rule of thumb, and everyone you meet on your list of network, and in your social media connects. You can also create fan page for your brand and encourage your friends to be your brand ambassador. To take things even further, join a local business community and be an active participant. If they like your brand, they will tell their friends, colleagues and relatives without even your knowledge. People are your greatest assets. Do not underrate what they can do for you.
- Content marketing
One of the most effective form of marketing is content marketing. It is not only cheap, but very effective ways of building relationship among people who are genuinely interested in your products. Serious marketers and small business owners have a blog, which they update frequently. In our blog, it is important to try to offer genuine information to your audience. It shouldn’t be always about advertising your product because you don’t want to come across a salesman who is only interested in selling his/her products.
- Leverage social networks
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus are all popular networks that you can take advantage of to market your products and services. They can be a great source of traffic if you share interesting stuff. By creating and sharing great content, you will be growing your audience. however, you need to be patient as it can take years before you build a strong following.
Mjrvisuals can help you increase your reach out of that content in your website through our expertise. Video production on your social media can be one of the ideas you can use for marketing and telling your story. We run the gambit of visual imagination including video production, digital marketing, video editing, print design, advertising, graphic design, graphic animation, motion graphic and media design. Be part of our portfolio of clients and let us tell your story to the world. Click here to visit our website: mjrvisuals.com/
If you have been ignoring the impact of YouTube marketing, then you have been committing a cardinal marketing sin. There are some shocking statistics that will show you just why YouTube marketing has become a big hit. Nielsen report shows that in the year 2011, internet video streaming views increased by 35% compared to only 0.2% increase in television views in America. Mobile video viewing also increased by 20%; therefore, it is clear that internet video marketing (like YouTube) is now more popular, cheaper, and result oriented than the traditional TV marketing. As a matter of fact, the number of people who visit YouTube for entertainment, research, and education is alarming. YouTube is now the second most search engine by volume.
However, something else you should know is that about 35 hours of videos are being uploaded in YouTube every minute, meaning if you take 10 minutes to read this article, you will meet about 350 hours of newly uploaded YouTube videos. So what? So, it means that if you are thinking of using YouTube to advertise your products, then you should bear in mind that competition is extremely high; so, you need to approach it with some plan if you hope to achieve positive results. In other words, just uploading a video does not necessarily mean that you’ll automatically get YouTube hits.
The following are two suggestions to get you started on how to get positive YouTube performance:
1. Just like a website, content is king, and good quality is paramount. Please invest some time to create a quality and compelling video before you upload. Potentials customers should find your videos useful, engaging, and attractive to view. If you let them feel like they have wasted their precious moment viewing you video, be sure that the video will never go viral, or worse still, they wont come back. The rule of the thumb is this: the video should address the needs of the viewers. Anything else is thrash. Therefore, invest some time in researching on what the customer needs and create something relevant. For instance, it doesn’t help uploading a video that talks about meditation, yet you are selling cars. In that case, you would want to talk about ‘how to maintain a car’.
2. Since it is Google that owns YouTube, you have to play by Google Search optimization rules to get an edge. For instance, in order for the video to be findable, it must have a title, good descriptions, and tags, among others. Also, you should create a brand if you want to attract and retain customers. This doesn’t have to be done with massive investment; all you need is to be consistent with your content, create a similar backgrounds, create a playlist for the most popular videos, and choose an appropriate layout.
All in all, taking your business online is not an option in this internet age if you are to stay profitable, and relevant. YouTube presents you with one of the best channel of informing the online users about your presence; hence you should take advantage.
Today I am going to review the Aputure AL 528 W LED Light.
Why am I reviewing this light honestly because when i’m location and I run into other videographers they alway ask me, hey where did you get the light, Does it get hot, are they heavy, does it flicker, and how much does it cost? I normally have to reply in short concise singular words, Amazon, no, not really, nope, and cheap. When I do a review I like to talk about the function-ability of the product, I always say I’m self financed but I say that because I want you to understand that before I buy anything I read reviews, look at the specs and gather as much information as possible before I lay down any money because equipment is hard to purchase regularly and I understand that. Before buying these LEDs, I looked at a number of similar products. They ranged from the higher end models to the lower end models. What I was finding out is that LEDs that were more expensive were possibly a better build but offered the same light exposure while LEDs that were on the lower end tended to have less exposure and at the same time be less durable. The Apture 528 LED was perfect for me. I do a lot of on location or run and gun style shooting. I of course shoot corporate interviews with them but I have shot music videos, short films, broadcasted commercials, I have even used them for green screen application that is currently running on air. I found that the usage of these are actually limitless, well almost don’t shoot super slow motion because they do flicker with the higher frame counts.
Lets jump into it, Aputure lists these LEDs as being 9.4 inches by 7.5 inches by 1.3 inches and they weigh 1.2 pounds. They come in a black carrying case that holds of course the light with a shade, the wires and a tripod adaptor. The unit turns on with a switch and it tells you the percentage of power it’s using for the LED. That’s enough on specs any more detail you can find it out their web, war you can’t find is, dose it work. Pluses for the light is it’s extremely portable. It comes with a decent looking black bag that can hold the light and it’s tools, there is even room to put some extra stuff in there just in case you need it. Aperture gives you the option to run the LEDs off of ion batteries . Now there are other LEDs that allow you to run off one battery but with these you do need to use two batteries per light but that’s a small price to pay for the longevity. In any case I would rather have to much power then not enough. I have used it on batteries alone for up to 6 hours with no issue. You just have to make sure that the batteries are completely charged and that’s another great thing about this light it shows you the charge power you have left before it goes out. The light gives you the option of mounting either horizontal or vertical which allows you to change the shape of the light being emitted. Is it bright. Yes. When using it for a two person interview I have a three light set up and have the ability to set my camera be it the DSLR or Canon c100 at a 160 or 320 ISO respectively with a 5.6 aperture. No shadow no dark spots. . I do have 8 of them just because of the versatility and the price point make it a great investment for the mobile videographer….
So today we are going to review the Magnus VT-300. You can find this tripod at any retailer from B and H to Amazon and probably any retailer on the internet. Just type in Magnus tripod. I will tell you, I have used this tripod exclusively since I found it. It’s light enough to move around quickly on location, and it’s sturdy enough to hold all my equipment. Just so you know I shoot with either a canon DSLR or a Canon c100, sometimes I have them completely rigged out and even with the extra weight I have not had any issues and no problems.
Let’s start with basics, this is labeled as a Two way Fluid Pan and tilt head tripod. It has telescoping legs with flip locks, the camera is secured using a quick release plate all of which are being held to the ground by sure grip rubber feet. It’s maximum height is 64.3 inches with a listed maximum load of 15 lbs. When there is nothing on it the tripod weighs 4.5 lbs.
Let me start with saying that I’m an Indie producer so normally budgets are tight, everything I purchase has to work and work well. I look for four things in any product I buy cost, functionality, usability and replaceability.
So what’s first, cost. It’s 80 bucks. Even if you have a tight budget 80 bucks is affordable. Now people tell me that 80 bucks isn’t affordable to everyone well my take is win, lose or draw the money it takes to invest into this tripod is worth it. Trust me.
Function ability. The tripod extends to a decent height. I have been on locations where I wish I had an extra few inches to get over someones head, grabbing a lift or a riser or even a chair when the other two weren’t an option, but if I had three wishes to use on this tripod one would defiantly go to giving me a little more height. Now the fluid pan, tilt head motion works depending on the luck of the draw. To date I have only ran into two Magnuses that weren’t as fluid friendly as I wanted them to be but with a little grease and just working them lose they became smooth. This tripod is really basic, You adjust the freeness of the pan tilt movement by manual dial levers, righty tight left lossy, there is no science to it. I personally like the basic function-ability the tighter I make it the more secure the head is the looser I make it the more free the pan tilt head is. Pretty simple and really no room for mistakes.
Usability. This is probably the main reason why I use this tripod. I have walked away from a number of other brands of tripods with my gear on it for whatever reason. A big wind comes or the weight is uneven and the tripod does what either falls forward because of the weight of the lens or falls back. when that happens, what happens? Your rig is on the ground, hopefully still working. This tripod has never, and I mean never dropped my gear and I have had my rig facing either up or down, sideways, loose, everything. this bad boys holds onto everything. I’m going to use another wish, the leg locking mechanisms. They suck. when you have all your gear on the tripod and you have to increase or decrease the height, the way they are made it’s actually a pain to raise and lower your system and lets say you want to go outside of the extremities meaning you want to stop half way in between then it’s very difficult to even out your camera and the rig; which for 80 bucks is a small price to pay.
Overall the Magnus vt 300 is user friendly and the basic setup leads to a ease of use. It’s a consumer level tripod but can be used easily for professional applications. It’s inexpensive enough to allow even the most frugal videographer out there the chance to use a great tripod but at the same time it has more then enough quality to be considered prosumer, I buy 5 or 6 ever 3 years or so and they normally hold hold pretty well. They would last longer but I’m very tough on my equipment just because of where and what I shoot. Let me know if you have any questions.