I thought that I knew it all. About marketing, that is. I took all of the required marketing classes in school and earned my Bachelor’s degree. I even worked for a couple of companies once I finished college doing social media to put what I had learned into practice. But, I was wrong. I didn’t know it all.
I showed up for my first day of work at Revenue River and quickly came to the realization that I was wrong. What I thought I knew about inbound marketing was wrong. I was a sham marketer. But, before this turns into a really depressing blog post about my shortcomings as a marketer, let me share the good news: Revenue River is teaching me all that I need to know and more! In my short time here, I have learned (and will continue learning) the best practices for inbound marketing. Are you a sham marketer, too? Don’t worry – I’m going to share the top 5 misconceptions I had about inbound marketing, so you, too, can see the light. Let me travel back to those dark days before working at Revenue River (henceforth known as B.R.R.) and the glorious days that have followed after working at Revenue River (A.R.R.):
B.R.R. The point of doing social media is to get customers to buy your product or services! Therefore, you should always share content that only promotes your company, your products, or services.
A.R.R. WRONG! I’m embarrassed. Hint: your followers don’t want to be hit with a sales pitch on social media every time they scroll through their newsfeed. Share content that is valuable to your followers. It gives them a favorable image of your company and makes them see you as more than someone trying to take their money. It also builds your credibility as an industry expert. You can share blog posts, relevant news articles, and content offers, for example.
B.R.R. You should never, ever include outbound links to your competitors in your blog posts or social media content. Why would you want to basically encourage your leads to check out your competition?
A.R.R. Linking to your competitor’s own blog posts or news articles sometimes can be really valuable for your readers, and for SEO purposes, too. The more outbound links you have in your content, the more your site will be optimized to appear in search engines because you did your research and are considered a more trustworthy and “expert” company. And, let’s face it, your leads are checking out your competitors anyway. As long as linking to your competitor proves to be useful or educational to your readers, that’s all that matters.
B.R.R. As long as our social media or blog posts get interaction, that’s all that matters. For example, I can say “RT this tweet if you think Peyton Manning is the man!” I will get a ton of RT’s so my engagement levels will skyrocket and my boss will be thrilled. Cool!
A.R.R. No, and again, I’m embarrassed. It matters what you are posting, and I cannot stress that enough. You may get more interactions on the tweet I mentioned above, but it’s not quality interaction. You want to post content that is relevant and useful to your targeted audience, so you can eventually convert those visitors into qualified leads. If you’re bummed that you don’t get 100 RT’s from your post, but you got website traffic from even just a few qualified leads, that’s way more valuable than getting a ton of interactions from individuals who will never become a customer regardless of how much you tweet about their favorite quarterback. (Peyton Manning IS the man, though, by the way).
B.R.R. A good website and some well thought out social media posts and blogs will suffice, and then the customers will do the rest and contact us!
A.R.R. Haha, if only it was that easy. I’ve found out that you must create additional content offers for your readers. These content offers can be E-books, whitepapers, slidedecks, etc. Again, you need to be providing additional valuable content to your readers. But don’t give this content away for free! Require your readers to fill out some information before they can access your valuable content, that way you can contact them later if you find they are a qualified lead for your business.
B.R.R. Keywords must be short. That’s why they’re called a keyword. The shorter they are, the easier it will be for people to find our content. And we’ll show up in more searches because that’s such a common word people search for!
A.R.R. Totally opposite. Long-tailed keywords are actually better because they are more specific and you are able to target your readers more effectively. For example, instead of just using the word “dog” in my blog article, I could use a long-tailed keyword such as “dogs that don’t shed” so people who are specifically looking for a dog that doesn’t shed will find my article, versus just finding a post about a dog in general (there are so many!) That will lead to more qualified leads, and hopefully, more conversions into customers.
There you have it, my top 5 misconceptions about inbound marketing before I came to Revenue River. Perhaps, you too can put your status as a sham marketer in the past after reading this post. If you can’t, that’s alright! You have the experts at Revenue River to do the marketing for you.