How Inbound Marketing Can Help Your New Business Reach Customers

Setting up a business is both exciting and daunting in equal measure. You want your startup to pick up as quickly as possible and attract many customers fast. However, an increasingly competitive and crowded landscape means that the need to get your message out there and promote your new business is as critical as ever.

Marketing is often a challenge for new businesses looking to get their products, services, or brand known because they have no established customer base, loyalty, or community around them. Unfortunately, many businesses turn to outbound (traditional) marketing to get their message to prospective customers and overlook inbound marketing.

However, interruptive marketing techniques like advertising, cold calling, or email blasts have been losing their effectiveness for years now. You risk wasting money and time on creating a buzz that people have learned to ignore.

If you are willing to invest in low-cost marketing with the potential for a high return on your investment, then inbound marketing can help.

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

Inbound marketing focuses on reasons why your customers should come to you, instead of merely broadcasting out messages to them using traditional (outbound) marketing.

Outbound marketing includes things like mass emails, advertising, and cold calling. These types of push marketing techniques focus on getting your message out to a broader audience quickly. Although it is not redundant since there is a time and place for it, outbound marketing may turn off prospects and target audiences because it seems like an interruption.

On the other hand, inbound marketing aims to provide valuable content to specific customers already searching for services, products, and solutions you are offering. Content provided includes videos, blog posts, eBooks, informative articles, whitepapers, and tip sheets. As a result, inbound marketing draws in both leads that are apt to convert and ready, willing buyers.

How Inbound Marketing Can Help

At its core, inbound marketing provides authoritative and informative content that entices customers. They could be looking for DIY instructions, answers to their questions, or interesting content. Your target audience already has an interest in your content, product, or service. Thus, they are more inclined to become customers if your marketing and conversion efforts provide them with helpful information.

Inbounding marketing is effective because it concerns itself with providing a human touch to business interactions. It encourages new businesses to broadcast cost-effectively and evolves the relationship with target audiences who opt-in and end up on your website to continue the communication and provide more valuable information.

However, while it is cheaper than traditional marketing tactics, inbound marketing takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment. Just remember that content is king. It’s the key to getting regular traffic to your website to sell them on your brilliant products.

Blogging vs. Social Platforms

Your business blog should ideally become the central point for your inbound marketing efforts, mainly because you own this space. Just ensure that you post original, rich, well-researched, and informative content regularly.

On the other hand, social networks are great for reaching a wider audience, but since you don’t own these channels, you only ever rent them. So the aim should be to use these rented “digital real estate spaces” to bring people to your website.

The target for blogging and social media marketing is to create original content that people will love and share widely, and keep returning for more. Eventually, you will build your social networking and online community to, directly and indirectly, help you market your business.

Audience-Focused SEO

Finally, do not forget to create audience-focused SEO. Search is how people find things online, and along with email and social media, it’s among the most popular online activities. Aim to make your content search engine optimized to bring in qualified, targeted traffic to your site. At first, you can concentrate on building your organic search results, and then combine that with paid ads – pay-per-clicks (PPCs).

Reach out to us at UmeWorks for more information on implementing inbound marketing strategies with your business website.

How EAT Can Help Your Website’s Off-Page SEO

Successful search engine optimization (SEO) requires you to use both off-page and on-page SEO efforts. Combining the two techniques produces long-term sustainable results in search engines. This post explores the interrelationship between E-A-T and off-page SEO factors.

What is Off-Page SEO?

It refers to all the activities you do off of your website to increase its search engine rankings. These include encouraging branded searches, building backlinks, as well as increasing shares and engagement on social media.

Google still uses PageRank in its ranking, which means that backlinks still form the foundation of its algorithm. However, links are only one part of off-page SEO ranking factors that Google uses to size up websites. For instance, Google’s Quality Rate Guidelines mainly rely on a website’s off-site reputation to find out whether or not it is trustworthy. The Reputation Research includes looking at:

  • Recommendations from experts
  • Online reviews
  • Mentions on authority news websites

What is EAT?

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It helps search engines to know if:

  • You are a trustworthy blog or website
  • Your industry and peers consider you an authority in your subject topic, matter, or area
  • You  provide high-quality content that users like and trust

E-A-T is now a critical off-page SEO ranking factor across all sectors but especially in the health niche. It refers to more than adding author bios to your website. Google and other search engines use signals that happen off of your site to measure E-A-T. The two primary focus areas are links and mentions in authoritative publications and websites.

Search engines take into account all on-site and off-site SEO factors to return the nest results for search phrases. Off-page SEO factors are essential because they show how the world perceives your blog or website.

How E-A-T Helps Website’s Off-Page SEO

There are several off-page SEO factors in existence, which vary yearly and by industry. As search engines change and improve their algorithms, so does what matters to SEO. Therefore, to stay up-to-date with what matters on off-page SEO, you must remain focused on traditional PR and marketing that provide a means to share what you have and know with your audience and community. These include:

  • Guest blogging
  • Brand citations and mentions on other articles, websites, and publications
  • Social media profiles and activity
  • Video websites
  • User reviews
  • Podcast interviews and appearances
  • Forum posts and answer sites such as Reddit or Quora
  • Local directories and listings
  • Referring domains and backlinks
  • Video websites

The above factors help search engines connect the online dots to discover how you interact with the community. The more the interaction you have, the more relevance and authority you get.

Search engines’ quality raters also emphasize online reviews. It makes sense because if people hate your business or website, why would search engines want to show it to more users? Reviews are huge for local SEO, but they also affect your website’s E-A-T significantly.

If you do not run a website or business that people review, such as a media site or blog, search engines rely on any awards you have won and how other experts in your industry or field feel about your website.

To build your off-page SEO, you need to stand out from the crowd and distinguish yourself from the millions of registered URLs competing for the same users’ attention daily. If you can share your knowledge and add value to your community consistently, you will develop and improve your E-A-T with search engines without even asking for mentions or backlinks.

Wrapping Up

It is easy to get caught up with on-page SEO techniques and overlook off-page SEO or vice versa. You need both to rank high in search. The former helps establish your blog or website’s SEO foundation while the latter validates your reputation and builds your E-A-T with search engines.

The trick is to find a balance that allows you to prove you have quality and valuable content that the world cares about significantly. Whenever you think about your off-page SEO strategy, focus on your purpose, passion, and community. Also, give back as often as you can.

Want Help?

Are you ready to move forward in building your business but your Things to Do is already full?

Book an initial consultation call with UmeWorks to discuss your needs and we’ll let you know what we can do to help you succeed.

Should You Use a Guest Blogger?

There are numerous reasons for guest blogging on another site, including building yourself up as an industry authority, building visibility for your brand, providing more value for consumers, contributing to the online community, linking back to your blog, and funneling referral traffic back to your website.

However, while contributing guest blogs is valuable for you, what about the benefits of using a guest blogger on your site? 

Of course, it is best only to accept content on your site that you believe provides value to your target audience to protect the quality of your blog.

What is Guest Blogging?

Guest blogging (or guest posting) refers to the act of writing content for another website. Generally, a guest blogger will write for a similar blog within his or her industry to:

  • Attract traffic back to their site
  • Increase their brand awareness and credibility
  • Boost their domain authority using quality external links
  • Build relationships with industry peers

Why Use a Guest Blogger?

It is advisable to allow great writers and bloggers to create content on your website, provided it’s of high quality and adds value to your audience. Below are six reasons why:

  1. Increases Your Blog’s Authority
    Creating an authoritative blog that people trust and link to from other sources and websites will naturally increase the impression of your brand. If you jam-pack your blog with valuable content, and it attracts many high-quality bloggers to post content, others will want to link to your business or blog and share your content on social media.
  2. Encourages New Readers
    Accepting contributions from an established and well-known guest blogger with a loyal readership could encourage new readers on your site. What’s more, guest bloggers will likely share their posts on their various social media channels, driving free traffic your way.
  3. Builds Relationships with Bloggers
    Whether you are a full-time blogger or do it as a part-time content marketing strategy, building new relationships with fellow influencers and bloggers is never a bad thing. It can make it easier to promote your content, get advice, receive blog comments, and help each other out with feedback and recommendations.
  4. Gives You More Content
    The chances are that you work hard to create fresh and up-to-date content on your blog weekly – even on a tight schedule. Regular posting gives your audience something new to look up to every week.
  5. Adds a New Dimension and Outlook to Your Blog
    Sometimes adding a new voice to your blog can add a new dimension and make it more attractive and engaging to a broader readership. Just remember to introduce your guest blogger to your audience and add a disclaimer that the views they express are not necessarily yours.
  6. Boosts Your Site’s SEO
    Having a lot of valuable content on your blog allows it to perform better in search engine results, provided you have optimized it well. Accepting guest bloggers helps pack your site with more content, increases your internal and external linking structure, enhances your online presence, and helps search engine robots crawl your pages.

What to Look for in a Guest Blogger

When you source for a guest blogger or accept one, look for industry blogs by a non-competitor company that can deliver real insight to your readers. Below is a suitable checklist to follow:

  • Author credibility (seek recognized experts and published freelancers, and avoid spam)
  • Superior writing style with valuable and accurate content
  • A high level of audience engagement
  • Strategic fit with your brand identity, organizational values, and communication strategy
  • Content relevance (uniqueness and recency)
  • Search engine optimization ability
  • The author should provide enough links to trustworthy sources
  • Content ownership – check that the content is original and that you own the rights as the publisher

Wrapping Up

Accepting content from a guest blogger can offer significant benefits to your website or business. However, you must be mindful of the content and links that the authors use. Remember to audit all work before you publish it and craft a long-term marketing strategy to make guest blogging part of your marketing journey. You also stand to benefit from their knowledge, time, experience, writing ability, and readership.

When is the Best Time to Publish Posts to Facebook for my Business?

I hear this question a lot.

Pundits have suggestions, i.e., Tuesday through Thursdays between 9am – 2pm for B2B; Monday through Wednesday 9am – 5pm for B2C, you may want to try another strategy. I’ve found that most “expert sources” have different recommendations. Also these are subject to change over time as people’s behaviors change.

What you can do is check when YOUR Facebook Fans are online, and post then so they are most likely to see while they are active. To find out, go to “Insights” on your Facebook Page. Then go to “Posts”. At the top of the page, you’ll see the days and times “When Your Fans Are Online”.

Graph showing best times to publish Facebook posts

With all this being said, know that Facebook is suppressing the frequency that organic posts are being displayed drastically. So while posting regularly may not be a good strategy to reach new customers, having a Facebook Page is still critically important for credibility. If a prospective client wants to check you out, chances are they’ll check your website and your Facebook Page. So continue to post engaging content regularly when your Fans are logged in!

To reach prospective new clients, use targeted Facebook ads.

Contact UmeWorks to help you build your business’ presence on social media and increase its visibility.

Getting Your Business through the Coronavirus Crisis

Working from home, self-quarantine, and canceling events may help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis and protect your employees from the deadly virus. However, social distancing also threatens to devastate businesses.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) global crisis spreads to new epicenters in the U.S. and Europe, businesses are scrambling to mobilize responses. The outbreak continues to create health risks to employees and significant financial risks to businesses. Companies must come up with an appropriate response.

It is still too early to fully map out and understand the severity of the crisis or its long-term effects. What’s evident is that the reluctance to go out and the resultant drop in foot traffic has left many businesses empty.
Below are some ways to help your business stay afloat and survive the crisis.

Protect Your Cash Flow

Cash flow is your business’s lifeblood. Your business will always have expenses, but the longer the coronavirus pandemic exists, the tighter it will get to maintain cash inflows. Crisis-proof your business using the following strategies.

  • Prepare cash flow projections for the next few months to help you see and anticipate what changes you need to make and when.
  • Review your credit policies and histories of your customers.
  • See if you can extend payments to your suppliers. As an example with dine-in at restaurants down as much as 75%, food delivery service company Grubhub is deferring commission fees for impacted independent restaurants.
  • Offer your customers discounts.
  • Use cash flow management tools to help you forecast, track, and manage your cash flow.

Embrace E-Commerce

E-commerce can help shield your business against the adverse effects of social distancing and staying home. It’s natural for consumers to shift their purchases online to avoid public places. Therefore, consider adding online services and payment if feasible, or adding product shipment for your brick-and-mortar store.

Sell Gift Certificates

Sell and promote gift cards and certificates to immediately put cash into the business. Encourage as many customers as possible to buy gift cards and store merchandise on your website. Use the money you get to maintain your cash flow until the crisis ends.

Webinars, Online Training, and Teleconferencing

Hold webinars and online training and service delivery using tools such as Skype, WebEx, Zoom, or join.me to promote your products online. You can also use business conferencing tools and apps to make remote work environments more manageable and support your business operations.

Stabilize Your Supply Chain

Stabilize your supply chains by ordering your supplies online, using safety stock, finding alternative sources to get around travel bans, and working with your suppliers to solve bottlenecks. You can also co-develop plans, implement interim solutions around the pandemic, and communicate strategies to your stakeholders.

The Bottom Line

The COVID-19 crisis is neither the world’s first pandemic nor its last. Getting your business through the crisis requires a cool head about you. Create a disaster preparedness policy to deal with the worst-case scenario of an all-out coronavirus pandemic that cripples most operations. A thorough plan will include procedures round remote work, cash flow, e-commerce, securing lines of credit, supply chain alternatives, insurance coverage, and much more.

UmeWorks Can Help

If you need help implementing these online strategies, please give us a call at 323 638-9328 or email us at info@umeworks.com.