An an inbound content marketing lead generation program is created by writing blog posts and using paid blog post promotion to attract people in your niche market to go to your website. By promoting your blog posts, I am referring to paid promotion—blog advertising.
You create paid blog post promotion ads on Facebook and Google AdWords to promote your blog posts to your niche market, so thousands (millions) of people in your niche market click on your promoted blog post ads to go to your website and read your blog posts. This is known as inbound content marketing. You can also use paid blog post promotion on Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog syndication networks like Outbrain, but my focus and expertise is with using Facebook and Google AdWords.
Where most businesses see the biggest bang for their advertising buck is with promoting their blog posts on Facebook because Facebook offers the most highly targeted marketing platform in the world. Think of Facebook as the world’s largest online consumer database. No matter what a person’s interest, (B2C or B2B) you can find them and advertise to them by promoting your blog posts to them on Facebook.
The biggest secret for being successful with “Social Media Marketing”
When you go to a website to read a blog post, and that blog post has thousands of shares on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, it is almost always because that company paid to promote that blog post. That is the big secret of how companies achieve success in social media marketing and online lead generation. They pay to promote their blog posts to drive thousands (millions) of people in their target market to their website to begin a relationship with them.
We tend to assume that when we see a blog post that has thousands of shares, that those shares are 100% natural and the company got them for free because the brand is so popular and they have high search engine rankings. The reality is that most of those shares were generated from paid promotion on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as paying for blog promotion on Google AdWords and on blog promotion networks called, “Content Syndication Networks” that place your blog post advertisement on popular websites.
Now you know why when you post a new blog post, you only get a couple of social shares instead of hundreds or thousands of shares. It’s because you didn’t know the secret for success for social media marketing—paid blog promotion.
“Ahhh… excuse me but I thought this e-book was about building an online lead generation program. Why are you talking about promoting blog posts and social media marketing?”
The reason I am talking about blog promotion and social media marketing is because it is the foundation of building an inbound lead generation program. It is how you get thousands (millions) of people in your niche market to go to your website to read your blog posts, see you as an expert in your niche market, learn about your business and the solutions your provide, and begin the relationship of trusting you as a business that can solve their problems. It a nutshell, it is how you get people in your niche market to enter your sales funnel so you can nurture them and over time convert them into happy long-term customers.
Why not just place ads to generate leads? Why do I have to write and promote blog posts?
In the past companies ran ads to generate leads. It was a one step advertising process where you placed an ad (online or offline) and people responded to it and contacted your company as a lead. If you knew how to write great ads, this system worked incredibly well. Unfortunately, this one step system does not work very well anymore because people now see so many ads, especially on the Internet, that we have built up a natural filter to ignore them.
A second problem is that so many people have been burned by doing business on the Internet that we are much less trusting of businesses we don’t know, and we have our guard up all the time. Is it impossible to place ads and get leads in a one step process? No. It is just far more difficult now, and because of the difficulty, it makes using this one-step process much more expensive because the response rate is so low.
We now live in a hyper-competitive global marketplace where we are bombarded by advertising on a daily basis. Every time you go on the Internet, you see hundreds of ads. By now you barely notice them. Today alone you have probably had at least one hundred Internet ads displayed to you. How many do you remember? How many did you click on? How many companies did you contact? Did you buy anything from a company you did not know? Ads on the Internet have become “white noise” that you have learned to tune out. This tuning out of advertising by the masses is what led to the birth of inbound content marketing (businesses creating helpful free content to attract people to their website).
Let’s face reality. People hate advertising. People hate being sold to. However, we love finding solutions to our problems. We love getting valuable information for free (this free e-book for example). This is why you need to write and promote blog posts and give away helpful free information, such as e-books, training webinars, white papers, etc. Writing and promoting helpful blog posts and giving away valuable free information content gives your target market what they want—information that helps them solve problems. By giving your target market valuable and free information that helps them, you build a relationship with them. They see you as a helpful expert who cares about making their life better. They trust you. And they will do business with you!
Here is an analogy to understand the difference in psychology between advertising (being sold to) and being offered something of value for free (inbound content marketing). I grew up in rural Wisconsin and my family had a mini farm and some horses. Unfortunately we did a poor job with our fences and our horses got loose a lot and wandered throughout our rural neighborhood. It was always my job to go find them and bring them back to our barn. The first few times this happened I would go out to them with the idea I would just walk up to them, attach a rope to their halter, and bring them back to the barn. This did not work. They would see me and run… laughing at me! Then I would follow them, get close, and they would run again… with sick glee in their hearts. This would sometimes go on for hours. The problem was I was trying to get them to do something they did not want to do—go back to the barn. Think of this situation as advertising where you are trying to get a person to do something they either don’t want to do or are not ready to do.
After several attempts at trying to walk up to the horses and put a rope on their halter to bring them back, I learned that I needed to bribe them for them to allow me to walk up to them and put the rope on their halter. So, I started carrying sugar cubes with me. Ahh… and then there was light! The horses would see me and I would put up my hand flat and slowly show them me putting the sugar cubes into my hand and say, “TREATS!” Now, instead of the horses running away, they would run to me! I had something of value they wanted. My guess is a light-bulb just turned on in your head for the value of inbound content marketing for lead generation.
Yes, I understand that people are not horses. However, we operate on the same principle of we will take action and go to somebody when they will give us what we want, but we will run away from people who try to push us into doing something we don’t want to do. This is the difference between advertising something of value for free compared to placing an ad that says, “Buy my stuff now!”
This is why you want to create valuable blog posts and content that provide information people in your target market want and will come to your website to get. Now, instead of ignoring you or running away from you, they will happily come to you. Welcome to the age of inbound content marketing!
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To your success!