Tag Archives: inboundmarketing

inbound marketing explained and compared

Veretekk invented Automated Marketing (in 1996), later to become known as Inbound Marketing (MarketHive). Veretekk’s traffic portal offers, auto responders, Broadcasting technology (The Hammer), Conference rooms and sales funnel process became the foundation that today is known as Inbound Marketing.

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But let us digress some. Before the Internet; advertising and marketing were for the most part driven by Outbound Marketing:


Outbound marketing is buying attention, cold- calling,
Direct paper mail, radio, TV, sales flyers, spam,
telemarketing and other forms of traditional advertising.

 

 

 

Inbound marketing is the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

 

 


Simply concept really, execution is the challenge. (Just ask a few of your friends how often they blog) vs posting to Facebook newsfeeds, Skyping or texting back and forth.  With a little understanding, some instruction and determination, any entrepreneurial motivated person can make a success with the right tools.

This is why it is important to know your “WHY” as that is what will drive your market base. What you love to do will attract others that share the same passion. And that is the “secret”.

Sharing is caring and inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.

By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive. Now that’s marketing people can love.

Major themes:

Create targeted content that answers prospects' and customers' basic questions and needs, then share that content far and wide.  (Broadcasting)

Promoters don’t just materialize out of thin air: they start off as strangers, visitors, contacts, and customers. Specific marketing actions and tools help to transform those strangers into promoters. (Share the revenue “AFFILIATE”)

Tailor your content to the wants and needs of the people who are viewing it. As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs. (Build your sphere of influence)

Inbound marketing is multi-channel by nature because it approaches people where they are, in the channel where they want to interact with you. (Social Network connections)

Content creation, publishing and analytics tools all work together like a well-oiled machine – allowing you to focus on publishing the right content in the right place at the right time. (Tracking and measuring traffic, comments, responsive interaction)

The Four Marketing Actions

Attract

We don’t want just any traffic to our site, we want the right traffic. We want the people who are most likely to become leads, and, ultimately, happy customers. Who are the “right” people? Our ideal customers, also known as our buyer personas. Buyer personas are holistic ideals of what your customers are really like, inside and out. Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. Your personas are the people around whom your whole business is built.

Some of the most important tools to attract the right users to your site are:

Blogging– Inbound marketing starts with blogging. A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.

SEO– Your customers begin their buying process online, usually by using a search engine to find something they have questions about. So, you need to make sure you’re appearing prominently when and where they search. To do that, you need to carefully, analytically pick keywords, optimize your pages, create content, and build links around the terms your ideal buyers are searching for.

Pages– Your website pages are your digital storefront. So put your best face forward! Optimize your website to appeal to your ideal buyers and transform your website into a beacon of helpful content to entice the right strangers to visit your pages.

Social Publishing– Successful inbound strategies are all about remarkable content – and social publishing allows you to share that valuable information on the social web, engage with your prospects, and put a human face on your brand. Interact on the networks where your ideal buyers spend their time.

Convert

Once you’ve attracted website visitors, the next step is to convert those visitors into leads by gathering their contact information. At the very least, you’ll need their email addresses. Contact information is the most valuable currency there is to the online marketer. So in order for your visitors to offer up that currency willingly, you need to offer them something in return! That “payment” comes in the form of content, like eBooks, whitepapers, or tip sheets – whatever information would be interesting and valuable to each of your personas.

Some of the most important tools in converting visitors to leads include:

Forms- In order for visitors to become leads, they must fill out a form and submit their information. Optimize your form to make this step of the conversion process as easy as possible.

Calls-to-action are buttons or links that encourage your visitors to take action, like “Download a Whitepaper” or “Attend a Webinar.” If you don’t have enough calls-to-action or your calls-to-action aren’t enticing enough, you won’t generate leads.

Landing Pages– When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they should then be sent to a landing page. A landing page is where the offer in the call-to-action is fulfilled, and where the prospect submits information that your sales team can use to begin a conversation with them. When website visitors fill out a form on a landing page for the first time, that visitor becomes a contact.

Contacts– Keep track of the leads you're converting in a centralized marketing database. Having all your data in one place helps you make sense out of every interaction you’ve had with your contacts – be it through email, a landing page, social media, or otherwise – and how to optimize your future interactions to more effectively attract, convert, close, and delight your buyer personas.

Close

You’re on the right track. You’ve attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, but now you need to transform those leads into customers. How can you most effectively accomplish this feat? Certain marketing tools can be used at this stage to make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right times.

Closing tools include:

CRM– Keep track of the details about all the contacts, companies, and deals in your pipeline, and easily get in touch with the right prospects at the right time. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems facilitate sales by making sure you have the right information at your fingertips to better engage with prospects across every channel.

Closed-loop Reporting– How do you know which marketing efforts are bringing in the best leads? Is your sales system effectively closing those best leads into customers? Integration with your CRM system allows you to analyze just how well your marketing and sales teams are playing together.

Email– What do you do if a visitor clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page, or downloads your whitepaper, but still isn’t ready to become a customer? A series of emails focused on useful, relevant content can build trust with a prospect and help them become more ready to buy.

Marketing Automation– This process involves creating email marketing and lead nurturing tailored to the needs and lifecycle stage of each lead. For example, if a visitor downloaded a whitepaper on a certain topic from you in the past, you might want to send that lead a series of related emails. But if they follow you on Twitter and visited certain pages on your website, you might want to change the messaging to reflect those different interests.

Delight

The Inbound way is all about providing remarkable content to our users, whether they be visitors, leads, or existing customers. Just because someone has already written you a check doesn’t mean you can forget about them! Inbound companies continue to engage with, delight, and (hopefully) upsell their current customer base into happy promoters of the organizations and products they love.

Tools used to delight customers include:

Surveys– The best way to figure out what your users want is by asking them. Use feedback and surveys to ensure you’re providing customers with what they’re looking for.

Smart Calls-to-Action– These present different users with offers that change based on buyer persona and lifecycle stage.

Smart Text– Provide your existing customers with remarkable content tailored to their interests and challenges. Help them achieve their own goals, as well as introduce new products and features that might be of interest to them.

Social Monitoring- Keep track of the social conversations that matter to you most. Listen out for your customers’ questions, comments, likes, and dislikes – and reach out to them with relevant content.

The New Methodology

The Inbound Methodology covers each and every step taken, tool used, and lifecycle stage traveled through on the road from stranger to customer. It empowers marketers to attract visitors, convert leads, close customers, and delight promoters. The new methodology acknowledges that inbound marketing doesn’t just happen, you do it. And you do it using tools and applications that help you create and deliver content that will appeal to precisely the right people (your buyer personas) in the right places (channels) at just the right times (lifecycle stages).

Want to learn more about inbound marketing?

An Entrepreneurial Social Network integrated with an advanced Inbound Marketing platform is genius on steroids. Sharing up to 50% of the potential revenue with you is very generous and the potential of this combination is atomic!

 

Thomas Prendergast
CMO Markethive, Inc.

 

The 5 + 18 Things Elon Musk Does Every Day to Make Himself Productive

The 5 Things Elon Musk Does Every Day to Make Himself Productive

Elon Musk gets more done each day than any three random CEOs. Here's how he manages it

Last week, I pointed out that because Elon Musk can successfully run multiple businesses, he could run any one of those businesses working part-time. Because of this, mere mortals like you and me should be able to create and run a business without working long hours– certainly not more than 40 hours a week.

As you can imagine, I got some pushback on that concept, probably because I neglected to point out specifically what Elon Musk does to manage his time better than your average insanely successful entrepreneur.

I've not worked with Musk personally or interviewed him but I watch him and his companies pretty closely. Here are some specific techniques that have emerged either from Musk's speeches or from his actions as reported in the news:

1. He doesn't bother with business plans.

In a recent appearance at SXSW, Musk explained that he's not a big fan of business plans. Instead, he works at the visionary level and leaves the operational details to others.

By contrast, most CEOs (including Steve Jobs, BTW) tend to get deeply involved in the business planning process, even to the point of micromanaging it.

The main point of a business plan is to get funding; after that, you're probably better off setting ambitious goals and improvising a way to get there (i.e., pivoting).

 

2. He immediately ends pointless conversations.

As I mentioned out in "Elon Musk Just Gave the World's Best Productivity Advice in a Single, Short Sentence," when Musk perceives that people are wasting his time, he cuts them off, even if it seems rude. To his way of thinking, what's truly rude is forcing him to listen to conversations that are neither interesting nor useful.

For example, when some analysts at a financial update meeting asked him some stupid questions, Musk just pointed out that the questions were "bonehead" and moved on. While he got flak for this, subsequent events have proved Musk right: The question were bonehead.

By refusing to suffer fools gladly (or otherwise), Musk probably frees up a dozen or more hours each week to do other, more useful things. As an additional bonus, he isn't forced to clutter up his mind with other people's irrelevant nonsense.

 

3. He immediately walks out on useless meetings.

Similarly, if a meeting wanders or is on a subject that's not immediately relevant, Musk simply gets up and leaves. More important, he also gives his staff and employees permission to do the same.

Since meetings are the biggest time wasters in business, Musk, by refusing to be part of a captive audience, probably frees up another dozen hours a week that he can spend on something useful or amusing.

 

4. He avoids foolish consistencies.

Musk isn't afraid to contradict himself. As a result, he doesn't waste his time defending the indefensible.

For example, while Musk frequently touted that Model 3 factory as almost entirely automated, he didn't hesitate to publicly announce it when he swapped out some automation in favor of human labor.

Most CEOs would have quietly made the change and then tried to bury it to avoid some bad PR. This adds the time and mental burden inherent in any cover-up that could turn into a PR disaster.

It's much more time-effective to do what Musk does in such situations: Bite the bullet and then move on.

 

5. He decides rather than deliberates.

In my experience and observation, most CEOs–even entrepreneurs–tend to overthink and overanalyze before taking action.

By contrast, while Musk never appears to be acting out of ignorance, it's obvious from the pace of his decision-making that he prefers to decide to take action (with all its attendant risks) to talking a decision to death.

A perfect example of this was when he fired all the Tesla contractors who couldn't find a Tesla employee to vouch for them. Most CEOs would have tried to cut the contractors "with all due speed," taking months to do something that could apparently be accomplished in a single day.

 

  By Geoffrey JamesContributing editor, Inc.com@Sales_Source

 

CryptoCurrencies: What is an Initial Loan Procurement and why it will drive the Markethive.

CryptoCurrencies:
What is an Initial Loan Procurement and why it will drive the 
Markethive.

There seems to be a lack of awareness around Initial Loan Procurements (ILPs), as well as a lot of confusion if that. This post will try to explain what ILPs are and their significance to finance and Markethive.

The Initial Loan Procurement is a new fundraising method that is similar to an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) but in the form of loans rather than coins. In this ILP scenario, borrowers and creditors enter loan agreements through legally binding smart contracts. Markethive is one of the firsts to offer an ILP along with the originator from Blockhive.

ILPs (Initial Loan Procurement) disrupt the global debt capital market and have the potential to become bigger than ICOs. Blockchain is revolutionizing finance, especially capital markets, which allow companies (and even governments) to raise money from investors globally.

Let’s talk about how companies and governments raise investor money:

Companies can either sell stakes in the company or equity. This is done by issuing stocks and stockholders share the company’s profits. Likewise company losses are stockholders losses and companies aren’t required to pay the investors back. On the other hand, companies can borrow from investors by issuing corporate bonds. Although bondholders don’t share in the company’s profit, they will be paid back their original investment + interest unless the company goes bankrupt.

Governments can issue government bonds to big investors as well and the logic works the same as corporate bonds. Since the government is deemed less risky, government bonds typically have lower interest rates. Examples are US Treasury bonds.

When companies/governments first issue these financial securities, they are issued in what is called the primary market. The average joe does not participate in this market. The big banks and institutional investors are the usual investors. After this, the already-issued securities are traded in the secondary market which includes retail investors like the average joe. Ex. Stock market

Then there’s the private capital market. All companies start private and once they get big, they might go public and list on one of the stock exchanges. Ex. Uber is currently a private company valued at $70B, and they are supposedly planning an IPO soon. Only then, would the average joe be able to buy Uber stocks and invest in the company. So who invests in these private companies early on? Big institutional investors such as Venture Capital firms (VCs) with lots of money get to invest early on for equity and if the company takes off, they could multiply their investments by orders of magnitudes.

This was how things were done TRADITIONALLY. With Blockchain technologies, modern finance is changing. Initial Coin Offerings provide companies (and governments) with a whole new way of raising capital. It’s easier, faster, and the whole world gets to participate. Although coins are not 100% like stocks, a lot of them behave that way: Many tokens will profit if the issuing blockchain company becomes successful. (For example exchange token holders earning trading commission fees). Like stocks, there is no legal obligation for the company to pay the investors back their original investment. Initial Coin Offerings serve as the primary market and exchanges like Binance serve as the secondary market. This change is happening extremely fast. In 2017, more money was raised with ICOs for blockchain start-ups than ALL of Venture Capital. Pretty much EVERYONE can participate in these ICOs as well as trade the tokens once they are listed on exchanges.

This is why regulators are going crazy about cryptocurrencies right now. Throughout history, financial market crashes have devastated many lives, and each time regulators stepped in with rules to protect consumers. Let’s not debate the pros and cons of regulation here, but it’s just the way things are. With cryptocurrencies, regulators see more risk than ever for consumers as now regular people are participating not just in this unregulated secondary crypto market, but in primary markets as well through ICOs.

Meanwhile, the global debt capital market has barely been disrupted by blockchain tech. If anything, there are many crypto projects in the works for peer-to-peer lending, but there is only one project that I know of focused on disrupting the public debt capital market: Initial Loan Procurements (ILPs).

A fundraising structure utilized by Markethive, this has the potential to grow even bigger than ICOs (The world debt market is way bigger than the world equity market). This year Markethive will be one of the firsts to offer an ILP, like Blockhive, and will be one of the first companies to raise capital by decentralized crowdfunding of debt.

To summarize Markethive’s ILP: we are targeting 10.5M Dollars (USD in Bitcoin) from lenders (think ILP). In this decentralized world, anyone can participate. The loan period is projected to be 10 years and the interest is 20% of Markethive’s operating profit. For example, if I lent Markethive  $1,000 through this ILP, I will be repaid this principal in 10 years, and also earn interest over that period (In Markethive's case, 20% of Markethive’s operating profit will be distributed across the lenders. Furthermore, the ILP structure issues Hive Foundation Shares (HFS), which will allow me to sell my loan contract in the secondary market, if I don’t want to wait 10 years to be paid back. Each ILP will have its own FLAT to provide liquidity in the secondary market. Markethive's FLAT is also called Hive Founding Shares.

All ILPs are powered by legally-binding smart contracts (loan contracts between each creditor/issuer), and digital identity/signature solutions. The token utilized for these products will be traded on the open market exchanges (yet to be announced)

This is HUGE. Instead of issuing traditional bonds, corporations and governments can participate in this decentralized form of crowdfunding loans. It’s fast, easy, and the whole world can participate.

'

The financial revolution is now just starting.

The need

The Markethive team believes that there is a need for an alternative to ICO due to the following shortcomings. The token economy is based on the demand, and sometimes selling tokens doesn’t make sense because the token has no real function for your business. Also, laws and regulation are an important consideration, because countries such as China have banned ICOs. Taxes also play a major part. Some countries consider money raised through ICOs to be income rather than capital and may tax it at rates as high as 40 percent.

The alternative 

Markethive has partnered with smart-contract development firm Menlo Tech and the original developer of the Monero Coin to develop a way to raise funds using loans. Here are some unique points of ILP:

The structure is as effective as an ICO because it is open to individuals around the world.

It is legally binding because agreements are digitally signed using blockchain technology which records information in a distributed database so they can’t be easily altered, adding a level of security for creditors.

Because ILP is in the form of loans, it is considered to be debt, and not subject to tax.

For businesses that don’t need tokens in the first place, ILP provides an alternative so more time and energy can be spent on business development, rather than creating tokens with no actual usage.

The ILP is regulation-friendly. Markethive conforms with regulatory frameworks designed to fight fraud and money laundering. Therefore, participants of ILP will be required to submit their identification and to go through the process of authentication (KYC).

The Markethive team says, “ILP provides a fast track alternative so more time and energy can be spent on business development. Last, but not least, because ILP is in the form of loans, it is considered to be debt, and not subject to tax.”

How does it work?

In Markethive’s case,

We first ask our creditors to register their identification, address and other information.

Then, they will digitally sign the loan agreement and send Bitcoin to our registered account.

Once we receive the Bitcoin, the contract is made.

That means Markethive’s creditors can receive 20 percent of Markethive’s monthly profit as an interest payment.

After the loan contract is made, Markethive will issue the Hive Foundation Shares (HFS the FLAT  Future Loan Access Tokens). HFS gives creditors the right to transfer loans to others, using Markethive’s Wallets, Markethive’s internal exchange or on public exchanges.

The team further clarifies, “When individuals receive HFS tokens, they become potential creditors and can use the tokens to sign loan agreements with the borrower, in this case, Markethive. Once they have signed the loan agreement with Markethive, they are now the new creditors of the loan agreement and they will get the interest payments.”

Take part in the Markethive ILP

The ILP seems like a much more secure approach to fundraising while keeping the ease of raising funds like the ICO. Markethive is a first test case of this new funding method. It is currently in pre-launch and you can register for it here – https://markethive.io

 

Thomas Prendergast
Founder

Markethive