What is Inbound Marketing? [Internship]

            Inbound marketing is a way of making yourself or your company easy to find and drawing people to your website by producing content that appeals to your visitors. The term “inbound marketing” was coined in 2005 by HubSpot’s Brian Halligan because he believed that traditional marketing was becoming less effective. Inbound marketing includes content like blogs, enewsletters, and the social media network. Inbound marketing is far more favored by businesses than outbound marketing. Outbound marketing includes content such as spam, telemarketing, and fliers.

            The whole concept of inbound marketing is to get the customers to find you, instead of you reaching out to them. It can be broken down into five stages. One, attract traffic; two, convert visitors to leads; three, convert leads to sales; four, turn customers into repeat higher margin customers; and five, analyze for continuous improvement. A company can attract traffic to their website by blogging, for example. Updating your blog more frequently will attract more visitors to your website and revenue traffic. Announce your website via email, and across the social media networks like Google+ and Twitter to garnish social and search traffic. Email everyone you know about your new website, lead with content and the word will travel. Share it on your social media websites. Include keywords that will draw your targeted audience in. Then, you want to make sure that the material on your page is what the visitor is looking for. Your goal is to make the visitor a customer. After your visitor becomes a customer, make sure they will come back by sending them an enewsletter and keep your page updated with things that will attract them to buy again. After you went through the four steps of the process, you want to analyze everything that you have done and make sure you are doing everything you can to satisfy your visitors, followers, customers.

            In order to make inbound marketing completely effective, you want to give your customers your marketing information, and a little something else. This provides a value above and beyond what they are looking for, which creates a value to the customer experience. For example, if you’re a gardening or landscaping company, write a little side story about your home garden and how you personally take care of it in the newsletter. The three key phases are “get found, convert, and analyze”.

            Inbound marketing can be effective if the communication is interactive and two-way, unlike outbound marketing which is one-way. One way to create inbound marketing is by being found on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, etc. This is a type of inbound content because someone who is looking for something specifically related to you will go directly to your page. By creating valuable content on your website, your website will rise in organic search results. By rising in organic search results, it will benefit you tremendously because the closer you are to the search engines first page, the more visibility you are gaining for your website.

You can try and get your website higher in the organic search result by pay per click (PPC). PPC is an advertising model used to direct traffic to a certain website. Every time someone’s ad is clicked, the advertiser pays the website owner or publisher. Another way to rank higher in organic search results is to make a well put together press release that is filled with information that your targeted audience will click on when they search on a search engine. Don’t use keywords that are commonly used by your competition; be more creative when it comes to keywords.

            A recently new field that inbound marketing has found its way to is the social media network. Social media sites are the most visited websites on the web. When marketing on social media, identify your target audience. Once you have a targeted audience, think about keywords this audience might use to search to find sites like yours. Facebook for example, has seen a steady increase in its search bar for businesses. A basic principle of a social media site is like using a forum, if there is no activity going on you will leave. To make sure that this doesn’t happen to you on your website, fill it with lots of information and useful content. Finally, another way to use the social media network for inbound marketing is to give your “community” something to talk about. For example, if you own a fitness company and you are now selling a new workout machine, tell your social medic community. This is the “network effect”, when your community creates a “buzz” about what you were talking about, it will bring in other users.

            An easy way to get information out about your business or product is to advertise where they are already going. For example, by putting “like us on Facebook” on your company’s website, this will draw people to your Facebook page where you can advertise all about your business, products and services. Another way to generate inbound marketing is to host contests. By letting your visitors and or customers take an online survey about their experience with your website, offer a chance to win a prize if they take the survey. Also give them the opportunity to go through an easy-to-do sign up for newsletters offering them coupons and sneak peeks into the future.

            Inbound marketing is far more effective than outbound marketing. You can prove this just by asking if you have deleted spam mail without reading it. Spam mail is an example of outbound marketing. Since social media is huge growing field, there should be no question as to why inbound marketing is so effective. In the end, it’s all about finding a new way to generate interest, and inbound marketing is the new way to generate interest and visitors, followers, customers.  

Sources:

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Why LinkedIn? [Internship]

                In today’s economy, students and young professionals share a common fear. Their fear is whether or not they will find a job. With the presidential debate currently going on, the candidates for president are constantly promising to make new jobs. This does nothing but make the current students worry that there are no jobs now and may not be any in the future. Fortunately, there are online tools that can help graduates and undergraduates worry a bit less. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site. It is said to be the best investment you will ever make in your career. It is used by individuals and businesses for networking, job searching, hiring, and much more.

                Recently, I have started an internship with the company Digital Ethos. They have asked me if I was signed up with the website LinkedIn and were shocked when I said I was not. Immediately I signed up after receiving their reaction. I could see how important LinkedIn was right away. LinkedIn is a great way to establish your identity on the web. With 175 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is clearly a striving network that helps individuals and small businesses to large corporations.  With LinkedIn, you can exchange ideas, knowledge, and opportunities with a broad network of professionals. Your LinkedIn account is the first impression someone gets when they google you, this can be a huge benefit if your LinkedIn account is up to date and well put together. Your LinkedIn page can either make you or break you.

                Signing up for LinkedIn is easy. You simply put in your full name and your email address. From then on, LinkedIn gives you step by step instructions on how to get your account up and running. This includes indicating where you are currently employed and what type of job. Another cool feature of LinkedIn lets you indicate what field you are in. It also asks you where you have been employed in the past and for how long. This can give your future employer a general knowledge of where you worked and what your skill-sets could be. Your education also holds a section on your LinkedIn profile, which can include when you were in high school and in college. If you haven’t graduated from one or the other, it lets you select your anticipated graduation year. LinkedIn has a section called “Summary” which lets other users quickly learn about your background and interests. There is a different area for your skills and expertise which helps potential employers find you when they are searching for a specific knowledge-base. Recommendations on your page can carry a lot of weight.  It lets your colleagues, clients, or suppliers speak on your record. Recommendations are just like reference part of your resume. You’re “snapshot” is like your web based business card. It includes your name, location, education, recommendations, education, past positions, and links to your website. Use this space efficiently and you’ll be sure to catch someone’s eye.

                These days, it is so crucial for not only graduates, but undergraduates, to get their foot in the door of the career world right away. It is very important for young professionals to use LinkedIn for many reasons. Young professionals don’t have a lot of experience, so LinkedIn helps them by providing an answers section. This allows a wide variety of professionals to answer any question you might have about your field or any type of field you may be interested in. Asking and answering questions also helps you build your online visibility. This is essential to making your way to the top. This generation of young adults is said to be the “Digital Native” generation since most, if not all, of their life was spent in front of a screen. LinkedIn lets them continue this sort of lifestyle and it makes it a lot more comfortable to be more productive on the network. Young professionals have little to no experience in the work force. LinkedIn gives them a realistic outlook on their field of interest. You should never let one job define your field. With over 175 million members worldwide, it is easy to network and see all kinds of different sides of your field. You can also check out your fields leading players. You can see how they got to where they are by seeing where they went to school, what they studied, what skills they developed, what groups they belong too, and to whom with they are connected. This will help you obtain a better grasp on your anticipated field you want to join.

                The people who are part of your network are called your connections. A connection can indicate that you know the person well or that they are a trusted business contact. In order to become a connection, you need to be invited and accepted. LinkedIn doesn’t support people in adding somebody that they don’t know. When you want to send someone a connections request, LinkedIn asks how you know this person. The options include colleague, classmate, friend, business partner, and I don’t know said person. If you chose “I don’t know said person”, LinkedIn will not allow you to add them. If you chose any of the other, it will ask for the persons email address.

                LinkedIn narrows down your connections into three different categories. They are first degree, second degree, and third degree connections. First degree connections are the people that you have directly connected with because you or the person sent an invitation that has been accepted. Second degree connections are the people who are connected with your first degree connections. You can contact them through something called an introduction. You may ask your first degree connection to introduce you to your second degree connection. Since you probably don’t know your second degree connection, an introduction from your first degree connection would be the only way to connect with them. Finally, your third degree connections are the people who are connected to your second degree connections. If you want to become their first connection, you have to ask for an introduction. An introduction usually sounds like, “Dear Mr. Smith, Let me introduce you to Mr. John from Company X.” LinkedIn shows you which connection a person is by placing an icon which says either “1st”, “2nd”, or “3rd” connection.

                LinkedIn offers a feature called “groups”. Being a member of a group lets you engage in one on one networking between group members. An advantage is that you can send lnmail for no fee. As a member of a group, you can discover the most popular discussions in your professional group. LinkedIn groups also allow you to follow the most influential people in your groups by looking at the Top Influencers board to see all their group activity.

                Looking for a job on LinkedIn is said to be a whole lot easier than going door to door hoping they are hiring. If you know what company you are interested in joining, simply search for them on LinkedIn’s search bar. The company will have their employers listed and you can network with them and see what they did to be able to work with the company. Eventually, you will be able to establish them as a connection. On the other hand, if you have no idea what company you want to work for, you can search a keyword, job title, or location. Even though the search is much broader, you will still get a general knowledge of what you are looking into.

                It is clear to see that there is a lot more to LinkedIn than just looking for a job in a newspaper. Connecting with people and getting your name out there can also contribute to your success on LinkedIn. If you use your LinkedIn profile correctly, it will become a huge benefit for you in the job marketing world.

Sources:

 

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Back to Basics: Why Facebook? [Internship]

Facebook is an important utility in digital communications that helps people connect with friends, family, and coworkers. Facebook can also make networking a whole lot easier. Statistics show that in July 2012, there were 955 million monthly active users. Approximately 81% of the monthly active users are located outside of the United States and Canada.

 From the start of Facebook, the founders wanted it to be free for everyone. Facebook seems to be the dream place for a company or business to showcase their products, services, and links to their own website for no cost.  Facebook is a great way to brand your name or your company. It lets you share information via text, picture and video. The network also allows feedback on whatever you are offering. Nearly 80,000 sites are using Facebook Connect. By doing this, sites are making personal social graphs portable so they travel along online. It is said that one of the best ways to find a new job is through a friend. Therefore, keeping up with coworkers and the business through Facebook is very important.

Facebook gives you many different options to stay in touch and keep connected with your cliental and future clients. For example, if your company has a big event coming up, Facebook lets you share this by creating an event and setting it public. Since it is a public event, people on Facebook who aren’t even your friend or “fan” can see this and RSVP. Networking is also key. When you register for Facebook and start adding friends, your name, company or brand will be out there, which can create additional exposure and generate interest in connecting. By constantly updating on your page, it will keep your friends or fans connected and waiting for more. If you want the connection to be valuable then make sure what you are sharing is interesting and relevant. Facebook is busiest during the weekdays in the morning. Morning posts have a 37.9% more user engagement than afternoon posts, meaning if you post in the morning you are more likely to have more feedback than if you posted in the afternoon. If you are one of those people who are constantly on the go and can’t be glued to their computer, apps such as “HootSuite” and “Tweetdeck” allow you to schedule the release of messages.

With 955 million users, it shouldn’t even be a question to get involved with Facebook. Facebook can benefit you and your business tremendously. The fact that even other countries are close to surpassing the United States with active users is mind blowing. One would say that Facebook is the easiest way to network and get your businesses name out there. Facebook has made it very simple to organize and design your business page.

Sources

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Digital Media Education Internship Program

Digital Ethos introduces the Digital Media Education Internship Program  We believe that we have developed a program that might be of some interest to you and/or your students.

The internship program with Digital Ethos is designed for students that wish to learn how to write for digital publications, develop hands on learning in digital media and marketing. Interns learn through the “Read, Write & Share” philosophy in areas of Digital Media, Social Media, Content Development, Brand Marketing and more.

The basic program requires six publications by the intern spread out over three months. During this time the intern is required to conduct research in an area of interest under the supervision of a Digital Ethos contributing author. The Program is administered by the Executive Director to maintain the highest quality standards.

Interns not only learn about conducting research in digital media, but how to shape that content and use sources to reinforce their position. Then we work with them to teach them how to use Social Media and PR to create visibility and develop followers.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn How to conduct research in a digital setting,
  • Learn how to develop their personal brand and online reputation,
  • Learn how to format content to develop a reader’s attention and the search engines,
  • Learn how to develop a multi directional social media campaign to drive readership,

Those that complete an Internships:

  • Are invited to Contribute to Digital Ethos as a Author,
  • Receive a certificate of completion and a portfolio page,
  • Have a multiplatform personal social media presence the rest of their career,
  • Are eligible for development funding to a conference of their choice.

Advanced hands on Internships are also available in the Long Island NY Region.

These Advanced Programs are based on the 120 hours of service during an academic symester and include onsite learning both with the organization and in some cases working on a project with an Agency.

These programs where developed from our trial periods with Vanessa Canner, Adelphia University (2011) and Kayla Marzo, Suffolk County Community College (2012).

 

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Digital Media Monthly

Text - DIGITALETHOS to 22828 to sign up!