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January 18, 2012

7 Ways to Keep Your Inbound Marketing in Check – A SPN Exclusive Article

The three major components of inbound marketing are social media marketing, content marketing and SEO. Each of those campaigns requires hours of planning and implementation, constant monitoring and consistent progress. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into a strong inbound marketing campaign, but that doesn’t mean you have to struggle to keep your head above the water. Here are 7 tips for keeping your inbound marketing campaign from running away from you:

Think twice before you post/tweet/update/share.

Nothing published on the Internet can ever really be deleted. Even supposedly private communications like internal emails can end up published somewhere. Before you share/post/tweet something take a few seconds and think about how it could potentially impact your brand. The beauty (and danger) of social networking sites is that a piece of information can travel around the world in less than a second, so your words/actions can’t be easily hidden or taken back. You might think a comment is funny, but sarcasm doesn’t really read well over the Internet, and someone might take offense. Think before you speak to avoid any nasty reputation management scenarios!

Create an editorial calendar and stick to it.

It’s too easy to push blogging to the back burner when your plate gets full. In order to make sure you are fulfilling your guest blogging agreements (you never want to burn those bridges!) create an editorial calendar for yourself each month and stick to it. Where do you contribute monthly as a guest author? When do those sites expect to see an article from you? Do you need to allow time for revisions? You can also build in time for your own business blogging efforts to ensure a steady stream of new content for your own content marketing strategy.

Develop a link building strategy.

The search engines like to see a slow and diversified approach to link building. While it may look great to your manager to show that you created 1,500 new links this month you have to remember it may raise a red flag with the search engines. In order to keep yourself from going overboard with your link building (and make sure you are building a diverse portfolio with numerous link sources) create a 12 month link building strategy before you begin your offsite SEO. This will help you stay focused and on track throughout your SEO campaign.

Minimize number of active profiles on social networking sites.

You do not need @CompanyCEO, @CompanyVP, @CompanyMarketing, @CompanySales, @CompanyEmployee23 (and so forth) to have a strong social media marketing campaign. Remember, every social profile you create for your brand is one more that you have to maintain and actively use to benefit from. The fewer social profiles you have the more consolidated your brand messaging will be and the easier it will be to connect with your target audience. If your company’s marketing director wants their own Twitter handle, let them create a personal profile and promote your content through it (in addition to whatever else they want to help build their own reputation), but keep the branded profiles to a minimum.

Find a niche and dominate it.

When it comes to SEO, you have to be honest with yourself. A small e-commerce site is not really competing with Amazon for business, even though you both sell similar products. Chances are your company just doesn’t have the money or the manpower to take on mega brands and rank first for broad keywords, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find and dominate your own niche. What unique value does your company offer that you can leverage to earn a bigger piece of the online market share? What targeted consumer can you reach better than everyone else? Don’t waste your time fighting an uphill battle you’re never going to win and focus on the real SEO progress your site can make.

Publish content consistently.

Publishing 4 blog posts today, three next week, and then nothing for a month and suddenly 6 posts all at once is not the best way to run a content marketing campaign. The key to a great content marketing campaign is consistency. You have to create a content marketing schedule for yourself that you can keep. Maybe that only means one blog post a week, maybe it means two a day—it’s whatever you can consistently stick to. The content you create is going to fuel your social media marketing strategy, as well as help you build a stronger online brand presence. The more consistent you can create that content the easier it is to keep everything else moving.

Limit who has access to social accounts.

In order to ensure brand and messaging consistency, it’s important to assign one person (or a small team) as the social media “voice” for your company. When too many people have access to your social accounts is easy to lose track of what is being published. You want to make sure that the tone and messaging of each social update is consistent across all social profiles. You also don’t want the wrong person sending out an inappropriate reply to something because they don’t know how they are supposed to respond.
These are just seven easy ways that marketers can keep their inbound marketing under control. The best inbound marketing campaigns incorporate all three elements equally, and you don’t want to forget about one because you are so focused on the other two.

Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing a Boston SEO and SEO consulting firm. With over 12 years of Internet marketing experience, Nick Stamoulis has created SEO strategies for small and large companies in almost every industry. In order to share his SEO knowledge, Nick Stamoulis regularly writes for the Brick Marketing Blog and publishes the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers. Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or