Getting Started with Your Custom Website: 5 Steps

farm8Do you want to have an online presence for your small business? Inbound marketing on the internet starts with your website. When you have an established home base, you can expand from there into every nook and cranny of cyberspace, however your growth plan dictates.

Okay, you say, I’m ready to build a site. What do I do?

Whether you use a DIY tool to build your own site or you work with a site developer, start out on the right foot by clarifying your position in the following areas. [Read more…]

What is an Opt-In and Why?

Brochures are precursors of opt-ins.I just returned from a long trip out of town. As always when traveling, I gathered a large pile of brochures, maps, flyers, and local newspapers. I love combing the racks at motels and Welcome Centers, culling the tastiest information and bringing it back to whatever room I currently occupy to peruse and plot my next adventures. These kinds of lures are taken for granted. Whether at the doctor’s office, the Chamber of Commerce, or the basket weavers’ convention, we expect to have access to free information. We need the descriptions, the images, the specifics; we want graphic details before we’re willing to buy. Printed brochures, premium items (like fans or pens with your company logo), fact or tip sheets and the like have been used for centuries in business. Today’s “opt-in” is the direct descendant of this familiar marketing tactic. However, the opt-in we have today actually improves on its forebears by doubling as a lead-generation device. While the venerable brochure fostered new clients, it did not provide that lead’s contact information. In contrast. a website opt-in is usually accessible only via a process that involves sharing at least your first name and email address. [Read more…]

The Creative Challenge of Inbound Marketing

knitting-irisContent marketing’s requirement that we continuously produce attractive new material is terrifying, to put it simply. How many of us have any experience at all in this kind of productivity? Even college students don’t write as much and as often. Even traditional advertising departments were usually not required to create something new every day.

The emphasis on content production exists because if it’s not relevant and helpful online, it’s a waste of pixels. Content is how we stay top-of-mind. It’s the medium, as much as display ads were the medium of marketing communications previously.

Producing content for your online branding must become part of your business lifestyle. In other words, we have to figure out how to meet the creative challenge of so much ongoing communication with our markets, and to meet it in ways that won’t be stressful. [Read more…]

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