5 Reasons to Buy this Book:
- “26 Tips from the Trenches for Startups”—startup marketing advice from the authors’ experience
- Thorough web marketing advice for beginners
- Guide to creating compelling calls-to-action (CTA’s) on your website
- Framework for hiring and developing Inbound Marketing employees (authors call this DARC)
- Summary “to-dos” at the end of each chapter to guide your next steps
2 Reasons Not to Buy this Book:
- People say you can get the basic search engine optimization advice from other “1-hour-a-day” books
- No advanced lessons or knowledge on web marketing found here—it’s primarily for beginners
Inbound Marketing was written by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. The authors co-founded the marketing company, HubSpot, in June 2006. Their company was created based upon the premise that traditional interruption-based marketing (they called it “outbound marketing”) was broken and being replaced by “inbound marketing”, which is a bottom-up approach to reaching customers by serving them useful information online. HubSpot was created to provide the tools they believed inbound marketers would need to drive traffic inbound to their company’s web pages.
The book, Inbound Marketing, is the physical manifestation of the concept of inbound marketing. You will be served up useful information while being offered free HubSpot tools you can find online that can help you improve your website. The book illustrates in real-time the concept of inbound marketing by way of bringing you into HubSpot’s marketing funnel through its free tools. Once you are in HubSpot’s funnel, you certainly are free to use their tools without paying a dime, but you will be also be educated on how their pay-to-use tools can fulfill more of your marketing needs.
What You’ll Learn
Essentially, “inbound marketing” consists of providing remarkable content to customers (instead of interrupting customers) on platforms such as Google, social media sites, and blogs. According to the authors, remarkable content is useful, prompts other web content marketers to remark about your company’s products and link to your site, and can be spread easily and quickly on social media sites.
A major takeaway in the book is that you need to not only create remarkable content to get found online—you need to create a LOT of it. Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah believe that today’s marketers are 1/2 traditional marketer and 1/2 content creation factories. The book also emphasizes producing content that you can create quickly and people can spread effectively online.
There are four main sections to this book:
- Part 1: “Inbound Marketing” gives you the assumptions and illustrations behind the concept of creating remarkable content for inbound marketing
- Part 2: “Get Found By Prospects” tells you how best to get found on blogs, Google search, and social media
- Part 3: “Converting Customers” describes the process of converting web visitors and prospects into leads—-and leads into paying customers
- Part 4: “Making Better Decisions” shows you how to measure all your new traffic and how to make better marketing decisions with this analysis
The authors’ goal in writing this book was to tell you about the why of inbound marketing and the how of the tactics to help your company get found online. I believe they have accomplished their goal through this beginner’s book for starting out. From my own experience starting a company online, the tactics described in the book will definitely get your business found online. I think they provide a balanced approach to inbound marketing by correctly suggesting you could use pay-per-click advertising to get traffic during your startup’s beginning, but later switch to more of a focus on organic rankings (Google search results).
A flaw with the book lies in the fact that a book written in 2010 with advice on using the best social media sites will necessarily exclude newer platforms such as Pinterest. Also, some of the SEO advice in the book may become obsolete in the face of changes to Google’s method of ranking search results. However, the advice is very basic and likely will maintain relevance throughout the future.
I’ve personally used some of the advice in the book to improve this very website. For example, the authors’ explanation of Digg versus StumbleUpon helped me realize which of these similar platforms is more worth my time. Also, I’ve benefited by the Venn diagram explaining that a compelling call-to-action consists of being 1) Valuable, 2) Easy-to-use, 3) Prominent, and 4) Action-oriented. Other useful insights I found were benchmarks for landing page conversion rates and website visitor conversion rates. Also, I used the advice to create a company webpage explaining how Web Marketing LLC uses Google Analytics to improve your company’s web presence.
This is a very good book for those entrepreneurs creating their first website for their product or service. This book can be used in conjunction with reading The Lean Startup or The Startup Owner’s Manual by giving you what you need to get up-to-speed quickly with getting your new business found online. This book can also be great for those entrepreneurs too busy to work their website and instead need to hire others. These entrepreneurs will have the knowledge they need to hire the right people or get their current employees on the right track to improving the company’s existing website to bring in paying customers.
Click here to check out Inbound Marketing on Amazon.com
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