Inbound Marketing – Are You Doing It?

One of my must-reads is Brian Solis’ blog, and having had the pleasure to meet Brian at BlogWorld Expo a couple of months ago, I found him to be a pretty modest, smart and very funny guy.

In his latest post, “Inbound Marketing:  Get Found,” he reviews the book of the same name written by  Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot.  Often, the most sophisticated observations and the most simple and elegant.  I have not yet read the book (but am putting it on my Kindle list now), but I love the concepts laid out in Brian’s review:

This book is an exceptional guide to understanding the landscape of creating and maximizing presence. Inbound Marketing refers to the act of consumers discovering your brand through various forms of online media, without your direct engagement necessarily. In the interactive Web, I refer to this practice as SMO or Social Media Optimization – the art and science of escalating the findability of social objects within social networks and the blogosphere.

My dos centavos?  This is directly in line with my personal experience.  I suppose that it my own way, I have built a mini-marketing effort simply by establishing and maintaining a presence, first in blogs, and later in Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and now on Posterous — which I am still playing with but I think has a lot of potential.

My biggest surprise and evidence of all of this was, without trying, I found myself on top of the Google search rank for “Mark Story.”  I have a somewhat unusual name, but there are numerous other Mark Storys — a Kentucky sportswriter, a programmer (with the mark-story.com domain), a photographer and some a**hole who is parking the markstory.com domain and is probably a cyber-squatter.

How did I climb to the top of Google?  By honestly attempting to engage people in online dialogue, and hopefully offering something of value.  I simply did things that I love, played with new tools and gadgets that interest me, and whammo-bammo, there I was with a stream of inbound marketing.  By no means do I consider myself an “A-Lister,” (I would say “D-Lister, but Kathy Griffin makes my skin crawl), but I have received offers to speak, opportunities to freelance write, podcasting fun as well as my latest gig, a correspondent to what I think is the best podcast out there for social media, For Immediate Release.

Again, I have not read the book — but will – but it seems to me that if one is genuine and dogged, if you do indeed build a better inbound marketing mousetrap, the social media world will beat a path to your door.

And Brian, being about a million times smarter than me, provided a quote for the book that nails it on the head:

In the social Web, we are presented with a privilege to establish meaningful dialogue and collaborative relationships with the people who define our markets. This is an incredible opportunity to establish relevance and discoverability. Remember, consumers have choices. We’re not part of those decisions where we’re not present. Inbound marketing serves as the bridge between those seeking information, direction and insight and those willing to provide guidance and support.

So be your own best marketing guru and provide an inbound path for marketing opportunities – without even trying.

Mark

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