You all know what a Social Network is and we can probably identify is MySpace but in reality 6th degrees gets the distinction as the official Social Network established in 1997 (to be noted Veretekk, a social networked automated marketing platform started in 1996). With that said, the burgeoning Social Network revolution really gained steamed as Facebook and Twitter took the field and dominated the market in 2006.
Poor Myspace launched around the year 2000, but the marketing and shear investment brought Facebook to prominence crushing poor underfunded MySpace in the process. We do not want that to happen with Markethive. We are the David and we will be facing Goliaths as we move forward.
As it stands right now, we are ready to fully launch and need the capital to do the launch right and BIG! We have been pursuing venture and angel capital for several months now. Getting pretty close. But something amazing happened yesterday…..
Venture capital started pursuing us. Yes, the word is out because of the power of Markethive’s blog platform and reach, we were contacted yesterday by a capitalist who saw our broadcasts and began seeking us. And now we are in negotiations with them.
This may or may not be the final bell, before Markethive funds millions and starts the launch procedure to begin the ascension to top Market Network.
It may or may not be your last chance to hitch a ride for practically nothing. I know, $500 is a lot for people who have limited resources. But let us play the what if game OK?
LinkedIn posted 2.9 billion in revenue in 2015. That is right Two Billion 900 million in cash revenue. Markethive has all the potential to achieve that and even more. I have always believed this to be the case.
Now what is 5% of 2.9 billion? It is $145 million. Now divide that number by 250 shares (Alpha Legacy shares) and you get $580,000 dollars. That is ½ of a million dollars. I would say that a $500 contribution is a mighty small amount to leverage that potential.
Every year and growing, would that make a difference in your life? And the BOD contributors that paid $4800 for 1 share of 100 will share 20% of this potential revenue. Looks like we night be cruising toward creating 350 millionaires, doesn’t it?
BTW: There are about 10 of those 100 BOD shares still available.
Exciting times Markethive is entering. See you at the meetings.
Being an authority figure in the online space should really be the goal of any website. When you are an authority figure you have the power to socially influence through your actions and words which means you hold a great deal of power & trust in front of your audience. The Bing Webmaster Blog recently put out a great piece on being an online authority which I think everyone should read. Please keep in mind that being an authority figure does not come from slapping together a mediocre plan. It takes though and dedication to put together a fierce action plan.
“If a site is an authority in your industry, you can bet that it will be for Google as well. So if you’re a web designer, a link from Smashing Magazine or A List Apart helps, as a lot of other web design sites will be linking to those sites, thus causing those sites to be ‘hubs’ in the web design space.”
— Joost De Valk, Yoast
Being an authority online comes with huge benefits.
Increased rankings for individual website pages
Heavy online influence
Immense traffic spikes
Basically there is no down fall to being an authority figure in any industry but if you truly want to get there you have to lay out a path in the right direction to make it happen.
Here are some great ways to get on the right path to be an authority figure in your space:
If you are just getting started in your space you are not going to influence anyone overnight. Authority requires seasoning and experience in a space along with being able to present that experience in the right manner in front of your target audience.
Get Active in your Community
You absolutely have to get active socially in front of your community. If you want to be viewed as a leader you will have to engage with your audience on social communities like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You also want to make your website a destination spot that promotes back and forth interaction. (important)
Be a Resource
You want your audience to come to you for advice and help. Once they start turning towards you for help that means they are starting to look at you in a whole new different light.
If you want others to share your material you are going to have to share their material as well. Encourage proactive content sharing so your audience can learn from not only you but from the people around you too. This will allow you to become a central hub which is really the focus of your efforts.
From Google: (again)
Its generally held that when an engine assigns deep links to the content of your website, you’re an authority. And while this is more or less true, the engine seeing you as an authority happens well in advance of those links appearing.
As you produce useful content, we try to match that useful content against queries. If the actions searchers take indicate they are pleased with your content as a solid resource, then we try you again the next time. This testing happens a lot. Hundreds of thousands to millions of times, depending on query volumes and content matches.
We watch the patterns of interaction and soon enough, those resources that searchers seem to be particularly pleased with start to float to the top. We’re not just talking click-through-rates here, either. We’re talking the entire signal-set that influences ranking at work here.
Do you have unique, useful content? Check.
Do you produce new content frequently? Check.
Do you have a solid history? Check.
Do you have trustworthy links pointing at your content? Check.
Do you have an active social presence? Check.
Do people retweet and like your social content? Check.
Negative Trust Influences
What can you do to your own site, or could a competitor do to you, that will nuke your trust and therefore rankings?
“I always think that links have a positive or negative value. Let’s say the BBC gives you a +10,000 and a spammy blogspot link gives you a -100, you still have a positive 9,900 score. The problems occur when the BBC get hit with a link selling penalty, if your backlinks have fallen into negative equity things go south quickly.
Get caught selling links and your link value could shift from a positive value to a negative value, so I re-visit my clients links monthly and check out what’s happening to the sites that link to them”
— David Naylor, Bronco
Buy and Sell Links – First is if you are obvious in your link buying, don’t expect to last long in the search engines. Mr Cutts is very keen on tracking down and destroying sold links. There are even some sites that are so “dirty” in Google’s eyes that a purchase in the right place and right time can nuke you over night. Don’t believe me? Ask the right people at the right conferences to show you the evidence. That’s all I am saying 🙂
Bad Neighbors – If your links are not paid but still associate you with the seedier parts of the interwebs, don’t be surprised if you are seen as guilty by association.
Comment Spam – Leave the spam up, get it indexed, and watch your results rocket to the bottom. It’s the “broken windows” theory of SEO.
Unnatural Growth Patterns – Google will look carefully at your link growth for any signs of unnatural acquisition. This isn’t to say that if you get on the front page of Digg and garner 20k visitors and as a result, 100 fresh links that you will be penalized. What is likely though is they will take a closer look if your brand new domain arrives out of the gate with one page of content and 10,000 links overnight.
Lack of Link Diversity – Are your links coming from friends and your own sites or are they arriving naturally because your content is awesome?
Thin or Spammy Content – Duplicate, scraped or feed content, or spammy gibberish is likely to get marked down. As you would expect, Google is aiming to promote the highest quality. They will use human checks, algorithms and watch the behaviour of their customers to see if what they are delivering meets expectations.
So the first element to emphasize is make your site evolve as naturally as possible!
“You can manufacture authority with a very intelligent link building campaign but more often than not it’s the natural growth of the site and links with other sites in the same industry that gives Google reason to trust the site.”
For starters, let’s quickly explain what Alexa rank is and why it’s important.
What is Alexa Rank?
Alexa rank is a global estimation of your website’s daily traffic. Alexa determines its ranking with a downloadable toolbar that tracks visits to your website. It’s a rough estimate of your website’s popularity online. Alexa rank is calculated using a combination of daily average visitors and pageviews over a 3 month span.
Currently, Google is the top rated Alexa website so it’s a pretty good indicator of website traffic.
Why is Alexa ranking important?
Here’s a couple reasons why you should pay attention to your Alexa rankings:
Increases social proof for your website.
Attracts advertisers and encourages them to spend more money buying ad slots on your website
Lists you higher up in directories and lists that rate websites based on Alexa rank
Increases your backlinks because lots of bloggers create top 100 lists based on Alexa rating
Helps you notice traffic spikes when your content goes viral
Sometimes, a high Alexa rank will open A LOT of doors for you and soon you will have people begging you to post their content, advertise their products/services or help you make more money through joint ventures.
7 Steps to Increase Your Alexa Rank
Ok, great! You probably are wondering how to improve your Alexa ratings quickly and easily. There’s lots of widgets, traffic exchanges, viral techniques and tips to increase Alexa rank but some are better than others. I’m going to show you exactly step by step how to boost your Alexa rank quickly.
Step 1: Install the Alexa Toolbar on your Web Browser
The Alexa toolbar tracks visitors and pageviews for every ranked website. Download the toolbar and Alexa will start tracking every website you visit.
Your Alexa rank will increase because you must visit your website often to write new content, make changes and respond to comments. This is the quickest way to boost Alexa rank for free.
Step 2: Add the Alexa Widget to Your Website
Not every visitor to your site will have the toolbar installed, but you can overcome this by adding the Alexa widget to your website.
Simply grab the code here or install the Alexa Rank Plugin if you use WordPress.
Step 3: Update Your Website Regularly
You need lots of repeat traffic to improve Alexa rankings so update your website on a regular basis. Weekly is the bare minimum while daily or even multiple times a day is best.
Everytime you make a new webpage, it’s like a new pathway to your website. The more pathways you have, the more changes someone will find your content useful and helpful.
Regular updates also increase search engine traffic, too. SEO is a great way to increase Alexa rank as well as overall visitors to your site.
Step 4: Buy Alexa Traffic
Check out this Fiverr gig for increasing Alexa rank. $5 is enough will boost your Alexa rankings fast enough to get you under the 1 million mark. If you want to improve Alexa rank even more, try a premium service like YourAlexaRank.
Step 5: Join AlexaBoostup
Next, you want a passive way to get real traffic to boost your Alexa rating over time. Sign up with Alexa Boostup and you can drive over 2,000 Alexa hits to any website for just $2.
There’s also a free traffic exchange option that requires you to keep a window open on your computer. If you don’t have the funds, then opt for the free option. I prefer fast results so just spend the $2.
Step 6: Create a Facebook Page and Optimize Your Website for Facebook Sharing
Facebook is the #1 social media referring website so you need to focus your efforts on driving lots of Facebook Traffic. If your content goes viral, you can get thousands of visitors for literally no cost. Add a social media plugin to your website or add the Facebook share button manually if you don’t use WordPress. You will see a big increase in Alexa rank and overall traffic once you get your Facebook page setup and start sharing your content on the world’s largest social network.
Step 7: Focus Your Efforts on Viral Content
After you implement these 6 steps, you will see a HUGE Alexa rank improvement in just a few days. But to go from top 100,000 to top 1,000, you need to focus your time on creating viral content or outsourcing content creation to a skilled writer or video editor.
Viral content is emotional, engaging content that you can’t help but talk about and share with your friends. Videos, infographics, stories, images and How to articles are great examples of viral content.
About The AuthorTarik is an SEO expert & internet marketer who operates several websites in various online niches. Ask about his SEO Services or contact Tarik.
The internet continues to grow and has become the default point of call for businesses and individuals searching for goods, services or information.
For businesses wishing to get that competitive advantage, a multilingual website now presents one of the most high impact means of expanding a client base and securing greater sales volumes.
The multilingual website will continue to become a necessity for businesses and organizations as the process of internationalization unfolds.
1 Shift Away from English Internet Users
The internet began as an English speaker's invention and as a result was dominated by English speaking users and sites. However, times are changing. With the growing numbers of people buying PC's and internet access available from Nigeria to New Zealand, English speakers will soon be in the minority when it comes to internet use.
Results of research carried out by Nielsen-Netratings in March 2005 described foreign internet markets as "low hanging fruit," i.e. if you have the will and foresight there are massive revenues to be found for relatively little effort. The results showed that internet use in the traditional strong holds of the USA, Germany, the UK and Sweden is flat lining. On the other hand countries such as France, Hong Kong, Italy and Japan are seeing substantial growth in internet usage.
As Kaizad Gotla, senior analyst at Nielsen-Netratings states, "The easiest opportunities are in countries where internet usage patterns and user/site relationships are less established. Acquiring users in markets that are currently in their growth stages will lead to a loyal user base that will pay dividends for internet companies in the future."
2 Cost Effective Marketing Tool
Having the ability to communicate to a whole new international audience in their own language will undoubtedly yield results not only in a financial sense but also in terms of marketing and creating awareness of your brand, service or product.
A multilingual website in the grand scheme of things is probably one of the most cost effective ways of marketing your company, capturing new users, building relationships with new clients and giving your brand an international outlook.
3 New Customers
Ultimately what a multilingual website brings you are new customers. By having your site accessible to potentially thousands of people you are showcasing your company across the globe. For non-English speaking users looking for your product or service, you automatically capture their attention.
With every language added to a website there is the potential for an increase of between 100% in sales. Even if a multilingual website is translated into a few of the major world languages, i.e. Spanish, French, German and Italian there is potentially a 400% increase in sales. There are few other ways to get such an increase for such little investment.
A multilingual website demonstrates you are thinking about the customer. That little extra effort shows you have thought and cared enough about them to offer the website in their language. As with anything in business, if the customer thinks you care, they will want to do business with you.
For many cultures there is an issue of trust when it comes to buying over the internet, especially if they feel it is in a language they are not fully proficient in. Offering them a language alternative allows the customers to feel secure in the fact they know what they are buying, how and who from.
7 Culturally Sensitive
A multilingual website, if designed properly, overcomes potential cultural barriers through allowing access in a native language. This automatically puts the user in a 'cultural comfort zone' due to their being able to navigate, understand and interact with the website.
8 Beat Competitors
To get the competitive advantage in today's environment you need to think outside the box. Many businesses try to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Look at your competitors – if they have multilingual websites then why don't you? If they don't, then why not lead the marketplace and establish your company or brand abroad before they do.
9 Shows International Nature
Image is everything. A multilingual website demonstrates you think, work and deal internationally.
10 Search Engines
Search engines lead people to your site. In countries such as China, Japan and France, Google, Yahoo and MSN are not the default search engines. Home grown search engines are emerging and they are proving successful because they work in native languages and are focused on the habits and needs of their users. Such search engines are a key to tapping those markets and unless they have access to a particular language through your multilingual website then you will not be found.
In addition, many of the key search engines, especially Google, are developing the capacity to run searches in foreign languages. Having pages of your site available in those languages ensures maximum potential for your site being picked up in searches.
Business continually sees shifts and changes. At present the multilingual website is still in its early stages, with mostly large multinational companies using them to secure an international foothold. However, the trickle-down effect will naturally occur and the multilingual website will become part and parcel of an internet presence. Whether people chose to invest now or later is the only choice they have.
The Alexa Toolbar: Why You Need this Piece of "%#*&%@#".
Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!
So you’re probably wondering why I have the Alexa Toolbar Installed on my browser and why I tell my fellow marketers, webmasters and SEO gurus to do the same.
It’s simple. The Alexa toolbar monitors all my surfing and collects information about what domains I visit. They don’t know that it’s “me” – they collect it as anonymous user data and use it to rank web sites. Not only does Alexa use this information for determining where people surf on the web but so does google. Let me repeat that fact so it sinks in:
Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!
Installing the Alexa toolbar and surfing your own site will absolutely help you get your sites indexed by Google more quickly. I just started this blog today, and the googlebot has already come by without any inbound links!
Because the Alexa toolbar is such a pile, no one ever keeps it installed. So just by updating and surfing your own site daily, (assuming NO ONE else does), you can get your Alexa ranking from 5,500,000 or “no data” to around 300,000 in under a month and to 100,000 in 3 months.
Alexa Rankings and Google PR are two of the main factors uninformed people look at when considering link exchanges. (Page Rank is completely useless BTW we have a white hat PR 4 site that gets 20 visitors a day and unranked sites that get several thousand per day).
If you remember the Nielsen Company, famous for the Nielsen Ratings, you understand that what is put on television was once determined by what a minute fraction of TV viewers watched: The people with a Nielsen box on their TV Set – The Nielsen Families. Having the Alexa toolbar installed on your browser is like being a Nielsen Family for the web. Your surfing habits will determine what is most “popular” and what sites should be ranked higher in the SERPs.
That was reason enough for me to install the Alexa Tool Bar. Download it for yourself, and watch your Alexa Rankings Skyrocket over the next several weeks. We know Google looks at the Information, which means that Yahoo and MSN are probably looking at it too.
Alexa’s Toolbar is a Great POWERFUL SEO tool.
Just a reminder to make sure you have the Alexa tool bar plugin installed. It is an important tool among others. But I consider the Alexa tool the most important plug in for Internet Marketers.
What Does The Future of the Ad-Supported
Revenue Model Mean to the Internet and Technology?
An advertising-supported revenue model is a business approach that emphasizes the sale of advertising as a major source of revenue. This structure is most prominent in traditional broadcast and print media, as well as online media. Media businesses generally earn revenue from advertising, customer subscriptions or a combination of the two.
TV and radio shows, along with newspapers and magazines, generally serve to entertain or inform viewers or readers. TV and radio have traditionally been largely advertising-supported. While networks and TV stations do often earn revenue through subscriptions to satellite or cable television, much of their income is earned from advertisers trying to appeal to viewers. Similarly, magazines and newspapers charge subscription or purchase fees, but advertisers pay to place ads within these print media.
The emergence of the Internet in the mid-1990s has affected the advertising-supported revenue model. Newspapers, for instance, have tried to adjust to increased demand for online content and limited growth in print publications. Thousands of media websites have been born online, which often offer free access to content for users. This attracts users and enables the publishes to sell banner ads and advertorial ad spaces. Traditional newspapers have offered free content as well, but many are trying to figure out how to combine ad revenue with subscription fees as of 2013.
The benefit of an advertising-supported revenue model is that if you have an audience, you can almost always find companies that want to pay to reach it. This is especially true when you can provide specific details about the nature of your audience. When you operate with a 100 percent ad-supported model, you can more easily attract users with free content. Newspapers have long given away hundreds of copies to businesses and organizations in communities to drive up their circulation and readership, and subsequently, ad revenue potential.
The major drawback of an entirely ad-supported revenue model is the inherent lack of diversification. Businesses generally prefer multiple revenue streams when possible. In a down economy, advertisers might back off their investments, which can more negatively affect a medium that has no subscription revenue. Plus, print publications, and even some websites, have high costs. Even a small subscription rate can help cover some of these costs. Local newspapers charging, say, 35 cents per issue can't use that to cover all production costs, but the fees do help offset costs and allow revenue to build.
Facebook Reports Soaring Revenue, Buoyed by Mobile Ads
On Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg’s social-networking company, Facebook, reported another quarter of soaring revenue. The company said sales in the fourth quarter rose 52 percent from a year ago, to $5.84 billion, while profit increased to $1.56 billion, more than doubling from $701 million a year ago. For the full year, the company reported $3.69 billion in profit on $17.93 billion in revenue, an increase of 44 percent from 2014.
The numbers far surpassed Wall Street’s fourth-quarter expectations of $1.2 billion in profit on $5.37 billion in revenue. Investors welcomed the performance by pushing up Facebook’s stock more than 12 percent in after-hours trading.
The results were largely a result of Facebook’s enormous success in selling advertising on mobile devices, a business that the company was not even in just a few years ago. Mobile ads made up 80 percent of the company’s total ad business in the fourth quarter, compared with 23 percent in the same quarter of 2012.
“We have a Super Bowl on mobile in the U.S. every single day,” Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said in an interview.
The results offer a bright spot in a tumultuous climate for many American technology stocks. Shares of Twitter, Facebook’s most visible social networking competitor in the United States, have tumbled more than 55 percent during the last year. Yelp, the local-review service, is down about 60 percent. LinkedIn, the professional social networking service, is off more than 15 percent.
Facebook is a much larger company than many of its peers, yet it is able to keep its growth rate high. The company has notched double-digit jumps in ad revenue and in the expansion of its user base. Facebook now has 1.59 billion monthly visitors, up 14 percent from a year ago. About 1.44 billion of those people visit the site on a mobile device; 1.04 billion visit Facebook every day.
That growth engine has given Facebook lots of room to play in different areas — like virtual reality, messaging and even building drones capable of delivering Internet service to far-flung places around the world — that seem to have little to do with Facebook’s core business of advertising.
Facebook is spending billions of dollars developing those projects, and Mr. Zuckerberg has repeatedly said the company has no plans to make money on them in the near term. In an earnings call with investors, David Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer, said the company projected that expenses would increase roughly 30 to 40 percent over the course of 2016 compared with last year.
One example of the spending is on Oculus, Facebook’s $2 billion bet on bringing virtual reality to the mainstream. The unit will begin selling its first headsets to consumers in March. Facebook has said it plans to sell the hardware, called the Rift, at a loss to help the technology catch on with a large audience.
“These are long-term bets, but we don’t think they’re particularly large bets relative to the size of Facebook,” said Ben Schachter, an Internet analyst at Macquarie Securities. “They’ve gone out of their way to say they’re not Google and going after health care, for instance.”
Other analysts said they also saw potential for profit in the hundreds of millions of people who regularly use Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, a messaging service also owned by Facebook.
They are also bullish on the potential for Instagram, the photo-sharing service that has more than 400 million regular monthly users, to become a significant source of revenue in the future. The company does not disclose what portion of revenue Instagram accounts for in Facebook’s overall sales. Ms. Sandberg said 98 of the top 100 advertisers on Facebook also advertised on Instagram in the last quarter.
As for Mr. Zuckerberg, he spent a portion of the investor call on Wednesday talking about his new role as a father to his daughter, Max.
“With a new addition to my family, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the legacy we want to pass on to the next generation,” he said, adding that he wanted Facebook to “continue to focus on solving the fundamental challenges facing the world, and bringing the world closer together.”
AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robots threaten to unleash mass unemployment, scientists warn
Intelligent robots threaten millions of jobs
Advances in artificial intelligence will soon lead to robots that are capable of nearly everything humans do, threatening tens of millions of jobs in the coming 30 years, experts warned Saturday.
"We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task," said Moshe Vardi, director of the Institute for Information Technology at Rice University in Texas.
"I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us: If machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?" he asked at a panel discussion on artificial intelligence at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Vardi said there will always be some need for human work in the future, but robot replacements could drastically change the landscape, with no profession safe, and men and women equally affected.
"Can the global economy adapt to greater than 50 percent unemployment?" he asked.
Automation and robotization have already revolutionized the industrial sector over the last 40 years, raising productivity but cutting down on employment.
Job creation in manufacturing reached its peak in the United States in 1980 and has been on the decline ever since, accompanied by stagnating wages in the middle class, said Vardi.
Automation and robotization have revolutionized the industrial sector over the last 40 years,
raising productivity but cutting down on employment
Today there are more than 200,000 industrial robots in the country and their number continues to rise.
Today, research is focused on the reasoning abilities of machines, and progress in this realm over the past 20 years has been spectacular, said Vardi.
"And there is every reason to believe the progress in the next 25 years will be equally dramatic," he said.
By his calculation, 10 percent of jobs related to driving in the United States could disappear due to the rise of driverless cars in the coming 25 years.
According to Bart Selman, professor of computer science at Cornell University, "in the next two or three years, semi-autonomous or autonomous systems will march into our society."
He listed self-driving cars and trucks, autonomous drones for surveillance and fully automatic trading systems, along with house robots and other kinds of "intelligence assistance" which make decisions on behalf of humans.
"We will be in sort of symbiosis with those machines and we will start to trust them and work with them," he predicted.
"This is the concern because we don't know the rate of growth of machine intelligence, how clever those machines will become."
The Pentagon has requested $19 billion for developing intelligent weapons systems
Will the machines remain understandable for the humans? Will humans will be able to control them? Will they remain a benefit for humans, or pose harms?
These questions and more are being raised anew due to recent advances in robotic technology that allow machines to see and hear, almost like people.
Selman said investment in artificial intelligence in the United States was by far the highest ever in 2015, since the birth of the industry some 50 years ago.
Business giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Tesla, run by billionaire Elon Musk, are at the head of the pack.
Also, the Pentagon has requested 19 billion for developing intelligent weapons systems.
What is concerning about these new technologies is their ability to analyze data and execute complex tasks.
This raises concerns about whether humans might one day lose control of the artificial intelligence they once built, said Selman.
It's a concern that some of the world's great minds have raised too, including British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who warned in a BBC interview in 2014 that the consequences could be dire.
"It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate," he said.
"Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded," he added.
"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."
These questions have led scientists to call for the establishment of an ethical framework for the development of artificial intelligence, as well as safeguards for security in the years to come.
Last year Musk—the owner of SpaceX—donated 10 million to resolve such concerns, deeming artificial intelligence potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons.
For Wendel Wallach, an ethicist at Yale University, such dangers require a global response.
He also called for a presidential order declaring that lethal autonomous weapons systems are in violation of international humanitarian law.
"The basic idea is that there is a need for concerted action to keep technology a good servant and not let it become a dangerous master."
Veretekk invented Automated Marketing (in 1996), later to become known as Inbound Marketing (MarketHive). Veretekk’s traffic portal offers, auto responders, Broadcasting technology (The Hammer), Conference rooms and sales funnel process became the foundation that today is known as Inbound Marketing.
But let us digress some. Before the Internet; advertising and marketing were for the most part driven by Outbound Marketing:
Outbound marketing is buying attention, cold- calling, Direct paper mail, radio, TV, sales flyers, spam,
telemarketing and other forms of traditional advertising.
Inbound marketing is the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.
Simply concept really, execution is the challenge. (Just ask a few of your friends how often they blog) vs posting to Facebook newsfeeds, Skyping or texting back and forth. With a little understanding, some instruction and determination, any entrepreneurial motivated person can make a success with the right tools.
This is why it is important to know your “WHY” as that is what will drive your market base. What you love to do will attract others that share the same passion. And that is the “secret”.
Sharing is caring and inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.
By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive. Now that’s marketing people can love.
Create targeted content that answers prospects' and customers' basic questions and needs, then share that content far and wide. (Broadcasting)
Promoters don’t just materialize out of thin air: they start off as strangers, visitors, contacts, and customers. Specific marketing actions and tools help to transform those strangers into promoters. (Share the revenue “AFFILIATE”)
Tailor your content to the wants and needs of the people who are viewing it. As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs. (Build your sphere of influence)
Inbound marketing is multi-channel by nature because it approaches people where they are, in the channel where they want to interact with you. (Social Network connections)
Content creation, publishing and analytics tools all work together like a well-oiled machine – allowing you to focus on publishing the right content in the right place at the right time. (Tracking and measuring traffic, comments, responsive interaction)
The Four Marketing Actions
We don’t want just any traffic to our site, we want the right traffic. We want the people who are most likely to become leads, and, ultimately, happy customers. Who are the “right” people? Our ideal customers, also known as our buyer personas. Buyer personas are holistic ideals of what your customers are really like, inside and out. Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. Your personas are the people around whom your whole business is built.
Some of the most important tools to attract the right users to your site are:
Blogging– Inbound marketing starts with blogging. A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.
SEO– Your customers begin their buying process online, usually by using a search engine to find something they have questions about. So, you need to make sure you’re appearing prominently when and where they search. To do that, you need to carefully, analytically pick keywords, optimize your pages, create content, and build links around the terms your ideal buyers are searching for.
Pages– Your website pages are your digital storefront. So put your best face forward! Optimize your website to appeal to your ideal buyers and transform your website into a beacon of helpful content to entice the right strangers to visit your pages.
Social Publishing– Successful inbound strategies are all about remarkable content – and social publishing allows you to share that valuable information on the social web, engage with your prospects, and put a human face on your brand. Interact on the networks where your ideal buyers spend their time.
Once you’ve attracted website visitors, the next step is to convert those visitors into leads by gathering their contact information. At the very least, you’ll need their email addresses. Contact information is the most valuable currency there is to the online marketer. So in order for your visitors to offer up that currency willingly, you need to offer them something in return! That “payment” comes in the form of content, like eBooks, whitepapers, or tip sheets – whatever information would be interesting and valuable to each of your personas.
Some of the most important tools in converting visitors to leads include:
Forms- In order for visitors to become leads, they must fill out a form and submit their information. Optimize your form to make this step of the conversion process as easy as possible.
Calls-to-action are buttons or links that encourage your visitors to take action, like “Download a Whitepaper” or “Attend a Webinar.” If you don’t have enough calls-to-action or your calls-to-action aren’t enticing enough, you won’t generate leads.
Landing Pages– When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they should then be sent to a landing page. A landing page is where the offer in the call-to-action is fulfilled, and where the prospect submits information that your sales team can use to begin a conversation with them. When website visitors fill out a form on a landing page for the first time, that visitor becomes a contact.
Contacts– Keep track of the leads you're converting in a centralized marketing database. Having all your data in one place helps you make sense out of every interaction you’ve had with your contacts – be it through email, a landing page, social media, or otherwise – and how to optimize your future interactions to more effectively attract, convert, close, and delight your buyer personas.
You’re on the right track. You’ve attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, but now you need to transform those leads into customers. How can you most effectively accomplish this feat? Certain marketing tools can be used at this stage to make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right times.
Closing tools include:
CRM– Keep track of the details about all the contacts, companies, and deals in your pipeline, and easily get in touch with the right prospects at the right time. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems facilitate sales by making sure you have the right information at your fingertips to better engage with prospects across every channel.
Closed-loop Reporting– How do you know which marketing efforts are bringing in the best leads? Is your sales system effectively closing those best leads into customers? Integration with your CRM system allows you to analyze just how well your marketing and sales teams are playing together.
Email– What do you do if a visitor clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page, or downloads your whitepaper, but still isn’t ready to become a customer? A series of emails focused on useful, relevant content can build trust with a prospect and help them become more ready to buy.
Marketing Automation– This process involves creating email marketing and lead nurturing tailored to the needs and lifecycle stage of each lead. For example, if a visitor downloaded a whitepaper on a certain topic from you in the past, you might want to send that lead a series of related emails. But if they follow you on Twitter and visited certain pages on your website, you might want to change the messaging to reflect those different interests.
The Inbound way is all about providing remarkable content to our users, whether they be visitors, leads, or existing customers. Just because someone has already written you a check doesn’t mean you can forget about them! Inbound companies continue to engage with, delight, and (hopefully) upsell their current customer base into happy promoters of the organizations and products they love.
Tools used to delight customers include:
Surveys– The best way to figure out what your users want is by asking them. Use feedback and surveys to ensure you’re providing customers with what they’re looking for.
Smart Calls-to-Action– These present different users with offers that change based on buyer persona and lifecycle stage.
Smart Text– Provide your existing customers with remarkable content tailored to their interests and challenges. Help them achieve their own goals, as well as introduce new products and features that might be of interest to them.
Social Monitoring- Keep track of the social conversations that matter to you most. Listen out for your customers’ questions, comments, likes, and dislikes – and reach out to them with relevant content.
The New Methodology
The Inbound Methodology covers each and every step taken, tool used, and lifecycle stage traveled through on the road from stranger to customer. It empowers marketers to attract visitors, convert leads, close customers, and delight promoters. The new methodology acknowledges that inbound marketing doesn’t just happen, you do it. And you do it using tools and applications that help you create and deliver content that will appeal to precisely the right people (your buyer personas) in the right places (channels) at just the right times (lifecycle stages).
An Entrepreneurial Social Network integrated with an advanced Inbound Marketing platform is genius on steroids. Sharing up to 50% of the potential revenue with you is very generous and the potential of this combination is atomic!
There are hundreds of social networks out there. You can’t be everywhere and we all need to focus our efforts and time on the most effective social networking sites. Here are the social networks I would recommend most for entrepreneurs.
Looking for a job? Consider creating your own. There are a number of social resources to help you connect with other entrepreneurs and get your business ideas off the ground.
Here are the top 5 social networks for entrepreneurs. Each helps entrepreneurs succeed by providing them with the guidance, tools and resources they need to setup their company and gain exposure.
Nothing compares with the brute force horsepower Inbound Marketing engine that comes free with Markethive, but we need to build alliances among our peers and this list is the top 10 of other Entrepreneurial social nets we recommend you frequent as well.
I am putting Markethive as number one for many reasons, including a serious case of bias. I built it, aside from that. Markethive is a traditional easily navigated and profile oriented network similar to Facebook, oriented like LinkedIn but unique in that it's engine is a multimillion dollar Inbound Marketing platform. As entrepreneurs, we invest (spend) millions on autoresponder systems, capture page systems, blogging platforms, broadcasting technologies, known as Inbound Marketing today. Markethive's founder is the same man the developed Veretekk and invented Automated Marketing, auto responders, capture pages basically what has become today known as Inbound Marketing. There is no other Inbound Marketing solution on the Internet that comes close, has the level of integration found on the Internet at any price and the other systems cost upwards of $10,000 per month. Markethive's Inbound Marketing platform is free included and built into the social network.
Most social networks neglect the content aspect that makes StartupNation so useful. With articles, forums, blogs, on-demand seminars, and podcasts, entrepreneurs will be better prepared for their ventures and have the resources required to make better business decisions.
There are a wide range of topics being discussed on StartupNation right now, including business planning, marketing and web-based business. The site also offers a series of competitions, such as a dorm-based 20 contest and an elevator pitch competition. If you're an entrepreneur or hope to become one, this site is definitely one you can’t miss out on.
It’s difficult to leave LinkedIn off of any social networking list because it’s so useful for anyone who's either searching for a job, is trying to network with like-minded individuals, or building a company. LinkedIn offers many resources for entrepreneurs, such as groups, including the very popular “On Startups” group that has over 54,000 members.
Entrepreneurs on LinkedIn should brand themselves properly so they can attract the right kind of business opportunities, and perform searches to find service providers or partners. As an entrepreneur, you should also be looking to participate in LinkedIn Answers, events and applications to spruce up your profile and become a valuable member to your community.
If you want to meet thousands of serious entrepreneurs, experts and investors from a variety of industries, then Perfect Business might be the perfect social network for you. The type of people you’ll find are potential business partners, potential clients and advisers. Additionally, the site has leading business partners like Entrepreneur and Virgin Money.
From business networking to a video center where you can learn from successful entrepreneurs, a business plan builder and even an investor center, you’ll have most of the resources you need to create or regenerate your business. There is a free basic membership and a gold membership that costs $29.99 per month.
The Funded is an online community of entrepreneurs who research, rate and review funding sources. Entrepreneurs can view and share terms sheets to assist each other in finding good investors, as well as discuss the inner workings of operating a business. General benefits of this site include viewing facts, reviews and commentary on funding resources, and accessing RSS feeds of the most recent public comments by members.
By joining the site, you have access to detailed fund profiles with specialty, reference investments, and investment criteria, in addition to accessing partner vCards that have full contact information of all partners at venture funds. In order to get any value out of this social network, you pretty much have to become a member.