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Inbound Marketing for Startups: The All-Star Playbook

Inbound Marketing for Startups:
The All-Star Playbook

 

Helping Build an Audience

It’s often hard for startups to get their name out there and build an audience, especially when they are starting from scratch, sometimes with a lean team and an even leaner budget. However, inbound marketing for startups can help bring customers to you through relevant and valuable content.

What is Inbound Marketing for Startups?

The inbound marketing approach focuses on attracting customers through relevant and valuable content and interactions, rather than interruptive methods. HubSpot describes inbound marketing methodology in four stages: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. This is how you take strangers and turn them into brand advocates.Inbound marketing focuses on reaching prospective customers during each stage of the buyer’s journey through targeted content. By developing compelling and useful content tailored to top, middle, and bottom of the funnel prospects, you can give consumers the information they need when they need it to guide them through the purchasing process.

This approach to marketing works for startups because the expense is typically low with a potential for high ROI, allowing companies to maximize marketing spend. Inbound marketing is also all about connecting with consumers and educating them, which is important for startups that typically work in niche markets.

How Can Startups Use Inbound Marketing to Begin Generating Leads?

The ultimate goal of inbound marketing for startups is to bring in more interested and qualified leads. There are a variety of inbound marketing tactics that startups can start using to get the lead-generation process started:

Content Marketing

Content marketing is an essential part of the inbound marketing method. This is how you attract, convert, close, and delight your ideal buyers. With content marketing you are creating and sharing interesting, relevant, and consistent content that adds value for your leads and customers. This content should not be purely promotional, but rather informative and compelling.

  

Here are some examples of content you can start creating today to help you bring in more leads:

  • Blogs
  • Images and Infographics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Presentations
  • E-books
  • Whitepapers
  • Case Studies

… and the list goes on! Consistency also important when it comes to content marketing. You need to maintain a consistent voice across content and publish often to hold your audience’s interest. Once you have content assets, you also need to have a plan for promoting them, whether that is through your website, social media, paid ads, or through some other promotional channel. If you want to continue to improve your content to maximize impact, you will also need to have a plan in place for monitoring content marketing success.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is another important part of inbound marketing. If you want to bring more leads and consumers straight to you then you’re going to have to go through the search engines. In fact, 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine. You cannot afford to miss out on that many opportunities to bring in new leads, so you need to optimize your content and website for search engines like Google.

The single most effective SEO technique is content creation. Though there are many intricacies involved with search engine optimization, one thing remains true – the more consistent and quality content you produce and promote, the better you will rank in the search engines. Though it is worthwhile for startups to work with an SEO expert to ensure that their site and content is optimized for search engines, you don’t have to have a complex SEO strategy in place to start creating the type of content that will help you generate more leads. Focus on creating quality content that emphasizes keywords and phrases in your industry. By creating content that addresses your consumers’ biggest challenges, you are already working toward content that adds value.

Email

Email marketing is another popular inbound marketing strategy that works well for startups. Here are just a few reasons why email marketing works:

  • It’s an easy way to stay connected and keep leads and customers informed.
  • You can drive sales with coupons and special promotions.
  • It’s an effective way to reach mobile users who are on-the-go.
  • Email integrates well with many other inbound marketing tactics.
  • Email marketing is inexpensive, which is great for startups with lean budgets.
  • It’s easy to deliver personalized and highly-targeted content through email.

Not only does email help you improve lead generation, but it is also a great tool for nurturing leads and current customers. Again, it’s important to provide your leads and customers with valuable and relevant content if you want to hold their interest.

Social Media

Startups can use social media to reach out to consumers who may be interested in their product or service. Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great places to promote your content and reach new audiences that you may not have been able to access through search engines alone. The key to effective social media marketing is to be social – respond to visitor questions, comments, and feedback. Don’t be afraid to spend some time in the comments section talking to your leads and customers. Not only will this help you establish better relationships with your followers, but it may also help you gain important insight into their needs, wants, and motivations.

When it comes to social media, do not try to be everywhere at once. Most startups have minimal time and resources to dedicate to tasks outside of their core business, so it’s not worthwhile to spend time on channels where very few of your ideal buyers spend time. Instead, focus on the social media platforms where you can have the biggest impact. Research which channels your target market frequents and which types of content are most popular and effective on these channels. Targeting your social media efforts will help you save time and money while maximizing lead generation success.

Landing Page And CTAs

Landing pages play an important role in guiding your leads toward conversion. Landing pages are web pages that help you capture a lead’s contact information through a lead-capture or conversion form. You can send leads to a landing page to redeem an offer or download unique content. Since landing pages allow you to target your audience and offer them something that they will find valuable, they often convert a higher percentage of your leads while allowing you to get important lead contact and demographic information.

Calls-to-Action also play an important role in lead generation and conversion. A CTA is just what it sounds like – it calls on your audience to take a specific action. CTAs can be used on your website and across content offerings to help drive visitors to the next step in the conversion process. The key to developing effective CTAs is ensuring that they are clear and specific so that there is no question about where you want your visitor to go next.

Combining Inbound Marketing with Paid Ads for Immediate Impact

There is no question that inbound marketing for startups can help you effectively generate more leads over time. However, some startups need to start seeing results sooner rather than later. Paid advertising campaigns can help amplify your inbound marketing efforts. By combining inbound campaigns with paid ads, startups can maximize their marketing spend and start seeing results much sooner.

Inbound Marketing + Social Media Ads = Winning Combination

Social media ads are one type of ad platform that can help you amplify your inbound marketing efforts. For example, let’s say that you have spent time and resources creating an interesting and valuable e-book that your target audience will really love. You’ve put the e-book up on your website and shared it across social, but you aren’t seeing the kind of traffic that you’ve hoped for with the e-book. It is most likely because you’ve just gotten started and your SEO and social media efforts haven’t had time to work their magic just yet.

Here comes paid advertising to the rescue! You know that many of your target buyers are on Facebook, so you can use Facebook advertising to target your ideal customers with an ad for your e-book. The ad takes them to a landing page where you gather their contact information in exchange for the e-book. Next thing you know, the leads are rolling in. Though these buyers were always interested in the type of content that you were providing, it just wasn’t visible to them until you invested in the paid advertising.

When Paid Search and Inbound Marketing Efforts Work Together Best

You have many paid ad platforms at your disposal, but one of the most effective digital marketing ad channels is paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Here are just a few ways that paid search ads can support your inbound marketing strategy:

  • Boost traffic to inbound marketing materials. You can create a paid search campaign with keywords that center around your content offerings to increase traffic to these lead-generating inbound materials.
  • Fill in the gaps in your SEO. Search is highly competitive, and it sometimes benefits you to bid on keywords that your competitors are bidding on in order to let their audience know that you are providing an alternative.
  • Test new landing pages and keywords. When you develop new landing pages or consider new keywords that you’d like to rank for organically, you can use paid search ads for testing. Create paid search campaigns targeting your new keywords and direct them to the landing pages that you’re trying to test. Then, review the data to see where you stand.

The key to maximizing impact and spending your marketing budget wisely is being strategic in your approach to paid ads. Though you can work on developing PPC ad campaigns on your own, many startups will outsource PPC management to an agency. That is because there are many intricacies involved with paid search ads, and if you don’t know how to navigate the world of PPC, you may end up wasting a lot of time and money. It is often more cost-effective and efficient for startups to entrust a PPC agency with their paid campaigns.

The Common Challenges Start-Ups Face

When it comes to inbound marketing for startups, there are some common challenges that many entrepreneurs and startup marketers will face in getting their inbound campaigns up and going successfully:

Building a Conversation-Focused Website
It’s important for startups to create a website that encourages conversation while also clearly explaining your offering. Not to mention, you will need to optimize your website for SEO so that more consumers can find you in the search engines. There are a lot of moving parts to your website, and it takes time, expertise, and complete focus to ensure that all these pieces come together to create an effective website. Creating Good Content

Developing strong content is one of the most important parts of inbound marketing for startups. Creating a data-driven content strategy and consistently crafting informative, interesting, and useful content takes time. This is something that most startups just don’t have. Not only do many startups not have the time to research and write effective content, some also may not have a person on their team who is a talented and dedicated writer or content creator.

Building Effective Nurturing Campaigns

Once people are interested in your brand, you need to keep them interested. This is where nurturing campaigns come in. However, nurturing your prospects and encouraging repeat business from customers requires knowledge of things like email frequency, subject line optimization, and other marketing expertise that some startups may not have. Not to mention, nurturing campaigns require you to already have an established body of work to offer, which many startups don’t have either.

The Waiting Game

The truth is that inbound marketing for startups takes time. A lot of inbound tactics like SEO and social media need to be established early and given time to take root before a company can really start to see results. Most startups need to focus on their core business, and they may not be able to dedicate time to establishing and nurturing these inbound marketing strategies.

Conclusion

To overcome these challenges, entrepreneurs and startup owners can look to partner with an established inbound marketing company that has the time and resources to dedicate to their marketing efforts. Even those startups that have a lean marketing budget can work with an inbound marketing agency in the initial stages to ensure that they are on the right track for inbound success. In the end, inbound marketing will help bring more consumers to your brand through targeted content, which saves you the hassle and cost of finding new leads. Whether you hire an inbound marketing agency to handle all your marketing efforts or just get help with a few aspects, your startup with ultimately benefit from a team of dedicated professionals focused on your inbound marketing efforts.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

Cryptocurrency BitConnect Breaks Records in Value and Market Cap

Cryptocurrency BitConnect Breaks Records in Value and Market Cap

CryptoCurrency's Record Growth

ASHFORD, United Kingdom, March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — BitConnect Coin (BCC) has announced a new record high, in terms of value and market capitalization. The cryptocurrency's record growth, in a matter of few months, come as the development takes off with the introduction of a range of new apps and a bright outlook towards the future innovations in 2017.

BitConnect Coin (BCC) is an open source, peer-to-peer, community driven decentralized cryptocurrency that allows people to store, invest their wealth and even earn a substantial interest on the balance stored in the wallets. BitConnect Coin has only been a market currency since the 11th of January, 2017, but has already gained a significant global following. Starting from its conceptualization in the fourth quarter of 2016, BCC has just this week set a new record for value per coin and market capitalization.

According to the leading cryptocurrency market website CoinMarketCap, BCC breached the top 20 chart for alternative coins in total capitalization value. BCC's total market capitalization has surpassed the $10 million (USD) mark, to make it the fastest growing altcoin. This sharp increase in market cap has resulted in a matching growth in the coin's value, which passed the $2.00 mark at around the same time. BCC developers see the impressive growth rate as a very positive early sign. By comparison, even the most dominant and valuable cryptocurrency Bitcoin, took over two years to reach the same price.

BitConnect's Head of Development, Satao Nakamoto while describing the cryptocurrency's mission said, "BitConnect's mission is to provide crypto-education and multiple investment opportunities to empower people financially. There are many features and functions to come in 2017. BitConnect's mission is to become the leading crypto-community in the world when it comes to functionality and user base by the year 2020."

The official beta launch of BitConnect's application for Android and iOS mobile platforms will have a positive effect on BitConnect Coin, leading to a further increase in demand and price of the cryptocurrency. In the coming months, BCC will see more innovation, along with the addition of convenience features. The awaited developments in BCC ecosystem includes the launch of BCC Mining and Staking Pool that provides a way for the community to earn; BCC mining and minting rewards; brand new mobile and paper wallets; and BCC Smart Card to allow people use the cryptocurrency for daily use.

BitConnect Coin is designed to offer financial freedom to the masses by reducing if not eliminating the dependency on centralized banking and financial institutions. In addition, the cryptocurrency is also more secure than conventional financial instruments, eliminating the chances of identity theft and other issues that currently plague fiat based electronic payments infrastructure. BitConnect Coin offers a new level of empowerment to its community members. Members can connect socially and financially to a secure, protected community of investors and lenders. By connecting with the community, BCC users can increase the value of their coins in the wallets as the cryptocurrency's price increases.

In less than one year, the BitConnect online community has gained over 50,000 members around the world. It has also added a news department, engaged with online leaders like Kim Dotcom, successfully launched its own digital currency, added a proprietary Bitcoin wallet, launched an innovative global Bitcoin lending program, and surged from zero traffic to a top 100k Alexa ranking. BitConnect has become simply the world's fastest growing online Bitcoin community.

Coin Tech Specifications/Details

BitConnect Coin is a Script (PoW/PoS) consensus algorithm based cryptocurrency with a finite number of tokens. The total number of BCCs are limited to 28 million. The limited number tokens ensure constant appreciation of value in the light of ever increasing demand. The algorithms used on BCC protects the decentralized nature of the platform. BitConnect Coin facilitates quick transactions between wallets allowing people to make instant transactions between each other or to pay for goods or services. Unlike Bitcoin, the block generation time on BCC platform is 2 minutes. These features prevent transaction backlogs and at the same time also proves to be more rewarding during the PoW phase, where miners stand to receive a block reward of 10 BCCs.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

COSS.IO – Introducing Simplicity to Cryptocurrencies

COSS.IO: Introducing Simplicity to Cryptocurrencies

 

Simplicity to CryptoCurrencies

A crypto-one-stop-solution platform, COSS for short, is officially deployed in beta today. The platform merges the most popular cryptocurrency services, e.g. a wallet service, an exchange, a merchants’ platform, into a shared virtual space, in which cryptocurrency customers and merchants can meet and interact. Developed by an international team headquartered in Singapore under C.O.S.S. PTE LTD license, the COSS platform was first introduced as a final examination project that the CEO of the company, Rune Evensen presented to the committee of the MIT Fintech course in 2016. That was the first draft of a gigantic project that would hardly see the light of day, if it hadn’t received the support of the participants and the experts of the course.

A very thorough plan for COSS was designed shortly after the course finished, with the project kickoff scheduled for December 2016 followed by the testing phase in the beginning of the year 2017. Since then, layer by layer, the platform came to live. The developers’ team nicknamed COSS the “living” project, as it has no end-destination point and can last forever like the internet itself, with more and more startups being added with the time.

In February 2017 the white paper was published on coss.io homepage outlining the technical specifics of the platform. Having learned from the mistakes of the cryptocurrency pioneers such as bitcoin, the developers of COSS focused on the security of the platform and implemented the platform on top of the Ethereum blockchain. The main idea behind COSS is the creation of a single user-friendly ecosystem suitable for mass adoption and non-technical users, which would combine crypto and fiat currency services, available for customers with a single registered account all in one place.

"Redefining simplicity has been on our mind since day one, and we truly believe that COSS can make it a lot simpler for any average Joe out there to enter the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related products and services,". Upon its soft launch in beta, the COSS platform has an exchange with payment gateway/POS system running. In the nearest future, the following features will be setup: a crowdfunding tool, an ICO platform, 3rd party provider plugins, market cap and coin overviews, a blockchain forum, a remittance and a payment gateway.

The native currency of the COSS platform VEROS, is implemented as an Ethereum smart contract, which governs the validation, the distribution, the value and the ownership of the tokens. Apart from VEROS, the platform will support the most widely-used cryptocurrencies that customers will be able to convert to fiat via the COSS exchange service. A lot more features will be added to the platform during the next phase of development. "I would like to personally thank all the involved parties that have contributed endless hours to this project. Although we are just getting started, it is a huge MILESTONE for us to finally go live,"

About

COSS stands for Crypto-One-Stop-Solution and represents a platform which encompasses all features of a digital economic system based on cryptocurrency. The COSS system consists of website payments, seller tools, a marketplace, financial module, e-wallets, coin facilities and a mobile platform. The platform unifies the most popular crypto and fiat currency services, e.g. exchanges, payrolls, wallets, acquisitions, and transactions. VEROS is a secure and transparent cryptocurrency, launched in October 2016, and implemented on the Ethereum blockchain as a smart contract. VEROS is designed specifically for massive adoption and everyday use.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

Ledger grabs $7 million for its cryptocurrency hardware wallets

Ledger grabs $7 million for its cryptocurrency hardware wallets

If your following CryptoCurrencies

Things are going incredibly well for Ledger these days. People find bitcoins, ethers, and other cryptocurrencies exciting again. And the French startup just raised a $7 million Series A round to make hardware security devices ubiquitous. MAIF Avenir, XAnge, Wicklow Capital, GDTRE, Libertus Capital, Digital Currency Group, The Whittemore Collection, Kima Ventures, BHB Network and Nicolas Pinto participated in today’s funding round.

If you’ve been following cryptocurrencies for a while, you know that you shouldn’t trust bitcoin and ethereum startups that centralize everything. There have been many hacks, there will be more hacks. And you don’t want to trust some startup’s security team when you can do it yourself. Sure, you can run your own bitcoin wallet on your computer. But hackers could still access your computer and your bitcoin wallet, so it’s still a point of failure.

Ledger makes hardware wallets for multiple currencies. These tiny devices have a secure element. You might not even realize it, but your smartphone also has a secure element to handle fingerprint readers or NFC payments, such as Apple Pay or Android Pay.

Ledger runs some tasks directly on the secure element, making it much more secure than running an app on your phone or your computer exclusively. This way, you can easily protect your bitcoins without a lot of security knowledge. Nobody can access the private keys on the device. And the device constantly checks the integrity of the firmware.

The company also makes sure that nobody can compromise the device during the manufacturing process. “When we manufacture the devices, all chips receive a Ledger certificate,” co-founder and CEO Eric Larchevêque told me. “When the device boots up, the computer sends a security challenge and the device answers.”

The Ledger Nano S is the company’s most popular device. It’s the size of a USB key and has a tiny display. After initiating a transaction from your computer, you’ll have to confirm the transaction on the device itself and enter your PIN code. This way, even if your computer has been compromised, the transaction order won’t go through on the device and you won’t be able to confirm the transaction.

The company also makes a high-end device with a built-in touch screen called the Ledger Blue. The Ledger Nano S costs around €70 while the Blue costs €275. Ledger has sold more than 50,000 wallets so far, and the last few months have beat the company’s expectations by a wide margin. But cryptocurrency wallets are just the first step.

By running a secure operating system on a secure element, there are other potential applications. For instance, Ledger could sell chips so that companies working in sensitive industries can make sure their servers weren’t compromised. You can imagine hedge funds and financial institutions using Ledger products. Energy suppliers could also use Ledger’s technology to make sure that the consumption level is legit. That’s why the company is raising money to go beyond hardware wallets and find those industrial clients.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive