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Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Remi Group BOOK CLUB: Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah

The Remi Group BOOK CLUB is back with a rave review of Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. The authors met at MIT as graduate students and in 2006, started Hubspot – an inbound marketing software company; Brian Halligan is the Chief Executive Officer and Dharmesh Shah is the Chief Technology Officer. Today, Hubspot is a multi-million dollar company with over 4,000 customers in 31 countries.

That being said, Inbound Marketing was written with the intention of sharing not only the why of inbound marketing, but also the how. The book is 226 pages spanning 16 chapters, which are broken up into four parts – Part One: Inbound Marketing, Part Two: Get Found by Prospects, Part Three: Converting Customers, and Part Four: Make Better Decisions. Each part addresses specific issues encountered when implementing an inbound marketing strategy; and there is a helpful “To Do” list at the end of each chapter.

As a newcomer to marketing and part of a team that has a significant outbound marketing strategy, I found myself taking pages and pages of notes and creating my own to do list while reading the book to help create a unique and valuable inbound marketing strategy. One of the main themes throughout the book is to create remarkable content on a variety of different sites (i.e. company website and various social media sites) to give prospects different avenues to engage the company. The other recurring theme is to always track your progress by any means available, i.e. # of followers, subscribers, or sites linking to yours, Google Analytics, or Marketing Grader.

Like other companies out there who are fairly new to inbound marketing and social media, The Remi Group has come a very long way and is actively participating in a company blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, YouTube, and periodically publishes white papers and webinars. However, there is always more to learn. While reading Inbound Marketing, there were two parts in particular that stood out the most for me. The first was Part Two: Getting Found by Prospects, in particular Chapter 6: Getting Found on Google. The “On-Page SEO” section gives extremely helpful tips on why and how to influence website page rankings on Google. The chapter also recommends using Hubspot’s Marketing Grader (formerly Website Grader) – a tool that grades a website based on three areas of concern: bringing visitors to the website, converting traffic into leads, and analytics. The second was Part Three: Converting Customers, in particular Chapter 8: Converting Visitors into Leads. The chapter discusses the importance of creating various and compelling calls-to-action on every page of the website.

In conclusion, the book met and exceeded its goal of sharing not only the why of inbound marketing, but also the how. Amazon users give Inbound Marketing 4.5 out of 5 stars, calling it “…remarkable… fantastic and easy to read” and I would completely agree. The book is chockfull of helpful tips in laymen’s terms and examples of inspiring success stories. The book is a comprehensive guide to inbound marketing that is perfect for those marketers who are brand new to internet marketing and social media, as well as those who have some experience looking to make some improvements.

Have you read the book? How many stars would you give it and why? Share your thoughts with us; we’d love to hear from you.