Note: It’s not anywhere near being St Patrick’s Day but I just thought the cartoon was appropriate and a wee bit funny.
When faced with buying something new or making a significant decision in an area that is new to us, then most of us would tend to turn to someone or something that we trust for advice or a recommendation. Right?
Traditionally and historically, that would have meant asking our friends, family, colleagues, neighbours etc. Those avenues still exist today, but we also turn increasingly to the interweb and search engines for answers.
To illustrate how much of a role search engines play in our lives these days, I often ask the following question, when I speak at seminars or workshops:
“Who DOESN’T ‘google’ something when thinking about doing or buying something NEW, whether it is in your private or business lives??”
Invariably, 9 out of 10 hands in room stay down. How would you answer the question? Hand up or down?
The results of my impromptu research groups are supported by other research by Marketo, which shows that in the consumer and business to business markets over 90% of buyers now use search engines to begin their buying process (http://bit.ly/9O6pix).
However, when we take into account changes to Google’s search algorithms (Panda and Penguin updates over 2011 and 2012), that means that the importance of content that is useful, relevant and is shared is an essential part of getting found by your customers.
Now, many marketers and businesses get this, as evidenced by the infographic below, but many are still new to the concept of this style of marketing called variously inbound marketing, content marketing and, even, permission marketing.
It’s a fast growing, developing and changing field and one that I am really interested in as it will make up a large part of the future of digital marketing. With that in mind and for the benefit of myself, my clients and you, my readers, I am off next week to the Inbound Marketing UK conference to learn more lots more about this area of marketing. I hope, as well, to bag a couple of interviews with some leading lights in this area.
If you are around and in London on Tuesday 6th November and can make it along then I believe there are still tickets available. You can check out tickets here and get more info here. With speakers like David Meerman Scott and Mike Volpe from Hubspot I’m sure I’ll come back with lots of ideas to share.
Thanks to HubSpot for the image.
Note: Given my experience with blogging and social media etc I am helping a number of clients with their inbound and content marketing needs, at the moment. If you want to talk about and how I could help your business too in that area then get in touch here. Alternatively, to stay in touch and get access to more ideas not published here on the blog, then do sign up for my monthly newsletter here.