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on March 29, 2010
If you're brand new to the world of Internet marketing and social media, this is the book for you. The authors cover the essential topics in clear prose that is quick and easy to read. For someone who already has Facebook and Twitter accounts and knows about Digg and other bookmarking sites and perhaps even has a blog already, there is probably not much here that you don't already know. I would assume given their business that the authors know much more indepth information than they shared in this first book; I hope they get around to writing a second one for people with more social media experience.
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on November 9, 2009
This excellent book is aimed at the 99% of the business world who are faintly befuddled by the strange world of youtube and delicious that they find themselves living in. It's aimed at plumbers, hairdressers, lawyers and oil company executives; at people in large corporations and small businesses alike who are dimly aware that their working lives are about to change - indeed, have already started to change in disconcerting ways - and who don't know what to do.

The premise of the book is that the old marketing is dead or dying. Gone are the days where simply throwing money at print or radio advertising guaranteed succees. Instead, you need to engage your customers. Give them reasons to come to visit your web site, and once they are there give them reasons to come back again and again. Turn your web site into a hub, stuffed with remarkable blog posts, videos and interviews. As the authors put it (they have a pleasing way with words) "ten years ago, your marketing effectiveness was a function of the width of your wallet. Today, your marketing effectiveness is a function of the width of your brain."

"Inbound marketing" is clearly - and explicitly - inspired by authors such as Seth Godin and David Meerman Scott. But where this book differs is in its emphasis on hands-on advice. Not only is it inspirational, but it's also brimming with practical wisdom. Sure, it talks about the power of Twitter. But then it gives you advice on how to choose a twitter handle. Sure, it talks about the rise of the superstar blogger and the death of the press release. But then it talks about how to decide whether you need a PR agency and, if you do, then how you should hire one. Sure, it stresses that your employees will need to learn new skills if they are to survive in this new world. But then it talks about what those skills are, what steps your employees need to take to get them and how you can track how they're doing. Each chapter contains a checklist of things you should do, right now, to start improving your inbound marketing.

This is no dry textbook. It's full of anecdotes, some from the usual suspects (Whole Foods, Zappos and Barack Obama) but from others too: accounting software, a shutter manufacturer and a PR firm among others. It's well written, and there are cartoons too.

Inbound marketing - get found using Google, social media and blogs is an excellent, mainstream introduction to new marketing. If you want to dip your toes into the cold water of social media then buy a copy. If you know all about social media then you almost certainly know people who need this book. Buy them a copy from Amazon. They'll love you for it.
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on September 19, 2010
This book is about HOW TO GET FOUND on the Internet.

It teaches you how to utilize the following online tools to achieve this purpose:

1. Google - with VERY basic principles on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You will need to get other books written specifically on SEO.

2. Company Website. It introduces website best practices such as how to use landing page, including a call-to-action (details see below) in EVERY page of your website.

3. Social Networking and Bookmarking Sites e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, Youtube. It teaches you what you should do with your sites e.g. Search for groups relevant to your industry and estabish a group of your own, make sure your group is more focused and is more relevant to your business (e.g. create an "inbound marketing group" instead of "online marketing group"). I particularly like the part on how to use StumbleUpon to attract audience (Spend time reading and voting articles, befriend with people who post articles that intrigue you, and slowly, ONLY AFTER you have done all those steps, you can submit your own articles)

4. The best part of the book is what I would call "Funnel Management" - how to turn website visitors to engaged visitors (leads) and then to customers. For visitors to become leads, you need to engage them with call-to-action offers e.g. "GET A FREE TRIAL!", the whole purpose of these call-to-action offers is to get visitors to fill out a form so that you can get building a CRM database.

5. Tracking your "online footprint" using tools like [...]. The most important thing is to track the source of your visitors of your website and measure how many of them finally become your customer. This is important since it helps you decide how to allocate your marketing budget.

All in all, this is THE BOOK for beginners of online + non-interruptive marketing. Since this is meant for beginners, it tries to touch on EVERY ASPECT of inbound marketing and to give you a BRIEF OVERVIEW on how to can use the tools to boost your company's populatiry. To enrich understanding on the topic, I suggest you read:

1. Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000: Running a Business in Today's Consumer-Driven World(some overlapping is inevitable, but this book focuses on how to improve business by tracking what is said about your company, using different online tools)

2. Get Content Get Customers: Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing Inbound marketing starts with creating remarkable content. This book tells you what makes remarkable content.

3. A MUST-READ marketing book on non-interruptive marketing (though not specifically on online marketing): The Next Evolution of Marketing: Connect with Your Customers by Marketing with Meaning

Will post reviews on the above three books soon.
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on October 10, 2009
I'm stealing one of the often used words in the book to define the book itself - remarkable. This book is fantastic and easy to read. As you read each chapter, the authors take you through each step in successfully marketing your products. This book is not filled with theories, but it rather cleverly explains each winning strategy which is relevant in this day and age, and then sums up each chapter with a list of things to do to implement the strategy. The best part is that anybody who is willing to invest time and brains can use this book as a reference and start creating value to their company immediately and of course build on it overtime. The book shows new techniques that doesn't require an old-school marketing guru with tens of years of experience. In fact, a person with a little bit of creativity can use this book to REALLY get customers and sell their products.

Couple of other things that I liked about the book are the particular examples (other organizations/blog articles/etc) that were provided and the cartoons - who doesn't enjoy a chuckle every few pages? :-)

Absolute bang for your buck and once you pick up the book, you will finish it!
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on July 25, 2010
While there were some interesting information i.e. "content is king, create a blog with content that is remarkable" where the book struggles is when it comes to how to execute and make these high level tips a success. Create a blog, and then what? How do I get people to read or find the blog? Overall, this book left me with more questions than answers...
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on January 14, 2010
I bought this book after reading some of the reviews and using the author's website grading service. What stands out clearly for me is that the book outlines actual, tangible steps to succeed in the concept of inbound marketing and social media. They aren't asking you to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of services, software, or seminars, all they are ask you to do is listen to what their saying and do it yourself. Sure they have other services at their website, and there is some minor promotion, but the content of the book is so solid you actually don't mind. You almost say to yourself "yeah, they earned that one." I read it cover to cover the day I got it, and within the last few weeks I have finished reading it twice more. I would recommend reading this book if you are into inbound marketing and social media every few months as a reminder that it will take time, but if you are diligent and truly have something "remarkable" you will succeed. This book is so simple, some might perceive it as vague. In fact, it's not, it's a book that allows you to get the ball rolling with the ideas and concepts and then anyone who is motivated will dig deeper through the internet to get even better. The single greatest thing I was missing was a daily RSS feed of blogs across my relevant industry and inbound marketing. With that now setup I spend 30 minutes each morning learning so much my brain is on overload. The book reads very easy. All in all, this is probably one of the best books I have read on a given topic where they aren't advertising every page or chapter. It's good stuff, read it.
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on October 19, 2009
In 1999 a wise group of internet visionaries nailed 95 theses on the virtual front door of the internet. They called their movement the Cluetrain Manifesto (do a Google search) and here are their first 10 theses:

1. Markets are conversations.

2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.

3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.

4. Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.

5. People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.

6. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.

7. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.

8. In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way.

9. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.

10. As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally.

The Cluetrain Manifesto accurately predicted the societal and market changes we're now seeing with the power of Facebook fan pages, blogging, Twitter and the millions of pages of discussion boards and blog comments powerfully indexed and available via Google and others. When we are interested in a product or service, we search, post, tweet, or blog about potential options and we rely on other humans - not the stale flat voice of corporate marketing - to guide us to the best one.

"Inbound Marketing" is the best guide I've seen for how your organization can tell their story with a human voice and how to spread that story using the full power of the internet. Brian and Dharmesh simplify the concepts of blogging, search engine optimization, and the social media tools that can connect your company with people who are interested in what you offer.
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on September 25, 2010
This book is well written and adequately covers most of the major topics in online marketing. However, there is nothing in this book that you can't find in similar books or on the web with a little search. So, to borrow the authors terms, it's not REMARKable.

What is the basic message of this book?

Create a website that allows for a high level of user interaction.

To achieve this end, your website should have:

a blog
an RSS feed
a contact form
easy access to social bookmarks

It gives tips on how to optimize these different tools. Nothing they say is untrue, but nothing about their advice is all that unique either.

I think there's a lot of market saturation with social media/search engine coaching. Maybe this book came out before all the others did that have the same message, so I'm not giving it enough credit.

Also, the book contains a lot of plugs for their own website. Their websites are pretty useful though. I used them after reading this book.
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on November 22, 2009
Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs is an outstanding and practical marketing strategy guide targeted to small and startup businesses. Halligan and Shah have written this book with small and startup businesses in mind because their book shares numerous insights from their own experiences as entrepreneurs (i.e., Tips from the Trenches).

* The Value of This Book *
Inbound Marketing makes a convincing case that marketing success is not limited by the size of our respective marketing budgets. Instead, these limits are now a function of our own creativity and investment of time. Inbound Marketing practically explains how small or startup businesses can practically and effectively compete with larger competitors by executing:

* Social media strategy via channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
* A lead nurturing and conversion process
* A sales marketing funnel process to measure campaign ROI

* The 6 Practical Benefits of Studying Inbound Marketing *
1. Understanding how/why Google plays a signifcant role in your marketing success. Here, Inbound Marketing explains in non-technical terms why inbound links (e.g., links from other websites that connect to your site or blog) play a vital role in your website's "Google Juice" or Google Authority (e.g., the number of inbound links to your web pages and the authority of those pages linking to your site).

2. Executing practical and actionable "to-do" lists at the end of every chapter. The suggestions are hardly rocket science but they require personal commitment, preseverance, and time.

3. Learning social media marketing tactics for use across all major social media channels. Halligan and Shah ably provide specific examples on how to effectively deploy blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, and YouTube.

4. Measuring the effectiveness of your social media marketing initiatives by channel. For example, the book guides you on how to compare the effectiveness of a Twitter campaign versus a YouTube campaign.

5. Implementing a lead nurturing process in all marketing campaigns. Why is this important? Every prospect is at a different place in the buying cycle for your particular product or service. Therefore, you want this prospect to have your organization at the "top-of-mind" even when they're not ready to buy from you (because one day they will be).

6. Informing marketing decisions (e.g., ROI) by creating a sales marketing funnel process. This process will enable your organization to measure and evaluate campaign yield along with ROI.

* The 3 Audiences Who Will Benefit from Studying Inbound Marketing *
1. Amateur Bloggers. You will learn how to build Google Authority for your blog by understanding why you don't want your blog's URL address to include the name of your blogging platform. For example, if your blog's URL address is [...] or [...] that's not good. Make sure to address this problem -- I did and my search engine results are all the better for it.

2. Marketing Professionals (especially CMOs). You will make better marketing decisions by creating a sales marketing funnel so you can measure campaign effectiveness per channel using campaign yield and ROI measurement techniques.

3. CEOs. You will learn how to monitor your competitor's activity and progress by tracking seven (7) attributes. These attributes can be tracked using free tools on the Internet. These attributes or tools are:

* Website Grade via [...]
* Number of [...] bookmarks
* Number of inbound links
* Number of Facebook fans
* Website traffic via [...]
* Google Buzz of your brand name relative to a competitor's brand name
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on October 19, 2009
This is an ideal read for anyone seeking a successful marketing strategy without breaking the bank. Halligan and Shah waste no time in establishing their point: consumer behavior has changed, and marketers needs to catch up. At the turn of the century, reaching out and educating consumers was easily accomplished via outbound marketing techniques including: telemarketing, television, radio, print advertising, direct mail, trade shows, and even email blasts. These techniques have become less and less effective in recent years; not because they have weakened, but because people have become better at tuning them out and blocking numerous forms of outbound marketing. Rather than relying on an outbound campaign to inform them of a product or service, people turn to the internet for answers, utilizing Google, blogs, and social media to outfit them with enough information to make an informed decision. Therefore, Inbound Marketing stresses that for a company to successfully market their products and services, they must adjust their strategy to cater to their online consumer, and implement inbound marketing into their overall marketing strategy.

In Sixteen chapters, Halligan and Shah outfit their readers with a successful marketing strategy by addressing and conquering the changing state of marketing in four distinct parts: An overview of what inbound marketing is and how it works, strategies to getting found online, strategies to converting prospects into leads and leads into customers, and suggestions for staying ahead of the curve (and your competition). In addition to educating readers on the importance of inbound marketing and teaching them how to getting started, Inbound Marketing is full of concrete examples of how companies have utilized inbound marketing to successfully grow their business. Likewise, the book has been endorsed by prominent social media gurus such as Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin, and is recommended by eCoast and numerous other Hubspot certified partners.

Inbound Marketing is an ideal read for anyone looking to grow their business by generating leads and converting these leads into customers. Readers will gain valuable insight on the dynamic state of marketing, a comprehensive understanding of how to optimize their site to get found by prospects, a solid method of converting prospects into leads and leads into customers, and credible recommendations to utilize when moving forward. The process is comprehensive, thorough, and has produced remarkable results; but like all marketing strategies, it is just a strategy, and will only produce results if implemented properly. The reader must be willing to trust the plan outlined by Halligan and Shah, and stick to it in order to get results. Inbound Marketing offers readers the tips, tricks, and training needed to hit a home run, but only if they're willing to step up to the plate.
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