Written by HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, Inbound Marketing aims to be a go-to resource for businesses wanting to break into internet marketing. The book is split into four sections: Inbound Marketing, Get Found by Prospects, Converting Customers, and Make Better Decisions. They cover the reasons for having online/social media marketing, how to implement it with blogs, Google searches, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, and YouTube. Once these are in place, they discuss turning visitors to customers, and how to keep the momentum going with hiring strategies, competition watching, and tracking progress. Each chapter ends with a case study of how a successful company implemented the strategies outlined in the chapter, and a check list of 3-5 things to do, plus some blank lines for you to fill in.
As an individual unassociated with any business, Inbound Marketing was perhaps less helpful for me than it could have been, but it still sparked some ideas within me and helped to show what my potential employers might be thinking when looking to hire someone like me. The largest downside for the individual is that they seem to make certain assumptions about their reader that lead to confusion on my part. Perhaps someone more ingrained in the business world would not find this to be a problem. In the same manner, there were some graphs that had no explanatory information included (i.e. nothing on the x or y axes), which baffled me. On the positive side, I did appreciate how they explained what they mean by “Inbound Marketing” and how social media really impacts a business on each level. The best part (though potentially more in concept than in execution) is the ‘real life’ example that ends each chapter.
Their coverage of the ideas presented was slightly sparse, and I felt as though the book had been thrown together rather quickly (large font; short chapters; etc), perhaps to take advantage of the current state of affairs–not that I begrudge them for that! However, this book is certainly adequate for anyone who is just starting out with this sort of marketing, and probably the ease of reading is perfect for a time-crunched executive. As someone who has participated in social media and studied different aspects of it for years now, I was able to recognize certain areas that perhaps could have been more explicated, but again, as an introduction, Inbound Marketing is a great start.
Overall, I would recommend this book for businesses looking to read a nice overview of the world of social media and how it can be harnessed by companies to gain more customers.
Have you read it? What do you think?