Book Review: Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah

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Book Review of “Inbound Marketing”.

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Do you know what inbound marketing is?

Inbound Marketing involves creating remarkable content that makes your business easy to find, as opposed to blasting your message out to people in the traditional way.

Pages: 224

Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, aims to help you implement an inbound marketing strategy for your own eCommerce store.

Brian Halligan is a CEO and co-founder of HubSpot. You can follow Brian on Twitter.
Dharmesh Shah is the Chief Technical Officer, and also co-founder, of Hubspot. You can follow Dharmesh on Twitter.

The Breakdown

If you’re an experienced marketer, this book may come across as basic in some parts. But it creates a comprehensive summary that you can refer to as a reference.It’s divided into four parts:

Part I: Inbound Marketing

Part I is a basic introduction that explains how traditional marketing is not as effective as it used to be. It explains how your site needs to be a marketing “hub” as opposed to a “megaphone”. It then emphasises how you need to be remarkable in the first place for inbound marketing to work.

Part II: Get Found by Prospects

Part II is the largest section in the book and represents the “meat and bones” of inbound marketing. It begins with a chapter that emphasises the importance of creating “remarkable” content. It then has chapters that cover blogging, SEO, social media, and creating tools as content.

Part III: Converting Customers

It’s no use driving traffic if it doesn’t convert. Part III has chapters on creating compelling CTA’s to turn unconverted traffic into leads, landing page best practices to convert more targeted traffic into leads, and on converting these leads into actual customers.

Part IV: Make Better Decisions

Part IV explains how to make decisions in the context of this “new era” of inbound  marketing. It includes chapters on sales funnels, hiring new staff, choosing a PR firm, and tools to monitor your competitors.

I Liked:

  • At the end of each chapter there appear the following sections:
    • A “Track Your Progress” section which explains what metrics you could measure.
    • A quick case study that you can look at to gain ideas and inspiration.
    • A “To Do” list that sums things up. (It even has the option to add your own items to the list, in the paperback version.)

I Didn’t Like:

  • A lot of the information is basic. (But it does serve as a good reference and is the best summary I have seen on the topic of inbound marketing.)
  • It’s not directly related to eCommerce (but it still applies)

Also to Consider:

Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman goes into more detail on the topic of creating remarkable content.

If you want a book more specifically about blogging, you may want to give Born to Blog by Mark Schaefer and Stanford Smith a try.

The Content Code by Mark Schaefer will help you to actually promote your content.

Conclusion: Should you Read Inbound Marketing?

If you know nothing at all about the concepts of inbound marketing, then this book is perfect for you. It will give you a primer in an engaging way.

If you’re already familiar with inbound marketing, you’ll still find a few new things. But for the most part you’ll already know what it covers. Still, it makes a good refresher that covers the basics, and doesn’t take too long to read.

See More: “Inbound Marketing” on Amazon

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Have you read Inbound Marketing? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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