LinkedIn can be a great help if you want to have strategic partnerships, create brand awareness, and generate leads. The platform is a great way in which your brand can connect to millions of professionals that are located in different parts of the world. The fact that it is a professional platform means that it can actually offer you great returns on the investment that you make.
You should be ready to engage with people if you want to grow a business online. Knowing how to do it can mean the difference between failing and succeeding. We all aim at winning and even though there are some who are luckier than others, utilizing all the available tools can open you up to more possibility and ultimately success that we all yearn for.
Your Linkedin profile
The profile is one of the most important things for any online account. This is what people look at when they want to find out more about you and your brand if it is a business account. In as much as you want to use LinkedIn to market your business, you will still need a personal account. Make sure that everyone else who is associated with the company also has a profile because at the end of the day, people will be dealing with you and your representatives. It helps when someone conducts a search and can find you.
Your profile is what will give the target audience a first impression of you since you are not meeting in person. This is when they will ponder on the possibilities of conducting any business with you. In this area, you definitely have many chances to impress the viewers. Try to complete your profile as much as you can and then optimize it as time goes by. Give examples of your work; add achievements, and even new skills.
You will also need a company page. Your company page needs careful creation. This is the face of the business and therefore it should offer your target audience the kind of content that will help them associate and understand your brand. It is a simple thing to do and it is actually free to create one on the platform.
Define your goals and the audience
In marketing, you need to have a clear definition of what your goals are. The most common goals have to do with lead generation and brand awareness. When you know what it is you really want to achieve, then defining the audience becomes a walk in the park. You may be dealing in a particular product or service and you want to encourage pros in that particular field to try it. If they happen to use it, then you can be very certain that they will recommend the same to influencers and even their bosses in some cases. In such a case, you should target members that are within the niche that you are targeting. Look for titles that will get you the kind of audience that you really desire.
On that same note, the company page has to be optimized, so that people can find it when they do a search. Optimize the page so that people can locate you regardless of whether they are on-site or off-site. The page can be SEO friendly and SEO principles can be applied here. Use keywords that represent what the company is and what it does. Many tools can help you find keywords that are relevant to you.
Even away from LinkedIn, you need to share your page as much as you can. This helps you to boost the rank that you get in search results. Keep all the profiles updated. If you have workers, make sure that they add a link of your company page in their profiles. This encourages more traffic to your website where the audience can see more details about you and your brand.
The content is always an important aspect in any marketing campaign. You should not work so hard to attract people to you only to disappoint them with poor content. Make your content good and relevant and this will definitely improve the search results and ranking that you receive. When you make any kind of update on the company page, ensure that the same appears on the public page. This is what allows Google to index it. When you have content, then followers actually engage with, you will end up ranking even higher in search results.
Company followers Linkedin
When you notice people following the company page, make sure that you add them. You usually get an update whenever someone starts to follow the company page. This is information that you can check within the LinkedIn feed. When you add the company followers, your updates will have an even better chance of being viewed and appreciated.
To grow your list of followers, you should begin with the employees you already have. These persons are likely to believe in your brand. This makes them some of your most valuable advocates. When you have their loyalty, you will not have to ask them to share content with any other networks that they have.
Apart from the workers, you need to promote the page away from the company. You could start by inviting customers as well as other partners who happen to be important to actually come and follow your page. You should also promote the page using blog posts, newsletters, and emails. Always ensure that you encourage anyone who is a potential lead to follow your page.
Even on your website, you should have a follow button and make it easy to use. This allows the visitors to find the company page without searching. You can create a follow button using a plugin.
If you take your business seriously, then you will also take marketing very seriously. More and more people are making use of social media platforms today and you should not be left behind. Technology is slowly, but surely, changing how we do things. Being in step with the latest trends and strategies can give you success that may have only been a dream.
Social Media Marketing Might Not Be the Conversion Machine You Think It Is:
Google Analytics defines a conversion as “the completion of an activity that is important to the success of your business, such as a completed sign up for your email newsletter (a Goal conversion) or a purchase (a Transaction, sometimes called an Ecommerce conversion).”
That’s a broad definition — but it means is that a conversion for one website/business owner may not be considered a conversion for another. Conversions are unique to each website and each marketing activity.
Business Owners & Marketers WANT Conversions
Of course they do. That fact doesn’t mean that each marketing activity and or platform where great marketing occurs is the point of the conversion (furthermore it isn’t always the first touch — the conversion typically happens at the last touch).
With that said, setting expectations is key when pitching a marketing campaign. For example, if a business owner balks at social media marketing in your proposal, it’s key that you educate that business owner as to the fact that there are many touch points in a customer journey — and, brand awareness is important to the conversion process — even if that conversion happens later, from a different source of traffic.
What is Social Media Marketing & What Are Some Basic Strategies?
And, social media, while it isn’t always the conversion machine, it lends a strong hand to the conversion process — as people in the customer journey will often use a social media presence during their ‘evaluation’ period of the journey from interest to customer.
And beyond simply setting that expectation, it’s key to have a solid understanding of social and social media marketing as you are explaining and pitching to a client.
Before we go too far, let us take a deep breath and think about what social media is. Most people have been thinking of this too narrowly, it is actually much broader. It is more than just your usual Facebook and twitter. There are actually around 13 categories of social media. Here is the list:
- Monitoring tools
- Publishing tools
- Social Networking Sites
- Micro blogging sites
- Collaboration tools
- Photo Sharing Sites
- Video Sharing Sites
- Personal Broadcasting tools
- Virtual Worlds
- Social Commerce
- Location Based Services
- Social Bookmarking and News Aggregation
So when you think about your social media marketing strategy, it is important to think broader and keep this list in mind.
Questions you should ask yourself
- What do you want to gain from a social media plan?
- What does your business offer that people are likely to want to discuss?
- What is your current business model and how can social media impact that?
- Do you sell through e-commerce, retail stores, third parties, OEMs?
Forrester’s POST Methodology
Forrester’s is a really good methodology. Mentioned below is an expansion of Forrester’s POST methodology:
- People: Who are you trying to target, and why do they care?
- Objectives: What are you trying to accomplish?
- Strategies: Define how you will accomplish this using Social media
- Technologies: Look into technologies that fit
- If you keep an eye on POST, you will avoid a lot of hassles in life. Just saying For example, “I want to be on Facebook” is not a strategy. A strategy will be clear on what you want to accomplish by your presence on Facebook.
The Ignite Method of Social Media Strategy
There are six steps to it, but step 2 and step 4 are the most important.
Step 1: Discovery – Getting up to speed.
Step 2: Community Analysis – Get into a deep dive into the social space, in the process, you will uncover active target audiences, how they are engaging and interacting with each other. Also get into how they are interacting with brands, including what terminology they are using, etc. This also includes competitors.
Step 3: Goal Setting – Social media objectives are chosen for success metrics, activities, and a groundwork is laid down leading to a measurement plan.
Step 4: Engagement Plan – A plan that is detailed and a list of recommendations on social media resources, tactics, budgets and timelines that are in line to support the objectives of business and marketing.
Step 5: Metrics and Measurement Strategy – We come to an agreement on how objectives will get measured, which goals will be allocated and have reports and what will be the monitoring needs in the long term.
Step 6: Implementation/Training – Develop resources, specific teams’ trainings, putting the plans in motion and providing ongoing support.
The goals are set in step 3 but step 5 is the one that ensures that the goals are quantifiable, so they can be measured and mean the same to everyone involved.
Channel Analysis (Community Analysis)
- What Channels are currently being used by the brand?
- The first thing to look at in Channel Analysis is to figure out what channels, example: Facebook, Twitter, etc. are being used by the company/brand.
- Do they serve any clear social media needs for both the brand and audience?
- Are the resources in place to support all the channels (the puppy problem)?
- Having a social media presence is like having a puppy. If you get to have a puppy, you must feed him every day. If you cannot feed the puppy, just don’t have one!
- Previous Campaign Analysis
- Think of all the previous campaigns you have done and analyze them, see what the social spread of those campaigns was.
- What are the current strong points of campaigns? Weak points?
- How does the campaign get started?
- How strong is the social spread?
- How easy is the social spread?
- What are the short-term benefits of the brand?
- What are the long-term benefits of the brand?
- How does SEO support the campaign and/or how does the brand improve its SEO because of the campaign?
- How is the campaign supported by or supportive of other marketing channels?
- Competitive Analysis
- Take a look at your competitors and pay attention to what they are doing.
- Who are the competitors of the brand and what are they doing in the social space?
- How do the social media efforts of different brands support (or not support) the differentiation?
- What are the strong points of competitor’s campaigns using social media? Weak points?
The longest part of this is the Audience Analysis. The only superior source of competitive advantage is the knowledge about the customer. If you can get that superior information about the customer, you will be way ahead.
- Who is the target audience for the social media plan?
- What can we learn about the target audience so far?
- Which networks are they on (Composition and index)?
- What are their social behaviors (Creators, Joiners, Inactives)?
- What do they believe/watch/do that is different than non-targets?
- What do they want from the brand?
- Social Strategy (Engagement Plan)
- Strategy refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. This is where all of the information from the Community Analysis is used to make a roadmap for the client to use social media to succeed.
- What content will you be producing and in what formats (video updates, blog posts, tutorials)?
- How frequently will you create this content and what is the editorial calendar for the next few months?
- Who is producing this content, and do they have the time/ability to do so?
- Do they have access to the information to do so quickly and credibly?
- Who will care about this content, how will they find it and how/why will they share it?
- What channels will be used to implement the plan?
- Where is your target audience and how can you effectively engage them?
- Which channels are the brand ready to support (content and resources)?
- Once you have been through the homework, the next steps are designing the actual campaign and launching it.
What Google Analytics Does for Marketers & Business Owners: An Introduction
Google analytics is a service that is provided by Google and it reports and tracks website traffic. It is a freemium service. It operates within the Google marketing platform. The service has been operational since the year 2005. There are many good things that Google analytics help marketers achieve. These include:
Getting to know customers
Google analytics gives marketers an opportunity to get to know their customers in a much deeper way. You can use tools that will help you analyze all the data that your business needs all in one place. When you understand the app and site users well, you will be able to evaluate how the marketing content you are giving performs. You can also evaluate the performance of the products.
Building a complete picture
With Google Analytics, you can understand how the people using the app and site are consuming the content provided. With such information, you can tell what is working for you and what is not. You can also see exactly how the audience is interacting with your app and site and what role is played by each channel. This is done by viewing dashboards and reports that are quite robust. It is even possible to connect the systems that can measure points of sale, CRM and all other kinds of touch points. This offers a complete view to the marketers.
Getting insights from Google
Google has got very unique capabilities that help you to discover new things from the data that you already have. Such insights include things like who is likely to convert and who has a high potential for revenue.
When you have these insights, you can now turn them into results. The analytics are built in a way that they work with the products of the publisher and also Google’s advertising so that you get to reach the right audience. You can then connect analytics with Ad manager, Adsense, Google Ads, and display and video 360. With the analytics data that you already have, you can now create new lists that you can use to re-market. Accessing them becomes much easier with the tools available.
Use the data to your advantage
With Google analytics, you are in a position to make a quick analysis of the data. The user interface is very easy to use and you get reports that can be shared. You can process data and then share it in huge amounts within a very short while. You can also use configuration APIs to allow things to be flexible and totally programmatic. There is also technical support that is inbuilt and it delivers data that is accurate and secure across all the apps and sites that are connected to you while you still control all of them.
There are lots of ways in which analytics can help you convert your data into acumens. Getting a deeper understanding of these ways helps you get so much more from it. When you understand your audience, you can work on different things to make their experience more fulfilling and meaningful. When you uncover the details of your data, you can tap into the greatest modeling capabilities. With analytics, you get a chance to visualize, organize, and access your data in a way that meets all the needs of your business.
Analytics are created in a way that it is able to work quite seamlessly with partner products and Google solutions. This means that you end up saving so much time and this in itself increases efficiency to a great extent.
Google analytics stands as the greatest service on web analytics available on the internet today. It provides SKD that allows one to gather the usage of data from android and its apps. Since it is integrated with other resources, one is able to review different online campaigns by simply tracking the conversions and landing page quality. The goals can include file downloads, viewing a page, generating leads and even sales. The approach used by Google analytics shows a dashboard kind of data which is of a higher level even for casual users.
With analytics, you can easily identify any pages that perform poorly using techniques like funnel visualization. You can also identify exactly where your visitors are coming from and who is referring them. You get to see their position geographically speaking and how much time they spend on your website. There are other advanced features that include custom visitor segmentation. E-commerce reporting can actually help you to track all sales activities as well as performance. Such reports show metrics that relate to commerce, including revenue and on site transactions.
Real time analytics have been around for a couple of years and they enable you to see who is viewing your site at a particular time. It also comes with the website optimizer which is referred to as Google analytics content experiments. With the analysis available on Google analytics, you are in a position to understand how some component groups behave. When you have a marketing strategy that is successful, then you will benefit greatly as a marketer.
Google analytics on mobile
There is the mobile package from Google analytics that can be used on the mobile websites. The package has different server tracking codes which make use of ASP.NET, Java server pages, PHP, and Perl for language. There are also many programs included to filter ads as well as extensions. This means that some users cannot be tracked and therefore data collection is obscured. This is one of the limitations that you could face. There are many privacy networks that can be used to mask the location of a user, thereby giving geographical data that is incorrect.
The Ultimate List of Digital Marketing Blogs for 2019 (Edition #1)
Digital marketing blogs may be running rampant online, but the trustworthy blogs are critical. Want to stay relevant? Read. Read a lot. In digital marketing, if you don’t learn, you get left behind. No one wants that.
2019 List of Digital Marketing Blogs to Follow (Edition #1; January 2019):
Bite-sized lessons from Google (app)
Think with Google
Content Marketing Institute
Convince and Convert
Blue Fountain Media
Search Engine Journal
Social Media Examiner
Duct Tape Marketing
The Sales Lion
Blind Five Year Old
Social Media Explorer
Ignite Social Media
When you’re talking to a potential marketing client or when strategizing a marketing campaign for a client, keep in mind a gigantic goal most (if not all) businesses have:
ACQUIRE CUSTOMERS AND RETAIN CUSTOMERS
The Attention Economy (the current state of the Internet)
You should be ready to engage with people if you want to grow a business online — but you’ll need to engage them where they are and how they want to be engaged. You want your chances to be hot, not cold.
Knowing how to do it can mean the difference between failing and succeeding. We all aim at winning and even though there are some who are luckier than others, it’s not luck — utilizing all the available tools can open you up to success rather than spin the wheel of ‘luck’.
THE ATTENTION ECONOMY
Attention is a necessary ingredient for effective advertising. The market for consumer attention (or “eyeballs”) has become so competitive that attention can be regarded as a currency. The rising cost of this ingredient in the marketplace is causing marketers to waste money on costly attention sources or reduce their investment in promoting their brands. Instead, they should be thinking about how to “buy” cheaper attention and how to use it more effectively.
Imagine that you’re blindfolded and willingly throwing money into a pit as you fight battles beyond your means. It may sound far-fetched, but that’s exactly what’s happening with brands and their advertising spend these days — plan for the Attention Economy and the 3 pillars of ‘attention’ you can use to maximize your reach, while appealing to a single audience who collectively respond slightly differently based on their clicks vs. desired attention areas:
- Example: Your content is found, consumed, and shared
- Example: Your content is found, consumed, and linked to
- Example: Your content is found in organic search
- Example: Your content is consumed regularly from your own assets (ex: blog, social channels)
- Example: Your content is found/consumed from Paid Search or Display
- Example: Your content is found/consumed from Native Advertising
Choosing to focus on only one of the above leaves too many ignored potential customers to be drawn in my your competitors. Make sure you earn, own, and rent attention wherever possible for yourself and your clients.
When you have a well-thought-out strategy for content marketing that is designed for success, you can expect benefits that can change your business completely.
Good Content Has Purpose
First, you need to come up with content that is purposeful. When you have a strategy, you will have content that can contribute directly towards the goals of the business. When you create something without any strategy, you risk failing miserably.
Are you The Expert or Another Fish in the Sea?
You also need to create content that shows that you are an expert in your industry/niche — this creates immediate credibility and authority. Consumers seek credibility and authority in their ‘customer journey’. For this to happen, the consumers need to believe that you are confident about the things you are doing, your product/service has desired benefits, and that your company cares about the customers’ needs.
Meet a Need or Don’t Bother
For your content to be useful, it is to be pre-planned and researched. Aim at meeting the consumer needs and show them that you are knowledgeable about the industry while offering know-how, education, and/or alternative uses for your product/service.
Planning content is essential. You need to plan the ideas well to meet the audience and support the goals that you had already set. You will need a calendar to organize your time and track measurement later. You should aim at coming up with diverse content formats such as: video, white papers, blogs, and articles. In addition, audience segments are important because your audience could be at different stages of the customer journey (think: new customer and acquisition vs. current customer retention). People love different approaches and different types of content. You should also include different types of content approaches, such as: evergreen articles, thought leadership, and news round ups. It’s important to try to figure out exactly how the pieces fit together to create the big picture for customers in all categories of the journey. Let your audience have a clear plan of action of what they are supposed to do once they read/consume the content.
Your Brand Descriptors Rely on the Quality of Content
You need to know that there is a cross relationship between your brand and content. You need a strategy that will help you to come up with content that is consistent with the brand and how you want your customers to think of your brand (i.e. helpful, useful rather than inconsistent and boring). This will ensure that you always have a regular and steady supply of content that can be shared with your followers, email subscribers, and brand advocates.
Stand Out — Don’t Just Fit In
With content marketing, you have no choice but to stand out — not just fit in. Businesses are making great investments in delivering the best content. This means that there is no way you can compete if you do not have a content strategy that is competitive. The strategy needs to also evaluate what other businesses like yours are doing. You need to come up with content that is both exceptional, valuable, and that which is worth the readers’ time.
Set Goals & Measure
When you want a strategy that will hold water, you need to have actionable/measurable goals. Having a clear picture of exactly how content can help you to achieve business goals helps you to broaden your thinking and expectations. It’s good to know what kind of effect you are trying to achieve. Do you want more customers? Are you trying to create awareness about the business? Are you trying to retain customers and strengthen relations? The above questions can help you determine the formats that you should use as well as the tone of the content.
When the goals are all set, you need to choose a way that can help you measure success. You will need to lay out a criterion about what is considered as success and what is not. You may base it on how many people end up finding the page and the conversions that you receive. It is important to have targets and measurements to get feedback on the impact of the content as they relate to your goals.
It is important to come up with a strategy that is effective and easy to implement. As for distribution, make use of paid, earned, and owned content distribution to have a wider reach.