How to Improve Your LinkedIn Marketing — Part 2

In “How to Improve Your LinkedIn Marketing Part 1,” we offered five tips for making the most out of LinkedIn. Let’s quickly review those tips:

● Connect with everyone: The more connections, the more opportunities
● Add your company profile: Establish your actual business on LinkedIn, not just on your personal profile
● Publish an article once a month: Establish yourself as an industry expert, build rapport and stay relevant
● Endorse others: Support others professionally because the more you give, the more you get in return
● Join targeted groups: Join niche networks within LinkedIn to spread your message faster and make more efficient connections

So now that the “Part 1” tips are fresh in your mind, let’s move onto to some more tips that will get you to make the most out of your LinkedIn…

1. Perfect the Summary Section of Your Own Profile: This section tends to be overlooked. If you know that many people prefer to go to LinkedIn rather than your website, you will understand how important it is to be pitching your best within the LinkedIn summary. You only get 2,000 characters in this section so it’s important to speak directly and persuasively to your audience. It’s recommended to speak in first person, use complete sentences, and at the end of the summary section include your contact information. Sure, it’s available to them elsewhere on your profile, but why not make it even easier for them to contact you?

2. Beef Up Your Company Profile: Add a photo! The default icon is boring and discouraging for viewers. Add lots of links — to your blog, to your website, to your social media accounts. Don’t be that company that’s only known on LinkedIn. Get the branded URL. During editing, you can change the URL from a combination of numbers and letters to something more on-brand and easy for people to remember.

3. Answer Questions, Ask Questions: A really useful and underused feature of LinkedIn is the Question & Answer. Similarly to publishing articles, answering questions thoughtfully establishes your expertise and increases your visibility. Users are drawn to those who are able to provide the best answers within online communities. There’s even a rating system on LinkedIn like on other online forums to highlight the best answers. Make a point to sit down and answer some industry-related questions once a week.

Inversely, it’s also beneficial to ask good questions on LinkedIn. This will not only yield good answers, but good connections.

4. Make Use of the Introduction Feature: Did you know that your 1st-degree connections on LinkedIn can introduce you to their 1st-degree connections? This is a great tool for seeking prospects for sales. By requesting an introduction from one of your connections, that person can set up a message introducing the two of you. And voila! — a prospect connected!

5. Make Use of the Recommendation Feature: Did you know that you can write recommendations for your connections and also request recommendations? By going to a connection’s page, clicking the “Send a Message” drop-down menu, and selecting “Recommendation,” you can write a nice message about that connection that will appear on their page. We highly recommend this recommend feature because they set connections significantly apart from their competition, and writing the connections builds rapport between you and that connection.

Not to mention, it motivates connections to write recommendations for you as well. You gotta give some to get some! But don’t be shy in requesting a recommendation from someone if you know their words would look attractive on your page.

Make the most of your LinkedIn! As we said in Part 1, you want to limit yourself to three social media sites to really focus your marketing efforts. LinkedIn should definitely be one of the three. Your efforts on LinkedIn will drive meaningful connections and yield prospects that would take you much longer to get offline or through any other social media site. For more information about features on LinkedIn, check out the LinkedIn help page: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin

What Are Cookies and How Can they Help your Business?

Mmm, cookies. Delicious, right? But I’m not talking about the kind the Girl Scouts sell. I mean the Internet kind. But what are Internet cookies? We hear them referred to often, especially when browsing.

 

An internet cookie is actually just a tracking device that stores information. When you visit a website, a small text file with an unique ID tag is saved to your computer and the website saves its own copy. This file can store various information — like which pages you visited on a site or how long you spent on a certain page. When you revisit the site, it can recognize you by matching up your ID tag in the database.

 

As long as a computer user’s cookies are enabled (there’s an option to turn them off), and the computer user fills out a form when they visit your site, a cookie will be created. Cookies are only created when a visitor fills out a form on the site — not if they just visit the site. Many people opt to disable their cookies so that sites cannot track them.

 

Now that you know what a cookie is, you can begin to understand why they are an enormous asset to businesses. They are able to pull useful marketing data in an unprecedented fashion.

 

First of all, they can tell you how a visitor found you — a digital “How did you hear about us?” Survey that’s completely automatic. As any good marketer knows, lead tracking is imperative in effectively growing your business. So a cookie will tell you how a visitor arrived to your site — whether it was organic, a paid search, or a referral from another website. Once you know how your visitors find you, you can find more of them.

 

Cookies can also tell you how many pages, and what pages, a visitor has viewed. This is important because by observing visitor patterns, you can determine who’s a serious lead. The more pages a customer visits, the hotter of a lead they are. Even better if the customer visits the site numerous times, which a cookie can also track.

 

Perhaps one of the best uses of cookies is that they can notify you when a visitor is on your site. How cool is that? They can let you know a potential customer is thinking of you right then! You can use this information to reach out to the person, since your business is already on your mind in that very moment.

 

There are many analytic tools you can use to track cookies: Google Analytics, Hubspot, Facebook Insights, Twitalyzer, ClickTale, Compete. No matter the analytic tool you decide to use, you should definitely take advantage of what cookies have to offer! When used to their fullest extent, they can work wonders for your business on the web.

10 Tips for Creating Great Content

We all struggle from time to time with keeping an audience engaged, particularly when it comes to the Internet. There is such a vast amount of content on the Internet that you really have to produce something uniquely enticing in order to cut through the clutter. This can be very challenging. And because your relevance depends on regular activity on your social media sites, it’s even more imperative that you learn how to consistently create quality content. Here are some tips:

  1. Create Original Content

    One of the best ways to distinguish yourself in your industry is by creating something original. This means offering a new and fresh perspective and not dishing up the same ideas that have already been written.

    Originality is not only important in terms of branding but also Google searches. The Google algorithm will lower the ranking for pages with content that’s simply copied. So be creative!

  2. Pull Them in with a Good Headline

    Journalism 101 will teach you that the headline is more important than the content itself. According to Copyblogger, 80% of people will read your headline but only 20% will actually go on to read your content!

    On the Internet where there is endless content to access, you only have a few seconds to pull a reader in as they are scrolling down an endless stack of content. People will only read something that sparks their interest. So you have to make that headline a grabber! Phrases that make the content sound like need-to-know information are best.

    Ask yourself: What sort of title would make you want to read a piece?

  3. Cut out the fluff

    No one really wants to read the extra embellishments that add body to a story– especially when there is already so much out there to capture their attention. People want to get right into the good stuff that drew them in the first place. So cut to the chase, keep it brief and to the point.

  4. Keep it Accurate, Keep it Credible

    Nothing ruins a blog faster than discovering inaccuracies. So when you cite facts, be sure to include credible sources. Consider where you’re getting your information and, after you determine it’s a credible source, you can include the link directly in your writing. This not only provides an opportunity to boost your authority on the subject matter but it also helps Google figure out how to better categorize your content in searches.

  5. Make Your Readers Think

    After reading your headline and deciding to read your content, the reader will decide within the first few sentences whether or not they want to continue reading. You must explain in your introduction why they should care and what the reader should expect to read in your piece. Be up front and be creative.

    Telling stories is a great way to tie your content together and keep your readers engaged. If a reader finishes your piece with new thoughts or questions in mind, you have done a fantastic job.

  6. Make it Practical

    While reading an article by an expert is an engaging act in itself, it’s difficult to take advice unless you understand how to use it. After you have introduced an idea, be sure to provide examples so that the reader has a better idea of how they can apply your advice. After all, your goal in writing is to help others accomplish something.

  7. Deliver Answers… and Quickly!

    The reason someone clicks on your article is generally not to just hear your musings. You’ve sold them with your headline and now they want to know what else you’re selling. Don’t beat around the bush or they will be gone in the click of a button. Be direct. Provide answers. Give your reader a reason to believe you know what you’re talking about.

  8. Add Imagery and Videos

    Supplementing text with a visual is an excellent way to better illustrate your point. Plus, many people are more stimulated by visuals. The social media app Instagram surpassed 50 million users in one year (the fastest growing media platform in history) due to its unique nature of an all-visual type of social media. People are simply drawn to photos and videos. So why not use that to your advantage?

  9. Ask Your Readers

    Sometimes the best way to find out what will interest your readers is just to ask them. Getting their feedback will not only help you generate ideas but you will also build rapport with your readers giving them the impression that you are easily accessible and helpful.

  10. Examine Your Stats

    The great thing about social media is that most platforms come with built-in metrics that help you gain insight into your viewership. Looking at page views, clicks, comments and shares can help you reflect on what your readers enjoyed the most and the least. By looking at your landing page and outgoing traffic, you can see what kind of topics and searches people used to get to and from your page. All of this information can help to define your future content.

Remember, a lot of content writing is about trial and error. It is important to try many different things and see what works and what doesn’t — and when and why. The more regularly you post, the more you will learn.

 

 

How to Improve Your Twitter Marketing

Twitter is a great marketing tool when used with the right techniques. Some struggle to understand the benefits of Twitter, saying 140 character isn’t enough to get your message across. But the truth is there are 304 million monthly active Twitter users and you can directly interact with your marketing audience on this platform. For those of you who aren’t so keen on the Twitter lingo, use this for reference:

@handle – the @ symbol followed by a Twitter handle is used when mentioning or “Tweeting at” somebody.

DM – short for direct message. This allows you to send a private message to a person you’re following.

Following/Follower – someone who subscribes to receive your updates.

Hashtags – the # symbol followed by a word or phrase which organizes your updates for Twitter search engines.

Retweet – abbreviated RT, is the equivalent of sharing. You’re tweeting a Tweet already posted by another user.

Tweet – the updates you post to Twitter in 140 characters or less.

Now with these terms in mind, here are some tips to help up your Tweeting game:

  1. Follow and regularly interact with your industry experts and influencers. Just as you do in face-to-face networking, you want to build relationships with those important names in your industry. When you follow these people and businesses on Twitter, you are establishing your brand. Interacting with them on Twitter by Retweeting, mentioning, “favoriting” Tweets, or sending them a direct message builds important relationships. Better yet, you’re helping them and they’re more inclined to help you.
  2. Tweet regularly. Staying relevant and at the top of mind as a business on Twitter means maintaining an active and breathing profile. Tweeting just once a week or once a month isn’t going to cut it. This platform moves so quickly that what is trending changes from day to day. So in order for you to not only be remembered but grow your following, make it a habit to Tweet daily. Not only do you want to Tweet daily, but you also want to Retweet and Favorite tweets so that you’re getting noticed and being a part of the relevant activity.
  3. Use images and videos. Visuals increase clicks on Twitter. Including images and videos also makes your Twitter more interesting and people will more likely keep you in mind, and get you more Retweets and favorites.
  4. Offer special deals and discounts to your Twitter followers. Promoting offers such as “the next 25 followers to retweet this will receive a 25% off coupon” will get your Twitter abuzz. This sort of strategy can be used in tandem with other social media sites, having those sites direct more traffic to your Twitter page.
  5. Track your mentions and respond when appropriate. Twitter is a great way to bring customer service to the forefront of marketing. When people mention your business on Twitter, be sure that you’re keeping tabs on what’s being said about you. If someone mentions you with a compliment, you can thank them and engage with them further. If someone mentions with a complaint, you can address their complaint and see if you can resolve their issue. If people see that you handle customers on Twitter well, they’re more likely to keep up with you.

These are just a few suggestions to improve your marketing on Twitter. As your following grows, these tactics will continue to facilitate good marketing techniques. Remember that while a good Twitter presence is important, you ultimately want your Twitter to direct people to original content on your website. Posting teasers and links to entice people to read your content is the means to the ends of increasing your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ratings.

Why Follow the Mobile Trend? Top 5 Tips on Mobile Marketing

There is no doubt about it: We are a high tech society. With the avalanche of technological innovations in the past 20 years, we now prioritize connectivity through instant access and mobility. We have gone from simply marveling at dial up internet on our desktop computers to grumbling and groaning with impatience when the 4G on our smart phone is taking too long to load a web page.

With 60 percent of online browsing now done on mobile devices, to remain relevant, businesses must adapt with this mobile marketing trend. This means not only having an interactive website, but a mobile-friendly website. As of April 2015, Google has changed its algorithm to prioritize websites that are better to view on mobile devices– with larger text, links that are easy to click, and “responsive design” that changes their look depending on the size of the screen.

Websites that aren’t so mobile-friendly are penalized in the rankings, and are therefore pushed down in the list of Google searches. This means businesses both large and small must become more mobile friendly to be successful!

Here are the top five tips for marketing to the mobile audience…

  1. Get Mobile-Friendly
    As mentioned above, unless you want to be deemed less relevant by Google, it’s time to make your web content more mobile friendly. You need to create ads that are compatible with all screen sizes and screen resolutions.
  1. Create Quality Content
    Similar to creating content that uniquely positions yourself online, you want to create content that immediately attracts users. With a smaller screen, you need precise, on target material that is compelling enough for the reader to remain interested in what you’re offering. Keep in mind that mobile users have a shorter attention span and will move very quickly on to another page unless what they’re reading is actually interesting.

    Use a headliner that’s inviting to the reader and gives them an immediate idea of your business and products or services. Mobile users are wary of ads and therefore will lose interest unless you are both to-the-point and compelling.

  2. Get Personal
    Because it is so easy to interact with more users using mobile social media, it’s not a bad idea to let down some of your rigid professional vibe and get personal with your audience. Creating a Facebook page for your business, showcasing your products and/or services, inviting users to review, and asking for feedback will build trust between you and your users.

    As any good businessperson would do, you will want to answer customer enquiries in a timely manner and treat them with respect. This will build good relationships between you and your audience and will reflect well very quickly on your business.

  3. Stay in Touch
    Maintaining the good relationship between you and your market means staying in touch with your mobile customers. Otherwise, your customers may forget about you and move on to something else.

    A powerful tool for mobile marketing is SMS (Short Message Service Marketing) – you can send your users interesting offers preceded by a personal greeting. With the opportunity for these users to opt in to these offers, you can be sure that they are actually interested in what your business has to offer. Additionally, creating a community forum where these users can interact with you and each other builds even more opportunity for you to do business.

  4. Reward Your Regulars!
    When you’ve established an interactive community of customers, you can reward their engagement by providing special offers from time to time. Examples of this include offers to customers who “like,” share, or tweet information about you on your various social media platforms. Not only does it make users feel special, but it keeps their eyes peeled for more offers in the future.

 

Get engaged with your mobile market today! For assistance in getting started or continuing mobile marketing efforts,
you can contact Laura today!