Social Media Marketing World 2016 Influencer Roundup

What 1 thing will improve your social media marketing? 38 experts tell you how. Read the Social Media Marketing World 2016 Influencer Roundup.

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39 LinkedIn Business Tactics To Achieve Your Goals

LinkedIn Business TacticsIf you’re like many marketers, you may think of LinkedIn as a job seeker’s ghetto. But LinkedIn has evolved.

Before we dive into LinkedIn business tactics, understand that LinkedIn is a powerful professional social media tool. LinkedIn tops the social media list for small businesses according to the UMass Dartmouth.

Still not convinced about the power of LinkedIn to build your business?

Check out this LinkedIn data:

  • 1 in 3 professionals globally is on LinkedIn. 43% of them use mobile. LinkedIn BusinessLinkedIn Mobile Traffic
  • LinkedIn keeps business hours. The best time to post is Tuesday and Thursday between 7:00am and 9:00am local time. This makes sense since it’s not mixed with the Monday information deluge and the Friday rush to get done.
  • 20 posts per month will reach 60% of your unique LinkedIn audience according to Buffer.
  • 64% of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites come from LinkedIn according to eConsultancy research. 17% of these visits came from Facebook and 14% came from Twitter. Social media visits to company websites-Econsultancy-2013

38 LinkedIn tactics to achieve your business objectives

Regardless of whether you have a B2B, B2C, not-for-profit or your own business (aka: being a solopreneur), LinkedIn is an engine for achieving the following goals:

  1. Build brand and product awareness.
  2. Provide prospects information during the purchase process.
  3. Generate leads and sales.
  4. Extend your professional social media community.
  5. Support brand advocacy

Here’s how your firm can tap into these 39 LinkedIn business tactics.LinkedIn Business Tactics

1. Craft effective LinkedIn profiles

LinkedIn profiles are the heart of this social media platform. As with any social media network, participants are your key to success. For your business, LinkedIn’s power lies in your employees.

Therefore, make your employees look their best to ensure your firm looks its best on LinkedIn and other venues including Google+ and your website. Leverage the power of your employees to attract future staff and business contacts instead of thinking “Why should I help my employees polish their LinkedIn résumés?”

Companies like IBM, McKinsey and other major consulting firms have understood the power of their corporate alumni as a source of future clients and revenue. When I was at Citibank, many staff returned after a stint at another bank. Why pay for these hires?

Actionable LinkedIn business tactics

  1. Draft a set of social media guidelines. Ensure your staff knows what they can and can’t do when representing your firm on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. It’s helpful to get Legal involved in this area.
  2. Ask employees to represent your firm on LinkedIn. You can’t take a Big Brother attitude on social media. Give your staff a choice and show them what’s in it for them (aka WIIFM).You may want to ask Human Resources for their input on these requests.
  3. Provide LinkedIn training for your employees. Don’t just relegate social media interactions to your social media manager or team. Get everyone into the action. BUT provide them with help and support.
  4. Optimize employees’ LinkedIn profiles. Use verbs and keywords, not adjectives and buzzwords. Include volunteer experience on LinkedIn. 42% of hiring managers value this experience.
  5. Ask employees to include links to your website and blog in their profiles. The objective is to get people to seek your firm out. Choose a page that’s tailored and provides value to your audience. This may not be your homepage.
  6. Create more universal job titles. While you may have internal job names and descriptions, streamline them to make them understandable to the broader public to attract potential customers and business relationships.
  7. Take professional photographs of your employees. Host a photo day to get everyone’s photo. Use this opportunity to get other behind the scenes images you can use on social media. Include a professional photograph in your LinkedIn profile to increase your profile view rate 14 fold. Add videos to personal profiles.
  8. Create a set of videos for everyone in your company. This is great for both you and your employees. Make sure they’re branded.
  9. Promote LinkedIn profiles in your owned content. Add your LinkedIn profile to your email signature file.
  10. Endorse people you respect. Use keywords that support your business objectives. Write personal notes to people who endorse you and to make connections.
  11. Connect with people through their LinkedIn profile. This allows you to personalize your message.
  12. Leverage common connections to meet other people. BUT don’t assume that a LinkedIn connection is as deep or as willing to help as a colleague or friend.
  13. Remember your manners. Send follow up notes and thank you emails when people connect with or help you.

2. Build your company presence with corporate pages

Use LinkedIn to tell your company story. Don’t just publish more facts that have been recycled from other content. Consider the story you want to present on LinkedIn.

Here’s what information LinkedIn’s top content consumers seek.

Benefit of sharing content on LinkedIn-Chart

Actionable LinkedIn business tactics

  1. Incorporate your company branding on your LinkedIn company page. This includes photographs and content.
  2. Promote your LinkedIn company page on your owned media. This includes your website and blog to build your community.
  3. Get employees to link to your company page in their signature files. Of course, they should also include links to their own pages.
  4. Use photographs and other images in your company updates. Think media This should be a no-brainer since they attract attention.This increases your comment rate by 98%.
  5. Be professional in the content you share.
  6. Create showcase pages to spotlight brands, products and/or other areas (such as customer service or a geographic area) of your company. LinkedIn recommends using a maximum of 10 showcase pages.
  7. Post at least once per business day.

3. Build your LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn groups require building a community and on-going participation. Understand that this interaction doesn’t have to be a marketing or PR function; it could be a subject matter expert.

Actionable LinkedIn business tactics

  1. Create a LinkedIn group for thought leadership on your niche. You have to build your audience as well as continually participate. The power of a group is that it’s larger than your company.
  2. Promote your LinkedIn Group on your owned platforms. Let your visitors and customers know that you’re available to interact with them on these venues.
  3. Start an alumni group to maintain connections with former employees. Don’t leave this to chance. Have a plan to cultivate these relationships over time.
  4. Actively manage your LinkedIn Groups. Otherwise, there’s a lot of noise and members don’t pay attention to the stream. Where necessary, eliminate self promotion.
  5. Send a regular communication of the conversations. This is important to keep busy people as part of your group.
  6. Cover the breadth of LinkedIn groups in your category. Where appropriate ask an employee to be the point person who engages regularly.
  7. Position your firm as a thought leader by sharing relevant content on a regular basis. LinkedIn Groups aren’t just logos for your LinkedIn profile.  At a minimum, engage in group activity at least once per week.

4. Publish on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has transformed itself into a publisher.  For complete details and data, see: how to dominate LinkedIn Publishing.

Two of the salient LinkedIn Publishing data points are:

  • Tweet This Content is viewed 7x more than job related-activity on LinkedIn. 
  • Tweet This Over 1.5 million publishers have a share button on their sites for sharing content on LinkedIn. 

Actionable LinkedIn business tactics

  1. Schedule LinkedIn content in your editorial calendar. Don’t leave articles for LinkedIn to chance. Focus your content on the people you want to reach.
  2. Craft 1,900 to 2,000 words maximize views, comments and shares. Longer is better on this social media platform.
  3. Write articles for LinkedIn’s Top 10 topics. Specifically cover the following: leadership, innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, marketing, professional women, social media, economy, advice and education.
  4. Include photographs to increase visibility. But skip other media formats – they don’t help views or shares.
  5. Optimize your LinkedIn content. Add bolding and outlining to increase readability.

5. Develop your LinkedIn strategy.

You need a plan that’s integrated into your overall business and marketing plans to ensure that your content, communications and relationships continue to expand and grow.

Actionable LinkedIn business tactics

  1. Monitor what your employees are saying and where they appear on Google+. While this suggestion is motherhood and apple pie for most marketers, it bears repeating.
  2. Create a LinkedIn channel strategy. Include a combination of publishing, curating and engaging on LinkedIn.
  3. Include Slideshare as an extension of your LinkedIn strategy. Incorporate presentations given by your executives or created to help your target audience on a regular basis.
  4. Check-in daily. Viveka Von Rosen recommends making a date with LinkedIn. In her view, frequency and staying up-to-date are better than an extended session. It can be as little as 15 minutes to see what people are up to and to send out notes.
  5. Employees are 70% more likely to engage with your company updates. This makes sense since they know your firm. Send your employees a notice regarding your LinkedIn shares and posting. Ask for their support and make it easy for them to participate.
  6. Broaden your content distribution with the use of @ mentions and photographs.
  7. Include a call-to-action in your LinkedIn shares. Think about your target audience on LinkedIn and the next step you’d like them to take.

3 LinkedIn rockstars to follow

To keep your LinkedIn social media on track to succeed, follow these 3 LinkedIn rockstars:

1. Jason Miller

“Your audience should always be at center of your content, not you,” says LinkedIn’s Jason Miller. Tweet This

2. Neal Schaffer

 “Employees are the long tail of your brand identity,” according to LinkedIn expert Neal Schaeffer. Tweet This

3. Viveka von Rosen

“My top LinkedIn tip is to make use of LinkedIn’s new visual “aids,” says LinkedIn expert von Rosen. Tweet This

Specifically, visuals increase engagement on LinkedIn by up to 20% (or more!) as well as lending to your credibility and just making you and your profile look better. (For more details, check out von Rosen’s step by step explanation on Social Media Examiner.)

The LinkedIn bottom line:

Optimize your employees’ LinkedIn efforts so that your firm’s internal traffic drives more profit-oriented activity than your social media team.

This isn’t to detract from your social media team. LinkedIn success is a matter of numbers. More proactive people yield more interactions!

What has your LinkedIn social media marketing experience been? What has succeed for your marketing on LinkedIn and why?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

PS: Want to boost your LinkedIn prowess? Join the #LinkedInChat every Tuesday at 8 PM EST

Related article: Social Media Platforms 2014 and Beyond


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

For those of you in Raleigh, NC, please join me for Internet Summit November 11th through 13th. Internet Summit
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Return on Authenticity:
Making Effective Storytelling and Content Performance Align

Return on Authenticity: Making Effective Storytelling and Content Performance AlignJoin the discussion on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM PT/ 1:00 PM ET with Nancy Slavin, SVP of Marketing, Macy's Merchandising Group, and Dan Kimball, CMO, Thismoment.

According to research by Nielsen, 70 percent of global consumers trust online consumer reviews and rate reviews as the second most trusted form of advertising. And according to BazaarVoice, when it comes to trust, marketers may as well eliminate their own brand websites as a fountain of customer trust as only 16 percent of US consumers said they trust the content on a brand's website compared to the 51 percent who trust content generated by other users.

Today's digital currency is arguably authenticity, and what attracts customers - especially the digitally dependent, savvy millennial - is not just content. It is the delivery of authentic, unvarnished content from their peers.

Join the CMO Council on Wednesday, October 29, at 10am PST/ 1pm EST for a one-hour webcast that will invite industry experts in content marketing and user-generated content who are effectively leveraging authentic storytelling as part of their content marketing strategies. We will also feature an interactive Q&A session at the conclusion of the speaker presentations.

Register for this Free Webcast today!


 

 

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5 Key Actionable Lead Generation Tips You Need Now

Biggest lead generation mistakesLead generation is at the heart of B2B marketing.

It’s a major driver of content marketing.

According to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs research:

  • 74% of B2B marketers use content marketing to generate leads
  • 47% of B2B marketers use content marketing to nurture and manage leads.

Lead Generation The biggest problem marketers face is focusing their efforts on creating epic content. As a result, they assume leads will magically appear and convert into paying customers without managing back-end of the process.

Here’s how B2B marketers track their content marketing performance:

  • 54% of B2B marketers measure sales lead quality.
  • 48% of B2B marketers measure sales lead quantity.
  • 39% of B2B marketers measure direct sales.

Lead Generation Metrics - 2014When generating leads, marketers must balance driving better quality leads versus more leads. Without a sufficient number of leads, converting enough prospects into customers is difficult .

Over time, with improved processes, marketers can drive higher quality leads.

25 Biggest lead generation mistakes

Here are the 25 biggest lead generation mistakes that marketers make according to experts.Biggest lead generation mistakes

1. Connie Bensen – Global Social Media, Dell @CBensen
Content that doesn’t resonate with target audiences is the biggest mistake. Placing content intended for conversion in people’s paths in the social channels is a waste of time and resources (if paid amplification is used). People will recognize it for the advertising that it is and not engage with it.

2. David Berkowitz – MRY, @DBerkowitz
A huge mistake is trying to force feed lead generation campaigns into situations where consumers aren’t as focused on taking actions. Most social media activity is best at impacting earlier stages of the purchase funnel, so many lead gen campaigns wind up looking like square pegs in round holes.

3. Bernie Borges – Find and Convert, @bernieborges
Clearly the biggest mistake I see is asking to get married on the first date. That’s an obvious analogy for asking for too much from the first touch point with your target audience. Marketer’s need to use the “romance” metaphor in their approach.

4. Michael Brenner –  SAP and B2B Marketing Insider, @BrennerMichael
The biggest lead generation mistake company’s make is assuming that people care more about your brand than they actually do. 73% of people surveyed recently said they could care less if the brands they use disappeared tomorrow. You have to provide value from start to finish.

5.  Ian Cleary – Razor Social @IanCleary
The biggest lead generation mistake is not building email subscribers.  The majority of your website visitors will never come back to your site unless you encourage them back through regular communication.  One of the best ways of doing this is building up email subscribers.

6. Heidi Cohen – Actionable Marketing Guide, @HeidiCohen
Lead generation is skipping the romance portion of the buying process. The objective is to turn hand raisers into satisfied customers.  Here’s where marketers can go wrong.

  1. Don’t understand your target audience. This includes your customers, influencers, end users and the public. Without appreciating your key market, you can’t create marketing that drives and converts leads. This means creating a marketing persona.
  2. Don’t drive leads. You can’t assume that your audience will buy from you without getting the 5 basic types of content. Ensure that this information is both search and social friendly.
  3. Don’t give prospects a reason to share their contact information. This means incorporating a contextually relevant call-to-action (CTA).
  4. Don’t have a process to close sales. Just because your target market raises their hand, that doesn’t translate to sales unless you’ve answered all of their questions and converted them.
  5. Don’t track results. It’s critical to measure your results to appreciate where your process isn’t converting prospects.

7. Jeffrey L. Cohen –  Ball State University and Social Media B2B, Co-author of The B2B Social Media Book,  @JeffreyLCohen
Many marketers view content-generated leads in the same way as traditional leads. Just because someone fills out a lead form to download an ebook does make him or her sales-ready. This is the beginning of a trust-building relationship. And that relationship must be nurtured before you have the right to contact them in a sales context.

8. Andy Crestodina – Orbit Media, author of Content Chemistry, @Crestodina
They ignore the data. They ignore the low-hanging fruit. They don’t look at Analytics and don’t optimize their blog. The don’t know what’s working so they waste a lot of time doing things that don’t get results.

I recommend picking the reports that are most interesting to you, and add them to a dashboard (it’s one click at the top of the report) Then set the dashboard to be emailed to yourself every week or so (this also only takes a few clicks) Now you’ll at least see the numbers more often.

The next step is to ask questions and then go look for answers. Do you ever wonder if…? Now go dig around and explore. See if you can find the answer in your Analytics. Once you get into it, it can be fun. The trick is to get over the “I’m bad at Analytics” attitude and jump in. 

9. Mike Delgado –Experian-North America, @MikeDelgado
Stop thinking “we tried that already and it didn’t work.” Figure out all the reasons why a campaign didn’t perform like you wanted and test again later.   Test strategically – and don’t be afraid of failure.

10. Ric Dragon – DragonSearch, Author of Social Marketology@RicDragon
Always be selling.  Isn’t that a mantra of sales?  Okay, so maybe you can always be selling, but by not “selling.” The incessant communication of promoting the brand destroys trust. Trust, on the other hand, is a fundamental element of social media marketing. If your focus is on creating customer or audience value, this will be communicated and felt, and will create trust.

11. Jason Falls – CafePress, Author of  No Bullshit Social Media. @JasonFalls
Not targeting in granular enough ways to attract qualified leads. Those same social media software companies are mostly full of community managers, entry-level account people and the like rather than marketing decision-makers who control budget and buying decisions. It’s harder to get those folks on a webinar or to download a white paper, but few software companies even try. They just assume by spraying the opportunity out to a broad audience, a few targeted folks will trickle in. We could get so much better at targeting if we wanted to.

12. Barry Graubart – Content Matters LLC @Graubart
Particularly, with social media, marketers seem to treat the “follow” or registration as the sole goal, regardless of how they got it. A good example of this is how many marketers (particularly B2C) use contests to get follows, then move to standard interrupt marketing. The person who follows your brand solely because they entered a contest, will likely not engage with your push marketing efforts on social media. Instead, they’ll wonder why they’re following this annoying brand and will unfollow you. Be consistent in the way that you engage users up front and throughout the buying lifecycle and they will be more supporting of your brand going forward.

13. Kelly Hungerford – Paper.li
Making assumptions about the wants and needs of your target audience. Don’t rely on just traffic and purchasing data. Reach out and talk to your customers and prospects and ask them what they like, or dislike, about your content and your site. Once they give you feedback take action to make changes to your content or website based on the feedback. It’s always surprising the gains that can be made by daring to ask and experiment. 

14. Dave Kerpen, Likeable Local – author of Likeable Business & Likeable Social Media@DaveKerpen
Offering content without collecting email addresses is the biggest lead gen mistake marketers make! 

15. Alan K’necht – Digital Always Media Inc., @AKnecht
Asking too many questions up front. For example, If I’m registering for a white paper download, don’t ask for a phone number or even the full name. An email address should be sufficient to start the process. It’s shocking how many times I see organizations asking for First Name, Last Name, Email, Phone, Company Name, Full address all for a white paper. Structure how much information you require based on the value of what you’re giving away. For a free software download, Name and phone number might justified to both you and the person requesting it.

16 Arnie Kuenn – Vertical Measuresauthor of Accelerate,  @ArnieK
The biggest mistake I’ve seen is asking TOO much information off the bat on a lead form. Remember, it should be an equal exchange of content value for personal information. You must gain someone’s trust right here at this form before they even get to the download. If a person feels that they’ve given too much information in exchange for what they then receive, you could have just lot a potential customer. Gain trust on the lead form and deliver matching value.

17. Jason Miller – LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, @JasonMillerCA
The biggest lead gen mistake that I see is giving up too quickly. Lead generation, especially in the world of social, takes time to build the right campaign strategy. It’s not going to happen overnight, and it’s likely going to be a lot of trial and error. But stick with it, find what works, and then scale. 

18. Jesse Noyes – Kapost
Honestly, the set-and-forget-it attitude. Too many marketers think they can turn on their marketing automation and the leads will start pouring in. A tool isn’t going to give you a strategy. You have to come up with a fluid, ongoing strategy for attracting, engaging and enticing leads. The tools just help you implement your strategy.

19. Phil Paranicas – ThomasNet
I can’t tell you how many times I see poorly worded calls to action. Or, even worse – NO call to action! If the user has made it to your web page or blog – chances are they are interested, and maybe even in a buying position. Please don’t make it difficult for them to contact you! Calls to action should be concise, clear and BIG. Every word counts. “Click here to request a quote” is a good place to start. Though, “I’m ready for a fast quote” will get you more clicks. Make sure buttons are LARGE. Here’s a tip.

Walk six feet away from your monitor and look at your call to action. If you can’t read the words, make them big enough until you can! CTA language that puts the user in the center of the action is much more likely to get click.

One last and important point-Forms should be short and only require the minimum details you need to provide a quote. Don’t turn your RFQ into a DMV form with 30 questions. Take a look at your website right now, and make sure your contact buttons are large, concise and enticing!

20. Paul Roetzer – PR 20/20 and author of The Marketing Agency Blueprint.
Not having a process to follow through with the opportunities. Marketing technology is readily available to enable advanced lead scoring and nurturing, but the majority of organizations still lack marketing automation and intelligence solutions. So the leads may be coming in, but they are not maximizing conversions and performance.

 21. Dayna Rothman – MarketoAuthor of Lead Generation for Dummies, @dayroth
Another pitfall is too many marketers today rely only on inbound only for lead generation. Inbound marketing has a lot of buzz right now, but you need to combine it with effective outbound marketing (paid) techniques in order to have a complete lead generation strategy. You need outbound techniques like events, outbound sales, advertising, and more to amplify your inbound efforts and create an even bigger splash.

22. Stephanie Sammons – Wired Advisor™ and Sammons Digital, @StephSammons
Too many offers or calls-to-action which can create indecision.

23. Neal Schaffer – Maximize Your SocialAuthor of Maximize Your Social@NealSchafferal
Generating a lead through content marketing and then “spamming” the prospect with too frequent or not relevant enough information.

24. Jim Siegel – HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, @MeaningComfort
Using social media solely for promotional means. Not cultivating credibility and trust by providing information that is useful to the recipient. Don’t just be self-serving.

25. Deborah Weinstein – Strategic Objectives, @DebWeinstein
Siloing of marketing/communications activities is the biggest mistake marketers make. Consistency is imperative in today’s hyper-connected world, where all of your marketing and communications efforts – public relations, advertising, social media, experiential, promo, direct, etc – must row in the same direction. Your brand is doomed if your right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

Integrating your key messages across all your communications channels will ensure your agency partners are on the same page and aligned with your company’s goals, objectives and KPI’s. Alignment = Success. Silos = Failure.

5 Key actionable lead generation tips

To avoid these 25 biggest lead generation mistakes, here are 5 key actionable lead generation tips:

  1. Make sure your content targeted to your best sources of leads. This means knowing your customers as well as using a variety of different forms of marketing (both inbound and outbound) to reach your entire market.
  2. Use a contextually relevant call-to-action to get prospects into your purchase funnel. Don’t offer potential customers too many choices or you risk that they’ll abandon your process before you even have a chance to convert them!
  3. Minimize the amount of information you request upfront. You can qualify prospects later. Your goal should be to maximize the number of potential buyers you have to start with. Think in terms of building an email housefile.
  4. Have a process in place to nurture and convert leads. This means landing pages.
  5. Measure your lead generation process and test different aspects to maximize results. This is an iterative process to ensure you maximize the benefit of your marketing.

What do you think is the biggest lead generation mistake that marketers make and how would you fix it?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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