Customers Demand Brands to Prove Themselves Trustworthy

brand advocates, content creation service, Smart Inbound Marketing, social media lead generation, Win Customer LoyaltyTrust is a major factor when it comes to get new customers acquired.

Companies need to understand that they need be there before they ask for a sale. They need to establish themselves as an authority and trusted source in their industry.

 

About.com conducted a survey where they find out that 84% of said that brands must prove themselves trustworthy before they buy or interact in any other way!

how to overcome competitors in business,customer loyalty,benefits of facebook for businessReviews (customer generated content) are a way how brands can gain trust with future customers said 41% of the surveyed people.

This brings us to the most effective way how to gain customer trust before you ask for the sale.

Content marketing is a proven way to engage customers.

A seriously executed content marketing strategy can be responsible for 25x times more business leads and boosts your revenue by up to 40%!

One of the most popular channels to share content is social media. About 76% of marketers use a social network as the main channel for content distribution.

To share content in social media is not enough. Content creation and content marketing must be executed as a holistic strategy and have to be performed on regular basis to gain profitable results on the long term.

Companies utilizing content marketing strategy report an up to 2,000% lift in blog traffic and 40% boost in revenue.

How to start content marketing?

The best way to start content marketing for business is to start a corporate blog. Recent and future customers can interact this way with your business. You show expertise and offer valuable information to solve your audience’s problems. This gains trust.

Blogging has great advantages and here are the most important:

  • 1. Blogging companies get up to 55% more Traffic
  • 2. Blogging companies get up to 97% more Inbound Links
  • 3. Blogging companies get up to 434% more indexed pages in search engines
  • 4. Blogging companies get up to 25x times more business leads

 

All of this above builds trust and increases brand visibility. As a result this brings more interested people to the offers and can increase revenue in the long term.

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How to Win Customer Loyalty in Social Media with Smart Inbound Marketing

brand advocates, content creation service, Smart Inbound Marketing, social media lead generation, Win Customer LoyaltyMany marketers out there still think that a Facebook “like” is a proof of customer loyalty. Or when the do promotions and give coupons and freebies this will help to tie customers to their brand. But the “like” button is mostly clicked by expecting a reward to do so.

An increasing number of people who like a brand page are looking for valuable and helpful content.

COLLOQUY find out that promotions in the long run do not have an impact to customer experience!

Customer loyalty can be won and kept by encouraging them to spread the word about the brand they are satisfied with and help those customers to become brand advocates.

The today customer depends on his friends, family and social network when he is researching for new products and services on the web. Furthermore the today customer wants to be entertained and informed from brands and not overwhelmed with sales pitches.

Customers want brands to listen and to respond to their needs, wishes and complaint because this is what makes them feel understand.

The top five most popular things customers expects from a brand are:

  • 1. Providing a great 24/7 customer service
  • 2. Rewarding them for purchases, their feedback and referrals they bring in
  • 3. Sending them exclusive and relevant offers and specials
  • 4. Provide them with personalized products and services
  • 5. To know them when they visit or call a brand

 

How can you utilize those above information to set your business apart from your competition and to fulfill your customer’s needs?

Ask yourself, what will future customers find about me when they research for products and services on the web which I have to offer also?

When the above described customers ask friends and family for recommendations on products and services, will they recommend you or your competition?

As people go online to research, and customers want to be informed and entertained, what do you do to inform and/ or to entertain your existing and future customers.

In simple words, how do you separate your brand from the competition?

To separate your brand from your competition you need to understand that those above stated five points are your business advantage when used wisely. When you are able to improve these points than you will be always several steps ahead of your competition, but only as long as you do not stop improving what you do!

Inbound marketing offers you a strategic and smart approach to be and to stay several steps ahead of your competition.

Inbound marketing is the marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers when they research online for products and services your business also has to offer.

With inbound marketing businesses “earn” their way to the customer and his loyalty, by publishing helpful information on a blog, in social media and forums.

Inbound marketing includes: Content creation like blogging, video, photo, whitepapers, eBooks, podcasts, press releases, comments in social media and other blogs and forums, Social media two way communication, lead generation, lead conversion, lead nurturing and closed-loop analysis.

Infographic: Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing Rising, Inbound Marketing agency, Inbound Marketing services, Inbound Marketing software

Inbound marketing can help you to:

  • A. Save up to 62% of your marketing budget in the long term
  • B. Make you stand out of your competition
  • C. Generate a massive amount of qualified and hot business leads
  • D. Improve your lead conversion rate by up to 55%
  • E. Increase your loyal customers and sales

 

What do you think are you willing to take the effort by doing the above?

 

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How B2B Marketers can connect to Small Business Owners

In March 2012, marketing agency Cargo and Inc. Magazine found the majority (52%) of US small-business owners felt companies did not market to them effectively.

Moreover 43% – 45% of the small business owners said companies made little effort to understand their individual needs and their business.

Most of the small business owners do the business important tasks them self, as they do their financials, marketing, sales and services. Their time is full stuffed with work and they do not sit behind a computer a whole day long. As they are mostly working their job and are with their employees and customers they are perfect to be reached by mobile devices as laptops and smart phones.

When B2B marketers want to connect with them they need to be where those small business owners are around and there where they can be reach and where they can reach out to the marketer.

As an increasing number of small business owners places importance on wireless communications and smart phones for their business this is the way to get in touch with them.

 

Infographic: Local Mobile Search

Local Mobile Search, mobile marketing, mobile lead generation

 

So what marketers need to do to reach small business owners with their brand massage?

  • 1. Make your website mobile friendly. As small business owners love to use mobile devices like smart phones and tables, it makes sense to make it easier for them to consume your content
  • 2. Adjust your email marketing, so it becomes and your email massage can be read on the fly. The most email communication is read from mobile devices
  • 3. Become active in social media. As all known social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have mobile Apps; you can reach small business owners there through your communication and attract them to your offers
  • 4. Start to create and publish buyer persona “small business owners persona” oriented content on the web and in social media. This will increase your visibility and grow your trust
  • 5. Respond friendly and professionally to every request, no matter if it comes publicly through social media or by email or support ticket.

 

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New Data Shows: Social Media Is Getting Results for B2B

social media marketing roiSuccessful companies use every possible communication channel to get in touch with their target audience. They are interested in what their recent and future customers are thinking and communicating about them.

This communication ability helps them to better understand and to serve their audience, which sets them apart from their competition and gives them wide advantages in their business field.

Businesses which are willing to communicate with their audience in blogs and social media show that they care about the people who spend their money with them.

Businesses which avoid an open and authentic communication in blogs and social media show exactly the opposite. Why should the customer than care about to make any further business with them?

Successful businesses in B2C and B2B have embraced the wide opportunities which blogs and social media offers to them to spread the word and to reach their audience where there are around.

Recent data show that B2B marketers are very satisfied with the benefits of their social media marketing:

  • — Over 56% of B2B marketers acquired new business partnerships through social media, compared to 45% of B2C
  • — 60% of B2B marketers saw improved search rankings from their social efforts, compared to 50% of B2C
  • — 69% of B2B marketers are more able to gather marketplace insights from their social efforts, compared to 60% of B2C
  • — But B2C marketers are better when it comes to developing a loyal fan base (63% of B2C vs. 53% of B2B marketers)

 

Where are Marketers going in 2012?

LinkedIn

  • • 76% of B2B marketers will increase their use of LinkedIn
  • • 55% of B2C marketers will increase their use of LinkedIn

 

Blogging

  • • 71% of B2B marketers plan to invest more time in blogging
  • • 65% of B2C marketers plan to invest more time in blogging

 

Facebook

  • • 68% B2B marketers will increase their use of Facebook
  • • 76% B2C companies will increase their use of Facebook

 

 

Infographic: How Engaged is Your Brand?

brand-marketing-with-social-media-infographic

The 2012 topics of interest for Marketers are:

Marketer B2B and B2C are mostly interested to learn more about ways on how to use Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter for Business.

Marketers are also interested on how to measure the effectiveness of social media, how to converting activities to sales and to learn the best social media tactics.

Do you have position your business for an open and authentic communication with your audience in blogs and social media yet?

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How B2B Marketers Can do Social Media Lead Generation the Smart Way

social media marketing roiAny B2B business can use social media as a source of unfiltered information and as powerful business intelligence tool to predict trends, for support and product development. Social media has proved in the past years that it can bring positive ROI when done right.

A recent study from Sagefrog Marketing Group shows how companies have learned to leverage social media.

Leveraging social media for branding and building awareness helps B2B companies.

4 Ways how companies can leverage social media:

  • • Increase brand awareness
  • • Humanize B2B companies
  • • Establish as thought leader
  • • Connecting with customers and prospects

 

An increasing number of companies like Intuit, Sysco, Cisco, GE Healthcare and AT&T are using social media for effective business lead generation.

What sites, tactics and strategies are B2B marketers including in their social media outreach?

To do their social media outreach B2B marketers include professional networking sites like LinkedIn which have proven to be an effective way to generate business leads. Furthermore they utilize social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube also which are helping them to reach customers in new ways.

Some numbers about Social Media Lead Generation

“67% of B2C and 47% of B2B companies report to have acquired new customers through Facebook.” “47% of companies who use Twitter report to have acquired new customer through it.”

Content marketing social media copywritingOnline Marketing strategies like banner ads have been replaced through proven buyer persona oriented content creation which also brings better ROI than pay per click marketing (PPC).

A corporate blog has become the number one content marketing tool for companies. The importance of blogging is growing and people are adding nearly 3 million blogs per month. [Technorati 2011 State of the Blogosphere Report]

Studies show that companies who operate and update a corporate blog frequently have 55% more website visitors. From those companies 57% which operate a corporate blog report to have acquired new customers through their blog.

There is no question content marketing, corporate blogging connected with social media distribution is definitely a revenue driver for B2B companies.

Infographic: B2B Social Media on the Rise

b2b-social-media-marketing-infographic

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Studies prove Social Media Marketing lasts longer

social media marketing roiThe Social Media marketing return on investment is a major factor why businesses choose to step into social media marketing and the two communications here.

Social media has proved in the past years that it can bring positive ROI when done right. Some successful examples are Intrepid Travel, Easy Lunch Boxes, SnapRetail just only to name some of them.

As businesses understand that social media is no short term sprint than more something like a marathon they engage with more diligence to plan their steps to reach a long term ROI.

Successful brands look at social media engagement as a plant which needs to be cultivated over the time to grow to an unlimited range.

BzzAgent has discovered that about 61% of brand advocates would buy products up to one year after social media campaign has expired. This proves that social media marketing and two way communication lasts longer than ordinary one marketing blasts from yesteryear.

This does not mean that social media has become a “push the button cash machine”. Not every campaign will be successful. But like everything on the planet the volume of activities and their step by step improvement ensures a growing success.

This does not mean that brands should fire one campaign behind another. This means that a brand should carefully listen to its audience. When they listen carefully their audience will tell them which campaign could be appreciated to become a possible success story.

In the mean time a human and authentic communication should be the priority.

A good way to start a smart dialogue is to ask open questions. To ask the audience about their opinion about services and products will open discussions where a brand get the opportunity to respond in a professional, authentic and human way.

No matter if there are critics or praise. Every feedback is a chance to showcase the brands standpoint and get in touch with the recent or future customer.

Brands that listen to their audience and improve products and services to fit their audience’s needs are one step from that to be the long term winners. The growing trend for custom products proves this. The one size fits all strategy does not work anymore this is for sure!

Any business can use social media as a source of unfiltered information and as powerful business intelligence tool to predict trends, for support and product development.

The others who do not will be left behind, and they deserve to vanish because they do not care a shi* about their audience and never have. Social media also points this out and separates the good from the bad once.

In this new world the customer B2C and B2B wins and the brands who care. And that’s good!

Infographic: B2B Social Media Marketing

b2b-social-media-marketing-infographic

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Why Social Media only will NOT bring you any profit

social-media-gambleSocial media seems to be the universal treatment for anybody who tries to get ahead of his competition and to increase profits.

I have bad news for you: Social media only will not solve your problem! 🙁

What do you really want to achieve from your Social Media activity?

• Are you looking to increase your sales?

• Do you want to improve the customer service?

• Do you want to decrease marketing budget and increase results in the long term?

• Are you trying to create outposts for your business to get in front of your customers?

• Are you looking to expand your reach and strengthen your brand?

• What’s your motivation and what are your goals to get in to social media?

Here are four things you will need to establish parallel with your social media activities:

As social media is a communication channel you need to establish relationships to people you want to talk to. And this does not happen overnight, even not with six or twelve months. This is a long-term task!

The first thing you need to succeed in social media is PATIENCE!

As relationships are not build in a few days and you will need to be there to get into conversation, this can become a time consuming venture.

The second thing you need to succeed in social media is PERSISTENCE!

As all discussion and all conversation a great, very important and to build strong relationships is a main goal, you still will need to keep in focus the return on investment for your activities? You need to measure your doings and the results!

The third thing you need to succeed in social media are realistic METRICS!

Last but not least, you need to generate leads out of your efforts! As you do social media marketing you will pull a lot of visitors to your website. And here it is where you need to have effective landing pages in place to generate leads!

The forth thing you need to succeed in social media are LANDING PAGES and an EFFECTIVE LEAD NURTURING PROCESS!

Not to mention that you need to offer incredible service to your customers to make them love you, to become evangelists of your brand and to talk to their friends and business partners about how awesome your company is.

You only can achieve this by showing that you respect and care about your customers and give them a good feeling when they do business with you!

samuel colt peace makerThere was a saying from the times of the Wild West: “God has created human but Samuel Colt made them equal! “

You can apply the same to social media for our time!

With this kind of attitude you can outperform any competitor, no matter of his financial and market power!

 

—How are your experiences with your social media efforts? I am looking forward to your comment!

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9 Ways How Chief Marketing Officers can Harness Social Media

social media for businessAn IBM study found study found out that about 26 % of chief marketing officers track blogs and only 40 % follow any online communications. And the most shocking is that about 82 % still rely on traditional “old school” market research to plan their marketing strategies.

As social media is two way communication and offer tremendous opportunities for companies to get in touch with their audience this seem like somebody has not activated the phone or fax while somebody is scared of communication!

Companies like Coca-Cola, Nike, DELL, and Starbucks, only to mention a few shows how important social media and the conversation is which is taking place there. Companies which engage their target audience in social media show them that they care and are willing to listen what their audience is talking!

As a business which is active in social media you get direct feedback for your product and the chance to improve and evolve them that way your audience wants to buy them.

Companies which embrace social media and the opportunity to step into conversation will be the winners, there is no question!

Studies prove that companies which transform their communication skills to social media gain more trust and strengthen their brand.

Here are some simple steps how companies can step into social media conversation!

1.) Create a social media policy. There are a lot of examples only which you can use to get ideas.

2.) Get active and build a corporate blog where you publish information about the topics your audience cares of.

3.) Spread those blog articles in social media like Twitter, Facebook and also in LinkedIn if you are B2B focused.

4.) Listen to the conversation in social media networks and if you have something beneficial to contribute do it, if not listen further.

5.) As you are in conversation keep the water cooking and ask open questions, ask for recommendations and critics and answer your audiences’ questions.

6.) Be always honest! Do not even try to hold something back.

7.) Be authentic! People forgive mistakes but they not forgive to be ripped so easily!

8.) When you get critics than deal with it in a professional way! Critics and complaints are great to step into discussion and show your point and to show that you care and are willing to improve your products and services.

9.) Measure your doings to learn where the social media conversation is leading your business.

As social media is no trend it will not vanish and Chief Marketing Officers should very quickly embrace this powerful communication channel.

b2b-social-media-marketing-infographic

If you still believe your audience is not in social media than prove this by doing research there for your industries top key words or for your competitors and you will see by yourself if other companies have already take action there to get in touch, maybe with your recent customers.

—What have been your experiences with social media for your company? I am looking forward to your feedback.

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Marketers struggle to harness social media – survey

 

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Is Google+ a good bet for your business?

google vs facebookWhen Google+ was launched some people had the opinion that it will destroy Facebook in a short time period. Within the first weeks which have been running under invitation only to get an Google+ account, Google+ as been able to register more than ten million users.

Some observer had the opinion that a big exodus from Facebook to G+ will happen and maybe Facebook had the same in mind when they begun to close loopholes to expert contacts to Google+.

But this has not happen. Sure users which use Facebook are also on G+ now but no exodus took place.

The last estimations about the number of G+ users go in a range of 40 million and up. With its 750 million and daily growing base of global users Facebook does not need to be scared of G+ yet.

Imagine you went several years back and had the chance to register with Facebook when they had about 40 million users. Can you imagine how big your possible network could grow and how far would be your brands range globally?

This is your chance now to turn the wheel of time several years back and get into the game. Probably this will be your last chance to become part of massively growing social network for the next ten years. Position your business now, before you competitor does!

google plus profile dragan mestrovic

G+ actually offer personal profiles only but is also experimenting with company profiles similar as Facebook Pages.

The best thing what you can do as a business person or marketer is to register a personal profile with G+ which is now open for everybody and help your employees and coworkers to do the same.

G+ is ruled by the social networking rules too!

Build relationships and communicate in a professional and beneficial way to your Circles! This will help you to increase the number of connection and when the day has come that you can register your business page on G+ than you hopefully have a large and influential audience with which you maintain good relationships. This could jumpstart your G+ Business Page in a very powerful way.

To take action now can make huge a difference for your business. As G+ and social media are no secrets anymore, simply any business is tried to get a share of the cake.

Businesses that wait will be left behind and have to fight an uphill battle reach a reasonable position, but will never overtaking those who came first. That’s for sure!

Here are some simple tips for you to take advantage of G+ NOW!

  • 1. Go to Google and register a G+.
  • 2. Complete your profile and upload a personal picture.
  • 3. Research who of your business partners and other connections is actually on G+ and invite them.
  • 4. Place the G+ widget on your website and blog so your visitors can use this as an opportunity to connect with from there.
  • 5. Look daily through your STREAM and see if you can contribute to your Circles news or if there are interesting information which you could share.
  • 6. When some of your Circles comment your info than this are you weak up call to start the conversation. Ask some open question.
  • 7. If you operate your own corporate or personal blog you could share your latest post in your STREAM.

 

And as you are waiting for the G+ Business Page to come you have the opportunity to get into G+, build your circles, expand your reach and set you and your business in advanced position. And this all with no pressure or any deadlines!

googleplus_facebook_infographic_small

–How about you, how do use G+ actually? I am looking forward to your comment.

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How to reach 43 percent of all online consumers with your brand message

Social Media brand messageStats show 43 percent of all online consumers are in social media. Is your business there too?

78% of online consumers research online before they buy! They research preferred in blogs and their social networks.

Can your future or existing customers find you in social media? Are they able to find you when they research on Google, Yahoo or Bing?

By engaging in social media you increase your chances by about 54% to get found from your target audience when thy research for products your business also has to offer.

By listening to the social media conversation you can discover what’s talked about your brand and what kind of expectations, challenges and interests your target audience has for your.

To be active in social media makes people aware of your brand and gives your business the opportunity to step into a real time two way conversation with your audience.

You get the opportunity to gain trust and credibility and to be there with helpful and share worthy information before you ask for business!

Moreover this 2 two way communication shows you the expectations of your target audience for your products and services. When you listen carefully your audience tells you what, when and how they want buy from you.

You can tailor custom products and services to fulfill your audiences needs and expectations and you can improve existing products and your support to solve your audience’s problems and serve their demand when they need it!

Imagine which kind of impact such knowledge could have on your business and your competitive advantage you can gain over your competition by simply engaged in social media.

An average Facebook user has about 130 friends. When they share your brand to their friends and his friend’s share your brand to their friends and so on, can imagine how far your brand can be spread online?

 

How can you reach those 43 percent of all online consumers with your brand message?

 

1.) Start a blog

Companies that blog get about 55% more traffic to their websites. More than a half of them generate new customers through their blog.

To find blogging topics is easier than you think. Just go through your customer requests and questions your audience has about your products and services. For example, you can write How-to’s and publish them in your blog.

 

2.) Engage in Facebook

67% of B2C and 41% of B2B report that they got new customers through Facebook. Simply go to Facebook and register a personal account first. Complete this and start a business Page as the second step. Find your audience in other business pages and groups and start listening. If you have something helpful to contribute to the conversation than do it otherwise listen and learn.

 

3.) Engage in Twitter

42% of companies report that they have got new customers through Twitter. Register a Twitter account and start listening to your audience. The same procedure on Twitter: If you have something helpful to contribute to the conversation than do it otherwise listen and learn.

Make yourself interesting and attractive by publishing interesting and share-worthy content on the web through your corporate blog and in social media. Ask your audience for their opinion ask questions about their opinion about your brand and your products. Get the conversations starting and keep it running.

The more content you publish on the web, the more outposts will be online which can be seen and lead traffic to your website.

You will not reach all of the 43 percent of all online consumers with your brand message, but much more than before.

social brand messaging

— Do you have experiences with social media marketing for your business now and how are they? Let me know what you think and leave your comment below.

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The sense and nonsense of Social Media Groups

social media groupsGroups can be a great place to get In touch with your audience. But which groups make sense and which are a simple waste of time?

Most social networks offer groups where you can become a part of the conversation. But do you need to be a part of every conversation and every group?

Today I got some updates from my LinkedIn Groups I am participating and one group is about venture capital.

Especially in venture capital groups are many people who offer financing and in the past I often have posted the question “does anybody get any investment for their business” there?

The people who answered stated that they even did not get any response from those “Business Angels” when trying to reach them. Seems not to be a vlauble source for anything.

How do you find Social Media Groups which are usable for your business?

First of all, potential clients can be everywhere! And the best way to attract attention for your business is to be part of the conversation and to publish share worthy content!

Take your time to go through potential Social Media Groups to find out which one offers the best interaction and in which one interesting conversations are happen.

If you are a member of a group where not much conversation is happen than look further and leave this group.

There is a simple rule: The more people are in a group and the more interaction is happen the better are your chances to participate and to get seen!

Check how many members are in a group. The more the better. Look out for groups of about 300+ participants.

Register with this group and listen to the conversation. If you have something valuable to contribute than do your statement.

If the group you are member of is not very active, than look out for more active groups, where you can increase your visibility and leave this one.

During the time you will learn which social media groups are valuable for your business and which are not. Simply invest your valuable time there where you get the most out of it.

What are your experiences with social media groups? How do you choose your groups?

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Show me the social media Return on Investment

The Return on Investment of social media is measurable and this is much easier than you think.

There for you need the right platform which displays all tasks, traffic, lead sources and includes them into CRM and financial software.

Socia lMedia ROITo get this done social media needs to be seen as part of an integral strategy called Inbound Marketing.

Inbound marketing includes Blogging, social media, Lead Conversion, Lead Nurturing and Closed-Loop Analysis.

Inbound marketing is the marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers when they research online for products and services your business also has to offer.

With inbound marketing businesses earn their way to the customer, by publishing helpful information on a blog, in social media and forums.

A seriously executed Inbound Marketing strategy saves up to 62% of the marketing budget and increases lead conversion rate by up to 55%.

A study done by the “MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan Institute” has discovered that businesses which use Inbound Marketing can reach up to 13% revenue growth in a time period of 18-24 month, depending on the target market.

To get measureable results and even your up to 13% revenue growth for your business out of Social media you need to do some more things than only to have a Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn account.

Social media is a communication channel. So you need to communicate with your target audience!

About which topics you should communicate with your audience? Simply about anything related to your market which solves your audiences’ problem!

To do this effectively a corporate blog can be a great way to publish  helpful information and start the conversation through blogging and on social media as well.

You should also consider to distribute helpful and share worthy information in any channel where your audience could do research online for products and services in your industry.

When your audience researches for products and services from your industry they go to Google first. Here they are able to take a closer look to different topics for their search term.

google search topicsEverything, here all the search results appear for the requested keywords.

Images, here all the search results which appear for the requested keywords and are related to any picture published to the web.

Videos, here all the search results which appear for the requested keywords and are related to any video published to the web.

News, here all search results which appear for the requested keywords and are related to any news published to the web.

Shopping, here all search results which appear for the requested keywords and are related to any shopping published to the web.

Books, here all search results which appear for the requested keywords and are related to any book published to the web.

Blogs, here all search results which appear for the requested keywords and are related to any blog article published to the web.

Discussions, here all search results which appear for the requested keywords and are related to any discussion published to the web.

When you go through these search options, than you can discover communication opportunities, to position yourself where your competition actually is not active.

Simply type in your company URL address and see what’s coming up under these above search options about you.

When you are done, repeat this with your best competitors URL address.

Marketing Takeaway Tipp: Discover creative ways to reach your target audience to set you apart of your competition.

b2b-social-media-marketing-infographic

 

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The pros and cons of promoted Tweets

More and more advertising money is shifting to social networks. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offer various opportunities to advertise a company targeted to their audience.

promoted tweets

Twitter announced to start displaying promoted tweets in user streams. Twitter is also planning to release a self-service platform later this year. Facebook and LinkedIn already have self-service platforms where business can showcase their brand message, products and services.

Pros of paid advertising

Paid advertising allows you to place your ad there where your community is so that you reach this community instantly. You save time because you do not need to develop relationships and do interaction with people. But this will not instantly led your business to a loyal customer base.

Pros:

  • Instantly visible: You are instantly visible as long as you want to be and with the keywords you have chosen.
  • Keywords control: you have your keywords under control and choose which to use and which not.
  • Flexible budget: You can start paid as with any budget.
  • Cheap: As it customizable you can choose how much and how long you want to spend.
  • Measurable results: You can track your spending and your results. Lead to customer quote, etc. and have a good picture of your returns.
  • Wide reach: you can instantly reach a wide user base of millions who are already looking for products and services you also have to offer.
  • Quick: You can set up a paid ads campaign very quick.
  • Target your location: When you are a local business it makes more sense to target your local area. With paid ads you are in full control that should see your advertisement.
  • Time frame: You can set the start and the end of any campaign. You are not obligated on long term agreements.
  • Mobile: As more people are on their favorite social networks though their mobile devices, you can also reach them through paid ads.

 

Cons of paid advertising

As you have no relationship with your audience in these communities where you place your ads, it can become difficult to attract them to your business even if your ads are fancy. Only a good relationship to your target audience leads you to a loyal customer base in the long term.

Cons:

  • You can’t buy authority: Even ifyou have a high ad budget; you do not have the relationship and authority to your audience.
  • You can’t buy credibility: Through paid ads you get seen but when they visit your website. What will they find? Is there anything what can increase trust and credibility?
  • Paid traffic costs money: As long as you want results out of paid traffic you need to do paid advertising. In the moment you stop, your constant stream of leads will stop instantly as it has begun!
  • Keywords battles: As you are not the only person who understands the opportunities of paid ads, others will also try to get the most popular keywords. A keywords battle begins and prices for those keywords increase massively! So a single click to your website can cost you a large sum of money! And there is no guarantee that this click will convert into a lead or in a paying customer!
  • Brand recognition: As you buy your audiences attention through paid ads you can imagine they will not be very willing to listen to what you have to say. This could let you look like a lazy and budget oriented company without a personal face. So your brand could suffer!

Marketing Takeaway Tipp: Paid ads on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offer various opportunities to advertise a company targeted to their audience. Paid ads should be used in a context of a clear marketing strategy which includes blogging, social media and social web marketing, premium content creation and real time marketing and PR. Only than paid advertising can serve you as a valuable source of new business leads an customers!

Further important resources:

 

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Google+ abilities of real time marketing and lead generation

Google+ launched on June 28, 2011 and had about ten million users 2 weeks later!

google girlGoogle+ integrates social services such as Google Profiles and Google Buzz. It will also be available as a desktop application and as a mobile application.

When you look on Google+ the new social network than you might think, oh another one where I have to register and maintain relationships as I already have tot do in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other one. And Google has failed in the past with its efforts to come up with some king of big thing in social media. For example take Google Wave or Google Buzz.

So why you should bother about Google+?

Within the first week Google+ was able to gain 10 million new members. When you look at the dominance of Google than you can imagine the growth potential which Google+ has.

Google has added the +1 button before the launch of Google+ and offered a powerful tool to recommend a website to friends, as like the “Facebook Like Button” but with higher volume depending on the Google search results. So everybody can rate any website with the +1 button and show it to his network of friends. Also the +1 button becomes visible in the ads and once clicked it can increase the attention o the ad which increases his visibility and so on.

Most of the corporations don’t allow its employees to access Facebook from their office. Not so with Google, it is available for all with no restrictions.

Google+ actually offers features which Facebook does not. For example the feature to communicate vie web cam with up to ten persons of your circle.

With this strategic move Google made the Google profile to an online asset. Now you can see the people in your social circles who and which search listing they like.

As a marketing person you can profit from this when the people visit your search listing like it with Google +1. Site which earn legitimate +1 will be rewarded by Google and they relevancy will increase.

The best way for your business to gain relevancy in this new Google world is to create relevant content and get as many Google +1 rating as you can. By following this opportunity your business gains a competitive advantage.

Your social activity will set you apart from your competition and gain you an advantage in the Google’s ecosystem and evolving social search strategy.

This existing Google tools offers you as a marketer a big advantage which you should use to get seen and t get found from your target audience.

Here is a Google cheat sheet you can utilize for your Google+ daily tasks

google cheat sheet

 

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Make the Most of Social Media Marketing

There is no doubt about it; social media is here to stay. While the thought of venturing in into the realm of social media can be intimidating, the thing to remember is to start small, start with a purpose, and work to grow your social media marketing strategy over time.

social media lead generation, social media marketing agency, social media marketing strategy, Social Media ROIThe Facts

The trajectory of social networking continues to rise and gain momentum.

In fact, in 2010, 9 out of every 10 U.S. Internet users visited a social networking site each month and in 2010 social networking sites accounted for 12 percent of all time spent online, with an average Internet user spending more than 4.5 hours on these sites each month.

Social networking has become ingrained in our lives and is quickly becoming the preferred form of communication for countless individuals.

Facebook, the social networking behemoth, accounted for 10 percent of U.S. page views in 2010, and three out of every ten Internet sessions included a visit to this site.

(2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review: A Recap of the Year in Digital Media)

 

Why Use Social Media?

Aside from the fact that these sites are widely popular, they do provide numerous benefits to companies and organizations that are willing to invest in this type of marketing strategy.

These sites can assist in recruiting new employees, helping to establish trust with customers, working to build positive word of mouth buzz and establishing your company as an authority in your field of business. They can also assist with garnering research on your customers and testing out new product ideas.

Internally, they can also increase employee communication and feedback, assist with business process improvements and work to streamline project management efforts.

 

Where to Begin

As stated earlier, start small, but start smart.

 

Determine which sites to target

Figure out which sites your current and potential clients are visiting and focus on utilizing those for your social media efforts. Also assess what your competition is doing and don’t be afraid to review the efforts of large, successful companies. You can often glean tips and tricks to utilize on a smaller scale.

 

Establish goals and set metrics

Are you trying to raise brand awareness, sell more products, build relationships, position yourself as a thought leader, or all of the above? It is extremely important to evaluate how successful your strategy is. Measure how much your social media sites are being utilized and survey customers about their knowledge of them.

 

Align your tone and messaging

Since your vehicle for communication is changing, you also have to consider how you should change the tone of your messaging. Social media is much more casual than traditional marketing and it is also much more indirect.

 

Become a thought leader

Individuals see right through a campaign that is all about you and your business, instead, focus on sharing how your products and services can make the lives of your customers better and easier.

Don’t be afraid to share information that isn’t specifically about your company. Sharing valuable information establishes trust with your customer base; it shows them that you care about their success.

 

Make the time commitment and be timely

Social media is about starting and maintaining a conversation. You need to be active in order for social media to benefit your business. Set aside time each day to review what people are saying and to partake in the conversation.

Integrate your social media strategies with each other and with your traditional marketing plans

Ensure your messaging and branding remains consist. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize, weaken or dilute your brand.

 

In Conclusion

Take a deep breath and jump right in because you have to start somewhere. As long as your content is valuable, you will see that people are interested in what you have to say.

Author Profile

Keith BarrettKeith Barrett is a leading search engine optimization expert, with specific interest in social media marketing. His company, Search South, offers small business SEO services, as well as a wider range of approaches for businesses of all sizes.

 

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