Enterprise Results at Startup Prices

Be Relevant and Connected

We all want the 250% spike in leads that social media can deliver to businesses. The problem is that having one or even two full time employees to produce high quality content costs $$$$$… especially if you are not sure of what you need to do and you spend months writing random posts with zero results.

Every morning these potential leads don’t call and don’t submit your contact forms because you are not talking to them!

It seems like everyone is already doing great business using social media but you…

The learning curve just seems too risky with the current economy.

Our offer is simple. You don’t need to buy a cow to have a glass of milk every morning.

We have the best social media and content creation team that money could buy and we produce and sell highly tailored content to businesses like yours.

With this offer you get a free evaluation of your current social media budget and expectations and the first 10 pieces at a 50% discount; but only if you are one of the next 10 customers that sign up…

We estimate that you have a day or two to take advantage of this promotion.

Please download this file for a description of our company, and our social media marketing with associated pricing:

WIWN Social Media Programs 14-4-14-V2D

Contact us today at 905-709-8582 or whatifwhatnext (at) on.aibn.com.

Curated collection of links and notes on LinkedIn marketing especially for professionals

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Leading up to a meeting we had this week, we have built a list of best practices for using LinkedIn (LI) to marketing legal services, the client in question. The approaches listed below would however apply to all professionals. Happy to share our web search:
– Create some news.
– Talk about what you are doing and share your expertise.
– Schedule time for business development every day – at least 30 minutes online.
– Create a community or participate in one.
– Complete your profile with relevant key works.
– Create a company page.
– Focus on Updates, Groups and Answers.
– Update your personal page with relevant and useful short messages you share with your network.
– Complete your bio as thoroughly as you can. Your bio should be about what you want to do, not only what you are doing now.
– Fill out the “Publications” and “Skills” portions of your profile.
– Import your contacts from Outlook or a web-based email account like Gmail.
– Use the LI tool to seek out alumni from your college and law school who are members of LinkedIn.
– Watch the “People You May Know” suggestions LI provides.
– When you meet someone at an event connect to them on LI.
– At a LI icon and link to you email signature.
– Provide links to you website, blog, twitter accounts and other social media.
– Change your public profile link: The default URL for your LinkedIn profile contains a long set of characters.
– Build expertise on Twitter and broadcast on LI (our secret sauce)

Adapted from: http://www.americanbar.org/content/newsletter/publications/youraba/201205article01.html
– What is LI REALLY: LinkedIn maps professional connections and relationships, and then provides tools to connect to your network and participate in it.
– Get actively engaged to gain the most benefit possible from LinkedIn. Send personalized invitations, follow up with contacts, make an effort to help others and provide as much value as you can to an ever expanding network.
– Before jumping in to specific activities, think about these questions: How much time and what budget do you have? Who is your target audience? How do you network to get referrals and new clients? How do you reach out to existing clients and prospects? Do you write articles, speak, participate on boards or community groups, sail, curl, play golf or do other things? Once you understand your “outreach style”, the ways that you might use LinkedIn will become more apparent.
– Participate in relevant groups: share information, brainstorm ideas discuss interests and challenges, and post informational articles and links. Make it easy to get to know others, and for them to get to know you.
– Be active —discussing, writing, commenting and connecting with group members. When you participate, other group members will see your picture and a mini profile with your name and headline, and they can click to see your full profile. Participating in Groups helps you to establish your knowledge and expertise.
– If you speak, write articles or like to let people know about new legal developments, sending regular updates with links to articles or developments will make sense. Use some of the LinkedIn apps to make articles and slides available.
– If you like to bring together groups of people with common interests, participate in or starting your own LinkedIn Group(s).
– If you network by matchmaking—putting people together who should know each other—LinkedIn’s connecting tools might be a powerful way to use LinkedIn.
– LinkedIn is returning search results directly linked to the skills listed in your profile. It is important to add something to this section for the best search results possible. Completing this section is an opportunity to highlight specific skills that potential clients (or potential employers) may be seeking.

If you have further interest in mounting an economical, ongoing LinkedIn marketing and lead generation campaign, contact us. The first step would be a productive one-on-one briefing using a presentation we have build leading to a detailed campaign proposal.

Click here to set up a meeting or call us directly at 905-709-8582.

Thursday’s Lunch n’ Learn: HR’s Supporting Role in Marketing Strategies

Lunch

This morning I participated in Federated Presses’ 3rd Mini-MBA for HR course delivering a talk entitled: HR’s Supporting Role in Marketing Strategies. A great group of people attended from several large Canadian organizations.

Please click here for the deck I created for the presentation.

Discussion questions that arose during the talk:

– How can HR most contribute to the marketing process?
– How can HR contribute the building of an amazing brand?
– How can HR best use social media marketing for internal communications?
– How should sales people be trained to be more effective?

Thursday’s Lunch n’ Learn: How to dramatically increase meaningful results from your blog

Lunch

I scan the web, mostly via Twitter, for evidence based best practices to drive our work on behalf of clients and for our own marketing efforts. The best ideas get refined into protocols that evolve over time. For today’s Lunch n’ Learn we will present part of our protocol for blog campaigning. Read through and, if you have a moment, contribute an idea or two in the comment section.

Here we go. For an amazing blog:

Sit down and write a real marketing plan for your blog. Answer these questions:

  • Who do you want to talk to?
  • What are their issues?
  • How can you help them with expert information?
  • How will you profit from the exercise?

In the planning process, think about the best way to set up the blog to deliver and extract the most value from visitors. Value can mean: links built, social shares, subscriptions, user generated content, comments, requests for down loads, information inquiries and requests, leads, calls, media coverage and sales. Also don’t forget real conversations during presentations, conferences, sales calls and social gatherings.

Notwithstanding a written plan, understand that your blog will most certainly evolve over time. Allow for discoveries. Rome was not built in a day!

Hire a designer to build a customized theme with a great branded top banner. Get a logo and tag line that portrays your value proposition in a compelling fashion. We suggest working in the WordPress universe. It’s a proven platform with a broad community you can access. Also, find a dependable web guy or gal that can build the thing for you and help maintain it. Designers and Builders are rarely the same person. One has graphic design skills and the other specializes in programming (i.e. CSS).

Work hard to create unique/original content that is focused on the common questions and challenges of your reader community and establishes you as an authority in your chosen field. Publish original research if you can and quote others with proper attribution. Make use of different presentation formats: video, audio, articles, images, PowerPoint presentations, interviews, infographics, guides, tutorials, list of helpful resources and links. Keep the mix varied to maintain interest.

Use sharing social media sharing like StumbleUpon, Delicious, Digg and Reddit to telescope your posts.

Your content can also be posted to relevant social media for ongoing outreach (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, and others: Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Pintrest, article sites, landing pages, blogs, media portals, YouTube, Slideshare, etc).

Do not hesitate to write about company events and milestones. Some product information can be on your blog. Do seek content from your partners and suppliers.

Spend time on relevant forums/blogs to understand the problems in your niche. Use LinkedIn groups to ask questions that will help you discover hot buttons. Also, ask your sales people, partners, suppliers and customers.

Decide on your writing style with a written guideline. Get some help from a professional writer/editor to make sure you stay true to the approach and to eliminate minor typos. Get a copy of the Canadian Press Stylebook or (U.S.) Associated Press Stylebook and use it. Over time your writing will improve with it by your side.

To attract people to your blog build a list of popular forums and social media sites. Visit them regularly and help people out. Provide linking to your content where relevant.

Learn what your important key words are and use them appropriately. Do not compromise on the quality of your writing.

Set up Google Alerts to be aware of conversations where people need guidance.

Ultimately we are proposing real, good old fashioned human interactions! Remember there are real folks behind visits and page view metrics.

Speak to your designer about making your blog easy to interact with. Use sticky request forms, social media share buttons, links, sign me up forms, and side bar widgets.

When someone submits a comment or requests information they should be taken to a page that thanks them and invites them to subscribe, become a Friend on Facebook, a Connection on LinkedIn or a Follower on Twitter.

Encourage comments by asking people to post any questions or problems that you or your company could help with.

To build traffic over time consistently ask, at the end of every post, that readers share your content with their friends. The multiplier effect can be huge.

There is more to discuss but, for now, I know you can advance your blog program with today’s Lunch n’ Learn.

For discussion:

  1. What are your thoughts on the value of business blogs?
  2. What challenges do you face with your blog?
  3. What questions do you have on blogging and the effectiveness of the medium?
  4. Can you add to this blogging protocol?

Click here to drop us a line to receive our NEW Social Media Marketing Strategy Presentation.

Breaking News

facebook

Facebook to Provide Free Photos for Businesses to Use in Ads http://t.co/FXoeaGfLSq.

Thursday’s Lunch n’ Learn: Yahoo Is Bigger Than Google

Lunch

Yahoo Is Bigger Than Google

Yahoo has returned as the top U.S. according to comScore Media Metrix, which just released its July report of top 50 U.S. web properties. Yahoo is working to change market perceptions that it is the dinosaur of the Internet and this result shows it is making progress. More than 196 million Web users spent time on the portal’s sites during the month, up 21% from a year earlier. That is 4.3 million more than Google. The above numbers are a positive sign, as is the the Tumblr acquisition. The company is also working on rebranding.

Yahoo`s Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer has been pushing Yahoo’s developers and designers to make improvements to the company’s products and services since she was hired in July of last year from Google. “Hire and retain a great team; build inspiring products that will attract users and increased traffic; that traffic will increase advertiser interest and ultimately translate to revenue,” Mayer said recently. “People, then products, then traffic, then revenue.”

Here are some initial ideas for your social media marketing work using Yahoo:
– Get going with a Yahoo mail account and spend some time on their portal.
– Register your web assets on Yahoo here.
– Consider a Yahoo PPC campaign tested against similar efforts on Google.
– Evolve and execute a Tumblr and Flickr campaign.
– For a broader perspective click here for a list of Yahoo sites and services on Wikipedia.

For discussion:
– What are your thoughts on Yahoo versus Google?
– Do you think that Yahoo is on a roll that you want to leverage for your online social media marketing efforts?
– Can you add to our Yahoo to-do list?

Click here to drop us a line to receive our NEW Yahoo Social Media Marketing Strategy Brief.

Howard

Blogs 1Your company web site might have a blog section for news, technical articles and marketing material. The question we want to ask in this article is; does that blog do enough for you?  We know that Warren Buffet has recently invested in local newspapers, believing in their viability and business model. We are suggesting that you consider that local media marketing idea by creating a free standing News and Information Blog.  The term is Social Media after all. With readily available technology, talent and information, you can have your own ‘media venue’ and treat it as a true profit center.

The best thing is that you control cost, editorial, timing and formats, providing a significant advantage over working with traditional trade magazines. You can also scale your growth to ensure effectiveness as you build. Here are some advantages to be gained.

Content is king. The more quality content your site contains, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to provide content to answer a visitor’s question or to help them make an informed decision about the product or service they visited your for.

Each new article is equivalent to a new page of website content and every page of your website is an opportunity to rank in search engines for one or more key terms.   Frequently producing high quality relevant content provides more opportunity to rank on search engine results pages.

If you frequently produce and publish high quality relevant content, visitors will want to share it and naturally generate the links, citations and the signals your website needs for link equity from search engines.

Search engines measure how long visitors stay on a page and website after clicking from the search results page. A well written blog article, providing information visitors are seeking, keeps visitors on the site longer and provides and opportunity to expose additional content to your them.

Committing to and publishing high quality content to a blog on a frequent  interval ensures that search engines will return to your site to get the index and include the latest content in the search engine data base.

Importantly, well-branded News and Information Blogs can build a stature that corporate web site blogs don’t ever. The third party nature builds credibility and dynamism. Our experience managing several blogs has shown us that opportunity dramatically.

How to get started?

Assemble a small team of inside and outside talent. Involve your channel partners and suppliers. Appoint one experienced champion-leader who will make things happen.  Impose expectations for close measurement and accountability. You are building a profit center after all.

Get the team to start thinking about who your communities are. Ask your sales folks who these people are, identify their hot buttons, and what they like to talk about.  Most importantly, what information can appear that will keep your company top of mind and help customers move through their buying cycles.

Develop a business and editorial plan to deliver timely well thought out content (i.e. written, audio, video, images, infographics, online conversations, contests, polls, interactions, webinars, live events, links to other social media platforms and more) to address the needs and wants of well defined targeted buyer personas and market scenarios. Plans must integrate with broader marketing programs.

To consider this idea more deeply, let’s talk.  We have several examples that will get your business mind and creative juices going!

Click here to contact us.