August 14, 2017

5 Simple Social Media Tips for B2B Marketers

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Companies increasingly must engage social media as it grows in popularity. After all, social networks attract tens of millions of daily users, including practically every target market and demographic. Many consumer oriented businesses (B2C) have already harnessed social media to drive their website traffic, generate leads, grow sales and service customers. Now, business-to-business (B2B) firms increasingly want to use social media to achieve similar goals.

You can grow your B2B business by connecting with prospective customers on social media. When you do, you engage in discussions, add valuable knowledge to the community and showcase your products and services. In order to maximize your profitability and achieve your goals, learn the following five social media tips for B2B marketers.

1. Consider Using Less Traditional Social Media Channels

Your goal for every social media channel is to educate and inform business customers regarding your business and brand. With this in mind, you must understand the mentality of your audience and carefully craft custom marketing messages. To that end, you must understand that different social networks attract different types of users.

Rather than limiting yourself to the so-called “Big Three” social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), you should leverage the non-traditional social networks to spread awareness of your brand. Websites such as Instagram and Pinterest, for example, often at first seem appropriate for consumer-facing companies rather than B2B firms like yours. Still, you can use Instagram to tell visual stories about your business and its culture and values.

With its “Buy It” feature and plethora of images, Pinterest generally lends itself well to B2C brands. Still, you can use it for your B2B company to spread awareness and build trust. After all, B2B sales cycles are longer than those in the consumer world, so now is a fantastic time to start developing future sales. Even so, make sure you focus on the social media channels that your customers use rather than trying to have a presence on every social network.

2. Get Your Company’s Tone of Voice Right

You have the responsibility to exude an authentic, personable voice in all your business communications. To put it differently, every word counts. When people can relate to your brand’s tone of voice, you have a chance to build emotional bonds that can lead to long-lasting and profitable relationships.

Although you might expect B2B customers to shop more rationally than their consumer counterparts, such an assumption can cripple your marketing effort. In the end, the people making buying decisions are people who will naturally choose the suppliers that make them feel good. With this in mind, you must create a consistent voice across all your digital and traditional marketing channels that inspire positive emotions such as comfort and trust.

When you allow your humanity to shine, you can use informal and dynamic words that engage your followers on their level. In the end, such an approach will lead to far greater results than if you used a sterile, generic voice for your brand.

3. Make Your Social Media Interaction Engaging

After choosing the right social voice for your company, use it to actively engage your audience. As has been noted, people working for a business are people who are swayed by their emotions and social nature. Act upon this awareness by spending time getting to know people on a personal level. If you do that, you can discover their values and then use that knowledge to meet their needs, desires, and expectations.

In other words, simply posting raw data and bland information might not stimulate your audience as much as a lively discussion. Similarly, incessant sales pitches will likely turn people off rather than attract them to your brand. Make every lead, prospect, and customer aware of how important they are to you. Inspire them. Inform them. Entertain them. When you build relationships, business customers will naturally choose to buy from you.

Whenever possible, find ways to turbocharge your audience engagement. Do this by encouraging interaction with surveys, contests and Q&A sessions. Afterward, use the results of those initiatives to make your content more relevant and valuable to your audience. Also, use a variety of content types such as videos, infographics, white papers and slide shows to make sure everyone can benefit from your brand, regardless of how they prefer to learn.

4. Gather Intelligence

Use the analytics tools provided by your chosen social networks to learn more about your audience and then act on that knowledge. For example, if you discover that a certain topic or format fails to attract interest, you can respond by focusing on other topics or formats in the future. Such intelligence can often make the difference between social media success and failure.

In addition to accessing data about your account, you can also use third party social media monitoring tools to learn about popular topics and other trends. Such data can also help you integrate relevant keywords and search queries into your content to help prospective B2B customers discover your firm.

Finally, monitor social media for mentions of your business, brand, and products. Doing this will help you respond to negative sentiment and capitalize on the positive. This tactic can become especially useful when you have product prototypes. After sharing them with audience members, use their reactions to guide your product development efforts and thereby improve the quality and relevance of the products that you bring to market.

5. Connect with The Influencers in Your Industry

Your success as a B2B social media marketer depends on how well you connect with the right people. In the first place, this means that you must identify the influencers in your industry and follow them on whatever social network they use. Next, you must take steps to develop a sincere relationship.

To accomplish this, you should avoid the temptation to stalk them and retweet and share all of their blog and social media posts. Instead, spend time getting to know each influencer to get a sense of how to appropriately approach them. Afterward, you can look for opportunities to reach out to them. By exercising patience and propriety, you can improve your chances of getting noticed.

As you work to connect with industry influencers, you should go out of your way to show that you are a team player. After all, many people dislike overt selfishness. Spend time promoting your colleagues and customers and their achievements and you will earn a stellar reputation that will reflect well on your business. Also, by giving attention to others, you can become an influencer and thereby increase your authority in the industry.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, your B2B success depends on how well you reach people, just as if you operated a B2C firm. By leveraging untraditional social media channels in developing an appropriate tone of voice, you can begin marketing your brand. Also, by posting relevant content and monitoring your results, you can improve your results. Finally, by connecting with industry influencers and becoming one yourself, you create an environment for your brand that will consistently win new customers and provide for enduring success.

Author Bio

Heather Redding is a part time assistant manager and freelance writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is a coffee-addict who enjoys swimming and reading. Street photography is her newly discovered artistic outlet and she likes to capture life's little moments with her camera. You can reach Heather via Twitter.

August 07, 2017

Google's Mobile-First Index: Everybody Ready?

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Google's Mobile-First index has been in the pipeline for over 7 years, and now the switch seems imminent. Eoin O'Neill, in conjunction with DeepCrawl, has investigated to see if websites are indeed ready, with some astonishing results that could have some big repercussions for the webmaster community.

With original, insightful research and a truly vital Mobile-First checklist, this Whitepaper is a must read for brands and webmasters alike.  

This Whitepaper was written by Eoin O'Neill, the Head of SEO at Tug Agency.

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER

About Tug

Founded in 2006, Tug is a full-service digital media agency headquartered in London and with branches of operation in Toronto and Sydney. Tug services include paid search, search engine optimisation, display, social media, creative campaign development and data analytics.

Tug takes a genuinely integrated approach to digital planning and campaign execution across channels by blending the team’s experience with state of the art technology. Tug finds new insights & angles that drive significant commercial results for ambitious clients, helping them to compete around the world.

July 31, 2017

How to Teach Your Team to Collaborate in the Workplace

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Professionals spend more time at work with their team than they spend awake and not working. Because of this, it’s vitally important to the environment of your team that everyone
get along. Discord makes everyone miserable, so the people on your team need to learn how to communicate effectively so they feel comfortable asking question and promoting new ideas for company improvement. Here are several ways for employees to build stronger bonds in the workplace. 

Work and Talk

Despite the long hours professionals put into their work, most people don’t have time to connect with their fellow coworkers. Many employees may feel tense or scrutinized throughout the day. Encourage the display of friendly behaviours at the workplace, and avoid the need to punish those who engage in small talk, as long as it doesn’t distract too much from work. Ideally, you want to see your employees talk and show their openness to communicate and work with others.

The more comfortable they are around each other, the better the team is able to function as a whole, and the more productive it is for the business.

Relieve Tensions

No amount of group team building activities will be beneficial if your employees don’t value their coworkers and respect them as people. Keep your eyes open for disagreements. If some of your employees aren’t getting along, try to resolve the issue, but don’t force them to work together despite their disagreements. Preventing internal conflicts within the company is the first step to promoting collaboration and teamwork. 

Connect on Social Media

Encourage your team to connect with one another on social media. Most businesses have their own websites or local profiles on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Provide incentives for employees signing up and engaging on the company profile. Use these platforms to help your employees stay updated about upcoming events.

LinkedIn is one of the main social networks for professionals where employers can view many professional resumes and profiles. Coworkers who are working on projects together are able to communicate easily through the messaging system. LinkedIn also has local and national groups for all types of businesspeople to join. 

Assign Group Tasks

Assign group tasks in addition to individual tasks. Make sure each employee has a specific task or set of tasks they are in charge of. This will help you to know if someone doesn’t do their part of the work. Make sure the group project requires collaboration so those in the group learn how to work together to promote teamwork.

Participate in Team-Building Activities

Team-building activities show that many tasks are best completed in teams. The most effective results are gained with the help of several employees and not just one. Host games and activities that require the use of skills in problem-solving, time management and strategic thinking. In a business, all of the employees are connected to each other. These activities prove that one person's performance affects the whole company's performance.

 

Claire Stewart is a freelance writer and blogger focused on writing about health, travel, and business among other topics. She graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelors in Women’s Studies and currently lives in Seattle with her goldfish, Merlin.

 

July 21, 2017

Why Auditing Backlinks is Essential

 

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There has been much debate as to whether backlinks are still important, and whether they have any impact on your SEO ranking, and the answer is a resounding yes. In a time where search engine ranking is becoming a science and a spot on the first page near the top is worth its weight in gold, backlinks are just as important as they ever were - if not more so.

Although Google’s roll out of Penguin 4.0 made building backlinks harder, this practice still remains one of the most effective ways to rank highly and to drive targeted traffic to your site. Therefore, maintaining the health of backlinks is essential, and regular audits can help you pin point any issues before they affect your search engine rankings.

Keeping Tabs on your Link Profile

Just as a high-quality backlink can boost your visibility, a poor quality link can put it at risk, and reduce the chances of it ranking in Google. While Google is by no means the only search engine you want to rank in, it is the most popular and it has the highest standards to meet too.

An audit will pick up poor quality backlinks, and it will also see if any of the backlinks on your site are spammy- something that you will pay a heavy price for. If you keep your backlink profile clean, you’ll avoid negative SEO and be able to optimize your results quickly and easily.

In the past, Google used to ignore bad backlinks, but now they penalize sites for this, and without regular audits, you could find yourself floundering on page 12 or worse. If you want to remain completive in the web space then removing bad links fast is essential and if possible, avoid adding them in the first place. If you have already been penalized then cleaning up your backlinks is the first step on the road to recovery. If you need a helping hand in working out the case of a penalty, there are web penalty indicators such as Fe International that can tell you what your infringement was.

Maintaining Link Profile Health

Sometimes having spammy backlinks is not your fault, and your website may have been hacked to include links you never intended on having in the first place. You may also find that over time, web masters change the content on the pages that you have back linked to without your knowledge, thus affecting your backlink profile

Fortunately, there are a number of free tools that will help you ascertain the health of your backlink profile, and these should be used on a regular basis. Semrush, SEOMoz, Ahrefs, Google Analytics and Majestic are just some of the many available options and can help you reduce a loss of traffic simply by checking the status of your profile. Google Analytics is the preferred option of many, and you’ll know if you’ve been penalized by Google almost immediately, as your web traffic is tracked in real time and you’ll see a major loss.

Recovery Stations

The longer your site has bad backlinks, backlinks that are spammy or have been added by hackers, or simply poor quality links that don’t add value, the more you’ll be penalized. As it takes on average between 3 to 6 months to be ranked by Google- depending on the competitiveness of the industry and the strength of the keywords, losing any sort of ranking can hit a site hard.

It’s not just that you’ll lose ranking, it’s that other sites will be able to overtake you, pushing you further down the ladder, and further down the page, and reclaiming your spot nearer the top can take months, years or simply never happen.

Act Without Prompting

With backlink audits it’s a good idea to act before you need to. Prevention, in this case, is better than cure, especially if you are in a highly competitive industry that relies on ranking well online. General maintenance is always a good idea and checking your backlink profile weekly or even daily can save you time and money in the long run. If you are unsure of any links it is best to remove them, rather than risk leaving them in, and with the abundance of tools so freely available there is no reason why this monitoring process shouldn’t take place.

The removal of backlinks may not always be simple, and it is a process that can take time and patience, but it is worthwhile. Asking others to remove backlinks may be the more frustrating part of a link audit process, but it is one that is necessary. If for some reason you cannot get rid of a link but are aware that it may cause you to be penalized, you can make use of Google’s Disavow tool. This tool is the last resort, and it allows you to disavow a bad link, but it will only be implemented if you have proof that you’ve tried to remove the backlink and failed.

The importance of auditing your backlink profile cannot be underestimated, and if you value your search rankings and want to remain competitive in the online sphere, it is an essential activity that should be performed regularly.

July 17, 2017

Worth It? Putting a Price on Your Advertising Efforts

Worth It Putting a Price on Your Advertising Efforts
Out-of-control spending on advertising can literally drive you out of business. The idea that pouring an ever-increasing stream of dollars into that rabbit hole marked “marketing” always yields a commensurate return, is a fallacy. It might be time to step back and take a look at how to reduce advertising costs while increasing the bang for your buck. Here are three tricks that, if you’re not doing yet, hop to it. Why spend more money for the same effect when you could spend less?

The Miracle of Free

In recent years, Google has adopted a policy of rewarding good content with ever higher search engine rankings. If you are producing a single piece of well-written content each week two years ago, you’d probably be sitting pretty in page one for a number of keywords at no cost other than the time taken to write and post the pieces. When you hear the phrase, “content is king,” this is what they’re talking about. Regardless of your industry and whether you’re targeting your hometown or the global market, you’re crazy to not take advantage of content marketing. Make sure you stay current, including industry news and be interesting, unique, and creative in the content you put out. If you don’t have time to do this step yourself, it’s worth the cost to hire out to a content marketing agency. They’ll be able to include the right keywords and stay relevant in your industry.

Call to Action

Any type of content or advertisement without a CTA (Call-to-Action) at the end is about as close to wasted money as you can get. Tell a listener, reader, or viewer what you want them to do next in response to your ad. Your best bet is to induce them to turn over their email address. Since people rarely buy a product or service on a first exposure, your first goal is not to make the sale, but to gain their permission to contact them in the future with more sales messages. If your advertising is targeted and your product or service of high quality, a simple CTA could greatly affect your bottom-line in a positive direction. You can leave a message open for comments at the bottom of social media posts as a good call to action as well.

 Think Mobile

Right now, there is a huge disparity between the amount of internet traffic generated by mobile devices and the cost of targeting that market. Try scaling back your radio and television buys, which, despite what the friendly salesperson tells you, are largely untrackable when it comes to effectiveness. Shift that money into mobile spending. For marketers, it’s a buyer’s market and you can absolutely pinpoint every person that interacts with your advertisement and to what extent. Good outreach marketing solutions will always include mobile options to connect with the right audience in the right ways.

If you find yourself at a loss when it comes to increasing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, try the preceding three strategies. You might notice a difference where it really matters - your bank account. Use better techniques and be sure to stay relevant, unique, and ahead of the curve.

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

July 10, 2017

Create a successful Youtube Channel (Infographic)

Youtube used to be a video sharing website back in 2006, people used to share their cats and funny home videos. A decade later, making videos on Youtube is a full-time job for a lot of creators. So much so that Youtube is no longer a website, it’s an industry with their own celebrities, annual conferences, and award shows.

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July 03, 2017

Protecting Your Brand From Fake News

Over the past year or so, we have all become familiar with the idea of “fake news.” Outlandish stories are popping up in our social media feeds, from disreputable sources, and clouding our view of what is true and false. However, while the content of these stories is often fabricated or embellished, the impact that they have on consumer perceptions is real, and can be incredibly damaging.

Strong brands occupy their privileged space because they are built on specific messages, which are instantly recognizable to the masses. How people feel about Coca-Cola, Nike, BMW, Tim Horton’s, and Roots, is driven by the agency work put into building their brands. When you have worked extremely hard to create a strong brand, the last thing you want is to be associated with something negative, and especially something negative and false. Here are a few ways to help protect your brand from fakes news.

Continue reading "Protecting Your Brand From Fake News " »

June 26, 2017

Myths That Can Destroy Your MBA Application

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MBA is in huge demand and there is not denying it. One of the important things you can do with your life is doing MBA from a reputable university. Anything worth achieving requires a lot of hard work. People all over the world put their time and energy in the pursuit of MBA degree but there are certain misconceptions that have paved their way when applying for your MBA.

We will look to shun some of those myths in this post. So read on!

Continue reading "Myths That Can Destroy Your MBA Application" »

June 18, 2017

How Electronics Are Changing the Healthcare Industry

If you are over the age of thirty, then you are fully aware of how much electronics has changed the world that you live in during that time. It seems like everything can be held in your hand or at least needs some form of battery power. The growth of things like the smartphone and the personal computer are just two examples of things that have changed a lot since the first day they appeared in stores for consumers. Just about every single industry has advanced with electronics in one way or another, and that includes the healthcare industry. Here we are going to discuss ways that electronics changed the industry.

Paperwork Is Nearly Eliminated

Other than signing a few forms the minute you walk into the waiting room at a hospital, the paperwork that is used in the healthcare industry has mostly been eliminated. Patient records and things like that have been moved to an electronic copy. This advancement in technology has made keeping, organising, and sharing records a lot easier for the doctors, nurses, and other health professionals. This has caused increased concerns over patient information security, but at the same time, it has introduced more jobs to the healthcare industry.

Continue reading "How Electronics Are Changing the Healthcare Industry" »

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