Posts Tagged ‘Heidi Cohen’

10 Top Marketing Thought Leaders in Social Media

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

If you were asked to name the top thought leaders in marketing today–the 10 marketers you’d definitely advise others to follow on social media–how would you proceed?

You’d probably start by looking at those you’re connected with on the major social networks, then do some additional research. Perhaps you’d look at existing “top” lists from other sites. You’d develop a “long list” of worthy experts, then gradually narrow it down based on followers, level of engagement, quality of posts, and other factors. You’d carefully develop your final list, possibly using a method like pairwise ranking.

Top 10 Social Marketing ProsBut—what if you had to answer on the spot? What if you had to respond immediately, or within just a few minutes? You’d forget some important names, of course, but your answers would reveal those you keep top of mind.

If you’re up for it, try this now; spend no more than five minutes listing your top 10—then come back to this post.

This recently happened to me. Below is my list in response to the question:

“Tell me the top ten marketing people you would follow on social media, those people that you think are the top ‘thought leaders’ in the marketing space today?”

Cheryl Burgess would unquestionably be on the list. In addition to being an expert on enterprise b2b marketing, she’s the co-author (with Mark Burgess) of The Social Employee, and the authority on how to inspire employee social media advocacy inside large organizations.

Ann Smarty knows SEO inside and out, and is the guru-ess of online tools. She also hosts the highly popular weekly Viral Content Buzz Twitter chat.

Meghan M. Biro is an acknowledged thought leader at the intersection of HR, social media and marketing.

Carla Johnson is one of the top experts on enterprise content marketing. Plus, she went to grade school in a one-room schoolhouse, making her ascent all the more impressive (or perhaps that just explains it?).

Robert Rose is another top resource on enterprise content marketing, co-author with Carla Johnson of Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, and an original member of the Lebron team.

Jeff Bullas — does anyone know more about blogging than Jeff? He’s one of those guys who seems to defy the laws of time and space by being able to consistently churn out bookmark-worthy blog posts, speak at events all over the planet, write ebooks, and still engage actively and prolifically on social media.

Glen Gilmore has long been known as an author and expert on the intersection of social media and the law. But not content with that, he’s more recently emerged as a top authority on the Internet of Things (IoT) as well.

J-P De Clerck is a “digital business and marketing strategist” whose expertise stands in the crossroads of content, search, and social media. Plus he’s from Belgium, so along with Jeff Bullas (Australia) he keeps this list from being too U.S.-centric.

Gini Dietrich is a top PR pro, author of Spin Sucks and co-author of Marketing in the Round (incidentally a great primer on building a team to execute a web presence optimization strategy), and tweeter of consistently good stuff.

Wendy Marx is a brilliant b2b PR strategist whose B2B PR Sense blog is a must-read for any marketing or PR pro seeking wisdom and insights into b2b content marketing and social media.

In the moments after rattling off this list, my first thought was: not bad, for a group quickly compiled off the top of my head.

But my second thought was: wow, I missed a lot of important and worthy names!

How could I have left off some of the most engaging social media marketing and PR pros like Harry Hoover, Judy Bellem and Jayme Soulati?

Or within just the PR realm, thought leaders and key influencers like Deb Weinstein, Lisa Buyer, Jeff Domansky and Arik Hanson?

In the realm of content marketing, Michael Brenner, Neal Schaffer, Rebecca Lieb, Heidi Cohen and Ann Handley are certainly worthy additions. As are, getting more granular, experts in developing b2b buyer personas, like Ardath Albee and Tony Zambito.

Closer to home, I could have highlighted the fact that some of the smartest people in social media marketing are fellow Minnesotans, including Lee Odden, Marty Weintraub and Angie Schottmuller.

How about CMOs and others focused on leadership, like Patrick Strother, Tony Karrer, Chris Schenk, Kent Huffman, Eric Fletcher, and Margaret Molloy?

Or leaders in academics on social media, such as Gary Schirr, Mike Johansson and Dorie Clark?

Even at that, there are deserving names left off the list.

If I’m ever again asked to name a list of the top 10 social media marketers, I think I’ll answer—I can’t name 10. But I can give you 75 or so.

Who’s on your “top of mind” top 10 list?

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22 Exceptional Business Blogging Guides, Tips & Tactics

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

A well-written and consistently updates business blog is a vital core element of a successful content marketing program. As noted below, blogs are among the most effective tools for increasing website traffic, generating leads, and acquiring customers. Yet blogging requires considerably less expense and effort than other top marketing tactics like live events, webinars, and video.

Why blog for business - top business blogging guides

Image credit: i-SCOOP

What are the key elements of a successful business blog? How can you plan a consistent stream of compelling post topics? What are the most effective techniques for crafting killer headlines and gripping copy? How can you increase your content marketing footprint through guest blogging?

Find the answers to those questions and more here in almost two dozen of the best guides to business blogging strategy and tactics of the past year.

Two Guides to Business Blogging Benefits

Why the Company Blog is More Important Than You Think by Business2Community

According to recent research reported on by Business.com, “Three of the top (marketing) tactics (in-person events, webinars and video) require significantly more resources to deliver”than business blogs, though “compared to these three tactics, blogging is relatively cheap and easy to produce; and as a bonus, it provides a nimble and consistent message platform.” As if that isn’t enough, this post details four more “benefits an authentic company blog can deliver to the organization, beyond the top line” that make the effort required to maintain a high-quality, relevant blog presence worthwhile.

10 Unbelievable Statistics to Sell Your Boss on Business Blogging by WebQuacker

It really shouldn’t be necessary at this point to “sell” top executives on the concept of business blogging, but for those still struggling, Kapil Jekishan supplies “ten of the most persuasive statistics you can bring to the presentation you’re no doubt already preparing for your boss,” including the impacts of blogging on website traffic and customer acquisition, its advantages over advertising, and big-company validation: “Fortune 500 companies have never had reputations as early adopters, but even they have been forced into the business blogging arena to compete for customers”—which is why the percentage of Fortune 500 firms that blog more than doubled from 2008 to 2013.

Six Blogging Strategy Guides

Six Crucial Attributes of a Successful Business Blog by MarketingProfs

Michael GerardMichael Gerard details six attributes needed to “to launch and sustain a successful business blog” based on an analysis of more than 400 blogs at the 10,000+ visitors-per-month level. One noteworthy piece of advice: the best content marketers “market their marketing” though social channel, promotional tactics, collaboration with other internal teams, and tapping into “paid media such as Outbrain, Disqus, Taboola, and other types of promotional services.”

Corporate blogging guide: strategy and tips by i-SCOOP
***** 5 STARS

J-P De ClerckJ-P De Clerck provides an outstanding detailed guide to corporate blogging, including consideration of various corporate marketing goals for a company blog, a look at 14 business blogging success factors, and an infographic loaded with statistics and facts about why blogging matters, e.g.: 128 million Americans read blogs; 57% of companies have acquired customers through their blogs; and companies that blog regularly have better relationships with their customers.

29 Musts You Need to Do Before Launching Your Blog by SteamFeed

DJ ThistleDJ Thistle writes that building a successful blog “takes preparation, time, promotion, commitment, constant education, and most of all awesome”—and by that last word, he means following these two-dozen-plus recommendations, from starting with 10-12 posts in the bank to periodically creating evergreen content to connecting with “like-minded bloggers and influencers,” building an email list, and more.

B2B Blogging: Beyond the Basics by MLT Creative on SlideShare

Billy MitchellThis presentation from Billy Mitchell and the team at MLT Creative covers the benefits of blogging, how to keep company politics out of business blogging (“Everything starts with strategy. The blog must be aligned to strategy or you are doomed”), how to create a blogging strategy, how to get people inside and the company engaged with the blog, how to drive conversions, and more.

The State Of Blogging 2014 [Research – Charts] by Heidi Cohen
***** 5 STARS

Heidi CohenFirst, yes, the helpful facts and statistics in this post still apply in 2015. Among the actionable treasures from Heidi Cohen here: the average blog post is 800 words—but the ideal length of a search-optimized blog post is 1,500 words. And 54% of bloggers say they publish at least weekly—but “to generate leads from your blog, the sweet spot for is 2-3 times per week according to HubSpot.”

30 Tips to Freshen-up & Rock Your Blog in 2014 by Pam Moore

Pam MooreThese tips still work for 2015! Pam Moore details “30 tips to freshen up and rock your website,” starting with defining your objectives and audience and progressing through refreshing your content, creating an editorial calendar, inviting contributions from guest bloggers, engaging your audience (bring site visitors “in closer with social links, surveys, video, comment plug-ins, audio”) and more.

Two Guides to Generating Blog Topic Ideas

75 Content Starters for Any Industry by Moz

Amanda GallucciStuck for post topic ideas? Amanda Gallucci provides more than six dozen ideas to kickstart your creativity, organized into 15 categories including tools (e.g., “Create a video tutorial that walks people through how to use a tool for a specific task”), lists, internal resources (“Find out what questions your account managers get asked most frequently. Put together a blog post or other resource that lays out the answers”), events, and “out of the box” ideas.

This Is One Of The Best Sources of Blogging/Social Media Information by Joshua Wilner

Joshua WilnerJoshua Wilner sings the praises of the Support section at WordPress.com, which provides answers to both common and not-so-common questions, “ideas and information about how to use social tools on your blog so that you can drive more traffic,” resources and information about how to change the appearance of your blog, and other do-it-yourself blogging resources.

Nine Blog Writing Guides

The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post: The Data on Headlines, Length, Images and More by Buffer Social

Kevan LeeKevan Lee outlines “the 7 essential elements of a perfect blog post,” from how to write the perfect headline (‘Readers tend to absorb the first three words of a headline and the last three words…[but] of course, few headlines will be six words long in total. In those cases, it’s important to make the first three words and the last three words stand out as much as possible”) to how to optimally use subheads, time your posts, and plan killer post topics.

No Time to Blog? 11 Tips to Create Content Faster by Blue Kite Marketing

Laura ClickWriting that “although many businesses see the benefits of it content marketing, they struggle with committing the time it takes to create content on a regular basis,” Laura Click serves up 11 “quick tips to help you create blog content quickly and easily,” such as recording short videos, publishing infographics, and re-purposing content (“Every company produces tons of content every day—it just might not be in the form of a blog post. Take a look around and see how you can re-purpose emails, FAQs, presentations, etc.”).

30 Stellar Blog Tips For Posts Your Audience Loves by Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen (again) lists 30 useful “blog tips for creating blog posts your audience loves to read,” such as design factors, use of images (“Take the time to ensure your images support your blog goals”), utilizing other content formats like video and presentations, crafting concise headlines, and focusing on helpful content over self-promotion (though using calls to action where appropriate is fine).

23 Tips for Writing Click Worthy Blog Titles by Prof KRG

Kenna GriffinKenna Griffin summarizes the attributes of an effective blog title along with nearly two dozen tips for writing click-worthy titles, such as using strong verbs (“Use strong action verbs in your titles. Avoid passive verbs and ‘be’ verbs”), including a number (“Scannable list posts are popular among blog readers. If your post is a numbered list, use the number of items in the title”) and avoiding abbreviations.

8+ Powerful Blogging Tips: How To Get Mind-Blowing Results From Every Blog Post You Publish by Blogging Wizard

Adam ConnellThis is a long post and the steps outlined require a fair amount of effort, but the process outlined here by Adam Connell can certainly deliver results. He delves into how to create high-impact visuals using Canva, how to use WordPress plugins to create shareable quotes, how to identify and get the attention of influencers (and how not to do this), and how to leverage niche social bookmarking sites.

10 Steps to Building More Effective Blog Posts by Blue Kite Marketing

Laura Click (again) explains her methods for “how to build and structure blog posts in a way that’s optimized for today’s website visitor,” from writing a compelling headline (useful tips plus links to additional resources) and including a strong introduction (“Next to the headline, the opening paragraph is the most read part of your blog post…Ask a question. Tell a quick story. Start with a problem. Share some statistics”) to including a call to action.

93% of Bloggers Are Clueless About These Crucial Blog Post Ingredients by Post Planner

Scott AyresScott Ayres shares the strategies Post Planner used to achieve some very impressive 12-month growth figures, all done with content marketing. Daily posting, aggressive list-building, and utilization of “11 key blog post ingredients” ranging from an irresistable headline and opening with a bang (“if you don’t capture the reader’s attention in the first couple sentences of the the post, they’ll just bounce”) to maintaining attention with internal cliffhangers and choosing an arresting image.

How to Attract More Clicks to Your Blog Posts: 11 Revealing Title Tests by HubSpot

Sarah GoligerSarah Goliger reveals results of testing on various types of titles and which work best. Among the findings: questions work slightly better than statements (“Frame your blog post title as a question to make it more intriguing”), “you-focused” language beats “me-focused” (“Craft your title language to be about the reader and what is interesting to them, not you”), and beginning your blog post with a number helps.

How to Stick to Your Blogging Schedule by Blue Kite Marketing

Pointing out that “One of the biggest reasons company blogs fail is lack of consistency” in serving up fresh content, Laura Click (yet again) offers 10 helpful tips for sticking to a regular blogging schedule, among them building a content plan (a simple, flexible editorial calendar), eliminating distractions, collecting ideas and researching as you go (the way posts like this are built!), and working ahead when your schedule permits.

Three Guides to (Properly) Using Guest Blogging

Proof That Guest Blogging Is Not Dead, Coming Right From Google by Monitor Backlinks

Felix TarcomnicuFelix Tarcomnicu argues that guest blogging isn’t dead, despite earlier statements from Matt Cutts, because Google accepts guest posts (with do-follow backlinks) on their blog, and “If Google is accepting guest posts on their Analytics blog…that’s the proof that guest blogging is not dead, and you should not stick a fork in it. Period! What you should do, is to raise your guest blogging standards.”

The Pros And Cons Of A Guest Blogging Strategy In 2014 by BirdBrain Logic

Amanda DiSilvestroFrequent best-of honoree Amanda DiSilvestro outlines the pros (e.g., building relationships: “Part of guest blogging is building relationships with editors across the web. This is an excellent way to find new opportunities and stay involved in the community”), cons (keyword links have become less important), and the ultimate verdict on the benefits of guest blogging—concepts that still apply in 2015.

The Five Types of Guest Bloggers (Funny Graphic) by SteamFeed

Jesse AaronReviewing the panic caused by Matt Cutts and his “fall of guest blogging for SEO” announcement, and the ensuing clarifications, Jesse Aaron shares an amusing infographic characterizing the five types of guest bloggers, such as “The Guru” (the self-proclaimed expert who values image and follower count) and “The Spinner” (submits to hundreds of sites; what’s plagiarism?).

This was post #5, the final post, of Blogging for Business Week 2015 (#b4bweek) on Webbiquity.

#1: Welcome to Blogging for Business Week!

#2: 13 Great Guides to Growing Your Blog Audience

#3: Five Expert Guides to the Best Blogging Tools

#4: 12 of the Best Guides and Resources for Free Stock Images

#5: 22 Exceptional Business Blogging Guides, Tips & Tactics

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28 (of the) Best LinkedIn Marketing Guides of 2014

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

As noted in several of the posts highlighted below, LinkedIn is no longer just a hangout for job-seeking professionals, who largely abandon it in between job searches. A wave of changes over the past couple of years have transformed it into a major publishing hub, a platform for personal branding, and a place to ask and answer questions from like-minded professionals across nearly 2 million LinkedIn groups.

2014 Top LinkedIn Tips

Image credit: Cox Business

What’s more, as reported here previously, LinkedIn is the top social network for B2B marketing; 83% of marketers say they prefer to use LinkedIn for distributing B2B content. And yes, it’s still a key site for job seekers and employers—91 of the Fortune 100 companies (along with thousands of smaller firms) use LinkedIn for candidate searches.

The site’s expanded features have created new opportunities, but using all of these new features—and using them effectively—can be challenging. What type of content works best on LinkedIn? How can you maximize the exposure of your content published there? How can you make the most of LinkedIn groups? How does LinkedIn advanced search work? What are the best practices for utilizing Showcase pages?

Find the answers to those questions and many others here in more than two dozen of the best LinkedIn guides of the past year.

Guides to Publishing on LinkedIn

How to Use LinkedIn Publisher to Get More Visibility by Social Media Examiner

Viveka von RosenLinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen shares half a dozen “best practices for publishing your posts to LinkedIn for more visibility,” including knowing the elements of a good post (“A catchy title…Attractive images…Good marketing/sharing strategy for your post…Luck”) and deciding what to publish (“writing posts about LinkedIn influencers or influential people in your industry is a good place to start. If they decide to share your post with their network… kaboom! It might go viral”).

Writing and Sharing on LinkedIn Just Got Easier by LinkedIn Official Blog

Akshay KothariWriting that “Whatever your style, your subject, your background, we’ve made it easier than ever to share insights and ideas with the world in a blog post,” Akshay Kothari shares tips for making the most of LinkedIn’s redesigned publishing features, from picking a vibrant visual (adding a “cover photo to make your post stand out”) to concentrating more on the quality of the content than any certain length.

10 Tips for LinkedIn Publishing by ragan.com
***** 5 STARS

Kevin J. AllenKevin J. Allen passes along 10 tips for LinkedIn publishing success based on a study of “3,000 of the highest performing pieces of content published on LinkedIn.” Among the recommendations: keep headlines under 50 characters; use multiple images; don’t be afraid of long posts (those with 1,900-2,000 words do well); don’t use questions as headlines; and publish on Thursdays.

How to Write Your First Blog Post on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform by Neal Schaffer (on LinkedIn)

Neal SchafferAnyone can now publish on LinkedIn, but not everyone should–at least not without knowing the ropes. Social media expert Neal Schaffer explains the main features, including headings, formatting, quotes, links, and visuals.

7 Essential LinkedIn Marketing Stats: When to Post, What to Post and How to Improve by Buffer

Kevan LeeMoving beyond the basics in Neal’s post above, Kevan Lee shares some compelling stats about LinkedIn (e.g., “LinkedIn sends nearly four times more people to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook”) and explains how to take advantage of each finding (for example, “6 out of every 10 LinkedIn users are interested in industry insights”–so “industry and company insights should compose a fair majority of your posted content, and the overall content plan should feel relevant and actionable to your followers”).

How to Maximize Your LinkedIn Publishing Exposure by Social Media Examiner

Gregory CiottiBuilding upon the guidance from Viveka von Rosen above, Gregory Ciotti offers advanced tips for gaining larger readership on LinkedIn, using tactics such as “channel stacking: publish (or stack) topics on different days of the week,” researching winning topics, and planning publishing times to hit peak hours.

How To Dominate LinkedIn Publishing by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenFrequent best-of honoree Heidi Cohen showcases several key statistics about LinkedIn publishing (such as that “LinkedIn content pages attract 7 times more views than the job pages because people only check job pages when they’re seeking a new job”), then explains how to take action to capitalize on each finding or observation.

LinkedIn’s Content Publishing Flood: 4 Tips for Staying Afloat by Content Marketing Institute

Mike BaileyMike Bailey details four valuable tactics for making the most of publishing on LinkedIn, while not succumbing to “the temptation to exploit a shiny new promotional tool.” His first tip is to share your expertise, as this is a common thread among highly engaging influencer posts: “Authors with hard business advice to offer are the ones who are read most often and generate the most engagement, with posts on ‘spotting talent,’ ‘acting ethically,’ ‘leading with purpose,’ and ‘building company culture’ topping the popularity list.”

Guides to Using LinkedIn Groups

How To Find LinkedIn Groups With Target—ed Prospects by Top Dog Social Media

Melonie DodaroMelonie Dodaro explains how to find groups using keywords, “look under the hood” at group statistics to help narrow the list, determine what a “good” group is, and leave an impression by adding value. Just one caveat to add here: newer groups may not have a lot of interaction (yet) but offer the opportunity to “get in on the ground floor” as a key influencer in the group. Don’t overlook these opportunities.

How To Become A Top Contributor In Any LinkedIn Group by Top Dog Social Media

Once you’ve found the right groups to target, Melonie Dodaro (again) outlines a nine-step plan to “become a top contributor in ANY LinkedIn group and then what you should do about it once that happens,” warning that “You’ll need a heavy dose of ACTION along with this knowledge before you see results.” Among her tips: “Pay close attention to the most highly engaging content in the group. What are the specific topics that are evoking strong emotions and discussions? What keywords seem to be popping up in popular discussions? Answering these questions will help you get down to the core interests of the group,” and then develop content likely to resonate with group members.

Guides to B2B Marketing on LinkedIn

What We Learned After Spending $50,000 on LinkedIn Ads by Social Media Today
***** 5 STARS

Dave RigottiThinking about trying out LinkedIn ads? Wondering if (and how) they work? Dave Rigotti here shares his lessons learned after spending $50K on LinkedIn advertising. Among his findings: LinkedIn is great for driving leads from gated content, though offers and ads should be switched out every six weeks or so, and “The CPCs are significantly (5 – 10X) higher than many other channels, but converts much higher than other social networks. In the end we see the cost/customer as effective.” However—beware of mobile users: “mobile accounts for 47 percent of total traffic to LinkedIn. While this is great for increasing ad impressions, this is generally bad for gated content.”

B2B Marketing: Dominate Through LinkedIn Showcase Pages by SalesPanda

Samit AroraThe English is little rough, but Samit Arora here does an outstanding job of explaining how showcase pages are different from other areas of LinkedIn (e.g., 2-column layout; no tabs for careers, products or services; link back directly to the main business page; no employee profiles are associated), how to create a showcase page, and best practices for B2B marketing using showcase pages.

Breaking Down the LinkedIn Social Selling Funnel by Social Media Today
***** 5 STARS

Melonie Dodaro (yet again) walks through a “7-step system (that) will help you go from finding prospects on LinkedIn to taking the relationship offline,” from using LinkedIn Advanced Search and groups to idenify prospects to engaging with them on LinkedIn and other social platforms before taking the conversation offline.

5 Reasons Why LinkedIn Showcase Pages are an Audience Marketer’s Dream Come True by LinkedIn Pulse

Celia BrownWriting that LinkedIn has “grown to be far more than a recruiting solution- offering opportunities for everyone from freelancers to Fortune 500 brands to connect, market, engage, and influence members of the community. And LinkedIn’s Showcase pages enable brands to connect with audiences ion the social platform where they are already learning, networking, and engaging with peers,” Celia Brown explains why and shows how to use showcase pages for industry thought leadership.

10 Steps To Use LinkedIn For Small Business by MarketingThink

Gerry MoranReporting on research from the Wall Street Journal showing that “80% of small business owners, with 200 or fewer employees, use social networks to find new customers and grow their revenue, and…41% of small businesses feel that LinkedIn provides them the most potential to generate business,” Gerry Moran lays out a 10-step plan for small business success on LinkedIn, from the basics (setting up a company page, connecting with local groups) through shining up “your LinkedIn curbside appeal” with a complete and optimized profile.

5 Ways to Grow Your Leads With LinkedIn by Social Media Examiner

Melonie Dodaro (one more time) looks at five ways to use LinkedIn to “better connect with leads and prospects,” such as saving successful advanced searches (“LinkedIn’s advanced search tool is also great for finding potential prospects. It offers excellent functionality with the ability to search for people by keywords, relationship, groups, location and industry”) and creating a sequence of messages.

Company Pages Products & Services Page – No Longer Supported by LinkedIn Help Center

While this is no longer “news,’ for those who haven’t adjusted to LinkedIn’s late summer changes, this post explains what’s gone, what’s taken its place, and how to adjust your business’s LinkedIn company page to take advantage of the new structure.

Expert Advice About LinkedIn For Business And Your B2B Marketing by MLT Creative

Writing that “One of the reasons LinkedIn works so well is that it tells us exactly how we’re related to the people in our network (1st, 2nd and 3rd level connections) and the best ways of communicating with them. To a first level connection we can simply send a message, 2nd and 3rd level connections might get an invitation or an introduction,” guest blogger Viveka von Rosen (again) succinctly explains how best to utilize this communications framework.

Guides to Personal Branding on LinkedIn

30 Things You Must Do on LinkedIn to Find More Success This Year by Email Marketing Tips Blog

Marya JanMarya Jan recaps 30 tips for optimizing your use of LinkedIn, from using your profile to differentiate your skills (rather than being boring), using the new header image, and providing case studies, to optimizing your profile (“Use [keywords] throughout in key places like your title, summary and work experience”) and maximizing your endorsements.

The Five Fundamentals to Using LinkedIn by Bryan Kramer

Bryan KramerBryan Kramer shares a handful of helpful tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn, from the standard (join groups, keep your profile updated) to the inspiring: “use LinkedIn to establish yourself as an expert. Getting recognized as a top influencer on LinkedIn can have a dramatic effect on your brand. Simply put, people love to identify with an expert. It not only inspires trusts within your prospective client base, but it can open doors in terms of new business ventures.”

How to Structure a Perfect LinkedIn Profile by Cox Business BLUE

Neil PatelNoting that 40% of LinkedIn users log in each day, and “you can reach at least 60% of your audience if you post 20 posts or more a month,” frequent best-of author Neil Patel presents an infographic illustrating the elements of a “perfect LinkedIn profile,” from using a current, professional profile image and “connecting the dots” in your background to asking for and giving recommendations.

Cracking the #LinkedIn Profile Code by Social PR Chat

Lisa BuyerFrequent best-of honoree Lisa Buyer taps LinkedIn expert Jabez LeBret for his guidance on the “four P’s” of LinkedIn profiles: personalization, professionalism (tip: to keep your profile professional, “write your summary in the 3rd person. As he put it, ‘Don’t write in the 1st person. Don’t sound like an a-hole'”), progress, and publishing.

Social Media: 4 steps to build your personal brand using LinkedIn by MarketingSherpa

Rachel Minion offers helpful tips for establishing your personal brand on LinkedIn, most critically optimizing your summary: “The biggest key here is you want to talk to visitors using a conversational tone that connects with them. Talk about yourself in the same way you would if I’m standing next to you. Allow the conversation to be easy to understand and interpret.”

3 Stunningly Original LinkedIn Headlines by Linkedinsights.com

Andy FooteAndy Foote illustrates how not to be boring on LinkedIn, using three outstanding examples (including Cindy Gallop, whose personal headline is: “I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business.”), plus advice on how to think about crafting your own unique, non-boring headline, and why this exercise is worth the effort.

New LinkedIn Profile Features: 4 Tips to Optimize Your Presence by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Evan ProkopExtending on the information in the post above, Evan Prokop outlines a four-step process for getting the most out of recent LinkedIn profile design changes, from the new image options (“think about what kind of imagery could add a tasteful yet personal touch and tell a story about you and your professional background”) to measuring and comparing your visibility (“The new ‘How You Rank’ report will show where you fit into the top 100 most viewed profiles among your company and first degree connections”).

The LinkedIn Profile Header – How to Improve Your Look by Integrated Alliances

Mike O'NeilMike O’Neil supplies detailed guidance on how to optimally use the LinkedIn profile header (for paid LinkedIn subscribers only), company pages, and showcase pages (“So, what goes in a header image?…You could upload a large image or graphic. Be thinking of something that fits your brand…This is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY should you choose to take advantage of it”).

6 Lessons to Make the Most of LinkedIn by LinkedIn Pulse

Eric HoltzclawEric Holtzclaw passes along half-a-dozen “important lessons…how to use LinkedIn more effectively,” such as segmenting your connections using tagging: “To be successful on LinkedIn you need to ensure all communication with your connections is as personal, specific and targeted as possible. Your connections need to be segmented in their specific fields so that at any given time you are able to effectively communicate with any one of your contacts.”

And Finally…

5 Reasons LinkedIn Has Lost Its Luster by {grow}

Eric WittlakeIs LinkedIn’s value and position as the premier professionally-oriented changing? Eric Wittlake contends it’s at least at risk, due to recent changes that have diminished LinkedIn’s value, such as the gamification of recommendations (“Now LinkedIn prompts us to endorse people for skills they don’t even have, but it’s far easier to click “Endorse” than it is to actually edit what you are endorsing someone for!”), the diminished value of connections, and “going Facebook” (with the addition of profile header images).

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19 More Outstanding Social Media Marketing Guides

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

While social media marketing has become commonplace, questions about how to optimize the use of social channels and networks, and how to stand out from the crowd, remain.

How often should you re-share content on social networks?

Image credit: KISSmetrics

The post 23 Outstanding Social Media Marketing Guides, published here a few weeks ago, answered questions about social media trends, the evolution of social media marketing best practices, and how to optimize use of visual content.

This follow-up post answers several more, such as: what are the best social networks for b2b social media marketing? What are the best and worst times to post updates? How can different networks be used most effectively for lead generation? Which tactics work best today for building a social media following and growing traffic?

Find the answers to those questions and others here in 19 more outstanding social media marketing guides from the past year.

Five Simple Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing Success by Marissa’s Picks

Marissa PickMarissa Pick (no relation, though I joke that she’s my adopted cousin) outlines a handful of rules for successful B2B social media marketing, among them “knowing what to do is just as important as knowing what not to do” (“Every social media campaign needs a strategy, and it’s crucial to understand your goals. Knowing what you want to accomplish and how you will measure success is crucial before you launch any campaign”), “engagement = essential,” and “know your audience.”

The Top 8 Social Networks For Business by B2B Marketing Insider

Michael BrennerMichael Brenner examines findings from Adobe regarding the top social networks for business in the view of CMOs, based on their value for SEO, brand awareness, customer communication, and traffic generation. In addition to the “Big Four,” the findings and associated infographic looked at SlideShare (the “new kid on the block”) as well as “niche players” Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

How To Choose The Right Social Media Networks For Your B2B Business by Search Engine Land

Jayson DeMersJayson DeMers details seven factors to consider when determining where to focus social media marketing efforts (such as conversions and customer value: “Do visitors bounce immediately off your page, or are they reading your content, amplifying your message and becoming customers? A…detailed analysis can help you determine not only which networks are sending you traffic, but which ones are sending you valuable traffic”) along with seven types of social networks to leverage.

50 Expert Tips for Getting Started on Social Media by Constant Contact on SlideShare

This presentation provides dozens of one-sentence (mostly) social media tips from top experts inlcuding Rebekah Radice, Robert Caruso (“In social media, content leads to conversations, conversations build relationships, and relationships result in ROI”), Kim Garst, Mike Stelzner (“Study your competition and watch where they participate in social dialog. Don’t reinvent the wheel”), and Ann Handley among others.

The Dead Zones: When Not to Post on Social Media by Cool Infographics

Randy KrumRandy Krum displays a pair of infographics illustrating the best and worst times to post on social media. The worst times seem generally intuitive (e.g., Facebook between midnight and 8:00 a.m.), though a few are odd (don’t post to LinkedIn during the workday?!). The best times, meanwhile, are shown in pretty short windows (e.g., Twitter between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.). Interesting – though your mileage may vary.

Survey Reveals 11% Increase in Marketers’ Ability to Measure Social Media ROI by Social Media Explorer

Nichole KellyNichole Kelly dives into research findings from Social Media Examiner showing that more than a third of marketers now say they are able to measure ROI from social media activities; but 88% say they “want to know how to measure the ROI from social media” (so, a quarter of marketers say they can measure social ROI, but also don’t know how?); that half of marketers say they’ve seen improved sales from social media; and other interesting facts and stats, including my favorite: “85% of marketers have NO plans to use Snapchat. (Thank goodness!).”

16 Resources to Generate Leads With Social Media by Social Media Examiner

Debra EckerlingDebra Eckerling outlines a collection of helpful resources for generating leads through Facebook (e.g., how to set up a Facebook page for lead generation and methods for generating email leads through Facebook), Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Social Media Lead Generation: Best Tips From The Experts by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen passes along guidance on “the best way to use social media to generate leads” from 22 social media experts including Michael Brenner, Jeff Cohen, Jason Falls, Neal Schaffer (“The best way to generate leads is to utilize sponsored posts on the relevant social media platform where your customers are utilizing best practices for that platform. Social networks are in business and want you to be successful in your advertising”), and Deb Weinstein.

10 Powerful Social Media Infographics and Resources to Build Your Following by SumAll

Brian HonigmanBrian Honigman presents 10 infographics covering everything from how to create the “perfect” post on various social media platforms and how to size profile images for popular social networks to social media facts and figures (hmm, that sounds familiar), user growth trends across platforms, and the best and worst times to post on social media sites.

7 Social Media Monitoring Tips To Help Your Business Spy Like The NSA by Top Dog Social Media

Melonie DodaroMelonie Dodaro shares sever highly useful tips for finding people who are sharing your content, discovering who is mentioning your brand or products, finding influencers in your industry, and find “super-targeted” followers such as who is following a particular person or brand and lives in a specific city.

The Art of Creating Perfect Social Media Posts – infographic by Digital Information World

Irfan AhmadNoting that “Each social media operates a bit differently, and each brand’s followers have their own preferences and moods…(so) there is no One-Size-Fits-All trick or strategy” for “perfect” social media posts, Irfan Ahmad shares the essential elements of a highly shareable blog post along with an infographic showing best practices for promoting content on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+.

How to Easily Double Your Traffic from Social Media by KISSmetrics

Garrett MoonGarrett Moon offers helpful guidance on how to increase social media traffic by sharing each piece of your content more than once on various social networks, along with five tips on how not to overdo re-sharing and risk appearing to be a spammer.

5 Social Media Tasks You Might be Neglecting and You Shouldn’t by Reviewz ‘n’ Tips

Daniel SharkovDaniel Sharkov offers helpful tips on a handful of social media tactics you should be using, covering LinkedIn (“Did you know that unlike most social networks, a rather high percentage [about 20%] of your [LinkedIn] contacts actually sees your updates?”), StumbleUpon, Google+, Triberr, and Facebook.

Why social media is losing its sparkle by iMedia Connection

Rebecca LiebThe always fascinating Rebecca Lieb contends that “email and search now both enjoy wallpaper status. They’ve faded into the background. This is absolutely not meant to diminish the importance or significance of either as a marketing channel…(rather) ‘wallpapering’ is a sign of maturity and essential integration into the larger marketing organization,” and that social media is now approaching that status as well. What do you think?

Social Media 101: Branding for the PR-impaired marketer by MarketingSherpa Blog

Maria Lopez FernandezEveryone knows social media has become an essential channel for marketing and content distribution, but Maria Lopez Fernandez reminds readers that not all social networks are created equal: each has its own distinct characteristics, uses, and etiquette, and she provides guidance here on how to make the best use of Facebook, Twitter, and blogging – as well as how to put it all together.

The Ulimate Cheat Sheet for Social Media Dimensions by likeable media

Samy SimorangkirSamy Simorangkir shares an infographic which details the required image dimensions for social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest, along with half a dozen “additional rules of thumb to keep in mind” for optimizing profiles on the largest networks.

30+ Ways To Use YouTube Effectively by Small Business Trends

TJ McCueWriting that online video “is a terrific way for small business owners to compete with the big brands. But creating effective (as in watchable) content and then promoting it can be intimidating,” the brilliant TJ McCue has compiled a list of 30 resources for small business, from expert online training to helpful guides, infographics, online video editing tools and more.

5 stages to unlocking social media’s full potential by iMedia Connection

Scott FasserScott Fasser believes it’s a “colossal mistake” to try to use social media to persuade your target audience to buy. Instead, he lays out a five-stage process for businesses to evolve their social media activities from “nascent to awesome.” At the base stage, companies are listening to buyers and watching competitors; by stage five, a company is truly executing as a social business.

What You Need to Know About Open Graph Meta Tags for Total Facebook and Twitter Mastery by KISSmetrics

Jacek BlautJacek Blaut explains in detail how to use Facebook Open Graph tags to obtain “a degree of control…over how information travels from a third-party website to Facebook when a page is shared (or liked, etc.),” why marketers need to know about Open Graph, and how to implement these, as well as how to use Twitter Cards to “stand out from the crowd” on Twitter by generating additional content from your tweets.

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104 Fascinating Social Media and Marketing Statistics for 2014 (and 2015)

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Looking at marketing surveys and studies from the past year, a few trends are clear, among them that buyers are firmly (and increasingly) in control of the purchase cycle. They prefer searching to being found, and will often be close to their final decision point before talking to a salesperson.

Marketing Trends 2014 - 2015In response, marketers are producing an increasing amount and variety of content to support all stages of the decision process. They’re distributing and promoting this content through all channels in the web presence optimization (WPO) model, to maximize their opportunities to be “found” online when buyers are looking.

And although digital is taking an increasing share of marketing budgets, the move to online is paradoxically making some old-school tactics even more valuable.

What do buyers say is the most important signal of vendor credibility? What type of content is most effective? What do marketers rate as the single most valuable SEO tactic? What are the top barriers to adopting social business practices?

Find the answers to these questions and many others in more than 100 social and online marketing stats from 20+ different sources.

9 General Marketing Stats

1. People want to be in control of the content they receive:

  • • 86% of people skip TV commercials.
  • • 44% of direct mail is never opened.
  • • 91% of people have unsubscribed from company emails they previously opted into.

(NewsCred)

2. 72% of marketers think branded content is more effective than advertising in a magazine; 69% say it is superior to direct mail and PR. (NewsCred)

3. Nearly half (46%) of people say a website’s design is their number one criterion for determining the credibility of a company. (NewsCred)

4. 71% of companies planned to increase their digital marketing budgets this year, by an average of 27%. (Econsultancy)

5. 67 percent of marketers say increasing sales directly attributable to digital marketing campaigns is a top priority this year. (Forbes)

6. Internet advertising will make up 25% of the entire ad market in 2015. (Social Fresh)

7. Despite all the hype about online, 67% of B2B content marketers consider event marketing to be their most effective strategy. (Social Fresh)

8. Videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%. (Social Fresh)

9. As one would suspect, Facebook is the most popular method for sharing interesting content. Surprisingly though, the fifth-most popular sharing method is offline (print) shares. (Heidi Cohen)

5 Online Demographics Stats

10. The Google+ platform has 67 percent male users. (Rocket Post)

11. There are 76 million millennials (born between 1981 and 2000) in the U.S. — 27% of the total population. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

12. 63% of millennials have at least a bachelors degree. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

13. 63% of millennials say they stay updated on brands through social networks; 51% say social opinions influence their purchase decisions; and 46% “count on social media” when buying online.  (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

14. 89% of 18-29 year-olds are active on social media, as are 43% of adults 65 and older. (Jeff Bullas)

13 Content Marketing Stats

15. B2B content matters. 57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer even talks to a supplier. (Corporate Executive Board)

16. By 2020, customers will manage 85 percent of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (Target Marketing)

17. Not all content has to be original. 48% of marketers curate noteworthy content from third-party sources weekly (this post is an example). (Design & Promote)

18. 62% of companies outsource their content marketing. (Iconsive)

19. $118 billion was spend on content marketing last year. (NewsCred)

20. 70% of consumers say they prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. (NewsCred)

21. 90% of organizations market with content. 86% of B2C marketers and 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing. (NewsCred)

22. Or maybe 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing. (Iconsive)

23. And yet…54% of brands don’t have an onsite, dedicated content director. (NewsCred)

24. There are 27 million pieces of content shared each day. (NewsCred)

25. Companies will spend $135 billion on digital marketing collateral this year. (Social Fresh)

26. Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%. (Social Fresh)

27. 17% of marketers plan to increase efforts on SlideShare this year. (Forbes)

7 Blogging Stats

28. 34% of Fortune 500 companies now maintain active blogs – the largest share since 2008. (Forbes)

29. Each month, 329 million people read blogs. (NewsCred)

30. 37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable content type for marketing. (NewsCred)

31. Companies that publish new blog posts 15+ times per month (3-4 posts per week) generate five times more traffic than companies that don’t blog at all. (NewsCred)

32. 17% of marketers plan to increase blogging efforts this year. (Forbes)

33. Blogging increases web traffic by 55% for brands. (Rocket Post)

34. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those without blogs. (Social Fresh)

7 Visual and Video Marketing Stats

35. Pinterest grabs 41% of the ecommerce traffic compared to Facebook’s 37%. Food is the top category of content on Pinterest with 57% of its user base sharing food-related content. (Rocket Post)

36. 16% of marketers plan to increase efforts on Pinterest this year. (Forbes)

37. The use of video content for marketing increased 73% this year; use of infographics grew 51%. (Digital Marketing Philippines)

38. Articles with images get 94% more views than those without. (NewsCred)

39. Posts with videos attract three times as many inbound links as plain text posts. (NewsCred)

40. 62% of marketers use video in their content marketing. (NewsCred)

41. Two-thirds of firms plan to increase spending on video marketing in the coming year. (Heidi Cohen)

5 SEO Stats

42. 81% of B2B purchase cycles start with web search, and 90% of buyers say when they are ready to buy, “they’ll find you.” (Earnest Agency)

43. More than half (53%) of marketers rank content creation as the single most effective SEO tactic. (NewsCred)

44. 57% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation. (NewsCred)

45. Organic search leads have a 14.6% close rate, compared to 1.7% for outbound marketing leads. (NewsCred)

46. 33% of clicks from organic search results go to the top listing on Google. (Social Fresh)

15 Social Media Marketing Stats

47. 85% of B2B buyers believe companies should present information via social networks. (Iconsive)

48. And yet – only 20% of CMOs leverage social networks to engage with customers. (Marketing Land)

49. Marketers will spend $8.3 billion on social media advertising in 2015. (NewsCred)

50. “Interesting content” is one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media. (NewsCred)

51. 87% of B2B marketers use social media to distribute content. (NewsCred)

52. 17% of marketers plan to increase podcasting efforts this year. (Forbes)

53. As consumer use of social media for brand comments and complaints continues to increase, brands are having a hard time keeping up. Only about 20% of consumer comments generate brand responses, and the average response time is over 11 hours. (eMarketer)

54. Nearly three-quarters of US marketers believe customer response management on digital channels is important (so…25% think it’s okay to ignore consumers?); however, just one-third say their company does a good job at this. (eMarketer)

55. Social media marketing budgets are projected to double over the next five years (Social Fresh)

56. 66% of marketers claim that social indirectly impacts their business performance but only 9%t claim that it can be directly linked to revenue. (Forbes)

57. Over 70% of US online adults use some form of social media networking. (Heidi Cohen)

58. 72% of all internet users are now active on social media. (Jeff Bullas)

59. The top two barriers impeding adoption of social business within organizations are lack of overall strategy and competing priorities. Just 11% of marketers cite legal or regulatory concerns. (i-SCOOP)

60. 78% of companies now say they have dedicated social media teams, up from 67% in 2012. (i-SCOOP)

61. By department, companies most often have dedicated social media staff (not surprisingly) in marketing (73%), communications/PR (66%) and customer support (40%). At the other end of the scale are legal (9%) and market research (8%). (i-SCOOP)

7 Facebook Marketing stats

62. Facebook accounts for 15.8% of total time spent on the Internet. (Rocket Post)

63. 71% of online adults use Facebook. 63% of Facebook users visit daily and 40% visit multiple times per day. (Heidi Cohen)

64. More than a third (36%) of online adults use only one social networking site. Of these, 83% use Facebook. 8% use LinkedIn. (Heidi Cohen)

65. One million web pages are accessed using the “Login with Facebook” feature. (Jeff Bullas)

66. Nearly a quarter (232%) of Facebook users login at least five times per day. (Jeff Bullas)

67. 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases. (Jeff Bullas)

68. 70% of marketers used Facebook to gain new customers. (Jeff Bullas)

3 LinkedIn Marketing Stats

69. LinkedIn is the top social network for B2B marketing (not a shock). 83% of marketers say they prefer to use LinkedIn for distributing B2B content, and more than half of vendors say they have generated sales through LinkedIn. (Real Business Rescue)

70. The average time spent on LinkedIn per month is 17 minutes. (Rocket Post)

71. 91 of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn for candidate searches. (Rocket Post)

7 Twitter Marketing Stats

72. The average time per month spent by users on Twitter is 170 minutes. (Rocket Post)

73. Only about half of the people who log in to Twitter once a month are actually taking the time to tweet. The rest are lurkers. (Rocket Post)

74. Ironically, the most-followed brand on Twitter is…Facebook, with more than 13 million followers. Google is #3. (AllTwitter)

75. eBay is the most engaging brand on Twitter. Starbucks is the fourth-most-engaging, and also has the fourth highest number of followers of any major brand. (AllTwitter)

76. Not a shock: retailers and restaurants are the most engaging industries on Twtitter. Surprising: apparel brands are the least engaging. (AllTwitter)

77. Twitter now has over 550 million registered users, and 215 million active monthly users. (Jeff Bullas)

78. 34% of marketers use Twitter to successfully generate leads. (Jeff Bullas)

3 Google+ Stats

79. 18% of marketers plan to increase efforts on Google+ this year. (Forbes)

80. There are now over 1 billion Google+ accounts, and that figure is growing 33% per year. (Jeff Bullas)

81. Google+ has 359 million monthly active users.  (Jeff Bullas)

13 Email Marketing Stats

82. There are nine times as many marketing emails sent each year as direct mail pieces delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. (Mark the Marketer)

83. Email marketing delivers the highest ROI (about $44 per dollar spent, on average) of any digital marketing tactic. SEO is #2. Banner ads have the lowest ROI. (Mark the Marketer)

84. 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an e-mail marketing message. (Mark the Marketer)

85. Email subject lines matter. Really. 64% of people say they open an e-mail because of the subject line. (Mark the Marketer)

86. Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened. For B2C emails, the words “Alert,” “New,” “News,” “Bulletin,” “Sale,” “Video,” “Daily,” or “Weekly” (though not “Monthly”) all increase open and click-through rates. (Mark the Marketer)

87. For B2B companies, subject lines that contained “money,” “revenue,” and “profit” performed the best. (Mark the Marketer)

88. Timing is important too. 76% of e-mail opens occur in the first two days after an e-mail is sent. E-mail open rates are noticeably lower on weekends than on weekdays. (Mark the Marketer)

89. Only 8% of companies and agencies have an e-mail marketing team.  E-mail marketing responsibilities usually fall on one person as a part of her wider range of marketing responsibilities. (Mark the Marketer)

90. 72% of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content via e-mail. (Mark the Marketer)

91. Still, the average click-through rate for B2B marketing e-mails is just 1.7%. (Mark the Marketer)

92. Emails with social sharing buttons increase click-through rates by 158%. (Social Fresh)

93. 64 percent of marketers say increasing email click-throughs and open rates is among their top priorities this year. (Forbes)

94. 67 percent of marketers say that email is ke3y for attracting and engaging prospects, and the best path to increase marketing ROI. (Forbes)

10 Mobile Marketing Stats

95. 94% of CMOs plan to use mobile applications within the next 3-5 years. (Marketing Land)

96. 75% of smartphone owners watch videos on their phones; 26% at least once per day. (NewsCred)

97. Over half of all mobile searches lead to a purchase. (Rocket Post)

98. 78% of Facebook users are mobile-only. (Rocket Post)

99. E-mail is the most popular activity on smartphones among users ages 18-44. (Mark the Marketer)

100. 64% of decision-makers read their e-mail via mobile devices. (Mark the Marketer)

101. Almost half–48%–of all emails are opened on mobile devices. Yet 39% of marketers say they have no strategy for mobile email, and only 11% of e-mails are optimized for mobile.  (Mark the Marketer)

102. Mobile is the channel of choice for keep relationships with existing customers alive because it cuts through the clutter of email and social. (Forbes)

103. 71% of users access social media from a mobile device. (Jeff Bullas)

104. 50% of millennials use their smartphones to research products or services while shopping, and 41% have made purchases using their phones. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

 

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