Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Bullas’
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.
In 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.
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)
- • For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25.
- • 91% of consumers use email at least once a day.
- • When asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates from, 90% preferred an email newsletter, while only 10% chose Facebook.
- • 60% of marketers say that email marketing is producing an ROI for their organization.
However—as email inboxes get more crowded and both the sophistication and expectations of consumers and business buyers increase, marketers need to refine their tactics in order to build their opt-in email lists, retain subscribers, and drive leads and sales through email marketing.
So what are the most effective tactics for building an opt-in email list today? What are the best practices to maximize open and click-through rates? What worst practices or pitfalls should email marketers avoid? What’s the best day of the week to send emails?
Find the answers to those questions and many more here almost two dozen expert guides to email marketing.
Email List Building Guides
Daniel Burstein reports that most marketers struggle with growing their opt-in lists–but also offers tips from the happy minority enjoying rapid list building success. Among them: “63% of marketers found registration during purchase to be very effective…If you could start, or improve, only one element of your opt-in program this year, you should strongly consider taking a look at how you offer customers the chance to register for your list when they’re making a purchase. Only 41% of marketers are using this tactic to drive their organization’s email list growth.” Online events are also effective, while social media sharing buttons are at the other end of the scale, cited as “very effective” by only 9% of marketers.
10 Top Tips to Grow Your Email List by jeffbullas.com
Jeff Bullas suggests 10 ways to grow your opt-in email list, from the common (offer a free ebook, or use a pop-up box–which he concedes is annoying, but they work anyway) to the less obvious (do some guest blogging, use annotations in YouTube videos, or use SlideShare Pro (“the premium version of Slideshare…offers a pop up box to capture emails and leads”).
4 tips for growing your email list by iMedia Connection
Reporting, regarding the continuing importance of email as a marketing tactic, that “Fifty-four percent of organizations generate 20 percent or more of overall revenue through email marketing. For 21 percent of respondents, email marketing accounts for 60 percent or more of all digital business revenue,” Monique Torres presents four helpful tips for building opt-in email lists, including offering incentives for signing up, which may include content, exclusive access, tesimonials, or discounts.
Email List Growth: Marketers Rank Their Most Popular – and Effective – Tactics by Marketing Charts
It’s not surprising that, according to research from ExactTarget, a majority of marketers use tactics like placing a general email signup form on their websites, or signup forms specific to different sections of their sites. But among some findings that are less obvious, this post notes “While only 23% capture email during inbound sales calls, 71% rate this tactic as being effective.”
16 Ways to Capture Email Addresses for Your Email Marketing List by Blue Kite Marketing
Frequent best-of honoree Laura Click serves up more than a dozen helpful tactics for growing an opt-in email marketing list, from offering an incentive to sign up (“such as eBooks, webinars and video series”) and social media channels to digital ads, contests, and collecting email addresses at trade shows and other industry events.
Guest author Marya Jan steps through seven common roadblocks to growing a subscriber list, and explains what to do instead in order to quickly build a large opt-in email list. For example, not providing an incentive to sign up: “the best opt-in offers are those that offer some sort of short cut of doing a task. A cheat sheet of sorts…a report, mini ebook, white paper or a short webinar works well.”
General Email Marketing Guides
10 email best practices to remember (Infographic) by iMedia Connection
Erik Matlick showcases an infographic detailing 10 best practices for effective marketing emails, from subject lines (punctuation is unnecessary; capitalizing all words results in higher engagement) to content and CTAs (questions spike interest and encourage click-through; orange and red are the best colors for CTA buttons).
11 Email Marketing WORST Practices by Bourn Creative
Shifting the focus from email marketing best practices to worst practices, Jennifer Bourn here helpfully warns marketers to avoid these potentially costly email mistakes, such as buying email lists (“This tactic is guaranteed to result in a lot of spam complaints, angry consumers, and damage to your brand”), using a bait-and-switch opt-in (“Don’t sneak your ezine in after the fact and trick new subscribers”) and buring out your list with over-mailing.
Personalized e-mails drive shoppers to buy—and buy more—in stores and online by Internet Retailer
Want your marketing emails to be more effective? Make them personal. According to Amy Dusto, “77% of online shoppers say they’re more likely to buy from a retailer when its e-mails are personal…and 82% of web shoppers say they’d likely buy more items from a retailer if its e-mails were more personally relevant.”
Email Deliverability: 8 tactics help you overcome rising B2B challenges by MarketingSherpa
“There are plenty of layers to permeate when it comes to deliverability. In the B2B market, those layers thicken. You bear a bulk of ongoing challenges including a longer sales cycle, complex reputation score hurdles and high employee turnover, resulting in multiple inactive email addresses.” To overcome these challenges, Allison Banko walks through eight tactics for improving deliverability specifically for b2b email marketers, from careful segmentation to optimizing emails for mobile devices.
Noting that typical email conversion rates are significantly higher than for search or social media, Ian Cleary passes along conversion tactics from nine top marketing professionals, among them John Jantsch (use a bright color for your call-to-action button and “never use your call to action button color anywhere else on your site”) and Melanie Duncan: “Melanie has a great picture of her with a visual cue (i.e. she’s pointing to where you have to subscribe).”
Marketing Research Chart: Which day is best to send emails? by MarketingSherpa
Daniel Burstein (again) shares research on which day of the week marketers believe is most effective for sending marketing emails. (It’s Tuesday, followed closely by Wednesday.) However, he also points out the value of testing (as your mileage may vary), the importance of accurate measurement, and international considerations.
Justin Bridegan shares four key lessons from his email marketing experience, including the importance of providing value over just selling: “Your emails should be an ongoing conversation and always offer real value. Ask yourself, ‘Does this pass the ‘so what’ test?’ If not, then scrap what you have and start over.”
The 4 Pillars of Email Marketing by MarketingSherpa
Astutely noting that “If you focus on everything, you focus on nothing,” Daniel Burstein (once more) presents the four focus areas for presentations at MarketingSherpa’s email summit, along with supporting content. These focus areas included list building, design, automation, and integration (“The optimization of email integration tactics with social media, websites, mobile, offline and testing”).
5 Reasons Why Most Email Marketing Messages Get Ignored by Blue Kite Marketing
Laura Click (again) muses upon several reasons marketing emails have low open rates, including an excessive focus on selling (“Yes, it’s important to use email to sell. But, that shouldn’t be the only thing you do. It needs to be balanced with other compelling content”), boring content, and terrible subject lines.
24 Tips for Responsive Email Design by Get Elastic
Noting that “43% of email is currently opened on mobile devices, headed towards 50% by the end of the year,” Linda Bustos explains how responsive email design works, and supplies a set of practical tips for design, content, and calls to action (“Make links look like links. Sound like Web usability kindergarten? It’s still important, especially since modern designs style links as colored text without underlining”).
Email Marketing: 7 Things You Should Do Before Hitting “Send” by The 60 Second Marketer
May Advincula walks through seven items to check before hitting the “send” button on a marketing email message, among them, covering the basics (“Do you have an easily accessible unsubscribe link?”) and keeping it simple (“Once your subscribers get past the subject line and open your e-mail, make sure the reason why subscribers have signed up for your e-mail is prominent”).
Simple ideas for integrating social and email by iMedia Connection
Drew Hubbard contends that contrary to the notion that social media has “killed” email, in fact, “the explosive popularity of social networking is an opportunity to boost the effectiveness of email marketing.” He then details a handful of ways social media can be used to leverage email marketing efforts, such as encouraging sharing: “Remember back in the day when email marketers did backflips when subscribers chose to ‘forward to a friend?’ Well, with social networking, email subscribers today can choose to ‘forward to ALL friends.'”
Email Subject Lines and Copywriting Guides
Infographic: 10 Commandments of Email Copywriting by The Point
Howard J. Sewell shares clever and practical commandments for effetive email copywriting, from “Thou shalt not direct people to ‘learn more'” (“‘Learn more” is the worst possible call to action. It means absolutely nothing. What is it that you’re offering, exactly?”) and “Thou shalt use ‘you,” not ‘we'” to “Thou shalt not serve up multiple calls to action.”
Email Subject Lines: Words and Tactics That Boost Open Rates by MarketingProfs
Among other research findings detailed here, Ayaz Nanji reports that “Email subject lines that convey a sense of urgency, such as those that contain the words ‘urgent’ and/or ‘important,’ have open rates that are much higher than normal…(also) email recipients are much more intrigued by subject lines that contain positive solicitations rather than negative admonitions: Words such as ‘announcement’ and ‘invitation’ have significantly higher open rates than those containing ‘reminder’ and ‘cancelled.'”
Which Email Keywords Get the Highest Open and Click-Through Rates? by The Daily Egg
**** 5 STARS
Sherice Jacob notes that, as email inboxes become ever more crowded, “The competition is only going to get fiercer…now more than ever—word choice matters.” She then delves into research on how small changes in subject line word choice can make a big difference in results. For example, “save” vs. “sale”: “‘sale’ enjoyed an over 23% increase in open rates and over 60% in click-through rates, whereas ‘save’ flat-lined at 3.4% and -25.2% respectively.”
Email Design Awards and Inspiration
The 10 most innovative marketing emails of 2013 by iMediaConnection
Chris Marriott takes a close look at some of last year’s more effective email marketing campaigns, from best abandoned cart email (“Too many abandoned cart emails read along the lines of, ‘Hey dummy, you didn’t finish checking out.’ Not here. Bare Necessities strikes just the right tone with subject line, ‘Thanks for checking us out.’ That thought is repeated in the email itself, along with dynamically placed pictures of what was left in the cart”) and best coupon email (CVS) to best newsletter (P&G Home Made Simple) and best re-activation email (Clinique UK).
MarketingSherpa Email Awards 2014, presented by ExactTarget by MarketingSherpa
***** 5 STARS
Get design and campaign inspiration from the MarketingSherpa Email Awards winners in these 17 illustrated examples, including Dell’s Ultrabook program for e-commerce creation and design: “Dell wanted to support the launch and ongoing promotion of an innovative product. The main feature was a flip-hinge design allowing a user to transform the device from an Ultrabook to a tablet. Dell marketers saw an opportunity to demonstrate the key feature of their product using a unique approach – a short animated GIF. Touting high compatibility with email clients and browsers, this solution saw an increase in revenue of 109% against the quarterly benchmark for similar campaigns.”
LinkedIn has made dramatic changes to its platform over the past 18 months, making what was a rather plain but effective business networking tool into a content-rich, visually dynamic, more interactive professionally-focused social network.
Among other changes, the addition of showcase pages for businesses, expanded content publishing and media sharing capabilities, and changes to group email updates are all designed to make LinkedIn into a business-oriented version of Facebook. Facebook may be fighting back, but time will tell regarding its true intentions and objectives on that front.
Whether your goal is use LinkedIn to find your next job, market a business product or service, or just expand your professional network, you’ll find helpful guidance below in 20 of the best LinkedIn guides of the past year or so.
7 Guides to Using LinkedIn for Career or Networking
Boost Your Brand’s Visibility With LinkedIn’s New Profile Features by Sprout Social
Jennifer Beese reports that recent changes to LinkedIn’s “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature gives you “more ways to manage your professional identity and increase your visibility across the professional social network,” and serves up three helpful tips for capitalizing on the insights gleaned, such as using visuals to showcase “your talents in a whole new way by adding photos, videos, and slideshows to your profile.”
21 Steps to Create an Awesome LinkedIn Profile by jeffbullas.com
Jeff Bullas writes that answering the question, “So, what do you do?” isn’t as simple as it used to be, because “Today we have careers, businesses and life work that didn’t exist a decade ago.” He continues, “LinkedIn has redefined the online version of a resume and having a well organised LinkedIn profile is now essential,” then shares nearly two dozen tips for creating an “awesome” profile including using a professional photo, writing in the first person, and using keywords in all relevant sections.
Making LinkedIn Work for You by NoddlePlace
Sheree Van Vreede presents an excellent infographic that illustrates LinkedIn best practices across half a dozen key areas, including activity, connection requests, sharing updates, and reaching out (“Prominently display your contact information…(and) clearly state your networking purpose on your profile”).
The LinkedIn Recruiter & Job Seeker Disconnect by Winning Impression
Katrina Collier shares an infographic loaded with stats and guidance for job seekers on LinkedIn. While some of the numbers she shares are specific to the U.K. (e.g, only one-third of British workers have profiles on LinkedIn, and nearly half of those are incomplete), the guidance and best practices are universal.
Guest author Margaret Adams writes, “Once you who you want to attract you will need a plan to make sure you don’t waste your time and your efforts when you’re using LinkedIn,” then offers four tips to optimize use of the professional social network, such as “Be visual…Upload images, videos and presentations to supplement the text you write. This will help to build your credibility on LinkedIn. You’ll demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about and that you can deliver.”
The Secret Benefit of LinkedIn Endorsements by The Social Media Hat
Mike Allton delves into the workings and benefits of the Skills & Expertise function in LinkedIn, how it’s connected to LinkedIn Endorsements, how to optimize your skillset for social SEO, and the right way to grow your endorsements (“sift through your own connections and start endorsing the people you know. They will get a notification and many will reciprocate”).
Want a Job? Here Are 6 LinkedIn Tips by MediaPost
Explaining that, “For recruiters, LinkedIn is the largest and most current database of business professionals in the world. For job seekers, it’s a portal into new opportunities, connections and references,” Scott Gillum offers half a dozen tips for job seekers to make the most of the platform, including keeping your past up to date: “Companies go out of business or are acquired all the time. Make sure your resume reflects or notes that change.”
10 Expert Guides to Corporate Marketing on LinkedIn
The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn, an infographic by WordPress Hosting SEO
Berrie Pelser shares an infographic he calls “a strategic guide full of interviews and tips from marketing thought leaders combined with expert insights from the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team (designed to help marketers) embrace the vast opportunities that await—increase awareness, influence perception, generate leads, and ultimately drive revenue.” The checklist-style guide enables you to score your brand’s LinkedIn efforts across 14 different areas like sponsored updates, showcase pages, and use of LinkedIn groups.
Writing that “LinkedIn has historically been overlooked by SEOs in favor of other social media platforms, primarily due to the fact that links in profiles and discussions aren’t really ‘SEO friendly,'” Derek Edmond explains why recent changes by Google have increased the importance of LinkIn for organic navigation, and present seven tips for making the most of that, such as “In addition to the deeper cross-link into the organization’s website, B2B marketers should incorporate applicable keyword targets with descriptive product and services copy.”
Best LinkedIn Company Pages of 2013 by LinkedIn on SlideShare
This short presentation showcases the top 10 LinkedIn company pages of last year, explains what makes each of these pages stand out, and offers general guidance for creating an optimizing a brand’s presence on LinkedIn.
5 easy ways to master content marketing on LinkedIn by iMedia Connection
Writing that “brands must creatively combine paid, owned, and earned media to fully realize all potential points of contact with consumers” (i.e., embrace the web presence optimization model), Roger Katz supplies a handful of useful tips to “kick start your brand communications and content marketing strategy on LinkedIn,” like utlizing relevant LinkedIn groups by “asking questions, answering questions, sharing discussions, and measuring your results using tracking tokens and Bit.ly links.”
LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates by Brent Carnduff
Brent Carnduff explains what sponsored updates are and why they are worth looking into, then walks through a detailed step-by-step guide to creating sponsored updates, selecting content to promote, targeting your audience (by geographic region, skills, and “more targeting options” such as “schools…LinkedIn Groups, gender, or age”), and measuring results.
A Guide for Optimizing Your LinkedIn Company Page by B2B Inbound
Greg Elwell provides detailed guidance on how to optimize a LinkedIn company page, but in terms of visuals and text (e.g., use the maximum number of characters allowed; include plenty of white space and bullets; and “Sprinkle keywords throughout your description and write it for the user and what’s in it for them”).
9 Ways to Get LinkedIn Company Page Followers by Green Buzz Agency
Want more followers for your company page? Victoria Ipri passes along nine helpful tips, like getting your employees involved, sharing your LinkedIn page on other social media sites (“Are you using Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other SM platforms? Share your LinkedIn Company page on these sites to hit as many followers as possible with your request. Ask your employees to do the same”), and adding your LinkedIn page URL to your commpany email signature.
To make the most of the strengths of LinkedIn as a platform for B2B marketing, Ross Wilson recommends optimizing the “About” section (“Most companies simply copy and paste the “About Us” section from their website onto their LinkedIn profile. However, this strategy is a mistake for those seeking to network on LinkedIn”) and featuring your employees (“People want to see the faces that are behind your brand”) among other tactics.
Top 10 Tips from Best LinkedIn Company Pages [SLIDESHOW] by LinkedIn Official Blog
Lana Khavinson shares 10 tips from top company pages (yes, it’s from 2012, but most of the tactics still apply!), among them: creating banners that show the vibrant nature of your business and culture (like Aurecon ) and “post content that interests your followers and less about how great your company is” (like Xactly).
Adding a Linkedin Group to Your Company Page by Social Media Tutorials
Jacob Curtis writes that adding a group to your company page on LinkedIn shouldlead to “an increase in traffic and engagement between the two,” and steps through the process for adding any type of LinkedIn group that you manage or moderate, including networking or community groups; resource or information-based groups; and employee or training groups.
3 Guides to Optimizing LinkedIn Company Profile Pages
LinkedIn Creates Product Pages In Bid for More Content-Marketing Dollars by AdvertisingAge
In this short article, Cotton Delo reports on LinkedIn’s experiments with product pages, and notes that “LinkedIn has already made it clear that urging brands to promote the white papers and links to thought-leadership pieces that they’re currently publishing on their company pages to a wider audience is the way it intends to grow its ad business.”
Linkedin Showcase Pages Create New Points of Discovery by iMedia Connection
Following up on the post above, Tom Edwards provides more detail on product / showcase pages, delving into what techniques and content work well by using pages from HP, Adobe, and Microsoft as illustrative examples, though he concludes that “This new showcase option will need to be carefully considered though when deploying…(brands will need to determine) which products have enough content to support the audience in addition to further segmenting the brand’s following into subgroups.”
Pointing out that “When conducting online research, B2B prospects will often judge a company’s credibility based on its website and social presence, particularly on LinkedIn,” Valerie Levin explains how to take advantage of four key LinkedIn company page features, including showcase pages, news feeds, and customized link preview images: “We’ve all had the experience of posting an update to LinkedIn that includes a link, only to find that the preview image that appears just isn’t that relevant. Now, LinkedIn enables you to customize this picture.”
Maintaining a company blog has numerous benefits for businesses of almost all shapes and sizes: blogging is an SEO best practice; it drives more website visitors lead conversions; it draws new visitors, expanding the reach of the company website; and it’s core element of a content marketing and online presence optimization strategy.
Still—not every company that blogs realizes the medium’s full potential. And blogs require significant effort and resources, so even companies that have effective blogs want to assure they are maximizing results.
How can you attract more sales prospects to your blog? Get visitors to engage with your content? Become recognized as an industry thought leader? Optimize your blog for search? What common mistakes should you avoid? Which tools and plugins should you be using?
Find the answers to those questions and many others here in more than two dozen of the best business blogging guides of the past year.
Best Business Blogging Guides and Tips
7 Steps To Make Your Blog A Marketing Machine by Heidi Cohen
To make your blog a marketing machine rather than a me-me-me (or me-too) blog, Heidi Cohen advises focusing on your audience’s hot buttons, outlining a series of ongoing columns, branding your blog, and incorporating clear calls to action, among other tactics.
9 Ways To Get More Prospects To Discover Your B2B Blog by Business2Community
Douglas Burdett recommends “nine tactics (that) will get your blog discovered by more readers,” from looking for and capitalizing on trends in your blog analytics and publishing original data to being controversial by “taking a stand and backing it up with data.”
An Almost Effortless Way to “Get Your Name Out There” by The Un-Self-Help Blog
Stephan Wiedner shares six reasons to write guest posts for other blogs, among them: “It builds relationships. If you write for someone else’s blog and their readers like what you share, they will be grateful, potentially ask you to write again, and who knows, maybe scratch your back in other ways some time in the future.” And despite some recent, widely misinterpreted comments by Google’s Matt Cutts, guest blogging is not dead.
30+ powerful adjectives and verbs for eye-catching headlines by Econsultancy
Quoting advertising legend David Ogilvy that “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar,” Chris Lake offers guidance on choosing compelling blog post topics then grabbing attention by using key adjectives and verbs in the headline. Based on research over millions of page impressions, these adjectives include “best,” “brilliant,” “kickass,” “mindblowing” and “ultimate” among others.
Rebekah Radice explains why post titles are so important, the four objectives a post title should achieve, and a handful of tips to help craft compelling titles, such as keeping them concise: “It has been found that titles with eight words or less perform best.”
6 Ways To Go From Anonymous Hermit To Thought Leader by Fast Company
Contending that “Becoming a thought leader in your industry doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily the smartest kid on the block. It does mean that you’re the most receptive and understanding of your customers’ needs,” the brilliant Wendy Marx offers half a dozen tips for making the transition, including writing for trade publications and speaking at industry events.
How to Optimize Your Blog Content for Social Media by Maximize Social Business
Kristi Hines shares a handful of helpful tips for optimizing blog posts for social sharing, from adding social sharing buttons (a task done easily with tools like AddThis or ShareThis]) to including a social call to action (“let readers know that you want them to share your posts by adding a call to action at the end such as ‘If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends'”).
33 Experts Share Their Secrets For Improving Reader Engagement by Blogging Wizard
Adam Connell compiles advice from nearly three dozen seasoned bloggers on increasing reader engagement, including tips from Seth Godin (“The only thing I do to increase reader engagement is to write things worth sharing”), frequent Webbiquity best-of contributor Neil Patel, Dino Dogan, Anita Campbell, Ted Rubin, Lisa Buben, Joel Comm and more.
7 company blogs that build community by Ragan.com
Emma Siemasko looks at “seven company blogs that do it right, along with some practical tips for getting the same success with your blog,” among them 37Signals: “Signal vs. Noise, 37 Signals’ blog, does a lot more than promote the company…The blog provides thoughtful, inquisitive, and truth-seeking articles about working from home, whether an iPhone camera is enough of a camera, and more.”
How to Generate More Leads With Your Blog: 5 Tips by Social Media Examiner
Kristi Hines (again) supplies a handful of helpful tips for generating leads via a blog, like placing opt-in forms around your blog content with “calls to action such as free trials, free consultations or a simple mailing list opt-in form.”
How to Contribute to a Blog and be Seen by Geekless Tech
Noting that contributing to other blogs “helps with reach, and exposes you to an audience you just don’t have with your own blog,” Steven Hughes shares a handful of tips for constructively contributing such as following directions: “Some sites will spell out exactly what they’re looking for and what you need to do to be considered,” and creating solid, original content.
20 ideas for content that people love to share on social media by Firebrand Ideas Ignition
Jeff Bullas provides 20 tips to help bloggers create a steady stream of fresh content, including creating lists, republishing infographics, curating content (kind of like this post), reporting news, analyzing research results, and reviewing tools or applications.
How to Make Your WordPress Blog to Stand Out by Themefuse
Karol Król presents five ideas to make your blog stand out from the crowd, from picking a new publication schedule (“you won’t know which posting frequency is the best for your blog until you try at least a couple of them”) to launching a contest (“Create a genuine task, or ask a genuine question…Then gather the entries and pick the winner”).
Best Tips for Beginning Bloggers
7 Content Writing Secrets Every Blogger Should Know by Basic Blog Tips
Glen Andrews details basic but helpful strategies for writing compelling blog posts, from crafting an attention-grabbing headline and opening through “giving it a rest”–“Before you publish that post – give it a rest. Why? Because, no matter how good we think our post is today, tomorrow never lies…Our posts will be more powerful and professional if we ‘let it rest’ and review it tomorrow with fresh eyes.”
Bernard Zarifovic diagrams a first-time blogger’s business plan, starting with selecting a topic or niche and writing the first set of posts and progressing through social sharing, social engagement, and guest blogging.
While most of the points here will be familiar to experienced bloggers, Megan Bernstein offers some interesting insights for corporate blog strategy, such as understanding the competitive landscape: “Your competitors in the online space are not always the same as those in ‘real life’.”
Top 10 Strategies to Successful B2B Blogging by TopTenWholesale.com
Naomi Ruth Ganhinhin offers 10 tips for blogging success, from setting clear objectives (“A clear set of objectives makes it easier to organize the type of content you publish. It also dictates the tone you are going to use and determine the right people to write your blog posts”) to including calls to action.
Best Guides to Blogging Mistakes and Pitfalls to Avoid
Are You Making These 20 Mistakes on Your Blog? by jeffbullas.com
Jeff Bullas (again) steps through 20 “common mistakes that a lot of ‘newbie’ and other bloggers slip into,” such as not providing additional reading sources with each post, writing posts that are too long or too short (he recommends aiming for 500-800 words), and not using post categories to help readers find posts of interest.
Still Using Google Images for Your Blog Posts? Stop It! by She Owns It
Writing that she has “seen too many people served with unexpected ‘bills’ and/or lawsuits for using images that held copyrights,” guest author Shelley Webb explains what types of actions and sources can get bloggers into trouble, and lists alternative / free image sources like Stock.XCHNG.
Blogging: 34 Things You’re Doing Wrong by Social Media Today
Yvonne Lyons reveals “34 things that could be keeping your posts from getting traction and making the jump from good to remarkable,” such as errors / lack of editing, choosing a topic that’s been “done to death,” and having no links within the post to your own site—and how to fix each problem.
Why Your Company Blog is Striking Out by Marketo Blog
Guest blogger K’Lee Banks offers advice on what to do “if you are spending time writing posts, but no one is listening,” for example: use interesting images (not just stock photos), always include social sharing buttons; and “Invite other professionals in your industry to guest post and connect with their readers.”
Best Blog SEO Guides and Tips
How To Move Your Blog Post Up In Search Results by V3 Integrated Marketing
Guest author Ian Cleary outlines a half-dozen tactics to improve a blog’s search rankings, including the strategic use of internal and external links: “You don’t want to include a ton of internal links, as that looks spammy. Instead, make sure you’re directing your readers to the resources that they need (internal or external).”
How to Optimize Your Business Blog [Checklist] by Unbounce
***** 5 STARS
In this highly bookmark-worthy post, Lindsey Kirchoff lays out a simple four-quadrant checklist for optimizing all aspects of a business blog: structure (e.g., navigation, search, categories); SEO (attributes like keyword use, internal links and Google authorship); CTAs; and social elements.
15 SEO Experts Give Their Best Tips For Blogging by Heidi Cohen
Heidi Cohen (again) shares blog SEO trips from experts like Kipp Bodnar and Jeffery L. Cohen (“The single biggest factor in SEO success for bloggers comes down to consistent publishing. Those who publish regularly receive more search traffic”), Eric Enge, Ron Jones, Rebecca Lieb and Charlie White.
Best Business Blogging Tools, WordPress Tips and Plugins
4 Useful Creative Commons Browser Plugins by Internet Marketing Ninjas
Online tools maven Ann Smarty reviews four browser plugins to help find free (creative commons) images for use in blog posts, including CC Search, a search plugin that provides “quick access to about 10 Creative Commons search engines (including flickr, spinxpress, wikimedia, fotopedia, etc). It’s a good search plugin when you need more options that just Flickr.”
How to Make WordPress Sites Load 72.7% Faster by CopyBlogger
In an attempt to “cut the crap and turn down the hype” regarding how to create a faster WordPress site, Jerod Morris recommends staring by examining and optimizing the “core” of every WordPress site, which includes “hosting, theme, and plugins,” then offers a series of speed optimization tips. Not all are simple, but most bloggers should at least be able to find some helpful site speed-related takeaways here.
7 Emerging and Free WordPress Plugins of Fall 2013 by SteamFeed
Jesse Aaron reviews seven newer WordPress plugins, including WooSidebars (for creating custom sidebars by page), All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets (self-explanatory) and his favorite: the WordPress Calls to Action Plugin, which makes it “insanely easy” to do things like “create an effective call to action button, direct the call to action to a landing page, and direct the landing page to a conversion form.”
Easily Move Your WordPress Website to a New Host by Masterful Marketing
This is an instance where “easily” may be in the eyes of the reader, but nonetheless Debra Murphy does an exemplary job here of detailing the non-trivial process of moving an existing blog to a new web host as simple and understandable as possible.
Social media marketing has become an integral part of strategies for maximizing the overall web visibility of an organization. To be effective, it must be integrated with SEO and PR efforts, and even executed to enhance online advertising efforts.
Back in October, the post here 21 of the Best Social Media Marketing Guides of 2013 (So Far) noted that as social media marketing practices mature, the questions about it have evolved from simple “how do I do x” queries to more complex investigation into how to optimize social marketing strategies and tactics.
How can you make your blog content stand out amid the increasing online noise? What are the key platforms to utilize beyond the “big four”? What key trends in 2014 should social media marketers to be aware of? What are the best practices for promoting events through social media?
Find the answers to those questions and many others here in 20 more of the best social media marketing guides of the past year.
Best Social Media Marketing Guides and Tips
The Ultimate Social Media Tip Sheet by Heidi Cohen
The insightful and prolific Heidi Cohen collects 101 top social media tips and tactics in this bookmark-worthy tip sheet, from knowing your target audience and their hot buttons and writing regular features responding to your audience’s needs to answering questions on forums and sites like Quora, and incorporating social media calls to action.
21 Rules For Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies, an infographic by WordPress SEO Cloud Hosting
Berrie Pelser shares an infographic covering “21 unwritten (well, they were unwritten) rules of social media marketing” for social marketing success, which include: quality > quantity, mind your manners, patience is crucial, and—one easily misunderstood—access doesn’t equal entitlement (“Making connections may give you access, but it doesn’t mean fans and followers owe you anything”).
How to Find Influencers Who Already Want to Share and Link to Your Content by KISSmetrics
***** 5 STARS
Mark Trueman walks through a multi-step process for finding content similar to yours that has broad reach, determining who is sharing these posts, and then getting these people to share your posts. He even provides sample outreach email text that’s been proven to drive significant response.
The brilliant Mark Fidelman reports on seven top social media trends for the coming year identified by IBM, including taking social beyond collaboration; increased traction for brand journalism; and “the true convergence of Social, Mobile, Analytics and the Cloud.”
70% follow social media for business purposes – Can it be ignored? by Pitch Magazine
The English is bit rough, but the concepts are spot on in this post. Moneka Khurana compiles b2b best practices and tips from Dell and Cisco, demonstrating how different types of information (e.g., brand information vs. market trends) lend themselves to different content formats, and a six-step approach to building a robust social media presence.
26 Tips to Create Social Media Magic for Your Business by Positively Peggy
If you feel like your social media marketing efforts are hitting a wall, Peg Fitzpatrick prescribes more than two dozen “easy, actionable items that you can do to put the social media magic back into your brand,” among them: creating a weekly Google+ Hangout series, adding “a board with links to your other social networks and blog so people can find you everywhere,” and using third party apps to help grow your Twitter following.
20 Things You Should Share On Social Media by jeffbullas.com
Jeff Bullas lists 20 things to share on social media “that can assist your business to be viewed as a leader in its industry and drive inquiry and sales and help you get found online,” including Slideshare presentations, infographics, company news releases, and “Share your humour…mix up your serious content with some humourous photo’s, articles and even cartoons.”
How To Socialize An Event by LinkedIn
***** 5 STARS
Guy Kawasaki provides 14 tips to make it “possible to ensure that an event is covered in social media—even trending as a hot topic with an event with only 100 attendees,” such as choosing an evergreen hashtag and promoting it everywhere, produce livestream video coverage and real-time updates, and require executives to be available for photos.
The Best [And Worst] Times To Post On Social Media by V3 Integrate Marketing
Shelly Kramer outlines three methods for “discovering the optimal posting time on a social media platform,” including the use of third party data; for example, an infographic she includes which illustrates, in general, the best and worst times to post updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
20 Quick-Win Tactics For Building A New Social Media Presence by Marketing Land
Courtney Seiter lists “20 quick-win tactics for building a new social media presence on any network,” like filling out your profile as completely as possible; using professional, high-resolution images; analyzing similar accounts to determine what’s working (and what’s not); and cross-promoting the new account through your other social media points of presence.
Are You Using Quora in Your Social Strategy? 8 Tips to Do It Right by The Daily Egg
Describing Quora as “the mature, authoritative big brother of Yahoo Answers,” Joanna Xu shares eight tips for getting the most out of the platform, from proper editing, formatting and use of photos through linking Quora to your other social accounts and backing up all of your answers.
Takeshi Young says that Tumblr is an often overlooked platform with great potential for SEO and social media marketing, and so in this post covers “1) What Tumblr is and how it works, 2) The benefits of Tumblr compared to other social networks, and 3) Actionable advice on how you can use Tumblr for online marketing, including specific content ideas.”
Why The Company You Keep Online Is A Big Deal [And How To Fix It] by V3 Integrated Marketing
While every company wants lots of Twitter followers and Facebook “Likes,” Shelly Kramer (again) provides a helpful reminder that it matters who is doing that following and liking. Fake followers, ill-advising activities or connections on Facebook or Instagram, purchased or otherwise illegitimate reviews–all can harm a company’s online reputation. Fortunately, she also explains tools and strategies to help keep a firm’s social presence respectable.
YouTube Marketing Guides and Tips
How to Optimize Your YouTube Video for Maximum Traffic by jeffbullas.com
Making the case that YouTube is much more than “the world’s foremost provider of cute kitten videos, guest author Courtney Gordner explains how the video sharing site fits into overall social media marketing strategy and how to optimize YouTube videos for search.
YouTube Gives Video Publishers Calls-to-Action With External Annotation Links by Cloud Tactix
***** 5 STARS
Sam Swiech explains how to add your company website as an “associated site” on your YouTube channel (and notes that “It’s important to keep in mind that you can associate more than one site to your YouTube account at once,”) and “tastefully” apply annotations to videos.
Mike Johansson shares an infographic showing how to optimize a business YouTube channel, from creating an attractive channel design and developing a video strategy through utilizing annotations, calls to action, keywords, playlists, and social promotion.
Image Size Cheat Sheets for Social Media Profiles
In this brief but bookmark-worthy social media sizes design chart post, Jason Fox lays out the design specs and image size requirements for graphically optimizing profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.
Infographic: The Ultimate Social Media Size Cheat Sheet by CloudTactix
For those who want a more richly illustrated of the social network profile image size chart called out above, Sam Zastrow shares a photo-rich infographic which “includes everything you want to know about visuals sizing for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn (and probably a lot you didn’t care to know, too).”
Social Media Policy Development Guides
Law Firm Creates Social Media Guide For Businesses by Twin Cities Business
***** 5 STARS
Rebecca Omastiak reports on a free guide created by Minneapolis law firm Gray Plant & Mooty that “informs businesses about the legal ramifications of using social media websites—including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, among others—to connect with clients, advertisers, and customers” to help companies understand how to write social media policies that are both effective and legally compliant.
Social Media Policies Present Challenges to Business via ThomasNet News
Although, as David Sims notes, “There’s no question whether manufacturers should establish rules governing if and how employees may use social media,” it’s vital for employers to understand the rules governing such policies. For example, a blanket prohibition on criticizing the company on social media sites is likely to run afoul of the law.