Courtesy navigation

Blog posts in Internet marketing

Displaying 1 to 6 of 284 results

LinkedIn bids farewell to 'products and services'

April 16, 2014 by Guest Blogger

LinkedIn bids farewell to 'products and services'/Time for Change on transparent wipe board{{}}As of 14 April, LinkedIn has removed its products and services feature from Company Pages. With well over one million pages being lost — complete with the wording and recommendations that went with them — businesses are wondering how they can promote their products and services on LinkedIn now.

The Products and Services tab may have disappeared but businesses now have two options to promote their products and services on LinkedIn:

  • Share information via company updates on your main company page;
  • Create a new Showcase Page.

What’s a Showcase Page I hear you ask…

These pages are a relatively new feature and essentially work as an extension of your Company Page with the aim of highlighting a brand or business and the products and services that you offer. The pages consist of a cover photo, a quick description of what the page is showcasing, a sample list of page followers and, of course, the actual page updates.

The main difference, however, is that people are able to use this page to follow aspects of your business they find most interesting. LinkedIn says: “Showcase Pages allow you to extend your Company Page presence by creating a dedicated page for prominent products and services. A Showcase Page should be used for building long-term relationships with members who want to follow specific aspects of your business, and not for short-term marketing campaigns.”

As the majority of space on this page is taken up by page updates, LinkedIn says you must: “ensure that you have a plan for maintaining an active presence” before you set up a Showcase Page. If you have little to say, you’ll soon find your Showcase Page looking bleak and barren.

So what’s the fuss about?

Posting real-time company updates about your products and services on your main Company Page is a sensible suggestion, but these can be quickly disappear from people’s newsfeeds as new content arrives and the same will happen on your Company Page.

Many firms prefer a more permanent place to highlight products and services. And the products and services section had been well-used by businesses, with some even paying external consultants to create these sections for them.  

So how did LinkedIn justify this decision to remove all the hard-earned product and services recommendations and wording? It said: “we do this to ensure that we’re creating a platform where companies can deliver timely, engaging content to our members. Sometimes, this means we need to remove a feature to focus on areas of the product that most benefit both companies and our members.”

Before jumping feet first into a new Showcase Page, ensure that you have enough content and create a plan. In the meantime, posting regular company updates will help but in the long term, this is less than ideal. With regards to your product recommendations, if you’re a page administrator, you can download these to ensure they are not lost forever. You can also request a copy of them from LinkedIn.

Social networking sites are always evolving and should never be solely relied on to showcase your business. So it’s vital that your company website remains the principal shop window for your products and services.

Emma Pauw is social media writer at We Talk Social.

How to drive traffic with fresh and enticing web content

April 15, 2014 by Guest Blogger

How to drive traffic with fresh and enticing web content/Hand with Time For New Content{{}}Keeping your website updated is important for encouraging traffic that brings in business. If your team has got in the habit of adding to the business website regularly, you’re on the right track. A website that’s continually updated will pull better results from search engines and it demonstrates to customers that your business is doing well.

It’s also worth trying to come up with “evergreen” content. Evergreen content doesn’t become outdated or irrelevant. Rather, it always reads and appears as relevant whether it’s viewed the day you upload it or three years later. While all content that’s fresh and enticing doesn’t have to be evergreen, this kind of long-life content is very useful.

Here are the six “musts do’s” of fresh web content

1. Blog weekly

 Blog about new products, share a tutorial with your subscribers or write about what’s going on in your business. It’s not necessary to blog daily, but add one or two blog posts per week to keep visitors coming back for more.

2. Incorporate a news section

What are people talking about in your industry? Is there an event coming up or a new product launch? Fresh content includes news that’s current. To keep it evergreen, use dates instead of time frames. For example, say “on May 29th, 2014” instead of “in a few weeks”.

3. Include client testimonials

Current client testimonials show potential customers that your business is thriving and clients are happy with your services or products. Seek testimonials from satisfied customers, add them to a specific page and intersperse them amongst relevant product or service information. One of the best ways to convert a would-be customer is to provide them with previous customer reviews.

4. Get to know your audience

Know your customers and subscribers to provide content that is relevant and enticing. If you understand your demographics, you’ll be able to focus on your niche market to cater to the specific needs, personalities and interests of your customer base.

5. Provide updates

Update your readers on past stories or news items, especially if they elicited a large number of “likes” or shares. There’s nothing wrong with flying on the coat-tails of a previously popular post if you have a fresh update to add.

6. Link content to current events

Tap into the interest in current events — national or local — through your blog; and promote products and services that customers would find useful in relation to those events.

The foundation of fresh web content

All the fresh content tips in the world won’t amount to anything if they’re being applied to a website that is clunky to navigate and unpleasant to look at. Before adding a blog to your business website or hiring a professional writer to create content, ensure that your website is attractive to viewers and easy to use. Avoid cramming too much onto one page or overwhelming the viewer’s senses with music or flashing pictures. Keep your website clean so viewers can easily focus on the fresh content you’ve created for them.

Mary Ylisela is part of the writing team at TouchpointDigital.co.uk.

Five ways to improve your direct marketing in the social sphere

April 10, 2014 by John Keating

Five ways to improve your direct marketing in the social sphere/Social Networking concept{{}}You may think that that social media and direct marketing are two completely different beasts, but I beg to differ.

Engaging with an individual via social media is about as “direct” as it gets in direct marketing. Direct marketing aims to connect marketers to customers and social media allows us to do this in real time with real conversations.

As we all know, selling is increasingly a two-way process with your potential customers more often than not being the instigator of a relationship. No longer do we have the preacher and congregation scenario whereby sellers preach their wares to a voiceless audience. 

Our customers now have a voice and they are using it. 

The key to success is to harness the power of this voice using social media to help spread positive news and reacting quickly to any negative conversations to convert the naysayers.

So how can small businesses improve direct marketing using social media?

  1. Firstly, do your marketing communications enable easy social sharing? If not, why not? Make sure that you include relevant sharing buttons such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and so on. This is a no-brainer; let your brand champions do some of the hard work by allowing them to share and like your content.
  2. The social sphere offers an almost unlimited potential audience, so make the most of it. If you build an online following, real time interaction will allow you to forge lasting relationships as you can appeal to buyers as a human being and not a faceless business. You can then take them offline (don’t forget to ask permission) and into a lead nurturing programme.
  3. Integrate social into your marketing campaigns by using offer-based incentives via Facebook, Twitter and so on. This will allow you to find out where your audience hangs out online and enable you to engage with them further on the platform of their choice.
  4. Use your social platforms to try out new content approaches and then, when you know what works, you can add the most successful content to your email marketing.
  5. Powerful marketing campaigns using Facebook can be created where offline or purchased marketing data can be matched to Facebook to offer up ads to individuals you already have intelligence on or even to your existing customers. This can work for both B2B and B2C audiences by creating a human to human approach. The possibilities are endless — you could place a thank you advert as a nice gesture, for example.

So there you have it, social media and direct marketing do not have to be quarrelling siblings; they can work together in perfect harmony to increase the influence and effectiveness of your campaigns.

John Keating is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut and director at Databroker.

Five ways to create a brilliant blog

April 07, 2014 by Guest Blogger

Five ways to create a brilliant blog/Rubber stamp make Blog word{{}}Do you want a hard-working blog that attracts lots of readers in your sector? Read on:

1. Find your niche

Whether you’re setting out to produce an industry blog or a personal one, you need to make sure it’s on a subject you’re passionate about. It sounds obvious but if you don’t know a lot about the subject you’re blogging on then as a resource it has limited value. As I’m in the B2B PR industry I knew what my peers would find valuable and this insight informed the categories on my blog and it has helped to attract guest posts from some high profile people in the industry.

2. Don’t be afraid to be controversial

Don’t be afraid of putting your opinions forward and exploring topics that conventional industry publications would rather avoid — these topics will more often than not prove to be the most popular with your readership. One of the most popular series we’ve produced was a frank assessment of the state of the UK’s PR industry body, the PRCA. We asked whether it offered smaller agencies good value and whether it was principally a lead generation tool for bigger agencies. The blog received a lot of attention and the PRCA ended up engaging with us online and that debate certainly benefitted our readers.

3. Stay calm and carry on blogging

Launching a blog can be soul destroying. You can go for weeks with very little traffic and it can be hard to gain traction as a newbie in an already competitive industry. If you don’t get the 10,000 readers you were hoping for in your first week, keep at it! Your readership will build gradually over time if you keep producing content that appeals. If you abandon your blog at the first sign that it’s not going to be easy, then expect to fail.

4. Spend a little bit of cash

While you may think the quality of your content will attract industry peers from far and wide, they do have to find it in the first place. The beauty of social PPC campaigns is that you can use networks like Facebook and Twitter to advertise to a specific audience at a very low cost. We spent no more than a few hundred pounds promoting our blog and were able to get it in front of the right audience quickly and cheaply.

5. Develop a basic understanding of SEO

If you want to build an engaged following then you need to understand what your target audience is searching for online. Get familiar with Google’s keyword tool to make sure that the content you’re producing on a regular basis contains the right search terms. Not only does this attract a relevant industry audience but it can also work as a lead generation tool.    

Heather Baker is the managing director of TopLine Communications and editor of the B2B PR Blog.

No makeup selfies - a lesson in social networking

April 01, 2014 by Guest Blogger

David Berney{{}}The “no makeup selfie” viral fundraising campaign has taken the social networks by storm and raised an incredible £2 million in 48 hours for Cancer Research UK. It demonstrates the incredible power of social media as a fundraising tool.

Social networks and newsfeeds have been inundated with images of thousands of women, all bare-faced, along with the hashtag “nomakeupselfie” and a text number to donate to the charity. It all started last Tuesday when author Laura Lippman posted a picture of her makeup-free face in support of actress Kim Novak who was recently criticised for her looks.

Instant fundraising

Interestingly, the campaign wasn't started by Cancer Research. But the charity was quick and clever in its support of the campaign, which then helped generate significant amounts of awareness. After Cancer Research UK noticed the “nomakeupselfie” trending on Twitter it sent out a tweet saying: "We're loving your #cancerawareness #nomakeupselfie pics! The campaign isn't ours but every £ helps #beatcancersooner." And on its Google+ page it announced: “Thousands of you are posting #cancerawareness #nomakeupselfie pictures and many have asked if the campaign is ours. It's not but we love that people want to get involved!”

It just shows that when a campaign goes viral via social media, messages reach millions of people in minutes. Prior to social networking it wouldn't have been possible for charities to have this kind of impact, without huge advertising spends.

The Institute of Fundraising and Blackbaud reported recently that online giving and digital fundraising is growing rapidly. It accounted for 30% of the total income charities received between January 2010 and December 2012. Moreover, the average online donation increased to £64.07 in 2012, a rise of £11.20 per donation compared to 2010 (£52.87).

A powerful opportunity

Charities and not-for-profits have a huge opportunity via the internet to generate income — free of charge. Digital fundraising platforms can enable charities to diversify and expand their online fundraising capacity, reaching out to far greater number of supporters and allowing them to communicate their messages and campaigns quickly and free of charge.

Social media is fast, powerful and cost effective and when done correctly, it captures people's imagination and enables messages to be shared across a multitude of channels, to family, friends and beyond.

Although many of the bigger charities are jumping on board with online giving and using social media as a key tool, smaller charities need to follow suit. As the “no makeup selfie” shows, a little imagination and creativity can translate into millions of pounds of funding.

In many ways, the internet is made for small charities, as they can use digital fundraising platforms and social networks to reach millions of people — at virtually no cost. Let's hope this campaign provides food for thought and inspiration.

David Berney (pictured) is the CEO and founder of Wishgenie, offering free social media fundraising tools for charities, businesses and individuals.


Attention all small firms - the future of ecommerce is mobile

March 31, 2014 by Guest Blogger

Attention all small firms - the future of ecommerce is mobile/Payments over Internet and mobile devices{{}}Last December, the first Small Business Saturday event was held in the UK. The campaign was designed to encourage shoppers to head to British high streets and family-run businesses and to show support by purchasing goods locally.

Small Business Saturday was a great success but there are many more opportunities for small businesses to reach and engage with new and loyal customers using mobile commerce.

The growth of mobile commerce

Online retailing grew by 16% during 2013, according to the IMRG-Capgemini eRetail Sales Index for December. The index noted that this success has mainly been driven by the growing influence of mobile in retail in 2013, with sales via mobile devices increasing 138% from 2012.

Furthermore, a recent survey by Latitude found that more than 75% of shoppers are interested in having digital content, including product recommendations, demo videos and virtual “try on” simulations delivered to their mobile phones while shopping.

Mobile offers

Small businesses can use mobile couponing and offers to bring customer in-store. In fact, the same survey found that 60% of UK smartphone owners are spurred to shop or to make a purchase at least once a week because they’ve received a mobile alert, an email, notification or text message, from a brand or retailer. So the interest and appetite is clear.

The role of mobile in helping small businesses should not be underestimated. Mobile devices have created a huge opportunity for small businesses to engage with their customers through relevant offers, loyalty schemes, store events/updates and ease of payment in-store and online.

More and more small businesses are starting to use loyalty and couponing redemption schemes to attract and retain customers and there is a real opportunity for them to learn more about who their customers are, what their preferences are and eventually what will encourage them to visit the store, all through the use of mobile.

Introducing NFC tags

Furthermore, small businesses can use Near Field Communications (NFC) to help them in day-to-day scenarios. For instance, a small business could use NFC tags to grant employees access to buildings just by tapping their phone on the tag. This also enables small business owners to restrict access to high-value stock rooms and back offices to certain individuals. NFC tags are readily available on Amazon.com and are a good way for small businesses to experiment with mobile technology.

Pierre Combelles is mobile commerce business lead at the GSMA.

Displaying 1 to 6 of 284 results

Syndicate content