4 Common Mistakes with Retargeting Ads

Retargeted ads offer so much potential. When a consumer goes to look at a brand or publisher’s content, they’re making the first step in developing a relationship with the company. Retargeted ads, when done right, should still create that brand recognition, but it should also go a step further and encourage brand loyalty, advocacy, and community.

Here are 4 common issues with retargeted ads:

1. Being Static

Repetition can either increase or decrease brand awareness and overall result.  You don’t want to be static and repetitive, but rather memorable and engaging. Every time you have someone look at the same image it’s going to lose it’s impact – especially when it’s already a fairly standard-looking image. Today especially, people are used to a constant flow of new information. Each interaction so be valuable.

2. Lacking Amazing Content

People don’t like ads (or content) that don’t provide value or are engaging. The burden for advertisers is to create content that is just as, if not more, interesting as the competing content on the page. This means the content should be unique, visual, and useful to your audience – even if its usefulness is just that it’s entertaining.

3. No Interaction 

Give your audience the chance to get creative in your ad experience, and make sure that that content is shareable on their social channels. Often companies will create these experiences as standalone pages, but there’s no reason why creative content can’t live within ad units around the web.

4. Not Being Human-Focused 

Every ad needs to have a human element – something your audience can see and relate to. Chances are, your audience isn’t going to relate to the model you place on every website. People can relate to their friends though. And they can relate to stories from people that could be their friends. This is where user-generated content comes in. Using retargeting to connect with the users most likely to engage with your company is great. However, you’re not going to promote any kind of longterm relationship or engagement with a boring (and ignorable) ad.

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5 Ways To Be Engaging Leaders On LinkedIn

Most professionals do not have a LinkedIn marketing or social-selling strategy, let alone an online sales strategy that’s aligned to revenue objectives. If you want to be a sales and marketing leader you need to create a plan that will activate your LinkedIn connections. Think of LinkedIn as a professional social media network that you can use to connect, engage, drive demand and create lead opportunities.

Yet, strategy is the biggest difference between a sales or marketing team that drives demand and enjoys consistent revenue opportunities and one that just has a presence and lots of connections it does not engage with.

How you thought about these tactics?

  • After you make a connection, how do you follow up or build on that connection? Your goal should be to develop them into a lead.
  • Do you think about the content you are sharing or posting? The content should position and differentiate yourself.
  • What discussions are you creating? Will these discussions or conversations nurture your connection (or prospect) and provide value for to your business relationship? They should.
  • Have you thought about how to introduce your company and their content to your connection and move them from LinkedIn to your website?

Here are 5 strategies that sales and marketing leaders need to think about to be engaging on LinkedIn.

  1. Social Media Presence

First, review your LinkedIn profile. Did you consider your LinkedIn profile as a strategic tool? Your profile shouldn’t be a cover letter and a resume. You should be considering how to position yourselves as an expert in your field. The information on your profile should be interesting to your target connections, market and industries.

To convey your worth, find out what kind of value your prospects are looking for and optimize your LinkedIn profile to provide value to them. Your profile should be piquing interest and starting conversations with key decision-makers that lead to revenue opportunities.

  1. Thought Leadership

Don’t just use LinkedIn as a publishing platform. It is a good medium to push out content, but the content you are posting should be pulling your prospects in. You need to plan out what type of content you can provide that will convince decision-makers to contact you. The best way is to figure out the pain points that your target connections (and their companies) may be facing and what content you can provide that would position you as a thought leader. The goal is to have your connections take action.

  1. Targeted Connection Prospecting

Review your LinkedIn connections to see how many of them are “long-shots” or who could provide introductions or recommendations. Your connection prospecting strategy should define who your main and secondary prospects and influencers are, and it should include a plan to get them to respond to your communications. The goal should be to retain their attention, so you can provide value, develop the lead (or referral) and convert the lead into a client.

  1. Engagement

It’s not about how many connections you make or followers you have on LinkedIn or any other social media platforms. More accurately, it’s about how many people you reach and engage with. Engagement and providing value should be at the forefront of your LinkedIn strategy.

The best way to engage in social media is to create a community. In LinkedIn, you can create actual groups that you manage. Remember buyers are looking for quick access to trusted experts and relevant content that helps them with their business issues. Your custom, niche LinkedIn community is an effective way to give your buyers what they are looking for.

  1. Lead Generation and Engagement

Most of the prospects you connect with on social media (and LinkedIn) platforms don’t realize what value you could provide or why they need you. It’s best to develop a lead nurturing strategy for move your connections through a defined lead generation process. Nurturing these connections will provide them with value and will encourage them to reach out for additional information.

What you need:

  • A strategy to use your content (blogs, social media posts, case studies, whitepapers, third-party research, etc.) to support your business objectives.
  • Content that will engage and provide value. Think about the pain points that will address your target audience and connections’ needs.
  • A plan for how you will nurture your connections, prospects, leads and clients. How will you move them into your pipeline and get them to engage with you?

By developing an integrated marketing strategy you will be able to create a funnel that will provide value and lead opportunities in the future.

7 Tips to Create (or Optimize) a Great LinkedIn Business Page

Simply put, LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that has been steadily growing in popularity and use, especially for search, business networking, hiring, referrals, leads and even financing. If you haven’t made a business LinkedIn business page, you’re missing out. If you have already have a business LinkedIn page for your business you should review it and optimize it.

Luckily you can probably use these recommendations on your other social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) as well. Here are 7 tips to help you create (or optimize) a great LinkedIn business page.

  1. Branding

Make sure your branding is aligned with your company and overall marketing strategy. If someone is discovering you first through your LinkedIn page, they should be able to know and understand what your company is about. Make sure your images are sized correctly, not distorted and speak to your target audience. Also, include links to your company website.

  1. Showcase your products & services

On the Products & Services page, testimonials and recommendations are highlighted prominently. This will have a direct impact on the number of Linked members who’ll end up visiting your website. Encourage customers to recommend your products and services here as well.

  1. Make your page engaging

Optimize your LinkedIn company page content so it speaks not only about what you company does, but also what your customers will be searching for. Include keywords or buzzwords and make sure that the content provides value to readers.

If your business operation spans multiple locations, you may want to list all of them. LinkedIn allows visitors’ location as a search criterion to narrow down results. You can add up to five different locations to your page. Also, consider including a short video (30 seconds) summarizing your company and it’s offerings. A well-made and appropriately branded video can encourage many to “follow” or engage with your company.

  1. Use advertisements to drive traffic (and page views)

The advertising options provided by LinkedIn are definitely worth checking out. InMail, Display Advertising and Sponsored Posts will help you build a large follower base effectively and affordably. The advertisement can be targeted by job title, location, and many other options.

  1. Use and measure analytics (a.k.a. Insights)

LinkedIn Insights will help you track the success of your page and improve it This includes impressions per post, user engagement, follower demographics, audience insights, etc. It also connects to promoting your page (#4) and will help you optimize your targeted posts and determine return-on-investment (ROI).

  1. Add LinkedIn buttons to your site and collateral

Social plugins are a great way to quickly share your content on various social media platforms. In addition to getting your content shared, you could also drive visitors from your website toward your LinkedIn business page. You can select recommend, follow, endorse, or share buttons on your site to drive traffic to your business page. Think about where you will place them on your website and choose the best one to achieve your objective. You should also place your LinkedIn logo (vector image) on your digital assets (website) as well as your marketing collateral (brochures, PowerPoints, business cards, etc.). That being said you should do this for all of your social networks.

  1. Update regularly and be social

Your objective is (or should be) to engage you audience and give your brand as much positive awareness as you can. Keep your page and audience updated regularly. Post information, comments, and tips on a regular basis. When you share information, keep in mind the professional demographic. You can even consider creating a LinkedIn group for your company (internal and/or external).

6 Tips for Developing Interesting and Engaging Content

While content may not be easy to right, however it’s a necessary marketing strategy. It’s important to engage your experts and thought leaders to help develop valuable content for your target market(s).

When developing content you should consider a few things:

  • Products or services most desired by consumers may be affected by seasonality
  • Content should be built for the long term and the short term
  • Readers will only consume content that is easy to understand, fast to read and if it provides value

Here are 6 helpful tips for developing interesting and engaging content.

1. Discovery and Brainstorming Meetings

These meetings can help you plan and discuss the fundamentals for content creation. This includes:

  • Marketing strategy: Discuss what has been working and what hasn’t. Then adjust your content types and distribution strategy accordingly. This will help you become more efficient and increase your results.
  • Ask questions customers do: Use those questions for building content. The whole point is to develop content that will provide interesting and engaging content that will provide value and satisfy a client’s need.
  • Publications trending: Have your content published and linked to the company’s website. Back-linking is an important SEO strategy.

2. Marketing and Industry Research

Research is an essential tool that will help drive your business, marketing and content marketing strategy. It will also help you understand your audience so you can build an engaged online following (including social media). It’s important to stay up to date with information related to your industry. If you know what’s going on, your consumers will be more confident in the company and the content you build. The objective is to become a valued thought leader that people go to for information and ideally your services (or products).

3. Content Calendars

This is a must-have. Planning your content marketing and keeping your plan updated and responsive to market trends (sourced by tip #2) will help you execute your content creation. Personally, I love to use Excel. Be sure to include:

  • Social media (what the post will say, the link it will go to, image it will include, and date/time), traditional content (blog posts, infographics, case studies, etc.), press releases and events.

There are many free templates on the internet – I recommend using these:

– Social Media Calendar: HootSuite or Hubspot

– Editorial Calendar: Hubspot

4. Keywords

Keywords should be researched (in tip # 2), included in your content marketing strategy and included in your content marketing calendar (tip #3). A keyword based content strategy will help you increase your organic online search rankings on terms that your potential clients would be searching for. This will also help you align your topics with the search results for your industry or market. It’s important to remember that keyword-optimized content is fine for SEO, but interesting and engaging content should be based on customers’ expressed desires and questions, which will help you to provide value to your target audience.

5. Be Dynamic and Keep It Fresh!

Stay on top of market trends and more importantly topical content. Be reactive and adjust your content calendar (tip #3) accordingly. Consumers will want new content, but not all the time. Also, consider changing your content format, depending on your marketing and content objectives. Examples include: blog posts, infographics, videos, social media posts, images, contents, ebooks/whitepapers, case studies, brochures, case studies, testimonials and press releases.

6. Feedback & Results 

Last, but definitely not least, you will need to gather customer feedback and tracking your performance. This will help you gather feedback from your market and to adjust your marketing and content strategies moving forward.

6 Tips for Developing Interesting and Engaging Content

While content may not be easy to right, however it’s a necessary marketing strategy. It’s important to engage your experts and thought leaders to help develop valuable content for your target market(s).

When developing content you should consider a few things:

  • Products or services most desired by consumers may be affected by seasonality
  • Content should be built for the long term and the short term
  • Readers will only consume content that is easy to understand, fast to read and if it provides value

Here are 6 helpful tips for developing interesting and engaging content.

1. Discovery and Brainstorming Meetings

These meetings can help you plan and discuss the fundamentals for content creation. This includes:

  • Marketing strategy: Discuss what has been working and what hasn’t. Then adjust your content types and distribution strategy accordingly. This will help you become more efficient and increase your results.
  • Ask questions customers do: Use those questions for building content. The whole point is to develop content that will provide interesting and engaging content that will provide value and satisfy a client’s need.
  • Publications trending: Have your content published and linked to the company’s website. Back-linking is an important SEO strategy.

2. Marketing and Industry Research

Research is an essential tool that will help drive your business, marketing and content marketing strategy. It will also help you understand your audience so you can build an engaged online following (including social media). It’s important to stay up to date with information related to your industry. If you know what’s going on, your consumers will be more confident in the company and the content you build. The objective is to become a valued thought leader that people go to for information and ideally your services (or products).

3. Content Calendars

This is a must-have. Planning your content marketing and keeping your plan updated and responsive to market trends (sourced by tip #2) will help you execute your content creation. Personally, I love to use Excel. Be sure to include:

  • Social media (what the post will say, the link it will go to, image it will include, and date/time), traditional content (blog posts, infographics, case studies, etc.), press releases and events.

There are many free templates on the internet – I recommend using these:

– Social Media Calendar: HootSuite or Hubspot

– Editorial Calendar: Hubspot

4. Keywords

Keywords should be researched (in tip # 2), included in your content marketing strategy and included in your content marketing calendar (tip #3). A keyword based content strategy will help you increase your organic online search rankings on terms that your potential clients would be searching for. This will also help you align your topics with the search results for your industry or market. It’s important to remember that keyword-optimized content is fine for SEO, but interesting and engaging content should be based on customers’ expressed desires and questions, which will help you to provide value to your target audience.

5. Be Dynamic and Keep It Fresh!

Stay on top of market trends and more importantly topical content. Be reactive and adjust your content calendar (tip #3) accordingly. Consumers will want new content, but not all the time. Also, consider changing your content format, depending on your marketing and content objectives. Examples include: blog posts, infographics, videos, social media posts, images, contents, ebooks/whitepapers, case studies, brochures, case studies, testimonials and press releases.

6. Feedback & Results 

Last, but definitely not least, you will need to gather customer feedback and tracking your performance. This will help you gather feedback from your market and to adjust your marketing and content strategies moving forward.

Creating a Social Media Strategy The Forrester Post Way

The Forrester Post method is one of the best ways to develop a social media strategy. The 4 elements developed by Forrester Research are conveniently presented as a memorable acronym POST:

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  • People. Who is your target group? What kind of clients and prospects do you have? How do they behave online? Knowing the people who you want to communicate with and where they are is where, is where you should be.
  • Objectives. What are your goals? Do you want to increase leads, track conversion, generate awareness, gain insight or foster engagement? Do you want to talk, collaborate, immobilize or evangelize? Deciding on your objective before selecting a technology will help you in the long run.
  • Strategy. How are you going to reach your objectives? Make a plan and envision where you would like to end up. Use this to plan backwards. Which direction(s) would you like to take? How are you going to improve your relationship with your customers? What do you want to get out of these relationships? What will be different when you are done?
  • Technologies. What technologies and applications should you use to accomplish the first 3 steps (P-O-S)? What is a reasonable yet accurate timeline? Whether this means an online community, a blog, a few blogs, or some dashboards, this should be your last step.

This may sound complicated, but it’s not. The Forrester Post method can help you create an effective and well-thought out social media strategy.

3 Reasons You Need A Social Media Call-To-Action

A Social media call-to-action is an integral and often overlooked element of an effective social media strategy. Social media gets prospects, customers and the public primed to want to find out more about your offering or to engage with you further but you must lead them to the next step in your sales or other conversion process. Here are three reasons to use a social media call-to-action.

  1. A social media call-to-action ties social media activity to your business or marketing objectives. Generally, this refers to your social media goals such as building your brand, expanding your reach and generating sales leads.
  2. A social media call-to-action drives participants into your conversion process. Consider what’s needed to move participants to the next phase of your sales funnel. Ensure that you have processes and systems in place to meet their needs.
  3. A social media call-to-action enables you to measure social media effectiveness. This is crucial to prove that social media supports your business goals because social media tends to be most effective early in the purchase cycle and difficult to track.

4 Ways to Get Customers to Open Your Emails

If you want to be a successful digital or email marketer, it’s important that your subscribers open your emails. If your audience isn’t opening your emails, they won’t be able to take action. Ideally, you want your subscribers to continually open your emails and on a regular basis.

Here are 4 tips to help make sure your emails are being opened and read:

1. Solve a problem. 

2. Save them money (provide value).

3. Educate as a thought leader.

4. Entertain.

Increase Your Online Presence with Digital Marketing

Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on the internet and digital marketing to inform and educate prospective and existing customers. While content marketing plays a vital role in conveying a company’s brand message, online engagement is critical to promoting this message and solidifying relationships with your target audience. Online engagement tools such as social media and email marketing allows a company to interact with prospects and customers dynamically and transparently, driving home its core message.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is one of the greatest community building tools in history. Content shared on social media amplifies a company’s online presence, while transparent social exchanges project its authenticity. This helps to foster a longstanding connection with new prospects and existing customers. Social media marketing recognizes each social follower as a person interested in the company. Companies should use social to expand their reach and engage prospects on their terms. Also, businesses can use data gleaned from social interactions to better understand the interests, wants and needs of their target audience.

EMAIL MARKETING

As consumers demand more relevance in the type of content received and the nature of its delivery, dynamic and personalized email marketing campaigns are becoming crucial to online promotion. Through a series coordinated emails, companies are able to send out highly personalized content tailored to customer segments at various stages in the buying cycle. These campaigns allow brands to efficiently nurture new prospects down the sales funnel and to stay connected with existing clients.

INTEGRATION IS KEY

To form connections that matter, businesses need to produce original content that is exceptional, personalized, and relevant.  By responsively engaging with their audience over social media and email, companies are able to promote their content and message in a concise manner. Companies can also take advantage of analytics and the ability to adjust online campaigns easily to better hit their target market.

While social media, email marketing and mobile advertising are expected to increase, they only represent a few elements of a fully integrated marketing strategy.

LinkedIn Company Page Checklist

Your Company Page on LinkedIn is a powerful way to reach millions of professionals online. With over 100 million professionals on LinkedIn, this tool can help exposure your company and brand to an ideal target market. These professionals are following more than 1.9 million companies on LinkedIn and are purchasing professionals, current clients, job seekers, interested observers, and most importantly, potential customers. Professionals follow companies to stay updated with new developments, compare products and services and track potential opportunities. LinkedIn regularly informs members of Company Pages changes via email and/or network updates.  When LinkedIn members want to know more about your company they can look at your Company Page, which is conveniently linked to your profile.

Use this check list to ensure it’s ready for visitors:

  • The Company Name
  • Assign Admins
  • Upload Company Logo & Profile Photo
  • Describe the Company
  • List the Company’s Specialties in Showcase Pages
  •  Add the Company Twitter and Blog RSS Feeds
  • Show the Company Type, Size, Website Link
  • Select Industry, Operating Status, Year Founded
  • Highlight Locations
  • Place a Careers Listing

Here are 3 quick tips to get you started:

  1. Promote Your Products or Services – Create showcase pages to showcase the voice of your company and brand These pages provide you with the opportunity to promote who you are and what you do.
  2. Monitor Traffic and Audience Analytics on LinkedIn – Analytics is a rich resource, which adds insights and value. Here, you can track page views and unique visitors for your overview, careers and products and services pages.
  3. Invite Connections to Follow Your Company on LinkedIn – After your Company Page is set up, invite followers. You can add a follow button to your website, blog and email signature. You can also post a link to the company’s page to your updates or status feed asking for followers. Another option is to navigate to your company page’s services/products tab and click share to promote to individuals, groups, or connections.