Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Internet Marketing

// September 18th, 2012 // No Comments » // Wiki

Internet Marketing is nothing but various ways to drive traffic (internet users) to your website or a specific webpage (Landing page with current offer). Various internet marketing channels / traffic sources are:

  • Search Engines
    • Search Engine Optimization – SEO
      1. SEO – On-page Optimization
      2. SEO – Off-page Optimization
    • Search Engine Marketing – SEM or Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
  • Display Advertising
    • Banner Advertising
    • Pop-ups and Pop-under Advertising
  • Email Marketing
  • Blog Marketing
  • Social Media
    • Social Media Optimization (Increase followers/fans and keep them engaged, build communities/groups)
    • Social Media Marketing (Paid Advertising on Social Media)
    • Social Publishing (Publish your content – Videos/Presentations/Survey Reports/White-papers etc.)
    • Social Bookmarking
  • Question and Answers Sites
  • Please feel free to add more…

B2B Inbound Marketing

// August 15th, 2012 // 2 Comments » // Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media

All of us know that there is a paradigm shift in today’s Marketing. The shift is from traditional approach of going outbound, to being more inbound in nature with the use of technology. The challenge is more in B2B Marketing circle compared to B2C. The obvious reasons being: the value of a B2B deal is higher hence the sales cycle is longer which makes it a multi stage process; there are generally more than one decision makers and in most cases they are well informed subject matter experts. To add to all of the above, there is nothing called impulsive buying in B2B space for a marketer to make it a mass campaign.

This change is further confirmed by a study done by DemandGen, clearly showing today’s B2B buyer is more informed and empowered.

B2B Buying Behavior Change

As you see it, going outbound (the green part) is thinning. In all other cases buyers are doing their homework, are well informed and are getting in touch with the service providers themselves. Hence, it becomes imperative to be visible and to be found.

With these practical challenges in B2B marketing hemisphere and with ever changing marketing game, what are those basic formulae that today’s marketer should be following? I personally like this approach of questioning self. So, lets start by asking some basic but critical questions to ourselves. As a B2B marketer, whether your prospects found you or you approached them, before you initiate the conversation, be ready to answer if your prospect asks you:

  1. Who you are? (Prospect dint find you/your top guys on LinkedIn)
  2. What is your company into (Prospect dint find Company ‘s link on first page of Google???)
  3. What’s your company’s services (Your website is not easy to go through. Ah damn! that’s so basic)
  4. Who are your company’s partners (not so well known in the industry)
  5. Who are your company’s customers (someone is talking about you as Tier3 vendor in one of the forums / communities)
  6. What’s your company’s reputation (your ex-employee is talking bad about the work culture on social platforms)

Imagine where your sales pitch goes after falling nose down on all or any of the above queries posed by your prospect. Are you prepared??

So now, when you know it is imperative to be found whether or not you are going out to sell, there are things to be taken care from a marketing point of view. This is termed as ‘Inbound Marketing’.
Because Inbound marketing has been a proven concept, everyone is working on making their business easy-to-be-found. Now the Inbound marketing game is more than being visible, its all about earning the attention of your prospects and engaging them in the conversation.

The question is, what are those magical techniques that can do the dual magic of being found and earning attention.

Inbound Marketing Techniques:

  1. Website: Well Designed/Developed
  2. Search Engine Optimization: Optimizing WEBSITE content and codes
  3. Business Blogs: Creating Thought Leadership
  4. Social Media Optimization: Engage prospects on Social Platforms
  5. Digital Asset Creation and Distribution

Step by Step Process of Creating Long-Term Inbound Marketing Plan:

  1. Keyword and Competitor Analysis – Finding Killer Keywords and Putting Them to Work for you. Know how to find keywords and phrases that your target audiences could use to find your business.
  2. Fixing Website – Content + Codes + Call to action + Navigation + On-page SEO – Optimizing your site to make search engine bots love it, even if you think you’re doing “just fine” without it.
  3. Off-page SEO Plan post Penguine/Panda updates – Giving Away Content Will Build Your Business. Your overall search presence can be influenced by your online social interaction, online pressrooms, targeted blogging, and link branding.
  4. Content Strategy for Blog Marketing – Would you be the one to break news about changing trend?
  5. Conversation Plan for Social Media Engagement – your social activity can influence where your site or blog ranks on search engine result pages (SERP).
  6. Digital Asset Creation around Service portfolio – (Whitepapers/ Presentations/ Videos / Infographics / Case Studies / eBooks / Webinars…)
  7. Use Marketing Automation Tool to manage conversations and leads – Be on top of the execution coz this is not a day’s or a week’s activity. It takes months to start getting quality back links and create brand ambassadors

In my next set of posts, I’ll be explaining each of the Inbound Marketing Techniques along with some cheat sheets required at each of the above steps in the B2B Marketing Plan.

Do let me know, if you agree with me that the whole inbound marketing game is no more about just being found…

Measure your Social Media ROI

// June 24th, 2012 // 1 Comment » // Digital Marketing, Social Media

For Businesses, whether or not they are directly dealing with end consumers, social media is either about networking or branding? Point is how would a Social Media manager review the ROI of his social media efforts.

Lemme list down some parameters and for the ease of understanding, I’v divided them into two categories – quantifiable and non-quantifiable:

A) Quantifiable Social Media Metrics:

  1. Bottom Line: Do all of your updates, tweets, posts getting new business or in other words making money for you end of the day? If not then why at all you invest your time and money in it? Though this is the most important indicator of all, there are other pointers that we mentioned above, networking or branding. Sound more subjective but these are strong reasons how your overall marketing ROI can be judged positive. Lets dig a bit more.
  2. Traffic: Here is another quantifiable result that can indicate whether or not your social media efforts are paying off! Traffic increase can mean increase in unique visitors to your website or product’s landing page that in-turn might results in improved foot-fall in your offline store, which would end-up making sales. All that sounds so great, but how do you measure your traffic coming from Social Media. There are hundreds of tools out there.

Image by Sociolytics

Top 10 Best Tools For Tracking Social Media Traffic:

  • BrandReact (Paid) – Allows monitoring the Social Media, News & Blogs. Uses KLOUT Influence determination. Allows you to organize your items and react to them, starting a dialogue with your customer.
  • QuickTagger (Free) – Categorize your links that you post on social media websites.Once you categorize where you want to publicize your links, the QuickTagger software will do all the necessary coding and will generate an extended link that will be interpreted by Google to sum up the visitors to enable you to analyze them in Google Analytics. In addition, you may use the shortened version of the link to track the number of impressions and further demographies of social accounts you reach if you have a tweetburner account.
  • Radian6 (Paid) – It helps companies to use the power of social media understanding more about it through measurements, analytic reporting, and metrics. Its social media tracking, listening, engagement and monitoring tools can help businesses in employing social media strategies and understanding the impact Social CRM and Social Graph have on their overall success.
  • Wildfire (Free) – Monitors Facebook and Twitter, it provides you with various tools and plugins for enhancing your social media engagement options and measure your performance using powerful analytics. You can monitor your growth trends and can also gauge your success on social media against your competitors by successfully comparing your followers across all leading networks.
  • HootSuite (Basic Free and Premium Paid Version available) – You can easily manage multiple social media profiles, schedule tweets and messages, analyze and track your social media traffic and brand mentions. Most of the analytics part is available under Paid version.
  • TweetDeck (Free) – This tool unified LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare, Buzz, MySpace and Facebook to give you an easy way to monitor and use social media. What’s great is that when you immediately respond when your keywords are mentioned without leaving the program.
  • SproutSocial (Paid) – It Provides an inbox that combines your multiple social streams and then allows you to respond or flag messages for follow-up, making it easy to automatically post your RSS feed from your blog to your Twitter accounts. It helps you to remember the names of the people you follow by auto-suggesting their handles after you type the @ sign. Makes scheduling recurring messages easily but without being annoying.
  • Social Mention (Free) – It helps you in tracking and measuring what others are saying about your company, products, or other topic across the Internet’s social media landscape. It monitors more than 100 social media properties including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Digg, etc.
  • SocialPointer (Free) – It offers real-time monitoring tools for social media for individuals and marketing agencies and helps them in tracking, monitoring and responding to all relevant use conversations and social media mentions in real time.
  • BuzzStream (Free) – Automate mundane tasks like finding and saving profile and contact information. Get an instant snapshot of metrics to help you prioritize your activities. Build an instant dossier for each influencer.

B) Subjective Social Media Metrics:

  1. Create Brand Ambassadors: Having more and more Facebook fans, Twitter followers and LinkedIn Connections means something and that is? This means you have more and more people like something about your business. They will spread the word about how your brand influence them. Doesn’t that sound great? Something that a Social Media Manager has to make sure is that the followers are just not following or fans are not just linking and connections are just not connecting. Positive ROI is about the active engagement e.g., followers are re-tweeting or fans are sharing.
  2. Create business relationships: Are your contacts giving you more business, increasing sales, referring to prospects? Here is the importance of not falling for the number game but meaningful relationships. Am not saying having 1,000 fans is not good… but lets again dont go for tricks like I scratch yours, you scratch mine!
  3. Increased brand awareness: This is more subjective than any of the above, but not less important as well. Consumers are spending more time than ever using social media, as demonstrated in the Social Media Report recently published by Nielsen and NM Incite. Social media plays an important role in how consumers discover, research, and share information about brands and products. Read more here on how important Branding becomes when it comes to making Social Media as an important part of the Marketing strategy –
  4. Online Brand reputation Management: When you Google your brand, what do you see? Where are people talking about you or your industry? What are they saying about you? Better yet, what aren’t they saying about you? By taking the time to discover and listen, you can help distinguish pain points among your perceived or prospective audience. Social Media plays a key role in protecting brands: 58 percent of social media users say they write product reviews to protect others from bad experiences, and nearly 1 in 4 say they share their negative experiences to “punish companies”. Many customers also use social media to engage with brands on a customer service level, with 42 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds acknowledging that they expect customer support within 12 hours of a complaint.

Social Media strategy has to be well defined. Quite often, companies just join the band wagon and dive into any and every platform without a plan because they think they have to be there. Businesses need to identify who their customers are, how they share information and where they feel comfortable and then which are the best platforms. Once you have decided the platforms to be part of, you need to keep your analytics in place to track, analyze and tweak it when-ever necessary.