How LinkedIn Can Attract More Business and Contacts

Approximately 84% of 3,100 business owners surveyed generated business from LinkedIn, according to the Huffington Post.

Much is written about Facebook and Twitter as social networking outlets for business, but few highlight LinkedIn as an essential outlet. The following are a few reasons to consider adding LinkedIn to your marketing portfolio. Tablet pc with people communicating

Develop a Customer Focus

LinkedIn personal and company pages allow you to be very specific about what you and your company can do for customers, says Entrepreneur. People will find you through keyword searches, so create these to match precisely your products and skills. Be selective about the people you connect with. You can create a following that is interested in your company and its products, and not just interested in collecting connections.

Get and Stay Connected With Colleagues and Industry Leaders

Use LinkedIn to connect to businesses, vendors, suppliers, and leaders in your industry. Through these connections you’ll know where people are working and where they came from. This will help when you are hiring since you can track where the key players are. You’ll be able to give them a heads-up as to your staffing plans so they can begin thinking about possibilities with your company. Candidates using job applications online at can see more specifics about positions with your company. You can also seek the best from those connected with you and share job opening information.

Join and Start Groups

LinkedIn groups combine current event information with tips from other professionals. You’ll use groups to see what is happening in the industry and how others are responding. You can participate in discussions that directly affect your business, such as marketing with social media and how to create authoritative company pages.

By creating groups, you can become the resident expert in your field. Offer useful advice that helps businesses deal with common problems in unique ways. Business topics such as “Managing Health Care Offerings In Your Small Business” or “Lowering Your International Shipping Costs” will draw a lot of attention from business owners struggling with those problems.

Making Use of Recommendations

About 83 percent of consumers surveyed said that their purchase decisions were affected by reviews, notes LinkedIn. Use this to your advantage by promoting customer recommendations. Five or ten days after the sale of a product or service, depending on your business, ask the customer to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn. Thank each customer for their recommendations. Encourage potential customers to read your LinkedIn recommendations.

Solicit Customer Input

You can create a LinkedIn group to be used as a customer focus group. Invite key customers to join. In this group you can sponsor Q&As about your products or services, discuss upcoming releases and request new features the customers would like to see. This type of customer interaction can create a stronger following, says Kissmetrics Marketing Analytics.

Product Announcements and Testing

LinkedIn groups allow you to announce upcoming products that need testing. If you have a new cloud-based CRM application you’d like to test, create a group of beta testers and have a weekly call to review the feedback. This is another level of testing than you can often do within your business. The testers may find ways to use your product differently than it was intended so you can discover that before its release to the general public.

photo credit: Victor1558 | cc

Email marketing

7 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing For B2B

Email marketing is a great way to reach your target audience as personally and uniquely as possible. It is also cost-efficient because all you have to do is compose a weekly or monthly newsletter to attract their attention and convert them into loyal customers.

With the many changes to advertising and online marketing in the B2B markets, you must adapt the way you do your newsletters to the needs and accessibility of your audiences. Updating your approach as often as possible is the only way you can retain the interest, excitement, and quantity of your e-subscribers.

Here are seven ways you can improve your email marketing campaigns.

Lead with a Great Subject Line

E-mail marketingIt might be better to write your subject line after you’ve done the whole newsletter. This will help you have a better grasp on what your email is all about. Find subject lines that meet the average character limit and effectively portray what your newsletter is trying to say. The keywords that you think can pull people in must be near the beginning.

Your readers use desktop computers and mobile apps, which have different character limits. The simpler and shorter your subject line is, the better chances for your message to come across.

Get to Know Your Audience


Setting your newsletter to fit your target audience is one thing; learning about their surfing habits, interests, and online mindset is another.

The first step is to have a rough idea of the demographics you want to reach. Once you’ve sent a couple of emails, your analytics can begin to determine who are receiving and reading your emails.

Refer to these analytics regularly to see what devices people are using to read your newsletters and what links they click the most.

Balance Design and Content

A rule of thumb is to never use images in your newsletter, or at least minimize your usage. Some markets, for example – the financial services industries may require more (stock charts, analysis charts, etc). But, most of your recipients can’t see the images included in your email, meaning they can be a great waste of space. In that case, consider adding a special report or document (PDF) that contains all in one, neat format. Putting links on images is also a very bad idea. Instead, just use well-coded html instead of a heavy image design. Pay close attention to the font size, colors, and screen size of your email and test it first to ensure things go smoothly.

Load Your Email with Obvious Links

The main purpose of your newsletter is to drive traffic to your landing page, product page, and website. This can help your audience get familiar with your website and build brand loyalty in the long run. Make sure you put in at least one link per paragraph to get the most out of your newsletter.

Underline the links and color them differently. Use strong and authoritative calls to action. Capitalize on every moment where the user may feel compelled to click. Directing them to where you want them to go is the first step in marketing, so don’t fail on it.

Check Spam Rules

Avoid getting your email flagged as spam and removed from your recipients’ in boxes  It is important to familiarize yourself with these rules at the very beginning of your email marketing campaign to start right. If your message is filled with links, your email provider may flag it as spam and filter it into a different section.

This is the worst thing to happen on an email marketing plan because your audience will not see your newsletter. It may be tempting to send a harder sales email, but it only takes one email that looks like its high spam to keep you out of the inbox for weeks, months, or even years afterwards.

Send During the Perfect Time

While email checking will vary from person to person, the best times to send an email is every afternoon during the working days Tuesdays to Thursdays.

People are busier with their personal lives during Fridays to Mondays because of weekend plans. These days, they tend to shy away from the daily grind. Keep in mind that sending your newsletter at the right time can make your recipients care more about its content. Do a little research on what times work best in your professional industry.

Set Realistic Goals

While email marketing is popular, bear in mind that its open rate and click-through doesn’t result into massive numbers immediately. It takes time, and even then – you must continue to test, and develop the relationship with good, quality info, news, tips and insights. People can be overwhelmed with new inbox arrivals, so your email can be ignored or they can just scan through the contents quickly. The results of your first attempts may underwhelm you. The secret is to build it up overtime by providing interesting and quality content.

Remember that your goal is to make people buy whatever you’re selling and build trust around your brand. Grab every opportunity to remind users that they won’t miss out on the valuable information you can send them if they add you to their email contact list. This way, you can increase the number of people receiving your newsletter and improve your open and click-through rates.

Content Marketing

The Data is In On the Future of B2B Content Marketing in 2013

Content is the answer to effective B2B marketing efforts.

Each year MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute measures trends and specifically B2B marketing trends. What was found in the “2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends-North America” is the clear direction pointing to the increasing importance of content marketing. It remains a top priority as 9 out of 10 marketers are using it.

B2B marketers are spending more, distributing content on more (and different) social platforms and, although with uncertainty about effectiveness, are using additional delivery methods (tactics) to distribute their message.

In fact, content marketing fills 33% of B2B marketer budgets (up 7% from 2012). It doesn’t matter the size of the operation; large companies such as Microsoft, small business and solopreneurs across the globe have continued success and benefit from the advantages. Sadly, organizations that fall into the 9% not invested in content marketing are behind the curve and will fall fast to the sidelines.

B2B Marketing SEO

How To Use SEO For Your B2B and Small Business in 2013 (WEBINAR VIDEO)

In a recent webinar series with our friends at LogMyCalls, we covered some key SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies you might implement for your business this year.

We covered 5 important topics:

  1. The SEO process (What works today + myths/trends)
  2. Keyword strategies (How to get the “best” keywords for rankings/traffic)
  3. Social implication (How to leverage social signals for search engines)
  4. Content strategies (What you can do now)
  5. Small business optimization (Automation and lead management)

(The webinar replay is available below).

B2B Marketing

Four B2B Social Media Marketing Challenges in 2013

Social media marketing (SMM) and related social campaigns are traditionally seen as more of a B2C (business-to-consumer) activity. The core idea is that relationships are based on person-to-person, not person-to-faceless-organization.

However, B2B relationships centers around people. It’s not unique to B2C. While we don’t necessarily advocate discussing the latest ski-trip or personal passions publicly  per se — the companies who inject ‘personality’ and ‘connection’ are much more likely to engage and create new business opportunities.

While B2C may be more ‘experience’ based, B2B positioning is all about value.

Time For Re-Thinking Traditional Marketing

A recent article from the Harvard Business Review (Jan 2013) stated that it’s time to “rethink the 4 P’s of marketing”. Here’s what Richard Ettenson (Professor at Thunderbird School of Global Management) suggested: