Leveraging Social Media for B2B

Social media marketing and B2C companies go hand in hand.  However, contrary to what one may believe, B2C companies aren’t the only one making a noise; social media marketing is gaining traction in a number of B2B companies as well. The main reason why B2B social media marketing works is because B2B companies target a smaller customer base but have a higher price point compared to B2C.

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Let’s take a look at what advantages you can gain by promoting your business on social media:

Maximize exposure
The prime benefit of social media marketing for B2B companies is increased exposure. Social media sites enable your company to be more recognizable and visible in the eyes of prospective customers. For example, Twitter allows direct interaction between the company and other businesses who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to find out about your company.

Generate leads
Every Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn post leads potential clients to your site, resulting in more conversions. A consistent and well-planned social media marketing strategy successfully increases sales like never before. Thus, it is imperative for companies to post good quality content such as blogs, product launches, press releases etc. and promote these on social media websites.

Smooth customer service
Social media gives businesses a platform to engage with their customers and solve their queries and concerns instantaneously. Moreover, by helping customers, businesses are able to show their transparency and level of service. Hence, by listening and responding to customers, businesses get an opportunity to shine in the realm of customer service.

Build brand image
A carefully planned social media marketing strategy will increase the visibility of your brand, thereby enabling brand recognition. When the followers increase and people turn to social media to compliment your brand, it greatly enhances the image of the brand.

It is necessary to make sure that your social media profile is the right mix of curated content and customer engagement in order to portray your interest vested in the company and its customers. Social media is certainly a must-have for all B2B companies as it is one of the fastest and efficient ways to reach a segment of the market that is interested.

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The Role of Pay Per Click Advertising in Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing, in simple terms, is all about luring customers to your product/services rather than following the conventional methods in order to garner their attention. While there are several methods of inbound marketing such as promoting yourself on the social media, creating e-books, blogs, case studies, and testimonials; one such method that has become increasingly popular of late is the pay per click advertising. Although it is often debated that since pay-per-click is a paid strategy, it isn’t considered to be a part of inbound marketing. However, since the advertisements appear whilst you are already searching for something on a search engine, digital marketing experts have ascertained that pay-per-click is indeed an integral part of inbound marketing. Let’s take a look at the role of PPC advertising in inbound marketing.

Pay Per Click Marketing

Image credit: entrepreneursoutlook.com

Instant visibility
The fact that you get noticed right away is what gives pay-per-click a definite edge over other inbound marketing tools. Having said that, it is mandatory for you to recognize your target audience so you create an advertisement that captures their interest in a snap. This, in turn, helps you maximize your ROI.

Control on budget
Setting up a PPC campaign is a breeze and does not require heavy investment as you are only required to pay the search engine every time someone clicks on your ad. What’s more, you get to set up a budget depending on how aggressively you wish to market your products/services.

Bidding war
Although pay-per-click does not require an initial investment, one has to bid on specific keywords against your competitors. You need to keep in mind that highly searched keywords are quite expensive because of high bids on them. On the other hand, if you tend to keep your bids low, your ads may not show on the first page.

Targeted traffic
What’s great about pay-per-click advertising is that you can not only define your budget but also can define your target audience to who you intend to display your ads. That’s how you ensure that you don’t just get traffic to your website; rather you get targeted traffic that has a higher probability of converting.

Pay-per-click advertising has great potential to yield a high return on investment. However, it largely depends on how you make use of it. Proper management and careful planning of ads are crucial to the success of this method.

5 Terrible Mistakes Content Writers Make & How to Avoid Them!

Content writing isn’t as simple as one might think. It requires a lot of hard work to create a good and relevant piece of content without compromising on its quality. Especially when writing content for marketing, you need to follow certain rules and adhere to a well-thought content marketing strategy to get desired results. However, despite following a careful approach, content writers sometimes commit some terrible mistakes.

Content Marketing Image credit: flickr.com

Below are the top five mistakes content writers need to avoid:

Not Understanding the Target Audience: To be a successful writer, it is essential to understand who you’re writing for; or in content marketing terms, who your target audience is. Once, it’s clear to you, it becomes easy to write a piece of content that makes sense to your target audience. The best way to understand your target audience is to research, put yourself in your readers’ shoes, and analyze what type of content they will find valuable.

Not Preparing an Outline: Preparing an outline is very imperative before beginning to write any piece of content. An outline is a rough structure of the content you’re going to write. Typically, it includes title, introduction, problem statement, and key takeaways. An outline eases the process of completing the content piece, as you can write with clarity and speed.

Not Doing Thorough Research: An extensive research done on a topic can help in creating a meaningful content. When written with a great zeal and thorough understanding of the subject, even a simple piece of writing can make a big difference. It can entice readers to read your content every time you publish something on your blog or website.

Not Proofreading the Content Piece: Proofreading is essential prior to publishing content. It is true that typos occur and they can put readers off and leave your website/blog. To avoid such situations, it is advisable to follow certain proofreading techniques such as using spellcheck tools, reading content loud, and reviewing the content after a span of a few hours, etc.

Not Including Images: Although text is a crucial part of any content, it doesn’t mean that images are ignored. They are equally important, as they catch readers’ attention. If images are attractive and relevant to the content, readers for sure will read content. However, including too many images in a single content piece may also distract readers.

Avoiding the above-mentioned mistakes and implementing an effective content marketing strategy can help improve reader engagement.

3 Fundamental Rules for Building an Effective Website

Nowadays, having a functional website has become a necessity. It not only helps you gain a strong online presence but helps potential customers to find you easily on Google search and encourages them to purchase your product or service. Even if you don’t sell anything online, having a website can help people know more about your services or products through your website content – about us, articles, videos etc. Moreover, your brand credibility is also increased.

Although web development process has become quite easy due to the availability of pre-made website templates, to succeed in your business, it is important to create an effective website that can help you turn potential customers into leads and further, leads into customers.

Website Traffic

Here are three essential rules you need to adhere to for building an effective website:

Clear goals and objectives in your mind: In order to build an effective website, you need to start listing your strategic goals and objectives. The reason why most websites fail to show their online presence is because businesses don’t clear their objectives. If you are trying to accomplish something – want to build your brand equity or generate more leads – just prioritize these goals and follow them in a subsequent manner. This way, you can increase the chance of achieving online success.

Keep monitoring your competitor’s websites: Know what your competitors are up to and what they are doing to make their website a unique place to visit. To check, visit your competitors’ sites and try to navigate them from the start to the end. Take some good ideas into consideration, and if you find them valuable, implement them to your website. Another way to monitor your competitors is to check and follow them on social media and see how they engage their target audience on social media.

Create and publish high-quality content: One of the best ways to make your website engage visitors is by creating and publishing unique and fresh content at regular intervals. Periodically review your website to make sure your content is up-to-date. Following this process will help you bring more conversions and traffic to your website.

Building a website that looks great is not enough for your business. Your website should be easy to navigate, user-friendly, lure users and make sure that good customers return.

Jive X: Three Must Know Features

Earlier this year, 2016.1 Cloud was released and with this, Jive-X product strides were made. Jive-X, a social community software possesses powerful out-of-the-box features that help companies accelerate their customer lifecycle, drive community engagement and cut support costs.

Jive community platform                                                       Image credit: gsdesign.com

Let’s take a look at a few features of the Jive community platform and see how they help engage customers at each stage of their journey:

  1. SEO Results Improved: To have an external community, it is important to increase your users’ awareness to discover your product or service. To let that happen, it is very important for your community to be search-engine friendly to spread your brand reach. Google site link and video sitemap codes are also auto-populated on community homepage to ensure that your community has a high rank in Google search results and that it gets more clicks and visits.
  2. Different Languages Supported: If your community supports different languages, you can easily localize your community content to reach people across the globe in language of their choice. With 2016.1 cloud release, it will become easy for people to read content and comments by translating it in the language of their choice using Jive’s translation feature.
  3. Events to Build In-Person Relationships: It is now easy to build in-person relationships with your community members using the new event functionality. You can easily send the current view of events for printing as a PDF document. Using colour coded events, you can distinguish between different event types.

Grow advocacy and increase loyalty among your customers with Jive-X social community software that will help you accelerate your customers’ journey from discovery to purchase.

 

 

What are the 5 Stages to Grow Sales with Partner Strategy?

Companies selling their products or services need to be smart when choosing vendors and implementing strategies to avoid poor sales. A Company’s overall sales strategy depends on a good channel sales strategy. So, by implementing a solid plan with the right tools, companies can expand their channel sales team and boost sales.

Following are the steps involved in creating a plan to increase sales:

1. Understand the Goals of Channel Partnerships: Goals not only push channel sales and flourish relationships, but create a better partner experience. So, before you get started with partners’ recruitment and on-boarding process, have complete goal transparency amongst your channel partners and sales teams to drive maximum performance.

2. Consider the 4 P’s of a Winning Channel Sales Strategy: A blueprint for channel partnership is important, as you can not only recruit partners, hire a great channel team, but also get a good chance to maximize your returns. So, when you put together a channel sales strategy with an individual partner, consider the 4 P’s, i.e. Place, Promotion, Product, and Price.

3. Ensure Success at Each Stage of the Partner Life cycle: When partners manage multiple vendors, they expect their experience to be effortless with easy access to information, one-to-one engagement, and personalization. To ensure partners’ success and increase sales, it is important to meet their expectations so that they can keep their focus on selling your service or product.

4. Track Partner Performance: Apart from a winning channel strategy, it is important to have a process that can help you measure partner performance. So, when you track and share partner success, include some metrics such as partner pipeline for the quarter and the year, total revenue driven, total marketing funds used for ROI, and partner leadership scoreboards.

5. Build the Partnership Leveraging Sales Cloud and Partner Community: With a partner community, your partners can find information and get the data they require. Salesforce community cloud allows you to develop a partner community, easily modify and extend the community for each individual partner, set up groups within the community to provide seamless collaboration, share files in context with Salesforce files. You can also customize settings within the community to ensure what data your partners can see and what they can’t.

Whether you want to boost your sales or build your channel management strategy, follow these steps to build a successful plan that can help you grow your pipeline and close deals faster with partners.

Become a Leader in Social Media with a Lithium Community

Want to become a social media leader, but don’t have a social community? Nowadays, businesses are leveraging Lithium, a single integrated social media platform to connect with their customers and prospects. Lithium empowers businesses to build a vibrant customer community and create a rich user experience. So, if you want your website to be a social hub, get started with Lithium.

Here are a few exciting features that Lithium offers to its customers:

1. Forums: With forums, it becomes easy to connect with experts and brand enthusiasts in one-to-one discussions. You can attract your audience, allow them to create and view your content, and help them identify the best content with the help of kudos. Also, Lithium Social Web allows brands to manage social customer service inquiries and provide timely answers without compromising on the quality.

2. Contests: Run photo, social video, or story contests from your online community to drive more engagement. Running contests will help you see which entries are on top with the number of votes and comments received by them.

3. Tribal Knowledge Base: With Lithium Tribal Knowledge Base, your employees, customers, and users can create, edit, and share content. With this, you can keep your information accurate and up-to-date by picking the existing content, updating, and finally publishing it without starting from scratch.

4. Q&A: With Q&A, you can help your customers find answers quickly by displaying questions and answers similar to their queries. This will help you accelerate purchase decisions for your users and improve customer satisfaction.

5. Language Translator Integration: The new feature introduced by Lithium allows users across the globe to translate existing content from English to other languages. You can first choose which pages you want to translate and then send them in bulk or one by one.

6. Crowdsourced Ideas: Using Lithium’s Crowdsourced Ideas feature, you can collect, tag, categorize, and filter the most popular ideas from your customers, partners, and users, and get them implemented. In return, you can also show your customers that you are taking their ideas seriously and keep them informed with the help of status labels.

7. Value Analytics: This feature allows you to measure the impact of your community through a simple survey, which can be launched within minutes. It helps you directly deliver results to the Lithium Social Intelligence Analytics and reporting interface.

8. Gamification: With native gaming mechanics, improve engagement among new online community visitors by providing them with short-term rewards. Lithium gamification feature provides a free online webinar that helps you design your gamification strategy.

Businesses using Lithium platform deliver a seamless experience to their customers by planning, creating, and managing their online communities and maximize their business investment.