Archive | March 2014

Top LinkedIn Marketing Groups to Join NOW

Hubspot shares a lot of great info on the latest digital marketing trends. This recent article recommends 20 LinkedIn groups to join if you want to stay on top of content from the best and brightest industry experts. I’m only going to detail a few of these groups here but if you want the full list, check it out.

(Note: Some of these group are public, meaning any LinkedIn member is free to join, while other are private, meaning you can click to join them but will have to be approved by the group’s owner or moderator.)

Digital Marketing
427,420 members. As one of the largest groups on LinkedIn, this community is full of inspiration, intriguing discussions and detailed tips and best practices for improving your online marketing and more.

eMarketing Association Network
552,753 members. Managed by the eMarketing Association, the group serves anyone interested in marketing as it focuses on social media, email, search, mobile and general inbound marketing.

B2B Marketing
36,184 members. If you focus primarily on communicating with B2B companies, then you must join this niche group to strategize on ways to conquer your biggest marketing challenges.

Non-profit Marketing
30,914 members. If you’re a nonprofit marketer, this is the largest and most active nonprofit marketing group on LinkedIn.

Sales/Marketing Executives (CSO/CMO)
134,206 members. This group is a prime one to join if you want to get inspired by super-smart leaders)

SEO SEM Social Media
77,801 members. Join this group if you’re interested in participating in or listening to some of the most controversial topics on the web.

Creative Design Pros
152,059 members. Get new ideas from experienced designers sharing graphic design tips and best practices. You’ll also learn more about how to approach a good relationship with your agency or in-house design team.

Business Development
148,815 members. Like minded professionals in sales, busienss development, marketing, demand generation and inside sales functions who are all primarily in tech companies. A great spot to learn how to successfully turn those contacts into customers.

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Adapt these habits if you seek high success in PR

Do you strive to do your best every day? Can you communicate your clients message with its most important audiences? Ever wonder what it takes to be highly successful in public relations?

Well, I have. This article from the PR News blog had tapped into the best public relations professionals and thousands of leaders to develop this list of 9 Habits of Highly Effective PR People.

Do you have some of these qualities already?

1. Listen hard: Focus on key conversations and jot down what you heard, because you think you’ll remember the key takeaways but you wont.

2. Speak the local language: understand the lingo of the communities and markers you serve and learn their language.The nuances can make a difference in your campaign.

3. Read until your eyes hurt: Reading stirs your imagination, helps you to become a better writer and keeps you well informed.

4. Embrace measurement: you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

5. Become a subject matter expert: Find a niche, study it, live it and become the go-to expert on that niche.

6. Practice your math: Knowing how to read a Profit/Loss statement, build and execute on a budget, how to calculate growth and decline will position your for leadership, and improve your PR initiatives.

7. Hone your writing skills: how you write is often how you’re perceived in the field of communications, if you can’t articulate our message in writing, you can’t go from Good to Great.

8. Master your Social: Social media is not a strategy, its a platform. Understand it and use it regularly, but don’t forget about communicating and networking in person and by phone – it holds more long-term value for you as a PR leader.

9. Be a PR advocate:

Public Relations often suffers from an image problem; PR is not just about pitching to the media or bitching about the media; it’s one of the most important disciplines within an organization. Advocate for your profession – and the best way to do that is by being a Great PR Person.

Some personal habit to add…

  • When a reporter bites get them whatever they want as fast as you can. Always be available to the press and follow up to thank them when they cover you.
  • Tell a story that moves people to act – share your ideas through words, written and spoken. Use visuals (share photos/video media when appropriate).
  • Build relationships with the media – when you need to tell your story, those relationships will get the job done.

I am always seeking new ways to improve how I communicate. What habits have made you a successful public relations agent?

 

Improve the ROI of Your Next Event

While digital marketing is changing the way we reach and engage our audiences, research shows that face-to-face contact is still how business gets done. Events are effective, but because of long sales cycles and multiple customer touchpoints, quantifying their success is more challenging.

This article from ClickZ  outlines several ideas for measuring the success of your next in-person event… and relates it to attributable revenue. I’ll list a few of my favorite tips below along with some my own.

  • Number of leads/business cards collected.
    Expert tip suggests jotting down a personal note (his son plays violin) and professional note (he’s interested in XYZ services) on the back of each card. This makes it easier for you and your team to follow-up and stand out from others after the event.
  • Number of attendees. How many people were there? how does that compare to your goal?
  • Attendee composition. Are you reaching the right people? If 70% or more of the people were in your target audience, you’ve done well.
  • Revenue. Suggest putting attendees into company system and tag them as attendees for this event. Do a baseline pull after the event, then every three months to see how revenue among those accounts grew above forecast.
  • Generate Feedback. The feedback you get right away at the end of an event is different from what you’ll hear once attendees have gone home, mulled over it, discussed it with coworkers, and crystallized their thinking. So field a questionairre card during the event and send a followup email two days later.
    **Keep surveys short (more more than seven rating scale questions) and Ask about overall satisfaction with the event, favorite/least favorite sessions. Offer an incentive like a gift bag at event after survey complete, then a free ebook/webinar to increase response rate with follow up survey.
  • Meetings Booked. Look beyond attendee counts to track the number of follow-up meetings you were able to secure within 30 days of the event.
  • Downloads, view and share. What you content accessible online after the event? How much of a role did social media have before, during and after the event? Track downloads of material and quality of conversations with sources like HootSuite and Facebook/Twitter analytics. Also if you are going to offer original content, gate the download to capture their contact information first.
  • Increased Engagement rates. Track the bump in your open rate, click-through rate, website visits and share rates after the event.
  • Sales Feedback. Through you may not always like your employees feedback, its better to ask and make improvements than to not ask and risk making the same event mistakes. Surveying your internal attendees could help bolster or provide counterpoint to other survey feedback, ensuring your next event will be more successful.

And finally, think about how many attendees come to your next event? Repeat attendance and new guests via word of  mouth is the best marketing to start your next event right.

What have you found to be effective ways for measuring your ROI after events? Would you agree with these or do you think there are other factors to consider?

Measuring B2B Online Content Success

As a B2B online marketer, you’ve already realized that while the channels are the same for reaching the everyday consumer, your strategy in reaching YOUR target audience is distinctly different. That’s not to say you can’t still be successful in creating and delivering valuable content to your target audience.

social_networkingLike most businesses with an online presence, your goals fall somewhere in these areas: brand awareness, lead generation, customer acquisition, thought leadership,  engagement (customer loyalty and retention), and increasing website traffic. But does telling the C-suite how many likes, retweets and shared messages you had in the past six-months mean anything to the bottom line? This great article from Content Marketing World gives basic advice for how you can measure the effectiveness of your marketing content.

For brand awareness, metrics from Google Analytics show strong indicators of content marketing success, but it does not always illustrate the reach of the content that’s developed and promoted. More effective benchmarks for analyzing your brand awareness include keyword reports, webmaster tools and social media post performance.

The Google Webmaster Tool suite improves your ability to review traffic, especially with lack of keyword referral data from Google Analytics. For an overview of the clicks and impressions your site is generating, use Webmaster Tools navigate to Search Traffic – Queries – Top Pages. You’ll want to record the impressions, clicks and keywords from organic search results these web pages have received. **NOTE: this data is only accessible for 90 days, so you should export info periodically to build out trending data.

Bing Webmaster Tools provide similar data in association to Bing search engine results. Once registered, you can use Reports & Data- Page Traffic to monitor visitor trends.

Social Media platforms also offer a variety of tracking data which help prove reach and engagement of your online content. When reviewing this data, significant metrics for post performance include:Facebook – individual post performance and comprehensive data exports
Twitter – performance activity (favorites, replies, retweets)
LinkedIn – visitor types, impressions and engagement percentages of company updates

As we move onto the most effective ways to monitor thought leadership and engagement are similar, first, consider your social shares. Paying attention to the volume of sharing across your platforms can be an important indicator for establishing improvements in thought leadership and broader engagement levels. Other resources like SharedCount and RavenTools provide simple-to-evaluate dashboards for insight on shared posts and mentions.

Also inbound link performance helps establish the ties between quality content and attribution by third parties. Inbound link reports from Webmaster Tools enable you to review third-party sites linking in, as well as specific inbound links on individual pages. So what does this mean to you?? When relevant audiences and influencers share and link to your content, you will be able to see how many additional likes and reach your message has among targeted audiences.

Finally, web page referral reports can help identify the specific sources of traffic to your site from various landing pages. The “Secondary Dimension” filter helps define the source and specific domains that sent traffic to that web page.

There are many other methods and metrics that can be recorded and tracked from your website and social media platforms. These should give you a good place to start when evaluating your content marketing goals.