How to market your business through LinkedIn

Last week we inspected Yelp and looked at how it could help boost your company’s standing amongst other companies. The week before we dissected Trello, this week we will put LinkedIn under the magnifying glass. Using these, and similar, applications in intelligent and creative ways could get your company’s name out there, on the lips of your consumers, other businesses.

The advantage of researching marketing applications could mean doing almost precisely what big marketing firms would have done for you, but at half the price. I would, however, suggest you consult an agency or someone who has studied in this field as there is quite a bit of psychology in marketing. But that is a whole other article.

LinkedIn

Many companies consider LinkedIn one of the smartest ways to market yourself and your business. It is incredibly useful and should play a lead role in your marketing plan. To start, work through your network, increase the links and jot down a list of potential contacts for your community. LinkedIn is an excellent promotional tool, and you should build and use a LinkedIn profile for the benefit of your company.

Business pages on LinkedIn

Like with Facebook, there is a way to create a page for your business. As we mentioned with Yelp, it is of utmost importance to include as many, truthful, details as possible on your LinkedIn profile. Your target market will never know if you have what they are looking for if you do not list all your products and services.

For example, a promotional goods company, do they print on mugs and etch on glass? Does one have to order in bulk, or is there an individual option too? When it comes to engraving, can the customer pay a bulk price if every name engraved is different? These are the things consumers ask, and if they can’t find the information online, they will quickly move along. It will be extremely beneficial to you if your employees also have LinkedIn profiles, so encourage that.

Compulsory details include

  • A description of your business
  • The company’s logo
  • The number of people your company employs
  • What industry you are in
  • Where you are located
  • Your web page URL
  • Remember your SEO’s

SEO’s or search engine optimization is the process of increasing the traffic to your page by using trigger words that make your site stand out in search engines. Think of keywords you would use if you were looking for your company through Google, as many as you can. Then incorporate them into your site description or information as smoothly as possible. The more popular word you use, the more chance you have of your company popping up as an answer to a search request. Hey, add a trending hashtag or two, it all helps with the popularity of your site.

How to use Yelp to the advantage of your Business

There are still some people out there who do not know this app, which is hard to believe as it has around 90 million visitors monthly. It also boasts the accomplishment of being one of the top downloaded play store apps. Yelp is an excellent tool for your Business in more ways than one and a terrific addition for any marketing plan.

With access to the worldwide web spreading like wildfire, and smartphones made available to all income groups, people rely increasingly on the opinion and reviews of others when trying something new. This is why Yelp has so much exposure. People use it to research companies they are looking to use before they use them, and trust me, businesses will do the same.

Yelp has three options available to marketers and advertisers, a free version and two paid versions. If your company is new and purse strings are tight, start with the free version, as you get more exposure and money starts pouring in, you step up your version. One thing every successful business owner should know is that you need to spend money to make money, it is not easy in the beginning, but keep that in mind.

Once you set up your page, you can post content and photos and reply to reviews both good and bad. The more time you spend on your page, the better the reflection on your Business, it might be necessary to eventually have someone dedicated to updating all your social media profiles. The more attractive your page is, and the more often you have a content change, the more traffic you will have.

A tip from a consumer’s point of view: When replying to review whether positive or negative, do it personally, automated replies are frustrating and they leave your consumers feeling unimportant, put yourself in their shoes. Go out of your way to address and solve your negative reviews as this will increase your trust and creditability scores in the hearts of your potential consumers. Like other social sites, Yelp includes some nifty buttons like the “call now” or “share”.

How to make sure you are getting the best out of Yelp

Claim your Business, set up your account and fill in as much detail as you can. People often look for specifics, if you are a restaurant with a dedicated smoking area, state that, the more information that you have about your Business, the better.

Do not try and boost your reviews by getting friends to rate you. Yelp is extremely strict and can pick up if there is someone new reviewing you, someone who has never reviewed before or does not review more companies soon after they have examined you. This rating will quickly disappear from your page. However, Yelp considers reviews on other platforms as well.

Trello: What it can do for your business

Currently, there are many ways of targeting your audience, and with technology growing as it is, digital media should not be overlooked, in fact, it should be very carefully considered. There are many apps to choose from to include in your marketing or advertising plan. Whether you are a large, well-known company, or just starting, Trello is an opportunity, affordable for all.

Almost all people have smartphones, especially all business people, so play on this obsession and utilise that to market your business to other businesses. The added advantage of using this marketing medium is that you can reach a huge target audience with little to no effort and minimal cost involved.

Trello

Trello is a project management app that is available to use for anyone with access to the internet on a computer or a smartphone. This app makes managing projects a breeze by dividing tasks into cards and allowing you to allocate a responsible person and a due date, helping to keep the cogs well oiled.

This digital marketing management tool is easily accessible and available for Android and iOS mobile devices and is also available from a laptop or personal computer. “Boards” are created for each project, and team members can be added and allocated to a task or multiple tasks. These are known as “cards” when a card is created; one can add comments, upload files, set a due date and time and add colour coded labels. This way, everyone can see what has been done and still needs to be completed. It will feel as if you are all sitting in the boardroom around one table, only you’ll have space, privacy and freedom and it won’t feel as if someone is breathing down your neck.

Trello for a business project

Using Trello allows you and your clients to both be aware of and track the progress of a venture. Should you not want them to have direct access to your staff, create another board between yourself and them, and update it accordingly.

One of Trello’s key features is that it can send out notifications either via email, or smartphone or both. Another element of Trello that makes it ridiculously convenient is that none of the board participants needs to be in the same building, town, city, country or continent, let alone on the same network.

Trello is great for everyday life

Consider using or at least testing Trello with your next big business to business marketing or advertising project, or any project actually. You could even use it to manage your children’s activities, homework, assignments and sporting events. It gives an old-school notice board feel that will put a nostalgic smile on your face. Teach your significant other to follow the notifications and your children will never be late again.

Basic B2b Marketing Strategies You need to Know

Marketing a product to other businesses, for resale to other consumers defines business to business marketing.  It is a process that involves planning and implementing strategies with your client to create a solid sales pitch for your sales force.  It requires a complex decision-making process, so be thorough in your preparation phase.

In Business to Business, relationships are vital to the success of your business. This takes months, even years to develop and maintain, and there are generally many people and divisions to pay attention to – this is why your strategy is so important.  B2B needs to be located near to clients to manage the relationship effectively. To start, you need to address the following points:

Vision

What is your idea? This is fundamental to the success of your business. A vision statement is a clear vision of where you want to take your business, making sure everything you do from now on is aligned to creating this vision.

Goals

Make them tangible, but make sure you create short term, medium- and long-term goals. Consider all angles of the business – sales and marketing, revenue streams, and don’t forget individual team members – they are essential assets to any company!

KPIs

These are measurable values and the key to making smart business decisions.  Always measure what is happening so that you can optimize your processes and decisions along the way.

Target Market

Who are you trying to attract? Focus on breaking down your offering into segments, so you ensure you get it the right first time – B2B is a timely and costly process.  Do your research – spot trends and track them and look for a gap.

Your Buyers

These are individuals that form part of the target market. They make emotional decisions, so consider their wants and needs, fears and desires.

The gap in the market

What have you identified to be a problem? What is missing in the market? Once you have spent time on the above, and you are confident you have analyzed every point, you can now create a journey for the client – making sure you include their key marketing messages and their unique selling proposition.  You need to ensure you get buy-in from everyone, so spend that time supporting and guiding team members on the journey, this is a good use of your time to ensure implementation is smooth.

Software

When it comes to decisions surrounding software, make sure you find a solution that is fully integrated, compatible and intelligent.  Has it been built with operational improvement in mind?  Many cost-effective products rely on varying lengths of subscriptions.  Security is an essential factor; make sure the system you select does routine maintenance and system upgrades.

A final thought

The marketing world is evolving fast, remain competitive and always find ways to improve your processes.

Learning from the Best – Continued

Last week we explored some of Gary Vaynerchuk’s valuable marketing strategies. This Belarusian born entrepreneur, speaker, author and internet persona is well-known for his involvement in consulting with large firms, including Fortune 500 companies. His companies include VaynerX, VaynerMedia and Gallery Media Group.

Finding Your Niche Market

Last week we discussed how to market a personal event at a low budget to achieve success. This week the topic shifts to the market which you are targeting as your audience and possible clientele. Contradicting to what most B2B owners might think, you don’t need to have a million clients. If you have identified your niche market, it can be a much more profitable venture to serve them well than serving many others poorly.

To create this niche market, start with creating your niche podcast. This will allow you to get in touch with the clients you want in your client base. They will be the people asking the right questions and the ones you would want to spend most of your time on. You can also use this medium to ask them to be guests on your podcast to share their knowledge and advice. Making them feel that you value their opinion is playing right into the human ego and the need to feel important. Not only do they get recognition, but also in a format which can be shared by them. Their sharing, in turn, serves as marketing to you. This also turns your podcast from yet another source of information to the desired position to be in. You are creating hype around your business without much effort.

Determining What the Marketplace Desire

Many business owners follow a plan of developing their dream and then selling that to the market. A much more productive route is available, allowing you to alter visions according to the market.

Clients will come to you if you know what they need and how they need it and then supply just that. Vaynerchuk uses the example of Guinness Beer, which experienced a slump in sales and had to combat that through brilliant tactics. They did research and determined that the two most discussed topics in bars were trivia and soccer. This led to the birth of the Guinness Book of World Records. Now they were no longer just selling a drink on tap, but they were selling a culture. This created a reason for people to talk about them in the places where their product is mostly consumed. Not only that, they owned the media company creating the Book of Records and could filter in their advertisements, to increase beer sales.

One of the greatest mistakes business owners make when discussing the topic of marketing is believing that the reason why their efforts aren’t returning the desired results is that they aren’t doing enough. Sometimes it is crucial to change your entire perspective and approach to achieve desired results.