How You Can Get The Most Out of LinkedIn's New Features

LinkedIn is Evolving. How You Can Get The Most Out of LinkedIn’s New Features

Recently LinkedIn got the major redesign. Let’s look into LinkedIn’s New Features.

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that connects the world’s professionals. With more than 450 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet. The LinkedIn community includes specialists with different levels of experience and career ambitions, from University graduates to executives from every Fortune 500 company. The LinkedIn company was founded in 2003, and has a diversified business model providing Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions, and Premium Subscriptions products.

LinkedIn claims its mission as:

Connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.

In spring 2015 LinkedIn bought Lynda.com – online education portal, that helps anyone learn business, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals.

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In 2016 LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft. There were many strategic reasons for this buy. Here are some of the most obvious ones:

  1. Integrating LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool for sales representatives into Microsoft’s customer-relationship-management tool, Dynamics.
  2. Integrating LinkedIn notifications into Windows and integrating LinkedIn’s identity system into the Office 365 suite so people are able to see and use LinkedIn information in their workflow.
  3. Developing a “business news desk” across MSN to extend the reach of sponsored content – presumably allowing MSN advertisers to buy space on LinkedIn.

Microsoft sets a list of goals for its integration with LinkedIn and this photo goes around all news and media platforms. (Photo credit microsoft.com)

LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft

Here’s a full email on acquisition, sent to employees of LinkedIn by Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft.

Satya Nadella email to employees on acquisition of LinkedIn

In January 2017 LinkedIn’s website gets its biggest redesign since it was founded nearly 15 years ago. Some online influencers say it became to look a lot like Facebook, others say that now it is more clear and user-friendly. This is what LinkedIn shared with the readers of its blog on January 19, 2017.

In addition to the interface update, LinkedIn introduced other new features designed to help users attract customers, generate leads, build your personal brand and professional reputation or find a new job.

We will walk you through 10 enhancements we think you’ll enjoy most. After reading this article, you will know how you can get the most out of LinkedIn’s new features.

Start with the Basics: Photo, Name & Professional Headline

There is no need to say that you have to use your full real name on Linked In profile. It is also important to have a good profile photo. It helps people connect with you on a deeper more emotional level. To ensure your profile photo has the biggest impact, it must look professional. A good tip is to take a photos when you are facing forward, making virtual “eye contact” with the reader (especially since the new LinkedIn interface displays your profile image and your content as centered and justified). Soon LinkedIn rolls out a new feature – Photo Filters. It will let you to correct the quality of the photo right in the app.

A truly unique and “branded” professional headline will increase the impact of your LinkedIn profile. Write something that will catch attention of the readers and make them remember you.

Do you need advanced tips on how to generate leads with LinkedIn? Read 5 SMART WAYS TO USE LINKEDIN FOR B2B MARKETING

Fill Out Summary section

Make sure you fill out Summary section of your LinkedIn profile. Choose what information is most important and place it at the top of the summary. When someone is looking at your profile, the About Section will be collapsed. Only the top two lines will be visible. Write there something that will trigger people to open About Me section and read further. Or it can be your contact details: telephone, website, etc.

Settings & Privacy on your Account

Go to Settings & Privacy on your Account. Review the selections you have made. There might be new fields since the time you have visited for the last time. Disable feature “people also viewed.”

By default, your LinkedIn profile has a section that displays similar profiles. This list often contains profiles of your competitors, employees and customers. I can’t see the value in it for you. You are just introducing your viewer to more people. This only distracts the visitor of your profile, and offers him an option to go to the profile of your competitor. Disable this feature and keep your visitors focused.

Tip: 20 MOST EFFECTIVE TACTICS FOR GETTING FOLLOWERS ON EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL

Be Aware of Your Groups

Be Aware of Your Groups & Following (News & Companies). You’ve always had the chance to hide specific Groups that you are a member of from displaying on your profile, but now LinkedIn has added those news categories that you follow on LinkedIn Today as well as any Companies that you follow to your profile. Ensure that you are comfortable with the images that are appearing and make changes if you feel they might take away from your branding.

Customize Invite

With the invite feature at LinkedIn you can grow your network. At his presentation a the Day of Freelancer event, the Country Manager of Benelux Marcel Molenaar stressed out the importance of a Customized Invite.

“One of the biggest mistakes I still see people making on LinkedIn is not taking the time to send a personalized invitation. Just using the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network” LinkedIn invites is very ineffective, and can be used only in cases when you are connecting with someone while having a conversation person!”- said Marcel Molenaar.

Marcel Molenaar speaking about LinkedIn's New Features

So when you send an invite always mention, where you know that person from and try adding some personal details.

One of the new useful features of LinkedIn’s new redesign is the ability to include a URL in the invitations. You can add a link to your website, event or any landing page you want a prospect to visit. Always add text explaining what is in the link so your message does not look like spam.

Use Publishing Tools

LinkedIn has taken huge steps to become an original content platform. So you should consider LinkedIn as another platform to publish your content, articles and tutorials. Anything what can be of interest to your potential clients and bring value to them.

Use it to post articles, share all your blogs and drive connections and followers back to other platforms. Your followers will get an update that you have published a post, so they can go and read it right away.

Encourage Your Employees Post Content

Let the employees post the content on your company’s profile, which in turn will allow you to reach more people. The more informative content you publish the more people you will reach. This will also make your employees feel as if they are an important part of the company.

Use Sponsored Updates

If you have a great content to share with people you can use Sponsored Updates. Choose to pay per 1000 impressions or per click. Then, select your targeting options. You can even target by industry, job function, company size, job title, and skill. This is an excellent way to reach people in your industry when you want to make sure that your information reaches not only your contacts and followers but also people outside of your network.

Explore LinkedIn Advertising Options

LinkedIn’s new account-targeting option lets businesses upload lists of companies they do business with or want to do business with, and LinkedIn will cross-reference those lists with its own list of more than eight million company pages and show ads to its users who work for those companies.

Adjust to the Changes In LinkedIn Search In Free Edition

Previously we had 7 types of Searches: People, Jobs, Companies, Groups, Universities, Posts and Inbox. “Inbox” was eliminated, but the other six remain. You can search your messages in your message center now.

We used to have these filters: Keywords, Title, Relationship, First name, Last Name, Location, Current Company, Past Company, Industry, School, Location, Profile, Language, Non Profit Interests

With the new search, aside from whatever your original search term was, all of your filters are applied after you hit “search”.

This is how the new search looks like.

LinkedIn New Features Search

“Relationship” is now “Connections” as you now can only choose among 1st, 2nd and 3rd. No fellow group members.

“Groups” was part of the “Relationship” filter along with 1st, 2nd and 3rd level connections. The Relationship filter is now the “Connections” filter and allows filtering by 1st, 2nd and 3rd level connections only.

“Keywords” now includes sub-fields for first name, last name, title, company and school.  The old search had only one field for “Keywords” and another specifically for “Title”.

“Industries” has changed by adding a few new industries: Investment Management, Construction, Outsourcing/Offshoring and Music.

“Location” by zip or postal code, Location by proximity (number of miles or kilometers) is gone.

You should be able to have three Saved Searches. (Some people have reported not seeing Saved Search. It is a Bug that is being fixed by LinkedIN).

Although it is disappointing that some of the old features that we used are cancelled with the recent redesign of LinkedIn, let’s try to see it as new opportunities.

LinkedIn cancels LinkedIn Events. You can plan your events in Eventbrite. Or start using Facebook Events or Google Plus Events more often.

LinkedIn cancels LinkedIn Answers. Time to move on to Quora.

You can also start asking more questions in status updates throughout social media.

As part of the new design, the ability to add Notes, Tags, and Reminders to your connections is no longer available. If you want to download your existing Notes and Tags, you’ll have the option to do so through May 31, 2017. If you are looking for similar functionalities, consider LinkedIn Sales Navigator or Recruiter Lite products that allow you to transfer and view your existing notes and tags.

As you can see, LinkedIn has been adding quite a few new features lately. Use these tips to transform your LinkedIn account to an effective sales tool and leads magnet.

If you are a B2B marketer looking for proven growth strategies, this book is for you:

The Ultimate B2B Marketing Resources Guide

What Social Media Channels do you use for your business the most? Share with us in the comments.

Digital Marketing

The Top Trends for Digital Marketing in 2017

Welcome to 2017! As it is the beginning of the new year, we would like to share with you the top trends for Digital Marketing in 2017.

The previous year, 2016, was a very unusual year. We are not even talking about global news like the US election, the Brexit referendum, climate change, fake news, or the Rio Olympics. Yes, all of these were big stories that caught the attention of digital marketers as well as the rest of the world. But, we are talking about unexpected news and developments in the online video and internet marketing industries like the bewildering birth of Pokémon GO, the unforeseen delays in the adoption of virtual reality, the sudden death of Vine, and the unanticipated popularity of live video streaming.

When looking out to 2017, it’s more crucial than ever to understand this year’s digital marketing trends that would be what separates you from your competition. Understanding marketing trends allow for the most efficient and relevant marketing strategy for the next year.

We are excited about all these new possibilities and eager to be surprised by any other hypes that come up. To stay up to date on the latest trends and tips in digital marketing sign up to receive our digital marketing news.

What trends in digital marketing in 2017 should we expect?

Content Marketing

Content marketing has been in the top 3 for the last 3 years. This will not change in 2017. Although the key is key to write unique, high-quality, and interactive content that readers can connect with.

Smart brands now know that when consumers engage with their content, they engage with their brand. Content drives more impactful engagement with consumers and ultimately greater ROI on media spend than traditional display advertising does. With marketers increasing focus on content marketing, they will turn to native advertising as a key content distribution strategy.

Video Marketing

Video will be big in 2017. Not only will the video ads dominate, live video will dominate as well.

Live video has suddenly become very popular. All major Social Platforms – Twitter (via Periscope), Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have all released live video offerings.

Many of these networks are promoting their live video quite heavily, and it is something that will stand out in the saturated world of content.

Want to know more? Read 7 Steps to Make Your Video Marketing Strategy a Success

We believe in 2017 we’ll begin seeing many more programmatic native video solutions. Facebook has proven that in-feed video across devices (with sound muted by default) can be a powerful distribution technique. To date, these solutions are sparse at best, and it represents a huge opportunity for networks, publishers and brands.

Live video, 360-degree video and virtual reality are now cheaper and easier than ever for publishers to produce and distribute for advertisers, and they present incredible opportunities to give consumers an experience, and not just content to consume. Those advertisers who take advantage of publishing partners’ offers to do this will likely be able to create deeper and more personal relationships with their consumers and achieve an unprecedented level of transparency that those consumers really value.

Marketing Automation

When we talked about Marketing Automation in 2016 we meant CRM, behavioural email marketing and web personalization. In 2017 a new type of marketing team is arriving.

Hiring specialists make sense. Any brand will need a SEO specialist to help rank on Google, content specialists to maintain the position as a thought leader, email marketers to enhance deliverability, and so on.

However, that might not always be the optimal approach. You’ll often find that your designers, for example, will need to understand not only the more technical aspects of marketing, such as responsive design, UX/UI, video, and even dynamic content, but also the reasons they’re doing it and how they tie in with the overall marketing automation strategy.

A marketing team that thinks more strategically and is mindful of the customer journey is a team that will succeed in 2017. What stage of the buying cycle is the prospect/customer that you’re targeting? How does that affect what you’re doing? What systems are involved with each interaction? Should you be changing your approach to suit your current automation setup or vice versa? Those are the questions that will be commonplace in 2017.

There will be a great demand of technically minded people. As marketing automation platforms evolve and allow you to develop more intelligent marketing programs and campaigns, to implement your ideas companies will need to hire people with the necessary skillset. They are the people who fully understand how your systems interlink and can integrate them.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is an old method, but market forces should increase its prominence in 2017 because the diminishing penetration of many ads – through ad blockers, reduced social media organic reach, and the decline of banner ads – will see an increase of native advertising.

In 2017, we’ll see more brands experiment with native advertising. Ad fraud, banner blindness, ad blocking, ad ineffectiveness, fake news sites – these are all taking a toll on “traditional” digital marketing techniques. As the banner declines in efficacy, marketers will more firmly embrace converged media tactics such as native advertising and social media (a frequent offshoot of the former) to deliver messages to consumers.

A.I. Solutions Will Lead Us to a Brave New World

2017 will be the year when we will look more to artificial intelligence to lend a helping hand. This current trend with start-up brands, as well as data analytics, identifies applicable A.I. solutions as a way for consumers to navigate in an increasingly complex world.

Influencer Marketing Will Become a Fundamental Brand Strategy

Many brands now recognized Influencer Marketing as the industry’s hot “go-to” strategy, but they struggle on how best to leverage it and measure it from the perspective of business results and attribution modeling.

Influencer marketing gives brands the opportunity to create word-of-mouth buzz through personalities whom consumers already follow and admire. These personalities present a world of possibilities for any marketer savvy enough to channel their power. When influencers are used effectively, they create natural ways to seduce a target audience. In 2017 social influencers will diversify, specialize, and grow exponentially.

Conclusion

These are the top trends for digital marketing in 2017 as Online Community Advisor sees it. The year where sales is no longer on the frontlines of the buyer journey. Instead, the marketer will drive the relationship.

How much mobile-first, e-commerce-driving engagement and multi-channel methodologies will you be integrating into your 2017 strategy? Do you think technology will have a big impact on what’s happening in the marketing space? Should brands move their marketing budgets towards VR and AR? Share your thoughts in the comments!

P.S. Do you find this information valuable? >> Click Here To Get The Latest B2B Marketing Resources & Guides From World’s Premier Brands – Our Knowledge Partners…it’s 100% FREE! >>

SEO Tips for Social Media

7 Amazingly Effective SEO Tips to Push Your Content to the Top

Why SEO? You want to put your business where your audience is, and most likely, your audience like everybody else is on the internet. The majority of online experiences of your customers and prospects begin with web search. And when those customers and prospects make an inquiry related to your services or products, you want to be there, at the top of the list and ready to assist, right?

There is some debate out there as to whether blogging is still relevant in today’s social media marketing environment. Regardless if you are a small business, or a multinational company, blogging is important to your online content marketing strategy.

Every time you publish a blog post, it’s a new opportunity for someone to find your business’ website and learn who you are.

Said another way, it’s an opportunity to drive traffic to your website.

If you’re not blogging, it’s time to get started. If you do have a blog, here are the most important checkpoints to ensure that your blog is optimized for search engines.

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Mobile can not be an after-thought. 2015 was the first time mobile traffic overtook desktop and this trend is only going to continue. Since then Google has changed its algorithm to make mobile-friendly more important.

If you’re not sure whether or not your site is mobile friendly, it is very easy to check. Just enter your company’s website into Google’s Mobile Friendly Testing Tool and Google will provide a free analysis on how mobile friendly your website is.

WordPress SEO Plugins by Yoast

Install the Yoast SEO plugin (for blogs in WordPress) and learn about it’s features to make sure you’re getting the most from it. Pay special attention to Titles and Metas, XML Sitemaps and Permalinks). Use the “noindex” metatag to exclude certain pages from being indexed and appearing in SERPs. This tag may be useful for excluding low-quality pages as well.

Content

Content is truly king, and since Google’s introduction of Panda, content’s pre-eminence in SEO just keeps growing. The line between B2B and B2C content will continue to blur as storytelling and customer experience become more important than ever. Here are the main content-related points you need to take care of:

Write good titles

Create titles that are catchy, concise (i.e., no more than 70 characters), and descriptive enough to whet the target audience’s appetite and convince them there’s good value to be found within. Avoid being ambiguous or tricky. As always, remember your keywords—the ones your audience uses for the selected topic.

Move your best content above the fold

Search engine crawlers and website visitors alike see the content featured at the top of the page first, so it’s not surprising that content placed above the fold carries more weight in SEO. You can have more content above the fold by tightening your copy, widening your content frames, and reducing the height of your page headers.

Length – your blog post need to be long enough to score high in Google ranking. The majority of the web pages that appear on the first page of Google contain at least 2,000 words.

Duplicate content – avoid copying and scraping others’ pages and content. Create original content and stand apart by offering something useful that isn’t already freely available elsewhere online. Did you take any content from another source? Make sure you link to it! You want to avoid copying yourself, too, since multiple pages containing the same exact text or anchor links, for example, also raise the spam flag.

Thin content – is your blog post thin and mediocre? Writing blog posts purely for SEO reasons is a great way to get hit by a Panda penalty. Focus on the quality of your content instead of quantity. As mentioned above, use the “noindex” metatag to exclude low-quality pages from being indexed and appearing in SERPs.

Add relevant keywords to your existing content and write new content around important keywords and phrases.

Keywords

Keywords and key phrases are the primary components of SEO for blogging. A Web page’s rank is directly connected to how well it relates to the search terms—the keywords—that users input into a search engine.

For best results, place keywords high up on the page, preferably in the first paragraph and within headings and subheads. Use bold and italic text treatments in moderation to help important keywords stand out.

Pay special attention to long-tail keywords (i.e., those that contain three or more words), which will help you reach a more qualified audience.

Also research the search volumes and competition for the keywords you selected. Tools like the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, SEMRush Advanced Competitors Keywords Research Tool can help learn what your customers are looking for. Ideally, you want to focus on relevant keywords that have high monthly search volumes and low competition.

Incorporate keywords (but don’t overdo it). Add relevant keywords to your existing content and plan new content development around important keywords and phrases.

Make sure these words and phrases are always used in proper context, and avoid stuffing too many onto a single page or document. Once every 100 – 200 words is generally a safe frequency to follow. Use variations of your keywords and phrases as appropriate to break it up even more. Google is like a dictionary — it looks at keywords as well as synonyms to get a better understanding of what your blog post is about. Just make sure your copy sounds natural, not spammy or repetitive.

Google places more emphasis on keywords that are larger in font size. So make sure you include keywords within your headline and headings.

When possible, place keywords high up on the page, preferably in the first paragraph within your first 100 words and within headings and subheads. Google places more emphasis on words and phrases that are placed towards the top of the page.

Keywords to avoid Don’t waste your time optimizing for:

  • Branded keywords such as your company name
  • Insider terms and industry jargon that the average person or prospect doesn’t use
  • Broad terms that apply to many solutions, industries, and concerns

Even though keywords are core to the search optimization, links have become more influential in boosting search experience because they serve as strong signals about a page’s relevancy and context.

Internal links

Internal linking involves linking your content to and from other pages on your site. This helps the search engine crawlers find your content and offers clues about the context of your subject matter. It also helps increase page authority, and therefore rank, when those links come from other high-traffic, high-ranking pages.

Link to and from popular pages: Select high-traffic, high-ranking pages when possible. Your website metrics will help you identify the best candidates. That said, don’t avoid linking to or from a highly relevant, high-quality page just because it doesn’t get its fair share of traffic. By including it in new content, you may help boost the rank of both pages.

Link to and from old posts: on a monthly basis go into your older blog posts and add links to your newly written posts. It is very useful as your older posts tend to carry more authority than the newer ones.

At the same time perform a quick audit to identify older internal links that point to outdated or no-longer relevant pages. Either remove those links or adjust them to direct traffic to more recent content.

Use anchor text links: Rather than simply listing a link on your home page or at the end of a content article, integrate those links into your copy using hyperlinked text, or anchor text. The higher on the page these links appear, the more they can influence your page rank.

• Be descriptive: Instead of using valueless text like “click here,” use words that explain what visitors will find when they click through. Include important keywords when appropriate.

• Avoid repetition: Vary the text every time you insert a new link, and don’t link to the same page over and over within the same piece of content. Mix it up; otherwise, Google may discredit these links altogether.

External links

Linking to other high-quality websites within your content in a relevant way (i.e., using keyword-rich anchor text in your body copy) helps associate your content with the authority of those sites and signal trust. Never list external links in your sidebar or footer even if they add value to your content.

A good idea for bloggers to add links to related blogs. This helps Google identify which blogs are relevant to yours, and it helps determine what keywords you should be ranking for.

And who knows, if those sites find out about it (for example, through Google Alerts, during their own backlink reviews, or because you send them a email letting them know) and they like what they see, they may end up linking back to your content and boosting your rank even more

It’s also important to test these links periodically and ensure they are still working. Be sure to remove any outbound links that generate 404 errors or redirect you to unrelated content.

Images

While the text content is the most important component of a successful blog post, nowadays it’s expected that posts will contain at least one image. Taking the time to select, place, and properly code your images will provide a better reader experience and add extra on-page SEO. If you have the time to take your own images and use them within your posts, you’ll notice that those unique images have much better rankings in image search than stock photography images.

When you include images, make sure you optimize them for SEO:

File name should be as descriptive as possible and rich in keywords. In file names, use dashes (-), not underscores ( _ ). The basic idea is that Google was set up to see dashes between words as separate words, but underscores between words as joining those words together. So Google sees Online-Community-Advisor as “Online Community Advisor”, but Online_Community_Advisor as “OnlineCommunityAdvisor”.

Dimensions – the width and height of your image should be large in size. The bigger the dimensions, the better your search rankings will be.

File size – your images should be as small as possible in file size. Compressed images that are still high in quality always rank better.

Alt tags should be as descriptive as possible, as this will help them rank higher within image search.

Embed code – when you provide unique images, f.e. infographics, people might want to embed them on their sites. By providing an embed code, you’ll increase the number of backlinks to your blog.

Social Sharing options

Make it easy for people to distribute your content online by including share buttons for popular social sites next to each piece. Each network offers its own plugin—for example, Facebook’s share button, Twitter’s tweet button, LinkedIn’s share button, Pinterest’s Pin it button, and tumblr’s share buttons.

P.S. Do you find this information valuable? >> Click Here To Get The Latest B2B Marketing Resources & Guides From World’s Premier Brands – Our Knowledge Partners…it’s 100% FREE! >>

video-marketing-trends-live-streaming

Video Marketing Trends That Give Your Business a Boost

Video marketing trends will definitely give your business a boost when used correctly and with a marketing strategy. Video Marketing is the big thing in business. If you haven’t started to build your video marketing strategy, the chances are you are falling behind your competitors.

We, marketers, try to stay on the top of all marketing trends, and these days there are plenty to choose from: marketing clouds, account-based marketing, predictive analytics—the list goes on. Luckily there are innovative software platforms that help B2B marketers effectively manage their Social Media marketing efforts.

But few trends are as big as video marketing. Some 96% of B2B marketers are now using video, according to a recent study by the Web Video Marketing Council. And for good reason. Video is great for engaging audiences and getting their attention in a crowded market. It has become a strategic tool for lead generation. Brands have learned that video is good for more than attracting attention. It enriches the customer journey at all stages, and it is more effective than other content at converting buyers.

With more ways to use video, more companies will do it themselves. Ascend2 reported that 91% of companies say they’re still seeing the effectiveness of marketing videos increase, and 71% of those with successful video programs say they’ll increase investments in video production in the coming year.

That makes sense—because the return on investment (ROI) is there. Brands that use video are seeing revenues grow almost 50% faster each year than their video-averse counterparts do.

Traditionally, businesses have been slow to adopt video production. The cost of equipment and concern about the difficulty of using it well prompted most to use professional production services. But the costs are declining, and with the technology development marketers are able to produce timely videos themselves and do not have to wait months for a professional video company to put something together.

We already talked about 7 Steps to Make Your Video Marketing Strategy a Success.

And here we will give you an overview of the Social Media video tools that will give your business a boost.

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Periscope

Launched in 2015, Periscope quickly rose in popularity and numerous marketers consider it one of the video marketing trends for 2016. Numerous entrepreneurs, speakers, celebrities, and marketers have dipped their feet in the water.

Periscope, Twitter’s live streaming video app, celebrated its one-year anniversary in March 2016, reporting it had reached more than 200 million live broadcasts. That’s more than double the number of broadcasts Twitter announced just three months ago when it launched Periscope live video streams directly within user timelines.

According to an announcement by the Periscope team on Medium, more than 110 years of live video is watched daily iOS and Android devices.

What exactly is Periscope? It’s a live video streaming app that enables audience engagement during the broadcast via giving hearts and sending comments that show up on the stream. A completed broadcast on Periscope can be replayed for 24 hours before it disappears. This creates a sense of urgency in followers to watch the video within 24 hours because there’s no guarantee the broadcaster will upload the video to another site like YouTube.

So how can you, as a marketer, make use of Periscope?

One way is to announce new products and provide special offers through this live video tool. Other ideas include Q&A sessions, views into brand culture, and special guest takeovers.

Instagram

Instagram recently rolled out an update that allows you to record and post 60-second videos, a dramatic increase from its previous 15-second video capabilities. Furthermore, the social network is adding unique video features, such as slow-motion capabilities and video view counts, to the platform. Instagram has shown impressive growth over the last five years, but the good news for brands is that video content on the platform is just now taking off and showing incredible potential.

With Instagram’s focus shifting towards video, there’s no doubt it will become a leading video platform. Big brands are already taking note of the popularity of Instagram video and using it to reach their target audiences in creative, engaging, and value-adding ways. In fact, 40% of the top 1,000 most popular Instagram videos are actually from brands, not individuals.

Blab

There’s a new player in the live video streaming arena, and marketers are starting to get excited about the possibilities. Blab has a few nifty features that set it apart from apps like Meerkat and Periscope. Since it’s currently free to use, now is the perfect time to check it out. If you want to add live streaming to your video marketing strategy, Blab can be a great way to build your community.

Here are the reasons marketers are voting for Blab: Blab Live Stream Hosting Tips – You Are Not Alone

Facebook LIVE

Facebook introduced Live to Facebook profiles and pages.

Facebook is controlling the reach of Live broadcasts through the news feed ranking algorithm, as with all organic posts.

Regardless of whether you have or plan to use live streaming, you can still upload videos regularly to Facebook.

We recommend exploring ways to use Facebook Live through the lens of your business.

Create a balance between talking about your business and giving people a peek at who you are outside of work. It creates significantly more intimacy between you and your audience.

One of the great ways to use Facebook LIVE is to come up with “adventures” that would be of interest to your friends and followers. If you could take a group of friends with you somewhere, where would that be? It could be somewhere you go during downtime (to the beach or a concert) or else directly related to business.

Mark Zuckerberg takes people behind the scenes of Facebook in this Live video.

5 Rules for a Video to Go Viral

So many attempts at creating ‘viral videos’ fail, and usually for the same reasons. Here’s what I believe to be the key to creating a successful video.

1. It MUST Evoke Emotion
2. Tell a Story
3. It Should Portray Your Brand’s Image, Without Being Overly Promotional
4. You Must Have A Marketing Plan
5. Other Branding/Marketing Efforts Must Be In Place

Ultimately, the only reason you’re commissioning a video is because you want to see results, and there’s no point in forking out a hefty sum of money on video production if the rest of your marketing and operational efforts are out of whack. Let’s say your video is a huge success and you’re now getting thousands of new website visits every day, but you still have a cheap, 10-year old website with no online ordering system; you’ve probably just lost tonnes of customers and revenue.

Make sure your other marketing efforts are up to scratch so you’ll be able to maximize the return on your investment. Your video is likely to be near the top of your sales funnel, so if things aren’t in place further down the line, you’re likely to leak prospective buyers.

Marketers are excited about Social Media Video Marketing tools because they represents some of the best aspects of content marketing: they are designed to foster community, it’s easy to repurpose the content, and they allow for a true dialog between the brand and the audience.

The point of all these updates is that visual content is better for marketers, it is often preferred by users themselves, and it offers the perfect mix of snackable and actionable content for marketers who want to make an impact on the widest audience possible.

This year, deciding which videos to produce and how to get the most from them may be the toughest marketing decision of all.

But with the right planning and the right technology you can get the data to know when your strategies work and when you need to go back to the video studio.

Are you using Video Marketing to boost your business? Share with us how you grow your business with video marketing.

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How To Create A Viral Post That Expands Your Reach Exponentially?

Have you ever tried to create a viral post and failed miserably?

Every B2B marketer’s desire is to have their post go viral. The reality is, in B2B marketing,  it’s not that simple. Even if your post is super helpful and well written, it can get lost in the huge amount of content posted daily.

Enter the Social Media Management Giveaway to solve your content distribution problem

But what if you have access to right tools, partners and other resources?  Are you utilizing them to share your content? If not, you could be missing out on making everyone your company’s personal evangelist.

We have partnered with Oktopost to create a wonderful raffle for those in B2B marketing who want to amplify their reach.

Enter the Social Media Management Giveaway 

Register to WIN 3 months of FREE subscription to a Business plan of Oktopost – the leading social media management software for B2B marketers, valued $1800!

2nd prize: Practical, step-by-step marketing training on building your own online community: Create Your Own Profitable Online Business Platform, valued $97.

Increase your chance of winning by sharing a lucky link with your contacts and followers. You will get your personal lucky URL in the confirmation email after you enter the contest.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE!

How to win 3 months of FREE subscription to a Business plan of Oktopost – the leading social media management platform that is designed and built for B2B marketers:

  1. Answer the question below to enter the giveaway.
  • For every friend that you refer, you get 3 additional entries into the giveaway!
  • The more people you refer to sign up, the more chances you have to win $1800 in prize.

Here are three ideas about how you can get more entries:

  1. Get all your friends to enter. Just ask them. They want you to win!
  2. Email your list (even if it’s small your list it can produce legit results)
  3. Share your lucky URL link to the giveaway on Twitter and Facebook multiple times (so your followers have a chance to see it)

Are you ready to stop struggling with your Social Media management?

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY NOW AND WIN!

 

marketing brains and social media

How Marketing Brains React To Changes in Social Media

We all love changes. Changes are good! But only when these changes do not interfere with our habits, daily routines, and accustomed schedules. Exceptionally unsettling and worrying could be the changes in the workplace.

There is the neuroscience behind our dislike of changes and the way our brains work in the moments of uncertainty.

Fast Company has spoke with the leading neuroscientists and researches about what drives our behavior during moments of change and how best to handle it.

“The desire for clarity is consistent with an underlying drive for simplicity and sense-making,” write Carnegie Mellon researchers Russell Golman and George Loewenstein. “The aversion that people feel towards uncertainty is reflected in neural responses in the anterior cingulate cortex, the insula, and the amygdala. It manifests in physiological responses as well.”

So you can imagine what was going on in the brains of Online Marketers the previous week when all major Social Media channels were introducing changes and updates to the usual way they were working.

Seeking out information in the face of uncertainty is therefore a crucial way in which we can better adjust to change, says Hilary Scarlett, U.K.-based author of the new book Neuroscience for Organizational Change. “It’s these little missing bits of information that are distracting,” she says. “If you give people that information, it settles the brain.”

In this article, I will try to put those little pieces of information together so marketers can observe the whole scope of recent changes in the Social Media and digital marketing and understand how to handle it and even benefit from those changes.

Instagram News Feed Update

Instagram introduced feed algorithm to show best posts first: The new Instagram algorithm shifts the order of photos and videos in your feed, based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post.

These change brought a lot of buzz in the online community. Small companies, entrepreneurs, creative people who share their work on Instagram were very upset because they worry that their posts would be pushed down in feed by accounts with thousands followers and hundreds likes. The Instagram feed was full of disappointment posts and images:

Instagram algorythm update

A popular account @justmangobrown even made a film about it.
Don’t change our feeds @instagram ! Even smart CATS can see that a changing our feeds from chronological order is a bad idea!!! Volume UP!
instagram-cat

All this social public fuss resulted in new hashtags that are migrating from post to post.
#dontchangeinstagram #ripinstagram #saveinstagram #noalgorithms #petition #instafeedback #instagramfeedback #oursay #changeorg #beheard #supportsmallbusiness #keepinstagramthisway #iknowwhatilikemost #Instagramupdate

Twitter News Feed Update

Twitter’s new algorithmic timeline was heralded as the end of the service by many, but when it launched, it amounted to nothing more than the natural evolution of the prior ‘while you were away’ feature.

The algorithm now appears to be enabled by default across the social network, with users reporting that the company started turning it on it across the service as early as March 15.

Regardless, Twitter’s new algorithm is here to stay now that it’s enabled by default. If you want to disable it, you can head to your settings easily enough and change it.

Twitter-timeline-personalisation

Google Image Search Gets New Filter Buttons

Google launched filter buttons in various colors in image search, this feature is rolled out in several countries and coming to the others soon.

Google Image Search Update

With the new search options if you go to Google Image Search and search for any query, you see a carousel of colored buttons across the top of the search results page. Clicking on those buttons will filter the images by your selection. The filters can be colors, can be categories and so on.

Pinterest video ads

Your Pinterest experience is about to get richer and more interactive — with video ads, that is. Video ads have been a consideration for the company for a long time, with the launch of Cinematic Pins in May of 2015. A small group of users are being given the ability to test video ads already. The company is also testing the video ad product internally.

Sources are saying that the videos autoplay when a user stops scrolling over them. The ideal video length is still being determined.

The video ads will not replace Cinematic Pins and is meant to complement them.

What do you feel about changes in the Social Media and the way they work? Please share with us in the comments.

P.S. Do you find this information valuable? >> Click Here To Get The Latest B2B Marketing Resources & Guides From World’s Premier Brands – Our Knowledge Partners…it’s 100% FREE! >>

You can read the whole article about the interview of Fast Company with Hilary Scarlett here.

St-Valentine-Social-Media

New Ways to Fall in Love With Social Media

Whenever we start a new relationship, we don’t initially know what the future looks like, but have intentions for the best. Whether we’re developing a lifelong, loyal advocate or nurturing a potential soul mate, successful relationships are built on the foundations of trust, familiarity and respect.

Companies who can master the art of dating Social Media are well positioned to become the industry leaders.

While this sounds simple in concept, it is increasingly challenging for organizations and Social Media Managers, because the market is evolving so fast.

To help you to catch up with all the new updates in the Online Marketing and Social Media Worlds we have prepared for you this recap of the news.

Account Switching on Instagram

This week Instagram announced account switching. Now you can easily switch between multiple accounts without having to log out and log back in. Whether you’re a small business managing your personal and business account, a brand manager managing multiple brand accounts or an agency partner managing multiple client accounts, you can add up to five accounts with one login.

To get started, go to your profile settings and scroll down to Add Account. On the following screen, type in the username and password of the account you’d like to add. Repeat this step for each additional account you want to add. From there, tap your username at the top of your profile to switch between accounts. Once you have multiple accounts added, you’ll see your profile photo appear in places throughout the app so you can always tell which one you’re using at the moment.

Facebook Rolls Out Private Message Page Replies

Facebook released an update to Pages/Graph API which will allow a Page to reply to a comment on a post with a private message.

When a Page responds to a comment left on a post with a private message, a direct messaging session will be opened between the Page and the person who commented, and the message will include a link to the comment for reference. Also, the comment shows a note that the Page responded privately, so other Page visitors know that the request was handled. This provides businesses with another way to deliver great customer service on Facebook and the ability to respond to specific or personal questions in a private channel.

Google Decided Not To Provide SEO Certifications To Webmasters Or SEO Companies

Last week there was an interview with Gary Illyes from Google posted on YouTube, and it also discussed the SEO certification. Gary said that Google considered if they should add an SEO certification program and have decided not to do so.

Google does offer certification for AdWords, display ads, AdSense, Analytics, Google Apps, and the list goes on an on. But for SEO, Google will not be offering certification.

It seems the main reason is that Google doesn’t want to accept money from webmasters when it comes to the organic search results. Organic results are not based on paying Google, and if Google accepted money for certification, it would feel wrong, Gary implied. He also said that certification and training doesn’t scale well, and the organic search side of Google is all about scaling things.

So while Google has discussed SEO certification many times, each time they come back to the same outcome — that they will not provide SEO certification.

New Twitter Timeline Feature Gives Users Option to See Best Tweets First

Twitter shared a new timeline feature that helps you catch up on the best Tweets from people you follow.

First View helps marketers achieve significant audience reach with exclusive ownership of Twitter’s most valuable advertising real estate for a 24-hour period. When users first visit the Twitter app or log in to twitter.com, the top ad slot in the timelines will be a Promoted Video from that brand. Now, marketers can tell a powerful visual story across the Twitter audience.

What do you think about these new updates? Please share with us in the comments.

eGuide-marketing-resources

Marketing-Trends-2016

10 Game Changing Marketing Trends 2016

The marketing industry develops very fast. Each year, new software, new hardware, new companies, and new user preferences dictate a host of sweeping changes that either get adopted or ignored by the companies of the world. Early adopters get a leg up on the competition, appealing to new markets or cementing their reputations as industry leaders, while those lagging behind miss out on a key opportunity to retain their positions.

For marketers, it’s crucial to spend time reviewing data from 2015 and attending strategic planning meetings to build momentum for 2016. But it’s also important to consider marketing trends and forecasts that may impact your team’s plans.

2016 will be a great year for digital marketing, and we anticipate it refreshing up the game with these 10 latest marketing trends:

1. Mobile will completely dominate desktop

2015 was a big year for mobile—not only did Google announce that mobile traffic finally overtook desktop traffic in 10 different countries, it was also the year they released the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update to phase out sites not optimized for mobile.

But apparently, you don’t have to have an optimized desktop site in addition to a mobile version—according to Google, a mobile-only site with no desktop counterpart is perfectly acceptable. This alone won’t be enough to drive down desktop traffic, but it’s clear what side of the fence Google’s on; they’re banking on desktop traffic fading away, meaning the smart money rests on mobile-focused online marketing.

2. Search Past Search Engines

With Facebook already working on tests for its own search engine, it seems inevitable that search capabilities will go far beyond Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

As search capabilities improve within social media, brands will get an automatic boost. In addition, when buy buttons and payment messaging appear on social in 2016, an all-in-one-type platform will manifest (more convergence).

3. Personal Development

Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. One of the most important skills that modern professionals what to develop is Leadership. With appropriate study, humility and hard work, you can learn to lead effectively. If you want to be a great Marketer, you have to improve your leadership skills!

How can you do this?

You can start by analyzing your performance in specific areas of leadership. Join the Total Leadership Course Interest List today, and you will RECEIVE A QUIZ to identify where you already lead effectively, and to explore where your skills need further development.

If the results of the quiz indicate that your performance in specific areas of leadership requires improvement, you will get a chance to purchase the Total Leadership Course for a very low introductory price when it goes live next week.

4. Video ads will start dominating

Video ads are certainly nothing new, with social channels like YouTube dedicated to hosting billions of videos and advertising platforms like Facebook and Bing already offering advertisers video options.

2016 is set to be different because Google is finally getting on board with in-SERP video advertising. It’s a sign that users are becoming more accepting of video ads online, and as that trend continues, expect to see more types of video ads popping up in more unexpected places. With Google’s ownership of YouTube, the possibilities are virtually limitless.

5. E-Learning

The E-Learning market is growing at a staggering rate. And for good reason. If done right, E-Learning  can produce great results by decreasing costs and improving performance. Online courses ranging from business to technology to language learning are appearing almost daily.

It is very important to choose a trustworthy, professional provider that will bring value to you. Popular learning sites include Skillsoft, GlobalRisk Academy and Cornerstone, to name just a few.

Here are some of the advantages for learners of taking online courses.

  • Available 24/7 – learners can take courses at midnight if they wish, when they rather learn than sleep.
  • Flexible – learners can work at their own convenience wherever they are: in their office, at home or on the road.
  • Self-paced – learners can pick and choose what lessons they want to follow, skipping the easy ones and focusing on the more difficult ones.
  • Designed smartly – courses are created and produced to meet learner needs and keep them engaged.

6. The explosion of apps

Google has offered app indexing for a while, but as the ranking possibilities for apps become more complex, 2016 will be the year more business owners realize the online visibility advantages of a dedicated app. A mobile-optimized site works wonders for appealing to the mobile crowd, but soon, apps will begin to replace them.

Apps can do everything that websites can, except in more intuitive, convenient, accessible ways. While mobile websites aren’t going anywhere just yet, 2016 will be a turning point in the adoption of apps by business owners.

7. New optimization strategies

In the past, most online marketing strategies have relied on search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Now, digital assistants such as Siri and Cortana can be optimized to answer consumers’ questions.

In 2016, more and more business owners will be looking to ensure their business details can be easily found via virtual assistant rather than simply listing the information on the web.

8. Video will become a much bigger content platform

In 2015, as YouTube continued to dominate the web, video proved that it was a key player as a content platform. This goes to show that as the internet continues to advance, so will the ways that we consume content. While long form content, such as blogging, will always have its place as a content marketing medium, video is able to engage users at a much higher rate. In fact, studies have shown that visitors will stay on a site for two minutes longer if it has a video.

Google now includes video content in its search engine algorithm. This is a significant step for online video ads, because it shows users are finally accepting their existence and businesses are discovering their effectiveness.

9. Virtual reality will emerge

There are dozens of different virtual reality devices set to release in the next few years, some of which are dedicated for specific applications like video games, and others which are available for general use. Oculus Rift, arguably the most hyped VR device, is set to release in the first quarter of 2016.

Oculus Rift and other VR devices will introduce an entire new medium of online advertising, with integration to popular social media platforms, video channels, and even forms of direct messaging. There’s always a chance VR could fizzle as a temporary fad, but there are billions of dollars of funding in limbo, ready to bet otherwise.

10. Wearable technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to gain momentum

The Apple Watch, a first generation smartwatch, was released this year and competing smartwatches are scheduled to launch in 2016. Internationally, consumer uptake of wearables is expected to grow 35 percent per year between 2015 and 2019, which will have a large impact on marketing strategies.

Because the devices’ screens are so small web and app content should be shorter, favoring a “listicle” format over a traditional article format. Wearables also require online marketers to think about how to best provide “on-the-go” information, as well as create content that is easily searchable via voice commands.

What game changing marketing trends 2016 can you name? Please share with us in the comments below.

P.S. Do you find this information valuable? >> Click Here To Get The Latest B2B Marketing Resources & Guides From World’s Premier Brands – Our Knowledge Partners…it’s 100% FREE! >>

 

grow-email-list

Ten Easy Ways to Manage and Grow Your Email List

Email list building, grow your email list, how to amp up your email list growth –  these challenges are very well known to every modern marketer.

Email marketing: it’s the most powerful tool in your communications and customer-conversion toolbox. And although creative and engaging emails may be important once a recipient opens your message, your email program’s key asset is your subscriber list. If you don’t have a framework to collect, manage, and support new opt-ins, you’re only halfway there.

Here are 10 proven ways to entice and attract new subscribers in order to grow your email list.

  1. Add a lightbox form to your site. Usually companies experience a 99% increase in subscriber growth after adding a pop-over opt-in form.
  1. Create an amazing, value-packed opt-in incentive: a full-length eGuide or white paper.

  1. Offer the webinar recording as an opt-in incentive: Make signing up a requirement for downloading or viewing the recording.
  1. Create multiple offers on your site to improve your segmentation: Offer several different opt-in incentives for different segments of your audience. This will increase the number of people who sign up, and improve the relevance of the emails you send to your subscribers.
  1. Make the “What’s in it for me?” crystal clear.
  1. Offer an exclusive subscriber-only discount and promote it on social media.
  1. Mention an influential Twitter user in your newsletter, and then tweet about it: Hopefully that influencer will then retweet it to his or her followers.
  1. Add a sign-up form to your Facebook Page.
  1. Hold a contest, and make joining your list a contest requirement.
  1. Make the sign-up as quick and painless as possible: Use a sign-up form rather than a link to a sign-up form, wherever possible. Every additional step you incorporate into the process is one more chance to lose your subscriber.

TIP: Ask for an email anywhere: website, order form, phone, customer orders,  Social Media, in person, etc.

8 steps to manage your email list:

Through these eight simple-to-follow, well-defined steps, you create and manage your opt-in list—whether you’re starting from scratch or simply improving your existing email marketing program.

  1. Establish permission standards by identifying desired data you’d like to gather for your database and by selecting appropriate opt-in protocols.
  2. Identify your email program’s value for targeted potential contacts and articulate the key benefits of opting in to your list.
  3. Centralize preferences by creating an opt-in management center for list members that provides and records member data and permission details.
  4. Define your resources, determine your technology and staff needs, and allocate assets for storing, accessing, and managing your list.
  5. Map a plan for growing list opt-ins, including the degree of permission for each, and your quantity and quality goals by source.
  6. Validate opt-in addresses, beginning with selecting the data-verification processes for deliverable, accurate email addresses.
  7. Create rules for list usage, frequency of contact, and delivery; plus, plan a process for handling bounces.
  8. Develop a plan for list maintenance and governance, including a regular data-hygiene schedule for your list.

Which methods do you use to glow your email list? What have you used for your own site to attract email subscribers? We’d love to hear from you.

P.S. If you liked this post, you might enjoy our newsletter. Receive each new post delivered right to your inbox, plus our can’t-miss weekly alert of the marketer’s best reads. Sign up here and get The Best Marketing Resources Guide for free!

how-to-build-online-community

How to Build the Online Community that Brings Profit

Want to build an online community? When you understand the power of the online community, you’re bound to answer “yes”!

Building an online community will help your business reach hundreds or thousands of acting as motivated contributors. So it is not only a source of innovation and inspiration for marketing. Online communities can benefit your company in many ways:

Control of your Data and Customer Experience

Building niche online communities means that you will be in control of the communication and relationship with your customers.  Besides that, the data generated by your community will be just yours, and not available to your competitors.

Develop Customers as Brand Advocates

An online community can be used to create a program of brand ambassadors, and add customers who are brand advocates systematically through word-of- mouth. A positive comment about a brand is more reliable coming from a “consumer like me” than a TV commercial.

Increase Customer Loyalty

Online adult audiences, who want to stay in touch with your brand, are three times more likely to visit your website than following it on Facebook. Both, B2B and B2C industry companies found in branded communities a greater opportunity to create more loyalty and lifetime customer value than through social networks like Facebook or Twitter.

Also read: The Top 10 Social Media Sites For Business

Community Engagement Leads to Event Attendance

Engaged online community members are more likely to attend, in-person events, expos and workshops as well as online webinars and virtual conferences.

Contribution to Brand Equity

What are the image attributes you would like be associated with your brand? A vibrant online community can help. Starbucks followers are good example of that.

Increasing Sales

When people are researching their options for services or products, usually they intend to visit the website of the brand. The inclusion of ratings and reviews on your website can generate more sales. By adding a Q & A or a customer community on your website, you can generate more sales opportunities with new customers and more satisfaction among existing customers.

The combination of increased internet and mobile usage and explosion of online content brings the question: ”Of the many ways to grow my brand online, which should I choose?”

Building community is a wise investment to develop your business in your start-up stages and for established companies.

Finally it is time for companies to focus their efforts and social marketing strategies on what really works to attract and engage customers. Do you have experience in building your own online community? What are the strengths, challenges and actions that work and do not work?

In this webinar,

Niche Online Communities Are The Next Disruption and How Marketers Can Profit From This Trend

Boris Agranovich, the founder of GlobalRisk Academy, is sharing his ideas about the future developments in the B2B online community space. He provides the insights on building a community ecosystem, and tells how to drive engagement and how to monetize your social network based on his own experience and the proven results of building and successfully managing GlobalRisk Community of more than 20,000 professionals.

Watch this webinar for free:   WATCH NOW

built-community-webinar

From this webinar you learn about a proven process How to Build the Online Community that Brings Profit from scratch.

The webinar was recorded some time ago and it is amazing to see how those predictions came true by 2015. Check it out for yourself and share with us in the comments what do you think is true nowadays and which of the insights and methods, revealed in the webinar, are yet to come.