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Inbound Marketing Age

Is Twitter still a viable B2B marketing tool in 2020?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  7, November, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a podcast last month, marketing gurus Neil Patel and Eric Siu raised the question:

Should you even use Twitter in 2020?

Discussing whether Twitter is still worth it from a marketing perspective, they mused that while Twitter posts don’t always result in significant amounts of traffic to a brand's website, the quality of traffic it does attract is really high, particularly in the B2B realm.

They also considered Twitter’s value as an engagement tool, concluding that the micro-interactions between brand and potential customers is very powerful, and difficult to replicate in the same way on other social media platforms.

The conclusion was yes, marketers should still be using Twitter in 2020. But it came with a caveat. To make it worthwhile, they considered that brands need to be taking a more thoughtful and strategic approach to their Twitter activity.

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Instagram marketing - is it right for your B2B business?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  16, August, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Instagram. Whether you love it or loathe it, it's more than just an app for taking photos of your food. But is it right for your social media strategy?

We’re all familiar with the benefits of social media marketing. More exposure for your business, increased traffic and leads, improved sales, developing loyal fans, and so on.

Common sense would argue that if you want to generate awareness of your brand, then the more social media platforms you infiltrate, the better.

On the other hand, could you be better off putting your efforts into one or two social media platforms that are the best fit for your business, and not worrying about the others?

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Why you need to be writing online content like a journalist

Written by Eric Swain  |  9, May, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published in June 2014.

A few years back, I spoke to Anna Lawlor, who at the time was the writer and director of Social i Media, who offered some fascinating insights into why writing and thinking like a journalist can give content creators a real edge. Anna is now co-founder and Head of Content & PR at Luminescence Communications Ltd, a company specialising in creating high quality communications for professional services.

What Anna had to say back in 2014 still rings true today, and she offers some interesting thoughts on how content marketers should be thinking like journalists.

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Which types of blog posts get shared the most on social media?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  25, February, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

New research published last week by Backlinko has revealed some interesting insights into the types of blog posts that garner the most shares on social media.

Backlinko analysed 912 blog posts, looking at how things like content format, word count, and headlines correlate with social media shares.

We delved into the findings.

So, which types of blog posts are most shareable?

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11 social media writing hacks

Written by Nicola Risi  |  21, January, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Social media has solidified its reputation as a viable B2B marketing tool.

Rather than the fun, leisurely pastime it once was, it is now prolific in the digital marketing space and has been adopted by major business brands looking to take full advantage of the opportunities it offers.

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Social Media 2019: what are the trends?

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  7, January, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As a B2B marketer, you already have a strategy in place when it comes to social media - you may even have established a social media policy for your workplace. But the goalposts are always changing.

So what challenges will 2019 bring?

New opportunities

Last year there were several announcements that promised to affect social media marketing in 2019, for example:

  • LinkedIn Dynamic Ads will enable you to personalise the content in paid ads and automate individualised campaigns at scale. 66% of B2B marketers used paid methods to distribute content in 2018, so this development is sure to make waves.
  • Snapchat announced a partnership with Amazon to offer a "visual search" shopping experience directly from the Snapchat app. There are likely to be improvements in image recognition technologies that will open up the potential for multimedia search. This will shake up SEO tactics.
  • Twitter brought back the chronological News Feed format.
  • Pantone revealed the colour of the year: Living Coral. Visual media trends continue to favour the bright, cheerful, pale and pure.

And that's not all.

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How to grow your reach with social media marketing

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  29, November, 2018  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

Social media platforms connect businesses with prospects and existing customers. They paint a picture of your audience's needs, spread your brand message and inform future marketing goals.

And, with social media marketing, you can position your product or service right in front of the very people who need it. Sounds great! But how can you gain more reach?

Revisit your buyer personas

Growing an audience is one of the biggest challenges for businesses on social media.

Think about your channels. What’s really in it for your followers? Unless you are creating content that genuinely delights, people won’t be prepared to follow or subscribe. 

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How to use Instagram stories to generate leads

Written by Nicola Risi  |  24, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

To date, there are 25 million business profiles on Instagram.

70% of Instagram users use the platform to check out a brand they’re considering and 35% check their feeds multiple times a day.

On top of that, 400 million people use Instagram stories daily and one in five organic stories from businesses gets a direct message.

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Social Media Pros and Cons: The Top 10

Written by Keith Errington  |  21, September, 2018  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

Over the past ten years or so, we’ve seen social media move from being an early adopter’s marketing experiment to a tried and trusted channel for both B2C and B2B marketing.

But that doesn’t mean you should rush in and use it without thought – like any communications medium it has its benefits and its drawbacks.

And like any marketing medium, there are things it’s great for, things it’s not good for, and things it should never be used for.

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Generation Z: Ushering in a new age

Written by Aidan Swain  |  3, September, 2018  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

Until recently, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials have been the target demographics for most modern businesses when marketing their services/products.

However, businesses should consider the purchasing power and the burgeoning influence of another: Generation Z. Generally considered to include people born between 1996 and 2014, they are the rising demographic armed with an economic force to be reckoned with. So, turn your attention to the effects of the youngest generation of consumers. Many B2C and B2B businesses have already started.

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8 tips for promoting your blog posts on social media

Written by Katie Hughes  |  16, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

94% of content marketers are using social media as part of their strategy. And for good reason - 54% of buyers use social media to research potential vendors and solutions.

But social media is a crowded space, and the challenge is getting your content heard above the noise.

To really illustrate this point, here are some stats about what happens on social media every minute;

  • 448,800 tweets are published
  • 3.3 million Facebook posts are published
  • 65,972 photos are uploaded on Instagram
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How to stop Facebook algorithm changes affecting your business page

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  9, August, 2018  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

Facebook has been getting a pretty tough time of late in the media and the courtroom. Fake news, scandals and security breaches meant its reputation took a battering.

In January 2018, Facebook's algorithm changed drastically to prioritise posts that create meaningful conversations and interactions, especially between friends and family.

Great news for Joe Public, but not so great for businesses looking to gain new customers via Facebook marketing.

The new algorithm makes it much harder for business pages to get seen unless you have a very engaged audience who frequently like, comment and share your social posts.

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How to use social media to grow a B2B business

Written by Keith Errington  |  15, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For the vast majority of people in the world, social media is an everyday part of their lives.

Here in the UK, 66% of the population are active on social media; in January 2018 that was 44 million people.

And, that figure is still rising, and is up 5% on the previous year.

We all know what a major part the big social apps such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn play in many people’s personal and private lives – the average time spent on social in January 2018 was nearly two hours a day.

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Photo album inspiration for social marketing on Facebook

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  13, June, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Today, images are a priority when it comes to bulletproof content marketing strategies. Visual content tends to generate more engagement than written content - partially because pictures are so memorable, easy to consume and easy to share. They are perfect for sharing a message that sticks.

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How to use social listening to shape your B2B buyer personas

Written by Nicola Risi  |  13, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Social listening is the act of analysing conversations that take place on social platforms involving a specific brand or industry.

Not to be confused with social media monitoring, social listening allows brands to hone in on their target audience’s most common frustrations, challenges and values, extracting key insights that help design a more appealing content offering.

Perfectly described by Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights, “Monitoring sees trees; listening sees the forest.”

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How to master social monitoring, and the tools you need

Written by Keith Errington  |  2, March, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Most businesses now appreciate the importance of social media to promote content and to create engagement.

However, many take a reactive stance, just publishing content and then responding to any engagement that occurs.

But what if you want to go further than this?
What if you want to find out what people are saying?
Where they are saying it, and respond in a proactive approach?

Then you need to consider the many benefits of social monitoring and social listening.

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Instagram marketing for business. What you need to know.

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  15, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As discussed in a previous post, Instagram marketing is a real opportunity for B2B. In 2017, 70.7% of US Businesses Are Using Instagram, compared to 48.8% in 2016.

People follow businesses on Instagram to get a behind-the-scenes look at what they are up to. They want to be shown your products, but also want a glimpse into everyday life.

If you want to use Instagram for business but are unsure how to get the most from the channel here are some tips.

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Why social media training is important in B2B marketing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  2, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Social is something of an anomaly in that it is one of the few marketing tools that embraces both our personal and business lives. This could lull you into a false sense of knowledge and security by assuming your staff know how to ‘do social’, and therefore no formal social media training is required.

However, B2B social is very different to your personal social. And in an increasingly overcrowded space having a clear social strategy is crucial. Without a clear strategy, how can you measure your outcomes? And without formal social media training, how do your staff know how to behave?

Here is a guide to training your staff to use social media for business.

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How to tackle B2B Instagram marketing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  17, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

As the popularity of inbound marketing soars so does the competition for audience. In a crowded marketplace, it is getting harder to stand out, and it seems every month a new marketing tool or platform is being launched.

One platform that is rising in the ranks is Instagram.

It is quite staggering to think that in 2012, Instagram had 50 million monthly active users. Now, it has 700 million.

That’s an increase of 1,400% in just five years.

Why? Because it is visual. Language barriers are not an issue. Facebook owns it - and they know a thing or two about social, and it is almost exclusively a mobile platform.

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5 myths of B2B social media for manufacturing

Written by Andrea Blades  |  13, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Social media can play a vital role in marketing for manufacturing, demonstrating your authority within your industry and connecting you with prospects who are looking to buy.

But how can you be sure that you're devoting your company's valuable time and resources to the social media platforms that are going to be the most beneficial for your business?

In this blog post, we debunk five myths that may be standing between you and your B2B social media success.

1) We need to have a presence on ALL social media platforms

Time is precious so don’t waste it focusing your efforts on social media platforms that aren’t connecting with your prospects and bringing you tangible returns. Far better is to find which channels your prospects are active on and focus your efforts on them.

Think about your buyer personas. What are their challenges or pain points? Where do they tend to search for information? And what sources of information are they likely to find most useful? Considering these key questions will help you to position yourself where you can achieve the most engaging presence.

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How to leverage LinkedIn for Professional Services Marketing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  13, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The professional services industry has traditionally relied on referrals to fuel business growth. Trust and good relationships are created and built upon through hours of networking and recommendations from current clients. However, while word-of-mouth is still an effective tool, it is no longer enough on its own.

With 64% of the UK’s population of over 65 million active on social media spending an average of 108 minutes a day on one or more social networks, you can’t ignore social as an essential way to connect with people and businesses (Keith Herrington).

But, get social wrong, and it can cause more damage than good to your reputation and your business. Your strategy for social needs to cascade down from smart goals set out in your professional services marketing strategy. Here are some tips to maximise the potential of LinkedIn for your professional services firm:

FREE Checklist: Your common sense guide to getting posts right on social

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Marketing Manufacturing: 4 things you need to know about social

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  29, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Social media is seen as a necessary evil by many marketers; with billions of users “live” on these networks worldwide, you need to participate to maintain and expand your audience. If you don’t, you are likely to get leapfrogged by your competition. Content Marketing Institute shows that 85% of manufacturers were using social media content as a marketing manufacturing tactic.

However, it is not enough to have a presence, in fact a neglected or poorly managed social channel can be more damaging than no social at all. Social media takes time and every business knows that time is money. But it also requires thought. If you do jump in without thinking through the consequences, not only will you waste precious time, but you
 may end up doing damage to your organisation’s reputation and bottom line.

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Social Media for SaaS: What you need to know

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Out of all the digital marketing channels available to you, social media is probably the most hyped yet least understood of them all. If well executed, with a solid strategy behind it, social can be a powerful marketing tool for a SaaS company. 

Social media is unlike other marketing channels in that it is not just for marketing; it is more of a two-way conversation and not just a means of distributing content. For SaaS companies, this is a strength and advantage over other channels.

But what can you use it for, and how can you make the most of it?

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Pros and Cons of using the top 7 social media networks for B2B

Written by Keith Errington  |  5, May, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

With 64% of the UK’s population of over 65 million active on social media – spending an average of 108 minutes a day on one or more social networks – you can’t ignore social as an essential way to connect with people and businesses.

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What are 2017's B2B social media marketing challenges?

Written by Keith Errington  |  25, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It seems in 2017 the one thing we can be certain of is change. Nowhere is this felt more than in the areas of your business that are reliant on, or intricately tied to, technology. Marketing, in particular, has become more centred around technology in recent years and has been undergoing radical change.

And perhaps the most changeable digital channel for marketing is social media, which is more relevant than ever to B2B businesses. A 2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey shows that more than half (53 percent) of B2B buyers are turning to social media to make buying decisions and more than a third (34 percent) say they are spending more time this year than last, using social media to research vendors and solutions.

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8 proven ways a content writer can get buyers to engage online

Written by Keith Errington  |  29, September, 2016  |  2 Comments  Subscribe

Just recently AOL published the results of an impressive study into what drives engagement with content in social media. This study encompassed 32,000 respondents and an analysis of 55,000 consumer interactions across eight different markets – a pretty generous sampling that gives the survey some real validity. If you are a content writer, take note!

But this is consumer social media, you may be thinking, what can B2B marketers learn from this?

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6 ways to connect online with potential customers

Written by Keith Errington  |  8, August, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

One of the hardest tasks any company faces is finding and connecting with potential customers, then nurturing those initial contacts until they become actual customers. The development of new marketing channels, the revolution in customer knowledge, and the subsequent changing demands of the customer have made this task simultaneously easier and more challenging. 

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Social media - pros and cons for professional services marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  18, May, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Professional services marketing is not immune to the broader changes transforming the marketing techniques of the current generation of marketers. In every sector, marketing has changed. Older techniques, such as advertising, direct mail, flyers and trade shows, are not producing the same results they did in the past and are proving expensive and uneconomical. And while some traditional techniques, such as business networking, are still delivering new clients, they are time-consuming and require a physical presence that limits their scope and range.

So the newer channels of digital marketing – social media, opt-in newsletters, blogging and the like – are becoming the most effective way for any business to reach new and existing clients.

But these new marketing opportunities are not without their pitfalls; social media, in particular, is a potential minefield for the professional services firm. And even some of the biggest of corporates can get it wrong.  But we know that high-growth professional services firms focus more on social media than average growth firms. So in this post, we will look at the social media pros and cons for professional services marketing.

FREE Checklist: Your common sense guide to getting posts right on social

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How to perform your own social media evaluation

Written by Keith Errington  |  2, February, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

More than any other communications channel, social media is subject to change – often fast and unpredictable change. As an important part of any Inbound Marketing strategy, it is essential that your use of social media is evaluated on a regular basis. Not only to ensure that your implementation is up to date with the latest techniques and technical changes, but also remains fully aligned with your overall Inbound Marketing strategy.

Profile pages

Start with the basics – are your profile pages up to date?

Circumstances change and so do company logos, colours and corporate messages. So check that all your social media profile pages are up to date with the latest company information and branding.

The format of images and backgrounds on profile pages can change too, check that everything works with any changes that the social networks have introduced. Most of the major social media channels have changed their image sizes or added images – if you don’t keep up with these changes you may be in danger of having an unsightly blank area on your profile.

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7 checks for sharing B2B content on social media

Written by Keith Errington  |  14, October, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A fundamental part of social media for B2B inbound marketing is sharing others' content - providing useful information to your readership, followers, clients and potential customers. So how do you go about it and what should you be looking for?

The first thing to do is to get a decent search routine going. If you are using HubSpot, the Monitoring section has a facility to search Twitter for key terms, which is a good starting point and should give you some articles to consider for sharing.

I like to supplement this with a couple of other programs. One of my favourites is Feedly, which makes it very easy to create streams of constantly updating articles. You can use it to search for subjects - it will then lists blogs covering those topics and allow you to subscribe to the ones you choose. Adding a blog feed is easy - you don’t have to know anything about RSS or even locate the RSS feed, Feedly finds it for you and adds it to your subscriptions.

On the tablet, I also like FlipBoard, as it’s very visual and makes searching for shareable B2B content a lot more enjoyable - almost like looking through a magazine on your favourite business subjects.

So what sort of content should you be looking for, and what criteria should you be using when considering sharing it with your audience?

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