6 Slick Techniques for Using LinkedIn for B2B Marketing

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You’ve heard the conventional LinkedIn marketing advice:

  • Participate in groups
  • Post updates
  • Write posts

…And supposedly the leads are going to come streaming in. Now, those are no doubt helpful things to do.

But you need a system that actually works to consistently deliver you highly qualified leads.

Here’s what to do (thanks to Jeff Haden for tips 1-4):

  1. Take 1 Minute Each Day to Post an Update

…And that’s it! Set a timer if you have to. Otherwise, you’ll waste too much time trying to find the right thing to say.

  1. Share the Good News about Your Prospects

Use “@theirusername” to make sure they get notice of your mention. Do it when their company makes the news, or something good happens in their professional life.

Limit yourself to 1 minute daily for this task too.

  1. Write Recommendations and Give Endorsements

With recommendations, those keep you permanently top-of-mind. Just make sure they’re legitimate.

Don’t connect with someone you just met and then immediately recommend them. They’ll see through your insincerity.

Endorsements don’t build as much goodwill. But, they’re a nice ego boost that bring you to the top of your prospect’s mind.

 

Do this just 5 minutes each day.

  1. Connect with People You Meet During Your Business Day

Don’t just hit “connect” left and right to see who you can connect with. Do it with people you’ve actually met.

Anyone you meet during your business day is a potential connection. Take just 5 minutes each day to do this.

  1. Personalize Every Connection Invitation

Treating prospects like numbers turns them off. You give them the idea they’re a number when you leave the connection request to be “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

Most people won’t respond to that. Those that do don’t likely won’t be interested in you or what you have to offer.

Instead, scan the person’s profile. Look for anything you and your potential connection share. If you can, mention something you find interesting about that person that’s not related to work. That stands out to them.

  1. Make it Clear You’re Looking for Leads on Your Profile

And state precisely what types of leads you want to find. So if you help small business and startups market their services, say that’s what you’re after.

This takes just 15-30 minutes and you only have to do it once.

So that’s a simple system for attracting more leads from LinkedIn. Don’t deviate from it – or whatever you design. You don’t want to fall into the trap of letting LinkedIn consume all your time.

Twitter & Google Work Out Deal to Index Tweets

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With user growth slowing, Twitter is now becoming open to new revenue generation ideas. For the past 3 ½ years, Google has had to crawl Twitter, index the Tweets, and then list them in the SERPs. That could be a days, weeks, or months long process.

Previous to that, Google would immediately index Tweets. No one knows why the two companies let the deal come to an end. Rumors do indicate that Twitter was ready to try monetizing without Google in the mix. But regardless, the deal did end, and for whatever reason, it was never renewed.

Since then, Twitter’s gone public. And with user growth slowing, they’ve been looking for more sources of revenue. So this deal with Google seems to be a natural fit. There is no specific timeframe for the deal to complete, but current talk says it should happen sometime during the first 6 months of this year.

Interestingly, Google was the very last company Twitter struck this deal with. It already had similar deals in place with Bing and Yahoo. In fact, if you search someone’s Twitter handle on Bing, several of their recent Tweets pop up right beneath their handle.

While Twitter gets more reach and monetization out of the deal, Google gets greater relevance on mobile devices. And it’s also less likely Google ever tries to buy out Twitter.

What Does This Deal Mean for Small Businesses?

This opens up an opportunity for small businesses. If Tweets get indexed immediately, there’s potential to drive business right away through Twitter.

For example, think about what would happen if your product or service solves a local problem happening right now. There could be flooding in your area. If you do flood cleanup, you could Tweet that out and get indexed in Google right away.

The same goes for talk shows, holidays, or special events happening around town. You can make their publicity yours. What you could do is only really limited to your creativity.

We’re not saying it’s the next big thing. But it could be another useful tool in your bag of marketing techniques.

Will Ello be the End of Facebook?

With 1.23 billion active monthly users, Facebook is far and away the most popular social network.

Do you remember MySpace? It was the big guy until Facebook took over.

And can you remember the days when Yahoo! was the dominant search engine?

Every giant gets slain sometime, and it happens rapidly in the tech world.

Now Ello Enters the Arena

Whether Ello overtakes Facebook or not is yet to be seen. And its founder, Paul Budnitz (from Vermont), didn’t even design it to compete with Facebook.

He did dub it the “anti-Facebook” because it would not have ads and would never sell user data. It was only intended for 90 of Paul’s friends, but it now gets more than 31,000 requests per hour from people who want to join!

If only all business ideas worked that way…

Now if you look at Ello, it’s actually very simplistic.

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Budnitz does not like Facebook because he considers it an advertising platform. He believes everything on the site is done to help advertisers make and spend money.

So how will Ello’s business model work?

Budnitz plans to restrict access to certain features until users pay.

It’s a new way for social networks to make money because they’re traditionally based on the free-for-user-pay-for-advertisers revenue model.

Will the free market choose to stay with the more popular Facebook, or will it slowly show a preference for Ello?

Hard to say.

Why You Might Like Ello

It does have some cool and innovative features. But, the real point of this social network is to keep things as minimalistic as possible.

Here are a few things it does:

  1. Opt Out of Usage Tracking

Ello uses Google Analytics to anonymously track your usage activity. Every other major social network forces you to provide this data – but Ello lets you opt out.

  1. Categorize content as “Friends” or Noise

You can check the “Friends” tab, which lets you see posts from anyone – you guessed it – who’s a friend. But then there’s a completely separate “Noise” tab where you can see content you’re less interested in. Facebook forces you to see both types.

  1. Hide Your Identity

The Ello Facemaker tool, which may not work at the time of this writing, lets you post the Ello logo on your face. Paul Budnitz likes the idea of making social networks more anonymous, so you can do this at Ello.

Ello is in Beta

You have to get invited in, but people are entering in droves. Regardless of what happens in the future, it will be interesting.

Facebook Puts the Slam Down on Click-Baiting

You know what click-baiting is? Simply put, it’s just another form of “viral marketing.”

You see, some media companies write posts and articles that offer little information up front. So, you have to click through on the article title to get the full story.

This is an example of click bait:

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You’ve also seen articles with phrases like, “You won’t believe what happens next!” and, “What this guy does is amazing!”

Why Do Some Companies Do This?

Well, there’s the obvious benefit of more clicks on those posts. But what they’re really after is the high engagement signals those clicks give. The better the engagement rate, the more likely future posts from these companies will display higher up in Facebook user’s feeds.

Thankfully Facebook Sees Click Bait as Gaming the System!

Since the real goal was to get more engagement and more posts higher in user’s feeds, the content behind these articles disappointed users more than anything else. They become so frequent that users were not able to see the content they actually wanted.

Facebook wanted some real data on the issue, so it surveyed its users. And it found 80% wanted link headlines that accurately described the high-quality content on the other side of the link.

No one’s sure if this has actually been implemented into Facebook yet, but it will no doubt be a major part of their algorithm in the coming months.

How Does Facebook Detect Click Bait?

It’s actually not too difficult. Facebook’s going to examine the time users spend away from their site after clicking a link. If that’s several minutes, they found interesting, useful content. If it’s a few seconds, it’s likely the link was click bait.

Another thing Facebook will look at is the ratio of people clicking compared to people sharing the content and discussing it. If there’s lots of shares, it’s probably good stuff. If there’s not, it was probably click bait.

What Should You Do?

Now, you are probably not engaging in any sort of “click bait” type of practice.

But what this Facebook algorithm update does is force you to deliver on the promise of your link. Whatever you have on the other side of that link must be your very best content.

Facebook is doing exactly what Google and the whole rest of the world does: focusing on giving you more value.

Whenever you think of internet marketing, you should focus on providing the greatest value available on the web.

Do that and your marketing takes care of itself, regardless of algorithm changes! Remember, focus on people and building relationships, not pleasing algorithms.

Why You Never Rely on Just a Single Digital Marketing Tactic

MyBlogGuest, one of the largest websites that matched guest bloggers to websites, recently got a huge penalty from Google.

There’s two sides to the issue: Google claims this website uses unnatural linking practices. The site, and any websites associated with it (thousands of them), got a nasty penalty from Google. On the other hand, owner Ann Smarty said that all participating sites meet Google’s linking guidelines because the links are “editorially reviewed.”

Regardless of what she thinks, Google has all the rule-making power, and it decided to make this happen. Many believe Google is simply using this situation as one to make an example of that they are serious about penalizing websites that abuse guest blogging.

We don’t know what the truth of the situation is, but it does demonstrate a point: never put all your digital marketing efforts into a single basket.

Unfortunately, Google Can Change the Rules Whenever It Wants

For the most part, Google has made the web a more interesting, valuable, and less spammy place. But it’s still far from perfect. Some sites (large and small) get penalized when they shouldn’t. A single algorithm change like Panda 4.0 could wipe out 80-90% of your organic traffic, literally bankrupting your business overnight.

What mix of digital marketing is right? It depends on your company. Check out a few different digital marketing methods to learn how you can diversify your digital marketing efforts:

  1. Organic SEO

This one’s still the bread and butter. And once you get it working and you start landing leads from the internet, it has an exceptional ROI. However, if you get penalized (justifiably or not), you can throw away years of work, thousands of dollars, and 90% of your business in a heartbeat.

  1. PPC

Paid search is the best way to get leads now. Just about every business should be doing it in addition to organic SEO.

However, you have to monitor costs carefully, as they can skyrocket out of control in a flash. But, PPC is a great way to get leads in the door within a few weeks, and Google never penalizes it.

  1. Social Media

Growing social profiles is tricky and time consuming. However, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are a must. And, they add a nice source of business if you aren’t already highly diversified with your online marketing efforts.

  1. E-mail List Building

This one can rise or fall with the success or failure of your organic search marketing efforts. But, if you have a nice-sized list, that’s a good hedge against a Google penalty if you get one.

So that’s why you never rely on a single digital marketing tactic. And now you have some insurance if things go wrong.

How to Increase Authority

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In our final post in the technical SEO audit series, we’ll discuss how to increase your website’s authority. You should care about this metric because the higher it is, the better your site ranks. Remember, you can check yours at http://www.opensiteexplorer.org

The top authority signals a technical SEO audit checks for include:

  1. Links. These are the number one off-site authority signal, and they will stay that way for some time. And out of all search ranking factors, links are most likely the strongest.

Over the years, Google has significantly changed how links impact your search rankings. 5-7 years ago, you could have links from any random website pointing to yours, and you would get some benefit.

But then some SEOs learned how to spam links, helping low-quality websites rank highly. This practice actually still happens.

Today, Google wants links that are not “built,” but instead require some sort of editorial review process by the other site owner. Good links come from other sites with high levels of authority. Those sites should be topically related to yours. And the text on the link should match your keywords precisely in less than 5% of all instances.

For example, a not-so-good link would come from an internet forum or article directory. A great link to your plumbing website comes from a blog post at a respected DIY website.

If you have a wide-scale effort of links with the exact same anchor text pointing to your website from a number of other websites, Google suspects you of trying to manipulate the search rankings. To you, this means you’re at high risk for a penalty.

It also matters who you link to. Google figures reputable websites link to other reputable websites. And, all valuable sites on the web would do this to some extent. So, it is a good practice to occasionally link out to other authorities in your niche.

  1. Content. Every page of content, and blog post, should include keywords relevant to your service offering. Google prefers websites that offer fresh content. You should publish at least one blog post per month. More is better, but only post when you have valuable information to offer.

Google will crawl and index your website more often, and rank it higher, if you regularly create content. Eventually, Google wants “thick” websites with 25, 50, 75, 100 pages or even more at the top of its rankings.

The figuring is that websites who publish content regularly like that are likely to be more established players in their field and more valuable to their target audiences. And Google’s probably right on that.

  1. Social shares. There’s actually some debate on this one. Matt Cutts recently released a video saying social shares are not a ranking factor. On the other hand, Moz conducted a thorough study in late summer of last year that found a high correlation between website rankings and the number of Google +1s they had. Correlation does not mean causation, but it’s enough strong evidence to make you wonder what’s really going on.

Regardless, the more followers and social shares you have, the better. Even if social shares aren’t a ranking factor, you at least have a good platform for promoting your content and getting more people linking to it.

So those are the main authority signals, and you want to get as many links, produce as much quality content, and get as many social shares as possible. A technical SEO audit checks to make sure you are doing this in a natural, Google-safe way. Just keep in mind that your overarching goal should be to contribute value to the web, and not to manipulate your search rankings.

You can do deceptive things like purchasing 1000s of Facebook followers, but that does you no good because they don’t care about your company and won’t share your content or purchase from you.

Hope this clears up the muddy waters of technical SEO audits for you!