Vesta Digital Blog

Posts Tagged ‘b2b

social bookmarkingSocial bookmarking is becoming more and more useful as consumers turn to the web to find information on products and services. It is the process of saving web pages to a public web site and tagging them with keywords.

Any visitor can search for their topic of interest at a bookmarking website using keywords, names of people, popularity ratings, and so on.

According to the 2010 Social Media Marketing Report, social bookmarking is the number one social media tool marketers want to know more about. A reported 61% of marketers wanted to learn more about sites like del.icio.us and how they can be used to help reach their audiences.

Small business owners and B2B marketers were more interested in social bookmarking tools than others surveyed, according to the report.

Why does it work?

Social bookmarking is an easy way to aggregate and categorize resourceful information. It is also extremely effective for disseminating information about your product or service to your consumer audience.

Because the person who bookmarks the page has the authority to tag it with specific keywords, anyone who searches for those keywords will be exposed to that page. This is especially effective when distributing blog posts out to the web.

Also, once a person sees a bookmark, he or she has access to seeing the other bookmarked resources tagged by the person who created it. This allows for social connections, online conversation, word of mouth marketing, and the quick and easy dissemination of information.

Why should you use it?

If you are a small business owner it is important for you to at least experiment with social bookmarking because it is absolutely rising as a trend. Social bookmarking is an activity that allows consumers to express different, personalized perspectives on the information they are exposed to.

Consumers make social connections based on common interests. If your topic of interest is sailing, for example, you may read a bookmark tagged about sailing. You may find that the person who tagged that bookmark also bookmarked a page about boat repairs. This can take you into a completely new and potentially profitable direction.

The possibilities are endless.

entrepreneur successIf you are an entrepreneur starting your own business, there are a few traits you must possess in order to succeed. The global economy is changing, and so is the small business market.

Hone in on the 6 traits listed and explained below and you are well on your way into succeeding as an entrepreneur and business owner.

Have a plan

If you start a business without a specific, detailed plan, you are most definitely planning to fail. When designing your business plan, have realistic, attainable goals. While setting goals is important, it is even more important to outline exactly how you plan to get there.

Have discipline

As an entrepreneur, you have nothing but hard work ahead of you. By disciplining yourself and persevering through the difficult times (as there most certainly will be difficult times), you will be able to build yourself up. You are working for yourself, there are no hourly workdays, you need to spend as much time as possible focused on your tasks and finishing them.

Be frugal

Your budget in the beginning is extremely important. Breaking even should not be your goal. Your goal should be profiting. By saving as much money as possible when you can, you will avoid the risk of drowning in your own cost.

Have sales sense

Your biggest asset when you start your own business is your tactful marketing strategies. If you are selling a relatively new product or offering a new service, your biggest priority is to market it and make it available. Creating connections will be the best way to launch a marketing strategy. Invest time in establishing yourself through social media networks.

Know your priorities

Your true priority is your customer. Cultivate relationships with your customers and spend most of your time nurturing leads and following up with prospects.

Maintain your image

Have a professional looking business website. Always be professionally dressed when meeting with potential clients or partners. Have professional and clean business cards. All of these things may seem like common sense, but paying attention to these little details can go a long way.

lead nurturingLike most companies, you have probably built a significant database of prospective customers. Where you might be stuck is how to turn those prospective customers into loyal, returning customers. Lead nurturing is by definition: “A process by which leads are tracked and developed into sales opportunities.”

Lead nurturing generally begins when a company builds a database of unqualified leads (or suspects). After building the database, the company will use it to send offers and promotions to the suspects in an attempt to gain attention, response, and profit.

Here are a few key tips to effectively nurture your leads as according to Jon Miller, a writer for Marketo (a B2B Marketing blog):

Make it valuable — to them, not just you.

Each and every lead nurturing interaction needs to be relevant and useful to the recipient. If it’s too promotional or not helpful, then severing the relationship is usually just a delete button or unsubscribe link away. In a recent MarketingSherpa webinar, Anne Holland shared the five key topics that people care about: safety (keep my job), ease (make my job easier), power (get more power), greed (make more money), and ego (raise their awareness).

Make it bite-sized. 

The internet has changed how buyers make B2B purchases, and it’s affected how they consume content. Rarely does a business buyer have time to print out and read an entire whitepaper, watch a 60 minute webinar, or read more than a few bullet points on a website. Instead, today’s buyers have become accustomed to consuming bite-sized chunks of information in small free periods.

Match your content to buyer profiles.

Prospects find content targeted to their role or industry much more valuable than generic content. According to MarketingSherpa and KnowledgeStorm, 82% of prospects say content targeted to their specific industry is more valuable and 67% say content targeted to their job function is more valuable. 49% say the same for content targeted to their country size, and 29% for content targeted to their geography.

Match your content to buying stages. 

Different types of content will appeal to buyers in different stages of their buying cycle, e.g. awareness vs. research vs. negotiation and purchase. Thought leadership and best practices work best during the awareness stage; comparisons, reviews, and pricing information appeals during the research stage; and information about the company, support, etc. will work best at the purchase stage.

Get the timing right.

It’s always difficult to say exactly how often you should send nurturing contacts. My general advice is that more than once a week is too much and less than once a month is not enough, and the right answer for your company is somewhere in between. 

These blogs are phenomenal sources of information to learn how to  drive traffic to your website. By reading these blogs, you will learn from the best. Each of these websites gives you a great outlook on what’s popular, how to gain visibility, and tools to use to attract loyal followers.

Think Traffic

Think traffic provides advice and tools to help you build a high-traffic website or blog. The tips and strategies on this website will teach you where to spend your time, and actually see returns on your efforts.

Viper Chill

Written and managed by Glen Allsop, a college dropout who is making a 5-figure monthly income from his affiliate websites, gives you personal testimonials about the keywords and websites he used to drive traffic to his sites.


Fuel Your Blogging

Fuel Your Blogging posts about the latest news and trends, advice on how to increase your readership, and testimonials from other bloggers who have experienced the success you’re looking for.

Copyblogger

Copyblogger had to make this list because it is one of the richest marketing blogs with the highest following. Copyblogger gives tips on content marketing and copywriting skills. With the goal of helping you convert traffic into sales, Copyblogger will equip you with skills to help you succeed in online business.


Convince & Convert

Convince and convert is a social media consulting and coaching site. His B2B marketing and PR strategies teach people how to take advantage of the power of social media marketing.


Top Rank

I have discussed the usefulness of TopRank Online Marketing Blog before, but again, TopRank is an online marketing agency that helps companies increase sales, brand visibility online and develop better relationships with customers. They are available for training, consulting, and implementation services.

These blogs are phenomenal sources of information to learn how to  drive traffic to your website. By reading these blogs, you will learn from the best. Each of these websites gives you a great outlook on what’s popular, how to gain visibility, and tools to use to attract loyal followers.

Think Traffic

Think traffic provides advice and tools to help you build a high-traffic website or blog. The tips and strategies on this website will teach you where to spend your time, and actually see returns on your efforts.

Viper Chill

Written and managed by Glen Allsop, a college dropout who is making a 5-figure monthly income from his affiliate websites, gives you personal testimonials about the keywords and websites he used to drive traffic to his sites.


Fuel Your Blogging

Fuel Your Blogging posts about the latest news and trends, advice on how to increase your readership, and testimonials from other bloggers who have experienced the success you’re looking for.

Copyblogger

Copyblogger had to make this list because it is one of the richest marketing blogs with the highest following. Copyblogger gives tips on content marketing and copywriting skills. With the goal of helping you convert traffic into sales, Copyblogger will equip you with skills to help you succeed in online business.


Convince & Convert

Convince and convert is a social media consulting and coaching site. His B2B marketing and PR strategies teach people how to take advantage of the power of social media marketing.


Top Rank

I have discussed the usefulness of TopRank Online Marketing Blog before, but again, TopRank is an online marketing agency that helps companies increase sales, brand visibility online and develop better relationships with customers. They are available for training, consulting, and implementation services.

Track Your CompetitionThe ancient Chinese wise man, Sun Tzu, once said: “If you are ignorant of both your enemy and yourself, then you are a fool and certain to be defeated in every battle.” SunTzu was talking about the military battlefield and not the business battlefield. But if Sun Tzu was a businessman today, he would be thrilled with all the information he could find out about his enemies on the internet.

Business owners have traditionally turned to their marketing department for information on competitors. Now they are better off turning to their webmaster. In fact, one of the first things your webmaster should be asking you is who your top three competitors are.

This kind of information comes at a price. Run a Google search on “competitive intelligence” and over 11,000 results show up. There are literally thousands of consultants who will help you identify and gather information on the competition but it will cost you dearly. Save your money. Here are 7 ways you can be your own online intelligence gatherer and it won’t cost anything but time. Because as another ancient wise man once said: “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Check Back Links

A recent survey by the Pew Research found that only 50 percent of internet users actually use a search engine everyday. So what is driving traffic to a website? The answer – back links. In other words, other sites that link to your competition. Find out the back links from your competitor’s site and get linked from these sites as well. You will increase your traffic dramatically.

Look at Keywords

Take a look at the competition’s keywords. This is easy information to get from sites like Key Word Density. Another way is to look at the code of their websites. This isn’t difficult. Go to the site and click on “View” at the top of the browser, then click “Source” or “Page Source.” A page of HTML code will open and the keywords will be revealed in the code near the top of the page.

Monitor Traffic

Just as you are monitoring unique visitors, length of stay, most viewed pages, and where visitors are coming from on your website, follow these same rules on your competitor’s site. You can find this information by going to Quantcast or Alexa.

Google Alerts

Google alerts allows users to set up alerts with keywords and phrases that trigger an email notification every time that word or phrase shows up on a site, blog or press release. For example, if you interested in a competitor, set up a Google alert on that company and their top executives and you will be notified every time they are mentioned online.

Monitor Twitter

It is time to get acquainted or re-acquainted with Twitter for your corporate spying. This is the place where industry buzz starts. It is where you hear the first low rumble of something that is about to happen. But you can’t just watch, you have to participate. Try to update your Tweets on a daily basis. If you are too busy to do this, use TweetLater, one of the best apps out there for accomplishing this.

Monitor Movement

You can learn a lot about a company just by reading their “About Us” page and monitoring their job listings. If your competitor is an auto parts company and they just hired a new CEO with a background in marketing, that may be a clue about how they plan to increase sales. If a company has several listings for jobs in another state, chances are it is expanding or relocating there. If the online bios of the top executives are vague, you can research them on professional networking sites like Linkedin or Plaxo.

RSS Feeds

If all this sounds like too many channels of information to monitor on a regular basis, RSS feeds are a good solution. Many experts are fans of feeds for intelligence gathering. You can keep up with industries, customers, and competitors by feeding things like Google Alerts, Twitter, and all of your other RSS feeds into one feed. MySyndicaat has very effective tools for doing this.


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