Archive for February, 2012

Guest Post: Lose the suspicion and start making money from LinkedIn

February 22, 2012

Rob Wilmot, Owner and Director of bcsAgency explains why companies in the construction and engineering sectors need to do more with LinkedIn.

I regularly help businesses tune into LinkedIn and the power it has to generate wealth. But the biggest issue I come across is a great tension between employers and employees on the subject. For most business owners, it’s the fear of poaching: they’re nervous about staff using their LinkedIn online CV as bait for recruiters and head-hunters. From the employee point of view, LinkedIn is a personal social media tool, so back off big brother employer!

But there is a middle ground which is a win-win for both.

For the employer – don’t grumble about LinkedIn and the risks of losing your staff. Don’t treat your employees’ use of LinkedIn with suspicion, you’ll simply drive it under-ground. Embrace it as a new sales channel and encourage your employees to see it as such. For the employee – focus on using LinkedIn to increase sales. You’ll be happier, and so will your boss.

Here are my three top tips employers can quickly implement and employees get on-board with.

1. Create and promote a company page

List the core competencies of your business under the ‘Products and Services’ tab. You can then ask your customers to recommend these competencies, which increases you profile on LinkedIn.

Ask your employees to link their current position to your company listing on LinkedIn.

Claim your company LinkedIn address e.g. www.linkedin.com/company /yourcompanyname and then publish it on your business cards, e-mail signatures, essentially anywhere you would publish a web address or telephone number.  LinkedIn has a widget you can add to your website to encourage visitors to ‘follow’ your LinkedIn company profile.

Publish regular status updates from the company profile, as well as encouraging your employees to talk about the good stuff your company is doing through their individual profiles. The more followers you get, the more likely it is that they will like or share what you post on LinkedIn. Keep this up and your followers should increase exponentially.

2. Take the initiative

Invest time and maybe a little money getting your employees trained up on the basics of how to generate new business on LinkedIn. Once they start seeing some success from this they’ll invest more personal time honing these skills and less time looking for another job.

3. Focus in on using the LinkedIn introductions tool

This is the most powerful feature on LinkedIn. So how does this work? I have 900 direct connections on LinkedIn and these appear with the number “1” against their profile. LinkedIn enables me to ask these connections for an introduction to someone in their connections (who I’m not immediately connected with) – LinkedIn assigns the number “2” against these. And I can even go as far as asking for an introduction to one of their connections – those with the number “3” against them. By using this method, I can reach nearly eight million professionals through my 900 immediate LinkedIn connections. I generate lots of new business from using this tool. Why? Because when I ask for an introduction via one of my connections and they pass it on, they are effectively endorsing me. It’s just like a letter of introduction from the good old days.

Guest Post: Rob Wilmot.   Owner / Director  bcsAgency  www.bcsagency.com     twitter @robwilmot

One of the founders of Freeserve, Rob has spent the last 15 years immersed in design and development of online strategies for brands including Premiership football clubs, global manufacturers, e-commerce retailers, and financial services organisations. Rob is also delivering digital strategy services for Saint-Gobain Building and Distribution in the UK.  A regular speaker at events up and down the land (and around the world), what Rob doesn’t know about social and digital media probably isn’t worth knowing. Rob is also a regular contributor to the Real Business website.

Promoting your news on ESI.info

February 21, 2012

All ESI.info clients can add news and press articles, free, as part of your subscription.

Promote your News on ESI.info and our twitter feeds

News articles are a great way to increase your visibility to the tens of thousands of specifiers and buyers who regularly use ESI.info each month:

– Announce the launch of a new product or service
– Increase your PR reach with detailed case studies or news about your projects
– Tell specifiers and buyers about conferences and exhibitions you’re attending
– or highlight important corporate information such as new jobs, industry awards or important accreditations

Here’s how to get started:

Adding news is quick and easy to do via the  ESI.info Content Management System.

Step 1. SIGN IN  at the top right of www.esi.info with your email and password
Step 2. Click on the Manage your content link in the drop-down menu  once in the Content Management System, click the Your Entries tab
Step 3. Use the Create new drop down box and select News entry
Step 4. Add text, an image and downloads to add and publish your news article

Each news article can be approx. 600 words in length and you can link these pages to your website.  Adding regular news updates helps to optimise your profile as you build up an archive of content on your pages on  www.ESI.info.

Step 2: Your entries

ESI.info marketing Better Decisions for Better Environments

Step 3: create News item:

CMS add news 2

Will then push the news out to our network of designers, specifiers and buyers:

•via our opt-in email bulletins

•via our social networks

We’re here for you

Email us if you’d like us to send your login details to you.

Guest Post: Achieving Maximum ROI from your B2B Email Marketing

February 20, 2012

byEmma Raw, Marketing Executive, DotDigitalGroup

A typical question we get asked all the time is:

“We sell high ticket B2B services, and need to use email marketing to drive lead generation and build a sales pipeline. What advice can you give for getting the most out of email marketing for B2B?”

Of course email marketing can be an extremely powerful and effective tool for any B2B marketer, why? It’s simple really there are 2 key reasons:

1. Getting personal – automatically

Firstly, B2B marketing is so often about relationship building, and gone are the days where we can invest hours and hours getting to personally know all of our prospects. The beauty of Email marketing is how easy it is to send 1-2-1 personalised and highly targeted messages to specific groups without having to individually change each recipient’s message – imagine the old days of doing that on a typewriter!

2. See the results in front of your eyes

Secondly, and what everyone always wants in marketing – the proof in the pudding! All the data you could possibly want*, which allows you to discover leads and carry out follow-ups easily, so you don’t waste your valuable time on the wrong people.

An email address is only the beginning

So you’ve got your email data and you want to send an email campaign about your products, services or offers and ultimately get a purchase. But this “does not a relationship make”.

However you might find the direct sales message is not having a lasting effect. How about taking a different approach by offering more in the way of content and learning, it’s not just about making a quick sale, it’s about building trust which will keep people coming back much further down the line. Think about the type of email you open, the most interesting from B2B marketers usually contain free downloads, reports, guides and information.

Top 3 things your emails need to tell people:

  • Who is it from?
  • What’s in it for them?
  • What do they do next

Let’s dig a little deeper

Who is it from, do I know you?
Research shows B2B emails are more successful when sent from an individual, rather than a company name. You can easily test this rule with your own database, and ensure you send from a branded ‘from address’ e.g. client-team@company-name-news.com

What’s in it for them and what do they do next?

So once you’ve got first hurdle and they’ve opened your email, recipients will be asking “what’s this all about?” and “What do I need to do?” These questions will form your content, your subject line and your calls to action.

Everyone’s hungry for good content that will help them in their day-to-day work and it couldn’t be easier, look for ways to use your internal expertise, experience and existing resources. For example… you could put together a white-paper on all you know about writing a great B2B marketing plan, and add it as a downloadable guide on your website and collect their contact details in return.

Simply create a web-form to capture downloaders’ details and map their info back to your dotMailer address book and send them an automatic triggered follow-up email.

Structuring your content

Use your opening paragraph to tell them what the offer is, how it will benefit them and insert a text and a graphical ‘download this free guide now’ link, through to your web form – make sure it’s above the fold so they snap their eyes on it straight away.

Bullet out the key benefits of using your services and each of the pain points you solve. Show some testimonials and client logos to establish your credibility. Then give them the opportunity to download your free white-paper again.

What do you do next?

Now you have an opted-in database of hot prospects who are interested in what you have to say…don’t let them go cold!

Once won, keep the interest warm

Don’t forget your goal here, you want people who are going to advocate and refer others to your business. This will only happen if you continue to build and nurture the relationship after you have won their custom. This might start to sound very time-consuming, but that’s the beauty of email marketing, using regular or triggered emails will automate your efforts and add value to your clients.

Guest Post by Emma Raw,    Marketing Executive at the DotDigitalGroup  Follow dotmailer on twitter @dotmailer

*The new laws due to be enforced in the EU regarding cookies and data capture may impact the amount of data you can receive.

ESI.info provides qualified lists of professional designers, specifiers and buyers, enabling you to confidently target the right people. So if you’re looking to increase your email marketing activity then talk to our Research Manager,  Liz Robertson  Tel. 01786 407009 to discuss your data requirements.



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