Monday, 6 March 2017

Internet Marketing

Online Marketing

"B2B brands can make use of the Internet as a marketing tool for promoting products and services thereby generating better ROI for their businesses."

These three categories- website, social media, and email- are used as internet marketing.

Web marketing involves promotional websites, internet advertising on search engines, affiliate marketing websites, e-commerce websites, and organic search engines with the use of search engine optimization or SEO.

Social media marketing involves using marketing and advertising strategies which include viral marketing with the use of social networking websites such as Linkedin, Medium, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Email marketing uses advertising and promotional methods through email messages to existing and potential customers.

A majority of the companies consider internet marketing in their marketing plan because of its lesser costs of distribution of information and the huge scope of audience.

It also utilizes the use of online digital customer data management and electronic customer relationship management (ECRM)

Objectives Of Internet Marketing

Generally, Internet marketing applies the internet technology to:

· Convey and promote the products or services of a company

· Online advertising and selling of products or services; and

· Making surveys and research for the company such as preferences and needs of its current customers and potential target audience.

Benefits Of Internet Marketing

· Flexibility

Internet marketing allows your business to be open and accessible to existing and potential customers 24/7 without worrying about fixed opening store hours or overtime costs of staff. It is also beneficial and convenient to your customers as they can browse for new products or services and place their orders at any time most convenient to them.

· Wider Range of Market/Audience

With the use of online technology, you will be able to connect to potential customers globally. You will be able to advertise and sell products in any areas nationwide or other countries. You will be able to develop an import and export business without the hassles of building groups of distributors globally and the costs that come with it. But if you are into selling products or promoting services in other countries, see to it that your products are feasible for the local market and adhere to local business policies. This will include modification of the products to address the needs of the local market.

· Customized Products and Services

Internet marketing will give you the opportunity to monitor your customers’ visits and preferences by generating customers’ profile and their purchasing history. By tracking your customers’ web visits, you will be able to have information about their needs; thus, will be able to produce offers that will answer their needs.

· Customers’ Retention

Internet technology has a system for developing and strengthening relationships with existing and potential customers, thus, increasing the retention degree of your customers. When a client has made an order from your online site, you can start a good relationship with that customer by sending a follow-up email to validate the order and thank the client for patronizing your goods. You can nurture this relationship by regularly sending emails to the customers with personalized offers and updates of the products. You can also encourage them to write reviews on your official website.

· Cost Efficient

It is cheaper to promote and sell products compared to retail stores because you do not have any regular overhead expenses and costs of rentals and maintenance. You do not have to buy stocks for your display but only when a product is in demand. This will keep your inventory expenses low. Primarily, the Internet is a very abundant source of international audience and information is available anytime you want it, as quickly as you want and the cheapest way to promote and sell products and reach out to millions of potential clients.

Importance Of Internet Marketing

It is the aim of every entrepreneur to make their products or services known in the business world to generate good customer leads and sales. It may be hard for online business to be known and recognized as trustworthy and dependable one. Thus, the kind of marketing the entrepreneur utilizes can be a determinant for success or failure of the business.

The following are important factors in Internet marketing:

· Business logo

One effective way to promote your business is through your company name; logo, color patterns, messages and other basic factors that will help your company and make potential customers remember your products or services.

· Strengthening your Accessibility

Internet marketing assures your existing and potential customers that you are accessible and committed to assisting them whenever they have some concerns, inquiries, and even problems regarding your products or services. Blogging and social media are methods that make your customers know that there is “someone” behind the website who will respond to them whenever the need arises.

· Reaching your Target Audience

With the use of effective Internet marketing method, B2B Brands can reach out to a bigger audience or customers even to those who are not used to utilizing online marketing methods. Internet marketing allows a customer to find your company when they try to browse for the products or services they need. It motivates people to make connections with your company through commenting on your blog or via the social media platform(s) that you are using, thus establishing a long lasting connection with your company after their first purchase from your company. This can lead to dedicated and loyal customers who can also promote your products or services to their families and friends.

· Building your Company’s Reputation

There are many online marketing mediums you can use to promote your B2B brand, which allow your company to be known within the online communities, defining the nature of your business, and what your company can offer to customers. Always remember that customers tend to trust your company when you have an active and reliable website with updated posts and other active links to another social media sites.

· Marketing tools are cost-efficient

Using the Internet marketing method can save you a lot of money and time when compared to traditional marketing methods, and it has the ability to reach out to huge targeted audience or market to generate good ROI and consistent customer leads. Take note that bad Internet marketing can be detrimental and the right online marketing that can be effective for your purposes of reaching good customer leads and sales will be your determinant for your success.

II. Planning and Developing your Internet Marketing

This article primarily aims at helping B2B brands who want to be successful in their online ventures by choosing the best marketing tools that fit best their company’s goals. Internet marketing planning should be simple yet it can attract customers and make good sales.

Factors to Consider in Planning your B2B Brand Online

  • Website Design

Web designing is considered as the basic skill you must learn to become successful in this online venture. You must learn the languages of HTML and XML and various web design software. This knowledge will help you create a web design to suit your customers’ needs and requirements.

Aside from web design skills, you must learn and be creative with using colors as well as the font types and sizes. From these skills and know-how, you will be able to plan and develop a website that will attract potential customers. For beginners and those who do not know about web designing, it may appear to be a complicated process with plenty of technical terms. Actually, the languages are easy to comprehend and there is available software to help you by providing you with templates. Or better still, if you feel you cannot do it, then you can find some professional web designers to do it for you.

  • Web Hosting

After a successful designing of your website, you will need to host it. This is where using the best web host like Hostgator, Bluehost, namecheap,etc. come in.

Web hosting is the process whereby a website is uploaded to the internet for people to see it.

  • Website Development

This is another factor in Internet marketing that you have to produce a material or software to fit the needs of the customers. Web development entails a complex process because it needs to have several inputs. The process includes web content, affiliate marketing, and more.

Product or Service Promotion Methods Online marketing applies methods that include search engine optimization (SEO) and famous sites to boost up its transparency. Promotions are generally placed on websites that have higher visibility and more traffic such as Google and other search engines. It needs basic and easy skills to promote your products or services.

  • Product Sales

For any Internet marketing entity, selling product and promoting services are main tasks of any business owner. But even direct selling corporations are now utilizing the Internet to reach out to people and potential customers. They realize that with the internet, they can reach out to more and bigger market with fewer costs. Selling approaches depend on the type of business and generally the customers themselves inspire these methods.

Check out for the soon posted part two of this article.

I hope you benefitted a lot from this article? and I am looking forward to sharing more with you.

Friday, 3 March 2017

LinkedIn Steps For B2B Best Practices In 2017

With 433 million professional online users, LinkedIn has overtaken Twitter in terms of average monthly users. Today there are now more than 4 million company pages online.

And whilst LinkedIn may still be perceived as the preferred social media platform for B2B companies, B2C companies continue to rely on the platform for sharing branded content, recruitment and talking to a more professional audience.

This content provides best practice guidelines on appropriate employee conduct on LinkedIn and includes useful tips that can be used in your company’s social media policy.

It also highlights potential risks and threats to your company pages and advises on appropriate moderation activities where necessary.

Influencing Employee Conduct

Companies are finding there is a fine line between the professional and the personal use of LinkedIn by employees.

Social media governance has become a growing concern for most HR departments and Communications teams.

Whilst employee profiles are self-managed, employee advocacy in terms of sharing the latest company news, achievements and industry articles can act to further enhance the reputation of the company as a whole. So, LinkedIn has become an extremely effective B2B marketing tool in this sense and its use is wider than ever.

In order for employees not to blur the boundaries of personal and professional use, the following advice can be taken and incorporated into social media guidelines and governance:

        Remind employees of your social media policies regularly. Ensure your policy is clear in explaining their obligations.

        Remove recently departed employees as admins to your company page. The management of company pages is often attributed to employee’s personal LinkedIn accounts, so it’s important to remove former employees – particularly any disgruntled leavers – ASAP.

        Provide training on LinkedIn’s own guidelines regarding privacy and the setting up of secure accounts – their guidelines for this are very useful.

        Provide further guidance and training to Executives and key company spokespeople who may be required as part of their role to be more active across social channels.

Managing Risks To Company Pages

Exposure During Recent Data Leak

There are approximately 4 million company pages on LinkedIn, which means there are at minimum 4 million employees who are registered as ‘admins’. And admin has access and rights to manage all aspects of the company page.
During a recently publicized LinkedIn data breach (one that resulted in 117 million usernames and passwords being leaked and for sale on the dark web), serious issues around data protection and privacy emerged.

Should the sale of user data fall into the wrong hands, it becomes far more damaging to an organization if that user happens to be the manager of their company page.

With account takeovers, impersonation accounts, and faux profiles becoming more of an issue, the breach increases the risk of account takeover at this point in time.

The advice To Take

  • Remind employees who have admin rights to change their passwords as a priority. Whilst the data breach occurred in 2012, it is still recommended to amend passwords for any admin user for both personal and company protection.
  • Remind employees using LinkedIn to send messages to clients to regularly delete ‘aged’ or ‘confidential’ messages.
  • Ensure employees are aware of and are using LinkedIn’s ‘two step’ verification layer for additional security. Instructions can be found on the LinkedIn website, but this additional security step will send verification codes to a stored mobile where LinkedIn does not recognize the signing into an account from a device not recognized.
Moderating Content For Company Pages

Content moderation on LinkedIn is the management of content on your own Company or Brand page or on posts made to external LinkedIn Groups.

Comments can no longer be moderated on company or brand pages, but they can be reported if they exist on LinkedIn Groups. Users usually follow companies and rarely go back to the company page to review posts, as the posts are usually viewed from their own news feed. The largest risk area for inappropriate posts being made to a company page is through employees or third party agencies responsible for the content of these pages. If any comment is made on a post that is damaging to the brand or company, the original post can be removed.

Opinions should be allowed online, if the comments are not high risk, it may be that an alternative suggestion would be to re-order the posts on the company page (which is possible by an admin user) so that the sensitive post appears lower down.

If inappropriate content or comments do occur, the below section highlights the reporting tools that can be used to remove inappropriate content contravening LinkedIn’s community guidelines.

Reporting Inappropriate Content

LinkedIn has a comprehensive reporting center where users can report issues of concern or queries on:

1. Spam
2. Inappropriate profile photos
3. Inaccurate profiles
4. Fake Profiles
5. Inappropriate groups
6. Phishing or suspicious messages
7. Safety concerns

It is also possible to report inappropriate comments within a group.

Removing Deviant Comments

LinkedIn has removed the ability to report a comment, which used to be a feature whereby any visitor with an account could report an inappropriate comment.

Other Areas of Risk

Fake profiles have become a growing area of concern, particularly for many high profile individuals – professional and those in the public eye. Because LinkedIn profiles are public and rank in the search results, it is recommended that HR departments and Communications keep an eye out for imposter accounts and report them through LinkedIn.

Also, adult content and graphic sexual content is not permitted on LinkedIn, so no company or brand should have any images of this nature on their pages.


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

4 Features Of A Successful B2B Blog

B2B Blog

"All business' blogs possess one main purpose in common which is the end result-they are there to make profits."

For this sole reason, the owners of these sites are motivated beyond just their passion for the subject matter on which their content is based.

Having a blog for your business is, in fact, a serious business because both large and small companies in their online marketing campaign are using these platforms as a marketing base of operations in the internet terrain.

As this platform is experiencing growth and becoming more it has also made it easier for many entrepreneurs who are technically challenged to dare to enter into the world of digital marketing.

That being said, irrespective of the size of your business, there are certain features your site must possess if you intend your blog to be successful and the end result? Increase your ROI.
And these are the features common to B2B blogsites that have more degree of a success in the world of blogging whether they are offering products or services.

Well Defined Message

Maintaining focus and having consistency are vital key points to note when passing a message about the particular product or service that you offer to your target audience as they visit your blog site. Consequently, all the activities on your site should be of relevance to what your blogsite is all about.

Keeping your site users more focused this way will help make them more receptive to the promotional pitches or product/service you offer.

Provide Useful Information

"The very basis why people visit a blog site is to get useful content that will be of help to them."

By adding insightful and helpful information you stimulate your visitors thoughts which actually engage them further. And in the end, they are most likely to be converted into leads as well!

And they will be inclined to bookmark your site for their next visit for more value added information or positioned as brand ambassadors to refer people to your blog.

The main focus here again is that the information you are offering should be relevant to the core theme of the site and educational as well. 
By this you are showing your target audience why they need the product or service you are offering.

Doing business generally is a win-win thing which is all about giving (valuable content) and taking (purchases). But sometimes, you will mostly likely give more on your part before you will be rewarded with a sale.

Allow Room For Interaction

Connecting with your sites users on a personal base is usually what takes your relationship with them to another level. 
It is no news that getting your readers engaged is the first step in getting them to be more actively involved which is where blogs are unique because they allow sites users to leave comments and actually participate in discussions or exert an influence by voicing out their satisfaction/opinion.

This is what bloggers will want to so encourage.

Constantly Add Fresh Content

Obviously, updating your site by adding fresh contents is not only good for SEO (search engine optimization), but for readers satisfaction too. Your visitors need a reason to constantly revisit your site which is where adding fresh content comes handy.

I know it is easier said than done that frequent posting is very vital for the success of your content marketing campaign. It is the single hardest thing to do for most bloggers which are why many end up quitting.

Achieving results within a short term frame is not attainable for most. And posting efforts may even take longer to yield results given that you are asking visitors to part with their hard-earned income.

B2B companies find that though they are ultimately blogging to make returns, they must place the need of their prospective buyers first before they will attempt any promotional effort. 

Visitors can easily be distracted by others things vying for their attention online.So it is therefore essential for B2B entrepreneurs and companies alike to attract and retain visitors attention when they visit their blogs.

The 4 reviewed features aformentioned above are sought out by internet users and it is these blogging practices that help retain their interests.

Experiencing any degree of success as a B2B company can be attributed to how well you apply these characteristics and in the end, your content marketing effort is bound to yield promising ROIs.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

7 Important Tips for B2B Web Design

web design tips
7 Important Tips for B2B Web Design

When creating your B2B website, you will get to avoid taking unnecessary steps that don’t add to the overall success of your business.

Within the online digital marketing parlance, these necessary tips will be very helpful if observed and the bottom line is to have more impact on your target audience.

Right Choices Of Colour Combinations

You don't want your audience to strain their eyes before they can read your message, so red text on a blue background is no good for them. Also, any color (except white) on a black background, light text on white backgrounds and dark text on dark backgrounds are wrong combinations.

It is very necessary to observe this rule especially if a lot of text is used because it is very vital that your message is easy to read and doesn't hurt people's eyes. But very often, red text on a blue background has been on the use a lot, even though it is a wrong choice of colour combination in B2B web designing.

Too Much Popup Windows

One of the most annoying things ever seen when visiting some of the B2B websites today is too much of a popup window.
This overused website tool can be found on some big sites I do not want to mention.

You get too much of it upon your visit to these sites that clouds your original intent of visiting the site- the content. This is distracting, and will usually cause website users to leave a site with lots of popup windows.

Someone noted this very important point and I subscribe to it. He said if your free web host gives you the option to choose between a banner in a popup window or a banner at the top of the page select the one on the page. And if they don't do anything else but popup adverts only, then it is high time you subscribe to a new web host.

Decide Between Compatibility And Technology

It does more arm to your site than good if your site uses more tools like java clocks and menus with sounds which make your website to load slower in browsers. The bottom line is increased bounced rates and fewer click throughs.

"Of course, you might think using those tools makes you appear more smarter, but that is ironic on your part.”

Likewise, just because others borrowed what is used in some other B2B websites, and usually, it don't really add any improvement to their websites, doesn't mean you should.

And finally, you know some browsers don’t even support them either so it does not really worth trying it out while designing your B2B website.

No Too Many Screaming Adverts

Too many a website is all laid up in many adverts!
Upon your visit to a site and then one of the pages, 2 banners are at the top with some text underneath are there screaming at your face.

And if they also allow affiliate programs in their sites like Google adsense affiliate program, affiliate program, and other types of affiliate programs? then, they will be all laid with different banners. And then lastly, at the bottom, you have some other popup ads.

“Although it may be tempting to have more adverts in order for one to make more money, but money is never made that way.”

Having some few highly targeted ads can put more money into your business' pulse order than distracting your visitors with bunch of unwanted ads and then defeating the purpose why they initially visited your web site which may makes them leave, either.

Reduce Movement Of Things

The first and foremost thing you should try and remember when designing a B2B web site is to maintain a consistent design. An exceptional case is the design of the main.

If your site is irregular by moving things around your site's navigation or if the pages are all completely different from each others, you will get your visitors confused. And sometimes they might think otherwise that they have vacated your site, or sometimes finding the link back to your website's home page might be difficult for them.

Consistency is the game here so try making use of technologies like frames and tables throughout your site to maintain consistent navigation and your visitors will be please with your site.

No Overcrowded Screen

A very important thing to do when designing your website is to leave a bit of space. Even though screen space is precious and you want to try and make the best use of it, try to leave some blank space, leave some margins, use shorter paragraphs and don't fill up the screen with animated GIFs.

Creating more space in your site will make it look "clean"and "open" and your sites visitors will welcome it.

In business you do want to avoid anything that breaks the link between you and your customers so, you do not want to divert your site visitors' attention away from your content Using animated GIFs. The content is what they are originally at your site for.

Proper Navigation

Don’t make this common mistake of thinking that your sites visitors know exactly where to find what they are looking for on your site when designing your B2B web site. You must make sure that the people visiting your site know where to find every piece of information.

Use proper descriptive navigation links. You can obviously use link back to your homepage and interlinks pointing to your other pages.

You can also possibly include a search function box in your site which is not difficult to put in place.
Here are sites in which you can obtain free site search widget from: Google, Everwebcodebox, Freebyte, Freefind, etc.

I trust these tips and many more out there you can dig out are all poised to give your website visitors more and more reasons why they should not leave your site easily. And in the end they will glad and thankful they visited your site, and would want to do business with you.

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