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[Source: This article was published in cmswire.com By Kaya Ismail - Uploaded by the Association Member: Wushe Zhiyang]

Following LinkedIn’s launched back in 2002, the platform became known as the place to be for recruiters and job seekers alike. It was (and still is), the place to house your digital resume for the world to see. Today, however, LinkedIn has flourished into a full-fledged social network for professionals from all walks of life. It’s a place to find jobs, headhunt, network, and share industry knowledge. As of January 2018, LinkedIn had over 250 million active users, of which 40 percent use the social media platform on a daily basis. But more interestingly, LinkedIn has proven to be ideal for finding new B2B leads, with B2B marketers stating that 80 percent of their leads have come from LinkedIn.

Renee Smith, technical marketer at Los Angeles-based Salted Stone, couldn’t recommend LinkedIn enough when we asked her about B2B marketing. “LinkedIn is built for B2B marketers. [LinkedIn is] comprised entirely of professionals aligning themselves directly with their business,” she said.

What is LinkedIn Advanced Search?

LinkedIn advanced search is a faceted search feature that can help you narrow down your search criteria in a number of different ways. You can search for people or companies, filter your results by industry, past companies, connection degrees, schools, regions, occupations, and more.

In this article, we’ll show how to use LinkedIn advanced search to find new B2B leads. To demonstrate, I’ll be targeting New York-based CEOs in the IT industry.  

1. Access LinkedIn Advanced Search

To get started with LinkedIn Advanced Search, simply click on the LinkedIn search bar.

 Linkedinsearch1

Now, choose from either “People,” “Jobs” or “Posts.” If you’re hunting for B2B leads, you’ll want to click “People”. You’ll then be presented with a new navigation bar with additional options. From this interface, you can filter your search by location, connections, and current company.

However, clicking the “All Filters” button will send you into LinkedIn Advanced Search mode, with even more options.

linkedinsearch2 

You should now be looking at all the filters LinkedIn Advanced Search has to offer.2. Apply the Relevant Filters

Because I’m looking for CEOs in New York working in the IT industry, I can start by filling in the fields like so:

  • “Title” field with “CEO”
  • “Location” field with “New York”
  • “Industry” field with “Information Technology and Services” (Note, industries are already configured, you just need to check the right box).

 linkedinsearch31 

Once all the relevant filters have been selected, you can then click on “Apply.”  

3. Review Search Results

You will now be shown a search results page showing you all the LinkedIn members who match your search criteria. As you can see, I’ve found a long list of LinkedIn users who are New York based, CEOs, and working in the IT industry.

linkedinsearch4 

Exactly how you approach each lead is your call. You could send them a message or connect with them before engaging via direct messages or by commenting on their content.

Engage Prospective Leads, Don't Pitch Them

LinkedIn’s advanced search function is a truly underestimated tool for marketing and sales professionals. But to get the most out of each connection you make, Monica Wolyniec, marketing, and communications manager at New York City-based Boomset, Inc. recommended taking a softer approach to LinkedIn leads. “Don't connect [just] to pitch. Engage, connect, and converse in order to add value to your prospect's pain points,” she advised.

Create and Share Industry Content

Dhaval Doshi, founder and director of Mumbai, India-based Smarthome NX, concurred. He urged marketers and professionals to leverage content marketing on LinkedIn in order to woo B2B leads. “Document your journey as a professional or entrepreneur and publish as many videos [or articles] as possible to build authority.

Be Authentic

Doshi also thinks,it's imperative to showcase your personality, "... be authentic, as authenticity and candid content gets a lot more engagement and helps show off your true personality,” said Doshi.

Categorized in How to

Just as there are B2B business opportunities on main street and in big urban areas, similar opportunities exist that are mainly online. The internet offers so many different opportunities for entrepreneurs that you can build a B2B business entirely on the web. And there are no shortage of options out there either. Here are 50 different B2B businesses you can start online.

Online B2B Business Ideas

Virtual Call Center

Businesses that handle a large call volume can often use the help of a call center. And you can start one that works mainly online.

Virtual Assistant

You can provide a variety of different services for businesses and work completely online as a virtual assistant.

Ecommerce Order Fulfillment

To help ecommerce businesses fill and ship their orders, you can start your own fulfillment service and communicate with business clients online.

Ecommerce Consultant

You can also help ecommerce businesses just by offering consulting services where you look over their sites and provide tips or suggestions for improvements.

Virtual Accountant

For financially savvy entrepreneurs, you can start your own accounting business and offer services to business clients virtually.

Payroll Service

Or you can get even more specific and start your own payroll platform for businesses with paid employees.

Tax Service

50 Online B2B Business Ideas - Tax Service

Many businesses can also use help with tax preparation. So you could start an online business that caters specifically to that need.

Web Designer

If you’ve got an eye for design, you could start your own web design business and put together sites specifically for businesses.

Logo Designer

You could also specialize in designing logos and other basic branding elements for business clients.

Niche Graphic Designer

Or you could focus on basic graphic design for a specific industry or niche.

Social Media Manager

For social media savvy entrepreneurs, you can start your own business by offering to manage social accounts for other businesses.

Social Media Consultant

Or you could take on a lesser role and simply offer consulting services for businesses looking to step up their social media efforts.

Social Media Influencer

50 Online B2B Business Ideas - Social Media Influencer

There’s also another way to leverage social media to build a business. You can build up your own social media account, and even if you target messaging to consumers, you could offer promotional opportunities for brands on your accounts.

Business Coach

More generally, you could offer business advice and coaching services to other businesses online.

Business Plan Writer

Or you could simply offer to write business plans for clients who reach out to you online.

Business Blogger

If you’re more of the writing type, you could use your expertise to start a business blog and monetize through ads, affiliate links or products.

Marketing Consultant

For those with marketing expertise, you can offer consulting services specifically related to online marketing.

Press Release Service

You could also show off your writing skills and help business clients get press coverage by starting your own online press release service.

Copywriter

Copywriters can specialize in a variety of different types of content. So you can start your own online business where you specialize in writing anything from online ads to product descriptions.

Freelance Blogger

You could also offer your writing services to other businesses looking to produce quality blog content as a freelancer.

Ghost Blogger

Or you could offer your services as a ghost blogger, where you provide copy that is published under another name.

Editor

In another capacity, you could provide editing services to other bloggers or businesses that produce online copy.

Proofreader

Or you could get even more specific and simply offer proofreading services to other entrepreneurs like authors or bloggers.

Online Course Creator

Online courses are another great way to earn revenue online. You can set up your own online classes that are specifically aimed at business clients.

App Designer

For entrepreneurs who are especially tech savvy, you could start a business where you develop apps for business clients.

Mobile Consultant

You could also provide consulting services to businesses looking to leverage mobile technology in their marketing or overall strategies.

Online Event Promoter

If you’re interested in building an events business, you could start one where you mainly promote events on social media and other online platforms.

Social Media Recruiter

Recruiting isn’t normally just an online business. But with social media platforms like LinkedIn and even Twitter, you can build a recruiting business that operates mainly online.

Online Research Service

Or you could provide research services to businesses looking to enter new markets or release new products.

Online Advertising Consultant

You could also help businesses looking to take advantage of all the online advertising options out there by offering consulting services in that area.

Online Advertising Designer

Or you could provide actual design services for those businesses looking to take advantage in online ads.

IT Consultant

For tech savvy entrepreneurs, you could help other businesses with their tech issues by providing virtual IT support or consulting services.

Software Developer

In addition, you could develop software programs to sell to businesses or even work on custom projects for specific business clients.

Financial Consultant

Financially savvy entrepreneurs, you could provide consulting services for businesses looking to organize their expenses and investments.

SEO Service

Businesses that operate online could also often use some help with search engine optimization. So you could provide a service that helps them get their website and various other online entities found online.

Online Fundraiser

Or you could work with businesses, non-profits and other organizations as a fundraiser that works to raise money through various online platforms.

Niche Business Site

If you want to build a website specifically for business customers, you could choose a specific niche and make money through a membership program or even ads or affiliate links.

Online Sales

For skilled salespeople, you could offer your services to business clients and work to increase their sales online.

Lead Generation Service

Or you could get more specific and offer services to businesses looking for online leads to increase their sales.

Eco-Consultant

Since environmental issues are impacting businesses in many different industries, you could offer your expertise to business clients as an eco-consultant.

Stock Photographer

If you want to build a photography business that caters to other businesses, you could take stock photos and sell them online to businesses looking to add great visuals to their websites and other content.

Video Marketing

Or you could focus more on creating video content for businesses that want to leverage YouTube and similar online platforms.

Video Editor

You could even get more specific and just offer editing services for businesses that want to use video marketing and can actually shoot their own footage.

Custom Illustrator

For artistic entrepreneurs, you could offer your talents to businesses online as a custom illustrator offering hand-drawn logos or similar visuals.

Business Lender

You could also help other businesses succeed by offering some startup capital as an online business vendor.

Crowdfunding Platform

Or since crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular fundraising method, you could start your own crowdfunding platform to help businesses get the startup capital they need.

Domain Reseller

Pretty much every business needs its own website, which means they need a domain. You could purchase various domains and then sell them directly to businesses online.

Ebook Author

If you’re interested in writing a book aimed at business readers, you could turn your content into an ebook and then sell it on various online platforms.

Translation Service

For those entrepreneurs who know more than one language, you could offer translation services to businesses that need documents or other items translated online.

Voice Artist

And if you have a strong or unique voice, you could offer your services to businesses looking for voiceovers or similar voice work. And if you have the right equipment, you can even record it on your own and send it online.

Author : Annie Pilon

Source : https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/01/online-b2b-business-ideas.html

Categorized in Business Research

There are many ways marketers can use social media, and we often see a lot of great examples of social media marketing from products or national brands and local businesses that really thrive on generating brand loyalty and involvement from their customers.

But what if your product or service is something with a long sales cycle rather than a sought-after consumer product, or if your target audience is composed of IT managers or CFOs rather than moms or college students? You can still reach key B2B stakeholders through social media marketing. But without the right strategies and tactics in place to reach these buyers on the right platforms, your social media efforts can end up hurting, rather than helping, your business.

Here are some of the biggest social media marketing mistakes to avoid – and what to do instead.

1. Dedicating Resources to the Wrong Platforms

Regardless of your business size or industry, building a robust social media presence is vital – but it doesn’t have to be everything to everyone. It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your efforts, but you can’t just guess at which ones those are. Not knowing where to start your social media strategy might be the result of a bigger underlying problem: not knowing your target audience. So, take some steps to figure out who your current buyers are and what your audience really looks like.

If you’re not exactly sure of the answers, or want to focus the majority of your efforts on a single platform, start with Facebook. It is the most widely used social media site by far, with 1.65 billon active users, and 66% of users logging on daily. So, chances are, your target prospects at least have a personal Facebook profile and are spending time there regularly. In fact, Facebook users spend an average of 50 minutes a day on the site. And, research shows that popular days and times for Facebook are Wednesday-Friday afternoonsbefore four p.m., prime time for B2B organizations to reach out to their target audience.

2. Having a Narrow Definition of Social Media Marketing

Many businesses may think social media marketing just means having a claimed and active business page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social channels. But this narrow view of social media marketing overlooks a wide variety of channels and strategies that can expand a business’ reach, create communities, and drive engagement.

Here are a few social media tactics that your B2B organization can benefit from:

  • Use LinkedIn Showcase pages to highlight top products or solutions and drive traffic directly to that page
  • Create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to generate engagement from an active user community
  • Leverage external social communities and online forums to drive user conversations and answer technical questions
  • Have a robust and active Glassdoor profile that reinforces your company’s brand and message
  • Publish product, customer, and community videos on an optimized YouTube page

3. Having a One-and-Done Content Strategy

What do all social media platforms have in common? They’re all content driven. But many B2B organizations don’t have a sustainable content strategy to fuel continuous interest and engagement on social media. On Twitter, your content typically only lives for about 20 minutes; on Facebook, a few hours. But, too often, businesses are struggling to create and share new content multiple times a day to post on these sites.

To achieve a repeatable content strategy that saves you time and effort, here are a few tips for generating and repurposing content for your social media marketing efforts:

  • Tap into internal experts: Don’t just leave the content creation up to your marketing team or agency, which could eat up a lot of your team’s time. Expand your content creation capabilities by leveraging subject matter experts from all areas of the business to contribute new perspectives on your industry. We frequently rely on product managers, service delivery experts, and even executive leadership team members to provide insight into the industry and provide fresh voices to our prospects and clients.
  • Share all the content from or about your business: Whether it’s a simple post on your company blog, an article for a third-party publication, a product video on YouTube, a press release, an interview or Q&A, or something else: promote all of your content across your social sites.
  • Repurpose and reshare: Social media content is not a one-and-done exercise. Developed an infographic? Turn it into a Slideshare or a video. Have a series of blog posts? Combine them into a guide or ebook. You can also leverage evergreen blog concepts that are more than a few months old, develop a fresh title or take, rewrite the content and structure, create a new post with fresh imagery, and BAM! Then, share it repeatedly. One thing my team at ReachLocal likes to do is to write a series of unique social media posts for a single piece of content like a webinar, blog post, or e-book so that we can share it across social media multiple times with different, clickable headlines. This also enables us to test how different messages and titles perform. You can also mix up your social media shares of a single piece of content by including a different image with each new social share, so it looks unique in the social feed. Make sure you spread these social posts out over a few days (or a few hours on Twitter) so you’re not spamming your audience.
  • Write clickable headlines: This is so important, I had to include it twice. Especially with the amount of competition on social media sites like Facebook, and the volume of organic views declining, it’s more important than ever to stand out on the News Feed. But how do you create clickable headlines? Start by brainstorming interesting titles with your internal team or agency, look at formats of engaging headlines from other brands and publications that are driving high social engagement, and test different topics and formats with your own audience. This also means you’ll need to review the performance of your social media posts and use the data to inform new headline styles, topics, and content.
  • Always use images: People like images. They like them so much that Instagram just reached 500 million users – more than Twitter. No matter what content you’re sharing or where you’re sharing it, make sure it’s visually appealing. Remember that your content is competing with family photos, infographics, memes, videos, ads, and more – so it has to make an impression. For limited budgets, you can use royalty-free images and stock photos to liven up your social media posts. If you have an in-house design team or agency, ask them to create a library of images that you can edit and use across your social posts. If you’re short on time, posting an info-image that features a stat, quote, fact, or tip is a quick way to drive engagement and interest from prospects and customers on social media.
  • Encourage employee participation: Finally, develop an employee advocacy program in your organization to encourage employees to share and amplify your content. This can be extremely valuable to expand your reach and engagement beyond your own fans and followers and enables employees to be active on social media without having to create their own content.

4. Avoiding New Content Formats (like Video)

ReachLocal review video

Does your business only post 1-sentence status updates to your social media channels or link to curated content? You may not have experience creating live videos, presentations, or Buzzfeed-style articles, so you use this as an excuse not to try your hand at these tactics, but adding them to your toolkit can help you engage more of your audience on social media.

Here are a few ways to reach and appeal to your target buyers with new formats:

  • Create engaging videos: Not only do 87% of marketers already use video content, but it’s also one of the most liked and engaged-with forms of content on social media. So think about putting together some videos about your business, products, or services. Some of our top videos include Q&As, short webinars, product overviews, and client case studies.
  • Try your hand at live video: When it comes to social media, sometimes what works best isn’t the high-budget, edited video. Especially if you are short on time or lack video-editing capabilities. Chewbacca mom skyrocketed to viral stardom with a Facebook live video shot on a smartphone. While she’s not a B2B marketer, the lesson learned here is that sometimes a simple, emotional video is more. Facebook Live has already generated 8 billion video views per day, and on the heels of this, Twitter announced live streaming platform Periscope would be integrated directly into its timeline. Try creating a live video for your brand when you know your target viewers are most likely online the most, like weekday afternoons for Facebook.
  • Publish directly on social sites: In addition to creating content on your blog or website and amplifying it on your social channels, think about publishing new content directly on social sites themselves. LinkedIn,Facebook Instant Articles, and Slideshare are just a few examples of native content mediums that grow your brand’s reach and engagement on individual social media sites. If you decide to repurpose existing content for these publishers, take some time to make it unique for each platform and format by changing up the text and images – this also helps original to avoid SEO conflicts and site penalties.
  • Build relationships with influencers: When it comes to B2B social media marketing, some of your biggest lift can come from other people in your industry. Forming relationships and earning interest from top influencers can result in published content about your business (either content that you write or content that’s written about you), shared or retweeted content, positive brand mentions, and more. All of this can add to your social media inventory and propel your business into social media success.

5. Not Paying to Play

So, you’re regularly publishing content on social media – but you’re not really moving the needle. Do you still refuse to consider that today, a successful social media strategy involves paid content and advertising?

To reach both your existing fans and followers and new audiences within your target market, you need to invest in advertising or sponsored content on a variety of social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all offer native advertising solutions, and Instagram ads can be delivered through the Facebook power editor. But, not all of these sites will be lucrative in the B2B market. For the sake of this post, we’ll continue to focus on Facebook for B2B marketing, although depending on your industry, you may want to test the effectiveness of Twitter or LinkedIn advertising solutions.

Facebook offers two paths for promoting your content: boosting posts or running targeted advertising. Both can effective but have different results for your business.

  • Know your goal: If you’re relying heavily on content marketing in your organization, you can reach a broader audience by boosting a popular post from your Facebook page. You should only pay to promote pieces of content that already have a good amount of reach and engagement, since the traffic you generate organically is a good indicator of whether or not your content will continue to perform well when you promote it. If your goal, however, is to drive a true conversion, such as a website download, a call, a contact form inquiry, or an online purchase – you’ll want to create an ad to promote your offer on Facebook that uses the right call to action to encourage viewers to take a specific action.
  • Use the right targeting: Whether you’re boosting an organic post or creating an ad, Facebook provides an abundance of audience targeting options to help you reach and engage just the right users. For B2B businesses and brands, it’s in your interest to identify and build a target audience similar to people who already like, engage with, and buy from you. There are a few ways you can create a niche target audience on Facebook:Keep your budget in check: Even as a B2B business, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on Facebook. You can start with a small budget and build on it if you see good results from your efforts. Keep in mind that the narrower the audience you target with an ad, the more it will cost you. If you’re not entirely sure who you’re trying to reach and are comfortable casting a wider net, start with a broader audience, and use Facebook’s optimization technology to help your ad reach the most engaged users.

6. Keeping your Social Media Separate from SEO

One important result of social media that many B2B leaders often miss is the organic traffic and leads you can capture outside of the social media site itself. In fact, robust, optimized, and active social media profiles for your business or product are likely to show up in natural search results, especially for searches for your business name, so failing to integrate these efforts could have a negative impact on your business.

In addition to your social media pages, individual posts and content like videos, images, tweets, and articles can also populate in SERPs for your business name or keyword searches. Interested prospects may find and check out your social media pages, company profiles, and more when researching your company, so it’s important that they are up to date and portray a positive view of your business. This also means ensuring you’re also taking note of comments, mentions, and reviews on social media and responding accordingly.

Go Forth & Be Social!

The most important thing to remember is no matter what you’re doing on social, be active. One of the top mistakes B2B businesses make is simply failing to be social. Because social media is so fluid, you have a lot of opportunities to try new strategies, test tactics, ask for feedback, and be more agile than you can with some other marketing methods. Even if you think you’re just selling boring software, social media can your chance to dedicate some of your most creative minds, time, and budget to your efforts.

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/6-huge-b2b-social-media-marketing-mistakes-avoid/171546/

Categorized in Market Research

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