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  • 21 Common Questions About Social Media Marketing Answered

    Here at Marketing Zen, we often get questions from businesses about online marketing, and we do our utmost to answer every one. But it occurred to us recently that it might be helpful for us to put together a little blog series answering some of the most common questions we get related to web marketing. Today’s installment? The 21 most common social media marketing questions we receive, answered just for you! 1. Can social media marketing really help my business? Most definitely! It’s been proven again and again by business after business. In fact, 73% of businesses surveyed by Constant Contact in 2011 had already started using social media marketing with measurable results.  Not utilizing social media marketing can actually harm your business, since having an online presence on social media is simply expected of any reputable firm these days. 2. What are the benefits of social media marketing for my company? Whether your business is taking advantage of it or not, social media has forever changed the way that consumers communicate with businesses, and vice versa. Being accessible to your customers – and your prospective clients – via social media is a vital means of developing relationships with them…

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  • The Complete B2B LinkedIn Marketing Guide

    When it comes to B2B marketing, it’s all about expertise. You want to demonstrate to your target audience that your company is the leader in your field, the go-to resource for industry wisdom and experience – in a word, the expert. And sure, you can accomplish this through strategic marketing of the company itself – but positioning your business as an expert is a lot easier when you can point to the expertise of each of your employees as individuals, as well. What it boils down to is this: Your company’s employees each need personal brands. The combined strength of each of their brands will augment your company’s brand and cement your position as the leader much more quickly than simply marketing the company alone. The key is to let the company brand flavor each individual’s personal brand, so that they integrate harmoniously. Shama talks a lot about the importance of a personal brand – and luckily, it doesn’t have to be complicated to create one. In fact, you and your team probably already have the beginnings of one in place: your LinkedIn profiles. But for the purposes of creating personal brands and marketing your B2B business, you’ll need to…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Twitter Breaks Records and Chromecast Gets an Update

    SEO:You’ve probably noticed that when you “delete” a campaign in Google AdWords, it isn’t truly deleted. It is not currently possible to delete a campaign from an account because the data remains in a user’s history forever. In a semantic response to this observation, Google will be replacing the word “delete” with “replace” in a forthcoming update. The company hopes that this change will help advertisers understand that removed objects will always remain available for future reference. People living in the European Union, which just passed the “Right to be Forgotten” act, are finding that when they ask Google to “forget”l inks that involve their names, the search engine is forgetting more than what they bargained for. Google is also removing links for any search that involves names combined with additional words. For examples, if there’s someone named John Smith in Spain who asks for links with his name to be forgotten, searches for his name won’t appear, and searches for “John Smith Barcelona” or “John Smith investment banker” also will ignore him. Social Media: Whether you’re celebrating or mourning Brazil’s loss in the World Cup this week, chances are that you either read or wrote something on Twitter about…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Shaq on LinkedIn and Siri on Apple TV

    SEO: Google launched nine new features for their Keyword Planner Tool, which will now help to break down important information in aesthetically-pleasing ways. These new features include graphical visualizations for geographic data, trends on mobile vs. traditional devices, and more.  Google has made these new features immediately available for its users who have AdWords accounts. In a more commercially popular update, Google also launched a new feature for the Street View images in Google Maps. For some of the Street View images, a clock icon will be visible, and if it is clicked, a slider will appear which allows users to see those same images in previous years or seasons, going back as early as 2007. One suggested use for this feature is for travelers to see what a particular destination may look like during different seasons. Social Media: The numbers are in: mobile ads accounted for 59% of Facebook’s advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2014. This is up from 30% in 2013. As users of the social media platform continue to ditch their desktop computers in favor of mobile devices, profits for Facebook are on the rise. In the first quarter of this year, the company reported…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: WhatsApp, Bing on Grammar, LinkedIn Layouts and more!

    What has been happening in the marketing world this week? Let The Marketing Zen Group fill you in on the latest and greatest of online marketing news in our MZ Weekly News Round-Up, published every Friday! Social Media: Facebook’s purchase of the popular mobile messaging startup WhatsApp for a mind-blowing 16 billion US Dollars has dominated the news in social media. This tops what Facebook had bid on Snapchat last year by over 13 billion dollars. WhatsApp’s growth has by far exceeded that of every other social network to date. Referring to WhatsApp’s soaring growth, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call, “No one in the history of the world has done anything like that.” While Facebook and WhatsApp have not released future plans as to what the buy could mean for social media, our CEO Shama Kabani took to Facebook with this quote: “Facebook + WhatsApp = FaceApp – the next in mobile chat. Please note time and date.” For now, both companies will keep their own headquarters and not intermingle staff. LinkedIn made headlines by opening up their publishing platform to 25,000 members, and soon will expand to everyone else on the network. This is great…

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  • 7 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

    So you want to make use of your LinkedIn profile as a part of your company’s overall social media marketing strategy. That’s great! Giving potential clients a glimpse at the real people behind the business helps them to feel a more personal connection with your company. But if all you do is fill out your LinkedIn profile like a bare-bones, text-only, generic online resume, it won’t have the effect you’re looking for. To make full use of this social media channel for marketing purposes, you need to stand out from the crowd, and make your profile something special – or it can actually have the opposite effect, and seem almost de-humanizing! To make sure your LinkedIn profile serves the purpose you intend, here are 7 ways you can stand out from the crowd. 1. Rock your headline. You know that little “professional headline” that shows up right beneath your name? The one where people usually put their job title? Well, why not shake things up a bit, and try a different approach? Instead of your job title, enter a brief description of who you are, who you help, and how you help them.  Think elevator speech here – you know,…

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  • Your Ultimate Guide to B2B Internet Marketing Part 1: The Top 3 Social Media Sites for B2B Marketing

    Welcome to our five part series on B2B internet marketing! Over the course of our next five blog posts, we’ll be discussing how you can promote your business to other businesses via the five channels of online marketing: social media, digital public relations, content, search engine optimization, and email marketing. Today we’ll be beginning with…(Drum roll, please!)… social media marketing! At first glance, it can seem counterintuitive to use social media as a platform for B2B marketing. People hang out on Facebook and Pinterest for fun, not to look for solutions to their business problems. But while that’s usually true, most social media channels do have a very robust business side – you just have to know how to take advantage of it! The following platforms are your best bets for social media B2B marketing: 1. Google+: Here’s the thing. People buy from people, whether we’re talking B2B or B2C. So in order to show other businesspeople that there is a real person behind your business, too, you need to have a personal presence on Google+. Add a humanizing photo, fill out your profile as completely as possible, and be active in the Google+ online community, sharing content and interacting…

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  • Pink is the New Black, and LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates are the New Facebook Ads

    You know how LinkedIn has always been totally awesome for networking? For reaching out to others in your industry, giving and receiving advice, and putting your best foot forward in your profile? Well, now it’s just as awesome for targeted advertising. Seriously. And in some marketing situations, it may even be more awesome than using Facebook ads. Here’s the thing. When people get on Facebook, they’re there for fun. They want to catch up with their friends, upload a few pictures, have a few laughs. They’ll interact with business pages if the posts there strike them as interesting or funny, or if there’s a really good deal on offer. And they’ll click on those targeted ads if they really resonate with them. But that’s not the primary reason they’re on Facebook. When people log on to LinkedIn, however, it’s all about business. They are there as businesspeople, interacting with other businesspeople, for the purpose of expanding their businesses. Every single thing they do on LinkedIn is done with their business in mind, whether it’s discussing a hot topic in a Group or posting an update to their connections. So it makes sense that aiming targeted ads at people on LinkedIn…

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  • 6 Ways To Gain Credibility as an Industry Thought Leader

    Let’s say you’re looking for a real estate agent to help you sell your house. You find one agent’s website with all the standard stuff – a generic welcome, a bio page, listings… But then you discover a realtor webpage that’s obviously different. It grabs you from the very first page with important information that’s extremely useful for someone looking to sell their house. Free downloads are available, with tips on how best to stage your home when potential buyers come calling. There’s a daily blog discussing the real estate market in depth, and how you can take advantage of – or work around – current trends. Later that day, as you’re browsing through some real estate groups on LinkedIn, you see that same realtor taking part in discussions, and answering people’s questions – not in a sales-y way, but just to help them out, no strings attached.   Which of these two realtors would you choose to sell your house? Of course, you’d choose the second one! And that is the power of becoming an industry thought leader. So how can you apply this real estate scenario to your own business? Just follow these six steps to establish yourself…

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  • Downton Abbey Meets LinkedIn: 10 Etiquette Tips for Networking and Teatime

    Oh, don’t you wish you could step back in time and live in the world of Downton Abbey, just for a little while? The sumptuous clothes, the breath-taking estates, the elegant dinners… It’s all so different from our approach to life today. But not everything from Edwardian England has completely disappeared. We still enjoy a lovely cup of tea now and again, and it’s still important to mind your manners. The situations we use those good manners for may have changed, but the rules themselves have basically stayed the same. For example, teatime etiquette can easily be applied to online marketing etiquette. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at this guide to minding your manners on LinkedIn: 1. Mind your P’s and Q’s. (Or in this case, your I’s.) Sometimes good manners lie in the little things – like proper capitalization and punctuation. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, so be sure to spell it ‘LinkedIn’ rather than ‘Linkedin.’ Even though the logo has a lowercase ‘i,’ the AP Stylebook (aka The Miss Manners of Writing) insists on a capital. 2. Not everyone likes cream and sugar. Sure, everyone covets those recommendations and endorsements, but sending out a…

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  • The Importance of Connecting With Your Audience in Marketing

    Why is connecting to your audience important? One of the most important aspects of marketing is to connect to the target audience. Connecting to the target audience is vital for any business or organization, particularly in order to determine how the target audience reacts to events, items, or situations. The reactions of your target audience will directly relate to business growth. The ability to connect with the target audience separates the great companies from the ones that are just doing okay. Connecting to your audience will allow you to understand their reactions, wants, and needs. Since many audiences are constantly changing, it’s a great idea to get connected and stay connected with your audience. This way, you keep up with your target audience and adapt whatever you need to in order to stay relevant. In fact, you might even need to update your marketing strategy to stay relevant. Who is your target audience? If you’re going to connect with your audience, then you need to have a good, rough idea of who they are. Typically, it might be a great idea to learn the demographics of your target audience and update that information frequently. This way, you can develop marketing…

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  • Starting the New Year Off Right: 5 New Strategies for 2013

    Happy New Year!  Now that the holidays are mostly behind us, it’s time to take a close look at what’s new on the social media horizon for 2013. Make Your Website Easy to Browse on Any Device It all starts with the basic social media marketing tool that every business must have: a well converting website.  We’ve been talking about it for some time, but 2013 is the year that it finally happens – web browsing from mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) is poised to overtake PC-based browsing. It’s already happened in some parts of the world, and North America is about to catch up. So a mobile-friendly website is essential for 2013.  For some companies who rely on web-based ordering and sales, this means launching a separate mobile website via a dedicated mobile app – think eBay Mobile.  For most companies, however, it means making the company website mobile friendly. What’s a mobile friendly website?  Mobile searchers want a super fast load time, mobile-friendly content and images, and easy “thumb navigation”. The key is making it easy for them to find your site, and once they’re on it, to find what they’re looking for – quickly, with as few…

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