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5-Step Content Marketing Checklist

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Do you have a content marketing plan for your business? Would you like to create blog posts people get value from and will share? Blogging for business is so much more than writing an article and throwing it up on your website. It encompasses a lot of planning, preparing, research, writing and editing until you get something that truly resonates with the audience you’re trying to reach. In an effort to organize this process for myself, I created a content marketing checklist that you might find useful when creating and promoting content for your business. I’ve distilled it down into five key steps: Planning & Research Writing Optimization Making It “Shareable” Promotion Even though there are several points for each step, there are still many more that weren’t covered in my attempt to be concise. If you feel something important is missing, let us know in the comments below. Make sure you scroll past the infographic for more detailed explanations of each step. Your 5 Step Content Marketing Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC] Feel free to share this infographic without modifications on your blog or anywhere you like with credit to Top Dog Social Media and a link back to this page. 1. [...]

5 Ways To Maximize Reach With Content Marketing & LinkedIn

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I often have people tell me at speaking events, “Melonie I just haven’t got any business from LinkedIn.” Do you struggle with trying to figure out how to actually build relationships or get results on LinkedIn? One of the keys to a successful LinkedIn or social selling campaign is content marketing. The beauty about content marketing and social selling is that it will always help you build a relationship, as long as it has context and relevance to the person you’re trying to reach. The problem with most peoples’ strategy is that do not invest the time to learn how to communicate via LinkedIn (or social media) in a way that speaks to their target audience. Instead, many push a selfish agenda that turns off prospects faster than a power outage in a busy nightclub. Content is more than just an article that you send to someone you want to sell something to, it’s offers you so many advantages that can’t be acquired otherwise. Here are just a few of the benefits of integrating content marketing with your social selling and LinkedIn efforts: Provides Value. It’s a lot easier to get your foot in the door with a new connection [...]

7 Steps To Creating A Social Media Strategy For Your Business

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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once stated that “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Basically this is a nice way of saying that if you don’t have a plan to follow through on your goals, you are wasting your time. This was never truer than in the case of using social media for business. I cannot tell you how many people have shared with me that they have spent a huge amount of time and/or money using social media for their business and have seen little to no return. They are completely disillusioned with social media and many think it was a complete waste of their time and money. The truth is, in most cases they were absolutely right! This doesn’t mean that social media can’t be one of the best tools that you have at your disposal to reach out to your potential prospects or customers and turn them into brand advocates or customers. Because it is. But you can’t just jump into social media without a plan or you will just be wasting your time. I am going to share with you 7 steps to create a social media strategy that will provide you with real and [...]

LinkedIn Company Page Vs Personal Profile: Which Is Better?

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By far, one of the most popular questions I get from people is, “How do I get more leverage from my LinkedIn company page?” Many “social media experts” will jump at every chance to defend any aspect of the online social world but I’m going to tell you exactly what I believe. Company pages are not a big deal and they often don’t generate tangible results. There, I said it! Yes, it might come as a shock to many of you that I would ever suggest any aspect of LinkedIn is irrelevant but company pages aren’t where I’ve found success that produces sales. Company pages do provide a unique opportunity for exposure that wasn’t previously available to personal profiles though: Sponsored Updates. Does this mean you shouldn’t have a LinkedIn Company Page? If you have a business you definitely should have one but the real results always come from building relationships on your personal LinkedIn Profile. 3 Reasons Why Your Personal LinkedIn Profile Will Generate More Results Than a LinkedIn Company Page 1. People Want To Deal With People, Not Logos When you’re on social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other network, do you prefer to interact [...]

What Is Social Selling and Will It Work For You?

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Are you interested in generating more leads, prospects and sales using social media but don’t know where to start? Have you invested time and maybe even money into marketing on social media, but just have seen the kind of results you hoped for? Social selling may be the solution you have been looking for! Social selling will not only add new leads in your sales funnel but it will also enable you to actively engage and build relationships with these same leads, moving them further through the buying process. When done correctly, social selling can help you to outperform your non-social media using competitors.  In fact, 72.6% of salespeople who use social media outperform their colleagues who aren’t using it. This article will outline why social selling works, five things your company needs to do before attempting to socially sell and five daily social selling activities to improve your online presence.  Why use social selling? Cold calling is not nearly as effective as it used to be. This once popular sales approach worked for businesses in the past, but now comes off as intrusive and can turn off prospective clients. In fact, over 90% of decision makers are saying they [...]

LinkedIn History: The Road To 300+ Million Members

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Watching the rise of social networks replicates a lot of the excitement that surrounded the dot com bubble but without the burst, at least not yet. It almost seems like to be a billion dollar company, you have to have started in your parent’s garage or basement and shacked up with a few other people just crazy enough to stand the marathon coding sessions. LinkedIn history definitely does not stray too far from this story. Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, is at the center of the critical parts of LinkedIn history that were pivotal in defining the path to becoming a billion dollar company. Hailed as a business and tech genius, Hoffman has worn every hat along the corporate ladder and is a prominent angel investor for promising startups. A Tour Through LinkedIn History (2002-Present) 2002 Reid Hoffman recruits a team of old colleagues from SocialNet and PayPal to work on a new idea. They setup office in Reid’s 1-bedroom apartment. 2003 Six months after Reid assembles “the dream team”, LinkedIn officially launches on May 5, 2003. Growth starts out slow with as little as 20 new registered users on the worst days. Reid Hoffman and his team manage [...]

The Guide To Social Media Time Management

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Do you struggle with social media time management? Are you spending more time than necessary and not getting the results you want? Most people tend to waste a lot of time on social media because the process they have to complete those tasks takes much more time than necessary. Even worse, I find they spend a lot of time on tasks that create little long-term value while missing out on the most important high leveraging tasks. I considered writing this article in a way that would set specific times for specific tasks but I quickly realized that wasn’t going to make sense for everybody. Instead, I tried to uncover some of the major reasons why inefficiency in social media occurs, how to identify where you could be wasting time and some simple guidelines that will help you make the right decisions to become highly productive. Top 5 Reasons You Are Wasting Time on Social Media Spending time on tasks that don’t produce results. It’s so easy to waste hours a day just looking at your Facebook insights or seeing how many shares you got on your last post. You can’t question the efficacy of your social efforts if you aren’t [...]

The Secret To Getting Found On Page 1 of LinkedIn Search

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When B2B professionals hear that LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation (aka social selling) than Facebook or Twitter, they quickly realize LinkedIn is not a tool that can be ignored. Despite this impressive statistic, there is a problem that degrades the efficacy of the entire process for most people (and that likely includes you too): your prospects aren’t finding you when they search for professionals like you. Chapter 3 of my newly released book, The LinkedIn Code, discusses my “formula” for optimizing your profile to get to the top of LinkedIn search results. Your credibility is enhanced when a prospect searches for the services you provide and finds you on their own. As long as you don’t disappoint them when they arrive to your LinkedIn profile, you have an advantage that’s very difficult to buy because it’s organic. On a side note, if you don’t have an impressive LinkedIn profile already, learn how to perfect it here. Disable Notifications First You should not do any editing to your profile until you have disabled notifications otherwise everyone in your LinkedIn network will receive an update for every single profile change. I can assure you that both you and your [...]

How To Create a Content Marketing & SEO Strategy

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In this episode of The Social Scoop Podcast, we brought a truly exciting guest on the show that is an absolute mastermind of content marketing: Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media, a high-end web design and development firm based out of Chicago. Andy was a speaker at this year’s Social Media Marketing World in San Diego and regularly publishes incredible content on marketing, SEO, email marketing and more on his blog. Andy is also the author of an amazing book on marketing called Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing. His book is the direct result of conversations and collaborations with hundreds of successful companies over the past 12 years and is put together wonderfully with helpful graphics, charts and diagrams to illustrate for almost every concept. Building a website is a pain for every business owner, especially when dealing with designers that lack an understanding of sales and marketing. It’s not enough to just have a pretty website, it needs to be functional and serve the ultimate purpose of generating leads and prospects for your business. Andy brings a powerful and unique skill set that gives him an advantage over most in the design and marketing world by bringing [...]

50+ Statistics That Show How Marketers Are Using Social Media

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For the past six years, the entire social media industry has relied on Social Media Examiner’s annual industry reports to gain insight into the most (and least) popular tactics used by marketers. They gathered data from 2887 marketers about the various factors affecting their social media campaigns to wind up with 50 pages of undiluted social media statistics that will drastically improve the intelligence you base major decisions off of. There is no question that the biggest changes yet have popped up in the brand new 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report and I’m certain that you’re going to be reconsidering at least a couple aspects of your social media strategy. Social Media Statistics 2014: Major Findings 92% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business, up from 86% in 2013. Tweet This Stat!  At least 89% of marketers want to know the most effective social tactics and the best ways to engage their audience with social media. Tweet This Stat! 68% of marketers plan on increasing their use of blogging, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2014. Tweet This Stat! When forced to only select one platform, 54% of marketers selected Facebook, [...]