Rebecca Caroe Quora profile

Using Wikipedia and Quora for marketing

I recently got asked about whether Wikipedia is good for marketing. It’s a high traffic website from where backlinks could be valuable.

If you do create Wikipedia entries be aware that there are rules about businesses on the platform.

The recent history of Marketing on Wikipedia

A lot of PR agencies got publicly burned while trying to promote their clients there.
Which led to Wikipedia publishing this.
And check out the PR institute rules in the UK which followed.

Basically, don’t expect this to be an amazing source of new business.

However, I have an other option to offer you which may work.

Quora expert profile

5 Quora tips for marketing

Answering questions around your topic of expertise and interest and inspiration is definitely somewhere you can shine. It’s not open source, so nobody can edit your submissions and you can get upvoted and become an “expert” on the platform quite quickly.

The key is to start in an established niche where you are confident.
Here are 5 easy tips on writing Quora replies with a marketing slant.

  1. Read all the other answers first and upvote / or reference good parts which you agree with
  2. Then add your own slant which is hopefully something not already mentioned
  3. Find something in your own published content which could be linked from your answer and which adds more detail. This is key because a skim reader won’t follow the link, but someone who is really interested will click to follow and land on your site. So you filter out the tyre kickers quickly.
  4. If you haven’t already got something you can use from your own content write it now. Write it on your website / blog, publish it, and link it inside your Quora answer before you hit save in Quora.
  5. Use the GA campaign link tool so you can identify traffic from that article link.
  6. All Quora links are nofollow but real people will click on them – so they give you customers instead of immediate SERP rank juice.
  7. Tick the box to follow the answers and get alerted when someone else joins the thread so you can come back in later if you need.

Now what’s stopping you?

 

Oh, and if you came here from Manaaki – welcome. You’re following exactly the technique I recommend for use on Quora.

And you can use this technique on other forums relevant to your niche. I have three which send me traffic and build my profile as an expert in new business development.

Slideshare got sold

Today’s discovery. Slideshare got sold.

scribd and slideshare

Slideshare header about Scribd

I was a very early Scribd user…. now I find they’ve bought Slideshare from LinkedIn.

This will change things for many of us who love Slideshare.

  • What happens to my slide decks shared into LinkedIn? [they stay]
  • Who still uses Slideshare [me and my clients]
  • Why is Scribd such a great platform? [sharing document images – especially long ones.]

Why I loved Slideshare

It was the first and most easy way to share decks – create embeddable and downloadable links and also do lead generation from a single place. For folks in professional services this was great if you were using education as a B2B marketing tool. I frequently recommended this strategy for my clients and it remains very effective.

What changes now?

Well, tools come and go all the time. I spend a lot of time cataloguing new marketing software and services which could be useful for me or my clients,  That’s one of the reasons why I’m often such an early adopter of these services [checkout when I joined Twitter for example].

Slides featured on my LinkedIn Profile

The functionality for slide embeds will continue to rest with Slideshare for the time being. But its utility is now altered.

Where and how expertise is shared is not the same and will continue to evolve.  And so, for now, I’m going to be looking closely at Scribd and its functionality.

And don’t forget LinkedIn – what will happen to future slide decks? Will there be alternative software for uploading them? What are the Slideshare alternatives and do they work on the LinkedIn platform?

What does Scribd do for me?

Scribd now also has functionality for reading magazines and books and audiobooks as well as slide decks.  It’s a competitor to Audible, Google Books, Kindle, Flip, Isuue and news or magazine aggregators.

All Slideshare users are automatically given a Scribd login.  Sadly they are only offering 2 months free use to Slideshare customers.

This makes me suspect that the acquisition was just to buy a user base. Sharing your slides isn’t exactly the same use case as using Scribd.

What do you think about this acquisition? Useful? Waste of Time? Who does slides today anyway?

Digital Strategy and your Website

For all in-house marketing managers, I’m running some training hosted by CCH Learning during February.  I first ran this course three years ago and it remains the most popular I’ve ever done with them.  Digital Strategy and Your Website.

Update your professional website

Business websites cannot be static “set-and-forget” marketing assets. Recent changes to search and social algorithms affect your business. Learn how to work your website hard so that it pays back the investment to the business, brings in new enquiries and showcases the firm’s expertise and key staff.

This is a practical training webinar which will show you how to test your website’s effectiveness and give you a checklist of what you can do to improve key metrics.

Further, a business website MUST be the central hub for all your marketing activity.  It needs close integration with other key marketing technologies which I’ll be teaching on this course.

Invest in your marketing skills

Get yourself onto this course – the investment is a modest NZ$215 + GST and I know you’ll be glad you came.

My reviews from all the courses I have given reflect the client testimonials I get from direct clients.

Sales funnel, B2B sales, B2B marketing expert

Tips for manufacturers to grow client base

My company provides mechanical designs and manufacturers and supplies products to a few companies in both the US and Europe. How do I increase my customers?

This is a typical “opening” question that I get asked when starting a new engagement with clients.  B2B marketing needs to be closely integrated with the new business and new client acquisition process to be effective.

For a public question and answer, I gave some straightforward answers.  The detail of how to apply these, is where my expertise will help you get it right first time.

Sales funnel, B2B sales, B2B marketing expert

Planning B2B sales and marketing plan

Step one for B2B sales

  1. Ask your existing client/s for referrals. If they were happy with the work that you did, they should be happy to help. If you feel the need, offer them a X%/$X discount on the next project for every client they refer. This is ‘win-win-win’ situation because you get more clients, they get a discount, and they use your services again.
  2. Ask your existing clients for a written recommendation & permission to use their logo on your website. Publish them both on your website. This will help increase the conversion rate on your website. If you feel the need, you can offer them a link to their website which will be good for both of your SEO rankings – so another win-win.
  3. Publish as much (relevant and quality) content as possible on your website (about the projects you’ve done, potential projects, your fields of expertise, etc. Obviously, you need to have a professional and trustworthy looking website. I can explain how the articles need to be done.
  4. Create a free ‘get a quote tool’ – many customers check online to get an estimate of how much the project will cost. If you have an automatic online tool, this can attract a lot of customers. I have personally used such a tool and I was very impressed.
  5. Partner with organisations/companies that work with your target clients – for example: I work with lots of entrepreneurs and many of them ask me for referrals to various types of service providers, including programming companies. These companies give me a small percentage of the profits they make from my referrals (of course I only refer to companies which I know and trust as my reputation is worth more than the referral fee).

Step 2 tactics for more sophisticated marketers

In Europe, there are a number of partnership sites for B2B. You could use these sites to post your offer or search for other offers and hopefully make a match.

Another approach is considering hiring local distributors who specialise in your industry. The advantage here is local distributors will already have a strong network to promote your products/services. Furthermore, local distributors would have thorough understanding of the local market, language, and business culture to close deals.

Go talk to your current customers. Ask them why they do business with you. They may, and most likely will, tell you something different than you’re saying to new prospects. Listen to what your current customers are saying and use their messaging to talk to the market. Ask them if they know other companies that could use what you have,

Go and join the professional trade bodies who represent the industries for your existing clients. Ask your existing clients what these are. Once you are a member, you will be able to see a membership list of other organisations who are also members
Plan outbound marketing to approach these companies and see if they want to also work with you.

Consider visiting the annual conferences and trade shows which these professional bodies run because you will then meet in person with prospects. Many people find it easier to sell their expertise face to face. You could consider doing a trade show stand as well where you can display your past work and the logos of your clients. This builds trust and can start discussions.,

B2B sales and marketing work together

In summary – you need to learn the process of B2B new business, you need a strategy for your new business development and then you need a regular tactical execution process to deliver the new business programme.

You may choose to hire an external advisor to help write the strategy, you could get an in-house salesperson to deliver the tactical execution as well, depending on the size of your contracts and how many you need to get in order to pay for their salary plus commission to make it worthwhile for the business.

Rebecca Caroe B2B marketing speaker

Is B2B marketing yielding good returns?

Is the marketing you are doing giving you the yield you seek?

I am asking this question a LOT at the moment.  I  ask it to myself, for my own businesses, I ask clients, I ask prospects.

One answer came from a professional services marketer.  It serves as a good example for in-house marketers to challenge their thinking, to up-skill and to get insight from beyond the internal team in the business.

This is what she wrote  to answer

Hmmm… It’s hard to tell. I cannot know if a speaking engagement got someone interested enough to ask their consultant to investigate our solutions and eventually get in touch with us and 2 years later… we have a deal signed. It is a complex process to sell our service.

Is a long sales cycle a B2B marketing problem?

Yes, it certainly is.  Tracking and managing a diverse set of marketing tactics and campaigns over time takes discipline and forethought.

But where I felt this marketing manager was failing her business colleagues was around integrating the content creation, the speech-giving with marketing analytics and tracking data.

I challenge the assertion that you “cannot know” if a speaking engagement has any effect.

How to track conference speeches for marketing impact

Let me make some suggestions:

  • Every conference – offer a free download of something valuable. Create a trackable URL. Cookie the browsers visiting that site.
  • ALSO offer the visitor something even more valuable (not a sales pitch) if they sign up to your database

Both of these create trackable events which (even if 2 years passes) can enable you to demonstrate results.

Any pass-on of URLs to second parties like consultants or colleagues is tracked too.

I use Google Campaign URL builder and also short link services like Bit.ly for this.

Upskill your internal marketing team

When did you last go and get training and invest in your internal marketing team?  I fear many in-house teams do not get the attention they deserve.  Hiring an agency or consultant is not necessarily going to improve the team skills – it delegates marketing activity to outsiders.

What could you do to invest better, to improve your team’s ability to run the strategy as well as the execution, to better understand what the agency / consultant is doing for you, so that they can brief better, to guide the marketing plan better, to adapt and adjust the marketing budget for new tech, for new market conditions (recession?) and above all, to stay in front of the competition?

So challenge yourself, is the marketing you are doing giving you the yield you seek?

office view for copywriting inspiration

Anatomy of effective cold direct mail

I love getting really timely direct mail messages that are relevant.

This one came just in time to help me navigate a change to podcast categories.

Let’s analyse the direct message

Hello podcaster,

[Small fail here as they don’t know my name.  Implies a purchased list rather than an opted in CRM database.]

In case you missed it, Apple Podcasts have changed how they categorize podcasts. In short, new categories like True Crime have been introduced, old categories have been rebranded and lots of new sub-categories dedicated to sports, comedy, TV and more have been added!

[Opening paragraph – helpful link to contextualise in case I haven’t seen the news.  It’s a blog post on their website…. that’s good because it drives traffic and cookies my browser.  Nice bold text for likely interesting new categories to draw my eye.]

Unfortunately, some services as SoundCloud don’t support them yet. Spreaker is a platform dedicated to podcasting and we put the podcasters’ needs first.

[Natch!  a snipe at a popular competitor.  I use SoundCloud for my podcast and so this is relevant to me.  Could be a merge field – but not likely.  I think they may have targeted me from the SoundCloud platform.]

For this reason

  • our podcast platform already fully supports the new Apple Podcasts categories so you can improve your show’s discoverability
  • Spreaker allows you to set three categories – your podcast will rank in more than one category on iTunes at the same time – and fully customize the RSS feed tags
  • our service enables you to earn money with your podcast thanks to the Spreaker’s Monetization Program.

[Small quibble about supplying 3 reasons and not numbering them… and referring to “this reason” when it should be “these reasons”.  However, their nimble coding enabling the new categories quickly is encouraging when considering an alternative hosting platform.  Hopefully they keep up the speedy work.]

If you want to start using the new Apple categories and are curious about what Spreaker could do for your podcast – why not give us a try with our FREE, no strings attached, month-long trial.

All you need to do is click this special code: GETAPPLECATEGORIES

[Simple offer, clear time limit and a coupon code so they can identify subscribers from this campaign.]

If you need instructions to move your podcast over to Spreaker, you can follow this guide.

[More useful user guides to smooth a transition.]

We hope to see you on Spreaker sometime soon!

Template your own message

Follow the same paragraph structure when approaching your own prospects and try this for yourself.

Read more of our articles on copywriting and learn tips for your own marketing.

Customer Reviews – a reality check

The New Zealand Commerce Commission is investigating online retailers who they claim have manipulated customer reviews and testimonials in

“…conduct that was liable to mislead consumers by creating artificially positive impressions…”

NZ Commerce Commission website

What actions constitute “misleading consumers”?

Read more
Followers on LinkedIN, How to use LinkedIn, Social Selling, B2B marketing

Who’s your LinkedIn Follower?

LinkedIn hides some of its best features – deliberately.

So here is my quick tip of the week to help you grow your connection base.

Do you know about your followers and following feed?

Thought not.

Log into your LinkedIn. Then paste this into your browser and take a look at this URL.

It lists everyone who is following you. The image below shows Philip Goffin – he’s following me. But I’m neither connected to him, nor following him.

Woo Hoo – lots of followers, Famous fellow.

Now for the inverse, Following. These are the people you are following.

What’s the use of following on LinkedIn?

Well, many times you want to see the News Feed updates from people, but you don’t actually know them and so connecting isn’t appropriate.

Or you just think you will see their updates for a while before approaching for a connection request.

Or you are hoping to quietly bring yourself to their attention without being too pushy – so follow them in the hope they notice you and send a connection request.

Go forth…. try it for yourself.

P.S. You can no longer export contact information from LinkedIn and so I’m advising clients to build contact lists outside of the platform for every new contact they make.

How To Introduce A Business By Email

Connecting two compatible businesses with each other can be one of strongest networking tools for you and other businesses. By connecting the groups, not only are you solidifying your own network, but also helping the two businesses who may be able to benefit each other.

But often times this can be difficult over email.

In my networking group, we’re working hard to make it really EASY for members to introduce each other to new prospects and new clients.

I was asked by the group to help coach them in the best way to write an introduction that others could use.  So let’s say you wanted to introduce my firm to another business. Here’s how you would do it.

 

Hi [their name],
I just wanted to connect you with Rebecca from Creative Agency Secrets. I know you were interested in increasing your business’s online presence, and I’m sure they’ll be able to help.
Creative Agency Secrets is an expert in marketing and promoting businesses using traditional and online methods.  They work as the outsourced marketing team for busy businesses doing marketing that starts conversations and leads to sales.
I have seen their work for [name a client] and used them for my own business to write the copy on our website About Us page.  And I’ve also recommended them several times and had great feedback especially about their careful attention to detail.
I will leave you two to connect – I’ve spoken to you both about each other and shared your emails and phone numbers below.
[both parties’ contact information]
Best,
[Your Name]

The 5 elements of an effective email introduction

  1. Introduce: explain why you sent the email
  2. Start: with their one-liner…. who are they and what do they do
  3. Build: with an example of their work for someone you both know, preferably.  If you can’t say you have worked personally with them, a mutual acquaintance is a positive reinforcer.
  4. Memorability: Add an anecdote that describes your experience – if you can make it funny, cute or WOW that’s best but not strictly necessary.
  5. End: Include all the information they need to continue a dialogue without you….
    We plan on creating a shared document for everyone so they can cut/paste the text into emails for business referrals for new business development.

    The best introductions are when you’ve spoken personally to both parties.  NOTE not emailed, spoken….

    The Top 5 most popular articles of all time