Developing Influence on LinkedIn Groups

For today’s business professional, having a LinkedIn presence is important. However, it is not enough to simply create an account on the business-focused social netwokring site, and put a few details on your profile. A mix of the right connections, and regular bouts of activity are necessary to make the most of your LinkedIn experience.

Each week, LinkedIn selects “Top Influencers,” or users whose comments, likes and discussions generate the most participation from other group members. These members will appear in the upper-right corner of each group’s home page in the “Top Influencers This Week” box. These users are typically permitted to post new discussions and comments without approval from group management. New group members, on the other hand, may receive a message upon posting, alerting that comments have been submitted for approval. Note that this is not the case for all LinkedIn groups, and is at the discretion of the group manager.

Some groups will limit your ability to participate based on your perceived influence. For example, a college student with under 20 connections, a less than stellar work history, and zero recommendations, may be less likely to have his new discussions approved than a LinkedIn user in the same group with more influential credentials, such as numerous recommendations, a professional profile photo, and a long list of connections with CEO titles. Take caution; connections, recommendations and profile updates should be built up in regular increments over time, avoiding sudden spikes and drops in LinkedIn activity.  

Get your profile picture out there. People will begin to recognize your photo if they see it regularly. Posting comments when you feel comfortable and qualified to offer an opinion on the subject matter is a great way to get people to follow you, which can lead to an increased perceived influence. Simply clicking the “like” button for a comment, discussion or post will allow you to increase your brand recognition without words. It is fine to do so sometimes, but be careful not to “like” every post you see. Instead, regularly offer something of value to other users, which will increase your perceived influence to both members and managers.

QIC Learning offers short, interactive courses on Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and Effective Web Site Design. Course tutorials can be found at:

http://qiclearning.com/QICLearning-Tutorials.html

Brand Value is Developed over Time through Impressions and Changes in Mindset

Brand Value, a measure of the overall image or concept of the meaning or value of a word, name or web address by consumers, can be influenced by:

Number of Brand Impressions

A brand impression is a single presentation of a message or media item that provides viewers with information about brand qualities or attributes.

Recipients may be exposed to brand messages without direct perception by:

  • Seeing a Logo
  • Hearing a Sponsorship Message
  • Seeing (but not clicking) an Ad that is Displayed within a Search Results Page

Association Context

Association context is the set of parameters a device or recipient currently has, which can influence their interaction with content or services.

Recipient perception may be influenced by:

  • Surrounding Content or Environment
  • Strategically Placed, Related content

Current Mindset

A mindset is the attitude or beliefs held by a person, which often determine his perception and response to situations or events.

Mindset may be described in terms of:

  • Awareness
  • Perceived Value as Related to a Need or Desire
  • Credibility or Beliefs of Related Thoughts

A white paper can be a great tool to help improve brand value.

The Importance of Social Media in Brand Awareness

Social media has become an increasingly important platform in today’s marketing campaigns.

Creating a company page and registering your brand are great ways to promote brand awareness using social media.

Many social networks require little to no cost, and the benefits can be measurable and definitive.

Some sites you might consider include:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • YouTube

Don’t underestimate the importance of a great (or negative) review. Retail sites like Amazon allow users to post reviews about products and services they’ve tried or purchased.

While some sites may require a prior purchase or membership to post reviews, some do not, which may leave you at the mercy of  potentially vengeful customers and competitors.

Social media, when used and managed correctly, can deliver the marketing results you’re after.

QIC Learning offers Internet Marketing courses covering topics like Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, and Web Site Design.

Free course tutorial:

http://www.qiclearning.com/QIC-Learning-Tutorial-IMBM-Title-Slide.html

White Papers: A Useful Promotional Tool

White papers can be used to achieve various marketing objectives, all of which can be tailored to fit the needs of your business. Whether you’re looking to improve search engine ranking, increase web site traffic, generate sales leads or increase direct product and service sales, white paper promotion can be a real benefit.

 

White papers can:

Increase brand value: increasing the number of brand impressions seen by qualified people

Increase search engine value: contain relevant keywords, high value content = improved search ranking results

Increase web site traffic:  links on hosting sites, links embedded within white papers bring more people to a web site

Increase sales leads: downloads require the submission of contact information from readers who are highly qualified

 

White paper readers are typically searching for solutions to specific problems. If a white paper explains a solution, and offers a specific type of product or service that can solve a problem, the readers become ideal candidates to buy the products or services referenced within the white paper.

http://althosbooks.com/whpama.html

QIC Learning Internet Marketing Course: Student Objectives

The results of QIC Learning’s first Internet Marketing for Business Managers course are in. Read on to see which topics our students wanted to learn about, and which topics we were sure to cover.

  • What types of Internet Marketing will Work best for Specific types of Businesses
  • How to Measure Success
  • Typical Costs and Performance levels (ROI)
  • Necessary Time Investment
  • How to Self-Manage Tasks
  • How to Integrate Multiple Types of Marketing
  • Available Tools
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Pay-Per-Click

QIC Learning is set to roll out courses on topics ranging from Social Media, email and Affiliate Marketing to Business Funding, Radio Advertising and Web Page Design.

Visit http://qiclearning.com/QICLearning-Class-List.html to access a list of available courses.

A Successful Affiliate Program Needs Effective Marketing

Affiliate Managers are realizing that they can’t just initiate an in-house affiliate marketing program and expect it to run itself. Aside from creating partnerships, managing links and tracking commissions, someone’s got to Get The Word Out.

Affiliate Program Marketing is the process of Communicating and Promoting co-marketing relationships to Potential Affiliate Partners. Affiliate program marketing can include a mix of listings in affiliate program directories, publicity programs (press releases), paid advertising (pay per click), affiliate membership links (“join our affiliate program”), and sponsorships.

Affiliate Program Directory: listing of affiliate marketing campaigns with descriptions and characteristics as offered by companies; typically includes qualifying (categorical) and descriptive information.

Affiliate Submission Service: company or system that can gather information (submission data), process that data into other formats, and submit specialized formats to other directories or information systems.

Direct Marketing (DM): promoting affiliate programs directly to potential partners; typically includes email promotion.

Social Media Marketing: promoting affiliate programs through the use of information (voice, data, or video) that is consumed and produced by related users within a social network. Examples of social media networks include Facebook, Myspace, Digg, and Twitter.

Begin with a familiar promotional channel and branch out to find the one that best suits the needs of your affiliate program.

Many Small Business Owners Use Internet Marketing and Do Not Know It!

Over 83% of the small business owners we interviewed are using multiple types of Internet marketing, and many of them do not even know they are doing it! Some of their efforts have produced great results. With a bit of usable knowledge, they can use their limited successes to create simple Internet marketing campaigns, which can dramatically increase their sales.
For example, we interviewed a business owner who does not normally send emails to existing customers. When the company’s office location changed, a simple text-based email was sent to approximately 500 existing customers announcing the move. This resulted in over $7,000 of new business! Identifying additional ways to provide useful information to customers, such as tips on how to maintain products, means that future email broadcasts can be sent. This is a win for both the customer and the company. Email marketing can be used to develop better customer relationships.

Email Marketing – Useful for Small Business Relationship Building

For A Successful Affiliate Marketing Program, Key Factors Must Align

To become a successful affiliate marketer, you’ve got to bring multiple elements to the table. While targeted traffic and optimized web pages are important, they simply aren’t enough to ensure success. Link selection and ad placement techniques are also key factors. Implementing one without the rest will prove ineffective.

So how can you be sure you’re utilizing each component most effectively? Testing your campaigns will allow you to see which factors need to be tweaked, and which are just right. Implement a search engine optimization campaign to ensure your pages receive the traffic they deserve. Try variations in link selection and placement. Stay above the fold, but play around with left, center and right placement. Alternate between banner, graphic and text ads, keeping track of click-thru rates.

Remember that when it comes to affiliate marketing, the sum is definitely greater than the parts.

Affiliate Incentive Programs Can Boost Performance Levels

If you’re looking for a way to improve affiliate relations and performance levels, try implementing an Affiliate Incentive Program. Defining the valuable components included as part of your affiliate marketing campaign can help you entice new affiliates and motivate current partners to take desired actions.

Provide Commission Increases, which can be promotional (temporary) or have extended or infinite (lifetime) duration.

Offer Increased Cookie Life, which increases the potential of an affiliate to receive a commission on people who return to web site at a later time and purchase.

Run Affiliate Contests, which may provide bonuses or gifts for achieving contest objectives.

Provide Affiliate Bonuses, such as paying an additional $100 in sales commission for obtaining a new customer.

Offer Activation Incentives,  which can be in the form of rewards given when a person or company has joined a program, or when they begin to use or offer a service.

Test and see which types of incentive programs work best for your affiliate marketing program.

 

Key Objectives of Search Marketing

Whether you’re looking to increase qualified web site traffic, gain direct product sales, test SEO campaigns or build your lists, search marketing will allow you to do so.

Qualified Traffic

In addition to getting ads placed in front of more people (impressions), the selection of search terms and advertising text that closely match the type of product or service means that the people who click on the ads are likely to have a very high interest. Simply put, you’ll attract more highly qualified visitors.

Direct Product Sales

Search engine marketing programs can be designed to attract web site visitors who are more likely to convert into direct sales. Selecting keywords, such as “overnight delivery,” add to conversion values.

SEO Campaign Testing

You’ll get a relatively large number of qualified people to visit your web page in a short period of time. While the search engine marketing program might be too expensive for a long term search marketing campaign, the data gathered from the campaign can be used to update (optimize) web site landing pages.

List Building

Attracting qualified prospects to your web pages allows you the chance to encourage them, perhaps with a free eBook or software tool, to submit their contact information (sales lead submissions). List building campaigns may use squeeze pages, which only provide the visitor with the option to submit their contact information.

Name and Keyword Testing

Test which names or keywords people respond to and the actions they may be willing to take. These testing programs are not directly interested in the sales they generate. They are more interested in gathering comparison information (such as the click through rate) between different names or words. These campaigns run multiple ads that only change one or two words to determine which words people respond to.