How to get more B2B leads using LinkedIn

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A quick glance at the above stats conveys a simple but important message: Be it business owners, industry experts, students or entrepreneurs – LinkedIn cannot be ignored. And, B2B companies have more reasons to be active on LinkedIn – it’s an excellent platform to generate quality leads. Here’s how you can get more B2B leads using LinkedIn:

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are an excellent platform to connect with peers within your industry. It allows you to join up to 50 groups, and you should make the most of it by joining groups in your industry. Once you are part of a LinkedIn group, you can easily filter the members based on your criteria and your prospect list is ready.

Direct Sponsored Content

The direct sponsored content feature helps to promote an industry whitepaper, a case-study or a blog post right in your prospects feed. The features such as Localization helps in precise targeting for your sponsored content to a specific region. Instead of a direct sales pitch, content that helps the prospects in their business has higher chances of getting more traction.

Long-form content can get you a double bonus

The long-form posts on LinkedIn is an excellent way to showcase your brand or expertise in the relevant target segment. In a lot of cases discussed in my network, long-form professional content also help in the professional job searches. It also has more reach compared to the short-form posts.

Reverse engineering the content strategy

A “spray-pray” approach for content marketing will never produce results. Reverse engineering can give your content strategy a definitive edge. What this means is – instead of sharing only “hard-sell” content, you can share content that will benefit your target audience. For example, it can be simple tips to help their businesses or new developments in their industry.

The more attractive it is, the more traction it gets

A closer look at the LinkedIn stats suggest that the visually attractive posts helps a long way in getting traction for your content. Just addition of an image to the content post can help to get 90-100% more engagement than a post without an image. Addition of SlideShare presentations can give another big jump in the engagement rates.

Do you leverage LinkedIn to generate leads for your business? Comment & let us know why or why not.

References:

  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2014/05/04/new-research-2014-linkedin-user-trends-and-10-top-surprises/
  2. http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/#.VCnAIfmSySo

Kickstarting a Digital Agency – The Journey, Challenges and Expectations

Kickstarting-a-digital-agency

The entry barrier to starting a digital agency or an app & web development company is low and this has lead to the birth of companies with different focus and capabilities. So when we started out in 2012, it was imperative for us to figure out what is our USP, leveraging our strengths. We knew we wanted to create a full service digital agency which was not only creative but also delivered strong business results for our clients, in terms of revenue growth and lead generation.  Today, our agency is a leading digital agency, with strong results in Ecommerce, Entertainment, Real Estate and Healthcare.

Your Brand & the first crucial steps

The first decision possibly is whether to start on your own or look for Co-Founder/s. While selecting a co-founder, one should be ready to professionally complement each other in terms of working style, team handling style etc. Moreover, one should see if the long term personal and professional goals along with risk taking appetite are in sync with each other. For us it was easier as Suneil (the co-founder and my brother) were involved in another venture and were aware of each other’s working style.

A key element when starting the venture is finalising n the legal structure for the entity, which includes sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Partnership, partnership, or a Private Limited. We finally chose a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) to create the venture as a separate legal entity which ensuring appropriate governance.

Coming up with your brand name (and being able to find that domain), logo & your own website can be a time consuming process. We brainstormed on ideas with the domain registrar’s website open in order to check whether the domain is available. More importantly, the brand name needs to communicate what differentiates you from the other agencies.

Getting the first client

Even before we incorporated the company, we had our first client. Suneil & I had experience in digital marketing and with a small team, the journey of Social Beat had begun. Having worked in different companies prior to starting up, both of us had strong professional networks that we started tapping into to get our first set of clients. Given our value of guaranteed business results from online marketing, we were able to quickly ramp up to a team of 10 members in a year and to 20 members now.

Apart from word of mouth, online marketing proved to be a pivotal tool for us as well and it has helped us scale up our client base. We initial leveraged social media and later on Google PPC, Remarketing and a strong content & SEO strategy. We practice all the tools and strategize that we propose to clients, and we treat ourselves as a client internally so that the content & marketing strategy can help us get more clients.

Scaling up the venture

Growth is the critical oxygen for a startup. The key drivers for the growth in any start-up are the initial team members. For a digital agency, the key roles include a strong design & development team which can create responsive and engaging websites; Social Media & Community Managers who can help build the brand for clients with the support of creative designers; search Engine specialists, Advertising and Analytics Specialists.

Building the team with individuals having the right mindset and skillset is a continuous challenge and needs to be a top priority. At our agency, each team member takes strong ownership. This has resulted in many internal referrals for hiring, which also ensures the right fit for the team. We have also tried other channels for recruitment – HR consultants (some which are specific to start-ups), Linkedin, Word of Mouth and Job Sites etc. Depending on the role, different channels work better.

Given the evolving digital space and the need for strong growth, training becomes a critical role and we are working on putting in practices to ensure cross functional learning.

Being ready for the big challenges

Doing a startup is one big challenge and if you love to take on challenges, there is nothing like starting a venture or joining an early stage venture. We regularly have to address key challenges: Like setting up of processes to scale the organisation, knowledge sharing and training to stay updated on the latest developments in the digital marketing space, surpassing client expectations and delivering strong results. The energy of the team is what drives excellence every day. So, if you’re planning to venture out, choose your team wisely. There is no better day to kickstart than today.

This article was originally published on Social Samosa

Top lifestyle bloggers in Chennai

Firstly, thanks for the positive response to our article on top digital marketing courses and top venue booking websites in India. Now, we have come out with the list of top lifestyle bloggers in Chennai, as part of our series on top bloggers & influencers in India. So, here goes the list, in no specific order:

 

mADHU

Blog: http://theurgetowander.com/

This blog, aimed at individual travelers, inspires you to cut your strings holding you back and go out exploring. A great array of experiences and cultural perspectives from her travel. The visual aesthetics of the blog is worth mentioning. The lines – “Come wander with me”, aptly describe the essence of the blog.

Srinidhi

Blog: http://www.enidhi.net/

This blog has existed for more than 8 years now and has a good following. It has posts on a wide spectrum of topics ranging from travel, product/service reviews, event coverage and print media articles. The product / services review section is a good catch, with lots of details available for each review on autos to services.

Naveena

Blog: http://naveenavijayan.wordpress.com/

Her blog talks about a whole spectrum of things under the sun ranging from lifestyle to health and environment. Her style of writing is unique with well-articulated thoughts put down. A tinge of poetic fervor is apparent in her writings.

Vinod

Blog: http://citychennai.wordpress.com/

It’s easy to find blogs that go gaga over Chennai or blogs that lie at the opposite end of the spectrum. One of the rare blogs to find that talks about all facets of the emotion called Madras. As the title goes – Good, Bad & Ugly Chennai, is an excellent read for someone who wants to learn about life in Chennai.

Shantaram

Blog: http://chennaimadras.blogspot.in/

This would give you a chance to peek into the soul of “the Queen of Coromandel”. A unique thing about this blog is that one Chennai photo is posted daily here.

ashwini

Blog: http://ash-aqua-girl.blogspot.in/2012/04/chennai-bloggers.html

An excellent blog to read everything “Wow” about Singara Chennai.

abhirami

Blog: http://am-howtonameit.blogspot.in/

An ex-journalist, her blog talks about the life and times of Chennai. Her reviews of simple aspects of Chennai life like an auto-rickshaw ride, make for an interesting read.

Using Internet for Medical / Health Needs: Trends

India has reached a total of 205 million internet users in October 2013 (137 million in urban and 68 million in rural areas)*. Beyond Emails, communication and social media, internet has also become a medium to access a plethora of information in any domain. Webchutney findings from a survey** reported that 72% respondents admit to using internet to access healthcare related information and 8 out of 10 respondents have looked for information not only for themselves but others also.

Internet Usage for Health & Medical Trends

The following are some key trends in the Internet Usage for Health & Medical Needs

Understanding Diseases, Diagnosis & Treatments

There is a huge amount of healthcare related information available online today, including journals, articles, YouTube Videos, blogs and publications by reputed healthcare providers, Institutions & Organizations. It is not uncommon today to search online and diagnose a medical condition using symptoms. The consumers of healthcare in the internet age want to be better informed before making any decision and hence, have a pro-active approach to resolving any medical condition. There are many online resources, particularly international web portals such as WebMD, Medicinenet, Mayo Clinic, rightdiagnosis, etc., that are popularly used to diagnose medical conditions, perhaps before making a doctors’ visit or after to confirm the diagnosis. These portals provide a plethora of other health related information in areas of disease research, drugs, treatments and healthy living etc.

Searching for Doctors/ Hospitals

Growing incomes, Knowledge and awareness have also fueled the sentiment to get the best available in healthcare. People are increasingly searching for doctors across locations, specialties and ratings to avail the best there to suit their requirements. Platforms like Practo and Medindia facilitate online search of doctors across such parameters

Booking Appointments

Awaiting on a phone line or in a queue outside the doctors clinic is soon becoming a thing of the past. Today majority of reputed hospitals and doctors are working on creating a strong online presence, not just to address their branding and marketing requirements but to also create a more seamless, direct and easy contact process with patients/public. Click on this link for more information in this area

Virtual Clinics

Availing healthcare from your desktop is an emerging concept that intends to provide instant primary medical consultation/assistance irrespective of patient location. This could be extremely useful to time- starved/ busy people and the elderly who can save the effort on commuting to and fro the clinic. Consultations are given through video conferences, phones etc. on a one to one basis. However, this concept has its limitations in the type of medical conditions that can be treated, depending on the complication, tests required and where personal examination of the patients is indispensable. Some of the popular US online clinics are Teladoc, MDLIVE, American Well and Doctor on Demand. Many states in the US are reviewing their medical practice rules, so availability may change. In India too icliniccare is one such provider that offers 24/7 doctor consultation online

Booking Nurses/ Caretakers online

Given the growing aging population and the emergence of nuclear families in India, has increased the need to monitor the heath of the elderly / sick remotely, or to arrange for paid assistance at doorstep when required. In some cases, it is also the post- operative care that has moved from hospitals to home beds. Many companies have surfaced to meet this requirement. In India, industry estimates of the market size for home healthcare are aboutRs 12,600 crore***. Portea Medical, India Home Health Care, Health Care At Home, Homital all have websites and provide easy booking / contact to avail these services

*IAMAI, 2013

**Indiasocial.in “Catching the e-Healthcare Bug Survey”2011

*** Economic Times,  Apr 15, 2014

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