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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Measuring & Presenting Effectiveness of Content Marketing

Measuring & Presenting Effectiveness of Content Marketing - Content Marketing Institute
The Content Marketing Institute series continues with How To Measure and Present the Effectiveness of Your Content Marketing Program.

Previous posts include:
The question addressed here is “How can marketers measure – and present – the effectiveness of their content marketing programs to their management teams?”

The following content marketers offer their perspectives to the current question:

Rick Allen (@epublishmedia)
Heidi Cohen (@heidicohen)
Russ Henneberry(@russhenneberry)
Doug Kessler (@dougkessler)
hava Leibtag (@ahaval)
Katie McCaskey (@KatieMcCaskey)
Sarah Mitchell (@globalcopywrite)
Tom Pisello (@tpisello)
Nate Riggs (@nateriggs)
Jennifer Watson (@ContextComm)
Dechay Watts (@sproutcontent)
CB Whittemore (@cbwhittemore)

Here is my contribution:
Content marketing programs work quite effectively with traditional marketing programs and you can easily get started building success stories.  Don’t forget, though, to measure the before state of your website, lead generation efforts and any other elements critical to your business and management team. Consider screen grabs of digital assets, too. Those come in very handy during presentations!

Many content marketing programs build gradually over time. Monitor and measure regularly. Build mini-case studies at regular intervals, repurpose your small successes, and generate conversation with your management team to build engagement on their part. Keep track of unexpected efficiencies that develop and of the anecdotal stories about how the impossible has started to happen!

Don’t forget to tell your content marketing program story at every opportunity – in formal settings as well as less formal ones, with associates and customers. The effectiveness of your content marketing programs will be undeniable!

By the way, we had a lively discussion about measuring engagement during the previous content marketing series. Definitely check out How To Measure Engagement.
What is your take on the question? How would you go about measuring and presenting the effectiveness of content marketing? I'd love to hear.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010!

I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!  Many thanks for being such an important part of the Simple Marketing Blog....



Thanksgiving 2010 by C.B. Whittemore created via Wordle

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meetups and Tweetups: Building Community

Meetups and Tweetups: Building Community - Coverings 2010
Have you taken part in a Meetup or a Tweetup - aka a Meetup organized via Twitter using a specific hashtag? I recommend that you do. Both are powerful means for building community.

Particularly if you've started engaging with others via social media, Tweetups and Meetups allow you to meet in person people with whom you may only have been interacting with virtually to that point. That's where the magic happens!

I've noticed it time and time again - at my first NYC Blogger Meetup: Night of the Iguana in 2007; at the ultimate blogger Meetup in April 2008: Blogger Social which I describe in Back From Blogger Social 2008 - NYC - interacting with people online by reading their blogs or tweets and exchanging ideas makes for intense in-person meetings where you 'know' the person despite never having met them. You already have the basis for conversation established and your next exchanges can go far beyond superficial cocktail party chatter.

Since those early days, Meetups have become more formalized and tend to refer to regularly occurring meetings and conversations. In fact, you can search for ones of interest in your geographic area by searching through

[In this post, I describe NJ Open Coffee, MontClair, Thursdays 11am-12:30pm which has just been extended to Morristown on Wednesdays.]

Tweetups, on the other hand, retain an impromptu, one-off quality which can take a variety of forms.  You learn about them by following a specific hashtag [#] associated with an event taking place. Note from the following examples not only the range of formats, but also interaction.

I hope you'll be on the lookout for upcoming Tweetups at the next trade show or conference you attend. You'll be amazed at how they help build community.

Will you let know your experience?

Friday, November 19, 2010

How Do I Make The Most of LinkedIn?

With all of these LinkedIn resources that I've put together, it's definitely time to group them together and share with you in How Do I? Make the Most of LinkedIn.

As I come across other interesting LinkedIn resources, I'll be sure to add them to this post.

Here goes How Do I Make the Most of LinkedIn?

Most recently I took part in a fascinating conversation with Bernie Borges which became a podcast titled 8 Content Marketing Tips For LinkedIn. I think you'll enjoy both the podcast and Bernie's show notes.

The TalkFloor Social Media Marketing Interview Series with Dave Foster continues, this time all about LinkedIn and in three parts!
Finally, I just came across this post LinkedIn Marketing: 5 Reasons B-to-B Companies Can't Ignore It which includes some valuable LinkedIn recommendations.

Added 12/8/2010:
Notes on the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York Making Your LinkedIn Profile Pop: CBSAC/NY Social Media Event

From Hubspot Blog:
LinkedIn's Little Secret: It's a Great Lead-Gen Tool
5 Tips for Creating, Promoting and Managing a LinkedIn Group

Added 12/9/10: Why LinkedIn is the Social Network That Will Never Die from AdAge
Added 12/22/10: How To Add Video To Your LinkedIn Profile - A Reel Tutorial 

That's the lowdown on LinkedIn so far.

If you come across other LinkedIn resources you consider helpful, would you let me know? I'll add them here.

Also, I'd love to hear about your LinkedIn success stories.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting Started In Content Marketing

Getting Started In Content Marketing
Last week, Content Marketing Institute explored How to Explain the Value of Content Marketing. This week, the topic is How to Get Started in Content Marketing and the question, “If a marketing organization is new to content marketing, how do you suggest they get started?”

The following content marketers offered their take:

Heidi Cohen (@heidicohen)
Doug Kessler (@dougkessler)
Ahava Leibtag (@ahaval)
Amanda Maksymiw (@amandamaksymiw)
Katie McCaskey (@KatieMcCaskey)
Sarah Mitchell (@globalcopywrite)
Tom Pisello (@tpisello)
Lisa Petrilli (@LisaPetrilli)
Nate Riggs (@nateriggs)
Stephanie Tilton (@stephanietilton)
Jennifer Watson (@ContextComm)
CB Whittemore (@cbwhittemore)

I particularly like Doug Kessler's succinct suggestion to create great content that addresses what prospects care most about and where your company excels - i.e, the "overlap zone" - and Katie McKaskey's "think like the shopkeeper from yesteryear".

Here is my contribution:
I like what Joe Pulizzi described in last week’s post about getting people and content together in a room to discuss how customers and content relate. Getting started with content marketing requires understanding what assets and processes already exist and how and why they are used to build relationships with customers.

That then triggers discussion about the marketplace and how the company creates value for customers.

From there, you can start to piece together a bigger picture perspective, a content strategy, a rough content calendar and a strong sense for where gaps and opportunities exist for content marketing.

What is your take on the question? How would you get started in content marketing?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Simple News & Insights - Fall 2010

Simple News & Insights - Fall 2010

The latest issue of Simple News & Insights, Now Available... and I hope you enjoy it!

Released on 11/11/10, the Fall 2010 issue of Simple News & Insights from Simple Marketing Now is available for your reading pleasure.  You can access it by clicking on this link to the 11/11/10 archive of Simple News & Insights.

This issue explores the role content plays in making your marketing work harder for you so you can more effectively connect with potential customers.

I'd love to hear what you think.

If you like what you read in the Fall 2010 issue of Simple News & Insights, please consider subscribing.

To do so, simply click on this link to subscribe or look for the eNewsletter subscription form in the right sidebar of this blog.

You can review archives of Simple News & Insights by visiting the Simple Marketing Now News page and scrolling down to the left sidebar.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bathroom Blogfest Social Media Marketing Analysis: Why Participate?

Bathroom Blogfest Social Media Marketing Analysis
Why would an 'eclectic' [hat tip to Bruce Sanders] band of bloggers get together once a year to discuss bathrooms in an event called Bathroom Blogfest?  Good question. Especially since we have been doing so for five years now, calling attention to improving the reader, customer, user, patron, patient and other experience using bathrooms as leitmotif.  Let me explain why via the following social media marketing analysis and historic overview! [Fellow BBC, please feel free to chime in!]

First, we share a passion for extraordinary user/customer experiences that we express through our participation in social media.  Bathroom Blogfest allows us to express that passion and then delight in how fellow Bathroom Blogfest participants relate her - and now his - blog focus to bathrooms...

Don't forget that there's a historic quality, too.The event just completed its 5th year!

I like participating in the Bathroom Blogfest because it inevitably brings intense social media marketing learning.
  • I consider a blog critical for generating content. It's your marketing & communications hub. An important aspect of a successful blog, though, is connecting and engaging beyond your site to become part of a digital community - something that's easy to lose track of as you focus intensely on creating content consistently and meeting deadlines... The Bathroom Blogfest represents a friendly means for exploring other sites and connecting. I have formed lasting relationships as a result.
  • Social media marketing involves experimentation to figure out how to make sense of new tools available. Twitter had no place in the first Bathroom Blogfest; it does now. The intensity of the Bathroom Blogfest experience makes for valuable pressure-testing! Blogposts, tweets, Facebook updates and comments need to be tracked and coordinated and some systems work better than others, particularly with increased complexity. Perhaps we'll add a Twitter Chat next!
  • Bathroom Blogfest uncovers brilliance and cleverness; it's a bridge to perspectives otherwise foreign to you. It stretches your awareness and intellect and fires up your creativity.   
  • Finally, Bathroom Blogfest has dimension! It takes place offline as well as online. Don't believe me? Try it. Bring it up in conversation with friends, family and business associates. I guarantee it will generate stories, anecdotes, and leads to followup on.

The Bathroom Blogfest has become a meme of sorts, evolving since the first event in 2006.

What started out in 2006 with 9 bloggers has grown into a much larger event and fascinating Bathroom Blogfest Community [aka BBC] with close to 40 bloggers participating in 2010.

We added in 2007 to create a central focus point for the blogfest. It has evolved, too, over the years.

Since 2008, we've adopted a distinct theme for the yearly Bathroom Blogfest thereby adding an element of surprise.

We've also integrated additional social media tools as they have become more mainstream.  There was no Twitter to speak of in October 2006 when we first launched the Bathroom Blogfest. It is now an important communications and cooperation platform that drives traffic to sources of larger content [e.g., blogs].  Same goes for Facebook....

To give you a sense of the growth in the Bathroom Blogfest, I thought I would share with you a few charts.

Here you see the increase in traffic to from 2009 to 2010. Yes, this is definitely a yearly event with little activity in between.

Bathroom Blogfest 2010 traffic

This next chart details referring sites. Notice that Facebook and Twitter represent important sources. Interestingly, the Twitter traffic spent more time on the Bathroom Blogfest site compared to the Facebook traffic.

I wonder how much stronger the Facebook traffic would be if we were to start re-connecting with Facebook fans a month or so ahead of the Bathroom Blogfest to build up event momentum.
Bathroom Blogfest 2010 referrals

This next chart captures the volume of conversations that Bathroom Blogfest 2010 generated between May 8 through November 8, 2010 [using eCairn Conversation]: close to 400 conversations consisting of Tweets, Facebook updates and approximately 70 blogposts.

Bathroom Blogfest 2010 conversations
The Bathroom Blogfest continues to evolve and I invite you to participate in next year's event, as an active participant or a supporter.

In the meantime, I hope you will look at the bathroom experiences around you with fresh eyes and consider how you might improve your patient, user, customer experience. Oh, and go visit the sites of my fellow Bathroom Blogfest participants. You may want to subscribe to several of them.

What other learnings would you add? 


Here are the participants in the past five Bathroom Blogfests:

2006 Bathroom Blogfest

My summary post: Bathroom Blogfest 2006 Comes to a Close

2007 Bathroom Blogfest

Bathroom Blogfest 2007 posts: available via this link, this link (2), and this link (3), and finally this link (4).

Kate Rutter—Adaptive Path
Laurence Helene Borel—Blog Till You Drop
Iris Shreve Garrott—checking out and checking in
Susan Abbott—Customer Experience Crossroads
Maria Palma—Customers Are Always
Becky Carroll—Customers Rock!
Toby Bloomberg—Diva Marketing
Stephanie Weaver—Experienceology
Linda Tischler—Fast Company Now
C.B. Whittemore—Flooring the Consumer
Ed Pell—K+B DeltaVee
Helene Blowers—Library Bytes
Claudia Schiepers—Life and its little pleasures
Katie Clark—Practical Katie
Sandra Renshaw—Purple Wren
Reshma Anand—Qualitative Research
Marianna Hayes—Results Revolution
Carolyn Townes—Spirit Women
Sara Cantor—The Curious Shopper
Anna Farmery—The Engaging Brand
Dee McCrorey—The Ultimate Corporate Entrepreneur
Katia S. Adams—Transcultural

    2008 Bathroom Blogfest

    Theme: Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us.

    My summary post: Bathroom Blogfest '08- Recapping the Details

    Susan Abbott at Customer Experience Crossroads
    Katia Adams at Transcultural Marketing
    Shannon Bilby at Floor Talk!
    Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop
    Jo Brown and the blogging team at Kohler Talk
    Lisbeth Calandrino at Lisbeth Calandrino
    Sara Cantor at The Curious Shopper
    Becky Carroll at Customers Rock!
    Katie Clark at Practical Katie
    Iris Shreve Garrott at Circulating
    Ann Handley at Annarchy
    Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution
    Elizabeth Hise and C.B. Whittemore at The Carpetology Blog
    Maria Palma at Customers Are Always
    Sandra Renshaw at Purple Wren
    Kate Rutter at Adaptive Path
    Claudia Schiepers at Life and its little pleasures
    Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose
    Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology
    C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer

    2009 Bathroom Blogfest

    Theme: Flush the Recession and Plunge Into Forgotten Spaces.

    Summary Post: The Entire Bathroom Blogfest 2009 Lineup

    Susan Abbott at Customer Experience Crossroads
    Reshma Anand at Qualitative Research Blog
    Shannon Bilby at From the Floors Up
    Shannon Bilby and Brad Millner at My Big Bob’s Blog
    Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop
    Jeanne Byington at The Importance of Earnest Service
    Becky Carroll at Customers Rock!;
    Leslie Clagett at KB Culture
    Katie Clark at Practical Katie;
    Iris Shreve Garrott at Checking In and Checking Out;
    Julie at Julie’s Cleaning Secrets Blog
    Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution
    Maria Palma at People To People Service
    Professor Toilet at Professor Toilet’s Blog
    David Reich at My 2 Cents
    Bethany Richmond at The Carpet and Rug Institute Blog
    Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose
    Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology;
    C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer and Simple Marketing Blog
    Linda Wright at Build Better Business with Better Bathrooms

    2010 Bathroom Blogfest

    Theme: Inspired by Mad Men - Stuck in the 60s?

    Summary Post: Bathroom Blogfest 2010 Final Recap

    Susan Abbott - @susanabbott - Customer Experience Crossroads -
    Paul Anater - @Paul_Anater - Kitchen and Residential Design -
    Shannon Bilby - @shannonbilby
    My Big Bob’s Blog -
    From The Floors Up -
    Big Bob’s Outlet -
    Dolphin Carpet Blog -
    Carpets N More Blog -
    Toby Bloomberg - @TobyDiva - Diva Marketing -
    Laurence Borel - @ blogtillyoudrop - Blog Till You Drop -
    Bill Buyok - @AventeTile - Avente Tile Talk Blog -
    Jeanne Byington - @ jmbyington - The Importance of Earnest Service -
    Becky Carroll - @ bcarroll7 - Customers Rock! -
    Marianna Chapman - @ResultsRev - Results Revolution –
    Katie Clark - @practicalkatie - Practical Katie -
    Valerie Fritz - @Awarepoint - The Awarepoint Blog -
    Nora DePalma - @noradepalma - American Standard’s Professor Toilet - and O’Reilly/DePalma: The Blog -
    Leigh Durst - @LivePath - LivePath Experience Architect Weblog -
    Iris Garrott - @circulating - Checking In and Checking Out -
    Tish Grier - @TishGrier - The Constant Observer -
    Renee LeCroy - @ReneeLeCroy - Your Fifth Wall -
    Joseph Michelli - Dr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog -
    Veronika Miller - @Modenus - Modenus Blog -
    Chris Moline - Alexandria Carpet One -
    Arpi Nalbandian - @TileEditor - TILE Magazine Editor Blog -
    Maria Palma - @mariapalma - People 2 People Service -
    Reshma Bachwani Paritosh -The Qualitative Research Blog -
    David Polinchock - @Polinchock - Polinchock’s Ponderings -
    David Reich - @davidreich - My 2 Cents -
    Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond - @scarletopus - Scarlet Opus Trends Blog -
    Sandy Renshaw - @purplewren - Purple Wren - and Around Des Moines -
    Bethany Richmond - The Carpet and Rug Institute Blog -
    Bruce Sanders - RIMtailing -
    Steve Tokar - Please Be Seated -
    Carolyn Townes - @SpiritWoman26 - Becoming a Woman of Purpose -
    Stephanie Weaver - @experienceology - Experienceology -
    Christine B. Whittemore - @cbwhittemore
    Ted & Christine B. Whittemore - Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog -
    Linda Wright - LindaLoo Build Business With Better Bathrooms -
    Jennifer Young - Secrets in San Diego -


    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    The Value of Content Marketing: How Do You Explain It?

    The Value of Content Marketing: How Do You Explain It?
    We've started a new Content Marketing Institute series and the first question has to do with How to Explain the Value of Content Marketing.

    More specifically, "how would you explain the value of content marketing to a manager or executive who is primarily familiar with traditional advertising approaches?

    The following prominent content marketers offered responses:

    Doug Kessler (@dougkessler)
    Ahava Leibtag (@ahaval)
    Amanda Maksymiw (@amandamaksymiw)
    Katie McCaskey (@KatieMcCaskey)
    Sarah Mitchell (@globalcopywrite)
    Joe Pulizzi (@juntajoe)
    Elise Redlin-Cook (@redlincook)
    Lisa Petrilli (@LisaPetrilli)
    Nate Riggs (@nateriggs)
    Stephanie Tilton (@stephanietilton)
    Jennifer Watson (@ContextComm)
    CB Whittemore (@cbwhittemore)

    I absolutely love the focus on customers that each response highlights!

    My contribution is the following:
    Have you noticed how many of the traditional advertising methods you’ve relied on for connecting with customers aren’t as effective as they used to be? I have and that’s why I consider content marketing critical.

    Content marketing works beautifully with established traditional marketing tools. Even better, though, is that it adds relevance, meaning and dimension to traditional approaches so you engage with potential customers. Content marketing helps your overall marketing work harder for you.

    More specifically, content marketing allows you to tell potential customers what you are about; it pre-qualifies customers. Imagine sharing in customer-relevant terms the story behind how you help customers. Imagine building trust and meaningful relationships with them before asking for the sale, before they realize they need you. The result is a richer, deeper and more satisfying business relationship.

    Isn’t that worth bringing into your organization?

    This post– Digital Visibility: The Reason Behind Content Marketing — adds perspective to this question.

    What is your take on the question?  How would you explain the value of content marketing? I'd love to hear.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    LinkedIn Content Marketing Podcast - Bernie Borges

    LinkedIn Content Marketing Podcast - Bernie Borges
    Given my recent immersion in LinkedIn as a result of TalkFloor social media marketing interviews, I jumped at the opportunity to talk LinkedIn with fellow Content Marketing Institute contributor, Bernie Borges, author of the Find and Convert Blog  about inbound marketing strategies.

    The resulting 27 minute podcast and summary notes are available by clicking on 8 Content Marketing Tips for LinkedIn - Podcast with Christine Whittemore.

    I thoroughly enjoyed comparing notes about LinkedIn with Bernie. Our conversation took place via Skype; we both had one another's LinkedIn profiles on screen to refer to which made for interesting observations!

    Bernie's summary notes detail the highlights and serve as a valuable summary of how best to approach LinkedIn with a content marketing perspective.

    My favorite points:  paint a clear picture of yourself, tell a story and do profile mining to uncover opportunities to connect.

    I encourage you to listen to the podcast, read through the notes and let me know which points you find most interesting.

    Thank you, Bernie, for this wonderful opportunity to talk LinkedIn content marketing. I look forward to continuing the content discussion!

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    LinkedIn Business Successes on TalkFloor Social Media Marketing Interview Series

    Christine B. Whittemore: LinkedIn Business Successes on TalkFloor Social Media Marketing Interview Series
    The conversation about LinkedIn continues on the TalkFloor social media marketing interview series with Dave Foster.

    In part I, we introduced LinkedIn and examined features of LinkedIn.

    In part II, we explored advanced LinkedIn features such as Groups, Answers, Events and Search.

    In part III, we examine LinkedIn business successes - practical examples of businesses using LinkedIn. The TalkFloor interview is in three parts and aired October 25, 26 and 27, 2010.

    Dave and I are both on LinkedIn, so please do connect with us: Dave Foster and Christine B. Whittemore. What follows are my show notes.

    LinkedIn is a social network.

    The best uses for LinkedIn involve connecting with others – to build your reputation, recruit or make contact with, to do market research with, to establish thought leadership and generate new business with down the road. It’s a network of people, more specifically business professionals.

    LinkedIn is not the best source of mass consumer leads. It is, however, a valuable B2B source and will connect with you professionals from around the globe allowing you a rich source for networking. LinkedIn is a powerful social networking platform as we discussed in the last session. It's considered the #1 resource for marketing your business.

    For retailers, LinkedIn means connecting with:
    • peers to consult with in a non-competitive environment.
    • suppliers.
    • valuable for B2B or commercial relationship building and to supplement/reinforce the networking you do at Chamber of Commerce meetings and other local groups.

    Remember the rules for social networking. They apply to LinkedIn, too:

    + offer value
    + no hard sell
    + be active consistently
    + mind your manners
    + Don’t spam
    + remember that your reputation is at stake
    + think long term.

    1. Build Your Business Reputation via LinkedIn

    Offer value based on your area of expertise. As important as it is to fully understand your own company and products, if you want to connect with others – find commonality, develop a relationship, engage in conversation with them – it’s equally important to think beyond products to solutions. You may be in the flooring business, but you also deal with business processes or marketplace issues that are relevant to other business people. Perhaps, too, your product fits into a bigger solution: flooring is part of a building, for example.

    The poster child for building reputation via LinkedIn is Jason Alba who has written the book I'm on LinkedIn--Now What???: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn

    LinkedIn offers those who participate in LinkedIn Answers the opportunity to accumulate ‘reputation points’.  To build your reputation via LinkedIn, take a topic of interest and knowledge to you. Maybe it’s environmental sustainability or time management.

    Search for groups related to your category => participate.
    Update your status regularly to reflect your theme
    Search through LinkedIn Answers => participate to share insights and advice NOT TO SELL

    Thank privately all those who comment and express interest.

    Be consistent about sharing, have a theme. Is it all related to sustainability? Or is it sustainability in your town? Or related to one product?

    Consider gathering what you share into a newsletter. [Think how to repurpose the content you create.]

    2. Recruit for Business Using LinkedIn

    In terms of case studies for recruiting, just about every company has turned to LinkedIn for recruiting. Either for hiring leads or to supplement candidate research by searching on specific keywords and connecting with those who have an interesting and relevant background. So, be prepared!

    Another valuable idea with long term benefit is to create a group that brings together people with common interests – perhaps around a cause – and interesting backgrounds that may relate to your field of interest or expertise.

    + By inviting them, you make them feel good.
    + At some point down the road, this might be a group that you hire from or pull from for additional activities.
    + By creating such a forum, you create goodwill and readiness to help you when you need the help.

    LinkedIn Business Examples:

    + Marvelous example of this is the #prstudchat group which supports a weekly PR student chat. The group is robust, active, further discussing ideas presented during the Twitter chat and representing talented young PR candidates.

    + Incept helps blood centers recruit and maintain blood donors to maintain a supply of blood. They created a customer-centric group around giving blood that connected people who work at blood centers around the country, discussed issues faced at blood centers and identified solutions [how to knowledge] and built relationships. Imagine how powerful this will be for the next blood crisis! [Read Nate Riggs' post: How To Build a Customer-Centric LinkedIn Group.]

    NOTE: remember to moderate and manage your groups. Don’t forget to set rules for behavior.

    Develop the relationships first. Once you’re active in LinkedIn groups and answers, you’ll find that you can seamlessly turn to the relationships and goodwill that you’ve built for other purposes.

    3. Market Research Using LinkedIn

    Given the tools that LinkedIn makes available for asking/answering questions and engaging in discussions and conversations, don’t overlook LinkedIn as a source of valuable market research and insight.

    For example, in the groups you’re active in, post a request/invitation to participate in your research.

    Create an event [i.e., a research event] and invite others to the event.

    Be sure to have a series of messages prepared explaining what you’re researching, thanking for participation. Etc.

    Be sure to mine existing data on LinkedIn including existing Answers.

    Read through relevant group discussions.

    Connect with those whom you find insightful.

    Build relationships.

    4. Building you Business with LinkedIn

    This one is near and dear to many of us as we try to figure out how to reach more customers, right?

    The New York Times recently featured a Canadian entrepreneur who sells equestrian luggage. It’s called Red Scarf Equestrian. She credits LinkedIn for building her business because it allowed her to expand beyond Canada.

    How: by searching on relevant terms, finding groups related to her product category and building relationships.

    As with building your business offline, this happens gradually over time.

    It supports all of your offline or in-person activities and it allows you to connect in a way that overcomes location, makes the most out of the relationships you’ve built throughout your career.

    It’s efficient.

    Your LinkedIn Assignment:

    Go explore.

    Make a habit of spending 20 minutes a week on LinkedIn. Add a reminder to your Outlook calendar to do so.

    Same as with networking offline: Start building relationships and establishing your reputation now so you earn enough social capital to make sales pitches down the road more acceptable.

    Before heading off to Surfaces, do a LinkedIn search on some of the people you will be meeting with. Bring that information up when you meet.  Observe what happens.

    Please, let me know if you have any questions and also what you find most valuable as you create business successes using LinkedIn.

    Other Resource:
    Ann Handley on How I was wrong about LinkedIn (with 2 Mini Case Studies)

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Practical Simple Marketing In The News 11/2/10

    Practical Simple Marketing In the News
    Back to regularly scheduled posts!  Here are the latest links and resources shared on Twitter and tagged #practicalmktr grouped here together in Practical Simple Marketing In The News.

    If you are interesting in the retail experience, I've been doing something similar on Flooring The Consumer with Retail Experience links #retailexp and the response has been encouraging.

    Here goes...

    Simple & Practical Marketing Data

    Practical Marketing Advice

    Related to Using Social Media Marketing Tools

    Simple Marketing Inspiration

      Brands Being Practical With Social Media

      Here's a link to the previous editions of Practical Simple Marketing In the News.

      Thank you for reading!


      Image credit: “#PracticalMktr” Wordle by C.B. Whittemore
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