8 Instagram Strategies for Sales Professionals

Men on street photographing with smart-phoneThere’s a good chance you are one of the 150 Million people who are actively using Instagram each month.  If you aren’t, you might want to reconsider.

More importantly, there is a good chance your customers and prospects are also using Instagram. It’s yet another opportunity to get in front of them, connect with them and engage with them online.

It’s become so easy for your customer to Google you, or find you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

The only thing worse than not being active on these sites, is being on them badly.

Here are 8 simple Instagram strategies for sales professionals:

1. Repurpose your marketing and advertising content.

It’s cost-effective and provides another outlet for sharing campaigns around your products/services, your events, and your customer experiences. Remember to add your links in the descriptions and tag your location.

2.  Answer your customer’s questions.

Let your audience know you’re available for engagement by sending the right signals. Use photos and video captions to ask questions that encourage comments and feedback. Answer your customer’s most pressing questions by posting 15-second videos to your Instagram account.

3. It’s ok to mix personal with professional content.

In the past there has been a line drawn between being personal or professional online. That line is now blurred because of social media sites like Instagram. And because of this, more than ever you have the opportunity to be and express your own brand. Adding personal photos allows your customers and prospects a chance to get to know you more intimately, more genuinely. Just use common sense and post sensibly.

4.  Use Hashtags that lead people to you.

If you want others to find you, become familiar with some of the popular hashtags and use those that can naturally work with the content you are sharing. There are a lot of hashtags that are popular by city, so be sure to find the one’s that make the most sense to you. For content creation, create a specific hashtag unique to you and your business.  Once you have your hashtag identified, encourage your customers to caption their photos featuring your business with it, using your hashtag. Remember to talk about it so that your customers know they can use it.

5. Run a photo contest.

Contests are big on Social Media, and photo contests are becoming increasingly popular on Instagram. Steps include 1) determine the theme and hashtag it, 2) set the rules (legal and otherwise), 3) spread the word using your other social media accounts, 4) choose how you’ll determine a winner (user votes, jury, etc.), and 5) give away a prize worth participating for.

6. Link your Instagram feed to Twitter and Facebook

Sharing posts to these networks can help drive traffic to your Instagram page by letting your audience know you are now active on this channel.

7. Leverage Call-To-Actions on your blog posts, articles, and newsletters.

Use specific CTAs in email marketing campaigns that drive to your Instagram. When you publish blog posts, eBooks or other marketing content, reference Instagram posts (where relevant) to expose your page as much as possible.

8. Measure.

Instagram analytics reports are available for free or a small fee.  Then you can understand the performance of your Instagram account, compare your efforts on Instagram against those on other social networks and measure the reach and volume of any hashtag campaign. Check out Statigr.amSumallSimply Measured, and Nitrogr.am.

While I’ve written before about great tools for marketing on Instagram, I hope you’ll use one ore more of these strategies to connect and engage with your potential customers from today forward.

What else has worked for you? Please share your comments below.

Free download

7 Online Tools to Deliver Value First on Social Media

Gitomer Quote 1My favorite chapter in Jeffrey Gitomer’s latest groundbreaking book, 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling, is the one titled “Deliver Value First.” Gitomer challenges you to “leave “added value” and “value add” out of your sales lexicon forever.” Brilliantly, he helps you understand the difference between value and incentives, and explains how value must be delivered first.

I want to give you the tools to help you deliver value differently than your competitors.

Always remember, tools are great but identifying your customer’s problem is where delivering value starts. And listening when they talk (on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) is your opportunity to fill the value gaps. Delivering value first means helping people to make informed decisions, finding out their needs first and showing an interest to solve their problems not yours.

Here are 7 online tools to deliver value first on social media:

Issuuhttp://issuu.com | Create any number of digital publications, including ebooks and whitepapers.

Visual.lyhttp://visual.ly |Create your own infographics and data visualizations with a great selection of templates.

preziPrezihttp://prezi.com | Cloud-based presentation software that helps users create more dynamic (and more interesting) visual presentations.

Content BLVDhttps://contentblvd.com | Submit sponsored posts or guest posts, target blogs according to reach and relevance and accept offers to publish your content on blogs you approve.

Outbrainhttp://www.outbrain.com | A content discovery platform, Outbrain boasts innovative technology to offer recommendations and help your audience discover more content on your site that is interesting to them.

List.lyhttp://list.ly | a way to create and share lists, as well as integrate collaborative lists into your own blog posts, acting as a catalyst for others to build upon the lists you share.

YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com | What are you waiting for? YouTube has proven itself to be a massively relevant marketing tool for salespeople across the globe and you probably aren’t taking advantage of it yet. Get started, chances are your competitor still isn’t using it or using it well yet either.

How do I use the tools?

Create meaningful content and stay engaged. Your customers, fans and followers will be more likely to engage with you and meet with you because you or your company is a go-to resource for information that can solve their most pressing problems. Your content is like your virtual salesperson who’s ready to answer every question a prospective customer poses, 24/7 via your website and blog.

Provide information to benefit your followers, not just your prospective customers. Even if they don’t lead to your product or service, you’ll be remembered because you are genuinely thinking and delivering value in their best interest, not yours. Just because someone may not be a prospect for your product/service doesn’t mean that person isn’t a valuable contact who should be nurtured. They are on the social networks, they hear opportunities you don’t hear, and may recommend you to people you don’t know.

One last thing. It’s not just about delivering value first. You can and should toot your own horn, promote your product and service and run real campaigns that revolve around your offer(s). But deliver value first a few times, and then promote is the formula to follow. Gary Vaynerchuck refers to delivering value first as “Jab, Jab, Jab” and then creating the right campaign or angle to memorably promote your product/service as a “Right Hook” in his new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World.”  His book is jam packed with case studies to learn from as well – a great way to deliver value first.

The lesson: It is only by delivering value first that you will be remembered, reciprocated and passed on (via word-of-mouth).  The tools are creative ways to differentiate how you deliver value first.

 

guide

Are You Using Videos To Promote Your Business?

video1

Do you use videos as part of your inbound marketing strategy? Many businesses don’t, and it’s hurting them. Let’s be honest. Videos – the ones that tackle quality content and add value to the lives of customers – have become an essential piece of the marketing puzzle. Using videos to promote your business has proven to bring positive results. Here are the top 3 reasons why you should (if you haven’t already) incorporate videos in your marketing to-do list:

1. Visual content is a great way to capture your audience’s attention.

Videos are the perfect medium to deliver your message because these allow you to tap into the visual aspect of communication, making it easier for your audience to understand your message. A lot of people grasp information better when they watch someone present it to them rather than just reading the instructions in plain text.

2. Your facial expression and voice gives more meaning to your message.

I’m sure most of your customers prefer to communicate person-to-person, where they can see your facial expression and hear your voice. That’s normal. We all want a personal touch in the things we do – even when doing business. When your customers see your face and hear the tone in your voice as you deliver your message, they are more likely to understand what you are saying. If they don’t understand your message, they won’t be able to appreciate its value. Just remember to be authentic – be yourself.

3. Videos rank well on Google.

Videos have a great chance of showing up in search engine results – especially ones that are uploaded on YouTube. And since YouTube is owned by Google, it means that your videos are indexed and may get quality backlinks. Videos help boost your search results.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, video marketing is just a piece of the puzzle. This means you can’t just rely on videos alone. You have to explore other means of providing content such as blogging, social media, email marketing – the list goes on. However, putting videos into the mix is a winning strategy that makes your content more effective and more valuable.

Here’s a quick video I recently did answering the question, “How important is SEO?”

The Social Salesperson’s Kick Start Guide to Using YouTube – 10 Tips

youtube-video-marketing (1)What is one of the fastest ways to differentiate yourself online? Video.

With such a massive audience, marketing with YouTube had proved successful for sales leaders across the globe.

Videos are dynamic, easy to understand and well liked by a broad variety of people. You can create content in many different formats, such as how-to, informative and entertaining videos.

YouTube enables you to open an excellent window of communication with your audience as video content can be incredibly engaging and much more interesting than static text.

Here are 10 Tips for YouTube Marketing to get you started: 

Tip #1: Keep your video short.

People generally have small attention spans and the percentage of viewers that are going to stick around for your big finale – and link information – after 10 minutes is pretty slim. Try and keep your information brief and too the point. Use your YouTube channel as a method of enticing viewers to view your other content, and give them more information when they get to that point.

Tip #2: Spread the word.

Having a consistent level of communication between your YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts will do wonders for your flow of traffic. As soon as you’ve produced a new video, get it out there and let everyone in your network know about it. Your videos should be featured on your LinkedIn profile, Your Facebook page, and in your Twitter posts.

Tip #3: Focus on SEO.

You want it to be easy for your customer prospects to find you in YouTube and Google search. Add captions, tag your content, add a succinct description, think hard about your title and make sure your video file name is relevant, (best-air-filter-reviews as opposed to 10-10-13) … these are all great methods of making sure your content gets viewed.

Tip #4: Make it Mobile.

Don’t forget about your mobile audience. A growing number of people are using their phones to access YouTube and watch videos. Bear that in mind when you’re including text – it has to be easily viewable in a small screen.

Tip #5:  Be Unique.

Do something different. Never has ‘thinking outside of the box’ been so important. You’re up against a lot of competition and the more you stand out, the better.

Tip #6: Think about Audio.

You want to make sure your audience is engaged… but not overwhelmed. If you have spoken audio, it’s good to include intro and outro music to the video. YouTube has some fantastic options to choose from.

Tip #7: Prepare.

Prepare your videos. Use as better quality video and audio equipment as you can. Keep shaky camera movements to a minimum and plan the video before you shoot it – think about writing a script and practice first!

Tip #8: Link.

Make sure you take good advantage of the fact that someone is viewing your content – give them a link to the rest of your content and make it easily accessible.

Tip #9: Watermark your content.

Keep your information secure and not easily reproduced by others by adding a watermark to your video. Just make sure it’s not too overpowering to distract from your content.

Tip #10: Go beyond YouTube.

Once you’ve created your video content there are plenty of other video sharing sites online where you can post it and increase your audience.

So, what’s stopping you?

For many people, it’s just a matter of taking the first small steps to break through your hesitance and fear of what’s involved.

This is easy, cheap, effective marketing that can reap huge results for your sales efforts. People aren’t looking for glitzy, slick videos on YouTube. You can quickly put together a 3 minute screencast or “Top Tips” video and have it up on YouTube in minutes.

And you don’t need a professional video camera either. Your smartphone is your best marketing tool.

Just getting started?

ebook-youtube-2To help you further, I’ve created this FREE 43-page guide titled The Social Salesperson’s Kick Start Guide to YouTube, you’re going to go through each of the basic steps of getting started on YouTube……right from the first step of setting up an account. I want to make sure you learn how to upload one and do some basic editing. Editing that you can do inside of YouTube using their simple features – that most people are NOT using yet!

This will differentiate yourself from most sales professionals.

Plus…I’ll give you some great marketing tips as well. And the most important thing is how to show up in search results. It’s in the guide.

Get it here.

 

Guide to YouTube

Content Marketing Resource: WPWebinar – An Innovative WordPress Webinar Plugin

WPWebinarWe’re always asked to recommend the latest and greatest content marketing and inbound marketing resources.

One of the most effective ways to build deeper connections with existing customers is through webinars. You may already have a blog, but connecting with prospects and your current customers online takes the relationship to the next level. You’ll also discover that your social media followers will often come from your webinars, if you’ve added value and put delivering great content ahead of promotion.

Every once in a while an innovative resource is released that’s worth recommending to others.

Created by internet marketer Armand Morin, WPWebinar* is the answer to the question, “Why not create a webinar software built upon WordPress with all the features of the most popular software at an affordable price?”

What if the software would work with most any WordPress theme? It does. This means you are not theme dependent. You can use any theme you want. If you change themes, it doesn’t effect your webinars.

It was ALSO created with several pre-built themes. So, if you don’t have a theme you can choose one of the built in themes.

It also works with any autresponder system.

Check out the videos by clicking below and decide for yourself if WPWebinar is the alternative you’ve been looking for to GotoMeeting/GotoWebinar, Webex, and others.

Content Marketing Resource: WPWebinar – An Innovative WordPress Webinar Plugin

wpwebinar 2

Click here to learn more about WP Webinar, and how it will help you grow your business with Webinars. 

 

*Please note, we are a compensated affiliate for the Armand Morin Network, and we take our recommendations seriously. We don’t recommend all products, but we do recommend WPWebinar.