How Content Transforms Salespeople [Infographic]

Forget the sleazy salesperson stereotype.

Today’s most successful salespeople act as thought leaders and industry experts, connecting prospects with content. They challenge buyers to be on the cutting-edge of their industries.

But unfortunately, many people still harbor a negative perception of sales reps. So what’s a salesperson to do? Load up on content.

This infographic explains how content helps sales teams build relationships that lead to revenue.

Use content to create revenue

Digital Trends for B2B and B2C Marketers in 2014 [Infographic]

What are the most exciting opportunities for digital marketers this year and where should they focus? Content marketing, customer experience and mobile dominate. Check out the results from Econsultancy and Adobe’s 2014 Digital Trends Briefing.

Content, Customer Experience and Mobile dominate

Content, Customer Experience and Mobile dominate

Does this inforgraphic represent your priorities? What would you add? Join the conversation and say “Hi” in the comments below

Visual Content is Key on Twitter

Twitter is known for content sharing, and top brands are no exception. Looking at some of the
top link types, it’s no surprise that the highest performing links are pic.twitter.com links, which is Twitter’s image service, and allows photos to display directly in a user’s Twitter feed.

Pic.twitter.com links average 210 engagements per Tweet. The next highest performing types are Tumblr.com and Pinterest.com, followed by another Twitter property, Vine.co.

Visual content performs well on any network, and with Tumblr, certain types of images are supported by Twitter cards and are natively displayed. Pinterest, on the other hand, is a surprising leader, considering the visual assets don’t display directly in Tweets.

Bit.ly links are one of the most common link types, and a default option with Twitter management software like Tweetdeck. The links however, which show no indication of what to expect, are some of the lowest performing links we see large brands using.

Visual Content on TwitterTweeting with pictures can help your brand see more exposure, and
if you include a link alongside the image, your potential visibility is much higher than average.

 

Source: SimplyMeasured

Listen “sales”, – There is no such thing as Social Selling!

No doubt this statement will bring the wrath of those “social selling” experts who have arisen over the last few years.
Don’t get me wrong – there is an incredibly powerful and commercially viable way of selling by leveraging social platforms, so let me explain.

First, I have a problem with the phrase “social selling”, mostly because it gives the impression that if you jump onto a social media platform, you will immediately be able to sell something. You won’t, at least not straight away. Using social platforms as an additional channel requires a strategy and one that teaches you to move from a day trader to a long term investor and builder of relationships. Yes you may be stumble upon an update that says ” I need to buy [your product], please contact me” but this is an exception and not the rule.

I also struggle with calling a sales person a “social seller”. Does this individual now only sell on social platforms, or more importantly are they a seller who not only utilises the traditional methods of selling but also blends in the benefits of using social tools to add tremendous value to those traditional face to face and telephone meetings?

Social selling does not work when detached from traditional sales methods. I want to share a strategy that will enhance those traditional methods and if done correctly may even negate the need for cold calling.

Now that I have sorted out the jargon lets look at how the commercially viable Social Sales teams do it. The rule is; create the social wrap.

Below is a suggested approach to blending your traditional methods of selling to enable or influence a purchase decision. Here are my five tips:

1: Build your brand.

2: Contribute to discussions.

3: Network

4: Provide relevance through thought leadership.

5: Practice the law of reciprocity, always.

Build your brand.

Building your brand is key and should be the foundation of any great sales person. You are researching your clients and gaining insights to their personality, interests and business synergies. It would be naive to think that your clients are not similarly checking you out. Right now the strongest platform to convey and market your expertise is LinkedIn, but that platform may not be the only one! Yes you are in marketing now, the marketing of your value and credibility.

Contribute to discussions

Participating in discussions is not just about listening to what your clients are saying or understanding what they are listening to. It is about adding your point of view to the conversation. Don’t sell your product; instead offer advice, strategies, coaching on things to consider, how to guides. Add value to a discussion, and in so doing become the authentic helper.

Network

Network and connect with people. Whether you met face to face or virtually, if you feel that reciprocal value can be achieved then invite them to be part of your network. Top tip; always personalise the invite, because not doing so shows a lack of professionalism and integrity.
Utilise your network. Earn social credit by connecting people to others that will add value and benefit them. By doing so you will increase your network in size.
Also use your network to influence, for instance Twitter is business networking on steroids. Surround your self with people you want to influence and provide them great content, relevance and value.

Provide relevance through thought leadership

You need to understand your network. Two important question you could ask yourself are: What types of information would they benefit from? Where and when are they seeking it? This will help you ascertain which platforms will benefit you the most. Consider blogging, as this will become a huge asset to your branding and thought leadership. As your network increases in size so will the diversity and quantity of your content.

Practice the law of reciprocity

Trading favours is a huge part of doing business in the social world. If you are already utilising your network and introducing people to others, you are already practicing this law. Read more at Wikipedia 

So those are my top five tips for creating a social wrap.
It is all about building a brand, sharing your expertise, offering your helpfulness and building relationships and influence that will enable you to sell more using social media.

Share your best practices and tips below on how you are using social tools to help sales. And don’t forget to practice the law of reciprocity now

So How Powerful is Visual Content on Social Media?

So How Powerful is Visual Content on Social Media?

Simply Measured looked at Facebook’s top 10 brand pages to find out the real numbers and facts and figures on the engagement and sharing levels of photos and videos in comparison to text and discovered:

Videos are shared 1,200 percent more than links and and text posts combined

Photos are liked 200% more than text updates

To put some perspective on the power of visual content other studies show that Photo and video posts on Pinterest are referring more traffic than Twitter, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn and Google+.

For more insights into the power of visual content below are some more revelations.

5 Reasons your should be using Images in your Marketing

The Facts and Figures about the Power of Visual Content - Infographic

via The Facts and Figures about the Power of Visual Content – Infographic.

17 New Social Media Statistics

1) 27% of total U.S. internet time is spent on social networking sites. (Source: Experian) Tweet this stat!

2) 15% of total U.S. mobile internet time is spent on social networking sites. (Source: ExperianTweet this stat!

3) Social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC. (Source: HubSpotTweet this stat!

4) Social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate. (Source: HubSpotTweet this stat!

5) 21% of marketers say that social media has become more important to their company over the past six months. (Source: HubSpotTweet this stat!

6) 74% of all marketers say Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies. (Source: HubSpotTweet this stat!

7) Companies that generate more than 1,000 Facebook Likes also receive nearly 1,400 website visits a day. (Source: HubSpotTweet this stat!

8) 52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013. (Source: HubSpotTweet this stat!

9) On Facebook, brand posts get half of their reach within 30 minutes of being posted. (Source: SocialbakersTweet this stat!

10) 85% of fans of brands on Facebook recommend brands to others, compared to 60% of average users. (Source: SyncapseTweet this stat!

11) 43% of all marketers have found a customer via LinkedIn in 2013. (Source: HubSpotTweet this stat!

12) 36% of all marketers have found a customer via Twitter in 2013. (Source: HubSpotTweet this stat!

13) 59% of Twitter users have visited B2B tech brand sites, compared to 40% for the average internet population. (Source: Compete and TwitterTweet this stat!

14) 25% of consumers who complain about products on Facebook or Twitter expect a response within 1 hour. (Source: American ExpressTweet this stat!

15) Women are more likely than men to regularly check out a brand’s social page (48% vs. 43%). (Source: IpsosTweet this stat!

16) 23% of marketers are investing in blogging and social media this year, a 9% increase from 2012. (Source: HubSpotTweet this stat!

17) Approximately 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision. (Source: NielsenTweet this stat!

Source: Hubspot

Simple & Brilliant Outdoor Ad Campaign

IBM Ben Martin Smarter

Advertising for innovative products and services are everywhere, but it’s rare to find any that will actually help you out in that very moment. IBM does just that with its new outdoor advertising campaign from Ogilvy & Mather France, Adweek reports.

A simple curve in three different outdoor ads help them turn into structures that are actually useful to passersby: benches, shelters, and a smooth runway along a stairwell for bikes or luggage. The simple bit of innovation showcases the way IBM approaches the world while also hoping to inspire others to share their ideas on making cities more efficient and effective for its residents.

Each ad encourages consumers to visit People4smartcities.com. “If cities were smarter, then life in cities would be better,” IBM points out in its video of the ads while also noting that the hope is that the ads will “spark positive change” and “unite city leaders and forward-thinking citizens.”

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Orignal post from BrandChannel by Mark J. Miller