So you’ve already discovered the value of webinars. These online seminars are an incredibly effective way to communicate with your target audience. They’re ready, able and eager to hear what you have to say – what an awesome upsell opportunity!

Before you dive right into your next presentation, take a look at this quick cheat-sheet of tips to help you deliver the greatest webinar the Internet has ever seen.

*Prepare to be BLOWN AWAY*

  • Include a picture of yourself with a short bio on your first slide. This builds trust and adds a human element.
  • Start speaking right away: if not, visitors will think something is wrong with their audio or they logged on at wrong time… #awkward.
  • Start talking off a prepared script: this prevents stutters, stumbles and lost train of thought.
  • Engage, engage, engage: ask questions, encourage comments, create prompts, start a discussion! If not, guests WILL space out.
  • Focus on telling stories about how people use the product, service or idea that you’re selling.
  • Include a quick poll: how many trucks in your fleet? Are you in the NYC area? How many products do you deliver in a month? Ask your audience to respond in the chat section.
  • Get people to take a specific action. Download a handout, Like us on Facebook, raise your hand if you want me to email you a special something.
  • Create a follow-up sequence, like another webinar, email campaign, etc. Always end with a  “What happens next?”
  • Give the participants an opportunity to share the webinar. Use a hashtag. Offer an incentive if they do! (like a mini contest)
  • HAVE FUN! If your webinar is boring, it’s guaranteed that you won’t have visitors for your next one. Keep it light, engaging, informative and short. Attention spans are short – use every second of your guests’ time well!

 

When’s YOUR next webinar? Send us an invite! Until then, comment below with tips we may have missed, or email your questions about the cheat sheet above to amazing@ajaxunion.com. Looking forward to hearing you slay your next webinar!

Most professionals have LinkedIn but they do not know how to make the most out of it.

When I speak to the average CEO about their LinkedIn activity, they tell me that they log into LinkedIn and they look at their notifications, accept or reject requests for people to join their network and search for people they will be meeting with or hiring.

When I probe further and ask them what their strategy is to leverage their existing connections, they look at me like I fell off the moon.

What else is there to do? LinkedIn can do more than just look up and connect to people?

People ask me many questions about how to leverage LinkedIn. The questions range from lead generation and thought leadership to advertising and networking.

Here are the most popular LinkedIn questions I get on a regular basis.

  • Should I get a paid account on LinkedIn?
  • How do I leverage Articles on LinkedIn?
  • Do you really know all the people you are connected with?
  • How can I get more exposure on LinkedIn without spending on advertising?
  • Is LinkedIn valuable if you do not pay for Sales Navigator?
  • How  can I get more engagement for my LinkedIn posts?
  • What is the best way to get leads from InMails?
  • How do I filter my search to find the right leads?
  • What is the best email to send a cold contact on LinkedIn to get a response?
  • How do I setup my profile to get the maximum about of exposure?
  • What did you do to be in the 1% of LinkedIn users?
  • How do I properly advertise on LinkedIn?
  • What is a good strategy to accept connections on LinkedIn?
  • Why are the Analytics on Linkedin so confusing?

If you want answers to these questions and much more, please consider coming to our upcoming LinkedIn seminar in NYC, on July 27th. Get your tickets here: I WANT TO BECOME A LINKEDIN MASTER

 

When it comes to social media channels, over 70% of people in the United States have at least one profile on social media. New users are constantly joining the virtual world on various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. We all know social media allows us to connect, share and communicate with others that hold similar interests and social circles.

Businesses of all backgrounds are capitalizing on social media’s popularity. With ever-expanding opportunities to find their ideal customers, social media bridges a very intimate gap between the consumer and the seller, connecting with them in relatable, specific and organic aspects. How can a business wade the waters between sales-forward advertising and establishing lasting relationships? The answer is 2 words, Brand Advocacy.

What Is Brand Advocacy?

Brand advocacy is about pooling resources together, such as people with a large fanbase and following, to share a brand, product or message on their social channels. In other words, it’s a way to spread the love with those who would otherwise miss out or look past the opportunity when presented to them. By sharing a message with fans who trust and interact with you, the results are of higher quality. People who leave comments and product reviews on a company or host site like TripAdvisor, Yelp and Houzz are indirect advocates. They are sharing honest feedback without an incentive.

How Does Brand Advocacy Function?

Brand advocacy is a successful organic way to gain results for a new startup company, feature product or a simple blog post. You don’t need to wait on promoting something important until your page reaches your fan goal of 50,000 followers (which of course takes longer that expected). Instead announce it to your employees, family and friends. Ask them to share the post or create their own content to discuss what you want to share. Send them a link to leave a review on a third party site. It’s amazing to see how far one Facebook post or tweet can travel. It just might even go viral!

Find Your Brand Advocates

First, you must identify what kind of content or information you want to share with the virtual world. Once that is mapped out, it’s time to do some digging. Find people with large followings on social media who share an interest in what your business or startup has to offer. Connecting with people in your niche is the most valuable, so everyone can benefit from the relationship. You can also reach out to top customers, employees, family and anyone in between. Go all out; you can never have too many friends on Facebook and followers on Instagram.

Everyone Loves Candy

The last step is providing an incentive. Of course asking for favors is an acceptable method, but the best brand advocates are ones who feel loyal to you and understand that they are appreciated. Offering them a complimentary service, gift certificate or treating them to a nice dinner, are all modest ways of making a trade without putting a price on it. Sending an email with a redeemable coupon code to anyone who rates your brand or leaves a product review is another viable option. The little steps go a long way with building up brand awareness and solidifying the brand persona.

Surprise Them

When it comes to adding value to any startup or business, both large and small, brand advocates can be very influential without the wasteful advertising costs. Add in an element of surprise to your customer service, like putting a small gadget into every delivery or shoot a behind the scenes video and send it to your email lists.

Real Brands, Real Brand Advocates

Give people something to talk about. Make them brand advocates without even asking. And be sure to stay active on all social channels (especially on Twitter and Snapchat) to scout out natives who can support you and join the community. Remember, happy people are the ones who spend money and keep you in business. #StartAdvocating

Need Help With Your Social Strategy?

Our team at Ajax Union is here to help you make an amazing social media campaign. Get in contact with us so we can walk you through the realm of online marketing!

Social media contributes to the growth of businesses and brands in very different ways, neither of them are more important than the other. However, the type of blend you utilize depends on what your goals are, but before you can establish your goals, it helps to understand the different benefits having a social media presence. Here we go!

Here, there, everywhere!

Social media allows us to reach audiences that are not within our immediate vicinity. Even if you don’t intend to sell to someone who is in another time zone, being able to spread your voice helps to build brand awareness, after all, we can connect to anyone in the world through six people. Having a voice that reaches further enables you to engage with audiences you otherwise couldn’t reach.

“Get to know you” phase.

A good marketing plan starts with the target audience. Aside from the “who am I” aspect of building out a marketing plan, “Who am I trying to reach” is a main driver, but how do you start getting to know your audience? What do they like to eat? What are their habits? Where do they work? What music do they listen to? What car do they drive? All good questions that can ultimately help you position your business / brand in a more perceptive and intuitive fashion. Understand the demographics and patterns of your customers. With social media you can get past the “get to know you” phase, and move into the nitty gritty good stuff.

Be better, for them.

Great customer service has been, for ages, one of the most critical aspects of maintaining your business / brand. Social media opens up a channel for your team to provide instant, or near instant, customer service, and receive feedback. Honest opinions are common ground in the social media realm, and having direct insights to this is critical.

Scope of reach.

Make it easy for potential customers to find you. A majority of the population has a smartphone, and most of them have a social media app, this means they can contact you via a social media platform rather than email or phone. Other than being readily accessible to your clients, your social media presence rapidly increased your market share within your industry.

Less money, more doing.

One of the best parts about social media is the few tools you need to make it happen, at a very low cost. All you need is an able mind, internet, and a digital device. You can do a lot with a small budget, and if you target your posts properly, your reach can be pinpointed to a detail. Social media is a great place to test more expensive marketing campaigns as well. It’s easy to get started, and at a low cost, it’s a great tool for businesses and brands who are just starting out.

Industry expert level: 10.

Building relationships with your customers is great and all, but do your friends think you’re educated and cool? Social media gives your business more possibilities to establish yourselves as industry experts, all the while not losing your brand voice.

Need help with your social strategy? Our team at Ajax is here to help you make a great social media campaign. Contact your friends at Ajax Union today!

Press releases are a major focus of online marketing. Historically, press releases have been a key link-building method, offering a wide range of quality links embedded in rich, rewarding content. With the most recent updates to Google’s search algorithms, however, traditional press release distribution models have had to adapt: Google is now much stricter as it evaluates links, assesses sites for duplicate content, and assigns rankings to pages. Modern marketing professionals need to carefully select the most suitable option from among the many PR distribution networks to ensure SEO benefits and prevent search engine penalties. In this post, we’ll look at a few of the different networks available to today’s business leaders.

 

When considering options for a press release distribution, professionals can choose from two major groups: paid sites and free sites. Paid sites typically offer a more robust network, higher quality links, and more insightful analytics for tracking results. Free sites tend to be more streamlined by comparison, but still offer online exposure without a heavy expenditure of resources.

 

Paid Sites

PRNewswire.com

Award-winning and trusted by top global businesses, PRNewswire.com represents the highest quality standard in the industry. This network enjoys the highest PageRank among its field of competitors, meaning that links from PRNewswire.com sites offer the most rankings benefits to customers. PRNewswire.com is considered by many to have the best network of affiliated sites and offers users a full suite of tools to help optimize a release to complement high-quality content. All these benefits, however, come with a significant price tag: a fully-featured PR can cost up to $1,000. For those who want to make a serious investment in press release marketing, PRNewswire.com is a smart choice. Those on less flexible budgets may want to choose a pared-down option from this site or explore another network as an alternate.

PRWeb.com

PRWeb.com offers a similar experience to PRNewswire.com, but has a slightly lower PageRank. Even so, its competitive pricing and SEO reporting tools make this network an ideal match for companies just starting to explore paid PR distribution. PRWeb.com has an effective and comprehensive distribution option available for around $200, allowing newcomers to the field or businesses with more conservative marketing budgets the opportunity to conduct meaningful, affordable outreach.

eReleases

eReleases, a prominent paid distribution network, is a good fit for businesses with unique needs or clear and focused marketing goals. With a wide range of targeting options, reliable reporting, and attentive customer service, eReleases is an ideal platform on which SEO professionals can pursue an innovative custom strategy. In terms of cost, eReleases is in the middle of the leading paid sites. eReleases is best for delivering on specific goals and works most effectively for clients with a distinct plan in mind.

Free Sites

There are many free distribution sites available online, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. While the free networks don’t offer the same benefits as their paid counterparts, they do still give companies a chance to reach a broad audience without needing to make a financial commitment. Most free sites share a core selection of features, such as links, tags, and other logistical and SEO options, so selecting a free site comes down largely to personal preference. One of the most popular options is PRLog, the free site with the best PageRank in its field. This site offers multimedia options, a free account complete with a personalized Press Room, and other helpful features free of charge.

 

Best Practices

No matter which press release distribution network you choose, you’ll want to ensure your release is rewarding, informative, and newsworthy. Writing a press release that conforms to Google’s latest recommendations is the best way to get the most value from your distribution. Be sparing with your use of keywords, especially in anchor text, provide unique information to your audience, and prioritize original content over copy-paste boilerplate, and you’ll find your releases much more successful. When you match clever writing and careful editing with a distribution network that meets your needs, you can claim search benefits inaccessible to other types of online marketing.

 

Need help with your online PR? Contact an Ajax Union representative today!