January 14, 2021
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Do you know anyone that likes to shop online?

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cybersecurity mistakes

Data privacy and cybersecurity became buzzwords in 2020, and for good reason. Due to bad privacy practices and cybersecurity mistakes, businesses both big and small were affected by data security vulnerabilities.

Data breaches such as the Solar Winds hack, Nuclear Weapons Agency Breach, and Clearview AI’s entire client list being stolen were just a few results of software vulnerabilities. Hackers gained access to T-Mobile’s employees’ email accounts, compromising customer and employee data, and Nintendo left 160,000 users vulnerable from a massive hijacking campaign.

Even Twitter experienced a large phishing attack that resulted in penetration tools being stolen. The number of attacks were ample, proving that businesses must take cybersecurity and data privacy more seriously.

Companies Don’t Inform Customers About Tracking

To find out how businesses protect and treat data, Zoho conducted a privacy survey among more than 1,400 business leaders at companies of various sizes and industries. Surprisingly, 62% of U.S. and Canadian companies stated they don’t inform customers that they allow tracking code from third-party services on their websites.

Ironically, most of these companies also claim to have well-defined and stringent consumer data privacy policies. More alarming, the survey found third-party ad tracking pervasive with 100% of respondents saying their company allows it.

Understandably, third-party tracking and the selling of data have become lucrative for companies, yet many businesses are unaware how unethical and dangerous data collection tactics can be.

Capturing information, often of a sensitive nature, leaves users’ data exposed to glaring vulnerability gateways.

How One Business Transformed their Cybersecurity

Unfortunately, many businesses have had to learn difficult lessons from their cybersecurity mistakes in 2020. However, for one Zoho customer, a data breach pushed them to practice stronger policies to ensure unassailable security. Call Center Sales Pro (CCSP), a call center and answering service provider based in Tennessee, works with medical and legal services, which means they must meticulously care for data to maintain HIPAA compliance.

The business consists of multiple brands within the umbrella of the company, so when several of their brand sites were hacked, Call Center Service Pros took the matter very seriously. Marc Fishman, director of sales and marketing, said, “All of my brand sites that were not on Zoho sites got hacked and while no data was breached, I’m grateful we were able to regain control quickly.”

Luckily, no data was breached and CCSP was quickly able to regain control of the websites, but this experience confirmed that consolidating all of their holdings into a secure system was a necessity.

Call Center Sales Pros has learned from its mistakes and now the team is focusing on taking time to gather insight into any potential weak points so that they can resolve issues faster. Because of this, CCSP is able to better protect their customers’ data.

Additionally, they avoided future cybersecurity mistakes by using software that enacted smart security measures like two-factor authentication for logins and frequent password resets to maintain a secure system.

Learning from the breach, Marc said, “In 2020, everything was reactive. In 2021, we might be lucky enough to work with some foresight.”

The Reality of Data Privacy Misuse

While no company can predict the future, it’s important they take a proactive approach and safeguard data by implementing better security. Regulations such as GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act, and The Consumer Privacy Rights Act have helped broadcast the need for regulation, but there’s still work to be done.

Throughout the last few years, data-privacy transparency has been skewed by big tech companies collecting mass amounts of data for financial gain through surreptitious methods. Simply considering adjunct surveillance evident through third-party trackers that sneakily monitor consumers while simultaneously collecting data shows us that the need for transparency is past due.

What Businesses Can Do

Fortunately, there are ways businesses can ensure they’re not an offender of data-privacy misuse and avoid cybersecurity mistakes. Education and ongoing training is key for businesses to ensure compliance and guard themselves from potential threats.

Whether a company can afford a security team or not, it’s prudent that team members stay up to date on the latest laws and certify that their protocols are aligned with regulations. Businesses can enact specific data privacy training centered around how their company collects data as well as how the software they’re using collects business data.

To aid security education, it’s also critical for businesses to continue audits, tests, and compliance checks. Regularly testing the sophisticated systems in place will not only protect businesses against potential threats, but also position companies to better adopt new laws.

Additionally, using security tools such as encryption, multi-factor authentication for secure logins, and VPNs will protect against potential portals for misuse. Lastly, businesses should remove any third-party trackers and only collect data when necessary.

By practicing scrupulous security methods, businesses can weather potential privacy and security damage.

As technology advances, data collection and cybersecurity threats will only become more secretive. It’s time for businesses and individuals to re-assess what technologies they use both for work and on a personal basis, and how those vendors are using their information.

Businesses must also take a firm approach in boosting their internal cyber security practices in staying compliant, exercising audits and tests, and using secure software solutions as well as secure encrypted logins.

By providing data privacy transparency and strengthening cybersecurity, businesses will be able to block future threats and look forward to nothing but secure operations through 2021.

This article, “Don’t Make These Cybersecurity Mistakes in 2021” was first published on Small Business Trends

January 14, 2021
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Did you lose your job or business in this pandemic?

Busy business-people climbing stairs image.

Busy business-people climbing stairs image.

Are you wondering whether you’re missing valuable customer feedback because you’re just not looking in the right places?

Our digital landscape today offers a wide array of well-used standard methods for B2B marketers to collect customer feedback, with just a few including:

  • Monitoring Social Media Activity
  • Customer Experience Surveys
  • Feedback Forms
  • Website Data Analysis
  • Customer Reviews & Other User Generated Content
  • Direct Interviews
  • Testimonials
  • Usability Test Data
  • Sales & Customer Service Team Data

There are many other traditional ways as well, and each method excels in its own specific way, holding the promise of providing insightful information about customers or prospective customers.

There is also an entirely different realm of customer feedback opportunities, however — an area filled with less-explored avenues that offer a great deal of audience insight to B2B marketers willing to venture off the beaten feedback path.

B2B marketers can optimize their 2021 marketing efforts by using any or all of the five powerful unconventional sources of finding customer feedback that we’ll explore.

Let’s jump right in with five unconventional sources of valuable customer feedback.

1 — Google Question Hub & Other Tools

Getting to the heart of the questions most important to your customers and potential audience is a helpful path to learning more about your customers and gaining the information necessary to provide best-answer solutions.

We’ve looked at numerous tools for finding the questions customers are asking, such as those I explored in “10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers,” and now Google has expanded on its Google Search Console offering with the recent U.S. rollout of its Question Hub, a new service for finding unanswered search question data.

Google Question Hub, previously only available in three non-U.S. nations, focuses on the unanswered questions searchers are seeking to answer — data that can then be used to create content that fills these informational gaps — a potential goldmine for B2B marketers looking to differentiate their business with best answer content.

Google Question Hub uses topic categories to organize unanswered questions searchers have submitted, and allows those using the tool to add their own answers, in the form of articles or videos on sites verified in Google Search Console, or via YouTube video.

Question Hub lets users of the utility see how well the answers they’ve submitted have performed, and although the search giant notes that providing answers in Question Hub doesn’t affect search rankings for connected sites, forthcoming updates could eventually consider this sort of content among new search ranking signals should Google choose to do so.

As a new free tool, B2B marketers looking to both learn more about customers and the questions they’re asking, and to provide answers through Google Question Hub may find it worthwhile to explore this new Google functionality.

2 — Asking In Unexpected Places

Sometimes asking for customer feedback in unexpected places — and during unexpected times — can catch a customer at just the right spot to provide extremely frank insight.

As I explored in “5 Stars: 20+ Tips to Invigorate Your B2B Marketing Using Testimonials & Reviews,” Airbnb saw success by making video reviews a simple and optional part of customer feedback surveys. Offering brands the best of both traditional text-based input and — for those who choose — the advantages of video reviews, Airbnb’s system allowed users to easily leave video by turning on their phone or computer’s camera to leave a video response.

This video review format leads some customers — especially those who like the option to leave audio or video feedback — to share lengthier and more precise feedback, which in turn can give businesses greater insight into customers.

The richly emotional opportunities afforded through direct video feedback can help B2B firms lend a more empathetic ear, and can lead to the creation of content that addresses any concerns brought up in customer video feedback.

“If they say yes, then we’ve incorporated a video widget into the survey where they can just turn the camera on on their phone or computer and leave a response,” Airbnb customer insights manager Raj Sivasubramanian has said.

“The customers that chose that option really embraced it. And we actually had a lot of customers tell us in the video, ‘This is really cool. I love the fact that I can do this,’” Sivasubramanian added.

The technology to gather video or audio feedback — whether via survey forms or other feedback systems — has never been easier to implement, and in 2021 savvy B2B marketers looking to up their customer feedback strategy would be wise to consider such possibilities.

A key element to this approach is offering the ability to leave video or audio feedback at a point in the customer journey where it isn’t necessarily expected. This isn’t to say that feedback options shouldn’t also exist in the traditional places on company websites or social platforms, however the power of surprising a customer with the ability to share their thoughts verbally and visually — without having to type in feedback — may be underestimated among B2B organizations.

3 — Niche & Up-and-Coming Social Platforms

Where do you go in the online universe when you want to find honest thoughts from real people about topics that are new to you, whether they revolve around a local business or a global enterprise?

More people than ever have started including the search term “Reddit” in their search queries, to see what word on the digital street is regarding almost any particular subject, which may be why the social news aggregator and discussion platform is courting the half billion average monthly active user mark, and why its generated more than 30 billion monthly views of user-generated content.

Whether it’s gathering customer feedback in the form of ask-me-anything (AMA) events or keeping tabs on how your audiences are venting about possible frustrations relating to your brand, Reddit offers a slew of insight for B2B marketers willing to explore, as I dug into recently in “8 Things B2B Marketers Need To Know About Reddit in 2021.”

With its sizable growth in past years Reddit can hardly be considered either an up-and-coming social platform or a niche-only network any longer, but others in the social landscape are still in that wild west stage of finding a specialty, and B2B marketers can benefit by taking a look at these communities, such as Clubhouse, Slack Communities, and others.

4 — Social Polls

Polls offer a special two-for-one value for B2B marketers, providing quality customer and prospect feedback while also offering brands a powerful interactive social media content marketing element.

Brands that take the time to listen to what customers are saying through their answers to poll questions gain an inside glimpse into where marketing efforts may be put to the most effective use, and are also a helpful way to increase brand awareness.

While social media polls are by nature more limited in the number of responses that can be offered, brands can draw people in beyond simply selecting an existing poll choice by using the final poll choice to encourage responses in comments.

Brands can also gather social media poll data to get feedback on existing products and services, to learn customer pain points, to test interest in new product offerings, and to gauge reactions to new industry trends.

To learn more about social media polls check out my LinkedIn*-specific guide, “Social Media Polls For Marketers: 6 B2B Brands Winning With LinkedIn Polls,” helpful tactics for a variety of social platform polls in our content marketing manager Nick Nelson’s “The Power of Social Media Polls: The Drill-Down on 3 Platforms + 5 General Best Practices,” and take a look at what poll data can tell B2B marketers in my “Show Me The Numbers: 20 B2B Marketing Insights From Audience Poll Data.”

5 — New Forms of Audience Usage Information

Websites today can collect more data than ever, yet filtering out the noise to harness the truly relevant gems of helpful customer feedback information may also be at an all-time level of difficulty.

Whether in the form of real-time human support chat logs, chatbot interaction data, or website usage information, pulling out the good stuff has been an ongoing challenge faced by B2B firms.

Luckily, to combat the record volumes of data, an impressive array of powerful data extraction tools have been developed, some focused primarily on gathering customer feedback.

There are some online spots holding potentially valuable customer feedback that may often get overlooked, especially some of the chat functions in applications used alongside virtual events. Just a few in these categories, where you may find customer feedback, include:

  • Zoom Chat Logs
  • Slack Channels
  • Skype Chat Logs
  • Google Hangouts Chats
  • Microsoft Teams Chats
  • Custom Event Chat Application Logs

Smart B2B Marketers Stand Out With Better Customer Feedback

via GIPHY

In the increasingly complex business environment of 2021, B2B brands need more than ever to clearly differentiate themselves from the competition.

Thankfully, finding and using customer feedback in places your competitors may not be monitoring can prove to be a strong technique to help your business stand out. We hope the unorthodox forms of finding customer feedback we’ve looked at here, from Google Question Hub to Clubhouse and more will help with your B2B marketing efforts in 2021.

Getting closer to customers takes many forms besides feedback, and to learn more check out “How B2B Marketers Can Get Closer to Their Customers,” by our senior content marketing manager Joshua Nite.

The post 5 Unconventional Sources of Customer Feedback for B2B Marketers appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

January 13, 2021
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Did you know you could market your business online at a very low cost?

Buying a FedEx Route

If you’re interested in a way to generate more income, you might consider buying a FedEx route. You can buy a FedEx route on a FedEx route marketplace, or from an independent owner; once you do, you’ll gain access to a fleet of trucks, employees, and equipment necessary to deliver packages all over the country.

FedEx routes function as a business and can be a great way to make money. But are they worth buying?

The Advantages of a FedEx Route

There are several advantages to consider when buying a FedEx route, including:

  • Access to existing infrastructure. If you were to start a business of your own, you’d need to invest time and money to research and buy all-new equipment and infrastructure. But with a FedEx route, all that infrastructure already exists. You can simply step in and take over as a new owner.
  • A reliable business model. FedEx routes operate profitably all over the country. They’ve been in existence for decades, and since home deliveries are only increasing, we can expect FedEx deliveries to be relevant for decades to come. This is a reliable business model that doesn’t rely on timing, luck, or strict innovation—making it appealing to a wide range of would-be entrepreneurs.
  • Semi-passive income. Passive income is all the rage these days, enabling entrepreneurs to make money with little to no effort. Because FedEx routes operate almost autonomously, they’re almost a passive source of income. You will have to step in and manage at least a few hours per week, but this is mostly a hands-off system.
  • Potential for future sale. If you decide to retire, or if you decide to pursue other ventures, you can always sell your FedEx route to someone else. Depending on the timing of the sale, you can probably make back most of your initial capital as well.

The Disadvantages of a FedEx Route

However, there are also some disadvantages to consider, including:

  • Demand for initial capital. Buying a FedEx route can be expensive, with most routes going for at least $1 million. If you don’t have the cash, or if you aren’t able to qualify for a loan, this could be prohibitive. Still, you could always purchase with a partner to increase accessibility.
  • Decision pressure. FedEx routes aren’t a “true” passive income source. If you want to remain profitable, you’ll need to keep your route effectively managed. That means you’ll be responsible for ongoing analysis, major business decisions, and occasional upgrades and improvements. It can be a lot of stress to manage.
  • Inconsistent cash flow. While many FedEx routes benefit from consistent cash flow, this is far from a guarantee. You may see your profits ebb and flow with the seasons, or you may encounter dry spells that interfere with your ability to operate the business profitably.
  • Potential profitability. FedEx routes can be highly profitable, but they may not offer the full potential profitability of starting a business from scratch. If you invent something new or capitalize on a new market, you could conceivably make more money that way.
  • Because these routes are designed to work with FedEx, they often must follow strict rules. That means you won’t have much flexibility to innovate or experiment with new approaches. For some entrepreneurs, this is limiting.

How to Make Your Route Successful

If you decide to purchase a FedEx route, there are a number of steps you should take to make your route as profitable as possible.

These include:

  • Choose the right kind of route. Pickup and delivery (P&D) routes are designed for local and business deliveries. These tend to be smaller and less expensive; they’re also easier to manage because they cover fewer miles and don’t have as many driver requirements. Linehaul runs, by contrast, tend to cover a lot of ground since they ship between FedEx hubs. They tend to be bigger and more expensive, as well as harder to manage, but they offer superior returns.
  • Be prepared to actively manage. Though somewhat passive at generating income, you’ll still need to make management decisions on the fly. Be ready to look at financial reports, buy new equipment, make cuts where appropriate, and gradually optimize your business.
  • Know when to sell. You probably won’t want to hold onto your FedEx route forever. Knowing when to sell can help you make an even greater profit—or avoid a major loss. Time your sale for the market, as well as for your own personal priorities (such as retirement).

Buying a FedEx route isn’t the right investment for every aspiring entrepreneur, but it could be the best way to utilize your existing capital and management experience. If you decide to move forward, consider talking to existing route owners to get their perspective, and do your research before finalizing any decisions.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, “Should You Consider Buying a FedEx Route?” was first published on Small Business Trends

January 12, 2021
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Do you know anyone that likes to shop online?

Rolling TV stands are a great video and graphic solution for businesses. They help boost your presentations in conference rooms, trade shows, hotels, meetings, and other settings.

Because they are mobile you can take them in different places without having to worry about dislodging the displays from walls. And since most TV rolling stands are height adjustable and can be tilted, you can adjust them to your viewing preference.

Some TV stands come with shelves for storing items such as laptops, sound systems and speakers, allowing you to have your presentation on wheels. There is a wide range of rolling TV stands in the market. To help you narrow down the list, here are some of our picks for the best rolling TV stands.

 

Best Smart Security Cameras

 

VIVO Mobile TV Cart

VIVO Mobile TV Cart for 32-65 inch LCD LED Plasma Flat Panel Screen TVs up to 110 lbs

Top Pick: You can use the VIVO mobile TV cart for 32-65-inch plasma, LED, LCD, curved, OLED and Ultra HD TVs. It can support flat panel TV sets up to 110 pounds. You can tilt the display up to 15° for better viewing angles and it comes with four locking casters.

This TV stand also has a middle storage shelf with 19″ x 11.5″ dimensions capable of holding up to 10 pounds. This is enough to accommodate a laptop, receiver, and audio/ video equipment. Made from steel, it comes in at 29.4 x 13.6 x 7.1 inches, weighs 35.2 pounds and a three-year warranty.

VIVO Mobile TV Cart for 32-65 inch LCD LED Plasma Flat Panel Screen TVs up to 110 lbs, Pro Height Adjustable Rolling Black Stand

Buy on Amazon

 

PERLESMITH Rolling TV Stand

Mobile TV Cart with Wheels for 23-55 Inch LCD LED 4K Flat Curved Screen TVs

Runner Up: PERLESMITH’s mobile TV stand is compatible with most 23-55-inch LCD, LED flat screens and curved TVs. At 30.4 x 12.5 x 4.5 inches, it weighs 24.1 pounds can hold displays up to 55-pounds. The stand comes with an additional adjustable audio/video tray that can hold 22 pounds. The stand has four rubber caster wheels that allow you to roll it without scratching your floor. You can also lock the wheels to keep the stand stable.

Made with sturdy steel the unit can withstand high traffic environments and comes with a built-in wire management solution in the metal column. This allows easy management and concealment of wires and cables in the back of the stand.

Mobile TV Cart with Wheels for 23-55 Inch LCD LED 4K Flat Curved Screen TVs – Height Adjustable Shelf Trolley Floor Stand Holds up to 55lbs

Buy on Amazon

 

Kanto MTM65PL Adjustable Mobile TV Stand

Kanto MTM65PL Height Adjustable Mobile TV Stand

Best Value: Kanto’s adjustable stand works with TV sizes ranging from 37 to 65-inch and it can support a total weight of 80 pounds. Users can adjust the position of the television from 44.1 to 60.2-inches in height. The telescopic center columns offer 20 inches of height adjustment and include integrated cable management for a tidy setup.

The stand weighs 47.3lbs and comes in at 33.3 x 28.2 x 79.9 inches. The middle shelf is also height adjustable to store devices weighing up to 10 pounds. The stand has four swiveling wheels that make it easy to move it around the floor. Two of the wheels have locking castors that hold the stand in place.

Kanto MTM65PL Height Adjustable Mobile TV Stand with Adjustable Shelf for 37-inch to 65-inch TVs

Buy on Amazon

 

ONKRON TS27-71TV Stand

ONKRON Universal Mobile TV Stand

ONKRON TV stand has a heavy-duty aluminum alloy construction that can support a maximum of 100 pounds. The stand comes with two middle shelves for your accessories with a load capacity of up to 10 pounds each.

The four swivel caster wheels give you easy mobility and they also come with a locking mechanism to keep the stand securely in place. The telescopic columns lower or raise your TV screen without any tools and heights can be adjusted from 37.4 to 62.9-inches off the floor in 2-inch increments.

Weighing just 37.2 pounds it comes in at 40.94 x 20.87 x 7.09 inches. The stand fits most 40 to 75-inch LCD TVs both flat and curved screens. This unit comes with all the hardware you need, including three sets of most bolts for mounting your screen.

ONKRON Universal Mobile TV Stand with Shelves TV Cart on Wheels for 40” – 75 Inch Flat Panel Curved LCD LED OLED Screens up to 100 lbs

Buy on Amazon

 

Husky TV Mount Stand

Husky Mount Mobile TV Stand with Wheels Heavy Duty Universal Rolling TV Cart

Heavy-duty steel construction gives this stand a maximum load capacity of 132 pounds. And you can move it around using the swivel caster wheels as well as brakes. The poles are 60 inches high and can accommodate most flat-screen LED and LCD TVs from 32 to 70 inches. It offers a maximum TV height of 58 inches and you can tilt it for optimum viewing angle to reduce glare.

The lower 19” X 12” metal shelf can hold up to 25 pounds for a media player, notebook, or other equipment. It can also have its height elevated up to 27 inches. What is even more impressive is the manufacturer offers a 25-year warranty.

Husky Mount Mobile TV Stand with Wheels Heavy Duty Universal Rolling TV Cart Fits Most 32” – 70” LED LCD TVs with Shelf and Mount Max Load 132 LBS

Buy on Amazon

 

5Rcom Cart Rolling TV Stand

5Rcom Mobile TV Cart Large Rolling TV Stand

The 5Rcom rolling TV stand supports plasma and LCD Flat screens, curved TVs, monitors, and displays from 32 inches to 70 inches in size. And it can be tilted up and down by 15 degrees for optimal viewing experience.

The cart provides a combined weight capacity of 88 pounds for the top and bottom. It offers 5 levels of height adjustments from 51’’ to 67’’. The lower media component tray shelf is height adjustable from 9″ to 29″ and can accommodate other computing and audio-visual equipment. It weighs 28.1 pounds and comes with a five-year warranty.

5Rcom Mobile TV Cart Large Rolling TV Stand with Wheels Height Adjustable Flat Screen/Curved TVs Monitors Portable TV Floor Stand with Laptop Shelf Display

Buy on Amazon

 

YAHEETECH 32 to 65 Inch Mobile TV Cart

YAHEETECH 32 to 65 Inch Mobile TV Cart Universal Flat Screen Rolling TV Stand

YAHEETECH’s TV stand has a sturdy metal frame that secures up to 110-pound TVs for sizes ranging from 32 to 65 inches. The stand weighs 28.5 pounds and has brackets that allow users to tilt the TV sets in a range of 13° of viewing angle. You can adjust the height using the telescopic pole to lower or raise the TV without tools between 43.3 to 63 inches.

 

The middle storage shelf comes in at 17.9 x 11.6 inches for storing everything from a laptop to audio-visual equipment. The stand has four wheels that allow you to move around the floor coupled with a locking mechanism to keep the stand in a fixed position. You can use the two hollow columns to hide cables and wires inside for discreet cable management.

YAHEETECH 32 to 65 Inch Mobile TV Cart Universal Flat Screen Rolling TV Stand Trolley Console Stand with Mount for LED LCD Plasma Flat Panels on Wheels

Buy on Amazon

 

What to look for in a Rolling TV Stand 

  • Compatibility: When you are thinking about investing in a TV stand make sure you consider the type of TV you will be using. Find out if the brackets of the TV mount are adjustable and fit your TV. Also, check to make sure it can carry the weight of the TV as well.
  • Height adjustable: Most TV stands offer the ability to adjust viewing heights. This helps to provide an appropriate viewing height whether you are watching alone or with a group of people.
  • Internal Cable Management Mechanism: An internal cable management mechanism can help you put the wires and cables out of the way. By avoiding cables from getting tangled underfoot inside the structure of the mount, you can avoid accidents and prevent cables from getting damaged.
  • Tilt options: A tilt feature will help viewers from having to strain to watch the display. And it can also prevent glare if there is too much lighting in the room.
  • Additional shelves: With an additional one or two shelves you can place other items such as laptops, sound systems and speakers. They help store complementary equipment by allowing easy and convenient options. Also, make sure to check if the shelves can be adjusted for extra convenience.
  • Casters: The wheels of the rolling TV stand should be sturdy as well as easy to move in many floor surfaces. And the locking mechanism should be able to keep the entire unit securely in place once.

Benefits of a Rolling TV Stand

Rolling TV stands help free up space in your office and help you cut costs by sharing displays across departments. Not only do you have a TV display wherever you want, but they also come with additional surfaces and storage compartments for computing and multimedia devices. They are ideal for your in-office presentations as well as when you are traveling for trade shows and exhibitions.

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Images: Amazon

This article, “Best Rolling TV Stand for Your Office” was first published on Small Business Trends

January 12, 2021
  • by

Are you ready to start your online business now?

Keys to Success B2B Influencer Marketing 2021

Keys to Success B2B Influencer Marketing 2021

According to the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report, 96% of B2B marketers that engage influencers consider their program to be successful and 90% expect their budget for influencer marketing to increase or stay the same over the next 12 months.

Why the confidence? 77% of marketers say their prospective customers rely on advice from industry experts with 84% engaging influencers to create brand awareness and 69% counting on influencers for lead generation.

Influence plays a role across the entire B2B customer lifecycle from awareness to advocacy and with B2B marketing going decidedly digital during the pandemic and uncertainty of 2020, the importance of peer, expert and influencer recommendations through social and digital media are more important than ever.

Without question, the uncertainties driven by economic, political and public health have affected business customers in a variety of ways from pausing on purchasing to taking more time to do research on solutions. How B2B marketers adapt to these changes is essential for success in 2021 and beyond.

So how are B2B brands like LinkedIn, SAP, monday.com and others finding marketing wins during a time of uncertainty? One way is through understanding which voices are most influential to their customers and then partnering with those influencers to collaborate on content used for thought leadership, brand engagement and lead generation.

Based on research of hundreds of B2B marketers, several best practices have emerged to optimize content with influence. The most successful B2B influencer marketing programs share certain characteristics including:

  • Engaging in ongoing (Always-On) influencer marketing vs. periodic campaigns
  • Rely on industry experts and analysts vs. purely social influencers
  • Use blogs as content publishing platforms
  • Use software to identify and qualify influencers vs. gut feel
  • Create interactive content with influencers
  • Have a centralized influencer marketing program
  • Have a documented influencer marketing strategy

But what can B2B brands expect from influencers? Everything from increased social reach to improved credibility of brand content to increases in leads in sales.

Working with the right influencers, you build credibility with the audience you are trying to reach. influencers can help you deliver content that solves problems, educates and inspires your intended audience. The biggest benefit is the engagement, how you can work with your influencers to create meaningful engagement that leads to the right outcomes for your brand.
Amisha Gandhi, VP Influencer Marketing and Communications at SAP

B2B Influence in Action: Monday.com

When the pandemic swept through the world in 2020, monday.com identified an opportunity to help support teams that had gone from working in-office to working remotely. To help position itself as a valuable resource for remote teams, Monday.com partnered with TopRank Marketing to develop an influencer marketing program featuring remote work experts that could reach and engage teams facing remote work challenges more effectively than the brand on its own.

By engaging influencers with audiences hungry for information about remote work best practices, the Monday.com influencer program added value to the target audience and increased awareness of Monday.com’s solutions.

  • 1,790% above goal social reach from influencer shares
  • 300k organic brand social impressions from influences
  • Nearly 3k video views of a livestream featuring 2 influencers during the first week

Learn more about Monday.com’s best practices approach to working with B2B influencers in this case study.

Engaging influencers creates a competitive advantage for B2B brands.

Influencers’ industry expertise lends credibility that results in convincing and converting your target audience.
Rani Mani, Head of Employee Advocacy at Adobe

Our research supports Rani’s insight with 77% of marketers saying their prospective customers rely on advice from industry experts.

What B2B marketers can do to take advantage of the influence opportunity is to decide what topics the brand wants to be known for that customers are seeking. Using topics of influence, a content marketing program can be developed that incorporates industry experts that are influential about those same topics.

Collaborating on content of mutual value provides influencers an incentive to help share that content with potential customers that are likely ignoring ads and formal brand marketing. As B2B brands continue to engage influencers, benefits include content for demand and lead gen as well as relationships with trusted voices that can organically advocate for the brand.

For many B2B marketers, the challenges of this past year have forced an even greater focus on marketing that is more in line with how buyers are discovering, engaging and acting on digital information. These challenges have also put a greater emphasis on marketing strategies that create a true return and impact on the business. Engaging with relevant, trusted influencers provides an opportunity to do both.

B2B Influencer Marketing Report Preview
Learn more about B2B influencer marketing best practices from the most successful B2B brands by getting your copy of the State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report.

The post How the Most Successful B2B Marketers Approach Influencer Marketing in 2021 appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

January 12, 2021
  • by

Do you know anyone that likes to shop online?

Keys to Success B2B Influencer Marketing 2021

Keys to Success B2B Influencer Marketing 2021

According to the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report, 96% of B2B marketers that engage influencers consider their program to be successful and 90% expect their budget for influencer marketing to increase or stay the same over the next 12 months.

Why the confidence? 77% of marketers say their prospective customers rely on advice from industry experts with 84% engaging influencers to create brand awareness and 69% counting on influencers for lead generation.

Influence plays a role across the entire B2B customer lifecycle from awareness to advocacy and with B2B marketing going decidedly digital during the pandemic and uncertainty of 2020, the importance of peer, expert and influencer recommendations through social and digital media are more important than ever.

Without question, the uncertainties driven by economic, political and public health have affected business customers in a variety of ways from pausing on purchasing to taking more time to do research on solutions. How B2B marketers adapt to these changes is essential for success in 2021 and beyond.

So how are B2B brands like LinkedIn, SAP, monday.com and others finding marketing wins during a time of uncertainty? One way is through understanding which voices are most influential to their customers and then partnering with those influencers to collaborate on content used for thought leadership, brand engagement and lead generation.

Based on research of hundreds of B2B marketers, several best practices have emerged to optimize content with influence. The most successful B2B influencer marketing programs share certain characteristics including:

  • Engaging in ongoing (Always-On) influencer marketing vs. periodic campaigns
  • Rely on industry experts and analysts vs. purely social influencers
  • Use blogs as content publishing platforms
  • Use software to identify and qualify influencers vs. gut feel
  • Create interactive content with influencers
  • Have a centralized influencer marketing program
  • Have a documented influencer marketing strategy

But what can B2B brands expect from influencers? Everything from increased social reach to improved credibility of brand content to increases in leads in sales.

Working with the right influencers, you build credibility with the audience you are trying to reach. influencers can help you deliver content that solves problems, educates and inspires your intended audience. The biggest benefit is the engagement, how you can work with your influencers to create meaningful engagement that leads to the right outcomes for your brand.
Amisha Gandhi, VP Influencer Marketing and Communications at SAP

B2B Influence in Action: Monday.com

When the pandemic swept through the world in 2020, monday.com identified an opportunity to help support teams that had gone from working in-office to working remotely. To help position itself as a valuable resource for remote teams, Monday.com partnered with TopRank Marketing to develop an influencer marketing program featuring remote work experts that could reach and engage teams facing remote work challenges more effectively than the brand on its own.

By engaging influencers with audiences hungry for information about remote work best practices, the Monday.com influencer program added value to the target audience and increased awareness of Monday.com’s solutions.

  • 1,790% above goal social reach from influencer shares
  • 300k organic brand social impressions from influences
  • Nearly 3k video views of a livestream featuring 2 influencers during the first week

Learn more about Monday.com’s best practices approach to working with B2B influencers in this case study.

Engaging influencers creates a competitive advantage for B2B brands.

Influencers’ industry expertise lends credibility that results in convincing and converting your target audience.
Rani Mani, Head of Employee Advocacy at Adobe

Our research supports Rani’s insight with 77% of marketers saying their prospective customers rely on advice from industry experts.

What B2B marketers can do to take advantage of the influence opportunity is to decide what topics the brand wants to be known for that customers are seeking. Using topics of influence, a content marketing program can be developed that incorporates industry experts that are influential about those same topics.

Collaborating on content of mutual value provides influencers an incentive to help share that content with potential customers that are likely ignoring ads and formal brand marketing. As B2B brands continue to engage influencers, benefits include content for demand and lead gen as well as relationships with trusted voices that can organically advocate for the brand.

For many B2B marketers, the challenges of this past year have forced an even greater focus on marketing that is more in line with how buyers are discovering, engaging and acting on digital information. These challenges have also put a greater emphasis on marketing strategies that create a true return and impact on the business. Engaging with relevant, trusted influencers provides an opportunity to do both.

B2B Influencer Marketing Report Preview
Learn more about B2B influencer marketing best practices from the most successful B2B brands by getting your copy of the State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report.

The post How the Most Successful B2B Marketers Approach Influencer Marketing in 2021 appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

January 11, 2021
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Do you know anyone that likes to shop online?

2021 January 8 Fortella Chart

2021 January 8 Fortella Chart

LinkedIn Shares New Usage Insights for Your 2021 Planning [Infographic]
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn (client) has released updated usage statistics showing that the professional social network’s LinkedIn Live video streams have increased by 89 percent since March, along with strong levels of member engagement — two of numerous statistics of interest to digital marketers. Social Media Today

Google Question Hub Is Open & It’s A Great Way To Find Content Ideas
Google has rolled out a new service showing unanswered search question data, offering U.S users access to its Question Hub for the first time — a feature previously only available in three non-U.S. nations. Search Engine Roundtable

Why B2B marketers need to bet big on ‘The Big Long’
Brand investment is key for providing business value according to data from the 2030 Marketing Trends report from Linkedin’s The B2B Institute, and Marketing Week explores five of the key benefits that come from building a B2B brand. Marketing Week

The Top 20 Content Marketing Hashtags, Topics, and Searches
71 percent of content marketers use a digital marketing hashtag alongside their content marketing tag, while strategy, SEO, and social media are the top three topics discussed with content marketing, according to newly-released study data from SEMrush examining more than 600,000 tweets and Google searches, the firm announced. MarketingProfs

Most Covered Terms Of 2020: ‘COVID-19,’ ‘Digital,’ ‘Personalization,’ ‘Meaningful’
COVID-19, “meaningful” and “personalization” led the way when it came to the most covered search terms during 2020 at MediaPost, in its annual look at the most-referenced terms of the year. MediaPost

Bing Webmaster Tools adds crawl requests, crawl errors & indexed pages to performance report
Microsoft’s Bing has added new functionality to its Bing Webmaster Tools utilities, with additional metrics that can aid marketers in spotting potential trouble-spots, the firm recently announced. Search Engine Land

2021 January 8 Statistics Image

Emerging New Brand Role: Enabler Of Personal Innovation
Brands increasingly see success when they create conditions that foster personal innovation, according to recently-released annual trend report data showing a variety of new forms of interaction and brand-shaping. MediaPost

Amazon acquires podcast network Wondery
Amazon has acquired the podcasting network Wondery, the firm recently announced, noting that the newly-acquired podcast network will be added to Amazon Music, offering new opportunities for digital marketers seeking to promote podcast content. TechCrunch

Apple Granted Patent Supporting Further Development Of Search Technology
Apple has received a patent that will allow it to delve further into search engine functionality, with domain-based influencer scoring among the firm’s search technologies that were granted a patent, Apple recently announced. MediaPost

Fortella Releases “State of B2B Marketing: 2021” Report, Examines the Traits of Top-Performing Marketing Departments
64 percent of B2B marketers find budgeting resources to be a top challenge, followed by tracking, quality data, and finding the right talent, according to recently-released survey data exploring top challenge strategies and tactics employed by marketing executives at leading B2B companies. MarTech Series

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 January 8 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at “we’re going agile” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Adweek’s Most Popular Online Stories of 2020 — Adweek

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • SAP — Global CMO of SAP Discusses Intersectionality in The Business of Marketing — Adweek

Have you found your own top B2B marketing story from the past week of industry news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for joining us for another edition of our B2B marketing news, and we hope that you will return again next Friday for more of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

The post B2B Marketing News: LinkedIn’s 2021 Planning Report, Traits of Top B2B Performers Study, Google’s Question Hub, & Apple’s Search Aspirations appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

January 10, 2021
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Do you need help with marketing material or software?

productivity hacks

Many successful entrepreneurs, including founders of multi-billion dollar companies, got to where they are through a combination of unique idea generation and hard work. Naturally, most of us aspire to achieve something similar—even if we can’t hope to replicate that scale.

That’s one reason why I like to read and discover some of the unique productivity hacks, habits, and behaviors that helped those successful entrepreneurs achieve their status. I’ve listed some of my favorites below.

Productivity Hacks from Top Entrepreneurs

Try these interesting productivity hacks from some of the most successful entrepreneurs of our era:

1. Elon Musk: Schedule your day in 5-minute intervals

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, uses time blocking to schedule his day in intervals as small as 5 minutes. In other words, he breaks his day down into 5-minute chunks, and schedules tasks, meetings, and events accordingly. You don’t have to think in 5-minute intervals, but any effort you make to block your time can be helpful. You can also improve your efficiency by “batching” similar tasks together; for example, you can block out 45 minutes to catch up on emails in the morning.

2. Jeff Bezos: Keep meetings small with the 2-pizza rule

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and richest man in the world, uses the 2-pizza rule to estimate appropriate meeting attendance. He will only invite a number of people to a meeting who can be fed by a total of 2 pizzas. Obviously, this is not a precise calculation. The point is, you should be restricting your meetings to only the people who matter most. This will be helpful for facilitating better, more productive discussions; plus, you’ll cut down on the amount of total time wasted, since fewer people will be spending time.

3. Ray Dalio: Meditate on a daily basis

Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, credits his success to daily meditation. He’s encouraged his employees to practice transcendental meditation, and has even written a book on the subject. There are many meditation practices you can experiment with, stemming from different philosophies and backgrounds, but most of them attempt to achieve a similar goal: clearing your mind and improving your focus. Give it a try, and make it a habit to see if it works for you.

4. Mark Zuckerberg: Minimize decision fatigue

It’s been a known secret for many years that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, wears the same clothes to work every day. But why? Zuckerberg’s idea here is to eliminate (or at least reduce) decision fatigue, or the accumulation of stress and anxiety as you make decisions throughout the day. If you can eliminate some decisions from your daily schedule (like choosing what to wear), you’ll cut down on decision fatigue, power up your thought leadership, and make important decisions (like choosing a vendor) much less stressful.

5. Jack Dorsey: Rely on day theming

Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, assigns themes to each day of the workweek. This is useful for splitting up your priorities, and remaining focused on the work that matters most. For example, you could use Monday as a day for meetings and catching up communications. You could use Tuesday for heads-down, focused work, and Wednesday for high-level strategic planning. It becomes even more effective if you turn it into a consistent routine.

6. Dustin Moskowitz: Keep one day completely free

In line with this, Dustin Moskowitz, founder of Asana, always keeps one day of the week completely free of meetings and scheduled events. In the scenario we outlined above, this could be Tuesday—a day in which there are no meetings, whatsoever. Meetings aren’t necessarily bad, but they often distract you from your individual priorities.

7. Tim Ferriss: Apply the 80/20 rule

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, recommends using the Pareto principle (or the 80/20 rule) to be more selective about your work. The basic idea is that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your inputs—in other words, 80 percent of your value in a day comes from 20 percent of your working hours. Which types of tasks matter most, and how can you prioritize them over others?

Uncovering Your Own Productivity Hacks

While I certainly enjoy reading and learning from some of history’s greatest entrepreneurs, I also think it’s important to avoid succumbing to hero worship or survivorship bias. Just because an entrepreneur found success doesn’t mean they’re good at everything, and just because a habit or trick worked well for one entrepreneur doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

Experiment with different tools, strategies, scheduling approaches, and time management techniques—and be sure to measure your results. Find a combination of strategies that best suits your personality and work style, and don’t be afraid to work new approaches into your rotation.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “7 Productivity Hacks from 7 Successful Entrepreneurs” was first published on Small Business Trends

January 10, 2021
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Did you lose your job or business in this pandemic?

thrive during pandemic business

You still have a few days to register for what may be the most important webinar you’ll attend in 2021.

If things have gone sideways trying to run your small business through this COVID emergency, you’ll want to be there for “The Sh*t’s Hit the Fan – NOW WHAT? 99 Recession Proof Tips for Small Business” where you’ll learn specific steps to take to navigate this “new economy” and get your company through the pandemic.

Join author Rhonda Abrams and Small Business Trends publisher Anita Campbell this Thursday and come out of it with tips to not only survive this economy, but also thrive in it. Register for the webinar following the link below.

Register Now

And if you can’t make it, check out some of the other small business events coming up later this year in our weekly events roundup.



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Do You Know the Tax Advantages of LLCs, S-Corps and Corporations?Do You Know the Tax Advantages of LLCs, S-Corps and Corporations?
January 20, 2021, Online

There are many advantages to incorporating a business and forming an LLC or electing S-Corp status. One of those benefits is tax savings. But which entity provides the best savings? In this FREE webinar, Nellie Akalp of CorpNet.com will explain the different tax benefits of each. Register today!


Women in Cloud Summit 2021Women in Cloud Summit 2021
January 28, 2021, Online

The Women in Cloud Summit is a three-day, life-changing event for women tech entrepreneurs, corporate and community leaders, policymakers, and allies from around the globe. Women are key drivers of economic growth, and the Summit strives to change the industry narrative by creating economic access for women in the cloud economy. Summit attendees will hear from inspirational speakers, connect and communicate with industry leaders and experts, and network with other community members and entrepreneurs. Join us virtually from January 28-30, 2021.


WEBINAR: What Business Structure is Right for You?WEBINAR: What Business Structure is Right for You?
April 28, 2021, Online

Picking a business structure is usually the first big legal decision for a new business owner and one of the most confusing. However confusing, it is an essential step to protecting your personal assets from any liabilities of the company. In this webinar, Nellie Akalp CEO of CorpNet.com, will share insight on business entities to help guide you to the best decision for your new venture.


WEBINAR: Best State to IncorporateWEBINAR: Best State to Incorporate
July 28, 2021, Online

Some say Delaware, others say Nevada while someone else may say your home state. What is the best state to register a business in? What if your business is expanding into new territory? At what point should you Foreign Qualify? Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com, will go in-depth to answer these questions and more in this webinar.


WEBINAR: Steps to Start Your BusinessWEBINAR: Steps to Start Your Business
October 20, 2021, Online

Starting a business can be an exhilarating time, where everything seems full of potential and purpose. But navigating the logistics of launching a business can be daunting. In this webinar Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com, will outline the steps necessary to legally start a business and get up and running on the right foot.


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “Thrive During the Pandemic with Helpful Tips from Upcoming Webinar” was first published on Small Business Trends

January 9, 2021
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Do you know anyone that likes to shop online?

closed business

Small businesses across the country will be looking to rebound quickly as we move forward in the year 2021.

Earlier this week, we got some deflating news that some of the gains in the COVID economic rebound were lost in the last month of 2020. The latest ADP Small Business Report showed that small businesses cut about 13,000 jobs in December.

And the numbers were any better for franchise businesses or bigger businesses, either.

Some pandemic-related business closure orders likely contributed to the overall loss of small business jobs. Restaurants, many of which are small businesses, in several big states – like New York, California, and Pennsylvania – were ordered to close in-person dining operations during one of their busiest months of the year and some remain closed today.

Small Business News Roundup – January 8, 2021

Here’s a look at some of the other big headlines for small businesses this past week.

SBA Expands Women’s Business Centers Nationwide

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the launch of 20 new Women’s Business Centres (WBC) across the United States. The centers are designed to serve rural, urban and underserved communities alike. The opening of the new centers marks the biggest single expansion of WBCs in the US in the administration’s 30-year history.

SBA Extends EIDL Loan Application Deadline Thru End of 2021

The Small Business Administration (SBA)has announced the extension of the deadline for businesses to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program to December 31, 2021. The new deadline extension for the second round of EIDL funding comes after the second COVID-19 relief bill of $900 billion was signed into law on December 27th, 2020.

These are the Best Cities for Gig Delivery Work in the US

Some states seem to be well suited for gig delivery work compared to others according to data from AdvisorSmith. The data examined 376 cities to find the 50 best cities for gig economy delivery workers as well as places where gig workers earn the most on a cost-of-living adjusted basis. This is a timely report as more consumers are using delivery services for many different reasons.

Zoho Invoice Built to Grow With Your Small Business

Getting paid is one of the most important elements of running a small business. Unfortunately, creating invoices and managing payments from customers can be complicated. That’s where Zoho Invoice comes in. Zoho Invoice is an online invoicing and payments tool built for small businesses. But it’s designed to scale with users as they grow as well.

QoQer is Helping Manufacturing Startups Get Off the Ground

Working out a concept for a manufactured product but not sure how to built it? QoQer can help. This startup streamlines the whole manufacturing process. They design, create and ship products for the entrepreneurs who envision them. Small Business Trends contacted spokesman Stephen Burton to find out how this new service helps small businesses launch products.

Zenefits Launches Online Health Insurance Shopping for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, wouldn’t you love to be able to shop, compare, select and administer health, dental and vision benefit plans? Compared to large companies, small businesses pay more – cost per employee – for health insurance. It’s a fact. Companies with fewer than 500 employees pay 18% more than large companies. Zenefits says you can change that.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “In the News: Latest Jobs Report Deflating for Small Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

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