Cross-Team Collaboration: How to Include All Your Employees into Different Aspects of Digital Marketing

Your brand is delicate. It can be compared to rare lily, having to be coaxed carefully and softly into full bloom. What does that mean for your brand?

You have to very deliberately curate and grow it, avoiding the many pitfalls that even big brand often fall into. One single brand image problem and you could lose a chunk of your user base.

A good strategy for cultivating a strong brand from that tender little bloom is by getting the entire team on the same page.

Why Collaborate?

Stop, collaborate and listen… Vanilla Ice knew what he was talking about… sort of. The best brands collaborate as one entity, working as a team to make sure they have the best final product possible. Those brands aren’t insisting that marketing remains in Marketing or sales remain in Sales. The whole team is responsible for each part because in the end it all fits together.

Think of your brand as a chain. Do you want a weak link breaking off the rest just because that link wasn’t aware of what is being done day to day to market it? Alright, so the analogy falls apart in the middle, but you see my point. Everyone should be collaborating and participating in the marketing of your brand.

What you will get as a final product is an innovative brand that is plugged into the community in the now, ready to move into the future.

So, where do you start?

Engage Your Team in Your Social Marketing

Social media is where your team can really thrive and get the most direct results. Authenticity is important in driving brand popularity. Consumers want to know they can trust you and so they need to relate to you. Being a faceless entity just doesn’t cut it anymore. The modern day customer expects more.

Put together a digital packet that tells your team members about the tone and voice of your company. Discuss with them what is and isn’t appropriate to post. Then ask for their ideas. You will get a ton of fresh perspectives with unique ideas for how to market the company on social media.

Another reason this is a great idea is that it will look from the consumer side like these team members are being spontaneous, while you know that while the ideas came from them, it was tailored to fit into your social campaigns.

Featured tools and resources:

Make sure you have clear guidelines in place. You don’t want your team members to go too relaxed in their public style when talking on your behalf, plus you don’t want them to feel to limited either. There’s a fine balance there and this guide from Sprout Social will help you maintain one. It also contains some actual examples of social media posting guidelines from several brands to help you out:

social media guidelines

Slack: Set up individual channels for different teams and purposes and that my team members can interact with one another. There’s a huge potential for automating here: For example, you can import your brand mentions into Slack to engage your team in talking to your brand promoters and let them support the positive sentiment or revert the negative one:

Twitter inti Slack

Brand Identity and Design Decisions

A big mistake many startup founders make is to hire people from outside to design their brand identity for them. Your brand is your unique, most important asset and your team is one of those integral parts of it that makes it so unique.

Your sales team, customer support team, and of course you as a founder – you all are going to be in the front line working with your customers and getting them to like and recognize your brand going forward.

Engage your team in forming your brand identity and you’ll turn them into believers right away.

Together you can come up with a new design and identity: The more people are involved, the better! All from different backgrounds, so bringing together multiple ideas and experiences in working with your future customer.

Featured tools and resources:

Canva has a powerful collaboration element as part of their PRO package allowing teams to work together to design consistent social media graphics, working on templates and brand kits together.

Create folders for different projects, let team members create mockups and more. It is all just as intuitive as using Canva as a single person and it is so user friendly that anyone can use it without much help.

Canva for Work

Duda is a web design platform with a very powerful collaboration component, empowering agency teams and client-side teams to contribute to website builds based on each stakeholder’s individual skill specialties:

  • Add team members and assign different permission levels for bloggers, designers, developers, marketers and more.
  • Automate workflow communications with clients using smart email templates that prompt them to populate content sections or to view weekly analytics reports.
  • Use the “Sections: module to assign and build custom blocks of page elements that can be saved to shared libraries for flowing in to multiple client projects, making it easier to customize designs at scale.
  • Make the workload you impose on your clients as light as possible by sending them forms for bulk uploads of assets that you can then easily flow into page designs.
  • Create your own widgets with third-party integrations and full CSS code control and use these across pages and websites.

If you want to have more control over the tools your team is using, for a lighter, more scalable project pipeline, Duda may be worth checking out.

Duda collaborate

Invision App allows you to work with your team by designing logos, websites and more on this collaboration app. Create multiple prototypes and view them on any device. It is simple, clean, easy to use and provides free feedback.

Invision App collaboration

Content

Content is probably the most integrated marketing area out there. It touches every aspect of marketing, from customer satisfaction to advertising. Hence, everyone, from marketing to sales to tech, should be involved in Content Marketing. That doesn’t mean everyone should be writing blog posts or creating drip campaigns.

Some people can contribute to blogs, some make videos, some can simply contribute ideas and share sources.

Getting your team involved in content is one of the easiest way to engage them in digital marketing and adapt your content to cross-channel marketing. How they choose to do so makes the end result all the more unique and impactful. What matters is to set up the culture to encourage collaboration and idea sharing.

Featured tools and resources:

Trello is a great tool for sharing and organizing ideas. You can set actionable columns (with due dates and responsible people) as well as generic dashboard where everyone can just drop ideas as they come:

Trello

Coschedule is a content editorial platform that has a very powerful collaboration component. You can manage all kinds of tasks lists for every content asset in your calendar including research, brainstorming, design, and then (social media) promotion. Use color-coding, to-do lists and comments to get as many engagement as you can:

oschedule collaborate

Scribblar is a fun educational tool that is usually used by teachers and students. But it is also for teams who want a more visual way of brainstorming ideas. Many find it easier to scribble a concept down then use words to describe it.

Further reading: How to Collaborate: Examples, Tips & Tools for the Ultimate Influencer-Sourced Content Asset

Do you have an idea on how to get a team collaborating on digital marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments.

The post Cross-Team Collaboration: How to Include All Your Employees into Different Aspects of Digital Marketing appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

5 Awesome Free Keyword Research Tools (Based on Search Suggestions)

The search industry is evolving fast: We have Google updates and core algorithm changes being announced and we see new awesome tools being launched regularly. It’s one of the most exciting industries to work in.

As-you-type search suggestions can be an awesome source of content inspiration because they provide a valuable insight into what people tend to search for when typing in their base term.

It’s nice to see different tools popping up that use Suggest data in different ways. Today I am sharing five of them: They are all free, some of them offer optional registration and provide different ways to play with as-you-type search suggestions

1. UberSuggest

(Free, no login required)

  • Sources: Google Suggest, Google Keyword Planner
  • Export: Yes

Unique features: This one is the most advanced of free keyword tools you’ll ever find. There’s no need to login to access all the features including search volume and competition numbers, and advanced filters.

Ubersuggest

2. Keyword.Guru

(Free, no login required)

  • Sources: Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Youtube, Amazon, Ebay and Google Play
  • Export: Yes

Unique features: A free and fast keyword research tool from @YoungbloodJoe gives you a quick overview of related phrases. Use it when you are stuck and need a quick inspiration.

Keyword Guru

3. Bulk Suggest Tool

(Free, no login required)

  • Sources: Google.com, Bing.com, Youtube.com, Amazon.com
  • Export: Yes

Unique feature: The tools is multi-step: It keeps running to grab key phrases for every latter of the alphabet, then you can select key phrases and proceed to the next step to generate more phases for each of them. This is the best way to discover longer, more specific phrases to narrow your targeting.

The output is very convenient as well: You get to see the dashboard of keywords (all on one page) with different databases side by side: Google and Bing (generic), Youtube (entertainment) and Amazon (ecommerce)

Bulk Auto-Suggest Works part 2

You can read more about the tool here: Best Tool for Content Brainstorming

4. SerpStat

(Freemium, login needed for some features, like an export)

  • Sources: Google Suggest
  • Export: Yes (But you need to register for that)

Unique feature: Filter results to only show questions which people type in the search box: This is a great way for how-to content and frequently asked questions!

Using a special algorithm, we choose interrogative questions. You can easily create a content plan for your website with them.

Serpstat also generates a tag cloud allowing you to drill down into the subtopics and expand them as well.

serpstat

5. KeywordTool.io

(Freemium, login needed for some features)

  • Sources: Google, Bing, Youtube, eBay and App Store (+ Support of multiple countries and languages for each source. I was testing it in English only)
  • Export: Yes (Select phrases and copy them)

Unique feature: This is the only tool that supports App Store I am aware of!

keywordtool

Happy brainstorming!

The post 5 Awesome Free Keyword Research Tools (Based on Search Suggestions) appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

How to Generate Leads from Twitter (For Free)

Twitter can be used for pretty much anything. You can launch a political campaign, start a non-profit hashtag movement, spy on your competitor, track down your long lost friend… it is a world of opportunities on a single open platform.

It is no surprise that people have been turning to it for professional uses over the years. Prospecting is one that has been a little controversial, with some claiming it is too quick and cluttered to build long-lasting business relationships.

I disagree; Twitter is a great tool for sales prospects and building leads, either on a B2C or B2B basis, if you know how to utilize it. Here are nine tips to help you do so.

1. Handle Twitter Contacts as Leads

This is the basic step but it’s so often overlooked. People you interact with on Twitter are your leads. People your competitors are interacting with can also be your leads.

Once you start recording and organizing these leads, you’ll see a lot more ROI from your Twitter activities. No need to invest in an expensive customer relationship management software. You can have great results with free tools. This free CRM platform from Hubspot is a great option to organize your social media leads.

free crm

2. Discover What Hashtags Are Most Relevant

Hashtags are going to be your number one resource in finding prospects. The tricky part is discovering which ones to watch, because while some are obvious, others aren’t so much.

Twitter chats

There is this awesome list by MarketerGizmo that has every single marketing based hashtag you could want, and it is a great place to start. Here are also marketing Twitter charts that will connect you to relevant prospects. You will want to get more creative, by search out targets and seeing what they tend to use, then branching from there. But that list will give you some solid leads.

3. Start Tracking Those Hashtags

Once you know what hashtags to use, it is time to begin tracking them. A social media dashboard is crucial for this, so you can get alerts or see all mentions in a single place. I have used several in the past, including Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, and both are pretty good.

Tweetdeck

4. Have Valuable Conversations

There is nothing I hate more than someone who approaches me as a prospect and it is super obvious that the only thing they are looking to do is sell to me. It makes them seem like a spam bot, and I am not going to waste my time on a programmed advertisement.

You will find that most people feel this way. The only tried and true method of breaking through to a prospect on social media is to engage them in a genuine way. You have to add something to the conversation, give them a reason to take notice and interact.

Twitter is one of the best platforms for this, because it is open and people are expecting to engage. Just make sure you are giving them something to engage with.

5. Start Scoping Out Competitor Follows

Obviously your competitors are looking for prospects just like you are, and are probably having their own success. Since you work within the same industry, you are both going after the same kind of targets.

By looking at who they have managed to capture (and just seeing who it is they are wanting to get in the first place), you can start making a list of potentials yourself. You may even narrow down a new pool to fish from.

6. Keep an Eye On Events With Expo Floors

Live events are obviously a great way to find prospects, especially conventions meant to connect industry participants with one another on a professional level. If you want to find those events, Twitter is a great place to keep an eye out.

Announcements are common, and you can find hashtags to popular events using a database like Twubs.

7. Monitor For Recommendation Or Advice Requests

Often people will just straight up ask for recommendations on services, products or companies. You can watch for those using your social media dashboard, so you are alerted when they do. Just have it watch for combinations of things like “recommend [Subject]” or “Anyone know [Subject]”.

You can swoop in and save the day.

8. Focus On Building a Dedicated Community

Everyone on social media wants followers, but they don’t spend nearly enough time community building. Guess what? That is a HUGE mistake, especially for anyone who is hoping to find prospects.

An active and dedicated community gives you an introduction to these targets and ensures you will never be going in cold.

9. Never Underestimate The Power Of Influencers

Influencers are everything on Twitter. Some celebrities have created careers more on their Twitter profiles than anything else. So you should never underestimate the power they hold, especially when prospecting.

Just imagine having an influencer with 100k followers on your side, promoting you or your brand. Then imagine going to your targets and being able to say, “Me and BIG SHOT INFLUENCER PERSON actually discuss it here [link].”

The more influencers you have behind you, the more impressive it looks. Better yet, why not work to become an influencer yourself?

Twitter: It Ain’t Just For Flirting

Social prospecting is becoming more and more popular, and Twitter is a great place for it. The open nature of the platform gives you more access than Facebook, and it is more populated than Google Plus or LinkedIn.

Have any tips you think should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments!

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