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All posts by David Graham

David Graham
David Graham's passion is business-to-business digital marketing with a specific focus on value networking and inbound marketing. He consults on business-to-business digital marketing strategy and execution, with an emphasis on building sales pipelines and generating new prospects
  • Is social media marketing certification important?

    In order to remain competitive, companies on a global basis are resorting to implementing social media marketing in some form or other. Most organisations are winging it without any clear strategy whilst others are very precise and have a structured approach. Many organisations do not have expertise and look to the market for help. There are many self-proclaimed social media marketing “gurus” or “experts” out there so it is advisable to check out their credentials before you use their services. Here is a quote from Corey Smith’s "Beware of the social media 'guru'" article, published on LinkedIn: “Be wary of the...

  • 3 valuable tips to grow your business using LinkedIn

    I met Richard Schagen during a mountain bike ride the other day. Richard is an independent businessman who runs his own business called Assessed Threat Solutions providing protection and assessed threat solutions. After hearing what I do, Richard told me that he started using LinkedIn and other social media platforms to look for new business opportunities, and he asked me for some advice. The advice I offered prompted me to write this article. Here are three tips to connect with and influence your potential clients on LinkedIn. 1. Make your LinkedIn profile shine This is one area where you need to expend a...

  • 12 steps to assist you in your business-to-business online marketing efforts

    If you're considering the use of business-to-business digital marketing to assist your pursuit of marketing and business goals, it's suggested to have a decent plan in place to maximise return on your digital marketing expenditure. Here are twelve steps to think about before commencing with the implementation of your B2B digital marketing program. 1. Listen first Employ the use of tools to monitor conversations regarding your company, industry and competitors. This is the primary and most vital step in building a solid digital marketing strategy. Focus on the following areas: How many mentions of your company or brand and sentiment of the...

  • What communication channels are the decision makers in your industry using?

    If you speak to any good marketer they will tell you that the first thing you should do before anything is conduct research. For online marketers, you need to know where your clients and prospective clients are, what platforms they prefer, what they use to consume content, what type of content interests them and the format of the content they find most appealing. I am sure you will agree that if you were armed with this information, you will be in a better position to develop an online marketing strategy. Here is the result of research conducted amongst more than...

  • What to do about your outbound marketing before it’s too late

    You have been warned! If you persist in sending unwanted communication to your bought or acquired marketing lists, it is a matter of time before you will be reported and blacklisted, and hopefully not prosecuted. I received yet another unsolicited email this morning from a person selling services that do not interest me. I had just unsubscribed when I was sent another email containing information that does not resonate with me at all. The information was irrelevant and did not present anything that I found interesting or value-adding. This motivated me to write this article, providing advice to outbound marketers on...

  • 5 simple things LinkedIn could do to ensure you have fewer fake followers

    I receive numerous LinkedIn connection requests on a daily basis, many of which I delete. The reason why I delete the requests is I have no idea in some instances if the person is real or fake. There is a lot of personal information contained in our LinkedIn profiles which we blindly give up when accepting connection requests. I have five suggestions which LinkedIn should consider. 1. Remove access to contact details As a Premium user, LinkedIn provides me with functionality to extract all the contact details of my connections. This is a great feature but in the interests...

  • 5 reasons why email is still a great B2B marketing tool

    The glory days of outbound marketing are slowly drawing to a close, and are being replaced with a new form of marketing called inbound marketing. Instead of pushing sales pitches at the customer, savvy marketers are now using compelling content to draw customers toward them. Experts argue the latter is more effective and less intrusive. Caught up in the middle is the fate of email as a marketing tool. When drawing up a comparison between outbound and inbound marketing, email is often lumped into the mass communication, spam category of outbound marketing. For the following reasons, this is a flawed...

  • 5 ways to start generating leads on LinkedIn

    LinkedIn has attracted more than 300 million members, the majority of whom are business professionals; most of your potential prospects and clients now have LinkedIn accounts. To use LinkedIn to generate new business opportunities for yourself or your company, start with these five proven strategies: 1. Understand your company's business strategy Before you start doing anything, make sure you have a good understanding of where your business is going and what your leaders are hoping to achieve. Identify the key stakeholders in your business, and study their mandate (i.e. how they are being measured). 2. Develop a strong...

  • In online marketing? You need to form intimate relationships to really reap the rewards

    The Wikipedia definition of intimacy starts as follows: “Intimacy generally refers to the feeling of being in a close personal association and belonging together. It is a familiar and very close affective connection with another as a result of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other. Genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability and reciprocity.” Let’s unpack the definition and equate it with the relationship online marketers hope to achieve with their customers or clients. I have picked a number of key words from the definition and will discuss each in turn. Know your...

  • Social employees can seriously transform your business, here’s how

    Anyone who is tech-savvy, has access to the social web, is social and has drive and passion can do wonders for your business. These rising stars should be encouraged and nurtured within your company. If you have social employees that are showing signs of promise, do not discourage the behaviour. Provide them with the platform to blossom and your organisation will reap the benefits. Here are a few things to consider doing for your “rising social stars”. Find a place for them within your organisational structure An employee who is proactively connecting and networking on the social web can very easily...

  • 4 ways to derive actual value from your participation on LinkedIn

    This week my LinkedIn connections passed the 10 000 mark, and I got to thinking that if this was announced, most of the responses would be something along the lines of "So what?". Anyone can get 10 000 connections on LinkedIn with enough time and effort. Deriving real value from your LinkedIn connections is another thing entirely. Here are four of my best suggestions. 1. Who are you connected with? It is very easy to send out connection requests willy-nilly and to accept every LinkedIn connection request that comes your way, but what is the purpose? My suggestion is...

  • 5 things you really must do to make email marketing work for you

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” ~ Albert Einstein If what Albert Einstein said is true, then why do so many people trying to market through email persist in sending unwanted, irrelevant communication to thousands of people on a daily basis which is blocked by Internet Service Providers and company firewalls, sent to individuals' junk folders or deleted without being read? For the sake of this article I want to differentiate between email marketers that are merely doing it wrong and the real spam merchants who send unsolicited adverts for the likes of Viagra...

  • From intro to wedding: 5 B2B online marketing steps that’ll help you initiate offline engagement

    In my article titled "What you should be doing online to attract new business opportunities", one of the points I raise relates to building trust with prospective clients. People ask for advice or make purchasing decisions from trusted advisors, and trust has to be earned and takes time to develop. Once trust is lost, it is exceedingly difficult to regain, if at all. A good comparison that I will use for the purpose of this article is that of the dating game. I have listed five stages in a human relationship and equated these with B2B online marketing, in order...

  • 5 very important things you should be doing online to attract new business opportunities

    Getting B2B online marketing right is an art and a science, a combination of multiple factors which involve people, process and technology. The analogy we like to use is that of an orchestra. The B2B online marketer is the conductor and the orchestra are the instruments (i.e. people, content, process and technology). We have been approached by many companies, asking how they should engage, interact and influence clients and potential clients online in order to generate new business opportunities. Based on the experience and insights we have gained with our business-to-business (B2B) online marketing activities to date, here are five...

  • Does your online marketing department stay in the trenches or go over the top?

    During World War I there were two types of soldiers in the trenches. One type played a support role in terms of logistics, communication, developing battle plans and provisioning and those who went over the top and engaged with the enemy. If you are a business-to-business marketer, do you stay in the trenches or do you go over the top? Online business-to-business marketing professionals who stay in the trenches are never going to derive tangible value from their participation on the social web. If you want more leads and prospects and your marketing department is spending most of their time...