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Why you need B2B Email Marketing

 

b2b email marketingEmail is still the engine of B2B marketing

In the era of content, social and inbound, actually reaching out to promote your business can feel strange. But in the very best B2B marketing departments – especially the ones pioneering the latest inbound marketing strategies – outbound is still a hugely important part of the mix.

And the king of outbound is still email. It’s a step that thousands of progressive B2B marketers take with results that add up to a business case that writes itself. By the end of this post, I hope you resolve to step up your email efforts to increase their contribution to revenue.

Let’s get started.

Email works

Deployed with even a little of intelligence and sensitivity, B2B email marketing delivers the goods.

  • It’s the most cost-effective way to reach all of your known prospects and customers.

  • It’s valued by your audience – that’s why people opt in (and opt out if they no longer find them relevant).

  • It’s versatile – you can use email for simple alerts and updates, offer new content and deliver anything from discounts and promotions to thought leadership.

  • It’s immediate, personal and eminently trackable.

When email doesn’t work

In the wrong hands, B2B email marketing is just spam with content .

  • If you don’t segment your campaigns, relevance suffers.

  • If you never target email according to the prospect’s behaviour, you’re missing one of the most powerful conversion drivers.

  • If you can’t tie your email activities to website visits, social media interactions and offline activity, you’re only getting a tiny part of the picture.

  • If your email is still in a silo, the ‘leads’ you hand over to sales won’t reflect everything you know about each prospect (so they’ll be harder to close).

Unfortunately, for many marketers, B2B email marketing is still stuck in the dark ages of ‘batch and blast’. It’s a low-cost medium so it gets away with it. But more and more marketers have moved their email marketing to the next level and are multiplying their ROI.

The challenge is to harness the power of the new email strategies and tactics and release the true potential of B2B email – without getting bogged down in complexity.

The right place for your B2B email marketing

Email marketers love marketing automation because it lets them do everything they used to do – often using very similar processes – plus a whole world of new things that email platforms alone could never do.

  1. Integrate your email with all channels - No more email silos. Now your email strategy benefits form insight from across your web, social, offline and beyond.

  2. Leverage triggers from any channel - So a web visit or trade show badge swipe can trigger the right email at the right time.

  3. Score and nurture leads - Attach a score to all engagements across all channels, then hand prospects over to sales when the threshold has been exceeded. You only hand them over when they’re really sales-ready.

  4. Recycle leads that aren’t ready - If sales hands a lead back because they’re on a longer time scale, it’s a crime to simply drop the prospect. Recycle them back into a nurture programme to keep them warm until they’re ready.

  5. Track email activity to revenue - By integrating it with CRM, you can see which leads turned into which deals.

  6. Manage emails and landing pages together - For full-circle marketing and granular segmentation, and it saves a lot of time and energy.

  7. Automate entire multi-step campaigns - Set up rules and campaign flows, then stand back and watch them turn a database into a revenue stream.

Clearly, email marketing has much more to offer than the traditional platforms will allow. Moving your email activity into a full-spec marketing automation platform releases all that power – without losing anything. Thousands of marketers before you have discovered that the transition isn’t just empowering, it’s easy. So go out there and see which one suits you for cost and sophistication.

In the meantime to understand how to populate your campaigns to get the best from them why not chgeck out my eBook that can be downloaded from the link below:-

  12 Core Components of a “Five Star” B2B Email

Has Social Media Marketing grown up?

 

social media marketingIn the years since the emergence of social media marketing as a separate entity for marketing purposes (roughly from around the birth of Twitter in 2006) we’ve figured out a lot about what social is, how it works, and what it means for marketers.

Now you could talk directly to a brand, and have them listen to you.

For consumers, this was great. For brands, it presented opportunities and challenges. It also entailed a pretty major shift in thinking.  So has social now grown up?

Firstly, it’s worth defining ‘grown up’. I think the defining factors are:

a) has it been adopted across multiple sectors and territories?

b) does it have a proven model of effectiveness?

c) will it continue to be relevant into the future?

In the early stages in 2008, when social was taking its first tentative steps in marketing departments, it was new, shiny and cute. And some enlightened brands found it irresistible, ruffling its hair by trialling a few content ideas, largely because they could.    

Regardless of results, social media marketing provided an excuse to showcase how a brand was forward-thinking, prepared to embrace new technologies and not constrained by conventional thinking. Who really cared if it actually achieved anything?

A few fledgling campaigns caught on and the architects were lauded as guiding lights; social media soothsayers. Others also got their fingers burnt. They dived in clumsily, tripped up and got a bloody nose. But the clever kids learned fast and stole a march on their peers.       

In an Adobe Social/Econsultancy paper, two thirds of the 650 marketers surveyed stated that social was ‘integral to the marketing mix’.

They represented a mix of client-side and agencies from North America and Europe, from B2C as well as B2B. So in terms of ‘widespread adoption’, social is a winner.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? (Client-side respondents)

graph resized 600

 

Now for the issue of ROI. Without a believably credible framework, widely accepted by clients, social media marketing budgets will hit a ceiling. Instinctively you’d like to support the attractive, if slightly geeky, new kid on the block. But only up to a point, unless he’s able to actually prove his worth.   

Solid case studies have helped to prove the business imperative for intelligent use of social media – the IAB’s report was a great example of how social can really impact a brand in a positive way. ROI is starting to stack up.

A universally palatable framework remains elusive, however; one that isn’t just a popularity rating but a solid indictment of cost v benefit in pounds and pence. It’s tricky. But it is possible.

It’s worth remembering that its peers (press, TV, PR etc) don’t have water-tight ROI models, so let’s not be paralysed by fear that all the other kids in the class are older and better looking.

Finally, will social be relevant in the future? I think it will, but it won’t be called ‘social media’. I get cross when people dismiss ‘social’ as a channel. It’s not. Facebook is a social channel. Social media marketing is a culture.

It’s a new way of thinking that acknowledges that a marketing department doesn’t have all the answers and invites customers to help to define a brand’s future. This needs buy-in throughout a company, especially one that is B2B and it needs to be transparent and long-term or consumers won’t buy-in.

Social’s influence transcends all marketing channels.

So I think social media is almost grown up. It’s in its teenage angst phase: At times confident, brilliantly expressive and attractive, at other times, awkward, ineloquent and embarrassing.

When it does gain full maturity, it will have changed its name, bought a new wardrobe and graduated into a valued member of the marketing family for a long time to come.

Have a look where Social Media Marketing is going and how it will help you more falls in your small business marketing in 2014 by downloading my whitepaper on this topic from the link below:-

Social Media Marketing The Next Generation


Top Social Media Marketing Tactics for SEO

 

social media marketing in SEOWhen it comes down to social’s impact on SEO services, it all comes down to three things: trust, credibility and quality.

As Google continues to penalise links, and search marketers shift away from traditional link building tactics, social is fast becoming the trustworthy and credible way to obtain quality links. More so, it’s a fantastic way to build business brands.

Finding your Influencers

“Influencer marketing is the process of finding and tapping into people with high credibility and visibility in your niche.” Influencer marketing isn’t a new concept overall, but it’s gained a lot of traction over the past couple years with word-of-mouth and social media marketing playing much larger roles in campaigns.

Influencers can be people, brands or personalities, and it’s our job as marketers to identify who and where those influencers are relative to our business.

How do you find those influencers?

Here are a few of the tools there to help you:

  • Facebook

  • Alltop

  • Klout

  • Followerwonk

  • GPlusData

  • CircleCount

  • LinkedIn

By simply searching on a particular keyword, you can find relevant influencers across the major social networks. Alltop can help you find blogs (and in turn bloggers), Followerwonk will show you influencers on Twitter, and GPlusData will give you information on Google+ users, which can then be plugged into CircleCount to show you how many circles a person is in and all their comments. Each of these tools can offer insights into the “who” and “where,” while the information about the person can help you actually build a real relationship.

With Facebook's Graph Search now available to all users you can now identify not just influencers, but potential customers.  So, what is the real key to influencer marketing?

Well you don’t control the influencers. Use the information you find to give influencers what they want, but remember, it’s up to them what they want to do with it.

There’s more to Google+ then meets the Eye

Whether you love it or hate it, Google+ matters because:-

  • Google+ profiles have page rank

  • Links to your Google+ profile build authority and influence

  • Google+ establishes trust

People think that Google+ is there for Author Rank, but Google’s official position is that this does not officially exist yet. Think the more +1s you have or circles you’re in help your profile? Not according to the data. Similar to the way links impact websites, it seems that who has you in a circle matters more than how many people have you in circles.

Google is treating Google+ profiles like a web page. Profiles have PageRank, which can be passed to other sites, and the more links you have to your Google+ profile, the better the profile performs. It has been shown that profiles that use authorship regularly generally have one full degree PageRank higher than those who aren’t using authorship.

What does this mean for search marketers?

Google+ offers a great way for people and brands to build authority and have an impact on search results. Profiles and pages are showing up in SERPs more and more, and these profiles have influence.

Make sure to build links to your page through authorship, use +1 buttons on your content, and start establishing connections with influencers in your space.

Do it for the Data

One of the best things that can come from social media marketing is the data you get about customers and the people interacting with your business. However, none of the data matters unless it's tied to a goal.

In social media marketing services, it’s extremely important to understand not only what metrics mean, but also how to use those metrics to improve campaigns and content.

Look at your positive data to see what is working. Did a particular image get lots of likes or shares? Use that image in an upcoming blog post. Look at what type of content your fans like to consume and give them more of the same.

In addition, Facebook offers great targeting capabilities. Have something you want to try out? Target one specific area or demographic to see how it performs. If it performs well, roll it out to everyone else.

Facebook provides a lot of data, but like any marketing related data, it’s important to correlate that data to what it is you’re doing. And don’t forget to track everything.

When you launch an B2B email marketing campaign, have a tracking code in the email. The same thing should apply to social media marketing efforts.

While it may take time, add tracking codes to everything you promote through social media. Because if you can’t track it, you can’t measure it, and you can’t report on it.

Social & Search working together

Social is playing a bigger part in search results because it offers fresh content, personalisation and it’s real information from real people - all things the search engines want to provide.

For internet marketing consultants and marketers, this means integrating your tactics and creating cohesive strategies across your search, social media and paid campaigns.

For more insight into SEO in B2B online marketing just click the button below:-

Understanding SEO in B2B Online Marketing

20 Facts about Social Media for Small Business Marketing

 

social media marketing for small business resized 600Social media marketing is getting increasingly popular because of its ability to connect and reach targeted audiences virtually, within less time, and less effort. Especially, small businesses are finding social media very helpful for branding and marketing.

eMarketer says that one in every four people will have a social media account in 2014 across the world. This shows how much popularity social media is gaining in the world. So, if your small business does not yet have a social media presence, then now is the time to start social media marketing.

Facts about social media and small businesses

Here are some facts that show how social media is making big impact on small businesses.

  • Constant Contact reported that 49% of small businesses have found social media marketing effective for their businesses.

  • According to Socialmediatoday, 44% of small business decision makers are using social media websites to extract information of other businesses.

  • 73% of small businesses were using social media in 2013 according to mediabistro.

  • eMarketer reported that 24% of small businesses have integrated social media in a structured way into their business.

  • Facebook is leading among all the social websites with 82% of small businesses registered; it is followed by YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn with 73%, 47% and 47% respectively. (Source: Mediabistro).

  • 80% of small businesses use social media websites for monitoring and collecting information about competitors to their businesses (Source: Socialmediatoday).

  • Lead-to-close rate is 100% on social media than traditional marketing methods (Source: Socialmediatoday).

  • 80% of customers on social networks prefer to connect themselves to brands through Facebook (Source: Socialmediatoday).

  • 53% of small businesses use social media as an engagement tool for providing 2-way conversation customer support (Source: Socialmediatoday).

  • It might also be surprising to know that 86% of social referrals are done by Facebook, while 11% and 3% are done by Pinterest and Twitter respectively (Source: Socialmediatoday).

Time spent by small businesses on social media websites

  • According to Socialmediatoday, 21% of small business marketers are spending at least an hour on social media per day, while 58% are spending at least 10 minutes on social media per day.

  • 50% of small businesses have increased time spent on social media compared to last year and reported gaining new customers and better business (Source: Swiftpage).

  • 80% of small business marketers have understood importance of social media marketing and are planning to increase their time spent on social media this year (2014) (Source: Socialmediatoday).

Purchases made through social media

  • 46% of online users are counting on social media before making purchase decision (Source: Neilsen).

  • 71% of users of social media websites say that they are more likely to purchase products from the brand they follow online on different social media websites (Source: Digitalsherpa).

  • 15% of customers use social media websites to search for local businesses. This is biggest advantage to local and small businesses (Source: Digitalsherpa).

  • 63% of users prefer businesses with the information that can be easily accessed on the social media websites (Source: Digitalsherpa).

Customer acquisition on social media

According to Socialmediatoday,

  • 52% have found their customers on Facebook in 2013.

  • 43% have found their customers on LinkedIn in 2013.

  • 36% of marketers have acquired customer on Twitter in 2013.

From the above facts and figures, it is clear that many small businesses are utilising different social media platforms for various purposes and reporting gains and profits. Is your business next?

Social Media Marketing is only one strand of Inbound Marketing, using the internet to market your company to get more business.  Find out more about this often talked about subject which you may feel is costly but it’s not, by downloading my FREE eBook from the link below:-

A Guide to Small Business Marketingin 2014

9 SEO Myths in B2B Website Marketing

 

9 myths in B2B website marketingAs I mentioned in my last blog, to say SEO has “changed a lot” would be an understatement. Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates shook the world of SEO professionals. They halted their link-building and keyword-obsessed ways and swapped them for a long overdue focus on quality content.

But does that mean in B2B website marketing that SEO is just about publishing high-quality, keyword-optimised content? SEO has changed so much in the past years that many marketers aren’t sure what’s outdated, what’s important, and what’s simply wasted effort.

1.  I must submit my site to Google

To submit your website to Google in order to appear in search results (or rank) is rubbish. Whilst a new site can submit its URL to Google directly, a search engine like Google can still find your site without you submitting it. Crawlers will find your site and index it in due time.

2.  SEO is all about ranking

Ranking is not the end goal that it used to be. Studies of clickthrough rates and user behaviour have shown that searchers prefer top search results - particularly the top-three listings. However, it’s also been shown that on subsequent pages, being listed toward the top of the page shows similar click behaviour and  results that appear below the top-three search results are getting much higher clickthrough rates.

3.  SEO is something I can hand to IT

There seems to be a perception that SEO requires some technical expertise, and since it is technical, IT can just do the work.  Though you may need some of those individuals to assist you during the course of optimising your website, it’s far from ideal to hand SEO to IT and expect best practices to be adhered to.

4. More links are better than more content

This is something that often comes along with the question, “Which should I invest in, link building or content generation?” Links are an important part of your website’s authority. However, if you have budget to invest in your website, I would say, “get someone to write for you.”  Often, when businesses do link building, they focus on the quantity of links rather than their quality – but linking is not a numbers game. You should focus on having relevant and diverse sources that link to relevant pages. When you invest in content, that content can be used for webpages, blog posts, lead generation offers, etc. - all content types that will bring more links with them over time.

5.  Meta descriptions have a huge impact on search rankings

Google announced in 2009 that meta descriptions and meta keywords have no bearing on search rankings. That’s not to say that these descriptions aren’t important for SEO. On the contrary: Meta descriptions present a main opportunity to separate yourself and convince searchers that your page is worth visiting. Having a relevant, compelling meta description can be the difference between a searcher who clicks through to your page and one who clicks elsewhere.

6.  Social media and SEO aren’t related at all

The connection between SEO and social media is referred to as “social search.” Social search is a relationship between search and social that has been evolving over time, and Google is working hard to prove this with Google+ and Author profiles. Here, content is ranked if it’s connected to you in some way - via a Facebook friend, Twitter follower, etc. or shared by social media influencers, even if those experts aren’t tied to you. So ensure you have a social media strategy and think of it as part of your search optimisation efforts not as silos.

7.  Keywords need to be an exact match

Keywords do not need to be repeated verbatim in a piece of content. In a headline, in particular, you want to use keywords in a way that makes the most sense to your audience, somewhere between 4-9 words that explains what the content is about.

This applies not only to headlines, but also the content on the page - inform the reader, not the search engines.

8.  Microsites and other domains I own that link or redirect back to my site will help my SEO

The chances of this doing much for your SEO are slim to none. Search engines know who the registrants are for a domain and can see if it’s the same person as your primary domain. There is not much value in spreading your SEO thin, which is what you do by setting up domain after domain and optimising each rather than putting all of that love into your primary domain.

9.  My homepage needs a lot of content

Think of your homepage as the entrance to your business. This is your chance to make a first impression and convey what you’re all about.  Your homepage content should be long enough to clarify who you are, what you do, where you’re located, your value proposition, and what visitors should do next. These visitors should leave satisfied, not confused.

So there are some myths around about SEO.  To understand more of the positive things you should do click the button below:-

Understanding SEO in B2B Online Marketing

5 Small Business Marketing Tips to Keep You Ahead of the Competition

 

small business marketing resized 600Small business marketing is not for the faint of heart, but if you have been in marketing for longer than two seconds, you know that. Marketing your small business is dependent upon doing some key factors well and these things will make or break a small business in this dog eat dog world we live in. Competition is intense and learning how to make the most out of your web pages is tricky.

Digital Marketing is Dead,” claimed Proctor and Gamble’s Global Brand-Building Officer Marc Pritchard last September.  What he meant is that now is the time to work digital tools, technology and trends right into our marketing plans, instead of keeping them separate.

Try and resist thinking about digital in terms of the tools, the platforms, the QR Codes and all of the technology coming next,” Pritchard writes. “We try and see it for what it is, which is a tool for engaging people with fresh, creative campaigns.

This may be straightforward for a brand with the resources of P&G to declare, but for the rest of us, digital marketing is filled with choices: an array of well-hyped tools, techniques, social networks and smart glasses that may or may not deliver the return we need. You have to plan to get the funds you need to outmanoeuvre the competition. The pressure is on to make the right choices. You don’t want to have to go back to the boss, complaining you missed the next Pinterest because you weren’t up to speed. So which horses should you pick?

In 2014, we see search, social, PR, data and mobile become linked, connected and customer-centric. We are able to automate certain tasks, but we’ll still need to create human connections that make our brands stand out to our customers.

Here are five essential steps to get ahead of the game!

  1. Create a Marketing Plan – A detailed marketing plan is crucial to success. You don’t want to leave something to chance. It should be well planned. Map out every marketing element, and exactly how you plan to get it done. At the very least, it ought to paint broad strokes to success.

  2. Social Media Marketing91% of experiences social marketers generate improved website traffic and 79% generate more quality leads according to MediaBistro.com. Just how do they do this? They don’t waste time with their social media marketing. Map out a plan for social media an stick to it.

  3. Build a Mailing ListMarketingProfs.com reported emails averages a ROI (return on investment) of £40 for every £1 spent. This far outweighs keyword ads (£17) and banner ads (£2). Don’t be fooled into thinking collecting and building an email list is dead. If you fail to build a list, you are failing to build your business! You simply can’t afford to leave such a large source of potential profits to your competition.

  4. Video Marketing – Connect with all the local traffic that’s out there searching for your business. Video marketing in this space is a relatively untapped vein, and having a simple video advertising your wares on page one of Google may result in tons of traffic and authority coming to your web site! According to the research company Forrester, any given video stands about a 50x better chance of appearing on the first page of Google than any given text page.

  5. Gain a Mobile PresenceMicrosoft reports that by 2014 mobile browsing will overtake desktop browsing. If your company does not have a mobile presence, then you will become invisible. Therefore your small business’s website better start optimizing for mobile users and it had better do it fast. Right now, the numbers are encroaching on the 50%. Are you ready?

Don’t Make the Mistake of Going It Alone!

No one is a superhero and you needn’t be. The realm of online marketing is always changing and evolving. You need to learn what is working now, learn from the best, and hire the best outsourcing you can find. In the long run, it’ll pay off substantially!

But before you do that get the full story by downloading my FREE eBook from the link below:-

A Guide to Small Business Marketingin 2014

B2B Website Marketing - The Next Generation of Apps

 

b2b website mobile marketing Apple’s App Store is 5 years old. Apps have come a long way in such a short time. The number of apps for smartphones and tablet computers are said to be well over a million and growing by the day. Apps are becoming the latest ‘must have’ feature for companies in B2B website marketing wanting to catch the attention of their customers and secure sales.

So, what makes an effective app?

The most effective apps are usually those which either generate regular income or help build brand awareness. Apps should be useful, enjoyable and entertaining to the user. Whilst most apps are free to download, industry analyst Juniper Research predicts that by 2016 mobile apps will generate revenues of $52bn. The exponential growth in smartphones and tablet computers means that more people are using handheld devices instead of a PC or laptop. And we will be using even more apps in the future – for both personal use and in the workplace.

So, what will be the next generation of apps?

Remote controlling your life

Already in development are apps which can transform your smartphone into a ‘remote’ control. Wireless sensors placed within your home, car, bicycle and even shoes can ‘communicate’ to your handheld device to pass on information. Remote apps will be the norm and technology such as Near Field Communications (NFC) can bring a host of mundane equipment to life via your phone. Need to fill your bath or turn on the heating in your car? Do all within a matter of a few clicks – no matter where you are.

You will also be able to pay via your smartphone thanks to NFC technology. Apps such as Google Wallet and the iPhone’s Passbook are just some of the apps transforming your handheld device. In Sweden, cash transactions account for just 3%. In the UK, airlines have begun updating their ticketing system to allow people to swipe their handsets at the check in desk.

Interlinked entertainment

With apps such as BBC’s iPlayer, you can already watch television on your handheld device and some apps let you record programmes on your digital box at home. Thanks to the smartphone, your physical location is becoming less and less important.

Soon you will have one app that looks after all your entertainment accounts (iPlayer/Sky/Cable/Netflix etc.) allowing you to watch what you want, where you want, through your chosen device. The app could synchronise all of your devices so that if you only watch so many minutes of a particular programme, it will store this information in order for you to continue watching where you left off from, on any device.

Location is everything

Augmented Reality (AR) will change the way you look at things. AR is a live look at the world with computer generated information enhancing the image. Point your smartphone camera to a street, or even an exhibit at a museum and your phone will provide on screen details that include reviews, background information and money off vouchers.

AR’s interactive capabilities provide businesses with an amazing array of possibilities. Businesses can now bring their products and services to life – at home, on a train or even off a sheet of paper. It could give you a chance to see how a sofa fits into your living room or try on clothes without going into a fitting room!  Juniper Research predicts that over 2 billion AR apps will be downloaded by 2017. The future definitely ‘looks’ different.

Stuck at a train station you’ve never been to before? Your phone will automatically find a coffee shop on the concourse or give you the directions to a hotel in line with your past personal preferences.

Enterprising apps

Over the next few years, businesses will move away from using PCs and laptops to provide staff with tablet computers. Already Windows phones make it possible to be on the move and work on programmes such as Word. Within a few clicks staff can access inventories, risk assessments, CRM data, competitor intelligence etc. Such mobile computing power could revolutionise the office and drive productivity.

The ‘bigger’ effortless future

As your handheld device is with you whenever you are out and about, it will gather data on your location and ‘compound apps’ will personalise all of your devices. Information on your preferences such as your train to work, the coffee chain you frequent will all be stored and linked. This vast bank of information, known as “Big data”, will also link with people who have a similar interest to provide a more networked effortless world where your device does the ‘thinking and looking’. Think how social media is linked across many networks now, just imagine the power of compound apps and how they could change our lives.

With apps the possibilities are endless. One note of caution however – figures show that as the number of apps have increased, their lifespan has decreased. Research has found that only around 20% of users return to an app after the first day of downloading it and the average app has a less than 5% chance of being used for greater than 30 days.

So there’s a glimpse int o this new world.  For the present you need to ensure your B2B website marketing is fully optimised.  Get up to speed by downloading my eBook on this from the link below:-

 Website ContentOptimisation

Is Your B2B Website Marketing Strategy Up to Date?

 

b2b website marketing strategyThe Internet is a volatile place, with new platforms launching on a regular basis and a constant shifting in the ways that users use the Web. Those in small business marketing are playing a constant game of catch-up as the online world marches steadily onward. It’s a game that can be very easy to lose when you don’t have a full-time marketing staff to keep tabs on things 24/7.

Do you think your B2B website marketing strategy might be living in the past? Not even sure what an up-to-date online marketing strategy looks like?

These four signs indicate that it might be time to stir things up a bit and trade those proverbial bell bottoms for app development, Pinterest and Vine.

Your Online Marketing Strategy Might Need an Update If:

You’re Using Somebody Else’s Platform Exclusively

Now, I’m not saying that uploading photos to Facebook is a bad thing. But using big, corporate-owned platforms and not hosting any of your own content on your own website, for example is not such a great idea.

There are two big reasons for this:

  • One is the phenomenon of digital sharecropping, in which sites like Instagram and Facebook wind up owning your content and potentially profiting from it.

  • Second is that in this day and age, you’re just not going to look like a legitimate business without your own website full of relevant and interesting content.

Not sure how to get started? It might be time to ask an internet marketing consultant to get you set up.

You’re Four Social Networks Behind

Does MySpace ring a bell? Xanga? LiveJournal? These early social networking sites all had their day, to be sure, but that day is long gone. In fact, many of them are changing to appeal to different audiences, or simply aren’t used or functional in any useful capacity anymore.

I know it can be tough for small businesses to keep up with every single new social network, and it’s not always worth it to be an early adopter when you don’t know what’s going to be the next Facebook – but it is important to find the networks that are thriving and right for your business.

You’re Ignoring ROI (Return on Investment) and Analytics

This more technical side of B2B website marketing can be intimidating and just a little bit bewildering. You’re already running a marketing campaign – now you need to analyse it, too.

True, it takes a little bit more work, but tracking data can go a long way in ensuring that the effort you put into your B2B website marketing is well-placed. And the good news is, you don’t need to be a mathematician or programming expert to measure the success of your online marketing strategy.

You’re Trying to Appeal to Everyone

The days when you could roll out content and try to reach everyone with it are over. Now, market segmentation is a necessity. There’s simply so much of the Web to reach that you need to develop a strategy and produce content accordingly.

Even more, you need to post that segmented content in the right places. What you post on Pinterest, for example, is going to be very different from what you post on LinkedIn.

The Magic Word is Strategy

The key to online marketing success is right there in the title of this post: Strategy. The biggest sign that your B2B website marketing strategy is outdated might be the fact that you have no strategy.

If this is the case, it’s time to put your nose to the grindstone, agree your personas, create an editorial calendar and start writing content that adds up to a greater whole.

Once you’ve done that then download my FREE eBook from the link below to develop your campaigns. And of course, don’t forget to measure the results of your online marketing strategy.

   How to Run a B2B Website  Marketing Campaign

Small Business Marketing Checklist

 

internet marketing consultantDo you have a small business marketing checklist? It’s a good idea to keep a checklist of your small business marketing goals at your desk daily. If you have a mobile office you may want to keep your marketing checklist on your phone or tablet. It’s a great way to stay on task.

I find myself crossing off tasks every week and developing new ones. Things change rapidly in marketing and there is always something to accomplish. Here are a few things you might keep on checklist for your small business marketing:

  1. Regularly update your website and make sure your content is mobile friendly.

  2. Use keywords and phrases & create rich content around them.

  3. Link Your Social Media icons to your website and be a social butterfly consistently.

  4. Investigate & integrate new social media platforms to grow your business.

  5. Design Landing Pages for specific products you sell or services you offer.

  6. Advertise on major search engines and social media consistently while keeping ads fresh.

  7. Use Email Marketing to reach existing & new customers.

  8. Collect customer testimonials for your website and ask customers for online reviews.

  9. Create short Videos on YouTube.

  10. Blog regularly and keep active in online forums.

Once you’ve gotten these marketing tasks down, place them into a daily routine and move into things like Search Engine Marketing & Mobile Marketing if you haven’t already done so. The key is to keep your small business marketing checklist where you can see it every day. Keep working at it! The idea is to always be working towards something even if you don’t necessarily cross it off entirely each day.

Many of the marketing goals for small business or any business for that matter require consistency. Chances are just when you’ve got something sorted; you will have to shift gears again. Keeping up with what’s happening in the world of your customers is absolutely essential. It will make the transition of starting something new that much easier if you’re already on board. If you find yourself falling behind, consider hiring a consultant to provide you with support.

One area that you may not fully understand is the objectives of Landing Pages.  So here is some background to help:-

How Do Landing Page Objectives Differ for B2Bs vs. B2Cs?

An effective landing page is critical for marketers; it’s where a potential lead clicks and either converts—or doesn’t. So it’s important for marketers to pay close attention to how compelling their landing page really is for visitors.

Ascend2, an agency consulting company, and Research Underwriters surveyed business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing professionals worldwide on their landing page optimisation strategy. The greatest percentage from both groups considered conversion to be the most useful metric for analysing the performance of their landing pages, cited by 57% of B2B respondents and 69% of B2C respondents. Clickthrough rate (CTR) was also important to B2B marketers, significantly more so than to B2Cs.

landing page research chart 1

This disparity is likely a reflection of the differing objectives of B2Bs and B2Cs for their landing pages. More than 60% of B2B marketers sought to increase leads from the landing page - thus a click would be worth quite a bit to these respondents. By contrast, only 34% of B2Cs showed interest in generating leads from the landing page.

B2C marketers were far more interested in the lead-to-customer conversion rate, as well as increasing direct sales from the landing page, again underscoring that closing the deal remains the unparalleled end goal for these companies.

landing page research 2

Marketers have a number of different landing page elements they can look at when they’re trying to determine what’s working and what’s not on the page. The greatest percentage of both B2Bs and B2Cs most often tested the optimisation of their call-to-action. That was followed by the website headline. When trying to improve their landing page strategy, 51% of B2B marketers and 65% of B2C marketers said simplifying the landing page and doing a redesign was the most effective optimisation tactic.

That’s a bit of background.  To fully understand how to create effective landing pages, why not download my latest paper from the link below:-

  10 Tips for Creating an Effective Landing Page

B2B Online Marketing - Website content Optimisation

 

b2b online marketing for small businessWhen a print company buys a new printing press it ensures its employees use its full functionality, it lets customers know about the company’s new capabilities, and it pushes as much work as possible through the new press.

When a law firm invests in a new suite of computers for its staff it ensures those employees have full training on this new kit. It develops its internal processes to make the most of the new capabilities, and it expects to see an increase in the volume and quality of work going through their firm.

When a technology company makes a senior hire it extracts all the knowledge and contacts that person has for its own training and sales needs, and it makes sure that expensive member of staff is up and running, delivering results quickly.

Getting a return on an investment is not a new concept in business. It is what successful companies do. Yet why do so few B2B companies take the same approach to their website content – to the words, images, structure, appearance, and everything else that is actually on their site? Why do they sign off four or five figure budgets for the design and development of their websites, spend similar sums on tactical campaigns driving prospects to those sites, and yet pay so little regard to the content on those sites?

Why do businesses spend money making their shops welcoming to passers-by and easy to explore, or their offices look impressive to visitors, and yet be prepared for a visitor to arrive on their website, and be quickly confused or bored?

Yet it happens remarkably often. Research has revealed around half of B2B marketers change the content on their website less than once a month. Around a quarter have no schedule for reviewing the structure and functionality of their sites.

It is a startling lack of attention to getting a return on investment on a website. Why does it happen?

The Whitepaper that can be obtained from the link below analyses the areas that need to be considered in website content optimisation in B2B online marketing.  It then goes on to offer the reader 6 steps to carry out the processes required to accomplish the task.  These are:-

  1. Build a strategy

  2. Focus on ‘good’ customers

  3. Understand the buyer journey

  4. Focus on quality

  5. Bring in the pros

  6. Update continually

So if you wish to find out more about why website content optimisation is essential in B2B online marketing and the details of the 6 steps, just click on the button below:-

 Website ContentOptimisation

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