B2B Marketing: Reasons Getting Up Close and Personal Really Counts
In business, you have two choices. You can either follow the herd or you can blaze your own trail. It’s easy to say you want to blaze your own trail, but what most businesses end up doing is following the herd. Why? Well, for the simple fact that it’s easier - but sometimes, it’s more than that. Sometimes, a business just doesn’t have a clue about how to be different. If you’ve been struggling to differentiate yourself, here are a few ideas to move you in the right direction.
Build Better Brand Positioning
What does your brand do? Where does it live on the web? Most businesses have a hard time identifying what it is that there brand really is and does. If you don’t have a written marketing plan, this is the first thing you need to do.
Marketing helps to shape and define your brand. It also helps you decide where you want to go with your branding.
Today, content marketing is becoming more and more important. Some brands are trying to decide if it makes more sense to pursue guest blogging or promote content on their own site. Better brand positioning for the future might lie in the domestic promotion of content - in other words, creating and curating content for your own site, while advertising that content to strengthen your brand.
Unless you’re an ecommerce company, using Adwords isn’t much of a branding strategy (if it ever was).
Take your message to avenues you’re most likely to succeed in. For example, if your business is conducive to blogging, start a blog, or punch things up a bit by providing better-quality content for the site. Targeted email marketing is still the best form of content marketing on the Internet, but don’t discount the value of white papers and social media.
Use A better CMS
A web based contact management software system lets you live in the cloud while giving your prospects a “feet-on-the-ground” approach to communication. The biggest problem with a web-based business (actually, even traditional businesses are starting to succumb to this problem too) is continuity and communication. Since it’s so easy to text, email, Facebook, and tweet things, many messages go unanswered on the web. You must not let this happen to your customers’ emails, tweets, and other private messages.
One way to keep track of all communications is to use your CMS, or sign up for service with a company that knows how to do CMS properly.
A good CMS will employ multiple contact tracking methods and strategies including appointment reminders, email followup reminders, a detailed contact card with all of your prospect’s or customer’s information, and key life events for your prospect including when the individual or business first became a customer, how long they’ve been with you, and possibly even important life events like their birthday or anniversary.
Understand Your Weaknesses
Sometimes, understanding where you want to be and what marketing platforms you want to use isn’t enough. You also need to know where your weaknesses are. Not all businesses belong on Facebook, for example.
Do you know where your marketing dollars are best spent? Many businesses don’t. Fortunately, using free programs, like Google’s Analytics program, can help you figure out if your SEO efforts, your Facebook ads, your Google ads, your content promotion, or your linkbuilding campaign is paying off.
You can also track visitor flow and bounce rates. If you’re getting a good clickthrough rate on your Facebook ads, for example, it doesn’t always mean that it’s effective advertising. If only .01 percent are converting to sales, it might be a sign that you should pull the plug on the campaign, revamp it, or find other ways to use social media.
Similarly, a campaign that’s doing well, but not getting the funding it deserves, should be be analyzed so that you’re directing your marketing dollars to the right places where they will increase your bottom line.