They say content is the king when it comes to market a business online. Most people confuse the term ‘content’ with text or blogging. The fact is, working on text is just one aspect of content marketing, there’s a lot more to explore.
2018 is Almost here, are you Equipped?
Research suggests that B2B marketing has undergone a major shift and everything’s changing from audience to modes of communication with them. In this reign of transformation with 2018 knocking on door, B2B companies are striving to stay ahead of the curve. Experts suggest that for B2B brands it is important to dive into every detail associated with the changing and upcoming market trends.
To keep up with the pace content marketing is one of the most crucial factors to hold on. Visuals in face of info graphics, videos and other presentations are seen to be performing well as compared to text. However, a good combo – informative blog with graphical demonstrations and videos could be groundbreaking.
To have an insight into what the future of content marketing looks like have a sneak peek into the following info graphic. From news alerts on what top brands are doing to excel to secret success recipe we have said it all.
Do you know, 70 percent B2B sites will start proposing personalized features for prospects by 2018? Gartner.
Personalization is making the best use of collected data of web buyers then create unique, customized and relevant content for every prospect.
After several trial and error experiences, B2B sites understand website personalization is the critical element for increasing conversion and engagement rate with key audiences. Therefore, they start adopting them swiftly.
There are several benefits connected with the web personalization. Let’s have a look upon these benefits
“45% online shoppers show more interest in websites that present personalized recommendations” Invesp
Have you noticed when you entered any B2B site? They ask for signing up for your ID. As you sign up the B2B website or if you are already sign up member of the website. Your information is saved with reference to the sign-up ID. It helps the B2B brand to give you a personalized experience.
B2B sites save buyer search history rather than bombard them with a lot of ads. Most users like that their search history is preserved on the site and visible to them for further correspondence. In addition, B2B web brands also save your purchase history and expose you to relevant ads and concerned recommendations.
According to Hubspot, target ads on call to action rates were 42% higher than ads exposed on a website to induce prospects.
In this way, personalized content is result oriented; you hit the right person with the right message at the right time. It increases your brand reputation and creates significant interaction with prospects leading them toward conversion.
Add More Conversions to your Bucket
Leads nurtured with targeted and personalized content generate 20 percent more sales opportunities than impersonalized features (Demand Gen.)
Conversion rates increase due to personalization because as buyer enters to the B2B site and he found relevant ads, search options, and recommendations. It decreases the buyer search time and lessens his mental cost. In this way, it leads the buyer to choose the right product which appeals to his need.
In addition to personalization, there are other important factors too that play a crucial role in conversion. These elements are:
- If you have certifications, mention you are certified with pictures of certificate.
- The quality of the product you claim on your site must meet with prospect expectation.
- The delivery and payment terms must base on win/win scenario.
- If you display product demonstration, the picture/image, text, a video must be easy to understand and appeal to user needs.
- Offering a free sample or giving a free test trial to your product or service will also increase chances of winning buyer into a cash cow.
- Adding shopping cart with comfortable and secure online payment options will also attract your target audience toward conversion.
The above points will help you in conversion brought by the effort of personalization into your bucket.
Give an Appropriate Space to Customer Mind
Users are more likely to return from the site as they are bombarded with lots of ads, where they are forced to sign up and found lots of options of unrelated products to select. Web personalization decreases the overload of information and leads the user to access the content appealing to his pain areas, interest and solution of his problems.
Web personalization gives the user an appropriate space to function what he likes and dislikes. In this way, B2B brand has got two-fold benefits.
- One user has got mental space to comprehend and make a better decision.
- Another, B2B site monitors which page prospect lands thus tracks user landing pages, clicks, impressions, and make a personalized history of a customer.
B2B web also gets a chance to analyze causes for returning of the user from a site and reasons for browsing more pages of the website. Thus, the B2B site can also determine its strengths and weaknesses and identify areas for improvement works them and make more efficient results.
Nevertheless, it is highly essential to keep the sign-up process comfortable and not asking too much personal information like landline numbers. Only name, email, and buying need options are fair enough to include in the sign-up form, and you can add the phone number as an optional field because some users would not like to mention their phone details.
It has been observed that lengthy sign-up process can distract the prospect from your site and once the buyer has returned he would hardly ever come back to your site.
Everything is fine in the above picture but deleting the date of birth, keep singular field for name is much better to develop the customer data base for web personalization.
By 2018, B2B E-Commerce sites with excellent personalization increase their sale by 30%. “Gartner”
Exact Target and Forecast consulting research shows that 96% marketers believe that personalization play key role in loyalty and retention of the clients.
Web personalization helps B2B sites to earn customer loyalty easily. The marketing rule of thumb (how to do b2b marketing) is that adding more benefits to the client and decreasing more costs to the customer will attract customers and prospects to your site and will result in brand loyalty.
Web personalization decreases the energy, time and effort cost and put right in front of consumer what he likes. On another side, web personalization lets the consumer feel that business is going their way rather than going from the direction of the B2B site.
In this context, you can also ask feedback with your clients when you are changing your website interface, add or delete any website service feature and ask your client which type of personalization in content, ads, search recommendations he or she is looking. In this way, you can approach your clients with the more personalized format.
Along with Web personalization, it is also important your site must be mobile friendly effortlessly to open on mobile, tablets and other smart hand devices. Your site must function with consistency, reliability and ensure error-free browsing. The content that is used for personalization must be user-friendly and easily readable and accessible to give a user a positive and productive experience of your site.…
Are you the one who dreams about top-notch website contains gigantic traffics of visitors and prospects?
Many of the B2B marketer or E-commerce sites entrepreneurs think to invest in building a hi-fi website. Furthermore, adding SEO technique to make it more efficient. That’s all. However, there is other multi-channel of e-commerce which is overlooked. If they are used in conjunction with SEO, there will be tremendous results.
What are other E-commerce Channels?
Direct Traffic Driver:
It includes email marketing, direct navigation of URLs or bookmarking and affiliate marketing tactics.
Paid Mediums of Search:
Paid search includes drawing people traffic clicks through pay per click (PPC) toward your website. You can buy people clicks through Bing and Google search engines. As they drive traffic to your site, it can further lead to conversion and ROI. One needs to master the keywords management, building keyword levels and rates of conversion, etc.
CSE (Comparison Shopping Engines):
There are various CSEs with a wide variety of B2B models for B2B Business Marketing from paid (Shopzilla, Shopping.com, Nextag) as well as free (Thefind.com and Google product search). They also play the vital role in bringing quality traffic of prospects to your site for order closing.
These are large sites like Amazon and e-bay, where most of the online customers buy products. One of the best ways is to buy space from these sites and market your products to their online shelves. They permit products for sale on their web pages.
Your site must be mobile optimized so consumers can quickly browse on their smart phones. You can explore research data of buyer search history of mobiles through tools like thinkwothgoogle.com etc. In this way, you can alter, change and update your course of action for conversions.
Social Media Marketing:
There is significant chunk of people available on Facebook estimating around 200 million and 750 million on Twitter. These websites are successful to win the trust and credibility of the people. Therefore enormous traffic of people makes transaction and purchase in masses from social media. Social commerce has become part and parcel of social media. However, SMM insights can give an edge to segment target audience and choose the best value for them.
Points to Ponder
- Here you need to concentrate all the channels of E-commerce hitting possibility. Considering only direct market drivers will be risky. What would happen if it gets fail or respondents got offended due to bulk emailing? Therefore try to hit the market from multi-sides and be an all-rounder.
- Do not entirely rely on organic sources. If you are serious about online business then do understand online come up with the few or more tools of paid marketing, otherwise it is hard to survive.
- Distribute your goods everywhere you can, the striking fact of online industry is the user is going to buy the product from one site out of million websites. You can be that one online site so try to make your website and products visible as more as possible to multi-platforms.
- You must be completely equipped with the research and updated information on your tool, digital platform for visibility, target audience features and cost vs. profitability of choosing channels in e-commerce.
A dream of top-notch e-commerce website can become a reality or near to the reality by using different tools of e-commerce smartly. It is like if you want to hit star try to hit moon if you miss the moon, you may land on stars. However, persistence and consistency can always bring growth and progress toward reaching a Big Dream.…
The foremost requirement to score gigantic revenue this holiday season is connecting with your customers’ right. For many reasons, running a promotional giveaway contest tend to serve the purpose best. Most brands opt for it as it’s no hidden strategy but only few are able to create the value and earn big!
Organizing a promotional giveaway may sound simple but it’s not as easy as picking a name randomly out of the hat. There’s more to it.
The campaign must be able to serve two purposes consecutively – band awareness and desirable profit. Doing it right allows for maximum impact in minimum budget. Contests cater to brand advertising as well when social media channels are used. 89% marketers report that social media channels gained their companies maximum exposure.
Other than exposure, social media marketing is highly effective for increasing website traffic and generating leads along with improving search rankings and customer relationships. A marketer should never forget these points.
Basically, giveaways are a marketing strategy, all you need to do is use the tools right to promote your brand and generate revenue.
Work Out the Contest Type
Promotional contests are not done in a similar way. There are three different types of promotions – Sweepstakes, contests and lottery.
Contest - For candidates to enter a certain skill or effort is required to win the prize. Some poplar contests are grounded on a similar theme – users are asked to share a certain photo, video, caption or essay. In the end, the winners are finalized based on judgment and votes.
Sweepstake - On the other hand, sweepstakes require no skill or efforts and are completely based on luck or chance. Winners are selected randomly and no payments or purchases influence the decision.
Lottery – It simply means that candidates voluntarily made some sort of purchase or other contribution to enter the competition. For example, purchasing a ticket to enter the contest and win comes under lottery.
It’s recommended not to opt for lotteries because state and federal laws restrict such kind of giveaways. Prefer contest or sweepstakes and decide what you want to give away and whether you want to have a skill involved or pick the winners randomly. However, contests always turn out to be more exciting. It’s because they put efforts to win the prize, as a result, they stay engaged with your brand.
Pick the Right Platform
After deciding on whether you want to run a contest or sweepstake move on to choosing the right channels where it can be hosted. Generally, the most viable social channels include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, e-mail and your website.
Its recommended to try multiple platforms rather than working on any one of them. Running the contest on multiple platforms allows for multi channel participation from the customer which caters to brand exposure even more.
Most brand owners choose to run the competition on their website but for some reasons that’s not very effective. Social media channels help to establish brand loyalty because people who follow you on social media are already interested in your business. Moreover, any actions they take on your business profile like commenting, sharing, liking or posting will be seen by their friends too, catering to maximum brand exposure.
Set a Deadline
This may sound unimportant but the fact is many companies make this mistake and loose some really potential customers. Your deadline has to be clear and highly visible on your contest postings. If it’s not prospects might turn away that the competition has already ended even when you haven’t declared any winner. The loss is worse when prospects decide not to share your postings just because they couldn’t find any deadline.
Another reason why you need to keep the deadline clear is to avoid late entries. Suppose you are running a contest on Instagram where the contestant with maximum number of likes wins. The competition has ended and the winner is determined. Later on another contestant participates and scores more number of likes than the one you selected and claims the prize.
What will you do now? And this may a not very good image of your company. To avoid such headaches down the road make sure not to keep the deadline vague.
Keep the Rules Clear
Here comes the most important part – There has to be no confusion while the contest is ongoing. Every contest comes with rules which may vary depending on the location and legal regulations. Consider the following set of rules that are generally included:
- Eligibility for participation – Age, location etc
- No purchasing is involved
- Purchases are not associated with chances of winning
- Starting & End date
- Privacy regulations about Winner Identity
- Selection Criteria
- Odds of winnings
Other than these it’s also important to consider the rules and regulations of each social platform you’re hosting your event on. For example, if you’re using Facebook it’s important to ensure that your post by no means should be affiliated, endorsed or sponsored by Facebook – The Company.
Keep the Prize Relevancy in Check
Deadline is all set, rules are clear, now what? Have you considered what you will be giving away? Be sure that the prize coordinates with your brand image and must be attention worthy.
For instance, your business deals in snowboarding and ski equipment. Now running a contest that offers 3 day holiday in Bahamas certainly won’t make sense. Instead offering the opportunity to fly to a sky lodge will perfectly speak to your audience.
If you are intended to give away a physical prize make sure to include a picture as it won’t be attention worthy for your customers unless they see it.
Never Go Without a Customized Hashtag
Well, promotions never actually go without Hashtags, if you really get it. All you need to do is come up with a unique Hashtag that perfectly speaks about your brand and the promotion as well.
In case you are new to it and can’t compose an interesting one, use Hashtagify. The tool helps you identify the current trends in industry. You also get to know if anyone else is using it because you’re supposed to use a new one.
Those who are already working with Hashtags, be sure to use a different one for each contest.
Additional Tips from Experts
Be sure that Mobile Users are not Left Behind – Run your contest on social platforms that are strictly for apps like Instagram. Facebook and Twitter are also available on apps. Moreover, if you have your own app, consider it for the contest as well. You can easily notify your customers with contest updates directly on their phones.
Keep the Social Sharing Option Open – A share button has to be dominant enough for your audience to notice. This will get your contest maximum exposure.
Let Everyone Know About the Winner – It goes back to establishing the timeline. Keep in mind that you would need a week or two to select the winner depending on the volume of entries. Once you’re done announce the winner publically.
The bottom line is – you need to have a road map, a clear goal and running a giveaway contest would require some thought and planning.
Determine the kind of giveaway you want to run, choose the platforms you want to host it on and take good care of branding alongside.
Never stop after running a successful contest, head to the next one!…
B2B organizations seem to be very alluring. However, in the roots of every B2B sales lead generation process; there are lots of obstacles and challenges with the blend of blood and sweat. Some businessmen fail to understand such risks in the competitive era of digital technology.
Some of these challenges are discussed below in the article that E-commerce B2B companies can encounter in running a B2B business.
For the establishment of the B2B organization, it is essential to acquire a vast amount of the capital. The B2B companies need a building or physical space on rent, CRM, sales personnel, technical staff to produce a service; if B2B is selling the product then there should be a machine or production line for goods production, employees to run an organization. There must be some capital in reserves too to bear any additional cost or meeting expenses during the time of long sale cycle.
STEPPING INTO THE MARKET
It is also a difficult decision which product or service; entrepreneur should take the initiative. Therefore, the B2B organization has to see its strengths and capabilities for doing business in the particular product or services.
Moreover, he also has to anticipate product and market lifecycle which will generate revenue for his B2B E-Commerce. Some products are obsolete due to rapid twists and turns of technology like cassettes have replaced with the CDs and DVDs. However, few industries are well-known for revenue generation like rice.
Every product and industry has its pros and cons. Therefore, the decision requires a carefully research study and skill set of an entrepreneur.
ESTABLISHING WEB BRAND
In order to build a high brand image of the B2B business. Massive budget and qualified human resource will be needed to execute an initial marketing campaign. The owner has to be patient because establishing a brand will take time to carve in the minds of the target market.
On the other hand, it also depends on the strategy of paid and organic marketing campaigns of the digital organization. Once the brand established, it will drag the quality traffic of prospects to the B2B website directory.
HOW TO GET BUYERS
Another challenge that B2B businesspeople face is the lead generation. How to get the quality traffic of buyers to the site? It requires following steps to be taken which seems easy but when moving into the implementation phase feels like cracking the hard nuts.
Establishing the CRM: It must track all the clicks, impressions, bounce rates; sign-ups (must be user and information friendly). The CRM needs proper database workable for technical, sales and all workforces. It must be capable to highlight loopholes, weaknesses and visitors data.
Lead Measurement Process: CRM must be capable of separating qualified and unqualified leads for sales personnel.
Marketing Tools: Essential tools for marketing like chatting, emailing and calling facility must be provided to marketing and sales team. Furthermore, sales support staff and other personnel like finance must also be equipped with all essential tools to back up revenue generation and sales activities.
Sales Activities: The salesperson should only work on qualified leads which are provided to them through CRM and marketing efforts.
After 2 to 3 years of existence of the B2B organization. The company will more likely to progress and thrive provided that all strategies actions have taken effect. The sales become trouble-free as they have focused toward the niches and toward particular target market. They find the data from their website easy for them to approach. Therefore, once the site has established the information database of prospects, the sales find a platform to approach their targets.…
When it comes to social media marketing, there is a vibe of uncertainty. Many social media marketers have set up their accounts to spread the word out and build an authority – working with the ‘conventional ways’ throughout. However, marketers expect for something auto magical to occur that leads to growth in minimum span of time rather than linking their bottom line with their social media activities.
On the other hand, some marketers have already realized the worth of social media marketing and started to work out on implementation of their overall marketing mix n social channels. To help the marketers learn from the leaders in the industry TrackMaven has released a ‘Social Media Impact Report 2016’ that pinpoints the most successful B2B industries on social media channels and their activities behind the scene.
The Plan of Attack
To prepare the report, TrackMaven evaluated a year’s worth of content produced and published by 316 B2B brands across 17 different sectors on Social Channels. Social Platforms that were included in the report includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Construction machinery B2B
Based on the TrackMaven’s analysis, following is the summary of some key findings:
Companies in the Lead
In the report, leading companies are determined following simple criteria – audience growth and content engagement on social media channels. Based on that, engineering companies, biotech firms and financial service providers are ranked the highest. The average audience growth on social channels for financial companies is recorded around 81.77% per brand. In addition, biotech companies are leading with most engaged followers featuring an average ratio of 12.46.
Among other B2B industries, audience growth seems to entice machinery manufacturers in TrackMaven’s report. With 129.02% follower growth rate B2B Machinery Manufacturers are ranked on top.
In case of software providers, graphs witness high follower growth but with low engagement. The sector’s follower count is as high as 82% but the customer engagement ratio is lowly 2.62.
A Sector Breakdown
Regardless of the sector, businesses strive to maintain a benchmark not just within but also across the industries. Such kind of comparison caters to unveiling opportunities, exposing strengths, discovering threats and understanding weaknesses.
B2B industries operate in a huge number, each having different nature of business and audience. Based on that, certain industries rule over social media while other strives for recognition. Audiences active on social media channels belong to certain niches, greater the number of active audience from the industry’s relevant niche higher will be the audience growth and engagement in response to right marketing approach.
Another report by Brandwatch illustrates the social presence of B2B companies within 10 different industries. It emphasizes on insights associated with social media activity, average audience, PR hits etc. The report provides the marketers with a chance to evaluate their brand on a company, industry or generic B2B scale.
The analysis unveils strengths and weaknesses from each industry in a clear and precise manner. Following are the key finding from the Bandwatch’s social media report:
Over two months, the B2B energy industry gained up to 2,659 PR hits. On the flip side, the industry’s promotion of negative to positive mention is marked 35.8% upon comparing with the industry average which is 24%.
B2B Owned Performance
The social climate we have today involves infinite B2B brands competing to gain dominance in face of their share of voice and develop meaningful engagement with potential customers. One of the biggest challenges that firms confront is building a brand voice that relates with their target audience.
However, top performing industries are seen sharing some common elements that cater to their social success:
Analysis on Facebook content suggests that more than half of B2B owned posts contain a photo. As marketers realized that engagement relies on visuals their commitment to photo based posts began to pay off.
However, relying solely on image-based post is not the only key. B2B brands with owned performance also post imageless statuses and other updates in face of links.
Smart brands choose to dig into insights and swap their poor performing posts with consistently engaging material like images.
Overall, up to 30 million B2B social interactions occur online each year. Social channels are providing B2B industries to take advantage of the opportunity by adapting to shifting expectations of their customers, advocates and critics.…
The major objective of content marketing is to capture the attention of relevant prospects and readers. Research shows content marketer has 5-10 seconds to make an impression and arrest the reader’s attention. The content must be catchy and captive enough to keep the reader engaged till and attract quality prospects.
The purpose of the content marketing is threefold:-
- Strengthening the brand awareness and image.
- Increase engagement by drawing quality prospects.
- Driving revenues and conversion for the organization.
To generate excellent content for B2B marketing success it’s important to keep the arm's length from the following mistakes:
Unsystematic Content Marketing Calendar
The content marketing or digital marketing department needs to establish an organized marketing calendar for publishing contents. Decide and choose the best time of posting the content in conjunction with the needs of your target audience. The period includes daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly you can set the time. For this, you have to study analytics of your audience, their purchase cycle, time of using social media and browsing of product solution blogs and posts.
In this way, you can plan out what needs to be done and what does not need to make extra efforts. Making calendar will save your time and ounces of energy that you can employ in other productive areas.
Not Analyzing the Target Audience
Before writing the content determine the needs of the target audience. Then align the content with the pain areas, interests and solutions that address the problems of target market. In addition, brainstorm with your writers about which areas and points needs to be highlighted across the target readers who can bring engagement and conversion. Google, web and other social media analytics can be useful for data gathering.
Failure to Speak the Customer's Mind Voice
Once you get the relevant data of target audience behavior, slice and dice the data and find out words and tone of your client. Then use these words and jargons in your content that sounds familiar to the target audience. Keep track of comments that your reader passes on to your blogs and posts. It will also help in gauging the language of the customer's mind. Doing this will add value in personalizing your content.
Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
According to one research survey, 40% readers think poor grammar and spelling reduces the credibility of the brand. Content with grammatical mistakes shows organization lacks in professionalism. As a result, a mature reader leaves with a bad taste in mouth.
No Content Diversification
In your target audience, there are different people with different instincts and tastes. Some like short visual posts, some are attracted by videos. Some are enticed by the graphs and informative material in the content. Posting single pattern of content can bore and distract your audience. Therefore, it's important to play around different types of content flavor (text, pictures, video) to hit various sentiments in one go.
It's helpful if you can gauge the attitude of a majority of target audience toward content composition through marketing research surveys, chat or interactive conversation with the prospect.
Failure to Speak the Personality of Value Proposition
The B2B content marketing strategy must explain the actual benefits and value of the company’s product. In this context, one must provide authentic facts with credibility. Consequently, doing this will be helpful in building the trust of customers over the brand. The content marketer should explore the dimensions of the brand and product how they reduce the effort, time and energy cost. Also, express the function and performance benefits of the product. The more unique and authentic you communicate how the product solves the problem. The more chances will be for your content to stand out the crowd.
No Call to Action
The B2B marketer must urge the reader to take action. By persuading, the marketer can attempt engagement and conversion too. Asking for action examples can be like, for more information about our product please click, pass comments on our post does it solve your problem of car polishing, interested buyers of the product can inbox us, etc.
Content is Not Device Friendly
Either professionals or the general public, they use different types of smart devices for browsing the internet. Your target audience has several options like notebook, Tablet, Palmtop, laptops, computers, and mobiles for surfing the web. Therefore, your content must be user-friendly as well as device friendly. Similarly, the content must be helpful to mobiles because according to Pew Research Center, 77 percent people in the USA holds the smart phone. In this context, a marketer must determine the percentage of the target market that holds smart devices. Furthermore, explore the ratio of people who browse the internet via different mediums (Mobiles, Tablets, Notebooks, and Computers, etc.). In this way, you can anticipate prospect's gadgets which are reading your content and surfing internet. Which devices they use the most for reading content or browsing internet is valuable information for content marketing.
Sometimes, the content is excellent, but it does not work very well. Therefore,
- You also need to consider the factors of content optimization and web optimization.
- Ensure content target correctly to the right people.
- Publish on the right platform?
- Keep ideas and information in check.
Apart from factor mentioned above, if your organization is not allocating proper resources for content marketing in terms of budget and human resource this can also lead to failure in content marketing.…
Stats from the “The States of customer marketing 2017” report that up to 93% companies strongly agree with putting extra efforts into customer marketing activities. While 63% are adding tweaks in staff and budget associated with customer marketing.
Following Customer marketing trends are reported to be most effective this and most likely to prevail in 2017 and maybe a year ahead.
Testimonials are Important
Up to 62% of companies use testimonials for all the activities aimed towards customer marketing. Testimonials, based on the usage are ranked top among the list of most used customer marketing techniques. In addition, around 53% buyers rely on their peers before making a purchase decision because they are baffled due to the unlimited amount ads and emails bombarded on them.
This is creating a major shift in the purchase process as they trust their peers more than any sales or marketing personnel.
This also contributes to the tendency of millennial – the next big generation that will dominate the purchasing market – to the fact- check everything about a good or service they are considering due to this same trust issue.
With this prevalent attitude among the purchasing market, this reliance on customer reference to make the decision will only continue to grow in the coming years, as people see voluntary testimonials and references as more unbiased and transparent than sales pitches.
Emphasizing on Customer User Groups
According to research, up to 42% companies involve customer or user groups in their customer marketing activities. Those activities include meeting a sample of users face-to-face to help the company learn more about the target market and what they need and expect from the company.
The activity provides the consumer with an opportunity to learn about the company, and it's motivating a good number of brands to see the potential of holding on to customer user groups.
Furthermore, it allows companies to extract valuable information and opinion from their customers and to establish a responsive image towards the wants and needs of their consumer market.
With 41% companies still using newsletters as a customer marketing activity it won’t be wrong to say that newsletters are not going anywhere and is certainly a mainstay.
Companies are starting to break away from the traditional newsletter setup – they are optimizing and changing to entice more customers to keep up with their subscriptions and interact with the newsletter contents.
While many believe that newsletters are not as effective as social media when it comes to updating followers and customers of the company, there are still ways that businesses can drive customer relationship and retention through this method. It is especially effective with markets whose members are dependent on their emails for different types of work or activities.
In B2B industry up to 31% company have brought advocate marketing in use, and due to the effectiveness of the strategy, more companies are likely to tap into this activity shortly.
Advocacy marketing is defined as the kind of marketing that is aimed towards persuading the customers to talk about the company's products or services. Advocacy marketing works alongside other marketing activities such as customer testimonials and newsletters. It caters to a stronger relationship building between the customer and the company.
Advocacy Marketing and Testimonials
It has a preliminary effect on testimonials, as people who publicly advocate products or services they obtained from a company. Meaning, people will talk about the brand without being prompted to do so. This leads to new customers being inclined towards products or services recommended by their peers.
Customer Community Interaction Online
An online customer community is an interactive often gated website that a company sets up to collaborate on topics of mutual interest. There is nothing new about online communities; they have existed for more than 15 years. But, technological advancements led people to connect through social media and mobile devices that have boosted online communities’ presence in recent years.
Online communities allow brands to have an ongoing dialogue with customers without customers having to attach themselves to their specific identity. Moreover, platforms where these communities are set up allow anonymity for the customers. It will enable them to deliver honest opinions about customer service without having their opinions attached to their customer information.
Cross Sell Campaigns
Cross-selling refers to the practice of suggesting related products or services to an existing customer, while upselling is encouraging customers to purchase a comparably higher-end product from the one they are considering. However, some companies are still having second thoughts regarding cross-selling and up-selling but marketing professionals consider it to be an integral activity that many are missing out on.
Generally, podcast is an audible piece (can be visual as well) of information targeted towards a certain audience by the marketer or podcaster. Unlike radio broadcasting restricted to limited regions, podcasting has no restrictions or limitations when it comes to the size of information and its ‘casting’. Neither the users are restricted to adjust their thirst of information according to the show that is being broadcasted in their region (Just like radio channels). Instead they can subscribe to podcasts on applications or websites launched by podcasters, being able to listen to any show from around the world at any time of the day without having to stare at computer screens.
You can think of podcasts as ‘Internet Radio on demand’. Each podcast available on the internet typically has a website where you can listen to show episodes or download them for future listening. The downloaded media can easily be carried anywhere through portable digital media player. Some common podcasts distribution points include iTunes, Sticher Radio and podcatcher. You can easily subscribe to podcasts that you like by clicking on its subscription button or RSS icon.
Now that you have a pretty clear picture of what is a podcast and its casting abilities let’s dig into details to understand how can you be benefited from this cutting edge intervention.
How to Create a Successful Podcast
Findings of a study conducted by Edison Research in 2014 reports that, out of the total time Americans spend listening to audio, 1.7 percent of time was devoted to podcasts.
Consider an example of Oldford – a young Canadian entrepreneur. He launched two podcasts in 2014, Limitless Business Podcast and Executive Minute. These podcasts quickly gained attention from masses with 41,000 downloads within a month from the launch date, having #1 hit on the Canadian iTunes business podcasts chart.
Oldford mentions that every time he interacts with someone following his podcasts he encounters an amazing relationship which cannot be obtained through any other medium. Recording and sharing the conversation with people allows him to deliver value to them, helping people to turn out winners, he adds. His entire philosophy of success revolves around this idea that he becomes a winner by default if he is able to make people around him winners in business.
Podcasts provide you with an opportunity to discuss topics of your niche’s interest and for many entrepreneurs podcasts turn into labors of love. When a right theme and plan is combined with time and efforts, podcasts can truly take off and monetize quite well.
Start with a Mission – B2B Growth Podcasts
While deciding the mission it’s important to keep one thing in mind – Plan a show that you’d want to listen. If you’re feeling it others will feel it too. In this regard, Oldford adds that setting a theme or planning a mission is all about building value in order to build your influence. This way you can talk to people who need to interact with you.
Think wisely, you can go broad and cover a wide variety of topics or go specific and focus on your target audience only. Either way, the more passionate and knowledgeable you are, the more fun you and your audience will have. In a way or other B2B growth Podcasts are proved to be most effective, aimed towards sharing success stories and proven growth ideas with a dash of entertaining elements.
Craft a Clever Name
Name acts as the face of your podcast, brainstorm all the possible names revolving around the mission and choose the right one. To know which one is the most suitable consider two things – Must grab the audience’s attention and should be according to what the show is about. An ironic or clever title caters to the flavor and personality of the podcast.
Secure Interesting Interviews
This might be quite challenging for a startup podcast but interesting interviews with a relevant and compelling interviewee can attract maximum listeners. To do so, tap into acquaintance and professional networks, ask them for a favor that involves helping you to interact with a most reputable personality that’s also relevant to your niche. Securing interviews with big-name professionals or start-ups can make your show a center of attention.
Try to opt for in-person interviews than those conducted over hone o internet. Face to face interview improves the audio quality and leads to a healthy discussion, helping the interviewee to feel more comfortable and engaged and personable in the conversation.
In the end, it’s recommended to share the edited interview with the interviewee and ask them for feedback or suggestions. This way the guest is also involved in the creation process which makes them want to express everything that they’ve preferred to work on.
You get organic reaches and subscribers without getting help from paid media when influential interviewees share the podcast with their followers on different social media platforms.
It’s better to have a scripted document to keep consistency maintained and stick to the plot or theme of the interview. This doesn’t mean you can’t go off the cuff, improvise the conversation as you like during the interview. The script is meant to provide a general idea and during the interview you’ll know how helpful it is to keep yourself on the track especially when your show has multiple segments. With a well drafted scripted you can easily make transitions between segments, keeping the natural and elegant feel maintained.
Highlights in the Beginning
Just like a trailer, create a montage containing best clips of the interview and put them at the very beginning of the show. It works really well to hook listeners in the first 30 seconds. Make sure the clips are not revealing the core points but making the listeners curious to listen to the podcast till the end.
Take Care of High Quality Audio
To earn credibility among listeners it’s important to get featured on the noteworthy iTunes podcast list. This will help your podcast to get most downloads and more recognition but this is certainly not possible with a poor quality audio. Along with valuable and interesting content or information in the podcast, technical aspects are required to be top-notch as well, like high quality audio.
Sponsorship and affiliate links bring a great deal of revenue. Considering Odford’s example, his podcasts were primarily focused on generating marketing leads for his digital marketing business. He said that prior to the podcast launch he received three direct business deals from the people he didn’t know.
Once the podcast is launched and recognized it gets rolling with active listener and downloads. Then podcasters look forward to monetizing the show to help it grow even more. When your show gains popularity among listeners, corporate sponsorships comes in handy, helping you with funds to earn profit and bring in more listeners.
Podcasts with strong following attracts sponsor to advertise their products and services. Sponsors usually ask for a small talk associated with their services in the beginning, middle or end of the show. The more sponsors you get better will be the earnings and promotions.
Olford’s podcasts hit #1 on the Canadian iTunes business podcast chard, right after the launch. According to him a strong start is important ad you need to have a pre-planned strategy. He said that he reached out to his friends and colleagues and asked them to download the show, subscribe, share and write reviews. This instantly created a lot of momentum upfront and helped the podcasts to hit #1 on the podcast chart.
Increase your Frequency
Even after the launch a lot of work is required to help your podcast gain more recognition. There is no in between, do it right or go home. Speaking of Oldford, he doubled the frequency twice a week by posting a 3-4 minute podcast nugget daily at 6 a.m. As a result, the average reaches and number downloads increased immediately.
How to Market the Intuitive B2B Podcast You Just Created
Being a podcaster it’s not appropriate for you to wait for your target audience to look up for you through search engines. Relying on podcast directories is not reliable either. The audience for podcasts is growing steadily and you are required to put in extra efforts to promote your podcasts. Consider the following marketing ideas to market your new show.
Submit it to iTunes
ITunes has 1 billion podcast subscriptions. People can easily look up for your show using the iTunes podcast directory. If you’re a new at podcasting, consider creating several episodes, RSS feed icon for your show, tags and albums to easily get recognized. Before submitting it to iTunes check your podcast’s validity at FeedValidator.org.
Include in a Google Profile
The google profile is readily available on all google properties. When you’re too involved in creating content in different you are most likely to forget that your Google profile is a perfect center for all the links redirected to the content.
Add Show Notes on Pinterest
It’s a great idea to pin a catchy image with description harboring show notes and including relevant keywords. Show notes provide a quick description of what your podcast is about. In order to prompt maximum visitors to listen the show, show notes should have a captivating title and engaging copy.
Add Links on Other Social Media Profiles
When it comes to marketing nothing can beat social media platforms today. Use different platforms like LinkedIn, it allows you to put media links in your profile. You can also use the summary and project sections to let people know about your new show. Facebook is ideal to feature your podcast, put the link in status update and include show notes. You can easily share your status update with maximum people by putting your podcast link on Facebook groups.
Post a BTS video on YouTube
Using YouTube can serve your podcast reaching in a number of ways. Create a short video, about 2 minutes long, recording the segment and revealing people in front of the microphone. People are always interested to see Behind the Scenes (BTS), to know how your show is produced. Add descriptions under each video you post including keywords, this will pull in more traffic. As a result, your podcast will get more reaches and subscribers as long as you don’t forget to lead your podcast subscribers to the videos.
You can also use Spreaker – a podcasting service that can be linked to your YouTube account. Spreaker can transform the audio podcast into a static image video that can be used on your YouTube channel.
Exchange Promotion Favors with other B2B Podcasters
Shake hands with a podcaster, but make sure he is not your competitor. This partnership can be favorable when you’ll start promoting each other posts. For strong following you can even interview each other.
Create a Collage of Photos
To provide people an instant visual explanation about yourself, your guests and the theme of your show craft a collage. Don’t make it look too over crowded or irritating to eye. Keep it simple yet catchy and remember you are trying to give them just a glimpse of all the fun they’ll have while listening the show.
Promote a List of Top B2B Podcasts
Let’s say your show features big-name startups or professionals. Create a list of the top 10 podcasts with same theme as yours i.e. featuring startups and include your show as well. Pitch the list to bloggers who can write about the startups and to other podcasters in your list. This will help you to obtain reaches from multiple sources including blog posts.
Add a Story on How to Earn Money from Podcasting
Not everyone can turn their show into a great deal of revenue. Unlike many hobbyists, if your passion brought you smart earnings you can invite a financial publication to cover this success story.
Are you thinking about how to segment and identify B2B market segments?
Segmentation caters to effective and precise targeting. The accurate the targeting greater will be the chances for conversions. For B2B professionals the market is fairly broad. Proper segmentation can only be done after understanding the basic categories of your buyers as per certain factors.
The target market is divided into particular groups grounded on distinct or similar purchase needs for given products or services. Each segment has different needs and buying behavior. Each audience segment must have the following features in order to be used effectively by the marketer.
- Identifiable: Easily recognizable group within a marketplace.
- Sustainability: The customer group must have profitability in size.
- Accessible: The customer group can be easily reached for marketing and sales communication.
- Responsiveness: The client group should respond to the marketing offers shared by the marketing and sales team.
- Actionable: The customer group can easily take actions upon the guidance shared by the marketing team. Actions like paying money for purchase or use of product or service in a particular manner.
B2B Market Segmentation
Generally when we speak of the market segmentation, B2C frame of market segmentation strikes the mind. However, B2B market segmentation is very narrow scoped as compare to B2C.
Quantifiable market size is classified according to income of company or entrepreneur
What is the size of company and income of the company? However education, family size etc rarely matters in B2B
Region (city or country or town etc)
Which country and regions we have economical buyers in?
Combination of geographic & demographic variables.
E.g. Non manufacturing countries like UAE can be good segment.
Lifestyle and personality
In this segment the marketer has to identify sensitive spot for relationship building with the client.
Need based benefit sought. (Other features of behavioral segmentation are rarely considered in B2B)
1. B2B segments are quality conscious, price conscious, time conscious (delivery). Generally quantity, quality, delivery and convenience as well as less risky payment modes are demanded.
2. The other part is you make separate customer and market profiles with respect to different products and services.
Contextual and situational
B2B clients are approached on different platforms
B2B clients are usually approached online on social media platforms, transaction exchange on whatsapp groups and so on.
In the light of above classification and B2B practices we can draw the following features of B2B market segmentation.
- B2B market segments are usually smaller than B2C target audience.
- The relationship building and personal relationship is critical to succeed in B2B markets. Especially for cross selling and B2B repeat purchase behavior.
- B2B clients are usually longer-term clients.
- When it comes to B2B segmentation there are fewer need-based segments and behavioral segments. Other important B2C segmentation factors are either rarely considered or totally avoided in B2B market.
- Generally B2B segments are based on company and revenue size plus purchasing strength of B2B client.
- It is hard to sustain competitive advantage for 5 years because B2B buyers seek low price and high quality as they opt for bulk purchasing. Therefore, upon finding similar quality products in lower price they switch supplier.
Factors shaping the B2B Segmentation
Generally the B2B market segments are not descriptive and wide scoped like B2C segments. Buyers who belong to B2C segmentation purchase for personal purposes rather than commercial means lower quantity and lower amount involved.
However in B2B markets usually purchase transactions are done on bulk quantities e.g. factories sell bulk quantities of fabric and clothes to wholesalers and distributors as well as importers.
Therefore in B2B market segments are classified with short names or description like:
Price Negotiators: The client who bargain on price where it is hard for the supplier to receive a reasonable profit margin.
Range Clients: The buyers who ask you to drop your MOQ to a certain level or ask you to sell as per their budget.
Delivery Buyers: The buyers who are concerned regarding timely delivery and safety of the products.
Quality Buyers: These buyers do not compromise on quality and will pay the price to the supplier for given quality. It’s an ideal segment for B2B marketers.
B2B buyers are very educated and well-informed about the B2B marketplace. They prefer a product or service that not only benefits in terms of ROI but also caters to their brand image. Lower price but cheap quality may cause them to lose existing customers let alone the new ones. Therefore, quality, quantity and price are the basic considerations of an average B2B buyer.
When it comes to segmentation the audience is classified into groups as per the extent of importance they give to each factor i.e. price and quality. Other than that segmentation based on geographic and demographic factors also plays a crucial role in precise targeting.