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3 B2B Marketing Tactics For Explosive Growth

3 B2B Marketing Tactics For Explosive Growth

In today’s market, differentiating yourself is tougher than ever before. Companies must find smart, unique, and powerful ways to connect with their audiences. Old school strategies like cold calling are now one of the least effective ways to demonstrate value to your target buyers. 

Understanding and implementing relevant growth marketing tactics can help convert a lead into a customer, which is ultimately every organization’s end goal.

Here are three B2B marketing tactics that can help accelerate your growth today. 

Sell Your Story Before The Product  

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “every business needs a story.” 

Well, it’s true.

A study from the Digital Marketing Institute found that companies who tell a compelling story increase the value of their products and services by more than 20 times!

In a competitive market, providing quality content and services isn’t always enough. You need to be able to talk about your service or product in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd. This is where a good story can be most useful.

With so many companies competing for market share, each must find a way to tell a unique story that bolsters their brand. In essence, this addresses the “why” behind a company’s actions. 

Let’s take a look at the Golden Circle model to illustrate the importance of the “why”.

The Golden Circle model

The Golden Circle is an innovative model created by British-American author, Simon Sinek. Most organizations start with “what” they’re going to do and then try to figure out “how” they’re going to do it. Sinek believes this is an ineffective way to craft a business. 

If you truly want to connect to your audience, you must understand “why” your product or service would resonate with your target customer. Find ways to craft a story that speaks to the “why,” as opposed to the “what” or “how.”  

While having case studies and testimonials is useful, they tend to primarily address the “how” and “what.” You first need to focus on making your brand personable and memorable, which can be accomplished through the power of storytelling.   

Competitive Intelligence

Competitive intelligence is the act of gathering and analyzing data about products, services, and competitors to help support strategic planning within an organization. When done right, competitive intelligence allows you to track competitors’ digital footprints for opportunities and inspiration. 

When crafting a B2B marketing strategy, it’s vital that you keep up to date with what competitors are doing. This includes what they’re posting on social media, ad usage, website trends, campaigns, and even their customer reviews. If you are considering running a campaign for the first time, use competitive intelligence to analyze the success or failures of similar campaigns to optimize your own strategy. 

This type of relationship is not dissimilar to a family dynamic. In a family with multiple children, the youngest has the opportunity to examine the choices their older siblings make. In theory, this should provide them enough “competitive intelligence” to repeat the successes and avoid the pitfalls that they observed. Just like in the business world, this type of access gives the younger sibling an advantage that the older sibling wasn’t afforded. 

As we all know, access to that information does not always mean a guaranteed path to success. You must find ways to incorporate that information into your strategy and be prepared to pivot as you continue to gather intelligence.  

Webinars 

Your content needs to be easily digestible and accessible, and webinars help accomplish that.  

Webinars are a great way to showcase and demonstrate your firm’s value. Most buyers conduct the majority of research on their own (81% of buyers; AdWeek). By providing a way for your customers to learn more about your business in a non-threatening way, you allow your buyers to conduct their research while positioning yourself as a thought leader. 

The most successful webinars are the ones that target a single market or address a specific need. This opens the door for more leads and higher conversion rates. 

Now that you have learned a few of the best growth marketing tactics, go ahead and give them a try! 

For more tips and strategies like these, check out our new Smark Toolbox 2.0 below or get in touch today! 

The Non-Marketers Guide to Reviewing and Approving Content Efficiently

The Non-Marketers Guide to Reviewing and Approving Content Efficiently

One of the biggest bottlenecks in launching a marketing campaign is the review and approval process. Late approvals can keep content from going out on time, affecting the entire timeline of a campaign. This issue is something many marketers face, with one in five Content Marketing World attendees revealing that tangled review and approval processes regularly delayed their projects by over a week.

To help solve this, we put together a guide to help you review and approve content more efficiently. With these strategies, you’ll be prepared to submit constructive feedback and feel confident in your ability to determine whether a piece of content will perform well.

1. Set expectations

To ensure you’re satisfied with an article, it’s important to set expectations with the writer or marketing team you’re working with at the start. Always be sure to clarify who you want to target, what message you want to communicate, and what you’re hoping to achieve through the article. It’s also important to communicate specifics, such as the word count you want to reach and the number of images you want in the article.

2. Focus on the big picture

Rather than getting hung up on spelling and grammar mistakes, you should focus on the overall message of the article. Spelling and grammar are easy to fix, but changing the main message or theme of an article will require an entire rewrite. It’s unlikely that your audience is analyzing the article and reading it from start to finish, so keep that in mind when you’re editing and providing feedback. 

3. Ask yourself questions

When reviewing an article, it helps to ask yourself questions. Here’s a list of some important ones to guide your review process: 

Does this article address my audience’s pain point? Or, more importantly, does it address the pain point that your product/service provides a solution to? The best way to grab your audience’s attention is by addressing a common struggle they face. 

Does it offer a solution or actionable advice? This question is to make sure that you’re providing your reader with value. If you begin with a problem, you should follow up with a solution that helps your audience, whether it’s expert advice or a product/service.

Does it connect back to my company’s value and mission? Every piece of content posted on your site should support the promotion of your product/service. Because of this, each article should always reiterate your company’s value offer and mission.

Does the information provide match my audience’s depth of knowledge on this topic? If your audience is well-versed in a topic, your article should demonstrate a similar knowledge. You want to be sure the article isn’t too high- or low-level that it doesn’t feel relevant to your audience. 

Does it contain a keyword I want to rank for? Keywords are important because they help attract views to your site. Each piece of content created for your site should be focused around a specific keyword. If the keyword isn’t obvious, you likely aren’t following the best practices for SEO.

4. Look for flow & coherence

Every article should flow, moving smoothly from one topic to the next. This is accomplished by including transition words and using connecting ideas. It also helps to include subheads that organize the sections of your article and signal a change in topic. In addition, taking complex ideas and making them easier to understand is the mark of a good article. You’ll want to determine whether an article possesses this type of coherence by reading it aloud and listening to ensure everything makes sense and sounds consistent.

5. Check sources

Every article needs sources in order to be factual and credible. Any claim made in an article should be backed by data or statistics. This is what sets you apart as a trusted source. The article should include information from leading publications in your industry. In addition, it’s a good idea to conduct regular interviews with subject matter experts so you can ensure you’re up-to-date on the latest trends and innovations in your industry. In addition to outside sources, your article should include relevant internal links to your site.

6. Pay attention to CTAs

At the end of the article, you want to inspire your reader to take action. For this reason, it’s important to include a call to action. However, this doesn’t mean you should just drop in a random CTA that doesn’t make sense. For example, if your article is titled “10 Ways to Make the Most of Your HubSpot Investment,” your CTA could be something like “contact us today for a free HubSpot audit.” Another important thing to note is that you can include multiple CTAs throughout your article to drive traffic to other resources or articles on your site.

To learn more about reviewing and approving content, reach out to us! We’re here to help!

Content Creation Strategies for Small B2B Companies

Content Creation Strategies for Small B2B Companies

If you’re part of a small team, you know how difficult it can be to stay on top of content demands. From posting on social media to blogging, producing a steady stream of high-quality content every week requires valuable time and resources. However, it’s not something you can skip — it’s proven to be effective in attracting new visitors and converting them into leads. In fact, new benchmark data from HubSpot shows that “the small companies that publish 11 or more blog posts per month drive much higher traffic than companies of the same size that publish fewer than 11 blog posts.”

If you’re having trouble producing enough content and time isn’t in your favor, read these ideas for some quick, easy ways to generate and repurpose engaging content.

Podcasts

As of June 2019, there are over 750,000 podcasts. The popularity of podcasts has steadily risen, with many people using them as a form of education and entertainment. On top of that, they’re super easy to produce. All you have to do is sit someone down and interview them while recording the conversation. The content doesn’t stop there though. You could transcribe the podcast and turn it into a blog, make it into a video by filming the conversation, or pull quotes and create images for social media — the possibilities are endless. 

Webinars

Similar to podcasts, webinars are a great way for B2B companies to reach their audience. In fact, a study from the Content Marketing Institute found that marketers rate webinars in the top five in terms of the most effective tactics they use. The main reason for this lies in the fact that webinars help build trust with your audience and provide them with valuable information. In addition, webinar registrations allow you to collect data on potential customers such as their email, phone number, and company name. There are also many ways to repurpose webinars, similar to the ones listed above for podcasts.

Surveys 

Surveys are a great place to start when developing a content strategy. They allow you to ask your audience questions, uncover their challenges/pain points, and uncover out what kind of content they’d be interested in. Beyond this, survey results can inform your content with unique data. For example, your survey data could be used in a whitepaper, data visualization, slide deck, research article, or quotes on social media. Supporting your content with your own data will differentiate your brand and help you stand out as a trusted expert in your industry.

Recap an event

Most people take notes when they attend conferences to remember important bits of information. You can use these notes to create a blog recapping the event. To make the recap as valuable as possible, you’ll want to take detailed notes throughout the entire conference and be sure to highlight the main takeaways from each session. Also, by adding pictures, videos, and details about each speaker, you can help your audience feel like they were part of the event too.

Turn blogs into slide decks

If your audience isn’t responding well to long-form blogs, try turning them into a slide deck where you can simplify the information and focus on key points. The average person’s attention span today is eight seconds, according to a study by Microsoft. This means you need to make your content as short and as simple as possible. Slide decks are helpful with this because they force you to summarize, turning long sentences into short bullet points. In addition, they’re a great downloadable asset that customers can save for future reference. 

Create an infographic based on a blog

Infographics are a great tool for engaging your audience because they are easy-to-read and visually pleasing. They include data points and statistics, shown in the form of a chart or graph, as well as copy. Because infographics offer a detailed overview of a topic, they can be used to summarize a longer-form blog post. This type of infographic would be called a “visualized article,” but there are many other kinds of infographics you can use for a variety of purposes. To learn more about them, check out this article by Pikotchat. 

Interview SMEs (internally and externally)

An SME, also known as a subject matter expert, is a powerful resource for producing content. By making an effort to conduct interviews with SMEs, you can develop a large pool of content to pull from whenever you’re short on ideas. An interview with an SME typically revolves around asking them about their knowledge or expertise on a particular topic or field. It’s important to note that this can be done with both internal employees and external experts. In addition, the interview can be repurposed into a podcast or blog.

Interview customers for a case study

Do you have a customer who has seen success with your product? Submit a request to interview them for a case study! This type of content elevates you and your client by highlighting the mutual benefits of your partnership. An effective case study includes an overview of both companies, the problem, the solution, how the solution was implemented, and the results. It’s also important to note that case studies can be shared during the sales process to add credibility and help in turning prospects into customers. 

Run a curated newsletter

Sending your clients a weekly newsletter is a strategic way to share the latest content available on your site. In reality, it’s a piece of content that advertises the content you already have. A newsletter should be divided up into different sections based on content, such as “On the Blog,” “Industry News,” or “Latest Resources.” A weekly newsletter helps you drive more traffic to your website and establishes your company as a trusted, reliable source of information. Lastly, it allows you to build a base of subscribers that can provide you with feedback on your content so you can make adjustments accordingly.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with content and need some extra help, contact us to find out how we can support you in meeting your content goals.

3 Savvy Ways to Spend Your Leftover Website Budget

3 Savvy Ways to Spend Your Leftover Website Budget

Have you ever set aside money for a task or project and completed it for less than originally anticipated? How did it make you feel? What did you do with that leftover money? 

Rather than feeling satisfied with the site you now have, learn a few quick tricks and ideas on where that money can go to help turn your website from great to exceptional

creating a website

As a marketing professional, focus on increasing website traffic and potential leads — a foolproof strategy for success. Here are a few savvy options your firm should explore to ensure your website stands above the rest.

1. Incorporate Explainer Videos

According to VideoBrewery, 85% of people are more likely to buy a product or service once they view an explainer video. This is no coincidence.

Here’s an example of a simple, clean explainer video that effectively highlights a businesses service offerings (Spoiler – It’s ours!): 

 

Research shows that viewers are more likely to stay engaged with a page that includes videos rather than paragraphs of text. Two major benefits to explainer videos include offering better clarification of your product/service and increased conversion rates.

The key is ensuring the videos are quick and concise. 

A study from AdAge claims that marketers lose 33% of all viewers in the first 30 seconds of a video. What does this mean? People are busy. Think about all the times you scroll through your newsfeed on social media and see a video. You’ll watch the first few seconds and if you’re not intrigued, you scroll right past. Right? 

Grabbing the viewers’ attention in the first 3-5 seconds is vital because it addresses the first decision the viewer makes: to stay or go. If it isn’t captivating from the start, you’ve already lost.

2. Advertise

examples of advertising on mobile

Source: Banners Nack

Advertising is imperative if you want people to know who you are. The most commonly used platform is GoogleAds. According to WordStream and their Pay-Per-Click (PPC) statistics, firms make an average of $2 for every $1 spent on GoogleAds. Talk about good ROI! 

Before running your ads, it’s imperative to develop a well-thought-out strategy. Marketri found that 32% of companies wing their marketing efforts and have no strategic plan. Start with a goal, define your audience, and determine the services offered before introducing any advertising. 

Incorporating these three components will make your site more attractive, which gives your business a competitive edge.

3. Invest in Blog Writing

webpage of blog writing

Investing in blog writing is a great way to not only boost search engine optimization but develop stronger relationships with current and potential clients. Just like subscribing to your favorite magazine or newsletter, blogs help keep your audience in the loop about industry news/trends and help position your company as an expert in the field.

An Inbound Marketing Report from HubSpot found that 57% of companies who publish blogs consistently have gained at least one customer as a result of their efforts.  

Another benefit includes the option for readers to share this content on their own social media platforms for their peers to see. This can open up endless opportunities and positive exposure for your brand, and help work towards increasing visitors to your website.

Closing

There is no universal “right answer” on what to do with your leftover website budget. However, incorporating explainer videos, advertising, and blogging are a few tactics that have been proven to help optimize your new website and grow your business. Investing in these components is a great way to ensure your website is up to par, ultimately getting you one step closer to that next big deal.

To learn more about how to improve your website, check out our Launchpad Site below or get in touch! 

creating a website

 

Is Video Marketing Really Worth It?

Is Video Marketing Really Worth It?

If you don’t already know, video marketing is big. Like really big. 

Social Media Today found that videos have a 135% greater organic reach than photos. In fact, not only are consumers preferring videos, but marketers are starting to realize this trend as well. Optinmonster found that two-thirds of marketers already use some type of video in their marketing strategy, so you can’t afford to be left out. 

If you’re on the fence about video marketing you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at the most common misconceptions about video marketing before going into why your strategy needs to include them today. 

Misconceptions With Video Marketing 

1. Video only works for building awareness.

First and foremost, yes, videos absolutely help build awareness and drive activity to the top of the funnel. You’ve probably seen various “how-to” and branding-forward videos from your favorite retailers. But videos also provide guidance to consumers in the consideration and decision stages as well. 

According to HubSpot, 90% of people find explainer videos helpful in the decision-making process.

So, if someone has an issue and is learning and defining their needs, you must be able to show them that you understand the challenges they’re facing. On top of that, you’ll want to exemplify that your company can help solve those pain points. This is where an explainer video can come in handy — educate them on your product/service and proactively answer questions or objections that they may have. Without them even realizing it, you’re already building trust.

But that’s not all!

This means videos can become a valuable leveraging tool in the decision stage. An article from Consumerist found that nearly 70% of consumers rely on reviews before making a purchase. So, using testimonials and video case studies will help validate your work and build credibility.

2. Total views are the best measure of success. 

False. Although the number of views on your video is a great sign that you’re reaching an audience, total views won’t tell you anything about the behavior the video caused. Instead, pay attention to things like the duration of the views, click-through rate, and the level of engagement it receives on social media. Focusing on these metrics will tell you how much your content is truly connecting with your audience. 

Why You Need Video Marketing Today 

Well, your customers want it! A recent study from HubSpot found 54% of people want to see more video content from marketers. That means it’s very likely your customers are asking for it right now. Don’t leave them hanging! If that’s not a convincing enough reason, let’s take a look at some other great benefits to video marketing.

1. Video shows great ROI

According to Wyzowl, 83% of businesses say videos provide positive returns on investment. Although video production isn’t the easiest or cheapest task to complete, the payoff is well worth it when done correctly. It is crucial your video presents clear and concise content easy for viewers to digest. The most important thing isn’t even the quality of the video – it’s the information within. Without valuable, relevant info, your video will fall flat regardless of how visually appealing it is.

Questions on how to make a great video? Curious about where to start? Reach out to us! We love helping our customers uncover the value of video.

2. Video builds trust

Trust. In other words, the foundation of all your customer conversions. As a business, you can never have enough trust and videos can help build this tremendously. Think of a time when you bought a product from a new company. Most people are understandably skeptical of buying something they’re unfamiliar with online. So, finding reassurance from your favorite YouTuber or influencer that the quality of the product is good can help push you to make that purchase. Why? Because you now trust them. 

Effective marketing videos help educate buyers and increase confidence in their decisions, which is why 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video (HubSpot).

3. Video appeals to mobile users

Since 2013, MultiChannel found mobile video views have grown more than 233%. Since people like to watch videos on the go, and the number of smartphone users continues to rise, your mobile video audience is growing larger and larger. To go further, a study from Google found viewers are 1.4x more likely to watch a video or ad on their mobile device instead of TV/PC. 

What does this all mean? 

The time is now, marketers. When you can successfully offer the right content to the right viewer while on-the-go, you’re leading your company down a road to success. 

4. Videos are perfect for demonstrations

Who wants to read pages of text? A study from PopVideo found that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it compared to reading it.

Think about it like this:

You know nothing about cars and are asked to change the oil. All you are given is a piece of paper with instructions on it. This job will take a long time and you probably won’t learn very much. 

Now, imagine being able to take out your phone and watch a YouTube video as you work. Not only will the job go quicker, but you’ll learn more. You will start remembering concepts visually while getting a better feel for the subject. 

That’s the power of video content. The ability to take concepts and understand them in a more natural, relatable way. 

5. Video improves email marketing

We all know how tough email marketing is. If you don’t, check out “Why No One Is Opening My Emails” to learn why. But it’s okay, because videos alone help increase email open rates! That’s right! 

According to Campaign Monitor, email campaigns that include videos see a 19% open rate increase. These emails also experience 65% increased click-through rates and 26% less unsubscribes. Oh yeah!

The point of all those statistics is that a good email marketing strategy will provide massive benefits and can help improve your bottom line. Don’t shy away from email marketing because of the difficulty it brings. Instead, embrace it using video!

6. Videos enhance landing pages

Your landing page is intended to lead customers to a specific product, service, or offer and encourage them to take action. B2B businesses especially use landing pages to generate leads and conversions. These pages are a great way to drive traffic, improve SEO, and build your brand. 

So, why have videos on them? 

Well, a study from Forbes found that including videos on your landing page increases conversion rates by nearly 80%. Enough said.

The Verdict

Advances in technology are making video marketing not only more popular but cheaper to implement too. Successfully capturing the attention of the viewer and sparking some type of action should be the main goal when developing video content. 

As a recap, video marketing can help…

  • Increase ROI
  • Build trust
  • Appeal to on-the-go users
  • Help with demonstrations
  • Improve email marketing 
  • Enhance landing pages

…making this strategy absolutely worth the investment! 

To learn more about video marketing and how your business can see these improvements, contact us today!

Already convinced?

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