Posted by advantagemarketing on February 2, 2017
Every B2B company needs a solid content strategy, including a social media strategy. This is the age of what social media-marketing expert Mark Schaefer refers to as content shock — where there is so much content that it overwhelms readers.
How can you stand out in this veritable sea of content that has flooded the internet? Is it even possible? The content marketing gurus at Hubspot and BuzzSumo have joined forces to conduct research into what works and what doesn’t in B2B content.
1. Size Doesn’t Matter
For years in B2B blogging, it was thought that long-form posts performed better — and while that might be true in some aspects, social media isn’t one of them. Long form posts did not receive any more shares than short-form.
2. LinkedIn Has Proven Its B2B Social Value
B2B content dominates the LinkedIn playing field — with an average of 25.7 shares, compared to 9.8 shares for B2C content. With all the tools that LinkedIn provides that are geared towards business and thought leadership, it really does make a perfect home for your B2B company’s content.
3. Don’t Count Facebook Out Yet
Facebook currently has 1.71 billion active users every month. With such a huge audience potential, how can you pass up this social network?
4. People in B2B Companies Want Content That Will Help Them Succeed
Focus on posts that will help your reader succeed. Whether it’s a numbered list or a how-to article, make it engaging and geared toward reaching one of a reader’s goals such as gaining more customers, increasing office efficiency, or succeeding in a leadership role.
Don’t go it alone! Contact us for help with your content marketing.
Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business | Tagged: b2b marketinig, blogging, businesses, small business | Leave a Comment »
Posted by advantagemarketing on January 19, 2017
Brand awareness is essential for the success of small businesses and startups. Done right, successful content marketing will not only generate more revenue for your small business or startup, but it will also help your brand build credibility, authority and thought leadership in your industry, which benefits your entire company all around, everything from building sales to hiring top talent.
Here are 5 steps to help you develop an effective content marketing strategy that will keep your small business or startup top of mind:
1. Understand Your Customers
An effective content marketing strategy starts with knowing your customers inside and out. So before you create any content, take the time to really listen and understand who your target audience is and what content they want and need.
2. Define Your Brand
Your brand is the promise you make to your customers. It’s what ultimately differentiates your small business or startup from your competitors.
3. Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy
Those who have a documented content marketing strategy are significantly more likely to meet their content marketing goals and achieve success.
4. Create and Amplify Your Content
To be effective, your content needs to be relevant and appropriate to the channel or platform where it will be published and consumed by your target audience.
5. Measure and Readjust Your Content Marketing Strategy
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you don’t know whether your content marketing efforts are working or not, how will you know if your marketing objectives are being met?
Don’t go it alone! Contact us if you need help building your content marketing strategy.
Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business | Tagged: attracting customers, brand, branding, businesses, content marketing, New Jersey, small business | Leave a Comment »
Posted by advantagemarketing on December 6, 2016
Your logo is the visual image of your company. Is it time to refresh yours to better reflect your company’s brand?
When I start developing a marketing program for a new client, the first thing we tackle is branding. This often means creating or updating their firm’s logo. Here’s what I tell new clients about branding…
Your company logo is the cornerstone of your branding. It is a visual reminder of everything your firm stands for. Some elements of a good logo, according to Duct Tape Marketing:
- It has lasting value – trendy logos don’t hold up over time. Make sure your logo will stay iconic and reliable even if the design of your website changes.
- It is distinct – some amount of uniqueness, as long as it doesn’t confuse, is valuable. A distinct logo will stand out among a crowd of dull ones and generate more sales.
- It appeals to your target audience – if your target market is partial to blue, then it doesn’t matter that you’re not. Your design should consider what your audience values first.
- It supports your core message – if you’re trying to communicate your low, low prices, then your logo should support that image. Your customers should be able to understand the heart of your company philosophy just by looking at your logo.
- It is legible – This seems pretty obvious, but many people use typefaces and images that can’t be printed or carried to a large sign. Your logo should clearly identify your company, and it can’t do that if people don’t understand it.
Test Your Logo
I advise clients to get several outside opinions, preferably from clients or prospects, before selecting a final logo design and using it on their email templates, letterhead and website, etc. This helps ensure that the logo is effectively communicating their brand message to the target audience.
Don’t skip this crucial step! When we tested a lighthouse-themed logo for an HR client, for example, we discovered it did not resonate with the senior executives who were his clients. This valuable insight caused us to take the logo concept in a different direction, resulting in design that better reflected the value these executives received from my client’s work.
A logo should be more than eye-catching, it should represent your company’s brand and appeal to your target audience. If your current logo hasn’t kept up with how your firm’s brand has evolved, then it’s probably time to update it.
Posted in B2B marketing, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: brand building, build company credibility, business, marketing, marketing professional services, New Jersey | Leave a Comment »
Posted by advantagemarketing on October 4, 2016
Insights gained from market research can help your company bring more value to its clients and stay ahead of the competition.
Recently, a CEO of a mid-sized firm, for whom Advantage Marketing had proposed a much-needed market research project, asked how he should justify the project to his Board of Directors. Here’s what I told him:
Are any of your board members pilots? Ask them if they would fly blind, without the indicators on the plane’s control panel. Market research is just like those indicators. It keeps you aloft as a business, and prevents you from crashing and burning. Right now your company is flying blind – how close are you to crashing and burning without valid market insights? If you’re not crashing and burning, you’re at least wasting fuel (money) by running inefficiently with things that won’t bring value to clients or get you new business.
With market research, the return on investment is almost always positive.What would be the value if this project netted you just one new client? Or, even better, if it enabled you to develop a new product line for a new market? It’s not certain that you’d get either, but you certainly aren’t getting either now.
Other benefits of market research include:
- Maintaining and improving the sales team’s focus.
- Pointing you in the direction of the most lucrative opportunities.
- Keeping your company relevant and future-oriented.
- Improving your decision-making and reducing your risk.
- Keeping you ahead of the competition.
It also avoids negative consequences such as:
- Plunging blindly ahead and investing money where it doesn’t provide value for customers.
- Staying the same as always and losing market share to others who innovate and come up with a better, faster, or cheaper way of doing what you’re doing now.
- Losing money because you’re caught sleeping while the market is changing.
Is your company considering market research? What do you see as the benefits of research for your company?
Posted in B2B marketing, Market research, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, sales and marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: business, business owners, developing marketing plans, Market research, marketing, marketing insights, New Jersey, running a business | Leave a Comment »
Posted by advantagemarketing on September 8, 2016
Read any good marketing books lately? Here are 7 that you won’t want to miss.
Duct Tape Marketing
As a small business owner, you are really in the business of marketing. The problem for most small business owners is that they suffer from “marketing idea of the week” syndrome instead of implementing a systematic approach to the problem of small business marketing. In Duct Tape Marketing, renowned Small Business Marketing guru John Jantsch shows you how to develop and execute a marketing plan that will give your business the life and longevity you knew you could have when you made that decision to go out on your own. Buy It Now
Professional Services Marketing
Written by John E. Doerr, Mike Schultz, and Lee Frederiksen, Professional Services Marketing is a fully field-tested and research-based approach to marketing and client development. The book covers five key areas that are critical for firms that want to grow and become more profitable. It includes real-world case studies that illustrate major points, as well as quotes and stories from well-respected professionals in the industry. Buy It Now
RESULTS! is based on years of experience and learned knowledge and is a powerful business tool. It contains the top tips and insights for getting results in your own business from 17 seasoned business experts, including marketing strategist Loraine Kasprzak. Their mission is to inspire more business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, and salespeople to achieve the results they want, so they can lead the life they desire. Buy It Now
To Sell Is Human
To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds. Buy It Now
In Content Inc.
, one of today’s most sought-after content-marketing strategists reveals a new model for entrepreneurial success. Simply put, it’s about developing valuable content, building an audience around that content, and then creating a product for that audience. Notice a shift? Author Joe Pulizzi flips the traditional entrepreneurial approach of first creating a product and then trying to find customers. It’s a brilliant reverse-engineering of a model that rarely succeeds. Buy It Now
Buyer Personas is the marketer’s actionable guide to learning what your buyer wants and how they make decisions. Written by Adele Revella, this book provides comprehensive coverage of a compelling new way to conduct buyer studies, plus practical advice on adopting the buyer persona approach to measurably improve marketing outcomes. Readers will learn how to segment their customer base, investigate each customer type, and more. Buy It Now
The result of thousands of conversations about web marketing with hundreds of companies, this handbook is a compilation of the most important and effective lessons and advice about the power of search engine optimization, social media, and email marketing. The first and only comprehensive guide to content marketing, this book explains the social, analytical, and creative aspects of modern marketing that are necessary to succeed on the web. Buy It Now
What marketing books can you suggest as worthwhile reads?
Posted in Book marketing, Business, content marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: business, content marketing, marketing, marketing books, marketing professional services, marketing tips, Westfield. NJ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by advantagemarketing on August 11, 2016
Let’s face it: marketing can get awfully tedious, especially when you have to do the same tasks repeatedly. Marketing automation can be a lifesaver because it allows you to set up automated workflows that handle many admin or routine tasks, so you don’t have to. These marketing automation tips from my Twitter feed can help you get started with marketing automation for your own small business.
Marketing Automation Leading to Shorter Sales Cycles, Post-Sale Focus
Marketing automation software is all about automating the customer interaction process from campaign formation through lead generation, all the way to initial sale and repeat business. It can take the time out of tedious tasks and greatly increase efficiency. Read More
How to Ensure Your Marketing-Automation Project Does Not Fall Flat
Benefits of marketing automation cannot be overstated. The following 5 tips are meant to provide you some ideas about how to improve your marketing automation and obtain better results. Read More
59% of B2B Fortune 500 Companies Use Marketing Automation
The growth of marketing automation adoption within the Fortune 500 segment is continuing — and for good reason. Read More
Why Predictive Software Is Key To Marketing Automation
It is time to reinvent marketing automation. Read More
How Automation Will Change Content and Native Ads
Nearly nine in 10 say tech will improve content marketing and native advertising. Read More
Why Do B2Bs Use Marketing Automation? Leads, Leads, Leads
Marketing automation is important throughout the leads process. Read More
5 Reasons Sales Teams Should Embrace Marketing Automation
Salespeople want more and better-qualified leads, and most don’t realize or appreciate the value they get from good marketing automation. Read More
6 Ways Marketing Automation Saves Time
When I first heard about marketing automation, I was running demand generation programs for an economic research firm. One year after I’d implemented it, marketing automation had saved me 1,832 hours across the entire team — the equivalent of one full-time hire. Read More
Vital Features to Look for in Marketing Automation Software this Year
The single most important improvement companies can make to their marketing strategies is investing in marketing automation software. Automation is the fuel that allows businesses to stay one step ahead of the game. Read More
Give Your Marketing Automation Database Segments a Rest: Ideas to make sure you are engaging your contacts.
Continually sending messages on weekly webinars, white paper downloads, call-downs, and recycled nurture campaigns will burn out your database and create a level of exhaustion. Read More
Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Internet business, Marketing, Marketing automation, small business | Tagged: business, marketing, Marketing automation, marketing tips, New Jersey, Westfield. NJ | Leave a Comment »