March 3, 2015
One of the biggest challenges B-to-B marketers face is developing/identifying content that can be used in e-newsletters, e-blasts or just plain emails as part of a nurturing program.
I think a major stumbling block is that some think they need to produce all-original content themselves or have control of all the messaging. The whole point of a nurturing program is to engage potentials with RELEVANT and INTERESTING content. Follow a rule that of three things you talk about, make one of them about you and the other two about ways they can improve their jobs.
That doesn’t mean highlighting the news widget in your line. Too many people make the mistake of always trying to sell you something or are always talking about themselves. When was it when you were at a social or business gathering and got stuck with someone who only talked about themselves? Not a very engaging conversation and I’m sure it didn’t last that long.
To the contrary, you need to give the reader something that will help them do their job better (relevant) and you want to get their attention (make it interesting).
What some don’t realize is that there are numerous options out there that are free for the taking if you know where to look, and they might be right under your nose. You need to look at good secondary sources. Here are some:
- Trade associations - They are always addressing issues that are relevant to your space.
- Trade publications - Most have archives of great written relevant articles that address applications or processes in your area. They also have articles/views on industry issues that could be shared. Write a small comment and link to their website.
- Other manufacturers’ sites - Other non-competing manufacturers in the same space you are might be publishing great insights on an application or how-to article that would be a benefit to your audience. Again, write some comments and link to their site.
Not only will you engage more prospects, but you can increase your audience. If people receive things that are valuable, they will share it with others. So a by-product of good content would be an increase in your list size.
What kind of secondary resources are you using?
January 27, 2015
Do you know that the average office worker checks their email 30 times an hour? Can you imagine what the stats are for contractors out in the field?
The point is that emails are very acceptable ways of communicating with each other. The key is to have relevant and timely info for your prospect.
Heidi Cohen gives us several reasons why email trumps social media:
- Email provides directly measurable ROI - You know immediately how many opened and read your message.
- Email is content format agnostic - It’s user-friendly and you can use text, images, videos, audio, PDFs.
- Email can deliver both long and short content – Content can vary from a link to several pages in length.
- Emails you can control delivery - Whether it’s now or delayed.
- Emails can be read on anything - Smart phones, tablets, laptops, no apps required.
- Emails build customer relationships - Once someone allows you to communicate with them, it represents a certain level of trust.
So since you have such a powerful tool, we need to make sure we’re using it correctly to get the best bang for the buck. eMarketer, in a recent article, stated that we all should get ready for more personalized emails and companies plan on spending more money to accomplish this.
These triggered and transactional emails can be part of a nurturing campaign. The key is getting the right message in the hands of the right people at the right time. You need to ask the right questions to see where they are in the sales funnel so you can address that immediate need.
If we use and target emails correctly, whether you’re going after a contractor or a plant manager, the result improves with the more segmenting you can do. So do your homework and take advantage of a great marketing tool.
January 14, 2015
I have found that there’s no better way to position yourself as a credible source than by having a third party sing your praises. Most companies, if pleased with what you did or supplied, would be happy to not only give you a recommendation, but in some cases, a testimonial.
Here are some things to consider:
- Keep the requests to unique applications or markets. This helps you focus on something that sets you apart.
- Ask when the project is complete - when everything is fresh in every bodies mind.
- Get proper clearances upfront - when dealing with bigger companies or unique situations, it’s smart to get an approval upfront and let the customer know what you want to accomplish and assure them that they will have final approval before it’s used. If you have a PR department or agency, they are used to vetting out potential before you waste time and resources.
- It’s best you control the writing. Most customers are not writers, they’re contractors. Besides, they aren’t aware of the big picture of what you’re ultimately trying to accomplish. Write an outline of what you want to accomplish and then let someone interview the contractor and write the story.
- Utilize info in multiple places – try to get it featured in a leading trade magazine. Post it on your website. Have a sell sheet made up for your salesmen to use. If you’re on social media, post it there with links back to your web. Here’s a good example of Viega that uses case studies very effectively.
Don’t miss out on one of the best ways to have customers tell your story and build your credibility.