here’s no doubt that the world of inbound marketing has fundamentally changed demand generation. The strategy of attracting prospects through content, social media, search engine optimization, and more has taken over the B2B world and for good reason: inbound marketing costs less than traditional advertising and produces 54% more leads than outbound marketing. Your prospects and customers don’t want to be targeted with disruptive and annoying advertisements. They want to engage with quality content that educates, entertains, or inspires them.
There’s just one problem…
Businesses are investing more in content marketing, which focuses on creating valuable content to guide buyers through the customer journey. Now, every marketing team worth their salt is publishing content for their audience, from blog posts, to whitepapers, webinars, ebooks, newsletter, and more. The bar has been raised and now creating more content isn’t enough. In order to get your content seen by your intended audience, you need to differentiate your brand and rise above the noise by offering value.
The New 80/20 Rule
If you were an early adopter of inbound marketing, you might have spent 80% of your time creating content and 20% of your time promoting it. With all the noise out there, the formula has flipped. To increase engagement, you need to spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it. Becoming more strategic in your content promotion requires taking a fresh look how you communicate with your audience and ensuring that you are providing not only the right content, but that it’s in the right spot, at the right time. Here are 4 ways to help increase your engagement with your customer or client base.
1. Promote Content Across Your Website
Your whitepapers or ebooks don’t have to be hidden away and confined to your resources page. Give them the visibility they deserve by promoting them all across your website. It just makes sense. If a visitor is browsing your website, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in or want more information about related topics. You can provide that to them with your content. Aside from improving the user experience, it also increases conversions by making your gated assets more visible. This can be especially impactful if you are using web personal platforms to offer your known visitors the next relevant step in their content journey.
2. Promote Content in Your Email Signature
Did you know that the average office worker sends or receives 121 emails a day, according to a report by the Radicati Group? By encouraging employees to promote content in their email signature, you can take advantage of this under-utilized channel and increase the visibility of your content. While you can be scrappy and just add these to your footer or signature yourself, there are also solutions, like Sigstr and Exclaimer, that allow you to quickly change the content of email signature as needed depending on the recipient. This way, you can offer a tailored experience and different content to employees, customers, and your prospects.
3. Use Ad Retargeting
Many marketers are running retargeting campaigns to re-engage prospects who previously visited their website and drive them back to complete an action like starting a free trial or requesting a demo. It’s extremely effective because you’re only investing in qualified leads who are interested in your product or services. However, don’t be a marketer that misses the opportunity to use retargeting to drive traffic to gated content, which you can track conversions from to prove the ROI.
Using a comprehensive marketing platform, you can listen to website activity and then retarget visitors with digital ads to promote relevant content. For example, if someone browsed your website for information about your account targeting solution, you may want to serve them an ad that promotes your latest gated asset on account-based marketing.
4. Pin It to Your Twitter Profile
Last but not least, pinning a tweet to your Twitter profile is a quick (and free) way to increase the visibility of your content. While other social platforms like Facebook offer similar features, Twitter Pins are shown by default at the top of your profile page no matter how old they are. Not sure this is worth the time? You might be surprised how much traffic your pinned post gets. In fact, when Buffer pinned one of their Twitter cards, they saw 10x as many conversions. To glean insights on your own posts, use Twitter Analytics to see how people engaged with your profile and posts in a 28 day period.
With the competitive landscape of B2B marketing, getting your content to stand out is harder than ever. Have you tried any of these strategies?
FDMC Social & Digital Media
Live streaming video refers to broadcasts in real time to an audience over the internet. While the concept of live streaming has been around for years, mobile-first video platforms with user-generated content have just recently begun to make serious waves thanks to improved video quality, faster broadband speeds, and enhanced mobile technology.
Online video has become a key part of the strategic business model for both brands and marketers as they seek more innovative ways to capture consumer attention. Creative live streaming video initiatives and campaigns are a way for companies to cut through the digital clutter and have emerged as the medium of choice not only for person-to-person sharing, but also for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) communication.
Brands are increasingly using live streaming to reach audiences. Its importance has grown significantly thanks to substantial investments by social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter to build and enhance their live-streaming platforms.
And advertising dollars are likely to follow. 88% of agency respondents stated that they “might” or “definitely will” invest in live stream video advertising over the next six months, according to a recent Trusted Media Brands survey.
Live streaming video will further accelerate streaming videos overall share of internet traffic. Streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic, and this share is expected to jump to 82% by 2020, according to Cisco’s June 2016 Visual Networking Index report.
· Live video’s value comes from its unique ability to add an authentic human element to digital communications. As a result, brands are leveraging three main streaming methods to connect with their viewers: tutorials, product launches, and exclusive and behind-the-scene footage.
· Advertisers will continue to invest heavily in online video, especially as live streaming video gains traction. Already in the US, digital video ad revenue reached $7.8 billion in 2015, up 55% from 2014, according to figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau.
· While live streaming is still in its early stages, brands are leveraging micropayments, mid-roll video ads and direct payments from social platforms, to monetize their live streaming videos.
· The success of live streaming video hinges on brands overcoming a lack of measurement standards in the space, as well as changes in social media sites' algorithms that affect what content users see. As of this month, live streaming is available (mostly via your smart phone or desktop) to the platforms of Twitter, You tube, Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope.
FDMC Social and Digital Media
· Instagram like Snapchat is becoming very popular in brand promoting. Here are some steps you will find helpful in getting your brand out on Instagram.
1. Optimize Your Instagram Account. The best brand Instagram accounts have a compelling bio, memorable profile picture and a connected website that drives to their homepage. It’s one of the first things you have to set up for your account but it’s also one of the first things people look at before deciding to follow you or not. Make your bio descriptive, compelling and don’t be afraid to use emojis.
2. Follow Industry Relevant Accounts. Think about the types of brands, media companies or people in your industry that are already using Instagram and go find them. Follow their accounts and interact with their last few posts by pressing like or leaving a comment. These accounts might follow you back and help you get started with your initial audience.
3. Find Popular Hashtags In Your Industry. Many people on Instagram use hashtags as a way of finding new photos and new people to follow. Each day, thousands of hashtags shared on Instagram. At first glance it might seem overwhelming but Jason offers some great advice on the topic: “Look through the pictures posted by influence's in your niche. What hashtags do they use? Write these down as potential hashtags to use.
4. Get Shout Outs From Others. Note that brands leverage the power of influencers to grow their account. Research the popular accounts that are relevant in your field, reach out to them to see if they’ll be willing to do an Instagram shout-out for you. As you conduct this outreach, build a spreadsheet that highlights the different accounts you’ve reached out to, their follower count and the price they’re looking to charge.
5. Share Your Posts On Instagram Regularly. You want to post often enough that your brand stays relevant. You also don’t want to post so frequently that you overwhelm your followers and they unfollow your account.” One of the most frequently asked questions about Instagram is how frequently a brand should post. While many brands try to put a number on it, the reality is that what works best for one brand doesn’t always work for the next. Run your own experiments and determine the best frequency for your audience.
6. Use Hashtags In The Comment Section. One of the most underrated tricks in the book for Instagram market is the usage of hashtags in the comments instead of main post. Rather than stuffing your posts caption with a handful of hashtags and giving the perception of reach desperation – comment with the hashtags after pressing share. The impact is the same except your caption doesn’t look as bad!
7. Run Instagram Contests. A good contest can hands down be one of the best ways to drive new followers & activity on your Instagram account.Instagram has the flexibility to allow you to just run your contest on your feed, the advantage of this is that it’s easy to setup & encourages participation via Instagram. The downside to contests on Instagram is that it can be quite challenging to test. Use the link your bio as a place to send your followers and have them enter another contest. Sites like Gleam.io offer an easy to build contest form that will serve all your needs for a random draw with a social sharing component.
8. Tell Your Followers To Like Your Content. Tell People to Double Tap If They Agree. It’s a simple idea that asks your followers to tap a photo twice which results in a post like. That means the post will be shown to more people because of the Instagram Algorithm and show in the activity feed.
9. Build Relationships With Other Influential Accounts. The fastest way to grow an Instagram account is by engaging accounts with a larger following than you and having them promote your account. If you’re already creating great content, you might not have to pay them to give you a shout out. You might be able to get organic shout outs simply by building a quality relationship with one of those influencers.
10. Comment On Photos From Other Accounts. I thought it would be enough just to like other people’s pictures in order for them to follow me and like my photos. As it turned out, I got way more interaction when I commented on other users’ photos then when I merely liked them. As Instagram has grown in popularity, people have become less surprised and flattered by likes. As a result, brands who are looking to truly stand out will need to take it a step further by leaving comments.
11. Use Instagram Stories On The Regular. There are plenty of great ways to promote your brand with Instagram Stories. If you’re not familiar with Instagram Stories, it’s a section on Instagram where you can share temporary video clips or images that all of your followers can see but the content disappears within 24 hours. The approach is a direct spin-off of Snapchat Stories. When using Instagram stories, consider mixing static content that you may find on your camera roll with content happening in the moment. Don’t forget to also use strategies like collaborating with other Instagram accounts and taking over their stories to reach an even broader audience.
12. Use Both Images & Video Content. Instagram videos see twice the engagement rate of photos” showing that video content is a great investment for brands looking to catch the attention of their audience. When thinking about your Instagram video content, create clear, fun, and engaging videos that people are going to want to tag their friends in. Creating images or videos that inspire people to tag their friends is a great way to drive virality for your account. As friends tag other friends, the content officially starts to spread like wildfire and take on a life of its own!
13. Run Instagram Ads. One of the best parts of Instagram is the fact that it shares data with Facebook. As a result, you have the ability to use the advanced demographic targeting offered on Facebook with Instagram as well. If you want to target people who live in a specific country and follow a specific band, you can do exactly that using Facebook Ads Manager. Instagram advertising offers photo based advertising in a square or vertical format and video ads in a square or landscape format. Most recently, Instagram also launched a carousel feature which offers an even more dynamic advertising experience on Instagram.
FDMC Social & Digital Media
When budgets are tight, marketing might be the first expense you look to cut. Let me stop you right there. While traditional advertising methods are costly and hard to measure, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools. But with so many digital tools available, how do you know where to start?Email marketing is the tried and true digital marketing channel with an average return of $38 for every $1 spent. Email and social media marketing are just the start. Here are ten marketing strategies that can help you market your small business on a shoestring budget.
1. Craft an elevator pitch
You should be marketing all the time — wherever you are. Therefore, you need a compelling elevator pitch. Research shows the average attention span of an adult is about six to eight seconds. That’s all the time you have to grab someone’s attention. If you successfully engage them, then you only have a little over a minute to really sell them on your product or service. Invest the time to craft a killer elevator pitch. The return on your investment will pay huge dividends in terms of creating business opportunities.
2. Leverage your community
You don’t have to think big when it comes to your marketing efforts. Think locally. What’s going on in your community? Sponsor a Little League team or a 5k charity walk/run. Print bookmarks and leave them at the local library. Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time. Then search for opportunities to get in front of your customer with your marketing message.
Put together a group of synergistic, non-competitive businesses in your area and agree to cross-promote. You can use coupons, fliers, reciprocal website links, bundled promotions or social media platforms. By collaborating with each other, you can expand your customer base because you’ll be reaching new people.
I’m a huge fan of networking. I don’t think there is any better way to build a business than to get out there, shake some hands, and get to know people. Networking requires a time commitment and it doesn’t provide instant gratification, but a strong network is one of the greatest assets any business person can have.
5. Give a speech
A lot of people hate public speaking. However, there are many organizations looking for qualified, subject-matter experts who can present to their groups. Take a deep breath and volunteer. You don’t have to be a pro as long as the information you share is helpful to the audience. And the upside — the more you do it the easier it gets. Plus, it positions you as a credible authority in your field. Also consider doing a professional workshop.
6. Create buzzI started my corporate career in the field of public relations and the business has changed significantly because of technology. Today, a small business owner can accomplish a lot without hiring a professional firm. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resources. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too.
7. Ask for referralsDon’t be shy about asking for customer referrals. The majority of people say they are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very few take the initiative to do it on their own. Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers. If you aren’t asking for them, you are missing opportunities.
8. Build relationshipsIt is a lot less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. That’s why establishing strong relationships with your customer base is crucial. One of the ways you can do that is by keeping in touch with people through email marketing. Ask your customers or clients for their email address when they visit your store or website. Then, make your communications informative, helpful and professional — something your customers will look forward to receiving. Just don't spam them with worthless junk and be annoying as they will dump or block you as fast as they gave you their addy.
9. Offer couponsCoupons are a good way for many businesses to attract new customers. Research shows that people will go out of their way to use a coupon, proving that this method is successful in expanding your customer base. Coupons can also generate return visits. For example, if you give a customer a coupon for a discount to use on future business, there’s a high probability they’ll be back.
10. Give it awayIf someone has the opportunity to experience your product or service, chances are they will want to purchase more. Don’t be afraid to give someone a free trial or a sample. In today’s economy, people are more comfortable purchasing something they have been able to experience first. These ten, inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships, and ultimately keep your brand top-of-mind. It’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, it’s about the time and effort you put into it and above all, the relevance it has for your customers.
FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC