Post #3 in a series on social media marketing by KW Advertising (November 27, 2012)
Whatever happened to the Yellow Pages? What about that giant, and expensive, Sweets catalog that every manufacturer who was anyone was a part of? How many trade magazines are still alive today? These time-honored marketing tools for the B2B set had to evolve. Whether by desktop, laptop, tablet or other mobile device, customers are getting their information online.
However, in the KW Advertising B2B social media survey conducted a few weeks ago, we found that only 6.8% of our 117 respondents feel that social media is extremely important to their business and 32.5% don’t feel that it is important at all.
While changing attitudes about marketing can be like turning a semi-truck on an ice rink, we think it’s important to share with small- and medium-sized businesses why social media is an important component to an integrated marketing plan
Some interesting statistics:
• 91% of online adults use social media regularly. (Source: )
The number of people on social networks is significant. It’s a space that all types of businesses need to consider important now and for the future.
• 28% of smartphone owners watch video on their phone in a typical month. (Source: )
Are you on YouTube yet? Get there now! It’s a great way to get your company’s story, products and services right into your customers’ hands.
• On average, companies respond to only 30% of social media fans’ feedback. (Source: )
Stand out by actually following and interacting with your followers. It helps build loyalty and encourage positive word-of-mouth.
• Email opens on smartphones and tablets have increased 80% between January and June 2012. (Source: )
Are your email blasts and your website optimized for mobile devices to give customers the best experience from your communications?
• The average tablet user spends 13.9 hours per week with the device. (Source: )
Is it time to survey your customers about their tablet use and develop appropriate ways to engage tablet users? Have you considered advertising on publications targeted to your market that are exclusively iPad-driven?
• 73% of smartphone owners access social networks through apps at least once per day. (Source: )
Exhibiting at a trade show? Make sure you are posting photos and updates while you’re there. Your followers at home will appreciate it and those attending the show will be prompted to stop by your booth.
As we’ve already covered in our last post on social media for business-to-business (B2B) marketing, there are multiple social media channels out there and countless ways to implement them for your business. Some channels are better suited for certain types of business than others. But, buy all means, become socially active to help build your brand and keep communication consistent.
The Internet and social media are not fads. They are here to stay and can be strategically and creatively used to help your business succeed.
KW Advertising has a toolbox full of social media skills that we can put to work for you. Contact Gary Ebert at (262) 439-2777 for details.
Post #2 in a series on social media marketing by KW Advertising
A couple of weeks ago, KW Advertising sent out a short email survey regarding the viability of social media as a tool for small and medium sized companies involved in business to business marketing. We heard from 117 men and women ages 25-50 across the Midwest with business interests in manufacturing, construction, real estate and nonprofit.
In this post, we want to talk about the different social networks and where companies can avoid missed opportunities.
The majority of our survey respondents (66.7%) note that Facebook is the most significant social media network for their business. This isn’t really surprising, with one billion monthly active users on Facebook as of October 2012. But it is interesting that it is more popular than the more business-focused LinkedIn. Facebook is certainly growing in terms of its B2B use.
But there is so much more out there! The following are suggestions on how to make the most of social media channels beyond Facebook.
• LinkedIn ranked second in terms of importance to businesses responding to our survey. Functionality on all social networks is constantly evolving, and LinkedIn has added enhancements. So, don’t forget about these marketing opportunities:
– You can now add an image to your LinkedIn company profile. This gives you a chance to add more personality to this traditionally dry medium.
– Use the Insights tab on your company page to monitor companies that people viewing your page are also visiting. Most often, these are competitors you should keep on your radar.
– Seek out and become a member of groups related to your industry. Follow group discussions on LinkedIn to keep abreast of industry issues and contribute as an educational leader.
– LinkedIn’s threaded conversations enable you to conduct virtual focus groups with your followers by throwing out a question related to a product or service and starting a dialog.
• Twitter for business is primarily about customer service. For smaller businesses who aren’t directly selling to end users, this micro-blogging site is not as useful on the front end. However, it can still be part of an overall social media strategy to help get your name out there on the Internet. Remember to:
– Customize your page design. You can upload a background image to maintain consistency with your graphic identity and communicate something new or special about your company or brand. If you’ve invested in your logo and look, make sure every social vehicle represents it.
– Tweet about what has your attention right now, not what you’re doing.
– Enable more than one person in your organization to tweet. Variety adds spice to your posts.
– Make sure you include the right keywords for your business and industry in your Twitter bio. This will help your search engine rankings.
• The image posting site, Pinterest is currently underutilized for business, but that is changing fast. It’s way more than a crafter’s paradise. Pinterest can be a great vehicle for sharing categorized content related to a product, service or industry.
– Integrate Pinterest with your other social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. This will help build your followers.
– Think about your audience and what your ideal customer will be looking for. Then, set up your Pinterest Boards with topics that communicate your brand position, industry focus, products and services.
– Watermark original content that you post on Pinterest so that it remains proprietary to your company.
– If you have pricing on products that you want to share, make sure you include it in your pin description. Pinterest will automatically add a price banner to the pin.
– Pins can be images, ads, info graphics or even videos. Be as visual as possible!
Social media marketing guru Amy Porterfield has some great tips for implementing Pinterest for business here: http://tinyurl.com/d2kw94u.
• YouTube, though not part of our survey, is also considered a social media network and should never be overlooked. Our clients have found great success with:
– Product launch videos.
– How-to instructional videos.
– Corporate messaging as both private content for internal use and public for the
world to see.
– Trade show updates and recaps.
– Customizing the background on their YouTube channel to tie in with their
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a direct benefit of employing social media.
– Sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that are indexed by the popular search
engines can be very helpful in boosting your search results. Ongoing posts, shares and comments all help build organic searches for your company or brand. So, social media is important if you want to improve your rankings on engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
What we’ve experienced at KW Advertising is:
• Social media is not a low cost, quick fix cure-all for your B2B marketing challenges.
It is just one of many components in a well-integrated marketing and PR plan.
• Carve out a portion of your marketing budget to develop and disseminate social
• Whether you employ one or several social media vehicles, plan to be in it for the
long haul. Stick with it and your brand will benefit.
KW Advertising has a toolbox full of social media skills that we can put to work for you. Contact Gary Ebert at (262) 439-2777 for details.
Post #1 in a series on social media marketing by KW Advertising
Is social media a good fit for companies engaged in business-to-business sales and marketing? And, if it’s a relevant tool, how do you measure its impact?
As an agency with a large percentage of clients marketing to other businesses, these are questions that we at KW Advertising are asked constantly. So, we decided to conduct a short email survey regarding social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest with men and women, ages 25-50 across the Midwest.
As the majority of our clients are involved in manufacturing, construction, real estate and nonprofit, we targeted people involved in small and medium sized companies with this focus.
In the 117 surveys returned, the results confirm what we have been experiencing with our clients locally:
• A very limited number of our respondents (6.8%) feel that social media is extremely important to their marketing efforts and a significant number (32.5%) feel that it is not important at all.
• Generating traffic is the biggest concern (47.9% of respondents) for those involved in social media marketing, even over converting followers into purchasers (39.9%).
• Creating awareness for their business was the most mentioned reason for social media use in an unaided open-ended question in our survey.
• A significant number of companies participating in our study (28.2%) still do not track social media use.
In the Internet Age, social media is the natural evolution of public relations. More than a sales networking tool, social media plays a huge role in relationship management. Businesses have the opportunity to position their company, create awareness for their products and services, educate their industry, demonstrate their commitment to corporate and community responsibility, enhance customer service and broaden their reach to a global audience.
In the next five posts, we will elaborate on the findings of our survey and offer some tips for making the most of social media as an integrated component to an overall marketing plan. Stay tuned!
Put in a very simple, but very accurate way. Social media should be used for the benefit of your business as well as your customers benefit. A few tips from us on how to effectively attract, communicate, and engage your customers on social media.Tweet/
Post often, and engagingly. Don’t just spew out anything for the sake of saying something. Generate meaningful, relevant, conversation starting content. Aim to have a conversation with your current and prospective customers. Social media is all about interaction, not just brand awareness.
Find your audience. Narrowing the amount of people you are communicating your message to saves time and gets better results. Cater your message to who you most want to engage. If you are a homebuilder, you don’t need to be trying to engage 20-year-old college students, they probably wonthave much to talk about with you.
Build rapport with businesses, associations, and causes linked to your company. It gives an impression to your current and prospective customers that you are not all about you, and are interested in your competitors, your community, and bettering yourself for the good of your customers.
Social media does wonders for promoting your business, attracting new customers, and increasing your ROI, but only when done right. The days of businesses shouting at their audience with one – way communication initiatives are long gone. Customers want to have a conversation with you. They want to see you engage with competitors/peers, to see more than just self-promotion, and get to know you more than was ever possible in the past. Be mindful of this while using social media, and give your small business all the tools it needs to see results.
If you want to learn more about how to succseed with social media or would like our assistance with your efforts, continue the conversation with us - Garye@kwadvertising.com
B To B Magaizne July 16th issue feautures an interesting article on how to look at metrics for a more effective and collabrative net marketing experience.
How to improve your use of analytics:
1. Start out by combining email analytics with web analytics using the free Google Analytics offering. Viewing the metrics from both channels will give you more insight on how the consumer you are trying to target is searching for your product or service, what they do once they find it, and their general buying behavior. Combining these analytics can reveal key factors for consideration in future campaigns.
2. Use web analytics to inform triggered email campaigns,
Kelly Davis, senior VP-client services at BrightTag, a company that provides marketing tracking tags says, “Email teams can send information in real time to capture a customer’s attention immediately after they have engaged with a site,” she said. “It’s a way to follow up immediately rather than having to wait for batch processing.” This type of remarketing is very common in the b-to-c world where retailers, for instance, send emails about products that were put into a shopping cart but abandoned. It doesn’t happen as much in the b2b world, however, and those marketers are definitely missing out, Davis said.
3. Use search data to better implement an email marketing campaign.
"The same keywords that get people to click through from a search page may be equally effective in an email campaign."
Read on for more ways to optimize your use of analytics
After reading David Berkowitz’ article (http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/173154/10-lessons-from-the-hunger-games.html) on the 10 lessons he learned about social media from “The Hunger Games”, a couple of us here at KW Advertising had a few ideas of our own that we’d like to throw into the mix.
Our first marketing take away from “The Hunger Games” relates to the importance of creating and maintaining a brand. This is something we do every day. Through a brand position, logo, slogan, and/or design scheme associated with a specific company, product or service, branding involves incorporating a unified look throughout each message. Here at KW, we speak a lot about “message packaging” and how it is key to establishing a unique brand.
In “The Hunger Games,” Cinna acted as Katniss’ personal branding coach. He had an idea of how to represent Katniss to the Capitol and the rest of Panem. He emphasized her strengths and downplayed her weaknesses through clever styling as “the girl on fire.” Cinna adorned her in flames and this message was portrayed throughout the entire book. If it weren’t for the unique way Katniss was represented, branded, and packaged, she may not have garnered the sponsors or the attention of the viewers. This also is true while creating and implementing a brand in business. All areas of communication must be well packaged and delivered to produce a successful marketing campaign.
Taking a page on branding from “The Hunger Games,” here are some other valuable lessons those of us in marketing can relate to:
1. Survival in the face of change. That sink or swim mentality. Katniss not only had to accept the situation handed to her, but she also needed to react in survival mode. Social media is the same way. You must not only accept that it is changing the face of business communication, you must truly embrace it and put forth the effort in order to survive and surpass your competition.
2. Training is necessary. All of us have strengths, but we also have our weaknesses. Katniss and the other tributes had training prior to the start of the Games. This is true of strategic business communication. We may be very good in one area, while struggle in others (perhaps social media usage). Training is important in order to be a well-rounded communicator before entering the “arena” against your competitors. The chance of being over-trained, or over-qualified, is slim. In marketing, there is always room for self-improvement.
3. Sometimes you must do the unthinkable (or unimaginable), to become noticed. Think outside the box. In “The Hunger Games,” Katniss shot an arrow towards the sponsors, merely missing them by inches. With social media, sometimes it takes that “outside the box” idea to gain the attention you seek. Be creative, be different, and stand out from the crowd.
4. Sacrifices are crucial to achieve greatness. Katniss volunteered to be a District 12 tribute so that her much younger, weaker and inexperienced sister did not have to go into the arena and fight for her life. This was the ultimate sacrifice - risking her life. While using social media is not as dramatic as in “The Hunger Game,” sacrifices may be necessary to achieve greatness. Sacrificing time to maintain your social media presence will keep you in the game.
5. Technology is the name of the game and also controls the “game.” In “The Hunger Games,” the gamekeepers have total control of the arena and challenges faced via technology. Technology has advanced human communication, allowing the idea of social media to become a reality. The possibilities of human communication seem infinite due to the technological advancements of today’s society. Technology empowers us and controls our actions. As long as we continue to manage it, the odds will be ever in our favor.
If your company would like help implementing these ideas to get ahead in the “marketing game,” contact Gary Ebert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs have recently released a research report titled B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends. The report details various aspects of the rapidly growing adoption of content marketing strategies by B2B businesses. This post will outline some important insights from the report and offer some beneficial takeaways.
The first key area of the report focuses on the usage of content marketing in B2B business. The report indicates that nine out of ten B2B businesses are including content marketing in their overall marketing strategies. And, when doing so, they are usually employing eight different forms of content tactics routinely. So, what does this mean for your business? This high variation in tactics illustrates a need for a differentiation in your company’s online marketing. Simply posting actively on social networks is no longer enough to keep up.
If you’re scratching your head for content ideas, take a look at what tactics have been the most popular for other B2B businesses.
As you can tell by the graph; articles, social media, blogs, e-newsletters and case studies are the five most utilized forms of content. These stats are actually quite similar to the 2010 data. The fact that there is little change in usage of these tactics means they are likely working well for B2B marketers and will continue to be implemented routinely. If you feel you aren’t utilizing enough content channels, try taking at least one or two from the five mentioned above and begin working them into your marketing mix. Adding one tactic at a time will make your new content marketing calendar far more manageable.
If you are already using these five tactics or are looking for something a little different, there are some new content trends to consider. From 2010 to 2011, there was a relatively high increase in these three specifically: blogs, video and white papers.
Now if you already have a blog, dipping your hand into video content or writing white papers could be your next big move. While traditional in nature, video and white papers have found new life online and can garner great pass-along viewership. YouTube, undoubtably the best video resource on the web, is the second largest search engine in the world and a great way to market your business. Video content is easy to produce, easily digested and more engaging for your audience than written information. If you don’t know what kind of content you should put on video, don’t over think it. A good amount of written content can be easily transformed to video format such as interviews, how-to information, case studies and answering customer questions.
While still gaining a foothold of popularity, white papers have great potential in B2B marketing due to their ability to engage the consumer with useful and relevant content all while mixing in a little self-promotion. White papers are reports, typically five to ten pages in length, that have an extensive amount of information geared towards a consumer interest. This information is typically data or research that solves a consumer’s problem. For example, if you’re a marketing agency, you could publish white papers with data on the positive effects that implementing content marketing can have on your business. In the B2B world, where much of the business is leads based, white papers will definitely become a useful weapon in the marketing arsenal. They can even be profit generators, if you gain a subscriber base.
Content marketing tactics we discussed are easily some of the most beneficial B2B marketing strategies. Content marketing will, without a doubt, help you position yourself as an industry resource, create leads and improve your search engine rankings. However, if you’re thinking about moving your business into content marketing, consider this: successfully implementing content strategies often requires a full time staff and the necessary resources to keep your content at a professional, industry standard. That’s why 62% percent of B2B marketers use a mix of internal and outsourced content.
If you want your company to be blogging, making videos, writing white papers, developing case studies and much, much more, KW Advertising can help you develop and manage a content strategy that’s suited exactly to your business needs.
NBC’s newest smash hit (and American Idle killer), The Voice has been taking over Monday nights ever since bringing it’s unorthodox style of singing competition to the United States. According to TV By the Numbers' recent rankings, The Voice placed #1 in February for adults 18-49 and ranked #1 or tied for #1 in all other key demographics.
Why all the hype?
Well, The Voice features four prominent musical artists as judges; Cee-lo Green, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton. But that’s far from the only reason people tune in. What distinguishes The Voice from the ridiculous amounts of other talent shows plaguing cable is it’s unique, team oriented, “voice over appearance” approach.
Applying similar strategies to your blog can produce positive results.
Top tips for Success from The Voice.
1. Find your voice.
Each of The Voice’s contestants has their own special style that makes them appealing. Whether it’s the melodic, acoustic style of Javier Colon or the poppy up-tones of Kelsey Ray, each competitor brings something different to the stage.
This is what the voice of your company (your blog) needs to do.
Your conversational voice is critical because it allows you to express yourself beyond heaps of technical or product information. Defining an engaging voice will help connect with readers and further develop your brand personality. Readers will be able to pin point when you authored a piece of content and they’ll start to build up trust. They’ll learn more about what you stand for, respect your openness and look forward to the next time they get to hear from you.
2. Find your audience
In one episode of the Voice, Christina refused to draft a contestant who simply had the voice of an angel. Why? Because the contestant was a country singer. Christina recognized her lack of experience in country music and understood she wouldn’t be capable of helping the contestant as her coach. She passed on the chance for a budding star because the star didn’t fit her niche.
To apply this to yourself, think of the judges as your readers and speak to them directly. More and more, online readers are searching for content that appeals to them specifically. Blogs are filling tighter and tighter niches and readers will pledge allegiance to the blogs who speak to their niche directly. Knowing and communication your businesses unique selling proposition (USP) is a great way to start capturing your audiences attention. What distinguishes your business from the millions of others out there? Be specific and blog about this topic. Although you won’t be speaking to a larger group, narrowing your content’s focus will make the blog far more useful to your applicable audience. This creates a solid fan base and consistent readership with fans that truly care.
3. Find your story
From the moment a contestant steps under the lights to the last time they appear on stage, regardless of victory, their story is being told. Each character’s story is what keeps eyes on the screen and the crowd tuned in every Monday night. Human beings are naturally drawn to story telling. And when The Voice tells amazing stories with relatable contestants, you can bet their ratings will be as high as the singers’ pitches.
Your business, to, has a story. And that story should be shouted from the rooftops when given the opportunity. Not told as ruthless self-promotion, But weaving your brand’s story into your content harmoniously will put your businesses personality on display for all your readers. There are many excellent resources on storytelling in copywriting. To read one of the best, click here.
4. Find your courage
It’s not easy for The Voice contestants to go on stage in front of millions of people to sing their hearts out in front of four critically acclaimed musicians. Having the courage to do something can often be the only determining factor in a person’s success or failure. If you don’t try, you’ll never succeed.
To many, there’s nothing more daunting than a blank page. While you can plow through blogs, E-books and webinars about blogging, that won’t get you noticed. Getting your first post online is the best way to get the ball rolling. Remember to find your voice and your audience.
While you won’t necessarily be a viral wonder right away, you’ll gain confidence the more you blog. Eventually, people will share your content and others will make comments to start a dialogue with you. The more you blog, the better of a blogger you will become. Simple as that.
Now I’d like to hear what you think. What lessons can you extrapolate from The Voice? How has this influenced you as a blogger?