Marketing b2c is very different from b2b, so the focus of this article is solely on b2b (and somewhat b2g) customers. We will publish a b2c list early in 2015. It is also important note that in order for any marketing to work properly, you need solid branding and very good WUX (web user experience). All the marketing in the world won’t help a bad user experience.
1. Email Marketing- Duh right? But very few companies use this tactic properly. In fact most don’t even use it consistently. In order to truly benefit from email marketing, you need to commit to three types of email marketing AND encourage visitors to WANT to join your list, which means offering something of value.
1. Email Nurturing via an automated series. This is where you articulate your value props and share key webpages and content types with visitors. They won’t remember their 2.333 min visit anyways…so you need to keep in front of them. See more about email nurturing here.
2. Email Blasts. These are focused on exact goals. A webinar, an invitation to a trade show event, a downloadable white paper, a special offer or coupon, etc. These blasts should be used with landing pages that allow the user to see the special offer without being distracted by the rest of the site or complicated navigation.
3. Email Newsletters. Visitors retain very little from their initial visit to your site, so keeping in front of them and repurposing key service or product pages is a must-do. Share your last 3-4 blog articles and/or subpages you feel are essential in the conversion process. These should be educational in nature, not “salesy.”
2. Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Google is actually making this easier these days. No more link farms, no more offshore tricks that get you banned….just straight up great content and on-page optimization. The pages need continual optimization as the algorithm changes almost daily, and the competitive landscape changes hourly. Citation building is also essential. Generating off page content that links back to your target page is a tactic that also should be practiced, especially for competitive terms. These count as “votes” and he with the most votes gets placed in the top 10!
3. Online Advertising/PPC - This isn’t for every b2b but most can benefit tremendously. These days we can target exact terms, roles, positions, geographic areas and more. We recommend a combination of advertising on Google, LinkedIn, Yelp, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Depending on your business, there are advertising plans that are both cost effective and measurable as far as ROI.
4. Content Marketing - Sharing relevant content with your customers and prospects is essential in today’s marketing ecosystem. These count as “touches” with your customers, and they will also bolster your organic SEO. Provide content that will solve customers’ pain points, help them understand how something works, explain your product and service benefits, or offer insight on subjects that are timely or useful. Content types include articles, press releases, infographics, videos….to name a few. ImageWorks offers packages where we take care of this for our clients so they can sit back, relax, and know that they are constantly nurturing their customer base.
5. Social Media Marketing – Engaging with your customers and fans on various social networks is essential to marketing success in 2015. People spend the majority of their time online using social media, and companies need to keep up if they want to stay relevant. You need to make sure your brand is represented well on these sites AND constantly updated as these media giants often have 5-10 style and functionality updates per year. What’s the best strategy? Create ultra-cool and unique designs within the media and commit to content you can actually produce. If you only interact once a month, it's of no value. Use short updates and share relevant articles, infographics, pictures, re-purposed subpages, news, videos, etc. This can be done in-house or outsourced. It’s tough to do a great job keeping this task in-house, and the time your employee loses may cost more than if outsourced.
6. Trade Show Marketing– Of all the offline media, we love trade show marketing the most. It's specific, focused, and allows you to get in front of hundreds of people each day. The problem is most companies don’t have a plan to pre-market and post-market the event. Many times the branding message and customer experience are disappointing and appear as if they were thrown together thoughtlessly. ImageWorks provides all kinds of trade show design, marketing, and fulfillment services.
7. Direct Mail & Print Ads – Another awesome offline media. Getting the right piece of media in front of the right audience can grab a prospect’s attention and make a memorable impression. Additionally ads and mailers can be used to target specific audiences of various sizes and demographics and are used to drive relevant traffic to your website or phones.
So make 2015 the year you commit your business to effective, measurable marketing. ImageWorks is happy to help, and if you are reading this article, we will give you a free review of you current online brand and suggest which marketing tactics will work best for your business. You can contact us here.
Scott C. Margenau is CEO of ImageWorks Creative, and award winning full service branding, web and marketing agency. You can learn more about imageworks here http://www.imageworkscreative.com/ or call (800) 308-8573.