In the B2B world, every contact is an opportunity. Leads keep your business running and turning engagement into conversion is essential to profitability. Fortunately for companies, developing technologies and techniques continue to provide better targeting, more efficient sales efforts, and greater customer satisfaction as a result. Here are ten methods to turn 2014 into a sales year to remember.
There’s no question that digital marketing has become the industry standard, but lost in the transition from traditional marketing to online media is the inherent value of human contact. In-person events, including trade shows, conferences, and executive events, afford the opportunity to put a face on your business, establish your reputation, and engage customers in a way that social media cannot touch. The logistics of doing so will take more resources than digital marketing, but the payout will be tangible.
In the same way that a beautiful storefront on Main Street is an invitation for customers, a beautiful and functional website is one of your most effective lead generation tools. An attractive and updated aesthetic, apparent contact information, and opportunities for engagement, such as email subscription boxes and product demo requests, all turn your online home into a branding and marketing asset. Assess your online resources in the new year and update your design to meet the evolving needs of your customers.
Another often-overlooked form of lead generation, email marketing holds a special status in the online world. While social media, press releases, and even blogs compete for attention with other websites in Google search results, email is a direct link to the customer in a comparatively distraction-free environment. Build your email list and deliver your messages with a concise subject line, and a body of content that delivers unique value to your precious subscribers.
In the realm of B2B, successful brands are predicated on authority. Webinars help build your reach as a purveyor of high-quality knowledge by offering instruction of technical topics in an environment that captures customers’ attention. Live webinars afford the opportunity to engage in Q&A discussions that can help reveal the concerns and interests of your demographic while providing a human face for your business. In addition, old webinars can be archived for later use, giving new users a reason to visit your website, and an incentive to come back for more.
Building authority can come in myriad forms, but one of the most potent methods of doing so manifests in association with authoritative content. Industry and consumer magazines that proffer valuable information, sponsored by your company effectively equate the authority of the publication with the authority of your firm. The added bonus is that the writing is left to established authors, allowing their work to be bolstered by your generosity, and your brand to be boosted by their talent.
It’s worth noting, prior to listing the benefits of an established blog, that building a following and body of content takes a great deal of investment. However, for companies willing to assume this cost and create a publication of repute, the payoff is immense. By housing some of your staff’s insight and educated editorial on your company’s domain, users searching for answers to complex questions or opinions on matters within your intellectual jurisdiction will find your content, enjoy it, and become repeat visitors, driving brand image and lead generation.
It’s a popular misconception that social networking is the magic bullet of online marketing. What’s lost in this perception, however, is that the true kingmaker is well-targeted, well stocked social marketing. LinkedIn offers access to industry professionals in a context that’s conducive to building brand perception. Leverage its capabilities through targeted search, participation in industry groups, and contact should opportunity arise.
Pay-per-click marketing has seen better days, but the medium remains a viable option for business who recognize the search-based nature of our online culture. While many businesses rely on respectable page ranks built through years of work in order to remain visible, sponsored links provide the same exposure with the added bonus of audience targeting.
With content marketing on the rise, most businesses are entering the media ecosystem due to the intrinsic benefits that branded content provides. Video in particular, due to its efficient communication of copious information with little user effort, allows you to convey messages of many types with the added bonus of emotional appeal. The key lies in producing a diverse array of content, including how-to’s, ads, engaging experiments, and entertaining distractions.
Demographics are an essential part of any effective marketing strategy, and with online tracking capabilities improving by the day, savvy firms are capitalizing on sophisticated data collection methods. Among these options, location services allow businesses to automate the acquisition of user data through web activity, app engagement, and event check-ins. The primary caveat to these tools is that permission is paramount. User privacy is a growing concern for B2B and B2C customers, and respecting that wish while providing benefits for those who opt in is a recipe for success.
With sales leads representing the lifeblood of your enterprise, it’s safe to say that no stone should go unturned when working to curry customers. The New Year has brought new possibilities for engagement, access, and acquisition, and with the methods listed here, all can be realized in 2014.