The age of merely pitching your products and services is over. Prospects and customers are looking for real solutions to their problems and expert marketers are providing relevant and useful information to help solve their issues, rather than engaging in a sales pitch. It comes in the form of content marketing services.
What is Content Marketing and Why Do I Need Content Marketing Services?
Content marketing is the sharing of online meaningful information that doesn’t explicitly promote a brand but rather intends to stimulate engagement and interest in products or services. With several types of content marketing to choose from, the right mix of content can increase traffic, boost conversions, and increase sales, at a lower cost than traditional marketing strategies.
To effectively manage this type of strategy, you’ll need expert content marketing services by industry veterans.
Social Media Content Marketing
With over four billion social media users, it’s obvious why so many businesses invest in a social media content strategy. Whether it’s a business platform like LinkedIn or a social platform like Instagram or Snapchat, there are various ways to create and share photos, videos, stories, and live streams to drive interest.
Ideal for quick and easy consumption, infographics display data in a bold, simple, easy-to-understand graphic format. They’re a great way to get complicated information boiled down to a digestible piece of information that all audiences can understand.
A creative way to connect with your prospects, blogs allow for long-form storytelling and a variety of topics and purposes. Add in external links, social share buttons, and product information, and your content can get more exposure and reach a wider audience.
Similar to blog content, podcasts provide lots of flexibility and allow for creativity in engaging an audience. Podcasts are reaching their height in popularity, and businesses are quickly realizing the benefits of creating their own podcasts. Guest appearances, varied topic discussion, and episode length are all flexible variables that allow for several creative ways to connect with your target market.
Whether it’s a how-to YouTube video or a viral video on Snapchat, video content still holds strong in creating relationships between your brand and a wide audience. Live videos also draw heavy engagement with viewers and provide an opportunity to answer questions and exchange in dialogue with your audience. On a more professional level, webinars can drive interest via specialized topics that are relevant to a niche audience. Keep in mind that you’ll need professional marketing content services to develop polished video content that represents your brand.
Heavy engagement is the name of the game here. Content that drives interactivity creates more excitement and connection with your brand. Games, quizzes, interactive landing pages, polls, e-books, and online calculators are all ways to develop more leads and convert users to customers.
Content Marketing Trends
To maximize your opportunities to connect with your prospects, it’s important to jump on trends as they occur. A few trends are worth exploring:
Community Marketing is designed to bring people together, build trust, and reach a wide audience. Blogs, newsletters, and online social media groups can accomplish this rather easily.
The way in which YouTube, Flickr, and SlideShare are used to build communities has proven quite powerful. When users share their videos about your products, you get a wider reach to more prospects. Influencers excel in this area, and more businesses are taking advantage of the influencer trend to get the word out about their product or service.
As companies continue to become leaner, we find that the focus is more on the bottom line. When it comes to content, this means placing it at the bottom of the sales funnel, with heavy tie-ins to products and services, or content closely related to it.
As SEO goes, you’ll find is that a more specific search term yields more buyer intent. Longtail keywords make all the difference in leading people to your site via a narrower search term, offering more quality leads. Creating content based on longtail keywords will generate more interest, since people searching for exact terms are more likely to click on your link. Online tools like Ubersuggest, Google Suggest, and SEMrush make it easy to determine which search terms yield better Google rankings.
Making The Most of Your Content Marketing
To generate the best possible results, you’ll need a good content user experience. The way your audience interacts with your content determines quality, and if they love what they are experiencing or find what they are looking for, you’ll know you’ve hit the mark. Marketing funnels make this process efficient, and gentle calls to action sprinkled throughout it can seal the deal.
You also don’t need to re-invent the wheel with every piece of content. Convert content into different formats – turn blogs into newsletters, turn videos into podcasts or blogs, or create infographics from research. Repurposing content or using content to cross-promote other content across different channels is a great way to reach different audiences with the same goal in mind – reaching more people.
Content Marketing Tips
The ideal way to identify the most successful recipe is to measure your engagement. Find out what works and refine it to reach the maximum level of engagement. It’s an ongoing journey and will change over time, so regular analysis is crucial.
A team of people with highly diverse skill sets is needed to provide the best quality content marketing services to meet your audience’s demands. Skills like video production, graphic design, content optimization, SEO, branding, and skilled copywriting are all necessary.
Strategic Marketing provides content marketing services with a team of professionals that expertly create, optimize, and distribute your company’s content marketing strategy. With over 29 years in the marketing industry, we have stayed at the forefront of emerging strategies for business growth. Let us show you how working with us can improve your bottom line. Contact us today for all of your content marketing needs.
As a small business owner, marketing may seem overwhelming. You may ask yourself “What’s the best strategy? What will help my business grow?” We’re here to tell you that there’s no magic bullet, but rather a blend of what works for your company. There are dozens of creative ways to get your business noticed and attract customers, but a blend of what works for your business is what is going to put money in your pocket. The trick is finding out what works, and staying the course. We’ll introduce you to what we have determined to be the more successful small business marketing ideas and strategies and explain what makes them so crucial to success.
Creative That Tells Your Story
Building your brand is the first step you’ll take as a small business owner. The feel of your brand will be shaped by the colors, styling, and design of your corporate logos, website, and creative assets. These assets, along with the mission, vision, and brand message, will help your brand appear as one cohesive identity. No matter the type of business, polished marketing materials will help you portray a professional, trustworthy image to your future customers. If your audience cannot clearly understand your brand identity or your offer, they are more likely to choose your competitor instead.
Small Business Marketing Ideas in the Press
Someone else’s voice singing your praises is always more powerful than you doing it yourself. Press releases and earned media is a great and cost-effective way of getting the word out about your business from someone who can be perceived as an impartial, but influential party. News articles create a wider reach and attract new leads or followers, while bloggers and influencers provide powerful endorsements that would otherwise be challenging to obtain.
Internal Data Collection
Knowing your target audience is critical for a small business since there is less capital to spend. However, market research can be money well spent in the long run. “Easy and efficient ways for gathering information include conducting surveys, interviewing customers, holding focus groups and analyzing buying patterns. As your business continues to grow, market research will pave the way for new products or services, business expansion, and even funding. The sooner you know your place in the market, the better position you will be in to grow and fill in the gaps.
Your potential customers want to know the people behind the brand and what they care about. Cause marketing is a compelling approach that your audience will connect with and potentially patronize. Tying donations to purchases can drive sales while promoting your brand’s philanthropy. Today’s consumer wants to stand behind brands with similar ideals and a reason to make their purchase more meaningful.
Your business’s web presence is no longer an advantage, but a requirement. Similar to the old yellow pages, if you’re not online, you don’t exist. More than just providing information on your business, your website must be a place where you capture the user’s information to generate leads and keep readers engaged. Building trust and converting users to customers is what it’s all about. Beyond that, your website’s search engine optimization is critical to where your page shows up in a keyword search (aka Google keyword ranking). Keyword density, schema markups, site load speed, and metadata all play into page evaluation and where your site shows up in a search.
Email marketing is still one of simplest small business marketing ideas. Once you’ve collected a lead’s email address, whether organically through your website or a purchased list, you’ve secured a way to nurture these leads with each email campaign. With several free email marketing tools on the web, it’s a no-to-low-cost way to build email marketing campaigns.
Print and direct mail still deliver and when done right, they can help your business thrive. The same can be said for direct mail marketing. Unusual shapes, sizes, and colors typically increase open rates, and compelling headlines and engaging copy will help generate sales. Complementing your direct mail campaign with online marketing strategies will help you capitalize on your marketing investment and drive results for your business.
Facebook ads are an efficient way to get your ads noticed by the right audience. It’s one reason why over two million small-to-medium-sized businesses advertise on Facebook. One thing they are very effective at is advanced targeted ads that allow you to zero in on your audience based on location, interests, age, gender, and online behavior. The built-in ad manager is a fairly simple way to run and test several ads at once, making it easier to find the recipe that delivers the best results. Instagram is also a great tool and lends itself to more visual ad executions. Owned by Facebook, it operates with the same targeting expertise while connecting you with users that are accustomed to visual content.
Google My Business (GMB) is very likely the most important thing you can do for your local business. The majority of consumers use search engines to research products and services as the first step in the purchase process. Having an accurate GMB with great reviews is crucial to encouraging users to go to your website. Once you have put some time into optimizing your company’s profile and gathered reviews, it provides your business with credibility, visibility, and many leads without spending a dime on ads.
Content marketing is highly effective when comes to engaging your target audience. It’s certainly a long-term strategy; however, it can offer sustainable growth in web traffic and leads. More than just social media and blog posts, organic content includes any information you provide to your audience that can be found through keyword searches and that isn’t paid. You can use content such as videos, podcasts, webinars, eBooks, polls, and virtually anything else you share about your business to drive brand awareness. The takeaway is quality. For social media outlets, be sure to post relevant topics that are optimized and have a consistent look, feel, and message.
Building your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another example of the small business marketing ideas that just work. A method to get your website among the top of a keyword search, SEO has become the most-used tool to be seen on the web. Most consumers research a product or service online before making a purchase commitment or call, so if your website doesn’t show up in the Google search, you’ve already missed an opportunity before you had the chance to make your pitch. With a well-planned SEO strategy, your small business will generate increased organic web traffic and deliver a substantial return on investment.
Paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) ads can also do quite a bit for small business growth. PPC uses keywords within online ads to show up higher in search results. Ideally, you’ll partner with experts in the field that will create a complete digital marketing strategy, incorporating PPC with SEO, page optimization and content marketing.
Strategic Marketing is a full-service marketing agency that has been partnering with small businesses across the country to grow their businesses – creating leads, building brand identity, and delivering undeniable results. Our 29 years in the marketing industry and longevity with our clients demonstrate that our expertise lies in the growth of your business. Contact us and let us show you how we can help your small business thrive.
The past 18 months have forced organizations to meet the rapidly evolving needs of consumers and businesses in a digital environment; our prediction is the trend won’t be changing back. Technology will continue to play a central role in how businesses interact. It’s not a question of whether your technology budget should increase, but rather, by how much, and what it should be spent on. Let’s take a look at what our biggest takeaways were from the lessons of 2020.
For one, B2B companies across the board became more ROI-focused. Budgets became tighter, resulting in a more-critical look at what marketing components were delivering and which ones were not. Virtual events took center stage out of sheer necessity and hybrid events have now become an additional option in today’s business climate. Above all, what became apparent was a concentration on retention marketing efforts. Because maintaining business relationships always cost less than obtaining new customers, it’s no surprise that a 5% increase in customer retention translates to a 25-95 percent increase in profits, as Harvard Business Review indicates. From surveys and discounts to social media mentions and reposts, your B2B customers saw more engagement and attention over the past year. Once businesses held their footing, these are the B2B digital marketing practices that proved profitable:
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Targeting top prospects requires a solid partnership between your sales and marketing team. Together, they can identify the best target audience and drill down into the best prospects. With a solid account plan, your ABM team members can take on outlined responsibilities for client attraction and build support throughout each part of the strategy and sales process. Get in their faces! Engage in social media with your target clients, communicate via LinkedIn, build landing pages with personalized content, and share relevant blog articles. Invite colleagues to events, ask current contacts for referrals, and create personalized ad campaigns for the prospect, while carefully measuring and analyzing your results along the way. This type of lead-based marketing winds up being more cost effective, both by determining which accounts are the best fit for your business and by spending your money reaching them where they are most active.
If you’re not already using automation to maximize your marketing efforts, you’re losing leads. Get more efficiency with automation software that streamlines repetitive tasks like email marketing, social media postings, and ad campaigns. Identify what kind of user visits your site and deliver content that is relevant and timely via social media marketing, website navigation and email marketing. With valuable collected data, you can convert prospects into leads and turn leads into clients.
In-person events are making their way back slowly and many are eager to make in-person connections once again. However, virtual events are here to stay. The convenience and efficiency factors make virtual events more accessible and cheaper to execute. Ideally, a mix of in-person, virtual and hybrid events will prove effective by meeting the needs of every type of prospect.
Database & Direct Marketing
The key to success in database and direct marketing is personalization. With the help of some marketing software, personalized communications to your potential clients become streamlined and serve as an effective way to market your business. Gather data from industry reports, demos, webinar registrations and free trial offers to build your list and use the data you have to personalize direct mail and email campaigns. The more information you have on a user, the more you can use it to connect with them, converting leads to clients.
Client & Buyer Experience
Whether online or not, client experience has always been at the top of the B2B marketing strategy list. Personalized service and tailored account maintenance require ongoing client engagement and communication. Nothing quite replaces a person-to-person connection when it comes to a B2B relationship. Nonetheless, in a digital experience, users expect a seamless and easy process. The key is to identify what your potential clients value most along the way. Speed? Convenience? Product positioning? Up-to-date technology? Because most B2B buyers are the decision makers, knowledgeable service and an easy, friendly digital experience are not only valued but expected.
SEO & Local SEO
Algorithms are getting smarter. With the analysis of user data, consumer location, search intent, and context, it pays to notice the tricky codes and updates to stay at the top of the search rankings. Because 93% of users begin internet research with a search inquiry, investment in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is critical. SEO strategies include on-page (content) and off-page (brand mentions, commenting, forums, influencer outreach, guest authoring, social networking, social bookmarking, link building, and press releases). When it comes to AI, voice search means that SEO is even more important to get right. Conversational selling is undoubtedly sentence-based, so long-tail keywords must be part of your SEO strategy as well.
Google My Business should be a required component of any local business – it’s the way consumers learn about a local business, their location, and reviews. Local SEO uses Google Maps to attract local audiences. It doesn’t end there. Online directories like Yelp, BBB, BizJournals, Glassdoor, and of course LinkedIn need to include your Google My Business listing to produce results that make the effort worthwhile.
Interactive Content Marketing
Content marketing is still king. However, the more interactive, the better. Once a visitor arrives at your website, their length of stay can be increased with a multitude of tools including blogs, eBooks, webinars, surveys, polls, quizzes, infographics, interactive calculators, mobile apps/games, diagnostic tests/troubleshooting tools, and assessments. Interactive videos provide for a whopping 70% of buyers who watch videos as part of their research. That being said, it’s a no-brainer. Blog content in long and short form provides variety and requires deep keyword research to get the most out of your investment. Podcasts build deeper connections with their listeners, are more informal, and provide a peek at the personalities behind the brands. Google Trends is forecasting peak saturation soon, so the time is now to jump on that bandwagon.
Regardless of the content type, socially conscious, humane messaging keeps interest alive and in tune with the social climate.
LinkedIn is the clear winner with the best platform for B2B social media marketing. As the number one channel for B2B information distribution, you’ll get the most traffic from your activity here, so lots of time should be spent on how to engage readers via LinkedIn. Get to know your core business audience: other B2B buyers, business influencers, clients, and researchers. If you’re unfamiliar with how to begin, a paid marketing strategy would be a good place to start. Content should be prospect driven and target potential clients, and you can gather leads through their optional feature called Lead Collection. It pays to be active – join the groups where your prospects hang out and add your commentary to generate engagement.
Organic search has its place for defining reputation, trust, and brand commitment. Paid ads are a valuable and measurable tool that outperforms organic listings on Google Search Engine Results, and puts you ahead of your competitors, with the right budget. Search ads, on average, receive twice as many clicks as organic listings, so we KNOW they work. Paid ads get you exactly where you need to be seen, adding to lead generation. The right mix of SEO for organic searches and paid ads is crucial to build brand awareness, boost Google SERP visibility, and increase traffic.
An Agile Business is a Profitable Business
If it is not apparent already, a comprehensive B2B digital marketing strategy is a successful one. Make the most of all the channels available, digital and traditional. Your lead conversion process also needs to be efficient and consistent to remain successful.
The past year has shown how quickly businesses can adapt when they need to survive. To remain profitable, businesses must embrace change and take advantage of emerging trend opportunities for business growth. Marketers need to continually ask: What’s working? What can be changed to improve results? What are leaders in the industry doing right now?
Bottom line, staying agile is the secret to maintaining a connection with fellow businesses, and staying on top of emerging trends will always give you an edge over competitors. It’s everyone’s game. What can your strategy deliver? Contact us today and allow our expertise to bring your B2B digital marketing efforts to its maximum efficiency and increase your profitability.