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.
Realtor Marketing and Branding
Branding is key in realtor marketing. To effectively brand yourself, consider how you are different than other realtors. Perhaps you specialize in a certain niche of real estate, such as only with certain types of individuals or investors. Creating unique messaging for marketing materials allows you to differentiate yourself from others. Using these materials at open houses or networking events with branded promotional items can help promote your brand and get potential clients and colleagues to notice you.
The Power of Website and Testimonials
Most people associate a website with a business, but not all realtors do. Having a website allows you to really show off your real estate listings, take more control over your content, images, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which helps clients to find you on organic search. You can also capture emails to send out new listings to clients or just to keep in touch in case they know someone who is interested in purchasing a home. One crucial aspect of any realtor website is testimonials from happy clients. So many people research reviews and testimonials before they choose an agent, so having testimonials on your website lets clients know you are good at what you do and that the people you have worked with left feeling happy with your services.
Some additional ideas to add to your website are Google Maps for your listings, a mortgage calculator, and a blog that keeps your clients coming back to you when they want to learn something new in the real estate market or want to refer a friend.
Dazzle With Videos and Professional Photography
No one wants to see pictures of a dark home at an awkward angle. Hire a professional photographer to produce high-quality images of a home that you want to list. There are several photographers that also work with drones that can provide you with a high-profile view of a property. Also take into consideration your clientele’s time and how they may have to rearrange their schedule to see your properties. A virtual tour allows people outside the area or short on time to see the house in a 3D environment at their convenience.
Lastly, consider a video on your website that talks about your brand as a realtor. Maybe discuss the niche of real estate in which you specialize, how easy it is to do business with you, and possibly some testimonials from previous clients satisfied with your work.
Get Social – Paid Instagram or Facebook Ads
If you do a great job then likely “word of mouth” will get around about your business. But sometimes businesses just need a little more brand awareness. One way to help improve your realtor marketing is by creating a social media ad. It can build your brand awareness or target a specific audience of people looking to purchase a home. For example, if your niche is specialized in 55+ communities, a Facebook ad can target an audience in that age group that has real estate in mind. You can also do retargeting ads that remind them of your ad again if they viewed but moved on the first time.
Instagram ads are also great for realtors because you can display beautiful pictures or stories about a property or a completed sale. Similar to Facebook, Instagram can target an audience. You can make images with eye-catching creative messaging and add hashtags for increased visibility.
Stay in Touch and Create Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing campaigns are a great way to get new and repeat business. Getting someone’s email requires you to give them something they want. Creating a newsletter from some of your blog content or including new accomplishments in your field are great options for newsletters. Additionally, you could do an e-book that talks about real estate in the current economy and how to overcome obstacles to find your perfect home. Just request email addresses to which you can send the publications, then use those addresses for future emails about new happenings and property listings.
Realtor marketing may at times seem overwhelming, but implementing one or two marketing strategies at a time and mastering them is the best approach to get your business to grow. Networking with other colleagues is also valuable so you can see what is working for them. Also, keeping up with the trends in the market is vital to adjusting your marketing techniques and updating content to your clients. Strategic Marketing is a full-service marketing agency that can help build a realtor marketing strategy that works for you. Please contact us for more information at 561-688-8155.
Whether you are a small residential company or a large business-to-business (B2B) servicer in construction, you’ll find that marketing for construction presents certain unique challenges. In particular, the construction industry is filled with competition. Standing out from your competitors to get in front of the necessary decision makers is imperative to your success. However, many construction company owners are working long hours and don’t have the time to focus on marketing and branding. If this sounds like you, marketing agencies like Strategic Marketing can help you with marketing for construction while you focus on running your team and finishing projects. Below are just some of the ways to ensure your company is on the right track with its marketing efforts.
BE FOUND EASILY
A key component for your business will be to make sure that you can be found easily almost anywhere, and that people can contact you at the press of a button. This means ensuring your Google My Business listing is up to date (appropriate address, number and hour information), being present for local searches and ensuring you have click-to-calls or other contact buttons directly at the top of your website. The fewer obstacles you can give a customer to reach you – even if it is one less click – the more likely it will be that they will turn into a lead.
INVEST IN SEO
When marketing for construction, you need to be able to show up (preferably above your competitors) in Google for the services you offer so that when a customer searches for “contractors near me” or other services-related searches, your business comes up at the top. Investing in local SEO will help make sure that you are appearing when people in your area are searching for your services. For example, Google’s Local Service Ads allow the user to confirm their project type and service area. If you fit the criteria, your business will be matched with the searcher.
Whether you are working in a small area or nationwide, on-site SEO is imperative to being relevant in search. Ensuring your website contains information, technical data and appropriate formatting to support your services will help push you to the top of search results. Working with an experienced marketing agency partner like Strategic Marketing will allow you to audit your local and on-site SEO and develop a strategic plan for improvement. The more relevant you can be to your customers and their searches, the more traffic you will get to your website to convert into leads.
FOLLOW UP WITH PREVIOUS LEADS & CUSTOMERS
If your business has been around for a while, you likely have a plethora of leads that never resulted in a job or just fell through the cracks. Make sure you have a follow-up system in place to follow up with these leads regularly. Incorporating tactics like email drip streams, phone-call check-ins or monthly newsletter lists will help to create a “catch-all net” for the leads that may have not purchased now but could still be future customers. Staying top-of-mind for these past leads will help your company be the first stop for these customers when they are ready to proceed with a new project.
Similarly, there is still business to be found among your past customers! Satisfied customers will be the most likely to work with your company again. More importantly, they are in a position to refer your services to other professionals in their network or through personal relationships. Making sure to have regular follow-ups in place can help ensure that next time a job a comes up in conversation, your company will be the first choice. Implementing a referral program will also drive leads to you through a mutually beneficial arrangement where past customer referrers can get rewarded for spreading the word.
PROSPECTING & MARKETING FOR CONSTRUCTION
Don’t just wait for jobs to come to you. Small prospecting efforts can make a dramatic difference for the bottom line. An outreach email campaign asking customers what they need help with is an easy way to put the “feelers” out there for new business. Partnering with lead generating sites can be helpful to drive leads. But remember, you will be shown next to the rest of your competition and these sites often bombard new leads with information. This usually leads to very low conversions of these leads.
Sometimes new business can come from your existing customers. Create a list of large key customers for your company and make a personal effort to maintain a relationship with these large clients for continued business. Setting up monthly or quarterly visits with these customers will help new projects come to your company directly. As a marketing agency, Strategic Marketing can help you set up these and other tactics for prospecting to make sure you’re not passively waiting for projects to come your way.
SOLICIT CUSTOMER REVIEWS
A high-touch, expensive service like construction requires a significant amount of trust from your customer. As a prospective client enters the sales funnel, there will likely be a significant amount of time spent comparing prices, reviews and service providers. Take advantage of every sale and job completed by asking for reviews to Google, Yelp, social media or other platforms where customers are searching for information. Good reviews will tell your new customers that others have had great experiences working with you, which according to 84% of people, is almost as good as suggestions from personal friends. You can easily work the review solicitation into the fabric of your sales process to ensure it is never missed.
Overall, it takes a certain mastery to be successful in marketing for construction. Between the high sales figures and the tumultuous competition, your company has to be able to stand out on its own. The great news is that even if you don’t have a multi-million-dollar marketing budget, you can still be successful by playing smarter, not harder. Strategic Marketing will help you to set up processes and tactics that ensure success and drive new business. By taking advantage of a multichannel approach with thoughtful spending techniques, we will help you quickly grow your business while you focus on the work and customer satisfaction. For a free marketing evaluation, visit thinkstrategic.com.