B2B Marketing Tips

B2B-MarketingOften when it comes to B2B marketing, some small companies have a hard time getting into the game. Let’s look at a paradigm shift. Many small business owners are used to marketing to potential clients, but not to other companies that could become a referral partner. As a business owner, you have colleagues that may call on the same market verticals as you. Perhaps you complement services and can create a bundle effect. You bring a particular skillset and your colleague brings a different skill. Individually your business is strong, but combined marketing of both businesses allows you to become a trusted resource by providing solutions to multiple issues. Here are essential B2B marketing tips to help with your B2B marketing effort.

Suppliers are a Great Resource

Do you treat your suppliers with respect? Not only is it the right thing to do, but these suppliers may also call on potential clients that could be a fit for your business. A good working relationship will allow you to get the best deals on your goods and when there is a problem, suppliers will be happy to work with you. It never hurts to ask who they might suggest you reach out to and if you may use their name as a warm introduction.

Become a Recognized Expert with Amazing Content

One of the first things I do before meeting with a potential client is look at their website and their social media channels. Have they updated them recently with relevant content that is easy to read and provides value? If blogs are months old and social media posts haven’t been made since 2016, these can be potential clients for the Edmiston Group. By regularly blogging on interesting topics and posting to the appropriate social media channels, you and your business remains top of mind.

Be Social

When working with a business owner, often I’m asked on which social media channels they should be active. Social media is here to stay and businesses that aren’t willing to adjust and participate will find themselves out of business in the not too distant future. Simply setting up a profile on LinkedIn is not enough. You need to be active in sharing articles, discussions and publishing relevant content. Advertising on social media and interacting with potential B2B clients is a great way to get your message across. These days everyone is on social media so it’s a great place to find leads.

B2B businesses tend to get the best results from LinkedIn and Twitter, but are present across a wide range of social networks. Personal branding, how the public perceives you, as far as your reputation, industry expertise and personality has become one of the most important marketing B2B strategies available today. Previously, executives focused more on branding their companies. However, buyers have begun to look more at the faces and voices behind the company logo.

In addition to content curation which is a great way to establish your personal brand, look for opportunities outside of your company, such as speaking engagements at industry events. Individualize your style and delivery according to your personality.

ASK FOR TESTIMONIALS

Third party validation by way of case studies and testimonials are a key way to break through the constant noise of advertisements, and reach B2B buyers. How often do you see in social media, “Do you know a good…?” People will buy from you based on a good experience of a satisfied customer. Use customer advocate and referral programs to reward those who sing your brand’s praises to others.

Grow B2B sales by: tapping your suppliers, seeking referral sources, becoming a content expert and sharing your knowledge socially. Let other’s sing your praises by asking for testimonials. To your success!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

Tips To Find Your Best Customers

Use-Your-Email-Marketing-Results-to-Find-Your-Best-CustomersDo you have loyal fans? Perhaps a family member always shares or likes your social media posts. Maybe you have colleagues who refer you quite often. Third party validation is the best. But did you know that current customers and people that subscribe to your newsletter may be the path to finding your best customer?

Your email subscribers already have expressed interest in the products and services you offer, and many of them are likely opening, reading, and acting on your emails on a consistent basis. Are you really analyzing your email reports to identify the people who are most interested in your business and look for opportunities to strengthen these customer relationships?

 

Here are some tips to analyze your email list data and tap into your best customers:

Opens

  • Who opens your emails the most? These are the people who are most interested in what you have to say and have the potential to become loyal advocates for your business. Look at prior month’s topics to see if your open rate was higher or lower in previous months. Remember – each month will be different.

Click-throughs to product introductions or features

  • Next, review which customers are consistently clicking through to the content you put in your emails. This could be a blog post about a new product or service, a coupon or special offer.
  • There’s a good chance many of these people have already made a purchase or signed up for one of your services, consider reaching out to them with an online survey or a special offer to further that relationship and learn more about what they’re most interested in. If you include links to your website or social media accounts in your email campaigns, your reports will review who clicked on these links.

Coupon redemption

  • Coupons are a great way to look at a measurable action that people can redeem online. This is a great way to identify people who are not only clicking through to learn more, but are actually taking the next step to redeem an offer. Make sure to list an expiration date on your coupon so it doesn’t appear to be open ended. This helps to create a sense of urgency.

Social follows

  • If you’re using email to promote your social channels, look to see who is taking the next step to like your Facebook Page or follow your updates on sites like Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Are you taking the next step to also share your newsletter on your channels as an additional way to reach new followers?

Current customers and business colleagues can be your best brand advocates. By utilizing your email list and doing a little bit of simple analysis, you’ll be on your way to asking these involved, devoted customers to help increase the power of your marketing in no time!

Do you have questions on reporting, or are you interesting in learning how email marketing can be a cost effect way to reach potential customers? Give us a call at 724-612-0755.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

Off Hours and Online Reputation

Social-Media-from-Off-Hours-Activities-and-Your-Online-ReputationI’m a big proponent of Social Media. After all, that’s part of my business offerings. However, there’s a fine line between what I share personally, socially and from a business sense. Did you ever follow people on social media that had to share absolutely everything? I’m all for sharing, but sometimes sharing too much can be a detriment. Airing dirty laundry on social media for all to see is not the way to handle a situation.

You may think…well that’s what social media is all about – being social. As a business owner when a company contacts me, one of the first things I do is check out their web presence I look at their website and any social media channels the company may have. If they haven’t posted anything on their Facebook page for 8 months, and I can’t find a solid LinkedIn profile – they may be a good target for me.

But Social Media is also plays a role in finding the right employee. These two situations are true stories. One business was looking for multiple employees in the service industry and the other business was looking for someone in the professional field.

  • Let’s start with the service industry. The business owner posted an opening on the website and various social media channels. She had an individual reach out to her for a potential job. Upon a search in social media, the business owner found the applicant and reviewed her online profile and postings. Not everyone has their settings set that only allow their friends to see what they post. What happens if that friend shares something in their feed about you – or you’re tagged in someone else’s photo? What the owner found was that a potential candidate’s posts were filled with cuss words and inappropriate images. That candidate never made it to the interview phase due to everything she shared online.
  • The second candidate interviewed for a professional position with a prestigious company. The candidate had gone through multiple interviews and felt he would be selected for the position. He thought he had nailed his next job opportunity. However, another individual was selected. The candidate reached back to the person who interviewed him and asked if he could buy him a cup of coffee. Since the candidate was relatively young in his career, he wanted to know where he missed the mark on securing the position. The interviewer met with the young candidate and told him that he actually was the top candidate, however when they checked his social media presence he was always partying, had a drink in his hand and was living the life. That wasn’t the type of individual the company was looking for. The interviewer said to the candidate, that he should clean up his online image. It’s one thing to party, but another to always have photos out there validating what you’re doing on your own time. The majority of his images were that of his activities in party mode.

So…is there a balance? I believe so. For companies – social media is about engagement, sharing ideas, stories and educating their consumers on the latest trends and product developments. For individuals, show diversity – family, friends and thoughts. What you say and how you act online may pop up when you least expect it and could cost you that coveted job! Companies will check your online personality before hiring you so do yourself proud in what you post!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.