Is your marketing and social media presence optimized to generate convertible sales leads? Whether you’re adding another string to your marketing bow, or formulating a marketing structure for a whole new company (as we needed to), you can gain some insights below from how we pieced the puzzle together.

Who is your typical customer? This is the first thing that you must identify. If you’re reading this as somebody working in a startup or small to medium sized enterprise, then we have correctly identified our audience. We’re sharing our strategy for marketing to you as you are likely to be facing a similar challenge in navigating your place in the digital marketing and social media landscape.

Creative Commons 3.0
Creative Commons 3.0

Our product exists in a marketplace which, although crowded, is not well served by software for SMEs who need key sales and marketing tools but not the high level of features, price or implementation costs from companies like SalesForce, Microsoft, Omniture and Eloqua. Smaller companies that need to be poised for, or are already experiencing, rapid growth are SalesSeek’s bread and butter.

There are a variety of channels & tools that will feed traffic to the website which in turn generate leads into the sales funnel. Below is an outline of how we view these different channels as B2B Sales and Marketing tools, in the context of reaching the customers defined above.

Channel
Frequency
Relevance
Budget
Facebook
Regular
Weak
Small
Twitter
Regular
Weak
Small
LinkedIn
Regular
Strong
Reasonable
SEO & SEM
Daily Tracking
Reasonable
Small
Blog / Opinion
Once a week
Strong
Small
Email Newsletter
Once a Month
Strong
Small
Events
Occasional
Strong
Reasonable

The frequency column above is generally dictated by the medium of communication. We have then determined the relevance column based on our audience and decided on a guide for the budget for each based on these first two factors.

Facebook and Twitter are both channels where you should strongly consider having a consistent and regular presence if you are involved in any form of content marketing. Even though we are likely to connect with the majority of our customers in other ways, we would be conspicuously absent if we did not actively use these channels.

LinkedIn represents a great opportunity for us to target our marketing based on organisations and specific roles within them. The ability to focus on those whom the benefits of our product are most relevant, justifies an increased budget. It is also important that we therefore have a strong and consistent brand image on LinkedIn.

Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing clearly require necessary attention. Optimizing your website for search is something that should always be considered but never dictate an editorial decision on its own. What should be the word count of a blog post? How many links should we put on a page? These are questions we’ve considered, and the overarching rule is you should build your site and its content for your viewers, not Google’s ever changing ranking algorithm. If you have people sharing your content and coming back for more, then Google will realise this and promote your site accordingly. Of course you need to know what is working and what isn’t, so daily monitoring is important. Tools such as Moz.com are useful for this.

You’ll notice from the table above that we have chosen not to allocate vast sums to paid marketing, instead we hope to leverage the expertise and knowledge of our staff through content marketing produced in house, across mediums such as this blog. We have deviated from the traditional marketing structure of making ‘wholesale news’ (i.e. press release) through a public relations company which is then picked up by a journalist and paraphrased into ‘retail news’ for general consumption. You’ll need to decide whether to decide whether this approach is right for you, but if you do, try to adopt a journalistic approach in terms of simplicity and style…

How can you achieve this when writing your content?

  • Digestible – By our market and the general public.
  • Concise – Not overly wordy or unnecessarily long. Quality over quantity for people who are time poor with useful and applicable content of clear value.
  • Not Self Serving – Unbiased content which creates a transparent view of our company. Of course evolutionary psychologists will say the origin of alturism is ultimately self serving, and I guess we’re no different. This is however, a very effective way of building trust with your market.
  • Noteworthy – Don’t say things everyone will agree with – there is no point. You don’t have to be argumentative for the sake of it, but a useful guide is whether someone might reasonably take an alternative position to you. If so, then it’s worth saying. Just avoid platitudes.

When it comes to SEO you’ll probably be aware that writing quality, interesting and useful articles on a regular basis can greatly influence your google search rankings. What else can you do to improve your content? Variation. Any videos, images, slideshows or audio that is relevant and interesting to your audience is a great way generate traffic to your website. There are also plenty of resources to help you write engaging blog posts, such as Simply Business or QuickSprout.

Finally, there are few more compelling ways to generate interest and convince skeptics of your product than to present information personally to a relevant industry group. You can draw on these events to create interest leading up to them and relay lessons learn in retrospect. We plan to attend as many events to showcase our product as time and resources allow and hope to see you in there. If you are, come and say hello!