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Getting your PR wrong can happen to the best of us. That’s why Public Relations requires careful planning. Public relations campaigns need to include an understanding of evolving news cycles, industry trends and audience perceptions. Yes, most of us are getting our PR wong.

But most PR agencies treat it like it’s a numbers game. They take the information you gave them run it through a type of algorithm to figure out how to bring your story to new audiences and wonder why your messages have gone flat. We’re all guilty of the same practice. Write up a generally dull press release, develop a long list of journalists, and press send.

Return to Relationship Building

Even though most journalists are on Twitter, checking their mobile phones hourly for the latest news, the relationship still matters. Take the time to call one journalist and learn what matters to him or her. You might find out you’ve got the right product or service for the magazines.

PR campaign with a clear purpose

If you’re hoping to get noticed or you need to write a press release because you have a package with a PR distribution company, these are not good reasons.

I’ve written many press releases for minor software updates, and let’s face it if you’re not Apple, you won’t get must attention. If there isn’t a major update, this is usually not news. It’s not to say you won’t get a plug; it may take more work, but it could be worth the effort. What you’ll need is:

  • Have your “pitch” ready
  • Define a clear PR theme and brand message
  • Know the magazine or paper you’re contacting
  • Believe your press release

Keep the PR message simple

When writing a press release, keep it simple. Get to the point, avoid complicated sentences and grandiose statements. Review your writing with a readability test and avoid jargon.

Write like a PR Pro

For most press releases, these are not planned out or given the importance, it deserves. It is usually handed down to a junior staffer without a proper understanding of its true purpose.

Hire the right PR Agency

What to do when you get your PR wrong?

A press release represents your company and future relationship with the media. You might want to hold off on writing any more press releases. Instead, take the time to develop a relationship with several journalists.

You might want to consider taking on the writing of the press release yourself. The closer you are to the message and understanding who is going to read it, the better you’ll be able to customize your message and pitches for them.

Consider splitting up the media coverage. Assign 5 to 10 magazines to senior management, where they need to take 10 minutes a day to reach out to the journalist.

Should you decide to work with a PR Agency, different firms have different strengths. A PR agency usually has connections to a specific market, a comprehensive list of events and contacts in the industry you’re trying to get publicity. Give them all they need to understand your company. Finally, you have to continuously give your PR team new content, announcements, angles, pitches, etc.

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How can we write relevant content that sells your product or service?

It’s been written that we have about 3 minutes to make a good impression when a visitor comes to our website. Our content needs to either engage, provoke or sell in three minutes.

Marketing versus sales content

But how do we get there? How do we create content that sells?

We first need to start by understanding the difference between marketing content and sales relevant content. Well, when we do a marketing piece, the goal is to establish awareness and interest, however, for sales writing, the goal is to sell the product or service.

What is the one trusted piece of content buyers like to read?

Time and time again, buyers like case studies. Buyers, especially in the B2B industries, they need to know who is buying from you. Case studies showcase how productivity was improved, facilities became profit centres and processes reduce staff overtime.

Forget sweeping, forceful statements like “disruption” or “truly innovative”, your buyer wants to know how other organisations used your product or service.

And, today with the growing popularity of platforms like Yelp, this is true for B2C companies as well. However, B2C companies don’t need to write up case studies, a testimonail, rating on a recent online purchase and a share on your favourite social meida platform will provide excellent results.

Write Well, Not Hype

Which brings me to my favorite topic, writing style. Writing well seems to have lost its way, in favour of sounding smart, witty or casual.

Writing well is transparent, helping the reader move along the from interest to a buyer. If your writing sounds like everyone else, change it. If it sounds too casual, with words like “gonna”, edit. Good writing is 20 % writing and 80% edit.

Sales becoming non-linear

As sales continue to become non-linear, content marketing will also evolve keeping pace with sales. It is important to track what is being read, and how people use your content.

Relationship Marketing or account-based marketing, whatever you want to call it, is where you’ll want to be. Relationship marketing has changed some of our bland marketing tactics. Take email nurturing; thankfully, the days when we set up an email nurturing campaign and then forget about it are gone.

That’s good news!

Consumers are tech-savvy, and we know when we’re getting played by an automated message. Relationship marketing helps you manage your important clients on a one-to-one basis.

We’re faced with more critical decision-making issues while keeping up-to-date with technological advances, content trends and buying behaviours disrupting every industry or personal life – the fact remains is that no large sale happens in a vacuum.

Limitations of Inbound Marketing

Here’s the other thing we need to consider. The online world is a busy place. It is getting harder, rather expensive to get noticed with even the best inbound marketing program. Inbound marketing has its value but relying solely on these tactics to get sales leads to come to your door isn’t a doable strategy.

Outbound Marketing Has Its Place

I do love outbound marketing. It’s where you’ll get the big sales and meet the people who will change the world. But, outbound marketing doesn’t provide the precision data that inbound marketing offers.

Blend both tactics in your marketing plan is best, and yes, which includes account-based marketing. Let’s take a deeper dive into Account-Based Marketing and where it should be placed in your marketing strategy for 2019.

Benefits of Account Based Marketing

Account-based marketing is aimed at sales lead generation. It usually combines inbound, outbound marketing and account-based marketing, creating programs to convert and nurture qualified buyers. Account-based marketing also establishes the main lead in your company who will learn and manage the account.

Align Sales and Marketing Teams

Your lead, sales and marketing teams need to work together to builds relevant communications with target accounts. Another area is the CRM. Ensure that it is set-up in a manner where everyone sees who is managing or nurturing the account. You’ll be able to better identify target accounts, develop a communication strategy and outreach tactics. These teams will also better understand quality sales leads and agree on what success looks like when reviewing the campaign’s progress.

Build Relevant Resources

Because your teams will be aligned, your marketing team will develop relevant and valuable communication tools and resources for your account.

Forget Automation

Make it personal. Call, visit and learn all you can about your account’s industry. Be honest about your company’s capability. It will help cement your relationship. People are tired of the sales pitch. And, like any solid relations, give it time.

Involve Your Marketing Team At Every Step

People know when they’re added to your irritating, dull nurturing funnel.  Marketing needs to be present at every stage of the funnel, providing quality content and understanding where the lead is in the buying process.

Relationship Management

Once we get the right client, we have the power of the relationship that has remained a constant for any business. In the end, we need to stop replacing technology and quantity with quality and real relationships.

As a small manufacturer, you probably hear it all the time from marketing consultants, “You need to get started with content marketing.”

You’ve probably landed on my blog because you’re now looking for advice and insight on the value of content marketing.  You want to make sure that how content marketing – an additional marketing expense – will help your business.

I don’t blame you! I see it too often where content marketers don’t understand manufacturing companies are not coaches, fitness instructor or wellness experts – who can write content on feel-good subjects or personal musings of the day – and make a sale.

But let’s stay on this point for a moment. The ease in which a blog post can be written for a B2C company while not giving away competitive intelligence is brilliant. What can small B2B companies take from this for their content marketing program? It shouldn’t be complicated.

Let’s clarify a few things about content marketing:

  1. Content is king for Google
  2. Quality content doesn’t mean boring content
  3. Keyword rich content will optimise your site, not necessarily make the sale
  4. Still not interested? There are plenty of other tactics you can do, such as Google Ads, Facebook Advertising, developing videos for YouTube, and creating short stories on Facebook are some examples.

Now that’s you’re ready to start on your content marketing, here are a few steps to get you started.

Add Content Marketing To Your Marketing Plan

The content marketing program should be an integrated part of your marketing communications plan. Have a goal for the program, with quarterly or monthly topics you’ll want to write about.

Build a Content Marketing Team

You’ll need a graphic artist, someone who likes to take photos, a proofreader and of course, someone in senior management who will review the content before it goes live. Ideally, bring in a consultant who will help push your content marketing program into motion.

Hire someone who knows how to write

If you decide to split the writing between many departments, that’s exactly what you’ll get. A bit of this and a bit of that, inconsistent writing, overlapping topics, delays due to staff turnover, or change in a department.

For best results, hire one who can write for the web as well as can write up about maintenance, machinery, construction, motors, and in a light and interesting voice.

Original content is important. No point in spending all this time and money on someone else’s content.  

Forget consistency, know your limitations

Before you start, understand your limitations. If you’re the president and want to review all content before it goes live on your website, you may not be interested in reviewing a monthly blog post. Instead, you may be comfortable with committing to 6 posts for the year.

Write For Your Customer

Write content for your customer. You don’t have to spend too much time or overly invest in the buyer’s journey as long as you write content that your customer will find interesting. Do add a call-to-action and the option to subscribe to your newsletter. Once you’ve developed your content marketing, you can then to move to invest in the nurturing funnel.

Invest in an FAQ for voice search

Unsure where to start? Start by answering some of the questions your customer or the general public has about your product. Your answer may be picked up by Alexa or your smartphone!

Interested in content marketing for your company? Contact us, we’re your team!

Social selling for B2B has lots of potentials. It’s time to bring proper learning practices and knowledge of this method to your sales team. Get them the social selling training because as you’ll read in this post, social selling is effective.

How Effective is Social Selling?

  • 78% of salespeople using social media perform better than their peers (source)
  • Sales reps who viewed the profiles of at least 10 people at each of their accounts were 69% more likely to exceed quota than those who viewed 4 or fewer (source)
  • Social sellers generate 38% more new opportunities than traditional sellers (source)
  • 90% of top salespeople use social selling tools, compared with 71% of overall sales professionals (source)
  • 62% of employees at large companies agreed that social selling enables them to build stronger, more authentic relationships with customers and prospects
  • Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing
  • 63.4% of Social sellers reported an increase in company sales revenue, compared to 41.2% of non-social sellers (source)
  • Sales teams who embrace social experience report 18% more pipeline (volume) and 28% velocity increase (source)
  • The majority of social sellers with long-term training in place (78%) hit their revenue goals in the past 12 months versus those without formalized training (38%) (source)
  • Salespeople leveraging social selling experience a 31% higher ROI than those who stick to traditional tactics (source)
  • Content shared by employees receive 8x more engagement than the same content shared by company/brand channels (source)
  • Brand messages are re-shared 24x more when shared by employees vs. brand/corporate accounts (source)
  • 90% of an employee’s social audience is new to the brand (source)
  • Messages reach 561% further when shared by employees vs. the same messages shared via official corporate social channels (source)
  • Employees have on average 10 times more social connections than a brand does (source)
  • 54% of salespeople who use social media can track their social media usage back to at least one closed deal (source)
  • Sales reps who leverage social selling in their sales process are 79% more likely to attain their quota than those who don’t use it (source)
  • Sales teams that use social selling techniques exceed their quota 31% more than non-users (source)

New Customer in social selling

Today, customers use the internet to help them identify their problems and form their own opinions about solutions. Your future customer has better access to information thanks to social sharing, blogs, content marketing, and the global connectivity of the Internet. We can engage with the company through many digital touchpoints during their research.

What’s changed in B2B selling is our prospective client now jumps between reviewing, asking friends for referrals to choosing a solution, going up and down the sales funnel many times. B2B purchases can now use social media to find, evaluate, and contact your salesperson in their own time, at their own pace.

CEB’s research estimated that about 60% of the purchase process is already completed before a B2B buyer approach a salesman. Potential customers now go to the negotiation table with a much better understanding of their problem and how it can be solved, backed up by statistics for better leverage.

Steps in B2B Social Selling

  1. Set-up the right social media platforms
  2. Listen and find the right prospects
  3. Create content that provides value!
  4. Post a social media update daily
  5. Network and connect with your prospects
  6. Engage and nurture your prospects (According to Linked’s research, prospects feel the most motivation to return a reach out when the sales rep has provided them with some type of value in return for their interaction. Be willing to create content that helps your prospects even though this might not bring in immediate revenue.)
  7. Start a content marketing program and this could mean a daily posting on your Business Page on LinkedIn and three daily tweets on Twitter and Facebook and a weekly blog posting on your site.
  8. Retain your customers and prospects with a newsletter, content and events.

Make Your Brand a Valuable Resource

A good way to build brand trust and connect with your target list online is to develop great content. It’s not just developing interesting content, you then need to promote the content and get your audience to engage with your content.

If you’re thinking that it sounds like a lot of work – you’re right. But, according to a social selling study performed by LinkedIn, buyers that are active in social media are open to hearing from salespeople and welcome input from industry experts. Therefore, try to position yourself as an expert in your industry.

How to help your brand provide value when social selling:

  • Become an industry expert: Share answers or provide insight into how your processes are different
  • Provide quick and easy how-to guides and video tutorials that are practical for your leads
  • Build conversations by becoming an active listener and acknowledging those that engage with your brand

All this content is to help you when you reach out to your targeted audience, your lead list and you’ve got some brand muscle behind you.

use SOCIAL MEDIA as a:

  • Brand Maker
  • Sales Tool
  • Community Builder
  • Customer Service and Support
  • Lead Generator
  • Shared Effort with sales and marketing team
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