The Marketing Boutique

Understanding your target market behaviour is important. More so, since we all live online. Forrester estimates B2B eCommerce will top a trillion dollars and account for 12.1% of B2B sales by 2020. B2B online shopping is growing, giving you a lot of opportunities for your online B2B store. 

Understanding your target market behaviour through your website

Site Search & Product Filtering

For your b2b customers, online shopping is not a pastime. They are often under pressure to find the right product, at the right price. Most have time constraints, with little time to second guess themselves. As such, your site needs a powerful filtering and categorization set-up to help them find what they are looking – fast.

While your B2B customers may know what product or service they need, doesn’t mean they also know product features or service support that will be truly beneficial for their project. Sometimes, they don’t even have to stick to a strict budget. Consider including a Suggested Products functionality feature to your site to help increase upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

Include sales reps in your customer journey

As the B2B online shopping experience becomes increasingly self-managed by your customer, your sales reps may find themselves with fewer customer interactions. The consultative selling is still required, but since online shopping has removed one ore more steps in the actual closing process, their timing needs to be properly timed. Give your sales reps the opportunity to have a greater impact on your company by implementing a CRM that includes a contact manager, integrates your newsletter campaigns and social media.

An integrated website with backend technology could mean your sales reps will be interacting with your customers at the right time to answer questions, handle objections and provide a quote.

Expand your multi-channel marketing

To ensure that your B2B buyers see your content messages on the social media platforms they use the most, manufacturers and distributors are increasingly engaging customers at different touch-points.

This direct engagement using different sales channels generate more incremental revenue and cost less to serve a customer on a single sales channel. More importantly, engaging your customers on multi-channels increase customer support, which is in line with current customer expectations. As customer expectations rise, B2B buyers are demanding a full spectrum of self-service, full-service, and hybrid purchase options.

Create a Content Funnel to Drive B2B Online Sales

More and more B2B companies are developing a content marketing funnel. The reason being is that B2B products have a longer sales cycle and need more time to close the sale. It is estimated that a B2B sale requires 6 to 8 touchpoints to become a lead. That is 8 touchpoints to one sales lead.

To better understand your target audience’s behaviour and to help them move them down your funnel faster is by creating content they need. Content includes:

  • FAQ: B2B buyers want to learn about businesses and products
  • Competitive Analysis: Content that answers why choose you over the competition
  • Case Studies: Showcase your technical expertise, how you make it simple.

This is what they’re doing during all those preemptive touches. They’re reading, digging, and — most importantly — researching. B2B buyers prefer to self-educate well over halfway through a purchase decision rather than connect with a company sales rep.

Your content-based strategy should be designed to funnel customers from different pain points to your products. The content-based strategy should start on your navigation bar down to trade show visits.

Content Marketing should include content helps your target audience to:

  • Understand — to educate buyers
  • Select — to guide purchase decisions
  • Implement — for post-transaction support

If a new customer arrives to your site, they should be able to learn more about how you can help their problem and potential solutions you provide. Instead of pitching products, your goal is to develop need awareness so the buyer places a real value on solving their problem.

Remember, after all the false news, fake social media accounts, showing your content expert matter on your site is very important. No one else should be able to claim the same expertise as you. Content needs to sound trustworthy.

Selected Resources For You

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Content Marketing And Why You Need To Start This Program Now!

If you’re not using content marketing as a fundamental pillar of your marketing and brand awareness strategy, then you are missing a valuable tool to grow your company. Content marketing is proven to be effective in lead generation, shortening the sale cycle and even closing the deal, which is why more than half of all marketers plan to increase their spending on content marketing within the next year. Read More

Can anyone define the creative process when it comes to copywriting for a business blog, website, or newsletter? Does it take a specific environment, two people with opposing talents or a single vision that leads us to write compelling, topical content that will help to define a client’s brand?

Lately, there’s a lot talk about copywriting. It has become an essential element for a content marketing program.  But, can traditional heavy equipment or small B2B business make creativity as their core competency and can creativity help drive business performance?

The short answer is yes and no.

So Much Writing, So Little Time.

A good blogging strategy includes the production of lots of content or chances you’re site will get buried in search results. Only by the fact that you need so much content to produce, creativity can be strained. In the end, good content is essential for a successful blogging strategy implementation.

You may want to consider outsourcing your content, from blog posts, newsletters and press releases as these will support your website and brand. Outsourcing your content marketing will also help to develop an environment that allows for creative thinking, present a different perspective from your content marketing agency which could not happen when you’re always in a time crunch. time

Is This Really My Content?

Small businesses and many niche players will undoubtedly benefit from outsourcing their content marketing program but are usually reluctant to even test anyone. Here’s what I provide, I’ll write the first blog post or press release at no charge. Then, if you like it and want to use the piece, I’ll send you an invoice!

Also, you should review the content writer’s portfolio. Even if the writer doesn’t have expertise in your industry,  what you’re looking for is style, research, originality and commitment to their craft. My suggestion is to go with the content writer who has lots of writing expertise in many industries with the proven track record in time-management and creative writing, like our agency!

Good Content Writers Will Take The Time To Understand Your Business

I agree content should be written in a distinct voice. However, that distinct voice comes with time. Time to research your competition, interview you and key players, ask questions and yes, at times write stuff you’ll be scratching your head, thinking, what?

Without this process at the beginning of our relationship, you will get content that is bland. Be patient. Good content writers need time to understand your business. Here’s a tip, provide a sample writing piece you really like and explain to use what is it that turns you on about the voice you’re reading. We’ll work with you to get you the voice you want.

Outsourcing Content Marketing Is Cost-Effective

In 2014, Forbes concluded that outsourcing your content marketing is cost-effective. It went on to say outsourcing your content marketing is equal to outsourcing your development and customer service teams.

The point here is to stick with your expertise! Better to outsource your content marketing at a competitive cost when compared to having a dedicated in-house content writing team. This way, you also get the added SEO and creative writing experts who will craft engaging content across multiple channels. It’s a win-win for you!

Happy Marketing!

Cecilia

In my last post of this 3-part series entitled “Brand Strategy simplified for Competitive Businesses, Part I” I talked about brand positioning and why it is important. I also highlighted a basic framework you can use to help you determine the unique brand positioning to help your business stand apart in a crowded marketplace.

Now that we’ve covered what, who and why, our next move in brand development strategy is implementation. Implementation is important as it will make our brand come alive, it answers “where” and “how” during the development of your brand. Read More

EMAIL MARKETING PROGRAM

Need help setting up your email marketing program? Or, perhaps you’ve started it and want to create better content to increase your open rate. Then review these six important email marketing must-do to get your program right!

Because most of us are with our smartphones almost the entire day and as a result, your emails and newsletters have garnered an important position in your marketing planning.

  1. Design “mobile responsive” email templates: This is a priority during the planning stage, not a nice to have. Because most of your audience will be using their iPhone, your email platform needs to be mobile-friendly.
  2. Be a Subscriber! Check your newsletter as an actual subscriber. You’ll be surprised at the little mistakes you will find as a receiver of your newsletter.
  3. Have the Right Mind Set: Learn as much as you can about email marketing. Do your research on the latest and greatest because technology and people’s behaviour change. Plan ahead, roll-up your sleeves, get ready to commit, learn about data, metrics, analysis and establish KPIs.
  4. Goal Setting: Don’t fall into the trap, what are the metrics you need to keep this program alive and successful. What are you looking for, build a community, upsell, increase sales or add more seats at an upcoming workshop? You need to make sure you need to know clearly what your goals are for this email program.
  5. Create Value-Based Content: Most companies think internal, I need sales! All they end of sending is “buy this” type of content. However, your target market is looking for tips, how-to, product education, industry updates and brand building knowledge content that helps to increase their trust in wanting to work with you as well as promotions. Read this post on creating a content marketing strategy.
  6. Segment Lists Based on Value, Not to Keep: The latest habit where they will take your email address and add it to 5 groups when you unsubscribe you still get another newsletter! It should be considered criminal. Don’t segment people just to keep them on lists, segment based on where they are in the sales process.
  7. Build a Brand: The good news is that a total of 72% of us prefers to receive promotions via email from the brands we like. Then, the real question is, “How to get your target market to like you, I mean, really, really like you?” Read a few of our blog posts to help you get started; I’ve listed them below.
  8. Start Right: Outdated lists, lists purchased from unreliable sources and not having your lists segmented will all have a negative impact on your brand and your URL standing with Google! That’s right, the more bounced and subscribers claim they received a spam email from your company because they don’t recognize opting-in, you’ll ending up even having a problem emailing a regular client.
  9. Create multiple sign-up locations: We need reminders that you offer great content exclusive via your newsletter. Add sign-up forms to your blog’s sidebar, footer, business cards, in your signature of your emails and social media platforms.
  10. Offer / Call-To-Action: Test, test and test some more. Don’t give up if you created an offer and it wasn’t successful. You may not have created the right offer for the right target market, so don’t give up.
  11. Advertise: Promote your offer, either on Facebook advertising or other relevant mediums where your target audience exists.

Cecilia

– Post updated June 2016