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Creative Content’s Guide to B2B Marketing

Creative content's guide to effective B2B marketing

Are you thinking about the next marketing campaign for your B2B business? Like many of the companies we talk to, you may be feeling confused about where to start – the services you offer may not translate well onto an appealing billboard or magazine ad, and even then, those ads wouldn’t effectively reach your small, specific target market!

The go-to strategies for B2Bs are often direct, outbound techniques – cold calls, tapping into referral networks or emails sent straight to identified prospective clients. This may deserve a place in your marketing toolbox, but it is not the only way to engage potential clients or your wider industry.

To generate leads, there are far better strategies to help you remain at the forefront of potential clients’ mind far longer than the time it takes for them to read the latest sales-focused cold email in their inbox!

 

B2B marketing versus B2C marketing 

B2B and B2C buyers have different mindsets. A typical B2C buyer is generally looking for one product, without much cost or risk to the transaction. Maybe, they’ll Google a product and read a few reviews or shop around, but often the sales process just a few minutes. Overt marketing tactics can easily inspire impulse buys for B2C customers.

B2B buyers are more sceptical and informed. Choosing to invest in a product line or service with business money carries far higher risk than purchasing as an individual. Also, a B2B purchase is often the start of a long-term relationship. So, they thoroughly research their future purchase before they even contact you.

Because the B2B buyer comes to you with knowledge, the best way to generate a lead is to have already established authority and trust within your industry.

To foster trust and bring your company to the forefront of your buyer’s mind first, effective strategies incorporating content marketing are crucial!

 

The elements you need for your ultimate content marketing strategy:

 

An absolute understanding of your audience

Content marketing is the creation of meaningful, helpful content with your exact consumer in mind. The goal of the content isn’t actually sales – it’s engagement. You are creating conversations and solving pain points for consumers in the wider context of your industry.

Content is useless if it doesn’t connect with your audience. Although you are discussing business and business processes, people make the purchase decisions. You’re targeting the key decision makers in these companies, so you need to gain their attention and respect through storytelling that resonates with them. You’re saying to your audience ‘I see where you’re at and where your pain points are, and here are several solutions…’ with an educational, interest-based focus.

So, you need to ask:

What is your core audience looking for? How do they communicate, and how do they expect to be communicated with?

Understanding the characteristics, needs and lifestyles of your consumers allows you to effectively craft marketing messages they respond to. A great example of this in action is our full rebrand of Connect Outsourcing, which we carried out based on extensive client interviews and market research to gain a deep understanding of their audience.

With your audience in mind, you can then begin to build your content.

 

An effective website

You need to completely tailor your website to your audience. There is no point creating an appealing website if it doesn’t contain useful, industry-specific information in the tone of the people you’re trying to connect with.

Given the risk involved in a B2B purchase, it is important to showcase up-to-date testimonials to assure prospects that your company ‘walks the walk’.

To be effective, your company website should be an industry resource engaging current and potential clients, solving their business problems in the wider industry context. FAQ’s sections, educational pages regarding your specialty or regularly updated blog modules can achieve this. We created effective educational resources for Aaron Martin of New Zealand Immigration Law, which helped position him as an authority figure on immigration. He is now a source for news outlets reporting on immigration! This exposure places him first in employers’ minds when they seek immigration law services.

Your website can’t just provide information! It should contain persuasive ‘calls to action’. Keep in mind the people-based nature of B2B business decisions – you’re not pushing consumers directly to carts or ‘buy now’ options but encouraging them to contact sales-people or request quotes. You can provide a bit more information about who they will be speaking with – showcase your staff as helpful, friendly or professional (whatever your audience is looking for) using an ‘about us’ page or staff profiles.

Succinct, clear copy is also crucial for websites. Read our thoughts on creating the most effective copy for your website here.

 

A social media presence

Social media platforms aren’t always the right place for B2B businesses – your industry content may not be what people want to see when scrolling through their newsfeeds! However, if used the right way, Facebook and LinkedIn in particular are valuable avenues to get your message noticed by your audience.

These platforms can start conversations around industry tips and news. You can share business advice for people in your industry, industry news, snippets of success stories or case studies and cross-promote blog material from your website. Essentially, you’re connecting with prospects on an interest level rather than sharing sales-focused content. The more visually appealing the posts, the better! Check out our guide to an effective Facebook video marketing strategy.

 

SEO

Potential B2B clients are likely to do a Google search to find solutions to their pain points instead of waiting to be found. You need to proactively place yourself in front of these clients as their solution! This is where Search Engine Optimisation comes in.

SEO helps search engines find you and rank you according to relevant keywords on your website. By improving your website rankings on a search query, you improve your visibility over your competition.

More visitors to your website means more leads! SEO experts help you apply the most effective keyword phrases based on pain points of your audience to optimise your site for search.

 

An engaging blog

Blogs provide a platform to showcase content outside of static website copy about your business. They also provide opportunity to build on your SEO keywords as you will be discussing industry-specific issues.

Blogs set you up as industry thought leaders. They help retain clients by continuing to provide them with useful information outside your specific service, and engage potential clients in a wider conversation led by your business.

Your blog should create engaging experiences, with each post providing unique and helpful perspectives. High-quality stories have power to push your prospects to take action and reach out to your business.

Potential blog topics:

  • Business tips
  • Pain point solutions
  • Industry news
  • Interesting features of your products or services
  • Success stories and case studies

There is no point creating useful content without incorporating it into your wider marketing strategy – blog posts can be repurposed for social media and direct emails.

Ultimately, a well-crafted, relevant message must be at the heart of B2B marketing campaigns. It is far more effective to connect with your specified industry audience through education and helpful information, leveraged through several platforms, instead of overt sales messaging.

If you’re looking to start your new marketing journey, our Creative Content team specialises in B2B marketing. We create a cohesive strategy to build brand profiles and generate leads. You can check out some of our recent projects here. Contact us now!

How Content Marketing Creates Leads

Content marketing to drive engagement

Marketing in 2019 is impossible without great content.

As a marketer, I see my clients struggling to identify where they should spend their energy (and budget) to get digital leads, especially if they have a B2B service.

Marketing is becoming increasingly complex, with a range of platforms to choose from to speak to your audience.

Is your business still supposed to be posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram? What type of content should you share? How does creating social content actually generate leads?

As a forward-thinking entrepreneur, you know there has to be a better way.

Enter content marketing.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach. It focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, drive profitable customer action.

Content marketing aligns with the new ways people engage with brands and content and develop brand loyalty. It’s integrated, intelligent, and customer-centric.

With content marketing you’re not simply pitching your products or services in traditional marketing copy. You’re providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects to help them solve their issues.

In some ways it is similar to what we see with the rise of the “freemium” product model. Now that people can access high-quality free advice and content online, it won’t cut the mustard to simply promote how great your product or service is. Your content needs to put your customer’s concerns first. This is especially important in light of the way Google serves any search query with the most relevant answers; your content needs to be accurately centring your customer’s questions if you want to appear on their Google search results.

Content marketing works to build the respect and admiration of your audience, but this will take time. First you need to earn their trust. You need to prove you have the relevant knowledge and (even more importantly) that you have integrity. Then you can become a guiding light that people turn to for authority in the noise of too much available information.

The authority you gain then transfers to your products or services, making customers that much more likely to choose you over the competition.

Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate. Because of the complexities of the communication strategy required, it’s also something that I would recommend that you engage a content marketing agency to do for your business, rather than attempting it  on your own.  Quality content is now part of all forms of marketing.

So, what are the other benefits to your overall marketing strategy?

The Tangibles:

Site traffic: Traffic may be the obvious benefit, but it’s also one of the most important. Great content will bring people to your site, where they’ll also find information about your company and your products/services.

Improved SEO: The benefits of content for SEO are far too numerous to get into here. Great content attracts editorial links, which tells Google you’re important and authoritative. Google can also crawl your content, getting a better idea of what your company is about, which allows it to return your site for more relevant queries (including a great many long-tail queries). The list goes on, but it can be boiled down to this: without content, what is there for search engines to optimise?

Social media marketing: content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy. An ideal mix of content for social media is always a mixture of unique and curated content based on the themes that relate to your audience interests. So high quality content based on informing your potential customers is ideal content to share on social media. It can also become great “lead magnets” if you are creating a Facebook ad funnel for inbound inquires.

PPC: for Pay Per Click to work, you need great content behind it. Content marketing is not direct sales copy- that is what landing page copy is designed for, but your content marketing is supposed to warm up your audience handling all of their objections and answering all of their questions before you make the direct offer in an adwords campaign. It is also useful in your Adwords remarketing campaigns, if someone doesn’t call or email from your initial ad then you can remarket to them to take them to more information where your content page may address common objections and give the information required to inform the potential customer of the process.

PR And Brand awareness: content marketing is all about championing the customer and solving their problems. It involves storytelling and providing useful and relevant customer-centred information. A flow-on effect from creating high-value content is that you can now position your brand as an authority on solving your customer problems. So, you can begin commenting on the “state of your industry” and sharing this as an opinion piece to your local media or business networks as an opinion piece to increase your brand authority.

If you’re looking for help to market your business, get in touch with our Content marketing team. We can help you to create a content strategy that will transform your sales and marketing activities.  Contact us now.

 

10 of the most useful apps for creating digital content

10 apps to help create digital content

If you run a business, it’s likely you have to do some of your own marketing. This might be as simple as creating Facebook content or as in-depth as building a website. If you’re creating content without the help of a professional graphic designer, it can be a challenge to make your content look consistent and professional. Whatever your marketing needs, this list of 10 of our favourite digital marketing apps and Chrome extensions is for you. These are the apps that will ensure efficiency with everything from design to organising to communication. And even better, they don’t cost a thing.

Page Ruler

This Chrome extension is simple yet surprisingly handy. Page Ruler lets you measure pixel dimensions and positioning of any webpage element. This is useful for creating or recreating the look you want and keeping consistency throughout design elements. The ruler is a great tool for producing much tidier work, especially when you’re building your website.

Snip

Snip is a faster, easier way of taking screenshots – just click the snips and away you go.

The app has a feature that allows you to write or draw on the ‘snip’, which comes in handy for things like communicating edits to someone digitally, or showing your mum who lives 700 kilometres away where the ‘save’ button is.

Snip saves your screenshot image to your chosen file as a PNG, so you can insert it into documents, emails, social media, anywhere else that lets you add a picture. This app is a Windows feature, but if you are running on Mac there’s a similar version available in the App store.

Nimbus

Like Snip, Nimbus is used to take screenshots, but more specifically for web. The big benefit is that Nimbus allows you to capture shots of entire pages in one click. Similar to Snip, you can save the image as is or write and draw on it within the app. You’ll then have it saved as a PNG for later use, which is a major asset if you need to clearly explain specifics to web developers, designers, or clients.

Eye Dropper

Ever wanted to know what shade of blue the Google ‘G’ is? Or maybe you need the exact colour used on your webpage, but can’t get hold of your designer. Eye Dropper is a Chrome extension that allows you to pick, view, and copy colours from the web. Simply click the dropper on the colour you’re after and it will save to the app. It then shows you the colour formula in a range of formats so you can match it in any program you need.

WhatFont

Have you ever met a designer who can just look at a font and tell you what it is? Well, this is the more efficient (and less intimidating) app version.

WhatFont temporarily converts your cursor into a font detector that shows the name of a font as you hover over text. If you want to know specifics, simply click and it’ll show you the font family, style, weight, size, line height, and colour. This is super handy if you want to borrow another brand’s aesthetics (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all) or if you’ve simply lost your style guide.

Loom

We’ve talked about Loom before in our Top 10 Apps to Market Your Business, but it’s so good it’s worth another mention. Loom can be used to create quick videos of your desktop as you use it. It’s great for creating walkthrough videos that you can then share or link to. We use it to provide advisory services to clients who can’t meet face-to-face, but it’s also great for communicating clear, concise instructions or for creating social media content.

Lasso – Bookmark Manager

Lasso wrangles selected pages to bookmark, helping you herd them efficiently either into folders or by searchable tags. Each bookmark is saved under a ‘card’ that gives a brief, editable visual and description of the page. The interface of the app is a much more user-friendly way of managing bookmarks, especially if you have so many saved you forget what they all are (or why the heck you saved them in the first place). The dashboard also allows you to invite individuals or ‘teams’ to access chosen bookmarks or folders.

Reshot

Finding great stock images is key to creating good content. But if you have to post a lot of social media content this can get pricey if you’re paying $10 – $15 an image.

Enter Reshot: Reshot is a stock photo site that avoids cliché stock imagery.

Unlike the standard stock image libraries, the photos on Reshot reflect a photographer’s point of view. This means the photos are generally more interesting and higher quality than those on many other free stock photo sites. The site uses a simple license and terms that give you a lot of flexibility for using the photos.

Reshot photos are free, although you can also find photos for sale from Reshot partners. To browse the images or learn more, visit the website.

TinyPNG

If you are uploading images to your website, app, or social platform, you need to compress them to a small file size so they don’t slow down your website. Web app TinyPNG is an online PNG conversion tool that does just that. It makes your PNG image files tiny – or at least tinier then they were. It does this by selectively decreasing the number of colours in the image, which in turn reduces the file size. The visual changes in the image are practically undetectable and it can preserve any transparency (i.e., if it’s a clear-cut logo). TinyPNG can even convert animated PNGs. Converted PNGs can be used on your platforms but will use much less bandwidth, meaning they will load much faster.

Crop Photo

Crop Photo allows you to easily crop pictures without fiddling around with Adobe or other editing programs. Crop Photo features a bunch of templates designed to make cropping images for social media super easy, or you can use custom dimensions for your own projects (i.e., cutting an ex out of an otherwise great photo). You can then choose to save your image to your desktop, Facebook page, or Google Drive account.

So that’s our rundown of the 10 most useful marketing apps and extensions for digital marketing. Whether we are building a new website, creating digital content – or, let’s face it, just geeking out – we use at least one of these apps every day. For more great tools check out our previous blog Top 10 Apps to Market Your Business. And if you’ve got any projects that need a professional touch-reach out to us at Creative Content, we can help you to build your website, create great content and increase your online profile.  Get in touch with us Here.

 

 

 

Top 10 Apps To Market Your Business

The online marketing world can be daunting, at Creative Content it’s our job to make marketing easy for our clients, so we love it when we find useful tools that make our job easier. Luckily there are many simple and inexpensive apps that make it easy for you to market your business in the digital age.

Apps can be amazing tools to help you streamline processes. And with the right set of tools, you can spend less time managing campaigns and more time developing effective messages. They can also create a more enjoyable experience for your clients so that people are more likely to recommend you to others.

Check out our list of the top ten apps that we use every day in our agency that will help you with marketing your business.

1. Loom

Loom lets you create quick videos that display a desktop view of your screen. You can create a simple walkthrough video in a couple of minutes and easily share it by email or via an embedded link on your website. This is particularly good if you want to provide advisory services to clients who can’t meet face-to-face. You can also use Loom to create social media content to share.

Get it now: https://www.useloom.com

Cost: Free!

2. Canva

Canva is an incredibly simple platform to create professional-looking graphic design elements in minutes. If you need a quick graphic for a social media post or to jazz up a presentation or report for a client, you can create it in Canva in no time.

Canva has hundreds of pre-made templates for all kinds of professional uses. It also comes with handy images and font suggestions so that even the most design-challenged among us can create something classy and professional.

Get it now: https://www.canva.com

Cost: Free to use, with some premium fonts, templates, and images having a nominal cost.

3. ContentStudio

ContentStudio allows you to organise all your social media marketing from a single place. You can curate engaging content, share it through multiple channels, and strengthen your content marketing.

A popular feature of ContentStudio is its ability to fetch fresh content from over a thousand sources, meaning you can delve in and compile trending content from any niche or market. You also have the ability to compose unique posts and schedule them to be published through your social accounts, helping you create better-looking posts at a faster pace.

Get it now: https://contentstudio.io/

Cost: Free to use, with premium packages offering advanced features.

4. Asana

Asana is a simple project management tool designed to help teams organise their workload and get more done. In Asana you can map out steps, assign work, see what’s currently in progress or what still needs to be done, track due dates, and see visually how work is tracking. It’s a great tool to help your team manage their workload and to give you visibility over how client work is tracking.

Get it now: https://asana.com

Cost: Free to use, with premium packages offering advanced features.

5. Biteable

Biteable is an awesome site where you can create unique video ads, explainer videos, animations, infographics, and much more. You’re essentially able to create pro-quality video in the time it takes to drink your coffee. You have the ability to choose from hundreds of styles, insert your own digital content, choose high-quality soundtracks, and easily share it through multiple channels.

With a lot of social networking sites becoming more video-centric, this is the app you should be using if you want to set your business apart in the digital world.

Get it now: https://biteable.com/features/

Cost: Free package available with a limit of 5 projects per month or a premium package offering unlimited use.

6. Yesware

There’s no doubt that you send and receive a lot of emails. This clever app allows you to use simple email templates, and then see who actually opens your emails and clicks on any links. It also offers other useful email tools and shortcuts. It integrates with Gmail and Outlook, so you don’t have to learn a new tool.

Get it now: https://www.yesware.com

Cost: $12 per user per month, with a free trial period.

7. Trello

Trello is a project management tool much like Asana, but it’s probably even simpler. It’s great for small teams that don’t need a ton of tools or features, but just want to get more organised and have visibility around their workload.

Trello works with a system of cards – like virtual index cards on a big virtual pinboard. You can move and arrange the cards any way you like and add due dates, files, and collaborators.

Get it now: http://www.trello.com

Cost: Free, with premium packages offering advanced features

8.Pixel Me

Pixel Me is a great way to track and measure the links you’re posting and who is clicking on them. This means you can track the audience of the content you’re posting and target them again through remarketing. It gives you the opportunity to speak through different ad platforms to your custom audience and increase your brand awareness.

Get it now: https://pixelme.me/

Cost: Basic to comprehensive paid packages available

9. Missinglettr

Missinglettr increases traffic to your website’s blog by creating strategic, automated social media campaigns. It automatically pulls snippets from your blog posts to create promotional content – your only job is to review the content and choose how long you’d like to promote it.

Missinglettr markets the unique content you’ve created by connecting your social channels and running your campaigns for you. This provides regular social updates to your clients and encourages clicks to your content year-round.

Get it now: https://missinglettr.com/

Cost: Free, with personal and business accounts available.

10. Full Story

Ever wanted to know what your website visitors do once they land on your homepage? Want to find ways to convert more leads with your site design or copy? Then you need to try Full Story.

Once installed, Full Story tracks website visitors and shows you what those visitors actually do in a recorded video you can replay. It also shows you where your site traffic comes from and highlights areas of your site that cause visitor frustration. It’s great if you want to improve your online marketing and understand the effectiveness of recent online marketing campaigns.

Get it now: https://www.fullstory.com/

Cost: Free, with premium packages offering advanced features

These are the ten online marketing apps we love the most in our agency. With new apps appearing almost daily, there countless possible solutions to boost your online marketing and communication efforts. What are some of the apps that you use that we haven’t mentioned? Send us an email if you have a tool that you think we have missed! Contact us