B2B Online Marketing Tips for the Olympic Season

B2B Online Marketing

The Olympic Games start this Friday, July 27. While the opening ceremony quickly approaches and the eyes of the world fall on the Olympians, you might be considering how you can get the eyes of other businesses focused on your company. Think like an Olympian and get your company to be the talk of the town. Here are the top 5 B2B online marketing tricks for the 2012 Olympic season.

1. Have a Great Story

It’s the stories of overcoming adversity, failing only to rise higher, and setting records that create a following for Olympians from all countries. The stories that connect with people on a personal level, such as overcoming a disappointing result, are the most successful. Your business has its own story. Tell it well in your blog  so you can show people who you are and why they should partner with your business. Come up with a title that will draw people in, like “My top 5 biggest mistakes this year and how you can learn from them”. Make it personable so people can relate to your business beyond their need for the product or service. Your story will set you apart.  Tweet your post and promote it in your company newsletters, Facebook page and other marketing channels.

2. Remember it’s in the Details

Olympians need details. Whether it’s shaving off hair to gain a second over the competition or dieting for optimal performance, details in training make a difference in the long run. The same is true for your business. If you’re going to promise a client something, deliver. Go the extra distance and take care of the little details. In the short term, a few extra calories may not make much of a difference to an athlete, but it the long term, it could impact their performance. The same is true for your business. How you handle each aspect of your business, from customer complaints on Twitter to your product return policy, makes a difference.

3. Be Authentic

With today’s technology and the high frequency use of social media, being authentic is one of the best things a company can be. Remember the Michael Phelps incident? If you have secrets, they will eventually come out. Own up to the things you have done wrong and embrace those that you’ve done right. It’s a small world and one secret will quickly spread. No matter where your business is in the world, you and your audience are connected through the world of social media marketing. Run your business with integrity and not only will people want to work with you, it’s also likely they’ll want to recommend you to others for your transparency and authenticity. Encourage your customers to share  how your company has righted a wrong and in the end, helped their business.

4. Be Humble

No one wants to see an Olympic athlete approach the medal stand without being humbled by the honor and experience. When those who attend the Olympics give speeches, the often recognize trainers, teammates, coaches and family members who have helped them accomplish what they have. Your business should be the same way. Take time to thank your colleagues, supporters, mentors, etc., who have helped you along the way. Use online channels to thank people for their support directly. As your company wins awards, thank those who gave them to you and if applicable, those who voted and supported you. Online marketing and social media puts you in touch with more people than ever. Use that opportunity to show your support for those that have supported you.

5. Take Advantage of NOW

No matter the sport, each Olympian only has one moment that all their work comes down to. It’s one event, one game and one moment in time. All of their focus and efforts pour into that moment. Each day and decision they make is for that moment and goal. Treat your business with the same focus. The decisions you make today impact your business’s performance tomorrow. Staying focused on your future goals will help you get to where you want to be. Athletes focus on the gold and this one thought aides them in their actions. Keeping focused on what you want your business to be will help guide your decisions now.

How has your business performed like an Olympic athlete?

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Creating a Successful B2B Inbound Online Marketing Plan

As a business, online marketing is an important sector of your company. You can engage with current customers, find and connect with new ones and increase brand awareness in general. Until recently, outbound marketing was the most prevalent tactic. The aim of inbound marketing is to earn a person’s interest instead of buying it and now, inbound marketing has taken over. Due to customer response and ROI, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. You can generate more traffic to your site by creating successful B2B inbound marketing plan.

Use PPC Marketing

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Marketing has a multitude of benefits. In order to have a successful B2B online marketing plan, you need to use PPC tactics. PPC marketing can help you discover which marketing methods work and which don’t.

  • Once you know the audience you want to target, create highly targeted ad groups with corresponding landing pages. If you get the click-through from a business, the landing page should be an extension of what they clicked.
  • Align your PPC campaigns with your blogging/SEO efforts and social media strategies. Make use of the same keywords, phrases and themes.
  • Measure your results. You’ll want to be sure to track the click-through rate, cost per click, traffic from search and inbound links. If certain keywords or ads generate more leads and sales, use the results to make positive adjustments.

Begin Blogging

Content marketing has never been so important. By creating informative, key-word rich content, you’re sharing your knowledge about a particular subject online and building your search engine rankings. As part of your inbound online marketing plan, a company blog can help you achieve your goals.

  • Gear your blog and site content to your audience. It’s likely that you can connect with potential clients by providing the information which brought current clients to your site. Have a call to action and ask site visitors to share the information.
  • Use your blog to educate current and potential clients. Answer common questions your company encounters and link to relevant articles on your site. You can become a trusted authority by providing information, not a sales pitch.
  • You can also use your blog to help build your site’s SEO. You’ll have more indexed pages. And, once you learn what words and phrases your customers use and where they use them, you can include and link to your site with these words.
  • Include information about your location. A large portion of Google searches are for local businesses. Connect with businesses in your area by posting about your area and your role in the community/ local industry.

Communicate via Social Media

Connect with similar businesses and current customers to attract new ones. Social media is a great tool for measuring and sparking online conversations about your business. It’s important to remember that the key aspect of inbound marketing is earning interest and social media lets you do that through online conversation.

  • A 2011 study conducted by Hubspot indicates that the best social media site for B2B businesses is LinkedIn. LinkedIn activity generated a visitor-to-lead conversion that was 4 times higher than Twitter and 7 times higher than Facebook. Use this site to successfully connect with other businesses.
  • Provide information that isn’t self-serving and your business connections won’t mind following you. You have to build a solid foundation of followers before the majority of sharing is strictly about your business.
  • If you’re running a specific campaign, update your accounts, where applicable, to reflect what’s going on. Change your Twitter background, LinkedIn product page and Facebook cover photo to reflect the campaign and message.
  • Towards the end of 2011, Mashable published a Voltier Digital infographic that showcased the results of inbound marketing for B2B companies. 41% of B2B companies found new customers through Facebook. Use Facebook to engage with current clients and reach new ones.
  • Are businesses engaging in conversations with you? Are they liking your page and following you? Track your audience growth and engagement to see how successful each social media channel is for your business. Adjust your efforts as you see results.

No matter what channels or online marketing tactics you are using, you need to measure everything. The four most important metrics of inbound online marketing are: traffic to leads, leads to customers, cost per lead and cost per customer.  As you analyze what is working best for your business, you can adapt and make changes to further increase your ROI and improve your marketing campaigns.

Is Your Online Marketing Budget Going to the Right Place?

Small Business PPC MarketingThough online marketing budgets have increased for more companies, marketing on Facebook has been in decline for the past few months. Companies are taking their budgets and time elsewhere. The real question, though, is where should your online marketing budget be going? Beyond social media marketing sites and networking tactics, which are dependent on your brand and content, PPC and PPL generation services are something worth investing in. As a business, it can be difficult to find the time or budget, but if you have it you should invest.

PPC Marketing – Is it Worth It?

The answer is yes. If you do your research, PPC campaigns can lead to a great ROI. PPC Marketing isn’t just a financial endeavor though. It requires a lot of time as you create content, find the right keywords and spend time making your ad stand out from the others.

  • The first thing you want to do when considering this route is set aside enough budget just to test the effectiveness of pay-per-click (PPC) as a marketing channel for your business.
  • Begin to get an understanding of what you’ll be paying for each click and this will give you a sense of the total cost required to drive a reasonable amount of traffic to your website through paid search.
  • If you decide it’s in your budget, focus on location and timing to get your ad copy in front of the right people.
  • Not all clicks are the same. Examine all of your clicks that are getting traffic to see if they’re converting. See what is and isn’t working.
  • Make sure you track and measure your campaign and the results. If your current campaign is unsuccessful, you probably need to reevaluate your current tactics to work out why things are failing.

Fuel Interactive conducted a study on what type of advertising yields the greatest ROI and PPC advertising was the greatest.

Social Media Marketing Summary

With the prevalence of technology in everyday life, at least part of your online marketing budget should be directed towards social media. What platforms you should make the most of vary.

  • According to a study done by Advertising Age and Citigroup, marketers are focusing less on Facebook. 4.3% of companies with increased online marketing budgets are decreasing their Facebook ad budget. One chief complaint of Facebook marketing was that the ROI was less than it was on other sites, such as Google.
  • In June, a study by social marketing analytics company Across33 found 71% of the respondents said they spent 20% of their time attending to Facebook and 80% looking after the rest of the internet.
  • Though Facebook still holds one fifth of marketers attention, the emergence of more share-friendly platforms, such as Pinterest and Tumblr, is causing brands to move more money than before to other online sites.
  • Pinterest is perfect for companies with photo-driven content. According to Shareaholic, Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.
  • With over 500 million users, there is no excuse not to be making the most of Twitter and Tumblr allows businesses to reach a younger demographic that’s eager to share content.
  • LinkedIn provides great network connections to people in your industry. Because the sight now offers targeted status updates, you can reach new potential customers at the LinkedIn blog reports companies such as Expedia are already seeing great results.

Whether your business has a large budget or a small one, track where you get the best ROI and allocate your budget accordingly. If one platform or tactic isn’t working but another works well, that’s a good indication of where your budget should be going. Each sector of your online marketing budget needs to be researched so you can stay on budget while exceeding your marketing goals.

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