As we look forward to 2014, one of the best things you can do to get great marketing results next year is to put a solid marketing plan in place and choose tools that will deliver strong results. Here are five great marketing tools to consider for next year.
While there’s no standard formula for effective B2B marketing (every company needs a different recipe based on its industry, target market, and marketing track record), there are some tools that tend to work well across the board. Here are five resources that are easy, inexpensive, and can be remarkably
#1 PR. Got expertise? Share it! PR can deliver excellent results for both brand awareness and lead generation. Lots of B2B companies have a compelling story to tell, and there are a number of trade publications looking for interesting, relevant content to fill their pages. All you have to do is get a few press releases out to them (consistently – one isn’t enough), and as long as you have a story that is compelling to a particular audience, they will eventually get noticed and gain some media pick up. This coverage is one of the best ways to get your company’s name into the heads of your target customers.
#2 SEO. Most companies have now realized just how much business is being done online. Ten years ago, a website was a nice-to-have. These days, it’s a must. Think of it this way: when was the last time you DIDN’T use Google to find a product or service you were looking for? If you’re not doing search engine optimization, you’re missing a big opportunity to get the attention of your target market. And the sooner you start, the stronger the result will be; SEO is cumulative, so the more time you put into it, the better the result.
#3 Video. If a picture says a thousand words, a minute of video speaks volumes. For B2B companies with a complex product or service, videos communicate a lot of information in just a short amount of time. You don’t need to be Steven Spielberg – high production quality isn’t necessary to be effective - and you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make a great video that explains exactly what you do in less than two minutes.
#4 Free trial. If they can try it, they’re more likely to buy it. Allowing B2B customers to use your product or service risk-free is a proven sales tool. This approach doesn’t work for every product or service, but it’s great for products like software, where a positive initial experience makes the buying decision much easier.
#5 Lead nurturing. This may seem like an obvious one, but many B2B marketers simply don’t do enough of it. Studies show that it takes seven customer touches before someone will remember the name of your company - before they say “Yeah, I think I’ve heard of these guys.” The best way to ensure these touches are made is with lead generation software like InfusionSoft or HubSpot. These automated programs let you send emails, newsletters, video case studies and more at pre-determined times, making sure you stay on your prospects’ radar.
Effective B2B marketing doesn’t have to blow your budget – there are lots of smart, simple tools that offer solid ways of reaching customers to and influence their next buying decision. If you’re planning your 2014 marketing budget, think about including these tools.
Looking for more help to make marketing work in your B2B company? Get proven tips in PROFITGUIDE’s Special Report on The Radical Sales Shift.