If you are a small- to midsize-sized business (SMB) & in the business-to-business (B2B) space, you know how messy the digital insurgency has been for sales and marketing.
Not long ago, a sale had some sort of human relation — even with the web. Now, from fact-searching to brand-relationship building, your clients rely on the Internet to do it all.
How could a small B2B-focused business get back into the discussion in this age of digital selling? Here is a guide to help your SMB be found, seen & heard online.
- The website: Your digital kingdom.
Most businesses know they need to have a website but do not recognize just how critical it is Orion Code . Your website’s your digital kingdom, a place where you connect people directly to your company, share your brand story, and make that all-necessary first impression. Make sure you online presence is up to par by having an engaging client experience, top-notch branding & easy navigation.
- Content: What is your story?
Most businesses do a great job of explaining what they do but miscarry when it comes to using more dynamic content (videos, blogs, infographics) to show how they could help. Clients respond to relevant information & education, products & services come later. If you have not already, begin saying your story in various formats. The more often you say, the more likely your story will be heard.
- Search basics: What SMBs need to know about search.
Being found through search – via search engine optimization (SEO) – requires a regular stream of high-quality & relevant content, as well as social media to boost authority & visibility. Social media gets pushed to the side but according to the study (http://www.searchmetrics.com/en/knowledge-base/ranking-factors-us-2013/), 7 of the top 8 SEO elements are tied directly to social activity. You should to be on these social-media channels on a regular basis, otherwise, you will miss your customers’ interest.
- Social listening: Figuring out your audiences online.
Plan social media use begins by listening to your competitors as much as your audiences, so you have a complete view of what is going on in your industry. Watch what influencers and industry players say and do online and pay attention to the tactics that engage thought leaders, consumers and competitors. A good place to keep tabs on your competition is their blog. Watch what they are talking about, what their customers are saying & what pain points are occurring.
- Social media: Connecting your ideas with the world.
The best way to connect your ideas with the world is social media. It could be a terrific way to boost your company’s visibility online. One of our strongest recommendations is to concentrate sharing highly useful & targeted content that is of interest to the people you want to connect with.
- Paid media: Placing content in the right spots.
For potentially a few dollars a day, paid advertising on platforms like AdWords along with social-media advertisements can have their place. If you narrow your aim to a very specific keyword or phrase that your typical customer is looking for, an ad that sends them to a plan landing page can be well worth the asset. If you have no clue what keywords your target demographic is searching for, Google gives information on this through its AdWords platform.
- Upcycling content: Increase visibility & your reach.
Content’s often written, shared & quickly forgotten. Upcycling’s a trend to reuse & rebuild previously published information to extend shelf life & boost visibility. For instance, you can take a blog post you wrote six months ago & expand it in these ways:
- Make a Slideshare
- Recap the article in a video & post it to YouTube
- Republish the item on LinkedIn
- Make an infographic for more visual viewers
- Enlarge it into a white paper
- Make the content to industry trade publications
- Social selling: Moving consumers through the funnel.
While social selling allows salespeople to apply social channels to share company’s content directly with potential & current clients, it should be better than spam. The focus should be on starting a discussion, not pushing for a sale. There has to be context for the information being shared
- Build commitment: Follow, like, subscribe.
The path does not end when someone finds your business online — your results are wasted if someone shows up then leaves. Establish commitment by making it easy to stay in touch.
- Make social links easy to spot, so people can Follow, like, or share your content.
- Make a simple email subscription form for newsletter or blog post distribution.
- Do not forget to link to your RSS feed — some people prefer it.
- For rich content like eBooks or white papers, consider gated content — a tactic that exchanges basic information for a download. It could help you generate leads & measure your investment, but use it sparingly.
- Online engagement: A one-to-one conversation.
Digital marketing is about driving a better client experience, earning sales & retention by focusing on the best of one-to-one marketing. Your end aim is to start & continue discussions that lead to new brand advocates, new customers & long-term clients that ultimately develop referral generators.
Contesting in the digital economy can seem overwhelming, but the web levels the playing field. After all, the best content does not cost the most, rather it makes the most achieving connection with the reader. By concentrating the essentials of being found, seen & heard online, it is possible to not only succeed in the digital economy, but to relish in growth & visibility.