Digital Direct Marketing and Social Media Management for B2B

March 13, 2014

3 ways to ensure your social brand is consistent

If you’re like most businesses, you have set up company profiles with several different Social Media networks. That’s great, because the more social your brand is, the better. But if you aren’t managing your profiles in an integrated way, you may actually be doing your brand a disservice.

Here are 3 steps you should take to make sure that your Social Media presence is integrated with your overall brand strategy:

Brand-building1. Choose Strong Branded Keywords

Branded keywords are words or phrases that tell your customer what your brand is about. You should know which words both entice your audience and carve your brand’s niche in the marketplace. Having strong keywords will make your SEO more relevant and enable you to rise to the top when your customer searches for you online. If you need help deciding which keywords will be the most powerful for your brand, you can use Google Analytics to view the top 5 keywords that customers use to reach your main website.

2. Use Keywords and Messaging Consistently

Once you have isolated your keywords and formulated relevant messaging that contains those keywords, use them in all of your social communications. Your repeated use of keywords on all Social Media platforms can bolster your search engine rankings and pay per click (PPC) marketing campaigns. Consistency will also prevent your brand personality from becoming diluted by changing tones and content on each Social Media site. For instance, how your brand interacts on Facebook and Twitter will be different because of the nature of those platforms. But, when you use the same keywords and messaging, customers will recognize your brand voice no matter where you are.

3. Manage Your Profiles and Track Your Engagement

Having multiple Social Media identities can get confusing, and it is difficult to stay on top of the responses your brand is receiving. Using online Social Managers like SocialMention.com or HootSuite.com can help you to Manage your profiles under one interface, schedule your Facebook and Twitter posts, see how your keywords and topics are trending, and even track what people are saying about you and your company.

These are just a few ideas for managing your social brand. For more information or help finding your brand’s keywords, contact frank@ClayCreativeResults.com.


The Role of “Lumpy Mail” in B2B Digital Direct Marketing

February 27, 2014

How a Direct Mail technique can get a digital response

Lumpy-Mail

Every successful Direct Mail Marketer knows that “lumpy mail” doubles the response of “flat mail”. Lumpy mail is anything with more volume, larger dimensions, weight, texture or bumps than normal mail. It might even make noise when shaken.

Successful B2B Direct Mail Campaign for WYANDOT Inc.

Lumpy mail gets better results because it peaks curiosity. What could be inside? Is it a gift? Most recipients will open lumpy mail, because they just have to know.

I would argue that this technique could be just as useful in the digital arena. To me there is no difference between offering a small gift or surprise in an envelope or offering it by Email. The trick is to be creative about how you package and deliver your content.

Here are the 3 things you should do to get results from Lumpy Emails:

Offer a Surprise

In Digital Direct Marketing, Email is the closest thing to mailing a letter to someone’s house, and your subject line is the envelope. Don’t waste those few precious words telling the reader about your brand. Instead, entice your customers with the promise of a gift or the ability to do something fun. Remember the “Elf Yourself” campaign OfficeMax launched in 2006? Imagine emailing a customer to invite them to elf themselves. That’s pretty lumpy Email, if you ask me. Try to think of something similar that reflects your brand or current campaign.

Keep it Light

You’ve gotten your customer to open your lumpy Email. Now what? You don’t want to lose them by switching into sales mode. Keep it light and give them what you promised. Whether it’s a silly online game, the ability to create an avatar or a link to a funny YouTube video, make sure what’s inside is as funny or interesting as they expect. Ideally, tie it back into your brand. The idea is to sponsor a little bit of fun in exchange for their attention. Once you’ve delivered that fun, they will be more open to your call to action.

Ask for What You Want

Like any marketing campaign, decide what you want the customer to do and deliver that message last. If you want them to call your office, take your call, visit a website, or provide personal information, make it crystal clear. You gave them something, so they will be more likely to return the favor.

Have you ever sent something you considered to be Lumpy Email? Was it successful? Share your comments and stories with me by emailing frank@claycreativeresults.com. I’ll share your responses in a future post.


Direct and Digital Marketing for B2B Success

January 10, 2014

B2B-Success-

4 ways to optimize your strategy

Digital has changed B2B marketing in ways no one could have predicted, and it can also make the process easier and more interesting. But, if you think digital creates more confusion than opportunity, here are some tips to help get you on track with your B2B marketing efforts:

Create Quality Digital Content

When a business decides whether or not to work with you, it first must build a business case to justify the expense or purchase. The greater their investment of time and money will be, the greater amount of content you should provide to help them make that decision. You should be providing that content in a variety of digital channels beyond your business website. For instance, you could distribute whitepapers by Email, create webinars or videos, or write a series of informative posts for your blog. Keep in mind that not all content has to be sales content. Often, providing industry news and information on your home page can help bring those in your industry back to your website again and again. Eventually, they will take an interest in what you are selling.

Get the Right Message to the Right Audience

Digital Direct Marketing makes it easier than ever to tailor your message to the audience you want to reach. Segment your B2B audiences and formulate a separate strategy for each group. This may mean several versions of your eBlasts, or building multiple microsites that focus on different parts of your offering. Digital lets you deliver these messages at the right time in the business cycle for each audience, so don’t feel you have to make the same offer to every lead at the same time. Be selective and strategic.

Know When to Use Social Media

YouTube.com is a great tool for reaching B2B prospects. In fact, it’s reported that YouTube reaches 36% of all business decision makers—more than 10 times that of Forbes.com. But, Social Media is not the right choice for all of your B2B efforts. Sometimes businesses, like those in the engineering, technical, and industrial space, are less likely to seek information from social sites. Be sure to choose a digital channel that will complement your prospects level of use. You may find that your B2B clients are more likely to respond to general websites, online catalogs, industry-specific eTools, Emails and eNewsletters.

Replace Lead Generation with Lead Management

Thanks to the Internet, lead generation is now less about cold calling and more about maintaining your online presence and managing inquiries. According to Mischa Stephens, senior optimization specialist at Google, business professionals regularly rely on search and social to make their buying decisions. She says that 84% of C-level executives find search very valuable in making business decisions, and 83% of B2B buyers research online before their next purchase. When a prospective buyer searches you out, be sure your digital presence is on message and that you can follow up with a fully integrated marketing and sales process.

If you think you need help streamlining your B2B Direct and Digital Marketing strategy, email Frank@claycreativeresults.com or go to www.claycreativeresults.com


Use Video for Integrating Your Digital Advertising and Marketing Communications

January 31, 2013

HOW TO MARKET YOUR BRAND WITH ONLINE VIDEOS

Remember story time? The late night bed time reading that kept you alert before sleep or the engaging class room story with picture books and sound effects made by your teacher. The years have faded away since then but the stories live on. That’s our goal at Clay Creative…to tell the story of your brand to make an ever lasting impression on your audience.

film_countdown_postcard-p239939635109173100envli_400The great part of this business is that story time never ends and it’s our job to keep your audience turning the pages inside the book we call your brand.

Chapter 1: Why use video to tell the story of your brand?

Integrating video into your online marketing efforts is vital for your growing business. Todays generation is driven by an urge to express their interests, hobbies and point of view and social media is the vehicle for most of this expression. Words are the ultimate force behind conversation but photos and videos are taking their place and are becoming much more search engine friendly.

  • Video helps your customers relate to you on a more personal level
  • Video connects with people on a deeper level: The audio and visual representation of your products and services will make stronger connections than wordy descriptions or pictures.
  • It is more common for search engines to pick up on key words in your video and this results in higher SEO rankings.

Chapter 2: Tell stories with videos to make life easier for your audience.

Prospective customers tend to know very little about you and have come to your site to learn how you can help them. They are strapped for time so you must make their navigation experience as easy as possible. Videos can accomplish what paragraphs of text can in 2 minutes or less.

  • Your video must provide value to the viewer and the best way to do this is to teach them something new. 
  • Create FAQ videos to answer the most commonly asked question about your products and services. For example, if you are a bakery, you may record an answer on “The best cakes to bake for catering to large parties or events”.
  • Record a video on how to best use your product or service or to highlight product benefits. Apple consistently uses video to tell the story for every new product release and it works by engaging the viewer and alluring them to the bells and whistles of their latest technology.
  • Pick a focus for your video and do not try to explain 15 things in 60 seconds.

Chapter 3: How to differentiate content for B2B and B2C

The content and strategy of your video must be tailored to your audience and this depends on whether you’re targeting businesses or consumers. The key point to acknowledge is that businesses are people too. Remember businesses that market to other businesses are relationship driver and businesses that market to consumers are product driven. Here is a list to understand the video content you should use depending on your audience.

  • B2B videos should outline your company objectives, mission statement and history.
  • Focus on product attributes and services for your B2C videos.
  • B2C marketing is usually more products driven so focus on appealing to the emotional side of the consumer.
  • B2B sales are usually longer cycle sales so it’s important to be in-depth in describing your company’s core attributes and success stories.

Use video to tell the story of your brand and highlight your products and services but remember to use the visual medium with a mixture of all types of media. Pictures and shared content can be used to support your video. Our brains are hardwired to make a story out of all of the information we consume so give your audience a reason to connect with you on an emotional level. With content sharing at its highest peak companies must embrace visual story telling through media. Recent research from ROI shows that 44% percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures and videos.

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3 Tips On How To Grow Your Business With LinkedIn

January 3, 2013

USING LinkedIn TO EXPAND YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT ON A PROFESSIONAL PLATFORM

The rapid emergence of social media networks and tools in the last five years signifies the need to enhance the sharing of information for both personal use and branding. There have been many social apps that have failed to impact the social media world and we can argue that it’s a result of not carving out a major niche.

chain-link-2

Look no further than Instagram for quick mobile photo editing and sharing (aka combining the digital camera with the smart phone to bring out the professional photographer in all of us), Twitter for allowing us to communicate with short phrases during an era of information overload and Facebook for becoming our online social diaries and connecting us to our friends and family.

The major theme carried throughout every social media tool is ‘sharing’ but each tool/network emphasizes a particular niche to separate itself from the rest. Before LinkedIn, an online social network for professional use did not exist. Founded a year before Facebook in 2003, LinkedIn has become the most popular social media distribution channel and more marketers are using this media channel for content distribution, according to recent findings from the Social Media Examiner.

Here are 3 ways your business can use LinkedIn to turn connections into leads:

1. Create a clean, concise and easy to navigate profile

Your LinkedIn URL should be customized to strengthen branding and make more searchable. With your name in the URL, it is more likely for your profile to rank for searches for your name because search engines look for relevant keywords in the URL. To convert your random digitized URL into a personal link of your company name:

  • Go to the “Settings” link at the very top right of your LinkedIn homepage and select the “Public Profile” link under the “Profile Settings” heading. Once selected you can now enter your new custom link.

Before developing your network and creating connections, be sure to optimize your profile to 100% completeness and link your business website to your LinkedIn profile and blog. Encourage every employee of your company to include a link on his/her LinkedIn profile to your business website.

Include your company’s most popular keyword phrases in your company’s personal profile. For example, if you are doing an online ad campaign, match the phrase of your ads to your company description profile to present a consistent image to any potential customers.

2. It’s All About The Groups: Join Them, Create Them and Promote Them

  1. Join groups comprising of likely suspects who can later be turned into prospects. Some groups may be closed off to the public; most will be open to all LinkedIn users.
  2. Create a group for your industry, not your company. People are more likely to join a group when it’s not simply for fans of your company. A group is no good without members so use these tips to promote your group within your LinkedIn network:
  • Invite coworkers, past colleagues, and customers to join and start discussions.
    Use your existing network to get your group started.
  • Promote your group on Facebook, Twitter and your company blog.
  • Include LinkedIn and your personal URL in all of your marketing efforts. The next time your company attends a conference, a good idea is to display a QR code to send spectators directly to your LinkedIn group page.

3. How To Make All Of Your Connections Count!

When your profile is complete and your connections are fastened its time to share your areas of expertise to generate queries from prospective clients. LinkedIn has become a major player among the content sharing social sites and you must use the share feature to educate and inform your connections. Share links to interesting articles, best practices and case studies that demonstrate your company expertise.

LinkedIn has increased the amount of channels to share information through and connect with thought leaders. The content shared on LinkedIn is more valuable than a “status update” and members are encouraged to keep content more professionally focused.

As a group leader for your company, take advantage of LinkedIn’s questions and answers. Ask good questions, ask for the opinions of others, provide your unique insight and feedback on as many discussions as you can and contribute content that creates conversations.

Forming connections on LinkedIn and expanding your professional network will help you navigate through job related roadblocks throughout your career and is the major benefit of Linked in for individual use but businesses are starting to see the value it provides for increasing brand awareness and generating new leads.


How The Presidential Candidates Took Social Media Advertising To New Heights

November 7, 2012

SOCIETY EMBRACES SOCIAL MEDIA FOR POLITICAL KNOWLEDGE

The surge of social media has shifted the way information is delivered to the masses and this year’s presidential election represents the evolving phenomenon at its best.

Politicians got their start with social media in 2008 when Barack Obama joined Facebook and created an extensive amount of Twitter followers to announce his campaign. 2/3 of the Obama campaign donations were raised online while Twitter reported more than 20 million tweets on Election Day, making this years election the most tweeted about event in U.S history. Yes, even the president and Mitt Romney have Facebook accounts and there is no denying the momentum of social media. It’s a good idea when 88% of adult social media users are registered voters.

This year both candidates dove head first into social media and proved how this channel can reach a widespread audience. The social media interaction of Obamas campaign surpassed Romney’s and provided nearly four times as much content as the Romney campaign. Was this a result of social medias popularity among the tech savvy generation Y? Check out the new study.

Advertisers can learn from this years giant political campaigns that focused on 2 key factors of social media strategy: integration and personalized content.

Integrate your marketing message into each social media channel

-The key messages of Romney’s campaign were “A New Beginning” and “Commit to Mitt”. This message unified the voice of his supporters. A commit to Mitt Facebook app was developed and cleverly spread his message. The app showed you who of your friends lived in swing states then urged you to reach out and share your support with them.

-The videos of Obama were strategically organized over the course of the campaign. At first, Obamas website linked to his youtube channel but his videos were embedded into his site closer to the election. This was to filter the content and share only the videos Obama endorsed. The Obama campaign linked to 9 social media platforms, which may seem overwhelming to integrate into your social media strategy. They were Facebook, google+, Tumbler, Flickr, youtube, Pinterest, Spotify, Twitter and Instagram. Remember the presidents target audience is roughly 300 million people.

mi.tt is about the tiniest URL you can get for a website. When you type it in your web browser, you are re-directed to his main campaign webpage. Why such a tiny URL? mi.tt is a twitter tiny url. This url was brilliantly thought of to be used for the twitter campaign strategy. Twitter squashes down long URLs and provides a bunch of random characters too long for tweets, but mi.tt easily fits into the 140 character limit.  Each time you saw a tweet with mi.tt, you knew it pertained to the Romney campaign which is great for top of mind awareness.

Develop a company blog and content platform to share the story and core values of your business 

-The Obama website has a section of groups made up of supporters organizing the issues they care about. Each group contains videos and information related to Obamas support. The group titles are parents, catholics, sportsmen, small business owners, young Americans, women etc.. Categorizing support groups allowed people to relate to causes they care about and connect with citizens on a personal level.

-Blogs are a great way to express the core values of your company and they create relationships with your audience. Write on topics related to your industry to attract your target demographic. Consumers demand more information in this digital age to help them through their buying decisions or in this case (voting process). The Obama news blog kept all of his supporters informed at every step of the campaign by providing updates on his future agenda and political beliefs. When your brand promotes its’ products and services be sure to expand your reach and stand behind every claim, update your followers on a daily basis with engaging content and integrate your social media platforms.

Aside from your political stance, each campaign employed social media strategies that pushed the envelope of multi channel advertising far beyond the ordinary. Social media engagement is a critical component to influence consumers in the digital revolution.


Marketing To A Technological Driven Society

October 24, 2012

HOW TO TAP IN, MOTIVATE AND ENGAGE GENERATION Y

Generation Y. The millennial’s. The digital indulgers. The text message masters. No matter what you call them they are the biggest generation in U.S history and they have transformed the way information is consumed.

Born between approximately 1980 and 1995, this 17-32 year old demographic was raised with technology and is more connected than the previous baby boomer generation. They are an 80 million strong group with high spending habits but have adapted new technologies that challenge the marketers’ ability to connect and engage.

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