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.


Creative Ways to Integrate Direct Mail and Digital Marketing for B2B

January 15, 2014

3 proven tactics for achieving measurable results

Clay-Direct-MarketingMention Direct Mail to a room full of advertising professionals these days, and you will probably see some eye-rolling. Snail mail is considered passé, and digital solutions are all anyone wants to discuss. But let’s not forget that traditional direct mail tactics are the bedrock on which some of today’s greatest Digital Marketing strategies are built.

Interactive channels might be more dynamic, but they can’t do it all. Direct mailing lists are often more targeted, reliable, and more difficult to opt out of than emails. Customers are also more likely to open Direct Mail and more likely to actually read it. That’s why smart marketers still leverage Direct Mail to drive their Direct Digital Marketing efforts. Here are three examples of how you can do it, too:

Invite Customers to Opt into Email

Email blasts are easily filtered into the spam folder, and, even if they are opened, they are just as simple to opt out of. Try “priming” your customers with a Direct Mail so they are actually looking forward to your Emails. Use your direct mailer to announce a sweepstakes or offer a coupon, and then require customers to provide an email address and respond to your emails in order to receive the prize or discount. This is a more civilized way of ushering customers onto your email list of their own free will, which makes it more likely that they will stay there.

Use personalized URLs (PURLs)

It’s a no-brainer to use Direct Mail to drive customers to your website, but you can get greater measurability and interactivity by driving them to personalized micro-sites or PURLs. You’ll know how successful your mailing was by how many users access your PURL, plus you can provide an extremely targeted user experience once they get there. More and more, companies are using PURLs alongside their corporate websites to cater to specific customer types by providing completely different products and other features. These micro-sites can be used as informational social media hubs or they can offer customized product lines that make more sense when separated from the main website. PURLs offer unlimited possibilities, but without direct mail to drive them there, your customer might not find them.

Add QR Codes

Quick response codes (QR) are small icons made up of dots that translate into binary code. Smartphone users scan the icon with their phone to access online websites and videos that provide more information about a product. Although they are still used mainly by early adopter’s of technology, QR codes are becoming more and more popular with advertisers. In fact, about 10% of magazine ads now contain QR codes. Not surprisingly, codes that offer a discount, coupon or chance to enter a sweepstakes have a higher response rate. Direct Mail is the ideal traffic driver for websites and mobile platforms that use QR codes because you can easily target specific demographics within your existing customer base. Adding a QR code to direct mail ensures that your offer is as instantaneous as everything in the digital world.

Many companies are shelving direct mailing lists they have spent years building because they are so focused on digital solutions. I hope this post gives you a sense of how to incorporate Direct Mail to enhance your Direct Digital Marketing efforts rather than wasting those valuable assets. If you have questions or comments, contact frank@claycreativeresults.com


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


Direct and Digital Marketing for B2B Success

December 6, 2013

CLAYCREATIVEGROUP.COM4 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


Marketing Your Made in the USA Product Website

September 11, 2013

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Proven tactics that can drive more traffic

No matter what type of American-made product you’re marketing, you have most likely put a lot of effort into creating a website that is informative and engaging. Unfortunately, if potential customers can’t find you, all of your hard work is wasted.

So, how can you drive more visitors to your Made in the USA website without substantially increasing your marketing budget? Here is an excellent list of marketing tactics to use as a gut check. Review it and ask yourself if you are doing as much as you can to bring in new traffic to your website.

Blogging

Creating a free-standing blog or adding a blog to your website is a great tactic for turning web surfers into paying customers. Your blog should offer free, original and quality content in order to attract new visitors and set you apart from the competition. For instance, if you have an interest in American landmarks, you could host a blog featuring one landmark a month. Before you know it, your loyal readers will be checking out your Made in the USA website to find out more about you. Simply add a link to your brand website and violá, you’ve got traffic!

YouTube

Believe it or not, YouTube is considered to be one of the largest search engines out there. Creating videos and posting them to YouTube can entice customers to check out your website, too. The idea isn’t to create a commercial for your brand, but to provide interesting content that is sponsored by your brand. Remember the example of highlighting American landmarks? You could just as easily use that strategy to create videos. Your brand will be associated with something quintessentially America, and customers who are interested in buying American will share that value.

Word of mouth (forums/Facebook fan pages, etc.)

In the same way that your brand has a personality, your brand should also have likes and dislikes that it shares with customers. Get out there and actively network with your customer base. Comment on posts, like people’s pages, check in on Twitter, and don’t forget to post images that you like to Pinterest. By actively participating in a social network, your brand will build connections with fans and followers and benefit from word of mouth recommendations.

Email marketing

Most potential customers need to be engaged multiple times before they buy, which is why email marketing works so well. You can easily repurpose your blog or YouTube content and share it via enewsletters, or you can simply send friendly reminders about your product line and upcoming sales and events. As an American-made brand, remember to leverage the power of American traditions and holidays, and send out emails that celebrate with your customers. Make sure every email includes a link back to your website so that your newly engaged prospect can become a full-fledged customer!

If you’re serious about driving traffic to your website, I suggest working down this list and asking yourself how well your brand is keeping up. For more ideas to drive traffic to your Made in the USA website, contact Frank@claycreativeresults.com.


Marketing Made in USA Products to Baby Boomers

September 6, 2013

3 reasons your American-made brand should target the “me” generation

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Baby Boomers are more interested than ever before in buying Made in the USA products. That may be a large part of why the American-made movement has grown so quickly in recent years. If you are marketing a Made in the USA product, be sure you are taking the time to understand the motivations of your largest market. Here are 3 reasons why:

They Have the Buying Power

Baby Boomers are the largest consumer group in America. Even in a recession, they still account for a whopping 40% of total consumer demand. Boomers control 70% of the total net worth of American households, own 80% of all money in savings and loan associations, and spend more money disproportionately to their numbers.

They Actively Seek Out American-Made

An April 2012 Gallup poll revealed that baby boomers are much more likely to buy American-made products than their younger counterparts. The survey polled more than 1,000 adults and found that 53% of people between the ages of 50 and 64 seek out products made in America when shopping. Conversely, only about 20% of shoppers under 30 actively shop for Made in the USA products. Baby Boomers are reaching out with open arms to embrace the Made in America movement. Be sure your brand is reaching back.

They are Conscientious Consumers

Baby Boomers have a long, proud history of being cause-conscious, and they vote with their wallets. To them, buying American is no longer just about blind patriotism. It is a socially conscious choice that helps keep jobs in our country, stimulates our economy, and lets corporations know that they will not stand for the pollution, human rights abuses and poor quality that foreign manufacturers accept as part of trade. I even found a baby boomer advocacy website that sums up all of the reasons why socially conscious boomers are buying American: http://www.babyboomergold.com/2012/08/made-in-america-a-critical-response-to-economic-conditions-in-america/

It’s worth checking out, because these are also great selling points for your American-made product.

Baby Boomers as a group are loyal to buying American-made products, and they have the money to back it up. If you are marketing a Made in the USA brand, and you don’t already have a fully integrated strategy for reaching this target market, I hope I have convinced you that it is time.

Questions or comments? I’d like to hear what you think. Contact me at Frank@claycreativeresults.com.