Thursday, 19 April 2012

Using Email Marketing, Social Media and Online PR to Make Real World Connections


Clients often asked me, before booking their seats on the iContact Crash Course in Email and Social Media Marketing Seminar (currently touring the United Kingdom), if the course material will be relevant to B2B Marketers.
I’m a great believer in the theory that there is actually very little difference (at least initially) between B2C and B2B Marketing. The same rules of relevancy, frequency and engagement apply to both sectors. I will however concede, that the B2B marketer might find the final conversion, from an engaged email subscriber or social media follower, to a paying client a little more challenging than their B2C counterparts.
This is particularly true for B2B marketers promoting extremely complex or expensive solutions. In such cases, nothing beats human to human contact (the original social marketing). But this isn’t so easy. Getting in front of your clients can prove to be expensive, time consuming and wasteful if you don’t carefully qualify your leads before making the call.
Thankfully Email Marketing, Social Media and Online PR can help you to become a more efficient “people person” helping you to prioritize meetings and deliver contact personally.
Six Digital Marketing Tactics to Make Real World Connections
  1. Multiples Levels of Email Subscription: Marketers and Sales Managers often operate at cross-purposes. The marketer will want to drive as many leads into the organization as possible. The sales manager will want fewer leads but greater insight into the quality of their prospects. The solution is to offer various levels of subscription. Keep subscription forms for items like newsletters short and to the point (i.e. name and email address). You can then use these email addresses to re-market more complex campaigns promoting white papers, webinars, events, etc. Because you are now offering great perceived value you can ask for more detail such as company name, position and turnover (although I find it best not to make this a compulsory field). You should also remember it should be pretty easy to prospect using just a name and email address using sites like Linkedin.com
  2. Social Sharing: Because birds of a feather flock together, include social media sharing buttons in your email marketing campaigns to encourage your subscribers to share your messages with their wider network. iContact has recently announced an integration to Linkedin – which will be especially useful to B2B Marketers.
  3. Blogging: Don’t think of a blog as a one-way communication channel. Use your blog posts to encourage debate and conversation and you may well find your next “hot lead” in the comments section below your articles. Blogs also provide a great resource for email marketing and social media content as well as being an awesome SEO tool. Remember to also use your blog to drive email and social media engagement by including subscription forms and social media buttons on every page.
  4. The One to Many Approach (Webinars): Webinars provide an incredibly reliable solution for getting in front of multiple prospects without leaving your office. They also provide an opportunity for prospects to sit back and learn from other attendee’s questions. Encorage your attendees to share your insight during the webinar by promoting a relevant Twitter #hashtag on every slide of your presentation. At the end of your session always ask your guests to raise a virtual hand if they would like you to follow up with them straight away.
  5. Real World Events: Events can be an incredibly expensive way of getting in front of a group of customers and prospects. But nothing beats the live environment for creating a buzz around your brand. To keep costs down, why not run your events at a college, university or even a local library. Many of these low-cost venues have facilities to match more traditional venues such as hotels and purpose built venues. iContact’sEttend software also provides a great low cost solution for promoting and managing your events ticketing (it’s actually free for free events). See point #4 re. Twitter #hastags to drive social media engagement during the event.
  6. PR SEO: A well written press release using a service like PRWeb is a great way to get your message in front of literally thousands (perhaps even millions) of viewers, drive social media engagement and (with careful use of landing pages) conversions. It’s also a great way to promote your webinars, events, product launches and company announcements to an audience who may not have your organization on their radar. (FYI, our organic traffic #’s just surged over 2 million this last month).
photo: nicolasnova

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