Category: B2B Strategy


Account-Based Marketing, Digital Tools for Relevant Targeting

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MAXIMIZE YOUR BUDGET WITH RELEVANT ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING

How Account-Based Marketing (ABM) helps B2B businesses generate qualified lead$.

Generating qualified leads for your business often poses one of the greatest challenges that B2B companies encounter.  Between all of the sales calls, e-mails and networking, the task of finding interested buyers can become both daunting and tedious.  However, put the right account-based marketing campaign in place, and these struggles quickly begin to subside.  Read on to learn more about how account-based marketing can benefit your business.

 

The Goal: Generate Qualified Leads

Account-based marketing is a methodology that allows you to develop highly focused business strategies so that you can identify key decision-makers within your target market.

 

Where is the value generated?  ABM connects you as quickly and efficiently as possible to potential clients that bring the most value to your business.

 

For example, ABM creates personalized campaigns to engage with prospects that would be most interested in your marketing message.  Keep in mind though that ABM is more than just a lead generation tactic; it also encourages upselling and cross-selling to existing customers.  Hello, customer loyalty!

 

Key Benefits of ABM

For B2B markets, ABM is becoming the predominant approach to target more valuable accounts.  Here are some of the benefits:

 

  • Personalized Marketing Approachmarketing-and-sales-alignment

A personalized message is more enticing than something that’s equivalent to your generic junk or spam mail. ABM provides marketers with insights about highly targeted potential leads. This allows them to create tailored campaign messaging based on a customer’s particularities and specificities.

 

  • Sales and Marketing Alignment

Collaboration in any business is an important key to success. With ABM, marketing and sales departments work together; identifying target accounts, crafting customized campaigns and working together to move accounts through the pipeline.

 

  • Shorter Sales Cycles

Major purchase decisions oftentimes involve multiple stakeholders, which means slower sales cycles. Without ABM, the sales process may have to start at a lower level in the organization and move sluggishly upwards towards the primary decision-maker. ABM helps speed up the sales process as you can nurture all of your prospects at once, and oftentimes will put you in touch with at least one key decision-maker from the get-go.

 

  • Distinct ROI

Never miss the mark! Account-based marketing is exact and measurable, providing the highest ROI of all B2B marketing tactics.

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85% of marketers who measure ROI describe account-based marketing as

delivering higher returns than any other marketing strategy.

 

  • Less Wasted Resources

For any B2B company, closing a sale without expending all of their resources is a top priority. Account-based marketing connects you with highly targeted accounts, allowing your company to utilize your time and resources more efficiently so you can close deals faster.

 

Account-Based Marketing Tools

There are several ways to utilize ABM, but the strategy begins with creating meaningful segments; finding your ideal target market often takes a lot of initial industry research. Companies need to also discuss which tactics will work best for their business model. How you choose to implement ABM ultimately depends on your business’ wants, needs and goals. It’s all about personalizationHere are some common tactics:   

 

  • Events

In-person events are usually very successful. Most people like to put a face to a name to persuade their decisions on sales.  Some examples could be dinners, facility tours, or other events like meet-and-greets.

 

  • Webinars

The web is becoming more and more personable. Like meeting at an event, webinars can also be unique to specific companies as long as they are relevant and timely.

 

  • Direct Mail

A personalized letter says a lot in this digital age. ABM is highly targeted, so gifts and marketing sent through direct mail have a potentially higher value for customer conversion.
Check out This Custom Thanks – a service dedicated to handwritten thank you notes and major events for businesses.

 

  • Email Campaigns

Nobody likes spam mail. However, e-mail can prove to be a valuable method of reaching clients, especially since ABM involves crafting tailored messages for each company or individual. Marketo conducted a study where 78% of consumers said they would only engage with offers that have been personalized to their previous engagements with your brand.

 

  • Paid Advertisingpay-per-click

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, is a way of reaching out to targeted prospects online. Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn and many other social platforms allow for specific targeting and retargeting.  PPC campaigns can be tailored to focus on a handful of potential leads at specific stages of your marketing funnel.

 

  • Web Personalization

ABM can help you identify the gaps between your web content and the content that your targeted leads typically engage with. After these gaps have been identified you can utilize website personalization technology to create a tailored web experience for targeted prospects.

 

Bulls-eye for Your Business and Budget

You have a story to tell, but you want to tell it to the right people who will actually listen and respond (i.e. convert to a qualified lead).  The bottom-line for ABM is reaching the right people within your target market, hence why personalizing your marketing campaigns is crucial to your success with customer conversion.

 

Want to know more about how Dream Factory’s team can help you pinpoint your ideal customer with an ABM strategy?

We’re here to develop the strategy you need to succeed.

 

CONTACT US

Resources: https://www.optimizely.com/optimization-glossary/account-based-marketing/

 

https://www.marketo.com/account-based-marketing/

Maximize Your Tradeshow Social Media Posts

Best practices for exhibitors to boost engagement

 

Tradeshow season is a fun and exciting time for your team—especially for networking and engaging with customers or potential leads. But don’t stop there: tradeshow events extend to social media, too, and you won’t want to miss out on the conversation. Read on to learn how your company’s presence on social during special events in your industry will help engage with current customers and nurture leads.

 

What You’ll Learn in This Article

 

Tradeshow Prep

Start “getting social” way before tradeshow day. First, you’ll want to research tradeshow specific hashtags and follow tradeshow social accounts. Usually, you’ll find this on the tradeshow website. Post when you will be exhibiting at the tradeshow and share your booth number to let followers know you’ll be at the show. Don’t forget the hashtags!

Second, get your followers and tradeshow attendees something to look forward to when they visit your exhibit. If you’re exhibiting a special product or service, consider sharing a teaser video or photo. Think about the annual theme or specific topics the tradeshow event wants to focus. How will your company contribute to the conversation?

For example, we like how IBM Research intrigues their followers about their next project. They posted a short slip with probing questions concerning the latest research in AI technology and followers can expect answers if they attend the exhibition.

 

Twitter post from IBM Research reading: Can AI capture the narrative of a global population on a controversial topic? We are bringing IBM #Project Debater to the #Alfor Good Global Summit hosted by the @ITU to find out.

 

You can see the full Tweet here.

Don’t forget to leverage your employees. They’re your #1 social media advocates and a great way to drive relevant audiences to be interested in your exhibition. For example, your sales team should promote the event on their social to bring in leads.

 

Tradeshow Day

It’s the big day! But don’t let the busyness distract you from engaging on social media. The first thing to do is to take a photo of your team at your booth and get people excited to check it out. Remember, video is the most engaging medium so don’t be afraid to share a quick video on Twitter or to your company story on Facebook. If you meet one of your customers or someone who is excited about what you have to offer, ask if you can share a testimonial on your platform.

 

We think OFNTSC shared a great photo because it shows a team member engaging with a tradeshow attendee. Moreover, utilizing their company hashtag and adding the convention center using the Twitter location feature.

 

Twitter post from OFNTSC reading: OFNTSC's Infrastructure Specialist, Nathan Hill, sharing his knowledge of OFNTSC's services at the Ontario's Water Conference and Trade show!

 

You can check out the full Tweet here.

If you’re speaking at the event, have a colleague take a video of your presentation and post it on social. Even better, share it along with slides or supplemental materials on LinkedIn with their document support feature.

You’ll also want to consider including social icons, QR codes, and other call-to-actions to let visitors at your booth know where you are on social media.

 

Post-Show Highlights

The tradeshow is over, but you’re not quite done yet. Review business cards from leads you’ve met and ask them to connect and like your company pages on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Include a personal note to make it memorable such as referring back to a conversation. Make sure you “like” their business page back on social!

Now time for the highlight reel. Remember, post-tradeshow social media is all about bringing the experience to the people who weren’t able to attend. Post photos to an album or make a short video with key highlights from the show. Publish a blog post with a story about your tradeshow experience and answer any questions you were asked by attendees.

In this example, we like that this GE Healthcare employee posted about her recent tradeshow experience on her LinkedIn profile. She created an album of her coworkers at the event and how the team participated in lectures. Finally, she utilizes the company hashtag, tradeshow hashtag, and even tagged other member profiles.

 

LinkedIn post reading: Another successful participation of #GE Healthcare during #JPR2019. This year, MR LATAM team participated with 12 education lectures in #GE Talks with topics like AIR Technology, Artificial Intelligence, etc. Post includes photos of the event and team members.

 

And that’s a wrap! Always make the most of your tradeshow social media. Your company is putting the investment and time to exhibit—why not leverage it for engagement?

 

READY TO STRATEGIZE A TRADESHOW CAMPAIGN?

We’re here to provide the strategies you need. Contact us and learn what options are right for you.

Discover New LinkedIn Features in 2019

woman on her phone with social media icons

How the professional platform became community-driven.

Even in 2019, LinkedIn is often characterized as Facebook’s ‘uptight’ brother who only talks about work. That’s no longer true, though: the platform has shifted gears towards building communities and participating in the exchange of ideas.

 

While B2B businesses typically struggle with platforms like Instagram and Twitter, LinkedIn is the place where they prosper. So it’s no surprise that LinkedIn’s new additions are designed to help B2B businesses thrive with effective marketing.

 

Keep on reading to discover the latest ways to “amp up” your LinkedIn presence in 2019.

 

What You’ll Learn in This Article

 

 

 

Your Rebuilt Company Page

 

If you haven’t touched your company LinkedIn page in ages, this is the year to do so. LinkedIn added new sections to company pages to help generate leads and turn connections to relationships. New sections include hashtags, content suggestions, and sharing documents. Facebook users will recognize a few of these additions below.

 

Hashtags

 

Previously, LinkedIn’s hashtags weren’t as useful as those on other social platforms like Twitter and Instagram. However, the hashtags are now here to stay to make posts more searchable and connect communities.

 

Keep in mind that LinkedIn is still a professional platform; be cautious of using certain hashtags that won’t fly well within your industry or other professionals. Also, it’s recommended that you limit your posts to a maximum of five hashtags—or else the LinkedIn algorithm will flag it as spam.

 

sample post on LinkedIn

 

 

Now, here’s the big question: how do you know what hashtags to use?

 

First, try checking here to discover hashtags based on your activity and industry, including the company pages you manage. LinkedIn can make great recommendations for you as a starting point. You’ll want to focus on hashtags for niche communities within your industry, but keep it balanced by utilizing general hashtags, too.

 

You’ll want to focus on hashtags for niche communities within your industry but keep it balanced by utilizing general hashtags too.

 

Location-based hashtags are great to target users in a specific region since 70% of LinkedIn’s users live outside the U.S.

 

After researching your list of hashtags, choose the top three to display on your company page i.e., the hashtags with the largest following and most relevant to your industry. These three hashtags will help your company engage with conversations and connect with other thought-leaders.

 

hashtags on LinkedIn platform

 

Content Suggestions

 

LinkedIn now makes curation so much easier. As a company manager or page admin, you’ll notice ‘Content Suggestions’ on the top bar with your other Admin tools. You can see trending topics within your industry and page followers, and share to your company page.

 

If you’re looking for specific content, LinkedIn allows you to filter content suggestions from LinkedIn members, page followers or employees. Or, use filters to see content from a specific industry, location, job function or seniority. Take the time to play around with the feature to gain inspiration for your own unique content that your audience is most likely to engage with!

 

Sharing Documents

 

Hooray for document support! Unlike Facebook and most platforms, you can now share PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and PDFs with your followers and groups. To use this feature, visit your home page feed and you will notice a new, third icon enabling you to share documents. Why is this a neat feature? Because you can use these formats to share content such as informational guides or downloadable templates.

 

sharing a document on LinkedIn

 

 

You can also utilize it for storytelling and social media campaigns. Remember, LinkedIn users typically engage more with helpful information related to their job profession, so documents are perfect to meet those needs.

 

The Big Picture

 

LinkedIn’s latest features for 2019 may seem simple at first glance. However, in a wider scope, you can see that LinkedIn is pushing for a platform that is community driven versus individualistic. Hashtags, content suggestions and sharing documents all propel the goal of passing around industry knowledge with like-minded, career-oriented individuals.

 

As a B2B business, you’ll benefit from participating in the conversation and better yet, make your LinkedIn campaigns effective and attractive.

 

READY TO SWITCH UP YOUR LINKEDIN STRATEGY?

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Stop Ignoring Storytelling: Your #1 B2B Strategy

B2B Storytelling Strategy

How You Can Tell Stories to Stand Out

You’re just about to throw in the towel. As any B2B business should, you’re doing everything by the book: you’ve published tons of marketing content, you implemented blogging, you’re using email automation, you’re scraping for comments on your Facebook company page, and at this point, read hundreds of articles for “best practices” for lead generation. You’re frustrated. After all, how can a B2B business stand out from the competition on social media and elsewhere? What more can be done?

 

You’ve probably heard the term ‘storytelling’ in the marketing sphere. Before you turn your cheek and say ‘I’m B2B, that doesn’t apply to me’, we have a secret to share with you: storytelling is the greatest tool in your B2B marketing arsenal.

 

 

What You’ll Find in This Article:

 

 

What is Storytelling in Marketing?

Since the dawn of human civilization, we naturally gravitate towards storytelling. Emotional narratives resonate with us and drives us to reminiscence, change our views, or take action. It’s a no-brainer that this applies to the sales process, no matter where potential leads are in the buyer journey. In fact, advertising research shows that emotion is the greatest factor in buyer intent.

 

This explains why people tend to be loyal or prefer to buy from certain brands than others—they want to be included in their story. People will choose what they’re emotionally connected to over functionality any day.

 

Stories are not advertisements. A story does not promote any product or service directly. Rather, it gives the company an opportunity to voice a statement, to show that there are people behind the brand, or make an ethical stance.

 

How YOU Can Tell Your B2B Story

 

Let’s talk about the essential elements of a storytelling campaign:

 

  1. Setting
  2. Characters
  3. Conflict
  4. Plot
  5. Resolution
  6. Action

 

Setting

The setting is straight-forward: where is the story taken place? The city or country-side or maybe something local like an office? When is it? Modern or sometime in the past? Relevancy is an important factor to consider depending on who the audience is.

 

Characters

Who are your characters? Consider their gender, age, race, educational background, social class, and job. Are they young, fresh out of college adults? The middle-class working man? The businesswoman and mother of two? Depending on who you want to target, you’ll want to make your characters relatable.

 

Conflict

What’s the conflict your characters are facing? Are they struggling with change, in need of something, facing a life situation, or need their voice to be heard? Think about the tone you want to go for: light-hearted, humorous, or emotionally heavy?

 

Plot:

Now, here’s the bulk of it: plot. What initiated your characters to want a change? How are your characters going to resolve their conflict? Is it a long journey or just a couple of steps? Does it take physical action or a change in mindset? Most importantly, is it doable to your viewers?

 

Resolution

What’s the defining resolution? What does success look like to your characters? Have they changed for the better? What’s their life like now that they overcame their conflict? Think about the purpose of this story. Is the main takeaway courage? Love? Resilience? Teamwork?

 

Action

Lastly, how will your viewers take action to be included in the narrative? Using a hashtag to add to the conversation on social media? Share with friends or colleagues who might relate to the story? Donate to a charity? Take into account the delivery:  A video? Series of interviews? A podcast? Blog posts? A combination of presentations?

 

These questions are to help you construct your story, but don’t limit yourself—the most successful storytelling campaigns are the ones that are specific and unique to your business.

 

Calculating ROI for Storytelling Strategy

Now, you might be wondering: How can I measure ROI? How can something creative and abstract translate to marketing analytics?

 

First, take a look at your pain points: Are potential leads clicking on your Google ad but clicking off your website? Are your current clients not opening your email marketing campaigns? Do you have tons of views on your Facebook post but zero engagement? Use these pain points to identify your goals and tools like data visualization software needed to create the story framework. This will also give you an idea on where to emphasize your story.

 

Next, take into account human resources, talent, and tools needed to complete the storytelling project. This will help with measuring ROI in the long-run which will be in the form of cost outlays and selected metrics. You’ll want to track cost and profit over the full course of the storytelling campaign.

 

Most importantly, don’t neglect marketing technology. Investing in analytical research such as search algorithms and SEO will help point to the right direction when creating and timing content. Consider the multimodality of a story campaign—text, graphics, animation, video, voice, etc.—and the different platforms from it will channel the message.

 

At this point, the standard procedure of setting KPIs comes into place: social media statistics website traffic, lead generation, and response and conversion rates along with cost-per-click (CPC) and customer acquisition cost (CAC). But remember: storytelling is about the bigger picture. Remember those pain points we established? Use data visualization to show how your storytelling campaign impacted these weak areas by emotionally engaging with the potential lead or customer.

 

Ultimately, storytelling breathes life into a business. It brings value that no product or service, no matter its superb quality, can achieve. It makes your business a person; that alone makes you stand out from the competition.

 

Brands That Leverage Great Storytelling

 

Cisco

The technology conglomerate Cisco, known for its networking and telecommunications hardware, launched a documentary series “The Network Effect”.  It tells the story of how service providers helped pave the way for the development of mobile communications and social media. The campaign involved a series of videos on YouTube and their website.

 

Cisco The Network Effect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why it was successful

The documentary was nominated in the 2012 American Business Awards for Best Motivational Video and Film category. The video campaign received over 137,000 views on YouTube and even screened at Mobile Word Congress and featured on ShortsHDTV.

 

Cisco aimed to increase “…awareness of the socioeconomic impact the network has in bringing education and access to services, allowing microbusinesses in the third world to compete globally.” As a result, Cisco is perceived as a thought-leader and passionate about the networking field, recognizing its history and inserting themselves in the story as it continues today.

 

GE (General Electric)

Created by their in-house marketing team, The Grid, the iconic company GE launched a sci-fi podcast series called The Message. The series garnered a massive audience, with over 8 million downloads and reaching to the Top 20.

 

The Message by GE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why it was successful

Not only was the experimental project a success in numbers, but the podcast also managed to creatively feature GE technology at the core of the story. Its listeners no longer see General Electric as a cold corporation but instead a company that likes to innovate with storytelling on the latest platforms.

 

LinkedIn

The professional and business-focused social platform LinkedIn launched a series of stories about their users called Celebrate Success. Each short video focuses on a member of the company and their journey of how they achieved their goals.

 

LinkedIn Celebrate Success

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why it was successful

There’s been a number of times when LinkedIn aims to divert from the typical ‘white-collar professional’ stereotype on their platform, such as with the In it Together campaign. This storytelling campaign is no different, as it casts a light on their users in a real, authentic way. These strides help attract diverse users to their platform, particularly millennials as they enter the workforce.

 

Ready to tell your story? We’ve got you covered.

We’re here to provide the strategies you need. Contact us and learn what options are right for you.