Whether you are in manufacturing, distribution, finance or technology you will have seen the disruption taking place around, disruption is important and not just a buzzword, disruption in its truest form leads to innovation. You should follow marketing trends in order to stay competitive and top of mind with your customers and prospects. Even though your current marketing planning is working for your business, here are some additional social media and digital aspects you might want to consider (if you aren’t already) to improve your marketing.
1. Learn from your competitors
Start by looking at your competitors, this will give you some insight into their strategy and tactics. Understand what they are doing to attract customers. If you’re the only company in your industry still using cold calling techniques with little return, it’s time to change things up. Their tactics might work for you, especially since you are trying to attract the same customers.
For example, if you see that your competitors regularly run ads on LinkedIn or Facebook, you might consider doing the same. The regular ads might signal that your competitors see success from running their ads on these platforms. You might want to consider looking at language and imagery too, especially over the long term to see what your competitors are doing.
2. Reach out to your customers and get testimonials
Peer-to-peer or person-to-person marketing is very powerful, when people look at purchasing a product they very often ask a friend and look at online reviews, the same can be said when a business is considering purchasing a new piece of software, they will look at what people say about their experience with the company and the software.
In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, the top 3 items people looked for when purchasing a business software, was, Product Quality, Expertise and Responsiveness.
You might have a dedicated testimonials page, or you might let customers review your products. Either way, customer reviews are a critical component of what makes a website effective.
You can have customers leave reviews on social media. For example, customers can leave reviews on your business’s LinkedIn page or leave reviews on dedicated review sites.
3. Build your business with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the most effective platform in the B2B marketing space. More specifically, LinkedIn is most influential for lead generation. If used properly, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to also create brand awareness, establish thought leadership and the overall support for your company’s value proposition.
Create a showcase page
Showcase Pages are free extensions of your Company Page, designed for spotlighting a brand, business unit, or initiative. Create pages for aspects of your business that use distinct messaging and target specific audiences.
Customize your pages for global audiences
If your business has a global presence, you can set up your Company Pages and Showcase Pages in more than 20 different languages. Then use targeting filters like geography and language to define the audience for your updates.
Share rich content daily
Post at least once per weekday. Consistent posting encourages engagement and fosters familiarity. Updates posted in the morning usually earn the highest engagement, with a slight bump occurring again after business hours. Experiment to see what works best for your company.
Upgrade your visuals
Stand out in the news feed. Always include an image or some type of rich media. Images generally result in a 98% higher comment rate. Links to YouTube videos play directly in the LinkedIn feed and usually result in a 75% higher share rate.
Optimize your headlines and introductions
Think like a journalist: Don't bury the ledge. Concise intros and snappy headlines are more likely to result in higher engagement. Ask thoughtful questions to involve your audience. Always include a clear call to action, like a link.
Be helpful and friendly, not sale-sy
One-sided conversations are no fun. So, don’t post overly promotional messages. If you do post occasional company-related news or product announcements, make sure they deliver a specific benefit to your followers.
4. Simplify your website and the user experience
If your website is complicated to navigate, customers are more likely to leave before they act or convert. Complicated design, new and creative functionality and image overload can slow down your website. Website visitors tend to care more about the speed of your website than its creativity. The load page speed is a high-ranking factor for search engines.
5. Define your call-to-action
It may seem simple to you, but your Call-to-Action needs to be clearly defined. When a user engages your website, they need to know what to do when. A hidden Contact Us button is not going to help the user and they will most likely not convert.
There is no guaranteed way to get a potential consumer to click on your call-to-action button, but you can make it as clear as possible. It’s a good idea to use short, easy to understand calls to action that invite the reader to take decisive action.
Get the point across in as few words as possible while still helping your visitor understand the benefit they’ll get from acting. Words that entice someone to take immediate action, such as tacking on “Download Now” or “Get” or “Watch” to the end of your CTA are also useful. Do A/B testing to see which buttons work better. Your website is a living platform and such should be up to date and relevant to your audience.
6. Google AdWords
Any business, regardless of size, wants to be found on the first page of Google. Getting seen by customers at the exact time they are looking for information on a challenge and solution needs to find you. Finding your business at the right time could be very profitable for your business.
But if you are a business hoping to organically get on the top ten search results, you must recognize you’re competing with career-long, experienced, motivated SEO experts.
However, with Google AdWords you can compete on the same level, no matter how long you've been around for or how old your domain is. You can get your message viewed by your market, exactly when they’re searching for your specific product or service.
You can target by area, keywords, contact details and display them within the AdWords ad, giving the user instant access to your information.
In a world where digitization and disruption are the order of the day, to stay on top you need to consistently engage with your audience, from research to execution your audience and customers are critical to your success. You can conquer any barriers to entry by being agile in your approach. Small steps can make a big impact. Once you have your marketing mix figured out you will reap the rewards.