Tips from The Partner Marketing Group
Cheryl Strege started her career in this industry in 1989 at Great Plains. Sixteen years of experience there and with Microsoft in a variety of partner-facing marketing roles was the best “incubator” for a marketing consulting organization. After leaving Microsoft in 2005, she spent 3 years consulting at The Partner Channel before starting her own company called The Partner Marketing Group.
5 ‘Must Do’s to Create a Unique Buying Experience
I recently attended a webinar from MarketingProfs that said an average of 9 information assets are downloaded during the purchase process. The scramble to create content is already top of mind for many B2B organizations, but with this new number, it makes you wonder how to increase the chances their downloading more of your resources versus your competitors.
The secret is to form the picture for your prospects, tell that story that helps them formulate a decision in their minds. How do you do this you ask? Well, let’s start with 5 tricks and see where that takes us:
- Embrace a one-screen mentality: With increasing use of mobile devices, marketers need to think holistically. What should be accessible on a laptop should also be accessible on a mobile device- we no longer have to differentiate this.
- Create progression: Call out specifically what prospects should do next after they read your content. You need to literally spell it out for them.
- Incorporate distinct value: What strengths match your prospects needs? Once you identify them, call it out again and again.
- Amplify buyer value: Stop talking about what you do and how great you are. Always answer the question ‘what’s in it for ‘joe’?’ This approach will create value statements that resonate with your audience.
- Simplify effort: The less your readers need to do means the higher the motivation to do it. If they know they need to fill out a crazy long form to access content, then you may lose them fast.
If you need help producing content that creates a unique buying experience, please take a look at our writing services. For more marketing...
#1 Challenge for Marketers? Producing Enough Content
Content marketing is basically about creating and delivering content that attracts your target market, gets read, gets shared, and in the long run, turns prospects into buyers. You may think of content in the traditional sense of white papers and brochures but today it includes e-books, infographics (love these things!), video, blog posts (like this one), press releases, polls, video, slideshows, case studies, resource kits, video, checklists, surveys, video and more. (Yes, I did mention video 4 times in the previous sentence, that’s how important it can be.) However, that’s a long list of content to create and maintain since it needs to be fresh in our quickly-moving world. In fact, according to MarketingProfs, producing enough content is the #1 challenge faced by B2B content marketers (64%), followed by “producing the kind of content that engages” (52%), and “producing a variety of content” (45%). All that before the budget obstacle! (39%)
One way to address the gap is to RECYCLE the content you have and have had. You probably have a brochure titled “The Top 10 Ways My Product/Service Helps Your Business Grow.” You can turn those top 10 ways into 10 blog posts or an e-book. Or you may have a corporate overview brochure that you can turn into a series of social media snippets to be posted on Twitter or LinkedIn that speak to your skills and uniqueness.
Another way to fill the gap is to outsource the writing. Keep your salespeople and implementation specialists focused on their jobs and outsource the development of the marketing pieces to a firm that works in your field of technology. It’s much easier for them to create the infographic or...
Vision Without Execution Is Hallucination
Many years ago, I had the pleasure of working first hand with a great visionary. He was bold in his thinking, passionate about the software business, and unconstrained by the “details." I’ve never had so much fun than while on this team—and so much frustration at the same time—as I, the detail person, was assigned to work with him.
Being unconstrained by details is empowering. However, taking that brilliant vision and executing it as described isn’t a cakewalk. As noted in this quote attributed to Thomas Edison, “Vision without execution is hallucination.”
That can be the crux of marketing. You can create (or pay someone to create) a superb marketing plan. You can assign a budget to fund it, and you can hire people to staff the entire marketing department. But if you can’t execute against the strategy, week after week, month after month, the splendid idea becomes the dreaded hallucination.
In many respects, our target customer has no memory. They don’t remember seeing our blogpost or the concise tweets we spent hours writing. They only know that when they’re ready to buy, you had better be “front and center” or someone else—someone with more consistent marketing execution skills—will get the business. Without execution, you’re one of the masses, chasing a customer that doesn’t know or recognize your value.
For more marketing tips and ideas, opt into the monthly newsletter at ThePartnerMarketingGroup.com/contact.
How to Find and Keep Social Media Followers: Part 2- ‘Keepers’
In my last post, I gave some social media engagement tips for getting more followers. I’ll assume you did them all and now you are seeing more followers. So now what? Did you know that 96% of users LIKE a page once and don’t revisit? And 85% of visitors ONLY view the Top Posts versions of the News Feed? Posts that have likes and comments are higher in the ranking than those without.
What can you do to keep your posts in front of your followers AND get them to share?
Be Funny. B2B shouldn’t mean boring. Use humor to engage your followers. Visit http://www.memecenter.com/tag/business , or cartoon sites such as: http://www.glasbergen.com/business-computer-cartoons/ for inspiration. By the way – humor in business is always a challenge. We suggest running your “funnies” through a few people before posting.
Be Visual. Visuals do great on Facebook. They grab attention in a feed full of text and are more likely to be shared. Visuals of course can cross over into your “fun” category but they can also be as simple as new product box shots, screen shots, or events.
Be Human. It doesn’t matter that you’re a B2B marketer – you’re still talking to a...
How to Find and Keep Social Media Followers: Part 1 - ‘Finders’
Whenever I talk about Facebook in trainings or with my clients, I always get a lot of pushback: “I have a Facebook page but I have so few followers it’s not worth it.” “I don’t get any business from it.” “I post but I’m not getting clicks.”
Facebook (or any social network for that matter) is no Field of Dreams. You have to do more than build it to get followers and then keep them engaged. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to find and keep followers.
I’ll share my favorite tips for both in this two part blog.
Finders. Let’s start with some tips for finding more followers:
- Put on your best suit. Facebook is an extension of your brand. Take the time to develop and polish your page. After all – if you don’t think it’s worth “decorating,” why should anyone who visits want to stay? Need some inspiration? Check out this great blog on how to rock your page.
- Launch. And then re-launch. Chances are your email list is significantly larger than your Facebook following. The average SMB has 3,000+ names in its database but under 100 followers. How do you connect the two? Use your database list to periodically “re-launch” your presence with an email. Include WHY they should friend you. Consider a promotion – for those who join you. (Make sure you review Facebook’s terms of service before running any promotion.)
- Make new friends. One of the most valuable...
The Dangers of Facebook for Businesses
We’ve all heard the stories about people posting inappropriate pictures on Facebook for it to come up and bite them when they least expect it. It’s a new age; privacy has increased in value because it seems incredibly difficult to obtain, personally as well as in your business life.
The point of social media is to stay engaged with your customers, prospects and partners, but you also need to be careful with what you share. Sharing too much about your personal life or your employee’s recent party behavior can backfire quickly.
New privacy settings in Facebook can help businesses gain control over what is shared by their employees and put a better handle on the marketing messages seen by their Facebook following.
According to this article, Five Facebook Privacy Settings You Need to Check Now, there are a few crucial steps you can take:
First and Foremost. While logged into Facebook, you’ll notice the new ‘privacy shortcuts’ button on the top right menu. Here you can quickly manage who can see your stuff, who can contact you and how to stop someone from bothering me.
Dive Even Deeper. In the Privacy Shortcuts drop down, you’ll see an option on the bottom titled ‘See More Settings’. Click there to stop the ability for people to look you up. In the article, Kim Komando recommends turning this option off so people can’t find your personal Facebook profile on search engines. Now for your company page, make sure that’s turned on. You DO want people to find your company page online.
You may think privacy is a thing of...
7 Brilliant Ways to Use an Infographic
As marketers we’re always looking for ways to attract the “eyeballs” of our prospects or customers and engage their imagination. It’s not easy in this information-overload age. But the popularity of infographics can help our marketing break out of the same tired cycle of “lots of text with little imagery.”
Here are a few of the 7 brilliant ways you can use an infographic in marketing:
- Stand out from the crowd. Did you know there are over 100,000 IT service providers in the U.S? What makes you different?
- Infographics can help you move higher in the search engine results with fresh content that attracts clicks.
- You can build your visibility in vertical (industry) marketplaces. Show your target market that you understand their challenges with an industry-specific infographic.
Not enough reasons? For the other 4 reasons, go to The Partner Marketing Group’s infographic design page. You’ll also be able to view a couple of samples that our clients are successfully using to draw attention to their solutions.
Learn more about our team here: http://www.thepartnermarketinggroup.com/about-us/the-people/
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