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Archive for the ‘B2B / Technology’ Category

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Is Your About Us Page Killing Your B2B Marketing Strategy?

By | April 22, 2014

Was your company website’s “About Us” page written as an afterthought, thrown together at the last minute right before the website launched?

Don’t be ashamed if your answer is “yes.” For some reason, many companies simply don’t spend much time refining this section.  Sure, they may spend a countless number of hours and resources defining and refining what they consider the core pages on their website: Their home page, their product pages, and their services pages. But for some reason, they overlook the importance of their “About Us” pages, often just putting together some loosely constructed copy as a sort of placeholder text.

The problem with this approach is that from a visitor’s perspective, your “About Us” page is not just an afterthought. In fact, second to your homepage, it is probably one of the most visited pages on your website. On average, an “About Us” section makes up 10 to 20 percent of a website’s total page views.

Treating Your “About Us” Page Like A Key Step in B2B Buying Cycle 

The simple truth is, due to its popularity, the “About Us” page plays a key role In the B2B buying cycle. Potential prospects click on this page because they want to know if your company has the resources, services and credibility necessary to meet their specific needs – And your “About Us” page must offer the information to match.

In order to relay the full breadth and depth of your company capabilities, here are a few elements you will want to include on your “About Us” page:

  • Tell Them What You Do: Many first time visitors will click on an “About Us” page before they click on a product or services page. So, be sure to include details about your product and service lines.
  • Bring In Imagery: Too many company pages only offer a series of boring content blocks, with no design elements. Don’t be afraid to liven things up by injecting some images, videos and graphics.
  • Avoid Corporate Speak: For your company website to truly act like your best B2B salesperson, it should use the same language as an actual salesperson. This means avoiding the use of stiff, jargon-filled corporate speak.
  • Show Off Your Talented Staff: What’s the best way to add a human element to your website? Try adding some actual humans. Some of the most effective “About Us” sections include bios of corporate leaders, sales staff, or top performing employees.
  • Keep Your Accolades Short and Sweet: Partnerships, awards and industry certifications are a great way to build trust and credibility. But remember, an About Us” page still needs to relate to the visitor. So try to keep this information short, and focused on how it solves the pains of the consumer.
  • Don’t Forget A Call-To-Action:  Don’t forget to add some sort of call-to-action. Because your “About Us” page is one of the most trafficked on your site, you need to make it is easy for a visitor to contact you. Make sure you include a phone number or address somewhere on the page. Also, don’t be afraid to add a big button that reads “Contact Us,” “Get More Information,” or “Request a Demo.”

In short, your “About Us” page is probably being viewed a lot more than you suspect. So make sure it offers the information that best represents your brand.

 

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Utilizing Paid to Boost Your Social B2B Marketing Strategy

By | April 2, 2014

Social media for B2B can be an effective tool for your lead nurturing strategy by engaging with your target audience and sharing relevant content.  Incorporating paid advertising into your strategy is a great way to further promote and share your content.

Let’s take a moment to look at the opportunities to leverage paid to help boost your social marketing.

Increase content engagement

Promoted posts and tweets are a great way to increase visibility of your content and engagement.  Once your content is posted, it can quickly drop within feeds of your followers.  Promoting these posts is a low-cost way to “promote” your post to the top of their feeds increasing views and engagement.

Grow followers, promote special initiatives, and more with paid advertising

Utilize paid advertising to drive more traffic to your social pages and increase brand awareness or promote new products/services.  Remember that most individuals are on a social site for networking (ex: LinkedIn), staying connected (ex: Facebook) or being informed (ex: Twitter), so ad content should connect to your target audience goals.

Remarket to previously engaged users

Remarketing allows you to advertise to custom audience groups based on individuals past interactions with you.  For example, you can utilize third party tools to remarket ads on Facebook or promoted tweets on Twitter to persons who visited your website or downloaded a spec sheet but did not request a product quote. These are targeted ads with information about the product the visitor has shown previous interest in.

Making paid an integral part of your overall social strategy is an effective way to boost engagement and generate brand/product awareness.  As with any strategy, these B2B pay per click strategies should be continually tested to learn more about what drives your audience per social platform and how to maximize the best, relevant content for them.

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LinkedIn Eliminates Products/Services Tabs in Lieu of Showcase Pages

By | March 27, 2014

LinkedIn recently announced that it will discontinue the Products & Services tabs on April 14th in favor of the Showcase pages it released back in November 2013.

Don’t worry, it’s a good thing!

Showcase pages act as an extension of your company, particularly useful if your company has multiple product/service lines, brands or business initiatives. This will enable your company to gear specific messages to followers of your brand to heighten engagement. You can share dedicated content on your Showcase pages, just as you do now with your main Company page. And since followers of your Showcase pages will be interested in that product line or service, you can serve them more targeted content that could help lead to conversions.

In other words, it’s better for LinkedIn members because they can follow the parts of your business they’re truly interested in. It’s better for your business because those who’re following you are really interested.

Things to note:

- You are initially limited to 10 Showcase pages, and only 3 will be highlighted from your main Company page
- Showcase page updates work exactly like Company page updates, so take advantage of the ability to post blog updates, newsletters about your products, etc.
- LinkedIn members can find your Showcase pages through the search tool, as well as from your Company page
- You can optimize the text throughout your Showcase pages for SEO

Visit LinkedIn’s Help Center for additional information on setting up your company’s Showcase pages. http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/44865/kw/showcase%20pages

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8 Steps for Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy

By | March 13, 2014

If 93% of B2B marketers say they use content marketing and you’re not in that 93%, what are you waiting for? If you’re waiting for a clear road map for how to develop a B2B content marketing strategy, then look no further! Here are the eight essential steps to developing a sound strategy.

1. Goals

First and foremost, your marketing efforts should tie directly to the goals of your organization. So consider how your B2B content marketing plan will support your overall organizational goals, otherwise, what’s the point of putting all this effort into your content marketing plan?

2. Target Audiences

Next, determine exactly who you’re marketing to. Find out as much as you can about their demographics, and then find out what topics they’re talking about and where they’re having these discussions on the web. Listen to what they want; because it might not be the same as the information you’re planning on sharing with them.

3. Develop Messaging and Content Marketing Strategies

Now that you know what your target audiences are talking about, craft your messaging and develop your content marketing strategies. Your messaging should be based on what your audience needs and wants to hear, as well as how you can differentiate yourself from the competition.

With variations of your key messaging, your content strategy can be developed. It’s best to include a mix of long-form (blog posts, articles and whitepapers) and short-form (social media updates and graphics) content strategies. In addition, develop a strategy for engaging in existing conversations that your audience is participating in. This could include commenting on blog posts, LinkedIn group discussions and more.

4. Develop Editorial Calendar

Right up there with the content itself, your editorial calendar is one of the most important pieces of your content marketing plan. Although it’s incredibly important, your editorial calendar should also be flexible because things have a tendency to change. Ideally, it should include strategies, tactics, deadlines, and who is responsible for each deliverable.

5. Develop Content

Content marketing doesn’t exist without content, so it’s time to get writing! Your content should be unique and support the messaging you came up with. However, be careful not to over-promote your products or services. The content you create should educate and establish trust, not overtly sell your products.

6. Establish Relationships

Relationships are always a two-way street, so when you establish relationships for content marketing, they can’t be all about you. Give more than you receive, and you’ll find more success with content marketing. This means you should share valuable content curated from other sources more than you share your own content.

7. Broadcast Your Content

There are many things you can do to spread the word, but the first thing you need to do is develop your SEO strategy. Do some thorough research to find out what people are searching for and how it relates to your content. Also make sure you’re pushing the content out on your company’s social media profiles, but only to the profiles that make the most sense.

8. Measure Effectiveness

There are many ways you can measure the effectiveness of your content, some of which include social sharing metrics and web analytics. Revisit your goals and make sure the metrics you’re measuring match your goals.

The final bit of advice for your content marketing plan: If something isn’t working, change it! Your plan is meant to be a living and breathing document. If you find something isn’t working, figure out why and make the necessary changes.

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Learn why the Internet is manufacturing’s best friend, including reliable ways to generate cost-effective leads:

Digital Marketing 101 for Manufacturers

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10 (+1) Tips to Maximizing Your Trade Show ROI, Part II

By | March 12, 2014

In my previous post about making the most of your tradeshow dollars, I discussed proper components of press releases, using paid search to attract online searchers, writing multiple blog posts, and hosting pre-show breakfasts to showcase industry knowledge. Today you’ll find 10 additional tips – plus a bonus tip – to help you maximize your tradeshow ROI.

#1: Find out who’s attending – If a list of attendees is available prior to the tradeshow, check to see if any members of the press will be in attendance. If a list isn’t available, a quick Google search may show you which media outlets are attending or writing about the show. Distribute your press release to that media list, as well as through PRNewswire, Businesswire, or PRWeb. (See my previous tradeshow post for what to include in your press release.)

#2: Mind the media – Create a press kit for journalists, editors or bloggers attending the tradeshow. Buck the traditional trend of a paper press kit and place everything on a convenient and easy-to-carry USB drive. Be sure to include your (brief) company overview, latest press releases, product data sheets, and company spokesperson contact information.

#3: Coordinate with your marketing team – Most booths will have some sort of tchotchke, from bubble gum and stress balls to branded ink pens and flash drives. Take heed, however: Don’t spend a lot of money on trinkets; your ideal prospects are looking for solutions rather than tchotchkes. If you’re giving away free products, be sure to let everyone know in the Advance Show Guides distributed to attendees to help drive more traffic to your booth. Also, work with your marketing team to determine appropriate presentations, slideshows and/or videos for display at your booth.

#4: Got moving equipment? – If you have a remote-controlled truck zooming around your booth, hopefully you’re at an auto or construction show. Otherwise, make sure that any moving gear at your booth enhances your products or services, not distracts. Moving equipment can be a definite draw to your booth; just make sure it makes sense.

#5: On the subject of video… – Any product demonstrations, customer testimonials, interviews, or visuals about new services offered that you can play on video loop at your tradeshow booth will help enhance your prospect’s experience. It is also likely to draw additional people to your booth.

#6: Have list, must send – If you’ve been collecting email addresses through a lead nurturing campaign, now is the time to share with your customer list that you’re attending the tradeshow or conference. Consider offering a discount to attend the show as an incentive for visiting your booth. Invite current and prospective customers to your booth for a demonstration of your products and services.

#7: To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question – Whether at a tradeshow or conference, many attendees are likely using Twitter to communicate with others and to share with their followers anything of importance. Whether you’re tweeting live from the exhibitor’s floor or inside a session, be sure to use the show’s designated #hashtag so other attendees can keep up with your posts. Twitter can be a great note-keeping tool to help jog your memory when it’s time for a blog post recap of the event. Best of all? If you keep up with chatter from the hashtag, you may find that a prospect is seeking information via Twitter. If you have the answer to that question, you may have found a new customer.

#8: More blogging – In my last blog post, I talked about how vital blogging is. Well, here’s another blog post idea for you: interview other tradeshow attendees, speakers, influencers, etc. This is a great way to show thought leadership on your website to prospective customers and others in your industry.

#9: Snap, snap, snap photos – Break up content on your blog with pictures from the event. Showcase your team greeting people at your booth and photos from within the sessions on your blog and all social feeds. On each of your social media channels, be sure to use the tradeshow or conference hashtag so that those searching will find your photos and other content.

#10: Goals = Great – Keep your staff engaged and focus on specific goals throughout the tradeshow: number of qualified leads, prospects, appointments with existing customers, etc. Send any potential leads to your sales team for follow-up, post-show, along with insightful notes as to why you deemed those worthwhile leads.

#11: Say “thank you” – After all leads are entered into your CRM, be sure to follow with a “thank you” email for stopping by your booth, and to reiterate any information on products/services that are of interest to them.

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