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Archive for the ‘B2B / Technology’ Category

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Your Website’s Four Most Important Pages

By | July 25, 2014

Beyond your home page: What other pages demand attention?

Businesses have long operated under the assumption that their homepage is their website’s most important page. Unfortunately, after countless resources are spent refining the home page’s content and design, little time is left to optimize the rest of the site. What happens next is that the website takes on the traits of a deceivingly wrapped birthday present: It might be wrapped in pretty packaging, but its inside contains only minimal value.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not meant to imply that your home page is not important. It still serves as the gateway, and the lobby into your entire site. It is where your customers first come to meet you – And when done right, it’ll encourage visits throughout the rest of your site.

However, it’s important to note that website behavior has changed dramatically over the years. For many B2B websites, the most viewed page is decreasingly becoming the home page.

The four pages your visitors are looking for:

A Scanable and Easy to Navigate Products Page: Why do your customers visit your products page? It’s because they want to understand what you are selling? Unfortunately, too many companies take an encyclopedic and jargon-laced approach to their product page. Instead of a simple, easy to scan page, one that clearly relays the main features of their top products, they fill their page with unnecessary details.

Your goal should be to keep this page high-level. You don’t have to give away all the details up front. If necessary, more details can be provided in the form of product briefs or subpages.

A Differentiating Services Page:  Chances are you are not the only company in the world that sells your product or service. Maybe you offer free product training, maybe your product easily integrates with a number of different products, maybe you have no licensing fees, or maybe your product is simply less expensive.

Take note, what separates your product from the competition is not what it does, but how you help your customers integrate that product throughout their company. So be sure to highlight any of those differentiating services or features.

 A Personable About Us: Knowing what you do is only half the battle. An “About Us” page, highlighting the faces behind your company, will help eliminate tension and visitor anxiety.

Don’t limit your website to a single, static and text based “About Us” page. Instead, immerse the pages with personality and detail. Company history, customer videos, and team member bios are great ways to give your company a little personality.

A Voice of the Customer Testimonials Page: Keep in mind, even if you have a B2B website, your website is still selling to individuals – individuals whose views and decisions are directly dependent on their own personal experiences and factors.

With this in mind, do not overlook the influencing power of a testimonials page. Often the tipping point in a sales cycle, a well-designed and written testimonials page offers insights and assurances into the type of quality results you and your services are capable of delivering.

Remember, your website is not just a place prospects & customers visit once. Instead, they will visit multiple times throughout their entire journey with your company. The key is to be sure your website offers the appropriate content every time they come for a visit.

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Tune In or Drop Out: The Benefits of Social Listening for B2B Companies

By | June 16, 2014

Many B2B companies leave social listening out of their marketing strategies because people aren’t talking about their company online. That’s a major mistake. Whether people are talking about your particular brand or not, keeping abreast of the conversations surrounding your industry provides a B2B company with incredibly valuable opportunities to expand your client base, lessen the impact of any criticisms, and foster greater brand loyalty.

Since many B2B companies don’t get a whole lot of mentions online, they see no benefit in social listening. However, listening to the audience you’re trying to attract—the kinds of people looking for the service or product you offer—yields the same benefits as listening in on conversations specifically about you. First, you will be able to compile a new pool of prospects you can contact. And since you’ve been listening to their conversations about what they want out of the kind of product/service you offer, as well as what they’ve found unsatisfactory in competitors’ offerings, you’ll be poised to demonstrate how your company can meet their needs in a much more prospect-specific way than ever before.

If people are talking about your particular business, social listening can become a research and development tool, giving you free insight into what customers like about your offerings, what they don’t like, and what they’d like to see you add. You can then join in the conversation yourself, letting customers know how you’re incorporating their feedback into future offerings. This, of course, will go a long way to keeping current customers loyal. Social listening can also be a tool for crisis management. When you use social listening to keep abreast of any criticism leveled at your company, you’ll be able to quickly and personally address your customers’ concerns and resolve their issues.

Finally, social listening allows you to identify the thought leaders in your industry, the people who are driving the conversations and/or whose opinions hold the most weight. Posting relevantly in the same circles as these leaders will not only help you forge a beneficial relationship with them, but will get your posts seen and shared by a larger pool of people.

The benefits of social listening for B2B companies can’t be ignored. Just because people aren’t always talking about you, that doesn’t mean the conversation isn’t worth getting in on.

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Manufacturers: Are You Attracting the Right Employees with Your Careers Pages?

By | June 6, 2014

Articles abound on the Internet raising discussions on how to attract qualified employees to the Manufacturing fields. Trade schools, four-year colleges and even high schools are offering skilled training programs for individuals interested in working in manufacturing.

Competition for those skilled workers is high among companies looking to bring the best to their business. And with today’s generation searching online for available options, it’s more important than ever that your business’ Careers pages are up to snuff. Following is a checklist of items you should have to compete with the best:

1. Company Background – Lay out the history of your company, letting prospective candidates know how long you’ve been in business and how your company has changed over the years.
2. Who’s Who – Connect your careers page to an Employees page, letting interested candidates see the faces, job descriptions, and backgrounds of those who they would be working with. Consider posting a video to that page of employees talking about why they love working at your company.
3. Culture – If your business has a unique culture, showcase that on a separate Company Culture page. Post pictures of fun events, company parties, dress-down/up days, etc. Everyone wants to know more about your environment.
4. Be Descriptive – Make sure the job descriptions clearly state the qualifications needed, with a layout of what the job entails.
5. Benefits – Go into detail about all health benefits, paid time off, 401k options, exercise rooms, health club discounts, etc., that your company offers to employees.
6. Trainings/Education Opportunities – Explain details of onsite or offsite educational training, talk about various certifications, advancement opportunities, and more.
7. Awards – Brag about your business. Whether it’s industry awards for excellence or “best place to work” accolades, list them here.
8. Community Involvement – Whether employees help charities or are heavily involved in the community, let prospective candidates get a glimpse into how they can be part of the greater good.
9. Customers – This is a great time to talk about customers who interested candidates might be interested in working with, especially if you work with well-known brands.
10. Top 10s – Give interested candidates a Top 10 Reasons to Work Here page. Get creative, be fun. Get your employees involved to help create this page. Perhaps even have them sign their names to the reason that they give.

Take a stab at letting interested candidates get a peek inside your company. Use your job ads as marketing opportunities. Showcase your company’s brand. Don’t worry about your Careers section matching the tone of the rest of your website. Let your personalities shine!


Maximize your event marketing investments with 21 Tradeshow Tips for Manufacturers:

21 Tradeshow Tips for Manufacturers

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B2B Marketers: Would You Exhibit?

By | May 28, 2014

Question:  If you knew that 100,000 potential customers were attending an industry trade show, would you exhibit?

Of course you would!  And I bet you would wonder how to draw those 100,000 attendees into your booth (see Fathom’s guide to maximizing trade show ROI).

Another leading question:  If you knew that 100,000 potential customers were actively searching (e.g. , on Google) for your specific products/services, would you invest in digital marketing?

For the sake of your organization’s sustainability (let alone growth), I earnestly hope that you said “YES.”

The buying process has changed … let’s look at some startling statistics:

  • 93% of B2B buyers use search to begin the buying process
  • The average B2B buyer is 57% through the purchase decision before contacting a supplier
  • 100% of B2B buyers have read company web content in the past six months to evaluate a purchase

So, where do you begin?

  • Keyword Research – Validate market opportunity by identifying strategic keywords and determining volume of searches being performed.  Suggested tool:  Google Keyword Planner (free)
  • Ranking Report – Determine your organization’s current market share and that of your competitors.  Suggested tool:  Web Position (paid license).
  • Digital Assessment – Identify potential revenue opportunities and pin-point what’s getting in the way.
  • Strategy and Investment – A clear road map to your digital success.  Given the revenue opportunities gleaned from the assessment and investment required for success, you are able to project ROI on digital.
  • Allocating Budget – You are now armed with data to justify an investment in digital!

To help your company sustain itself and grow, it’s imperative that you pay attention to how the B2B buying process has changed. And investing in digital marketing is how you can position your company so that buyers find you early in the buying process.


Maximize your event marketing investments with 21 Tradeshow Tips for Manufacturers:

21 Tradeshow Tips for Manufacturers

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Know Thy Market: The Secret to B2B Lead Generation

By | May 23, 2014

Before you can say, “If you build it, they will come,” you actually need to know a lot about ‘they’ before you can expect results. That is the ONLY way you should begin building something with an expectation of success, you better know what ‘they’ want!

This is a common mistake that web marketers sometimes gloss over. Yes, the web has tremendous flexibility and can be updated at the drop of a hat. But there is value in creating a solid marketing message and strategy before you initiate your campaigns and testing. This is extremely important in B2B lead generation efforts.

Unlike the instant gratification that often correlates to consumer e-commerce transactions, B2B buyers have a more methodical evaluation and buying process. This is common, even if they know your brand and products. Staying true to developing solid marketing messaging that appeals to these online researchers/buyers is going to help you generate more leads and demos.

Knowing your target digital audience means you should be able to articulate:

  • What are their search habits?
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What motivates them?
  • How do they make decisions
  • What are their pain points?
  • What kind of information do they crave?
  • How do they like receiving that information – data sheets, videos, whitepapers, case studies, etc.?

Once you have all this information in tow, you can develop marketing messaging that speaks to them and collateral that captivates them! You need to figure out how to draw them in, especially if your company is unknown to them. How does your offering make their life easier/better and how do you differentiate from the competition? You need to be able to hit home with your value proposition so that it aligns with results that matter for them.

Just getting them to your site is only a portion of the battle. Now you are in the Consideration & Evaluation phase. After the prospect feels a connection because you are speaking their language, you need to deliver the right information for them to process and review that will help them move along your sales funnel. Other good companies have mirrored your approach by having good targeted marketing messaging. This is when your offering needs to blow them away during comparisons against the competition.

Having the right collateral will make it easier to convert them into a serious sales prospect from a lead.

One side note, the consumers you target are bright people and know what they want. They can smell companies who are making things up or trying to take short cuts. The prospects can be cynical if they feel you truly do not understand them or never took the time to in the first place. This could be very bad as now you have a negative impression of your brand that you have to overcome in the future.

As long as you remember to put the effort in to your market research before you launch, you can expect to reap the benefits of successful digital marketing initiatives.

Happy selling!

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