Best Practices for Post-Event B2B Marketing

Once your event is over and your team has had the chance to meet with target accounts, it’s a matter of translating the outcome of that meeting into measurable next steps.

Document

Around any event, there are many activities that a prospect may take to indicate their readiness for sales engagement. These activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Visiting the event website
  • Registering for a hosted event
  • Attending a meeting

By documenting these activities, both marketing and sales team can better determine how ready a target account is for focused sales engagement. Activities like event website visits or event registrations are activities that can be measured and reported on by the marketing team. Members of the sales team will be better able to speak on and document the outcome of a scheduled meeting. It’s up to your organization to determine what this documentation will look like, however a good practice is to compile this information within your CRM. Some tasks—like notes on a meeting at an event—can be entered manually. Others—event registrations—may require automated software integrations.

Keep score

Reporting for a specific account can be viewed across several events. Another way of determining how ready a target account is ready to change hands from marketing to sales engagement is account score. An account score is an often-automated process that gives points to accounts based on specific activities that records within that account make. Once the combined point value of these activities reaches a certain threshold—minimum engagement score—it may indicate that it’s time. A target account must perform Event Activities with a combined score of ten to merit focused sales engagement. Events do not exist in a vacuum. Other activities that a target account takes, such as visiting a specific page on your company website, requesting a demo or registering for a webinar may contribute to a target accounts overall account score.

Next Steps

Based on the alignment between your marketing and sales teams, you should have a solid understanding of how a target account should be engaged once it has reached its minimum engagement score. For instance, you may choose to send all records associated with a given account from you marketing automation platform/event success platform to your CRM and assign it an owner on the sales team. If the account is already assigned to an owner on the sales team, you could then send all of the records not in the CRM over and alert the owner that new records have been put in their name. The result should be a clear understanding of how an account is performing within the bounds of a specific event marketing campaign and clear steps for engaging them.

Conclusion

Making the jump to a dedicated event marketing strategy is full of benefits. You get to target customers who are likely to be a good fit for your company in the long run, you get to focus your event marketing efforts on accounts that matter and you you get to produce an event with the confidence that it will lead to positive ROI. Make no mistake, the benefits of an event marketing strategy will only come to fruition if your business is truly ready to embrace it. Adopting an event marketing strategy requires organization wide buy-in from stakeholders. It’s a huge investment in time, a dramatic pivot in strategy, and the key to bringing unparalled precision to your marketing strategy.

How to Avoid B2B Messaging Clutter

It’s great when B2B marketing leaders and teams possess deep knowledge of their products or services, but this depth can also produce messaging clutter if care isn’t taken. Say the product or service is honey; those producing it will know every single ingredient while prospective customers might not even know what flavor of honey they like, or why a different brand than the one they’ve always used is worth a try.

This is why your honey jar is so important—it needs to tell such a compelling story that customers are drawn to pick out your company’s “honey” (aka product or service) from all available options.

Excessive detail or information that isn’t directly meaningful to the would-be purchaser should be stripped away so that your value proposition and unique selling points are crystal clear.

So, how can you develop clear, convincing and compelling messaging that avoids the honey jar trap? It starts with getting the right perspectives. At the center of the honey jar trap is bias. To keep bias from polluting your messaging, you need to understand how your product or service is seen from every angle.

  • INTERNAL VIEWPOINTS – Customer-facing employees (e.g. sales, support, consulting, etc.) can share first-hand experiences of what’s resonating with the customers and prospects they speak with. It’s also insightful to ask internal stakeholders for their view of the future for your brand and its offerings. The outcomes of these conversations serve as a great primer for your all-important conversations with customers.
  • EXTERNAL VIEWPOINTS – The messaging that matters most is that which speaks to what your customers care about. Use direct conversations, surveys, customer forums, a B2B copywriter and other feedback loops to validate, expand or dispel the notions of your internal viewpoints. Get granular on customers’ pain points, goals and what they’re looking for in products/services like yours (e.g. criteria, features, functions, benefits).
  • COMPETITOR VIEWPOINTS – To properly frame your unique selling points and reduce the chances for confusion, it’s important to understand how competitors are framing their own would-be solutions. Avoid overlap when possible and look for areas where you can make a solid case for having the preferred option.

Carefully collecting and compiling these respective viewpoints will give you the foundation to assess your current messaging or to develop original messaging for your brand, product or service.

Roadmap to B2B Digital Marketing Planning

Business executives understand having a well-crafted business strategy and clear goals for one’s business is critical. Your overall business objectives and strategy will effect every part of your organization and form the basis of your marketing strategy. If you have not already done so, work with a B2B copywriter to plot your strategy that your business uses today and of course articulate your goals. Here are the five steps to getting started with digital marketing:

Setting your goals

Don’t charge in, digital guns blazing, without first figuring out what you want to achieve. Why are you wanting to step up your digital marketing? Is it to: Generate more leads? Boost sales? Improve brand recognition? Increase the number of website visitors? Or something else? While many of these goals may seem similar, identifying the specific things you want to do will help you to refine your approach.

Identifying the right channels

There are a number of different channels you can use to market your business online, and the right ones will depend on your goals.

  • SEO and content

SEO doesn’t end with your website service and product pages – there’s a lot more you
can do to improve your search visibility and traffic. Utilising your blog gives you the
opportunity to target keywords that may not be appropriate elsewhere on your site, such as longer, query-based search terms (i.e. “which is the best…”, “how do I choose…”), or more general terms related to your industry. Casting a wider keyword net in this way gives your site more chances to be seen. The content, meanwhile, can go a long way to establishing you as an industry voice and raising your profile, as well as generating leads through helping your site’s visitors solve problems and make decisions.

  • PPC

PPC stands for pay-per-click advertising, a style of ads that are hosted on search results pages and websites for free, with the advertiser only paying when they are clicked on by a user. PPC ads often work on a bid-based system, with the advertiser willing to pay the
highest cost per click receiving the most prominent positioning. The leading provider of PPC advertising is Google AdWords. AdWords allows advertisers to place ads in Google search results pages – often right at the top – with custom wording, giving a great deal of control over how they’re presented. Users can also specify the keywords the ads will appear for, as well as targeting by location, and even time of day. This makes AdWords very effective at targeting certain kinds of users at certain times to generate sales and leads.

  • Social media

Social media is becoming an essential tool for reaching out and engaging with audiences. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are all powerful tools for finding new audiences and promoting your services. Marketers are, to an extent, at the mercy of content algorithms – highlighting the importance of a website, and other channels, where you can control what is seen, and by who – but many social platforms also offer PPC advertising of their own.

Understanding your competitors

With so many businesses competing for space online, competitor research is an essential part of digital marketing. By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can identify opportunities where they’re missing out, and where your budget can be spent most effectively. There are a number of tools available online to support with this – Mangools’ SERP Checker, for example, allows you to see how well certain websites (whether yours or your competitors) rank for certain search terms, while Screaming Frog allows you to more closely analyse the content of your competitors’ websites. On social, meanwhile, Facebook Insights can help you build a picture of your competitors’ audiences – who they are, when they’re online, and what they’re interested in.

Measuring your activity

Marketing is an investment, so you’ll need to continuously monitor your performance as you go to ensure you’re actually getting a return on that investment. Digital marketers need to be able to adapt, changing course when things are going wrong, and replicating things that have been effective. Again, there are plenty of tools available to help you do this, such as HubSpot and Google Analytics, which help you identify where your users are coming from, what they’re doing while they’re on your site, and which content or features they are engaging with the most.

Taking things further

Following on from the points above, a marketer’s work is never quite done – taking the results of your performance analysis and improving upon them is essential for continuing to grow and see a return on investment, and an improvement in sales or lead generation conversions. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the name given to this process. It might involve A/B tests of different page or ad versions to identify the most effective type, or heatmap tracking of website users to see the areas of your site they’re drawn to. Also, once you’ve begun to gather information from users visiting your site, you can begin to run email campaigns, directly reaching out to potential customers that have shown their interest with content and messaging tailored to pique their interest. From there, there are any number of directions you can go, with plenty of opportunities for creative campaigns and content

B2B Social Media Marketing: Benefits and Strategy Roadmap

As B2B technology-oriented companies build out their marketing strategies and tactical plans, many CEOs and VPs of Marketing are still finding themselves asking the following question: should our organization be on social media? The answer is: absolutely!

In a recent B2B technology content marketing report, 96% of those surveyed reported using social media content as their go-to content marketing tactic in their organization. Because of the increasing usage of social media and the importance of social media as a channel, having a strong presence on social media platforms is now a necessity rather than an afterthought.

Social media marketing can help you:

  • Partner with industry influencers who have amassed a large follower base.
  • Generate leads and amplify your content’s performance with paid social ads.
  • Engage with potential leads and existing customers.

There are six essential steps to building an effective and comprehensive social
media marketing plan:

  1. Set goals that are aligned to your business objectives. Is your organization focused on increasing brand awareness, generating leads and/or establishing your brand as thought leaders and industry experts?
  2. Create a social media policy with a B2B copywriter for your organization. Developing a social media policy will provide your company with guidelines on the type of content that is acceptable to post, provide your team with the proper procedures to respond to other social media users and help you avoid potential legal issues.
  3. Determine what social media networks make sense for your organization. For B2B organizations, LinkedIn is a must, but Twitter, Facebook and YouTube should also be strongly considered.
  4. Develop an organic and paid social strategy. Promoted posts will increase your social reach and boost your chances of being seen by your target audience.
  5. Consider leveraging a social media management tool such as Hootsuite, Buffer or SproutSocial to effectively manage your accounts. Social media management tools can help you monitor what others are saying about your brand, measure against your competitors and schedule content in advance to always fresh posts across your platforms.
  6. Implement metrics that you want to measure against to determine effectiveness of efforts. Based on the goals you establish, test various forms of content in your social posts to see which lead to the most audience engagement (shares, link clicks, comments).

Benefits and Best Practices of B2B Email Marketing

Email marketing is commonly viewed as a cost effective marketing channel, however that should not imply that significant investments in this tactic are uncommon. Expenses in email marketing include list rental, email deployment programs, email deliverability services and list building initiatives, to name a few.

It is one of those tactics that can be either inbound or outbound in nature, depending on its execution. For example, and email sent out to a rented list as a scheduled delivery is an outbound message. When used as an automatically triggered message, the lines between inbound and outbound are blurred. When a new subscriber opts into a list on their own accord, the lines are once again blurred. When an email is deployed to a list that opted in to a relative list, well, you get the point.

Now is an interesting time for email marketing. Email as a marketing channel is old enough that many tactics and strategies have been tested and proven, and yet still new enough that many marketers are still catching up with established best practices. For the latter, there is ample opportunity to apply proven strategies to receive impressive gains.

Much like direct mail, personalization of email messages offers great opportunity to increase relevance. Personalization has been rated as the most labor intensive email marketing tactic; however, the results can be well worth the additional effort.

When executing an email marketing campaign, the same principles you apply to your direct mail campaigns will be useful. This includes list, messaging and call-to-action. In addition to the consideration of these factors, we have provided the following list of five important best practices to improve all areas of your email marketing initiatives, from content development to deliverability.

  • Be relevant. This encompasses content, format of content, personalization, and the timing and frequency of delivery.
  • Be real and authentic in your email messages. Consumers are becoming more interested in hearing from other humans and less interested in hearing from corporate entities. This is a guiding principle for email and many other marketing tactics.
  • Don’t hide the option to unsubscribe. If a subscriber wants to be removed from your list, make it easy for them to avoid complaints to email service providers. If your subscribers don’t want to receive messages from you, you shouldn’t be sending them.
  • Make list building a priority. List building tactics include social sharing, using incentives to encourage site registrations, mobile capture, co-registrations, etc.
  • Test, measure, then test again. Email marketing offers ample opportunity to test content, subject lines, delivery timing, and more. Use every advantage to the data available to you to test and improve the performance of your email marketing campaigns.

7 Types of Marketing Content That B2B Businesses Need

Sales behaviors are changing, and leads spend more time online educating themselves before reaching out to your sales team. A solid content marketing strategy ensures your prospective customers have high quality resources to learn about your company and your offerings on their own.

The purpose of content marketing is therefore to develop educational, entertaining or informative content that does not explicitly promote your brand. Instead, it aims to spark interest in your products or services by establishing your company as an expert and authoritative resource that can be leveraged to generate leads. Most content written by a B2B copywriter falls into two buckets, ungated or gated.

Ungated Content

Ungated Content is content that exists across your marketing channels and is
readily available for your to audience to access.

Blog Posts

Raise brand awareness, improve SEO and establish industry expertise.

  • Create attention-grabbing headlines with focus keyword/phrase.
  • Write blogs for your readers AND search engines providing rich and valuable information without fluff or jargon.
  • Share your blogs on social media or newsletter after publishing to amplify the reach of your blogs.
Videos

Highlight your company’s products, services or mission.

  • Keep the length of your marketing videos short – no longer than two minutes for best engagement.
  • Promote your videos across all marketing channels (social, emails and website).
  • Use longer videos such as webinars and product demos as part of your lead generation efforts.
Infographics and Visual Graphics

Present data points and statistics with visual narrative.

  • Focus your infographic on one key message that you want to convey.
  • Include your brand’s logo at the bottom of your infographic.
  • Add a conclusion, takeaway or call to action.
Case Studies

Demonstrate value added for customers, target leads at the “topof-funnel” stage.

  • Use data points to demonstrate the results and ROI of your solution.
  • Promote case studies in targeted emails and online advertising campaigns.
  • Consider segmenting your case studies on your site by the various verticals or buyer personas your business serves.

Gated Content

This type of content is typically more expensive to produce and can only be accessed when a user submits information via an online form.

Industry Research and Benchmark Reports

Position your company as an industry thought leader and build credibility.

  • Promote your reports across all of your marketing channels and utilize paid campaigns to amplify the reach of your content.
  • Consider partnering with another organization in your industry to produce an industry report.
White Papers, Guides and eBooks

Generate “top-of-funnel” demands with topics relevant to your audience.

  • Re-purpose other types of content such as blog posts or videos to help create new eBooks and white papers.
  • Use buyer personas to determine the content direction of your eBook, guide or white paper.
  • Focus on strategy-level content for executives and tactical-level content for managers.
Product Demos and Webinars

Educate audience about products and services.

  • Create a short, two-minute product overview video that provides the key benefits and addresses your customers’ pain points.
  • Offer live demos that are personalized to your target audience.
  • Leverage webinars for thought leadership and lead generation campaigns.

5 Core Components of B2B Digital Marketing

The world of digital marketing is an ever-growing and evolving landscape filled with new technologies and best practices. Things will continue to evolve each year, but there are five core areas that should be the foundation of any successful, well-rounded B2B digital marketing strategy that you need a B2B copywriter for:

  • Content Marketing
  • Online Marketing (PPC)
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing

While it’s important to keep up with new trends and techniques that develop, lock in a solid digital strategy today by focusing on best practices and upcoming trends in these core areas.

Content Marketing

The purpose of content marketing is to develop educational, entertaining or informative content that does not explicitly promote your brand. Instead, it aims to spark interest in your products or services by establishing your company as an expert and authoritative resource that can be leveraged to generate leads.

Online Marketing (PPC)

Online marketing is one of the most effective methods for businesses to amplify their brand’s reach and find new customers. Platforms include, but are not limited to: Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and can be served on desktop, tablet or mobile devices.

Search Engine Optimization

More B2B marketers are turning to SEO because it’s an effective way to attract more visitors to their websites and raise awareness of their business in the long-term. SEO is also a valuable tool to generate inbound leads.

Email Marketing

Emails are a useful and direct way for B2B organizations to share information with customers and prospects, and can be effectively used to market products/services, share new content, announce the latest company news, promote upcoming events and more.

Social Media

As B2B technology-oriented companies build out their marketing strategies and tactical plans, many CEOs and VPs of Marketing are still finding themselves asking the following question: should our organization be on social media? The answer is: absolutely! In a recent B2B technology content marketing report, 96% of those surveyed reported using social media content as their go-to content marketing tactic in their organization.