B2B content marketing

Driving Revenue with Content: A Blueprint for B2B Services Company Executives

Content marketing has long been a cornerstone marketing strategy for B2B companies, offering a way to build trust, generate leads, and establish industry authority. However, getting it right can be a challenge.

Many B2B companies struggle with creating content that truly resonates with their audience and drives meaningful results. This article provides a straightforward framework to simplify the process. From understanding the basics to mastering advanced techniques, you'll find actionable insights and practical advice to elevate your content marketing efforts.

Understanding the Basics of Content Marketing

Before unpacking the framework, it’s important to get on the same page as to what content marketing is. B2B Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent information to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. For B2B services companies, this means crafting content that addresses the specific needs and pain points of business clients.

The goal is not just to generate leads, but to build trust and position the company as an industry leader. Done right, your content becomes the voice of your strategy.

Understanding the fundamentals of content marketing involves recognizing its multifaceted nature. This includes content creation, distribution, and promotion, all aimed at engaging potential clients and nurturing them through the sales funnel.

By focusing on delivering high-quality, valuable information, businesses can establish themselves as trusted authorities in their industry.

Identifying Target Audience and Creating Buyer Personas

Understanding your target audience is crucial for effective content marketing. For B2B services companies, this often includes leaders and CEOs who are decision-makers. Creating detailed buyer personas helps in crafting content that resonates with these key individuals. Buyer personas should include demographic information, job roles, business challenges, and content preferences.

To build your buyer personas, you should be gathering insights from various sources, such as customer interviews, surveys, and website analytics. By understanding the specific needs and pain points of your ideal customer, you can create content that directly addresses their concerns and provides solutions.

This targeted approach not only increases engagement but also improves the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

Developing a B2B Content Marketing Strategy that Aligns with Business Goals

One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make is creating content just for the sake of creating content, with no strategic intent. Your content should be the voice of your strategy and should be aligned with the overall business goals of the company.

This involves setting clear objectives, such as increasing brand awareness, generating leads, or nurturing existing clients. The strategy should outline the types of content that need to be created, the channels for distribution, and the metrics for measuring success.

Your content should also align with the customer journey. What are the questions your ideal clients have at the stages of know, like, trust, try, buy, refer, and repeat? And what type of content do you need at each stage to answer those questions and help them move along in their journey?

This alignment ensures that all marketing activities work towards common goals, creating a cohesive brand message. The strategy should also be flexible, allowing for adjustments based on performance data and changing market conditions. By regularly reviewing and refining the content marketing strategy, companies can maintain its relevance and effectiveness over time.

Creating Engaging and Valuable Content for B2B Audiences

Creating content that is both engaging and valuable is the cornerstone of successful B2B content marketing. Some common formats are blog posts, webinars, videos, whitepapers, case studies, and infographics. But content can also be your call scripts, presentation templates, emails, and more. The content should provide insights, solve problems, and offer actionable advice.

As you move to create your content, focus on the specific needs of the target audience and tailor your content to address those needs. High-quality content not only attracts attention but also builds credibility and trust. To achieve this, businesses should focus on creating content that is informative, well-researched, and visually appealing. Additionally, incorporating storytelling techniques can make the content more relatable and engaging. By providing real-life examples and case studies, companies can demonstrate their expertise and showcase the practical applications of their services.

Utilizing SEO Techniques to Optimize Content for Search Engines

Creating your content is just the beginning. You also have to make sure your target audience will actually find it.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for ensuring that content reaches the intended audience. This involves using target keywords that your ideal clients will actually be using to search for solutions to their problems strategically throughout the content. Additionally, optimizing meta descriptions, headers, and alt texts on your website can improve search engine rankings.

Balancing keyword usage with high-quality content is key to achieving both search engine visibility and audience engagement. This involves conducting thorough keyword research to identify relevant and high-traffic keywords. Additionally, you should focus on creating comprehensive, in-depth content that addresses the search intent of your audience. By providing valuable information and answering common questions, companies can improve their chances of ranking higher in search engine results.

Leveraging Social Media Platforms for Content Distribution

Social media platforms are powerful tools for distributing content and engaging with the audience. For B2B services companies, LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter), and industry-specific forums are particularly effective. These platforms allow for targeted content distribution and provide opportunities for direct interaction with potential clients.

Use social media for content promotion and also for listening to your target audience and engaging in meaningful conversations. This helps in building a community and strengthening your brand's presence.

To maximize the effectiveness of social media marketing, create a content calendar to keep you focused and consistent. Additionally, leveraging features such as hashtags, mentions, and paid promotions can increase the reach and visibility of your content.

By actively participating in industry discussions and sharing valuable insights, companies can position themselves as thought leaders and build strong relationships with their audience.

Incorporating Video Marketing into Content Strategies

Video is becoming increasingly important in the B2B landscape. Videos can simplify complex topics, showcase expertise, and engage the audience in a dynamic way. Use a variety of videos, such as explainer videos, testimonials, and webinars, in your content strategy.

Videos should be optimized for search engines and shared across multiple platforms to maximize reach and impact. This involves creating compelling video titles, descriptions, and tags that include target keywords.

Additionally, businesses should focus on creating high-quality, professional videos that effectively communicate their message. By incorporating storytelling techniques and visual aids, companies can create engaging and informative videos that capture the attention of their audience. Regularly updating and repurposing video content can also help in maintaining its relevance and extending its lifespan.

Building Thought Leadership through Thoughtful Content Creation

Establishing thought leadership is a powerful way for B2B services companies to differentiate themselves, build trust and credibility. This involves creating content that offers unique insights, industry trends, and expert opinions.

By consistently producing high-quality, insightful content, companies can position themselves as industry leaders and attract high-value clients. This involves staying up-to-date with industry developments and sharing valuable insights through various content formats, such as blog posts, whitepapers, and speaking engagements. Additionally, collaborating with other industry experts and influencers can help in expanding the reach and impact of the content. By actively contributing to industry discussions and providing thought-provoking perspectives, companies can establish themselves as trusted authorities and build a loyal following.

Measuring and Analyzing Content Marketing Performance

Measuring the performance of content marketing efforts is crucial for understanding what works and what doesn't. Key metrics include website traffic, engagement rates, lead generation, and conversion rates.

Regular analysis helps in identifying successful strategies and areas for improvement, enabling companies to refine their content marketing efforts continuously.

This involves setting up tracking and reporting systems to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and gather actionable data. By regularly reviewing the data and making data-driven decisions, businesses can optimize their content marketing strategy and achieve better results. When I work with clients we track key metrics closely and every quarter decide which activities to scale, which to adjust, and which to curtail.

Additionally, conducting A/B testing and experimenting with different content formats and distribution channels can help in identifying the most effective tactics.

Ready to transform your content marketing strategy and drive substantial revenue growth? We specialize in providing tailored, results-driven solutions for B2B services companies. Schedule a one-on-one strategy call and discover how our proven marketing systems can help you scale your business.

Don't miss this opportunity to gain a competitive edge and achieve sustainable growth. Book your free strategy call now.

B2B customer acquisition strategies

Unlocking Growth: Effective Customer Acquisition Strategies for B2B Businesses

Acquiring new customers is essential for business growth, but scaling your business isn't just about acquiring new customers—it's about doing so smartly and sustainably so you aren't trapped constantly racing to find the next one. In this blog post we'll explore B2B customer acquisition strategies that will help you scale.

Identifying Target Market Segments for Effective Customer Acquisition

To effectively acquire customers, it's crucial to identify your target market segments. Begin with your existing clientele—what common threads bind them? Is it their industry, the size of their operations, or specific challenges they face? Dive deep. Go beyond surface-level demographics and delve into psychographics.

What drives their decisions?

How do they define success?

Create customer personas that feel real enough to invite to a meeting. Tailor your marketing to speak directly to these personas, making every message resonate deeply.

Leveraging Data-Driven Insights to Optimize Customer Acquisition Strategies

Data is a powerful tool that can guide your customer acquisition strategies. Data aren't just numbers; data tells the story of your customer's journey. Harness tools that map out precisely where your prospects convert or stray. Leverage technologies like CRM analytics and web behavior analytics to fine-tune your marketing strategies. The goal? Transform data into actionable insights that boost your acquisition rates significantly.

Remember, every tweak in your campaign, informed by solid data, can lead to a significant leap in your conversion rates. Analyze this data to identify areas of improvement and optimize your marketing campaigns for better results. By leveraging data-driven insights, you can make informed decisions that lead to higher customer acquisition rates.

Implementing the Right Lead Generation Tactics to Attract Potential Customers

Lead generation is the lifeblood of customer acquisition. Lead generation should be magnetic, pulling potential customers in with irresistible force. Think beyond traditional eBooks and webinars. What unique value can you provide that no one else can? Maybe it's an insider’s look at industry trends or a tool that simplifies their day-to-day challenges. Create lead magnets that are so compelling that your ideal customer feels they are crafted just for them. Engage them with value-first offerings that make the next steps in their purchasing journey obvious—and exciting.

Creating Compelling Content to Engage and Convert Leads into Customers:

Your content is your voice in the marketplace and the voice of your strategy; let it speak directly to the needs and aspirations of your audience. High-quality, targeted content not only educates but also builds trust and positions your brand as the go-to expert. Employ a mix of mediums in your content marketing—video to engage, text to inform, and infographics to simplify complex data. Each piece should help your prospects move one step closer to seeing your service as indispensable. 

Create high-quality content that addresses your target audience's pain points, educates them about your services, and showcases your expertise. Consider using a content gap analysis to find opportunities that your competitors have missed. 

Utilizing Social Media for Customer Acquisition:

Social media is more than just a broadcasting platform; it’s a vibrant marketplace where conversations lead to conversions. Develop highly targeted campaigns on platforms where your customers spend their time. Use the nuanced targeting tools of platforms like LinkedIn to zero in on decision-makers within your identified market segments. Leverage analytics to keep your messaging sharp and your ROI positive.

Social media platforms offer an effective way to reach and engage with potential customers. The right type of content also shows potential customers your personality and gives a hint at what it might be like to work with you.

Building Strategic Partnerships to Expand Customer Base:

Collaborating with strategic partners can significantly expand your customer base. Identify complementary businesses or service providers that share your target audience and explore partnership opportunities. Craft joint offerings or co-marketing efforts that provide mutual benefits. Joint marketing initiatives, co-hosted webinars, or referral programs can help you tap into new markets and acquire customers more effectively.

This approach not only broadens your reach but also adds a layer of validation to your brand, as partnerships can serve as endorsements of your capabilities.

Implementing Referral Programs to Drive Customer Acquisition:

Referrals are gold in B2B marketing. But they need to be approached strategically. A survey by Texas Tech found that 86% of consumers had a brand they loved so much that they would happily refer, but only 29% actually had. You need to close that gap.

Create a structured referral program that incentivizes your existing customers to share their success stories with peers. Make the process effortless, and the rewards compelling. Every satisfied customer can be your brand ambassador, wielding more influence than any ad or sales pitch.

Referral programs are a cost-effective way to acquire new customers while leveraging the loyalty of existing ones.

Maximizing the Potential of Email Marketing for Customer Acquisition

Email marketing remains one of the most effective channels for customer acquisition. Build a targeted email list by offering valuable content or exclusive offers in exchange for email addresses. Segment your email list based on customer profiles and preferences to deliver personalized and relevant messages that drive conversions.

Segmentation and personalization are the keys to successful email marketing. Develop nurturing campaigns that guide potential customers through the decision-making process, providing them with the information and reassurances they need at each step of their journey. Your emails should feel like a direct conversation, not a broadcast message.

Leveraging Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Attract Qualified Leads

SEO is your foundation for sustainable growth. It ensures that your business gets found by potential clients who are actively seeking your services. Conduct keyword research to understand what terms potential customers are searching for and optimize your content to answer the questions your prospects are asking. Focus on creating informative and valuable content that aligns with search intent, which will improve your visibility in search engine results.

Solid SEO practices help you rise above the noise and be visible at the moment of intent. 

Putting it all Together

To truly scale your customer acquisition efforts put these pieces into place: 

  • Customer Personas: Detailed descriptions that encapsulate the nuances of your target segments.
  • Data Utilization Framework: A guide on how to collect, analyze, and act on data across all your platforms.
  • Lead Generation Models: Clear methodologies for creating and implementing lead magnets that will attract and engage.
  • Content Calendar: A strategic schedule of content releases that ensures continuous engagement and maximizes impact.
  • Social Media Strategy: Plans for regular, impactful posts and ads tailored to each platform's unique environment and audience.
  • Partnership Guidelines: Criteria and processes for selecting and collaborating with strategic partners.
  • Referral Program Blueprint: Steps for creating a referral program that motivates and rewards existing customers.
  • Email Marketing Sequences: Tailored email campaigns that guide prospects through a personalized journey.
  • SEO Plan: A comprehensive strategy for improving search engine visibility and attracting organic traffic.

By identifying target market segments, leveraging data-driven insights, and implementing lead generation tactics, you can attract potential customers. Creating compelling content, utilizing social media advertising, and building strategic partnerships will further expand your customer base. Implementing referral programs, maximizing email marketing, and leveraging SEO will drive conversions and help you acquire qualified leads. With these strategies in place, you can scale your business effectively while optimizing resources.

Want more customer acquisition strategies specific to your business? Book a free strategy session and let’s talk.

The role of branding in B2B marketing

Brand positioning is only important for B2B companies if you’d rather not compete on price. If you’re comfortable you can undercut all your competitors and still maintain a profit margin, then you can skip this one.

If, on the other hand, you’d rather have clients willing to pay a premium for what you do, and value you for more than a great deal, then you may want to keep reading.

While many may associate branding with consumer products, its significance in the B2B sector cannot be understated. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of brand positioning, differentiation strategies, value proposition development, brand storytelling, consistent messaging and visual identity, and thought leadership in B2B marketing.

The Importance of Brand Positioning in B2B Services

Brand positioning refers to how a company differentiates itself from competitors in the minds of its target audience. In the B2B services industry, where businesses often offer similar solutions, a strong brand positioning can be a key differentiator. By clearly defining your unique selling points and communicating them effectively, you can establish your company as the go-to choice for potential clients.

Your brand positioning is quite simply the reason a potential client would choose you over a competing solution to solving their problem.

To figure out your brand positioning, it helps to triangulate it by knowing what problem your customers are trying to solve; what your capabilities are; where you are different from your competitors.

Differentiating Your Brand in a Competitive Market

In a crowded marketplace, standing out from the competition is essential. To differentiate your brand effectively, it's crucial to understand your target audience's pain points and tailor your messaging accordingly. Highlighting what sets your services apart and demonstrating how they address specific customer needs can help create a strong competitive advantage.

You want to take time to understand your ideal client and what the problem is they are trying to solve. Your messaging should focus on that and not your service or your company.

Developing a Unique Value Proposition for Your B2B Services

A value proposition is a concise statement that communicates the unique benefits customers can expect from choosing your services over others. When developing your value proposition, focus on addressing the specific challenges faced by your target audience and emphasize how your offerings provide tangible solutions or improvements. A well-crafted value proposition can help attract and retain clients by showcasing the value you bring to their business.

Your UVP is not a mission statement or a tagline. Your UVP is about your customer and what they can achieve, not what you can do. A simple formula for crafting your UVP is:

“We help (your target audience) to (what they are trying to accomplish) by (what you help them do).”

Before you can fill in the blanks, though, you need to first:

  • Find your target audience’s major pain points
  • Uncover what differentiates you from the competition

Crafting a Compelling Brand Story that Resonates with Your Target Audience

Storytelling has always been an effective way to engage audiences emotionally. In B2B marketing, crafting a compelling brand story helps establish an emotional connection with potential clients.

Your brand story should communicate your company's mission, values, and the impact you have on your clients' success. By sharing real-life examples and showcasing how your services have made a difference, you can build trust and credibility.

Building Brand Equity through Consistent Messaging and Visual Identity

Consistency is key when it comes to branding. By maintaining a consistent message across all marketing channels, you reinforce your brand's identity and ensure that customers recognize and remember you. This includes using consistent language, tone, and visual elements such as logos, colors, and fonts. A strong visual identity helps create a sense of professionalism and builds trust among your target audience.

This consistency also build familiarity. Studies have shown that consumers place more value and trust in brands that they are familiar with - even if they haven’t dealt with those brands themselves.

Positioning Your Brand as a Thought Leader in the Industry

Establishing your brand as a thought leader in the B2B services industry positions you as an expert and influencer within your field. Sharing valuable insights through blog posts, white papers, webinars, or speaking engagements not only helps educate your audience but also enhances your credibility.

By consistently providing valuable content that addresses industry trends, challenges, and best practices, you can position yourself as a trusted advisor for potential clients.

To develop effective thought leadership content, you first need to understand your target audience’s pain points. What do they worry about? What keeps them up at night?

Once you have that, think of innovative, fresh ways to solve those problems. Don’t focus on sales or promoting your product, just provide solutions to your ideal client’s problems.

You can communicate your thought leadership through a blog, white papers, videos, a podcast. Or, better yet, use multiple channels to get your message out. And keep it going. Becoming a thought leader takes time. Don’t give up if you find you’re not getting any traction after three or four months. The payoff for making it work is definitely worth the wait.

Conclusion

In conclusion, branding plays a critical role in B2B marketing by helping companies differentiate themselves from competitors, communicate their unique value proposition, engage their target audience through compelling storytelling, build brand equity through consistent messaging and visual identity, and position themselves as thought leaders in the industry. By investing time and resources into developing a strong brand strategy, B2B services companies can effectively scale their business in competitive markets.

Do you want to stay ahead of the competition and elevate your B2B marketing strategies? Book a free strategy session and get some advice on how to make your brand stand out.

Scaling Your B2B Services Business: Marketing Strategies for Success

The pressure to make strategic decisions that yield long-term value, amidst the rapidly changing market dynamics and fierce competition, can often feel overwhelming. Which activities are most likely to yield the predictable growth you’re looking for?

In this blog post, we will explore effective marketing strategies that can help you scale your business and achieve your growth objectives.

Identifying target markets and defining buyer personas

Before implementing any marketing strategy, it is crucial to identify your target markets and define your buyer personas. Understanding who your ideal customers are and what motivates them will allow you to tailor your marketing efforts effectively.

To effectively focus your marketing efforts, it’s useful to narrow that focus to your top 20% of customers. One way I suggest companies define this is by analyzing their current customers and ranking them by profitability. And then taking that list and noting which ones refer the most business to you.

By doing this, you will have a clearer picture of the types of clients you want to attract more of. And once you have this, you can begin to define the common characteristics that make them unique and use that to create buyer personas to focus your marketing .

For more detail on this process, read this.

Crafting a compelling value proposition

To stand out in a competitive market, it is essential to craft a compelling value proposition. Clearly communicate the unique benefits and value that your services offer to your ideal clients. Highlight how your solutions solve their pain points and differentiate you from competitors. A strong value proposition will attract prospects and drive conversions.

And if you don’t have a strong value proposition, your prospects will resort to comparing you based on price, which is never advantageous.

A great way to get at what that core message should be is by talking to those ideal clients, your top 20%. The problem you solved for them, the value you provided to them, is precisely what will attract those trying to solve the same problem.

Another great approach it to do some competitor research and identify gaps that you can claim. More on that in the next section.

Conducting a thorough competitive analysis to gain a competitive edge

A comprehensive competitive analysis is crucial for gaining a competitive edge in the market. Study your competitors' strengths, weaknesses, marketing tactics, pricing strategies, and target audience. Identify gaps in the market that you can capitalize on and differentiate yourself from the competition.

Begin by pinpointing both your direct and indirect competitors through tools like Google, industry reports, and social media. Next, scrutinize your rivals' offerings—products, services, pricing, and quality—to spot trends and unmet needs your business could fulfill.

Analyze their online presence, content marketing, and SEO tactics to gain insights into effective customer engagement and differentiation opportunities. Leverage customer reviews of competitors to glean what clients cherish and what they find lacking, guiding the refinement of your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Use a SWOT analysis to gauge competitors' strengths and weaknesses, positioning your USP to capitalize on opportunities and mitigate threats.

Leveraging digital marketing channels to reach your target audience

Digital marketing offers numerous opportunities to reach your target audience efficiently. Utilize social media platforms, content marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to generate brand awareness and drive qualified leads.

Which tools you will use will depend on your ideal customer. Where do you need to be to get in front of them at the right time? To really understand this you need to do some customer journey mapping.

Implementing effective lead generation strategies to drive sales

The lifeblood of every B2B business is leads, well it’s actually customers, but it starts with leads! In an attempt to generate more leads, you can throw a lot of money at a lot of things these days – online ads, social media, radio, and the next new thing that the internet comes up with.

It’s frustrating, to say the least.

There are really seven areas you need to focus on to maximize lead generation and conversion:

  1. A core message and strategy of difference
  2. A website that converts leads
  3. SEO to make sure they find you
  4. Customer reviews and referrals
  5. Social media to create awareness and build trust
  6. Online advertising to capture people ready to buy
  7. Real time reporting to see what’s working and adapt quickly

You can learn more about these in The 7 Steps to Marketing Success.

Building brand awareness and credibility through thought leadership initiatives

Establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry builds brand awareness and credibility. Share valuable insights through blog posts, industry publications, speaking engagements, or webinars. Position yourself as an expert in your field by providing educational content that addresses common challenges faced by your target audience.

Maximizing the impact of content marketing to attract and engage prospects:

Content marketing plays a vital role in attracting and engaging prospects throughout their buyer's journey. Create high-quality content that educates, entertains, or solves problems for your target audience. Use a mix of formats such as blog posts, videos, infographics, case studies, or podcasts to cater to different preferences.

When creating content it’s important to be strategic. There is a lot of content out there and it’s getting harder and harder to get noticed.

To help get your content noticed, and actually help you have to create less of it, you should align your content to each stage of the customer journey and use it to answer the questions your ideal clients have at each stage.

Setting measurable marketing objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs)

To track the success of your marketing efforts, it is important to set measurable objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). These could include metrics such as lead generation, conversion rates, website traffic, or customer retention. By setting clear goals and tracking progress regularly, you can optimize your strategies and ensure they align with your overall business objectives.

Ensure that your marketing metrics have a direct correlation with your overall business goals. This alignment ensures that your marketing efforts contribute to the broader objectives of the company, providing value beyond just the marketing department.

Monitor these KPIs regularly. Don’t just set them and forget them. And if you’re getting reports from your marketing team or an agency, don’t be satisfied with the results at face value. Push these folks to tell you what the results mean and what actions they’ll be taking as a result of them.

Conclusion

Achieving predictable growth for your B2B services business is indeed possible with the right marketing strategies in place. By identifying target markets, crafting a compelling value proposition, setting measurable objectives, conducting competitive analysis, leveraging digital channels, implementing lead generation strategies, building brand awareness through thought leadership initiatives, maximizing content marketing impact, and measuring performance, you can achieve sustainable growth and success.

Remember to adapt your strategies as needed and stay up-to-date with industry trends to stay ahead of the competition.

Want to get a powerful baseline of what’s working and what’s not with your online presence? The Total Online Presence Audit give you that PLUS a roadmap to fix critical elements and a plan of action to attract more of your deal customers. Book yours today!

fast cash marketing campaigns

6 Marketing Campaigns You Can Run to Generate Revenue Right Now

Playing the long game, building your brand, establishing yourself as an expert, nurturing your leads are all great and proven strategies that every B2B business should be using, but sometimes you just need to generate some activity and revenue fast. Here are six simple campaigns that you can run today to generate some sales.

The premise behind most of these campaigns is that you already have people who are likely to pay money again, but you just haven’t asked them.

Many of them don’t require fancy automations or tools, they’re just straightforward ways to generate some revenue fast.

Campaign #1 – Call your past customers who have not purchased recently

The fastest path to more revenue is through the phone line. For this campaign you are going to call all of your past customers. That’s right, pick up the phone and actually call them. Here’s how it will work …

First, pull a list of all your customers – right from the very beginning. Then remove any customers who are active, whatever that means to you and it will depend on your business and sales cycle.

Once you have a list of all non-current customers, sort them by “last purchase date” with the most recent purchases first. You’ll likely have better luck with the recent past customers so start with them and work your way back to the older ones.

If you don’t have phone numbers for these people find a way to get them. If your customers are other businesses, you can do a Google search, or use one of the many third-party systems out there.

Campaign #2 – Email all past customers

This campaign is intended to support Campaign 1. Start by emailing your past customers on the list you created in that first campaign.

Then, when you call them, tell them you are calling to follow up on the email you sent. This is a warmer way to get into the conversation. And if they haven’t seen that email, they’re more likely to feel obliged to talk to you.

Your email can simply ask them if they have five minutes to hop on the phone to talk about whatever it is that you help them with.

If you weren’t able to find their phone number using other methods, you can ask them the best number to reach them at in the email.

Campaign #3 – Calling your ideal customers and asking for a referral

Your ideal customers are best defined as those customers who are most profitable and who refer business to you. In most companies, this accounts for about 20%. They already love you and you love them because they are profitable and would love to have more customers like them.

In this campaign, you’re going to simply call those folks up and ask them if they know anyone who has a similar problem as them who they could refer you to. Here’s a sample script:

Hi Dan, it’s Michael. Did I catch you at a bad time?
OK great, thanks. As the month/quarter/year winds down, we’re looking to bring in one or two more clients that we can help. I was calling to see if you had anyone in your network that could use our services. Totally no pressure, but you’re one of our best clients and we’d love to have more like you. Referrals are a great way for us to grow with great people.

(Discuss the fit if they have anyone)

Awesome. Are you open to making a 3-way email introduction?

Perfect! Once I get that introduction, I’ll personally respond. And if we end up working together, I’ll let you know. No matter what happens, I’ll let you know what happens with the relationship.

Campaign #4 Calling warm leads

There are all kinds of fancy, high-tech ways to nurture and warm a lead, but one of the most direct and simplest ways is using the phone.

Depending on your business, you’ll need to define which leads are the warmest. If you don’t have a formal way to score leads consider those who have had a sales conversation but not purchased, or have downloaded something from your website, or attended on online demo.

However you determine the list, get that list and then, pick up the phone and call them. Have a sales conversation. Task yourself to call 5 or 10 leads a day. If you aren't the person who has the sales conversations then maybe delegate that to the right team member. Keep doing it until you achieve your revenue goal.

Campaign #5 – Email all warm leads with a promotion

Once you’ve finished your phone campaigns and exhausted all your past clients and leads, you can move onto a larger-scale email campaign.

Try hosting a live webinar. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Create a 30-minute webinar that provides 2-3 pieces of useful information for your target audience.

Create a compelling title that will grab their attention – hint make it about how they can get a big problem solved, not how awesome you are (unless that is a direct link to their problem).

Then you’re going to send a minimum of three emails out to those same people you’ve been calling and you can expand the list a bit if you like.

Sent the emails out over the course of a week and hold the webinar within 10 days of the first email.

In the webinar, after providing the value transition to call-to-action. To sign up for a free trial, or book a strategy call, whatever that logical step is to move them to the next stage in the buying process.

If webinars aren’t something you can do, you can use this strategy using another promotion. It could be a useful tool they can download or a discount.

Be careful with discounts. Use them sparingly and make sure you aren’t running campaigns that don’t actually make you any money because of the discounts.

Campaign #6 – Increase your price by your profit margin

If you sell a product with a profit margin less than 30%, consider increasing your product price by your profit margin. That will mean customers are paying marginally more for your product but you're receiving double the profit.

For example, if you sell a something for $100 that costs $85 to produce and deliver, increasing your price to $115 doubles your profit.

You can take steps to justify the price increase by increasing the perceived value of your product. Consider adding in bonuses or tweaks to packaging that don’t cost you money. Maybe add additional ancillary services. You could also try running a partner marketing campaign and providing coupons for other businesses’ services in exchange for granting them access to your customers.

Think about all the different ways that you can increase the perceived value of your product so you can justify your price increase, and quickly and easily double your profits.

Give these marketing campaigns a try and watch your grow revenue right now. But keep in mind, these are not a replacement for a proper marketing strategy. Done right, they’ll provide you with a quick boost of cash, but they won’t work month-after-month.

For that kind of predictable growth you need a proven marketing system. Did I mention, I can help you with that? Learn how here.

using competitive research to create your unique selling proposition (USP)

Conducting Competitive Analysis to Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition

Lots of marketing gurus will tell you that it's important to differentiate your business from the competition, but do you know why?

Let me ask you this. What do you think your potential customers will use to compare you to the competition if you haven’t taken steps to make yourself stand out?

It’s one of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make.

If you don’t give them any other yardstick to use, your potential customers will default to comparing you based on price.

You are literally creating a legion of price shoppers who don't value your quality or expertise, always want the best deal, and will jump ship the moment someone else undercuts you.

You don’t ever want to be in that position and you don’t need to be. In this post, I’m going to show you how you can use competitive research to help identify your business's unique selling proposition (USP).

7 Steps to Use Competitive Research to Create a USP

1. Identify Your Competitors

Sounds obvious but start by listing direct and indirect competitors. Use tools like Google, industry reports, and social media to gather a comprehensive competitor landscape.
 To really get at this, you need to know the precise problem your clients are trying to solve. When you get clear on that, you may find some non-obvious solutions (competition) comes to mind.

2. Analyze Their Offerings

Once you have your list examine the products, services, pricing, and quality of your competitors. Look for patterns in their offerings and identify gaps your business could fill.

3. Assess Their Marketing Strategies

Study their website, social media presence, content marketing efforts, and SEO strategies. Understanding their approach to customer engagement can offer insights into market expectations and areas for differentiation.

4. Gather Customer Feedback

Customer reviews and feedback on your competitors can provide valuable insights into what customers value and what they feel is missing. This information can guide the development of your USP.

5. Monitor Market Trends

Keep an eye on industry trends and how your competitors are adapting to these trends. This will help you anticipate market shifts and align your USP accordingly.

6. Evaluate Their Strengths and Weaknesses

Use a SWOT analysis to objectively evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your competitors. This will help position your USP to leverage their weaknesses and your strengths.

7. Test Your Findings

Validate your competitive analysis by testing your conclusions with market research, surveys, or A/B testing to ensure your identified USP resonates with your target audience.
 Even test drive it with some of your current ideal clients and see if it resonates.

How a Fractional CMO Adds Deeper Value

A fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) can significantly enhance this process with expertise in market analysis, strategy development, and execution. My expertise lies in crafting strategies that identify and capitalize on your USP, ensuring your marketing efforts are effective and efficient. Book a free strategy session, and let's talk about your business.

do you need a fractional cmo?

7 Signs Your Company Needs a Fractional CMO

What is a Fractional CMO

A Fractional CMO is a marketing leader who works with your business to develop and implement effective marketing strategies on a part-time basis. Many businesses need the expertise of a senior marketing leader to take them where they want to go but can’t afford or aren’t ready for a full-time CMO. A Fractional CMO is usually the answer for those companies.

Signs Your Business Needs a Fractional CMO

 

1. You’re experiencing stagnant growth

When growth plateaus, it's often due to outdated strategies or missed opportunities. You need a different mindset to get you out of that state than the one that got you into it.

A Fractional CMO can inject new life into your growth plans by identifying untapped markets, refining your value proposition, and developing innovative strategies to capture new business segments.

2. You lack a true marketing strategy and someone accountable for it

If your sales team is creating their own marketing material, or your marketing team is be reacting rather than planning.

A Fractional CMO utilizes their expertise to develop a sound marketing strategy to move your business forward and then manages all the players to make sure the work gets done and KPIs are met.

3. You’ve got client acquisition and retention challenges

Struggling to attract or retain clients signals a need for better engagement strategies. A Fractional CMO can introduce targeted marketing campaigns, develop personalized client experiences, and implement retention and referral programs to improve both acquisition and retention rates.

4. You’re having trouble attracting and retaining staff

Struggling to fill vacancies isn’t just (or at all) and HR problem, it’s really a marketing problem. Why isn’t your brand resonating with the people who could fill those roles and help you grow?

A Fractional CMO can identify the weaknesses in your brand and the gaps in your approach to help candidates see themselves as part of your team by creating and implementing an effective recruitment marketing strategy.

5. You have limited marketing resources

Limited resources often lead to inefficient marketing. A Fractional CMO, with their expertise, can maximize your marketing budget, focusing on high-ROI activities and streamlining efforts to ensure the most effective use of resources.

They can also build and manage your team to create a powerhouse marketing function for your company.

6. Your marketing efforts are inconsistent

If your marketing activities are not having the impact you intended it could be because they are inconsistent. Disjointed marketing efforts can harm your brand's perception and fail to engage your ideal clients.

A Fractional CMO brings coherence and consistency to your marketing initiatives, ensuring all campaigns are aligned with your firm's goals and presenting a unified brand message.
 They become wholly accountable to overseeing implementation of the plan they create and achieving the desired KPIs.

7. You lack a marketing strategist with executive marketing insights

You may have a team that can execute marketing tactics, but without a leader who can apply their in-depth marketing knowledge to develop a sound strategy, firms may struggle to compete – and marketing teams may not grow and evolve.

A Fractional CMO fills this gap by bringing their extensive experience to the table, guiding your team through the complexities of modern marketing and staying ahead of industry trends.
 By mentoring your team, they will grow and provide a stronger long-term asset for you.

Recognizing these signs and acting on them can be the key to transforming your firm's marketing efforts. A Fractional CMO is not just a stop-gap solution; they are strategic partners who can propel your firm towards long-term success.

content marketing for small businesses

Why Content Marketing for Small Businesses is Essential in 2024

Content marketing lets you get your business name and brand out in front of your target audience. Effective content speaks to your customers' pain points, offering solutions and guiding them on their customer journey.

Content increases your visibility online, casting your business as the authority in the industry and driving traffic to your website. Among small businesses, 99% report that they see positive results from their content marketing efforts.

However, the key lies in learning how to employ content marketing effectively. If you run a small business and want to build revenue for your brand, here is what you need to know.

Why small businesses need content marketing

Content marketing generates three times as many leads as other strategies, commonly called traditional outbound marketing. With content marketing, your goal is to create material that addresses the issues that matter the most to your customers.

For example, if you have a plumbing business, you might create material that explains how homeowners can protect their pipes in the winter. If you run an IT firm, you might create content outlining basic cybersecurity practices all businesses should have in place. This material helps customers see you as the trusted authority. Then, when they have problems with their pipes in the future, or they realize keeping up with all the cybersecurity practices has become too much for them, they turn to your businesses for help.

The internet has become a critical component of people's daily lives. Eighty-one percent of retail shoppers say that they will make online searches before they make a purchase. Similarly, 90% of B2B buyers will start their shopping journey with an online search. You want to make sure you have produced quality content that your target customer discovers as they make these online searches. Content marketing is your cornerstone.

Content marketing for small business acceleration pack

Jumpstart Your Content Marketing with the Accelerator Pack

The benefits of content marketing for small businesses

Content marketing offers several benefits for small businesses that you will want to seize. Here are some of the most common advantages we see:

  • You increase the visibility of your site. When you have content that regularly answers customers' needs, your site will become more visible to customers as they search online.
  • You will drive more traffic to your site. Increased visibility means more visitors and more people can enter your sales funnel.
  • You increase your brand reputation. Quality content associates your brand with expertise.
  • Your content marketing can serve you for years to come. Unlike an ad that disappears after it runs, the content lives on your site as long as you maintain it. That article you wrote can still attract customers months or years later.

How to get started with content marketing for small businesses

Now that you have begun to see some of the benefits of incorporating content marketing into your brand strategy let's explore how you can get started with content marketing. Done right, content becomes the voice of your strategy. And that means you

Step 1. Know who you want to target. You need to identify precisely who your target clients are. Consider factors like their income, background knowledge, budget, and who else has to sign off on their purchase decisions.

Step 2. Identify what matters to these target customers. Know what your customers are concerned about and what questions they have. Look at competitor sites, research keywords related to your industry, ask your sales team what customers ask, and ask your existing customers what they want to learn more about.

Step 3. Create a content calendar. A calendar helps you keep your content focused and on track. For example, if you want to produce a blog post every Friday, you might create a three-month calendar outlining your topic for each week so that all you have to do is sit down and write.

Step 4: Promote your content. Remember to call people's attention to your new content through platforms like social media. Let people know when you put out a new piece of content to start bringing in traffic.

Creating a content marketing strategy for small businesses

Eighty percent of those who excel with content marketing have a documented strategy. To create this strategy, you want to identify your goals with content marketing. For example,

  • Do you want to increase traffic?
  • Do you want to increase sales?
  • Do you want to increase your market share?
  • Do you want to raise your website on the search engine results page (SERP)?

Once you know how you want to succeed, you can then identify the indicators you will use to measure your success. Knowing what you want to achieve with your content will also help you choose your content topics and target your audience effectively.

Therefore, create a basic content strategy that outlines:

  • What you want to achieve
  • Who you are targeting
  • The topic you want to cover
  • How you will measure your results.

Measuring the success of your content marketing efforts

Finally, as you put your strategy into action, make sure you carefully measure your success. Use the metrics you defined earlier to monitor your success as you develop your content. Note which content is more or less popular and how customers interact with your content before buying. These insights will help you refine your strategy moving forward.

Build your small business with content marketing

Content marketing for small businesses can help power visibility and success. If your company has not yet implemented a content marketing strategy, consider how you can use this information to raise your visibility and bring customers to your door.

If you'd like more insights on how content marketing can help your business scale, book a free consultation and let's talk.

 

 

What is a fractional CMO?

FRACTIONAL CMO: WHAT IS IT AND WHY YOU NEED ONE

In today's business world, it's difficult to stay ahead of the competition, especially for growing businesses that can't afford the big salary of an experienced Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). One way to do this is by hiring a Fractional CMO. But what exactly is a Fractional CMO, and why do you need one?

A Fractional CMO is a part-time, senior-level marketing executive who provides strategic marketing leadership to your organization. They work with you on a contract basis, providing the same level of expertise as a full-time CMO, but at a fraction of the cost.

Why do you need a Fractional CMO?

Well, marketing is an essential part of any business. Without a solid marketing strategy, it can be difficult to attract new customers and retain existing ones. A Fractional CMO can help you develop a comprehensive marketing plan that aligns with your business goals and drives growth.

Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO

  • Cost-effective solution: As I mentioned earlier, a Fractional CMO can provide the same level of expertise as a full-time CMO, but at a lower cost. This is because you only pay for the services you need, and you don't have to worry about the costs associated with a full-time employee.
  • Flexibility: A Fractional CMO is a contract-based position, which means you can adjust their services to meet your needs. If you only need their services for a few hours a week, that's okay. If you need them to work on a project for several months, that's also okay. This flexibility allows you to get the services you need when you need them.
  • Expertise: A Fractional Chief Marketing Officer brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to your organization. They have worked with many different companies and industries, which means they can provide a fresh perspective on your marketing strategy. Additionally, they have the skills and expertise to develop a comprehensive marketing plan that aligns with your business goals.

How to Hire a Fractional CMO

  • Define your marketing goals: Before you hire a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer, you need to define your marketing goals. What do you want to achieve with your marketing strategy? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or something else? Defining your marketing goals will help you find a Fractional CMO who has the right skills and expertise to help you achieve those goals.
  • Research: Once you have defined your marketing goals, it's time to start researching Fractional CMOs. Look for companies or individuals who have experience in your industry and have a proven track record of success.
  • Interview: Once you have a list of potential candidates, it's time to start interviewing them. Ask them about their experience, their approach to marketing, and their availability. This will help you find the right Fractional CMO for your organization.
  • Contract: Once you have found the right person, it's time to draw up a contract. Make sure the contract includes the scope of work, the timeframe, and the compensation.

Hiring a Fractional CMO can be a cost-effective way to get the marketing expertise you need to grow your business. By defining your marketing goals, researching potential candidates, and interviewing them, you can find the right person for the job. With the help of a Fractional CMO, you can develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals and moves your business forward.

The Good Ideas Marketing Fractional CMO Program

If you would like to learn more about our Fractional CMO Services offerings, book a free discovery call. All of our engagements begin with a strategic review and development of a marketing action plan. We identify the gaps and opportunities that will deliver you the highest return on investment and fastest business growth.

Our services includes:

  • Developing and implementing marketing plans, short-term and long-term
  • Conducting market research and analysis
  • Identifying target audiences and creating buyer personas
  • Creating and managing digital marketing campaigns
  • Analyzing and reporting on campaign performance
  • Developing and managing social media strategies
  • Developing and managing content marketing strategies
  • Collaborating with sales teams to create effective sales enablement materials
  • Leading your marketing team and inspiring team members
  • Hiring new employees and building out your team for success

Book a free discovery call and find out if a Fractional CMO is a good fit for your business.

8 ways to market a small business

8 ways to market a small business

When it comes to marketing a small business there are a lot of options, but how do you know which is right for your business What are the best ways to market a small business? Where do you begin?

To find the most effective way to market your small business, you really have to begin with understanding your ideal customer and the best way to find and engage with them, but I explore that concept in detail in this post.

Today’s post is about providing you with a handful of ways you can try with your business that work, to some degree, in just about any business.

The 8 Ways to Market A Small Business

1) Create lead generating website

Many small businesses out there have a website. If you’re amongst those that don’t, it’s time to get one built. Your website is the hub of your online marketing efforts and if you don’t have one everything else is a lot harder.

If you do have a website, or are about to build one, you want it to work hard for you to capture leads, and drive sales. To do that, you need to ensure it has these 11 essential elements of a small business website.

There are loads of options out there for building one. You can DIY it on platforms like SquareSpace, Wix, or Duda, or you can hire someone like me to build one in WordPress or even custom code it.

The important thing in that process is to start with strategy and understand how you will use your website to attract and engage your ideal customer.

2) Social media marketing

Social media marketing for small businesses can be a powerful tool for reaching potential customers and building a community around your business.

Again, here it’s important to understand which platforms your ideal customers are on and target those. If you’re just getting started, or looking to restart your efforts, my advice is to pick one or two platforms tops and focus on those.

Many small businesses try to do too much and be on every platform and it’s just too much work. They get overwhelmed and stop doing everything.

The other thing to remember about social media marketing is where it fits the customer journey.

For most businesses, social media is not going to be about lead generation and that’s because the algorithms that control who sees what are making it harder and harder to get non-paid content found. For example, Facebook engagement hovers around 5.20%. That means roughly one in every 19 fans sees the page’s non-promoted content.

Basically, if you want to be discovered you have to run ads. But that doesn’t mean social media has no value.

Where social media helps small businesses is by showing their personality. People will turn to a business’s social media after they become aware of a business to get a sense of them before they make a purchasing decision. That’s why it’s critically important to post more than your latest special or motivational quotes. Show prospects your personality, let them get to know you.

I explore these concepts a little deeper in this post about mapping the customer journey, and this one about building the ultimate marketing strategy.

3. Develop a content marketing strategy

Creating and sharing high-quality, informative content, such as blog posts, videos, and infographics, can help attract customers and establish your business as a thought leader in your field.

To be most effective in your content marketing, you need to work from a calendar.

Start with quarterly themes; then break those down into monthly topics; and finally into weekly or bi-weekly sub-topics. Map that out over six or 12 months and you will have a calendar you can work from to keep you on track and not scrambling to create something each month (and more often just not getting it done).

And focus your content on being useful to your ideal client. Think about the questions they have during different stages of their customer journey and try to answer those.

4. Invest in search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO can help improve your website's ranking on search engines like Google, making it more visible to potential customers.

To break it down, SEO is really about three things: how your website functions; what content is on your website; and what other sites are pointing to you. To manage this is a big job and can get pretty technical, you're probably best off hiring a pro to help you here.

For local businesses (if your customers come from your area) there are some specific tasks and I talk about those more here.

5. Use email marketing

Email is one of, if not the, most cost-effective ways to market your business. And it can be used in a variety of ways.

Email marketing can be an effective way to stay in touch with customers and promote special offers or new products.

You can use email to nurture prospects who aren’t ready to buy, but have shown an interest in your products or services.

Email can be part of your sale funnels and lead funnels and you can learn more about those here.

To do any of this you need to capture those email addresses first. That goes back to your website and making sure you have something there that someone will want to give you an email address in order to access, like a checklist, or ebook.

6. Network and build partnerships

Networking and building partnerships with other businesses and organizations is a powerful way to market a small business. It can help expose your business to new customers and increase your visibility.

I call these strategic partnerships. Businesses that serve the same ideal customer, but in non-competitive ways. You build a network of strategic partners who all refer to each other.

If you’re a landscaper, this may be a roofer or contractor. For a business coach, it could be an accountant or a printer.

There are also organizations like BNI that are built to do exactly this in a more structured way.

7. Offer promotions and discounts

Offering promotions and discounts can help attract new customers and encourage existing customers to continue doing business with you.

Of all the ideas to market a small business, this one is probably the one that will drive the most immediate sales, but be careful not to use this too liberally, or you will train your customers to wait until you have a sale.

And remember, it’s always easier to do more business with existing customers than it is to go out and find new ones, so give some thought to what you can do to encourage them to do more business with you. This, of course, starts with delivering a great experience with their initial purchase.

8. Get involved in your community

Participating in local events, sponsoring community organizations, and supporting local causes can help build goodwill and attract customers who share your values.

Communities can also be digital. Are there Facebook groups that cater to your target market? For businesses serving other businesses, Alignable can be a great platform to connect.

It’s important here, though, to participate in a way that adds value to the others in the group. Be helpful. Don’t just sell.

These are just a handful of the many ways to market a small business. Try some of them and see if they help, and remember to track your results. Know what your goal is and have a way to measure the impact.

To really know which of the ways to market a small business will be most effective for you, you need to really understand your ideal customer and have a core message that speaks to their needs and wants. That means starting with strategy.

If you’d like to learn more about how to do that, download the 7 Steps to Small Business Marketing Success or book a free consultation and let’s talk about how to grow your business.