If you’re reading this, chances are you don’t remember a time that a worker picked a profession, joined a company and stayed there a few decades, collected a retirement gift, and vacationed or lived a quieter life outside of the business until death.
1. Tell A Story
People love a good success story, so reading about a startup that’s making it is something that could help more people pay attention to you, and eventually like or use your product or service. Don’t use a public-relations tone. Tell your story in a more human way – how you got where you are, what the first months or years were like, what you are hoping to accomplish. You can let someone proofread The Story, but make sure it still sounds like and is, really, you.
Startups aren’t on social media to share cat videos and read celebrity gossip - they’re on social media for business. But, getting leads from social media is not so easy.
If you’re using the Inbound Marketing model - attract online visitors and transform them to leads, then customers - the right reports must be presented in a form everyone in your company can understand.
Trying to outdo your competitors simply by offering the lowest prices in the industry will always set you up for failure. Attracting customers and creating brand loyalty is about much more than being the least expensive option. The B2B market is looking to maximize productivity in addition to reducing costs, and that means they’re making purchasing decisions based on the best overall value of a product instead of the price tag.
No one knows all there is to know about everything. Some people are experts in certain fields or about specific topics, and they may know more than virtually everyone else. In some instances, they may know special details that are unknown to everyone else.
Pitching a new idea to an untapped market is no small task, especially for startup companies with little or no brand power. These “disruptive innovations” have the power to change the landscape of the existing market, but to do that, you have to create the demand necessary to bring your product into the public eye.
When IBM pioneered a method of qualifying sales leads based on Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline — commonly known as BANT qualification — the world was a very different place. These were the days before the Internet and before potential customers could conduct extensive research on their own. Any customer wanting information on your goods or services had to work through your sales department. Either your sales staff made rounds and called on likely candidates or your telemarketing department did a bit of pre-screening before handing leads off to sales. Occasionally, a potential client would call in response to a print ad or flyer. In short, virtually all sales leads were generated by outbound sales methods that involved your company pushing its message to possible buyers.
Outbound marketing still has its place, but the digital age has shifted the "balance of power." Today, the emphasis is on inbound marketing, which is essentially getting the customer to contact you. Sales funnels are no longer straight, logical progressions that can be managed in a linear manner, so you might have little information regarding just where a buyer is in his journey when he calls you for the first time.
This makes BANT qualification process unwieldy when used as it was originally designed.
Content marketing isn’t just a tactic used in B2C circles to bring in one-time buyers with enticing sales and promotions. As a B2B marketer, it’s important that you understand the need for content marketing in generating demand and leads to further the growth of your business.
Have you tried asking your smartphone a question lately? Today smartphone virtual assistants do a lot more than dial up phone numbers in your address book. Apple’s Siri, for example, can look up anything on the Web – as well as send a text or email and get directions – to let you know where is the best place to find deep-dish Chicago style pizza in your neighborhood or where a movie is showing.
As convenient and easy as voice controlled natural language interfaces are to use, Google is taking them to the next level with its newest search algorithm called Hummingbird. With Hummingbird, Google not only understands what you have asked; it also understands the follow-up questions to add to the original search. A Hummingbird search would go something like this, click your smartphone’s microphone and say: “Empire State Building.” Google will search for some information about the Empire State building – maybe how many floors it has – and read it back to you. Then you could ask “when was it built.” Google will return a relevant site with information about the construction of the Empire State Building.” If you ask about visitor hours, Google will take you to the ‘visitor information’ page on the Empire State Building website.
Topics: Content Marketing