ADOTAS – As we think of new goals and new strategies, it’s important to consider all avenues to new business opportunities. Your company may have a solid handle on this challenge or it may be struggling to keep up. Whatever your particular case may be, there’s always opportunities if you look in the right places.
First and foremost, digital marketing needs to be a major component of your marketing strategy. That is, if it already isn’t. Digital marketing affords you the best opportunity to connect to potential customers, clients and leads because they all use some form of digital media. This year, your best approach is to work smarter, not harder. Leveraging opportunities such as LinkedIn, Twitter and search marketing may just prove to be the key that pushes your sales goals ahead of target.
Social media has been on a tear in 2012. It’s not becoming a mainstay on TV programs, commercials, news broadcasts and it’s used to coordinate discussion for special events such as this past election. Social media is a major force but how can it help you generate leads? The answer may not be simple, but it is obvious in some regards. Let’s begin with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn should be the most obvious choice for business development teams. When you upgrade to the pro packages, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips that you can then use to narrow down your targets and approach them either direct or through a mutual contact.
Once you’ve begun to leverage LinkedIn for its connectivity prowess, it’s time to use the other features. Build a company profile listing your products and services, connecting your employees and creating a high profile presence. Once you’ve planted your “virtual flag,” it’s time to advertise. LinkedIn’s ads are great because they can target industries, job levels/titles, location, and more. Use this to create laser-focused marketing campaigns that will drive qualified traffic to your site or LinkedIn profile.
Twitter is often thought of as a mindless waste of time, 140 characters at a clip. That thought process couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, Twitter is a fantastic way to connect with your target market in a non-invasive way. When properly executed, a Twitter presence enables you to establish credibility in your industry, immerse yourself in the conversation, monitor sentiment around your company, and connect with potential leads.
It’s vitally important to remember that the proper use of Twitter doesn’t always involve “talk to” your audience, but “talking with” them. Provide insightful information they will find valuable, ask questions, answer questions, and simply become a part of the conversation. You can leverage promoted tweets to get your message top of mind around particular topics or events. You can run contests to giveaway services such as a free consultation as an enticement. Test different ideas until you find something that works and makes sense for your organization.
Search marketing, broken up into paid and organic, can prove to be extremely effective in driving leads. Paid search can be targeted in so many different ways and since all activity is tracked, measurement is simple. Continuous reviews of the data allow for ongoing optimization of efforts and lower costs per lead.
Organic search works differently, but can just as effective. By targeting keywords specific to how potential customers would search for your product or service, you can drive incremental qualified traffic to your site¹s contact forms and other conversion opportunities. In both cases, solid strategy and good execution targets the traffic to weed out unqualified visitors and raise the overall quality. Analytics tools that can interface with CRMs like Salesforce allow you to track spend all the way to the sale.
Finally, we look at data collection and measurement. Running a marketing campaign without a form of tracking is a recipe for disaster. Access to sophisticated web analytics tools, at all price points, is at an all-time high. There’s absolutely no excuse at this point. If your company is already tracking, then kudos to you. You’ve taken the first step and hopefully, you¹re learning a great deal about your visitor’s behavior and activity. Keep in mind this is only the first step.
Too many companies believe that working with a specialized agency for each marketing channel is the most effective approach. We call this Digital Data Deception or DDD. The rationale is that if they select agencies that are each experts in a single discipline, that they’ll get the best results. While not impossible, it’s unlikely. The main issue is that these agencies operate in silos and don’t share what they’ve learned with the others. It creates a scenario where you have well-managed campaigns, separately, but you miss out on collective opportunities for incremental revenues. Lack of data-sharing is a major reason that marketing revenues stall out or worse, decline.
As we move through 2013 with open minds and tremendous possibilities, let us keep in mind the many different methods B2B companies can use to create new opportunity. We don’t recommend trying everything all at once, rather having a discussion about each and developing a strategy that makes sense for your business. The important point to understand is that if your searching for new ways to target leads, there are a number of ways to accomplish this with digital marketing and effective measurement.