Tips for Successful B2B Marketing in a Digital World

Tips for Successful B2B Marketing in a Digital World

The digital world we live in, where it’s commonplace for everyone to carry a smartphone everywhere they go and use the internet for just about everything – has completely changed the world of business-to-business (B2B) marketing for small to midsized businesses (SMB). It used to be that every sale required human interaction, but today, it’s far more common for the entire sales process to take place via the internet – from research to relationship building to the final moment when the customer clicks the “buy now” button on a website. How can a small business with limited marketing funds and time get noticed amongst all of the competition found online?

Successful B2B marketing online starts with your website.

Your Website Better Be More Than a Business Card

The website is the central hub for all of your online marketing activities in the digital world. The trouble is, many managed services providers and IT companies use their website as if it was simply a digital representation of their business card or brochure. Describing your services in technical terms is not going to help business owners and decision makers understand how you can help solve the problems they’re facing. If they knew what the solution was, they would just buy it and set it up! They need experts like you to suggest solutions to their challenges to make them more efficient.

Use your website to address commonly experienced business problems and present solutions in terms of benefits to the customer. How do you do this? Through story telling.

Learn how to Tell the Story in Different Formats

One of the most common mistakes businesses make when marketing their services online is to present information in the standard format of explaining what they do. When it comes to managed services providers, this is often explained in highly technical terms, listing specific hardware and software that makes up the solution.
The average business owner or decision maker simply doesn’t understand what those things are at the level that would allow them to connect the dots and turn that information into how that particular solution benefits their organization. You will want to create a variety of content, from blog posts to videos to infographics that tell the story and paint the picture for your prospective customers in terms of how it actually helps them. What problems can you solve? If you can use real-life testimonials and case studies from customers you’ve already helped – even better!

Turn Your Website into a Lead Generation Engine

The primary goal of any website is to generate leads for prospective customers. The first step to getting leads from a website is to make sure your website is found in the search engines. You’re going to need to do a few things to make that happen, but the efforts are rewarded with new people finding your website when searching for the solutions you can provide them:

  • Post new content to your website regularly, whether it is updating the pages of your website, adding new blog posts, or uploading resources
  • Fine tune your website content to be a good mix of relevant information your customers are looking for, keywords, and interactive content to keep people coming back to your site
  • Use social media to share content from your website
  • Allow website visitors to interact with your website by including informational videos, downloadable assets, and a newsletter subscription option

If you need help with the creation of an effective website, we can help with our SEO optimized solution provider website service.

Consider Paid Media Opportunities

For a few dollars per day, you can use advertising platforms on social media sites or Google AdWords to deliver prospective customers directly to your website. The trick to making your visitors convert is to tailor your advertisements to specific keywords that your typical client is searching for online, and to create a landing page that addresses that particular topic. The better you are at showing your prospects you can solve their problems, the more likely you will turn these new website visitors into paying customers.

Leverage Your Content in Multiple Ways to Reach More People

Every time you create some content, you probably post it and then forget about it. What you want to do is reuse each piece of content in a variety of ways to increase your visibility to potential customers and expand your reach. If you have a blog post that you spent a lot of time researching and writing, why not turn it into other forms of content as well and post to other places to reach new customers? For example, turn your blog post into:

·      A slide show or presentation

·      A video for YouTube

·      An infographic

·      Republish the article on LinkedIn

·      Send a Tweet with a link to the article

·      Post the article to Facebook

·      Expand the article to a full whitepaper, case study, or data sheet

·      Syndicate the content to other sources in the industry

Engage, Interact and Create Conversations

Like it or not, we live in a digital world. People expect to interact with other people and businesses online. Your ability to engage current and prospective customers, interact with them, and create conversations with them online will directly translate to your ability to generate sales and customer retention.

Competing in the digital world is overwhelming for most small business owners, but if you put your focus in the areas that matter you can succeed, grow, and gain more visibility for your business than you could ever accomplish through traditional, offline marketing methods.

 

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Posted in: General Business, Marketing

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What Managed Services Providers Can Offer Amid the Hacked Email Scandal

What Managed Services Providers Can Offer Amid the Hacked Email Scandal

We have learned a lot this election season, especially about technology, data management, and the potential for hacks. As we speak, WikiLeaks continues to leak a slow drip of emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal email server. While this is an interesting read and news story, the underlying concerns are frightening. Business owners should be troubled by personal emails and personal servers. Managed services can ease those fears. Look at how to offer managed services during a hacked email scandal.

What is the Concern?

To better understand what position companies and managed service providers are in, let’s first take a brief look at what the concern is with the email. There are a few issues at play here: personal email for confidential business use, the use of a private server, and the hack.

These are the concerns business should have, and the concerns managed service providers must address.

Caution: You should not be political when making the case for managed services to business decision makers. You may have the greatest sales pitch and services, but as soon as you allow your own personal politics to influence the conversation, you will lose the client. Remain professional. You can address these business security concerns without making political statements.

3 Ways Managed Service Providers Ease Security Concerns

Managed service providers can bring the email and hacking issues to the forefront of a managed services agreement meeting. Here are the three concerns your company should be prepared to speak about, and for which it must offer a safe and secure solution.

1.   Email confidentiality

Companies corresponded in and out of the office on a daily business. What should not happen is personal correspondence via business email, or business talk on a personal email. Hosted email services offer encryption, 24/7 customer support, top-level and industry-compliance standards, and spam and virus protection. Hosted email can also be accessed from the home or workplace, but with security in mind to protect the company from itself and from others.

2.   Hacking

While the current coverage about the hacking is interesting because we are learning about what goes behind the scenes, remember one thing – this is still a hack. Neither personal nor business operations are immune to hacking and data breaches, especially with poor IT management, IT gaps, and limited managed services agreements – if some companies have any at all. Hacks are a serious concern for business, and that must be expressed in any sales call, agreement meeting, or customer service interaction. If the only safeguard against a company hack is your service, then you need to express that.

3.   Data storage

Where does the company’s data go, including communications and service contacts? A company without a solid and comprehensive data collection plan is subject to lost data and hacking. Managed service providers act proactively to prevent such losses. Managed storage and backup is appealing for two reasons: it is easy to use, and it helps businesses remain compliant. These are the two main points you will want to drive home when trying to sell a business managed services.

As a managed service provider, you need to articulate the process of data storage and the proactive steps you take to protect and encrypt that data. Data security is of great concern to companies, but there is also the fear that anything collected can be exposed or accessed by intrusions and hackers. Sell your data management solutions, such as managed backups, asset protection, lower operating costs, high efficiency, transparency, and end-to-end encryption.

You can use current news and events to boost sales and to articulate the benefits and the need of your products and services. Position your company in a way to address these concerns and offer targeted solutions.

Posted in: Service Delivery

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