Monthly Archives :

February 2021

B2B Marketing Strategy

6 TIPS FOR CREATING AN EFFECTIVE B2B MARKETING STRATEGY

6 TIPS FOR CREATING AN EFFECTIVE B2B MARKETING STRATEGY 900 600 Kari Switala

I’ve never met a business owner who didn’t want to grow their business. I have, however, met hundreds of B2B business owners on the verge of burnout from working tirelessly day after day, week after week, year after year, without seeing the results they want.  The problem? More often than not, they’re lacking a solid B2B marketing strategy.

Schitt's Creek

The good news is that it’s never too late to course-correct. At Wild Fig Marketing, we suggest integrating these helpful tips into your strategy to rock the socks off your brand and ignite your ROI. 

Tip #1: Post on your blog regularly

B2B Marketing Strategy

Your blog is a powerful little bugger…and it’s often underutilized. Did you know that your blog has the power to drive organic traffic to your website, increase your SEO rankings, position you as a thought leader in your industry and supply practical information for your prospects and current customers? 

Let’s take a closer look…

  • Because your blogs address your target audience’s questions, concerns and pain points with practical information, you attract organic traffic to your website and grow your image as a thought leader. 
  • When you add internal links and high-quality outbound links to blog posts or other parts of your website, you increase your SEO rankings which means more exposure for your brand. Check out this post on leveraging your blog for more brand traction. (Dare you not to click!)
  • Unlike social media posts, blog posts sit on your website so they’re not subject to changing search engine algorithms and they increase the time visitors spend on your website. 
  • Blog posts are an excellent way for visitors to get to know your story and your team members. 

And this leads me to the next tip I want to highlight…

Tip #2: Humanize your brand 

B2B Marketing Strategy

Gone are the days when companies do business with other companies simply because they’ve been in the family for four generations and they’re a household name. Today’s business owners want to work with businesses they can relate to or at minimum, that are human and approachable. 

So how can your business ditch the Armani suit and don the Lululemon yoga pants?

  • Tell your story. Why did you start your business? What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business off the ground? What lessons have you learned the hard way? The moment you close the curtain on authenticity, you alienate business owners who need your product or service but want to work with a relatable, down-to-earth brand. 
  • Share your customers’ stories. Build a “Testimonials” tab into your website and weave testimonials into your blog posts and other content. Publish story blogs and create YouTube videos (that link back to your webpage) where customers share how your company’s solutions drove their business’ success. 
  • Showcase your core values. What values is your company built on? How are these values woven into your company culture? How do these values affect your professional relationships? If your company gives back to the local community, what does that look like and how is that charitable contribution driven by your values? Many business owners seek out professional relationships with companies whose values and culture closely align with their own.
  • Incorporate humor and outside-the-box thinking. Just because certain emails are routine doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Dare to break the mold by incorporating memes, GIFs or other forms of humor and creativity. Here are some fun ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

P.S. Postal scripts are another great way to humanize your message! (See how I did that?) 

Tip #3: Utilize email marketing

B2B Marketing Strategy

Folks, this is a showstopper. If you think email is old school, think again. 

Email marketing is the single most effective way to reach your prospects and convert leads. 

  • Send out targeted emails to stay top of mind with current customers. 
  • Create a lead nurture campaign to convert more prospects into customers by following them on their journey with your brand and providing valuable information that intersects each stage of that journey. 
  • Create and distribute monthly email newsletters that educate your prospects, customers and strategic partners to increase your referral traffic.

Tip #4: Automate your sales and marketing processes

marketing automation

Automation does the heavy lifting in many aspects of your business. It saves you time while actually enhancing that personal connection. 

Engage in marketing automation with automation software (we adore HubSpot) and send out targeted communication to your prospects based on their interaction with your brand. This is much more targeted than email blasts to your entire contact list and it’s much more efficient than manually communicating with prospects in a way that is relevant to their engagement.

Engage in sales automation by scheduling routine emails that:

  • Welcome new subscribers 
  • Demonstrate your product or service 
  • Remind prospects about upcoming meetings
  • Follow up with leads that have gone dark
  • Thank new customers 
  • Celebrate special occasions such as birthdays or brandaversaries

You can also categorize hot, warm and cold leads with predetermined criteria and send those leads into separate funnels for further, relevant lead nurturing. 

Are you tired of manually scheduling meetings and all the back and forth communication that goes along with it? Calendly and the HubSpot meetings tool are scheduling software options that lighten the load for your sales reps while providing a simple, time-saving experience for your prospects and clients.

Tip #5: Create lead magnets

If your ultimate goal is to grow your base of brand ambassadors who will help you grow your company, you can’t lose sight of the first step. The most potent way to attract prospects to your brand is by creating lead magnets—valuable freebies prospects receive in exchange for their basic contact information. 

Lead magnets can take many forms but guides, checklists and ebooks are three of the most common. Learn more about how lead magnets can help you grow your business here.

Tip #6: Leverage LinkedIn for effective lead generation

LinkedIn Lead Generation

96% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for organic social marketing—the vast majority. If you don’t have a LinkedIn presence, you might as well be standing on the mainland waving to your Fiji-bound competitors. You’re missing the boat.

We know that companies posting at least once a week on LinkedIn see double the engagement rate than those who aren’t. But the lead generation potential extends far beyond this point. 

At Wild Fig, LinkedIn is one of our biggest client generators, second only to referrals. Over time, we’ve developed a solid LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy.

We…

  • Defined our target audience.
  • Determined which types of content they find valuable.
  • Post regularly with a good mix of content that speaks to our target audience.
  • Pay close attention to who’s viewing our profile.
  • Send these people personalized connection requests (without the creepy stalker factor, of course).
  • Continue to provide valuable content and engage with our connections and our wider target audience.

Learn a little more about how the Figgy LinkedIn magic happens in our recent post!

When you adopt a LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy as part of your overall B2B marketing strategy, you set yourself up for a far greater return on your investment. 

Now that your mind is bursting with fresh marketing ideas, it’s time to put some wheels on them! If you’re overwhelmed or want a better idea of how to integrate these tips into your existing marketing strategy, we’d love to help! Sign up with Jen for a complimentary 30-minute strategy session here.
Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency. Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand.

3 BLOGGING TIPS THAT WILL HELP INCREASE YOUR EXPOSURE

3 BLOGGING TIPS THAT WILL HELP INCREASE YOUR EXPOSURE 900 600 Kari Switala

Guest Blogger & Expert: Janet E Johnson, This post was originally published on September 30, 2013 and updated on February 22, 2021.

Janet E. Johnson

I recently asked my clients and prospects what questions they had when it came to blogging. There were 3 main questions that most people had. I asked my friend, Janet E. Johnson a social media and blogging expert for her input on these 3 questions. Here’s what she had to say…

Do you need a large following of subscribers on your blog in order for it to have positive affect on your business?

No, there are multiple ways to get your blog seen.  Personally, I’d rather have one subscriber on my blog and thousands on my email list.  People are not using feeds like they used to.  Even Google realized this because they shut down the Google Reader.

So I would not worry about subscribers on the blog as much as subscribers to your email list.  I make sure readers see my email opt-in form on my blog multiple times.  I have it on the side bar, in the blog post and at the end of the blog post.  They won’t miss it.  Other ways get people to your blog is consistency, search engine optimization, social media, guest blogging and blog sharing sites like I discuss in number 3 (below).

How often should you be blogging in order to increase your search engine rankings?

The frequency below found on About.com.

  • For maximum growth: post multiple times per day to drive the most traffic (3-5 times or more is considered best for power bloggers).
  • For steady growth: post at least once per day.
  • For slower growth: publish at least every 3 days or 2-3 times per week.
  • For very slow growth: posting less frequently than 2-3 days per week is most appropriate for bloggers who maintain blogs as a hobby with no strategic plans for growth

Here’s my take on the above list.  It completely depends on your goals!  If you are a small business, not a blogger, you still should blog.  And you can get amazing results with consistent content, even if it is 3-4 times per month.  I know this first hand.  My husband is a general contractor, so about a year ago I started blogging there 2-4 times per month consistently.  Our goal is every other Tuesday and sometimes more.  His search results for local listings on Google have grown to the top positions for multiple keywords that we focused on in our posts. This leads me into my next point, optimizing each post for specific keywords.

For search rankings, it is not as much about how often you blog.  It is more about consistency and making sure each blog post is specific to ONE Keyword. You can write one post well and get it ranked immediately if you do the pieces right.  I suggest the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.  With this tool, you can put in the specific keyword and it tells you where you need to have the keyword in your post for proper optimization.

Where can I find great copy from other bloggers to repost on my blog site?

My favorite website to connect with other bloggers and share their content is triberr.com. Triberr is a community of talented bloggers and influencers that have come together to read and share great content.  And it’s FREE!  You can share excellent blog posts to all your social sites directly from inside triberr.com.  There are different tribes you can connect with to follow bloggers in your niche.

They also have a WordPress plugin to reblog right on your own website.  When you set this up, it is like having a guest post without all the extra effort of finding someone.  Plus, your content gets shared and reblogged.  It is a robust system that simplifies the blogging world.  Here’s a sample of a post that I thought was excellent content by Mike Allton, so I did a ‘reblog’ on my website.  All I have to do is hit the button ‘reblog’ (see image below) and it automatically saves into my drafts.  So I added the image, bolded some text and add credit to the author.  Amazing, huh? There’s even more and I feel I could go on and on, but head over and sign up for yourself.

Want more great blogging tips? Click here to learn how to write a blog post in 6 easy steps from our friends at Pixpa.

B2B LinkedIn Marketing Strategies

3 EFFECTIVE LINKEDIN MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR B2B BUSINESS

3 EFFECTIVE LINKEDIN MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR B2B BUSINESS 900 600 Kari Switala
B2B LinkedIn Marketing Strategies are a lot like fishing.
Lake of the Woods

I just had the opportunity to go ice fishing for the first time up at Lake of the Woods in Baudette, MN. Which, if you’re wondering, is located near the border of Minnesota and Canada. In fact, we could see Canada just across the Rainy River from our cabin. 

To say that I was a bit apprehensive about this trip would be a major understatement. I didn’t know what to expect, but the idea of sitting in an ice house on a frozen lake for 9 hours a day when it was 20 below zero was a bit daunting, especially since the longest I’d ever fished before that was about 30 minutes (most of which was spent holding a fishing rod in between my knees while I read my book and sipped my wine). I likened this experience to what our clients must feel when thinking about marketing their business on LinkedIn or using LinkedIn as a lead generation tool. They’re unsure how much time it will take, when they’ll actually see the results, and if it will be worth it. Are you seeing the parallels between my ice fishing experience and LinkedIn marketing yet?

B2B LinkedIn Marketing Strategies

B2B LinkedIn Marketing Strategies
Kevin reels in a whopper!

In this article, I’m going to share my top 3 LinkedIn marketing strategies for B2B businesses. I’ve utilized these strategies successfully over the past 10 years, and they have made LinkedIn our #2 source for new clients (our #1 source is client referrals). Please note: Implementing these strategies will not likely generate a ton of new leads overnight. Much like ice fishing (or fishing in general) it takes time and patience to reel in the big ones…or at least get a bite.

#1. Create a LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategy

To create a LinkedIn content marketing strategy you have to determine WHO your target market is—who you’d like to attract. Think about this in fishing terms (wow…I feel like I’m starting to portray myself as a fishing expert—fear not, I’m still a novice who cannot yet bait her own hook): If you want to attract a certain species of fish you have to use the right bait to lure them in. Knowing who your target audience is will help you determine what kind of content they might be interested in or find helpful and relevant. 

Once you know your target audience and what types of content they might find interesting, I suggest putting together a simple Excel spreadsheet or Google sheet to lay out your posts and make sure you have a good mix of content. Here’s an example of what that might look like if you’re posting 3x a week:

Monday – Post an inspirational or uplifting quote/graphic or a funny Monday 

meme. (BTW…Canva is a great tool to help you quickly and easily design appealing social media graphics.)

Wednesday – Post a link to a recent blog article you wrote or a link to an 

educational article that’s relevant to your industry/business.

Friday – Ask your audience a question and engage them in conversation.

Time Saving Tip: Block 30-45 minutes on your calendar each month to brainstorm post ideas and plug them into your spreadsheet. It will save you a ton of time and make it easier for you to find content because you’re in the zone. 

#2. Look at Who’s Viewing Your LinkedIn Profile

That’s better. 😀

Can you imagine baiting your hook (or if you’re me, having someone else bait your hook), then putting your line in the water and leaving it there without ever adjusting it or checking to see if your bait is still there? If that’s how you fish, you’re probably not going to catch much. The same is true with LinkedIn. If you just set it and forget it you’re likely going to miss out on some key opportunities. 

To ensure you’re getting the best ROI on your LinkedIn marketing, I’d recommend picking one day each week to check who’s viewing your profile. If you don’t know how to do this, here is a resource. (Note: With LinkedIn Basic you can only see the last five people who viewed your account in the last 90 days. If you want to up your game consider upgrading to a LinkedIn Premium account). When you check to see who’s viewing your profile there are a couple of key things to look for:

  • Are there people viewing your profile who you aren’t currently connected to but might be good prospects or referral partners? If so, send them a personalized connection request (without letting them know you saw that they viewed your profile—that can feel a bit creepy). Your message might look something like this: “Hey John, I saw your profile on LinkedIn and was really impressed with your work in ____ industry. I’d love to connect and learn more about your business.” The same can be done for referral or strategic partners—just be sure to change up your messaging. 
  • Do you see a trend in who’s viewing your profile? This can help you determine if your posts are attracting the right people or not. For example, if I’m marketing to manufacturing companies and I have mostly dentists viewing my profile…that’s a problem. 

#3. Look for New Connections & Send Personalized Connection Requests Every Week

Lake of the Woods is 344,000 acres with over 65,000 miles of shoreline and 14,500 islands. I can attest to the size of this lake. It took us over 45 minutes once we got on the lake to drive to our fishing spot. (I really, really wanted to drive, but apparently our driver thought I might be an insurance risk—maybe next year.) Just imagine how many fish and fish species must be in a lake this size. The opportunities to catch fish are endless, but you’ve got to actually fish in order to catch anything. The same is true for LinkedIn B2B marketing strategies. If you only have 50-100 connections and you’re not continually adding new connections you’ll be fishing in a small pond vs. a 344,000-acre lake. 

So why is it important to add new connections on LinkedIn? 

  • The more people you are connected to the greater exposure and opportunities you have.
  • If someone searches for your industry or type of company on LinkedIn you’ll only appear in that search if you are a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connection or if you’re in a group with that person.

Who should you connect with on LinkedIn?

  • Clients
  • Strategic partners—professionals you do business with who tend to refer business to you on a regular basis
  • Prospects
  • Members of organizations or associations you are members of
  • Key influencers in your industry

How do you make new connections on LinkedIn?

  • Start by crafting a personalized connection request. What do you know about the person and their experience? Do you have something in common with them you can reference? Why do you want to connect with them? 

Timesaving Tip: If you want to send connection requests to a certain type of prospect or members of an organization you belong to, consider creating a personalized connection request that applies to that group that you can simply copy and paste.

Soapbox Moment: The #1 thing you should avoid AT ALL COSTS is sending sales-y messages to a connection after they accept your connection request. It’s the fastest way to lose credibility and trust with your new connection. It’s like asking a blind date to marry you after your first date. Instead, think about how you could nurture that relationship. If we use the dating/marriage analogy, nurturing the relationship might be doing something thoughtful for the person. Maybe sending flowers or a text to thank them for a nice evening.

Nurture your business relationship

This can be done in a few ways:

  • Send new connections a link to a blog you just wrote or to a helpful resource.
  • Ask them to look at the people you’re connected to and see if there’s anyone they’d like an introduction to.
  • Ask them questions about their business to get to know them better, like “Who’s your target market?”

I hope you found these B2B LinkedIn marketing strategies helpful. Just like fishing, you really need to focus on your long game. If you expect to catch a 27-inch walleye on your first cast, you’re likely going to be disappointed. Marketing on LinkedIn takes time, but if you incorporate these three strategies and do them consistently you will reel in the big one. After 15 hours on the ice, I reeled in a 27-inch walleye. It was the biggest one our group caught in two days of fishing! 

If you need help with your LinkedIn profile, developing your LinkedIn content strategy or generating leads on LinkedIn, we’d love to chat with you. Simply click here to schedule an exploratory call with me!