Top Content Marketing Ideas for Manufacturing Companies

For many digital marketers, the ongoing pandemic acted as an accelerant for digitization. Most famously embraced by the World Economic Forum, this view holds that it didn’t disrupt per se; it pushed forward. Content marketers across industries, seeing increasingly fragmented customer journeys, agreed – and ones in the manufacturing industry corroborated it. As customers exhibited online event fatigue, they too needed to face this change along with the industry’s inherent ones. However, content marketing ideas for manufacturing companies don’t come easily in such a demanding market, let alone effective ones. Content marketing challenges for manufacturing companies As an introductory note, here we may first highlight said challenges. The manufacturing industry does face distinct ones of its own, which inexperienced or broader-scope content marketers may miss or underestimate. In turn, it becomes nigh impossible to produce effective content for it, let alone beat the competition with it. To consolidate them, the primary ones include: Offer complexity. A manufacturing company typically does not sell simple products accessible to a wide market. Framing such specialized offers properly for their niche audiences requires considerable industry expertise. Decision-makers’ scrutiny. Moreover, manufacturing content marketers need to entice decision-makers who seek expertise and offer tangible value. As with B2C marketing, eliciting emotional responses will very rarely bear results with this audience. A less visually exciting industry. Finally, the manufacturing industry offers comparatively fewer thrills for compelling visual content to thrive on. This has been changing in recent years, however. In addition, the typical customer’s purchase decision process spans a much longer journey. Strategyn breaks down the individual steps into 6; need, research, design, evaluation, shortlist, and purchase. A chart of the industrial buyer’s buying process by Strategyn. Source: https://blog.thomasnet.com/hs-fs/hubfs/1MARCOMM/Blog/2018/February/workflow2.png?width=808&name=workflow2.png Evidently, then, content marketers cannot afford to overlook this unique set of factors. The industrial buyer is cautious…read more >

Kick-Start Your Career with Thousands of Vocational Program Options

By Kylie Stanley, PR Technician Sonnhalter has updated our vocational education database to connect tradespeople to thousands of programs that are available. With the ongoing concern about our nation’s skills gap, the option for choosing an education to pursue a vocational career is certainly an attractive one. With plentiful skilled labor jobs to fill, trade jobs pay very well (sometimes better than four-year college degrees) and don’t saddle students with hefty student loans. Sonnhalter originally released our extensive vocational education database in 2015 after conducting extensive research on thousands of vo-ed programs across the country. When we updated the list in 2017, we added about 1,000 new programs, separating them out by state tabs and standardizing the descriptions to make it even easier to search, sort and use. Today, that database has been updated again and now lists more than 1,000 schools and over 4,000 programs, offering different types of degrees or certifications. The types of programs include construction, electrician, robotics, welding, HVAC, plumbing, machine tool technology, automotive tech, among others. A separate tab for national programs and resources is also included. The list is downloadable, easy-to-navigate and designed to be sortable for a variety of fields. The database is useful, and we hope to help bridge the gap between manufacturers and educational programs. The database serves as a useful tool for companies looking to implement more grassroots campaigns to recruit the next generation of professional tradesmen. There are numerous ways to take advantage of a tool like our database. Here are a few suggestions of how to make our work, work for you. Fill the Talent Pipeline Your HR team or recruiting group is probably aware of area schools, but they may not be aware of all of them depending on how stretched they are. Take to tool, find the schools…read more >

Five Key Social Media Trends for 2022 – Part One

By: Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect I think we would all agree that social media is here to stay, and this recent stat confirms it: 77% of people surveyed for a joint report by Facebook and NYU’s Governance Lab indicated that the most important group they are part of operates online (where social media plays a major part). Hootsuite released their 2022 Social Trends report and in this five-part series, we will discuss each trend. The Brand Strategy Trend Brands finally get community right (with the help of creators) In 2022, the key to unlocking online communities (no matter the size of your business) is in the hands of digital creators. Instead of trying to build a community from the ground up, the smartest brands in 2022 will tap into existing creator communities to learn more about their customers, simplify content creation, and build brand awareness and affinity. Stop thinking about your followers as your community A lot of small and midsized businesses make the mistake of thinking that all they need to do when it comes to online community building is to get people to follow them. Assuming that a passive following is equal to an engaged, thriving, and loyal community does the power of social media a disservice. And it can cloud your judgment of your product’s real value. Instead, seek out online communities that are active and engaged around interests relevant to your product category. If you make dishware, talk to home cooks. If you service cars, find auto clubs. If you manufacture welding equipment, find welders. By using creators to tap into these circles where you’re not well known and adding value there, you’ll reach new audiences, build cultural relevance, and learn more about your customers. Support the growth of content creators in earnest Not only should…read more >

What Are B2B Salespeople Doing Well – and Badly – When Selling Virtually?

By: Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect When it comes to selling it’s important to keep your buyer in mind. Although it can be hard to please your buyer, sellers need to approach buyers, differentiate themselves from the competition, and demonstrate their value. In their 2021 Buyer Preference Study, Korn Ferry answers these questions and more. Here are some of the key findings that I found interesting: 1) Seller performance continues to decline – with the key to this decline being that buyers have continued to change faster than sellers, and sales organizations haven’t kept up. 2) Only 33% of salespeople are effective at selling in a “virtual” environment – the challenges of selling virtually, combined with longer buying cycles and changes in the buying process, mean that sellers have a more difficult path than ever to making the sale. 3) Buyers don’t view sellers as a valuable resource – respondents ranked sellers next to last out of 10 preferred resources used to solve business problems. Buyers are finding more value in using their past experiences with vendors, social networks and trade media or colleagues. 4) Buyers continue to engage sellers later and later in the sales process – over 79% wait until after they have full defined needs; over half (57%) identify solutions first. The earlier that sellers can be involved with the buyers then they have more time to influence the buyer’s decisions. 5) Factors influencing large purchase decisions – Features/Benefits, Ease of Use and Solution Value are listed as the Top 3, while “pricing” is seen as a secondary issue. Decision-making has many factors and depends on the buyer and for 27% they use analytical thinking and facts to make their decisions. How has your sales team performed selling virtually?read more >

Best Practices for Using LinkedIn in B2B and Industrial Marketing

by Emma Jones, guest blogger In just a few short years, LinkedIn has vastly outgrown its humble 2003 beginnings. From a small professional networking platform, it has evolved into a B2B marketing powerhouse with undeniable benefits toward business growth. Still, it does not suffice to approach it traditionally, especially as a manufacturer.  So let's see what are some best practices for using LinkedIn in B2B and industrial marketing. What is LinkedIn, and is it effective for B2B marketing? LinkedIn launched in 2003 and has largely remained a professional networking and career development platform. Since 2016, it has become a Microsoft subsidiary, but its B2B marketing beginnings had already preceded the acquisition. Indeed, by 2015, access to its users' information had already become the platform's primary revenue source. Today, it has proven itself to be an immensely powerful lead generation tool for B2B marketers, regardless of industry. Data by InsideSales outlines this in no uncertain terms; LinkedIn sits confidently among the best. Alt. tag: A graph on the lead generation effectiveness of various social media platforms. Source: https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/1-lead-generation-over-used.png LinkedIn marketing statistics To illustrate this point, and LinkedIn’s value for manufacturers in particular, let us explore some data. First, Neil Patel finds that “LinkedIn is responsible for 97% of a business’s social media leads”, a staggering statistic in itself. Hubspot confirms its subsequent appeal with B2B marketers, citing Statista and Wyzowl to assert that: In 2019, “LinkedIn [was] the second-most popular social media platform used by B2B marketers, ranking only behind Facebook.” “66% of video marketers in a 2019 survey said they would include LinkedIn in their 2020 video marketing strategy.” “In 2019, over 87% of video marketers on LinkedIn described the platform as an effective video marketing channel.” Best Practices for Using LinkedIn in B2B and Industrial Marketing All that said,…read more >

U.S. B2B digital advertising grew a whopping 32.5% in 2020 year-over-year…

By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect Digital channels play an important role when it comes to advertising. I’m sure this is no surprise to most marketers given the pandemic the world has been facing the past 18 months. According to Emarketer, the forecast for this year is expected to grow almost 25% and by 2023, the total B2B digital spend is forecasted to almost double to be close to the 15 billion mark. Another stat that surprised me was that LinkedIn is forecasted to account for nearly one-third of the total B2B display ad spending in 2021. And I’m sure a majority of these ads are for job openings, but there are still plenty of promoted posts I’m seeing on LinkedIn. On the other hand, digital ad investment accounts for 32% of total B2B digital ad spend. This is mostly due to Technology Products and Service companies. With digital channels being vital when marketing to your customers, B2B marketers are investing more in digital ads than display. How has your company's digital advertising grown over the past year?read more >

Marketing Budget’s Share of Company Revenues Almost Cut in Half From 2020

By: Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect  Entering 2021, companies anticipated to have budget growth of more than 5% as they expected to have a swift recovery. A recent report from Gartner reveals that the share of company revenues allocated to marketing expense budgets has fallen drastically this year. The survey of 400 marketing leaders across 5 global markets found that marketing budgets as a portion of revenue have fallen to 6.4% this year. The previous lowest year was 10.2% back in 2014. From the results we can see five trends happening. Trend Number One: The first trend that reflects this decrease is from the downward pressure on marketing spend induced by the pandemic. When budgets are getting cut, marketing budgets are usually the first ones to be on the chopping block. Trend Number Two: All nine industries analyzed had cuts in budget as a portion of revenue. Manufacturing experienced the biggest percentage-point drop in revenue allocated to marketing…12.7% in 2020, but only 5.8% for 2021! With the digital enterprise accelerating investments, spending priorities began to shift. Trend Number Three: With digital commerce dominating, marketing budgets started to spread across all different channels. 72.2% of investments were split between marketing channels like websites, digital ads and social channels. Trend Number Four: A lot of external agency capabilities are now moving to in-house strategic tactics. The three that have moved focus are brand strategy, innovation and technology and marketing strategy development. Trend Number Five: Lastly, with the shift to digital commerce that meant companies needed to change their spending on analytics. With having to invest in online programs to fuel digital success, this ended up taking 12.3% of the total budget. I know manufacturers across the board are struggling with supply chain, labor shortages and other issues, but hard to believe marketing spending…read more >

Buyers’ Online Event Fatigue

By: Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect In 2020, companies and businesses turned to online events as an alternative to in-person events due to COVID-19. With those who previously held face-to-face events, 4 in 5 or 78% of people converted to online. Although online events were successful, people are starting to feel burnt out from them. According to Activate Marketing Services in partnership with MarketingCharts, 9 in 10 or 90% of Demand Gen marketers agree that buyers are becoming fatigued with online events. We all had to pivot last year to replace in-person events (tradeshows, association and industry meetings) … and most of us tried to fill the gap by replacing them with some sort of online/virtual event. With buyers becoming fatigued, and that will only be growing, companies are starting to redirect their focus. Instead, high-quality lead programs have risen up the ranks when respondents were asked to choose their top 3 options. That being said, companies are starting to focus more on content and engagement with their audience. This doesn’t mean virtual events are going away anytime soon. Although I don’t know about you, but most of the online events I attended were pretty much busts. What does your company have planned for the remainder of the year? Any in-person events? I know I’m scheduled to attend at least half a dozen trade shows between now and the end of the year and I can’t wait to continue to see people “live” and in person!read more >

Top Deal Killers for B2B Buyers

by Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect Virtual selling will continue to be around after COVID-19. Over the past year, there has been a shift of moving things to be done virtually or remote. In a recent report, State of Sales, LinkedIn looked at the top deal killers for B2B buyers. When looking at the report, some of these concepts seem so obvious, but if they made the list, then they must be happening out there. Here are the Top 3 B2B seller behavior deal killers for buyers:  Delivering misleading information about a product, its price, etc. – taking the top spot at 48%, I guess my question is why 52% of B2B buyers would buy from a vendor that gives them inaccurate info about the product and its price! Tell the truth; representing a trusted brand can make outreach more successful and gain you customers.  Not understanding my company and its needs – this seems like “Sales 101,” but it’s amazing how many salespeople are too focused on their own product/service and not the customer. A sales professional needs to be focused on the consumer’s need rather than pushing a product. Not understanding their own product or service – with the amount of information on the internet and the amount of time buyers spend researching prior to reaching out to the company, shouldn’t be a surprise they sometimes know more than the salesperson. Sales professionals are taking note of these deal killers and trying to improve. Knowing and identifying deal killers is important when targeting your audience, so you can adjust your outreach and effectively build trust. Looking into the future, how will you change as a sales professional?read more >

Here’s What Types of B2B Content Works at Each Stage of the Funnel…

By: Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect  After 2020, we can see a change in what types of content are most effective. In a recent report from Activate Marketing Services, they surveyed 72% of B2B tech marketers and demand gen decision-makers for a report on effective content. In this blog, we will look at each tunnel tier and each type of content. Top of the Funnel: At the top of the funnel, we have blog posts that are considered most effective. Whereas next we have 66% of people who consider infographics the most effective. Lastly, at the top of the funnel we have videos. Blogs, infographics and videos are great sources of content as buyers are engaging with more digital content especially after the pandemic. When crafting content for your company, keep your audience in mind to optimize business. Mid-Funnel: In the mid-funnel, we can see virtual events and webcasts were most effective. Last year, we saw an increase of virtual events and webinars due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of in-person events. Online events are great to expand your audience and let anyone listen from anywhere. Bottom of the Funnel: In our final tier, we have data-driven content. For example, this type of content consists of white papers, e-books and case studies, with white papers at 41% effective, e-books at 9% and case studies at 16%. And while this study focused on B2B tech marketers, these content pieces would work for the general B2B marketers. What’s been your most effective content type at each stage of the funnel?read more >

How to Build a Manufacturer Representative Business Plan That Really Works

by Doug Walker, guest blogger Having a business plan is important for the success of any business. A business plan will help you to evaluate your goals and determine how you will set about achieving them. It will help you recognize where things are not going according to plan and help you take corrective action. A good business plan can also help you to attract much-needed funding.  Setting up in business as a manufacturer representative is no exception, and a well-constructed business plan can mean the difference between failure and success. Here we take a look at how you can create a business plan that really works for a manufacturer representative. Nature of Your Business — One of the first things you should do is define what the nature of your business is. This is partly for the benefit of any potential investors who might be considering making an investment in your company. Before they are willing to part with any money, they will first need to know what your company is all about and how it will make a profit. Defining the nature of your business is also beneficial to you when it comes to running your company. It can be all too easy otherwise for somebody to get side-tracked and lose focus on their objectives. Capital Requirements — How much money do you need to get started? How much will it cost to register your company? What do you need to pay to get business premises of your own? What about utilities, IT, desks, and other furniture and equipment? All of these things will need to be taken into consideration to make sure you have what you need; otherwise, you will struggle to function. It is also a good idea to try and account for unexpected expenses. If…read more >

How to Improve Your Company’s Blog

’by Kylie Stanley, Public Relations Technician In the manufacturing arena where competition is fierce, some companies have turned to blogs as a way to increase brand awareness, become a thought leader in their space, increase their web traffic and generate leads. In a recent post from ThomasNet called, “16 Ways to Improve Your Manufacturing Blog,” it helps businesses to recognize ways to improve within blog platforms. Here are the key highlights: Write With Your Buyer Personas In Mind - When creating blog content, remember who your audience is. By establishing your audience, you can make customized content towards them. Use Images & Visual Elements - Enhance your story by using pictures to help break up text and keep readers engaged. Images can play an important part in increasing the reading time on your blog. Link To External Sources, And Your Own Content! - Help your readers through the story by providing credibility. This helps with your brand’s trust and can drive readers to conversion pages, which can boost SEO. Establish A Frequency To Posting Your Blogs - Make sure you’re committing to the blog by frequently posting. One way to keep up with posting is to create a content calendar and lay out all the blogs you’re doing in a month. Ensure Your Blogs Have A Strong Word Count - Posts under 300 words are not recommended for SEO, and when your SEO isn’t strong, consumers can’t find you online. At the same time, don’t post a blog with 2,500 words of “awful” as people will not read it. Blogs can help to achieve your business goals and build trust between you and the consumer. Follow the rules above and check out the rest in their article to learn how to improve your blog. How will you improve your blog posts?read more >

Kylie Stanley Joins Sonnhalter as New Public Relations Technician

CLEVELAND – June 2021 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, names Kylie Stanley the new public relations technician. In this role, Stanley will develop content for social media, write copy and represent Sonnhalter and its clients. Stanley attended The University of Akron, where she studied Public Relations and Media Studies. While in school, Stanley produced the university’s web-series, "Class Cancelled," that showcased activities students could do in the Akron area. From her video experience, she was awarded a Lower Great Lakes Emmy in the Arts and Entertainment college category. Along with her video experience, Stanley has worked with social media and was a media relations intern at a Columbus marketing agency. “We are excited to have Kylie join the Sonnhalter team,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “Kylie is a talented young professional and we look forward to seeing her grow here.” Stanley is currently a member of the central Ohio chapter of PRSA. About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Sonnhalter is located in the historic Brownell Building in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Sonnhalter’s brand identity highlights its expertise in marketing to the professional tradesmen. Its tagline, “Not Afraid To Get Our Hands Dirty,” promotes the employees’ willingness to roll up their sleeves and dig deep into clients’ businesses, also, it refers to the market it targets: the tradesmen who work with – and dirty – their hands every day. Sonnhalter developed the acronym “B2T,” which stands for “business-to-tradesmen” to capture the essence of its specialty. For more information, visit the company website at Sonnhalter.com. #    #    #read more >

How Public Relations Can Benefit Your Business

by Kylie Stanley, Public Relations Technician Are you looking for new customers or want to increase business? Well-developed public relations can be an effective tool to boost your business and help reach your desired audience. You will be able to establish an emotional connection to your audience through your brand's marketing. There are many ways that public relations can benefit you, but today we will be focusing on four methods. Michelle Garrett analyzed these four methods in a post she wrote for Thomas, “Why Public Relations Matters to Manufacturers.” Educates – Public relations helps to teach your audience about who you are and why your company should matter to them. It also provides the information to your market about your products and services. Image and Reputation – Public relations can aid in building trust and to establish your brand in the industry. By creating a strong reputation, it can lead to credibility and provide you with lifelong customers. If your customers know what your brand stands for, they will be more likely to engage with your business. Awareness and Visibility – Potential customers will know that your brand exists, and campaigns can spread awareness of the work that your company is doing. With awareness efforts, you can change public opinions and promote your brand's value. Interest – From awareness we can create interest for your brand and products. Interest helps to pull customers in and make them want to learn more about your brand or be involved. No matter how big or small a story is, it can help to elevate your brand and increase business. Let’s take some notes by looking at some examples of past public relations stories that have created visibility. Associated General Contractors Associated General Contractors of California partnered up with BuildOUT California, the world’s first…read more >

Sonnhalter and One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning Honored with Silver Davey Award for Integrated Campaign

Marketing communications firm and One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning received a Silver Davey Award in the business-to-business integrated campaign category. CLEVELAND – March 2019 – Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, received a Silver Davey Award in the 14th Annual International Davey Awards competition. Sonnhalter accepted the award in the business-to-business integrated campaign category for the “Shouldn’t We Be Talking?” personalized road trip campaign it developed with One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning. Sonnhalter worked with One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to create a personalized, integrated campaign to connect with business owners to discuss the potential benefits that they would gain from joining the One Hour franchise. With the objectives of gaining interest among prospects and softening the idea of becoming a franchisee, Sonnhalter used the simple concept of sitting down over a cup of coffee to broach a difficult topic with the theme, “Shouldn’t We Be Talking?” The theme was intertwined throughout all the touch points of the campaign and culminated in the salesperson bringing a thermos of hot coffee to the meeting. The campaign consisted of several touch points that were personalized to communicate local market knowledge and insights and secure an in-person meeting. Communication tactics for the campaign included phone calls, emails, postcards, 3D mailings of coffee mugs and social media. “Converting a business into a franchise of a national brand can be a hard and stressful decision, so the campaign’s goal was to make that experience feel more honest and conversational,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “Both Sonnhalter and One Hour are very pleased with the rise in opportunities that stemmed from this campaign and are honored to be awarded for our efforts.” The Davey Awards honor the finest creative work from…read more >

Updated Construction Market Overview Now Available

Information on construction market trends, key trade shows, industry associations, buying groups, training providers, top distributors, industry publications, blogs, online forums and more.   At Sonnhalter, we pride ourselves on working only in the B2T, or Business-to-Tradesmen industry. And that means not only being up to date on what our clients are doing, but with their industries as well. To that end, we have developed comprehensive Market Overviews for relevant industries, and continually update them. Our latest update is for the Construction Market. Please feel free to download, review and share, and if you have any questions, contact us.   Sign up for our updated Sonnhalter Construction Market Overview here.  read more >

2014 Report on B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing in North America

By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs recently released their fourth annual report on the content marketing practices of business-to-business (B2B) marketers working in the manufacturing industry. In this report you’ll find answers to questions such as: What percentage of manufacturing marketers have adopted content marketing? What tactics are they using? How does their approach to content marketing differ from that taken by other B2B marketers? This report also looks at how manufacturing marketers approach content marketing when compared with a wider group of B2B North American marketers representing a range of industry segments. Here are some key highlights from this most recent study on manufacturing marketers and their content marketing efforts: 86% have adopted content marketing Only 30% say they are effective at content marketing Use the same number of tactics (13) as other B2B marketers 81% use YouTube to distribute content and rate it as the most effective social media platform Cite different goals for content marketing when compared with other B2B marketers Top challenges faced for their content marketing programs: 1. Lack of time, 2. Producing the kind of content that engages and 3. Producing enough content 46% plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months Click here to read more details and download the full report.read more >

Webcast: Mobile Marketing

Our vision architect, Matt Sonnhalter, will be presenting on CFE Media’s webcast, “Mobile Marketing: What Impression Are You Making and How Will You Measure It?” Matt, along with Kim Dushinski author of The Mobile Marketing Handbook, will discuss how B2B marketers can make a good mobile impression. Whether you’re ready for mobile, or not, it’s here. If you have a website, you’re already being viewed on mobile devices. Join Matt on Tuesday, June 19 at 2 PM EST for this free, informative presentation. You can register here.read more >

B-to-B Marketers: Have you forgotten the basics?

The last two years for most of us in the B-to-B space hasn't been much fun. Budgets cut, every move or project had to be justified seven different ways. When leads came in, ALL were followed.We ran a tight ship. Today, business is beginning to improve, budgets are increasing, new products are being launched and for some of us, social media has been introduced which needs our attention.read more >

B-to-B Marketers: When Should You Outsource Social Media?

For those of you who haven't yet dove in to the social media arena, whether it's because of fear of the unknown or the fear of it's going to be too time consuming, I have some friendly advice. I can't force you to try it but I can tell you it won't hurt and you can't break anything. For those who are willing to to give it a try but are worried about the amount of time it will take I have some suggestions for you to consider. read more >

B-to-B Marketers: Tips on How to Optimize Twitter

In our world of B to B and especially the world of manufacturing Twitter of all the social media tools is probably the most misunderstood and therefore the most under utilized.75 million people visited Twitter in January alone, over 23 million were from the US. According to Twitter, over 50 million tweets are sent daily.Twitter is being talked about everywhere. People are drawn to it because of the buzz of its popularity but the majority of people don’t understand its potential.read more >

B-to-B Marketers: 5 “Must Haves” Before Starting Social Media

Unless you live under a rock, everyone knows about social media at least in broad terms. Social media holds a tremendous amount of potential for businesses looking to grow. Many companies, in an effort to get started, jump right in, and while that's not the end of the world, I think if they really want social media to have a positive impact on their business, they should consider the following.read more >

B-to-B Marketers: Use Video on Your Web Site to Increase SEO.

Manufacturers are missing the boat if they are not incorporating videos into their Web sites. According to Forrester Research, videos properly submitted are 53 times more likely to generate first page Google rankings. You heard me right, 53 times more likely. Other advantages are that results appear in days because Google is pushing video to the top. This is a great opportunity for B-to-B marketers.read more >

B-to-B Marketers: How Many Calls Does it Take to Make a Sale?

We're all focused on generating more leads these days, but I find it ironic that most companies don't do much with them once they get them. Simply fulfilling a request is not the answer, but yet many companies do just that. According to a recent survey of people who have requested info suggests that 80% of all sales are made on or after the third contact. The survey conducted by Marketing Best Practices, Inc. polled over 700 respondents with only 8% buying after the first call. read more >

Social Media: Will Be Focus of B-to-B Marketers in 2010

According to a recent study completed by Alterian in their 2009 annual survey, social media will become the focus of marketers in 2010. This should come as no surprise to us in the B-to-B marketplace where budgets are still tight and management is continuing to demand accountability for marketing efforts. The survey covered 1068 marketing professionals. The respondents came from Europe (36%), from North America (62%) and from Asia Pacific (2%). Here are the highlights:read more >

What’s the Best Way of Reaching the Professional Tradesman: Drip or Closed Loop Marketing?

The answer is both depending on how you're developing and nurturing prospects. Today both Drip Marketing and Closed Loop marketing are seen to be online strategies. Truth be known, these have been going on long before we had the use of the Internet tools. Effective marketing programs today should utilize both. We are fortunate to have these tools that help us monitor and measure our activities in infinite ways. Here are some suggestions on how to reach the Professional Tradesman using both Techniques: Drip Marketing - I define this as an ongoing way to communicate and deliver product info and thought leadership to contractors and tradesmen who have identified themselves to us. It can use traditional methods like direct mail with things as simple as a series of postcards or other mailers to touch folks on a regular basis (monthly, weekly or daily). With the advent of the Internet we can add links to our e-mails to landing pages that can expand on content, offer incentives and interact with tradesmen.I'd suggest that to be effective, run and monitor these campaigns using an automated system.These automated systems will help you create and deliver messages and gives you the metrics to monitor open rates,click throughs and opt outs.They will also help reduce spam complaints and increase delivery. Closed Loop Marketing - I define this as a more complex system that involves marketing working closely with sales to work a contractor through the sales process. It utilizes many if not most elements that are in a Drip program but goes beyond just delivering information based on a previous actions and their place in the buying cycle. Marketers literally "close the loop" by working with sales to provide the right info at the right time based on contractors responses. "Close the Loop" marketing provides…read more >

E-mail and Social Media – A Great “One-Two” Punch to Capture the Professional Tradesman

Social media has dominated the news lately and many marketers are considering moving out of traditional e-mail programs and focusing more on social.My advice to them is neither are the answer by themselves especially when it comes to reaching professional tradesman who are slower to jump on the social bandwagon.read more >

B-to-B Marketers Have Opportunities to Build Better Customer Relations Using Social Media

Why should B-to-B companies use Social media? Oliver Young from Forrester Research sums it up, "Marketers who embrace social media will outdistance competition, build community following and boost loyalty." Is there a better time than now to start making that impression? People are still buying things, and with budgets being tight, decisions are often made on relationships.read more >