Driving Sales With Digital Marketing

22 Jun

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In spite of its demonstrated success in other industries, building products manufacturers have been slower to adopt digital marketing as either a complementary strategy alongside print or as a stand-alone strategy. That view is slowing changing as companies focus more of their marketing budgets on digital products such as content creation, SEO, website optimization, video, and more. The trick is to deliver what your audience wants to know without being pushy or aiming for the quick sale.

1. Be Helpful, Not Salesy

The first rule of digital marketing with a goal of increasing sales is to provide helpful information – without pushing for the sale. This helps to build a relationship of trust and establishes your business as one that is an expert in the field.

2. Be Entertaining

This doesn’t mean to pull out the jester hat and do tricks. It means instead of posting dry and boring content that explains concepts in a lackluster way, seek to make everything readable, interesting and informative. Your visitors should be able to easily relate your information to their own situations and come away having learned something.

3. Embrace Video

Video is a marketing medium that is just now reaching its stride. As a platform, video provides a method of entertainment as well as a medium for offering step-by-step instruction. It’s an engaging way to deliver all types of content. As a bonus, videos can be easily posted to different social media sites.

Digital marketing is a flexible, versatile and engaging method of driving sales for any industry. The building materials sector can use the above tips to get started in this exciting endeavor.

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Mid-Year Review: Assessing Your Public Relations Strategy

20 Jun

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Now that 2017 is more than halfway finished, it’s a good time to take an objective assessment of your public relations strategy. Even if your company – like many others – reviewed your objectives, goals and solutions to ensure that your public relations were a better fit as the new year kicked off, it’s a good idea to perform this step again now that it’s been a few months since its implementation. Here’s what to look for when assessing your public relations strategy at the mid-point of the year.

1. How are you stacking up against your competition?

Whether you’re the leader in your industry or that’s a position that you aspire to, you need to know what your competition is doing. Holding your company’s performance up against other businesses within the industry is an effective measurement of the success of your public relations strategy. Knowing where your brand stands in terms of market share, online search results, and consumer loyalty shows you if and where you need to tweak your strategy.

2. Are you devoting enough time to public relations?

Boosting your brand to the kind of success you envision requires a long-range mindset. While there are exceptions to the rule, in most cases a brand doesn’t achieve household recognition from a single, well-placed mention in the media. Instead, it takes the creation of a long-term plan that’s built in realistic expectations and solutions, as well as plenty of time to implement it.

3. Do you know how your content, social media and SEO strategies are doing?

Public relations is all about getting the awareness of your brand out to as many people as possible. One of the most effective methods of doing so is by leveraging SEO, content marketing and social media. Evaluate the results of your content marketing and SEO strategy thus far this year to determine if you need to make some changes.

4. Are you measuring your results on a regular basis?

While it’s a great idea to assess your public relations strategy on a yearly – or even a twice a year – basis, it will be more effective if you do so regularly. Data such as website referral traffic, market share and increased brand engagement can be pulled as often as daily to give you updates on the effectiveness of your strategy. Before doing so, however, be sure to establish some benchmark figures so you can measure this type of data more efficiently. Plan to assess your findings at least monthly so you can gain a keener understanding of your strategy’s effectiveness.

With this list of four questions, your brand can start a mid-year public relations assessment that sets you up for better performance for the rest of 2017. Don’t feel like you have to be hemmed in by these suggestions either as they’ll likely bring up other questions that need to be addressed along the way.

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3 Elements Your Trade Show Booth Needs

15 Jun

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A trade show provides your business with the opportunity to capture the interest of a captive audience that is already interested in what you have to offer. This is not to diminish the importance of designing the right trade show booth. Even though its attendees are interested in the theme of the trade show, you still need to find an effective way to attract and retain their attention. When designing your trade show booth, keep the following elements in mind:

1. Recognition

From the smallest startup to a large conglomerate, trade show attendees need to be able to quickly and efficiently identify what your company does. It takes a person attending a trade show about three seconds to decide whether to engage with a brand or move on. If people are not able to instantly figure out the purpose behind your brand, it is unlikely they’ll stop at your booth to learn more.

2. Visual Appeal

Humans are a visually stimulated species who use their eyes to help them gravitate toward the things that interest them the most. An attractive and stimulating trade show booth includes strategically-placed graphics highlighted by subtle lighting that is designed to pique their curiosity without overwhelming the senses.

3. Openness

When designing your trade show booth, aim for a flowing and open setup. A table that is placed in between your business and the trade show attendees provides a psychological barrier that could prompt someone to skip visiting your booth. Instead of placing a table in front of your business, locate it in the back or off to the side, if it must be used. Focus, instead, on creating open spaces that are bright, inviting and welcoming.

By combining the three above elements, you can create a trade show booth that helps you meet your business objectives. Creativity coupled with a strong focus on delivering what trade show attendees want is a winning strategy that’s applicable to any industry.

Check out our previous blog post for more tips.

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How Today’s B2B Marketers Are Pushing Customer Centricity

13 Jun

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Placing the customer at the center of your business strategy is best for all companies, not just the B2C world. Creating a positive sales experience for clients throughout the entire funnel now can mean the difference between success and stagnation. The effect is quantifiable: B2B companies with marketing based centrally around the customer reported an average of 31% more growth in revenue. An additional report found that customer-centric marketing increases return on marketing (ROM) by up to 30%.

Market leaders in all major industries are making a push to this new customer centered marketing model. Here are some of their best techniques.

More Efficient Data Aggregation

Leading companies are making huge investments in full scale teams of marketing analysts to helm new software packages based around datacentric CRM. Many of these companies are taking their entire analytics operations online to take advantage of the wealth of resources in spaces such as the Oracle Marketing Cloud.

These aggregation strategies are also accompanied by engagement strategies. Companies such as Juniper Networks have taken great pains to close the gap between their marketing and sales teams. They are using the precision data they cultivate from social media and information grabs to ramp up their marketing campaigns with an eye to continuous improvement.

Customers Are Now Top Marketing Executives

Do not take that subheading seriously if these customers are not actually titled within the company; however, this is to the company’s advantage, because they do not actually have to pay their most insightful workers! Companies such as Wells Fargo are paying more attention than ever to the customer journeys they initiate with their sales funnels. They are developing personas around these journeys and segmenting their investments in advertising around these more detailed personalities.

For instance, the same company may run three completely different marketing campaigns on the same social media network depending on the age, gender, income, hobbies and other psychographics of its audience. Most top distribution platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) are more than robust enough to accommodate these segmented, customer centered efforts.

Redesigning Internal Company Functions

Many new strategies run into friction at the top executive levels. Old-school executives have a problem moving into new patterns of marketing. The most efficient companies are restructuring their entire hierarchy to represent a more socialized approach to change.

Cross functional teams that involve several departments into a single function are more common now than ever. Many companies are employing or outsourcing the role of traffic controller to monitor the movement of data between departments. The role of executives has been scaled back in the sense of actually executing individual strategies, although they still retain the ability to change the overall vision of technical focus points within the company.

Considering the Customer Narrative

Marketing teams are now taking the lead in sponsoring digital transformation rallies around companies. These rallies are focused more on driving value than clicks – the old quality over quantity platitude that actually means quite a bit in the world of customer centric marketing.

Many companies have created a new role, the CX strategist, to keep marketing campaigns aligned directly with customer objectives. Although many technologies are quite able to follow the movements of customer segments, it still takes a human touch to apply the data streams that are created into a viable program. This is especially true because of the highly transient nature of customers in B2B product industries such as high tech, fashion and entertainment.

With more focus on the customer than ever, you can expect personalized solutions and companies that are very interested in what you have to say as a patron. It is definitely a good time for the consumer, and things are only looking up.

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Mid-Year Review: Is Your Content Marketing Strategy Working?

8 Jun

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A mid-year review for your content marketing strategy gives you a heads-up about its performance thus far. While some people might approach such a task with the kind of dread that typically accompanies mid-year reviews for employees, not taking the time to do it now could mean wasted time and opportunities if you only do it at the end of the year.

1. Are you still reaching your audience?

Are your efforts still keeping up with the action plan that was developed as part of your content marketing strategy? Make sure that these efforts are reaching your ideal customer. Check to see that the audience you are targeting hasn’t changed due to industry or economic factors.

2. Identify any areas that need to be changed

Has your most successful marketing campaign so far been in shared content – social media, referrals or word of mouth, for example – but your greatest expenditures are aimed toward paid content such as banner ads? If so, it might be time to take a look at evening up the budget a bit so you can build on your successes more easily.

3. Align with your sales team

Check in with your sales team to be sure that the goals of your content marketing campaign match your sales goals. Bring your observations to the next sales meeting to gather data from the front lines of sales to make sure that everyone is aligned toward the same goals.

4. Do a refresh and update on your website

If your website has been on autopilot since the beginning of the year, it’s probably overdue for a refresh and update on the content. Even if the content you had up was popular in January, it might not hold the same appeal now that mid year is approaching.

5. Get a handle on the data

The analytics and data gained by parsing your website’s metrics needs to be put to use. The basic four areas that you need to concentrate on – content downloads, page views, conversion rates and social shares – form the foundation of your marketing strategy.

There’s no doubt about it, your content marketing strategy isn’t something that you can simply forget about once it’s in place. In order to be successful, you need to constantly access and review its effectiveness.

ER Marketing combines numerous core competencies to develop the ideal content marketing strategy for your business. Turning this aspect of its success over to the professionals allows you to concentrate more fully on growing your business. Contact ER Marketing today to learn more.

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