There are many new ways to use social, mobile, and hyper-targeted marketing strategies. Consider using these channels to get email opt-ins, break into trade shows, and increase your appointment-setting rates.
More people have access to cell phones than have access to clean drinking water or electricity. I've cited this fact before, but think about it: more than 60 percent of all email opens are on mobile devices, and many people spend more than 12 hours in front of a screen per day. Put these two ideas together and you can see that digital advertising is a huge way to reach people.
B2B companies have not looked as heavily as they should at this new digital advertising option. The digital ad market is heating up, and there are tons of awesome things you can do these days to reach new audiences. There are many uses for these types of campaigns throughout the sales process, but for the sake of this discussion, let's just focus on getting new leads into the pipeline. This means finding people and engaging with them - then acquiring their email address, cookie-ing them for retargeting, and using lead scoring to determine their sales-readiness.
However, none of this is possible until you find those leads in the first place. PPC is a great option for this, but has recently become very expensive, and only allows you to engage at the point of purchase while disregarding the idea of rapport-building. SEO has the same pitfalls as PPC, and is a very long and expensive strategy. Yes, both SEO and PPC should be a part of your strategy, but so should rapport-building via mobile marketing and account-based marketing. Here are a few campaigns you should try out.
B2B trade shows are many companies' bread and butter, but there are a few problems with them. First of all, they're expensive, and because of this, I've seen many people start forgoing the booths just to attend and network. Secondly, you have to get people to engage with you, and just standing at a booth isn't all that engaging. Now, companies like Marin Software and Criteo allow for a new type of dynamic hyper-targeted advertising. Here are a few ways to use mobile for a larger impact at trade shows:
1. The Cheapskate: If you want to forgo your expensive booth, then try a hyper-local, mobile geo-fencing campaign. This will allow you to buy up the mobile advertising in a geo-targeted area. You can even add layers of demographics on top of this to make sure you are targeting the right people in the area. This is a great way to spend a little to get a hyper-targeted audience. Remember: at trade shows, most people are on their cell phones anyway, so why not meet them where they are? This is much less expensive than a booth, and will easily get you in front of the correct people at the correct time. Also consider they are at a trade show to learn, so you can easily hit them with relevant content knowing they are likely to want to engage with that type of information.
2. The After-Party: I've never been to a trade show where there isn't at least one massive party thrown by a sponsor. Usually I find out about these from either people handing out flyers, or the sales reps talking to us. Consider a new way to invite people to your party: try using geo-targeting via mobile to hit people right when the conference ends. This would allow you to get people on their way home, and allow them to know when and where your party is. It's a short-lived campaign, but one that may help you drive the leads you want to your party.
Many B2B enterprise organizations sell into accounts, not just to people. If you want to break into accounts, a great way to do this is through account-based marketing (ABM). With ABM, you can identify accounts you want to break into and then use a tool like Demandbase or Bizo to advertise only to that account. Consider a situation in which you only want to target GE offices that you don't do business with and have no relationship with. ABM would allow you to target the exact office (via IP address) that you don't do business with and buy ads only for people who come from this IP address in real time.
3. The Pre-Game: A great way to use this technology would be the Pre-Game campaign. If you are planning to have your inside sales team call ahead to set appointments, try using ABM to prep the companies you are about to call. Use ABM to advertise to the account for two weeks before your calling campaign. This will ensure your marketing makes it in front of the prospects so that your brand will be recognizable to them when you call. Hopefully you've crafted great content so they will engage. That way, when you do call, your company will be top of mind, and you won't be facing questions like "Who are you, and what do you do?" but rather, "I just heard about you the other day, sure let's set up some time."
Video was the most-shared content on Twitter in 2013, and a study from Nielsen published on Twitter's blog suggests that 80 percent of all Twitter users access the site via a mobile device. This means you can start using video via Twitter to reach hyper-targeted mobile users. Twitter rolled out video cards in 2013, but I really haven't seen many businesses taking full advantage of them yet. Consider creating a short video and publishing it via a Twitter card. This will require that you have your video in the correct format, which is easy if you are using a video-hosting tool. Here's a great campaign to run if you are using social media and Twitter together.
4. Twitter Made the Video Star: Many people are using retargeting, but did you know you could do this on your own on Twitter with video? Imagine that you want to do a hyper-targeted campaign targeted toward all of the people on a specific list. For example, all of the people who don't have an opt-in form, or all of the registrants to a trade show. You can take your email list and make a special segment within Twitter, and then advertise a Twitter card to these people. I'd suggest using a video card, because your video can then be viewed within the feeds of people you may not be socially connected to, as long as you know their email. The video can have great content, then drive them to an opt-in section, or ask for a conversion in the feed. I'd suggest using a video-hosting solution such as Wisita or Vidyard if you are going to try this campaign, since it will make tracking your leads' engagement with your videos much easier. Check out this example from Wisita, as to how this will look inside of a Twitter card.
There are tons of awesome new ways to use social, mobile, and hyper-targeted marketing strategies these days, and sometimes it just takes a bit of creative problem solving to figure out how to use them together. So consider using social to get your email opt-ins, using mobile to break into trade shows, and account-based marketing to help increase your appointment setting rates. All of these strategies are very new, highly under-utilized, and much less expensive than SEO or PPC. Good luck and I hope these ideas can inspire your next great marketing campaign!
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Mathew is the head of thought leadership for B2B marketing at Pardot, a Salesforce.com Company. A consummate writer, he has been featured in numerous publications such as Marketing Automation Times, DemandGen Report, Marketing Sherpa, ZDNet, and is the author of Marketing Automation for Dummies (published by Wiley February 2014). As a speaker Mathew speaks around the world at events such as Conversion Conference, Dreamforce, SugarCon, and to companies including Microsoft, Investec, NetJets, and Restaurants.com, to name a few.
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