Double the ROI of your B2B PR Efforts: Stuff Your Agency Either Doesn’t Know, or Forgot to Tell You
Tuesday, August 14, 1 p.m. EST
Bill Leake, CEO, Apogee Results
Online marketing is becoming an ever-bigger slice of B2B marketing budgets. In fact, it’s the fastest growing component, by far. But how much of this budget is being deployed properly? And is it properly integrated with your traditional PR efforts? Despite what your PR firm is telling you, most PR agencies fail to capitalize on the broader uses and implications of search & social to bolster their efforts, missing out on some easy opportunities to more than double the ROI on your existing PR spend. Learn how to get the most out of your PR efforts through effective paid media, search engine optimization, properly utilizing social media and just generally thinking outside of the traditional B2B PR box. Learn how to turn your existing PR investment into a content and lead generation machine.
Happy official release day to our CEO, Bill Leake, for his book Complete B2B Online Marketing! If you’re looking for a practical, well-written guide to B2B online marketing that ISN’T dry, this is your book.
Bill, Lauren and Maura did an awesome job–this really is a must-have for all B2B marketers (and I’m not just saying that because Bill is my boss ).
Sometimes we Apogeeans do some pretty cool things, like ziplining through a rain forest, blowing up bowling pins at a gun range, speaking at SXSW and even writing a book. Okay, so maybe the thought of writing a book doesn’t seem as awesome as blowing stuff up or being suspended above a rain forest floor, but writing a book is a pretty amazing accomplishment (seriously–as a writer I often hear, “I’ve always wanted to write a book…” from people who will never even start a manuscript much less finish one). So join us in celebrating our CEO Bill Leake’s accomplishment.
This practical guide is for B2B marketers who want to leverage today’s search engine marketing and social media technologies to attract, nurture, convert, and generate leads. It’s the perfect B2B online crash course—you’ll quickly learn how to engage in social media and attract visitors to your site, apply social media listening and monitoring tools, and maximize the impact of banner ads and landing pages. By book’s end, you’ll better understand important strategic and branding issues, the best ways to track results, the secrets of sound SEO, and more. Packed with instructive case studies and hands-on tutorials, this is the ultimate how-to on successful B2B online marketing.
Identify your product value and establish an online brand
Drive quality leads to your site with paid search, display, and social ads
Nurture those leads with good content—emails, webinars, and more
Create websites and landing pages that make visitors want to stick around
Apply the very latest search engine optimization techniques
Chat up visitors and engage your customers with social media
Allocate your resources for success outcomes
Track and measure your efforts with top listening and monitoring tools
Generate reports that are targeted—and actually helpful
Integrate your marketing with CRM and complex sales cycles
“If you were looking for yet another boring B2B marketing book, keep looking. If you were looking for an absorbing, practical guide to sexy B2B marketing, then you’ve found it! From targeting to relevant messaging to nurturing to acquisition, let the authors show you how to truly rock it.”—Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google and author of Web Analytics 2.0
“Business-to-business online marketing is hard. Luckily, these experts are veteran B2B online marketers and excellent communicators—you want them on your side!”—Tim Ash, CEO of SiteTuners, author of Landing Page Optimization, Chair of Conversion Conference
“If you run a B2B company or are involved in marketing, this book is a must-read. Those that learn these tactics and concepts have significant market share to gain, and those that do not will feel the consequences.”—Aaron Kahlow, CEO of Online Marketing Institute
The word on everyone’s lips lately is “Pinterest.” Women love it, men are hesitant to use it, and most marketers are confused by it. The concept is easy enough. At its core it’s a social bookmarking site: a digital bulletin board where users can pin their favorite internet findings. But unlike Twitter, Facebook, or Digg, Pinterest is driven by visual imagery. Just visit Pinterest and your eyes will feast upon scores of aesthetically pleasing images: designer shoes, luxurious beach destinations, creative craft ideas, and a puppy or two. And while the aforementioned seems to indicate that Pinterest is a largely female driven site, word is spreading and gents are beginning to take interest. If your business is a male-focused brand, check out The Bro’s Guide to Pinterest by Ryan Sammy. It has some great ideas on how male brands can still build a brand presence on Pinterest.
Even if you’re not a wedding planner or home decorator, you can (and should) still utilize Pinterest’s growing user base. According to Hubspot.com, Pinterest has more than 10 million unique visitors, making it a great tool in your marketing arsenal. Many marketers are finding that Pinterest is driving more traffic to their site than most social sites, and consequentially converting more users into buyers.
It drives traffic, it converts, and (ask any Pinterest user and they will tell you) it’s addictive. It’s a fresh new way to organize and share your favorite things. I’m a user as of January 2012, and already I find it a great way to organize my favorite recipes and cool infographics.
Promote Your Brand through Pinterest
Alright, so we know it’s the hip new kid on the block, but, as marketers, how should we approach it? Here are just a few ways you can use Pinterest to build your followers and attract more customers.
1. Create Multiple Pin Boards
Your first step is to create pin boards where you can share your content. Give your pin boards unique and interesting titles that will grab users’ attention. Bergdorf Goodman created a board titled “I have a weakness for…” where they pin pictures of shoes, places, sweets and even celebrities, making it a diverse and appealing hub for sharing ideas. Use this approach to build your presence and extend your audience reach. Don’t simply crowd your boards with your own products. This will not only look like spam, it will deter Pinterest users from following you. Instead, use these pin boards as an opportunity to show users your brand’s personality. What kind of books do you like? Where have you travelled, or would like to travel? Middle Sister Wines does an excellent job of diversifying their boards to bring in more users. Not only do they have pin boards for both their white and red wine selections, but they have boards where they can share their favorite quotes, art, and recipes.
2. Post Fresh, Attractive Content
It’s important to note the word “attractive.” As opposed to Twitter or Digg, Pinterest is visually driven. When pinning a piece of content to a board, the image associated with that content is the lead. For example, if you decide to pin an article about the “Health Benefits of Peanut Butter” on your board, the article’s image will become the link to that article. Whereas Digg uses the article’s title to draw in users, Pinterest uses the image to reel them in. So if you hope to draw Pinterest users to your peanut butter article, you better have a delicious mouth watering photo of peanut butter to attract them. The key takeaway here is this: it isn’t enough to have interesting content. You must have an intriguing description coupled with a captivating image. If you don’t have a professional photographer or graphic designer, now is the time to invest in one.
3. Engage with Customers
Just like any social site, Pinterest can be a great way to engage with your customers and potential customers. Repinning is the key here. If you repin a user’s image, that user is more likely to visit your boards and see what you have to offer that they themselves can repin. Go beyond that by commenting on various pins that your brand is related to. Just like Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest has the potential to become a great venue for customer interaction. Have a new product that could use customer feedback? Pin it and prompt your followers to leave their opinions.
Don’t forget to track it!
As online marketers, it’s not enough to set up Pinterest boards and expect them to work. Track how much traffic Pinterest is directing to your site by setting up an advanced segment in your Google Analytics. You might be surprised to learn just how much Pinterest influences your conversions!
Are you planning on going to Internet Retailer in a couple of weeks? If so, we would love to see you there! Stop by booth 269 and visit with Peter, Dee and Lindsey and find out how we’ve helped numerous ecommerce companies achieve the results they desired. Also, be sure to check out our CEO Bill Leake’s workshop on Friday, June 8, from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.
Does Your Facebook Presence Stand Out?
Nearly all retailers in the Top 500 Guide and the Second 500 Guide are on Facebook. That means standing out and creating a compelling Facebook presence are imperative to success. Our expert speakers will explore the elements of a successful Facebook presence. The session will conclude with live critiques of Facebook pages volunteered by the audience. The social media approach to marketing is so new that most attendees are guaranteed to learn something as our expert speakers dissect the successful and not so successful Facebook pages of retailers in the audience.
Oh, and lest we forget–if you want to go to IRCE 2012 and haven’t registered yet, we have a discount code just for you. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line IRCE discount code) and we’ll be more than happy to share it and the registration link.
In the wake of Google’s Penguin update, we figured we would share with you some SEO Best Practices. Following these tips will help ensure your website not only ranks well, but that it also isn’t anywhere near as affected (if at all) when Google updates its algorithm.
Using a wide variety of keywords, peppered throughout your content
Using natural language in your on-page content
Linking to a variety of relevant websites
Linking to a variety of relevant pages within your website
Sharing content and links via social networks
Not paying for links from sites that have no other relationship except for links
Building relationships with webmasters of websites that are relevant to your content and product/service offerings, as well as sharing links
Lately there’s been a lot of speculation around whether or not social media networks are replacing email marketing as a channel for nurturing customers. Both are excellent ways to keep your customers interested in you and coming back for more services. However, several email-marketers are convinced that social is superior because users are now spending more and more time on social media and less time on their email accounts. It’s true—according to a Nielsen survey by BBC News, one in every 11 minutes of a web user’s time is spent on social networking sites and blogs. Does that mean social is replacing email? Absolutely not.
It simply means that as a digital marketer, you must work even harder to deliver email messages that are effective and engaging.
Yes, perhaps consumers are spending more time on their social accounts than their email accounts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean social is more effective at driving conversions, leads, and ROI…especially in the B2B sector. Email is still the dominating form of communication for businesses. Many companies in the B2B sector find that email is far more effective and generates more traffic than social media does. In fact, an email marketing census by Econsultancy reported that 70% of responding companies found that email was excellent for ROI.
The problem with email marketing is not social media—it’s poor execution. Users are constantly bombarded with messages from marketers, and most get deleted before they are even opened. Why? Because the volume of messages being received is simply overwhelming. You must make your emails stand out from the sea of offers in our inboxes.
Here are some tips to make sure your emails get opened:
1. Send Your Messages in the Afternoon
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work? My assumption is that after you’ve settled into your office desk with coffee and maybe breakfast, you turn on your computer and check your email. Every marketer is anticipating this, and therefore most emails are sent out in the morning. As a result, users are greeted with a massive list of emails that they must sort through. This is the time when users are most selective—they keep what they need and delete what they don’t. Send your emails after lunch. By now, their inboxes are sorted and your message is more likely to be opened.
2. Offer Exclusive Benefits for Opening your Message
Give your customers a reason to continue to open your emails. Offer exclusive benefits that can’t be found on social sites. Whether it’s a coupon, discount code, or pass to your next event, make sure you reward your customers for being loyal to your email campaign.
3. Quality Over Quantity
Sending an email every day is a sure way to encourage unsubscibes. Instead of sending out as many email messages as you can, try condensing your emails into one high-quality, informative newsletter that will provide much more worth to your customers. Remember, consumers are receiving emails from businesses every day. Focus your efforts on creating a solid engaging newsletter that your customers will look forward to every week. Keep your emails fresh with new offers, quick tips, and helpful articles that your customers will find useful.
4. Don’t Send Messages on Monday
In HubSpot’s The Science of Email Marketing, researchers found that people are most likely to unsubscribe from email lists on Monday and Tuesday…it would make sense then, that the click through rate of an email is high on Wednesday and on the weekends. Why might that be? One can only speculate, but I’m willing to bet that most people unsubscribe on Mondays for the same reason they delete messages in the morning. Countless marketers are expecting consumers to open their inboxes on Monday morning when they get to work, and they want their email to be the first one opened. Instead, consumers are met with piles of emails…and they decide that it’s time to clean up their subscriptions.
5. Be on the Offense
Unsubscribes are a part of life. Consumers might be loyal readers one minute and the next they’ve found a newer, hotter newsletter to subscribe to. My advice is not to waste energy trying to get them back (unless of course you have the energy and money). Instead, take an offensive approach. Always focus efforts on drawing in new subscribers. Promote your email newsletters through an integrated campaign. Encourage subscriptions through your Facebook and Twitter, be sure to have a subscription button on your website, and ask for emails from attendees at company events.
- How are people searching for the products and services you offer?
- What is the competition like for sellers in your industry?
- Are they even searching for your product or service?
In order to know how to reach your target audience, you will need to get your hands dirty and do a little digging around.
Keyword Research and the Health of Your SEO Campaign
Keyword research is the investigation of various keywords and phrases that businesses and consumers use to search the internet. Search Engine Optimizers use this information to help decide the best keyterms to target, which will then enable them to gain higher rankings in search results, leading to higher conversion rates across the board.
I like to think of keyword research as being the foundation of any successful SEO campaign. When researching different keyterms that you may choose to include in your campaign, it is important to look at numerous metrics to help decide which keyterms will help you reach your goal(s). If you aren’t aware of the way that people are searching for the products and services you are offering, how are you ever going to reach that target audience? Good, solid keyword research is a must in the development of a successful SEO campaign.
A few things to look at (including but definitely not limited to):
- Keywords: Which keywords are people using to search for your product?
- Global and Local Search Volume: How many people are searching for what you’re offering?
- Cost-Per-Click Data: How much are people willing to pay to advertise for specific keywords?
- Level of Competition: How hard is it going to be for you to obtain top rankings in SERPs?
A couple of tools available to help with your keyword research:
Whether you’re a company just getting off the ground or an established company having a hard time getting your customers to convert, keyword research is a vital step in the development of an SEO campaign. Make sure that you have your audience targeted and that you know how to reach them. You will not gain their business if you are not visible to your target audience.
For more information on how Apogee can help you and your business succeed, please contact one of our sales representatives today!
Apogee Results was recently named a top interactive agency in B2B Magazine’s annual Top Agency Report.
B2B Magazine’s criteria for selecting the agencies that make the list include: innovative campaigns, percentage of an agency’s business that is business to business (B2B), new clients attained, and using new technologies effectively.
“Interactive agencies…had an outstanding year as clients increased their digital budgets and used interactive technologies like social media, websites, online advertising and mobile to communicate with customers,” according to B2B Magazine.
Several factors resulted in Apogee Results being ranked as a top Interactive Agency by B2B Magazine, including:
77% of revenue from B2B
Campaigns for clients such as IBM, BMC Software, PerkinElmer, St. Jude Medical and Kinetic Concepts – KCI
“We’re thrilled to be ranked and recognized by B2B Magazine as a top agency,” said CEO Bill Leake. “Our business model is built upon achieving provable results for our clients, and we are passionate about B2B marketing generally and our B2B clients specifically.”
Apogee Results, by using the latest digital strategies combined with proprietary methodologies and technologies, helps clients achieve positive ROI in key areas, such as SEO, Paid Media, Email, Conversion Rate Optimization, Web Analytics and Online Reputation Management.
Webinar: Pinterest and SEO: Optimize Your Boards for Maximum Success
Thursday, March 29, 1 p.m. EST
Bill Leake, CEO, Apogee Results
Susonnah Gonzalez, SEO Analyst, Apogee Results
Everyone’s jumping all over Pinterest, for work and for play. While some marketers have figured out a clear Pinterest strategy, others are still scratching their heads trying to make sense of the latest, greatest social network. Then there’s the question: How do people even find your stuff on Pinterest?
Just like with your website and other social media platforms, SEO can help. In fact, Pinterest is perfect for some good, old-fashioned SEO optimization–helping you to be found on the hottest website around.
Join us as we go over a quick overview of what Pinterest is, how it can help (or even not help) your business, and how to drive traffic that will hopefully convert to leads and/or sales.