Marketing is often a key component of success. Most MSPs and VARs I know tell me they’re getting new clients through word of mouth. While this is most likely true, SMBs and entrepreneurs need to understand that more and more consumers are moving toward internet searches. You might think that you get clients from word of mouth because that’s where the money is, but if you don’t have any online presence, it’s more likely they won’t know who you are!
In fact, 89% of B2B buyers use the internet during the B2B research process*. Whether it’s for new services or a provider, chances are that people are looking for you online. If you’re planning to expand your business or grow your customer base, the tips below will help you reach a whole new audience and get new leads.
6 marketing tips to get started with your online presence
1- Online presence is key
As previously mentioned, your online presence should be a focal point in getting new business. According to the Corporate Executive Board, 60%* of buying decisions are made by consumers before they start talking to a sales rep. You don’t necessarily need a top of the line, feature-packed website. If you’re low on budget, start with a small portal that includes your contact information, address and a little info about what you do and who you are. Content is more important than looks when it comes to online marketing. Take the time to think about your texts, and make them keyword-heavy! Google will also read your website.
No time or budget for a website? Although having your own website is strongly recommended, you should at least put together a Facebook Page – NOT a profile – for your business, as well as a Google My Business page. They can be your go-to places while your website is being constructed. These two portals will help you rank on search engines and make your contact info visible to future leads.
2- Determine your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
As a part of building your content, either for your website or your social profiles, you should brainstorm about your unique value proposition. In simple terms, a UVP is a statement that sums up what’s great about your business. You need to think about your clients when you build that statement. It’s easy to see your business from your own point of view. You want to avoid that. What matters most is that your clients and leads understand your business. Your UVP needs to be a clear statement that lists the benefits of doing business with you: how you solve problems, how you’re different or how your product solves customer’s problems. It’s important to note that a unique value proposition is not a slogan or a catch phrase, since a slogan doesn’t offer clear benefits. A UVP is often more than a catch phrase. It can be one sentence, but also a little longer.
Example of slogans:
- L’Oréal. Because you’re worth it.
- I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!
- I’m lovin’ it.
Here are few examples of Unique Value Propositions. Marketing companies are masters at this game, as you can see in the following list :
- Hubspot: Creating marketing people love. Use Hubspot’s inbound marketing software to consistently generate more visits, leads and customers.
- Marketo: Marketing First. The #1 marketing automation solution for organizations of any size.
- Skype: Wherever you are, wherever they are – Skype keeps you together.
- iTunes: You’ve never been so easily entertained.
- Stripe: Stripe makes it easy to start accepting credit cards on the web today.
3- Define your Persona
A persona is a semi-realistic profile of your ideal customer. Building a real persona can take time and effort, as it requires you to use real data and interview some of your current clients. If you have the time, we highly recommend going forward and building an in-depth persona profile. But if you don’t have the time and know-how, you should at least research and take notes on who you’re trying to target and what type of customers you’re looking for. Include demographics, interests, as well as consumer habits if you can.
By knowing who you’re talking to, it’ll be easier to address your customers or find them online through your marketing efforts. You might also be surprised by your research. Think that only C-level people make all B2B decisions, thus making them your target? Think again! Google’s B2B Path to Purchase Study points out that 18- to 34-year-olds accounted for almost half of all B2B Buyers*. “If you’re not marketing to this group, you need to re-evaluate your strategy,” Google said in a recent blog post.
4- Define your SMART Goal
Defining a goal before you start is extremely important, because you need something to measure your success. Your goal will be a guideline to follow and see if your efforts paid off. Try to make your goal as SMART as possible. When we say SMART goal, we mean Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Realistic and Time-oriented. By defining a goal that is realistic and measurable, you can take time throughout the year to measure your strategy and efforts, and make sure that your actions are oriented toward achieving that goal. Some people will just set “Make more sales” as a goal. That is not SMART.
Generic goals are extremely hard to deal with. How can you know you succeeded? It’s very hard to measure.
By establishing a SMART goal, like “Increase my number of closed sales by 10% within the next 12 months”, you know exactly where you’re headed.
5- Think about LinkedIn marketing
LinkedIn is way more than a recruiting platform. It’s an ideal portal to reach decision makers. According to Hubspot*, 44% of B2B marketers have generated leads via LinkedIn, whereas only 39% have generated leads through Facebook and just 30% through Twitter.
That’s because LinkedIn has powerful venues for you to spread your message. Many C-level people and decision makers flock to its groups to exchange ideas and leverage thought leadership. By participating in these groups, you can easily gain contacts and network your way into gaining people’s trust. It’s the most efficient social network to use all those good ol’ word of mouth techniques you’re so accustomed to!
6- Invest a little in paid ads
I know how you feel. Most SMBs think that spending money on search or social ads is a waste of time. The truth is, by spending very little, you can gain a lot. Think of how much a lead costs you right now. You might not be paying to get the lead specifically, but think about the time and salary you invest in pursuing new business. If you decide to assign a bit of your budget to paid ads, you could gain better, bigger leads, with a respectable budget. The time and money you put into building those campaigns – or having someone help you – is time you can spend doing something else. Don’t forget about local medias or event sponsorship. You can help your local chamber of commerce out by sponsoring some minor local events to help your name get around!
Marketing is a big piece of business success. When it’s time to evaluate your business, make sure you have at least a couple of marketing tactics up your sleeve. If you’re currently in search of a partner for reselling Office 365, Online Backups or Cloud solutions, make sure that you partner with someone who cares about your success. Make sure you can access marketing material and that sales reps are available to help you close more deals.