If you’re not on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn these days, it’s almost like you don’t exist. Nowadays, social media is just as crucial for B2B companies, including industrial manufacturers, as it is for B2C companies. Sure, social media marketing seems more intuitive for B2Cs, but the truth is that nearly everyone is using social media, which means that your customers, and the decision-makers at those companies, are using social media.
And just having a profile for your business isn’t going to cut it. If a page exists on the internet and no one reads it, does your company get more leads? No, it doesn’t. That’s why you need to invest in your social media presence and attract followers on the platforms you use. Your social media presence will create the network where you can share and promote your company and your digital content, attracting and converting leads.
LinkedIn: A Great Place to Start
If you read our blog regularly, you know how we feel about LinkedIn. For B2B manufacturers, it’s the social media platform you should be using to reach your potential clients, for a variety of reasons; most importantly, it’s where your target audience is networking and researching suppliers. Getting more followers on your company LinkedIn page requires that you regularly post relevant, insightful content specific to your industry and your potential customers’ pain points. You can even target each of your different types of client with specially tailored showcase pages (read more about how showcase pages work for B2B marketing here).
On your personal LinkedIn account, you can search for specific people in specific positions at the companies you’re looking to make clients out of, and then connect with those people. Joining discussion groups relevant to your industry and sharing your knowledge and expertise is also a great way to establish your credibility and gain new followers. For more on LinkedIn, read our 6 Easy Ways to Make LinkedIn Work For Your B2B Marketing Strategy.
Social Media Campaigns
Another critical aspect of gaining, retaining, and making leads out of your social media followers is by executing targeted social media campaigns. Just like other advertising campaigns, strategy is necessary to make your efforts successful. Well-planned social media campaigns will help you accomplish goals such as increasing brand awareness and promoting your digital content. To do this, you’ll need to determine the exact type of client you want to attract, and target them specifically with content matching their place in the buyer’s journey and their needs and pain points, through indirect (social sharing) and direct (PPC ad promotion) means.
Don’t fall behind the competition by neglecting your social media presence, either by failing to have one at all or by not investing time into engaging with your followers and working to attract new ones. If you’d like to learn more about social media marketing for B2Bs, or digital marketing in general, you should talk with the team at Evenbound.
Be sure to check out our other posts on how to make social media work for your B2B, such as this one on LinkedIn Ads and B2B Marketing, as well as the free case study below, that shows how paid search and social worked wonders for one B2B:
Testimonials have always been an important source of advertising for home service providers, and most professionals in this field cite referrals and word-of-mouth as major sources of new leads. In the digital era, testimonials haven’t disappeared—they’ve moved online, in the form of online reviews. If you’ve ever looked up a new restaurant on Google, you know how influential reviews can be in deciding whether to eat there and just how catastrophic for business a negative review can be. If you get a negative review of your service online, how can you recover?
The first step is determining the authenticity of the review. There are people out there who will post false, negative reviews, and most places where users can leave reviews, Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc., have means for reporting and removing reviews that are not legitimate. If you can’t get the reviews removed—which is often the case, as it is difficult to impossible to prove, with anonymous usernames and all that, if the reviewers were actually clients or had any experience with your company at all—there are other ways to respond.
One way is by posting on your social media about the fake reviews; it’s an experience that others can relate to and can ever be a source of humor, especially if the spammers have awful fake names. Another is by responding to the negative review—in a comment on that review, if possible—politely asking for the reviewer to contact you to clarify and rectify their experience. If the review is fake, the person will never get in touch, but other people reading the reviews will see that you take customer service complaints seriously and will follow up with them.
If the review is real, the first step is seeking to rectify the situation. Respond to the review publicly, as described in the last paragraph, and get in touch with the client directly to ask them how you can make good on the situation. In some cases, if you fix the problem, offer a discount on future services, or offer an apology for the error or poor customer service that compelled them to write the review, the client may choose to delete or amend the review.
What If There’s Nothing I Can Do?
If there’s nothing you can or will do to satisfy this negative reviewer for whatever reason, whether because they can’t be satisfied or the issue was monumental, you’re not doomed to sit in one-star purgatory forever. The thing about reviews is that the more you have, the less each individual one counts in the average, just like with grades in school. If you get a C on the test and it’s the only grade in the class, you’ve got a C in the class; but if you got a C on the test but all your other grades were As, you might make out with an A or B in the class. Same applies to reviews. So, solicit positive reviews from other clients, ones you know are satisfied with your service.
Bad reviews suck, and they can have a negative effect on potential customers, especially now that so many people are researching home service pros online, but they aren’t the end-all, be-all. If you get a negative review, determine its authenticity and respond accordingly by addressing the review itself and bolstering your rating with good reviews.
Online reviews are just one part of a strong online presence and digital strategy for home service providers. If you’re ready to improve your digital presence and marketing efforts, it’s time to talk with Evenbound.
For most home service providers (snow removal excepted), summer is the busy season. In preparation for summer, there are a few things you’ll want to do to your site to bring in new jobs and ensure everything is running smoothly.
Perform an SEO checkup
Website maintenance isn’t the fun part of your job, but now is the time to do it, before you get busy. You won’t have time during the summer to fix any issues, and resolving them now ensures that you’re ranking as high as possible in search engine results, and therefore getting found by potential customers. Update page metadata, fix broken links, and check alt tags. Not sure how to do an SEO checkup? Read our SEO Site Checkup checklist to get you started.
Have detailed, engaging service pages
Customers hire you for your services, so your home services site needs to thoroughly describe and explain the services you offer. Your service pages should define the service and demonstrate its value, as well as explain your process and how you differ from, and exceed, the competition. If you have a generic “Services” page that’s just a bulleted list, customers aren’t going to be engaged, plus, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to use keywords. (Here’s how to write engaging service pages your clients will care about.)
Publish timely content
To attract clients looking for summer services, write content relevant to your services and the time of year. This is where your site’s blog comes into play. If, for example, you’re a roofer, some summer-oriented content might include “Why summer is the best time to get a new roof” or “Best roofing materials for keeping your house cool in the summer.” Of course, it’s also crucial that you promote the content on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and, if you’re using it (you should be) Houzz.
Invest in paid search and social media ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) and social media advertising are some of the best methods to generate traffic for your home services site. Social media ads can be targeted to people in your area who may be in need of your services, and PPC campaigns that include your location in the keywords can be highly effective.
Putting in the work now to prep your site for summer can make this busy season your busiest yet, in the best way possible. Ensuring that your SEO is on point, beefing up your service pages, and publishing and promoting content that will entice potential customers to give you a call are all ways to make your site work for you to bring in leads.
If you’re interested in learning more about how your home services website can bring in more leads and keep you busy this summer, we can help—get in touch!
With more and more brick-and-mortar stores in the retail, B2C realm moving online, it’s natural to wonder whether online shopping and e-commerce sites have any value for B2Bs. E-commerce can be useful for B2B manufacturers in providing their customers with a convenient and seamless purchasing experience and differentiating themselves from their competition. Does your site need an e-commerce component?
Most obviously, a negative aspect of an e-commerce site for B2Bs is that sometimes, orders are complex. If you create custom products for each of your clients, you may not be able to take orders through a traditional e-commerce platform, as you’ll need to design and estimate the product. Additionally, B2B products often have multiple pricing tiers, depending upon size of order, client, etc., which can be difficult (though not impossible) to build into the e-commerce experience. If your B2B doesn’t offer tangible products, but services, e-commerce won’t make much sense.
There are several advantages to e-commerce sites for B2Bs. Customers can easily place orders online, eliminating the need for a sales rep or account manager to take the order and forward it to fulfillment. Recurring orders can be automated, and longtime clients can have their specific orders, payment schedules, and other specific information tied to their accounts in your e-commerce interface. Additionally, the product selection can be updated in real-time to reflect changes in inventory or product offerings.
Another benefit to incorporating e-commerce into your B2B site is that it creates a seamless buyer’s journey experience for the customer, which can result in more sales and conversions. If your e-commerce component integrates content including images and video, customer support, how-tos, specifications, articles, and other relevant information, you can funnel customers through the buyer’s journey to the purchase stage, and have that purchase made instantaneously.
B2C buying trends are increasingly influencing the wants of B2B customers, who are eager for quicker, easier, more convenient ways to make business purchases, much in the way that they make personal purchases on Amazon. For B2B manufacturers, e-commerce, if thoughtfully combined with pertinent content and information, can simplify the ordering process for both the buyer and seller.
Whether e-commerce is right for your B2B or not, if you’d like to discuss your current digital strategy, Evenbound can help. Let’s start that conversation. For more information on how our unique formula has produced unprecedented results for other B2B manufacturers, check out the following case study:
If you’re unfamiliar with marketing, terms such as digital marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing, marketing automation, digital strategy, and so on can be utterly confusing and practically indistinguishable from each other. In truth, each of these terms has a specific meaning. Inbound marketing and marketing automation are two which are often confused by newbies to marketing jargon. So what’s the difference?
in•bound mar•ket•ing \ ˈin-ˌbau̇nd ˈmär-kə-tiŋ \ ▶ noun. A marketing method that uses content to attract potential customers, then convert them into leads and sales. In opposition to traditional marketing methods, which push advertising copy onto consumers through interruptive advertising (hence the term push marketing), inbound marketing seeks to pull consumers in with compelling content that speaks to their needs. Inbound marketing is therefore customer-centric, rather than marketer-centric.
Inbound marketing employs techniques such as blogging, social media promotion, gated content offers, and SEO (search engine optimization) to attract clients on platforms like search engines and social media sites, which they are already using to research products and services before they make purchase decisions.
mar•ket•ing au•to•ma•tionˌ\ ˈmär-kə-tiŋ ȯ-tə-ˈmā-shən \ ▶ noun. software which automates marketing processes. Includes email automation software (MailChimp, Aweber).
Marketing automation software is a tool, whereas inbound marketing is a methodology. In fact, marketing automation software is a tool that is extremely useful in inbound marketing. Marketing automation software can be used to capture visitors’ information when they convert to leads, and from there, these leads can be segmented based on criteria such as industry, role/position, and place in the buyer’s journey and then be delivered relevant and timely content. Rather than dumping all of your contacts into an email list and sending the same content to everyone, marketing automation allows you to target a specific group of leads or clients, ensuring that you’re not spamming those to whom the content doesn’t apply, and that leads receive content that is specific to their particular needs.
Using marketing automation software to automate some of your lead nurturing marketing processes can be a major component of an effective inbound marketing strategy. Combining compelling, engaging, and pertinent content with targeted promotion and delivery is key to reaching potential customers in the changing marketing landscape.
Want to see what inbound marketing can do for your company? Interested in how you can better use marketing automation? Let’s talk. Click the button below to schedule your free inbound marketing evaluation: