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Tips on Micro Business B2B Marketing

Of course there are many, many people who wax lyrical about B2B, indeed any dammed marketing, though I wonder if they really have any experience of it. One thing seems to be certain and that’s the online market changes so fast that there seems to be a vast number of start-ups that rapidly fold and failing to move with that changing market just has to be one of the reasons.

An issue close to my heart is that of the oh so glorious SEO/SEM or the all encompassing digital marketing as  its now called. In any event, there was a time ( say 19999) When AltaVista (yes I know, you’re too young), along with Yahoo (not a search engine of course) was the big focus of any self respecting SEO programmer. Get to the top of the AltaVista search results and your clients business took off.

From a sales point of view, ones ability to achieve that elusive no1 coupled with an in depth understanding of usability was like printing money.

Then of course, Google became king and everything began to change. Even now, people claim they can achieve prominence for their clients and in truth I believe there are very few who truly do. Money spent on so called experts without results. So with such fast past change, how do you promote your small business? Where do you spend your time?

Of course there’s Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram. Well yes, and for sure it can be cheap if you do not take into account the amount of time you spend on it however very few B2B companies without non consumer goods and services report a good return for their social media efforts . If you have limited funds where do you spend them.

Here are a few ideas..

Local Listing-First of all you just have to claim your Google local listing. Now that you can do yourself and Google explains how to do it here https://www.google.com/business/

Data and Analysis– Collect data from you customers with surveys and research and you can use that data to customise and focus your sales efforts

Referrals-My second bit of advice is to think about referrals-word of mouth advertising , effectively getting your customers to promote your service or product.

Referrals have been proven to be about 7 times more effective than advertising so stop waiting for them and ask for them. I know this is a tad old fashioned and I here you shout “But I can use Linkedin and no one uses an envelope and stamp anymore do they?” Well I warrant that if you write a nice personalised letter to each of your customers thanking them for their business and including some referral cards, you’ll begin to get those referrals. Ideally handwrite the envelopes and put a stamp on them, that way they’ll stand out and are more likely to be opened and read. You can also offer incentives and discounts for introductions and orders. Do this regularly with all your customers and I warrant you’ll build up a sales pipeline much stronger than you would spending your time on Social Media.

Back to LinkedIn. Of all the social media platforms Linkedin is the most effective for B2B companies. Spend some time looking at your pages and updating them as a sales tool rather than just dry information about you and your company. Take a  look at the image and initial description on your company profile page. It should be more of a marketing “Call to Action” succinctly informing potential customers of the service you provide and your value proposition. Ensure that they can click on your website. Use the Company Updates page regularly to post information aimed at your target audience.

Email marketing can also prove cost effective and can yield results if done properly. You now of course you need to take into account the new GDPR regulations  which is a bit of a headache and also how you can still do email marketing with GDPR whilst staying in line with the regulations. One you have overcome that hurdle you need to ensure that your email campaign is clearly defined and specific with succinct calls to action. One can try do this oneself with online training and guides or of course pay a company but make sure that they are reputable and you are able to measure your return on investment.

Finally always benchmark and ensure you are able to calculate your Return on Investment (ROI) which should also include your time as well as money

 

 

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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