Yes I hate that headline too… but I can’t work out the best way of listing three helpful things which I’m working on without it becoming a silly list headline. Live with it.
The year data became grown up
If you aren’t working with competent amounts of data insights and analytics yet, this is your year to get going and to go deep-dive.
For the beginners – the new Google Analytics GA 4 is a level above earlier versions. Get it installed (new header code on your website) and find a competent expert to guide you though its features. Well worth while.
After that, update dashboards, check the CRM integrations and get a whole lot smarter in your tracking.
Single customer view got easier
Nobody has got this wholly right, easy or fully connected (if you have you are probably a micro-organisation or a startup). Enter the Customer Data Platform. This is the software you need to bridge above (think umbrella) over all your data silos so that you can move towards customer nirvana.
I’m not being totally rose-tinted-glasses on this – there are serious players who can help build the plumbing which will help you understand and integrate customer data. Go learn about CDP.
Behavioural economics for marketers
If you haven’t heard about “nudges” you need to get on board fast. The new-ish science of behavioural economics is all about how we can get people to do things. A nudge is a way of changing behaviour – like leaving your gym kit by the bed at night as a way to encourage you to do a workout in the morning. Marketers love this.
And the smart folks at Ogilvy UK hosted a whole day event – Nudgestock – to talk about and showcase a lot of real case studies of effective marketing action based on behavioural economics. They called it
a full day of top quality BS (*Behavioural Science) from around the world
Business to Business marketing is my specialism. The key to robust B2B social media marketing return on investment is persistence, diligence and flashes of genius!
Having said that, you need more that just posting regularly to enable social media ROI. Allow me to explain.
Your customer pipeline
Building authority and demonstrating empathy are the messaging goals that will start prospects moving up the sales pipeline.
LinkedIn updates need to have a balance of product/service information combined with industry discussions.
I set up Google Alerts for key words which are triggers for my client’s industry. One is “Tax” and so we can track that against mainstream news. Here in New Zealand we just had an election and so adding “Tax + election” we can either start discussion threads about this OR answer other people’s questions.
Another is “Health & Safety” and we can look at newsworthy situations where failures happened and start a discussion about lessons and learnings.
Following hashtags can also be beneficial for niche industries.
What B2B marketers get wrong on social
The key for businesses who sell advice is not to give advice on social media.
They should ONLY demonstrate expertise.
The key for businesses who sell products is not to push their products – only to demonstrate the key features of good products (which of course they supply).
The inference is that you are experts and prospective customers should seek you out if they see relevance in what you write and it aligns with their immediate area of interest.
I got responses in public from Mercury, Meridian Energy and Our Energy Limited and in private I messaged Electric Kiwi, Power Compare and ChargeNet. So about one sixth of the local retail electricity supply industry brands.
The discussion was really interesting and a mix of industry insiders and consumer remarks, including this gem from the CEO of Our Energy Ltd – a disruptor startup in the energy supply industry.
Comparing tariffs is only one part of the EV power story
So electricity companies are all watching, tracking and listening to customer conversations.
And you should be too.
Social selling is not a silver bullet
Many advisers will counsel using “social selling” an irritating phrase meaning sell your services on social media. This is such a problematic term for B2B because when on social, most people do not want to be sold to. They aren’t in “buying” mode on social.
Creating negative brand perceptions is to be avoided.
Having a robust, well-rounded tactical marketing and brand building programme will give you ample opportunity to sell. But only after you have built brand credibility and trust. Therefore multi-touch and multi-channel campaigns are the best route forward for B2B brands. Use with care, is my advise. Oh, yes and do ask an expert what they think about “social selling” BEFORE you hire them.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/John-Campbell.png536768Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2020-10-28 14:50:292020-10-28 14:50:29Effective social media tips for B2B
It’s always nice to have some past clients who either write testimonials or provide references or act as references for new clients.
I was asked recently who my client references are and what I did with and for them.
Armour Safety – supplier of health and safety workplace protection whose PPE stocks blasted off the shelves during lockdown. Now lead importer / distributor for global brands like 3M and Hellberg
MethSolutions – launching a completely new service, meth amphetamine testing in rental properties. Created a “cause” and persuaded property managers and real estate agents that this was a necessary precaution as an ongoing service.
Baucher Tax Consultancy – became the go-to media commenter on tax when they don’t want a ‘Big 4’ voice. Started him on twitter, podcasting and blogging.
Interest.co.nz – independent media website focused on “the NZ Economy” – customer survey and migration to paid subscribers, and daily podcast as a new channel.
Back in the day I moved to Auckland in 2012 and since I am networked into the tech crowd, I was an early participant in LetsLunch. An opportunity to meet people face to face for a quick lunch and a business ‘get to know you’ discussion.
Now there’s the opportunity to do it again – virtually.
Introducing Lunch Club
I can’t wait.
The chance to approach people in my locale and to ask them for lunch was so powerful and gave us all a chance to grow our networks alongside the pleasure of eating nice food is something I’d like to do again.
Lunch Club for Auckland – let’s get started
So will you join me?
We need 450 people to join the group before a New Zealand Lunch Club can launch. Click the link to subscribe to an “Auckland” club…. don’t worry if you don’t live here – as long as you and I are in New Zealand I think we can make this work.
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/lunch-club-Auckland.png8742438Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2020-10-05 16:11:182020-10-05 16:11:18Lunch for business networking
I was a very early Scribd user…. now I find they’ve bought Slideshare from LinkedIn.
This will change things for many of us who love Slideshare.
What happens to my slide decks shared into LinkedIn? [they stay]
Who still uses Slideshare [me and my clients]
Why is Scribd such a great platform? [sharing document images – especially long ones.]
Why I loved Slideshare
It was the first and most easy way to share decks – create embeddable and downloadable links and also do lead generation from a single place. For folks in professional services this was great if you were using education as a B2B marketing tool. I frequently recommended this strategy for my clients and it remains very effective.
What changes now?
Well, tools come and go all the time. I spend a lot of time cataloguing new marketing software and services which could be useful for me or my clients, That’s one of the reasons why I’m often such an early adopter of these services [checkout when I joined Twitter for example].
Slides featured on my LinkedIn Profile
The functionality for slide embeds will continue to rest with Slideshare for the time being. But its utility is now altered.
Where and how expertise is shared is not the same and will continue to evolve. And so, for now, I’m going to be looking closely at Scribd and its functionality.
And don’t forget LinkedIn – what will happen to future slide decks? Will there be alternative software for uploading them? What are the Slideshare alternatives and do they work on the LinkedIn platform?
What does Scribd do for me?
Scribd now also has functionality for reading magazines and books and audiobooks as well as slide decks. It’s a competitor to Audible, Google Books, Kindle, Flip, Isuue and news or magazine aggregators.
All Slideshare users are automatically given a Scribd login. Sadly they are only offering 2 months free use to Slideshare customers.
This makes me suspect that the acquisition was just to buy a user base. Sharing your slides isn’t exactly the same use case as using Scribd.
What do you think about this acquisition? Useful? Waste of Time? Who does slides today anyway?
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Slideshare-on-LinkedIn.png8521134Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2020-09-05 16:41:242020-09-05 16:41:24Slideshare got sold
I write a lot. Words, words, words. Each project is designed to fit into a particular desired outcome within a marketing strategy and tactical framework. I say that so you understand context.
Context in writing is both important and valuable – but more about that later.
My actual pen and notes for B2B copywriting
How I write marketing copy
Getting a message across using printed words (as opposed to audio, images or video) is a giant challenge. Knowing how long humans have been writing, you’d think that everything that could have been written has been. And yet…. we know that’s not true. The imagination and skill of mankind to innovate is immense.
My writing is usually business to business copywriting for marketing purposes. That’s my area of expertise. And so the steps I take begin with the outcome. What do I want to happen as a result of a prospect or client reading what I’ve written?
End goal is to click through to website
End goal is to understand how to write B2B copy
End goal is to reply with a question
These examples are all valid outcomes and each requires very different copy treatments.
The first version is always factual
What are the true, inalienable facts that support the end goal? I list these in a brain dump document. Frequently these are the result of conversations with the client, the internal team and existing customers.
Then I supplement this with some desk research. Reading ‘around the subject’ can come from many sources – newsletters, online magazines, blogs, books. Interestingly, I rarely search social media for this information. My choice – it may suit your needs. The amazing Knowledge Hunter, Geoff McDowell, taught me so much about this subject.
Adding more copy material
From the wider reading I copy/paste and add in more themes, concepts, nuance, examples, phrases and keywords. I also look out for no-nos. These are things I want to avoid.
Sometimes images, colours, layouts and other visual elements present themselves from this research too. That can be very helpful as my brain often leaps forward towards the end result WAY earlier than it’s supposed to. To avoid distraction, I save and note these ideas back in the research document. By noting them, I have preserved the idea; but I’m not focusing on them at this stage. It means I don’t lose the inspiration – I can revive that thought later just by re-reading my notes.
This all contributes to a second draft. This is when I decide the overall frame for the project and HOW does this translate into the copywriting. This could be storytelling, it could be demonstration, case study, questioning, educating. There is a lot more information added, there are more concepts and overall I just write freely incorporating the research information and framing arguments, emotions and logic into one long piece of writing.
This is the place where context comes to the fore. How will the message be delivered, what will the recipient be doing or not doing? Where in the customer journey will they be? What is the outcome or next step goal in this campaign?
Editing and refining copy
This is the part I love.
Precise and concise are watchwords which I hope any client applies to a testimonial about my business copywriting.
Taking what I wrote and simplifying, cutting, removing extraneous information and honing it down into a tight, precise and well-organised message is a repetitive task and it gives me so much pleasure. Sometimes I use a technique of adding in sub-headings (as in this blog) because it helps me to organise and find the big messages in the very long copy.
Often I leave the first opening paragraph until last because it’s so hard. Sometimes I switch the first and last paragraphs – try it!
Headlines and calls to action are a separate challenge and I may do a couple of different versions or give options and let the client choose. This is because they are mostly better-informed about their product or service than I am. Teamwork helps work out what will resonate and achieve the goal.
And then I sleep on it
Yes this is really the final step before showing it to the client, adding it to a mock-up or an EDM. This is important and is one reason why planning at the first step needs to include deadlines and allowances for sleep time.
7 things I’ve appreciated after sleeping on my work
My brain is fresher in the morning
I process ideas while resting
Better re-writes are (nearly always) possible
I can check that I haven’t missed anything out [done this MANY times – but rescued the situation before the client read it]
Reflect on alternative approaches which I earlier discarded
Opportunity to print it onto paper and read out loud
Check grammar, punctuation, capitalisations and links all working and correctly placed
And that’s it. The whole creative writing process for B2B copy.
About the picture illustrating this article.
That’s really my pen and my notebook, photographed this morning as I got a tiny bit of inspiration for a client as a result of doing some research for a different client. It’s odd the way my brain works. And I have learned to respect my brain process and to always seize the moment and make the notes when they jump into my mind. I don’t have to use them – but I’m sure I will lose them if they aren’t captured.
I do not have the neatest handwriting, yet using blue-black ink in an old-fashioned fountain pen gives me both pleasure and the chance to read my words again without guessing what I meant to write. Someday I’ll photograph some of my notes which turn out to be illegible even to me. Generally when I rush to write, legibility suffers.
The unknown part of writing inspiration
The pen also lives in a leather case. My ritual of opening the case flap and flicking back the long cover, unsheathing the pen and unscrewing its lid before writing still gives me a frisson. I never know exactly what will come out of the inky nib onto that pristine sheet of paper, onto the next empty line, or inserted between the paragraphs of print.
And the pen – a birthday gift chosen with care while on holiday. I got the nib re-surfaced by this amazing pen expert who recommended not using ink cartridges. He also explained a lot about the issues of ink/paper and my unique hand/pressure and what a converter is, not a bladder. There is a distinction between them.
So now you know my B2B writing process. What will you do with this knowledge?
Writing tone of voice aligned with brand values is a powerful marketing tool.
This email is so powerful because the structure of this message is aligned to brand values
open Reminder of their mission
Then acknowledge pain
New tools that support their community
Sign off with a humble acknowledgement
The full text
Dear SoundCloud Creators,
Since our founding, SoundCloud’s mission has been to give people the power to share, connect and grow through music.
As the coronavirus crisis has unfolded, we’ve seen a global outpouring of tracks on SoundCloud — with a 50% surge in creators uploading in the past month alone. But behind this creative response, we know there continues to be financial loss and uncertainty for our creator community.
Today, we’re accelerating a series of new initiatives and over $15M in direct investment to support creators on SoundCloud during this difficult time.
New direct fan-support button for all creators. We’ve created a simple button for your SoundCloud profile to connect your preferred way to receive direct fan support including Kickstarter, Patreon, Bandcamp, Paypal and more. Learn how to get this live on your profile right now.
$5M in free promotional support for all creators to drive more plays on SoundCloud. For the rest of 2020, we’re giving away all of our Promote on SoundCloud inventory. Tag your SoundCloud uploads #GetMorePlays and our editorial team will select up to 5 artists per week to feature with promotion. More details to come soon on our blog.
Immediate launch of Repost by SoundCloud, a new marketing and distribution service. Independent artists who want to take their career to the next level can now access professional marketing and monetization services plus industry-leading distribution features. Repost by SoundCloud is available to everyone, no play count thresholds. Learn more here.
$10M artist accelerator program to support independent creators’ career growth. We are committing $10M to help fuel the careers of independent artists upstreamed from Repost by SoundCloud into our artist services offering, Repost Select. Apply here.
We understand our efforts here are no match for the care providers on the frontlines of this global crisis. But we will continue to look for ways to support our global SoundCloud community, so you can keep sharing music we can all turn to in these challenging times, and long into the future.
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