Make your B2B proposal stand out

One of the joys of being a freelance consultant is that sometimes I get to act on behalf of my client and hire specialists to work on their B2B marketing campaigns.

I recently advertised a job and was stunned by one of the proposal submissions. As a new business specialist I know how hard it is to make your proposal stand out from others. This one hit all the gold stars for me.

Integrate proposals and CRM

I was sent an unique URL to view the proposal. This makes everything trackable – it was on a sub-domain of the B2B marketing agency’s website and so I know they will be able to track:

  • How many times I opened it
  • Which sections I browsed (they are distinctly separate)
  • How long I spent reading each part
  • Which sections I expanded to read further

All in all it was a pleasure to read and to be “sold” to. I felt engaged in the process and I know my actions on that page enabled the agency to get better insight into me as a prospect.

Screenshots from the marketing proposal web page.

And a final note, there’s a Squarespace service Qwilr which offers this on a 14 day trial.

seth godin, purple circle, marketing easter egg

Marketing using easter eggs

Little surprises that reward your customers are a really nice way of helping them to feel special.

Today I got a marketing easter egg from Seth Godin.

The benefits of careful reading

The message was short, barely formatted and it’s one I have waited a year to receive. Hidden in the fourth line was a surprise.

Don’t forget to look for the purple circle on the website to get the best price.

Seth Godin, The Marketing Seminar

…. and so I took a look.

It looked like a pretty piece of graphic art. But one of the circles had an embedded link. NICE….

Seth Godin, purple Circle, marketing easter egg, link hidden,
Hidden Marketing Easter Egg Link

How do you reward your loyal customers?

Sometimes I get frustrated when we make an offer and few people take it up. I think “That’s an AWESOME deal – why isn’t everyone paying attention and buying?” But I realise that I’m looking at it the wrong way around; I should be delighted that only the most savvy, the most loyal and most deserving customers are the ones who take up the offer.

I think of these as my “ultra-loyal” customers. They care enough to read. They don’t skip my messages and so I can give them a reward that others don’t take up.

Can you use an Easter Egg Marketing Strategy for your best customers?

Get insights into Seth’s thinking with his latest book This is Marketing – the course above is based on it.

Linkedin, company page, social media tips

10 LinkedIn Company Page Ideas & Suggestions

  1. Create a Showcase page – with updates just for these sub-sets which allows for segmentation of viewers.
  2. Add Company page link to email signatures – update monthly with the pinned post.
  3. The BEST imagery on the Company page – include your logo watermarked into the image. 1,536px x 768px.
  4. Re-write the company overview text to reflect a niche positioning
  5. Check hashtags to follow.  https://www.linkedin.com/feed/follow/?filterType=channel&focused=true
  6. Refresh your pinned post 2x per month.  And re-share it to other channels.
  7. Share your top 5 articles from the blog one every 2 weeks…. Yes repetition is worth it.  And in 6 months change to new articles.
  8. Get more comments by asking questions.  “Are you watching the Cricket World Cup? What’s the best activation you’ve seen?”; Formula 1 Fails at Monaco – did you spot the bad branding in the Casino Tunnel?; What do you do to promote athletes in their off season?
  9. Use URL Builder tool to track web links from your company page updates https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/
  10. Set up Content Suggestions so you can do the 4-1-1 model of sharing 4 pieces of content from others to every couple of your own.
LinkedIn Content Suggestions for Creative Agency Secrets

What are your top tips?

LinkedIN new feature, company page linkedIN

2 new LinkedIn Tools – Saved search and Article title edits

Today I came across two new features in LinkedIn which will definitely help marketers and pro-active networkers. And one negative feature.

Throttle Control is ON

LinkedIn is clearly pushing for greater revenues – many of my favourite work-rounds for search and connecting are now getting blocked. Have you noticed this?

I got blocked from searching for 2nd / 3rd degree connections on 10th May. That was because I had apparently already used up my allocation for the month! It renews next month. So pretty irritating….. Having said that, there are some neat work arounds and some new apps which I’m trialing in beta which may help with some aspects of this.

In the meantime, pay up or go away. The choice is yours.

Saved Search Alerts

New LinkedIn Feature

I was doing some searches and spotted what I think may be a beta release feature in the right sidebar…. I was searching in “People” for a search string. And so I made a search alert to save that search. In fact I made a couple.

The saved search name i18n_rail was default applied by LinkedIn. Probably code for something….. suggestions?

It appears to be similar to Google Alerts but with less functionality. The options are only for weekly alerts and to be received by email which suggests this isn’t yet a fully featured roll-out. But a nice touch, especially if we are all going to have to pay to use LinkedIn Search in future.

Company page article title edits

While uploading an article to our company page I noticed another new feature – you can edit the title so that the URL link title is not the default option.

You have to be in the admin view to use this feature. And isn’t it nice that 140 characters is offered as the link text? Importantly this is only link text, not the URL or destination title. I think this will be great for improved keyword searching and SEO – plus those of us who like to write long headlines will have a field day!

Now go and try these – tell me if you can find them in your profile.

Three audiences, niche brand positioning

Business positioning – do this

Can a prospect tell “at a glance” whether you are the right business for their needs? Web visits last ever-shorter durations and so your positioning [the message about what you do and for whom] is critical.

I was asked by a client to provide examples of marketing agencies who have good positioning on their websites.

Do you agree with my picks?

Good brand positioning copywriting

https://www.disruptiveunicorns.com/ We specialise in inbound marketing and lead generation on the HubSpot platform. Using design thinking, we help businesses scale in a sustainable growth manner.

One way to find out if you don’t want to work with them, is to re-write their offer in the negative. So if I don’t want inbound and lead generation – don’t go here. If I’m not using Hubspot I probably won’t get well-served either.

https://www.digitalmarketer.com/ Tools and Trainings for Digital Marketers

If I’m not a digital marketer needing tools or training – go away.

Below that they have 3 audiences identified – Teams, Marketers and Agencies so they offer further refinement of tools and training offers.

Digital marketer three audiences and offerings aligned to different brand needs,
Digital Marketer agency audiences

https://spur.co.nz/ Creating live experiences that build brand love. We are a full service live-marketing agency. Our areas of expertise include sponsorship, experiential marketing, corporate events and promotional staffing.
We connect brands to people to 
create brand love.

So if I don’t want a live experience – go elsewhere. Using the bold words allows speed reading to focus in on key services and skills. The “Brand Love” message is lovely and slightly fluffy – who doesn’t want this for their brand?

And just for the contrast here’s one which is too broad in its positioning and non-specific in its offer https://www.interactivesponsor.com/

Which niche suits your brand?

Finding your audience and positioning your business to align is not something to do once and leave. The business world changes frequently and so fine-tuning your language, offering and audience is a useful exercise.

Remember – excluding prospects who don’t fit your ideal customer persona is important too.

Followers on LinkedIN, How to use LinkedIn, Social Selling, B2B marketing

Who’s your LinkedIn Follower?

LinkedIn hides some of its best features – deliberately.

So here is my quick tip of the week to help you grow your connection base.

Do you know about your followers and following feed?

Thought not.

Log into your LinkedIn. Then paste this into your browser and take a look at this URL.

It lists everyone who is following you. The image below shows Philip Goffin – he’s following me. But I’m neither connected to him, nor following him.

Woo Hoo – lots of followers, Famous fellow.

Now for the inverse, Following. These are the people you are following.

What’s the use of following on LinkedIn?

Well, many times you want to see the News Feed updates from people, but you don’t actually know them and so connecting isn’t appropriate.

Or you just think you will see their updates for a while before approaching for a connection request.

Or you are hoping to quietly bring yourself to their attention without being too pushy – so follow them in the hope they notice you and send a connection request.

Go forth…. try it for yourself.

P.S. You can no longer export contact information from LinkedIn and so I’m advising clients to build contact lists outside of the platform for every new contact they make.

Tax podcast, B2B marketing, Content marketing podcast,

B2B Podcasting rises

The rise of podcasting as a medium to reach and influence audiences, grow brand awareness and promote your business continues.

I’m delighted to announce that Terry Baucher, a self-confessed “Tax Nerd” has launched his podcast – The Week In Tax with the help of Creative Agency Secrets.

Terry has long been a broadcaster called on by news media to be an expert commentator on tax matters – working with radio and TV stations in New Zealand. This heavily influenced our recommendation that he move on from a written weekly summary of tax news which had been drawn from his twitter feed, to an audio podcast.

Podcast set-up

We chose both an audio and a video medium for this podcast. [Note, this is not suitable for everyone] and SoundCloud is the distribution medium for the RSS.

The client blog hosts embedded audio files (easy for people to listen to who aren’t comfortable using RSS or Podcast apps) and remains the central source of all content. We also chose to add in a transcript for those who prefer reading to listening.

Tax podcast, B2B marketing, Content marketing podcast,

Could you be podcasting?

The medium is growing fast and many people now prefer to customise their listening and viewing to fit times of day they choose. Growing your brand reach through podcasting can be very effective.

Just ask Terry Baucher!

Follower Count , LinkedIn, B2B marketing, social media marketing,

Advance your LinkedIn focus

Many B2B marketers and brands are using LinkedIn intensively as a channel to market, building awareness and interest in your offering.

LinkedIn is NOT EFFECTIVE a direct marketing channel – it’s for brand marketing.

Today I have a challenge for you. Followers.

Follower Count , LinkedIn, B2B marketing, social media marketing,
Follower Count on LinkedIn.

Who follows you?

Go to your LinkedIn page and log in. Then navigate to your followers page. The link is the same for everyone.

  • Following – these are your connections. [Note: it’s not who YOU are following – a bit confusing]
  • Followers – people who follow your updates. This includes all your connections.

Below each person’s profile and job title is a check box showing if you are following then or not; and the number of people who are following them.

This makes it easy to filter. And one click to follow them back.

Check boxes to show if you’re following people on LinkedIn

What to do about LinkedIn Followers

Three things to do:

  1. Browse the list for people who you’d like to connect with and who are following you
  2. Decide on your criteria for following people – everyone, only those with key attributes, people who could be clients; people with high/low followers themselves etc
  3. Make a diary log to check back regularly for new followers

LinkedIn works best as a business development platform if you have a clear client persona; have a clear content writing strategy [topics, frequency, audience]. Targeting the right audience with good content, regularly.

Unlike Twitter, LinkedIn does not have a ratio of following to followers throttle. And remember, following someone is a great way to get their insights, to become acquainted with their perspectives as a precursor to connecting.

Famous people have lots of followers. If you are trying to break into a marketplace and build a solid profile, my recommendation is this.

Follow people whose follower count is low-to-medium. Their news feed won’t be too cluttered and your content stands a better chance of getting noticed and commented.