The great thing about online video is that it can be done quite cheaply. One belief to dispel is that B2B content videos need to be slick and professionally-produced - they don't.Some (largely anecdotal) evidence even suggests that more rough “homemade” videos tend to be trusted over videos that appear too flashy. A decent iPhone or similar smartphone is really all that’s needed to make a decent web video, although better equipment is nice if you have access.
Whether your company has chosen to develop a corporate video, product demo, or a how-to video, keep in mind the list of guidelines provided below. These tips will ensure that you end up with engaging, low-cost marketing content to distribute through your channels.
While it previously lagged behind B2C applications, B2B content marketing is now a robust and mature method for companies looking to reach new customers. Current studies show that the vast majority of B2B organizations are now utilizing content marketing, and most to significant success.
This is particularly relevant to vendors utilizing indirect-sales channels, because B2B content marketing can serve two purposes. It can be utilized to help drive new buyers to their websites - or those of their sales partners - in addition to being used for recruting new partners. We encourage our own partners, as well as businesses that work with our consulting team, to utilize content marketing to good effect in both aspects.
Based on our own experiences, and our thoughts on best practices in the industry, we have some tips on how to make the most of your own B2B content campaigns for 2017 and beyond.
It’s an exciting time to be in business, with new techniques coming along every day. The rapid progress of technology is turning into equally-rapid changes to how we do business, meaning the field is wide open for nearly any company in any field to succeed. Those who can stay ahead of the curve by paying close attention to -and meeting - their customers’ wants and needs will be the ones who thrive. This can be especially important for those that rely on reaching the customer through their sales channel partners.
What strategies should you be adopting into your own sales ecosystem to keep up with the times while providing innovative solutions? Below are some of the trends we’re following closely here at LogicBay, and we'll continue to keep an eye on their impact in the world of B2B sales throughout 2017.
Chief Marketing Officers have a lot on their plate these days. Markets and technology are changing rapidly. Their job is to stay on top of both and find ways to keep their organizations on track toward better ways of doing business.
Recently, SiriusDecisions conducted a survey of CMOs around the world, and got a lot of insights into what’s on their mind these days. We found it very interesting, in large part because many of the challenges facing CMOs today are magnified by the complexities of supporting a sales channel. They have a lot of opportunities to improve performance, and are continually looking for creative solutions to help support them.
As channel marketing evolves at an increasingly rapid pace, one underlying truth remains: The sales organizations that remain agile and stay on top of shifts in marketing are going to reap the most rewards. Those who are unable to adapt, and continue using 20th Century methods, are going to find themselves falling further behind. This is every bit as true for SMB as it is for global enterprises.
There has never been a more dynamic time in the history of marketing, with more opportunities for companies to adapt and stand out from the competition.
One of the key factors, therefore, is just being able to recognize when older methods are no longer working as they should. In the next few blogs, we're going to look at some of these changes, and what steps your organization can take to adapt in time and embrace the future.
For years, one of the biggest pain points in the sales process for both companies and their buyers has been the fundamental disconnect that too many organizations have between their sales and marketing departments. Both are usually treated as separate entities, with separate budgets, and often with mis-aligned - or worse, competing - goals. Combined with a general lack of communication, it creates a situation leaving both sides equally dissatisfied.
The internal conflicts that result are hard to resolve. Sales staff often feel that the leads being sent to them by marketing weren't well qualified (often due to conflicting messaging), or that marketing was taking a “quantity over quality” approach to lead-generation. This, of course, can often be counterproductive, making it difficult for sales to prioritize the best leads, or spending too much time chasing poorly-qualified leads.
In an indirect sale channel, these problems are amplified. Mismatches between the marketing initiatives of the vendor, and the ground-level sales activities by partners, can create even more miscues.
That's why it's vital for a flexible, inbound-focused indirect sales organization to begin practicing smarketing. This term, first coined by HubSpot, refers to the smart alignmentof sales and marketing to ensure the best possible experience for customers, and the highest possible conversion rates from leads to sales.
Between the rise of inbound marketing, and the rapid changes in buyer behavior in the past few years, online marketing is a whole new world. For the adventurous channel manager and marketing team, this can be an exciting prospect. New methods for acquiring leads are being discovered all the time, while also finding ways to reduce overall spends for improved marketing ROI.
This is vital for indirect sales organizations, because it opens up entirely new avenues for lead-gathering. It's no longer a good idea to leave sales and marketing solely up to partners. Vendors must now be active participants in the online marketing process, discovering and curating leads which are then passed on to the right sales partner in a timely manner.
For basically twenty years, pop-up ads have been considered one of the biggest problems with online browsing - at least for the users. On the advertisers' side, they were seen as one of the safest and most reliable forms of online advertising. This has resulted in an escalating technology race, with user-side applications continually looking for ways to block pop-ups, and pop-up creators looking for ways to bypass those blocks.
Well, if you or any of your sales partners are heavily invested in pop-ups on your websites, the debate may have finally been settled - and not in your favor.
Google recently announced that it will soon start cracking down on websites utilizing certain forms of pop-up ads. While this is not yet a blanket attack on all pop-ups, it seems very likely Google will continue down this path. The pop-up ad may finally be doomed.
(And good riddance, as far as we're concerned.)
So, let's take a look at what's changing and how it may affect the online advertising you and your partners engage in.
Just because your organization relies on indirect sales channels to do the selling doesn't mean your partners have to do all the heavy-lifting. Given the ways that buyer behavior has changed, the role of your partners is less about demand generation and more about closing business. This means they will be relying more on your ability to help them market your products and services.
In today's wired and continuously-connected world, vendors who go out of their way to support channel partner marketing efforts are almost certain to be rewarded in multiple ways. Besides simply increasing sales - which is really the primary goal - you can easily separate yourself as a vendor that sales partners truly want to represent. Whether you're fighting for market share, or looking to extend into new verticals, that sort of distinction can easily be the deciding factor.
Increasingly, local-based marketing is becoming a major concern for nationwide brands. Buying behavior has changed dramatically to the point that consumers are making the majority of their buying decision before ever reaching out to a local supplier. This has taken away the ability for local providers to leverage product information - knowledge! - and has shifted the need for vendors to re-consider how to impact marketing at the local level. Even back in 2012, two-thirds of national brands were investing in local marketing, and that number has undoubtedly grown in more recent years. It's a move that's dictated almost entirely by consumer trends: