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Author: John Bracamontes

We’re Excited to share with you our newest Digital Strategist Ashley Myers!

When someone joins us we love to ask them questions to find out more about them and things they like.

Let’s here from Ashley:

 

Where are you from?

I’m from Waterloo, IL which is a small town about 30 min outside of St. Louis.

What are some things you enjoy doing (besides working)?

I am always reading. I also like photography, and hiking and exploring local parks with my Siberian Husky, Murphy. (Let’s Go Cardinals/Blues!)

Favorite Movie Genre or Fave Movie?

I am always up for a psychological thriller or scary movie. I can quote all of Shawshank Redemption or Hot Rod, and The Conjuring is still the scariest movie I’ve ever seen.

Favorite Type of Music and/or Band You’re Feeling Right Now?

My favorites are classic or alternative rock. I am currently going through a lengthy Misterwives phase. All-time favorite band is Green Day.

Place you’d like to visit but haven’t yet?

My answer was always Ireland, but now I finally get to go in August! So, my new answer is Italy. All the pasta.

Drink of Choice (doesn’t have to be alcoholic, but can be as well)?

Schnicklefritz from Urban Chestnut. Really, anything from Urban Chestnut.

Check out the rest of the Team here: http://acumenstudio.com/our-team/

We’re Excited to share with you our newest Account Manager Joe Brenner!

When someone joins us we love to ask them questions to find out more about them and things they like.

Let’s here from Joe:

 

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in West County St. Louis.

What are some things you enjoy doing (besides working)?

I enjoy calligraphy, drawing, spending time with my family, and video games.

Favorite Movie Genre or Fave Movie?

My all-time favorite movie is No Country for Old Men. I also really love the Kill Bill’s, the Godfather, and Predator.

Favorite Type of Music and/or Band You’re Feeling Right Now?

My favorite band is Fleetwood Mac, but lately, I have really gotten into VHS Collection, Ryn Weaver, Yuksek, and Cut Copy. 

Place you’d like to visit but haven’t yet?

I’d love to visit the UK, specifically London and all of Scotland.

Drink of Choice (doesn’t have to be alcoholic, but can be as well)?

Drink of choice: non-alcoholic: Dr Pepper. Alcoholic: either Ying Ling or Jameson, neat.

Check out the rest of the Team here: http://acumenstudio.com/our-team/

Marketing Automation has existed in some form since business started being done on the internet (it just wasn’t always called that).

But now it has become easier than ever to implement, has one of the highest returns and makes it easy to grow quickly at scale.

  • B2B companies are 67% more likely to see quarterly growth when using a marketing automation platform
  • 55% of polled B2B Companies are already using Marketing Automation in some form
  • 91% of marketers said a tool that enables their teams to review, analyze, and act on customer and marketing data would greatly increase ROI across all marketing channels

If you are wondering why your current digital marketing efforts haven’t produced the ROI you hoped for then take a look at these B2B Marketing Automation Templates that will increase your return on marketing and bring clarity to what channels are doing all the work.

Marketing Automation is the Perfect Blend of Marketing & Sales that Closes More Business!

Download Your B2B Marketing Automation Templates

What Are The Qualities of Successful Marketing for B2B?

In general most marketers can rattle of a list of qualities that they think should be embodied when it comes to B2B marketing but what we’ll get to more specifically are the qualities of the executed marketing on specific channels.  Doing these things will set you up online for success!

 

The List of Successful B2B Marketing Qualities

We’re going to make this easy by literally creating a definitive list for you here:

 

Know Your Audience!

More specifically know details about that audience such as industry, company 7 job title

 

Write 2 to 4 Blog Posts per month

Not just write them but research the topics through SEO / Keyword research

 

Post 3 types of content on Social Media (Awareness, Consideration & Conversion

Most marketers get Awareness up, some post consideration focused message but few publish conversion based content, which is arguably the most important of the three.

 

Run Ads

To be clear we’re talking ads across all networks (Google, LinkedIn, Facebook)

 

Send Email

At least 1 to 2 times per month is fine to start and will keep you top of mind.  Send emails that round up your blogs, new products or promotions.

 

SEO

Good B2B Marketers are Good at SEO. And they employ it across all they do.

 

Measure Everything

Don’t get hung up on the extreme details, but do make sure you are tracking conversions and knowing what channels contributed to those conversions.

 

If you or your team can enlist all of these marketing qualities and get good at them, then you’ll be set up for success, generate more traffic, gain more leads and close more sales!

 

Call Us at 314-736-4434

Or Submit your information below

 

Companies in the Print Industry are DOING NOTHING Online. Why?

This is the question everyone should be asking.

We have been asking this question of many printers in the industry and the most common answers we get back always fall into two categories.

  1. Online Marketing Doesn’t Work For Our Print Company / Print Industry Company
  2. It’s Too Expensive and Takes Too Long to Get Results

 

Online / Content Marketing Doesn’t Work for the Print Industry

Not to sound too harsh, but this is just wrong!

We work with a ton of companies in the Print Industry and it works for ALL of them.

It really comes down to doing the marketing activities online that will actually produce results for you.  Yes, this sounds a little vague but below are a few details that ensure it works.

  • As long as you ARE Targeting a specific audience it works
  • As long as you ARE Optimizing your website & Google listing for search engines it works
  • As long as your site IS Optimized for conversions it works

 

Even those details may be a little too vague, but you can read even more detail here: http://acumenstudio.com/print-industry-digital-marketing/

 

It’s Too Expensive to Market Online

I can tell you it’s much more expensive to NOT market online.

You’re missing out on tons of opportunity and the second your competitors figure this out and start doing it you’re dead in the water.  *at least until you start doing it well yourself

 

The problem really is with our Industry (Digital Marketing / Content Marketing).

There are too many marketers and agencies that say they are the “Guru” of this or the “Expert” in that, but the truth is they just know how to market themselves.

You MUST know the industry you are marketing for (Print in this case) and be good at the tactics of what you recommend (SEO, PPC, Social, Email and Analytics).

 

If you’re hiring a marketer in-house or an agency ask them these things…

  • How well do you know SEO?
    • Can you show me an example, tell me how you did it and the results you got?
  • How well do you know PPC?
    • Can you show me an example, tell me how you did it and the results you got?
  • How well do you know Social Media & Paid Social Media (LinkedIn Ads and Facebook Ads)
    • Can you show me an example, tell me how you did it and the results you got?
  • How well do you know Google Analytics?
    • How have you used Analytics to solve a marketing problem?

 

If you do these things then your online content marketing will work AND will cost less AND will get you More Leads & More Sales.

You can read more about Digital Marketing & Content Marketing for Print Companies by Clicking Here.

 

Call Us at 314-736-4434

Or Submit your information below

 

At this point you should already realize that social media isn’t just a place where friends and family connect, share photos and like posts.

Social has become a repository of knowledge, similar to the search engines, but more affinity driven by relationships and trusted sources.

If you want to know who to use for internet law, who can help you with an ESOP or what company is building quality apps, then social is a great place to get real feedback and reviews from people who have ACTUALLY used those services or know their work.

A B2B Social Media Strategy

Understanding how your target customers are using social media is key to gaining visibility, providing education to and engaging with these targets.

  1. Customers are asking their network for recommendations
  2. They are qualifying your company on social media
  3. These targets are educating themselves on your products & services

Has Anyone Heard of this Company?

A go to question asked by many business owners, executives, directors, buyers, managers, etc.
This is very powerful.

If an executive reaches out to their network asking for personal feedback on a company and one of their peers responds with good things to say, then you are on your way to landing new business.

While not every business will get a personal recommendation, if you have been marketing yourself well, then someone will at least know of you and respond with something like “I’ve seen this company and they look like they know what they are doing.”.
This is the next best thing, because you have built a small amount of social capital and trust with this target.

This stage of discovery is very important and completes the infinite loop of growth through marketing, which you can see clearly in our content marketing funnel (which is more of an hourglass), where past customers become salesmen for your business.

Who Are You Really?

Once a customer has been made aware of your business, whether it was from a referral on social media or they got nothing on social and asked the wise search engine Google, they will absolutely look your company up on social media.
Again this is a critical B2B Social Media step.

While the majority of B2B product & services companies are served well on LinkedIn, it is important to understand that these same customer targets have social profiles on many platforms and will look to find you where they are at in the moment (this could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest in addition to LinkedIn).
Plus, you will have a more diverse result in the search engines with a cross-platform social media presence. More results, Knowledgegraph inclusions, image results, Twitter feed, etc.

These customers will look to see if you are a legitimate business and size you up to see if you are a good fit.
Questions like “Are they too big?”, “Are they too small?”, “Do they think like I think?”, and many more. This is where being clear on your own brand and business is important, because it will qualify buyers for you in a very efficient way, driving better leads into your sales funnel.

At this point two main things will happen.
A customer will contact you via phone, form submission or email (they will find this info on your social profiles, if you have built them out completely).
Or the customer will educate themselves more on a specific product or service.

How Will Your Product or Service Help Me?

This is what most businesses think of as soon as they hear B2B Social Media or Social Media Strategy.
And rightfully so, because it is so critical.

Customers need to understand:

  • What problem you solve
  • What you sell / solution you provide
  • How it works
  • Why it fits their needs
  • Why you are better or different
  • Your process

Social Media is a great place to get this clarifying, compelling and enlightening content in front of prospective buyers.
These customers are comparing you to your competitors and the more you can educate them, the better chance you have of winning that business.

While you will want this content to primarily live on your website, social is the channel you will distribute this educational material to ensure it gets seen and gets the buyer back to your site where you can convert them or reach back out and communicate in other ways.

Types of B2B Content for Social Media

  • Blog Posts
  • Whitepapers
  • Ebooks
  • One Sheeters
  • Video
  • Infographics
  • Research Papers
  • Webinars
  • Case Studies
  • Podcasts

Depending on your product or service the mix of B2B content types will differ and the tactical strategy for each channel can be tailored as well.

B2B Social Media Research & Tactics

As with any marketing you should conduct research to identify key information to that will guide the marketing efforts. B2B Social Media is no different.

Our recommendation is to take the research beyond social as well by using Google search query data (the keywords) and pair it with social media research on your target customers social platforms, including the less thought about forums and groups such as Quora and LinkedIn groups.

Creating an inventory of who your target prospects is very important and taking this even further by identifying the stakeholders in those companies and engaging with their personal accounts on social will drive massive results.

This leads us to a few specific tactics that we recommend for a superior B2B Social Media Strategy.

Following and engaging with the business accounts of your prospective customers, the individual accounts of the decision makers of those businesses and the same for your current customers will create much-needed visibility, awareness, affinity and trust with the organizations that you want to do business with.

  • Like, Comment & Share Posts
  • Favorite, Reply & Retweet
  • Like & Comment using Video

This exposes you to the businesses you want to work with and gets your customers talking about you more, while at the same time you are indirectly getting in front of other potential customers who also engage with the same companies you are targeting.

This works like a charm and very few businesses are doing this!

You can learn more about our approach to social media here: http://acumenstudio.com/social-media-marketing-agency/

How Do I Know If It’s Working?

To be 100% Honest, this isn’t easy for most businesses.
Tracking, monitoring, analyzing, measuring and reporting to identify an ROI on your B2B marketing and social media efforts takes using platforms that can help you measure impact, attribution, and sales.
Most businesses are not equipped to do this (as are most marketers!).

You will either need to educate yourself on using platform specific social media analytics, social media tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, SproutSocial, etc. or hire an agency to help you with this.

What we can tell you is that social media for B2B companies Pays Off BIG!

 

Download a Social Media Case Study Below to Learn More

Or, You can give us a call now at 866-357-7422 to talk.

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Did you ever wonder why B2B SEO is so important for businesses? SEO, also known as search engine optimization is critical in driving organic traffic to your site. SEO assists the search engines and users in finding and understanding more about your site. Search engine optimization educates visitors and answers their questions. Search engine optimization helps increase your sites visibility and will help your business grow.

 

When was the last time you did a search and clicked past the fourth or fifth page? Most people never go past the first or second page. If you want organic rankings you need SEO. Just having a website won’t get you rankings. Most of your high ranking competitors already applied SEO to their websites, that’s why they are ranking so well. If you can’t be found in searches, then you’re not going to acquire as much business.

 

Get your digital marketing audit. Discover your company’s strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities you can maximize for a winning digital strategy.

 

Benefits Of B2B SEO

These five benefits will highlight some of the important benefits of SEO and how it can take your brand to the next level.

  • SEO increases traffic. Organic search is a key source of website traffic. The higher your rankings the better your visibility and conversions. Organic search is usually the leading source of all your website visits.
  • SEO provides better user experience. User experience is important to the search engines and your visitors. Mobile-friendly is one of Google’s ranking factors along with hundreds of other ranking factors. Everyone wants to view a mobile-friendly site. People will leave a website if it isn’t user friendly and they can’t find what they want.
  • Local SEO increases traffic and conversions in your area. Let’s face it how many people use phone books anymore? Usually, the phone book print is so little and it’s hard to read. It’s easier and quicker to do a search on your phone and push one button to call. If your business is not optimized for local, then you’re missing out on local business. This is especially important to businesses offering services. Whether your business is B2B or B2C it should be in Google My Business along with some quality local directories. Receiving good user reviews will enhance your local listing.
  • SEO influences the buying cycle. SEO can get your good deals seen. It advances people through all the buying cycle stages.
  • SEO builds brand awareness. People will start recognizing your brand. SEO helps get your brand out there.

 

 

SEO Is Crucial To Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

SEO is an important element of your inbound marketing strategy and it is essential for your business growth. SEO takes time; it’s not a fast fix. That’s why we recommend combining SEO with other digital strategies to produce powerful results. PPC (pay-per-click) strategies help you get in front of your buyer quickly and it brings in new leads and sales. Social media reaches your prospects and customers with a majority of them interacting with your brand generating leads and sales. Email and marketing automation will continue to drive sales.

 

Call Us at 314-736-4434
Or Submit your information below

 

We often see companies, agencies and marketers using the term Marketing Strategy interchangeably across a broad number of initiatives and tasks that are really different from each other and need to be defined as different up front to make sure everyone is on the same page which will eliminate work overlap or double up and make the work more effective.

Where we see this the most is a B2B business has Strategic Objectives where part of solving for those objectives is having a B2B Marketing Strategy and to solve for that marketing strategy you need a B2B Marketing Tactical Strategy and finally you’ll need to execute the tactics that are a part of the tactical strategy.

 

That’s a Mouthful! But let’s break it all down through an example.

 

B2B Marketing Strategy

The B2B Marketing Strategy should support the businesses strategic objectives by giving a clear plan as to how it will accomplish this overall.

 

For example:

A Manufacturer wants to launch one of their products into a new market in the next year.

They need to achieve $200,000  in sales by the end of the first two quarters to feel the new market will be sustainable.

The sales team tells the marketing team that they will need at least 4 leads per day to close that sales number.

 

The Marketing team would need to know several things…

  • What is the product
  • What is the target market
  • What is the budget for the marketing initiative

The Marketing team would then create a plan that reads something like “Over the next 30 days we will build a campaign plan that uses this message, includes these assets, targets these buyers, using this ad spend budget, with a goal of generating this number of leads per day”

 

Obviously it has more detail, but you get the point.

There’s your Marketing Strategy.

 

B2B Marketing Tactical Strategy

The Tactical Strategy should support the marketing strategy in it’s goal.

 

For example:

The Marketing Strategy was “Over the next 30 days we will build a campaign plan that uses this message, includes these assets, targets these buyers, using this ad spend budget, with a goal of generating this number of leads per day”

The Individual Marketing Team Members would need to know several things…

  • What is the goal (x number of leads)
  • What is the ad spend budget)
  • What is the target market

Those team members can then research their available platforms to identify where the best opportunity is for targeting and distribution to reach those goals and come up with a Tactical Strategy that reads something like “We will use these platforms, with these ad types, targeting this criteria (keywords, geo, industry, company, job title, etc.), using these budgets for each of the platforms, which will generate this number of leads per day.”

 

Again more detail would exist, but again you get the point.

There’s you Tactical Strategy.

 

So then all that’s left is to get approval and execute on the tactics of the tactical strategy, which satisfies the marketing strategy that satisfies the business strategic objectives.

 

Are you interested in having someone work on your Tactical Strategy?

 

Call Us at 314-736-4434

Or Submit your information below

Have you thought to yourself any of these questions:

  • Why is online so complicated?
  • Where do I find the time fit in digital marketing?
  • Does digital marketing even work for the print industry?

It’s likely you have or had a similar question.

And you’re not alone!

 

The biggest problem with digital marketing today (and the digital marketing industry) is that it has created itself into being overly complex.  There are so many options, the platforms are constantly changing and to figure all of this out you have to spend a lot of time reading to stay on top of it and trying things out to see what works.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

 

The 3 Steps to Succeeding Online for the Print Industry

To make digital marketing easy on yourself just do these 3 things.

  • Focus your effort
  • Keep it Simple
  • Commit

 

I know those sound really generic and doesn’t have the tactical application you might be expecting, BUT I am going to share with you the tactics of doing those three things here.

 

Focusing Your Effort & Keeping It Simple

These two go hand in hand as we focus to keep things simple.

Focus is most applicable to generating a return.

Like most marketers will tell you, segment and target your message!

But what most marketers want you to do is have 6 personas that have 3 different mindsets and now you have 18 customer types you have to create and message for.

FORGET THAT!!!

 

Same thing goes for the tactics of digital marketing.

There are so many things that can be done for each discipline and it’s nearly impossible to stay on top of it all if you aren’t an agency where your business is to stay on top of it.

Think about it… SEO, PPC / SEM, Social Media, Social Ads, Email & Marketing Automation, Conversions, Goals, CRO, etc.

That’s a lot.

 

But again only a fraction of what can be done is best suited for your needs, in your market for your target customers.

So that’s what you want to do.

 

Committing to the Marketing Plan

So you know the audience you’re going to focus on and the tactics suited for you.

The last step is to just DO IT!

 

This is the 2nd most common place where companies in the print industry get hung up.

They will seek some sort of perfection that doesn’t actually exist and never pull the trigger.

That’s a lot of wasted time and money to then do nothing.

 

It’s true that you’ll want to tweak things after they have run to make them work better, but if you commit and see results you’ll feel a lot better about going even harder and getting even BETTER Results.

To move ahead is most important because doing nothing will get you nowhere!

 

In conclusion our recommendation to you is…

Pick a target customer (real estate brokerages, financial advisors, marketing agencies, etc.) and create a campaign that targets them on LinkedIn sends them to a landing page created for them and gives them a PDF created just for them. This will get more sales from your target audience.

 

Optimize your title tags, meta descriptions and h1 tags to include the words people search for when looking for your services.  Add a contact / quote form to every product / service page on your site with a button for them to click to call if they prefer.

 

And ACTUALLY DO IT (the committing part).

 

Then you will get found more often by new and existing customers, generate more leads and close more business.

Guaranteed!!!

 

Call Us at 314-736-4434

Or Submit your information below

If you talk to an agency or “expert” marketing technologist they will tell you about all the Best Practices you should be following when it comes to Marketing Automation for B2B.  And all of those “best practices” are typically highly involved, complicated, time consuming and expensive.

But here’s the TRUTH, B2B Marketing Automation can be EASY.

 

Why would anyone try to make it so difficult?

There are many reasons…

  1. They believe it needs to be (… but it doesn’t)
  2. They don’t know it well enough and are quoting the “expert posts” they’ve read
  3. They aren’t that great at marketing and are a technology enthusiast (leads to overtech marketing)
  4. They have a desire to feel important and the more complicated something is the more important they think they are
  5. They want you to be “Stuck” with them, if it’s too hard for you then they feel you can’t get rid of them
  6. And the list goes on

 

So the question for you should be… “How Can I Make B2B Marketing Automation Easy?”

Read On.

 

How You Can Make B2B Marketing Automation Easy

The simplest and easiest way to get started with marketing automation as a B2B company is to use it in combination with a lead generation campaign by creating a linear, time based, drip nurture email sequence. (I explain below)

 

Here are the 3 things you need to do

  • Choose an Automation Platform (I won’t go into these here, but pick one!) *we love HubSpot
  • Create an Ad Campaign to fill your marketing automation platform
  • Create your automation emails & logic

 

Choose an Automation Platform

This up to you and the choices are many.

To be honest it doesn’t matter a ton which one you pick when you are first starting because it’s more important to just start doing it.

You’ll be looking at price, contact tiers, capabilities and integrations that fit your business best.

 

Again we personally love HubSpot for this (but it can get pricey quick, we get it)

 

Create and Ad Campaign

This is who you’ll actually use your marketing automation platform on.

Basically decide on a target customer, create the ads, set up the campaign and ensure that the leads which come in are integrated into your automation tools database through forms.

You can read in detail on how to set up a High ROI B2B Ad Campaign Here: http://acumenstudio.com/ad-campaigns-for-b2b-how-to-make-them-work-more-leads-and-paying-less/

 

Create Your Automation Emails & Logic

Lastly you’ll need to create the emails that will nurture your leads.

We recommend starting by doing this to start.

 

Create a 4 part email nurture series.

  1. Auto-response email to a form submission
  2. 2 days later – A follow up email asking if they received a link to the download from the form submission and / or if they have any questions
  3. 4 days later – An email giving them a little more detail on the same subject matter they originally requested and an ask to call them to learn more about them and their business need
  4. 5 days later – An email stating you don’t want to be a bother so you’d rather just jump on a call to talk give them more information on your company and what you do as well as learn about what their original interest was when downloading from the form.

 

At this point your sales team should reach out directly a couple days after the last email went out.  What you’ll find is that you get more responses and leads are more responsive to “warm call” outreach once they have gotten all of these emails.

 

I hope this shows you how a B2B company can implement a marketing automation tool and campaign easily without over-complicating the whole thing.

 

Have Questions Call Us at 314-736-4434

Or Submit your information below