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Author: John Bracamontes

B2B companies ask us often “Does Social Media Work for B2B?” and in our experience that question is being asked because there is a presupposition that is doesn’t work for B2B markets. But as with any answer we give here on the Acumen blog it really depends. What does it depend on? What does “Work” mean for you as a B2B company?

If you simply ask Does Social Media Work for B2B Businesses then the answer is Yes!

If you ask will social media increase sales for my B2B company, then the answer isn’t so simple.

What are Your Social Media Goals?

Are you trying to primarily increase brand awareness, increase engagement, generate leads, increase sales? While you may want to say ALL of those things, the hard truth is that you aren’t going to be able to easily accomplish that if you are medium to smaller size B2B company. So focusing on one will allow you to more easily generate the results you are looking for.

Speaking of company size, we’ll discuss that a little later in the post, so keep reading!

Each goal has a different tactic that you would apply within social media to achieve success.

Awareness for example would be doing things to get in front of your prospective buyer over, and over, and over, and over, etc. This way they know that you exist, know who you are, and what you do.

But if you are trying to increase sales then you’ll be posting a lot more direct response content related to selling a product.

The content you post cannot be in conflict with your goal on social media.

 

Make Social Media Work for B2B

For most medium sized to small B2B companies you need to be posting at least 3 times per week with a mix of consideration focused content and direct sales posts.

This will generate more leads overall but at the same time mildly accomplish increasing brand awareness.

 

Why Can’t I Do “All the Social Media Things”?

We think you know the answer to that. Bandwidth and Return on Investment (ROI).

You likely don’t have the resources to put into it and there is a point of diminishing return on the social media effort. But how do I grow then you may say? Our answer is to leverage social but grow your customer base in other more efficient ways such as SEO, direct sales and advertising (which you can do on social by the way, which is different then using organic non-paid social media).

Huge B2B brands can pull this off but they didn’t build their business on the back of social media. Social becomes most effective once your brand has reached a significant customer base that can be leveraged to make your social media do real work for you.

 

 

If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Sales or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

Or Submit your information below

    Jon is the co-founder and President of Raven Internet Marketing Tools (has been acquired by TapClicks), a digital marketing performance & reporting platform. Before that he was an Interaction Designer for Visa out in Denver, CO. Before that he was the lead designer and product manager for an internet start-up company that provided web-based CRM and project management tools for non-profit organizations. Jon has been involved with website development and internet strategy since 1995 and continues to crush it still today!

    Leaders in Business and Marketing iTunes

    Leaders in Business and Marketing Stitcher

    There is nothing new about blogging, but still the question for some remains… “Are Blogs Important?”, “How Important Are Blogs?”, “Should I Write Blogs For My Company?”, etc.

    These questions are asked across all industries. B2B, Private Equity, Finance, Commercial Printing, Industrial, Construction, etc.

    And to be honest they are really good questions because how would someone actually know if blogs are important or not? If you don’t know how to measure their effectiveness or you’ve never heard anyone explain why blogs are important then their really is no way you should know or believe they are.

    Are Blogs Important?

    Yes!

    In the video above we go in detail showing you why they are important, how they are important and what you can do to capture value from your blog posts.

    The reason that blogs are so important is because they answer questions. Nearly every search in Google is someone seeking to gain an answer to a question and it’s even more specific for industries in the B2B space, Finance, Print, Industrial and Contracting industries.

    If a buyer, customer, investor or potential partner searching for something they need an answer to and your company has a solution that is the answer to their question then you want to be found, need to be found and will close more sales, deals, investment and partnerships if you create blog posts that answer their questions.

     

    Other Benefits of Blogging

    • They drive qualified traffic to your website
    • You can share them on social media
    • You can send out your blogs in email
    • Blogs attract links back to your website
    • They build trust with buyers, it shows your active
    • They build authority for you as an expert
    • And the list could go on

     

    If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Deal Flow from Blog Posts or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

    Or Submit your information below

      When someone new starts at Acumen we ask a handful of questions to start to get to know them better and share that with you because we’re excited to have Awesome people join the team!

       

      Where are you from?

      Litchfield, IL

       

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

      I like to go to the gym in my free time, occasionally read Stephen King novels, and eating SUSHI

       

      Favorite Movie Genre or Fave Movie?

      Anything Scary or Thriller

       

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

      I’ve never had a favorite, just anything but country

       

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

      Bali, Maui, or Singapore

       

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

      Chocolate milk or a nice Riesling

       

      Welcome to the Team Logan!

      When it comes to Digital Marketing a whopping 93% of marketers say that one of the biggest pain points for their company is closing the leads that come in. This is a common struggle across all industries.
      This unfortunate reality is due to the fact that leads must be nurtured.
      Even those leads that are asking for details or a quote need to be followed up on regularly until they either buy or say no.

      How Can You Make Closing New Leads Easier?

      In the video above we go into detail on a tool that can help you close more customers, deals, buyers, investors, etc. by acting on a simple measured behavior.

      The tool is called Streak (streak.com), which will allow you to see exactly when a person is viewing / reading your email.
      If you send out a follow up request, proposal, prospectus or some other material that you’d like to engage on with this lead then reaching back out the moment they are thinking of you will make that happen almost 100% of the time.

      The strategy we’re sharing is that when you get an alert that someone is reading your email, immediately reply back to them on that same email asking if they’ve had a chance to review the materials you shared or if they have time to talk with you about their business, goals, etc.
      Nearly 100% of the time you will get a response, connect with them at that moment or book the next meeting.

       

      It’s that simple!

      We hope this helps in your journey to closing more leads & deals!

       

      If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Deal Flow or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

      Or Submit your information below

        If you’re considering writing a blog for your PE firm then you’ve likely asked yourself or had the question asked by a Managing Director / Managing Partner, “Why should we write blogs for our  firm?” or “What will blogging do for a Private Equity Firm like ours?”.  These are valid questions that most content marketers would react to quickly with a short answer like, “Because it works” or “How else are going to get found by prospects?”. But the real answer is more complex and to clarify what blogging can do for a firm like yours let’s go just a little deeper.

         

        What Is A Blog Really?

        To be honest we hate that the name of this type of content has been overplayed, because a blog is simply an article that lives on your website, but the best blogs are written to answer specific questions and convey unique ideas on a topic. They are typically more granular and this is why blogs can be so powerful for PE Firms.

        Blogs are consistently successful across all industries and year after year voted as one of the top marketing tactics by marketers across the U.S. (and globally).

        But success means different things for all industries and Private Equity has it’s own KPI’s that can be measured to determine success from blogging.

         

        Benefits of Blogging & Why It Works

        Private Equity Firms hold a unique position in the U.S. economy that requires them to be seen as trusted experts in their specific area of investment. This is the key to understanding how a blog can work for a PE Firm and how success can be determined from the writing & publishing effort.

        The Benefits of Blogging for Private Equity break down into 4 areas

        • Increased Visibility
        • Increased Authority
        • Higher Deal Flow
        • Higher Investor Acquisition

        Increasing Visibility for Your PE Firm

        By writing blog articles that highlight what you do, how you do it, industry insights and results you’re getting it gives you the ability to share those articles on social media, send them out in email and get found in the search engines by potential deal partners and/or investors.

        Increasing Authority for Your Private Equity Firm

        If you are writing about industry insights that are unique or are being communicated better than other competing firms then it makes your firm stand out as more of an expert. The same thing applies to blogs being written on your approach, past results, current performance and case studies. This type of content solidifies trust in your expertise, track record and builds authority for your firm.

        Increase Deal Flow

        Combine the first two benefits, but write content specific to a Deal Partner audience and you’ll instantly increase your visibility & authority with them and in turn generate higher deal flow through your blogs as a lead generation tactic. Answering questions they have, showing how you partner with them, make transactions happen, etc. all makes for great Deal Flow blog content.

        Increase Investor Acquisition

        Similar to the path for Deal Flow, you’ll do the same thing for acquiring new investors by combining the first two benefits, but write content specific to an investor audience and you’ll instantly increase your visibility & authority with them and in turn generate higher acquisition rates through your blogs as a lead generation tactic. Answering questions they have, showing how you invest on their behalf, firm / fund performance, etc. all makes for great Investor blog content.

         

        Good Private Equity Blog Post Examples

        This one focuses on common questions asked by investors of Multifamily Real Estate

        https://www.realtymogul.com/knowledge-center/article/4-common-misconceptions-about-multifamily-investing

         

        This blog is focused more on company founders looking to grow their business

        http://www.driehauspe.com/the-rule-of-3-how-to-achieve-success-as-a-founder/

         

        To back to the original question, “Should you write blogs for your Private Equity Firm?” and the answer is yes. There is little to no risk with huge upside potential when it comes to blogging in the PE space!

         

        If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Deal Flow, Acquire New Investors or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

        Or Submit your information below

          This is a great question and really depends on your goal.

          If the goal of your current efforts is to generate leads and sales then the importance of an email signature is much lower. But if your goal is brand awareness or recognition then the email signature becomes much more of a priority, as it can play a big role in that effort.

          Here we’ll explore each of these scenarios a little further.

           

          Are There Email Signature Rules?

          There really are no standards or rules for email signatures.

          Of course many people recommend including a lot of the same things so we are confident in telling you that in most cases you’ll include…

          • Your First and Last Name
          • Email Address
          • Company Website
          • Office Number and or Direct Phone Number
          • Company Address
          • Company Social Media Links

           

          Including these things gives you a more complete signature that makes you at minimum, professional looking and gives people the ability to reach you!

          But in some cases you may not want to include some of this for privacy reasons which is okay and again points to the fact that there really are no rules.

           

          Importance of Email Signature for Lead Generation and Sales

          If your goal is to generate more leads and sales then it’s less important to focus on the email signature because you are basically trying to get people to see you, find you and talk to you. If all of your time is spent debating on what goes into an email signature like the color, the language, the exact links, etc. then you’ll be wasting time not selling.

          But a reason for focusing on the email signature is that it does allow the prospect to have direct contact information for you which is important to ensure you can connect and close deals with people that you’re emailing.

           

          Importance of Email Signature for Branding

          This is what you’ll hear most often about when researching if email signatures are important.

          And if your goal is to create stronger brand awareness and recognition then the email signature can be an important piece of that since it will be seen by every one of your customers and prospects.

          Email Signatures for Brand Recognition

          By keeping things consistent more people will know it’s you when they see the same branded elements over and over. 

          Email for Brand Awareness

          By having strong branded elements in your email signature it can amplify your brand’s awareness in the marketplace as an option and stand out among competitors.

          Trust Building in Email

          Combining the elements of brand recognition and awareness builds trust with existing customers and prospects allowing you to nurture relationships more effectively, maintain and grow your business.

          Likeability Through Email

          Your brand sets you apart and you want the people who like you to work with you, so including elements that showcase your uniqueness will increase how much those people like you!

           

          So YES! The email signature does matter, but it matters differently and in different amounts for specific situations. What’s your company’s goal or email signature situation!

           

          If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Sales (not Branding) or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

          Or Submit your information below

            We talk with a number of Private Equity firms each month and the one thing that comes up about 50% of the time in our conversations is “Should their firm being doing SEO?” and “Does SEO even work for Private Equity?”

            The other half believe that SEO for Private Equity works but needs to better understand how so they move forward on getting the results they need it to produce.

            Here we explore how your firm can increase exposure, acquire new investors, increase deal flow and attract talent to your firm all using SEO tactics specific to the Private Equity space.

             

            Does SEO Work for Private Equity Firms

            Yes. Private Equity firms are actually in a position to capitalize on SEO better than many other industries. The reason being that the majority of firms aren’t actually doing it. Many firms just don’t think about it or they don’t think it’s necessary, but this is old school thinking that you see across a lot of industries (manufacturing as an example) that hang on to only the tactics of the past and keep out any of the new methods to market and attract investors, deals or talent.

            The basic logic of how SEO works alone makes sense for all firms to be doing it. If someone searches for your firm, searches generically for a private equity firm or searches for a private equity firm specializing in a specific industry you would want your firm to show up.

            Some would argue that no one is searching for private equity firms online but that is simply untrue.

            Take a look at the Keyword Chart below that shows almost 10,000 searches per month for Private Equity Firms, 720 searches per month for Dallas Private Equity Firms, 2,900 searches per month for Providence Equity Partners and 90 searches per month for Private Equity Firms Energy.

            seo for private equity keyword chart

            This example shows that people are searching for firms in different ways, in specific areas and in specific verticals.  So Yes, SEO does work for Private Equity firms.

             

            Build Awareness for Your Private Equity Firm Using SEO

            By implementing an SEO Strategy for your Private Equity firm it will immediately bring you new visibility that you previously did not have. Image showing up in the search engines for a variety of different searches with different intents. This exposure is building awareness for your firms brand that otherwise wouldn’t have been gained.

            This result is a longer term, brand building benefit but it comes regardless of your primary objective. We speak about it as a positive byproduct of doing the SEO work.

             

            SEO Strategy for Private Equity Firms

            Something that is grossly overlooked by most agencies who say they do SEO is mapping the SEO Strategy to the firms goals and targets. What you’ll find much of the time are agencies showing you how many times the term Private Equity is searched on Google, but the problem with that is it isn’t focused.

            Your firm is involved in acquiring investment, raising capital, and deal origination. So the SEO strategy is going to focus on content that speaks to the questions potential investors or target business owners are searching that relate to your firm.

            For example: Investors might be searching for a specialized private equity firm OR a new investor might be searching for a way to diversity their investment portfolio in something other than securities or bonds. For the latter you would do keyword research on and optimize for answering that exact question.

            Another Example: A business owner may be searching for alternative financing options to purchase new equipment so they can expand production. Your firm could do keyword research and optimize an article on doing exactly that but using your private equity firm as a way to capitalize the business.

            Thinking about what your target investors, partners, owners or new hires are asking will give you the foundation for creating an SEO rich content strategy for your private equity firm.

             

            SEO Tactics for Private Equity Firms

            Again this is where most agencies go to immediately when talking about SEO to firms like yours. The problem is this is the part you care about least. You want results. Results like acquiring new investors, increasing deal flow and recruiting top financial talent.

            But the reality is that these tactics must be executed (and we at Acumen Studio do this very well), so we’ll briefly share with you the things that need done to ensure you are technically and strategically optimized for the search engines to get visibility, build awareness, build authority, generate traffic, leads and close more of everything.

            Develop Your SEO Strategy

            We talked about this earlier in the article, but you need to start here. Do this first! Define your targets and create content based on their needs and how you meet those needs.

            Do Keyword Research

            This is done once you’ve defined your targets to ensure the Keyword Research is being done from the correct perspective. Without the right target or intent while doing this research you’ll end up with an unfocused set of results.

            Technical SEO

            This the implementation of SEO tactics that include things like optimizing your firms Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, H1 tags, increasing page speed, creating a sitemap, etc.

            On-Site SEO

            This the implementation of updates to the copy on your site to include keywords, complimentary keywords that support the primary keywords, as well as adding elements related to conversion optimization such as submission forms, click to call phone numbers, etc.

            Off-Site SEO

            This the implementation of tactics that are not done to your website directly. Most commonly this is optimizing your Google My Business listing and then doing other tasks such as getting your firm listed on directories, backlinking, running PR campaigns to get off-site exposure, etc.

            *At Acumen Studio we don’t run PR campaigns, do backlinking or directory listing. We encourage the firms we work with to do this, but PR is a completely different skill set and backlinking being done by an outside agency has an imbalanced ROI

             

            Doing all of these SEO related tasks for your Private Equity firm are guaranteed to generate more attention from investors, increase your deal flow and allow you to be found more often by new hires looking to join a firm.

             

            If You Are Looking to Close New Investors, More Deals or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

            Or Submit your information below

              When someone new starts at Acumen we ask a handful of questions to start to get to know them better and share that with you because we’re excited to have Awesome people join the team!

               

              Where are you from?

              Well, I was born in Norfolk, Virginia into an air force family. By the time I was 13, I’d moved to 11 different places. I spent the most time out in California, mainly Edwards AFB which I consider home. I moved to Missouri 8 years ago from Dallas, Texas for school and have been in StL about 2 years.

               

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

              I love turn-based strategy games like Civ 6 or XCOM on the computer or board games like Ticket to Ride or Catan.  If I am feeling frisky, you’ll find me at the local card room playing Holdem.  I also have an affinity for the outdoors.  I love camping and exploring.  And I love spending time with my daughter.  She’s 12 now going into the 7th grade.  And we watch a lot of “old” movies together.  She’s becoming a little movie buff like me.

               

              Favorite Movie Genre or Fave Movie?

              I have favorite writers and directors.  My top three film creators are the Coen Brothers and Tarantino.

              These movies I consider must see:

              1. A Serious Man – Coen Brothers
              2. Mr. Nobody – Jaco Van Dormael
              3. Pulp Fiction – Tarantino

              But my all time favorite for personal reasons is a John Malkovich, Edward Norton, Matt Damon film called Rounders.

               

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

              I’m a lover of music.  When I am playing cards or focusing, I’ll go with techno.  When I am in the mood for something different, I’ll go with foreign stuff like Bass Hunter or the hu.  But when I am just driving around, I’ll go with some good old classic Rock.  Maybe some Eagles or Kansas.

               

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

              Space.  Because, you know, it’s space.

               

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

              If I am drinking, it’ll be a captain and coke. Day to day though, I am fueled by Red Bulls and Gatorades

               

              Welcome to the Team Alex!

              Question from us at Acumen to You: “Are you using business email addresses or personal email addresses when marketing to potential customers?”.
              Question we get from our customers: “Should we be marketing to only business email addresses or can we also market to them using their personal email addresses?
              This is concern is understandable, especially in today’s climate when everyone is hyper concerned about doing the “right thing” or not “overstepping” in some way.

              Business vs Personal Email Breakdown

              The reality is that for many people there is a big overlap as to when they use personal or business email addresses.
              There is no rule here either, sometimes customers choose to use their personal email and other times business.
              Here is the good news… It Doesn’t Matter!
              There has been numerous research studies showing the prevalence of business vs personal email use and they all have similar insights.
              People use both when submitting their information online.
              Again that is great news.
              One study even showed that C-Level executives across all size companies provided a personal email address 50% of the time.
              The truth is that most people can’t even describe under what circumstances they might submit a lead generation form using a business or personal email address.

              So What Should You Do With Your Marketing Email?

              Send it to everyone!
              If a lead chooses to give you a personal email address then honor that decision by sending them your marketing material to the email address they gave you.
              We could honestly talk for days on this, but we wanted to share a quick answer to a burning questioning (or held belief) that many marketers have.

               

              If You Have Questions or Want to Talk more about Email Marketing, Call Us at 866-357-7422

              Or Submit your information below