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Author: John Bracamontes

Deciding what project gets done first can be tough at times right? Sometimes you just don’t know exactly how to pick what will take priority over the other since they are at the same level. In the case of this, there is a strategy that I employ to make sure that I am making the right choice, even though it may push another project back by a week. Pushing a project back by a week is not always the worst, especially if you’re like me and set an internal deadline a week or two prior to when the client wants it to be completed.

 

Determining What Makes the Cut

It is kind of like a pro’s and con’s list. As the account manager you have to break down each project to determine the amount of work that will have to go into it, the level of expectation each client has, and the deadline that the client may or may have not stated to you at the start. Every agency has a standard for projects. Here are some important factors to take into account. You have to break down each project and understand what it all includes.

  • Level of work the project includes. Is it all hands on deck or maybe one or two?
  • Does this require the assistance of a designer? Because designing can take time.
  • Will this project overload one or more team-member?

 

Communicating the Change

While everyone on your team was aware of the projects at hand, they may have been working on the parts that they knew they were going to have to take ownership. Send out a memo to the team about what is getting moved around and what the expected timeline is for each project. Schedule a meeting to discuss it and get everyone’s opinion on it, especially if this project may overload one individual but not the rest. When shifting projects it is not just about the client, but about your team and their ability to efficiently and correctly get the project done without cutting corners. Projects sometimes come in waves, and sometimes one at a time.

Knowing your team and what they can handle makes project management manageable.

 

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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.

 

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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?

 

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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!!!

 

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The Project Shuffle – When One Client Takes Priority Over Another

The project shuffle – gets tedious and exhausting, doesn’t it? However, it happens more often than not when you work in the constantly changing digital marketing landscape. This is where your project management skills are put to the test. It is where you learn the quirks of the client and how to move the processes along with each task to meet the deadlines.

 

How Do You Prioritize with Project Management?

Determining priorities with client projects means that you have to sit down and take a look at the bigger picture. It is not the simple shuffle of tasks that will make things run smoother, its the negotiation in your mind that tells you okay this makes sense and it will not interfere with the workflow. That it will benefit the team.

  • Read the client contracts
  • Learn your client’s quirks and what they pay the most attention to.
  • Sit down with Team Members to discuss tasks at hand.

 

Agreeing On What Needs to Be Reprioritized

Project management with multiple clients is not just about you and the client. The bigger picture is to make sure that projects are getting done correctly and efficiently without overloading team members with tasks for that project on top of other client projects. When it comes down to making these changes, an internal meeting with all team members involved is important. Sit down, write out what is happening on a whiteboard, and reach a consensus as to what can be put on hold and pushed back. More often than not reprioritizing can be difficult if one team member is responsible for major portions of work and already has a lot on their plate. Talk with them and discuss what can be done to alleviate the stress and make it possible to reprioritize projects.

 

Talking it out with all team members involved is more important than just deciding on your own as the Project Manager.

 

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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: https://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.

 

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Have you ever asked the question, “How can I spend less on ads, but still get more leads”?

We assume the answer is YES and it’s likely you’ve asked that numerous times and heard the answer “Of Course I / We Can”, but the results NEVER came.

This is something that we hear over and over again from print companies (and those in the print industry).

 

The problem is that today everyone thinks they are a marketer.

And in theory we are all marketers, but the difference between those who are good and those who can’t deliver results are the marketers that Don’t Know How to Execute.

So we’ve provided the two things you need to do so that you can spend less on ads but still generate high quality leads.  Target a specific customer and create a campaign specifically for them.

 

*Because we DO Know How to Execute!

 

Target A Specific Customer

This sounds simple and it’s likely you’re thinking “duh”, but the fact is the majority of print companies don’t do this often.

We are not advocating abandoning everything else you’re doing and we aren’t saying tailor your business to only focus on a single customer segment, but what we ARE saying is start running a campaign that is targeting one specific customer segment to better connect and convert new business.

 

Here are some ways to best identify a customer segment you can target

  • Is there an industry that you have a lot of example work for? This is helpful in legitimizing your expertise and provides a lot of good content for case studies.
  • Is there an industry you want to do more business in? This is an easy way to break in.
  • Is there something you do that is unique for a specific industry which provides a significant differentiator between you and a competitor? This will help close deals quickly!

 

Whatever industry you choose to go after you’ll need to target them using social media.

This is the most accurate and cost effective way of targeting buyers in specific industries.

LinkedIn is where most of the print companies are seeing success today.

 

So let’s talk about campaigns.

 

Create a Campaign for Your Target Customer

This is the easiest part.  There are just a few things to create so that you have a clear campaign for your target customer that will get the to convert as high quality low cost leads.

Here are the things you’ll need to create

  1. Landing Page with a form
  2. PDF to download
  3. Ad(s)

 

Start by creating the landing page.

This will include copy that describes an issue that customer segment is facing, a description of what a positive outcome looks like for that customer once their issue is solved and a call to action asking them to download the PDF that shows how they can get to that outcome.

 

Next develop the PDF they will download.

This can be a case study, a whitepaper, a catalog, a step by step tutorial, etc.

It must be something interesting to this specific customer segment.

 

Last create an Ad or Ads.

In our experience and research targeting a specific customer segment is most easily deployed on LinkedIn.  So the Ad you will be creating is a sponsored post.

This means you will create a post for your LinkedIn company page and then put ad spend against it to expose it to your target customer.

We typically start with 1 ad and as volume picks up or the ad begins to not produce as much try running another version.

 

The LinkedIn Ads Manager

You will need to have a LinkedIn company page.

You’ll need to create a LinkedIn Ads Account as well to run these ads.

But it produces so well.

Targeting criteria on this platform includes job titles, years of experience, industry, specific companies and more.

 

By doing this you’ll be focusing your ad spend to a finite audience with a message that speaks directly to them, giving that customer segment a deliverable custom tailored to their needs, which will Convert Like Wildfire!

 

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Is it Actually TRUE that Investors don’t spend time online?

 

The short answer is NO it’s not True.

Investors are online just like the rest of us.

And how could they not be?  Just like you they need to stay on top of industry news, finance news and market forecasts.  Where is the best place to get this info…? ONLINE!

Phones, computers / laptops, tablets, social media, etc.  They are there.

 

But the bigger question is what are they doing online and how can you as an investment firm effectively get in front of new investors.

 

Today we’re going to give you one way that works all the time / every time… Promote Your Offering to Generate New Investor Leads.

 

Promote Your Offer to Get New Investor Leads

You want to make sure you get in front of qualified investors so you aren’t wasting time & money, and you also want to ensure that what you have to say is enticing enough to make those qualified investors, High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), UHNWI, Family Offices, HNW CPA Firms, etc. engage with your offering.

 

To make this happen there are 5 things you MUST do

  • Have a good looking and easy to understand Pitchbook or Prospectus as a PDF
  • Create a landing page on your website that promotes the offering and has a form to download the pitchbook / prospectus (ask for contact info & qualifying details)
  • Create Ad Campaigns that target…
    • High Earning Job Titles, Individual CPA Firms, Family Office employees, etc. in your target market on LinkedIn
    • Target investor publications on the Google Ad Network
    • Retarget visitors of your site on Facebook and the Google Ad Network
  • Use an Automation solution such as HubSpot to track investor engagement

 

As this runs you’ll get new investor leads and identify who’s interested in your offering from existing leads by observing their behavior in the Automation / CRM solution.  Who downloaded, who’s visited your site, who’s opened additional emails, etc.

These are your hottest investor prospects for the deal and when you see them engaging it’s time to prioritize your outreach to those investors.

 

If you want to read more on how we approach marketing for Private Equity Firms check this page out  https://acumenstudio.com/private-equity-marketing/

 

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Project management tools come and go. There are those that work for a while and then they lose their value as your workload increases and the functionality does not meet your needs. This is why I keep my project management starting at a basic old school technique of my trusty notebook and pen while using the Wrike project management platform.

 

As 2019 rolled around we gained a handful of new clients and that meant my workload doubled within a short amount of time. In order to keep up with the fast pace of an increasing workload, I continued using my notebook and list system to keep track and prioritize items that I had to check and follow-up on in Wrike.

 

The 6 steps I take every morning to manage daily tasks

  1. Make coffee (the most important step)
  2. Sit-down and go through emails
  3. Make my to-do list
  4. Discuss priority items with specific team members
  5. Go through current Wrike tasks for clients and check-in
  6. Create new tasks in Wrike and assign them out.

 

Repeat this step as needed and daily. It helps me keep track of progress and what is moving forward or on hold. Missing those important emails in the sea of subscriptions and newsletters will push you back in progress on projects. Not everyone works in the same time zones, some people get started on work super early, and some work late into the night.

 

It is also important to understand that when managing multiple clients with various projects, that not everything can be done at once and that prioritizing is important. Each project has its differences, but the best thing to do is to sit down, organize, and get things together before seizing the day. Think strategically about how the workflow will play out for not just you, but your team as a whole.

 

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