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B2B Content Marketing

Let’s get right to it on this one!


The Importance of Core Values to a Company

We’ve all heard of core values and how they help to shape a company.  But why are they important and what are they really meant to do?

Core values are meant to help align an organization as a whole and to help everyone achieve its mission.  When values are not established or unknown to the employees of the organization or company, it’s easy to start working towards different goals, have different intentions and thus produce different outcomes.

Core values should help an organization to hire, fire and set the tone for the company culture.  Have you ever heard of the phrase, “your vibe attracts your tribe”? This phrase speaks to having solid core values and making them known not only to your employees but to your customers, and to the public.  The more you practice your core values the more like-minded individuals you will attract whether that be the next rockstar employee or the next loyal client/customer.


Common Core Values found in Companies Across the United States

Check out some of the most common core values among US companies below.

  • Integrity
  • Boldness
  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Accountability

What are your thoughts on this?

What are some of the core values of your company? What are your personal core values?


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    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: https://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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      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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        I’m going to keep this blog post pretty short so that I can stress how simple and easy this is for you to get found in the search engines more often by your customers.

        Google My Business which is the hub for companies to integrate and control their presence within the Googlesphere, Google KnowledgeGraph, Search Engines, Local Search, etc. (whatever you want to call it).

        If you’ve ever searched for a service, product or company and Google Maps listings came up and/or information on the right hand side of your search results then you’ve seen the results of a Google My Business Listing.  Creating this, Optimizing it and Verifying the listing will get your more visibility and more business.


        Google My Business Listings for the Print Industry

        Without going into a ton of detail here there are just a few steps to getting your company found more often in the search engines, more phone calls, website visits, leads and revenue using the Google My Business tool.

        • Search for your company in Google / Google Maps
        • Claim Your Listing / Verify Your Listing
        • Optimize Your Listing


        Why It’s So Important to Create, Verify and Optimize Your Listing

        The internet looks to a few providers of data as the authority and Google is one of them.

        So ensuring your information is accurate with the King of the Internet if extremely important.

        People, Other Listing Services, etc. will use this data to connect with you which will get your more business and visibility.


        The other Massive benefit is the the majority of print industry related search terms are localized.  This means that nearly every product or service search term you want to be found for is going to show local results including Google Maps listings.

        These same maps listings will allow the user to click to…

        • Visit your website
        • Call your company
        • Get directions to your physical location


        More visibility, More Leads, More Sales!


        You can learn more about doing this all here  https://www.google.com/business/


        In closing we actually do this creation, optimization and verification for companies in the print industry, so if you decide to not try and do this yourself then reach out because we are REALLY GOOD at it and can make sure you get a High ROI from your listing.


        Call Us at 314-736-4434

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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?


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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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                  The Everchanging LinkedIn Campaign Manager

                  Another day, another change to the ad creation interface. It seems like everytime it’s time to go and create a new campaign, setting up the ad has a different user experience.

                  In February, LinkedIn launched the new objective-based campaign experience. Like the name, this new experience is focused on the objective of the campaign first. To put it simply, you as the marketer decide what the focus of the campaign is going to be whether it’s website visits or engagement, then the rest of the campaign creation matches that objective.


                  While most of the format has the same options and functionality, it’s still something to get used to.


                  What’s New in the LinkedIn Campaign Manager

                  In the objective-based experience, there are a number of new items to be aware of.

                  • The objective is at the top of the page and must be selected before moving forward with any other part of the campaign.
                  • The audience selection and targeting criteria comes next and is broken out by language, location, audience attributes (company, demographics, education, job experience, interests), then matched audiences (website audiences and list uploads). Each of criteria has deeper criteria listed within. Like the old experience, depending on the criteria you select, other criteria won’t be available.
                  • The budget, bid type and conversion tracking also must be complete before setting up the ad creative.


                  <h2>Benefits of the New Format</h2>

                  The number one benefit to this new experience is that it makes the campaign creation simpler by streamlining it to fit what the objective is. It also offers automated bidding for that objective as well.

                  Even though it’s another new experience, there are definitely huge benefits to the new experience.


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