To market effectively, you need to understand the differences between marketing towards businesses (B2B) and consumers (B2C). The way you market towards B2B and B2C companies are completely different when it comes to how you communicate, build relationships, and the buying cycles each one goes through. 

Keep reading to learn about four key differences between B2B and B2C Marketing.

  • Building Relationships 

Building personal, long-term relationships is crucial for any B2B business. B2B organizations usually handle larger accounts dealing with contracts, subscriptions, and licenses that can span up to hundreds and thousands of dollars. This is why B2B companies must place their clients at the center of every aspect of their business. As for B2C customer relationships, they can be loyal to certain brands, but overall consumers prioritize quality and value and want to satisfy their needs at the best price available. 

  • The Buying Cycle

The time it takes to sell to a business versus a consumer is completely different. For a business to make a purchase, it has to go through multiple decision-makers and/or stakeholders. It’s important to know that the person who might understand your product or service the best, might not be the one paying for it. Therefore B2B marketing requires a personalized marketing plan specific for each stakeholder or decision-maker. B2C marketing requires a lot less catering. Consumers are driven by emotion and rarely need to confer with others before making a decision, making the buying process much faster than B2B. 

  • Messaging 

In B2B marketing, your customers’ focus is primarily on ROI, expertise, and efficiency. This means when they are making a purchase, they need to know they are making a good investment that positively impacts their ROI. When creating messaging for B2B marketing, create content that showcases your business expertise and the ROI of your product. For B2C messaging, keep it short and simple. Make the benefits of your product known and emphasize the ease of purchase to get your product into their hands. Try to make your message relatable, make your consumers feel like they can relate to your brand on a personal level.

  • Advertising 

B2B and B2C marketing not only differ in their messaging, but also in the way those messages are delivered. In B2B marketing, you need to warm up your potential customers to your product or service. Give them the information they need to understand how your product will make their lives better. For B2C advertising, consumers already know what they are looking for. It’s your job to evoke emotion to drive them to make a purchase. 

 

Is your B2B company looking for marketing support? At Ajax Union, our team of marketing experts specializes in all B2B lead generation tactics, such as content marketing, account-based marketing, paid search, social media management, sales funnel creation, cold email campaigns, email marketing, and beyond. Learn more about what we do here.

 

To discuss your company’s lead generation strategy, contact us here.

 

There’s no question that the events of 2020 drastically changed the way most companies operate, especially when it comes to their marketing. Due to the events of 2020, some important changes happened, such as more than 80% of the sales cycle going digital (Forrester). 

Digital transformation is unavoidable, no matter the industry you are in, and 2020 was the nail in the coffin. So, with all the changes last year has brought, what are the trends B2B marketers should be aware of for success in 2021? 

Account-Based Marketing

Account-Based Marketing or ABM, has been the trend for marketers for the past few years. Because of the pandemic, companies have shifted their ABM strategies to focus more on growing business with existing accounts. This strategy is successful due to the close relationship between the marketing and sales teams. Collaboration between these two departments allows better use of the company’s marketing materials. 

Video Content 

The pandemic has fiercely increased the number of online videos people watch. Video marketing is especially powerful for B2B marketing, adding a visual aspect to your consumer’s buying journey. According to a study done by Wyzowl, 91% of marketers feel video is more important for brands in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

With the majority of our shopping done online, consumers are looking for ways to research the products they are interested in. This has been a struggle for most companies looking for a way to provide their customers with an interactive, immersive experience. 

Unsurprisingly, YouTube and Facebook are the most widely used platforms among video marketers — used by 89% and 70%, respectively (Hubspot).

Marketing Automation

Due to the large growth of digital marketing over the past few years, there’s no doubt that we will see marketing automation becoming an industry norm. The customer journey is overwhelmingly dynamic with the numerous touch points they have to go through, it’s important to have an attribution model that allows you to track these efforts. Over time, as a company grows, it’ll be nearly impossible to track these numbers manually, making Marketing Automations an absolute necessity. And according to a study done by SalesForce, 67% of marketing leaders already leverage marketing automation tools!

The Customer Experience 

Now with most B2B buyers stuck at home, brands have shifted their focus to creating more interactive experiences for their customers. The shift to remote work has caused nearly all brands to focus on creating content to engage their consumers digitally. Although this digital revolution was caused due to the events of the pandemic, the convenience and flexibility of the digital customer experience are here to stay, meaning if you haven’t shifted your strategy to a more customer-centric focus, you’re falling behind.

LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn will continue to be the #1 platform for B2B marketers to reach their audience online throughout 2021. In 2020, LinkedIn became an attractive marketing platform with over 300 million active users. Today there are 740 million members with over 55 million registered companies! The platform was built for business networking and is the place to be if you’re looking to generate B2B leads and increase your ROI. Need help getting started? Check out our LinkedIn Authority Blueprint! We’ve been helping clients for years bring their LinkedIn profiles to the next level. 

 

As a marketer, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and tactics in the industry to continue to generate leads and grow your business. If you’re struggling to pivot during these times, reach out to us! We would love to hear from you. 

Contact us here

 

The best way to get started with email marketing is to think of it as a nurturing tool. So many times B2B companies use email marketing solely for the purpose of sales and promotions – often in a non-targeted way. Although this sometimes can lead to a few sales here and there, it’s not the way to build lasting relationships with your customers or clients.

Using email marketing as a nurturing tool, connecting with your audience who reach out to you, providing them with value and solutions, is the best way to utilize B2B email marketing. One of the best ways to build relationships is through educational email newsletter.

Here are a few tips to make the most out of your B2B email marketing strategy:

Create Relevant Content
Remember, your newsletter is not for you, it’s for your consumers. Use your newsletter to create relevant consumer-focused content. Focus less on what your business offers and more on what issues and problems your consumers are experiencing. Identifying what your customers are interested in and creating content around that will provide them real value and show them that you CAN solve their problems.

Remember the 80-20 Rule
When creating your newsletter a good rule to follow is the 80-20 Rule. The 80-20 rule states that your newsletter should be 80% education and 20% promotional. The majority of your newsletter should include education content. Here are some ideas:

  • Case studies
  • “How-to’s”
  • Problems and solutions
  • Lists and tips
  • Industry news and rends

Also don’t forget to include a relevant call to action. When you are adding promotional content to your newsletter, it’s important to keep it relevant to the educational content for the best conversion opportunities.

Utilize an Email Management System
First, you shouldn’t be using your personal email for email broadcasting. An email marketing management system will help you completely automate building your lists, designing and developing your email content, and measuring the success of your campaigns. Email management systems like MailChimp and ConstantContact are great platforms for getting started. For more in depth tools that go beyond email marketing, check out Active Campaign and Hubspot.

Measure Your Success
Just like all other marketing activities, you need to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. When using an email marketing management system, you will get access to great reports that will allow you to track the success of your campaign. Your report will generate results such as

  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Forwards
  • Unsubscribes

These results are extremely valuable for identifying actionable strategies to improve your results. Changing up your newsletter and comparing your performance to past newsletter will give you great insight into what is working and what isn’t.

For more information on designing your email marketing campaign, visit https://www.ajaxunion.com/tag/mailchimp/.

Contact us here: https://www.ajaxunion.com/contact/ for any additional information. We would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.

As social media continues to grow, many consumers are spending more and more time online. This is especially true due to many being stuck at home.

During this time, brands are desperate to find different ways to reach and engage their audiences and a newly emerged social media platform has done just that.

Clubhouse is a new audio-only social media platform that allows you to connect with others and build relationships. This app mimics real-life interactions; there are no recordings of conversations allowed and you don’t have the option to save, meaning once a conversation is done, it’s done and gone forever. This creates a massive addiction for those who have major FOMO (fear of missing out).

So how does it work?

Clubhouse is also an invite-only platform. This creates a sense of exclusivity around the app and drives people to look for any possible way in. According to Business Insider, some are even starting to sell their accounts!

Users on the app can follow topics of interest and join themed clubs. They will then have access to different chat rooms focusing on that topic. All rooms are different, some can have a few people chatting, and others can contain thousands of people listening to top speakers like industry experts, politicians, and even celebrities.

Most people would rather sit in and listen to a conversation or presentation rather than being on video and typing at their keyboard. We can probably connect this to many experiencing burnout from countless Zoom work meetings. With Clubhouse you are given the opportunity to “raise your hand” if you have something to say. The speaker of the room can then give you speaking access. It’s almost like eavesdropping in on a fascinating, informative conversation, without the pressure of speaking or interacting.

How to Use Clubhouse for Your Marketing Efforts
So, how do you implement Clubhouse into your marketing efforts? Here are some of our recommendations:

  • Use Clubhouse to build a community of your ideal target audience.
  • Create rooms based on topics that surround your offerings.
  • Engage with users who have similar interests and that you know are actually interested in what you have to offer.
  • Have a new product or feature you want feedback on? Create a room and ask others what they think.
  • Struggling with something that you can’t figure out? Create a room around the topic and get a conversation going! You never know what kind of information is out there.

To learn more about Clubhouse check out our CEO, Joe Apfelbaum’s LinkedIn Article, How to Generate Revenue From Clubhouse.

Have further questions about Clubhouse and how you can utilize it for your business? Contact us! We would love to hear from you.

Today we’re going to talk about SEO or Search Engine Optimization. If you’re in marketing, I’m assuming you know what this is, and if you don’t, you might be hiding in the depths of Google Search’s second page.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving the quality and quantity of your website traffic. Better website traffic means more opportunities to convert prospects into clients. A lot of elements go into SEO, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with them all to gain a better understanding of the process.

To break it down, SEO is anything done to make your website more visible and easier to find on a search engine results page (SERP), such as Google and Bing.

Incorporating SEO in your strategy can help with your brand messaging, credibility, and website traffic. If you’re struggling to develop your strategy, Ajax Union can help! Learn more about our strategy workshop here.

So how do you get started?

Research Keywords
Keyword research is the process of researching search terms that people enter into search engines and including these terms strategically into your content. This means when someone searches for a specific keyword, your site will appear higher in rankings.

Performing keyword research provides you with valuable insight into what your target audience is searching for. When you know what people are searching for, you can focus your content around those specific topics.

Make Relevant Content
As stated above, once you know what your target audience is searching for, you will then be able to create relevant content on those topics. Your target audience is searching for something that they are interested in.

Optimize the Building Blocks of Your Site
Make sure the structure of your website and URLs are simple and keyword-ridden, and that the site itself loads quickly. Metadata like page tags, header tags, image texts, and blog structure all determine your site’s SEO level.

Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
It’s important to make sure all of your users have a positive experience when visiting your site. Today, the majority of internet browsing is done on a mobile device so making sure your site is mobile-friendly is crucial. Failing to have your site meet these standards will negatively impact your overall search engine rankings.

Post Content Regularly
Want to drive more traffic to your site? Give people searching online more reasons to visit! The more quality content your site creates, the more likely it is that your lead will go fishing for a good site match online and find you.

If you want to be visible online, you need to put your efforts into SEO. When embarking on your SEO journey, make sure you have your overall business goals laid out and use SEO to help you accomplish them. SEO is so much more than metrics, it can be the cherry on top to helping you see real success within your business.

Need help with your SEO strategy?
Learn how Ajax Union can help you craft an SEO strategy that generates leads and referrals for your business using marketing funnels, click here.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We would love to discuss your marketing needs. Contact us today!

If you’re a business or website owner, you’ve probably heard one of the many acronyms and terms used to describe online advertising. “PPC”, “SEM”, “paid search”, “display advertising” or simply “paid media” are among the most common terms to describe sponsored content delivered via search engines and website pages across the web. You’ve seen banner ads while reading the news. You’ve probably clicked on ads in search results at one point or another without even realizing what it was. Online advertising is such a big part of our day-to-day lives that we barely notice it.

So what does this mean for you as a business owner, looking to leverage your website as a lead generation tool? It means that you have to have a presence on these advertising networks equal to or better than your competitors. Now, I’ll often hear something along the lines of: “I don’t have the budget to match my large competitors, but I want my business to grow. What can I do?”

The answer is actually quite simple: You don’t have to waste money targeting everyone –  like many of your competitors likely are. The key to success is to target only the right prospects. This strategy is called Account-Based Marketing. Many channels are involved in account-based marketing online, and PPC is one of them. There are many ways to leverage PPC in an account-based marketing strategy. Here are some tricks of the trade!

  1. Remarketing to your email list

 

Google Adwords allows advertisers to import email lists of existing subscribers to create what advertisers call “remarketing” campaigns. These campaigns are powerful because they allow you to choose at a granular level who will see your ads. Once a user is in a remarketing list, you can craft unique messaging, specific to that segment, highlighting a deal or promotion to drive them further down the funnel.

 

2. Understanding your current customers

Ok, so this one isn’t “ABM” per say, but understanding your current customers’ day-to-day pains and the solutions, or “gains” your business provides them is a crucial part of crafting messaging to new prospects. Understanding your current customers in order to choose keywords that will be relevant to your list of prospects is the key to success. Ask your current customers if you can interview them.

Want to bring more prospects into your funnel but don’t know exactly who they are? Try some of these techniques to build your prospect list while maintaining the core characteristics of your best converting customers:
3. Lookalike audiences on Facebook

 

Lookalike audiences are exactly what they sound like; audiences that “look-alike” or are similar to other audiences you currently have in your account. Say you have an audience that consistently performs well for your Facebook ads. Using this list, we can create a lookalike audience and Facebook will automatically find users that mirror the list’s demographic, psychographic, and purchasing characteristics. No more guessing which additional segments to target, Facebook rounds up a list of prospects for you!

 

4. Similar audience lists on Adwords

 

Similar audience lists are another powerful ad hack that many search engine marketers have in their toolkit. Similar to Lookalike audiences, the lists are built by Google based on the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your original list.  These lists can be applied to campaigns across the Google Display Network, Search Network, and even Google Shopping (the side bar featuring products that shows up when you search a purchasable product).

 

5. You’ve heard it a million times… Content is King

 

Many times marketers use this phrase to describe the importance of incorporating well-written blogs and social media posts into your marketing mix, but this idiom also applies to front-end products and sales collateral. What type of valuable content can your business leverage as a lead magnet? You likely already have content that you could easily re-purpose as a gated resource to get users in your funnel. Gated content means an email address needs to be entered to access the information.

 

Once you have this resource, use CTAs (strong Call-To-Action words, like Shop Now or Download The Guide)  and ad copy to promote it via paid channels. This increases CTR (the Click-Through-Rate, or how many people click your ad), traffic, and you guessed it – LEADS. Try crafting this collateral in such a way that you’ll weed out unqualified leads and only speak directly to your ideal prospect list.

Paid digital channels can produce quicker results than most online marketing channels. For this reason, many focus solely on PPC and forget that it is just one part of the marketing machine (albeit, a very crucial part). It’s important to keep in mind how your PPC initiatives play into the BIG picture and affect/support your other marketing tactics. Using paid channels to target hyper-niche segments of pre-qualified prospects is the best way to get the most out of your media budget.

 

Good luck!

 

SEO Tips

Each day competition is vying for all of the same eyeballs as you, and each day every one of those competitors is using every trick in the book to win. From competitive PPC to aggressive backlink building, businesses with money to spend are doing everything they can to drown out your website. Your best bet to outmaneuver them, without going into debt, is assuring your site is optimized and ready to be properly indexed.

In the past, SEO marketing firms could strategically horseshoe some targeted keywords into the copy on your site and get decent results. Some consistent but not particularly valuable blog content could also go a long way. These days search engines know their way around these tricks and will reward sites for the value of their content, a solid user experience, and a variety of other subtle and not so subtle “ranking factors.”

While the tricks that were once used can no longer help you, there are some simple best practices you could enact today to guarantee your site is getting the best organic rankings possible. Let’s check out nine ways you can improve your site immediately:

  1. Freshen Up Your Content
    Users cannot stand out of date content and neither can search engines. By updating your content regularly you can keep users engaged and attract the search engine crawling spiders to index your site more regularly. Add content about current deals, seasonal hours, and new products to keep things up to date!
  2. Category Specific RSS Feeds
    By allowing users to subscribe to category specific RSS feeds you encourage them to visit the site only when content of some intrinsic value to their interests comes up. As a result they will spend more time on the site and offer the kind of valuable traffic that search engines love to see. WordPress users can find an easy to install category specific RSS feed plugin.
  3. Proper Anchor Text
    Appropriate anchor text for links is a great way to let Google and other search engines know what you are talking about. When possible avoid posting links using text like “here” or “click now” and instead incorporate the kinds of descriptive text that lets users know exactly what they are clicking into.
  4. Subdirectories > Subdomains
    Whenever possible it is best to keep your content on your site’s primary subdomain. While many have experimented with adding new subdomains, and some have even eked out minor victories in doing so, content tends to have the most value to a site when it is added in subdirectories on the same URL.
  5. Optimize Your Images
    Images make a site pop visually for users but to search engine crawlers they are unreadable data without proper tagging and descriptions. That means every untagged photo on your site, as well as any video, is a missed opportunity. In order to make sure each image is properly indexed, add keywords, alt text, and detailed descriptions that explain exactly what the image is showing and how it might be valuable to a user.
  6. Keep Links Search Engine Friendly
    Permalinks on your site should avoid characters like &, !, @, *, etc. These can be helpful shorthand in communicating between people but to search engines are tiny red flags that suggest spam.
  7. Hyphens In URLs
    Underscores (_) should not be anywhere near your website’s URLs. Instead break words up with hyphens(-) allowing them to be more readable to users and more inviting to search engine crawlers. Keep those URLs as descriptive and brief as possible for maximum effectiveness.
  8. Smarter Internal Linking
    Internal linking can be helpful and can invite users to explore more of your website. When appropriate, link to relevant items inside of your site. If, for example, while writing a page about your carpet cleaning services you mention your company’s carpet restoration services it is helpful to link to a page detailing those offerings. Of course the most important thing is that all internal links are relevant and helpful to consumers.
  9. Using Nofollow Tag
    Not all of your website’s pages are intrinsically valuable to users. A “thank you” page on a sales site for example offers no true help to your site’s SEO and in some cases can drag things down by seeming superfluous to search engines. Tagging these pages with rel=”nofollow” will inform search engines to ignore these internal pages when crawling your site and considering your page ranks.

For small businesses trying to get a leg up without putting too much money into their site, the methods mentioned above are a great way to begin better SEO tactics.

SEO is and always will be a moving target. While following all of the above tips and tricks can make a huge impact on your site today, each could be called into question or further refined down the line. Your best defense is getting regular site audits from accredited web marketers with a sturdy understanding of the latest developments in SEO best practices.

Interested in auditing your site’s search engine friendliness or your marketing on the Internet in general, our team of marketing experts would love to help! Give us a call or send us a message today!

No product or service is ubiquitous; consumers are unique and not all are going to coincide with what your company is offering. With that in mind, it’s important to stress your company’s individuality and seek out the “right” type of client or customer.You know they’re out there, but how do you find them? And more importantly, how do they find you?

 

Social Media

Now that you’ve established who that perfect customer is, find out where they spend their time. Social Media has an outlet for just about everyone, so find out which channel your target market prefers. Facebook ranks as the world’s most popular social media channel (no surprises there) accounting for 71% of all internet users. It’s a great starting point — and one which allows you to target users by what their other interests are, or even to target friends of existing fans. Pinterest is preferred by women ages 18 to 49, and Instagram is popular with younger internet users, ages 18 to 29, and minorities. On all networks, interacting with brands, personalities, and groups your ideal customer is also likely to be interested in is a great way to improve reach.

 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

The first step in effective SEM is picking a set of keywords your customers will actually use. This means using language customers may type in looking for specific products — their jargon, not yours. SEM can also can target geographically, which is especially helpful for businesses targeting locally, such as restaurants, cleaning services, medical practices, and city or region specific non-profits.

 

Email Marketing

Use your email to reinforce brand image and clarify product offers. To make sure your email list is focussed and targeted, provide a clear unsubscribe option — not just out of legal obligation, but to make sure anyone who accidently submitted a form or joined a list can get off you list of potential customers. Better yet, provide an option for less frequent emails to keep anyone who is interested, but doesn’t want too many updates.

 

Content Marketing

Targeted content designed to attract your ideal customers is key. For example, for apparel or accessories retailers, a well-edited blog focussing on styles and trends on brand can be a great asset. If you’re Hot Topic, don’t write about pastels for spring–stick to content that truly reflects your brand. Create articles, infographics, videos and slide shares your ideal customer would want to see, even if they aren’t completely about your product. For example, a company that sells pet food can help find customers by creating pieces about pet grooming, training, and animal rescue to attract animal lovers and likely pet owners.

 

Digital PR

Online Press Releases are a great way to address consumer questions or concerns directly, and help attract consumers looking for specific information. For instance, if your brand has launched a line of sweatshop-free clothing, highlight your efforts in a press release to garner the attention of consumers looking for fair labor items.

 

SEO

As with SEM, productive, effective Search Engine Optimization begins with a set of keywords carefully chosen to fit the searches of your targeted audience. Try using Google Trends to key in on what words or phrases people are actually looking for. Additionally, make sure to audit and update your SEO frequently with new product offerings.

 

Inbound marketing

If you are a service provider, a brief form fill can help visitors self identify in ways which clarify whether they are a good fit. For example, if you service clients primarily on the east coast, a form fill asking what region the person is writing from can help you understand immediately who may be eligible for referral to another service.

 

When a potential customer for a service calls in, it’s also imperative to appropriately qualify them and make sure you are a good fit for each other. Questions about needs, budget, and timeframe will help you both determine when it’s a good fit.

 

Customer Service

As your business grows, make sure to check in with customers to see how they are feeling about your service or products. If you are are a service provider and a customer’s needs are no longer a perfect fit for your model, offer referrals or other options. Evaluate your business model to make sure it still is a fit for the kind of customers you want to service. A good fit means a win-win.

 

Need help targeting your ideal customer online? Contact an Ajax Union representative today!