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* Yes, this is the correct way to use this word in this sentence, you just think it’s not. Word Nerd that I am, I looked it up.
Here’s a selection of the latest editions of the newsletter. (They look better in your inbox, trust me.)
Lately, I’ve been diving into the intersection of sales & marketing as I work on a few client projects. Specifically, how marketing can help sales (or “sales enablement,” as the in-crowd calls it.)
As I’m all for more collaboration, I like the idea of working with sales to develop content and assets they can use to close more sales. They’re the experts at what they do, and I’m the expert wordsmith, right? (haha)
Beyond that, I was interested in finding out how marketing can support sales at B2B companies…
I recently wanted to check if an online tool I used to use had added a feature I’d been looking for. So I hopped on their website and searched. And got no where.
Then, a chatbot window popped up asking if it could help. My experience with them in the past hasn’t been that great, but I know the tech has evolved a lot, and brands are getting better at how they use them, so I gave it a shot. And I was pleasantly surprised!
This chatbot was helpful, gave me the answer I was looking for, and even sent me a link to the company’s online roadmap so I could keep tabs on things myself.
Which got me thinking about chatbots and B2B tech brands…
Do you use chatbots? How effective are they?
Chatbots take some work to “do” properly. It’s easy to just load up the chatbot with your customer support scripts and marketing content and hope 🤞 your software can pull up the right info to people’s questions.
To be truly effective, your chatbot has to sound more human. Otherwise, you might as well just copy + paste it on an FAQ page of your website…
Last week I wanted to try out a new website software app. I signed up, entered my credit card info, and started the free trial. (I also set a calendar reminder to cancel before I get charged for that first month.)
But the experience got me thinking about the gate question. That is, should you, a B2B tech company, gate your content?
Sure, you’re using your best stuff to attract qualified leads, but not all content is gate-worthy, right? I mean, it’s one thing to give up my contact info for a free trial, but to get a case study?…
Welcome to the latest edition of the *irregular newsletter.
I wanted to thank you for letting me into your inbox every month. With most of us working remotely now, email has taken on a bigger role in our work communications, so I appreciate that you’ve stuck with me.
You’re probably using email more in your tech marketing campaigns too. From the initial emails you send to “I’m just looking” prospects to full onboarding email series that help new customers get prepared for their implementation, emails can accomplish a lot for your tech business.
How can email marketing help your B2B tech business?
- You can find out more about your customers by asking questions and sending out surveys.
- You can personalize marketing content based on your customer needs and answers.
- You shorten the sales cycle because you reduce the need for follow-up meetings.
- You inspire leads to think about topics and questions that they might not have thought of before, making future discussions more meaningful.
- You reduce onboarding timelines as new customers are better prepared to use your products.
- You make each customer touchpoint more meaningful because customers are able to see past the features of your products and understand the benefits they offer them more easily.
- You increase trust between you and customers since they see how helpful you are and that you care about their success.
I recently signed up with Nozbe, the productivity application. Their initial series of emails have been very helpful, filled with embedded videos that explain how to use the app, links to popular help topics that most users read, and a reminder of how to contact them if I have any other questions at the bottom of each email.
Here are a few tips you can use to up your email marketing game.
1️⃣ Segment your emails. Be sure to send the right messages to the right people at the right time.
2️⃣ Publish more information and dial back on the sales messages. People and companies today are doing a lot more reading and listening today, and they’re paying closer attention to what you say and how you say it.
3️⃣ Infuse your emails with empathy and humanity. You sell to companies, but speak to the people who work there. You’ll strengthen your relationships with people this way.
4️⃣ Write your emails to be shared. 72% of B2B buyers are willing to share useful content via email. Your emails are not static things that end up in a single inbox. There’s a good chance they’ll make their way across the organization.
5️⃣ Review your email campaigns regularly to ensure they’re still relevant and engage people the way you intended.
Thanks for reading.
Stay safe. Wear a mask. Be well.
A tech marketer reached out to me a few weeks ago looking for some help on a client project. (It was a marketing agency, one of the three main types of clients I serve.)
In our discussion, she commented how her clients struggle to gather their information, thoughts, and ideas to craft their marketing content. Information is spread everywhere, with many different people, so they take a long time to get it together.
And they’re not the only ones.
FINITE, global B2B technology marketing community, did a survey recently and found that 35% of B2B marketers found it a challenge to produce enough content.
(h/t to digital marketing agency 93x, sponsor of the study and creators of the amazing infographic.)
It also explains why only 26% of B2B marketers called their campaigns “successful” this year, according to Content Marketing Institute. You struggle to produce content in-house, but even when you outsource to someone like me, nearly 70% of you can’t find writing partners with adequate topic expertise for your B2B tech market.
So, what’s a busy B2B tech marketer to do?
One thing to try is to get really focused on what you want to achieve with your content marketing. Look at your business goals and see how you can support your tech business to achieve them.
Here’s a quick 3-step plan you can use to do that:
- What content topics can you cover next that’ll help your customers right now? How about topics that’ll help them in the long-term?
- What’s the best content asset to create for this? Is it a checklist or infographic? Perhaps a short eBook or blog post?
- What resources do you already have that can create this content for you? A developer that’s a decent writer or a freelance copywriter you’ve used in the past?
Your next piece of valuable and engaging content doesn’t have to break the bank or take a long time to produce. Use these three steps to identify one idea that you can produce in the next 30 days. Then, do it again next month. And the one after that.
Pretty soon, you’ll have a small library of content you can continue to use. Repurpose each one into another 2 or 3 pieces that your readers, prospects, and customers will find useful and shareable.
Have any other content production obstacles you’d like help with? Hit REPLY and let me know. I see every one of your emails and would love to give you some suggestions or maybe even help out myself. You won’t know till you ask.
Thanks for reading.
Stay safe. Wear a mask. Be well.
A quick show of hands: how many of you are surprised to see that it’s September right now? ✋ I know I am.
That means we’re speeding toward Q4 and coming up on the end of the year too. While I’m not in full-on reflection mode yet, I have been thinking about how life has changed for everyone in the last 6 months.
If you’re like me, you probably already spend a lot of time online for work. However, I’ll bet you’re using more online tools and apps than you were before. I think I’ve tried every single video conferencing tool out there, discovered some new Slack hotkey combinations, and even burned out my favorite keyboard. (That last one’s probably because I spend all my time writing, but whatever.)
Our online habits have certainly changed since the start of the pandemic. Google discovered this in a recent survey of 600+ B2B buyers and marketers. As marketers switch more of their marketing to digital campaigns, 77% of them are getting higher ROI from it than before. Which makes sense, since nearly 60% of buyers are considering switching providers or bringing a new one onboard.
It’s essential for B2B marketers to keep up with their online buyers right now. People are looking for information about you and your products, so you’ve got to keep your website and other online channels full of useful information.
Optimizing your online marketing spend is as easy as repurposing or repackaging existing marketing content. It’s one of the secrets to good content marketing.
You take a single piece of content and turn it into something else. – or three something elses.
- For example, you could take:
A webinar and turn it into a 3-post blog series and an infographic.
A white paper and turn it into a webinar and downloadable checklist.
A blog post and create a downloadable checklist and several social media messages.
Not only will you save on time and effort to create the new content, you’ll also reach new audiences who might’ve missed it the first time, reinforces your helpful message to your audience, and organically increases your search results.
As September rolls on and we approach Q4, ask yourself these three questions:
Which part of my audience could use more content? Newbies? Existing customers?
What is my best content and how could I repurpose it? A certain blog post or webinar?
What do my customers need help with right now? Do you have any content gaps you could fill with repurposed content?
Send me a quick email or tweet to let me know what you’re going to do.
I’d love to hear your ideas.
Thanks for reading.
Stay safe. Wear a mask. Be well.