Using Twitter for B2B Marketing

use twitter more effectivelyTwitter is the most user friendly of the social media sites, which explains why it is usually the first site B2B companies integrate into their digital marketing campaigns. Twitter is kind of like Facebook, except there are only status updates, which Twitter calls ‘tweets’. Tweets can be no longer than 140 characters in length and can include messages, quotes, links to other sites, etc. All you need to do to use Twitter is sign up and then start posting tweets. Simple as pie (to get started).

Here are 9 tips for how to use Twitter for B2B marketing:

• Get People to Follow You. Pretty much the only way people will see your tweets is if they are following you; otherwise, you are basically shooting messages off to no one. You can invite people to follow you by including links to your Twitter account on your website, Facebook page and any other media platforms you use.
• Tweet. All the time. Posting tweets should be something you do constantly, as the people on Twitter crave constant, new information. This means that posting once or twice a month will get you nowhere on Twitter. General Electric has posted close to 60,000 tweets and is now at a rate of about 25 tweets per hour. While this may be logistically impossible for your business, it highlights the importance of tweeting, all the time.
• Be relevant. When it comes to the actual content of your tweets, you have a lot of freedom. The only thing you have to do is be interesting and relevant to the people who follow you. Whether you tweet about an industry trend or a problem you helped solve for one of your clients, your tweets should always stay on topic to things your followers are interested in.
• Keep it Short. Because you have a limit of 140 characters per tweet, the rules of grammar are allowed to temporarily go out the window. On Twitter, it is normal and acceptable to use contractions, abbreviations and acronyms and also to forgo punctuation entirely.
• Separate Longer Posts. Tweets work best when they are focused on a single though or idea. If you have an idea that takes longer to explain or has multiple parts, break it up into chunks centered around each point.
• Link to Additional Information. Sometimes, you want to convey a message that is too complex to fit Twitter’s character limit. If this happens, you can instead post a blurb or summary of your message, and add a link to the full story. Websites like will shorten long URLs into shorter ones to give you additional character room in tweets.
• Tweet Your Other Media. You can also use your tweets to promote your other digital marketing content. Every time you post on Facebook, you should tweet about it and include a link to the Facebook post. The same thing goes every time you have a new blog post. To make this process faster, there are apps you can download, like Tweetcaster or Tweetdeck, that will simultaneously post the same message to all of your social media sites.
• Use #Hashtags. Whenever you add a pound sign in front of a word or phrase, you have what Twitter calls a hashtag. Hashtags function on Twitter like a sort of keyword. Every time a hashtag appears, you can click on it, and it will take you to a list of tweets that contain the same hashtag. Hashtags are therefore a great way to find new followers who are interested in the same keywords you are.
• Monitor Your Tweets. On Twitter, users have the option of ‘favoriting’ or responding to your tweets. If you are tweeting effectively, you will probably have customers or potential clients using these options to engage with you. This means you cannot create a Twitter account and simply leave it there.

We hope this blog has been helpful in learning how to use Twitter for B2B marketing. If you would like more information, please contact us.

More Tips for Effective Online Sales Videos

abstract finger click video signIn a previous blog, we discussed the three most common types of videos used in B2B sales.  This is the second of a two part blog series where we will build on that discussion by offering additional tips for creating b to b product introduction videos.

  • Don’t go for the hard sell.  Research has shown that the hard sell does not work very well online.  Online sales content is usually most effective in the education and retention phases, which means your videos should (usually) have these goals in mind.  Creating an instructional or educational type video that details how your product or service is used will be much more effective than simply bombarding your viewer with your sales pitch.
  • Keep Things New and Fresh. As we’ve stated before, there are now over 24 hours of new video content uploaded to YouTube every minute.  This means that the video you uploaded last week is already old news.  Your company’s YouTube channel will quickly become stagnant if it is not constantly producing new content.  Even if you have to simply say the same message in a different way, you should constantly be updating and revitalizing your video content.
  • Be Focused. By keeping your videos focused on single message, you avoid overwhelming your viewer with your entire product line or the complexities of one of one of your service options. The easiest way to stay focused is to follow this guideline: For each product or service, you should have a separate video.
  • Simple is Best. One of the misconceptions about producing videos for online B2B sales is that they are extremely difficult and costly to make.  This does not have to be the case.  Videos for B2B sales should adhere to the old adage, “less is more.”  You do not need to spend tons of money on special effects; actually, too many things going on can leave your video looking overproduced.  Most YouTube viewers know they are going to get a lower-cost production value online, and are willing to accept this if your content is interesting enough.
  • Give Viewers Your URL. The goal of creating these online videos is to get potential customers to then go to your website.  They are much more likely do this if you have already told them how to get there.  Place the URL for your website either as a slide at the end of your video or somewhere in the text description that accompanies it; although it preferable to do both. The key here is making sure the URL is legible and highly visible.

8 Tips for Effective Online Videos

abstract finger click video signIn a previous blog, we discussed the three most common types of videos used in B2B sales and marketing.  This is the first of a two part blog series where we will build on that discussion by offering additional tips for creating the best b to b product introduction videos possible.

  • Appear professional. If you are attempting to produce video content to achieve certain business objectives, your video should aesthetically reflect that intention.  You want to appear as if you are an expert within your industry, and usually, expertise entails professionalism.  Make sure everyone who appears in the video is dressed nicely and well lit.  Make sure everyone’s microphone is functioning properly.  The one exception to appearing ‘business-professional’ is in the case that you are trying to reach a younger or more ‘hip’ demographic.  In that instance, it may make more sense to wear blue jeans and talk casually on a sofa.  The key here is knowing who you want to talk to and how they want to be talked to.
  • Film in HD.  Nearly everything filmed today in shot in high definition, which means that your viewers will expect the same from you.  Today, most HD cameras are fairly low-cost an easy to use.
  • Use PowerPoint or a Slideshow. Not all videos require live action film.  If your video is informative or educational in nature, it may make more sense to display a series of slides or a PowerPoint presentation and record your voice over it with some background music.
  • Keep it Short.  The average time spent on a webpage before leaving is now under one minute.  This means that attention span is on the decline and you only have a few precious moments to capture your viewers’ interest.  So, although the time limit on YouTube is 15 minutes, you probably do not want to make videos this long. B2B sales videos over 3 minutes in length do not usually end up with a lot of views, you should therefore aim for around the two-minute mark.
  • Highlight Contrast. Creating visual contrast can be highly effective for sales videos.  If you are dressed in black, stand in front of a white background, and visa versa.  Brightly colored backgrounds (think red or magenta) can also work well because they stand out in search result pages that feature thumbnails.
  • Provide Distinctive Value.  Because there are now over 24 hours of new video content uploaded to YouTube every minute, you have to do something to stand out.  Offer something in your videos that your viewers cannot get by going anywhere else, like industry insights and tips.  If you can show them something unique and interesting that they find value in, they will keep coming back for more.
  • Shoot for the Small Screen. When producing B2B sales videos, you have to keep in mind that most people will not click the ‘full-screen’ option when watching it.  Therefore, you should craft your videos so that they look appealing when viewed in this small size.  The easiest way to do this is to keep your videos as simple as you can, aesthetically speaking.
  • Aim to Entertain.  While this tip may not be as easy to achieve as the others, it is just as important.  If you videos are purely informative and have a dry tone to match, no one is going to want to watch them.  Your videos should be engaging and enjoyable at the very least, and funny if you’re really good.  The most important thing is to make sure your viewer actually watches what you have put out there.

For more tips from Gabriel Sales on creating b to b product introduction videos or other digital sales content, please feel free to contact us.

9 Ways to Optimize Marketing Automation Software

Business progressOnce you’ve kicked off  an initial marketing automation software implementation, ongoing maintenance and management are key to getting the most out of this resource.  Here are 9 ways to optimize your marketing automation software once you’ve gone live (and a bonus file at the end):

1) Review the commonly consumed content by people who convert to buyers, assigning higher value scores to prospects when that content is consumed.  Further, consider building it into an automated drip campaign, especially if there is a consistent sequence of content consumed by your buyers.

2) Analyze drip campaign stages for high metric-based performance e.g. CTR or unsubscribe rate and adjust your campaigns accordingly.  If there is a piece of content that people commonly unsubscribe from, remove it immediately.  If there is a email that has a high CTR, optimize the respective landing page.

3) Monitor and disable inactive automation rules. Outdated automation rules may be conflicting with how you want your software to function.  Be sure you are doing a schedule maintenance on automation rule behaviors and removing ones that no longer serve you.

4) Confirm that new prospect notification rules take in account when there is newly published forms/landing pages and when new people on team that require notifications. Having instant notification go to the required parties is essential to getting the most out of your tool.

5) Assuming you have  the Google Analytics connector enabled, be sure that the campaign URL builder is filled out for all respective content and custom redirects, allowing you another analytic view of content consumption and visitor behavior.

6) Build a testing protocol  for quality control.  Example items to QC are: emails include dynamic field insertion, forms work and submission notifies respective parties, landing pages are checked for spelling, grammar and working links, page actions are properly being applied, automation rules work properly, etc.. Create an internal list of test users and a test plan template.

7) Implement dynamic segmentation liberally for highly targeted campaigns and ease of suppression. Examples include:

  • segmenting users by location (city, state, zip) so that targeted messages can be sent if you are going to be visiting an area
  • segmenting by industry/vertical for customized content

8) Use embedded personalization to deliver the highest targeted website and email messages. This can be complex, but here is a step-by-step example:

  1. Create a rule that applies a tag called “whitepaper_request” to a prospect who submits a form for a download request
  2. Design a personalization script that looks for that tag on an existing cookied prospect and replace that whitepaper download call-to-action with an alternative call-to-action.  Note: in the personalization design, the default will need to be the original whitepaper call-to-action code.
  3. Insert the code provided from the personalization script and replace it on your site where the current static whitepaper call to action resides.

9) Create a shared implementation map/checklist and historical change document. Consider using something like Google Docs, with a form and spreadsheet integration so that each change will be entered into a form and tracked in the corresponding spreadsheet, allowing all of the necessary change details to be documented.

Request an Excel download for a basic implementation checklist with status tracking:

Using Google+ for B2B Marketing

GooglePlus-Logo-OfficialGoogle+ is the newest player in the social networking game and by September 2012, it already had more than 400 million users.  It is kind of like a highly organized Facebook that has ties to regular Google search.

This connection to regular Google search is what makes using Google+ for B2B marketing an asset.  Here is how it works: if you post something to Google+, that post becomes automatically integrated into Google’s search engine.  So, every post you make will show up in Google search results, but it will also effect future search results overall.  Posts on Google+ related to your business can ultimately improve your SEO, which is something every B2B company can benefit from.

Here are some tips for effectively Using Google+ for B2B Marketing:

  • Make a Business Page. Similar to Facebook, need to create a page designed for business, not a personal profile.
  • Invite You Customers. Send out an invite to all of your existing customers inviting them to become your friend on Google+.  You can do this through email, or via Facebook or Twitter; you should probably do all three.
  • Add Content. Similar to Facebook, you want to give your readers something to look at besides words.  This means you should upload your photos from Facebook and you videos from YouTube to Google+.
  • Create ‘Circles’.  Google+ allows you to make groups of friends, called circles, based on similar interests, topics, etc. When you create a circle, you can send posts only to the people within that circle.  This allows for an excellent opportunity to use audience segmentation and create specific messages for people based on a variety of factors like geographic location, company size or industry.
  • Post Consistently About Topics of Interest. Like Facebook and Twitter, Google+ requires you to post regularly if you want to stay relevant. Speaking of relevant, your posts should also be of interest interesting to the people following you. Do not post anything and everything that comes to mind; first make sure your idea is something worthwhile for your readers.
  • Host Video Chats. Similar to Skype, Google+ allows you to host or participate in video chats including many people at the same time.  You can use this feature to your advantage by hosting chats about frequently asked questions or a new product or service.