As a branding professional, my marketing toolkit has changed dramatically. This is because online lead generation is quickly replacing old media, such as print advertising. But many B2B companies are still in the horse and buggy era.
My job is to help companies attract prospects and convert them to paying customers. And frankly, the old model doesn’t pack the punch it used to.
To show you exactly what I’m talking about, I would like to tell a story about two people, each a marketing director for a professional services firm.
They both have the exact same goal: To bring in more business.
They are each working on rebranding their respective firms and building a new website as part of the plan. The glaring difference is how each marketing director goes about trying to find prospective customers.
B2B Marketing Director A (Michael)
Michael is the marketing director at his CPA firm. He has a rock-solid plan, he thinks. But in this era of modern content marketing and social media, it’s a bit too run-of-the-mill.
He goes to just about every networking event he can fit in. He gives talks to showcase his firm. And he spends quite a bit of time on the phone.
What is Michael’s grand scheme?
Easy: To network like an over-caffeinated beaver, send out business cards, the company’s five-year-old trifold brochure, and pay for a few trade ads. His audacious goal? To turn prospects into paying customers.
He has already paid a few grand for some email lists. He’ll use the lists to make calls, hopefully follow-up with an email or two, and use his charm to win over these prospects. He will also redesign his firm’s trade show booth to create the ultimate lead-magnet. Um, okay.
It sounds to me like Michael is going to do a ton of work and most likely get very little in return. He may snag a few clients but how many hundreds of hours will he put in to do so. Plus this becomes an endless, monotonous routine.
B2B Marketing Director B (Emma)
Enter Emma. She is the marketing director at CPA firm B. She will also work to rebrand her company, and build a shiny new website. But Emma’s approach is waaaaaaay different than Michael’s. It’s really on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Her focus is on a comprehensive content marketing plan.
Emma is going to learn about website analytics so she can see where traffic is coming from on the firm’s website. Part of this is researching the keywords and phrases people are using to find her CPA firm. She will then work to craft website and blog copy using words potential clients often use when searching for accounting services. She will learn all about long tail keywords.
And part of her plan is to find the right social media channels for her company, then create a social media plan built to focus on her ideal clients, see who is talking about her firm, and engage with them.
When it comes to her firm’s brand, Emma knows this process is about more than simply creating a new logo and tagline. Her firm has a great story she can tell. She is going to talk to her customer support team about how to improve customer experience and then write about these practices—things that will help her firm rise above the competition. Her firm’s culture, expertise, and philosophy can be added to the new website as highly targeted blog posts, eBooks, and social media interactions.
She will even learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so she can develop a keyword strategy. But her focus will always be to write the unique, authoritative content the search engines like.
In a nutshell, Emma’s new website will be built to attract the right people, showcase the firm’s expertise, and in the process, grow an email list so she won’t have to spend thousands buying lists like Michael.
She will also be able to edit this new website, because it was developed using a Content Management System (CMS) platform, specifically WordPress.
Emma’s content marketing plan is created to bring in business, and guess what? Emma has more time to dedicate to this process because she doesn’t have to attend nearly as many networking events, make endless calls, and follow up with each and every person who might be a good prospect. She’s created a system that not only makes her job easier, it moves the needle in her CPA firm’s business.
So, what’s your plan?
Do you want to bring your brand to life? Taking a few minutes to complete my brand audit will help you think about your current marketing efforts and what might need to change. It will also help me suggest several ways to improve your branding and marketing now: http://mcbreenmarketing.com/contact/brand-audit/
After you complete the form, we’ll contact you to schedule a time to go over the results and see how we can help.
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