We recently hosted another smashing CommerceNOW online event where experts shared their best marketing, sales, and eCommerce tips in real-time with over 1,200 professionals who signed up for the event. We’re continuing our series of quick summaries of some incredible sessions from CommerceNOW further in this blog post. For the complete experience, however, don’t forget you can watch all the recordings here.
How to Stand Out in a Saturated Market
Alexa Hubley, Head of Marketing at CXL Institute, shared tips for standing out in a saturated market. Whether you’re just starting out or already a star in your field, there’s a lot you can do to move ahead of the competition. All it takes is matching your marketing objectives to your company’s stage in the product lifecycle. Here’s a quick overview of how to do that:
Just like a professional marathon runner trains much differently than someone who’s running their first 5k, companies at different stages in their lifecycle will employ very different tactics. It’s true that your stage in the product lifecycle may match the age of your company, but keep in mind that established companies may also go back to the introduction stage for every new product they launch. This means all of your efforts will be at the same level of maturity.
No matter where you are in the lifecycle, there’s another tip that can help: don’t be afraid to get weird! Customer support company HelpScout introduced a live chat tool called Beacon with a fun video about how it’s better than bacon. Fun? Yep. More memorable than your average live chat promo? Definitely.
Other useful marketing tactics include imagining what would go in the box if your online product had a physical manifestation, as well as cross-linking from multiple pages to one resource page to help rank higher for key terms. No matter what tactics you choose don’t just set it and forget it—learn and optimize over time as your company moves through stages. And don’t hold the bacon.
Maximize Your B2B Digital Marketing Results
At any stage of the lifecycle, B2B companies need to bring home the bacon—in the form of qualified leads that turn into sales. It’s easy to think that digital marketing is always focused on the top of the funnel, building awareness and getting people on the way to becoming qualified. At CommerceNOW, Paulo Martins of Marketo shared creative tips on maximizing B2B digital marketing results at every funnel stage, not just the top.
Spread the Love
Don’t focus your digital marketing efforts on awareness only. Divide your efforts by funnel stage, as follows:
- Top of the funnel (TOFU): Capture data and generate leads with high-level content about your category.
- Middle of the funnel (MOFU): Engage, qualify and push leads through the funnel with more information about the industry, product details, and video demos.
- Bottom of the funnel (BOFU): Close deals and generate ROI with tactical checklists and analyst recommendations.
Use Intent Data
Here’s a hard truth for most marketers: your website is not the center of the universe (to anyone except you). Your buyers are spending more time elsewhere on the web than on your site. To succeed, you need to get signals about buyer intent from outside your website. Intent data shows what drives your prospects’ searches around topics relevant to you. It can increase click-through rate and engagement and reduce costs—so start using it now!
Get Creative with Video
Video marketing is all the rage, and it even comes with tons of detailed data about who’s watching your videos and how far along they get. But what can you do with all this info about the people engaging with your video? Take action! If viewers watch more than 70% of a video, for example, you can add points to build their lead score or trigger the sales team to make a contact attempt. Just making great videos (about bacon or other topics) is not enough—you need to use them wisely.
Bridge the Gap with Reporting
No matter how sophisticated your digital marketing is, most B2B companies will still have to rely on some in-person meetings to close deals. Bridge the gap between online and in-person interactions with data about real-world meetings plus account-based marketing and personalization based on industry, funnel stage and more.
Got all that? Okay, now that you have your B2B leads converted to customers, it’s time to take a look at how to engage these customers on social media—successfully.
Understanding Your Customer and Engaging via Social
We live in a hyper-connected culture. Businesses are changing fast and customers expect immediate responses, especially on mobile devices. Although 86% of companies claim to be focused on customer success, only 1% of customers rate those companies as delivering on that promise. So at CommerceNOW, Kirsty Traill, VP of Customer at Hootsuite, shared strategies for reaching customers where they are—on social media—in five simple steps.
- Identify. First, audit your social media accounts. How many do you have? Who manages them? What are they for? How do customers interact with you now (if at all)? Get the lay of the land before getting started with improvements.
- Integrate. Where are your customers trying to engage? Make a plan to meet them where they are. Focus on succeeding on one channel first, consider creating a separate social account focused solely on support, and integrate efforts as you go.
- Educate—your employees, not your customers (although customer education is important too!). Train your employees how to use social media for work, establish clear guidelines and ensure a consistent tone that doesn’t sound scripted.
- Unify. Bring your social media channels together. Identify how different teams contribute to responses and establish a workflow of who responds to what topics, with SLAs by team to ensure customers get the info they need.
- Delight! Responding to customers works. When companies reach out, one out of three negative reviews are deleted or updated, and 55% of customers will stay on. Stay ahead of the curve and delight your customers with proactive responses.
Once you have these elements in place, you’ll be well on your way to successfully engaging with your customers on social media. Use insights from these interactions to drive innovation over time and keep growing your customer programs on social.
We hope you found these tips helpful! If you liked them, watch the full presentations or check out others from CommerceNOW.