4 reasons to consider outsourcing (some) of your b2b social media activities

Committing to any form of outsourcing in simplistic terms means you have to pay for a service. Yet Social Media Examiner’s 2011 survey found that over 72% of marketers still retain in-house control of social media campaigns.

So why consider outsourcing some elements of your social media activity when the whole point is supposed to be about personal engagement of prospects and customers and the creation of deeper relationships?

By paying for external support with your social media you will have to:

1. PLAN: Outline what you want to achieve to a third party which means you will have to provide a written brief detailing what you want social media to do for your business.

2. GOALS: Set objectives that will give you something to frame your activity within, to work towards and to evaluate your success against.

3. ROI: Deciding how success is going to be measured helps to quantify what the return on investment your management can expect to see.

4. CREATIVE: You may not have the creative spark (the big idea), technical expertise (to translate dry product information into high impact lead generating content) or in-house resource to develop a relevant and durable social media campaign.

Going through the process of explaining what you plan to do opens up your plans to scrutiny, which brings clarity. And whilst bringing in the experts naturally creates an additional cost,  managed well, you may just execute sharper, focused more creative and more relevant social media campaigns as a result.

Image: Tom Fishburne

Share

Twenty modern marketing challenges

“Out there in some garage is an entrepreneur who’s forging a bullet with your company’s name on it” Gary Hamel

One of twenty fascinating quotes contained in this slide set from Conversation Agent Valeria Maltoni. All testify to some of the more fundamental challenges facing the modern marketer. Much of it resonated with me, hence the share.

Note: RSS/email subscribers may need to visit the site to view the slide set.


Share

Elevator pitches and the point of your marketing

There is a lot of talk about elevator pitches in marketing.

But the rules have changed. On one hand everyone is talking and nobody is listening. Everyone is hustling. Everyone is taking but not giving.

On the other hand, the pitch opportunity has been stunted. You no longer get the time it takes to travel twenty floors, you have the time it takes to travel two floors. The battle for attention is fierce. Competition is a click, swipe, text or call away.

So before you invest another penny in your website, send another email newsletter, attend your next networking event or connect with another ‘prospect’ online come up with some responses to these questions and then get them trimmed down to 10-15 seconds. Fifteen seconds is all you have.

Q1: What needs are you trying to meet or what pain are you trying to eradicate? (Establishes your reason for being and your core strengths)

Q2: Who do you do this for? (Establishes your audience)

Q3: Why should they listen to you? (Provides the evidence of your strengths)

Businesses and business owners that have a clear, unequivocal response to these questions market better, more efficiently and more effectively.

Image: Your Content Notes

Share

Links worth a click #6

Links worth a click from the last week or so. Mostly picked to inform and educate but some may also serve the purpose of entertaining and engaging target audiences.

SEO & CONTENT7 New Ways to Improve Your Google Rankings . The key learnings naturally lie in creating relevant, useful content, lots of incoming links, seeding and sharing.

SOCIAL: Competition for attention online is hotting up as we learned this week that Google to launch own Facebook style social network. Apparently it will be less intrusive and more user friendly but will people really switch from existing platforms? Time will tell.

ONLINE PRTwitter launches Twitter for Newsrooms a new resource for journalists, and presumably PRs too.

BLOGGING: Here is a cool infographic detailing the different blogging platforms 

WEB VIDEO / ANIMATION: Interesting piece on the rise of animation on the web, with some good examples. Arguably more creative and not as expensive as video – an option for clients?

TWO RANDOM LINKS:

As Twitter hits 200m tweets a day meet the people who scored Twitter’s shortest usernames by signing up first.

The First World Problem (a rap by a slightly annoying American kid, but funny and puts a few things into perspective).

Share

How to introduce content marketing into your b2b marketing

I try and keep the plugs to a minimum, but I’m genuinely pleased to announce that the team at BDB has just cut a little video with yours truly waxing lyrical about the virtues of content marketing – what it is, why to include it in your marketing plan and crucially how to assess its ROI potential for your business.

The embed is below, but viewing it on the BDB site will mean you can seamlessly click around the site and take in our excellent blog!

Share

Solving the B2B social media conundrum

Most business-to-business (B2B) companies are already employing some form of social media as part of their marketing mix. But how many B2B marketers really think about their customers, who they are, what they look like, what they like and where they congregate, before selecting and using social media tools? And which are the right tools to use?

Read my inaugural post b2b marketing on Dave Chaffey’s excellent SmartInsights  website.

Share

Making a dent

Why are we here? How can we add value? How can we make a difference? How can we inspire and be inspiring? How can we leave a legacy? And who are the people to drive us to achieve?

This will help. I particularly get the message on slide 34 about making best use of time! The takeaway messages are below the slides.


Six takeaways:

1. Goals: Know where you are going.

2. Love: Do something you are passionate about.

3. Work: Doing something worthwhile and well takes time.

4. Time: Stop wasting it and procrastinating.

5. Real: Use your own voice and tell your own story.

6. Rock: Be remarkable. Don’t be functional, be amazing.

Note to email/RSS subscribers: Slides only visible at the blog.

Share

Links worth a click #5

There have been some really interesting reads online.

Here is my pick from the last week, we 24 June 2011.

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Mashable offered up an interesting ‘Behind the Scenes’ on 8 Innovative Social Media Campaigns. My personal favourite is The Voice because it is a new take on reality contest TV and was perfect for social media.

B2B: I particularly liked the advice on keeping your mind on ‘next action’ as a driver on what and how to present in Social Media B2B’s post on How to Create Great B2B Presentations

FACEBOOK: Australia’s finest, Jeff Bullas has pulled together an overview of 5 creative Facebook pages. I was initially surprised in scrolling through to find games, movies, cars and lingerie, but hey it is Facebook!

SEO COPY: The ever useful Marketing Profs site published a handy little guide on writing with SEO in mind. Their Five Tips for Writing Content That Keeps Pace With B2B Searches included titbits such as staying aware and staying relevant.

BLOGGING: If you need to get your CEO on board with your social media thinking, here is a useful post designed to get them involved in the blog side of things.

Now, a three way tie for content of the week:

EBOOKS: First off Hubspot’s How to Write and Launch an Ebook That Generates Leads. Staggeringly useful.

INFOGRAPHICS: Secondly, a must try: Infographics are all the rage right now if you have a dataset you want to present in an innovative way. Here are 5 tools to help turn data into infographics.

WEBSITES: Finally, from Econsultancy, and just to make most of you feel your age, just look at how some of the UK’s top e-commerce sites have changed in the past five years (or in some cases not changed).

Hope you see something you like. More next week.

Share

Taking the reins off your star performers

There is tendency for recruiters to bring new talent into a business but then attempt to restrict that talent rather than embrace what was attractive about it in the first place.

It sounds ridiculous, but how often do businesses lose good people over job satisfaction, motivation and development issues? The company, its customers and colleagues are the least frequently cited reasons for leaving.

Conformity is easy.

Better, then to encourage team members that want to be encouraged, that want to push the envelope, that want to raise the bar. Creativity, thinking creatively, innovation and dynamism are the lifeblood of most organisations but company culture too often sucks this from people and leaves them ambivalent because they haven’t received positive feedback on ideas and input previously.

An extreme example above. Love him or hate him, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has created incredible revenues for his company and his shareholders. To such an extent that even customers that would prefer not to fly Ryanair still do because of the way he has managed to keep ticket costs low.

Do you have star performers that you are reining in? Perhaps its time to take the shackles off and see how your business might flourish. Brave companies lead. Conservative ones follow.

Image: FastCompany

Share

Is the old agency model dead?

A question posed in PRWeek this week as agency GolinHarris took over the publication with several pages given over to analysis of their new agency structure.

Much was made of their decision to demolish the traditional structure and replace accepted roles with a four pillared approach based on strategist, creator, catalyst and connector specialists instead of generalists.

But is it a clever PR stunt or something deeper? A comment perhaps on the evolving demands placed on the consultancy sector or the often bloated nature of the agencies that work within it and their need to drive efficiency?

Whichever side you come down on,  it provoked lots  of industry heavyweights, and some lightweights too, into offering their perspective.

What their move has done is recognise the growing role and significance of digital and social media in the marketing mix. And it gives a mid-sized PR agency the opportunity the take on specialist PR, advertising, media and digital agencies in an increasingly divergent operating environment.

Scale is a factor and this is the reason most agencies are structured the way the are. Clients invariably prefer a single point of contact as this reduces the communications flow to a more manageable level. It will be interesting to see if other agencies follow suit.

Share