Connecting B2B Customers to Brands

We all know that branding works well within the B2C environment, but what about B2B?

According to a recent report by the executiveboard.com ‘strong B2B branding drives customers willingness to consider, purchase and pay a premium for a supplier’. So, what are the core values which businesses must incorporate into their brand? The answer across the board appears to be customer-centric branding. This means focusing the brand messages on customer business outcomes, to convey the business value of your product or service.

A business brand is just as important as consumer brand. Buyers who see a supplier’s business value are four times more likely to consider the brand in the future. Price is still an important driver, but the ‘value’ will win 9/10 times. Although business purchasing decisions are normally by committee i.e. you have multiple people signing off costs, a consistent and trustworthy brand breaks down barriers and reassures a business they are in good hands. In short, it takes the worry away when they can work with a brand with a proven track record.

Marketing and selling is very much about tapping into the psychology of people, not businesses. Without going into too much detail about psychographic and ethnographic research, there are multiple ways to tap into the emotions of peoples to understand why they act and buy the way they do. The core message is to listen and understand your customers. Although there will be cost associated to customer research, the money you will save in marketing will pay for itself. By truly understanding your customers, you are able to articulate and effectively sell your point of difference through your marketing.

In a nutshell a brand is a promise. By understanding your customers you can create a brand proposition which strikes at the heart of why to choose your business over others. Without it you are left in a sea of competition and price wars which is no fun at all.

This article is a snap shot of how businesses can connect with their customers. For more information on how you can better connect with your customers contact Hyperbrand 0845 094 6355.

Changes in Social Media for 2014

What are the emerging trends which will be changing in social over the next year?

1.)    More imagery & graphics
We’ve always known that images and graphics are more popular on social networks and it appears we were right. Social channels are ‘social’ so people want to share and engage with interesting content. Posts on Facebook with photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs. The rise of Pinterest and Tumblr has reinforced the public demand for graphic based posts, which they can share with their friends and colleagues.

2.)    Social won’t be used for direct selling
Any company entering the social arena and looking at advertising should tread carefully. You are entering a completely different marketing platform, where people do not want to be sold to. The brands which do well on social channels concentrate their strategy on engagement, nurturing relationships and sharing value through their social outreach. People want to interact and engage with brands which offer value, entertainment, discounts and support.

3.)    The rise of LinkedIn
LinkedIn has firmly established itself as THE B2B social channel. It has attracted millions of businesses and well known public figures to create profiles, business pages and groups to form an ‘interactive business hub’.  Our advice is to get your business on LinkedIn, post original content and network amongst your peers.

4.)    Content will be champion
The demand and competition for creating interesting and engaging content will ramp up in 2014. Static, simple short messages no longer cut it. A company needs to engage on a deeper and more intelligent level. Each time you post content think ‘is this shareable’? if not rethink it. Infographics, short videos, emotive imagery and interesting stats enhance engagement and ‘share-ability’ in a big way. Write for your existing fans. Don’t constantly be reaching out for more. Look after the ones you have and more will come.

5.)    Google+ will become more important
Google+ has struggled to match Facebook since it launched in 2011. However, since Google apps launched the uptake of Google+ for businesses has increased. Some could argue this is forced as you can’t set up a Google Places, without a Google+ and Google has ramped up the pr on the SEO benefits of Google+. Though they could never admit to rewarding Google+ profiles over other social channels, they can argue that due to the restriction put on the other social channels for their search bots, Google + is easier to crawl….I will leave you to make a decision on the ethics of this. One thing to take note of is Google+ works well for businesses for connecting the dots of your search profile. Google remains the search engine of choice for over 80% of searchers, so jump on board or get left behind.

Adwords PPC for small businesses

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising is a great online marketing tool for small businesses. It not only allows you to appear on page one of Google, but also offers a host of other features to help you promote your business online.

Adwords PPC top three positions allows for you to promote additional services within the sitelink extensions, call extensions to promote your contact telephone number and even location extensions, if you want your customers to know where to find you – ideal for highstreet shops, cafes, restaurants etc.

Google apps has allowed for the integration of all of your Google products to be seamlessly integrated to allow for you to access your Adwords, Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Google Plus, Google Places…

As well as having easy access to your Google products, you can also integrate your Google+ and Google Places into your Adwords adverts to help them stand out. What does this mean? It means you can use Google +1′s within your adverts as social endorsements for your company, and your Google Places listings to promote where your place of business is…It literally gives you everything you need to promote your business.

With the latest round of algorithm updates knocking many websites off of page one, Adwords is a welcomed savor. As long as you ensure you tick all of the boxes for the management of your PPC and manage your bids effectively, you have a guaranteed prime advertising position on page one.

We have seen amazing results from Adwords and are 100% advocates of what it can do for businesses. For more information on Adwords PPC and how Hyperbrand can help grow your business contact Liz Batley at Hyperbrand.

Email liz@hyperbrand.co.uk

Call 0845 094 6355.

Working With Your PPC Agency

At Hyperbrand we work with a wide variety of clients to manage their Adwords Pay Per Click. We want to share our experience of how you can get the best out of your PPC Management Agency, and reap the benefits of working collaboratively.

The fundamental part to get right with Adwords is the keyword selection. Your PPC Management Agency will conduct comprehensive keyword research to identify search volumes and estimated cost-per-click. This allows you to understand what type of search volumes your keywords are likely to bring in, and whether your budget is sufficient to compete for them. Don’t undervalue the insight you can bring into the partnership. Work with you PPC Agency to come up with a strong keyword list.

Writing advert copy for Adwords requires the ability to communicate the right values and benefits to your target audience. Copywriting is a skill which not all PPC Management Agencies possess. When you are looking for an Adwords Agency ask to see examples of adverts they have written.

Monitoring & Management

Adwords is a live auction which requires daily monitoring. Dependent on how competitive your industry and keywords are will depend on how much budget you will have to put into your Adwords; both for the daily management and the media spend. The more competitive your industry is, the more time and resource your agency will have to allocate to effectively manage your account.

Once your campaigns are up and running, stay in contact with your PPC Agency and feedback the amount of inquiries, sales and leads Adwords is generating. If you’re not getting very many inquiries you are quite in your right to ask why.

Web Analytics gives you the back stage pass to understanding search behaviors. With many of our clients it is part and parcel of the PPC service we provide. We don’t count our successes purely on clicks. We look at what people are doing once they reach your website. Are they converting? If not, why not? What are the dwell times? What is the bounce rate? What pages are people exiting the site from?

Building Relationships

We are truly passionate about Adwords and the benefits it brings to so many businesses. Integrating your PPC agency with your marketing team will deliver better results. Talk to them, engage with them and don’t be afraid to ask for advice and guidance.

Google Releases ‘Hummingbird’…

It was all a little strange how the announcement was made by Google’s two founders Sergei Brin and Larry Page. There was no announcements on the usual outlets and instead was confined to an ‘intimate press meeting’ in a Silicon Valley garage, where the two founders worked on the launch of Google fifteen years ago. The meetings main agenda was to celebrate Google’s 15th Birthday (Happy belated Birthday by the way Google).

Over a month on and we can safely assume that this algorithm change is not focused on reassessing search ranks. It is said to be more focussed on the users search query, and how Google can better understand the users search request – simply put, from what we have gathered so far, it is about making the access of information and related information even easier.

Smart Insight comments: “The algorithm update mainly targets “information reference” queries rather than “product or service purchase intent” queries, so this is NOT an update that needs further investigation by marketers.”

Though it’s good news the latest algorithm changes aren’t anything for us to ‘worry’ about, keeping up to date with Google’s search evolution is essential. This latest release is a warning shot for future algorithm changes and one which all marketers should be taking notice of. Hummingbird for us presents a proactive opportunity to develop our clients’ digital marketing to ensure we continue to safe guard against future changes and continue to align with Google’s mission statement.

More information on ‘Hummingbird’ can be found on the Google forums.

The Converged Media Imperative

This is an article from Altimeter talking about converged media. It dates back to 2012, but it is still something which many companies continue to struggle with. It is challenging to have the skills to be able to manage all areas of your company’s online marketing. As an agency we understand the importance of integrating into our clients marketing teams, to be able to provide a seamless approach to our clients digital marketing presence.

Overview

Advertising and media are converging. The results will disrupt how companies must deploy their marketing efforts. Marketers, and their agency partners must converge their media efforts by combining social, corporate content, and advertising reach, or risk connecting with the fleeting customer.

Owned and earned media are vital to campaigns, helping to amplify and spread brand messages through the complex paths consumers follow across devices, screens and media. Advertising, or ‘paid’ media, has traditionally led marketing initiatives both online and off-. But advertising no longer works as effectively as it once did unless bolstered by additional marketing channels.

While consumers distinguish less and less between these channels, marketers remain specialized in one medium at the expense of the others. Rather than allow campaigns to be driven by paid media, marketers must now develop scale and expertise in owned and earned media to drive effectiveness, cultivate creative ideas, assess customer needs, cultivate influencers, develop reach, achieve authenticity and cut through clutter.

To read more please visit The Converged Media Imperative

Hyperbrand’s Top 5 Digital Marketing Must-Do’s

As promised, Hyperbrand has put together a quick-fire check list for businesses, to help them make the most of their digital marketing opportunities.

Thank you to everyone who emailed us, and got in contact, to let us know which areas of digital marketing you most wanted advice and guidance on. We hope the below goes someway to helping you plan, control and develop your digital marketing channels. Enjoy!

1.       Understand Your Target Audiences Search Behavior

This may seem like the very basics of marketing, but many businesses don’t take into account that online search behaviors vary dramatically from offline. The right research and insight can literally save you hundred’s, and in some cases millions of pounds.

For instance, if you are targeting a younger target audience social marketing can be a key channel for breaking down barriers and enhancing engagement and interaction with your brand. But what social channels would work best? What type of content are they sharing and interacting with?

If you run an e-commerce business email marketing can be an amazing tool to build and evolve your client relationships. But how do you incentivise people to handover their details in a world of overloading spam? Once you have their details how do you keep them interested?

Making sure you answer all the ‘what if’ niggles will allow for you to plan a much stronger marketing campaign.

2.       Plan

Planning is fundamental to ensuring you understand and control all your marketing channels. The planning document should be a 6-month Digital Marketing Plan (DMP), which ties into your overall marketing and business plan. The plan should detail your overarching objectives and then filter down to what strategies and tactics you are going to use to achieve your objectives.

The planning document will help you highlight any issues in resources and plan how these can be resolved. For instance if you want to implement a paid marketing campaign, who’s going to manage it? Do we outsource or invest in-house? How are we going to monitor and control each channel?

3.       Brand Image & Values

Your online brand image is no different to your offline brand image. It needs to be consistent and embody all the brand values which your clients/customers would expect to see. Some pitfalls to watch out for….

If you have a paid display marketing campaign, make sure your adverts only appear where you would want your customers to find you. Automatic placements can see your brand appear on low grade websites, which can damage your reputation.

Many companies outsource part or all of their content writing. Make sure you work with copywriters who understand your business, your tone of voice and industry.

Make sure your content across all channels (websites, blogs and social) adds value, insight and ties into your overall marketing goals. All marketing should have an aim and purpose. What do you want people to think or do once they have read your blog? Once they’ve seen your latest social update? or landed on your website?

4.       Feed the beast

The search environment is a dynamic and evolving ball of energy, which needs feeding. Feeding fresh content into your digital marketing channels supports SEO and enhances engagement with your target audience. This is why a plan is so important. Your Digital Marketing Plan should be a working document, which can be adapted to the changing needs of the online environment.

Every business strives to be on the first page of Google, but what are the tools which will help you get there? Good quality online content and link building can deliver some amazing results for businesses. If you invest enough time and energy into making your website a hot bed of valuable content, you might just reach Big G’s first page.

However, the hard work doesn’t stop when you reach the first page position. You may have earned your right to be there, but now you have to earn your right to stay there.

5.       Monitor, Control and Evolve

Never stand still online. What works today, might not work tomorrow.

Your Digital Marketing Plan should be for 6-months to a year, but should be continually monitored. A 3-month review is advised to ensure you are able to spot any issues and trends early on.

Make sure you use analytics for insight into your website visitors, search behaviors, social channels, paid marketing and conversions metrics.

So there you have it! Hyperbrand’s Top 5 Digital Marketing Must Do’s.

We will be adding to the Hyperbrand News Reel on a regular basis, so stay tuned! As always, if you have any ideas on what type of content you would like to see email hello@hyperbrand.com.

Bye for Now!

Making Digital Marketing Work For Your Business

Following the launch of Hyperbrand’s new website, the team is working on helpful hints and tips to make sure you’re making the most of your digital marketing opportunities. To ensure we are writing the content which you would most value, let us know if there are any topics you would like us to cover by emailing hello@hyperbrand.co.uk with your ideas.

Online marketing can seem like a minefield of complicated analytics and mind boggling jargon. However, with the right tools and support Digital Marketing can be one of the most cost effective marketing tools, which takes your business and brand to the next level.

Stay tuned in for Hyperbrand Top 5 Digital Marketing Must-Do’s….

Bye for now!