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Pinterest for B2B Companies: Reach More Customers & Build a Loyal Following
There are 100 million active users on Pinterest and a 176 million registered users, according to DMR.  You may be familiar with using Pinterest as a user, pinning your favorite DIY and cooking recipes, but have you considered using the site to promote your B2B business?


Aside from the sheer number of users on Pinterest, you will be reaching a market that is engaged with this tool. As a B2B service firm you can begin sharing a culture, a lifestyle a philosophy that are more difficult to communicate through other digital platforms.
Is Your Lack of Online Marketing Killing Your Business?
Do you remember in business school when you learned about the four Ps: Product, Place, Price and Promotion in your Marketing 101 class? A lot has changed since I was sitting in my first Marketing class 20+ years ago, however the 4 Ps are still relevant. While marketing professors still refer to the 4 Ps, the implementation is quite different.

Remember the days when you thought 'Place' referred to real estate, a good a visible store front? Then we hit the "dot.com era" and began to think beyond brick and mortar to having a website. In today's fast moving digital economy you need even more than just a digital presence.

Now you need a website that is mobile-friendly.  The computer that we use the most, is the one that fits in the palm of our hand. In fact, by 2018, according to eMarketer, global smartphone users will reach the 2.5 billion mark. And nearly 86 million consumers will make a purchase on their device in 2016.
How To Write a Blog that Generates Leads
I've been blogging a lot lately about lead generation.  For most businesses it is the hot topic because, if you are not generating leads, little else matters.  I my previous blog I discussed content creation, but today I'd like to focus on one specific form of content and that is blogging.

Writing a blog can be easy, fast and effective for generating leads.  It can also be a complete waste of time if not done well, with no real purpose.  You know the adage, "If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it fall, does it make a sound?" Think of your blog as a tree in the woods, if no one reads and responds to your blog, does it make an impact on your business?

Here are things you must consider to write a blog that makes an impact:
Chip, Joanna, Shiplap and Creating a Killer Brand Identity
"How far do you live from Waco, TX?" "Do you watch HGTV?" "Have you seen Chip and Joanna?" These are questions I've heard from California to Pennsylvania and Kansas to Tennessee.

People are just obsessed with Chip and Joanna Gaines, a couple living on a farm in central Texas who spends their days remodeling dilapidated homes. These are just normal folks, flipping inexpensive houses in a small town.  They decorate the homes with vintage farm items, decorate with painted exposed paneling (now called shiplap), and have their friend repurpose some old wood into a dining room table. 

If I told you five years ago that this would have people glued to their TV waiting for the big reveal, or traveling to a town plagued by bad press to shop at a store in an abandoned rusty silo, you would think I was truly crazy. If I told you this was big business, including real estate, a Bed and Breakfast, a store front, a bakery and branded items, you would want on-board.
What is Content Marketing? And Why You Need it?
When I meet with prospects and discuss the need for a content strategy, they either...

·         Admit they don't know what I'm talking about 

·         Glaze over, nod and agree (though I know we are not on the same page)

·         Or say they've tried content marketing, but in reality they have not or have not done it well, to say the least

While the marketing world is all abuzz about content marketing, it is very difficult to put together a well thought-out, custom designed, highly effective strategy.  Before I jump into how to create an effective content marketing strategy, let's first start with the definition.
4 Email Marketing Tactics That Get Results
If you thought email marketing was dead, think again. To show the modern value of email marketing ,Adestra completed a study measuring consumer opinions and behavior when it comes to email. The researchers surveyed more than 1,200 respondents, from teenagers to Baby Boomers and asked how they interacted with, and think about, the email messages they receive.

Here are just a few important facts taken from this study:

  • 43% of consumers give a real email address when they come to a website that asks for an email before continuing
  • 80% of consumers (across all demos) actually unsubscribe from emails they no longer wish to receive
  • 59% of consumers leave an email unread if they plan to read it later, 33% flag it
It goes without saying that spammy emails are not going to get read, they will be blocked and you will not have a successful campaign.

Buying lists are unreliable and legally you can't email people who have not willingly given you their email address.  

Here is what your need to do to ensure a successful email marketing campaign.
Want to Generate More Leads? Get A Landing Page
Landing pages are one of the most important elements of a lead generation campaign. In fact, according to MarketingSherpa’s research, landing pages are effective for 94% of B2B and B2C companies. So why are so few companies using them?

A landing Page is a single page within your website where you can direct visitors to one particular offer without the distractions of everything else on your website. Visitors are on a landing page for one and only purpose: to complete the lead capture form.
Develop a Call-To-Action that Generates Leads
If you have been following my blog series on Lead Generation, you know that you need to have an offer to engage your prospects.  If you missed that blog, you can check it how HERE.

The offer is basically the carrot, now what you need is the pole and string from which to dangle that well-crafted carrot and to get your prospects to act or engage.

What gets our audience to reach for the carrot is your call-to-action (CTA). When effectively crafted, they will capture people’s attention and persuading them to act.

Not all CTAs are effective or will result in action. It's important to consider what your competitors are offering and then determine why someone may choose your offer over the competition.

Once you have your offer decided, now it's time to get the word out.  Here's how:
How to Create Irresistible Offers that Generate Leads
As business owners our primary goal is to make money so we are focused on revenue, product pricing and billing of our services.  To think about giving something away for free seems counter-intuitive. However, giving away something that your audience views as exclusive, scarce, or in high demand is a good way to open the door to engaging a new customer.

Returning from a spring break trip to visit family my daughter realized she had not downloaded any new movies on her lap top.  Six hours in the back seat of a car, to a modern eleven year old, was going to be a strain on everyone in the car. Reading is out of the question, because she gets car sick.  I grabbed my phone, signed up for a free month of Audible, bought her a book on Amazon and it was amazingly quiet for the entire trip.  Even better, she loved listening to the book so much we are considering continuing our subscription.

I'm not sure I would have even considered Audible if it wasn't for the free subscription. If it is fitting for your business to give away a free trial, it is a great way to allow new customers to try your product.  For a subscription service a free month is a good option, for other product companies a sample size may be appropriate.

For B2B companies deciding on an incentive is a more difficult decision. Think about your clients' pain points and what does your company offer that may help your target audience. Consider white papers or a free analysis as a means of engaging with a new customer.
When Life Hands You Lemons...Make a Cocktail
How do you respond to a week that goes completely opposite as planned?  In business we know that having processes in place is what makes for efficient operations, but what about when those operations don't work?

My week has been anything but normal and this disruption may be just what my businesses needed.  When you hear the term disruption, do you think of a disturbance that interrupts an event, activity, or process?  Or do you think of it as Clayton Christensen has defined: disruption that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market, displacing the established?

What I have found is that these can be two-sides of the same coin.  I realize that saying both definitions of 'disruption' work together is a bit like saying we should make lemonade out of the lemons we've been dealt.

Here's how I made something positive out of a week that went off the typical process.
3 Best Marketing Tools for Lead Generation other than your Website
We all know that having a website is vital to any business.  It is your digital storefront, greeter and initial explanation of your businesses products or services.

While websites can be optimized for better lead generation, what do you do for customers who are not coming directly to your website?  Here are three marketing tools that will help you gain more leads.
Why Your Personal Brand is so Important to Your Business Brand
For entrepreneurs, personal brand and your business brand are often one in the same.  Even if you have numerous employees, the owner still sets the tone of the business and is usually engaged with the client during the sales process or at implementation.

If you are an entrepreneur and haven't considered your personal brand and its impact on your business brand, it's time to get started.
How to Get Started with Google Analytics
Google Analytics can be a very effective tool for entrepreneurs if you know how to use it correctly. Not only does it inform you of your sites digital traffic flow and about new incoming traffic; it also helps raise revenue for your apps or online business sites.  Amazing right?
Getting the Contract: Simple Marketing Tips for Contractors
Sometimes we're in conflict between our marketing professional selves and our personal or professional buyer selves. I'm in conflict now as I try to get my home back together after a hail storm pummeled our roof, fence and who knows what.   

My conflict is seeing how repair services are marketed to us and how as a buyer I perceive their efforts to meet my needs .  Yes, I see the hail storm as an opportunity for them. They have services and products in need, a well-defined target audience, and a high rate of anticipated purchase for their product.  For excitement, they face multiple competitors in a race to a sale.

This could be a chance to see multiple marketing styles and find out what works best on me.  It's a good test because all contenders start out the same.  No company has an inside track or perceived advantage. I was not already in the market, had not contacted any suppliers, no former suppliers have claimed me, and my insurance company offered only vague guidelines, no company recommendations. So how did they do?
3 Advantages to Outsourcing Your Marketing
The trend for small businesses is not adding more staff, but hiring an industry expert partner. Managing employees takes investment in training, paying for benefits, and so on.  Even worse, what if that individual is not the right fit for you business culture, then what?

What makes more sense is to hire a partner that off-sets the business owners weaknesses. Not as an employee, but as an adviser.

Here are some key reasons entrepreneurs should consider the outsourcing route.
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