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TECH B2B Spotted at A3 Business Forum

Rick Sipe Lou Holz TECH hat

The annual A3 Business Forum was held in Orlando, Florida this past January.

The event itself is a unique networking opportunity for the automation industry. This year, TECH B2B Marketing was excited to be a golf hole sponsor during the annual golf tournament. Here Rick Sipe, Business Manager with Rockwell Automation is caught on camera sporting the newest TECH golf hat while meeting guest speaker, Lou Holz, legendary football coach. Go Team TECH!

Tech B2B SEO Webinar

Watch & Learn: TECH B2B SEO Webcast

This archived webcast looks at the latest strategies for building and creating business processes to support SEO optimized content and website growth, along with technical coding factors that are important for organic SEO and site usability.

Learn more about natural language algorithms and what they mean for content development; the changing requirements of content length per page; use of multimedia, how to use blogs to naturally grow your SEO content and improve search rankings. Technical discussions include the proper use of page alignment, meta descriptions, keyword density, mobile-ready site design, social media, and much more.

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Join TECH B2B for a Town Hall Meeting on SEO Best Practices – July 22, 2015

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How do you know if your website is optimized for Google and other search engines? TECH B2B managing director Winn Hardin and lead web developer Sarah Humphrey will hold a town hall-style meeting to cover the need-to-know basics of SEO.

Getting your website to show up on Google is not a complicated or mysterious process. We’ll show you how a combination of good content and proper code will increase your site’s traffic.

Understanding SEO isn’t just for web developers. Decision-makers need a basic understanding of website performance to ensure that your website goals are aligned with your sales goals, and that you’re achieving optimal return on your digital marketing assets. We’ll provide an overview of on-page SEO factors and guidelines for optimizing sites for companies of all sizes.

Need to Know SEO – Not Just for Web Developers
Presented by TECH B2B Marketing
July 22, 2015 2:30 PM EST

To participate in this free event, send us an e-mail at jennifer@techb2b.com and we will register you.

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Millennials Call the Shots on B2B Purchases

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Millennials are optimistic, tech savvy, and unafraid to share their opinions. And given that they’re expected to outnumber baby boomers this year, millennials’ growing impact in the workplace should be no surprise. Nor should the increasing importance of digital marketing to this influential group.

In particular, employees in the 18-34 age range are shouldering more responsibility in B2B purchases, with 46% of them in charge of such decision-making as of 2014. That’s a 17% climb from just two years earlier. Research also indicates that purchasing authority is shifting away from the C-suite, another sign of millennial influence — lest we not forget their aversion to hierarchical structure in the office.

Together, millennials and their Generation X colleagues represent 2 out of 3 purchasing researchers and agents. Also in the “no surprise there” category, 89% of purchasing managers use the Internet to research products. Some 42% rely on a smart device during the B2B purchasing process — a strong argument for making sure your website is mobile friendly. Plus, Google’s algorithm prefers responsive views.

So, when selling your products in the B2B marketplace, remember who’s calling the shots on the other side of the screen and how digital marketing will steer millennials in your direction.

Branding and Concrete…Not All that Different

I was reading a post on the importance of branding and evolving your brand over time as your business grows. All excellent points if a bit simplistic for today’s hyper-complex marketplace. Actually, let me rephrase that. It’s not a new hyper-complex marketplace, but like Wall Street, many are starting to be able to see the guys behind the curtains. We may not know all he hidden paths to success in a B2B digital-social-media marketplace, but we’re starting to draw useful maps.

Branding identities go much farther than logos, palettes and slogans. Product names (think Pt Grey), tone (funny, technical, market leader/gorilla),  application/industries, even the trade show booth, etc. And while branding is essentially a distillation of a company’s persona, it’s really a platform for the activities that generate real growth, which are a combination of inbound and outbound marketing activities efficiently integrated with sales…a simple enough supporting clause by itself, but one that the Internet, SEO, SEM, SMM, sales and marketing metrics, etc., have made exponentially more complicated (and fulfilling, if you’re a data hound that really wants to ‘know’ the customer.) If you’re like most machine vision companies, and stay somewhere near the beginning of Stephane’s post, well…’simplicity’ can be blissful…for a while.

And the Award for Biggest Email Marketing Pet Peeve Goes to…

About a year ago, I signed up for a newsletter on sustainability in business. What started out as a weekly newsletter has evolved (or perhaps devolved) into a daily email. As noble and cost-saving and PR-worthy as environmental action may be, there’s not enough new content out there to justify cramming my inbox five days a week.

This example illustrates my biggest pet peeve of email marketing campaigns — content that’s irrelevant, too frequent, and sometimes just plain boring. And I’m not alone: 90% of people unsubscribe from an email list for these very reasons. But the pet peeve list doesn’t stop there. Here are a few more that irk me (and remind me to avoid them as a B2B marketer creating email content for my own clients):

  • It’s a subject header, not a subject novel. You’ve got to give subscribers a reason to open your newsletter, but it’s a teaser; not a summary. On the flip side, just today I received a newsletter whose subject header simply said “Product Alert.” Snooze.
  • Make it simple to unsubscribe. Don’t make me reply with the word “unsubscribe” or provide my email address in order to opt out or I’ll unsubscribe you from my heart and buying patterns as well as my inbox. And clean your list weekly if you don’t want to be black listed as a spammer.
  • Provide me clear contact info. What if I like what I see in a newsletter and want to submit a product or news item for an upcoming issue? Sure, I could click on a link within the newsletter, go to the company’s site, and find the contact info there, but why not just make it easier for the user? You don’t need to use premium real estate (i.e., the preview pane) to include contact info — even a line at the end of the email will suffice.
  • Give me news I want to read. Not just news you want me to read. If you don’t know me well enough to select the news I need, you don’t know me well enough to get me as a customer.
  • Keep it fun, light, but informative. Knowledge is power, but too much knowledge without a little zing puts your customers to sleep. Trust comes from liking someone; make me like you.
  • Work at it. I can tell if you slapped a bunch of web stories together and called it a customer newsletter. The more you put into your newsletter, the more I’ll appreciate your work and concern for my time.
  • Variety. Not just columns, or specials, or news stories. Relevant apps, jokes, good stories, and weird stories. As long as they’re relevant to the common thread you share with the reader, then it all “blends.”

Collaborate on the Cheap with Open Source

IBM is rethinking how its employees interact with each other and their customers. E-mail, company reps say, is “anti-social,” and that, of course, goes against the very grain of social media. So, the conglomerate is promoting a social business model that uses digital work tools so employees can “do great work together.”

Sure, IBM has cash at the ready to throw at the program. But this idea can work at the small business level, thanks to open source collaborative platforms. First of all, open source means cheap, or even free. With open source, you’ve got a group of volunteer software programmers who are always making tweaks. And because of this robust community of developers, you don’t need that large IT department. (An important note: Any open source program worth its salt will have a governing committee to keep bad apples from slipping through).

These online collaborative platforms (Redmine, dotProject, Manymoon via LinkedIn, to name a few) get everyone in your company on the same page, regardless of employees’ locations. Users can easily work together with a virtual online program that allows them to manage documents, share files, create charts, facilitate communication, and the like. There are open source platforms for CRM, too, whether it’s for record keeping, sales integration, support, or troubleshooting.

Social media is all about collaboration, and so is business. It makes sense, then, to use social media software to improve business development and CRM programs. And the best part? You don’t need to have an IBM budget to do it.

Content Is King for Small B2B Marketing

Only a few weeks left until we release our findings from the 2010 B2B Content Marketing Study from Junta42 and MarketingProfs with assistance from the Business Marketing Association and American Business Media.

One thing that caught our attention was the difference in content marketing spending and tactics between small companies and larger business-to-business companies.

A few key highlights:

  • Small companies (those with less than 10 employees) blog more than large companies (over 1000 employees) at nearly double the rate (64% to 39%).
  • Small companies have been faster to adopt social media and eBooks.
  • The average B2B company spends 26% of their budget on content marketing.  Small companies spend 34% of budget while large companies spend 21%.

But one thing did ring consistent within all company sizes and sectors – over 50% of B2B marketers are increasing their spend in content marketing for 2011. Of the more than 1100 B2B marketers we surveyed, only 2% were going to decrease their content marketing spending.

Not too shabby.

When the final report is complete, you’ll hear about it right here. Thanks for your patience.

This post is taken from Junta42 and Joe Pulizzi

6 Rules for Content Marketing

Marketers are working hard to create great content that can be used to create sales leads, drive website traffic, promote brand, and educate customers and prospects. Unfortunately, not all content is created equal. To ensure you get the most out of your content marketing efforts, you must follow these six rules:

It is not promotional – promotional materials will neither excite nor inspire, both critical com­ponents of content marketing.

It is relevant – generic materials that are not highly relevant to a reader will not result in increased success. When writing content you must make sure it will be useful to the reader, regardless of whether it supports your company message.

It closes a gap – content marketing should answer a business question or problem. Giving people information about topics where there is no need for information will be a wasted effort by the organization. An added benefit of this useful information is its ability to be used in lead nurturing.

It is well written – poorly written thought leader­ship may not only provide poor results, but may also hurt the company’s reputation. Take time to ensure content is presented in a thoughtful mannner and is free of errors.

It is relevant to your company – if the content you create does not support business objectives in any way, it is a waste of resources to produce. Keep business goals in mind when creating content.

It gives proof – since you write to support a business goal, your content may seem biased. Make sure that content you create gives proof either through quotes and testimonials or through actual metrics and statistics.

Keep this as a check list when you are creating new content, and review again for it goes live. And this checklist isn’t just for white papers, content includes everything from webinars to articles to videos.