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KEO Marketing Blog

Content Marketing: Value Obvious, Execution Still Tricky

Content Marketing strategyMost B2B marketers have reached the point where they understand the tremendous value in using high-quality content to support their marketing goals. As a result, many have made it a priority to ramp up their content-related efforts. And while they may be creating, posting and sharing a lot of good content, for some the task of planning a formal strategy for the best way to handle this content is still somewhat intimidating.

One big factor driving this push toward increased content is simply the sheer volume of outlets and venues through which businesses can now share information. A typical marketing strategy today might encompass blogs, web content, e-newsletters, white papers, case studies, online advertising and of course social media sites. This represents many different opportunities to generate leads, connect with prospects and engage existing customers.

From an SEO standpoint, another big motivator for developing content is Google’s increased emphasis on high-quality content. For businesses (especially those in a very competitive field), the search-related rewards that can result from this approach can make investing in content marketing a smart move.

Well-written content, especially in the form of materials like white papers and articles, are also a great way to establish expertise and authority, and can help position your company executives as thought leaders in the industry.

One just-released report offers some interesting insights about B2B marketers and how they are handling content. In general, the research shows that most realize the importance of content, but some haven’t quite reached the point of putting together a formal strategy or identifying the best tactics for executing it.

Consider these stats from B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America, produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs and sponsored by Brightcove:

  • 86 percent of B2B marketers polled said they use content marketing
  • Only 35 percent have a documented content marketing strategy (another 48 percent said they have a strategy, but it isn’t officially documented)
  • 70 percent say they are creating more content than they did one year ago, with 42 percent publishing content daily or several times a week
  • LinkedIn is the most popular distribution channel for B2B marketers, followed closely by Twitter and Facebook. This illustrates the importance of coordinating your content development with your social media strategy.

These findings reinforce what we ourselves have observed. B2B marketers understand the great ROI potential of content marketing, but often find the prospect of planning a strategy or executing it on a daily basis to be intimidating. Trying to pull this off with limited resources or staff expertise makes things even more challenging.

KEO Marketing specializes in developing a content marketing strategy for B2B businesses, including creating the actual content and identifying the best ways to share it, often implementing a comprehensive plan that includes social media and web-based collateral.

Posted in Content Marekting | Tagged content marketing, keo marketing, marketing strategy, social media

Marketing Strategy: Age of the Customer a New Era for B2B

Marketing Strategy: Age of the Customer a New Era for B2BMarketers who want to appeal to potential buyers in today’s environment need to be aware of a major development: we have now entered a new period in the buyer-customer dynamic. Welcome to the Age of the Customer.

That’s what many marketing experts have dubbed the current atmosphere, and we have to agree. Sellers enjoyed a nice run, as the so-called Age of the Seller is said to have lasted nearly 10,000 years. So perhaps it was inevitable that there would be a shift, as all good things must come to an end at some point. But this is no slight adjustment. Things have completely shifted to an entirely new state of equilibrium.

One major component in the buyer-seller relationship can be credited for this shift in the power balance. You can think of the dynamic between sellers and buyers as a three-part phenomenon. There’s the product, which has always been controlled by the seller. There’s the buying decision, which is made by the customer. The bridge that connected the two is information about the product, which traditionally was also controlled by the seller, for the most part.

In the past, customers would only know information about the product which the seller wanted them to know, and any negatives would quickly be eliminated or hidden. It was fairly easy for sellers to keep a firm handle on what information was available for the customer to access. This was particularly true in the B2B sector, where sellers traditionally were very careful about the information they provided, and how it was packaged. Many B2B companies tended to favor a more conservative approach to information-sharing.

Not surprisingly, customers are no longer dependent upon seller to provide information. Far from it, in fact. Everyone has easy access to a vast amount of information. And that includes your potential customers. They can not only learn a lot about a seller and their products, but they can also get feedback from other customers about their experiences with specific products and companies. And they can get this information at any time, from any location.

If knowledge is power, customers are now extremely powerful. As uncomfortable as it may be for sellers, customers can quickly research products and companies during the decision process, and the information they discover will often influence their buying decision.

For sellers, trying to fight this development will be frustrating and futile. Instead, savvy marketers will accept this change and find ways to use it to their advantage. Rather than viewing this as the end of the world, consider it an opportunity. You now have the unique ability to connect directly with large numbers of potential customers, in a personalized way like never before.

By using social media and other tech-enhanced tools, you can identify prospects early in the buying cycle, and make a connection with them while they are still undecided. (Social media, online industry association directories and other resources can also help you identify decision-makers in the industries you serve, perhaps before they even realize they need your services, which is a great chance to beat the competition to the punch.) This is a valuable chance to win them over and make a positive impression. In addition, you can use things like testimonials, reviews and industry honors or certifications prominently displayed on your website to establish trust and demonstrate value.

Yes, it does take time and effort. Wooing a customer today is generally much more work than it was in the past, now that customers have grown more selective. But those who don’t invest in establishing these connections and building relationships with customers will likely suffer negative consequences as a result.

Unsure how to navigate this new era in the B2B marketing landscape? KEO Marketing specializes in mastering the most up-to-date and innovate marketing tactics, and we can help you develop an effective marketing strategy for the Age of the Customer.

Posted in B2B Marketing, Marketing Strategy | Tagged B2B Marketing, keo marketing, marketing strategy

KEO Marketing Remains Platinum Sponsor of AZTC

KEO Marketing Platinum Sponsor of Arizona Technology CouncilYou might say it’s a natural match. Arizona Technology Council is a powerful asset furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona, and KEO Marketing is proud to help support that worthy and important mission. AZTC has become a driving force behind making our state the fastest growing technology hub in the nation, connecting and empowering Arizona’s technology community.

That’s a mission that can benefit all businesses in the area, considering the great contributions that can be made (both now and in the future) by organizations and individuals who are serving as pioneers in developing important technological advances and ideas.

AZTC provides its members with marketing opportunities, educational events, discounts on products and services, as well as creating and advocating on behalf of business-focused legislation to enhance Arizona’s business climate.

To help with these worthy efforts, KEO Marketing was happy to recently renew its platinum-level sponsorship of AZTC. To us, the relationship has particular meaning, given that we ourselves have been dedicated to supporting technology leaders in the B2B realm since our firm was first established.

We know that today’s B2B marketers are facing an environment of rapid change, increased complexity and a broad array of choices. We find that marketers will often focus on one aspect of marketing at a time, such as a website or email campaign. Our approach is to set marketing teams up for success by looking at the entire marketing environment and focusing on the desired outcome. We’ve found this approach can double and even triple leads and sales when supported by the proper infrastructure, messaging and analytics.

We here at KEO Marketing like to think we are doing our part to support technology and the businesses involved with it by assisting B2B firms with their marketing strategy, social media efforts and other tactics that can help them achieve their business goals.

Posted in Marketing Strategy | Tagged arizona technology council, keo marketing, marketing strategy

Mobile Marketing: Actual Spending Falls Way Short of Ideal

Mobile Marketing SpendingWe’ve talked a lot about the importance of mobile marketing here recently, and by this point we think (or hope) most marketers have now realized that mobile will only continue to become a dominant factor for engaging and communicating with customers, generating leads and nurturing prospects. Understanding the impact of mobile is one thing, though. Acting upon that by developing a comprehensive mobile strategy and investing money and resources to enact that strategy is a totally different step, one that many businesses have been slow to take.

It should be easy to see the enormous potential of mobile marketing, and the value of investing in efforts in that realm. But just in case you still need a little more convincing, some recent statistics may do the trick. Mobile marketing spend could reach roughly $220 billion by decade’s end, with the U.S. portion of that accounting for $70 billion.

That’s according to a report just released by Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) titled, How Big is the Mobile Marketing Opportunity, which explores the mobile ad market opportunity for both marketers and mobile ad/media sellers. These calculations were based in the ROI of mobile strategies, and the rate at which mobile is rapidly dominating the marketing landscape over traditional, non-mobile channels.

The key word here is “could.” In other words, that’s the amount marketers could (and should) reasonably justify spending on mobile, given the huge growth and potential payoff in that area. The reality, however, seems to indicate that actual spending on mobile will fall far short of that benchmark. MMA’s research says that actual mobile spending right now is less than half of what it should be at optimal levels.

For those of us who have been paying attention, this shortfall in mobile investing is unfortunately not a big surprise. Mobile usage has exploded so suddenly that marketers in general have found it difficult to keep up. While consumers have rapidly embraced the mobile environment, businesses have scrambled to switch gears and transition to a mobile mindset. Many still don’t have a well-developed mobile strategy and haven’t developed effective tactics for reaching customers through this channel.

The silver lining is that this means lots of opportunity for those who were forward-thinking enough to embrace (and invest in) mobile from the start.

For those marketers who were quick to appreciate the significant ROI potential of mobile and have already enacted a mobile strategy or are in the process of developing one, their willingness to invest in this area will likely give them a valuable edge over competitors who are dragging their feet.

MMA refers to this as the “first mover advantage” and says it can prove to be extremely profitable. The MMA report says, “Agile marketers who see the opportunity, move first to embrace it, and act analytically and rationally to test, learn, and continually optimize their mobile execution will win. To the winners will come significant financial spoils at the expense of mobile laggards – and all by using same ad spend budgets, but for better results.”

Spelling this out in actual figures, MMA says optimizing mobile spend can result in a 2.6% net gain on impact generated from a campaign. In other words, just by optimizing on mobile in the media mix, marketing would be 2.6% more effective at driving sales.

Of course, most marketers face the challenge of trying to achieve the best results with a limited budget. That’s why it is so important to develop your strategy carefully, starting with the most cost-efficient tactics that will provide the greatest ROI. KEO Marketing has considerable experience in developing mobile marketing strategies that deliver results quickly (which as a bonus can help when trying to get buy-in from those in financial roles).

Posted in mobile marketing | Tagged keo marketing, mobile marketing, mobile marketing strategy

 

 

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