Are Outbound and Inbound Marketing Solutions Coming Together?
Inbound is all the rage. We all love social and content is king. Cold calling is dead and direct mail smells a bit. Advertising is moving native and glossy brand ads don’t really fit in our b2b world.
In our last blog ‘Are you a bees to a honeypot kind of business?’ we talked about the fact that millennials have been weaned on social media and know nothing pre-Internet. That means the frame of reference for younger buyers is almost solely based on search and the power of personal and business networks.
The reality is that we are all privy to such vast amounts of information about individuals and businesses that there is no place to hide. Traditional marketing, if we can call it that, such as telemarketing and direct mail and even email marketing typically result in many decision makers checking your business out. If you don’t stack up, you’re off their shortlist. Business people are all time poor and competition is rife in every sector. So, you need to do everything you can to stand out. And that’s hard. How do you do that? Below are just a few ideas.
- Build your credibility – Show you’re an expert by producing interesting content that prospects can check out. This enhances your credibility. Ensure that your LinkedIn company page isn’t bare and upload interesting blogs and other content onto your site. Add some good info about you and the team on your ‘about us’ page on your site. Work on gaining testimonials and case studies.
- Make sure your profiles stack on relevant platforms – Your LinkedIn profile is effectively part of the CV for your business. As such, it should be complete. Ensure that there are relevant posts on your profile that showcases your experience and knowledge. What does your Twitter page say about you? Do you post regular and interesting stuff that supports your claim to know what you’re doing?
- Share your knowledge –It’s all well and good producing interesting content but it’s no use if nobody sees it. Whilst, over time, search engines will hopefully reference you higher, you also need to make sure you distribute your info on the main social media platforms. Consider running a webinar and inviting your customer database and promote this via your website.
- Produce videos – Maybe I’m banging on about video because we’ve just done some. The reality is that they’re increasingly important for search, credibility and since a picture paints a thousand words. Given that ‘how to’ videos are how we find out stuff, the more video you can add the better. And don’t forget to put them on YouTube (and Vimeo) as these are important search engines in their own right.
- Be great on a 1-2-1 basis on the phone and face to face – How do you come across? Do you stand out or is there nothing different in your approach? Are you perceived as a sales person or as a trusted adviser? Check out our article about how to sell yourself before you sell your services and 8 Tips for Becoming a Better Salesperson for more.
You and your business need to be credible. The simple fact is that those that talk the talk but don’t walk the walk can now very quickly be found out. Comparing vendors is easier than ever. If there are no testimonials and no content to speak of on your website and your LinkedIn profile lags behind others, the chances are you’ll be bumped off the shortlist in favour of someone that shines brighter.
When we undertake b2b telemarketing for clients, we try to encourage them to bolster their online presence. This means work on their website, social activity and content. If we have a great ‘10 tips’ article to use in an email to follow up a call, it helps. If that leads prospects to a strong landing page showcasing skills and knowledge so much the better.
To generate sales leads from search engines, those search engines need to see fresh and original content on a regular basis. That same content supports outbound calling, email marketing, AdWords and any other form of proactive marketing activity. The two are becoming joined and complement each other. In our article ‘Can Social Media and Telemarketing be Integrated?’, we talk about how social can drive traffic and telemarketing can mop up especially if the content that’s distributed via social media drives prospects to make an enquiry on a contact form on a website landing page.
The point is that it’s harder and harder to divorce one method of lead generation from the other. You need to present a credible face whether that’s when prospects find you online or when you find them proactively. If you don’t, it’s unlikely that your business development efforts will work and you’ll slip further and further behind both in terms of search engine ranking and in terms of your likelihood of making your prospect’s final cut. So, start thinking about lead generation as a whole and not just in terms of individual activities. If you do, you’re likely to see better results in the long run.
If you’d like to know how GSA Business Development can help generate growth for your business through telemarketing or social media lead generation or you’d like to book one of our new business development and marketing strategy workshops, contact us now on 0845 658 8192 or use the form on this site.