Businesses operating in 2019 face a very different environment than those which began operating several years ago. Technology has drastically changed the way businesses make purchases. Naturally, B2B firms have had to change the way they market and sell their products and services. This article focuses on how you need to tweak your sales strategy to incorporate technology and adapt to modern buyer behavior.
Offer Personalized Sales Service
This doesn’t simply mean referring to frequent buyers by name. In 2019, it means using a robust customer relationship management program to understand the businesses you serve. You need to be able to give them exactly what they need. You should use the data collected by your CRM to create a perfect user experience. Examine buyers’ purchase histories, learn their needs and discover their pain points. This enables you to anticipate the products or services they need and contact them when you have something to offer them.
A CRM system can also help every member of the sales team to offer the same level of service to a buyer. Regular buyers usually develop a relationship with one sales representative. If that person who knows them well isn’t available, they may not get the same experience. When you have a record of the buyer’s preferences, past purchases and their last interaction with a rep, it makes it easier for anyone to serve them well.
You should also seriously consider offering the tools and services which buyers are asking for, especially when you stand to gain. More and more buyers, especially large ones, want their suppliers to be Punchout-enabled. If you’re getting repeated requests for this, maybe it’s time to invest in Punchout Catalogs.
Embrace Real-Time Messaging
There was a time when sales teams did all their work during regular office hours. Buyers wouldn’t expect to get a response if they called your business at 6 p.m. unless you were in a specialized field. Today, buyers and potential buyers send emails or social media messages at all hours of the day and night. And, given the increasingly globalized world in which we live, it may actually be an acceptable time to do business where they are.
Your sales strategy needs to take into account the fact that buyers want to communicate on their terms. This doesn’t mean you need to have someone fielding calls 24/7. Research shows that as much as 30 percent of website visitors expect a live chat feature and that when it is deployed, sales increase. Employ the use of a chatbot to acknowledge queries and provide links to general information or frequently asked questions at a minimum. This way you don’t lose a sale because there was no one available when a potential buyer saw something they wanted.
Use Online Feedback to Guide Your Strategy
What are buyers saying about you online? Most businesses which serve customers know online reviews can make or break their business. The same applies to B2B businesses. The difference is that B2B buyers are more likely to use LinkedIn than other forms of social media to look for reviews and recommendations. If there are frequent complaints about your after sales service or your level of responsiveness, this may turn off potential buyers. Not only do you need to pay attention to what is being said, but you need to tweak your operations accordingly where possible. Word of mouth and third-party endorsements still carry more weight than advertising.
Don’t Ignore Search Engine Optimization
As noted above, B2B buyers do online research. In fact, as much as 89 percent of B2B researchers use the Internet and 73 percent of traffic to B2B sites comes from search engines. If you can’t be found online easily, you’re losing a large percentage of leads. Most people don’t even go past the first page of the search engine results so if you’re on page two for leading keywords, they won’t find you. This means you need to put a lot of effort into creating high-quality, user-friendly content which adds value to your target market. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and incorporate video to help you rise up the results pages. Learn more about Search Engine Optimization here.
Use Permission-based Marketing
This is another technology-related tip. In the age of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), even if you don’t do business with European companies, buyers have become increasingly sensitive to how their information is being used. You need to proactive transparent about how data will be used and ensure you ask for permission when collecting data. You need to assure them that their private information will not be leaked or used for nefarious purposes.
If you operate within the European Union or European Economic Area, you also need to be aware that you can be punished if you don’t adhere to the regulations. Countries around the world are likely to pass similar laws in the not too distant future so you should make sure your company is keeping an eye on the developments.
A successful, modern B2B sales strategy means offering a personalized customer experience which embraces the technology buyers use. You will be left behind if you don’t do this. Use the tips above to help you craft a strategy in line with your company’s goals.
This article has been written for Times of Startups by Melissa Stanley. Melissa is a veteran tech writer and editor who has worked in several eCommerce companies so far. She has been covering technology online for over five years. She is Client Service Manager of PCGT – PunchOut Catalogs.
Guerrilla Marketing for Lawyers: 6+ Highly Effective DIY Guerrilla Marketing Strategies for Attorneys & Law Firms
What is Guerilla Marketing?
Before we get into details about guerrilla marketing for lawyers, a quick note about what this marketing actually is!
The term ‘Guerilla Marketing’ was first coined by the American business writer and author, Jay Conrad Levinson in 1984. He came up with the idea of having a marketing and advertising strategy that was not only creative and witty, but also cost effective.
His book, also named Guerrilla Marketing, has been so influential, it is required to be read in MBA programs across the world.
Guerrilla marketing is all about coming up with new and interesting ideas for marketing your law firm and the services/products you offer.
Creativity is at the heart of guerilla marketing, utilizing humor, imagination, and unconventional methods to target customers/clients.
The plan is to always come at your target clientele in the most unexpected ways, leaving them curious and interested. This form of engagement creates more buzz and excitement as compared to conventional law firm marketing, making guerilla marketing more effective.
Does Guerilla Marketing Work for Lawyers?
You will be surprised to know that the most effective marketing campaigns in history were initiated and completed with very little funds. Guerilla marketing is all about marketing on little to no budget. What you lack in finances, you make up for it with ingenuity.
The goal is to surprise the audience in a way that generates word of mouth; something that gets them talking. Thanks to social media, this can be done much more easily and quickly than before.
So, does guerilla marketing work for lawyers, the answer is a resounding YES!
Even though most advertising campaigns focus on products rather than services, guerilla marketing can be shaped to cater to law firms.
Even lawyers need to market themselves to spread awareness of how they can offer advice and representation in legal matters, and by now you’re probably sick of being bombarded by all the legal seo companies sending you an endless wave of emails touting search engine optimization as the only way to grow your firm.
So why not utilize the most powerful form of marketing there is?!
Marketing for lawyers does not have to be expensive. Even though you can throw as much money as you want at your firm’s marketing campaign, there’s really no need to.
With the world going digital and the power of social media within your grasp, you can get a lot more outreach with much less money.
It has become crucial to harness the power of the internet into guerilla marketing so as to target your specific audience.
How to Start Your Guerrilla Marketing Initiative
In order to get started with guerilla marketing, the first step is not to worry about your finances. As mentioned before, you don’t need a huge budget. All you need is to prep your mind and let your imagination go wild so you come up with the most creative marketing ideas.
The most successful guerilla marketing campaigns require thinking outside of the box. You need to do something that sets you apart from the rest. Of course you have to stay within the confines of the law and make sure it’s not something offensive.
So, if you want the world to know about how good a lawyer you are, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Visit Community Events, Conferences & Workshops
- Get Involved Locally
- Create a Referral Program
- Leverage Social Media Marketing
- Partner with Law Firms Complementing Your Practice
- Capitalize On Your Travels
1. Visit Community Events, Conferences & Workshops
One of the best ways to get people’s attention is to give them your time. By volunteering at events, workshops and conferences, you can give the attendees an idea of your expertise.
Depending on the type of event, you can share strategies and offer helpful information. Let them know that you have an active online presence such as a website, Facebook page complete with pictures and information related to your law firm.
You can also give out media kits to the attendees containing your credentials, bio and your law firm’s mission. This info can be vital for them to understand what you specialize in and whether you can help them with their specific legal issue.
2. Get Involved Locally
Build your network by getting yourself involved in local events. If there are no events coming up, why don’t you host one of your own!
Getting a fundraiser campaign for a good cause or having a canopy at the county fair, this is the best way for you to get the attention of the local ‘movers and shakers’.
By being a part of such organizations and boards, you will be assisting them with your knowledge and skills as a lawyer. This is something that is greatly treasured by everyone.
Remember NOT to give a sales pitch during these events as people respond more positively to valuable information.
3. Referral Programs
Quite similar to affiliate marketing, you pay someone for sending business your way. You have an arrangement with referrers who know about your work and when they meet someone who needs your specific services, they send them your way.
This does not cost you money as you only pay the referrer when you actually get paid from that particular business.
The ideal people to get referrals from are your fellow attorneys at law.
For instance, you work with criminal law cases but don’t handle divorce law. However, there are times when criminal cases require divorce attorneys.
You can take advantage of this by making an arrangement with another lawyer to send referrals your way and vice versa.
Create a guide and send it to your local attorneys so they can send those referrals your way.
4. Leverage Social Media Marketing
Even though you will hear how a lot of people are opting to leave social media behind, there is no denying that it is the largest guerilla marketing platform today. By riding the social media bandwagon, you can reach more people than any other platform.
There are always people on Facebook and Twitter looking for lawyers to handle their legal battles. There might be someone on Twitter right now who was charged with DUI and is looking for an attorney who can take on his/her case.
If you are a divorce attorney you can get the attention of someone who might be going through a tough marriage. This results in that person instantly becoming your potential client.
With more than 2 billion social media users, it would be foolish to not take advantage of this medium for marketing your law firm.
You can create your profiles for free, followed by posting information on various legal issues where you and your fellow lawyers can help.
5. Partner with Law Firms Complementing Your Practice
This is a great way to save money while connecting with more clients. Think about other law firms whose services complement yours in your area.
For instance, while you specialize in Family Law, you might know some firms in other practice areas such as Estate Planning, Bankruptcy, Criminal etc.
By collaborating with such firms, you can avoid considerable printing and mailing costs. And by sharing your own network with them, your law firm also emanates a sense of involvement in the legal community.
6. Capitalize On Your Travels
If your legal business has you traveling a lot, capitalize on it. Get a white box and put a couple of non essential items in it. Put your firm’s branding on the box’s outside, with your name, contact number and website.
Better yet, also add a tagline, like “Having trouble with a business deal? Maybe we can help!”. When the box comes out on the conveyor, let it go around a few times before you collect it.
Let People Find You Online
Nowadays, almost everyone goes online to search for people, brands, products, you name it!
By having an online profile, you can let potential clients view your achievements, both educational and career wise. This also gives a sense of trust to the potential client as they know where and how to reach you.
With social media, you have the chance to not only stay connected with your clients, but also gain new ones by being available online for some Q & A.
If you are willing to spend some money, you can also post ads on various social media platforms. These ads will be shown to your target audience to capture their attention towards you regarding their legal issue.
What Else Can You Do?
If you wish to succeed in this competitive world, you need to consistently focus on marketing your services. Whether you have a budget for marketing your law firm or not, you need to be consistent in finding ways to grow.
It is crucial to keep up with the changes and advances in the world of guerilla marketing. This is the key to not only ensure your survival, but also to give you a competitive edge.
Here are some of the things you can do:
- Have a great search engine ranking
- Post interesting content
- Create informative online videos
- Show-off your reviews
Lawyers and law firms need to utilize each and every technological tool available to reach their target clientele. Let’s get into the details a bit.
Have a Great Search Engine Ranking
As you are aware, if your website is not listed on the first page of the search results, it will not be seen by the majority of the users. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the most important aspect of having an online presence via a website, as it ensures that you can be easily found on Google searches.
Your website needs to be optimized so your website loads faster and has links on other websites leading back to your website.
You also need to ensure that you have a web design that is not only on par with today’s standards, but also captivates the visitor into staying and exploring more about your law firm.
Post Interesting Content
Believe it or not but great quality content is what sets your law firm’s website apart in the vast ocean that is the world wide web.
By providing valuable and relevant information, you can let your target clients know about your expertise and skills on handling legal issues.
Post informative blogs and articles to drive scores of potential clients toward the firm. You can also post as a guest on other law firm websites and have others do the same.
This will greatly help in expanding your reach towards new clientele.
Create Informative Online Videos
The days of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive video and audio equipment are long gone. Today, all this can be accomplished with a smartphone, or much cheaper than before professional audio/video equipment.
Create a short video where you discuss the most common legal issues faced by your community. Expand on that and cover other topics.
Make sure to keep things simple by not going into details. People are more likely to watch videos that are to-the-point and short rather than going on and on about all the legal mumbo jumbo!
You can post these videos on your law firm’s website, YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Connect all your accounts so it is easy for users to share and tag your videos across several social media platforms.
You can also create simple yet elegant graphics to work within your video to interest the viewers.
Most importantly, do not forget to smile!
Show-off Your Reviews
Reviews can make or break your game!
Nowadays, it’s all about going online and searching for reviews. People hardly ask each other about referrals or their experiences as now they are more likely to read reviews online.
Even anonymous ones are given weight and credibility, so having them posted on your social media pages and website can really boost traffic towards your law firm.
Make sure to feature the most positive reviews as they will naturally have a positive impact on the potential client. You can also ask your local community members to write testimonials which you can showcase as well.
Legal Guerrilla Marketing: Sustained!
If you have reached this part of the article it means you have a basic understanding of guerilla marketing for lawyers. Note that there is still a lot more to this form of marketing technique than what has been discussed here. For now you have a solid grasp of what it entails.
There is no one way to utilize guerrilla marketing for your law firm. You have to stay on your toes and wait for the most opportune moments to come up with something that is interesting and engaging.
There are chances you’ll probably end up using all of these, or perhaps some of these methods. The best way to go forward is to personalize your guerilla marketing campaigns to suit the needs of your law firm.
Guerrilla Marketing for Lawyers: 6+ Highly Effective DIY Guerrilla Marketing Strategies for Attorneys & Law Firms was written by Devin Schumacher and first appeared on SERP Co.
Inbound Marketing: How it Could Possibly Help Small-Medium Enterprises?
Inbound marketing is identified as a kind of “pull marketing”, where the goal is to bring in purchasers who are new to the company, via interacting, useful and value-adding material, based on the phase of buying journey.
Any channel that brings in unidentified buyers such that they enquire about your products and services, rather than you hunting them individually is an inbound marketing method. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a source of inbound marketing.
Thomas Foo from TNT SEO mentioned that in the year 2020, the Malaysians are very anxious about Coronavirus, with top areas of concern being family members health, own health, job security, the overall economy and spreading the virus to others. Because of this, SEO becomes crucial for small-medium enterprises to make it through throughout this challenging time.
Content is the Backbone of Inbound Marketing
Search Engine Optimization is without a doubt the biggest source of traffic for any website. As an example, if you run a outdoor gear shop and somebody performs a Google search for the keywords “sleeping bag”, then you would want to appear first in the search engine result, since the large majority of clicks go to the top 3 or 4 organic results.
To win over inbound marketing, you will need content that fulfils the searcher’s intent. Most often than not, they are interesting, easy-to-scan and most importantly, provide a solution and value to the readers.
Inbound marketing techniques can be started whenever you wish but it takes skills and budget to succeed. This is why most businesses in Malaysia that need SEO services will choose to engage an experienced online marketing company to take care of this component of their business on their behalf.
Remember that a serious SEO requires planning on content strategy, onsite audit, backlink acquisition and great client communication.
5 Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
According to the Small Business Administration, Small Businesses were responsible for creating over 60% of the net new jobs since 1993 in the United States. However, with the advent of the Internet and the large scale adoption of various technologies by the masses, various aspects of running a business have changed. Be it Finance or Marketing, the way things were done ten or even five years back, are no longer applicable now. In this post ‘5 Marketing Tips for Small Businesses‘, we will understand the five most important contemporary marketing trends and how businesses can use these marketing strategies for getting better results.
5 Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Use the power of Email Marketing
What is Email Marketing?
Email Marketing involves sending emails to a group of people, hoping that they will buy a product or service from your current offerings or they will buy products or services from you when you launch them in the future.
Email Marketing is still one of the best ways to reach out to your prospective clients. By landing in their Inbox, you have a chance to grab more attention as email ids are considered as private information and when you have access to someone’s email address you have a chance to give a more personal feel to your marketing campaign.
However, you have to be very cautious in your email marketing campaigns as you don’t want to abuse it by sending too many emails.
You should also try to add a personal touch to your emails and should not be promotional at the beginning itself. Try to add some value to your email subscribers by giving them tips that might genuinely interest them.
If you are into a product-based business, at the beginning of your email, let your readers know all about what’s happening around your product. Similarly, if you are into a service-based business, you can let your readers know about the latest problem areas in your area of business and then gently let them know how your offerings might help them solve their problems.
Email marketing is one of the oldest marketing techniques and looking at the current trends, this will remain as one of the most effective marketing technique in the foreseeable future too.
Focus on your Website’s SEO
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
Simply put, Search Engine Optimization is the act of optimizing your business’ online presence so that when someone searches for a keyword related to your business, your business name appears in the search result, preferably on the top.
SEO should be one of the most important aspects of your marketing strategy. No matter how good your product or service is, if it does not appear in search results, it is no good. You might be the best Interior Designer in Los Angeles, but if your business name does not appear in the search result for the keyword ‘Best Interior Designer in Los Angeles’ or ‘Top Interior Designer in Los Angeles’, probably you are losing out on a lot of business.
SEO involves long term dedication and constant work. You have to constantly work on the various aspects of SEO.
For example, you have to regularly look out for keywords that are performing good for your business type and then you need to produce timely content for those keywords.
You also need to update your old content from time to time. While sharing important Marketing tips for small businesses, Marketing Guru Rachel R. Noall in her article revealed some valuable SEO statistics too. For example, 75% of consumers never scroll past page 1 on Google! That should ring some alarm bells if you are not already focusing on your SEO.
Leverage the reach of Social Media Marketing
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is the process of finding your targeted customers on popular social media marketing platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn among others. Your marketing campaign on these platforms can be promotional i.e you pay to these platforms so that your post’s chances of appearing on the walls of your prospective clients increases with the assistance of algorithms of these platforms or it could be non- promotional where you expect your prospective clients see your posts. For non- promotional campaigns, there are various groups that you can join and promote your business without being too pushy.
Social Media Marketing can be a very effective weapon in your Social Media Marketing arsenal. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn provide the option of targeted promotion of your content. In traditional marketing campaigns, it is hard to achieve this level of targeting.
According to Statista,” As of January 2020, it was found that ten percent of global active Facebook users were women between the ages of 18 and 24 years, and male users between the ages of 25 and 34 years constituted the biggest demographic group of Facebook users.”
If you are a manufacturer of men’s grooming products, you would probably want your advertisement to be displayed to men of a particular age group in a particular location. Being a small business owner, you would want to spend your advertising budget wisely and social Media platforms allow you to achieve this level of targeting and that too at a nominal cost.
Become a sponsor for Local Events
By participating in local events, you increase your business contacts. That’s good but instead of just participating, try to sponsor one or two events and in return advertise your company by placing your banners at strategic locations. Small businesses thrive on local clients. Local events can be business conferences, charity events, school functions, etc. You should aim at building contacts and letting people know through your banners that you mean business.
For a majority of Small Businesses, local business means everything and local events give an excellent opportunity to promote your business.
Build an awesome Lead Magnet
What is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is what marketers or businesses offer to their prospective clients for free in return for their contact information so that they can be converted in to buyers later on. You might have visited several websites where you see pop ups asking you if you are interested in downloading a Free E-Book. You just have to enter your email address and you are done. You get the free E-Book as promised in your inbox. While you definitely got your free E-Book, the marketer or the business owner just got your email address which can be later used for marketing campaigns and if you liked the free content, you are likely to pay if the same business comes with an E-Book but has a price tag on it.
Therefore, it is important that you have an awesome lead magnet. What you are offering for free should in no way be low in quality and should genuinely add value to your prospective clients. Even if the client does not buy anything from you, the experience that you provided might turn him or her into a client in distant future too.
In order to build an effective lead magnet, focus on the problems of your clients. Try to provide some free solutions to their problems through e-books or videos and focus on genuinely solving their problems. This way, you will build trust with your prospective clients.
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