The Wax Blog

customer experienceGetting your content to resonate with your audience depends to a large extent on the customer experience, in other words their journey to making a purchase. Prospects in the early stages of research have different needs than those that are closer to making a decision. Creating content that gets noticed isn’t just about finding the right keywords. Although some content marketers place a significant amount of emphasis on the search for high-volume keywords, that approach is short-sighted. Top-of-the-funnel generic keywords are bound to have greater search volume than those used for specific situations. For example, there will be more searches for “productivity widgets” than “productivity widget integration ISO 9000.” Yet, there may be a strategic reason for creating more content that addresses the needs of those lower volume searches. More on that in a moment. Despite all the "fancy" customer experience stuff out there, people always have and always will follow five basic steps; problem resolution, information gathering, solution evaluation, purchase, post-purchase behavior. The names may have changed, but the song remains the same. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, people experience problems, look for solutions, figure out their best alternative, buy what they believe is the right choice, and engage in some sort of post-purchase interaction. [Tweet "Stop chasing keywords and align your content with the customer experience. "] Stop chasing keywords and align your content with the customer experience. Google handles trillions of searches per year and a good portion them are unique. If you can’t guess those keywords or their search volume, it’s tough to execute a keyword-oriented content strategy efficiently. However, if you are empathetic to your customer and their experience, creating content that meets their needs is far easier. Let’s borrow a concept from the world of growth hackers and startups.

visual marketersWe live in a visually dominated world. It’s rare to see any content appear on the web without a visual complement. Whether it’s a 140 character tweet or a five page white paper, content gets shared more often when accompanied by an image. Visual marketers know this. They also know that you don't have to be a Photoshop wizard to win big with visual marketing. No surprise that this rising interest in visual presentation has been accompanied by an increase in the number of related applications. From this large universe, we’ve selected a number of tools that cover a wide variety of uses in B2B marketing including image creation, presentation, editing and optimization.

Canva

This simple yet powerful design tool enables visual marketers to quickly create decent-looking visual content. Creating online promotional material for blog posts is straightforward as there are dozens of templates already sized for popular social media platforms. Producing offline marketing collateral like event flyers, business cards and postcards is also a snap. Versatility and ease of use are two reasons that makes this product particularly appealing.

Placeit

Placeit lets visual marketers quickly create product mockups. Provide a screenshot or URL of your site and this app creates a mockup on a variety of desktop and mobile devices. As of this writing there are dozens of devices and hundreds of shots from which to choose. Posters, banners and packaging mockups are also available, saving time when pitching offline concepts.

Visme

Visme is a tool for creating presentations, infographics, reports, web content, product presentations and wireframes. Create interactive presentations in your browser, share them on social media, embed them on your website, view them on any device or download for presentation offline.

DataHero

DataHero helps visual marketers take complicated data, make sense out of it, and create stunning and informative visuals. Design beautiful charts and dashboards from your data, export them in a variety of formats and use them in your PowerPoint, or any other presentation. DataHero connects to a number of leading cloud services, decodes your data, combines it across any service (even spreadsheets), and recommends appropriate visuals. You can accomplish all this without waiting for IT provide you with insight.

Venngage

niche networksAccording to conventional wisdom, Twitter is dead, LinkedIn is the place for B2B marketing, and the rest is just filler. As discovered in our recent post, “Finding the Right B2B Social Network For Your Business,” things aren’t always as simple as they appear. A small and highly engaged audience can turn out to be significantly more profitable than one that is large yet indifferent. It might be time to consider throwing niche networks into your marketing mix. It’s not only about size, nor is it just about engagement. It’s the combination of the two that brings the greatest reward. While a high degree of attention is focused on the major social networks, a 2015 survey by Pew Research Center revealed that Internet users are moving away from big social networks, and towards simpler and more refined mobile based apps. This may well signal the beginning of fragmentation in the social media landscape. Marketers using social media platforms have a tough time. It’s hard to know whether a new platform is going to break out into the mainstream or disappear into oblivion, taking with it all that effort spent gaining traction on the channel. Then there are the constant algorithm changes and the significant impact they cause. Social media success is often fleeting. As a network matures, organic reach significantly drops until the only choice left is paying to play. This is no accident, but rather an event created through design. Social networks are for-profit corporations that, once they have a sufficient audience, naturally want to start seeing a profit. The reality is that all good things come to an end, so you need to continually test and refine your marketing approach. One strategy worth exploring is incorporating niche networks into your overall marketing program. There are two things you need to consider for this technique to work. First, you’ll need to create a process to research and identify promising social media platforms, test them and scale your activities should initial results prove favorable. Second, you’ll want to have some form of risk management in place. You don’t want to spend a major portion of your marketing resources on one platform only to see it die an agonizing death. You want to keep testing different niche networks until you find one that works and then double down on the winner. Eventually, the channel will become saturated, and you’ll have to repeat the process yet again. This is a simple strategy, yet very challenging to execute. You are faced with constant algorithm changes and the learning demands of new and evolving platforms. In this environment, a T-shaped skill set and the ability to adapt quickly to change will be highly valued assets. It will definitely require a high level of commitment. But your social media niche marketing process will give you a substantial competitive advantage. While others lament over declining organic reach or desperately seek salvation on another popular platform, you’ll be executing your find, test, and scale strategy. Just rinse and repeat. Nevertheless, there remains a serious drawback with social media marketing on any platform. Your audience doesn’t belong to you. In fact, you’re renting it. You’re playing in someone else’s ballpark. It’s their game and their rules. One day you could find yourself shut out with no recourse available. It’s a risk every social media marketer takes, but it doesn’t make it any easier. However, there is another possibility:

[caption id="attachment_12577" align="alignright" width="236"]entrepreneurs with ADHD Spock definitely did not have ADHD, but I would venture a bet Captain Kirk had a bit of it.[/caption]

Entrepreneurs with ADHD can struggle when it comes to marketing

For a long time I swore my entrepreneur clients all had ADHD. They were impulsive, lost confidence quickly in marketing tactics, and were always looking for the next big thing. Luckily, I worked for several individuals with this kind of personality and I've always been able to take advantage of the "let's boldly go where no man has gone before attitude" while keeping a plan on track. But it's a struggle to get them to be patient to allow tactics to actually work. Entrepreneurs with ADHD  can be have particular strengths in some areas, but they can struggle when it comes to marketing Lately, research seems to be backing up my empirical observations regarding entrepreneurs with ADHD. Many new entrepreneurs can't stomach the slow pace of corporate life for even their first few years in business. The consultants at Intuitive.com reprinted a list of the best advantages entrepreneurs have with ADHD including hyper-focus, high energy, the ability to multi-task, and risk taking. A January article in Entrepreneur in  went so far as to call ADHD the entrepreneurs "superpower, " reminding us that the founders of Kinko's and JetBlue both have this learning "disability." I know I have several of the characteristics associated with ADHD and they were a total gift when I was a salesperson. I also think it adds to sensitivity and intuition but that's not backed up by anything other than my own opinion, But when it comes to marketing strategy and tactics, those characteristics can be a total disaster.  Here's why some characteristics are both a strength and a weakness for entrepreneurs with ADHD. 

The expertise and reach of a B2B influencer can prove very valuable beyond the immediate return of a campaign. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes. Some have large followings; some don’t. Others have a significant amount of influence while others, less so. Here's a look at some ways that B2B brands can benefit from relationships with B2B influencers. Expanding Your Reach Your reach is limited by the size of your immediate audience. To expand a brand’s reach, you must look outward. For example, OpenView features content from a number of influencers, each with a significant audience in their field. This content gets shared with an audience that normally would not be exposed to this material, resulting in new visitors to their site on a regular basis. As Kevin Cain, OpenView’s Director of Content Strategy explains, “By virtue of the fact that these influencers are choosing to publish content on our site, they are effectively signaling their approval of OpenView.” Improved Content Quality While many companies produce in-house content or outsource its generation as a money-saving tactic, Lee Odden suggests working with B2B influencers that already have established authority and status within your target market. Think about it. These people have built a reputation in part through their proven ability to create high-quality content. So why compete when you can co-operate to achieve your goals? Increased Engagement Conversations going on in your market between B2B influencers and prospects on a regular basis. They are looking for help and data to make informed buying decisions.  According to Traackr,

TrackMaven's recent B2B Industry report revealed drastic differences in the impact and use of social media across different industries. This post looks at those distinctions and how brands can focus their efforts on the right B2b social network.

Conventional wisdom holb2b social networkds that LinkedIn is the dominant B2b social network, and TrackMaven's report supports that notion for B2B overall. When considering audience, LinkedIn is number one followed by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. However, it's important to note that there are distinct differences based on industry. Some of the data might surprise you.
  • Facebook is where Manufacturing brands find their largest audience. Yet the extremely high engagement rates on Instagram make that platform a serious contender for these brands.
  • Aerospace and Defense get their largest audiences on LinkedIn, accounting for over half of their social media following. Yet engagement rates are low with only 1.14 interactions on average per post per 1,000 followers. Instagram, although small in size, is highly active with engagement rates 25 times that of LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn is the principal channel for building Biotech audiences, accounting for nearly 95% of followers. Although Facebook provides these brands with a smaller audience, it's a very effective B2B social network, sporting engagement rates 31 times higher than LinkedIn.
  • Chemical Manufacturers also find the majority of their audience on LinkedIn, with roughly two-thirds coming from this one platform. However engagement levels are the lowest with a ratio of just 1.02. Instagram is the most successful for these brands, with engagement ratios averaging 29.25.
  • Computer Hardware brands find that Facebook brings the largest audience, both as a percentage and in terms of sheer numbers. Despite the small audience size, the superior engagement ratio of Instagram offers brands far better results.
  • Construction brands attract about three times as large an audience on LinkedIn than Facebook. Yet Facebook offers roughly four times the engagement rate of the other B2B social network. Brands in this market should consider using both platforms to maximize their potential.
  • Electrical Equipment brands have LinkedIn audiences that are about three times as big as their Facebook followers. However, Facebook audiences are nearly four times as engaged. Like the construction industry, brands in this niche should step up their game on Facebook.
  • Regarding audience size, LinkedIn accounts for two-thirds of

Wax Marketing is proud to announce that The Wax Blog has been named to FitSmallBusiness.com's list of Best Small Business Blogs for 2016, joining other prominent publications including The Harvard Business Review, Duct Tape Marketing and Social Media Examiner as well as prominent influencers like...