B2B Marketing for small business brands today is an increasingly challenging effort. Companies, and their buyers, operate in an incredibly fast-paced and constantly evolving marketplace. LinkedIn, for instance, has seemingly become the preeminent network of choice for businesses and professionals. But this has also made it that much more difficult to stand out amongst the competition.
Strategies that have worked in the past, such as free PDF downloads and gated webinar campaigns are not yielding the same results they once did. And most people I talk with confirm that these types of campaign efforts are producing fewer and fewer web leads with fewer sales-qualified leads.
With all the noise in the B2B marketplace, how can small business brands today shift and adapt their marketing strategies to reach, attract, and engage their target audience?
Influence Your Audience with a B2B Media Strategy
In a previous post – Why B2B Brands Need a Media Strategy – I talk about the need for companies to shift their thinking by setting different expectations and measuring what matters:. In summary…
- Rather than designing marketing campaigns to procure web leads, design media strategies that create real value for your audience, and…
- Rather than measuring campaign effectiveness on reach, impressions, clicks, and web leads, measure it on engagement growth and influence.
An Automotive B2B Media Strategy for Brand Awareness and Influence
One company that has made a shift recently is Reunion Marketing, a young bootstrapping Automotive and Small Business Marketing firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Reunion was founded in 2015 by Dave Spannhake and Ryan Szwejbka, the former coming from a marketing position with a Raleigh-based automotive group.
In its first four years of business, Reunion has grown from its original core group of about five employees to now more than 40. This in an of itself says a lot about the leadership and management at Reunion. But that’s not necessarily what we are focusing on in the video below, which features my conversation with Dane Saville, Brand and PR Manager at Reunion Marketing.
Saville is also Host of KPI Cafe, an Automotive B2B media initiative the company rolled out in November 2018. Saville comes from a career in the public education system to the auto industry. He’s friendly, charismatic, and has a passion for people. He also understands that B2B marketing today requires a special touch – unique and authentic with just the right blend of entertainment and professionalism.
Enjoy the Conversation
Key Takeaways from Conversation
If you listened to my conversation above with Dane, hopefully you gathered the key takeaways:
- What is KPI Cafe? – A media strategy to create brand awareness.
- Why KPI Cafe? – Traditional methods are losing effectiveness, not creating influence.
- What is the Tech Stack for KPI Cafe? – A studio, professional audio and video equipment, talent, & software.
- Where is KPI Cafe media content published and distributed? – Our blog and in social media.
- Engagement differences from network to network? – LinkedIn dominates. YouTube is good too.
- How do you know the strategy is working? – We see engagement levels increasing
- What’s in store for KPI Cafe moving forward? – More focus and strategically planned editorial process.
Of course, these are the paraphrased responses to these questions. To hear it from Dane himself, you need to watch the video.
Reach is Not Influence
So many marketers get caught up in the idea that thought-leadership and influence are measured by how many people you reach (quantity). But can influence truly be measured? Can it be purchased?
The short answer is no, not really. Influence is something you feel and experience. It’s something you realize. And influence can not be purchased. Reach can be, but not influence. The only way to influence people is to connect with them and provide value. The kind of value they can’t get elsewhere. Value they can count on. Value they can apply.
I’m sorry, but a free PDF download and a corporate webinar presentation are not cutting it these days. If you want a bunch of names and email addresses, you can buy them from data aggregators pretty affordably.
B2B Influencer Marketing
All this boils down to a few things…
- It’s time to shift your thinking by resetting expectations, what and how you measure
- It’s time to consider an effective media strategy, one designed to influence
- Reach is not influence because influence can’t be bought
In my recent guest appearance on the Get Ya Some Radio Show, Host Terry Lancaster and I talk about all these ideas at length. To go deeper into these ideas, be sure to check out, How to Be a Media Mogul and Salesperson. And if you’re interested in testing out these ideas on your own, then get the free quick start guide below. It’s free and with no strings attached.