We’re on the second month of the first quarter of ’21, and two tools in our b2b marketing toolbox are standing out as shining stars so far. Below is the lowdown, so you can consider adding them to your own marketing strategy.
BTW, if you still haven’t put a short-term strategic marketing plan in place for your company, our Short-Term Plan for $750 promotion is valid through March 31, 2021. Take us up on this because winging your marketing in today’s interesting times (or any time, really) is rarely effective.
The Shining Stars of Q1 2021 (So Far)
Star #1: Community Memberships & Sponsorships
We identified Community Membership & Sponsorships in our last blog post “B2B Marketing Round Up: What Worked Best in 2020,” and we’re seeing continued performance so far in 2021. Several of our clients are generating quality leads from these types of engagements.
The big thing to keep in mind is that we’re not talking about memberships and sponsorships in huge trade associations here. We’re talking about conducting extensive research to strategically identify and vet small- to mid-size niche organizations that cater to a vertical market or certain segments within a vertical market.
Once you’ve honed in on some good candidates, start by joining as a member in whatever capacity makes sense. Take advantage of everything that is included in your membership—logo on their website, boilerplate content, social posts, etc. Maximize it. Then, consider taking it up a notch or two with some paid activities such as conducting an educational webinar to their members. Many will guarantee a certain number of registrants and provide you with their contact information after the event. Then, get involved in their online communities.
More about this next…
Star #2: Community Marketing
Many of our clients are finding that gaining visibility within niche vertical communities can be fruitful in terms of helping them reach new audiences.
Here’s the thing—you have to be savvy and strategic about doing this. Pushing your company and products won’t fly. Pushing your knowledge, helpfulness and resourcefulness does.
Start by studying the online communities available and the segments within them, so you can get a sense of which ones best suit your goals. Gain an understanding of the type of people who participate, the topics that arise and the approaches that are well-received.
Then, devise your strategy for each community, along with a weekly routine for engaging in them. For example, develop a spreadsheet that harnesses profiles for each community that can be utilized to save links to articles of interests, ideas for posts (even an occasional blog post from your company), etc. Then, utilize this when performing your weekly community engagement time.
The idea is to become a regular, helpful presence within these communities, and when an opportunity arises to suggest your offerings, seize it—in a low-key, friendly manner.
Last but not least, there’s a ton of market intelligence to be gained from community marketing. Pay attention to timely topics and trends that arise and keep marketing (and other divisions in your company!) dialed in so they can make good use of these insights.