The B2B Challenge
Long complicated sales cycles come with the territory if you are a business selling goods or services to other businesses. At the end both companies usually lock into some contractual agreement for X amount of years under pricing terms. All of these conditions make it hard or impossible for the other company or sales force to compete.
At some point, due to a thousand different reasons, the product or service will be up for review. The challenge is keeping yourself, your company, and your services in front of the prospect until needed. Sounds easy, right? But then you remember the number of accounts in your territory and realize you cannot possibly get face time every week or two weeks or month even.
Your Personal, Automated Marketing Service
Luckily, there are plenty of free, simple, online marketing tools to for you to stay in front of your prospects and customers. It just takes a little setup effort and time each week to keep your audience fed with information they can use from you. In simple terms, you are building a niche e-mail marketing list and plan. Here is one way, but far from the only way, to build such a system.
In this system content will be added to a Google+ account via Google Reader and a sharing bookmarklet. The content you add to Google+ can then be made into an RSS feed that can automatically be added to an e-mail marketing service like MailChimp.
- Sign-up for Google+ and Google Reader (if you use Gmail, you can already access these too)
- Go grab a Google+ sharing bookmarklet for your web browser. The Extended Share for Google Plus extension works well for Chrome. The extension allows you to share any web page to your Google+ public feed.
- Find news, tips, reviews, or other content from around the web that is suitable for your customers and prospects, then send it to Google+ Using the extension from above.
Automate this by grabbing each sites RSS feed and adding it to your Google Reader then share the good stuff to Google+ from here.
Note: When sharing to Google+ remember to make it “Public” if you want it in your e-mail newsletter.
- Turn your Google+ public feed by using the Google+ to RSS Feed service.
- Add this feed to your Google Reader so you’ll be able to see the content being grabbed for your newsletter.
- Finally, create an RSS based campaign using MailChimp to send on a weekly basis to your prospect and customer list.
Although there are a few steps required to set up your e-mail newsletter, the maintenance should take only 30 minutes or less a week. Giving your prospects valuable, go-to information on a weekly basis will keep you in front of your customer base and separate you from the competition.
photo: Jonathan Rubio