Lee Odden

Email Marketing & Social Media Interview: Kristin Hersant of StrongMail

Kristin Hersant As a long time and trusted marketing agency, TopRank Online Marketing gets to work with some amazing B2B technology and SaaS companies. One of those companies is StrongMail.  Today Kristin Hersant, VP of Corporate Marketing joins an esteemed group of marketers and thought leaders ranging from Guy Kawasaki to David Meerman Scott interviewed here at Online Marketing Blog.

Kristin is a firecracker of smarts and energy towards online marketing. Her company StrongMail is the leader in an array of email marketing and social media marketing services. Read on to learn more about the future of Email Marketing and its intersection with Social Media:

Please share a bit about your marketing background and StrongMail. What types of companies do you serve?

Dave Folkens

5 Tips on Better Facebook Marketing for B2B Companies

B2B Facebook, Marketing B2B, Social Media B2BFacebook has been a great tool for reaching consumers directly for many B2C brands.  But can companies focused in the B2B industry use Facebook to enhance a reputation and grow new business? Absolutely.

Quite a few B2B companies are successfully using Facebook to build important relationships with prospects and customers. If your B2B company is still considering where Facebook might fit within an online marketing mix, here are five tips on building a Facebook fan page that will better support a B2B brand:

1. Create Two Way Conversation – Rather than using Facebook to simply push out news at the audience, spend time understanding the challenges potential customers face. Search online using keywords and monitor other social tools like Twitter to find out current concerns the target audience is facing.  Be a resource to potential customers by providing content and insight that will help them alleviate the problems.

Lee Odden

Tips on Video: B2B Facebook, Social ROI & Repurposing Social Content

While traveling recently in New Zealand and a short stay in Sydney, Australia I shot a few videos offering social media marketing tips. Check them out below and you can also view many other tips videos and interviews we’ve done with search and social media marketing experts on the  TopRank Online Marketing YouTube Channel.

Tips on Social Media ROI from Sydney Australia near the famous Opera House & Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sorry about the wind, it messed with the audio a bit. I need to get a Zi8 and a microphone!

Common B2B Facebook Myths from Rangitoto Island, off Auckland, New Zealand. (From an old Army bunker near the mouth of a 600 year old volcano actually)

Lee Odden

Facebook Pages for B2B Social Media Marketing

b2b facebookYesterday in Auckland, NZ I gave an all day workshop to 150 marketing and communications professionals on Social Media Content Marketing & Strategy at Social Media Junction.  I’m used to giving workshops to 20-30 people so it was an interesting and enjoyable experience with such a large group. (Thanks to Bullet PR staff who are amazing).

One of the questions that came up was whether B2B companies are successfully using Facebook Fan pages.  I shared a few of our client Fan pages like Marketo & McKesson Medical Imaging (forgetting to mention our own completely) but wanted to share a few more examples here.

While it’s true that the most popular Facebook Fan Pages are for consumer products and brands like Coca Cola (18.2m Fans), Starbucks (17.5m Fans) and Oreo (14.1m Fans), there are many B2B companies successfully using Facebook to engage with prospects, customers and employees. Here are a few good examples:

TopRank Marketing Editor

How Salesforce.com Aligns Marketing and Sales

TopRank Marketing Editor     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing

Todd ForsythTodd Forsyth, Vice President of Global Campaigns, Salesforce.com gave an energetic presentation at the Marketo 2010 User Summit (Marketo is a TopRank Online Marketing client) on how Salesforce aligns marketing and sales.  Following is a summary of the highlights of his presentation – which includes key takeaways for B2B marketing and sales teams:

Sales and marketing alignment are second nature at Salesforce.  Today, we’ll explore how as a brand, Salesforce integrates sales and marketing throughout all of our tactics and why this is also vital for your B2B brand.

Thriving in a rapidly shifting media landscape

Lee Odden

B2B Online Marketing Trifecta: Content, Social Media & SEO

social seo content marketingB2B Marketing offers a variety of choices for reaching customers wherever they are in the buying cycle.  Make no mistake, buyer behaviors towards information discovery, consumption and sharing online have been significantly affected by changes in social technology.

At a conference I recently spoke at, an attendee made a statement that social media only works for consumer marketing. The reality many marketers forget, is that B2B buyers are people too.  They have the same social needs and influences as anyone else. Social media, in my opinion and experience, is a great fit for business to business marketing.

TopRank Marketing Editor

B2B Marketing Tips From SES SF

B2B Marketing TipsWhat’s the quickest way to catch a fish? Offer the right bait.

What’s the quickest way to get a B2B marketer to an SES session? Title it ‘B2B Marketing Tips.’

What’s the quickest way to get you to read this post? By diving right in to the top 5 tips shared:

  1. Your conversion goals must become more sophisticated**
    Yes, probably even yours.  For the simple reason that you should always be testing and always be experimenting with something new.  The keywords that convert today may transform into completely new derivations tomorrow.  Always be tracking and always be testing.
Lee Odden

Smarter Ways to Get Content Ideas for B2B Blogs

One of the most common challenges of business blogging is sourcing content. The range of things that can interrupt content creation are important obstacles to overcome because without content there is little reason for readers to return.  Blogs are fairly easy to start and if you’ve been a reader of this blog, chances are pretty good that you have started your own blog (personal or for biz) at some point in time.

Many of the companies TopRank Marketing consults with have either started business blogs and need help or want to start a new blog to advance a variety of business goals. In fact, in our blogging survey earlier this year, 95% of respondents indicated they incorporate blogs as part of their search engine optimization efforts. Many others use blogs for public relations, customer service, product support and recruiting.

Lee Odden

Content Curation Definitions & Context for Content Marketing

content curationCompanies are realizing the value in “brands as publishers” and are making real commitments to the creation of content in their online marketing mix. It’s no longer enough to provide fundamental features and benefits information about products and services to succeed competitively online. Consumers and of course, business buyers, seek additional information, resources and others to connect with on the topics of interest to them.  Some companies choose a pure creation strategy and find it to be a formidable undertaking, especially creating unique and valuable content over a long period of time.

Within the field of content marketing, curation is becoming a popular topic of discussion. Blending a mix of new content with the filtering and management of other useful information streams is a productive and manageable solution for providing prospective customers a steady stream of high quality and relevant content.  Pure creation is demanding. Pure automation doesn’t engage. Curating content can provide the best of both.

Lee Odden

The Power of Blogs & Social Media in B2B Marketing

Lee Odden     B2B Marketing, Blog Marketing

B2B Social Media Marketing54 Million.

That’s what Forrester Research predicts for US B2B Social Media Marketing spending by 2014.

As a living example of a B2B company that fully leverages blogging and social media in our online marketing, TopRank Marketing has a lot of first-hand insight that we can share with clients. I know there are many B2B marketers that are uncertain about their place on the social web and over 6 1/2 years of B2B blogging experience can provide the companies we work with a unique perspective.

Working smarter with developing and implementing blogging strategy, content planning, promotion, SEO and the intersection with other online communications channels such as PR and social networking saves time, resources and improves results.

Lee Odden

MarketingProfs B2B: Case Study on Email, CRM & Social Media

I decided to do a little liveblogging at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum and picked this session: Why email CRM and social media have become the tools of modern B2B marketing where a case study was presented by Genworth Financial.

Joel Book from Exact Target introduced the case study:  Creating brand advocates is as important as creating brand awareness. [I would say more important. An advocate proactively shares the brand experience]. Funny, Google “brand tattoos” to see some serious brand advocate activity.

How are marketers using digital media to engage?

  • email + crm
  • email + social

Email and CRM help to automate interaction. Automation is the key because marketing staff and budgets are not increasing. In order to continue deliver personal and timely messages to customers, you need to automate.

Lee Odden

B2B SEO: Content Sourcing & Optimization

Lee Odden     B2B Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO

B2B SEOB2B marketers have always been in the business of “content marketing” with white papers, case studies, webinars, demos, free consultations, ebooks and the like. Longer sales cycles due to more complex products and services and business purchasing processes often require more information. The content used to educate buyers of B2B products and services can be a very valuable asset when it comes to content optimization and acquiring leads via organic search.

When assessing B2B client resources for optimization, most marketers focus on web pages and increasingly, digital assets and social media content.  Web pages are more often directly linked to by other sites vs images or video, so it makes sense to start optimizing a B2B site’s web pages.  The operative word in that last sentence is “start”.