Fireside Chat with Jeff Bezos of AWS

While I don’t pretend to be an expert in Amazon Web Services AWS, Zak of eSided Business Solutions is, and he kindly forwarded me the link to this video after attending AWS re: Invent conference in Las Vegas this past week. Chock full of great and well-rounded business advice, what Jeff had to say about how the balance of power in retail is changing and is now in the hands of the consumers made perfect sense. Click here for some great advice on what you as a business owner should embrace to prosper in the internet economy. Entire 40 minute video clip embedded below.

Social Media and B2B

Today I am participating in Gary Vaynerchuk’s – How to Fully Commit to Social Media webinar. I’m looking forward to learning more about the specific social media tools and tactics that small to mid-sized companies, and especially industrial companies, are using and what benefits they are experiencing. The infographic below provides some great insights into how B2B and B2C companies compare on their use of social media tools.

How B2B Marketers Are Scoring Big with Social Media by Marketo

 

Below are a few of my takeaways from Gary’s webinar:

  • Be yourself, set the tone. “Social” is the operative word, which means YOU must be real and visible to be effective.
  • Doing social media wrong is most detrimental. The platform is intended for doing long term things that fit with the business agenda. It is not the place to achieve short term goals like treating it as a sales conversion platform by pushing out the work that your company does. This doesn’t work.
  • Have a good intent. It is the effort and human aspect that works on social platforms.
  • Use layering to play social media tools alongside tradtional marketing tools. For example, add twitter, facebook, pinterest links into your email signature.
  • In response to a question from the audience about “what to automate” Gary’s repy: “Automate everything EXCEPT social media.” Great answer.

Over the past few years I have been watching and learning about the use of social media tools for small to mid-sized companies. LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs have proven to be great B2B marketing tools for many of my clients. Which social media tools are you using in your business and how are they proving effective?

Online video as face-to-face alternative

If your business has relied heavily on face-to-face contact to build and maintain relationships with customers and prospects, the news of decreasing trade show traffic and budget spending cuts may have you wondering how to fill the communications void.

YouTube and other sites that allow videos to be posted and shared, are becoming an increasingly popular method of business communication. B2B videos can be anything from a very short clip consisting of just a few seconds to full length documentaries.

Although most of us think of YouTube as a place where you’ll find wild animal or crazy cat clips, more and more businesses are taking advantage of sites like YouTube and posting corporate video messages. Take a look at this YouTube video for Battlefield Equipment, an equipment rental company catering to the construction industry.

Here’s a clip from UpNext Media explaining the business advantages of video.

 

Below are a few examples of corporate messages that can be communicated effectively using video:

  • corporate capabilities
  • company news & announcements
  • maintenance & repair demonstrations for self-service
  • equipment & product safety messages
  • user training, new employee welcome

Additional Resources & Reference Materials: 

BtoB Online magazine articles:

“2008 Event ROI Study: Research Findings and Implications.” Forty percent of 444 event exhibitors surveyed said booth traffic had decreased over the past year. January 12, 2009, link to more…

“Trade show budgets projected to decline 17% this year” according to a newly released 2009 Exhibit Marketing Survey. March 17, 2009, link to more…

“Automation key to b-to-b marketing, sales success”, New tools focus on external data, prospect development, knowledge management and sales enablement. March 9, 2009, link to more…

Green Marketing Tip #1

ELECTRONIC DELIVERY OF DIGITAL DOCUMENTS SAVES MONEY & REDUCES CARBON FOOTPRINT

The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard “From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. … The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.”

Click play to view a teaser clip about Planned Obsolescence

 To view the entire video go to Story of Stuff website

This excellent video reinforced what we already knew – that green marketing is not only good for the planet, it’s good for the balance sheet too. By transitioning marketing materials like brochures, flyers, price lists, newsletters etc. from printed to digital versions (e.g. PDF), and using electronic delivery methods (email, Internet), we reduce our impact on the environment and save printing and distribution costs. Potential benefits of delivering digital documents electronically include:

Instant 24/7/365 Availability  Information always available to your customers and prospects – no waiting for snail mail to arrive!

Easy Multi-Versioning  Less costly to provide publications in multiple versions (e.g. multi-language, channel-specific, customer-specific, buying group, product group). Customizing your publications can further reduce costs and improve your marketing edge.

Interactive Clickable Content  Leads the reader to take specific actions that can be monitored and measured for continuous improvement of marketing efforts.

Higher Pass-along Readership  Higher potential for pass-along to buying team members using email or links. If the content is really good, could even go viral!

Easily Maintain Content Accuracy  Easy updating of electronic documents ensures information is always accurate and current. Faster time to market with new product introductions.

Improve Searchability Online  Today, nearly all B2B buyers are searching online for new products and vendors. Posting content online helps improve your company and product visibility to the search engines so you can engage prospects early in the buying process.

Lower Distribution Costs  Distribution costs eliminated or dramatically reduced, freeing-up resources for other marketing initatives.

Improve Visual Appeal  By hiring design experts to produce high quality visually stimulating collateral materials you can set your company apart without the associated cost of high-end printing.

Printable by User  User decides whether hard copy is required.

Reduces Physical Clutter  Electronic documents don’t require physical sorting or take up filing space, round file or otherwise!

Savings to the environment:

  • fewer trees turned into paper
  • less use of paper-making chemicals
  • less use of fuel to transport raw materials and finished goods
  • less printed material waste

Consider whether transitioning document production and distribution from hard copy to digital delivery makes sense for your business. We did. Click here to view an ePortfolio of our marketing services in PDF format (750 KB PDF).

Shifting B2B Marketing Spending Online

WHY IT MAKES SENSE. Plus FREE B2B MARKETING RESOURCES

HubSpot specializes in inbound internet marketing using SEO, blogging and social media tools for B2B companies. Play the video clip to hear Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO & Founder, describe how traditional “interruptive” B2B marketing is being replaced with more effective methods utilizing the power of the Internet.

HubSpot’s free resources include: website redesign kit, search engine optimization for lead generation, marketing reports, how-to videos, webinars, and more. Click here to visit HubSpot.