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Social Media is the Last Place a B2B Should Look for Leads

One of the areas we  do a lot of consulting in is B2B lead generation. Over the last month, I have spoken to a number of business leaders on this very topic. Inevitably we get to the topic of social media and how it can be used for their company to generate leads – my answer usually is something specific to their company but implies it is difficult or time consuming. I want to be clear in today’s post – trying to generate leads for your small to medium-sized B2B likely isn’t worth the time and you will be unhappy with the result.

Now, I’m not saying there is no value to social media and I’m not saying that you can’t generate any leads using a company page/profile. However, in the amount of time it takes to cultivate relationships on Twitter (for example) that will lead to leads, you could have been using your resources to do email campaigns, create whitepapers, perform webinars and seminars that would have provided infinitely more leads and ultimately a MUCH higher ROI.

Why? Ultimately this is due to the way that social media works. B2C’s utilize the power of word-of-mouth to get many people speaking about their products. B2B’s typically don’t have nearly as many clients. A B2B with 100 clients could bring in 50 million in revenue (if the clients were large). The same 50 million in revenue could require a million consumers for a B2C to generate. Social media is all about scale and B2B’s usually can’t scale like a B2C can.

Social media does have practical applications for a large B2B. Using Twitter to provide support for clients can be incredibly valuable (and entirely necessary). In fact, providing support may even lead to social media based recommendations (leads) but again, this isn’t something you should count on.  If you are a small to mid-size B2B and you are looking at your budget for this coming year, make sure to weigh the high cost per lead and more importantly the enormous opportunity cost of not putting your resources into marketing campaigns that convert your time into leads at a much higher rate.

Note:  The one social media outlet you should look at utilizing is LinkedIn.  However, LinkedIn is more of a personal brand-builder than a company brand builder (which is what this blog was about).  It is incredibly useful for personal networking and can even be very good for lead generation.  However, it is still not incredibly useful for a company to simply create a LinkedIn company page; make updates and posts and see any type of return.  In a future blog I will write about some ways that an individual can utilize their personal LinkedIn account to get a good return on their time investment.

My Laziness Begins and Ends With Typing

I’ll happily shovel a snow filled driveway, work on a client’s website until 2 AM, and spend 3 hours cleaning up the house on a Sunday morning (although letting the house get so dirty is another one of my wonderful qualities). But when it comes to sitting down, typing and really writing – I would rather do almost anything else.  It isn’t that I don’t have ideas for things to write – I do, I swear.  No.  It’s due to one reason – I know there has to be/should be/is a better way to get my thoughts down on paper than sitting at an uncomfortable desk and using my fingers to type on a big piece of plastic with letters on it.

I have used Siri, my Android phone’s voice to text, Dragon Naturally Speaking and other less known, but equally poor products to simply speak and have fully formed words land on digital paper.  No matter what, I simply have an unsatisfyingly high error rate and I end up spending more time editing/fixing the bad text than it would have taken to simply type it in the first place.

That’s why on my Christmas list this year is a device or software that simply works.  I want to be able to talk to it and have it translate (in the 98% range) what I am saying to text.  And I understand, the way I say things may sound like I have 10 marshmallows in my mouth at once, but it is nearly 2015!  This year Amazon announced they are working on GPS-controlled drone that deliver single packages.  If that level of innovation can be done for a marketing ploy, surely a machine can be built that understands the malformed words coming out of my mouth.

[This message brought to you using one of those stupid plastic things with a bunch of letters on it.]

25 Days of No CAPTCHAs (and Other Important Holiday Stuff)

I know what you’re thinking

Jeez Cody, What took you so long to send out another semi, self-promotional email?

First off, I want to wish you a happy ‘25 Days of Christmas‘ courtesy of ABC Family, and provide you an interesting read on the intellectual property law of the ‘Grinch’ – no need to thank me, you are most welcome.

The work

Over the last 6 weeks or so we have been busy working on a bunch of new websites and other projects but one in particular I want to highlight since the content (that I did not create) is so incredibly strong.

iedc-regional-cities

 

IEDC – Regional Cities Initiative

This one is special because as a Hoosier I love to see great things happen with our state.  I think the study that the IEDC commissioned is incredibly interesting and helpful for business leaders, political leaders and common Joe’s and Joan’s working to improve our state.

If you haven’t seen the study (it is more than 100 pages), it details a number of trips the IEDC took to well-known cities that are growing, gives examples of how those cities did it, and how our local leaders can do the same for our Hoosier state.  Or in their words, “The IEDC conducted a national study of comparative regions and their core cities that have transformed their economies over the last 20 years to increase talent attraction and investment.”

It is an excellent read and one that I highly recommend.  Not interested in reading the full thing?  There’s an Executive Summary – Read it and feel like an executive.

Other News

If you have never logged into Google Analytics but you’ve heard it is important –this 2 minute video is intended to teach you one single thing about the software.  After watching this, you may be able to bore your friends in ways you never thought possible (but seriously, watch it if you are at all interested in Google Analytics and are brand new to it).

Finally, I want to give a shout out to Google for finally doing something to get rid of those awful CAPTCHAs infesting the net.  If Google could give me only one present this year, I’m glad it was this (though I would have also taken stock options).

I hope you all have a very safe, fun and joy-filled holiday season.  Here’s to hoping I am able to connect with each of you in 2015.

Best,

Cody

Newsletter Originally Sent on 12/4/2014

Creating Content for Your Website Using Your #1 Content Source

I’m that guy – no, not the guy in the image.  I’m the guy that tells all of his clients about the value of content yet won’t sit his lazy butt down and write for himself.  Today I spent over 4 hours writing proposals, client and prospect emails, comments on Facebook, and text messages yet even still, I was hesitant to write anything here.  My stupid internal reasoning says every moment I spend writing here is one less important email I get to send.  But I keep reminding my stupid  self, many of the emails that I write (and that you likely write for your company), have worth that is much greater than the value of the single person you are sending them to.  You are answering questions or giving people additional thoughts for a reason – because the person on the end of that email needed information/clarification/etc.  Sure, you may need to clean up the email a bit for public consumption, double check your spllcheck (AHEM) and remove personal details, but the truth is – those emails you are sending are mostly content gold!

In the near future, I will be adding more content to the blog.  Questions around digital marketing will be answered and best web design practices will be as well.  How?  Well I will simply copy and paste emails I have already written.

So That Was All a Blur…

You may remember last month when I officially launched Sharp Guys Web Design as a full time business.  However, I barely do.  The first month was full of late nights, many meetings and happily, some new business opportunities.  In other words – it was awesome, and I wanted to thank each and every one of you for being a big part of that!

THANK YOU!

Also, our website has been substantially improved since launch and includes far more information about the services we provide.  Please take an opportunity to visit it and share it with your friends and business contacts.

One More Thing

Many awesome people over the last month have told me they too plan to one day start their own business.  It is never to early or late to begin and you wouldn’t believe how helpful your friends and colleagues will be!

If you are considering starting your own business, please let me know if there is any way I can help.

Best,

Cody

Original Newsletter Sent Out 10/21/14

Web Design or Digital Marketing Agency? What’s in a Name?

Over the last 2 weeks, this Indianapolis web design firm has had a lot going on. Since officially announcing the full time launch of the company just two Monday’s ago, I have realized that the Web Design portion of the company name is a misnomer. While web design is certainly still a large part of what we do, we are now working on projects including infographic research and creation, SalesForce cleanup, logo design, lead generation and marketing consultation.

Fanning the Flames of Facebook Fandom

If you have a business, even a small one, please remember that all of the Likes, Fans and Shares you have will not matter at all if Facebook won’t allow you to speak to them. As it stands, your ‘earned’ Facebook audience will not see your news feeds 100% of the time. In fact, without paying Facebook, Facebook says only about 16%…