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Preparing for the Easter holiday: quick tips for B2B marketers

By Jennifer Esty  |  March 24, 2016

Easter weekend is nearly here, and you’re probably  looking forward to a few days of hot cross buns and chocolate eggs, but who is looking after your marketing while you’re away?

If you have an agency helping you out, you might not be too worried. However if you’re looking after it on your own or with a small team, some of whom are also on holiday, there are a few things you can do to make sure all the hard work of the past few months isn’t compromised by a week away.

Using AdWords?

If you have Google AdWords campaigns running, download the Google AdWords app (not AdWords Express).

This handy app gives you top line campaign information including:

  • Stats
  • Bids and budgets
  • Real-time alerts and notifications
  • Call a Google expert
  • Act on suggestions to improve your campaigns

Schedule content

Not all of your potential customers will be on holiday, so don’t let your content go stale while you are away. You can schedule content for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. There are loads of tools you can use, including HootSuite, Sprout Social and TweetDeck. Check out this article by Capterra, complete with a handy comparison chart for more information.

Using Facebook?

With Facebook Pages Manager you can view and respond to comments and private messages from your phone (as well as see Page Insights) and the Facebook Adverts Manager allows you to edit your ads and budgets, get notifications of when ads are finishing and keep an eye on your spending.

Still send emails

Most email platforms will allow you to send emails scheduled for a specific time. Marketing automation platforms also allow you set up automatic email sends based on user behaviour. So you don’t need to stop your lead nurturing over the holidays or let potential leads go cold while you figure out what to do with all that leftover lamb (incidentally, the BBC do a nice list of recipes).

Think about your website

As with email most content management systems have an option to schedule content, so you don’t have to leave your Happy Easter message on your website until the 11th of April. Nothing screams ‘I’ve gone on holiday and don’t care about you right now’ like outdated seasonal content. If your website CMS doesn’t have a schedule function, consider putting your best performing content on the homepage while you’re away, or at least don’t leave up information about an out of date event (or a picture of an Easter egg) during your break.

Check with your Sales team

Finally, just before you leave, make sure there is a plan in place to deal with inbound leads. If you have a small sales team who are also on holiday, make sure someone will be monitoring the group email address and you have an answer service in place so the phone doesn’t go unanswered.

Happy Easter!

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Improve Your B2B Digital Marketing in Your Lunch Hour

By Jennifer Esty  |  March 14, 2016

Make this Monday’s lunch hour count.

Download our guide and take some simple, practical steps towards improving your digital marketing in your lunch hour.

Includes tips on Google My Business, paid search, competitor research, LinkedIn and mobile that anyone can implement.

Got your sandwich? Start reading.

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Google yourself and your company – It’s Friday afternoon!

By Jennifer Esty  |  March 4, 2016

Google Logo

It’s Friday afternoon, so make yourself a cup of tea and Google yourself- and your company.

Why?

Narcissism aside, it’s a good idea to find out how you and your company look to potential customers Googling you for the first time.

First, make sure you use an incognito window so you won’t see personalised results- a better simulation of what potential customers will see if they haven’t previously visited your website. (In most browsers, just click the top right hand menu and choose ‘New incognito window.)

What are you looking for?

Let’s start with you. Depending on how unique your name is, it might be more likely that a lead will Google your name plus your company. Try that- does your LinkedIn profile come up? If it doesn’t, update your profile immediately (this definitely counts as work in case anyone spots you) and make sure your most recent experience reflects the company you work for and the relevant responsibilities that a potential customer would be interested in.

Keeping in mind this can can sometimes signal to an employer that you’re looking for a new job (not to mention attracting unwanted attention from recruitment agents), consider warning your manager first and/or selecting No for ‘Notify your network’ on the right hand side of your profile page.

Now to Google your company.

Here’s a quick checklist:

1. How does your site rank for your branded search (i.e. searching your company name)?
2. Are any of your competitors running paid ads against the search?
3. Are sitelinks displayed? (Sitelinks are navigation links into specific parts of your site, i.e. your products or services.)
4. Can you see phone and address information?
5. Can you see your social media links?
6. Look at your My Google Business listing, has someone from your organisation claimed it? If yes, does it accurately reflect your business information, does it include photos of your business? Opening hours? Reviews?

What next?

If all looks in order, then congratulate yourself (or your marketing team) on a job well done and consider taking yourself off to the pub early.

If not, make it your priority on Monday morning to sort out the above. And as always, if you need help or expert advice, feel free to get in touch on 01189 485 766 or join us for one of our Digital Transformation events.

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Increase qualified sales leads by 600% with Digital Transformation?

By Jennifer Esty  |  March 3, 2016

Digital Transformation

Sound too good to be true? That is exactly what Oxford Innovation achieved as part of their strategic digital transformation work with Sharp Ahead.

Oh, and they also saw a 90% reduction in client acquisition costs and were 120% ahead of their sales targets for the launch of their Fareham Innovation Centre.

Don’t take our word for it

Come hear Oxford Innovation’s Marketing & Business Development Director, Jo Willet, share her experience of digital transformation at this year’s B2B Marketing Summit.

Jo will give a detailed case study of the digital strategy that started with a single centre launch and has since transformed the way OI market their centres around the UK.

Outlining the specific challenges and marketing strategies design to overcome them, Jo will discuss geo-targeted search marketing, Google My Business, paid search for both branded and generic keywords, mobile, retargeting and more.

To secure your place to see Jo, register today.

Can’t wait for June? Get in touch with us directly and find out how Sharp Ahead’s team of B2B digital marketing experts can help you.

About Oxford Innovation

OI manages a network of business and innovation centres across the UK, providing a supportive home for a community of growing businesses. Visit their website or Google them and check out their Google My Business listing.


About the B2B Marketing Summit

Held this year on June 22 in London, the B2B Marketing Summit is an extravaganza of the great and good in B2B and a chance to refresh the way you look at your marketing.

The event is designed for those marketers at the sharp end of B2B – those leading the charge within their organisation and always eager to keep ahead of the curve.

Find out more or register here.