B2B or B2C?

For those not too sure of the terminology B2B – Business to Business & B2C – Business to Customer and whilst in reality these are very similar, when it comes to marketing there are several key ways in which they should be approached differently. Language With B2B it is ok to use industry jargon and specialist terms, however with B2C, you need to be friendly and keep the potential customer within their comfort zone. Try not to use buzz words or complex terminology which may put people off. There is a knack to making sure that all of your social media reads well for both markets, it is possible and it’s worth taking the time to try. How To Approach B2B Social Media Differently. How you approach both sectors is completely different, B2B will be looking for solid information that they can pass up the chain of command but the consumer will be looking for deals and good advice. Try to schedule different types of posts/tweets throughout the day at times to suit both audiences. Your B2B posts for instance will be better received during the commuting hours. Requirements of B2B Social Media What is it that your B2B is looking for? Essentially most B2B’s are looking for the things that will enable them to look professional & efficient within the workplace. They want to prove themselves as a valuable resource to the boss and providing him with good quality, time saving information/products is what they’re going for. The consumer simply wants to be happy with their purchase and feel that they’ve received a good deal. B2B Decision-making Time...
SMART Social Media

SMART Social Media

When it comes to marketing we’re always very surprised when a client comes to us having started their social media campaign without really thinking about why and what they want to achieve from it. As a result the campaign has usually floundered and the client is left feeling that social media isn’t for them. Any successful marketing campaign whether online or direct marketing needs a goal. Now when it comes to social media there are a huge amount of acronym’s however the one you really need to know here is SMART – your goals should always be:- Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timed Ask Yourself The Question Why are you running the campaign? As social media is only the tool perhaps the question should be, what is the end result your hope for your business at the end of the campaign? Do you want to:- Increase or generate leads Influence Policy or Regulation Increase Reach Increase Credibility Maintain/Develop Visibility Build Stronger Relationships With Business Partners How Can Social Media Help? So how best can you achieve this with you social media campaign and what are the objectives you need to set? Here are some suggestions of the goals you can set for your online marketing:- Gain access to potential clients and consumers Increase lead generation Become a valuable industry resource Increase number of visitors to your website  So how best can this be achieved and how would you measure it? By setting SMART targets such as these below you can see how your campaign is working and what areas if any you need to address. Within 6 months:- Reach 1000...

Making Live Tweeting Work For You

It is crucial for advisers to show your clients that your advice is based on current information. There is no better way to do this today than to live tweet as the Autumn Statement progresses or during a relevant television programme. Here are our Top Tips for running a successful live campaign.  Let Your Followers Know The trick to any successful campaign is to tell people what you’re doing and to make them aware that you have the information they need. Especially if you want to make live tweeting work for you. For example, prior to the Autumn Statement send out several tweets letting your followers know that you’ll be tweeting throughout with up to date news and advice. Hash It Out With all of your tweets ensure you use the right hashtag to make your tweets searchable. We recommend #AutumnStatement2015, #budget for this. Ask for Opinions You will want to engage in conversation throughout appropriate television programmes and the best way to make this happen is to ask your followers what they think, how is the content of the programme affecting them or do they have a story to tell? If you simply make statements you are not opening the door to conversation. Blog Follow-Up Once the Autumn Statement or programme is over take the time to write a short blog. This can be your opinion on the topic, how you think the changes will affect personal finance or simply condense a summary into bite size chunks for easy reading. Let your followers know you’re doing this in advance and where and when they can read...

FCA Social Media Guidance For Financial Promotions

No sooner had the FCA released detailed guidance on the use of financial promotions with online marketing, specifically social media, so more questions are asked of them. Follow my simple rules and you won’t need to wait for more clarification or ever get into trouble.   I have set out two simple rules to make sure you never have to worry about the FCA financial promotion guidelines in your social media. I once asked my economics professor on my MBA course about that old saying from a former US president that went something like this “If you ask three economists a question you will get five different answers.” My professor’s response was as you might expect from an economist, long. To spare you the waffle it came down to this. There is no perfect data set, so economists add their own assumption, which in turn leads to more uncertainty. As more data becomes available they add more assumption. And the bottom line is no single economist will ever make the same assumption or interpretation. Fortunately, we have only one regulator to be concerned with for financial promotions, the FCA. Their regulation works in much the same way as the economist’s data. The more guidance the FCA produces, the more questions it raises. And so the more the FCA has to clarify what they mean. For example, the FCA had to clarify in their most recent guidelines that each stand alone piece of digital content must be compliant in its own right by saying “In our view, a tweet and a website will be separate financial promotions, as defined in...

The Big Myth On Social Media

The Promise Of Social Media Every marketer is bombarded with the promise of social media. It’s the great marketing tool designed to lead your business to the Promised Land. Is that the social media myth? Insurance companies and banks all have active Facebook and Twitter accounts manned by staff eager to engage monitored by compliance teams eager for the business to say as little as possible. The same applies to the intermediaries, financial advisers and mortgage brokers. But it could just as easily be any industry. Experts write in trade magazines and stand up at events and say “You need to be in social media, engage with your clients in social media marketing.” I am not saying social media does not have a place in your business. If I was, I would be in the wrong business. However, I am saying that many businesses are wasting their time with social media as it is currently being used. Social media is essentially a digital way for us to communicate and share information with other people we have a connection with.  That is what a “social” tool is. But along came large enterprises that saw millions of online users and decided they have to find a way to exploit the platforms to broadcast their corporate messages. Big business tries to hijack social media to deliver their marketing messages. The trouble is, that’s not what social media was designed to do and is why social media is a brilliant tool for small firms. Social media works by delivering people to people messages. Now as part of that, you may want to share some...

Why Blog?

I’m sure by now, even if you haven’t produced one, you know what a blog is and will have read one. It isn’t a very helpful term, but then to be honest, neither is ‘social media’ to describe the sum of human interaction on the Internet. Blogging is just a jargon word that means, sharing your knowledge online in written form. So it could be called thought sharing or writing an article.   The question we are often asked is, why is blogging so important? Well blogging, or sharing your thoughts, news, ideas etc. By writing them down and distributing them isn’t new. Before it was done online, you could produce a pamphlet and distribute it. Or if an editor thought you were especially interesting, would ask you to write for their newspaper or magazine. The growth of blogging has come from its ease. You don’t need anyone’s permission to do it or incur the cost of getting it printed and distributed. Back in 2005, Business Week magazine ran a special issue on blogging and pronounced that blogging was no longer a “nice to have” but an essential element of modern business. Since then, the online marketing company HubSpot has carried out several studies on how companies get their business. The latest Hubspot report confirms – once again – that written material is fundamental and that blogging is the main way in which companies generate leads. Indeed, the report shows that “inbound marketing” – blogs, social media, search marketing – produces twice as many leads as traditional marketing. On top of that, each lead costs less. For instance, in...

Does Your IFA Website Look Like This?

Have you revisited your website in the last 12 months? 24 months? 36 months? Do you have the Google Analytics data to make decisions about your website? Outdated website features on your firm’s website can do more than annoy your web visitors, it could be costing you business.   Here are our the Top Five faults we see on adviser’s websites that you should avoid (or have removed) as soon as you can: Stock Photos Authenticity and personality are more important now than ever in financial services. Above all else, new clients to your site want to see an image of you. If you’re not there, how can you start to build trust. So rather than using stock photos for your website, try taking photos of your team or clients. You don’t want a customer to see the same stock photo on your website and your competitor’s website, which is a very real risk. Be real! Irrelevant Elements A common issue is having too many elements that bring no real value to your audience. In fact, these often just downgrade user experience. Do you have too many crowded designs and too much text on one page. There are too many icons and photos. Does your site really need a search bar? Do you really need to show the tag cloud in your blog sidebar? Think hard. What are the 20% of elements that bring 80% of the click throughs you’re looking for? Never add more stuff than you need to. Large Images At the Top of The Page Think of your home page like walking past a folded newspaper someone...

What Advisers Can Learn From Online Dating

You want secrets for meeting women/men online?  For business purposes of course! Well, the most effective secrets for meeting clients online is start conversations. That is either with people that have responded to what you have posted, or vice versa. You responding to a post you have seen. The approach is just the same for advisers and brokers, so let’s look at what you can learn from online dating. The ‘secret sauce’ used for online dating is called Conversation Seeding. I’m sure this scenario will be familiar to you. You share some posts or emails with a potential client. You have a useful initial conversation.  Phone numbers are exchanged. By the time you call, the client has gone cold. And you are left wondering where it all went wrong. The truth is, you may have done nothing wrong, and it isn’t a reflection on your prospect. In most cases, this comes down to a case of comfort levels disappearing. For whatever reason, financial services can be scary. Those big statements we slap on our marketing like losing your house if you don’t pay your mortgage don’t help. We have to be realistic; there is a lot more risk for consumers in dealing doing business with someone they haven’t met before.  After all, we are the generation that saw the global banking system almost fail in 2008. So when we call new clients, they have to be completely comfortable and feel excited to take your call, otherwise they won’t pick up or return your call. The problem often occurs when contact disappears for a long time. No matter how good...

The Importance Of Writing An Influential Ebook

Google understands that experts matter.  That’s why they introduced Google Authorship. This scheme essentially allows writers to link their content to their Google Plus account. According to Google this benefits quality authors by helping them to develop a greater degree of visibility across the internet.  It also benefits Google partly by driving people to their Google Plus platform and partly by providing a way of improving their search results to make them even more relevant. Much as Google might like to drive all content consumption online, there’s a long way to go before that becomes a reality.  Many people appreciate offline content, even in electronic form, since they can read and digest this at their convenience regardless of whether or not an online connection is available.  The continued success of paper books and the ongoing rise of ebooks is a clear demonstration of this. In terms of overall marketing, both have their uses.  In terms of generating quality leads through a website, however, ebooks are the clear winner.  In fact, the effective use of ebooks is one of the most compelling marketing tools currently available to financial professionals. The foundation for this is human psychology.  Those interested in learning more about the art and science of persuasion would do well to pick up a copy of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.  One of the chapters discusses the role of gift-giving.  In short, when a person is given a gift they feel a desire to reciprocate the gesture. The more valuable the gift is, the more they wish to respond to it.  This applies even when they did...

Dealing with Social Media Negativity

Dealing with social media negativity is never a popular topic and I’m sure you are wondering why we are covering it. Because just like in real life, it’s a reality. The advice varies on how best to handle negativity in social media from the very funny to spectacularly dumb. Whichever way you choose to deal with poor feedback or outright online, do it conscious in the fact the record will be there forever. Here some guidelines you will find in many blogs on the topic, and our take on them.   Don’t Respond to Negative Comments We tend to take this approach and we have seen this used very effectively. We aren’t advocating being an ostrich and burying your head in the sand until the negativity dies out. You can, but please do so at your own risk. Your audience will be able to forgive a genuine mistake, but only when you put your hands up to it and address it. If it isn’t something you can fix and its simply someone disagreeing with a point you have made, we simply thank them for taking the time to share their views and leave it there. Respond To Every Last Negative Comment You Receive Well, it is unlikely you get so many negative comments to keep you busy all day doing this. If you are, you have bigger problems. Social media is merely the symptom. You know how to differentiate between people who are raising genuine concerns and those who are out to cause trouble. Choose your battles and fight the ones that are the most meaningful. Consider invoking the...