It seems each new year brings a flurry of predictions about new marketing techniques that are gonna be the greatest thing since … well, you know. However what works for one reseller may not work for the next because some tactics are practical and others aren’t. So here’s our “short list” of emerging marketing trends every Sage and Microsoft reseller NEEDS to consider this year (or else!).
Social Media – Here to Stay
No longer just a fun way to kill some time, social media has become a legitimate way of building your business. If you’ve only dipped your foot to this point, it’s time to suit up and jump in. The good news is that many of your small business colleagues (Sage VARS in particular) are still just testing the waters themselves. So if you decide to put some effort into social media this year, you’ll still find yourself within reaching distance of the early adopters.
At this point you’re probably thinking to yourself “Fine, social media is here to stay … but where do I start?” Ask 5 people and you might get 5 different answers. That said, we think LinkedIn and Twitter are definitely worth your attention. And if you aren’t opposed to putting a little work into it before jumping in, the best approach is to find out how your target audience uses social media and what platforms they prefer.
What about Facebook? No doubt it’s probably the most widely-used social media platform. But Facebook seems most popular amongst “consumers” looking to connect with friends and play online games. And since you’re a business selling software to other businesses (you know, B2B), we think your time is better spent using LinkedIn and/or Twitter
By the way if you’re interested in putting LinkedIn to work for your business, check out our LinkedIn JuiceCast web-based training.
IMPORTANT: social media complements your other marketing activity … it doesn’t replace them entirely. Think of it as another channel for reaching your customers and prospects (like email, direct mail, and telemarketing). It’s a tool, not the toolbox.
Why not join Juice Marketing online?
Watch This … Or Listen Up, Your Choice
Nowadays, your prospective buyers are watching video, listening to podcasts, and combing the web for compelling articles/content. In fact, they’ve come to expect several options for content consumption. So it’s time to leverage this trend by offering more than just written words on your website or in a white paper.
Video cameras are cheap, editing software is cheap (and free in many cases), and you aren’t expected to produce an academy award-winning film. So why not try some of the following ideas which should be relatively easy and fun:
- Record a few short product tips and tricks. Then, post them on your website, blog, YouTube, and social media platforms.
- Shoot some footage of your next user group meeting
- Do a short Q&A with a couple of your best customers (audio or video)
- Take some of the written stuff you’ve created and repurpose into a video or audio recording
Now go buy a Flip video camera and get started!
Content is King
Ok, nothing new here. Content has always been king … it’s the currency of marketing! But because there’s so much information available online and through social media, content is perhaps more important today than it has ever been.
You can set up all the Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook accounts in the world … but without compelling content, there will be no reason for anyone to Follow, Subscribe, or “Like” you (and we all want to be liked, don’t we?). Besides that, the more content you have and post online, the more Google will pay attention to you and move you up the search rankings (of course, there’s more to SEO than simply posting volumes of content. But you get the idea).
Content is probably the most important took in your marketing arsenal. To learn more about the importance of content, check out these short articles:
How to Create a Marketing “Pull” with Great Content (some call it “Inbound Marketing”)