The desire to build reach isn’t a new obsession for marketers. Reach has long been the focus of B2C marketers. Reach is about building the tip-top of the marketing funnel. Reach building is about driving more traffic to a business website, increasing e-mail opt-ins, and adding new social media followers. Take some cues from the B2C folks and apply some of their time-tested strategies for reach building to your next B2B social media campaign.
1. Launch a contest—When looking to fill the top of the marketing funnel, it is important to cast a wide net. One way to do this is to host a contest. The key to a great contest is to minimize the friction for the person to enter. Contests that involve a lot of work, such as submitting a video or filling out a long form, often fall short of their goal. Instead, focus on offering a compelling prize that is in some way tied to your business. Require only an e-mail address or a share on Twitter. Sometimes, if the prize is compelling enough, it is possible to ask for more than these low-friction entry points.
2. Ask for the connection—Too many B2B marketers make assumptions that prospects can read their minds. Instead, it is important to ask prospects clearly and directly to take the action you want. In the case of reach building, it is asking them to take actions like signing up for an e-mail list or following your company on social media. Look at existing e-mails, print materials, and trade show booths, and think about how they can be adapted to ask your audience to connect.
3. Build links—Getting more inbound links to your website is important for building reach in two ways. First, it helps your company website rank higher in search results, which provides more free search traffic. Second, it means more referral traffic from other websites.
4. Make opting in and following easy—Friction is the enemy of the marketing superstar. Friction is what stops people from taking the action you want them to take. Friction kills conversion rates and is one of the reasons your e-mail list, blog subscribers, and social media connections aren’t at the level you would like. One of the fastest ways to build reach is to reduce friction. This is done by making it easy for website visitors to follow you on social media. Many popular platforms such as Twitter and Facebook provide buttons that allow a website visitor to follow or like your company with one click. Remember: fewer clicks, less friction.
5. Beef up content creation—Building reach is partly a matter of probability. Remarkable content is key, but so is having a lot of it. The more content that you create, the higher the likelihood that your company will be found by prospects. One of the best ways to create more content to be found is to have a business blog.
6. Tell a story—It is not about you. It is about your customers and the problems they are trying to solve. It may sound simple, but being able to tell an interesting story that addresses prospects’ key concerns is one of the best reach-building tools out there. The Web allows publishing and interaction to happen easier now than ever before. This means that each day it gets harder to earn the attention of your target audience. Having a story helps you stand out from the competition and get attention when everyone else is being ignored.