Digital marketing technologies make corporate and B2B communications very efficient. By applying the same marketing techniques brands use with retail customers on a day to day basis, companies can be very specific in how they target and engage all stakeholders.
Custom audiences can be built across all departments. Thinking about how you deal with inbound traffic for marketing, communications, investor relations or public affairs. These audiences can be split into various segments - for investor communications you can easily split retail, intermediary, institutional, employees and media/journalists. To build these audiences the first thing you need is to put the right digital backbone in place.
The first step is about building data from your daily traffic - interpreting and understanding information from your website and social networks. This means if you do nothing else to actively promote your business or expand or your audiences you would still be getting the most out of what happens passively. Many large companies are starting from a position of strength. When you combine employees, awareness and daily traffic - these are all benefits larger companies have at their disposal. But they still often allow smaller and more nimble businesses to outsmart them digitally. In fact, smaller companies very often piggyback off the network that larger companies create with great effect.
Reverse IP look-up and tracking particularly on internalwebsite pages helps bring new organisations onto the radar. Conversion tracking from all sources particularly on the right pages and from quality sources helps you find new sites and digital communities to focus on.
Calls to action (CTAs), landing pages and forms are all used too infrequently by larger businesses. A recent study blueprint.tv completed shows that 47% of FTSE100 websites do not have clearly signposted CTAs for news alerts in their investor relations pages. So the onus is on the visitor to keep checking to see if there may be some recent news. This is not acceptable new contacts should be made everyday and monitored.
Once you are set up digitally you need to produce original content.
A leading SEO and content marketing company called Moz has no sales people. They generate 100% of their revenue from content and search. They often refer to this “magical number” of 8 items of content - if your business objective or conversion is aimed at anything - gaining a new investor, customer or brand ambassador there are two extremes - they arrive at your website and are immediately ready to convert or they will never convert. For everything else in between there is this average number of 8. If an individual receives 8 pieces of content that have relevance and resonance then this is when you will have achieved your goal. And these people can be sourced from everywhere.
Assuming your content is relevant and resonates well with your different personas you then need to precisely target the right people. Here are a selection of examples
Google - paid and organic search
AdWords - “long tail” keywords to target very specific combinations or terminologies that only the most experienced people would be searching for or interested in. For instance if you are involved in medical devices how do you leverage niche terms that fit your narrative? You either pay for AdWords that can drive traffic from those terms or produce content that can attract traffic organically.
LinkedIn is terrific for targeting individuals based on their sector and role (like ESG officers, operations directors of FMCG brands or CIOs of finance companies) and employees of individual businesses (Greenpeace activists or top 50 asset managers). Account based marketing helps you target entire addressable markets based on the role, geography and business. Manually add companies as they come onto your radar.
Creating dedicated audiences
Too many people think Twitter is some kind of polluted swamp. That it is just another channel for distributing announcements usually with little effect. Twitter is great for targeting people based on their interests and networks. Creating dedicated audience lists means you can target a dedicated list of people and you only pay when each individual clicks (a minimum of 500 people). So you can create lists of people who are all interested in a particular topic (fintech, investing in mining, circular economy etc.) you can also leverage the networks of your peers by targeting their followers. This means you can create a private audience list for your company that evolves on a monthly basis where you can manually pick individuals you discover and then remove them once they convert.
This means you are finding the right people, having them follow you on social media or ideally bringing them back to your website and converting them as a contact. This all points to the same objective of expanding and building your audiences. Ultimately it means every news release, campaign or announcement will start from where you left of with the last campaign. This can all be done from traffic that is low cost, low volume, high quality and high impact. So your data builds insight, your influence increases awareness and ultimately generates revenue.