Rapid-Fire Twitter Tips for B2B Marketing


140. Is that a large number or a small one? When you have to confine a marketing message to that many characters, it seems miniscule! Despite this, Twitter has taken off as an excellent way for B2B companies to get the word out.

The Content Marketing Institute reports that social media is the most popular medium for B2B content marketing. Social media topped the surveys with an adoption rate of 87 percent, while Twitter ranked neck-and-neck with LinkedIn as the most used tools.

In the spirit of Twitter, here are some rapid fire tips to building your own campaign, so your company can spread its message and build community in 140 characters or less:

Your Bio

When getting started with Twitter, you’ve got to create a bio for your company. People will look at this for information about you. Link to your website and your blog by posting the URLs within the bio section.

Your Bio Photo

Your photo represents your company. Twitter shows this uploaded picture next to every single one of your Tweets. Many companies use their logo, but whatever you use, ensure that it’s a high-quality and professional image.

Content Strategy

Twitter is a distribution tool. If you want to increase brand awareness and build trust in your company, then distribute relevant, compelling content. Tweeting insightful knowledge about your field presents yourself as a thought leader. And engaging in conversation with influencers may lead to them retweeting and sharing your own content.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Twitter, like most social media, can be a huge time sink. If you want to avoid wasting your time, always ask yourself if what you’re tweeting is relevant to your business interests and brand presence. Remember that sharing content has the ultimate goal of driving people back to your own website!


Because this isn’t your personal Twitter account, it’s best to craft a mature, professional (yet casual) tone. Stay consistent with this tone throughout your tweets.

Stay Professional

Using social media is not the same as texting with buddies. Highly contentious topics like politics or religion alienate followers, while netspeak or poor grammar come off as unprofessional.

Be Accurate

When quoting someone, make sure that the quote is verbatim. It’s not good for your brand to start philosophical arguments about the intent of a quote versus how it was written. Similarly, provide attribution when quoting or citing an article.

Be Customer-Focused

Have you ever been at a party where someone only talks about themselves? The natural reaction is to tune that person out. When you keep in mind that you are talking to people (rather than at people), then you’re more likely to consider what that person wants to hear.

The 4-1-1 or 80/20 Strategies

In order to avoid too much self-promotion, many marketers follow rules. One rule is the 4-1-1 strategy. This means that you grant yourself one tweet that links to a piece of your own content and one tweet that promotes your company or products. For balance, you then tweet four pieces of content from other people (either retweets or shared links) throughout the day.

Similarly, the 80/20 strategy means that 80% of your content is shared and 20% is about your company and products.

Use URL Shorteners

Speaking of linking content, here’s a fun tip: Because Twitter only allows 140 characters, this makes posting full links difficult when you want to include other content in your tweet. But you can buy yourself some more space (for free!) by using URL shorteners like bit.ly.


Participation means more than just posting other people’s content. Back-and-forth communication with prospective or existing customers as well as other businesses and thought leaders is the goal of a Twitter campaign. To be part of the Twitterverse, use the @ symbol to begin conversation or reply to people that have tweeted @ you. Join groups and make tweets about popular and relevant hashtag (#) topics.

Industry Events and Hashtags

Many business events have hashtag streams that begin conversation about the topics and speakers at a given event. To make your brand a part of that conversation, tweet about the event, retweet other relevant comments, and keep updating about the different booths or conferences.


When it comes to sharing content from events, why not snap a picture and share it on Twitter? Images bring your followers closer to you, making the experience even more personal. Other photo ideas include your products, employees, or clients.

But How Often Should You Tweet?

Tweet frequency is a tricky subject. If you tweet too much, you’ll inundate people’s feeds and lose followers. If you tweet too little, you risk irrelevance. For a strict rubric, go ahead and use the 4-1-1 strategy once per day. This gives you six tweets each day with two of them relating directly to your company and/or products.

When Do You Tweet?

Getting your tweets in front of the most eyeballs during the course of the day maximizes their effectiveness. The exact time that you tweet has a large impact on how many people see your content.

Research by Bitly has come to the conclusion that between 1PM and 3PM (Eastern Standard Time) is the best time to tweet.

There are tools to do your own research as well. Programs like Hootsuite offer social analytics, and your own website tells you if you’re experiencing an uptick in visitors at any part of the day.

Third-Party Applications

As mentioned, Hootsuite can be a big help for your Twitter campaign analysis. Hootsuite also tracks mentions of your brand and allows you to set your tweets and messages to a schedule. But that’s not the only app.

Twitterfeed feeds your blog to Twitter. Tweetdeck allows you to schedule your tweets, rearrange your feed, and manage lists. Contaxio tracks your followers and manages real-time relationship data. Twitpic provides an easy way to share pictures to your Twitter feed. So if you want help in managing the different options available to you with Twitter, these apps and websites are just the beginning.

Enlist Other Employees

When you begin your Twitter campaign, your company gets its own Twitter handle to represent the brand. But it doesn’t have to stop there. If you enlist employees to get involved with Twitter, you multiply the exposure you get on the network.

Employees may require B2B social media training, covering Twitter etiquette and company policies. Also, there have been lawsuits concerning who owns the rights to content posted on Twitter. To avoid such hassles, ask employees to create a work account and establish ownership of it.

Planning for Content Distribution

At the end of the day, Twitter is a content distribution platform. The success of a Twitter campaign relies on thoughtful, well-planned distribution of relevant content. In 140 characters, of course.

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Four Critical Tips for E-Commerce Branding


Who are you? Do you define who you are? Or do other people determine your identity? This sounds like an existential conundrum, but these questions of identity are critical for e-commerce branding.  Perception may not be reality, but it sure has a large influence.

E-commerce branding is about the perception you want your prospects and customers to internalize. When customers perceive your company to be one way, that perception actualizes in their minds and travels via word of mouth or social media. Being seen as a funny, amiable brand attracts different customers than a stoic, purely-professional vendor.

You’ve probably already asked yourself how you want to be seen. And you likely already have reasons as to why you want to give off a certain image to your target market. Those questions are the cornerstone of branding. When taking that online with e-commerce branding, you want to know what on your website is crucial for showing off who you are.

So without consulting Kant or Kierkegaard on the nature of identity, here are four critical tips for your e-commerce branding:

1. Page Design. You only get one chance to make a first impression.  Humans are visual by nature, so what your site looks like shapes your customer’s first impression.  Yes, your logo is important, but don’t neglect the other visual aspects of your web pages.Consider the fonts and the colors.  Consider the shape of icons and even how your dropdown menus are displayed. Every aesthetic detail in e-commerce branding makes an imprint on the consumer. For example, blue might represent a trusting business relationship, while green emphasizes peacefulness and environmentally-friendly practices.

2. Copy. If page design is your sight, then copy is your sound.  For e-commerce branding, the tone you write in and the words you use represent your voice as a company.  Do you speak with stoic corporate authority?  Or do you have a more colloquial small-town sound?

The words on your website include more than just product descriptions. Throughout your whitepapers, your case studies, and your articles, a definitive voice encourages a cohesive and coherent brand image to form in the minds of your web visitors. Then you use your content marketing to continue engagement with those prospects and customers.

3. Consistency. An oft-overlooked aspect of e-commerce branding is consistency.  You won’t craft a coherent message if each page of your site has different aesthetics and wildly varying tone.  Many companies know how they want to be perceived, but they give up their branding efforts after their home page, resulting in dry landing pages and generic content.

Consistency is also found in a site with clear navigation. You want your customers to consider your e-commerce company as one that has a knowledge and understanding of the web. This means having consistent navigation elements (i.e. breadcrumbs) and speedy loading.

Maintaining your brand throughout your entire website is maintaining your message. When you hone in on your target market with successful branding, you have a greater chance to raise conversion rates and reinforce customer loyalty.

4. Mobile. Once you’ve got a perfectly representative page design, compelling copy, and consistency throughout your site, you’re good to go, right?  Not exactly. If your website isn’t responsive to your customer’s chosen device, all that work might be for naught.

More and more prospects are doing their shopping and especially their research on mobile devices. If your logo gets cut off from automatic resizing or if your copy is illegible due to tiny screens, customers won’t associate your brand with the positive messages you want.

Responsive mobile websites are the lynchpin of consistency in modern e-commerce. While customers hop around devices, it’s best to have a brand that is reliable and offers the same customer experience across channels. Web shoppers have little patience. If your site doesn’t work for their device, then they’re moving on to a competitor. Don’t get branded as unfriendly to mobile.

E-commerce branding is an extension of the values you’ve already established for your company. Bring your voice and your message to your website with your design and copy. Then ensure that your brand identity is consistent and coherent, across different pages, different pieces of content, and different devices. This philosophy establishes an online foundation for brands and builds relationships with customers.

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Content for the People: Three Tips for Your B2B Content


Imagine you’re a B2B buyer thrown into the vast metropolis of information known as the Internet. You click a link to one piece of content. And then another. And another. A case study, a whitepaper, a blog. You read and read and read more.

Does all that B2B content actually inform your decision? Yes! And the evidence proves it. In a study by CMO’s Council Content ROI Center, 400 potential B2B buyers were surveyed, and 87% of them said that B2B content had either a “major” or “moderate” influence on their choice of vendor.  

Now we want you to step out of the shoes of the B2B buyer, and back into the shoes of a B2B company. What does this mean for you? The study shows that if your website isn’t offering the right content, then it might be your competitor that’s influencing your potential customers. 

Here are three tips we take away from this study for your content creation and curation:

1. Don’t Always Be Closing. We’d rather not start on what not to do, but this was the number one biggest turn-off for B2B content. 43% of survey respondents were repelled by overly self-promotional content and constant sales pitches.

Many of us have heard the sales dictum ‘Always Be Closing.’ This survey shows that content doesn’t follow the same rule. Content has many purposes beyond pure sales. It informs buyers and acts as a support beam to the sales proposition.

The survey respondents overwhelmingly also showed increased trust for content that dealt in facts. 67% liked whitepapers and reports from professional associations, 50% liked industry group white papers, and 48% liked customer case studies. What these pieces of content all have in common is that they all have the goal of sharing information with the consumer.

If your company has a genuinely good sales proposition, trust that informing your buyer of the benefits of your product or solution leads them in your direction.

2. Avoid Overly Complex and Technical Content. Didn’t we just say that information leads the way towards a sale? Isn’t information often complex and technical? Yes, and this might seem contradictory. But buyer’s wishes are also contradictory.

While 87% of the surveyed B2B buyers claimed to be looking for content that gives an in-depth product analysis, one of the biggest complaints about content is that it’s too technical or complex. Basically, buyers want lots of information, as long as it doesn’t confuse them!

B2B sales often include many people, from the marketing department to the IT department to the CEO. Not every one of those people wants the nitty gritty of your product information. Our advice is to tailor your B2B content so it also builds an emotional understanding of your product and brands.

Rich product descriptions let customers know how a product benefits them, as a person and as a company buyer. Blogs and forums build community and engender trust. Rather than dry technical description, let a picture speak a thousand words and include images and video of your products.

3. Make It Easy To Download Content. Now that we’ve given tips on how to shape your B2B content, what about how to deliver it? 50% of those surveyed disliked when there were too many barriers to download. Sure, whitepapers, reports, webinars, and case studies all make great content. But do they really help if they’re impossible to download? Does a piece of content make a noise if it falls in the forest with no one around to read it?

Customers want downloads to be painless. Companies rationally want to get as much customer information as possible, but they sometimes risk chasing away a potential lead. Try to limit your lead form to a single page.

Ask for the name, email, and the minimum of what you require, but keep it to one page. Also, consider integrating your existing login information or allowing logins from social networks to download content. This saves your prospective lead time and energy when filling out any registration forms.

Overall, the B2B “content seekers” in this survey were not swayed by specific product promotions, sales, or deals. They were moved by content. Consider our three tips, and hopefully your content will move these B2B buyers closer to a sale with you.

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Don’t Waste Your Ads: 5 Crucial Tips for Landing Page Optimization


It takes money to make money. An unfortunate reality of doing business is that it takes up resources just to get your message out there to the greater market. When you spend money on advertising, you want to make sure that you get the most out of those ad dollars. That makes landing page optimization a top priority.

You want successful ads to send your prospects to successful landing pages. A perfect, concise, effective advertisement would be wasted on a landing page that never gets a conversion. In order to ensure your ads don’t go to waste, here are five crucial tips for landing page optimization:

1. Consistency. Consistency of experience assures your landing page visitors that they’re not in for a bait and switch. Some visitors only read the headline or first couple sentences, so the keywords you use for your ad are best repeated on the landing page itself. If you advertised a special offer for a free consultation, then you want that to be immediately clear on your landing page.

It’s also best if your landing page is consistent with your ad and the rest of your site with regards to branding, tone, and design. You want your visitors to instantly associate your landing page with the reason they first clicked over. If they don’t, they’re just as likely to turn around and leave.

2. The Offer. Once your visitor clicks an ad and recognizes that they’re still dealing with the right business, that person is going to take a hard look at what you’re offering. Before your prospect looks at your offer, you should take a serious look as well. How do you stack up to your competitors? Is your offer genuinely enticing? Or are you offering the same “free trial” that everyone else in your industry is giving out?

Make sure your offer is unique and truly valuable for your potential customer. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. If your landing page is designed to get your visitor to trade their contact information for a piece of content, then your guests must view that content as worthwhile.

3. Call-To-Action. So your visitor clicked an ad, arrived at your landing page, didn’t immediately bounce, and they even read your offer. That’s great news! But now what? Your call-to-action informs your visitor what’s next.

Tell your visitors what you want them to do. Submit information? Learn more? Your call-to-action is up to you, but without one, your landing page is more like a rest stop. People may drop in, but they’re not going to do much before leaving.

4. The Lead Form. A great many prospects simply move on when it comes time to fill out the lead form. You want to refine your lead form into a lean, mean, converting machine. Choose the required information fields wisely. Try not to ask for more than what you need.

It’s also best to limit the amount of pages your form takes up. Remember – your visitors didn’t click on your ad to go through an obstacle course. They want to trade you information for an offer, and they want to do so quickly. If you feel the need to have a lead form that spans several pages, include some indication of how far along your guest is within the form-filling process. These indications might take the form of a breadcrumb trail at the top of the page or a simple percentage (e.g. “20% Complete”).

5. A/B Testing. The best part about landing pages is that optimization doesn’t end. A/B testing allows you to pit two versions of a landing page against one another to find out which one converts more. Your testing options include major aspects of the page such as design and copy all the way down to minute differences in the color of your call-to-action buttons.

Then, after you decide which version of the landing page performs the best, you create a new version with new tweaks and start again. When you constantly compare A with B and choose the optimal one, you continue to hone your landing page to be more effective at converting visitors. A/B testing isn’t just a tool, it’s a continuous process to get better results.

Get the most out of your ads by getting the most out of your landing pages. With these five tips, you greatly increase your chances at converting that promising prospect into a lead or customer. Nothing wasteful about that.

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Mass Customization: Why Customers Love It (And You Will Too)


The advent of mass production changed the world at the beginning of the last century. The assembly line allowed industries to manufacture goods faster and cheaper. Mass production created identical goods in an efficient way, and it was just what the Allies needed in the run up to World War II. Now, at the beginning of this century, another means of production is making waves: Mass Customization.

What is Mass Customization?

For many businesses in the current economy, identical goods are still useful, but customized goods are even better. Many B2C buyers already know the value of customization for consumer products. And many B2B buyers are evolving their companies into specialized niches, and they also want custom solutions to serve their customers.

Whether selling B2C or B2B, mass customization not only puts the power in your customers’ hands to create a specific product based on their specific needs, but it also creates that product with the same efficiency as mass production.

Mass Customization At Mass Production Prices?

Like with many paradigm shifts, technology is at the forefront of mass customization. Tools such as CADs (Computer-Aided Designs) and configurators that integrate with your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) make mass customization a reality.

And speaking of your inventory, when presenting your customer with a forward-facing configurator to build their own product, an online solution allows you to also give them access to any parts in your inventory, not just what’s on the shelf. The configurator itself becomes a keystone for mass customization, and all these tools combined make it cheaper than ever to offer customization to the consumer.

Customers Love Custom.

For customers, the benefits of mass customization are clear. A custom product allows them a wide variety of options to serve their exact needs. In the past, the benefit of a “perfect product” was often outweighed by increased delivery times or production costs. Today, the new technology at our disposal minimizes delivery times with real-time integration and also puts the costs more on par with a mass produced product.

Customers also love creating their own value proposition. With mass customization, their happiness is in their hands. Using a configurator to build their own products allows the customer to get creative. They become invested in the act of configuring and modifying each specification to their liking. Configurators put the power in their hands to ensure they enjoy both the buying process and the final product.

Mass Customization Serves A Global Audience.

In discussing the winds of change, no conversation would be complete without talking about globalization. In the digital age, we are all connected, and businesses serve more than just their local customers. Global companies often require products specifically built for their region for reasons such as varying regulations or different energy consumption standards.

Integrated configurators allow customers to order what they want, quickly, online, from anywhere in the world. Configurators mean fast turnarounds for product quotes in any currency. By processing these orders in the digital space, the engineering lead times shrink, making international orders even more convenient.

The Custom World.

We already knew that the world is perpetually changing. But what we’re discovering more and more is that businesses and customers want to change the world to their own liking. That’s the paradigm shift of customization. New technology has made mass customization doable, fast, and cost efficient. If your company embraces that technology, your customers benefit from not only receiving the end product but also helping to build it.

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