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Encouraging Engagement Over Time

Rarely does B2B digital marketing convert prospects on the first point of contact. That means success will require engagement over time. 

Building the required relationship is not always easy. Prospects often bounce from fire to fire, and even when the urgent does not crowd out the important, priorities change and, as marketers, we need to stay “on the radar” until our prospects are ready to make a purchase. 

Of course, there’s a fine line between remaining visible and being a pest. Here are a few ways you can make sure your digital marketing efforts are staying on the right side of that line. 

Provide Value

There’s no substitute for this. Forget emails, phone calls, social media posts or anything else that even vaguely resembles “just checking in.” That check in is all about you – as in, “Hey, you got any business for me” – and has nothing to do with your prospects’ needs. 

Ideally, you’ll offer them information or tools that help them in their business – and that reinforce your own expertise and value. At the very least, you should be sending information or making connections that have the potential to help their business and that show that you’re engaged in their success as well as your own. 

Ask the Question

Stop dancing around the $64,000 question and just ask. 

“I think we can help you, but I don’t want to be a pest. Would it make sense for me to reach out again in 60 days or when you’re planning for your next budget cycle? No problem if we’re not a good fit.” 

Make your question positive and specific. Invite them to let you go so you can move on to prospects who are more likely to become clients. Clearly, this is a tactic that requires some level of personalization, even if it’s “mass personalization,” so be sure you’re segmenting your audience channels appropriately by activity, content consumed, etc. 

Do the Research

If you have a particularly promising prospect, do the research you need to provide information specific to their situation. Clearly, this does not easily scale, but you’ll be surprised at how often the results of your research can be quickly adapted to similar prospects. 

Ultimately, achieving engagement over the time it takes for prospects to complete their buyer’s journey is about being present and being helpful. That’s no guarantee that you’re the best fit or that you’ll ultimately be selected, but if your digital marketing doesn’t help you show up and show that you offer value, you’ll be out of the running right from the start. 

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Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms find a more strategic and productive mix of tools that genuinely support online brand goals over time. With a passion for true collaboration and meaningful consensus, his work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components. He views is primary goal as encouraging engagement. Getting an audience involved in your story requires solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either. Andrew has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events, on content marketing and web-development topics. His technology writing appears on the Andigo blog, in a monthly column on Biznology.com, and for print and online publications like The New York Enterprise Report, Social Media Today, and GSG Worldwide’s publications LinkedIn & Business, Facebook & Business, and Tweeting & Business. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

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