Small Business News & Resources

Last Updated: 21. January 2020

News & Resources for Small Business Owners

News

In the past year, our content team hand picked useful news, resources and articles that interest our B2B audience, inspiring them to read more.

2020 is here and we, at Market Inspector, are looking forward to sharing the latest insights from the B2B sector with our energetic readers.

But, before that, we’ve prepared a recap of the most interesting B2B marketing news, resources and articles of all our monthly roundups from the past year.

We hope you enjoy this collection of articles from 2019. We’re happy to receive suggestions of resources and articles that you would like for us to publish this year. Thanks to all our readers and contributors, let’s build more knowledge together in 2020!

Business

 1.Are B2B companies missing a trick when it comes to customer loyalty? 

B2B businesses are usually focused on short term profits or scaling up their businesses through mergers and acquisitions. What they do lacks as compared to B2C companies, is the focus on building a loyal customer base.

Building loyal customers is way of securing that your brand gets promoted to a larger audience and for a longer time. Given the nature of most B2B companies, they do not see a huge scope in this factor or may not have investments to improve their services and build customer loyalty.

B2B companies need to reach their customer through more channels than just a website or an email, just as their counterparts do. B2C brands target every possible channel to get to their target market through various and customised offers. If B2B companies are looking for true customer loyalty, what they need to consider is to build a holistic brand experience for their customers.

 2.How your B2B company can thrive in a B2C search space 

B2B companies find it challenging to stand out in search marketing, and quite often get mixed up with B2C searches. This leaves them with a lot of non converting traffic and a high bounce rate even if they’re able to rank for searches related to their business.

So how can B2B companies build their on-site and off-site SEO? By adding more specific and long tail keywords, B2B companies can make sure that the little traffic they get from these searches are more likely to convert. They can also build link from industrial sites through creating content such as webinars or whitepapers.

 3.Top 5 trends For B2B Marketers 

Contentive has laid out 5 trends for B2B marketers that are predicted to be seen this year. B2B marketers will have to focus more on personalisation through every channel of reaching their customers. Newer forms of communicating with their audience will emerge.

Formats such as webinars, videos and podcasts will become popular among B2B marketers as a medium of telling about their services and promoting their brand.

 4.The 5 Biggest Opportunities For B2B Sales Growth 

B2B sales are often seen as transaction based selling. But this approach is soon changing to become value based selling. Sales in B2B markets are facing fierce competition, and is therefore necessary to build and improve service as a way to stand out from the competition.

This is possible through effective sales management and sales skills training. The opportunity of building effective sales lies in building effective sellers. In 2019, the focus should also be on defining clear goals and action plans for sales managers.

Marketing

1. Five AI solutions transforming B2B marketing

Artificial Intelligence programs are enhancing B2B marketing capabilities by acting as a force multiplier. This article shows how AI solutions are boosting lead conversion process in B2B by constantly and effectively following up with leads and pushing them ahead in the buying funnel.

2. Database marketing: Five important things to know

A form of direct marketing, database marketing helps in delivering effective and personalised messages by using business and consumer data. This helps marketers get insights from a large amount of data for better and personalised targeting.

3. Why always on is always better for driving B2B influencer marketing success

Influencers marketing is a popular tactic in the B2C market, and is slowing becoming a well known tactics for B2B marketers. However B2B relationships don’t often stop after purchase and require a more long term connection to build partnerships.

4. The definitive playbook to B2B inbound marketing

Generating quality inbound leads is the key to the success of B2B marketing. This article is a playbook to B2B marketers looking to enhance their inbound marketing efforts.

5. 9 Tips for optimizing your LinkedIn presence

When it comes to social media marketing LinkedIn is a very valuable platform for B2B marketers with the presence of multiple businesses trying to showcase their services. Standing out on a platform like Linkedin can be challenging for B2B companies and this articles gives tips on how a business can enhance its presence on LinkedIn.

6. Do memes have a place in B2B marketing?

In a world where digital media are used more than ever before, marketers have to constantly adjust their strategies to target the right audience, through the right channels. Meme marketing is gaining a lot of popularity lately, so this article focuses on what it is, and how to use it.

What is meme marketing? ‘Often comedic image, video, or phrase that has become part of popular culture’

Meme marketing is a strategy that is new and is more and more used to target the millennials and generation Z customers. Meme marketing is not going to be useful for all brands, but for those that might find it useful, the following 3 steps are suggested:

1. Find Examples
2. Look for Trends
3. Act Quickly

7. Why B2B brands can learn from conscious consumerism

Consciousness and purposeful lifestyles have changed how people think about their jobs and the companies they work for. Not only that, but customers have also shifted their mindset, and choose carefully the brands they want to purchase something from.

Following this, brands need to think differently, because according to new research, B2B is becoming all about emotion and storytelling.

How much brands care about sustainability, responsibility, purpose-driven marketing etc. is quite important nowadays. Therefore, significant growth is noticed in Responsible B2B Marketing.

Responsible marketing has seen a rise of 17% since 2016, according to a marketing trends survey run by B2B International, which included 300 marketing managers from large global corporations.

8. The 3 social media networks that are best for B2B marketing

As a marketer, it can be hard to choose which social media can work for your business, especially with so many to choose from. However, it is important to have a social media presence on the right channels, for optimal results, and high engagement rate from your customers.

In this article, it is suggested that as a B2B business, you should focus on the following three social media networks:

1. Linkedin 
2. Google+
3. Twitter

B 2bnews

1. Top level gender pay gap won't close until 2055

A new study has revealed that 79% of the UK population earning more than £100,00 a year are men. This percentage has fallen from 83% in 2011, which shows that even though there are cracks in the glass ceiling, UK has a long way to go in gender pay equality and is predicted to not come close to it until 2055.

The pay gap equality is most seen in health and social work sector and worst in financial services sector. This can be attributed to the proportion of women working in these sectors as compared to men.

2. Forget fake news - it's fake traffic you need to worry about

Digital media and advertising has become a battlefield for marketers who are trying to increase traffic to their sites with multiple marketing efforts. A study from Adage shows that $1 out of every $3 spent on online advertising is a loss for marketers as they’re spending on ad fraud.

It is becoming immensely difficult to track the genuinity of traffic from analytics as ad campaigns are being tampered with fake visitors. Marketers need to be aware about such fraudulent activities in order to minimise advertising loss.

3. Boost for 2.1m UK workers with largest National Living Wage increase

The latest news from the Uk is that the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage have both increased as of today. This has positively affected over 2 million workers in the nation.

Employees are also expected to have the right to their payslips from this month onwards. The UK government is on a mission to increase wages for the lowest paid workers which brings about these changes.

4. 7 simple tips to harness video for your business marketing

Video marketing is taking over the digital world lately, and businesses are exploring this medium of attracting potential customers. Content is king, but the forms of content consumption has changed over the years from text to images and videos.

Video is gaining a lot of traction lately, and businesses don’t want to fall back from investing in video marketing. This article gives 7 tips on how you can leverage video in your business marketing strategy, and you may want to take a closer look.

5. Grounds for hope: how coffee gets recycled as fuel

Coffee gives us the extra energy boost needed to start the day, and this is a known fact. Most offices have a coffee machine for their employees. What we are less aware of is that coffee can be turned into an actual source of energy by recycling it into fuel. Ground coffee waste ends up in a landfill where it emits methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas.

Podcasts

1. How to write B2B social media content

In this podcast, social media expert Kate, talks about writing content on B2B social media channels especially LinkedIn. She talks about how only a few brands in B2B have tapped into the huge potential of social media marketing, and how it is emerging as a new strategy into B2B marketing mix. Look out for tips on what not to do when writing content on B2B social media platforms.

2. Winning customers away from your competition

This podcast about a book from Anthony Iannarino and is titled “Eat their lunch.” He talks about the collaboration between marketing and sales. There are four levels of values in how businesses do B2B sales, and how they can provide better value than their competitors.

3. The AI for marketers era starts now

Artificial Intelligence is emerging as the new big thing in digital marketing and in this podcast, Christopher S. Penn talks about the evolution of AI and how marketers and social media professionals can leverage its power, and also about AI’s impact in taking over professional roles in digital marketing. As he quotes, “If you can add “template” next to your job role in Google search, you’ve got a job that a machine can take over very soon.”

4. How to monetize a Facebook group

Dana Malstaff, a social media expert, talks about how she discovered the monetisation of a Facebook group through which she provides consulting services along with writing a book, and earns a steady income. She talks about how much content is generated on a daily basis and how to stand out in the social media world.

5. Get 10 content marketing boosters in 20 minutes

As the title suggests, here’s a podcasts full of tips on doing content marketing the right way. The host Sonia Simone, who is the co-founder of Copyblogger, gives actionable tips that can be used by bloggers in various niches to derive the most out of their content marketing efforts. Check out the podcast for a quick overview on content marketing boosters.

Video

1. Why video is taking off in B2B and what to watch

Ross Simmonds is a Canadian-based digital marketing strategist. His YouTube channel is dedicated to offering the latest news or tips to help businesses increase and improve their lead generation.

Topics Ross covers range from marketing, tech, growth, and general business news. He published his YouTube channel at the start of 2018, and is dedicated to teaching brands how to use content marketing, social media, and digital channels to achieve business goals.

In May, Ross published a great video explaining the importance of videos in B2B. He breaks down why the trend is occurring and how businesses can leverage this to improve outreaching, and ultimately increase lead generation. It is well worth a watch!

2. Successful email marketing strategy

Run by a UK-based agency called Email Blaster, Email Marketing UK is a YouTube channel that caught our attention because of their specialised approach. The channel is a great deep-dive into email marketing, and clarifies complex topics such as GDPR compliance and how to write good subject lines.

This video about successful email marketing strategies in 2019 is our favourite from the month of May as it offers a great introductory basis to building or adapting your email marketing strategy.

3. How to beat the competition without lowering prices

A marketing strategist from Canada, Adam Erhart delivers content about marketing, branding, social media, and overall business strategies. Adam owns and runs agencies specialised in digital marketing and advertising consulting, as well as a marketing training company.

His passion for marketing shines through in his videos, which made his channel stand out to us for this edition’s monthly roundup.

In this video, Adam dissects techniques to gain an edge over your competitors without changing your prices. He explains the concept of perceived value, which involves honing in on ‘doing what matters’, improving social proof, and more.

4. How to increase your website speed with AMP pages

This is digital marketing agency Brandastic’s YouTube channel, and they publish content on all things digital: from social media to web design, PPC, and SEO. Various specialists from Brandastic dive into important topics to increase your brand’s digital presence.

The agency published its first video four years ago, so there is an array of engaging and educational videos to learn from!

This video is amongst our top picks because of its no-fuss, practical content, delivered by Brandastic’s SEO coordinator, Cheyne. Cheyne explains what AMP Pages are and how your business can use them to improve your site.

5. How to get your first 1k email subscribers

Kimberly’s YouTube channel is filled with content to help and guide entrepreneurs to lead their business most effectively. Kimberly covers from content writing, social media strategies, to motivation.

With a background in social media management, Kimberly’s advice on digital marketing is very valuable for any business owner looking to gain some insights.

Kimberly tackles the tough topic of building your email subscribers list. By breaking this goal up into two strategies (long and short-term strategies), she makes this more digestible. Watch the video to get tips on how to improve your approach to this incredibly important aspect of running a business and gaining more leads.

6. How to drive traffic & conversion to a new SaaS product

Sujan is a US-based digital marketing expert that co-founded a growth marketing agency called Web Profits. With over a decade of internet marketing experience, Sujan delivers important and easy-to-digest topics on his YouTube channel.

He started publishing digital marketing videos back in 2015, and has created many valuable videos from growth hacking, content marketing, PR, and everything in between.

Here Sujan talks about how to get your new software up and running. He shares tips such as participating in your community, connecting with writers and influencers, engaging in co-marketing, and creating microproducts. Watch the video to get the full scoop.

Email

1. 8 Best mailchimp alternatives for 2020

MailChimp has been the most popular and most used email marketing and marketing automation service for a long time. However, their pricing and features have changed recently, and a lot of users are searching for new tools to replace MailChimp for their campaigns.

To help in the search process, Moosend’s recent article suggests 8 different MailChimp alternatives for 2019. The services they propose are affordable, easy to use, and efficient.

2. Current email marketing benchmarks segmented by industry

Linchpin SEO have collected data to present statistics on email marketing per industry. They cover average bounce rates, open rates, click through rates, abuse rates, and unsubscribe rates.

The data covers hundreds of millions of emails, and only includes campaigns that have over 1000 subscribers. A total of 39 industries are benchmarked, so there is a high chance you can find your industry in the report, and also gain a comprehensive overview of other industries.

3. Rich media in email marketing

Email Monks created a thorough infographic about the importance of rich media in email marketing. Don’t know what rich media is? It’s any type of interactive digital media that have motion. Rich media can be static images, GIFs, audio, cinemagraphs, and naturally, videos.

This is essentially a beginner’s guide to rich media, using examples, as well as the pros and cons of plain text emails, static images in emails, GIFs, embedded videos, and cinemagraphs in emails.

4. How to crush email marketing for ecommerce

Looking to convert your one-time shoppers into loyal, returning buyers? Then follow Sellbrite’s 5 step guide to improving email marketing for your online shop.

They break down the process from goal-setting, finding tools, all the way through to optimising your campaigns. They’ve also done the legwork and listed useful resources and tools.

5. 7 Ways to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing

If you’re not getting the results you want from your current email campaigns, and are looking to optimise them, then YEAH! Local’s guide to increasing the effectiveness of your email marketing will get you there.

Justin Herring, Founder of YEAH! Local offers very practical tips on how to do this. He suggests segmenting your lists - either manually, enabling a selection process for self-subscribers, or by using an automated system.

Justin also covers the importance of personalisation, testing subject lines, using engaging content like videos and images, and finally, the strategic use of you call to action.

6. How AI and Data Science are changing the email marketing industry

NYC Data Science Academy recently published this article about AI and data science’s impact on email marketing. They explore how big data can help boost your campaigns, and give you practical tips on how to implement AI yourself.

They address these three areas: second chance marketing, offering similar products your customers have already bought, and sending special event codes.

Not only that, but they also list four tools you can use, and five benefits of using AI and data science in your email marketing.

7. Why your email marketing sender score matters

Mike Gingerich talks about sender score and why it’s so important. You may have the perfect content, subject line, and email list, but if you’re not paying attention to your sender score then that could all be for nothing.

A sender score is effectively your IP address’ trust score. Read this article to find out how you can improve your sender score to increase your open rates and get the most out of your email campaigns.

8. Email marketing rules of engagement

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has huge implications for the email marketing industry, and it’s important to be compliant if you are sending emails to potential customers, and even existing customers.

This article by WSI outlines the do’s and don’ts for email marketing in the GDPR era. It also covers CAN-SPAM implications for US-based marketers.

Content

1. Successful B2B content marketing campaigns

Creating the right content for your audience is not an easy task. There are many factors that affect the success of your B2B campaign, and this article talks about crucial ones.

Firstly, it suggests four different platforms and ways to find inspiration for your content:

  • Reddit
  • AnswerThePublic
  • Ahrefs
  • BuzzSumo

Furthermore, it goes into more details on the different types of B2B content that drives success, and the article finishes off with seven important tips that you should know and follow.

2. B2B content writing checklist

Nowadays, buyers can make a shopping decision purely by reading online content. Hence, good content can be very persuasive and have an important impact on conversions. 

There are many things you should be aware of when creating content for B2B purposes, and there are many resources where you can find guidelines on this.

The author of the above-mentioned article aimed to make it easier for you, by gathering the six most important points and resources in one extensive checklist:

  1. Headline
  2. Layout
  3. Writing
  4. Evidence
  5. Images
  6. SEO

3. Guide for creating SEO content

SEO content is a word that you will hear a lot about if you are planning to work with content marketing for your business. This article put together a guide for creating content for SEO purposes.

This guide will answer the following 3 questions:

1. What is “SEO content”?

In this part of the article, you can learn about keyword research, keyword optimisation, content organisation, and content promotion. It is important to understand each of them, as they are crucial for creating valuable and good content.

2. What types of SEO content are there?

Here, the following types of SEO content are described: product pages, blog posts, articles, lists, guides, videos, infographics, slideshows, glossaries, and directories.

3. What is my SEO content strategy?

Regarding the strategy, the article suggests to follow these steps: define your goals, consider your audience, create an editorial calendar, analyse, and re-assess.

4. What B2B blog could mean for your company

This article brings a lot of attention to a B2B blog, its importance, how it can help you for SEO purposes, as well as building your brand reputation. To start with, you will learn what an SEO blog is. Furthermore, the benefits of B2B blogging are thoroughly described:

  1. Blogging improves search engine optimisation (SEO).
  2. A B2B blog helps you attract more qualified leads
  3. B2B blogs can increase conversions over time.

Although B2B blogging comes with many benefits, it is important to know the costs of it. According to the author, this will depend on many factors — for instance, if you already have a website or you are just starting a new one. If you are starting a new website, here are some of the costs that follow with it: domain name, web hosting, web design.

Sales

1. 3 B2B sales strategies proven to win more customers

This article suggests that B2B sales have changed. B2B buyers are now more in control, and changes need to be made if you want your strategies to work again. Furthermore, it is also important to understand the buying habits of modern B2B buyers. Authors of this article propose 3 B2B sales strategies that work:

  1. Embrace sales enablement to help prospects make better buying decisions.
  2. Make salespeople the spokespeople for your brand.
  3. Align sales and marketing teams to work towards the same goal. 

2. 20 Selling techniques that will actually improve how you sell

In this article, you will find 20 selling techniques, categorised in 6 categories. They will help you in all areas of your sales strategy, from prospecting, communicating value, creating urgency, closing the sale and expanding with existing customers. 

3. B2B Sales: The ultimate guide to business-to-business selling

FitSmallBusiness offers the ultimate B2B selling guide that goes in-depth with all the important aspects in the process of selling, as well as elaborating on its definition and recommending different tools to help you and your business.

According to the authors, “managing your sales process and keeping track of contacts can be a nightmare and wreck your B2B sales efforts if not done right”.

4. 7 Email marketing tips to increase your B2B sales in 2020

While the other 3 articles were focusing on proposing different strategies for successful B2B sales, this one focuses on email marketing as a strategy that works, and can be profitable and effective, if used optimally.

5. The Best B2B Strategies for 2020

This article is an extensive guide on how you can build your B2B business strategies this year to help get the most results from your sales efforts.

Businesswomen

1. 5 Ways Business Women Can Take a Quick 'Time out'

Running a business can be stressful. Therefore, quality time for yourself is crucial to a healthier life. Only very few business women take breaks without a feeling of guilt. However, creating time for a break is essential to refresh your mind and increase productivity. This article offers five ways to maximise your time out.

2. A Simple Way to Become a Successful Businesswoman

The key to becoming a successful businesswoman is to opt for a proven business model. The article states that you should preferably start your base with an established idea that will help you refine your business competences.

3. 5 Tips for Aspiring Women Business Owners

Starting a business takes a lot of effort and time. A lot can go wrong but at the same time, a lot can also go right. Female business women should know who supports them. In this article you will read about five ways to be an outstanding successful female entrepreneur.

4. Overcoming Unseen Obstacles: How to Get More Women Into Leadership Positions

More and more women are working in front-line managerial roles and traditionally male-dominated jobs. However, only 5% of women are occupying leadership roles. The article states that there are a lot of companies realising the negative impacts of a lack of women in leadership roles.

5. How Women Entrepreneurs Can Protect Their Small Businesses

As more and more women are stepping into a leadership role, it’s important that they know exactly what kind of legal steps they should take in order for them to protect their small businesses. After setting up a business plan, reviewing the possibility of your business idea, and assessing your capital, you should start thinking about how you could protect your business.

Written by Valli Vishnubhotla Digital PR Manager Valli is the Digital PR Manager at Market Inspector. She has an educational background in business management and marketing. She is a passionate digital marketer and enjoys building her skills within SEO, online marketing and PR. She holds 3 years of experience in creating content, B2B marketing, link building and digital networking. Her focus lies in the areas of business, marketing, green energy and sustainability, to name a few. Her work has been published in various media such as Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Creativebloq, Designtaxi, and more.
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