Interview [Video]: Oktopost Talks to Imonomy About B2B Marketing Challenges and Creative Solutions
B2B marketers face countless challenges on a day to day basis. This becomes ever more complicated because of how busy marketing directors are, especially in start-ups. It is difficult to confidently decide on a marketing strategy for your business with all of these social media platforms, apps, tools and websites to consider. Are you using too many channels of communication? Too few? The wrong ones?
Lucky for you, we got a chance to sit down with Avishai Bitton from Imonony, an in-image ads platform that has been proven to add value, and go over some of his favorite solutions to these questions and give insight on specific B2B Marketing Challenges and which tools and tactics you can use to overcome them.
Watch the video and ask any question you have regarding his B2B marketing suggestions.
We discussed these pitfalls and complications that you will encounter while managing your marketing:
- Promoting content in B2B, as opposed to B2C
- Finding the correct approach to social media engagement
- Choosing where to focus your time, energy and resources in social media
- Knowing how to measure your online marketing success
- Deciding which tools to use to improve efficiency and how to use them
- How to gain traffic to your product and keep it
- Choosing the right CRM for your business
We touch on these important methods to promoting content:
- Using the right channels for your business.
- How many social media platforms you should use.
- The right tools to get the job done, such as:
- Oktopost… obviously
- BuzzSumo (Provides insights into the most popular content and the influencers sharing it)
- RooJoom (Supplies a trail of pre-designed content called ContentJourneys)
- DaPulse (To-do lists and task prioritization that includes the ‘Big Picture’)
- Boomerang (Communication automation and scheduling)
We also discuss these creative ways to turn your challenges into opportunities, such as:
- Employee Advocacy
- CRM’s and Integration
Below is a summary of the topics mentioned in the video:
Can you first tell us a little about yourself and you do in Imonomy?
Imonomy is the company that had created an In-Image Advertising Platform, for publishers and advertisers. So, essentially we’re an advertiser, but we’ve decided to put an ad in the most interesting place on the page. So, if you’re used to like regular banners that are around the content – we’ve decided to put our ad inside the images; 97% of people who land on our Website, on the Web page, automatically the first thing they notice is the image. That is the point where our brain automatically is drawn to, because humans, we interact with visual things much more than with text and therefore our ads are always in the image.
That, and we specialize in and we create great engagements for publishers, monetization solutions for publishers, and advertisers love us because we give them another place, another inventory to put their ads on. So, we are one Top shop for all these people in the content space. We’re doing very well, we grew in the last year, from 6 people, all the way to 25. So, we’re growing really fast and great things are happening here.
And where are you based?
We’re located in Ramat Gan, in Bursa, in Diamond district. You can say Tel Aviv, because there is only like this imaginary line that doesn’t put it as Tel Aviv, but Tel Aviv is right just a street across from us.
As a B2B marketer, we face a lot of different challenges, and promoting content is one of them. So, can you give us your advice, for instance, what channels do you like to use?
The channels I like to use are groups on social media platforms. We are in the B2B space, we’re looking for professional people, and to find professional people on social media is a challenge that many of us have. This is often frustrating because these are the busiest people in the industry, marketers and another business development people in B2B are always on email and on private LinkedIn messages. It’s hard to find them on the timeline, so you have to engage with them where you will have a better chance to find them.
I love engaging with them on LinkedIn groups. There are a lot of professionals there and you can engage with them and have your content discovered.
Some rules of engagement for LinkedIn groups:
- Simple straightforward interactions like, “Hey, this is the post I wrote or this info graphic I’ve created, or these projects I’m doing. It’s related to your professional group and I would love to hear your feedback.”
- It’s a professional setting, so don’t come out spamming.
- Work on a good title and a good description for your content or for whatever you’re sharing. Usually, they’ll pick it up through their email and that way you will get to your target audience.
- Only use LinkedIn groups if you are the expert in respect to that group’s topic and you have the time to follow up by answering questions and engaging in conversation. If you are a marketer trying to push technical posts as if you are some other technical employee but do not follow up or give poor responses, you risk a high chance of getting kicked out of the group.
Another place is actually voting sites, such as Quora. Some of my best pieces of content got tractions through voting sites, especially if it’s related to marketing. We actually developed a system, using IFTTT (If This Then That) that alerts us if somebody asks a question on Quora that’s related to our niche of advertising. As they are asking the advertising question, we get an alert and we are able to be the first to answer.
And you find them through keywords?
Yeah, I’m following certain groups of questions on Quora related to our niche. One of them is advertising, the other one is blogging. I try to add value to the people in our industry, even if it doesn’t lead into an actual lead at the moment. It may lead people to be our customer in the future, because they now have a positive connotation between Imonomy and the questions they need answered.
When watching Y Combinator's lectures on start-ups, they had a lecture who suggested that “you don’t have time for sharing in multiple social media networks, so just choose one”, but things have changed since then, where you have platforms, like Oktopost, which saves B2B marketers tons of time and gain a large reach all at once. Since this is the case now, is it enough to choose just one?
It really depends how your start-up is built. A lot of times, in the beginning, marketing departments are a ‘One-man Show’ where there is one person doing everything. Marketing sometimes begins and ends on social media, but as I’ve mentioned there is so much you can do in 24 hours and I think at the beginning it’s better to be very good at one specific thing, than to be average across 3 or 4.
A way that I think people can choose the best social media marketing platform for their business is not by looking how many followers or how many likes they are making on a certain social platform, but how many leads are they finding on that social platform. I find, especially when you are starting out, leads to be much more important than a matter of followings and likes that you are getting.
You know in the later state, you want to develop a brand, you want to develop a name, and you want a bunch of followers and likes to just show your people: “Look, people actually love our brand”. But, in the beginning, when you’re trying to earn an honest buck as a B2B start-up, it’s very important that you put your time in the specific places that you are actually converting those people engaging with you on social media into actual leads. The people that will actually sign up when they land on your page, not just say, “Oh, that’s a cool product” and leave the page.
So, what do you use in order to determine which social media platform is generating leads?
I’ve been using Oktopost for over a year and a half. I’ve been using Oktopost from like a very early stage for two reasons. The automation; I’ve been saving so much time hearing things on social media just because the calendar is so easy to use and intuitive. Kudos to you guys for developing such an intuitive calendar.
It’s very easy to drag and drop Tweets and the Facebook shares and the LinkedIn shares that I want to do. I spoke before about the groups and how much I appreciate the LinkedIn groups, as the place to meet your audience as a B2B marketer. Your platform has the option to share into groups, which I love and that is something that you can’t take for granted on these platforms Oktopost gives in. I really use it a lot, especially in the groups that we have developed. We have actually developed some groups from scratch and it’s a great way to share things in them.
Are you able also see the effect of your social media marketing, to follow actual leads, track your leads, and see whether or not your social media efforts are actually proving themselves?
Without a doubt they are proving themselves and one thing that I think is a big part of the making our social media efforts worthwhile is the option to get people on board as ambassadors for the company, like people who are not in the marketing department. So I guess at the beginning it’s a ‘One-man show’ and it’s very hard. Who is going to show your content if you are ‘One-man show’?
You guys for example have it and I’ve also and before you guys did it automated, I had it like a manual system, with emails in the company. You have to tell people to share. Some people just don’t have time, like if they’re programming the next version. With many of these people 6 days a week, 10 hours a day, they have no problems to give you the LinkedIn credentials, or the Twitter credentials, maybe at Facebook some people will be a little pickier, but LinkedIn and Twitter people are on board, they give you access through Oktopost. They don’t even have to give the password, so you put in the link, they give you the credentials that way and it’s been a great success.
We actually have on our wall – The League of Extraordinary Sharers. We’re going to do a prize, every end of the quarter, every end of three months, we’re going to give out the prize to the person who has been most engaged.
What are the other tools that you use as the B2B marketer?
- BuzzSumo is a really good platform to find influence throughout the Web. I find people who are tweeting and sharing my content, I look how many followers they have, I look how many people are engaged with the share they did for me, and then I go reach out to them and take the relationship to the next level.
- Another platform I use is Roojoom. I like the current content and to put pieces of the best things and put them in one place. Roojoom is a great platform to just put everything in and share great information all the time. It is better than having 20 tabs opened on your Chrome.
- DaPulse helps me stay on top of my game and it’s so pretty and it works so easily and I can have private or share transparently my ‘Things To Do’ and that’s a really cool tool that I know a lot of start-ups are using as well; it helps developers stay on Top.
- Being in Israel, it is very hard sometimes to engage with people back in California or somewhere in Sidney, because of the time difference. Now I don’t want to send an email to people and having them receive them at 2 a.m. their time. So, Boomerang helps me schedule an email for the exact time I want to send it later on, so I don’t have to like have it in my task list – ‘Send an email at 4 o’clock.’ I get in the office at 8 o’clock, I schedule the email for 4 p.m., and then somebody in the East Coast in New York gets it on 9 o’clock in the morning when they are supposed to receive it. I’m a big fan of that.
So, what do you use for your CRM?
We use Zoho in our office. We’re doing great with it, but I don’t think it doesn’t matters what CRM you have as long as it just fits your needs. There are so many CRMs out there. It’s very important for CRM to be opened to integrate with other products and other apps. It can’t be an island, it needs to be connected with other apps to create these bigger insights.
If you have any kind of CRM platform, make sure you can integrate with stuff like Oktopost, or with emails and whatever it can integrate with to make the whole process smoother, and enable you to connect all the dots.
Are there any other creative ways that you have to overcome the challenges that a lot of B2B marketers face?
I think one of our biggest B2B Marketing Challenges is getting traffic. When you’re B2B, you have to be focused and, when you are focused, the traffic is of course lower in volume.
So, one way that I like to gain traffic is sending out emails to influencers in my niche. You have to be very niche oriented. If you’re selling a product that’s related to marketing, then you have to have the list of the 100 top bloggers in marketing. If you are selling a product in the fashion world, like some kind of Fashion App for designers, then you have to be following the 100 top people in the fashion designing world on Twitter and following their Pinterest boards.
You have to have these people actually engaged back with you. You can’t just random engage with them, you have to invite them into the conversation and once you make those connections and you write a high quality post and you share it with them; it’s not spamming. They will actually open it, they will actually read it and they will actually invite people to read it by tweeting it or pinning it, and that’s a great way to gain relevant leads.