Creating a unique and positive image in the marketplace should be at the top of the list of priorities for all Nearshore providers this year. The concept of “brand building” is as relevant to business-to-business (B2B) companies as to those dealing directly with consumers. Latin American companies currently depend heavily on referrals for securing clients. Meanwhile, disruptive marketing tactics – such as cold calls and generic advertisements – are often met with distrust. So, what can Nearshore companies do to build their brand and convert leads in 2021? Here are seven ways to cut through the noise and attract U.S. clients.
1. Produce Compelling Content
Across industries, brands are increasingly moving their focus from traditional advertising to content production. Whereas catch-all marketing is expensive and ineffective, companies can reach prospective clients with compelling articles, blog posts, infographics or videos. A recent survey by the marketing publication Demand Gen Report found that 67% of B2B buyers rely more on content to make purchasing decisions than they did a year earlier.
“The truth is we all ignore banner ads and display ads. Advertising has been something that we try to block,” said Andrea Breanna, the founder and CEO of RebelMouse, a content management system. “We pay attention when a brand has a voice and offers us something valuable – a perspective and insight. When you get really good at brand content, you’re not just finding anyone. You’re finding the people that you want.”
2. Develop a Strong SEO and Social Media Strategy
Search engine optimization (SEO) drives traffic towards your website. It is a multifaceted practice that includes boosting loading speeds across channels, ensuring that search engines can access and index content on your website and selecting the best keywords.
“Everything else is a campaign you pay for and as soon as you stop paying for it, the pipeline is gone,” Breanna said. “But winning organically in search means you have this free pipeline of customers finding you. When you find the right search phrases for your business and the right audience content, you create an organic pipeline of revenue.”
Social media is also key to generating interest and revenue. Nora Leary, Growth Director at the B2B marketing agency Ironpaper, said Nearshore companies should direct their efforts towards certain platforms.
“Sites like LinkedIn are huge,” Leary said. “Twitter is also very important. But the other sites that B2C companies really focus on, like Reddit and TikTok, can just be skipped.”
3. Focus on Your Value Proposition
Nearshore companies should aim to be upfront and straightforward about the value they bring to the table. Websites that boast of driving “digital transformation” or “world-class solutions” can be confusing to first-time visitors who have never heard of your company. Instead, providers should paint the before and after of the service they provide. They should illustrate that process with real-life case studies.
Hyperbolic claims, detailed descriptions of company culture or technological details are also unlikely to draw in leads.
“It’s really best to focus on the buyer,” Leary said, “What problem does the buyer have that your product or service is going to solve? Writing about that is much more useful than anything that is wildly promotional or positive.”
4. Position Yourself as a Thought Leader
Thought leadership involves producing content with authentic and useful insights. It means moving beyond self-serving or promotional copy. Contributing to webinars, reviewing books or producing instruction videos are all useful ways of sharing expertise and building brand awareness.
Alongside individual thought leadership, brands can themselves generate interest and debate by producing or sponsoring research. Publishing case studies. E-books. white papers or fact sheets can also drive revenue. Some Nearshore companies, such as Wizeline, have created academies to offer training courses, workshops and webinars. As well as being an effective strategy for attracting talent, such initiatives also establish intellectual influence.
5. Integrate Your Sales and Marketing Teams
Sometimes the secret to brand building success lies in integrating your workforce and improving internal communication. The marketing department is responsible for initial contact with clients and should oversee the production of content that asserts the brand, without pushing. Sales continue the interaction by offering additional information and consultations.
“Companies need to encourage their sales and marketing teams to work together rather than working in silos,” Leary said. “Sometimes the marketing teams do these really big campaigns and bring in leads but the sales team doesn’t follow up with them.”
Similarly, marketing teams occasionally run campaigns that generate interest but bring in unqualified leads with no chance of converting. “They need to know that in order to tweak their campaign,” Leary said. “But the only way they’re going to know that is through sales… There is really no point unless sales and marketing can work together.”
6. Obsess Over Analytics
Data is the foundation of effective marketing and companies should invest in analytics to determine their future strategy. Start by checking your bounce rate to decide whether your website’s landing page is hitting home. If the rate is too high, it is time to make changes. Next, you should track the metrics of your campaigns. Calculate which channels are most effective – whether email, social media, Google search ads or other. Such data also provides an insight into your return on investment – the costs of the marketing campaign versus the sales converted
7. Adopt a Multi-channel Approach
Marketing experts agree that simultaneously leveraging multiple methods is the most effective way to build brand recognition. “A lot of big brands employ a combination [of strategies] because that’s where a campaign works best,” Leary said. For a B2B Nearshore provider, that means advertising on social media, emailing prospects, appearing in webinars and producing engaging content such as blog posts and white papers.
Of course, providing clients with stellar service is still the key to building long-term relationships. But relying on referrals is a terrible plan. Customers rarely take the referrer’s word at face value. Prospects typically want more information before signing an outsourcing contract. So even if word-of-mouth recommendations are continuous and consistent, providers will need a marketing strategy to back up that process. In 2021, marketing is key, and the most effective strategy takes a multi-channel approach.
What does it take achieve great outcomes in Nearshore services? If you would like to share an exciting case study or news story drop me a note — Steve Woodman, Managing Editor