A friend of mine is currently gunning to help a US software business establish a foothold in the UK. He asked me for an idea of what a marketing plan could look like (and of course pass it off as his own….that’s Ok, he’s a good friend). Key thing is he's a sales guy, with a handful of consultants and without a marketing team (for now). So I had to come up with something really pragmatic, Here’s what I said. I think it hangs together quite well, is anchored around content marketing & social media and seems common sense to me. I have a horrible feeling that is what you get from a content marketing consultant. So I’m happy to have provided some advice for free, albeit without an @equalman YouTube video.
Some thoughts on a marketing approach.
Firstly I'm guessing they don't have $$$ and want something pragmatic.
Secondly, I'm assuming there's not much of a team in UK?
Nowadays I'm a big supporter of social media for building awareness - only thing is it'll require you to do some regular, content work :-) The basic principle is to share information and engage in a conversation. Not to bombard people with broadcast sales messages.
- Use their existing base to profile the perfect customer segments.
- Either purchase lists or telemarket to build your prospecting list around these core segments.
- Build reference material (quotes/case study/presentation/video) that can be used as sales support material.
2. Market your references
- Take a reference customer in one of your target segments, and if they have a UK rep, organise a breakfast briefing and invite prospects like them. Don't talk your company - just let the customer talk about what they're doing. Event can be short & to the point - 08:30 start, 09:30 finish. You can follow up with company information etc at a later date.
- If the customer doesn't have a local rep, set up a 30 minute webcast and get them to talk.
- No matter what format you use, record it! Video the briefing or record the webcast. That way you can re-use later!- Try and do 1 or 2 of these a month - make it a regular series. You may choose to segment by industry etc.
3. Build Content
- If you have any local customers, go and visit them & get them on video. Just take a flip video and grab 2-3 minutes of them answering a few simple questions such as "what are your major challenges?", "why did you choose us?", "compare life before and after us". You can send the questions in advance, then post the video on the sites below.
- Identify 3-5 topics/themes that you can write about/comment on. Use these as monthly themes - everything you do that month hangs off that theme.
- Do a video blog yourself! Don't laugh, it gives your local presence a face - you can a daily/weekly update on latest thoughts/news. No one worries about production values these days, so you can use a flip video in your office & upload to youtube etc!
4. Distribute Content
- See if you can build a UK blog to post content on to, such as what's happening in the UK, latest news, customers, views/opinions/ whatever. Helps you build profile.
- Sign up a twitter account. Use search.twitter.com to find UK tweeters. Follow them. They should follow back.
- Tweet or post your blog content via a distribution tool (will distribute to all the major social networking platforms)
- Put all your (non-confidential) marketing material on slideshare (presentations), scribd (white papers, brochures, case studies) and youtube (video). It'll help with SEO and boost your google rankings.
5. Get known in all the right places - both offline & online
Get a view of upcoming conferences/seminars in the region on your company's domain. If no budget, try to get yourself on as a speaker or just get registered as an attendee. If budget exists, sponsorship is an option - if budget's tight, offer to sponsor coffee breaks or something similar.
- Subscribe to any online/offline local publications. Get a feel for which ones are good - post comments to any relevant articles. Make a note of the writers/get their contact details.
- Think really really hard about sending anything to press! If you do, try to make it very very relevant (either to an article you read or an upcoming feature). And if you do, follow up by phone. Getting to press is harder than its ever been and you really have to work at it.
- Identify any relevant blogs/communities that are UK specific (you can use blogsearch.google.com). Get signed up.
- Sign up for any LinkedIn Groups.
- Begin commenting on the blogs/pages/groups, with links to your UK site(?) or your contact details. This'll get you known in the online community. Of course, don't pitch. Use the themes built in stage 3.