Why you should adopt the Flywheel model in 2021

Why you should adopt the Flywheel model in 2021

At NoFrames, we’ve switched up our approach to customer acquisition in 2021. Take on this quick read to find out why!

Growth! It’s what every business strives for. Growing sales, growing a customer base or growing a community—it’s at the core of our objectives as business owners and entrepreneurs. Over the years there’s been an array of models and methods that you can apply to your marketing (and inbound marketing) to get results.

Here at NoFrames, we’re big fans of HubSpot and have been taking advantage of their great content for years. In that time, the traditional Funnel method has dominated marketing and sales. Now, especially for our B2B clients, we believe there’s a better way. It’s called the Flywheel, and this is how it works!

What’s wrong with the Sales Funnel?

Technically, nothing! Everything the traditional sales funnel does is beneficial to your growth and to your business. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age there are a few things that the sales funnel simply cannot do—this is the problem for our B2B clients.

The sales funnel has a tendency to allow you to view your customers as secondary assets once they’ve been acquired—as opposed to viewing them as the main drive to your business. Once a customer is acquired they become one of the most valuable assets your company has and it’s crucial to understand how the customers you already have can help you grow. The largest influence for B2B purchases today is word of mouth and customer referrals. What’s being said about your services on 3rd party reviewing sites is as important as the effort you put into your social media presence and inbound marketing efforts. Unfortunately, the traditional funnel just doesn’t account for these additional forces.

So, what does the Flywheel have that the Funnel doesn’t?

The Flywheel Model

You can think of the Flywheel model as a more comprehensive approach to understanding the external factors affecting your company’s growth. 

You’ve probably seen a flywheel in action before; certain engines and fireworks use it too. It was invented by James Watt around 200 years ago for use in his steam engine and it’s essentially an incredibly energy efficient wheel that stores the energy it gains from spinning. The amount of energy it stores can vary depending on how fast it’s spinning, or how much friction (our external factors) is pushing onto the wheel.

It’s purpose in marketing is to both visualise and capitalise on the momentum gained from centralising your company around delivering the best customer service. Where the Funnel considers customers an outcome, the Flywheel model uses customers and customer experience as it’s driving force. When you prioritise your customers, the word spreads fast—communication has never been easier than it is today and you need to be leading the conversations surrounding your brand and services.

You can consider the strategies and campaigns you design to further your brand and reach your businesses goals as the forces affecting your Flywheel. These can include your inbound marketing tactics, paid advertising and customer referrals. As you apply more pressure, action different campaigns and strategies your Flywheel starts to spin—which is why any points of friction for your clients have to be identified and reduced. Enough friction, of course, will stop any flywheel spinning, just as failing to highlight and champion your customer testimonials might stop incoming business in its tracks.

The Noframes Way

Today, people make decisions based on their network recommendations and social media mentions. 81% of buyers trust advice from their families and friends more than the advice from the company they’re buying from. To do anything but keep customer experience at the centre of your company’s departments, is to actively lose potential business and money. Imagine the impact on an investment’s return when the leads generated by paid advertising are lost to a poor review or from a customer unable to find any concrete humanopinion on your services.

At NoFrames, we’ll be using this Flywheel model going forward. We’ve always believed that the key to great B2B marketing is by having an approach that champions the people and the customers behind the brand. We can’t wait to see where this new model will take us and our clients in 2021 and beyond!

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B2B content marketing

B2B content marketing

The future is well and truly here. Getting your brand known and recognised by the clients you want is no longer about buying the right Ad time on the right channel, or getting your foot in the right door.

What is B2B Content Marketing?

So, what is Content Marketing? And how does it differ between B2C and B2B? Content Marketing is a form of marketing strategy best defined as creating, delivering and sharing targeted content surrounding a target market/key demographic. 

It’s about using carefully created content to expand your business’s potential audience. A lot of this content will be published on social media channels, as it’s best to take advantage of the free advertising and engagement they can offer. For B2B content marketing, the content has to be useful for other businesses—that’s the tricky part.

B2C Content Marketing: What’s the Difference?

In order for content marketing to be effective, you need to be producing content that your target market will consider to be of value. It’s about rewarding interest and engagement on your social media channels with useful and valuable content, which will keep your audience tuned in and coming back for more. It’s about more than educating the potential buyer on your products and services, it’s helping them understand why your service is the solution to their problem. 

B2C Content Marketing and general marketing strategies tend to offer a little more creative freedom. With B2C campaigns, the purpose is to entertain. Have a look at your favourite B2C companies branded and viral content—you’ll see if it falls into the same vein. 

B2B content marketing is more concerned with metrics and the need to push leads and sales. Selling to businesses is a completely different artform than selling directly to customers. Using your content to set up a sales flywheel that essentially leads your client to purchase is a powerful way in which content marketing can make a measurable impact for your business.

What Kind of Content Should I Choose?

The content you produce for your business will vary, depending on a few factors. 

As is always the case in marketing, first and foremost is your target client. If your content isn’t directly tailored to your ideal client, then it’s time to realign the strategy. Secondly, whichever stage in the content cycle will have an impact on your content medium too. 

For example, when attracting your customers it would be appropriate to publish whitepapers and industry reports. In the attraction phase of the buyer’s journey, this is the kind of content that draws people to your website or social channels using targeted keywords. On the other hand, during the conversion stage of the journey, customer testimonials have more impact and can drive a potential client to purchase. Understanding the core problems your customer faces is critical, as this will help you convey your impact on their ROIs. 

So, what sort of content could you use to inform and entertain your audience? For the B2B marketer, there’s a little less leeway. Big ticket items such as viral posts, videos and product demo’s aren’t applicable to the B2B sector. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get information from an article rather than an ad—so ensure your content is informative, reliable and represents your businesses values.

Using B2B Social Media Marketing

According to this article, 75% to 80% of decision making executives will look at a company’s social media before making a purchase. The chance for you to establish your brand and generate sales is yours to take and is free to get started! Take advantage of the free advertising at your disposal and use your social media channels to boost your content marketing efforts and blog posts.

It can feel overwhelming to run a social media content marketing strategy, while simultaneously focusing on running a business. At NoFrames, we pride ourselves in no-fuss, metric driven B2B marketing. We design flexible social media marketing strategies and constantly monitor and learn from our results—so you don’t have to.

Have a look at our customer case studies and testimonials to learn more.

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How to launch and grow a business using Digital Marketing

How to launch and grow a business using Digital Marketing

Last week we had the opportunity to hold a workshop for our friends at Strathclyde Inspire: How to Start and Grow a Business Using Digital Marketing! We’ll take any chance we can get to talk about the work we love, so that’s why we’ve put together a run-down of the topics our workshop covered and the tips and tricks we let slip.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing is the promotion of your services or products through digital platforms and it must be considered as a vital tool to help you reach your business goals. For example, if your business goal is to increase sales then you need to determine which social media platform your ideal paying clients spend the most time interacting on. As a result, you gain a stronger understanding of your core market and their interests—and your posts have a greater chance of being seen. Embracing digital marketing is your chance to communicate the voice and personality of your brand! So don’t hesitate to define your businesses core values.

Lead Generation

Firstly, before you begin to design a digital marketing strategy a few defining parameters need to be worked out. Consumers are far more likely to actively search for and go through your social media accounts than they used to be. Above all, these accounts must provide the customer with an obvious route to purchase.

  • Is your business B2B or B2C?
  • What are your business goals?
  • What are your possible communication channels?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is your budget right now?

 Advertising Costs

There are different associated costs with advertising on social media platforms, therefore your budget will determine whether these are costs you take on early in your business journey—or if you set some targets and expand into paid advertising in the future. However, it’s important to remember that an emphasis on posting and networking is not only effective—it’s free!

  • Instagram Ads: Minimum spend £20 per day
  • LinkedIn Ads: Minimum spend £20 per day
  • Facebook Ads: Minimum spend £40 per day

2021 Social Media Trends

We’ve identified some trends for social media management this year, although we’d recommend keeping your eyes & ears open for new innovations! 

  • While social monitoring refers to the collection of social media analytics, social listening is the art of analysing that data. It’ll help you understand what’s trending in your industry and most importantly why it’s trending!
  • Customer to customer marketing is all about prioritising your consumer voices. People trust people more than flashy boastful ad campaigns. They want to hear the positive things real clients have to say about you.
  • It’s not just other customers’ testimonials that have an impact. Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool—providing you know how to do it.
  • Due to rising advertising costs it won’t always be viale to throw your money into ads straight off the bat. Organic growth is possible with a goal-orientated strategy and an understanding of the free tools at your disposal!

Our SMM Rules

We know that rules were made to be broken—but we’ve still got a couple that we stick to. They help to keep your brand’s tone of voice consistent. Most importantly, setting yourself some ‘rules’ before you start posting will take some of the guesswork out of your strategy. If something isn’t working for you, find out why! You can use what you’ve learned to make amendments in the future. 

  • Know your audience! Limit your hashtags. It may have been a good look a few years ago but at the risk of being seen as old-fashioned, don’t overload your posts with irrelevant hashtags.
  • Respond to all comments as quickly as you can.
  • Keep the 80/20 rule! Inform and entertain first, sell second.
  • People love people! Using images of real people will usually generate more engagement and interest than inanimate objects—this is especially effective as a humanising agent in B2B marketing.
  • Use first person plural when talking about your company/brand (We, Us).

Our Case Studies

We’ve handled both B2B and B2C clients here at Noframes and it’s vital to understand the difference between the two. For example, when launching The FLUX Blowpipe (a revolutionary moisture control system for the Bagpipes) we had to stick with a B2C approach. This meant a focus on bright/creative post layouts, championing the inventor and face of the brand, providing a high level of customer communication and maintaining an approachable, friendly tone. Within the first two weeks the campaign had reached 40k consumers and generated £2k in sales.

On the other hand, a B2B company requires a different approach. For Spark Survey (an application that measures the engagement of a company’s employees) we focused on statistical visualisations, a rigid posting schedule and writing industry relevant blog posts. Impressions were boosted 200% with a 55% hike in engagement.

In conclusion, the first step into digital marketing may be daunting—but the most important thing is getting started! Social media is more than an advertising platform, it’s a tool. Find out how you can make it work best for your business.

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B2i Marketing: B2B, with a difference

B2i Marketing: B2B, with a difference

B2i marketing is about cultivating empathy and forging a deep understanding of your client’s businessso that you know what they need. 

What is B2i Marketing? 

The traditional approach to B2B marketing would have you believe there’s no room for personal connection when driving sales and meeting your businesses KPI’s. But there’s more to it than that!  
 
A company’s buying power realistically rests in one place, and that’s with the decision makers that work there. Therefore, the B2i marketing revolution is about cultivating empathy and bringing powerful B2C strategies into the B2B space.  

Why does it matter? 

The marketing industry is an ever-changing one. Digital Marketing revolutionised the way we sell and the way we buy, whether it’s B2C or B2B. Reaching your target audience is no longer about buying ad time on the right channel, in the right magazine, or getting your foot in the right door.  

Machine learning and AI are revolutionising the ways in which we collect and understand information about our consumers. Your potential buyers have their own unique concerns and priorities. By tuning into this aspect of your customer journey you can move away from purely transactional client experiences, towards building relationships based on human understanding. 

As B2B marketers we need to capitalise on our online presence. In other words, we need to understand how it can be used to further our brand storytelling and build a sales funnel for potential and returning customersValue needs to be created for your customers in order for them to feel understood and ultimately return to your services. 

How do we do it?  

You have the opportunity to find and engage your customers through the mediums and social channels to solve the problems that really matter to them and most importantlyto listen! Just because we operate in the B2B space doesn’t mean we have to feel impersonal and unapproachable. In fact, a strategy of this kind will most likely hinder your business rather than help it.  
 
There are certain questions we can ask ourselves that will help us can optimise our customer journey.  
 
Don’t just consider what key words potential clients might be searching to find your business. Importantly, discover the information sources that your customer personas trust and identify potential affiliates. What are the unique problems they’re trying to solve that make your business the perfect solution?  
 
B2i approach to your marketing involves a customer centric communication strategy. Offering email reminders and newsletters creates more connection points for your business and provides valuable information for your clients.  
 
To sum up, it’s imperative that B2B marketing doesn’t feel impersonal or cold. Businesses are still run by peopleit’s important not to forget that. 

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Social Media Marketing: In-House vs Agency vs Freelancer

Social Media Marketing: In-House vs Agency vs Freelancer

One can’t build a thriving business all on their own which probably brings you to the next question: When it comes to Social Media Marketing, who you should invest in: a freelancer, an agency or an in-house employee?

Well, all of the options do serve the purpose and each of them has its own set of pros and cons. But how will you choose which option will be ideal for your business? Let’s find out:

Hiring a Freelancer For Social Media Marketing

For many people working with a freelancer may be the best choice for their business. Working with freelancers has its own set of benefits. The main advantage is they cost less if compared to an in-house employee or working with an agency. One of the critical disadvantages is their expertise and scalability is much more limited.

A freelancer can be a great option for you if:

  • You have a fixed budget
  • Your brand is small
  • Need a person who doesn’t need a training
  • You want social media presence only
  • You want someone to teach you, and you are ready to learn
  • You have a small scale project, and you can’t handle it yourself.

Hiring an In-House Employee for Social Media Marketing

Having an in-house employee has more risks, and it usually takes more significant and long-term investment. There are several options when it seems to be the right choice, even though, mainly if you have a very complexed brand or business.

An in-house employee can be a good option for you if:

  • Your business is particular and hard to replicate
  • Your industry is slow and requires a lot of knowledge and experience
  • Marketing is the first capability of your company
  • You want to make resources within your company.

Hiring An Agency for Social Media Marketing

An agency is an organisation allowing you immediate and easy access to mixed resources, technology and processes in that agency’s particular field: SEO, Social Media, AdWords, etc. Making such a structure in your own company is costly and impractical. Hence, agencies offer obvious practicality to the market. 

An agency will be ideal for you if:

  • You have experience in working with tactical partners
  • You don’t have particular social media marketing experience and knowledge
  • You are willing to invest in growing a robust digital brand
  • You have a business which is easy to embody
  • You are observing ROI on a channel, and you need to measure it fast.

To Sum Up

Shortly, every option serves a various segment of the market and can add value when chosen by the right companies for the correct purposes. A freelancer is a great option if you don’t have a huge budget, an in-house person is excellent if you have a problematic brand which operates in an in-depth knowledge and experience industry, and an agency is a decent option for any sector in which marketing is not a primary competency of the business.

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B2B marketing on social media: Tools to use

B2B marketing on social media: Tools to use

What is the difference in between to market your product/service to one individual or many? What marketing tools to use on social media when you are B2B (“business-to-business”) company? You would think that when it comes to B2B (“business-to-business”) you should focus on the company, their need and think big. It what I thought when starting my journey as a Sales/Business Development. The truth is when you are selling to the company it is all about personal relationships. Let’s look more into that. 

Marketing tools to use on social media

Finding the right place for campaigns is the first step on the way to a successful marketing campaign. Business-to-consumes company (B2C) have a bigger audience and more social media to consider from the first sight.

One of our clients is a bagpiper who produces innovative blowpipes which help to reduce the risk of lung disease related to bagpipe use. See case study. Target group: bagpipers (B2C right?). What social media we considered:

  1. First of all, we did market research and realise that bagpiper community is big on Facebook.
  2. Secondly, we looked into Instagram. Many bagpipers are managing personal pages and promoting their services there.
  3. Even if you are a B2C business, you can consider LinkedIn as a source of potential collabs with other brands and building trust for investors.

Another our client, exclusively B2B focused company which provides data protection software. See B2B client case study. What to look at when you are not exactly selling via social media:

  1. When it comes to B2B, your focus is LinkedIn. Whether your selling activities are behind the scenes of social media or not.
  2. Twitter is coming handy to update business connections on your participation in the conference or launch of the new service/product.
  3. Facebook to connect with the potential employee, share your social activities and support local communities.

Why be on social media if you are B2B 

It could come as a surprise, but a majority of NoFrames Digital clients are B2B companies. Why? Because the social media force is not only about selling stuff but also about brand awareness and trust-building.

Imagine, you are a business owner and your company is doing pretty great through a personal network. All your clients are coming through referrals and you are getting pretty comfortable. You are thinking about growth and potential expansion. You need capital and collaborations.

You are contacting a few companies via LinkedIn or their website. They never heard about you.

Business Angeles/Venture capitalists you are contacting never heard about you.

Now, being active on LinkedIn allows you to:

  • Build traction and trust with investors, customers and potential partners.
  • Create brand awareness and keep subscribers up to date information about the company’s activities.
  • Improve the visibility of the materials coming on your website.
  • Build an image of the industry expert. 

How to promote your services using social media when you are B2B

As we established before, B2B is all about building a relationship with potential customers. Have you ever received a message on LinkedIn or email offering you products/services? Have you opened a message, have you read it? Have you been bothered enough to reply?

Probably not. Because whether you have already known company which provides such services, or you would just Google it.

How then you should promote your company services on LinkedIn? Here comes the importance of the image of the industry expert and regular update on your company’s activities. What B2B marketing tools to use on social media?

When people think about data protection, they think about a post they saw two days ago which we shared on behalf of our client. Our client has more than half a thousand followers on LinkedIn. The effect of 500 people recognising you as a data protection expert can’t be underestimated. Then friends/family/colleagues will mention data protection, those 500 will think about our client. They will refer to our client and here we go – we have a sale. 

To sum up 

In conclusion, both B2C and B2B companies have an endless opportunity when it comes to digital marketing. There are different tools and different rules in using social media depending on who your customers are. However, what stands for any case is thorough market research, consistency of posts, engaging with your followers and keeping your pages up to date.

Need some assistance running a B2B or B2C marketing campaign? Get in touch with us and see what we can do for you.

What do you think? Which style do you prefer – B2B or B2C marketing? 

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