4 Marketing Tactics B2Bs Can Swipe From Nonprofits

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As new tools emerge, the technology and media landscapes continue to shift.  

But B2B businesses aren’t changing the way they plan and shape their marketing strategy quickly enough, and are left feeling the effects of staying behind the times. In fact, 47 percent of B2B marketers close less than four percent of marketing-generated leads.

Leads don’t grow on trees, and success certainly doesn’t spring forth from winging a marketing strategy.

Nonprofits know and understand this, but not many look to their example when seeking help.

This morning, managing director, enterprise and insight business at Cision, Jeni Lee Chapman, explored how nonprofits can teach B2B companies to increase conversions.

Her professional development workshop at PRSA International proved that operating on a shoestring budget doesn’t limit how much a strategy can succeed. All it takes is a plan.

Here are four takeaways from her #PRSAICON session:

1. Flexibility is Key

B2Bs shouldn’t wait around for opportunities to succeed. Instead, they should ensure readiness by assigning roles for PR or crisis responses and define processes before a situation arises.

Jeni explored how the Texas-based nonprofit, The Last Well, aimed to provide clean water for the country of Liberia. But when the Ebola crisis hit, founder Dr. Todd Phillips had to find a way to keep people interested in their mission until the organization could return to the country.

By sending a PRWeb news release, The Last Well provided a solution for those yearning to know how to help those affected by the crisis.

By discussing the Ebola crisis as it directly related to their cause, The Last Well saw $60,000 in donations pour in, which helped provide clean water to 3,000 Liberians.

2. Plan to Succeed


Only 30 percent of B2B companies say their content marketing is effective. Jeni reassured attendees that success is possible if you identify your company’s strengths and limitations and tailor your overall marketing goals for each social media platform.

For example, The Nature Conservancy has tackled a ton of environmental issues to drive preservation; however, their support base continues to age.

The Nature Conservancy identified the platforms and languages of a new target audience – millennials – to better craft their content and keep efforts going.

By developing monthly content themes and angles to reach varying audiences, The Nature Conservancy impacted how their audiences searched for environmental topics online.

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3. Monitor The Media

Only 35 percent of B2B organizations use a social media monitoring platform. B2B companies need to listen to trends and target audiences if they want to develop more compelling content, build relationships with influencers and control brand reputation on and offline.

Jeni explored how The Humane Society of the United States ensured its voice was represented accurately on social media.

With 8 million members and investment in 300 animal-related issues, the nation’s largest animal protection nonprofit needed to be able to gather data without scouring each platform for each issue manually.

By using Cision’s PR software to track conversations and gather insight, the nonprofit increased impressions by 535 percent and tripled media exposure within a year.

4. Measure to Learn

ROI is vital to success, but one in five marketers don’t measure this for inbound marketing efforts. While small percentages may not look all that impressive on paper, incremental improvements make a huge difference, Jeni stated.

She finished her presentation by discussing UNICEF’s goal to be the leading voice for media and cover topics in six languages.

To do so, UNICEF established a real-time social media monitoring system and used quarterly reports to benchmark their results against original goals.

By taking little steps towards the finish line in real time, UNICEF was able to increase social share of voice and surpass the World Health Organization as the leader of share of voice on mainstream media.







Images: Sharon SinclairSimply CVR (Creative Commons)

About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.

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