Today we have for you a 2021 round-up reading list both for business and pleasure 📚.
I mean 2021 just began so I am sure we can all make it a goal to get reading this year.
Ross shared his recommendation for AI Superpowers – China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order By Kai-Fu Lee; this sounds interesting, but for me I am more drawn to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck By Mark Manson as my top choice – this one has been on my must-read list for too long.
Talking about the new year, it’s time for a new take on branding.
Brand building in B2B has always been a touch neglected with technical elements overshadowing emotional feel. But with an increase in competitors in the space and SaaS becoming trendy, it pays to have a solid brand image.
Before we get into that, here’s a peek at what’s to come:
- Takeaways from an upcoming $250 million acquisition
- YouTube doing double duty: creating revenue and market your product
- New AI is creating gorgeous images from written descriptions
What StreamYard Has Done Well Pre-$250 Million Acquisition
Hopin is continuing to invest in virtual platforms, which is a good sign that global conferences will continue.
Don’t get me wrong – I miss business trips, but this level of accessibility can’t be beaten.
I don’t know the specifics as to why Hopin chose to acquire StreamYard for $250 million but I can call out four things that StreamYard’s website did well to get their attention.
1. Reviews from respected B2B professionals are highlighted on the landing page
- Word of mouth is the most trusted form of marketing, it beats fancy ads and flexing awards. Use consumer reviews to show the real results of your product
- Placing this praise front and center highlights the experience and resulting success people, real people, have had with your product.
2. Clarity and emphasis on its great product features
- No brainer here – Hopin wouldn’t pay $250 million for a basic product with no great features
- Having these features highlighted on the homepage puts these front and centre
- Additional features and benefits separate your product from the competition; they shouldn’t be tucked away in hard to find locations on your site
3. Inclusion of a demo video
- StreamYard is an easy to use conferencing platform and they highlight the ease of use in an embedded video demo
- Video demos are a great way to show the features, benefits, and walkthroughs of your product
- People prefer to see how something works rather than reading about it
- A marketing trend for 2021 is including demos, and a great place to include these is above the fold of your homepage, placing it front and center attention
4. Clear call to actions (CTA)
- Located right next to the demo video is a clear CTA making it simple to sign up
- At the bottom of the page, there is another clear CTA to ensure users who were interested in reading more didn’t have to scroll back up to sign up
- Clear CTAs direct your visitors to the actions you want them to take and having them in convenient locations takes away any friction in signing up. For example, a click-to-call widget is a small snippet of HTML code that can be easily added to any page on your website, whether it’s a WordPress site or was built using other content management systems or website builders. No matter how much traffic you can drive to your website, it’s essential to point the visitors in some direction. That’s why calls to action are so powerful.
This acquisition isn’t a takeover; both platforms can be used separately from one another. Hopin sees the value in StreamYard and its ability to stand on its own.
StreamYard may have a landing page for a website, but it is a clean site that provides all the information needed to convert visitors to customers. Plus, in one way or another, it helped them achieve a $250 million acquisition.
- Showcase reviews and videos to highlight top features and benefits
- Clean and simple sites are all you need to demonstrate the value of your product
- Be strategic in your placement of call to actions for convenient sign up and quick conversions
Brand Building Boosts ROI for B2B
Here’s a wild statistic for you: Only 4% of B2B marketers are measuring campaign impact beyond six months!
Here are some others:
LinkedIn’s B2B Institute took a critical look into B2B marketing and discovered: only 30% of marketers believe advertising impacts pricing power, 50% don’t think that reach is an adequate predictor of success, and 36% trust the power of penetration for growing a business.
Les Binet and Peter Field teamed up with MarketingWeek in a study around B2B brand building. One of the main findings was that B2B brands who are investing 50% or more of their budget into long term brand building receive the best returns in market share growth, profitability, and revenue.
Before I tell you to drop 50% of your budget into building up your brand, let’s breakdown the key benefits of having a well-developed B2B brand image:
Increase In Short Term Sales
Short-term conversions increase six-fold on LinkedIn when consumers see a brand ad first.
People are more likely to buy from a brand they know and feel comfortable with. Would you be quick to invest in a product from an unknown brand you found off a Facebook ad?
Increase In Long Term Sales
Having a well-known brand pays off since new market entrants have to start from scratch in competing for your loyal and trusting audience.
Plus, company value is often based on future cash flow. As stated above, investing in brand building permits long-term payoff, meaning larger future cash flows and an overall higher business valuation.
Pricing Power: Greater Recognition = Greater Prices
Looking at the 30% of marketers who believe advertising affects pricing – we applaud you 👏
Advertising and promotion will help you develop clout in your industry. It will help you be seen by more people, your brand message will spread, and having quality content will create an authoritative presence and a larger audience. That clout will allow you to charge more for your offerings. People will pay for your name and the connection they feel towards your brand.
Better Talent Acquisitions
Continuing on the sentiments from the point above, more employees will look to work at a known company over a lesser-known start-up. (We believe most times startups end up attracting the top talent, but maybe we’re biased).
Google gets about three million applications a year. So they can be choosey in picking their employees and making sure they sign the best of the best.
Ability To Pivot Within Industry Niches
Finally, companies with strong brands can transverse niches with ease. These brands have already proven themselves to produce excellence and can easily extend their brand line.
Think about it—Microsoft started as a software processor company and has since moved into applications, cloud computing, and consumer products.
B2C marketers emphasize brand building because people will bond to a brand they trust, align with, and believe in. And businesses are run by people too.
People don’t always invest in brands using cash, they invest with trust and loyalty; your company should invest money in brand building to reap the benefits of this loyalty.
- Stop focusing only on six-months and start looking longer term
- Built-up brands have a better chance at future success in revenue and market share
- Developing a strong and relatable brand that relates will lead to a competitive advantage
Ways To Profit Off YouTube While Marketing At The Same Time
Not only is YouTube a great platform for content remixing and a fantastic distribution channel – you can also make serious money from the platform.
Monetizing a YouTube channel isn’t a top priority for marketers, but it is an appealing aspect of the platform and can function as an attractive selling point when getting clients on board for content marketing.
Mr. Beast – YouTube’s Top Philanthropist – earns around $97,500,000 a year from the platform. He is a 22-year-old American YouTube content creator who has gained 50.9 million subscribers and is known for his expensive stunts where he gives out large sums of money.
Speaking of the 26% of his wealth, Mr. Beast qualifies for YouTube monetization because he has amassed more than 30,000 channel subscribers. However, he can gain more money based on the number of views he gets, which ranges from 30 million to 100 million views per video.
According to content creators from YouTube, it was reported that videos with 100,000 views can earn between $500 and $2,5000. As viewership increases so does revenue earned per video.
Hubspot has a successful YouTube channel with 130,000 followers, qualifying them for AdSense monetization – through the inclusion of advertisements in their videos. And with videos gaining over 100,000 views Hubspot has achieved a level of viewership on a few of its videos which would provide them with an additional stream of revenue while promoting the brand.
2. Brand Partnerships
Typical content creators will earn additional income from brand partnerships and paid promotion since this is a form of influencer marketing. And when you have a large following like Mr. Beast, marketers will pay a pretty penny to have him work for them.
In the B2B world, it is more likely that collaborations or co-promotions will occur – not to say that paid promotion is out of the question.
Brian Dean from Backlinko has done well to create a YouTube following of just under 400,000 followers and has earned up to 2.3 million views on his top video.
His most recent video features nine free SEO tools; he doesn’t state this was a partnership video but he doesn’t state it wasn’t. Either way, this would be a great way to achieve cross-promotion. The brands mentioned in the video will likely share it on their social channels and show Backlinko some love on their site creating a win-win situation for brand exposure.
Finally, Mr. Beast is successful in selling merchandise to add to his YouTube revenue portfolio. Everyone loves merchandise and it’s a great way to engage your audience. For this point, I am going to move away from Mr. Beast because essentially his merchandise is your product.
While the strategic point of creating a YouTube channel is to expand your distribution channels and leverage content remixes, the tactical approach should be to educate your audience and promote your product. Therefore, the final way to make off YouTube is to use it as a conversion platform.
- YouTube is more than an advertising channel; it can be monetized
- Focusing on channel growth and viewership can pay off in the long run
- Co-promotions on YouTube are fantastic for expanding reach and audience growth
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK:
🛍 Nacelle gains $18M in Series A funding for its E-Commerce infrastructure startup.
💳 Giving companies greater control over their expenses, Divvy has raised $165M from venture capitalists including PayPal.
🐦 As Twitter continues to troubleshoot Spaces, they have acquired podcast app Breaker to help build out the new feature.
BRAIN FOOD OF THE WEEK:
DALL-E, a neural network, can create images based on a string of text. In general, this a leap in artificial intelligence as it can comprehend and create based on language alone, but it may have a larger impact in the near future.
OpenAI is currently working to understand potential bias and long term ethical concerns as it expands DALL-E’s abilities to relate to societal issues.
On a smaller scale of impact, DALL-E’s technology could be applied to marketing and modelling of products or designs based on written descriptions.
Originally Sent Out Thursday, January 14, 2021. Stay up to date with all of our latest findings by subscribing to our newsletter today. Signing up also gives you early access to Ross’ Tuesday essay full of exclusive industry insights.