Jeremy Durant of Bop Design knows that content plays an enormous role in the success of marketing a business. He understands that social media, branding, and content are all major players in the marketing world of today.

In this interview, Jeremy shares some of what Bop Design offers clients.

On your website, it says that Bop Design offers a holistic portfolio of branding services. Please discuss this approach.

Many people think a brand is simply your logo and the “look and feel” of your website. This is not the case, and the creation of a brand requires a more holistic approach. A holistic approach requires a focus on both tangible and intangible brand assets. Tangible assets include: logo and tagline, name and trademark, messaging, website and collateral. Intangible assets include: company culture, industry expectations, customer service and customer experience. Bop Design ensures that all brand assets under its management project a consistent and cohesive brand to a company’s target market.

What is your go-to approach for content marketing?

With content marketing, it all starts with the company blog. Consistent blogging about industry topics will ensure your website is a “living, breathing” resource center to current and prospective clients. Then the next step is repurposing and cross-promoting this blog content on as many appropriate platforms as possible. Platforms can include email newsletters, PR channels, social media, infographics, etc. With content marketing, it’s about continuously doing it. Not all content you create needs to be groundbreaking; just useful to prospective and current clients.

In terms of social media marketing, what do you think are its top three strengths? How does Bop Design utilize these strengths for clients?

The top 3 strengths are:

1. Utilization of social media advertising: Paying to promote content to a targeted audience specifically on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Social media advertising is an excellent way for clients to generate leads outside of their immediate social media network.

2. B2B-specific social media: Social media can be an effective way to generate B2B leads specifically on LinkedIn. We understand the differences of B2B marketing versus B2C – longer sales cycles, more decision makers, and higher priced services. B2B social media marketing can help clients start conversations at the top of the marketing funnel.

3. Social media as business development: Too much of social media is about branding and not enough about generating sales conversations. Most of our clients have niche audiences, so it’s easy to target specific companies and titles/functions on social media to get relevant content in front of the right people to generate leads.

What are some of the biggest roadblocks in B2B marketing that clients bring about by themselves? In what ways can these roadblocks be cleared?

We always caution clients that “perfection is the enemy of progress.” For instance, some clients want every blog entry to win a Pulitzer. If you want every bit of content to be “groundbreaking,” you will never churn out enough content to reach your audience. Same with website design, with some clients debating about colors or photos that really don’t matter to their target market. It’s more important to launch the website ASAP and blog regularly. These roadblocks are cleared when we remind clients of the opportunity cost of delay. The longer the website is not live or the blog entry is not promoted, the more likely an ideal client will miss it and select a competitor.

As any website owner knows, lead generation is a crucial component to success. What are some of the best ways to enhance lead generation?

Implementing a strategy to gain both organic and paid leads to your website. Too many content marketing firms focus just on organic traffic; and unfortunately, this can take too long. It is important to supplement SEO with paid traffic from channels like Google AdWords and LinkedIn Sponsored Updates. If your website looks the part, a visitor will delve deeper. We advise B2B clients to not gate all of their content; in fact, for many we encourage them to de-gate all content offers that do not include proprietary information. As a B2B firm, you are typically targeting busy people who don’t want to be bothered. Most know the drill when they complete a form to access content. They know that salespeople will harass them for weeks. It is time to respect people’s time and not insult their intelligenc;- give the content away without a form. Instead of a form, allow downloaders to opt-in to an email newsletter or check a “contact me” box. This way, it still acts as a lead generation tool but is not detouring important prospects. By de-gating the content, the visitor gains immediate access to your content; and by reading this content, he or she is more likely to view your company as credible – and thus is more likely to initiate contact.

What goals do you have for Bop Design going forward? How will these goals better meet the needs of current and future customers?

Start to mix up our content marketing tactics for clients – more than the written word on digital channels. More content videos, more infographics, more webinars, and more content marketing through direct mail. This help our clients differentiate just by using the same content message through a different marketing channel.

What marketing efforts have you undertaken either for Bop Design or a client that were perhaps a longshot that turned out really well? Or, to put it another way, what level of risk do you think should be taken in terms of B2B marketing?

Re-introducing AdWords campaigns in the last year for Bop Design and clients has worked out really well. Average page views and time on site from paid traffic has ranked consistently higher than organic traffic. We made this change because web searchers can barely tell the difference between organic and paid search results now. Paid sponsored results used to be highlighted. Now, there is only a small “Ad” box next to the result. There is less distrust of sponsored results because web searchers can’t even tell the difference anymore. Why wait years to rank organically when your website can be #1 on Google today as long as you have the right AdWords bid?

What is the simplest way to beef up an existing marketing strategy? Adding paid advertising to an organic content marketing – or vice versa?.

It’s important that there is a balance between paid advertising and content marketing. This balance helps with short-term lead generation and long-term brand awareness.

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