Local media and digital agencies can learn something from directory sites about using technology to identify the best prospects, and engage local business customers.
An elegant platform is available from UK-based Silktide, a company whose software already empowers thousands of sales and web production teams in 20+ countries.
Many of the companies are yellow page companies or directories, however, media companies have also started to adopt their tools to generate inbound leads, identify the best prospects, engage customers and position sales reps as digital experts.
Part of the elegance is the simplicity of what it does and does not do.
It does: Offer automation for SMB digital “check-ups,” aggregate this hyper-local data for benchmarking reports, allow local media to e-market SMB´s to find their own report - generating a lead, and using a variety of reports in B2B marketing strategies.
It does not: Sell data on new prospects, directly supply digital agency services, or require “per user” licensing."
Here is a quick overview of features and benefits, and some tips on how to use the platform at scale:
Using data on SMB prospects provided by local media clients, Silktide returns over 40 important digital signals as a comprehensive spreadsheet and the results can be integrated into any CRM such as Sales Force. Then the fun begins. The data can now be aggregated for digital workshops, B2B email and used individually for sales calls.
Hyper-local market research
The hyper-local “market analysis” provides a competitive advantage and is based on real data from the web, rather than surveys. In workshops or one-on-ones, media can show their city’s own SMB marketing benchmarks overall and by industry, drill down to see how an individual company’s score against competitors and benchmarks. Here are a few ways to use this data:
Below is a break down of the infographic from a faux-media company, the Fauxonian, that shows the data areas, and some marketing ideas for using this data. Keep in mind that in Europe, SME is the same is SMB in the U.S.
In a workshop, reps can run individual reports for attendees and show them at the end. This data can also be included in a B2B marketing email, with a call to action for SMB’s to click to a landing page to find their own website’s score.
See the example, created for a directory company, below. Journalism based media should be up-to-speed on creating these kinds of lead generation programs.
Whenever a business runs an analysis, this becomes a hot lead for the digital sales team.
The next part of the infographic is composed of an analysis of 205 platforms most commonly used by SMB’s.
Media in the business of SMB web dev can use this to support the value proposition of platform they use to develop websites and entice SMB’s to look at their own scores.
Another website score is load-speed, which can provide another “in” for web development sales, and position sales reps as digital experts.
Additional presence and performance indicators
There are six more signals that show SMB’s how they compare to competitors. Each of these can provide content for a B2B email, again linking to the landing page where SMB’s can get their own business report - and send a lead to digital sellers.
For example, the reports identify both individually and in aggregate businesses which have video, mobile-ready site, and online stores.
Search issues and site freshness
Most digital sellers have looked at SEO reports for any number of businesses. Access to the data is a common competitive advantage in showing digital expertise and providing information that local businesses may not be able to obtain on their own.
We like that the social data not only includes Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but also who is advertising on Google Adwords and using Facebook retargeting. The digital sales manager is able to find some great leads here from drilling down into categories for underperformers.
Industry category breakdowns
One of the most valuable ways the data is organized is a breakdown into seven local industry categories.
These can also be used to segment additional B2B emails and for benchmarking information that sales reps can use in the field.
Individual SMB reports
Beyond the infographics and aggregations, the platforms allow reps or admins to run individual reports on companies that look at all the data signals, comparing them to local competitors and the hyperlocal industry benchmarks above.
The top navigation bar in the screenshot shows some options to “weaponise” into sales tools: Sales people can look up competitor’s information and build the data into a proposal. Local media companies building websites priced per page can build these packages into proposals that are downloaded in clicks.
Web development quality assurance
A final problem solved by Silktide’s software tools is quality assurance for website development. The web development project manager can simply run the new web build through the checking software that picks up everything from missing meta-tags to spelling errors, and be certain that websites are consistently produced and adhere to a set quality level before “going out the door.”
While there are a number of companies that provide some of this data or additional services, we like the simplicity and pricing of this model. The cost is based on per report run - rather than per seat - putting Silktide on the team of helping media companies sell more of a variety of products from web development, to search visibility, social presence, video and content management. The white label version requires a custom bid, but a small agency can sign up online and run up to 50 reports for only $70 month.
Whichever platform they select, local media with digital agencies are well advised to have these tools on hand to stay competitive in their markets and reposition their teams as digital experts.