Can you successfully do B2B marketing using an app?
Over the last 18 months, I’ve been quite active on Social Media. No, not tweeting rage, trying to manipulate political thought or sharing my latest fashion buys. Rather, I’ve been out to try to prove that it can be a viable way of marketing B2B professional services using digital media. Originally, in my case, it was to promote my own consultancy on international business expansion.
I was told it couldn’t be done.
There is a lot of reticence to engage with social media from what I’ll call the “Decision Maker Class” in the UK. That’s been exacerbated by recent revelations of misuse of data and hacking. However, the biggest barriers seem to be first discovering good content, and second to find the time to watch or listen.
So how do those, like me, who are determined to make digital media work and have a story to tell, get our message across?
Social Media gurus will tell you that you have to be in it for the long haul, posting new content frequently – and I can confirm that’s true, as, with “shares” and “follows”, whilst it takes time, one’s following does start to grow exponentially.
With sufficient content – lots of videos or articles – it’s nice and easy to have one’s own “channel” on YouTube or a podcast platform. The downside is that these can introduce unwanted diversions.
Disadvantages of video and podcast platforms
Firstly, there’s advertising. These platforms have to make money, of course, so their use of advertising is understandable. There are now plenty of enthusiastic young “youtubers” and podcasters who seek to make money from their work, and the advertising these platforms bring gives them welcome income. However, if you’re really promoting yourself and your services, and so you’re not looking for that type of revenue, it’s at best unhelpful – especially when the adverts have nothing to do with your content, or could even promote a competitor.
Secondly, there’s the “suggestions”. A viewer of your YouTube videos will then be taken to another made by someone else – and also see a list of alternatives. As the algorithm chooses them hose may have nothing to do with your subject – and there’s a big risk that a viewer who goes on to watch one of them then forgets the content of your own that you so carefully crafted.
For us, at Grow through International Expansion, we’re anxious to stay independent and don’t seek to make a profit.
Our model for covering our costs is discreet and different. We don’t need or want overt advertising, and we definitely don’t want a third party application like YouTube directing those who have viewed one of our posts onwards to another one, made by another organisation, that may not even have valid or accurate content.
Of course, it’s not just those promoting B2B services that face these issues. Consumer marketers do too. Any business wanting to monetize their services, or just promote them through video or sound clips or articles – training in particular comes to mind – will feel the same.
We found an answer – an app for B2B marketing
Grow International found the answer in SupaPass – a novel solution created by a really engaging and committed team in Norwich, headed by Juliana Meyer. They’ve developed what is essentially a white label app that a business can own-brand, and then load and update their own content. It’s low cost, sold on a monthly subscription basis, and includes all the necessary functionality to charge users on a subscription basis (we don’t use that ourselves – Grow International is free to users). The app works on Apple and Android as well as using a web browser.
SupaPass was originally conceived as a music app, for the many bands and artists that have a substantial following but maybe aren’t yet in the major league. For an affordable monthly fee, the artists can have their own label app and get their fans to subscribe. With sufficient followers, their costs get covered and after that they can make money from it.
However, the thinking has evolved.
SupaPass have realised that their solution is actually ideal for businesses that want to promote their services and have content to show – even when they don’t want to charge their viewers. Big companies already build their own apps, but that costs a fortune and takes ages. With SupaPass, there’s no need to build an app or maintain it – so it’s very quick and cheap to launch, at a cost that any SME should find affordable. So now, SupaPass is an app for B2B marketing.
I can think of so many uses.
Financial advisors could use it to post their daily or weekly updates to their customers. Manufacturers or suppliers can use it to show do-it-yourselfers and hobbyists how to use their products. Country tourist organisations or even those who write guidebooks can create an app instead. It’s a great way to deliver almost any form of training – in fact, many SupaPass customers originally got hooked by a channel with dozens of videos demonstrating to would-be anglers how to catch different kinds of fish.
Many businesses should also find this to be a great sales tool.
Prospective customers could be given the app itself and some of the content for free. When they see that there is additional content only available to that company’s customers, that’s certain to build curiosity and generate valuable inquiries.
Unlike using social media channels, users should have no worries about personal data security – and marketers have total control of the medium.
SupaPass is a great, logical development from the social media phenomenon and it’s destined to be a hugely valuable disruptor, not just for musicians and artists but a wide business community.
To understand the scope and value, readers who haven’t yet installed the Grow International app should do so by clicking here – it’s free, contains all the podcasts, videos and articles that we’ve published so far, and builds up weekly as we publish new content into what we hope will become even more widely recognised as the “go to” app for independent information on all aspects of international business expansion.
We recently published a conversation I had with Juliana Meyer as a podcast – you can listen to it here.
Their website with full details is www.supapass.com
Oliver Dowson offers subscribers to growinternational.org free advice and initial consultations on any aspect of international expansion – just get in touch using our contact page
Vinicius Fachinetto, CEO of Vinx Digital, the media creators behind GrowInternational, will also be glad to discuss any aspect of using digital media for business marketing – again, get in touch via the VINX contact page