ROI on your B2B Social Media

Social Media ROI

How well do you think your social media activity is going?

Are you getting a valuable return on investment for your efforts?


A recent report undertaken by ListenFirst has revealed only 33% of marketing professionals could ‘mostly’ connect an ROI to social media, whilst 7% said they were never able to make the connection.

Having said that over 50% of those taking part in the survey claimed they would be increasing their spend on social media in 2022 as its influence grows right across the whole spectrum of industry and education.

For the B2B market, social media was the top growing marketing pillar in 2021, followed by website, search/PPC advertising and then email. During the pandemic, social media was also judged to be the most effective pillar for companies followed by email marketing.

It is interesting to see how popular email marketing remains for B2B companies, however the shift towards using social media to reach a target audience is significant and cannot be ignored.

If the real-world effects of a social media campaign are clear to see, can you argue the actual ROI on your social media spend is that important? I guess that depends on who holds the purse strings…


If you’d like to throw some ideas around, or just talk through your thoughts on any aspect of your marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us at or telephone 01202 682322.

National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week


‘Build the Future’ is the theme of this years National Apprenticeship Week #NAW2022 and there is a whole week of activities focussing on the benefits apprenticeships can have on individuals, businesses and local communities.


The 15th annual week-long celebration of Apprenticeships is taking place across England encouraging individuals of any age to reach their career goals by building their skills and knowledge.

There is a different focus for each day of the week with Social Media hashtags to help engage supporters and build involvement with both Employers and Apprentices. From the launch on Monday 7th to #AskAnEmployer and #AskAnApprentice, Celebration Friday and #SelfieSunday, there is something to appeal to everyone.

There are also a number of live virtual events during the week including a variety of seminars such as what life as an apprentice is really like, CV Writing tips with the professionals and an open FAQ Session; all designed to encourage prospective employers and apprentices to consider how training can impact them positively. For employers that might be the return on investment or talent retention for their business. For Apprentices it might be discussing the impact of their training, progression and how they have achieved their career goals.

Promoting National Apprenticeship Week provides business leaders and teachers with great opportunities to focus on how apprenticeships are not only the future of business success but also help to build future careers and support job creation and the economy.

More information is available at

Why outsourcing your marketing can be a good thing – Part 2

3 min read –

Outsourcing your marketing

As we plunge into 2022, the world of marketing continues to evolve. One aspect we’ve noticed is how existing marketers in larger companies are becoming more and more accountable for business results, and therefore the onus on them is to become smarter in how they work. There is constantly ‘more to do’ and therefore naturally marketers are seeking help and resource. One avenue is to consider outsourcing some of your marketing to a specialist but how do you decide whether that’s a good move or not.


In the first article on this topic we looked at the benefits of outsourcing your marketing.

Having examined some of these benefits, and before reaching a conclusion about whether outsourcing would suit your business, this 2nd article considers what type of marketing activities are suitable to outsource.

It is of course possible to outsource your entire marketing activities, and for some companies this is by far the best value and ROI solution. They know the work will be done consistently and as required, and from a cost perspective it is cheaper to have an Agency on call then employ a full-time Marketing Manager.

Email marketing


With regard to content marketing, which is the current growth area across many industries, it is beneficial to consider 3 stages of the sales cycle to give some insight into what should be outsourced.


At the top of the funnel, you have the awareness stage, where potential new buyers are becoming exposed to what you can offer. Content tends to be quite generic, aimed at educating the market, creating brand awareness and answering common questions. Outsourcing this to an industry-aware Agency or specialist is perfectly reasonable and a good way to help resource-allocation. You just need to pick the right Agency and keep a watching brief. Content at this stage tends to be in the form of white papers, video, blogs etc.


As a buyer progresses down the sales funnel (perhaps to the consideration stage) he/she is more likely to need more detailed information on a company’s products and services. There is still scope for 3rd party involvement, but it is more likely they would require existing material (presentations, fact sheets, videos etc) to help them create content. So there is likely more involvement from the company but still the opportunity to save time and resource.


Towards the bottom of the buying process, there is even more requirement for company personnel to be involved from a technical standpoint and so outsourcing this type of content creation is unlikely (but not impossible). Where a 3rd party can support here is in the final creation of the actual marketing piece (video, blog, webinar etc) which can still provide a time and resource benefit to the company.


Other typical marketing pillars that are easier to outsource include those mentioned above (corporate and other complex video and animation, and website build) but also design and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Typical examples of marketing design include your brochures and leaflets, any advertising you may do (online or traditional), elements of your branding (for e.g. your logo) and any exhibition material you may need. The biggest requirement you need to outsource this is an understanding, from the 3rd party, of your company culture and your industry, to ensure the design is appropriate and reflects your company values and messages.

Conducting SEO for your website and other online platforms does require a certain level of specialised knowledge that can be learned but is time consuming. Outsourcing this to a 3rd party can be expensive, but again the value you achieve from this could easily outweigh the cost. A stream of new leads bought about by a coordinated SEO campaign would offer an ROI that is unlikely from many other forms of marketing, and could prove to be your best decision of the year.


What conclusion can we draw then from whether outsourcing your marketing is a good thing or not?

To return to the analogy of the automotive sector, to help them concentrate on their core functions, companies outsource production of smaller components. Whilst still critical to the overall build quality and production schedule, these smaller components can be produced by 3rd parties providing the necessary procedures and checks are in place. Often these smaller components are easier to manufacture and less critical to the overall finished result.

The same rationale can be applied when considering outsourcing marketing. By choosing the right 3rd party (Agency or individual specialist) and ensuring processes are in play that keep a level of trust in place, a company can, and arguably should, enjoy the benefits of outsourcing some or all of its marketing.

Please let us know your experience of outsourcing and whether it’s worked for you.


If you’d like to discuss outsourcing your marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us at or telephone 01202 682322.

Why outsourcing your marketing can be a good thing – Part 1

3 min read –

Outsourcing your marketing

As we plunge into 2022, the world of marketing continues to evolve. One aspect we’ve noticed is how existing marketers in larger companies are becoming more and more accountable for business results, and therefore the onus on them is to become smarter in how they work. There is constantly ‘more to do’ and therefore naturally marketers are seeking help and resource. One avenue is to consider outsourcing some of your marketing to a specialist but how do you decide whether that’s a good move or not.

In this first of 2 articles, we look at the benefits of outsourcing and, in Part 2, what sort of marketing could your business be outsourcing to help you remain competitive and make the best use of your resources and time.

To help us answer the question above let’s begin by looking at the benefits of outsourcing. Companies have been outsourcing across many elements of their business for years, with the automotive sector a prime example. So we know it works in many cases. Outsourcing enables a company to focus on its core functions, while improving the quality or reducing the cost of its peripheral activities.


Many of these same principles can be applied to outsourcing your marketing. The first and most obvious benefit is to free up resources. Often an SME will have just one person designated as the marketing lead, and very often that role will be combined with other responsibilities (Business Development, Sales, even HR!). So, to expect this person to be able to undertake all the marketing activities required by an SME in 2022 is unworkable. Having an additional resource to off load onto can be very cost-effective and beneficial for the business.


A second benefit of outsourcing is to tap into an expertise you or your marketing colleagues may not possess in-house. Video production is a common one – many people can now make a simple video using their phone and widely available software such as iMovie and Splice, however the level of investment required in equipment to produce a professional corporate video or complex product animation precludes 99% of marketers. So it makes sense to outsource that type of product to a professional video company.

The same can be said of your website. Any marketer worth their salt can keep a site updated with fresh content, but it takes another level of expertise to be able to design and build a new site, or sometimes even just add some new functionality.


A third benefit to outsourcing is all about cost. It is expensive to have an in-house marketing team (think recruitment costs, ongoing HR investment, training costs, payroll costs etc) and all that comes after you’ve found the right people. Outsourcing avoids that cost and enables you to use selected agencies or specialists to focus in on what marketing you need, and only when you need it. If you see marketing as an investment, not just a cost on the bottom line, then the decision to outsource can become a lot easier to make.


A final benefit of outsourcing is it can introduce a level of outside perspective that may be lacking internally. Often, in-house marketers are sucked into the day-to-day operations of their business and it pays to have an extra pair of eyes that can distinguish the wood from the trees. To keep your competitive edge, and to introduce new ways of working that are better for your business, it is worth considering an external marketing specialist that knows your industry.

In the second part of this article we look at what types of marketing you could outsource, and come to a conclusion on whether outsourcing your marketing is a good business decision. 


If you’d like to discuss outsourcing your marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us at or telephone 01202 682322.

Promotional items for your Stand

4 min read (part 4 of 4) 

Exhibitions, promotional items

With the welcome return of live exhibitions, and with one of the engineering industry’s most important exhibitions (Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2022) just 2 months away, now seems a perfect opportunity to look at what you might need to consider when planning for an exhibition.

Over the course of the next four weeks, we’re going to look at the 4 key ingredients to a successful trade show:

  • Design and Build of your stand
  • Video and Photography for your stand
  • Communication to your audience before, during and after the show
  • Tangible items for your stand that will make you memorable

4 of 4

So far in our series of blogs on exhibiting at a trade show, we have looked at designing and building your stand, the multi-media you need to give your stand the wow factor and how you promote yourself before, during and after the Show.

In our 4th and final blog in this series we look at how you can make your stand that little bit more memorable with promotional items visitors can either take away, or interact with, at the stand.


Let’s start by looking at literature. There is an obvious argument that no-one needs literature any more in our digital world, so why go to the bother of producing hard copies of your data sheets or brochures. To a large extent this is very true, and a branded USB stick that contains PDF’s of your presentation and key literature is for many people the best way they would like to take information away from your stand.

However, USB’s get lost, and need some action to look at them – whereas a set of data sheets or a corporate brochure professionally designed can still prove worthwhile and can sit more noticeably on a visitor’s desk when he/she returns to their office. It is also sometimes useful to talk through a data sheet with a visitor at the stand, which you can’t do with an electronic document. Why not consider having both, to meet the requirements of all your visitors.

Promotional items for your stand

VIDEO cards

As a modern extension to the USB stick, video cards can prove very successful in communicating your messages to contacts. Not only do you have an opportunity to brand them with bespoke artwork, but you can add several videos including your corporate video and videos of all your key products and services. Add in the wow factor of the cards and you can guarantee visitors will come away from your stand with a memory to last.


The concept of having something to give away on your stand is as old as trade shows themselves and yet it stands the test of time. From something as simple as pens or stress balls, to sophisticated gifts such as bespoke phone chargers, you should see giveaways as a brand-promoting exercise; an opportunity to get your name out and about across your industry peers and customers. A smart strategy is to have a mix of items, that allow you to be a little selective – cheaper pens for students and the casual walk-by, more expensive items for promising new contacts, existing customers or past customers that are looking to reconnect.

The success of giveaways is all about usability. The afore-mentioned phone chargers and thermal drink cups are proven winners as everyone will use one of those in their lifetime. It’s worth doing a little research beforehand to see the latest ideas, as having something unique will definitely score you some points over your competition.

Exhibitions, promotional items

INTERACTIVITY on your stand

Having some form of interactive activity on your stand that will draw visitors in is always worth considering. It could be related to your business, for example a robot in action, or a 3D printer producing one of your products. Alternatively it might be completely unrelated to what you do and simply represent a fun activity, for example, a chance to play against a professional darts player, or have a go in a racing simulator. Whatever attraction you go with, remember the purpose is to stir up some momentum around your stand and hopefully get people talking about you. As much advance publicity as you can get will be helpful to start those conversations.


Running a competition during the show is another possible way to bring people to your stand, as long as you publicise it well beforehand. It’s a guaranteed way to capture data, and if you announce the winner at the show, is an opportunity to get people to revisit your stand either later in the day or the day after. Always make sure the prize is worth-while and keep the entry process quick and easy – no-one wants to fill out pages just to enter a competition.

Exhibitions, promotional items

FOOD and drink

Finally, a very simple method of adding some extra to your stand is to offer refreshments. Walking a show is tiring business, so the offer of food and drink will always be well appreciated. Think about doing something a little bit different to make your offer stand out – cupcakes or popcorn will be more memorable than biscuits or chocolates, and you can add branding to the packaging to help promote your name. Similarly, why not hand out water bottles with your own branded labels.


Having something tangible to give away to visitors is largely about taking the opportunity to promote your brand. It is unlikely you will pick up actual business from giving someone a pen, but by keeping your name in their consciousness you improve your chances of your name being the first one they think of when they are ready to purchase.

This series of 4 blogs has hopefully given you some food for thought when you are planning your forthcoming exhibitions. Exhibitions are an expensive form of marketing so you need to make sure you are getting value for money and a big part of that is planning your stand and show presence meticulously to ensure all the boxes are ticked.

Part 1 Design and Build your Stand

Part 2 Multimedia for your Stand

Part 3 Communication to your Clients




If you’d like to discuss your trade show requirements, particularly in advance of Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2022, please contact Simon on or tel: 01202 682322.