How to increase your B2B social media marketing success rates in 2019

Posted by frank harris on 31/01/19 16:22

social media marketing 010219Over the past year fraud concerns surrounding B2B social media marketing have come to the fore.

 

Some studies estimate that up to 90% of B2B companies are allocating more money in social media marketing, despite this, in an effort to better identify and reach their audiences. According to eMarketer, this investment is paying off. The majority of these brands reported that they closed at least one deal recently because of their presence on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

 

Social media can and should still play a vital role in B2B marketing going forward.

Social is a Natural Fit

Though social media marketing may seem better suited to B2C companies, there are three main reasons why it’s plenty viable in a B2B context.

 

The first reason is that social profiles are created by individual consumers themselves. Rather than play the guessing game, brands have access to rich, accurate hard data regarding the names, ages, genders, interests, and (most importantly) occupations of their personas. They can use this information to seek professionals whose brands would benefit from their services and develop targeted messages that speak directly to their needs.

 

The second is that B2B social media marketing yields much higher engagement rates than display advertising. It offers an excellent content distribution format that makes it easy for an audience to interact with and share brands’ posts. Ultimately, this provides a powerful amount of word of mouth for the companies that get it right.

 

The last reason is that it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to begin seeing results. According to Social Media Examiner, 78% of marketers reported a boost in traffic after investing just six hours a week in social strategies. 

 

However, it’s not as simple as developing a few Facebook posts or scheduling a few tweets. If you want to execute campaigns that drive serious ROI, you need to focus on a strategic setup and constant optimisation.

Achieving B2B Social Media Marketing Success

Many brands fail to implement conversion tracking for their social advertising initiatives. Elements such as lead form completion and on-site video views enable campaign managers to optimise for the best results, so it’s important to build these into your strategies.

 

B2B marketers also make the mistake of defaulting to LinkedIn exclusively for social strategies, isolating themselves from more lucrative opportunities. Thanks to its targeting capabilities, Facebook offers greater reach to almost every B2B audience. In fact, B2B campaigns that centre on Facebook often outperform similar ones on other channels.

 

When you get involved in social campaigns, it’s easy to get hung up on these types of pitfalls. Avoid them by keeping the following best practices in mind when building your social strategy:

  1. Target a specific audience.

Marketing messages are most effective when they reach the right people. Gather all of the first-party data available on your personas, and integrate that information into your social advertising. Some platforms offer tools to help you organise custom audiences. For instance, Facebook lets you use converter data, CRM lists, and email databases to put your content in front of your intended viewers.

  1. Customise your content.

Reaching the right people is one thing but resonating with them is another. Create materials that match your personas’ interests, values, and needs. If you’re targeting a diverse group of personalities, segment them and develop campaigns for each cluster. Custom messaging will yield higher engagement and more conversions than generic mass-appeal posts.

  1. Align your campaign channels with your goals.

Clearly define your campaign objectives, and then identify which platforms and formats will help you achieve them. Be aware of audience preferences as well. For example, according to Adweek, Millennials tend to prefer 10-second video ads while older generations favour 30-second commercials. That’s an important distinction to make when developing content. Establishing goals at the outset will dictate which platforms and types of content will earn the best results.

  1. Be strategic in your scheduling.

Select your attribution window for conversions, and share content consistently across social channels to see where you’re getting the highest ROI. If your business runs on a long sales cycle, you may want to use a 28-day window instead of a one- or seven-day measurement. Analysing the entire purchase cycle will help you nurture leads and improve your social funnel.

  1. Track your results.

Verify that your pixels and conversion tracking systems work correctly before you launch your campaign.

 

Functional tracking lets you see which aspects of the initiative work best so you can optimise around the most valuable actions. You want to focus on these priority items instead of clicks or other vanity metrics.

 

B2B decision makers are busy, and they respond best when messages reach them in trusted environments and resonate with their circumstances. That’s what makes well-planned social media campaigns invaluable to B2B marketers. They allow you to connect with people in relevant, engaging ways on the platforms they love. Your potential B2B customers are spoon-feeding you all the data you need through social media channels; it’s up to you to take them up on that invitation.

 

For more ideas on B2B social media marketing check out the link below>>>

 

Nurturing Leads in  Small Business Marketing 

Tags: B2B lead generation, b2b website marketing, social media marketing, b2b social media marketing, b2b marketing tips, b2b behavioural marketing, integrated b2b marketing

How to Improve your B2B Lead Generation and Conversion

Posted by frank harris on 14/08/18 16:13

Do you Need Leads?

internet_marketing_leads_using_inbound_marketingIf so, then it’s likely you’ve been using this lead-generation tactic: Drive traffic into campaign landing pages that include an offer and a form.  For years, that’s been the way to get leads online.

 

But with competition for time and attention increasing each passing day, this tactic is becoming less effective, and leads are becoming more difficult to capture.

 

If you are trying to generate high quality, engaged leads, it’s hard enough to get a lead, let alone a great one. Your visitors expect usefulness, relevancy, and interactivity from you, and those expectations directly impact your ability to get visitors to complete your form.  Online visitors now expect more.

 

As competition increases we must seek strategies to generate quality leads in the face of increased clutter and higher expectations. Interactive content provides new opportunities for more engagement and higher conversion rates.  Adding interactive content to your lead-generation touchpoints — both within your website content and landing pages — creates an opportunity for higher conversion rates. Here are three ways interactive content enhances those opportunities:

  1. Interactive content provides value to your audience through usefulness

For example, if you provide a custom configurator of your product, that’s useful, people will register to use the configurator. That same content in a static PDF might not be perceived as valuable, because it’s just a piece of marketing collateral. The more perceived value something has, the more likely people will complete a form to access or use it.

  1. Interactive content is easy to test, with bigger potential outcomes

 Just as you can test a headline on your landing page, you can test the colour, layout, copy and forms of interactive content.  Interactive content should be tested, just like any other online experience, to yield conversion lift and learning.

  1. Interactive content provides a wealth of insightful data

All visitor behaviour in an interactive experience can be captured. Leverage this data by showing all responses and clicks that the visitor took within the experience. Then find trends in responses, drop off rates, and outcomes and use this information to fuel new content and new tests for higher conversion rates by your sales team

 

Interactive content provides a powerful way to engage and convert your traffic. Brainstorming ways to increase the interactivity of your lead generation campaigns is easier than you think. You probably have content that can be transformed into an interactive experience – e.g.:

  • Turn your list of industry-specific best practices into assessments your visitors can take to rate themselves for how well they are executing those best practices.
  • Turn sales feedback into a product configurator that helps your visitors determine which products are right for them.
  • Leverage your internal pricing spreadsheets into interactive calculators that let your buyers determine specific pricing or price ranges for your products and solutions.
  • Turn your audience segmentation messaging into conversion paths that allow your visitors to easily segment themselves to obtain the most relevant content you’ve got.

Why Interactive Content?

 Online visitors expect useful, meaningful digital experiences every time they interact with your brand. You can meet (or exceed) visitor expectations through easy, enjoyable, interactive experiences.

Mobility

Users now interact with mobile apps, which provide an instant feedback loop. Book an appointment. Transfer funds between accounts. Put in data, get a result. There is an inherent interactivity in a mobile app that users have come to expect with their browser-based experiences too.

Utility

Consumers expect useful experiences from companies they do business with. A helpful experience will always win over one that overloads the visitor with information.

Content Overload

With the explosion of content available at every turn, B2B prospects are increasingly feeling overwhelmed. Visitors now either stockpile content to read ‘at a later date’, or they surf and ‘snack’ on content rather than dining.

What is Interactive Content?

An interactive content experience is a browser-based marketing experience designed for user engagement. It’s not a mobile app that runs as an installed application. Rather, it’s an interactive, engaging experience that’s lives within the browser, regardless of device. It’s desktop, mobile, tablet— any time. B2B interactive content can take the form of:

  • Assessments
  • Surveys
  • Conversion Paths
  • Calculators
  • eBooks
  • Wizards
  • Configurators
  • Interactive White Papers

Interactive content typically includes some sort of feedback loop where the outcome is directly impacted by the interaction of the visitor. Thus, even a sophisticated, logic-based landing page or microsite can be considered as interactive content. Here are some ideas and examples.

Content Wizard

Content wizards let visitors drill down to their favourite content while enabling you to learn who’s on your site and what interests they have. Rather than showing long lists of whitepapers and webinars to wade through, content wizards provide a more enjoyable and personal user experience and allow you to gain knowledge about your leads. Ask them about their interests or how they like to consume content, and serve up the most relevant.

Conversion Path

Do you have specific messaging for roles, or business need and struggle with getting the right content into the right hands? A conversion path will help visitors step through a series of simple choices to quickly get to the most relevant and targeted information. The post choice page is then more specific to the visitor’s interest and more likely to convert them 

Calculator

Turn your pricing spreadsheet into an online calculator. Even complex pricing can be converted into a pricing range estimator. Most companies have something that can be calculated using an engaging app-like experience. This provides the gratification that B2B buyers crave while allowing you to build value prior to delivering a specific quote.

Configurator

Do your products or services require complex configurations to determine the right personalised solution? Configurators allow visitors to assemble or package your product or service to their needs. This provides a valuable service to the visitor while providing you with valuable “packaging data” on what visitors need and want. This can be used to tailor messages and offers, that will more likely to satisfy visitor expectations, and convert traffic into leads.

Surveys

Surveys can be great for visitors. Extending the experience to show how the visitor’s answer compared to the votes of others can deepen interest and desire. When results show shared pain that can be solved by you, engagement can turn into persuasion. While it can be difficult to use a voting app for lead-generation, they are often used to collect data for sales enablement or useful marketing information. However, surveys in a marketing context can be more persuasive than ordinary research surveys.

It’s Your Turn to be Creative!

After looking at some ideas, it’s your turn to be creative. Grab an existing content marketing asset and transform it into an engaging interactive experience. Once you have your initial interactive experience, leverage the collected data to personalise and target your second…, building deep visitor profiles to enhance your visitor and customer experience even further.

Correct Interactive Content

Interactive content is often custom created by software developers. While this provides you with a great customisation for the end-result, there are some inefficiencies with hard-coding. In addition to long lead times and high development costs, a coded experience is largely inflexible and can’t be modified or changed without additional costs and time.

 

You need an agile, flexible system for the creation and launch of interactive content. An interactive content platform can reduce the time and cost associated with launching experiences, while providing several significant benefits:

 

Agile, flexible interactive content creation & launch - drag-and-drop interface with simple rules-based logic give you tremendous power without programmers

Optimise form & function—Rather than being restricted to just one version of an experience, use built-in A/B testing to learn which are most effective at increasing conversion rates

Not one experience, but complete “interactive content capability” throughout all your marketing - launch different experiences with no additional hard costs

Share data across multiple experiences—every interaction can build behavioural and profile data for personalisation and targeting

Reusable components—reuse content and functionality across interactive experiences.

Control—centralise brand control and consistent measurement; decentralise creation and deployment

Simplified integration—this connects all your experiences into your marketing technology system; seamlessly share data with CRM, analytics, marketing automation, and customer data platforms

Next

Implement interactive content and see how it can improve your B2B lead-generation and conversion. It’s what your web visitors expect, and the technology exists to enable you to rapidly deploy and test interactive content while minimising development time and costs.

 

Improve campaign results by decreasing bounce rate, increasing visitor consumption of your content, and ultimately delivering far more leads and sales to your company.

 

For more on lead-generation just follow the link below>>>

 

b2b lead generation

Tags: B2B lead generation, lead conversion, interactive website content, b2b lead conversion, interactive landing page content

Become your B2B Customers Experience Leader

Posted by frank harris on 01/08/18 15:26

knowcustomers

Increase Sales from B2B Customers

B2B customers are increasingly demanding richer and more ‘consumer type’ customer experiences. Streamlined digital access to information, influencers and channels has fuelled this demand, blurring traditional marketing-purchase-service paths, and empowering B2B customers to continuously evaluate organisations and the promises they make around their products and services. As B2B buyers increasingly imitate the shopping habits of consumers, B2B brands need to rethink customer experience.

 

According to a recent Accenture report, less 23% of B2B companies are implementing effective customer experience programmes and achieving higher revenue growth as a result. The vast majority, however, are missing the mark. Those in this group report an average annual revenue decline of -0.1%.

Barriers to Success

So, what’s holding them back? The research found that while 86% of B2B executives consider the customer experiences provided during sales and service interactions to be very important, only 40% put customer experience at the top of their list of strategic priorities. With less than a quarter achieving strong returns from experience-related investments, the rest are either losing money or simply treading water.

 

It’s apparent many B2B companies are just paying lip service to customer experience. One explanation is that initiatives to improve customer experience fall to managers in sales and service roles. The topic is rarely discussed by directors.

 

B2B companies are also less mature than their B2C counterparts when it comes to creating a strategic vision, developing customer understanding, and using digital to effectively engage customers. Simply put, many B2B companies lack the skills and capabilities to change the customer experience in a positive way.

Less than 32% of executives say they are well-equipped with the skills, tools and resources needed to deliver the desired B2B customer experience.

How Leaders of Customer Experience Succeed

The research identified three groups of B2B organisations – leaders, strivers and laggards – with each group characterised by their ability to plan and execute customer experience and deliver annual revenue growth. 23% of organisations are leaders 58% are strivers the rest being laggards.

 

Leaders stand out by consistently and significantly outperforming their peers in customer experience with both strong strategies and execution abilities. These organisations do customer experience ‘right’ and enjoy higher than average revenue growth. Comparatively, strivers achieve an average of 6% annual revenue growth. Leaders also stand out by viewing after-sales service as a critical part of the customer lifecycle, as well as investing in both new digital technologies and traditional customer connection points.

Re-evaluating Customer Experience

Those looking to re-energise their customer experience results should look to refresh their digital strategy, using new digital capabilities as the catalyst across the customer journey. They can do so by following these steps:

  1. Elevate the customer experience to the board: By talking about it at board level and educating executives about the value that can come from getting customer experience right, it is more likely to become a strategic priority. And once it truly becomes a priority, investment will more likely follow.
  2. Identify and develop the skills needed to bring the vision of customer experience to life: Follow the lead of B2C companies by focusing on both traditional and digital capabilities. Research shows that B2B companies that generate the highest returns from their customer experience investments invest twice as much as their peers in traditional capabilities such as contact centres, field service processes and tools, and CRM systems. These leaders also invest more – and more broadly – in digital enablement.
  3. Measure the return on B2B customer experience investments: The value of customer experience can be measured in several ways, including ratings of customer satisfaction. B2C companies often link such customer satisfaction indicators to compensation. There’s no reason why B2B companies can’t do the same.
  4. Stay committed: Once customer experience becomes a priority, it is imperative to maintain investment, even when other business issues that demand attention – and funding – arise. Improving the B2B customer experience is a marathon, not a sprint.

B2B companies that are faking their commitment to customer experience can’t do so for much longer. It’s time for those who say they appreciate the importance of customer experience put money – and attention – where their mouths are. If they don’t, their customers will switch to providers who offer the seamless interactions and multi-channel experiences they now demand.

 

So how do you start? Have you got a great CRM to see interactions? No. Well, read the following to understand the whys, hows and whats of CRMs:

 

Nurturing Leads in  Small Business Marketing 

Tags: B2B lead generation, b2b customers, b2b customer experiences, b2b customer experience

Why Affiliate Marketing Is Growing

Posted by frank harris on 03/07/18 14:59

affiliate marketingWith all the recent concerns with Facebook and Google and how online advertising works and can invade your privacy, I thought it was time to write about “ affiliate marketing”.

 

What does this marketing term mean, why it’s growing and how I believe it should be viewed. There are some consistent themes that resonate with both e-commerce companies and consumers, all at a seemingly perfect time when marketers are looking for a more organic way to drive sales.

Original, Native Content

The content on affiliate sites is the original native content. With affiliate marketing, products, brands and promotions are seamlessly embedded into the editorial content on a publisher site.

 

As I like to say, it’s content marketing before content marketing was a thing.

 

For advertisers, it’s a no-brainer: Each has a network of publisher partners all promoting the brand, sale and/or product or service which, at the most basic level, is advertising that acts as brand awareness - and at best, reaches an entirely new customer base while driving incremental revenue.

Community

The great thing about online publishers is that they create their own unique audience of loyal consumers who trust them and their opinions. I’m not just talking about loyalty sites either - bloggers and editorial news outlets all have their own communities that play a part in the ecosystem.

 

What’s really happening is you have brand advocates that produce content based on their experience with your products or service or who are looking to promote a product or a deal and essentially act as trusted third-party validators for brands. Publishers are influencers that can reach new and existing customers with their native content to attract their loyal community to a brand.

 

Publishers provide value and influence through their communities, regardless of the size. Trust drives action, and affiliate marketing provides the platform in which it all comes together.

Social Influence

Social media has changed the speed at which people receive and consume information. Through social media and other online publications, affiliate publishers can ensure the right message gets to the right person at the right time by leveraging their followers.

 

When advertisers have specific goals or objectives for particular products, brands or promotions, they have the ability, through the relationships with affiliate publishers to leverage that community of users, to quickly get reach and influence at scale.

 

This is a unique value proposition that affiliate publishers bring to our ecosystem.

 

This shouldn’t come at the cost of the publisher’s integrity or fear of losing readers based on misleading or disruptive advertising. Publishers can maintain a balanced approach of the ads and products that are meaningful to their consumers as they maintain the control of where, when and how they want to advertise their partners.

Partnerships

Affiliate marketing is predicated on relationships and partnerships. It’s an ecosystem, and all parties are equally dependent on each other to achieve success.

 

It’s the only digital marketing channel that’s reliant on actual relationships established between parties with a mutually beneficial goal.

 

The most successful programmes are based on the right strategy and a strong, effective relationship. Publishers understand the importance of creating long-term, productive partnerships with their advertiser partners, while advertisers recognise that these publishers provide the opportunity to reach new and loyal customers.

Data

What good are any of these other themes if it’s impossible to measure success? This is the area of recent news. Affiliate marketing programmes provide a 360-degree view of an entire campaign.

 

The data offers both advertisers and publishers ways to identify top partners, assess placement strategies and analyse consumer behaviour. Essentially, it’s the layer that supports the platform and enhances the offering.

 

Because of the cost per action (CPA) model, there are no questions analysing the ROI from the advertiser’s side - views, impressions, and even clicks aren’t the benchmarks of success. Brands are able to see exactly how much revenue they’ve made and commissions they paid out in a single report.

 

Further, there’s a new angle on data and a shift happening. Data is not just about measuring your programme, but leveraging it to inform promotions and create the right experience for the right user at the right time on the right site.

In Summary

Over my years working in the industry, I’ve witnessed plenty of advancements and innovative publishers, but the above core concepts remain. And that’s why this channel isn’t going anywhere and will continue to grow.

 

If you’re not into spending cash to get more traffic or if in ecommerce more income then getting leads is better done organically. To get more help in getting leads and converting them, check out the eBook available from this link>>>

 

b2b lead generation

 

Tags: B2B lead generation, inbound marketing, lead generation, affiliate marketing

Improving B2B Lead Generation, Engagement and Conversion

Posted by frank harris on 01/07/18 16:44

 lead generation 0518

You Need Leads

If so, then it’s likely you’ve been using one of the key tactics in the unofficial B2B lead generation marketer’s playbook: Drive traffic into campaign landing pages that include an offer and a form.

 

For years, that’s about as complex as it got when it came to scooping up lots of leads online. But with competition for time and attention with each passing day, this tactic is becoming less effective, and leads are becoming harder & harder to capture.

 

If you are a small business marketer tasked with generating high quality, engaged leads, you already 

know it’s hard enough to get a lead, let alone a great one.

 

Your visitors expect usefulness, relevancy, and interactivity from you, and those expectations directly impact your ability to get those visitors to complete your form. ‘Good enough’ lead-generation landing pages no longer provide good enough results. Online visitors expect more.

 

As competition heats up and marketers seek strategies to generate quality leads in the face of increased clutter and higher expectations, interactive content provides new opportunities for more engagement and higher conversion rates. Interactivity turns tired lead-generation campaigns into modern high-performing lead-generation machines.

 

Adding interactive content to your lead-generation touchpoints - both within your main website as well as within your landing pages - creates an opportunity for higher conversion rates.

 

In the eBook associated with this article beside the three ways that  interactive content enhances lead-generation opportunities as given below we cover:

  • Why Interactive Content?
  • What is Interactive Content?
  • Lead Generation Inspiration & Ideas
  • It’s Your Turn to be Creative!
  • Next Steps
  1. Interactive content provides value to your audience through usefulness.

For example, if you provide a custom configurator of your product, that’s useful - and people will register to use the configurator (see the eBook). That same content in a static PDF might not be perceived as valuable, because it’s just a piece of marketing collateral (and who wants to fill out a form to get marketing collateral!?). The more perceived value something has, the more likely you are to get people to complete a form to access or use it.

  1. Interactive content is easy to test, with bigger potential outcomes.

Just as you can test a headline on your landing page, you can test the colour, layout, copy and forms of interactive content. You can even test two entirely different experiences against each other to see which converts better. Interactive content should be tested, just like any other online experience, and those tests should yield conversion lift and learning. These types of tests can yield much bigger lifts than a simple headline or button test.

  1. Interactive content provides a wealth of insightful data.

All visitor behaviour in an interactive experience can be captured. Leverage this data by appending it to the lead record and pass off a rich lead record to your sales team showing all responses and clicks that a visitor took within the experience. And don’t stop there. Leverage this data at the aggregate level by viewing trends in responses, drop off rates, and outcomes and use this information to fuel new content and new tests for higher conversion rates. Better yet, track and leverage user behaviour across all your interactive experiences to further personalise and target.

 

The tactic of putting a form on a simple landing page with a whitepaper offer is so over. And interactive content provides a powerful way to engage and convert your traffic.

 

But are wondering how to get started. Have no fear! Brainstorming ways to increase the interactivity of your lead generation campaigns is easier than you think. You probably already have existing content that can be transformed into an interactive experience.

  • Turn your list of industry-specific best practices into assessments your visitors can take to rate themselves for how well they are executing those best practices.
  • Take your best sales person, pick their brain on how they engage with your best customers. Turn that into a product configurator that helps your visitors determine which products are right for them.
  • Leverage your internal pricing spreadsheets by turning them into interactive calculators that let your buyers determine specific pricing or price ranges for your products and solutions.
  • Turn your audience segmentation messaging into conversion paths that allow your visitors to easily segment themselves to quickly drill down into the most relevant content you’ve got for them.

The above is the intro to the eBook that you can obtain by clicking the link below. I hope it will help you in your B2B lead generation efforts in the future:

 

b2b lead generation

Tags: B2B lead generation, engagement marketing, lead generation, conversion, lead conversion

What is and why you Need B2B Lead Nurturing

Posted by frank harris on 04/10/17 09:59

lead nurturing 2016.jpgWhy lead nurturing in a nutshell, is because today’s buyers are more empowered than ever before. They engage with companies through their own research across multiple channels, long before marketing or sales can engage with them directly.

 

Today’s potential buyers don’t become customers overnight - they require marketing over time as they self-educate and build trust with you. With lead nurturing, marketers can communicate cross-channel and throughout the sales cycle - addressing the gap between when a lead first interacts with you and when they are ready to purchase.

 

It is an integral part of a successful marketing strategy - specifically when building relationships with potential buyers on multiple channels, even if they’re not currently looking to purchase.

What is Lead Nurturing?

It’s the process of building effective relationships with potential customers throughout the buying journey.

 

On average, 50% of leads aren’t yet ready to buy. Nurturing leads creates automated, ongoing communication with your potential buyer throughout the sales cycle - maximising results and revenue for your company.

 

With marketing automation, it’s personalised, adaptive, and can listen and react to buyer behaviour in real-time.

 

Nurturing leads enables you to listen and respond to buyers on multiple channels - not just email. And, with personalisation software, the marketer can nurture anonymous leads; touching the entire lifecycle and creating a more engaging experience.

What is Drip Marketing and why is it different

Before we dive into nurturing leads, let’s consider the differences between it and drip marketing, a one-size-fits-all predecessor.

 

A drip marketing programme sends communications (email, direct mail, etc.) at a specific pace set by the marketer. But, it does not consider their activity and behaviour because it is static and non-adaptive. While it has a place in the marketing mix, it has mostly become a subset of a lead nurture strategy.

 

Since drip marketing tends to have the same response for everyone it doesn’t deliver the same value as lead nurturing, which is personalised and adaptive.

Why does your Business need it?

Businesses exist in a connected market. Buyers expect a personalised, cross channel experience. They do not want to be spoken to; they want to be listened to.

 

Companies want to create relationships with potential buyers, helping to build trust and advocacy.

 

Nurturing leads facilitates your buyer getting to know your business - it’s essentially courtship before marriage. You spend time establishing a relationship with your buyer and building trust. Then, when you communicate with your buyer, you’re welcomed instead of being regarded as intrusive.

Increasing the Propensity to Buy

Relationships are critical in today’s sales cycles, and nurturing leads enables you to create and maintain that relationship over time. It also helps you to be present on the channels your buyer uses to engage with others, increasing the chance they will purchase your product.

Relationship Building

Nurturing leads enables you to communicate with your buyers on a more sophisticated level.

 

Instead of using outdated drip nurture tactics or only email, it helps you build relationships through multiple mediums and with relevant, connected campaigns.

 

Through the listening capabilities of marketing automation, you can have a continuous conversation through website, social, email, advertising, and beyond. Your communication now becomes consistent, and relevant - and you can begin to build trust and a relationship with your buyer over time.

Branding and Thought Leadership

When done well, lead nurturing plays a critical role in building your brand. Buyers are people too, and are subject to emotional influence in their decision-making.

 

In marketing, there is an asymmetry between the upside and downside of purchases: the buyer may or may not be rewarded for making a good purchase, but a bad purchase can damage the buyer’s reputation and job security.

 

As a result, fear and risk play large roles in business buying decisions. Organisational risk can be dealt with rationally, but personal risk is unstated and hidden from the rational process.

 

Yet personal risk remains a huge factor in buying. For example, if a board member mentions something negative about a potential vendor, the personal risk of choosing that vendor goes way up, but, if he mentions something positive, that vendor may be “pre-wired” for success.

 

That’s why most the important brand attributes for a vendor are often credibility and trust - and unless you are a well-known company, the best way to build credibility and trust is by sharing useful information.

 

If you can help frame the discussion, your company will be a trusted advisor and thought leader. If buyers believe that your company understands their problems and knows how to solve them, this reduces the feelings of fear and can make a big difference in being selected for consideration and purchase. Nurturing your leads helps you build that perception as a brand.

Shortening the Sales Cycle

With access to more information, buyers take more time to explore their options and educate themselves before making a purchase decision.

 

Sales cycles can be longer, and nurturing leads shortens the sales cycle because you can be relevant, trustworthy, and engaging throughout that critical time.

 

What causes longer sales cycles?

  • Tighter budgets
  • More time spent on decision making
  • More people involved in
  • decision making
  • Increased options

Today’s longer sales cycle is expensive. You need more sales reps to close deals over a longer time. And during that time, your competitors can enter the sales process or for customers to become disinterested.

 

It’s vital to shorten the sales cycle as much as possible and nurturing leads can help you do just that through consistent and conversational communication.

 

The stage before nurturing leads is getting them. For ideas on turning traffic into leads follow the link below>>>

 

lead generation

Tags: B2B lead generation, b2b marketing leads, lead nurturing

What your Website NEEDS to get B2B LEADS

Posted by frank harris on 05/08/16 09:00

lead_generation_2016-1.jpgWe all know how important a website is to a business's online strategy and getting B2B leads. Almost every company, whether B2B or B2C, needs an online presence to reach buyers in the internet age. A company’s website is its virtual storefront.

 

Whether your existing site is going through a redesign, or if your existing site just isn't getting the traffic or leads you were hoping for, you may wonder what it really takes to have a great website.

 

Having a website alone isn’t the key to great results with regard to B2B leads. Instead, it’s the ability turn your website into an inbound marketing machine. Your website has a heavy goal and it needs to wear many hats. A website needs to not just exist; it needs to perform. It needs to attract visitors, educate them and tell them the story of your institution. But I know what you’re thinking - easier said than done.

 

Today, the web is social and interactive. It’s not static like most websites tend to be. As such, a website can no longer sustain as its own island. We now need to consider integrating search, social media, content, blogging, video and more with our websites. Gone are the days where all it took was a URL, fancy Flash graphics, and an expensive advertising campaign to temporarily boost traffic.

 

The reason for this shift is largely due to changing buyer behaviour. Today’s buyer wishes to consume information when they want and how they want and often without your involvement. And more importantly, they want to be educated and not sold to. As you can see from the following chart, websites and new forms of inbound marketing content (such as podcasts, blogging and social media) have become a considerable factor in the buying cycle.

 

lead_generation_pie_charts.png

 

In 2016 and beyond, inbound marketing is and will be more effective in reaching your personas.

 

Results show that inbound marketing has a 62% less cost per lead compared to outbound, or traditional, marketing. Think of a lead as an inquiry or request for information.

 

What might not be apparently visible here is the role your website plays. It’s actually a big one. In most cases, traffic from blogs, social media, organic and paid search end up converting into leads through your main website. Without a website acting as an online basecamp, it would be difficult to attract new business to one source.

 

lead_generation_graphs.png

 

This is why having an effective website is so crucial and that it contains key elements to driving more traffic, leads, and sales.

 

This eBook contains 25 Website “Must Haves‟ for Driving Traffic, Leads and Customers covering the following main areas:-

  • Get Found Online
  • Design & Usability
  • Content
  • Conversion

In Conclusion

 The internet has changed everything. Internet usage is growing rapidly and you need to be there when potential buyers come looking. A business website is the most important factor in your inbound marketing strategy, but it’s more than just having a website, it’s the integration of SEO, social media, blogging, content, CTAs and landing pages that will drive traffic, conversions and ultimately new customers.

 

These components generate revenue for your business. Inbound marketing is the key to filling your sales funnel with qualified leads and your website is where education, engagement and conversion take place.

 

Follow the guidelines in the eBook that you can obtain from the link below and you will soon have a great website that generates traffic, conversions and new customers. But don't stop there. A website never truly stops growing. Keep learning!

 

What your Website NEEDS  to get LEADS

 

Tags: B2B lead generation

3 Rules to Generate Leads via Content Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 02/08/16 09:00

lead_generation_2016-1.jpgLead generation through content marketing is the ‘in thing’ among B2B marketers as they scramble to develop a comprehensive content marketing plan for their business.

 

A good quality plan helps businesses establish two things:
1. A thought leadership platform
2. Generate qualified business leads from their prospects

 

Here, I explore the second point of how to generate business leads through high quality content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

It’s “simply” promoting content that your prospects would like to read, view or share with others and value.

 

The content that is created has to be of value to the prospect if it is to be taken seriously.  The higher the value, the greater the propensity for the originator of the content to establish a thought leadership positioning and generate quality business leads.

 

So what are the rules that you could follow to have a programme within your company to generate business leads? Take a look at these 3 rules:-

  1. Set your Objective Clearly.

My two objectives are first to establish a thought leadership position as the place that understands Small Business Marketing and to develop quality leads that could be converted into customers.

 

Secondly, my efforts should result in generating business leads either through people voluntarily downloading my content or contacting us.

  1. Create Content with Value

Value can be established by the number of people who read or view your content and the follow through action that they take. The follow through action could be in terms of a) subscribing to your content b) commenting on your content c) sharing your content on their social media network.

 

Determining the value of content calls for understanding who the recipient of your content should be and designing content for them.

 

My targets are SME owners and/or the marketing head in SME organization who would love to gain knowledge on all aspects of online marketing in a simple manner. Research had indicated that most people while having skills in one or two disciplines of marketing were fairly un-skilled on other marketing aspects.

My blog is aimed at improving their knowledge levels by equipping my personas with a series of articles, whitepapers and eBooks that help them gain knowledge and through this establish Optimax as the premier knowledge partner for them.

 

I have successfully created a series of articles on different aspects of digital marketing and also launched many whitepapers and eBooks on various topics.

  1. Promote and Promote

You could have the greatest article or blog on earth but it would fail if no one knew about it. Promoting your content is as critical as creating it. A good digital marketing consultantwould help in both areas. 

 

When promoting my content, I decided not to promote the content using advertising money. Instead I chose to use social media and third parties to help promote our content. Here’s what I did:-

  1. I promote it aggressively across Facebook, LinkedIn groups, G+ communities and Twitter.
  2. I send out bi-weekly emails to our database showcasing our content updates.
  3. My content is carried by third party publishers free of cost.
  4. I ensure that every piece of content is added to my personal LinkedIn Post to give added coverage. The tendency of people searching senior people in companies is high and I knew that this would give me added exposure.

 Results

It’s been 4 years since I launched my content marketing. By applying the fundamentals of marketing the following has been achieved:-

  1.  My blog articles today account for over 60% of site visitors. Many site visitors who come to read my articles subsequently visit and register themselves.
  2.  My unique site visitors to conversions (registrants) is averaging 1.5% every week.
  3.  Over 125 visitors have downloaded at least two white papers. 90% of them fall into the category of Business Owner.
  4.   In 2016 alone I’ve got four new clients, who read my content and subsequently contacted me, all because of the content that they read.

This I consider to be fantastic, considering that no money has been spent on promoting the content. As I gain deeper knowledge about my personas and improve on my content both in terms of format and delivery, these numbers would be sure to go up.

 

If you are an SME in the B2B business and do not have a content marketing plan as of yet for your business, it’s time to start thinking of developing and implementing one, so start by downloading the eBook from the link below:- 

 

small business content marketing

Tags: B2B lead generation, content marketing

Lead Generation using your Website and SEO

Posted by frank harris on 24/02/16 15:39

lead_generation_2016.jpgWhen it comes to converting leads and making lasting impressions, your website is where the magic happens. KISSmetrics, an analytics and testing company, puts it best on their blog: “Your leads are only as good as the website that produces them”. They also provided these two compelling stats:-

  • You have 0-8 seconds to persuade your audience with your headline and landing page.
  • Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy (but they may be willing to provide contact information in exchange for valuable content).

So how can you optimise your site for lead generation? Let’s take a look at the first area you need to consider:-

WEBSITE FORMS

Using Website Forms

You can’t convert leads unless they fill out a form. A good lead capture form might ask for only first name, last name, email address, company, and job function. You can add more or fewer fields depending on your needs, but always err on the shorter side - with forms, less is more.

Why Short Forms Perform Better

When it comes to conversion rates, short forms outperform long forms. It’s common sense - people don’t want to waste time filling in information. But to prove our point, research has been made on the performance of an A/B test of short forms vs. long forms.

 

Three form lengths – one with five fields, one with seven, and one with nine were tested. The shortest form asked for name, work email, job function, and company. The medium-sized form also asked for number of employees and industry; the longest form also asked for a work phone number, and which CRM system they used.

 

The results? As you’ll see, the shortest form performed significantly better than the longer forms:-

 

Short (5 Fields)

Medium (7 Fields)

Long (9 Fields)

Conversion: 13.4%

Conversion: 12%

Conversion: 10%

 

Although you may want a long form to feed your CRM, you’ll be sacrificing leads in exchange for more data. And, as explained below, you can still get additional data using other methods.

 

Another factor to keep in mind: the more information you ask for, the less likely people are to tell the truth.

Filling in the Blanks

Short forms may get you more (and more truthful) responses, but they might not provide the data you need to effectively segment leads in your marketing automation tool. A potential solution is to use progressive profiling. Progressive profiling – which is often supported by your marketing automation platform - allows you to collect information and build qualification over time. Each time a person fills out a form on your site, the progressive form asks for more information.

 

If you don’t have the ability to use progressive profiling, carefully determine what you need on a form, as opposed to what you want - again, keep it short and sweet.

 

Extra-Intelligent Forms

The majority of Optimax’s content uses forms to directly gather lead data. Typically, this is Middle-of-Funnel content, like an whitepaper, or eBook. That said, you don’t need to put a form in front of visitors who are already in your database. To avoid repeat fill-outs, intelligent forms consult an API, to determine whether the contact information is already saved on a visitor.

 

If not, they need to fill out a form before downloading a these assets; if you do have contact information, simply greet them, and allow them to download the asset with a single click.

Social and Landing Page Forms

Consider adding social sharing buttons to your web page forms. This increases the chance that a lead will engage with your content by sharing your landing page, and can expose your content to a wider audience.

 

Many marketing automation platforms offer built-in functionality to add social sharing capabilities to landing pages.

 

Place your social share buttons in a prominent location and choose the social channels you include wisely – for simplicity’s sake, consider including only the most popular ones.

 

So stage 1 over. What else do you need to consider. Well this eBook covers all the following areas to make this job as simple as possible for you to maximise your leads:-

  • Website Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
  • Blogs
  • Website Usability
  • Checklist: Using your Website for Lead Generation
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Authentic Content
  • Keywords
  • On-page SEO
  • Links

To find out all about them just follow the link below to download the eBook:-

 

lead generation

..

Tags: B2B lead generation, small business seo, leads

The Best B2B Marketing Leads aren’t for Sale

Posted by frank harris on 15/02/16 16:43

Lead_generation.jpgOften B2B sales and marketing teams fail to connect about who the “perfectB2B marketing leads are. Sales blames marketing for providing them with “lousy” leads lists, while marketing blames sales for not providing them with the right information they need up front.

 

Sometimes companies become so disenchanted that they purchase third-party B2B databases. This is risky as all too often; these purchased databases are full of discrepancies or extremely outdated so wasting money. As you read this article, you’ll learn more about the following:

  • How the Internet is blurring the lines between sales and marketing for generating leads
  • Why improved communication between sales and marketing will result in better leads and lead generation
  • Good sources for finding those marketing leads

Why can’t sales and marketing just get along?

Wouldn’t you agree this is completely unnecessary?

 

Firstly, the Internet has dramatically changed the way businesses conduct their sales and marketing activities. The differences between the two groups are much greyer now with the help of online marketing and social sales.

 

When it comes to lead generation and conversion, sales and marketing teams have fairly identical goals. The main difference lies in the way the sales teams receive their leads.

 

The Internet has empowered key decision-makers with the ability to research and choose the companies they want to do business with. This serves to blur those sales and marketing lines even more as the competition to attract and sell to potential clients heats up between companies.

 

Several surveys and studies have been conducted around how B2B social media marketing affects the purchasing behaviour of company buyers. The results of KoMarketing’s B2B Web Usability Report are somewhat surprising, and show that B2B social media marketing efforts aren’t quite as effective as they may have hoped:

 

Social_Media_Research_Chart.png

Source: B2B Web Usability Report-Huff/KoMarketing

It appears that online marketing increases vendor awareness, but not online purchases. Even though more executives are beginning to make their purchasing decisions online, it’s still going to be important for the marketing department to provide their sales teams with viable B2B marketing leads.

 

The following statisticss via kapost reveal the powerful influence of online marketing, and how it can also benefit sales:-

  • Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound marketing
  • Buyers go through about 57% of the purchasing process before ever talking to sales.
  • More than 50% of customers expect salespeople to be better informed about client-specific requirements and goals.
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not blog

Better communication between sales and marketing will result in improved B2B marketing leads.

When sales and marketing choose to openly communicate and work together, they should start seeing more qualified leads coming through their pipeline.

 

The reasons for miscommunication over these leads vary, but probably include the following:

  • Sales demand high volumes of leads in a short amount of time to meet their quotas; marketing throws lists of names together in order to keep up with the sales team’s goals and expectations.
  • Marketing may not understand the specific qualifications and characteristics needed by sales to qualify leads as sales-ready leading to a waste of the salesperson’s and prospect’s time.
  • The sales team doesn’t share information about their performance, so marketing is left in the dark about which of their tactics are effective.

You can see how well communication could easily clear up the confusion for both sides. Collaboration between sales and marketing can make a huge difference in whether you obtain new clients:-

 

In a study by Genius.com, they say that “66% of buyers indicate that consistent and relevant communication provided by both sales and marketing organizations “is a key influence in choosing a solution provider.”

 

Where can you find B2B marketing leads without breaking the bank?

A good rule of thumb when it comes to purchasing third-party lists or databases is to not waste your money. A “perfect” list of B2B marketing leads, especially one specific to your targeted industry, is impossible to create for 3 main reasons:

  1. Businesses constantly experience turnover, and key contacts may change jobs without notice.
  2. Companies acquire other companies – or become acquired – on a regular basis.
  3. Companies go out of business or change their names.

For these reasons and more, a third-party list will never be 100% accurate. Your company may find a few new leads through paid for databases. However, due to the same reasons listed above, these contacts are only as good as they day they are added to these costly databases.

 

If you’re looking for the best marketing leads list, then you consider creating your own. These are a few places where you can start researching:

  • LinkedIn
  • Event attendee lists
  • Association lists
  • Google searches/alerts

To understand more how to create more leads for your business just follow the link below:-

 

How to get Traffic,   Leads and Sales  to your Business

Tags: B2B lead generation, b2b website marketing, b2b marketing leads

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