Marketing

The Growing Importance of Product Led Growth in B2B Selling

The Growing Importance of Product Led Growth in B2B Selling

Remaining competitive in the B2B sales industry relies on customer retention and overall satisfaction. Many companies are embracing the idea of product led growth (PLG) to help boost their numbers and increase brand loyalty. 

It seems obvious you must have a good product, but the value of providing quality services continues to increase. PLG is more complex than simply having something worth buying. It relies on ensuring a user-friendly experience and excellent customer service to create lasting relationships.

Marketing is no longer the only way to push leads through the sales cycle. By combining a focus on the customer experience, sales and marketing can create a cohesive end goal. Not only does a product centric approach help align departmental goals, it allows the customer to have a voice throughout the sales cycle.

To learn more about the ways your team can benefit from PLG, keep reading, or use the following links to jump ahead:

What is Product Led Growth (PLG)?

Like many trending B2B strategies, product led growth is not a new concept. It is, however, an important strategy to empower customers and retain sales. As PLG continues to increase in popularity, your team should better its understanding and implementation of the concept.

Simply put, PLG allows the product or service to drive sales and retain customers. This relies on several factors like ease of use and excellent product experience. Rather than expecting marketing to do the heavy lifting for brand awareness, this strategy incorporates product functionality directly into the sales process.

By putting the product at the center of all conversations, it can help align goals across departments and boost business growth. This also means employees will be working toward the single objective of excellent product experience for all customers.

Through this all-company collaboration, more people are introduced to the user experience, which drives conversations with customers from all angles. However, PLG isn’t solely based on your team’s understanding of the services your company sells.

Another key component of this strategy is allowing customers to see the product value before asking for a purchase. This means having a strong user experience that allows prospects to dive deep and trial the product on their own. 

Rather than watching product demonstrations or Q&A webinars, customers should be able to test the functionality on their own. Through implementation of this strategy, success relies on overall customer satisfaction before a sale has been completed.

For example, free trials work hand-in-hand with product centric approaches. Allowing customers to test how the product can provide solutions to their unique problems helps provide valuable insight before purchase. It also allows prospects to address concerns and work out potential problems with a company expert. 

PLG helps instill confidence in clients through transparency of service. By providing an inside look at user experience, your team can boost customer satisfaction and increase overall retention rates. 

Product Led Growth Public Companes

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It is not surprising that the B2B industry saw rapid digitization during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before this sudden shift to virtual sales, leaders in the industry were finding ways to innovate customer experience through increased use of technology. While the pandemic sped things up, trends like PLG are here to stay.

Buyers have the resources to be more educated than ever on products before making a purchase decision. This means remaining competitive in the industry relies heavily on customer experience throughout the entire sales cycle. 

As brands continue to have an increased online presence, customers are able to interact with products before they even speak with a salesperson. In fact, research shows 94% of B2B buyers perform online research before initiating contact with a sales team. 

Educated buyers are now interacting with demos and free trials as early as possible in the sales cycle. Rather than wanting to speak with salespeople for a product introduction, clients are eager to have a hands-on approach to testing solutions. According to a 2015 Forrester survey, almost 75% of buyers would rather make an online purchase than go through a sales team.

This has shifted initial sales conversations to focus more on product details and the technical capabilities of products. Customer preparation has led to an expectation of expert customer service throughout the sales process. In most cases, buyers want salespeople to act in tandem with the website so they can navigate the process alongside an expert.

The Benefits of a PLG Strategy

Product led funnel vs Traditional funnel

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To understand how this strategy can benefit your business, it is important to make a comparison between traditional growth methods. Starting off, marketing teams usually qualify leads through online interactions like targeted ads, web forms, and email marketing. From there, leads enter the sales funnel and the salespeople reach out for an introduction.

Next, the sales department focuses on showcasing product benefits and providing details on how the product can provide needed solutions. If interested, the customer chooses to make a purchase. 

Once the sale has been completed, the customer works with the success team for onboarding and implementation. Assuming things go well, the customer becomes a repeat buyer and the sales cycle restarts.

The traditional strategy allows for a long period of time before the customer is introduced to the product’s functionality. In a time where buyers are prone to making quick decisions and competitors can offer easy demos, following a traditional timeline may not land your company the sale.

In contrast, PLG allows the prospect to jump right into the product. Marketing and sales departments act as experts to help guide customers through the user experience. Rather than client information being captured from online traffic, this cycle starts as soon as the customer signs up for a trial.

Known as product-qualified leads (PQLs), these clients begin interacting with the product as soon as possible. Rather than waiting to be contacted by a salesperson, clients are most often familiar with the brand before the introduction occurs. Once a salesperson reaches out, the conversation can focus heavily on the client’s specific areas of interest, potential personalized features, and any other questions the customer may have about the product.

This kind of transparency is a huge benefit to companies. PQLs convert at a rate 3-4x higher than traditional marketing leads. When customers feel confident in a product before making the purchase, retention increases. 

PLG is a great way to gather feedback from customers and improve overall product functionality. When the product is a driving force behind sales, customers are able to provide honest feedback to companies about their experiences.

When a sale is completed, your team is able to hear what was the deciding factor. On the flip side, offering your customers a free trial of your product, even if the sale falls through, helps provide insight into areas that need improvement. 

This strategy is cost-effective. Customers begin the onboarding process by themselves, which frees up your employees to concentrate on providing excellent customer service. Less time and money are wasted on deals that don’t come to fruition. 

Providing a better user experience increases customer retention and provides incentives for word-of-mouth advertisement. When clients are able to test out a product for free, they are able to share this information with others in their network who may be looking for similar solutions.

Since there are no hold-ups on anyone being able to trial the service, these leads come directly into the pipeline once they sign up. Along with increasing a user base, this helps speed up the sales cycle. 

Gaining valuable customer contact information is easier when your product leads the marketing strategy. Usually, web traffic may visit a page or interact with an online ad, but their contact information might never reach your pipeline. Since users have to fill out a full form for free trial access, your marketing team is able to take PQLs directly to the sales team.

For example, when using Leadboxer to capture web traffic, your team can tell these customers are already qualified and scored since they began the demo. This pushes them to the top of the sales cycle, which allows for speedy outreach from your team. By encouraging a quick turnaround time, PLG helps outreach happen faster while leads are still interested in the product.

Implementing PLG Into Your Business

Before jumping into this strategy with your employees, it is crucial to understand PLG is a long-term approach rather than a short-term fix. Implementation will take time and resources to be successful. It may require departmental changes and an overhaul of the company mission to ensure a product-centric focus. 

When implemented correctly, PLG will help lead your team to higher sales and increased customer retention. Below are tips on successfully getting started and utilizing a PLG strategy:

1. Evaluate your product

Having an intimate understanding of your product, including its flaws, is the first step in implementing a PLG strategy. Before it can sell itself, your company needs to thoroughly understand the value the product brings to the market. 

Evaluation can begin with a few simple questions:

What is the core function? What solutions does your product provide to customers? What feedback is most often received?

Compare your product to the competition. Notice the similarities and differences. 

Find the best way to engage prospective customers when speaking on these topics. Educated clients are willing to ask directly about these types of variances. Be prepared to answer honestly during these conversations.

For example, your product may lack certain features compared to that of a competitor. However, your starting price point may be lower. Understanding how to explain this to prospects will help build trust within the relationship.

2. Focus on the customer experience

When the customer is driving the sale through self-education, a user-friendly experience is crucial to finalizing a deal. Beginning with initial onboarding, signing up for the product should be self-explanatory and easily accessible. Prospects are eager to get started, so the sign-up process should be quick enough to hold a customer’s attention.

Sales conversations should bring value to the customer. Rather than relying on old-school tactics, your team needs to focus on acting as product experts to prospective clients. 

Removing fluff from these interactions is one way to increase trust within the relationship. Make sure customers feel like they took away valuable information from each conversation with your salespeople.

Allow ample opportunities for clients to provide feedback. Not only will this help customers feel more valued, but it will give your team vital information regarding potential product improvements. 

Customize features when possible. Buyers love the idea of personalization, especially when they’re looking for solutions to unique problems within their organization. 80% of customers favor the ability to customize their user experience. 

3. Provide continuous onboarding

In the initial onboarding process, users will be signing themselves up for a trial. That doesn’t mean your team should take a backseat to onboarding, though. Instead, customer success teams should concentrate on secondary and next-tier opportunities to increase user engagement.

Customer retention increases when there is a strong need for your product. By encouraging clients to continuously use new features and engage with your software, your product will quickly integrate into their daily workflow.

This is another opportunity to allow conversations with customers about their user experience. As they add more features to their product usage, make sure your team is doing their due diligence. 

Having check-ins about new features during the continuous onboarding process will help your team have internal conversations about product performance. This allows your team to collect data on what is working, as well as find areas that may benefit from improvements.

4. Align departmental goals within your company

Overhauling long-term business strategy can be a big undertaking. For success, departments must be on the same page about the company’s mission. When practicing a PLG strategy, marketing and sales teams will be trying out nontraditional tactics.

It is important to make sure the product is always central to the mission. Marketing teams should work closely with sales and customer success to understand the feedback being given. Adjust your marketing outreach to lead with the product.

These efforts from all departments should encourage excellent customer journeys and work to increase brand loyalty. Even though the product and customers are doing a lot of heavy lifting, it is still the goal of your team to provide value throughout the sales cycle.

5. Tailor your marketing practices to showcase the value

Since much of the beginning sales cycle in PLG strategy involves solitary customer research, messaging is key. Customers will want to see an overview of key features as well as pricing when comparing brands.

Make sure your pricing sheet is accessible and easy to understand. Marketing content should help explain how clients can benefit from the premium version of your product. Simple explanations of which plans work well for specific groups can encourage prospects to explore the features that are most relevant to their needs.

Online resources, like blogs or social media posts, should showcase the features your product offers. Many users will be looking at multiple options during their research. It is important to make your product stand out by providing valuable information about the user experience rather than fluff content.

6. Utilize upsells and premium features 

Once a sale is made, the goal should be to encourage repeat purchases from that customer. This typically happens through contract renewals, but there is an opportunity to add more revenue through upsells and new features.

If a client is thoroughly enjoying the service your product provides, your team should brainstorm ways new features may bring additional value. Asking customers what they want to see in future rollouts is a great starting point.

Offer items in discounted bundles or find ways to include an option for premium features. These types of add-ons may be an easier sell once clients are familiar with your product. Ongoing outreach from the sales team to current customers is crucial for landing these upsells. 

7. Encourage user referrals

PLG provides ample room for customers to refer your product to others in their network. If your trial period is easy to access, prospects can sign up and get started within the same day of hearing about your product. 

Capitalize on your customer experience by offering a referral program that incentivizes current relationships to bring in new business. This type of program can help boost brand loyalty, as clients can continue to tell others about your product.

According to McKinsey, a recommendation from a trusted friend or colleague is 50x more likely to result in a purchase. This helps boost your overall return-on-investment (ROI) since referrals typically cost less than acquiring a brand-new lead.

User referrals can help boost overall customer satisfaction. Current clients will feel appreciated when their recommendations are rewarded by the brand.

8. Follow through on your advertisements

When customer experience is a major driving factor for sales, following through on promises is crucial. The classic saying ‘under promise, but over deliver is a good motto to have when implementing PLG.

Your product will be doing most of the selling, and it should be able to stand alone while customers are participating in a demo. However, if your salespeople make promises about product features or capabilities in conversations, it is important to see them through.

Transparency is huge when utilizing product led marketing. It will negatively impact customer retention if users don’t see sales agreements come to fruition. 

This comes into play when customers are making the transition from the free trial to the premium version. If your team offers specific features or personalized capabilities, it is crucial to ensure these are available as soon as onboarding begins.

Clients have educated themselves on the benefits of your product versus your competitors. Since they’ll have spent time with your services, they will notice any lack of follow-through on promises. 

PLG relies heavily on customer retention, and the easiest way to lose a relationship is by not providing the right service. Make sure to have honest conversations about the features your product has, and address any concerns as soon as they arise.

9. Use data to drive product choices

PLG strategy relies heavily on accurate data to understand the customer’s needs. Data analytics will help your company ascertain what value users are receiving from your product. This information can also help develop product improvements as your team rolls out new features. 

When implementing a PLG strategy, it is important for your company to equip itself with the right tools and resources for success. Make sure you have a way to track data and pilot the user experience. 

Along with using these kinds of tools, manage expectations among departments by setting KPIs and reviewing targeted goals. This allows your employees to easily measure success throughout the process. 

Key Takeaways

Product led growth may be the newest trendy buzzword in the B2B industry, but the strategy is here to stay. In order to remain competitive, your company should be looking at the long-term benefits of a product-centric approach. 

As customers continue to push for more virtual sales options, your product will need to be able to sell itself during the trial phase. Focus on having your salespeople become experts on product features. Tailor your marketing to showcase features that set your product apart from competitors. 

Understand the best way to implement PLG into your organization. Invest in the right resources to ensure this strategy increases your customer base and retention. 

Allow user experience and customer feedback to drive initiatives within your departments. Build lasting customer relationships through transparency. By focusing on the customer experience and product value, your company can benefit from this strategy.

To get started with Leadboxer, click here for your free trial!

The Value of Pre CRM and Marketing CRM

The Value of Pre-CRM and Marketing CRM

Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and strategy is vital to a successful B2B sales team. CRM software has become a major asset for many companies as it helps organize, integrate, and streamline customer management.

With more businesses offering remote or hybrid work options, keeping up with customers has begun to rely heavily on the successful use of CRM software. While using a CRM is great once a lead has come into the pipeline, there is value in developing a pre-CRM strategy.

To learn more about the function of pre-CRM strategy and the usage of a marketing CRM, keep reading or use the links below to jump ahead:

What Does Pre-CRM Mean?

Traditional vs Modern CRM

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Tracking website activity and importing potential customer data into a CRM is usually the first step in creating a relationship. Although, there are probably more website visitors than contacts in your CRM. Not every prospect is going to input data into your web forms, so there needs to be a strategy in place to anticipate prospects who may eventually enter the sales pipeline.

Having a Pre-CRM strategy means your departments are working to improve initial customer interactions to begin developing a strong business relationship. Before companies were able to have a strong digital presence, salespeople needed to greet customers and have organic interactions to cultivate their pipeline.

By taking these old-school tactics and adapting them to fit your company’s digital presence, the pre-CRM stage can help present your company to prospects. Engaging potential customers before they’ve been entered into your CRM can be tough. Utilizing social media, email marketing, and a website can help introduce your brand before customers are familiar with your team.

Most importantly, taking advantage of the Pre-CRM stage means your company is using its marketing and digital presence to help create product awareness. Many customers only become active when they have a need, but engagement can start before then. Marketing should focus on sharing what your company offers while allowing customers to interact with your content.

Reaching Out to Pre-CRM Leads

How do you reach out to customers before you know their needs, or before they understand what your company specializes in? Finding ways to engage pre-CRM leads takes creativity, but the payoff can help boost your sales pipeline.

Thinking of it as similar to greeting customers in the offline world can help map out the best way for outreach. Find ways to humanize digital communication, like displaying employee profiles and making contact information readily available. Encourage engagement through chatbots, and utilize video features to showcase products and salespeople.

The goal of this outreach is to improve initial customer impressions. When your company is able to create a positive first touchpoint, prospects will be more inclined to continue engagement with the brand. This will help filter leads in your pipeline and CRM, which will help boost sales. 

What Is a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is software that can be used to manage your company’s relationships and interactions with clients and prospects. This technology helps streamline your business, grow your pipeline, and organize goals across departments.

A CRM can be used throughout the entire customer lifecycle, including marketing, sales, and customer service. This software stores prospect and customer information, which helps build out your database for maintaining relationships.

By keeping data all in one platform, your CRM can help make sure all of the necessary steps are being done to provide clients with quality service. It also allows your teams to track customer engagement, plan outreach, and identify future sales opportunities.

Many teams have turned to a remote or hybrid working environment, so utilizing a CRM can make a big difference in collaboration when employees are stationed across multiple locations. This software can also align your sales and marketing departments to tighten up the lead generation and nurturing process.

Along with creating more efficient workflow within departments, CRMs can integrate with other technology to streamline the sales process. Many CRMs have the ability to work with your current tech stack to free up time and resources for customer outreach. For example, Leadboxer integrates seamlessly with CRMs to improve lead-generation processes.

The CRM Cycle

CRM is a great strategy for improving the quality of your outreach, and in turn, creating stronger customer relationships. Rather than aiming to cast a wider net, successful customer management will help encourage repeat sales and brand loyalty.

There are seven stages within the CRM cycle, and each plays an important role in customer success. Walking clients through this journey will help fill your pipeline with quality prospects and increase sales.

The Pre-CRM stage begins with brand awareness and creating an environment that encourages customer engagement. Inputting a new lead into the CRM happens once your team has contact and basic information about the prospect. Log the details in your CRM and begin walking them to the next step in the cycle.

Once a prospect begins interacting with your brand, like clicking on an email link or filling out a web form, the nurturing process can begin. By using features in your CRM software, you can tag clients and track their engagement. This helps your sales team determine which leads are cold or warm.

Moving toward the sales opportunity happens once a lead schedules a sales call. This moves the customer from warm to hot. 

Your team should be tracking the movements of this client as they move through the sales funnel. Enter the details from the sales call to log the outcome in your CRM. This helps your team see which leads are actively working their way toward closing a deal.

A little over halfway through the cycle, the goal is to have hot leads converted into closed deals. Once the client says ‘yes’ to your sales pitch, you can consider them an active customer. 

However, the CRM cycle does not end here.

Next, delivery of your product or services should be scheduled. It’s important to create follow-up reminders to keep in touch with the customer as they begin using your product. This phase should also include gathering feedback and providing any additional training or information that the customer may need to be successful.

Instead of moving on to the next cold lead once a deal has been completed, try bringing your customers into the ‘upselling’ stage. If clients are happy with the product and experience they’ve had so far, pitching an upgrade in your services can help boost the overall sale. Engage with customers to see if there are any additional needs your team can help fill.

Lastly, the CRM cycle relies on continuity to cultivate strong customer relationships and promote lasting brand loyalty. Continue reaching out to current clients. 

Schedule regular check-ins and encourage feedback. These actions can help increase repeat purchases throughout the length of the business relationship.

The Benefits and Challenges of a Marketing CRM

CRM Strategy Enablement

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Implementing a CRM can play a huge role in the success of your marketing department. Since the goal of marketing is to create awareness and generate leads for the sales team, a CRM can help align the efforts of these departments.

By breaking down barriers to avoid organizational silos within your company, a CRM helps increase the flow of information between teams. This will improve the overall quality of customer service as your marketing campaigns direct qualified leads into the sales pipeline. 

As website visitors interact with content and email recipients click on links, a marketing CRM can help your team track these actions to qualify leads. By integrating with other technologies like lead generation software, the CRM increases conversions and campaign effectiveness.

While a CRM can be a huge asset to many companies, there are a few challenges to be aware of before implementing the software. For employees who are unfamiliar with the system, learning how to use a CRM effectively can be a daunting task. Provide extensive training to make sure your team is confident in the program.

Integration with tech stacks is a great benefit to using a CRM, but it is important to make sure the CRM you choose works with your current technology. Marketing campaigns can benefit from tracking customer engagement, and a marketing CRM can help organize this data. 

Key Takeaways

A Pre-CRM strategy can help humanize your company and begin nurturing leads before they have entered your pipeline. Use this strategy to create positive brand awareness with potential prospects. Encouraging early engagement will help drive customers to your business when they have a need for your product.

Utilizing a marketing CRM is a great way to create a communication flow between departments and increase campaign effectiveness. Tracking and tagging engagement from customers can help inform future marketing efforts and outreach for sales pitches. 

To see how Leadboxer can integrate with your CRM, click here for a free trial!

Automated Lead Sales Intelligence Platforms

Automated Lead & Sales Intelligence Platforms: The Key to Successful Sales Strategies

Automated lead generation software is paving the way to success for B2B companies. These highly integrated platforms have continued to rise in popularity. For businesses who want to keep a competitive edge within their sales and marketing departments, lead generation software has become a necessity.

Diving deeper into the market trends and forecasts, several reports have closely inspected how lead generation and automated marketing will trend through 2029. Keep reading, or use the links below to explore these findings:

According to an Insight Partners study, the lead generation market was valued at 3,103.80 million USD in 2021. It is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5%, and reach a value of 9,589.11 million USD by 2028.

The Global Lead Generation B2B Software Market Research Report 2022 shows that the lead generation market is split up into four areas. They are lead capture software, lead intelligence software, lead mining software, and lead scoring software. 

These sections each play a role in successfully generating and nurturing leads while saving companies time and valuable resources. 20% more sales opportunities are created when leads are properly nurtured. However, 65% of B2B companies have not established a process for lead nurturing.

Technology-driven processes are crucial for companies to identify quality leads. In fact, 44% of marketers are already using software like automated marketing for lead scoring.

On average, sales leads for B2B companies can cost between $31 and $60. Within six to nine months of utilizing lead management automation, companies can see a revenue boost of 10%. This software helps drive sales and increases (return on investment) ROI. 

Lead generation software continues to increase in popularity due to its flexibility, low maintenance, and resistance to corrosion. As businesses continue to grow within the digital space, this software helps companies remain competitive within their industries.

Forbes reports that 58% of business leaders see lead generation as a key challenge. Lead generation platforms like Leadboxer are instrumental in helping companies find qualified prospects to fill their pipeline. Through automation, data collection, and software integration, these platforms are able to improve processes across multiple departments.

Lead generation software has benefited from the advancement of technology, and it will continue to optimize its product performance. Integration between customer relationship management (CRM) and lead generation platforms is a step toward success.

52% of companies have already integrated their marketing software and CRM. 88% of marketers will use web analytics to continue improving their lead-generation strategies. Lead generation platforms like Leadboxer integrate with CRMs and other technology to provide quality leads and analyze data.

Lead generation priorities of marketers

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The Global Marketing Automation Market Analysis Report 2022 released by researchsandmarkets.com takes a closer look at the current environment for this software. The report finds the market was valued at 5.45 billion USD in 2021. As automated marketing software continues to gain traction among businesses, it is projected to reach 8.58 billion USD by 2026.

Due to the increased usage of these platforms, the market is expected to grow by 9.49% between 2022-2026. The report notes the advantages of using this software include improved efficiency, reduced staffing costs, and an overall increase in revenue. 

Cloud and On-Premise are the two studied segments of marketing automation deployment types. Cloud deployment was found to cover a market majority at 58%.

This report studied eight channels of marketing automation: 

  • lead nurturing
  • mobile application 
  • campaign management
  • inbound marketing
  • social media 
  • email
  • reporting/analytics 
  • other

Out of the channel categories, email marketing automation led the way with 17%. 

A Demand Gen Report found that 53% of marketing teams say that early-stage lead generation is most effective when done through email. With email automation pulling ahead of other channels, automated marketing software can help companies save time and resources in producing email campaigns. 

Across industry applications, it was observed that healthcare began utilizing marketing automation software strategies. This implementation has helped create consistent messaging and improved customer service. During 2022-2026, the use of marketing automation in healthcare is expected to grow by 12.5%.

As for regions, this report discovered that North America made up the largest share of marketing automation at 34.3%. Over the forecasted period of 2022-2026, Europe and North America are expected to be the largest markets. Due to a rise in mobile usage and increasing use of advertisement campaigns, the Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing market. 

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Shaped Automated Software

COVID-19 continues to show lasting effects on the way businesses handle sales outreach. With quick switches to digital communication as in-person meetings were canceled, many B2B companies had to adapt to a virtual environment.

58% of experts believe poor technology infrastructure led to businesses struggling to deal with the pandemic.  The Global Marketing Automation Market Analysis Report 2022 suggests that the pandemic highlighted the importance of marketing automation as companies made the switch to digital channels to keep in touch with customers.

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are playing a significant role in the post-pandemic world. 50% of businesses plan to push forward with their AI strategies as they enter into post-COVID operations.

While the pandemic caused upheaval across all industries, it also helped drive innovation and advancement. 43.42% of B2B marketers plan to switch their in-person meeting budgets to digital efforts. 

By investing in automated marketing and lead generation software, B2B companies will be prepared to face a post-pandemic world. 

The Future of Lead Generation and Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation Valuable Features

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Lead generation software and marketing automation is a growing markets. The Global Marketing Automation Market Analysis Report 2022 found several factors for these upward trends including higher social media usage and trending mobile marketing.

While many marketing budgets continue to shrink, a survey from Gartner finds 26.6% of Chief Marketing Officers plan to increase their spending on automated tools. Statista Research Department shows that 2.6 billion USD was spent on lead generation in the United States in 2019. This number is predicted to hit 3.2 billion USD by the end of 2023.

The demand for these tools continues to increase, but this market does face challenges as well. Cyber security and data quality issues were found to be impeding issues for market growth. The quick nature of social media and continued internet usage has posed security and compliance challenges for marketing teams.

Despite advancements in automated software, 40% of businesses find their marketing tools are outdated. This suggests companies are still working to find the best lead-generation platform for their needs. 

As the B2B industry continues to evolve within the digital sphere, lead generation and marketing automation will increase in marketing and sales departments. The content marketing platform is expected to grow the fastest between 2022-2026. Global Marketing Automation Market Analysis Report 2022 suggests it will increase at a CAGR of 17%

85% of marketers say their biggest focus from content marketing is lead generation. Research shows an emphasis on producing quality customer experiences and a growing need for analytics-based content will drive content marketing growth. 

AI integration, predictive analytics, and a focus on personalized marketing are contributing to the market increase.

The combination of AI and automation software is pushing businesses toward better customer service and creating stronger interactions with prospects. Lead generation platforms help target the correct customers to drive marketing efforts in the right direction.

Key Takeaways

Lead generation and marketing automation are paving the way for companies to save time and resources when filling the sales pipeline. 80% of marketers saw an increase in their leads after using marketing automation. 

Both markets continue to grow and are projected to rise to new levels by 2029. B2B companies will need to include lead generation platforms and automated marketing into their business strategies to remain competitive in their respective industries.

Marketing automation provides a huge boost in sales leads. Using this software for marketing campaigns can increase these numbers by 451%. Content marketing is used for lead generation by 80% of companies. It is expected to be the fastest-growing channel for automated marketing between 2022-2029.

Lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to push companies toward digital communication. Customer trends show that many prefer buying in a virtual space. These habits will most likely increase as social media marketing trends upward.

While lead generation and personalized outreach benefit from automated software, challenges with consumer privacy and data quality will continue to be part of the conversation. Salesforce found that 86% of consumers want more transparency regarding the usage of their personal information. 

Investing in highly integrated platforms like LeadBoxer will help departments utilize their existing tech stack to its full potential for lead generation, marketing automation, and customer management.

See what LeadBoxer can do for your business. Get your free trial today!

Harnessing the Power of Video Marketing for B2B Lead Generation

Harnessing the Power of Video Marketing for B2B Lead Generation

Creative lead generation can help your B2B company fill the sales funnel with qualified prospects. Social media continues to be vital for marketing teams, and jumping on the upward trend of video content is a way to boost your outreach. 

Utilizing video marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness and encourage content engagement. This tactic can push your outreach to additional target audiences and help increase your lead generation. Video marketing can also work when trying to retarget and engage potential prospects.

Keep reading, or use the following links to jump ahead:

What is Video Marketing?

Video marketing statistics

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While the strategy isn’t new, video marketing has become crucial for staying relevant in a competitive market. According to WyzOwl’s 2022 Video Marketing Statistic Report, 86% of businesses already use video in their marketing strategy. 

This marketing tool is important to have across all channels. Videos are an easy way to educate prospects on your product, as well as create brand awareness.

In a Hubspot survey, it was found that video content was the second most popular way to increase social media engagement. By encouraging interaction from customers, this strategy can help boost shares and expand audience reach. 

Even though video marketing has been around for a while, many businesses saw a rise in demand for this content during the pandemic. 64% of marketing teams feel the pandemic has affected their 2022 video marketing strategies. Coupling this with the rise of marketing on social media platforms like TikTok, utilizing these tools can make a big difference in engagement.

Increasing Sales Conversions Through Videos

Marketing teams work hard to reach audiences that can be converted successfully for the sales department. These tactics require a lot of planning and resources to make sure content is being delivered to the right prospects.

Video marketing is an accessible tool that helps engage customers before they’ve even spoken to a salesperson. If you’re just beginning your video strategy, a great place to start is finding ways to include this type of content on your website.

According to BizCommunity, conversion rates can be increased by 80% if you include video content on your landing pages. When leads are visiting your site for the first time, videos are able to introduce your product and brand quickly. This type of content encourages engagement as prospects are able to get a glimpse of what your company has to offer.

Additionally, adding videos to your site can help improve search engine optimization (SEO). By having this content on your pages, visitors are more likely to spend more time on your website, which helps boost your page in search engines.

Moving on from initial lead impressions, video marketing can play a role in boosting customer retention. This content has the ability to support salespeople as they walk clients through the sales journey. By having video tutorials and demonstrations, leads are able to interact with your product before making a purchase, which can increase customer confidence.

The options for video content are endless, and it is a great tool to build trust while showcasing an authentic brand to prospects. Utilizing how-tos, customer testimonials, and customer support videos are just a few ways your team can take its marketing strategy to the next level.

How to Create a Successful Video Strategy

Creating content that encourages audience engagement is a good starting place. With high-quality smartphone cameras and a multitude of editing apps to choose from, access to video creation is easier than ever. 

However, starting without a plan can be an overwhelming undertaking for any marketing team. Take time to allocate resources and prepare your team for the content rollout. This type of foresight will help align the marketing and sales department to ensure the highest return on investment (ROI) is being achieved.

Once your teams are ready to go, begin by evaluating your company’s needs. Determine which pages and social platforms will benefit most from the content. Laying out the areas that will receive videos can help decide what the content will showcase.

Next, determine the target audience. For video marketing lead generation, have your team identify what platforms see the most traffic from prospects. 

Bizcommunity found that videos help 90% of customers make buying decisions. By getting this content on pages that see the most interaction from leads, video influence can help push these prospects into the sales funnel. 

Align the goals of the campaign across departments. Multiple videos can serve different purposes, but it is good to have a clear objective before creating any content. This data will also play a role in determining the video’s success late in the journey.

Decide on the video distribution platform. There are a few factors that will help narrow down the best place for your content. Consider your budget, including money for sponsored posts, and your current tools. 

Shorter videos may find their home on TikTok or Instagram, whereas Youtube remains a leader for long-form content. Determining a platform before filming will help drive the subject matter. It is important to take into consideration the type of audience on each social media channel, as well as how engagement is measured.

Platforms like Instagram reels and TikTok rely on short, snappy videos that can quickly grab a viewer’s attention. These sites also work off of algorithms that rely on comments, likes, and shares. Longer videos may do better on Youtube or LinkedIn, especially if the goal of the content is to educate. 

Begin scripting and filming content. If you are not sure where to start, look at similar businesses or competitors to see what type of videos they are sharing. This can help your team gather an understanding of where your industry fits into the digital sphere. 

Once posted, begin measuring the content’s success. While each business may track unique metrics, there are a few basic ones that can help your team see what works and what needs improvement. Engagement is huge. Track comments, likes, and shares. 

Time spent on your site is another great metric to consider. If you have longer videos, are your visitors watching the whole thing? Take a look at any generated leads or conversion boosts. 

Are your visitors interacting with other areas of your site after watching the video? For example, keep an eye out for any upticks in form completion.

Lastly, continue to re-evaluate and produce video content. While you shouldn’t fix any content that seems to be working, don’t be afraid to add new posts. Variety in content can boost engagement and encourage frequent customer interaction. 

Revisit any videos that don’t produce the results your team wants. This form of content is constantly evolving, and it is good to be prepared to embrace changes as needed.

Best Practices for Video Marketing

Once you have a strategy ready to go, implementing best practices can help boost the success of your marketing campaigns. Understanding the different types of video content can help your team see a positive ROI from this work.

Videos like product demonstrations, educational content, or expert interviews can help increase lead generation. While content like customer testimonials, live streams, or personalized messages from employees can create brand awareness.

Use video marketing to retarget old leads. This content can help encourage prospects to re-engage with the sales journey. Maybe the lead wasn’t sure your product was the right fit, but an educational tutorial or how-to guide can help show the ways their company can benefit from a purchase. 

Video Marketing & Social Media

Time spent watching online videos

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The rise of platforms like TikTok and Instagram has expedited the evolution of video content. Now, businesses are able to utilize these channels and interact with leads at a faster pace. In turn, social media has also helped shape marketing trends.

Viral trends dominate the ways content is viewed across platforms, and brands are not exempt from participation. While being TikTok famous isn’t the goal of video content for your business, it’s becoming more common for companies to participate in these trends. 

In 2020, Statistica found that one-fourth of adults online have viewed videos posted on TikTok. Tapping into these markets and finding ways to engage with viewers is important for making the most out of your online presence. 

Influencer marketing has also continued to rise in popularity. Videos like a how-to or product reviews from influencers help create brand awareness and build trust with customers. This type of sponsored content speaks to viewers without seeming too forced. 

According to HubSpot, 64% of businesses found new customers because of a Facebook video. Social media helps successfully mix business with pleasure, as many adults spend time scrolling through Facebook and Instagram throughout the day. By posting video content on social media, your company can see a higher ROI on video marketing.

Get started with lead generation by trying out Leadboxer today!

Creating Generational Marketing Strategy

Create a Generational Marketing Strategy Without Alienating Key Target Audiences

Creating a marketing strategy that appeals to a diverse range of ages can be a difficult undertaking. Mass appeal to multiple generations requires a deep understanding of how each group tends to interact with marketing materials. Planning ahead and using appropriate resources are essential elements of any successful generational marketing campaign.

Reaching a broad range of target audience members during a marketing campaign is important for maximizing your return-on-investment (ROI). The goal of your generational marketing strategy should be to reach potential customers without alienating any key audience bases. 

For tips on creating a successful generational marketing strategy, keep reading, or use the links below to skip ahead:

What Is Generational Marketing and Why Does It Matter?

As you are probably well aware, marketing is not a one-size-fits-all approach when building the right customer base for your business. Even if your team is only selling one product, the pitch needs to be adjusted based on a variety of factors, including age. It’s important to understand ways you can incorporate content that appeals to mass audiences throughout your generational marketing strategy to avoid alienating key target groups.

Generational marketing uses segmentation to split audiences by age to better reach each target demographic. Currently, there are four generations of consumers your marketing team should be targeting: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. 

It is important to understand that each generation interacts with marketing differently. By understanding which age demographics are in your target audience, your team will be able to produce appropriate content. 

For most businesses, it is beneficial to appeal to multiple generations. By analyzing the preferences of each generation you seek to engage and eventually convert, you can gain valuable insights, making it possible for your team to develop and apply a successful generational marketing strategy.

Annual Consumer Spending by Generation Feb 2019

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Baby Boomers

In 2020, the Baby Boomer generation made up 21.45% of the U.S. population. This generation refers to those born between 1946-1964. Their substantial makeup of the population means they play a significant role in the economy.

Most importantly, Baby Boomers are a generation that has had to embrace major advancements in technology as it has developed at an accelerated rate in recent decades. In comparison, younger generations have had high levels of technology use incorporated into almost every aspect of their lives from a young age. Because of this disparity in lived experience, many Baby Boomers are used to traditional marketing tactics and tend to prefer in-person interactions. 

This isn’t to imply Baby Boomers are out of touch when it comes to technology. According to Pew Research, in 2021, 71% of adults aged 50-64 use at least one social media site. Baby Boomers are a great example of how traditional sales tactics can be combined with social media for maximum outreach.

Generation X

Sometimes referred to as the “Middle Child” generation, Gen X encompasses those born between 1965-1980. This group was the first to grow up with access to personal computers, and tend to be more tech-savvy than their predecessors.

This group makes up less of the population than Boomers and Millennials, coming in at 19.71% of the U.S. population in 2020. Gen Xers tend to be swayed by customer testimonials, and it’s helpful to provide a mix of traditional marketing with digital tactics.

Millennials

Also known as Generation Y, Millennials surpassed the Baby Boomers in size in 2020. Currently, Millennials make up 21.93% of the U.S. population.  

Those born between 1981-1996 are classified as Millennials, which means they grew up during the rise of technology. This demographic tends to have a large online presence and a good grasp of digital marketing tactics. 
There are more than 80 million millennials, most of whom are very active on social media and tend to consume information on their cell phones. Marketing tactics should take mobile compatibility into consideration when trying to reach this generation. Delivery of advertising and other content via online blogs and social media is highly effective with this demographic.

Generation Z

A young generation on the rise, this group makes up those born between 1997-2012. They account for 20.35% of the U.S. population, but only a fraction of this group is old enough to enter the workforce. 

Gen Zers grew up online, and have embraced social media from a young age. They tend to have a shorter attention span and the ability to consume different forms of media simultaneously. A  2017 survey by the National Retail Foundation (NRF) shows 74% of Gen Zers consider ‘spending time online’ to be a hobby. 

As a unique group, Gen Z may not be fully entered into the workplace yet, but that hasn’t stopped them from having a substantial impact on the economy. The NRF found that consumer spending on Gen Z equated to $829.6 billion in 2015. 

Generation Z prefers quick messaging and dislikes marketing ads that disrupt their online experience. They tend to lean toward tech-savvy sales tactics, but they place a larger emphasis on quality when it comes to products.

Establishing Your Target Audience

With such diversity spread across the generations, it is important for your marketing team to know which groups they need to target. Not all products will appeal to a mass audience, and that’s okay. By knowing your customer base, your company can allocate its resources towards marketing efforts aimed at reaching the right people.

Start by creating your ideal customer profile. The idea is to target clients who will most likely benefit from using your product. Odds are, your customer base will span across several generations, but it is possible it may not appeal to all of them.

Creating an ideal client profile takes time and resources.But the information gleaned is worth doing the necessary research so you understand who is most likely to benefit from and purchase your service or product. This information will prove vital in assisting your marketing team as it begins creating successful campaigns aimed at nurturing potential customer relationships. 

Once established, take a look at the generational demographics of your target audience. If your list contains members of Generation X or younger (and it most likely will), your team should start thinking about the best ways to incorporate social media into its campaigns.

Millennials and Generation Zers are known for their online presence, but they are also in tune with marketing tactics. These groups don’t want to be bombarded with ads during their content scrolls, but they do want quality information delivered in an easy-to-digest format. 

According to a 2022 consumer survey, 81% of consumers prefer receiving personalized communications from brands. This means your company needs to establish which customers are buying your products and then find ways to personalize your marketing outreach.

What is Attitudinal Segmentation?

Similar to generational marketing, attitudinal segmentation involves splitting your audience into groups. Rather than focusing on age, attitudinal segmentation groups customers together based on shared beliefs. This strategy dives deeper into the way customers think and feel.

This type of audience segmentation can help your marketing team personalize their outreach based on the feelings of specific customer groups. It is also most successful when combined with other tactics, such as generational marketing.

Using these strategies together can help maximize outreach and avoid alienating key audiences. When beginning the implementation of attitudinal segmentation, starting off with a few simple questions can kick start the process.

Try establishing motivations with questions like “Why do you…”, or focus on opinions with “What do you think of…”. These answers will help guide audience members into segmented groups based on their purchasing behaviors. By understanding the way consumers feel, your marketing team will be able to develop content that speaks to the needs of your customers. 

The Importance of Brand Loyalty Across Generations

The Importance of Brand Loyalty for Consumers

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There is more to creating a successful marketing campaign than simply understanding generational preferences and customer attitudes. Audience engagement helps lead a marketing campaign to the finish line by filling the sales pipeline with qualified leads ready to start the purchasing process. 84% of consumers will interact with advertising when they feel loyal to the brand. 

The sales cycle begins with marketing touchpoints that happen long before customers get the chance to speak with the sales or customer service departments. That means brands start building their reputation from the moment content is extended to an audience. Establishing and maintaining a credible brand is important for encouraging customer engagement.

According to Havas, over half (60%) of brand-related content fails to deliver and is considered clutter by consumers. Before taking any concrete steps to plan a marketing campaign, the team should understand that consumers value quality over quantity when it comes to brand communications. 

Generational and attitudinal marketing strategies align when it comes to understanding what customers want to get from a brand. Not all consumers share the same attitudes, and many are loyal to the same brands for different reasons. Diving into the insights that generational and attitudinal preferences share with brands can help your team create a successful campaign that reaches the correct audience.

For example, Gen Z looks for brands who are able to provide for the greater good and offer value. As a group that has grown up connected to communities through the internet, 68% of Gen Zers say they expect to see brands positively contribute to society. On top of their overall belief in bettering society, Gen Zers look for tech-savvy brands. In fact, the majority of this group won’t engage with websites/apps that are slow to upload.

Gen X is known for being the most brand-loyal group. Statistics show four out of 10 Gen Xers will stick with brands with which they have already established relationships. Continued outreach and implementation of customer feedback will be important to maintaining loyalty with many in this age group.

Along with preserving a good standing among consumers, brand loyalty leads to repeat purchases by customers. Studies demonstrate purchases by repeat customers are vital to success, accounting for up to 65% of a company’s business. Brand loyalty helps establish long-term relationships with consumers and encourages multiple purchases from these buyers. 

In between buying cycles, marketing plays a large role in nurturing customer relationships through targeted content. This outreach helps your company and the services or products it provides stay top of mind for consumers. 

Creating a Generational Marketing Strategy Without Alienation

After taking a deeper look at the different generational motivations, the best place to start with campaign creation is understanding how incorrect use of this information may cause alienation. Generational marketing can help successfully reach out to consumers across different age ranges, but overgeneralizations about the groups can cause more harm than good. 

While understanding generational differences, especially with the preferred communication styles, is important for marketing, it is just as important to avoid stereotyping. A successful generational marketing strategy will combine with attitudinal segmentation to provide a positive personal experience for the target audience. 

To start a successful campaign, it is important to identify where age will play a role within your company’s outreach. Knowing how generational differences factor into your brand will help your team segment audiences appropriately.

Diversity Within Generations

One of the main problems with traditional generational marketing is failing to take into account how large these groups are. For example, with 80 million Millennials in the generation, it is safe to assume not all of these consumers share the same beliefs. All of the generations are made up of diverse groups who may act differently from their peers.

Consumer age can provide insights into their preferences, but these trends do not replace a personal connection with the customer. Simply assuming your client will act a certain way due to their generation can cause tension and potentially ruin the business relationship if those assumptions are proven false.

Implementing attitudinal segmentation alongside generational marketing can be a great way to find middle ground when creating campaigns. Using data that provides insight into customer opinions, purchasing history, and lifestyle, these tactics can help companies avoid getting caught in a stereotype trap. 

This allows your marketing team to focus on creating content for groups with similar interests, rather than just age. By delivering quality content that speaks to a consumer’s preferences, attitudinal segmentation can boost overall engagement and reach mass audiences.

Stick With Tried and True Marketing Tactics

Social media usage continues to grow across generations, but traditional marketing tactics still have a place in campaigns. Email communications continue to be the preferred marketing channel for most generations, except Gen Z. 

Continue to communicate with groups via email blasts, but focus on tailoring content to reach the targeted audience. Segment these groups based on preferences like the amount of communication the consumer wants or specific products they may buy. 

Quality customer service remains a high priority for consumers. According to Microsoft, 69% of U.S. consumers view customer service as an important factor when maintaining brand loyalty. Customers will continue to repeat purchases from companies they view as excellent in the customer service department. To ensure these efforts are reaching the right audiences, tailor your customer services to the needs of different generations. 

Millennials and Gen Z are known for their online presence, and online customer service options make addressing these issues easy. For those who may prefer a more traditional route, implement customer service over the phone and make sure consumers are able to interact with a real person. 

Marketing for Tech-Savvy Groups

A huge mistake that can be made during generational marketing is assuming some groups may not be active on social media. While Millennials and Gen Z tend to spend more time online than others, it would be incorrect to assume Gen X and Baby Boomers avoid the internet completely.

68% of Baby Boomers are active on Facebook, which means a majority of this generation sees Facebook advertisements daily. For those companies who want to utilize social media for all generations, sticking with traditional outlets like Facebook can help with effective outreach.

Two-thirds of the Millennial generation are active on Facebook daily. Reaching Gen Z, however, may be more successful with Snapchat or Instagram, since over 50% of this generation uses these apps daily.

Due to the Millennial’s and Gen Z’s tech-savvy lifestyle, digital marketing tactics are important for reaching consumers in these age groups. It is important to have a strong understanding of the way these groups interact with online communities to maximize outreach efforts.

According to Epsilon, 75% of these generations shop online with their smartphone. That means usability across devices is important for closing sales. Website compatibility and access on smartphones will help connect younger consumers with your products. The study also found that Millennials spend more money online than other generations. Having the ability to purchase items directly on a website is important for tapping into this generation’s spending potential.

While Millennials lead the way in e-commerce buying on sites like Amazon, Gen Z has adopted a different tactic when it comes to online purchasing. According to Forbes, 97% of Gen Z view social media as their main source of shopping inspiration. Being able to purchase items in apps, like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest, helps Gen Z have a more personalized shopping experience. 

While younger generations tend to lead the way in online shopping, multi-generational households are changing the way older generations make purchases. Baby Boomers with kids are 42% more likely to shop online. 

77% of consumers in Gen Z who still live with their families say they have an influence over household food and beverage decisions. These multigenerational interactions mean it is important to maintain digital marketing with mass appeal. 

Embracing Brand Authenticity

Generalizations about age groups are nothing new, but falling into these traps can be detrimental to your generational marketing strategy. Avoid getting stuck in the belief that all boomers hate technology or that millennials are entitled. These stereotypes often find their way into conversations, but they alienate audiences and can negatively impact your brand’s image.

Instead, focus on authentically presenting your brand in a way that can resonate across generations. Consumers are smart, and they will easily identify inauthentic attempts to ‘fit in’. For example, unless it is already part of your company’s persona, using cheesy social media lingo can be a turn-off to younger customers.

According to a study done in 2018, transparency is one of the most attractive qualities for 69% of consumers. Hiding behind generational stereotypes can cause customers to feel as though your brand is not presenting an authentic vision. Forbes points out that over one third of Gen Z follows brands that they like, which means consistent branding is important for this generation.

Not only does the youngest generation care about authenticity, but overall, brands with consistent presentation saw a 33% increase in revenue. Across generations, consumers are focused on the image a company presents and how its actions back this up. With customers holding the buying power, authentic brands will benefit and continue to rise to the top.

Key Takeaways

Generational marketing is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Marketing teams should avoid jumping into a campaign that is based on age alone.   Instead, creating a diverse plan with attitudinal segmentation and patterns based on generational behavior will avoid the alienation of key target audiences.

Embracing technology works for all generations, but some may require more creativity to be persuaded into a purchase. Stick with traditional outlets to reach Baby Boomers and Gen X, but don’t be afraid to try out new platforms like TikTok in hopes of reaching Gen Z. Maintain authenticity and transparency across all social media and email, though. Consumers will appreciate consistent branding, and this can increase your company’s brand loyalty. 

Establish your target audience through a range of factors. Look into their lifestyles, communication preferences, and product interests. Segment your audience based on attitudes and opinions, as well as generation when applicable. Focus on creating brand loyalty and rewarding repeat customers. 

Overall, generational marketing can help companies better reach their targeted demographic, but it is crucial to approach this strategy with ample research. To avoid missing out on outreach to key audiences, combine generational and attitudinal marketing strategies for a successful campaign.

For a free trial on using customer insights from web traffic, check out LeadBoxer!

How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

Want to stimulate interest in your brand without paying for ads? Content marketing is the answer. This type of marketing involves making videos, blogs, and social media posts that solve problems for your ideal customers, thus building loyalty to your brand and encouraging them to buy from you. 

This strategy is essential for staying ahead of competitors. A 2021 report from HubSpot found that 70% of over 1,500 marketers surveyed are actively investing in content marketing. The same study noted that 40% of marketers consider content marketing vital to their overall strategy.

Creating and implementing a content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be time-consuming. The following techniques will set you up for success.

Read on or jump ahead to these topics:

Get Company-Wide Support

Great content marketing happens when everybody in a company collaborates. To do this, you’ll need to get the leaders of various teams and departments behind you.

Ardath Albee of Marketing Interactions explains, “You need executive backing to fund and source a content strategy. You also need the support to ensure there is enough commitment to see a content marketing strategy through.”

To get leaders of your company on your side, position content marketing as a way to help their departments reach their goals.

Understand Your Audience

Before creating content, you need to think carefully about your ideal customers and anticipate what videos, blogs, or resources they want. Consider these questions:

  • Who is the ideal person reading your content?
  • What information do people want that isn’t readily available?
  • What pain points are your customers feeling?
  • How does your target audience make buying decisions?

By creating content that anticipates and answers your ideal customer’s questions and pain points, you can simplify their decision to buy from you.

Invest in Branding

Consider hiring a reputable agency to develop your brand’s look. The visuals and messaging used to represent your company impact your bottom line. A 2019 Reboot study of 2,500 consumers found that the right color can increase brand recognition by 80%. Furthermore, a 2019 Lucidpress survey of 400 organizations found that a consistent presentation of brand imagery, messaging, and values across channels can increase revenue by 33%.

Publish Guest Blog Posts

Curating blog posts from thought leaders in your industry is a win-win for all involved. It creates new content for your website with less lift from your marketing team and gives contributing writers a platform for sharing their ideas.

Guest blog posts also encourage the creation of backlinks, or links connecting one website to another. This happens when the contributing writer shares the article on their personal site. Backlinks signal to search engines that your content is valuable, which in turn boosts your site’s ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Here are some tips for finding and recruiting credible guest bloggers:

  • Visit other blogs in your industry and see who is writing for them
  • To grow your audience quickly, reach out to in-demand writers with large audiences and offer to pay them
  • Mention the benefits of writing for you, such as the number of monthly visitors to your site and the exposure writers will receive

Create Evergreen Content

While new content is helpful for keeping social media and email audiences engaged, there’s no need to churn it out all the time. Instead, invest energy in creating evergreen content, or resources that are always relevant. Examples include:

  • Frequently asked questions
  • How-to guides
  • Tutorials
  • Encyclopedia pages
  • Troubleshooting articles

Over time, these pieces of content will rise to the top of SERPs and draw new prospects into your audience.

Repurpose Content

Another way to save your marketing team time is to reconfigure content for different channels. For example, transform an interview between a member of the marketing team and one of your executives into a podcast episode, blog post, infographic, and series of social media posts. 

Content repurposing ideas

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This gets more mileage out of the original piece of content and can help you reach audiences on various platforms.

Organize Content on Pillar Pages

A pillar page is a high-level article that provides prospective customers with an overview on a topic. The page includes links leading to blog posts or pages that cover subtopics in more depth.

Pillar page blog structure

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Pillar pages help keep your site organized. They’re also another effective way to reuse existing content.

Include Videos and Graphics

Visuals help break up long blog posts, appeal to visual learners, and can increase site traffic and the amount of time visitors spend there. A 2020 survey conducted by Wyzowl found that 86% of marketers say video has increased traffic to their website. The same survey noted that 83% of marketers credit video with helping increase the average time visitors spend on a page.

Measure Your Results

Analyzing the effectiveness of your marketing helps determine what types of content lead to the most sales and what parts of your strategy need improvement. To measure your results, use a tool like Google Analytics or LeadBoxer to study your site’s data.

LeadBoxer tracks what your leads do on your website or when you email them. You can see what pages they visit, how much time they spend there, and what resources they download.

Leadboxer content analytics features

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By comparing customer journeys, you can identify common pathways or pieces of content that lead to sales. You then know which content types are most effective and worth replicating. You can also determine which pages to keep updating and sharing on social media.

Final Thoughts

Content marketing is vital for attracting, nurturing, and retaining customers. By anticipating and answering questions with your content, you establish your brand as a thought leader with unparalleled customer service.

Techniques like publishing guest blog posts, creating evergreen content, organizing content into pillar posts, and repurposing content across channels help your marketing team reach the most people with the least amount of lift.

A tool like LeadBoxer helps you analyze your strategy. With LeadBoxer, you can see what pages or downloadable resources are driving the most sales. Get started today with a free trial.

16 Best WordPress Plugins for Business

16 Best WordPress Plugins for Business

Generating leads is a crucial part of building revenue for any business. This involves having a constant stream of new customers to nurture into repeat, loyal patrons. Your prospects are looking online for products and services to meet their needs and solve their problems. 

The lead generation process begins with your website, your company’s online presence. With more than 455 million websites built on and hosted by WordPress, chances are yours is too. WordPress is a solid website builder that offers easy customization and SEO-friendly items. 

If you use  WordPress, the many plugins can be overwhelming. Which ones are best for your business? Which ones will generate leads?

Below are the 16 best WordPress plugins for business – read on or use the following links to jump ahead:

1. WPForms

Your website must have a way for customers to reach you. WPForms allow you to easily create surveys, payment forms, order forms, contact forms, and subscription forms. With WPForms, you can access 300+ pre-built landing pages and forms and see valuable analytics like tracking and abandonment. 

2. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights connects websites to Google Analytics which allows you to gather data on who visits your site and how they find it. With MonsterInsights, you can make the necessary changes to boost subscribers and traffic. 

3. All in One SEO

More than three million websites use All in One SEO. This plugin is SEO-friendly and offers all the tools you need to maximize your on-page SEO. With an SEO-maximized site, you’ll boost your website traffic, which increases revenue. 

4. OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most widely-used plugin for boosting sales and email subscribers. It allows you to convert bounced website visitors into email subscribers. With hundreds of conversion templates, it is easy to build personalized campaigns. 

OptinMonster WordPress Plugin

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5. PushEngage

Push notifications allow you to send targeted announcements to website visitors. PushEngage plugin offers A/B testing, drip campaigns, tracking, segmentation, and opt-in reminders. 

6. Shared Counts

Social sharing effectively allows your customers to tell others about your company. With Shared Counts, you can add social sharing buttons to your website. Additionally, this plugin lets you see how many people shared your content. 

7. WPML

With the Internet connecting people worldwide, you likely have customers in different countries speaking various languages. WPML allows your business to create multilingual websites. 

8. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a must-have plugin for e-commerce businesses. More than five million websites and online stores use WooCommerce. WooCommerce offers a  WordPress ecosystem that includes hosting and themes.

WooCommerce WordPress Plugin

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9. Nextiva

Believe it or not, people do still contact you by phone. Nextiva’s plugin allows your business phone to have online faxing, unlimited calling, call routing, and more. 

10. Ahrefs

With Ahrefs, you can get an inside look into your competition. You’ll be able to see the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Ahrefs also track your and the competition’s backlinks.

11. Smash Balloon

Smash Balloon boosts website engagement by sharing your new content. It offers plugins to many popular social networks. Smash Balloon allows you to customize your feed anywhere on your website. 

12. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo helps you get your content out there with the ability to connect with influencers and generate high-performing content. It also allows you to find trends in your industry. 

BuzzSumo WordPress Plugin

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13. WP Super Cache

With the speed of the Internet, customers are impatient. If your website takes too long to load, people will abandon your site and head to another. WP Super Cache improves your site’s speed by converting dynamic pages to static ones

14. Pure Chat

Having more than one way for customers to contact your company will help you retain them. In addition to contact forms, offering live chat with Pure Chat will allow customers to talk to someone at any time. With someone always available, your customers will be satisfied. 

15. MailChimp for WordPress

It is crucial to have an email list. MailChimp allows you to access customer emails from comments, contact forms, and opt-in pages. MailChimp is one of the best and easiest-to-use email platforms around. 

16. LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer tells you who visited your website. This notifies your sales team and lets them know who they need to reach out to. People who repeatedly visit and spend time on your site are interested in what you offer. 

LeadBoxer WordPress Plugin

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Leads are what generate sales for your business. One of the most important lead-generating options out there is a WordPress website. A website will ensure your company will be found online.

Having a website for your business is a great start. However, if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your website, you need customization. With these 16 WordPress plugins, you’ll be on the fast track to building your business. 

How to Develop and Implement Your First Successful SEO Campaign

How to Develop and Implement Your First Successful SEO Campaign

Marketing strategies are constantly evolving to keep up with the fast-paced digital world. Now, more than ever before, customers are able to see a comprehensive list of solutions in a matter of seconds.

As technology continues to get smarter, potential buyers are becoming even more accustomed to personalized product searches. In order to stay relevant, businesses must remain on top of the trends to make sure the internet is working to their advantage.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a new term to those familiar with digital marketing practices. However, SEO has become a major buzzword as these campaigns continue to rise to the forefront of marketing plans. With this increase in popularity, successful digital communications rely on an accurate understanding of SEO and best practices for campaigns.

Read on or jump ahead to these topics:

What is an SEO Campaign?

Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving your digital resources to increase visibility and engagement through web traffic. The goal of SEO campaigns should be twofold: to grow the volume of visitors and to improve the quality of their online experience.

This works when your content is able to show search engines that it is the best answer for the topic. While all search engines are powered by different algorithms, Google has a market share of about 92%. Focusing your optimization efforts around this platform is the best place to start.

Spending money and allocating resources for marketing strategies is an investment for future growth. You want to make sure your return-on-investment (ROI) is as high as possible. By using SEO, you should start to see an uptick in web traffic from qualified leads as your site reaches your target audience.

Timeframe for Seeing SEO Campaign Results

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Successful SEO campaigns are based on thoughtful and targeted keyword research, link building, and web analysis. An in depth understanding and correct implementation of fundamental SEO principles will significantly boost your ROI.

Over a three year average, B2B industries see a 702% ROI from SEO campaigns, and a 7 month timeline to break even.

Identifying Your Target Audience

The first step to successfully implementing an SEO campaign is understanding who your target audience is. A target audience is a real group of people that could be interested in the products or services offered by your company. 

Your SEO campaign should work hard to direct as many potential buyers to your site as possible. This kind of brand exposure will help increase your sales conversion rates and build out your sales pipelines with new leads.

By understanding the ideal base for your audience, you will be able to map out your SEO strategy. This will help guide your keyword search as you narrow down the most likely used terms for optimization. Tailor your online content toward this specific group of visitors to help improve your overall customer experience.

There are a few ways to determine your target prospects. Start by understanding your current client demographics. Open communication between marketing and sales teams will allow salespeople to share profiles of their customers. 

Take advantage of social insight tools. Social media and website tracking can provide vital information about exactly who is actively engaging with your content. 60% of consumers subscribe to email blasts to stay involved with promotional messaging. By analyzing current followers and subscribers, you can build out your ideal target audience.

Identify the questions being asked by potential buyers. Which problems does your current customer base have that are solved by your products? If you can pinpoint the topics of discussion, your content can reach similar groups facing these issues.

Organic Keywords & Data Analytics

Share of commerce traffic generation from organic searches

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An organic keyword attracts free traffic through SEO, whereas pay-per-click (PPC) words are bid on through paid campaigns

On average, there are 3.5 billion Google searches happening each day. Organic keywords can help drive traffic from those searches to your website. Using words in your content that people are actively searching for is the best place to start gaining organic traffic. 

Organization is also key. Avoid dumping words onto one page, and make sure to use them throughout your site. Unique content that offers genuine information is the best way to utilize these organic keywords.

Data-driven marketing means using collected data as the main component when creating your SEO campaigns. This tactic allows your research to guide the build-out of marketing strategies for effective implementation.

Use data analysis tools to better understand the ways traffic interacts with your content. By analyzing your data, you will gain a better understanding of visitor behavior and drive more organic traffic to your site. 

Developing and Implementing a Successful SEO Campaign

Now that you have the basics down, executing your SEO strategy should be easy. Try the following steps to get started.

1. Evaluate Your Current Site and Its Content

Are you using a modern website builder? If your site’s platform is up-to-date, optimization will be a much easier undertaking. SEO will not work outside of a user-friendly environment.

Audit your current SEO plan. Maybe some of your pages already have a good foundation. Don’t throw out anything that is already working. 

Make sure to pinpoint the areas that need change. Focus on evaluating your current URLs and page structures.

2. Topic & Keyword Research

Before you can develop a list of keywords, you will need to create a set of topics to explore. A topic is a set of related search terms broader than your keyword list. Gather all relevant details when building out these sets.

You will want to dive deep into the research to have comprehensive knowledge of your chosen topics. Figure out the total search volume for these words, analyze the type of existing content appearing, and gauge competition levels.

3. Create Quality Content

It’s a simple step, but it may be the most important one in creating your campaign. Content needs to be authentic and relevant to your audience. 

Your site should be free of technical errors. Pages should include strong titles, which is a key element in SEO.

Try to produce evergreen content. If your blog is full of pieces that are relevant to the industry, chances are you will see more engagement. This can include ‘how-to’ articles, product reviews, and videos. 

Establish partnerships and create strong relationships with social influencers. Your content should provide shareable information. Earn credibility by producing pieces to share your brand’s mission with your target audience.

Use backlinks to help build confidence in your brand. This helps signal to search engines that other sites approve of your content. Earning backlinks from highly respected sites should be a desired goal.

4. Implement On-Site Optimization

Once you have content ready to go, it is important to maintain your website for SEO-friendliness. Utilize keywords in your URL slugs. Optimize the alt-text for your digital media, and be sure to incorporate long-tail keywords. 

Don’t forget about technical optimization as well. Server speed, source code, and IP addresses should be evaluated for the best user experience. 

Making sure your content is mobile-friendly is extremely important. To help with this, use the smallest file sizes possible for graphic content.

Create meta titles and meta descriptions that look natural while featuring keywords. Optimize the layout for user experience and search engines. Focus on fixing any accessibility issues such as any 404 redirects from Google.

5. Combine Your Campaign With Other Marketing Resources

Email marketing is a strong tool on its own. It’s even more powerful when paired with a comprehensive SEO strategy. 

Use personalized blasts to drive qualified traffic to your site. Test content through email, and add successful elements to your site. 

While social media isn’t a direct ranking factor, you can still use it to boost your overall brand awareness. Increase engagement through social shares, find link opportunities, and have positive interactions with potential web traffic.

Thought leadership allows your brand to establish itself as a leader in the industry. 47% of C-Suite executives said they shared contact information after reading thought leadership content.

When providing this type of content, make sure it fits within your SEO plan. If potential decision makers engage with your site, it’s important to make sure they are directed to the right place.

Integrations and SEO Campaigns

Once you have a plan to roll out your SEO campaign, use integrations for smooth implementation. Leadboxer connects with email marketing tools like MailChimp to help track data from audience engagement.

This software allows you to see who is visiting your site so you can learn what they do once they land on the page. Use this information to fine-tune your content and improve the customer experience. 

By tracking engagement, Leadboxer helps demonstrate which parts of your SEO campaign are working and which areas could use improvement. 

To see how your business can benefit from the LeadBoxer lead generation platform and its many app integrations, sign up for your free trial today!

how to recapture and nurture inbound leads 2

How to Recapture and Nurture Inbound Leads

Your business wants to see revenue flowing in. Understandably, it makes sense that the more inbound leads you land, the more paying customers you’ll get. You devote your time and resources to gain new leads.

Lead generation is popular as 53% of marketers say half or more of their budget goes to lead generation. While over half of companies engage in new lead generation, only 35% of B2B marketers have a lead nurturing strategy. 

What about your old leads? In the rush to get your brand out there in front of new prospects, they can sometimes be forgotten.

Read on or ‘jump ahead’ to the following topics:

What Are Inbound Leads

For years, marketers and salespeople have relied on outbound sales to generate new leads. Cold calling and spam emails are common outbound methods of reaching out to prospective customers.

However, people don’t like to be pestered by businesses. Today’s best leads will reach out to you through inbound marketing and sales. Inbound leads are much more likely to convert.

What are inbound leads? They are prospective customers that respond to a piece of content as part of a business’s inbound strategy. Some examples include filling out a survey, downloading an eBook, or contacting a salesperson after reading an article.

Why should you use an inbound strategy? Why is it necessary to pay attention to nurturing your old leads instead of continually generating new ones? The section below highlights statistics that may inspire you to alter your lead generation strategy.

Stats on Recapturing Old Leads

Your business needs customers to make a profit. Constantly devoting resources to generating new leads is not the best strategy. Here are some reasons why:

Nurture Inbound Leads - Stats on Old Leads

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Inbound Leads Stats

Inbound leads promise more for your business than outbound ones. To fully maximize the power of inbound leads, they need nurturing. Here are some reasons lead nurturing works:

Nurtured vs non-nurtured inbound leads

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Ways to Re-Engage Old Inbound Leads

Those old leads you’ve forgotten are important. It is equally important to nurture them.

Maybe you have leads that have gone cold. How do you re-engage old inbound leads? Here are some effective strategies to try:

Continuously Offer Fresh Content

New leads are drawn to your company via interesting, valuable content. However, if the content doesn’t change, they will no longer engage with your brand and will go elsewhere.

To keep people coming back to your website or storefront, you need to continuously provide fresh, interesting content. This content can be website content, new product descriptions, blog posts, webinars, white papers, vlogs, etc.

Invest in Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective lead nurturing strategies out there. They can be sent with minimal effort and costs and they are received immediately.

However, email marketing is more than sending a massive e-blast every so often. Emails spared from the spam or trash bins are those that are interesting and personal. To have a solid email marketing strategy, you need to know your customers.

Categorizing your customers based on where they are on the buyer’s journey is the best way to get conversions. Researching who each audience is along the buyer’s journey will make your emails personal and eye-catching. 

Nurturing Inbound Leads Statistics

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Use Paid Retargeting Ads on Social Media and Google

Customers are on social media and/or browsing the internet at least once a day. While social media marketing and SEO are great lead generation strategies, they may not be enough.

Paid Google ads and social media retargeting ads only show advertisements the customer would most likely be interested in. The customer won’t be overwhelmed by irrelevant products or services. This means your offerings will only be shown to those customers most likely to make a purchase.

Send Personalized Notes Through the Mail

In this day and age, it may seem odd to send notes to customers via snail mail. Because of the rarity, personalization, and thoughtfulness of mailed notes, they are effective in warming up cold leads.

The effectiveness and feasibility of mailing notes to leads also depends on your targeted audience and your customer base size. If your ideal customers are younger and your business has thousands of customers and prospects, email is a better option.

Ask For Customer Feedback Via Surveys

In most cases, an inbound lead grows cold because it’s either been neglected, or it’s been engaged in the wrong way. Asking the potential customer to provide feedback will empower them, which sparks engagement.

Asking a cold lead to provide suggestions for marketing efforts shows you care about the customer. Online surveys via email, text, or social media are quick and cost-efficient. They can also be viewed by the customer anytime, anywhere.

To improve the likelihood of survey completion, offer the customer a ‘thank you’ gift or discount.

LeadBoxer Integrations Can Boost Your Inbound Strategy

If your company hasn’t done inbound marketing or invested in lead nurturing, getting inbound leads can be a daunting task. However, you don’t have to go it alone. LeadBoxer is a sales and marketing platform that offers numerous features and integrations to help recapture and nurture leads.   

With LeadBoxer, you’ll obtain valuable insights and analytics into your customers and their behavior. Learning who they are and what types of outreach they respond to will boost your marketing strategy and generate quality, loyal leads.

LeadBoxer works with a variety of marketing and sales tools you already use. The LeadBoxer platform identifies, enriches, and provides custom lead scoring so you know you’re targeting the right people. The insights provided also help you reach out to those most promising leads.

Some of the benefits of using LeadBoxer include:

  • Enjoying cutting-edge, big-data technology
  • The ability to identify, capture, enrich, score, segment your leads and customers
  • The ability to combine lead and customer activity and gain valuable insights into profiles and email/website behavior

Email Marketing Integration

You can’t recapture and nurture inbound leads without a strong email marketing strategy. LeadBoxer offers a variety of integrations for the email marketing programs you currently use. These include Hubspot, Marketo, Gmail, MailChimp, Outlook, Pipedrive, and Active Demand.

LeadBoxer provides thorough email tracking that allows you to import and export data. You can gain valuable insight into your audience and their behavior. 

Nurture Inbound Leads - LeadBoxer Email Marketing Integration

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MailChimp Integration

MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing programs. LeadBoxer can help you identify your audience and track their behavior on your website. This offers valuable information about what your leads do once they click through from the email to your website.

Once an inbound lead is identified, you can see their future visits to your site. By learning who visits and returns to your website and which pages they visit, you will be better equipped to nurture your leads effectively.

Through the integration of your MailChimp email marketing platform with LeadBoxer, you can:

  • Identify more users on your website
  • Learn what your audience does after they land on your website
  • Better understand your email marketing campaigns
  • Be notified when your audience is ready to make a purchase
  • Qualify leads based on profile data and behavior
  • Segment leads based on scoring algorithms
  • Data can be exported and synchronized to multiple programs

Data Analytics 

Why are data and analytics important to your inbound marketing strategy and nurturing old leads? The short answer is that it allows you to foster relationships with leads. Your marketing activities are personalized based on each lead’s behavior and preferences.

All your customers and leads are unique individuals who respond to different messaging and strategies. When you send out generic email blasts or paid search ads, they will turn away many leads. Effective inbound marketers know that one size doesn’t fit all.

Inbound leads come to your website looking for something. They chose to do business with you over the competition. To keep them coming back, you need to nurture them.

Lead nurturing involves a relationship between your brand and each customer. When your leads feel like your business knows them and values them, they are likely to come back. Using analytics to track audiences and preferences means you can alter how you connect with each lead.

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Nurturing Leads-Leadboxer platform

The insight you gain from data analytics will help you market to each lead in a way that sparks their interest. Additionally, the relationship they build with your brand will encourage them to become loyal customers.

There are people out there who want your products and services. If you don’t invest in an inbound marketing strategy, you miss these qualified leads. You need to recapture old leads by nurturing them.

LeadBoxer can help you with nurturing inbound leads and take your inbound marketing strategy to the next level. Contact LeadBoxer today and start generating high-quality leads who will become loyal customers.

How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

Stay Ahead of the Game: Effective Lead Generation Strategies in 2017

Contribution from freelance writer Jackie Wills

Lead generation, like almost everything in the business world, is a fluid and ever-changing paradigm.  Sticking doggedly to strategies that worked in 2015 may result in a business seeing a depressing decline in lead generation numbers in 2017.  Staying ahead of the game is crucial to quality lead generation in a competitive marketplace, and in order to do so, it stands to reason that a business should be constantly analysing the range of lead generation strategies that are available to them, in order to ascertain which are the most successful, and which will suit their business model most comfortably.

In order to analyse which lead generation strategies are going to be the most useful and profitable for a given business, it is necessary to break down which strategies tend to be the most successful.  There are numerous channels used by B2B marketers to generate leads, including online directories, re-targeted adverts, rented lists, live events and affiliate marketing, but there are four channels which stand out as being the most efficacious.  A number of different surveys have been undertaken, and top spot tends to differ based upon which institution organised the poll, but there are four channels which consistently register as the strongest: Email Marketing, Search Marketing, Social Marketing and Content Marketing.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing has been a mainstay of lead generation for two decades now, but the proliferation of email sign ups and heavy spamming means that there are diminishing returns for traditional email marketing techniques.  However, new advances in marketing automation mean that many businesses have had great success in using this refined version of an old technique.  Marketing automation software allows email marketing to be both automated and, crucially, targeted and personalised to each potential client, by using data from the business’s CRM and metadata from their website and landing page.  Instead of ‘spamming’ thousands of emails to every person who has ‘signed up’, i.e. entered their email address into your system, each person will receive a marketing email that seems to anticipate their needs.  A fine example of this is the case of Paper Style, a business that sells wedding cards and invitations.  They created a dual marketing sequence, split by whether the potential customer was buying for their own wedding, or for a friend’s. Each sequence had its own order, which was devised based on an analysis of their previous sales data.  Brides-to-be, for example, would require different products than Maids-of-Honour; the former purchasing wedding invitations, for example, and the latter bridal shower invitations.  The order in which they purchase products also tended to be sequential, with, for example, wedding invitations first and ‘Thank You’ cards last.  By devising these two parallel marketing sequences, every potential customer who had entered their details could be, by way of an initial email, sorted into the appropriate marketing sequence.  This then allowed the automated marketing system to send personalised marketing emails which seemed, to the customer, to anticipate their needs every step of the way.  The results for Paper Style spoke for themselves, with, among others, an impressive 330 % uptick in revenue-per-mail.

Search Marketing

Search marketing is a product of the paradigm shift in marketing and sales that has occurred over the last two decades due to the monolithic growth of the Internet, and in particular Google.  The fact of the matter is that, for many people, the first point of call when looking for a new service or product is a Google search.  This being the case, achieving and maintaining optimum organic SEO rankings on Google is one of the key channels for generating leads. The ever-evolving complexity of Google’s ranking algorithms means that it is a great deal more difficult to achieve high organic rankings than it was a decade ago, however, that can also be a plus point: it is much more difficult for businesses to ‘game’ the algorithms, which means that a well-conceived and executed SEO strategy can pay dividends. The reality of search marketing now is that it is inextricably linked with our next topic: content marketing.  The SEO strategies of a business need to be aligned with their content strategy, and achieving a symbiosis between the two is crucial to achieving the first-page ranking that isconten needed to deliver good quality business leads.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is increasingly important in an age when people are used to being on the receiving end of a great deal of information.  Whether B2B or B2C, potential clients and customers expect it.  This presents its own problems, but also its own opportunities: with so much information and content out there, much of it becomes, at worst spam, and at best nothing more than background noise.  However, this creates a space for companies that can make their content stand out from the crowd, and deliver information that is both targeted and, most importantly, helpful to the prospective customer.  This dichotomy of problem-and-opportunity is a theme within Content Marketing, as the sheer range of possible content means that is possible to waste time and money on creating content that will have no demonstrable impact upon ROI rates, but likewise the opposite is true; a judicious choice and deployment of content can generate a huge amount of interest.  Content can also act as what is known as a ‘lead magnet’, in as much as they can offer an incentive for potential customers to provide their email address.  Many people are wary of doing so because of the proliferation of spam messages and mailing lists, and are much more inclined to enter a company’s email system if they ‘get’ something before they ‘give’.  Content can be deployed in such a way with superb results: offering a free E-book, or webinar, access to interviews or even a free trial are often very successful in generating leads, as well as beginning a process of engagement between the potential customer and the business.  Furthermore, content such as blogs can perform a dual function: working in tandem with Search Marketing strategies to improve Search Engine Optimisation, while also engaging the potential customer in a personal way, leaving them feeling like they have tangibly benefited from their experience.

Social Marketing

Social Marketing is a slightly different animal, in that it can be broadly seen as an off-shoot of both Search Marketing and Content Marketing.  Of course, there are leads to be generated by using a business networking site such as LinkedIn, particularly because, aside from networking, it can also provide a lot of data. EKA, a risk management software firm, used LinkedIn in this way – profiling network prospects, mining data to provide both market analysis and individual data profiles for companies, and mapping networks to identify viable connections- and created a $2 million sales pipeline in a matter of a few weeks.  However, it is more common that a company’s social marketing amounts to little more than spamming promotional announcements on Twitter.  In the case of social media platforms such as Twitter, it is more strategically useful to utilise Social Marketing as a tool of Content and Search Marketing, in so far as it can be a useful medium for directing people towards the high-quality content that will boost SEO rankings and engage the potential customer, both of which will, if done correctly, be effective lead generation strategies.  It can also be a useful tool for establishing and promoting business brand identity, something that is crucial to standing out in a crowded marketplace.  If your brand identity is established then it can make generating leads that bit easier, as potential customers can already be at a certain level of engagement before they have even hit a business’s landing page or explored their content.

Integrated and Reactive Approaches

In essence, successful lead generation strategies have to be flexible, reactive to customer-habits and realistic about changes in those habits.  Flexibility means the innovative combination of aspects of each of the four major lead generation channels discussed, using data driven analysis to discover what works best for a given business.  Being reactive to customer-habits is also a data-driven practice: for example, customers today, whether in the B2B or B2C sectors, are distrustful of what can be termed ‘traditional advertising’, and this can be seen by the fact that up to 80% of potential customers ignore paid ads on Google.  They’re just not interested.  As the old sales adage goes, people don’t like being sold to but they like to buy.  This is why moving away from ‘traditional’ advertising or marketing methods, and into an integrated method that seeks to promote customer engagement and personalised promotional marketing emails is proving to be a more successful model.  This is why a channel such as Content Marketing is so important – 80% of decision-makers surveyed, from a wide range of businesses, preferred to imbibe information about a company through articles and other content, as opposed to ‘traditional’ adverts.  Adverts, in that sense, have lost their power to engage, and offering people content which they feel educates them and allows them to make an informed choice is now a far more successful model.  This may not always be the case – re-activeness, remember, is crucial to successful lead generation strategies, but it is certainly the case in 2017.

Another aspect of this reactive approach, for example, is creating a scoring system for leads, such as awarding a numerical points score for acts of engagement, such as opting-in to an email system or downloading an E-book, and subtracting a numerical points score for acts of disengagement, such as unsubscribing from an email list.  A system that scores and ranks leads allows a company to respond in real-time to the reaction of customers and potential customers to their marketing strategies, as well as identifying potential customers who are primed to take that step into becoming actual customers.  This streamlining of lead analysis can also help to save time and money by efficiently deploying their lead follow-up resources.

Invest in Strategy

Effective lead generation strategies require just that; strategy.  Throwing money at out-dated models of marketing and lead generation is only going to waste both the initial marketing investment and the time and effort of the staff who are responsible for turning cold leads warm.  For lead generation success in 2017, willingness to be adaptive, flexible, analytical and innovative will give a business a far greater chance of staying ahead of the game.

 

Marketers to Follow

7 marketers to follow who will help you grow your business

Finding good marketing advice online can be a tricky task. There is a lot of advice out there, making it hard to decide which advice is quality and which isn’t worth your time. To help you on your quest to find good online marketing advice, we’ve decided to share 7 marketers to follow who will help you grow your business.

mailchimp integration

Are high converting pages destroying your sales?

Seeing your pages convert at a high rate is always exciting. There’s an unusual thrill in seeing your work appear to pay off. But, what if you your high converting pages are actually hurting your business? It’s a potentially odd question, but it’s worth considering if all of those “10 ways to make high converting landing pages” blog posts are actually during your business more harm over time than good.