Friday, July 18, 2014

Don’t believe these 6 Superstitions about B2B Lead Generation

What’s even worse is that despite of the challenge to utilize every strategy conceivable, marketers seem to be bound by certain beliefs that, although technically illogical, constrain them from using the full potential of their marketing campaigns.
A post from highlights these ‘superstitions’ and why you shouldn't fall for such tall tales. Here’s an excerpt from that post:
1. Never Schedule Emails on a Friday
Did you send an email blast today? On a Friday?
Let’s be realistic. Most people carry their email in their pocket. They’ll open it when they open it, regardless of whether you sent it on a Monday or during a solar eclipse.
2. Good Content Comes in 10’s
It’s perfectly acceptable—even preferable, if you’ve covered everything on your topic—to publish a Top 6 list, a 9 Steps article, an 8 Benefits blog, or a 7 Signs guide. Marginal list items are annoying, which is why this blog post stops at six.
3. Visual Content Is for Products; B2B Shouldn’t Cross the Line
Visual content is huge. But many B2B companies are still skirting this terrain like it’s the Bermuda Triangle.
Want to know what’s legitimately frightening?  The average person’s attention span for text. And the fact that written content is processed 60,000 times slower than visual content.
There are a million ways to incorporate visual content—including original photos, video, and infographics. In fact, studies show infographics yield 12 percent more traffic than other forms of content.
4. Mentioning Competitors is Dangerous…
…like saying “Bloody Mary” in front of a mirror three times. Your professional rivals will emerge from darkened corridors and haunt your lead gen efforts for all eternity… Or not.
Used strategically, outbound links offer SEO benefits. Plus, competitor mentions may help you more clearly define your own unique value proposition—for yourself and for your audience.
5. Content Calendars Must Be Obeyed
Creating an editorial calendar is a great way to ensure your outsourced marketing team is delivering fresh, relevant information to your prospects, who are often at different stages of the buy cycle. Calendars can incorporate your priority keywords, targeted answers for different personas, and upcoming events that deserve mention.
6. Blogs Should Never Be about Your Products or Services
This superstition comes from a good place, but ends up scaring too many marketers into downplaying their work. Just like with social media, there’s a balance to be struck between helping and promoting. Sometimes the same blog can do both.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The SEO Battle: Don’t let your competitors kick your butt

The SEO Battle: Don’t let your competitors kick your butt

Tired of the fact that all your online competitors are getting all the sweets while you scratch your head in bewilderment? It’s time to improve your SEO efforts.

While search engine optimization certainly takes into account an immense “chance” factor, marketers still need to fulfill their side of the equation to create a perfect setup and get all that desired traffic and click-through rates.
AJ Kumar, co-founder of Single Grain, a digital marketing agency based in San Francisco, offers these tips whenever you feel like you’re getting behind on the SEO competition:
1. Focus on content creation.
When it comes to digital marketing, the acronym "ABC" doesn't just stand for "Always Be Closing." It should also remind webmasters to "Always Be Creating."
Whether you're pursuing SEO, pay-per-click or any other digital marketing strategy to attract new visitors to your website, the quality and amount of content matters. Adding fresh content to your site makes it more appealing both to the search engines and their automated indexing programs, as well as the people who read your pages.
2. Plan your keyword targeting strategies carefully.
As you're creating this content, you'll want to pay careful attention to the keywords you're targeting. Just because you've reached the top spot in the Google results for a given keyword doesn't mean that maintaining this ranking is a valuable use of your time.
What you need to focus on are the search queries that yield the highest total traffic. To determine which keywords are most effective and which ones can be ceded to competitors, look at the traffic data for different search queries using Google Analytics or Google's Webmaster Tools program.
3. Stay abreast of SEO news.
SEO is a field that's constantly changing. If you're able to jump on a new technique or growing trend before your competitors, you may be able to cement your lead in the natural search results.
Set aside time each week to monitor SEO news websites such as Search Engine Land or Search Engine Watch.
4. Monitor your competitors' backlink profiles.
By monitoring your competitors' backlink profiles using tools like Majestic SEO (free, with paid plans starting at $49.99 per month) or Open Site Explorer (free, with paid plans starting at $99 per month), you can both identify potential linking partners for your site and uncover any new linking strategies your competitors may be using to try to beat you.
5. Monitor your competitors' on-site SEO activities.
Also monitor competitors' on-site optimization efforts. If any competitors dramatically change their SEO activities, you could be looking at one of two possible scenarios: They may have discovered a new way to optimize their pages in the search results, or they may be updating their pages in response to a penalty from the search engines.

Read the full article at 5 Ways to Beat Your Competitors at SEO

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

8 Characteristics of Powerful Calls-to-Action for B2B Lead Generation

8 Characteristics of Powerful Calls-to-Action for B2B Lead Generation

Changes don’t have to come in big packages. Sometimes, even a minor twerk on a seemingly small detail can make a huge difference, especially if it’s something that’s been overlooked for a long time.

Just like Calls-to-Action (CTA). This element may seem just a “button” or a “link” to most marketers, but if one could understand the impact of its appearance, content and position on the success of lead generation, wondrous things can happen.

How much change can you really make on CTAs to significantly alter the outcomes of the entire sales process? Apparently, a lot. Here are 8 of them:

Use actionable language. Words, if chosen intelligently, can be a very powerful tool for persuasion, and you don’t have to be a language guru to figure it out. All you need to do is to use verbs that encourage action, such as “learn” or “discover” and match them with words like “try” or “download” or “sign-up”. Not only are they clear, they’re also usefully short. Your value proposition must be clearer than crystal. The question is very simple: What will happen if they click on that sacred button? Answer that, and leave nothing out.

Be urgent. Simply putting “now” or “today” is not enough to persuade readers to click on. You need to tell them how much benefit they would gain by making that action, and how important it is that they grab this opportunity as soon as possible. Add a little size. It’s “go big or go home”. People will actually appreciate it that you made it easier for them to see the button they need to click.

Add a little contrast. If upsizing doesn’t quite do the trick, play with colors instead. Most websites position their CTAs where it’s impossible to miss because of the contrasting colors and other elements.

Make it look clickable. One of the most common mistakes is leaving a CTA appear like part of something else entirely. Make sure it really looks like a button or a key that people wouldn’t easily mistake for. Make it 3D if you have to.

Personalize. CTAs don’t have to look boring. It can take many shapes or objects, and can even be animated. But don’t overdo it, or else your website would look unprofessional. Perform tests to see which one clicks. No pun intended.

You might also like: The 3 Fundamentals of a Conversion-Friendly Lead Gen Landing Page

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How To Properly Meet With Sales Leads Executives

How To Properly Meet With Sales Leads Executives

Business meetings with your sales leads prospects can be a nerve-wracking experience. This especially true if you are new to this kind of task. But that is a reality that you have to deal with, and deal with it you must. This could spell the success or failure of your entire B2B lead generation campaign. If you fail to impress your business prospects enough, then you will not be able to make enough sales happen. But how will you be impressive? How will you create a positive impression for you and your company? 

There are actually several ways for you to do that, but the ones below can give you a good head start:

Do some research – ever tried making a presentation from the top of your head? Surely, you may have noticed just how sloppy your work was. And that is precisely what business executives will see when you walk in without doing your research. A sensible marketer would put some effort to study about your prospect’s business before you do your business presentation.

Introduce yourself – while telemarketing representatives commonly make this error, even veteran marketers are guilty of this. They assume that the person they are talking to in the meeting room know them and the business they represent. That is definitely one dumb marketing move. Instead, have the grace to introduce yourself, your company, and what you can do for them. That will be greatly appreciated by the other party.

Show some credibility – give them proof of your capabilities. Maybe you can mention some successful cases in the past, or provide them some testimonials from some of your more well-known clients. You should also make it a point to discuss the problems that these executives face, the solutions that could be used, as well as the results that could be had. This will show them your expertise, as well as earn the trust of these people.

Ask the right questions – before you can offer a solution, you have to know what exactly the problem was. And you can only do that if you ask your appointment setting prospects the right questions. Do not go for the easy ‘yes or no’ inquiries. Opt for the open-ended ones. Not only will this allow your prospects to talk more, this would encourage more information to come out. You can then formulate the optimal business solution for them.

Add more value – this is the one solution you have when it comes to price objections. You see, when you create additional value to your prospects, when you show them why your offer is more lucrative compared to the competition, when you can prove that your products can increase the value of the company using them, you can make a sale happen easier.

When you get the chance to have a meeting with business executives, take it as a chance to shine. Think of it as taking the step beyond a sales leads prospect towards a closed deal. You just have to be prepared and flexible enough to face any challenge thrown your way.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How To Make Sales Leads Spend More On You

How To Make Sales Leads Spend More On You

One of the most difficult steps in the B2B appointment setting process is in convincing prospects to spend more on your company. After all, profit margins are dependent on your marketing team’s ability to get more sales leads to come your way or, barring that option, make the ones you already have to spend more.

But here is the question, how will you do that? What tricks or strategies can you employ to make that happen? While you may have heard about numerous tips, these are the ones that had mattered most.

Your products or services are easier to purchase – customers hate to deal with complicated business transactions. If possible, they prefer a click-and-purchase set-up with their sellers. If you can minimize the clutter in your sales process, then they will be more willing to pay more. Your products arrive faster – speed is the name of the game, so to speak. If you can deliver your products and services faster, then you will attract the attention of B2B leads that are concerned about delivery of goods. These people are the most likely to pay more if you can promise them that you can send their orders fast.

You have a ‘must-have’ feature – it could be anything, from the way a computer operates to the place where one sources its cake flour, but what matters here is that this feature, this element is in demand. If you have it, and no one else, your B2B lead generation prospects would be willing to pay a premium for it.

Your product is a ‘status symbol’ for your buyers – think of the iPhone. It could afford to price their products on a higher tier because it was marketed as a status symbol, something that bolsters the reputation and image of those that buy it. It is also the same thing in business, where companies are willing to shell out more to buy high-end ERP operating systems. It improves their image to their own customers.

Your products have a lower ownership cost – think of it in terms of longevity and usage. You are more willing to buy an expensive computer if it has a longer life-span, durable design, less maintenance, compared to others in the market.

You have better customer service – if you can make your customers happier with your service, then they will not mind paying more. Customer service is one aspect in sales that marketers tend to forget. Even something as simple as smiling and cheerfully helping your customer solve their problems can mean a big thing.

Your customers like you – this is more about personal preferences. If you can establish a closer relationship with your telemarketing prospects, then they are more likely to work with you, even if you have a higher price point.

Your price difference with your competition is not that significant – truly, if the price difference between you and your closest competition is not that high, then your prospects will not mind dealing with you.

If you can follow these factors, then your B2B lead generation campaign will be a success.