by Michelle Yue
Posted on August 14, 2017 at 10:48 AM
The Myth: More Leads Means More Conversions, and Thus More Profits
The Truth: Quality and Not Quantity Is What Leads to Conversions
Sure, it might seem like common sense. But how many times have you heard someone say “we’re just not getting enough leads coming in”? If you’ve heard this complaint once or twice – or perhaps you’ve complained about it yourself – you’ll want to read on about how to get quality leads over quantity. Often, it’s better to narrow your approach instead of casting a wider net and catching whatever happens to float in. By filtering out bad leads, you can increase your conversion rate, which is more important than having more leads.
To keep with the fishing metaphor, let’s say you’re only looking for red snapper. If you throw out your lines where snapper don’t usually swim, you’re going to catch a lot of fish that you don’t want and no snapper. Best to drop your line in the spots where snapper like to swim. You may only catch one or two, but you’ll get what you want. It’s as simple as that.
How to Get Quality B2B Leads:
- Tightly Define What a Quality Lead Means. Start with some buyer personas, to make sure all of your marketing efforts are targeted at the right people. But go beyond that. While there are many people who might fall under your buyer persona categories, you also need to examine their behavior. Perhaps a lead is someone who has spent time on your website and downloaded a particular piece of content like a white paper. Or maybe it’s someone who’s filled out a form on your website. You and your team need to agree on the criteria to determine what is considered a quality lead and not just a tire-kicker.
- Implement a Proper Paid Search Campaign. Paid Search is perhaps one of the most misused tools in the B2B marketing arsenal. When done properly, it can get the right leads through the right doors, and thus turn into an effective lead generation machine.
- Consider Retargeting Ads. Retargeting is when you serve up ads to people who visited your website, but the ads appear on other websites. Undoubtedly you’ve experienced this from other brands. A jacket you looked at on one site shows up on a news site your visiting. Or a hotel website you visited for your upcoming vacation serves you an ad on a blog you like to read. It’s not by accident that this is happening. It’s a highly effective tactic that works just as well for B2B brands as B2C.
- Partner with a Trade Publication Who Will Share Lists. Supplementing your own list of prospects with one from a trade pub is a smart approach to lead generation. Even if they won’t give you the list, they might allow you to send out an e-blast to either a portion or all of their subscribers if you already spend money on advertising opportunities with them. It’s a great way to keep your list growing with high quality leads.
- Score Those Leads. If you use CRM (customer relationship management) software, you most likely have the ability to score all leads that come in online (via website, social media, emails, online ads, etc.). They are scored based on a number of things including behavior, engagement, and demographics. And you can weight them however you like. So if Engineer is the most important job title you’re looking for, you can give that a higher score than other job titles. If you don’t want administrative staff to get into your sales funnel, you can give them a lower score.
- Look at Your Data Frequently. You can’t just set it and forget it. The data that comes from your campaigns will tell you what’s working and what’s not. And whether you use a CRM system or Google Analytics, or any other program to measure data, what you see happening each month can tell you quite a bit. You’ll discover which campaigns, search terms, and platforms are most effective.
- Refine Your Process Based on What the Data Is Telling You. Take what you learned from the previous step and rework each step to fine-tune your approach. Cut out what’s not working and test new things to make your marketing dollars work harder.
Again, the overarching goal is to increase your conversion rate. When it comes right down to it, what would you rather have: more fish in your net, or on your table?Continue Reading
Posted on August 07, 2017 at 16:30 PM
The Truth: 55% of B2B Buyers Rank Product Demos as One of the Most Influential Types of Content.
Before the days of the world wide web, your printed product brochure and instructional materials were more precious than gold to your audience. Without them, B2B buyers had no way of knowing exactly how your products worked, how they were installed and used, or how they differed from your competition’s. Today, while a Google search won’t tell your buyers everything they need to know about your products, they can probably gather enough information to make an informed buying decision without the need for a demo. Right?
A recent study performed by the Content Marketing Institute and SmartBrief revealed which types of marketing content were most important to those responsible for B2B buying decisions. When asked to rank how much influence various types of content had on their purchases, 55% of respondents placed Product Demos in their top two. With over half of B2B buyers turning to product demonstrations to help fuel their purchasing decisions, you should think twice before removing your demo videos from YouTube. After all, you are the expert when it comes to your products.
Now that you know just how valuable B2B product demos are, it might be time to consider freshening up your collection. Here are five tips to keep your demos up-to-date:
Five Tips for B2B Product Demos
- Give it real-world application. Don’t just demo your product arbitrarily. Have it solve a problem that vexes your buyers.
- Keep it simple. Though tempting, don’t overcrowd your video with too much info. Stick to two or three of the most helpful features and common uses, and you’ll strike a compelling and digestible balance.
- Keep it short. No one has the time to sit through a ten-minute video. Aim for 2-3 minutes – this will not only keep them watching to the end, but them much more likely to share it.
- Include a Call To Action. Conclude your video by directing your viewers to action. This could anything from reaching out for a consultation, requesting a sample, or buying the product itself.
- Go with pros. If you can, have them done professionally. You know your product inside and out. But a marketing or video production team knows how to make it look good. Capitalize on the benefit of your knowledge and their professional expertise.
B2B product demos are not a thing of the past and marketing videos are only gaining popularity. Invest in your demos, and keep your sales team armed with engaging material that your buyers will want to share – and respond to. (Want more marketing video tips? Read this.)Continue Reading
Posted on July 31, 2017 at 09:03 AM
The Myth: SEM and SEO Are the Same Thing
The Truth: These Two Different Methods of Increasing Search Engine Visibility Work Hand-in-Hand
So you’ve created a great website. And you’ve filled it with pages of relevant information about your company, clean graphics, and insightful industry blog posts. You’re proud of your work; the website looks smart, and it’s relevant to your customers. Naturally, you’re going to want some eyes on this content. So what do you do next? How can your company break through all the internet clutter?
You’ve likely heard both the terms, “search engine marketing” and “search engine optimization.” The two phrases are definitely related, since they both have the same goal in mind: increasing your visibility and bringing more users to your site. But there is a common misconception that these two terms are interchangeable, which is not true at all. They typically refer to two entirely different tactics. By identifying the differences between them, you’ll be able to properly employ these two methods to your website.
What Is Search Engine Marketing?
SEM was once used primarily as an overarching term for increasing website visibility. But when people use the phrase today, they are most often referring to the practice of Paid Search. Paid Search is when you use paid advertisements that appear on search engine result pages. Google AdWords is the most popular paid search platform. It allows you to pay only when a user clicks on an ad to visit your website.
How Exactly Does Paid Search Work?
When a user is searching on a platform like Google, there are certain keywords that they are going to enter if they are looking for a specific product or service. This gives you the opportunity to place your ads alongside the organic results that pop up when your prospects type in relevant keywords. Those attractive links that come up at the very top of your search results? Those are being paid for by the people who really want you to see them.
These ads are also known by the term pay-per-click ads. They are usually small, text-based ads that drive users to specific landing pages.
What Is the Benefit of Paid Search?
Search Engine Marketing is valuable because it is a great lead generator. It gives you the opportunity to put ads right in front of users who are further into the sales funnel. These people are often ready to make a purchase. Paid Search is also highly measurable. If more prospects are coming to your site via certain keywords and not through others, you can stop paying for the keywords that don’t work and put more money into the ones that do, building efficiency over time.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
While the important word when talking about search engine marketing is paid, the best word to describe Search Engine Optimization is organic. Simply put, it’s the free and natural way to maximize the number of visitors that come to your site. It involves writing, formatting, and fine-tuning the content of your site in a way that makes it the most user-friendly and compatible with Google searches.
What Does SEO Encompass?
Search Engine Optimization requires adjusting different elements of your site, both on the technical and creative side to improve its presence in search results. This could be anything from the language used to the way your site is structured, including how strong your keywords are and how they’re ordered. The secret? Optimize so that both users and search engines can understand easily. SEO also takes into account the way other sites link to you on the internet and how relevant a search engine deems you to be based on these connections.
SEO can be broken down into two categories: on-page activities and off-page. On-page includes elements like:
- The incorporation of keywords
- Clean and optimized blog posts and page copy
- Page load speed
- The integration of social sharing
- Titles, headings and meta descriptions
Off-page SEO includes elements like:
- Having other relevant sites link to yours
- Indications that your content is being shared on social sites
While SEO is free, you’ll likely want to hire someone or pay an outside agency with SEO expertise to help you implement these changes properly.
Which Should I Use – SEM or SEO?
Taking into account the differences between SEM and SEO, you should consider how they might help drive traffic to your website. Note that while Paid Search is the more immediate, gratifying way to boost your visibility, optimizing your website organically can be beneficial in different ways. Both require monitoring and fine-tuning to see what’s working best with your prospects.
As for the debate on which tactic is “better,” the answer is: none. Your best bet is to use a combination of the two. Talk to an expert on both topics to help you out, as you launch a Paid Search campaign and incorporate new SEO techniques into your site. Whichever you lean on more, SEM or SEO, understanding the difference between the two is already a step in the right direction. Both will ultimately help you toward your overarching goal of boosting traffic, and eventually converting prospects into new customers.Continue Reading