B2B Lead Gen – 3 Small Things that May Be Costing You B2B Sales Leads

qualified b2b sales leads The fast-paced nature of today’s B2B sales world has some marketer’s heads spinning trying to figure out the best ways to find and qualify b2b sales leads. Tips, trends and industry reports all say the same thing in regards to inbound B2B lead gen: B2B content marketing is king and you need to post content constantly.

Most successful marketers are already doing this. But, we all want more leads.

Here are 3 seemingly insignificant things you might be doing that are costing you leads:

  1. You content isn’t mobile-friendly.

53% of Americans now own smartphones and time spent on mobile devices is growing.  A lot of B2B clients scroll through their social media feeds on their phone while their kids are at soccer practice or read blogs on their iPad in bed. If your content isn’t compatible on mobile devices, you are essentially giving these customers to your competition.

2.  Your CEO/Executives are silent on social media.

82% of companies say they trust a company more when the CEO and/or executive team communicate via social media. This means that if you’ve hired a copywriter or social media manager to create all of your social media content, you might be losing credibility. People looking to make a B2B purchase want to know about the people they will be buying from or working with.  By having your CEO tweet or write a blog article every now and then, you can make your company seem more human and trustworthy.  You can even copy the way Obama does it. He has someone else posting the majority of his tweets, but when one comes from him directly, he signs it “-bo.”

3.  You aren’t using hashtags on Facebook.

A year ago, using hashtags on Facebook would likely make you the brunt of some social-media-savvy jokes. However in June 2013, Facebook incorporated hashtags into their system, and you can now use hashtags to help you classify information with short keywords.  Your B2B prospects can also find you by searching particular hashtags, just like on Twitter. This means that if you aren’t hashtagging on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, you aren’t doing everything you can to find new leads using social media.

For more information on B2B sales lead gen or how to improve sales, download our white paper on “The New Rules of Seilling & Buying in 2013” here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

How to Create a Successful Landing Page for B2B Demand Generation

Good Better Best - EvaluateA landing page is where your prospect ends up after they have clicked on a link from a search engine or search engine ad. If you get someone to click on your website, that’s great. But, the goal at the end of the day is to convert and close deals, so if your landing page can’t do that, it isn’t worth much.

Your landing page has to be engaging enough that prospects want to stay long enough to get your full message.  Graphics and a nice design will help, but the content is what keeps people interested.

Here are three tips for how to create a successful landing page for B2B Demand Generation:

  1. Have something to offer everyone.

If someone clicked on one of your links, it is likely they have interest in what you do. However, someone clicking on your link may not know much about your line of work, as they are very early in the buying cycle.  Having broad and general educational content readily available will not only appease your prospects’ curiosity, it will increase the chances of those prospects coverting to sales qualified. For example, if you answer the question “What is Business Management Planning” for someone, they are likely to remember you when they realize they need that service themselves.

2.  Be specific, too.

No, we aren’t contradicting ourselves; your landing pages need to be both broad and specific. Using the “above the fold/below the fold” format works well for us. Here is an example.  While your early stage prospects need light educational content, some prospects are much closer to buying. You need to offer them something too.

As can be seen in our example, above the fold of the landing page is content that is more general.  Below the fold are several tabs, each with a more specific subject.  You can segment the tabs in many ways to further engage prospects and move them down the sales pipe.  For example, you can have tabs that read, “How We’re Different,” “Success Stories,” and “Pricing”. Each of these tabs will help your prospects with their buying decision and simultaneously help you understand where they are in their buying cycle.

3.  Tell people what to do.

The best way to get prospects to do what you want them to on your landing page is to just tell them.  Do you want them to call you? Then say, “Call Today!” in big letters with your phone number. Do you want them to download something? Say, “Download this white paper to learn XYZ.” If you want them to educate themselves, say “For more educational content, click here.”

The simpler you make it for your prospects, the longer they will stay on your landing pages and the more they will like you. So, avoid the complex and flashy sales pitches and just say what you mean.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

How to Repurpose B2B Marketing Content

Blogs, Videos, Checklists- B2b marketing content and medium“You need to post on Facebook at least twice a day.”

“If you aren’t blogging weekly, your SEO will slip.”

“You should be holding webinars once or twice a month.”

“You need to offer a new white paper every quarter.”

If you do a Google search for B2B marketing content development, you’ll likely find tips like the ones above.  As a startup company or a company with a small staff, keeping up with all of the different types of marketing content you need to create can be overwhelming and exhausting.

It may seem like you need a whole staff of copywriters and marketers to keep up with the constant demands of marketing content production.  However, we believe if you know how to repurpose B2B marketing content to share across platforms, your workload decreases dramatically.

While none of the above tips are hard and fast rules for marketing today (although they are all good ideas), what they illustrate is the need to consistently reach your prospects in the way they want to be reached. Some people are Facebook addicts while others still love well-written white papers. So you need to offer both, and then some.

The good news is you don’t have to come up with completely new b2b marketing content for each marketing medium. By quickly and easily converting one form of digital marketing into another, you can push the same messaging and content through all of your marketing channels.

Here is an example:

To start, write a white paper. Let’s say the white paper is called “The 10 Things You Need to Succeed in 2013”.

Then, take that white paper and turn it into 10 short blog posts, each one about one of the “things” you need to succeed.

If you are able to produce live video, have one of your senior executives stand in front of a white board and go over each of the 10 points. Then, chop that video into 10 separate videos to post on your YouTube channel.

You can also take your white paper and turn it into a Powerpoint presentation. You can then share the Powerpoint presentation online on places like Slideshare and the ‘presentations’ section of LinkedIn. Using software like Camtasia, you can also turn your slide show presentation into a video to share on YouTube or Wistia.

If you were to do all this, you would have a white paper, 10 blog posts, 10 ‘live-action’ videos, a slideshow presentation and a slideshow video. That amounts to 22 digital content marketing assets to share with your prospects—all coming from a single white paper.

You can then push those 22 assets out over your social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google ) on whatever type of schedule you chose.  By varying your messaging in social media posts to highlight different features of each asset, you can tweet or post the same piece of content multiple times.

Hopefully this example has shown you that repurposing b2b marketing content and the mediums to reach prospects does not have to be overwhelming.  By leveraging the same messaging or theme throughout multiple digital platforms, you will be able to ensure you can reach your customers in their preferred content-consumption format.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

B2B Blogging – Why it’s a Double Win

B2B BloggingB2B Blogging will help your sales!

A 2012 study of Fortune 500 companies found that only 28% have corporate blogs. While this number is up dramatically from the same study in 2008, we think it is still quite low considering the amount of value a corporate blog can bring to a company.

B2B Blogging is great fit for web marketing for many reasons, but we think the main benefits fall into two categories: forwarding sales and marketing objectives and improving SEO.

Sales & Marketing Benefits

One of the biggest benefits of having a company blog is building awareness around your brand.  Customers today want to know more about the companies they buy from and are looking for ways to build trust.  A blog helps get your company’s name out there and at the same time humanizes your brand.

Through the content you post, blogs can be even more of an asset to your company. By asking people to subscribe to your blog, you can build an online community and foster intelligent discussions around industry trends and best practices. By doing so, you can position yourself as a thought-leader in your industry and build credibility for the products or services you provide. If you are able to provide valuable content to your readers, they will likely turn into leads.

SEO Benefits

The primary marketing function of a company blog is generally to help improve SEO.  By having more pages (blog posts) with the keywords your prospects are searching for, you are more likely to show up in the top results of search engines.

Polaris B found that companies that have published 200 blog posts or more generate 5X as much traffic as those with 10 or less.  So, the more you post, the better (while never sacrificing quality/content value). Having multiple blog posts also gives you the opportunity to use different keyword variations, thereby allowing you to penetrate more verticals.

In summary, B2B blogging is a great way to bring value to your B2B company while at the same time further your sales and marketing objectives. Blogs bring faces to the name of your brand and help you connect with more customers in new and exciting ways.

Bottom line: If you aren’t blogging, you should be.

For more on B2B blogging for web marketing, click here.

3 Reasons Your B2B Sales is Failing (Part 2)

BankruptcyThis is the second half of a blog series giving three reasons for why you might be struggling with B2B sales in 2013. For the first half of the blog, click here.

2.  You aren’t reaching all of your decision makers.

In the 80s and 90s, closing a deal in the B2B world usually required selling to just one decision-maker. Since the early 2000s, it has been common to sell to both a business buyer and a technical buyer. Today, many companies are bringing even more people into the buying decision including CMOs, HR executives and non-IT personnel.

These new and varied types of decision-makers need new and varied types of marketing content to reach a buying decision.  For example, the head of HR is not likely too concerned with P&L figures, but the CEO definitely is. If you don’t have marketing content readily available for both types of decision-makers, one of them is going to feel that his/her needs were not met.

To reach all of your decision-makers effectively, you need to understand how each of them looks at the buying decision and what their main concerns or objectives are. You can then build segmented marketing campaigns for each type that speaks directly to their specific needs and concerns.

3.  You are the only one telling your story.

A recent industry report by the CMO Council found that the most valuable source of marketing content in shaping buying decisions is professional associations and online communities. The second most valuable is industry organizations and groups. So, if the only place online advocating your products or services is your website, you aren’t giving your prospects any reason to trust you.

Buyers today are easily turned off by messaging that is overtly sales-y or that tries to close the deal right away.  For this reason, many buyers are going to third-party or peer created communities to gather information about B2B product/services options.  Getting your content promoted by an online community or industry organization usually requires a connection of some kind, but connections are what B2B sales in 2013 is all about.  To start, join the communities or groups you would like to promote your company and become an active member; leave comments, answer questions, ask for advice.  Once you have established a reputation as a helpful and insightful thought-leader, these groups will likely be more than willing to publish something to help with your marketing objectives.

Another great option is to ask to post a guest article on an industry leader’s blog or ask an industry leader to write an article for your blog. The key here is to get people and mediums other than you and your website involved in telling your brand’s story.

In summary, what these three reasons for failure have in common is a lack of connection to the customer.  In order to succeed in today’s world of B2B digital content marketing, knowing everything possible about your customer and their online behavior is imperative. Once you know who your customer is, what your customer likes and doesn’t like, and what he/she needs to see to make a decision, the path forward is clear.

For more B2B sales tips, click here.