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The Marketing Guru Covers: What are the benefits of social media marketing?

social media marketing

Social media is everywhere. Many companies are leveraging their social media presence to build a more personal relationship with their audience. But, how effective is it – really? What are the benefits of social media marketing?

Become Recognizable & Relatable

Social media marketing allows you to increase your online presence. By increasing your brand recognition, you also gain more loyal customers. If they see your name over and over again, you become a part of their lives. You become more familiar to them. You also become more humanized.

What’s even more valuable, is that each customer interaction is an opportunity to show your level of customer service. It’s a public, 1:1 interaction that other people can see, and “like” (or dislike, so beware!). In an article posted by B2C about social media marketing, they reference a statistic originally reported by Forbes: 71% of consumers who receive a quick response on social media say they are more likely to recommend that brand to other people. And we all know that the most solid form of referrals is word-of-mouth.

Convert more leads/prospects by increasing inbound traffic

Inbound marketing is the best way to build up your list of prospects and convert leads. Every time you post something, you open yourself up to opportunities for prospects to click your link, interact with your website, and perhaps even fill out a form or put in their email address. Every post is a new opportunity for someone to be guided back to your website. With tools like Lead Liaison’s Marketing Automation platform, you can post to multiple social media accounts with the push of one button.

Save money

Compared to other marketing channels, social media posting is relatively inexpensive and time efficient. It’s trackable and measurable content, which adds to it’s value. It can be free, or you also have the option of using paid social media to give your content a significant boost. MCG Consulting Group lays it out like this, “boosting or sponsoring posts on a page with, let’s say, 20.000 likes, the average paid reach can be close to 40% (about 8,000 people) vs. the 2% organic reach, with an investment of $5 per post.  Even if you decide to boost every single post, posting on a frequency of 16 to 20 times per month with an average of likes of 500 to 800 per post, the reach could go up to 5,000,000 people who could have seen your posts during that specific period, with an investment equal or below $150.”

 

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing: its meaning and how it relates to marketing automation. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

Inbound Marketing

At one time, outbound marketing was all the craze. Then, marketers finally woke up and realized that inbound marketing is the way to get qualified leads. They realized something else, too, though. Inbound marketing is a time-consuming process. Fortunately, folks quickly discovered that combining inbound marketing tactics with marketing automation strategies allowed them to harness the power of inbound marketing without the burden of finding extra time to do so.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Before you dive into inbound marketing with marketing automation tools, you need to be certain you are clear on what this type of marketing is. To put it simply, inbound marketing is the process of using quality content to bring people to your website, and then turning those people into paying customers.

There are three main components of inbound marketing. First, you attract potential customers. You do this with blog posts, white papers, eBooks, and other forms of content. Each piece of content is targeted in order to attract the right people.

Then, you convert visitors into leads. You do this with calls-to-action and lead generation forms on your website.

Next, you go for the close with lead nurturing. During this process, people go inside of your sales funnel.

This is a simplified look at inbound marketing. If you had to go through the process all by yourself, you would have to roll up your sleeves and go through a series of tiresome steps over and over again. Fortunately, things can be simplified with marketing automation.

Marketing Automation to the Rescue

Marketing automation software has the power to track leads as they engage with different types of content. For instance, if they download a piece of content, the software can track that person from here on out. The software also has the power to score leads based on their actions once they arrive at the site. This will help you understand what strategies are working and which ones need to be replaced.

Normally, you would have to submerge yourself in hundreds of pages of data to understand user behavior, but marketing automation software is able to assign scores and provide data in seconds. This information makes it easy to run a powerful inbound marketing campaign.

If you try to manage an inbound marketing campaign on your own, it is incredibly complicated. You have people coming in from multiple traffic sources and once they arrive on your site, they engage with different pieces of information. Utilize marketing automation software to quiet the noise so you can see the real picture – what’s working and what’s not.

 

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

pay-per-clickPPC (Pay-Per-Click): its meaning and how it relates to marketing automation. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

Are you ready to build a marketing beast with PPC ads and marketing automation? If you think that pay-per-click (PPC) ads and marketing automation are two separate animals, you aren’t alone. Many marketers run their PPC ads and marketing automation campaigns separately, which is why they get subpar results. If you combine the two, you can create a marketing beast that not only lets you deliver qualified leads to your sales team but also allows you to maximize your ROI.

First, let’s take a closer look at PPC ads, and then, let’s go over how you can add marketing automation into the mix.

An Overview of PPC Marketing

PPC ads are ads that you pay for every time someone clicks on them. While several companies offer PPC ad opportunities, AdWords is the most popular. If you use this platform, you create an ad and then place it on the Google Search or Display Network. The ad is triggered when someone types in a keyword or visits a site that that you’re targeting. Then, if the person clicks on your ad, he or she goes to your website.

AdWords and other PPC networks have some tracking methods, but they are pretty weak. Because of that, it’s easy to get in over your head with PPC ads.

At least it was before marketing automation came to the rescue.

Marketing Automation – The Key to Running a Successful PPC Campaign

Marketing automation can do everything that AdWords and other PPC networks can’t. It can track your visitor from the moment he or she reaches your website. Then, the automation software creates a digital profile of each lead that visits your site. This allows the software to know what to do with each visitor. For example, one visitor might be ready to receive a call from a sales representative while another person might be ready to get an email about an exciting new product that you have.

This also provides a way for you to track your ROI for in a campaign. You can find out, without fail, how much your campaign is really costing you. You can also find out what your visitors expect when why come to your site after clicking on an ad.

If you’re using a PPC network on its own, you’re missing out. Don’t make the mistake of going solo. Pair your PPC campaign with marketing automation software so you can get the most out of PPC ads.

 

Finding Solutions with Marketing Automation

Have you got some marketing or sales problems? It’s time to find solutions with marketing automation. Most marketers end up only using marketing automation as a glorified email system, when there is so much more they could be doing! There are many underutilized features. Instead of looking at your marketing automation company as a bunch of really cool features, try to focus more on the solutions that they bring.

Problem: Our company just lost our best sales person. Now we’ve got to start from scratch with someone else. We don’t have the time or resources to slow down right now!

Solution: Marketing automation will help your company build a process around different phases of your business. For example, discovery meetings, post-demos, new customers, anniversaries, these are all important events in a prospect’s lifecycle that you could systemize for your company. Marketing automation is the right tool to help you implement a process around each of these events. When sales and marketers use these resources, they spend less time doing it manually and communicate your company’s messaging more accurately and consistently. When there’s a process in place, it makes it easier to insert or replace new employees and help them get up to speed; thereby lowering the cost of employee turnover.

Problem: I’ve overused the method of email communication. I need more ways to communicate with my prospects.

Solution: Companies that follow up their initial contact using different methods, in a persistent manner, get people thinking about them more and more. They wonder why this company is spending so much time trying to contact them. Research shows it takes anywhere from 5 to 7 touches in B2B sales before you can get someone’s attention. All five touches shouldn’t use the same communication channels though, they should be different, hitting the prospect from different angles. It could be a postcard, a text message, or even a handwritten letter! Find a marketing automation company that offers multiple channels of communication. Lead Liaison has the most channels of communication on the market.

Problem: I need to shorten my sales cycle.

Solution: It’s a known fact that nurturing leads shortens sales cycles by 23% and increases deal size by 47%. What salesperson wouldn’t want to close bigger deals, faster? Lead nurturing is a subtle way to build stronger relationships with people. The way to communicate is through education, and not blowing up the person’s cell phone or inbox with constant messages asking them if they’re ready to buy. You also want to make your communication personal, with your communication coming from the salesperson (lead owner). This is the entire concept around inbound marketing. Educate people, and when they’re ready to buy they’ll contact you. Nurturing workflows are typically setup by a marketer and used, and reused, over and over by the sales team. Nurturing is a 1:1 strategy, not a one-to-many strategy, and can be applied to prospects, customers, or partners. Check out the “Help Sales” portion of our Marketing Automation Playbook for some ways in which nurturing workflows could be used.

The Marketing Guru Covers: When to Post to Social Media

Social MediaIf you want to be a social media mastermind, the first thing you have to master is when to post to social media. Otherwise, you won’t get the engagement that you need to succeed. Fortunately, you just need to follow some posting tips, and people will not only see your posts but also engage with them.

When to Post on Facebook

People tend to engage with Facebook when they don’t want to be at work. While people never really want to be at work, this feeling hits its peak on Thursday and Friday afternoons. With that in mind, save your best Facebook content for the end of the week.

You’ll get the most shares when you post to Facebook around 1 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. If you’re just looking for clicks, post content at 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

Best Time to Post on Instagram

If you want to be successful on Instagram, you need to have your pictures ready to post at 2 a.m. and 5 p.m. The reason is very simple. These two time slots have lots of engaged users, but people don’t tend to post a lot of pictures. Because of that, if you a post picture at this time, there is a very good chance that your content will get noticed.

When to Post on Twitter

Twitter is typically used like an RSS feed, which means that people turn to it during commutes and downtimes. They also use it when there is a lull in the workday, such as the slow period after lunch.

You can take advantage of this by tweeting from 6 a.m. until 8 a.m. to reach the commuters, and then from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to take advantage of the slow period after lunch. Then, send out some tweets around 5 p.m. to reach people on their way home from work.

The Right Time to Post on LinkedIn

If you want to reach professionals, you need to do it on their schedule. Since LinkedIn is a professional network, you want to get people right when they’re leaving work. People are most likely to check in with LinkedIn as soon as they’re off the clock, so post right when the workday is over and wrap your posts up around 6 p.m.

Once you start posting on social networks at the right time, you’ll see your engagement rates jump through the roof. Make the process even easier by using marketing automation tools. That way, you won’t have to sit by your computer and hit “Send” each time the clock hits the right time.

How to Prepare Your Business for a Marketing Automation Tool

marketing automation checklistAre you wondering how to prepare your business for a marketing automation tool? Marketing automation lets you automate various processes, but before you can enjoy the benefits, you need to prepare your business for the software. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use the various features. If you take the time to prepare your website and your business for visitor tracking and other marketing automation tools beforehand, you’ll enjoy the wealth of benefits they provide.

Set Goals and Identify KPIs

Your marketing automation success rests with your ability to identify goals and develop key performance indicators based on those goals. Once you know your goals, you can program your marketing automation tools to help you achieve them. At the same time, the KPIs will ensure that you collect and measure the right data at all times. Then, you’ll know if you’re on the right track or if you need to make adjustments so you can reach your goals.

Build Up Your Content

Many companies start with marketing automation tools, only to realize they don’t have enough content. These tools work best when there is a lot of content available. In the marketing world, there is no such thing as too much quality content. Put your team to work and have them create some great content for you. Build it up as much as possible before you deploy your marketing automation software.

Identify Your Funnel

Companies often have poorly defined sales funnels, even within their own walls. For example, sales and marketing teams might refer to different groups as leads. In order for marketing automation to work, you need to have a clearly defined sales funnel, and everyone in the organization must understand the funnel and how it works. Discuss the names for each part of the funnel and agree on how people pass through the funnel. Also, discuss the probability of people moving from one point of the funnel to the next. In addition, determine when you need to send someone from the funnel to your sales team so your team can close the deal. You need to iron out all of these details before moving forward.

Once you have everything ready, you are ready to take the plunge with marketing automation! Everything will be ready, making the integration much smoother. Then, you can dive right in with minimal downtime. Your processes will be up and running before you know it.

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Lead Scoring – The Fast Way to Convert Leads

lead scoringIn order for marketing automation to be successful, you need to understand the quality of your leads. Leads are evaluated based on their readiness to buy, with cold leads requiring a lot of nurturing and hot leads ready to take their credit cards out and buy. Lead scoring is an effective way to identify hot leads, so that you can send them over to your sales team. Companies that do this properly spend more time focusing on leads that are “ripe”, while “unripe” leads continue to be nurtured through other automations.

Lead Scoring 101 – How It Works

When people visit your site, they complete a series of actions, and each action tells a story. If someone reads your About Us page, it shows a little bit of interest. However, if someone drops something in a shopping cart or downloads a white paper, it tells a different story. Every person who visits your website is a lead but each person is different, and you must treat them as such. You cannot treat the person who visits your About Us page the same as you treat the person who abandons something in the shopping cart.

That’s where lead scoring comes into play. With this marketing automation strategy, you assign a value to each action on your site. For instance, you could say that putting something in a shopping cart is worth 100 points and downloading a white paper is worth 50 points.

Setting a Target Score with Lead Scoring

You will need to set a target score that indicates a lead is ready to go to your sales team. This magic number means someone is ready to talk to a member of the team and make a purchase. Don’t set this number too low, or you’ll aggravate your visitors. Then again, don’t set it too high, or you’ll lose potential customers. This will take some practice. Spend some time finding your industry’s sweet spot. Each industry (and even each company) has its own sweet spot. Finally, don’t pick a number and stick with it. Have sales and marketing work together to always fine tune the lead scoring threshold. Consider creating a sales and marketing service level agreement to identify what should be scored.

Consider Other Qualifications Besides Lead Scoring

For many companies, lead scoring isn’t enough. Qualify your leads further by combining lead scoring with additional criteria, such as age, location, education level, company, and more using concepts like lead grading. It’s possible to adjust the lead score based on these criteria to better represent the quality of the lead.

Lead scoring is an advanced process and one you should not take on by yourself. It’s something that you get set a process for and move on, giving you more time to closing that deal. Automate it with easy-to-use software like Lead Liaison. This lead scoring software will help you identify your leads and convert them into customers.

 

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Landing Page

Landing Pages: its meaning and how to apply it. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

What is a landing page?

As it relates to marketing automation, a landing page is a web page that has two functions: to convert a lead and to serve up information. So we should start there. Converting a lead means to take a prospect (or “lead”) and convert them into a contact or an opportunity.

Across industries, the average landing page conversion rate was 2.35%, yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher. – Search Engine Land

The way a landing page converts a lead is usually by a form. It is typically reached through clicking a link or advertisement. It is a key component of any marketing campaign, and exists as a way to measure campaign traffic.

The most valuable thing you can get from a landing page is a person’s email address. In exchange for that, you can offer all sorts of things like:

  • Coupons
  • Downloadable content
  • Free trials
  • Access to a cool video

What should it look like?

A landing page should be uncluttered. Visitors typically only spend about 5 seconds interpreting what is needed from these types of pages. The call to action should be clear. For example, “Submit your name and email address for a 50% off coupon!”

If within 3 seconds, the visitor can’t assimilate how the page will benefit them in any way then they won’t stay. – True Conversion

It’s common for landing pages to exist on their own, without navigation to the main website or menu. The page should look like it is a part of your website (same color scheme, logo, etc), but only have one option: to collect the visitor’s information.

With the right software, you can build trackable landing pages into your marketing campaigns in no time.

 

Marketing Automation Company Introduces World’s Easiest to Use Web Form Builder

ALLEN, TX — July 14, 2016 — Lead Liaison, a leader in marketing automation software, announces exciting new features to enhance user experience within their top rated platform.

World’s Easiest to Use Web Form Builder

Great marketing automation companies are superb listeners. One attribute that Lead Liaison is known for is the attention they give to what users have to say about their application. This upgrade is no different. Feedback indicated that there was a need for an easier interface when creating forms within Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software® platform. Their new form builder, which mirrors user experience for their email builder, was released last week. It features drag and drop functionality and the ability to customize color, fonts, field sizes and more with just one click. This feature is expected to cut down on time markers spend creating campaign content.

Jen Worsham, Director of Marketing & Client Relations at Lead Liaison says “Being able to style a form from the user interface is huge! Prior to this new generation form builder, customers would have to create separate style sheets. Now, they simply select colors, fonts, and more with a few mouse clicks. This visual web form builder lessens the dependency that marketers need for IT and web developers to assist them in the form creation process.”

Email Enhancements that Save Time

Lead Liaison already makes database segmentation easy, allowing users to segment their leads into various categories, based off of things like lead score or location. In previous versions, users would need to build a separate list within the email function of the app in order to target specific groups. Now, they’ve made communicating to those groups even easier with their “Send to portion of database” email option.

“Our visual email builder is the best in the industry, hands down. It’s super easy to construct emails with our drag and drop designer. Now the user gets an inline experience, where they can create and send an email to a new list all without having to diverge from the core email sending experience. I expect a lot of marketers to recoup more of their valuable time with this new time-saving feature.” – Worsham

About Lead Liaison

Lead Liaison provides cloud-based sales and marketing automation solutions that helps businesses accelerate revenue by attracting, converting, closing and retaining more prospects. Filling a void in the small pool of marketing automation providers that focus on marketing-centric functionality, Lead Liaison gives equal focus to sales providing sophisticated visitor tracking and additional website engagement tools to boost sales effectiveness. Lead Liaison blends ease-of-use, a flexible business model, deep external integration, marketing across social, web, mobile, email and offline channels and powerful functionality, all specifically tailored for mid-sized businesses, into a single platform, called Revenue Generation Software®. Lead Liaison is headquartered in Allen, Texas, near Dallas. For more information, visithttp://www.leadliaison.com or call 1-800-89-LEADS (895-3237).

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

Clickthrough Rate (CTR): its meaning and how to apply it. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

Companies dedicate a lot of resources to creating marketing content. But what’s more important is measuring the effectiveness of that content, so that you know where to spend those marketing dollars going forward. The calculation of a particular content’s clickthrough rate can be an effective tool to measure how well your keywords and ads are performing. It calculates the number of clicks that your link receives divided by the number of times your link is shown,  formatted as a percentage.

clickthrough rateA Quantifiable Number

These days, it’s hard to measure the emotional reaction to a piece of virtual content. Measuring the clickthrough rate allows you to see who engaged with an ad or call to action (CTA) in an email campaign – indicating that they were interested. A high CTR says that people want to know more. A low CTR indicates that your ad might need some improvement, or possibly that your call to action was not relevant enough.

Observation

Another way to measure interest in your content, particularly sales emails, would be with a tracking plugin. This allows you to observe the clickthrough. Lead Liaison has a Google Mail plugin called Send & Track, which allows senders to track 1:1 emails by reporting if and when the recipient opened a link within the message. What’s more, when a recipient clicks on the link within your email, Lead Liaison’s ProspectVision™ is then able to connect that person to all of their actions within your website.

The key is to find out what’s working and what’s not. Paying attention to this information will help justify resources spent, and will make you more prepared to make content decisions going forward.