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How to Start Generating Leads for Your B2B Company

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*Editor’s Note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Lead Liaison.

The impact of this “how-to” post can go either way — you resolve to “suspend” ties with your lead generation partner, or you stick to buying your sales leads from outside sources. While the former would be the more ideal action response, ultimately, your choice will depend on whether or not you are sold on the idea of generating leads on your own. You might be holding back from inbound lead generation because you think it’s too complicated of a process, unlike the easy way out you conveniently choose in buying leads.

But, just like anything else, there’s a simpler and easier way to running a lead generation quest if you have the proper know-how. This post will guide you to:

  • Set up a lead generating website
  • Incorporate a variety of strategies for generating leads
  • Simplify your lead generation efforts across platforms

Why Generate Your Own Leads?

Suppose you’re a Christmas tree manufacturer who, for the longest time, has relied on lead sellers for your marketing program. It might have worked in years past, but since a lot has changed in the marketing dynamics, you’d do well these days to be more active rather than passive in generating leads.

It’s very easy to see, for example, how direct mail marketing pales in comparison to joining trade shows to showcase your holiday-inspired product line for homes and offices to potential buyers. Instead of looking for customers, customers can find you where and when they need to. In such opportunities, you get more chances to introduce your product, generate instant feedback, and attract sales. It couldn’t get any better than that.

The Lead Generating Website

The phenomenal power of the internet as an information gathering and sharing tool is very well pronounced in the grand scheme of B2B marketing. At any given day, you will find people turning to online search more and more, looking for information, ideas, or solutions that suit their needs. That’s why it’s important that you design your website in such a way that it attracts visitors who will eventually turn into a lead.

Here’s how to develop a lead generating website for your business:

  1. Attract your target. A buyer-seller relationship all starts with attraction. You want people to visit your site so they would know what you can offer them. To attract people’s attention, you need to build on your content, and you can do this in so many ways. Write blog posts. Create video presentations. Supply an infographic. Include testimonials and photos. The kind of content you offer will depend on your product or service, but the main takeaway is to craft your content with keywords that match what customers are looking for in their online search, putting a good amount of research in the mix as well.
  2. Suit up for your buyer persona. At this stage, you’re starting to get traffic on your website, and you don’t want to lose those page views, especially the ones from your ideal buyer persona. You’ll then need to engage them more by catering to their needs and giving them valuable offers, whether it’s research data, a discount, a product review or guide, e-newsletters, a free trial, or a no-strings-attached type of consultation. This kind of engagement works both ways: you are allowing your site visitors to know your identity, and at the same time, getting them to reveal more about their buying preferences. Then, you can match your selling process to their own buying process.
  3. Start converting. By this time, your visitors are filling out forms and registering on your website. These indicate that you have just found a lead. Then again, you have to keep moving forward to make sure they actually convert into buyers. This is where optimization of each phase in your lead generation process comes in, and all of that can happen right on your website! These are the regular mainstays in your lead generation process:
    • CTAs are an essential tool in generating leads from your blog posts, not to mention, an easy way to connect better with your audience. CTA types include:
      • Smart CTAs, the ones you usually find at the bottom page;
      • Social CTAs, these are links to your company’s social media accounts;
      • Blog subscription CTAs, for readers interested in your content;
      • Comment CTAs, giving you insights about what readers think;
      • Slide-in CTAs, which are less intrusive than pop-up CTAs;
      • In-line CTAs, written links that lead to a related blog post; and
      • Sidebar CTAs, which may not necessarily connect to your blog post such as an invite to drop by your booth in the holiday trade show example cited at the beginning of this post.
    • Landing pages are the final contact points with your guests, where they fill out a form to possibly avail of your offer. So the more landing pages your website has, the greater the number of leads you can get. If you want more generic leads, use short forms to make them easier to fill out. On the other hand, if you want more quality leads, use long forms to ask more information about what your customers need.
    • Thank-you pages allow you one more opportunity to upsell offers that are related to what your visitors just signed up for. Of course, it goes without saying that customers appreciate genuine messages of thanks for checking out your site.

With this guide, hopefully, you’re on your way to generating your own leads than buying them. Sure, it’s a long way ahead, but now is the best time to start while you’re still at it.

Guest Post Bio:

Johanna Rivard, PureB2B’s Executive Vice President, is a two-decade veteran of the online publishing, B2B demand generation, and technology media markets.

The Most Important Email Marketing Elements For 2016 (Infographic)

This article was posted as a Guest Blog Post by our affiliates at OnBlastBlog.com 

Let’s get one thing straight: email marketing is not dead, nor is it dying. It is still one of the most effective means of generating leads and conversions for a business. The old ways may have died, but there are new elements rising into the spotlight that change how we look at our email campaigns.

Today I’ll share several of the email marketing elements you should be using in 2016, followed by an infographic filled with the latest strategies that you can implement into your next campaign.

Today’s Top Email Marketing Trends and Strategies (Infographic)

You should start by avoiding the most common email marketing mistakes. Now, let’s look at some of the most important elements in any modern strategy:

  • Marketing automation such as drip campaigns and triggered message series are becoming more important to manage and nurture leads.
  • Segmenting your email lists based on a variety of factors (such as whether they’ve purchased or not) will ensure that your emails are personalized and relevant to each category.
  • Provide timely and relevant communication that addresses their needs.
  • Offer exclusive content they can’t get any other way.

Email marketing is a powerful tool in the right hands. Check out the infographic below for a closer look at today’s top strategies and let us know how it helps you in the comments!How to Send out Emails Like a Professional

Giving Salespeople a Lead Generation Tool with Visitor Tracking

Giving Salespeople a Lead Generation Tool with Visitor TrackingEvery Salesperson Needs a Good Set of Lead Generation Tools

When it comes to surviving in the world of B2B and B2C sales today, your business needs every lead generation tool available. Regardless of whether you actually sell services and/or goods online or have a brick and mortar business and are trying to attract more customers, you still need tools in place for generating leads. Visitor tracking is an incredibly effective tool for doing just that.

The reality is that you probably have more people who are primed to be excellent leads visiting your website than you know. Unfortunately, when you do not know about those leads, you cannot take action. Visitor tracking is designed to help you identify every possible lead and provide that relevant information to your salespeople, so you can ensure that there is never an opportunity lost.

What Exactly Is Visitor Tracking?

Visitor tracking works to provide your salespeople with the ability to monitor visitors to your website by name, company, and/or location. With this information, your salespeople will be better able to identify prospective clients as well as their needs. As the world of business becomes increasingly competitive, visitor tracking is beginning to form the crux of all online marketing efforts.

If your business has a sales team in place, you need visitor tracking. Most companies provide a number of tools to help their sales teams succeed, and marketing automation is an effective tool. Visitor tracking is another lead generation tool designed to aid your sales team in approaching potential customers intelligently and at the right time. When handled correctly, visitor tracking can help your sales team work more efficiently and effectively.

Visitor tracking can be particularly beneficial if your sales team travels to networking events, conventions, or tradeshows. Rather than having your team waste significant resources following up via phone with contacts, you can instead take advantage of visitor tracking to ensure that you make contact with prospects when they are ready.

As digital marketing efforts continue to evolve, it becomes incumbent upon businesses in every sector to make the most of every available opportunity. Visitor tracking can help your sales team stay competitive. Get out there and grab a great lead generation tool for your company!

Building Referral Programs using Marketing Automation

Building a Referral Program using Marketing AutomationThe dynamics of buying and selling are complex. Buyers have a hard time making a purchase if they don’t have much to go off of. For example, no reviews to look at, no other customers to talk to. Sellers have it just as rough too. Closing deals is not easy, especially if you’re starting a relationship from scratch. It’s much harder to convince prospective buyers to make a purchase if they’ve never heard of your company or solution before.

As a buyer myself, I think about the recent experience we’re going through with a house renovation. We’ve got a three car garage and the third by in our garage is about to be converted to a mother-in-law suite. We thought that would be better than the attic ;-). I couldn’t tackle the project by myself, so we needed a general contractor to do the job. We contacted five general contractors. We found all five off of the Good Contractors List, on our own, with no references. Unfortunately, we didn’t know anybody that recently used a general contractor or went through a similar renovation project. If we did, and someone said – hey, try these guys out, they were great and we had a wonderful experience, you bet your bottom dollar they’d be our first call. Doing all the outreach and going through the process with these five contractors is painful and time consuming. When it comes down to it, people get lazy about all that research and most people will take the short route, which is the referral from someone else.

Building referral programs for your business using marketing automation is easy. It’s something every company should do, especially since:

  1. People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend – Nielsen
  2. 65% of new business comes from referrals – New York Times
  3. The LifeTime Value of a new referral customer is 16% higher – Wharton School of Business

You can see why it makes a lot of business sense to set up a good referral system. Here’s a four step plan to take to build your referral program with marketing automation:

1) Engage Customers

Engage customers through email and/or direct mail campaigns created and delivered with your marketing automation system. Your marketing automation system should have an easy way for you to segment your database to target customers only. This is one way to go back into your database and get a touch point out to existing customers. For new customers, set up a trigger-based automation to have your marketing automation system detect new customers, then fire off the email or direct mail message asking them for referrals. You might want to consider timing your referral request for about 3 to 6 months after they’ve become a customer.

2) Provide a Landing Page

When your referral request goes out you’ll want to send your customer to your purpose-built landing page. Once the landing page is submitted by your customer, you’ll be able to track who is making the referral using this landing page and form built with your marketing automation system. Moreover, when the form is submitted you’ll send an introductory email created with your marketing automation system to the person being referred introducing your company.

3) Trigger Incentives

The web form submission serves as the “trigger” for other actions. When the trigger happens an email or postcard is automatically sent to the referral with a concise and beneficial call to action: “try us”, “free trial”, or gift card. Your marketing automation system can match the appropriate incentive with the referral’s demographics (role, job title, etc.) if needed, setting the table for more precise and relevant communication. Tracking kicks in and the referral’s interaction with your company is monitored. Based on engagement, provide the new prospect with the appropriate level of nurturing.

4) Nurture

Using automation, nurture people that were referred but did not respond so that your business remains top of mind when service is needed. Nurturing is a great way to automate touch points and systemize the referral process.

We hope you enjoyed this guide on building referral programs using marketing automation.

Download this free brochure on Building a Referral Program using Lead Liaison and stick it up on your wall! It will help you stay on track with setting up your referral program.

 

How To Use Marketing Automation Software To Generate Leads

How To Use Marketing Automation Software To Generate LeadsLooking for software to generate leads? At its very core, marketing automation is software that works to combine the strengths of your marketing department with the strengths of your sales department. It is a system that reduces static between the two departments and streamlines every tool that each department has so they can reach the customer or prospect at the right time. This process starts at the very beginning, and this article will show you how to use marketing automation software to generate leads – but generate better leads.

Data Collection

One of the first ways that marketing automation software generates leads is simply by recording all the information a potential lead provides from places such as advertisements, your webpage, or even email click-throughs. All of this data is aggregated within the software, and is then assigned a lead score based on the lead profile that the software is able to interpret from the leads various activity. This helps you determine which leads are ready to be approached and – sometimes even more importantly – when they are not. This makes sure that an overly enthusiastic member of your sales team won’t scare them away, keeping a potential lead from ever making a purchase from your business.

Lead Nurturing

However, like I said earlier, marketing automation software doesn’t just give you more leads – it gives you better leads. Let’s say you have a lead that is quite clearly not going to be converted any time soon. Do you simply walk away? Not with marketing automation software. With marketing automation, you place all of your less interested leads in low impact, noninvasive lead nurturing programs that will send helpful and friendly content that will help remind the lead that not only do you exist, but you can help them solve their problems, whether they have given you any money or not.

While cold emails may seem risky, TechnologyAdvise.com has published statistics that indicate 60% of consumers read marketing emails, and any responses you get to your emails will feed directly back into your marketing automation software lead profiling technology.

Personalization

Another important way to use marketing automation software to generate more leads is by taking advantage of the personalization and automation tools  built into the software. These tools are as varied as they are intriguing. For example, you can use social media automation tools to schedule social media posts around important dates or events, such as a trade show, in your industry. This can help make your business an active participant of the social media community surrounding the event and reach a wider audience.

Another great personalization tool you can use to help generate more leads is by using your software automation to perform active advertisement testing. By sending one set of advertising materials to one group and another to a different set, you can see what material performs the best, and how different demographics respond to it. You may discover a market for your product that you didn’t even know existed – along with an entirely new set of leads.

These are just some of the ways you can use marketing automation software to generate leads. Visit Lead Liaison’s marketing automation resource blog online to learn more about how you can improve you marketing automation strategies.

How Can I Generate More Leads?

How Can I Generate More Leads?When it comes to the best ways to generate sales leads, we all know that social media is a well-used platform.  However, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook usually generate few sales leads.  Let’s take a look at how we can utilize marketing automation in our goal to generate more leads and answer the question, how can I generate more leads?

Leveraging your Marketing Automation Program

Marketing automation has been shown to increase lead conversion and provide focused information on scheduling, tracking, and defining marketing programs and processes.  A marketing automation program gives you all the tools needed to generate leads and track them as they move through the sales funnel.  Real time analytics give you insight into where your leads are in the buying process and an average timeline on when you can expect them to buy.  This gives you the opportunity to personalize your messages to your leads depending upon their needs, instead of sending out generic messages that will often be ignored or deleted.

Marketing automation can also make capturing lead information easy and effective.  With a landing page, leads are able to quickly and easily enter their contact information or request your product catalog or a call about your services.  Using marketing automation effectively means that you will be able to track the success of landing pages and make adjustments where you see fit.

Another crucial area where marketing automation is effective lies in the content you’re posting on your blog.  Marketing automation is able to track the effectiveness of the information you’re posting – including how appealing it is to your leads and audience.  Figuring out the proper number of communications for your prospects will ensure your posts don’t wind up being overlooked or worse, deleted before they’re noticed or read.

Marketing Automation Helps Qualify Leads

Often, we make the mistake of including ALL leads in our communications.  This only causes good, qualified leads to fall among the wayside, lost in a crowd of leads that aren’t worth the time investment.  Marketing automation helps you qualify your leads by giving your marketers precision in all of their marketing processes.  By monitoring leads and gathering useful information, including what search terms they’ve used and what content they’ve viewed, marketing automation makes it easier to understand where the consumer is in the buying process.

It also makes it easier to score leads.  Lead scoring is a simple process of assigning number values to certain behaviors and attributes so you can measure the value of a lead.  This numerical value will help you determine whether the lead is to be passed onto the sales team or if the lead needs more information, content, or research.  Marketing automation will also score company demographics such as location, company size, and other criteria to ensure that the correct types of leads are being funneled to your company.

The marketing automation sector is expected to increase from $3.2 billion to $4.2 billion in 2015 – this is a significant increase and indicates the tremendous impact of marketing automation.  Adding marketing automation to your repertoire will add increased value to your business process and marketing department as a whole.

Ready to take the next step?  Let’s help you with adding marketing automation to your business repertoire!

The Best Social Commerce Networks for Lead Generation

The Best Social Commerce Networks for Lead GenerationHow has the face of the marketing evolved since the origination of social networks? Before the spread of social media, good business relied solely on consumer-company interactions. In the modern day, businesses continuously search for ways to convert their consumer-company relationships into sales but the standard look of these relationships has changed. The focus has shifted from consumer–company relationships to consumer–consumer interactions. People will search in google for customer reviews of a product before they purchase because a customer is more likely to trust another customer than a company trying to make profit.

Promotion of a good product in creative ways increases lead generation, but social commerce is key to driving sales. Social commerce comes in many forms including customer reviews of services and products, sponsorship deals, advertising, etc…Any type of consumer-generated content sharing is a form of social commerce.

Content-sharing is the basis of social media. In the digital age, social media has a large impact on the success of a business. From a consumer mindset, the size of their internet following determines a business’ quality of product and validity. A plethora of social networks exist, but in terms of social commerce, some are better than others. The only question is which sites work best for lead generation?

Below we take a look at the 4 major social commerce websites:

Facebook

Facebook commerce, better known as F-Commerce, launched in 2011 when companies realized that the social network had a reach of 750 million users. Many people, young adults in particular, gather their news or updates from their Facebook newsfeed. Mainstream society no longer depends primarily on printed media to spread important information. Article-sharing, hashtags, and status updates encourage genuine lead generation among consumers. There are four types of F-commerce: Facebook-onsite selling, Facebook-initiated selling, selling via Facebook, and iFrames/Facebook App. By using plugins, links, consumer engagement, and allowing for creative displays, Facebook remains a viable source for increasing lead generation.

YouTube

As a video platform, YouTube is notably successful at lead generation. Studies have shown that colorful graphics and videos are good at attracting a consumer’s attention. In fact, it’s been said that YouTube marketing makes lead generation 50 times more successful than any text-based promotion. Online videos are inexpensive to make and possess a longevity that articles don’t have.

Polyvore

Polyvore launched in 2011. It allows users to create collage-sets displaying different fashion and beauty trends of their own invention. The site allows the consumer to sell the product by encouraging personal creativity and lets the users promote their own designs. The materials on their collages are directly linked to product sites. The accessibility of products and the use of consumer support increases lead generation.

Trendii

Trendii and Polyvore share similarities, but Polyvore is limited to beauty and fashion. Trendii allows their users to create boards with any topic they desire. The site helps the consumer sell the products by establishing creative environments of user-design; Trendii effectively taps into the consumer–consumer interactions that people value. Trendii manages to help people connect virtually, widen their impact, sell to other consumers, and inspire others with their personal creativity. It takes the trending nature of global conversation and ties it to user interests. The strong consumer–consumer relationships built on the site will likely increase lead generation for products massively.

All social networks are not created equal, but sites such as Twitter, Vine, and Pinterest are making a play towards social commerce as well.

Always remember that your consumers are your best marketing strategy.

Lead Strategy Creation 101

Lead Strategy Creation 101

Lead Strategy

Lead strategy is, in part, about segmentation – ensuring that the proper messages are sent to your audience in a way that will make them convert. Many businesses find it hard to start identifying sales funnels and developing a lead strategy – in part because the term “conversion” or “conversion point” doesn’t make any sense.

A conversion is what happens when your customer buys, becomes a lead or otherwise engages with you in a way that meets your advertising goals. The term ‘conversion’ refers to the fact that the customer has converted to your brand messaging – meaning they find use for your products and find you trustworthy enough to leave their information or buy.

Identifying Your Conversion Point

For many businesses, there is no email collection form, phone number or other conversion point on the site – product sales will be the only way your business converts users. Having multiple conversion points gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with your audience and ensure future conversions. For instance, if you’re only selling products and never capturing a customer’s email, you may be missing out on valuable data that will lead to a conversion later. Your first step in creating a lead strategy is to identify your conversion points, and establish multiple points for conversion if you don’t have them already.

Lead Strategy: Identifying CPA

Your CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) reflects how many marketing dollars you must spend to get a sale. Obviously you want your CPA to decrease over time so that your marketing dollars result in a profit. You’d be surprised how many businesses haven’t identified a CPA. When creating a lead strategy, it’s important to take into account how much money you’re spending and your overall return. Lead strategy often requires investment, so it’s critical to know where your money is going.

Creating a Lead Strategy

Now it’s time to build funnels. Ask yourself these questions: How do clients find your site? What actions do they take when they get there? What does your buying process look like? Use these questions to imagine actual sales funnels that relate to your business offerings and selling points. Factor in whether or not your different sales points require different messaging to sell your clients faster – for instance, should clients who previously purchased products from you receive the same marketing messaging as new clients? These questions are important to answer.

Finally, get some help when it comes to lead strategy. Marketing automation might be the best bang for your buck – talk to us at Lead Liaison today to find out how marketing automation could change your marketing messaging and increase sales!

5 Lead Generation Techniques That Work

Lead Generation Techniques That WorkDoes your digital marketing strategy work well for you? Are you able to generate leads for your product or service? If your answer to those two questions is no, then you are not doing it right. Read on and you shall learn five important lead generation techniques that will definitely produce a positive impact on your marketing strategy.

1.     E-Books

This is a great lead generation tool. E-books are helpful in the sense that they have plenty of detailed information about a certain service or product and they can be easily downloaded. So you can write an e-book for your business and distribute it to your intended audience. As a plus, you can decide to have the e-book available only to those who provide an email address. Consequently, you create an even wider lead.

2.     Email marketing

With the entry of webinars, blogs, eBooks and videos, most people think that email marketing is history. Contrary to this belief, it still is considered to be the most common channel for promoting business. The effectiveness of email marketing is going to increase now that consumers can access their email through their tablets and smartphones.

3.     Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This basically entails enhancing your website for different search engines with an aim to have your website listed in the highest search rankings, according to the keywords your potential customers use when looking for services or products. You can do this by seeking professional help from experienced SEO agencies whose work is to keep websites at the top ranks of search engines thus increasing traffic to your website.

 

4.     Company Blog

Blogging has developed from being a channel through which people communicate their day-to-day experiences to a channel through which businesses create brand awareness and manage to establish a close connection with their target market. Studies carried out have shown that companies that have a blog manage to drive more traffic to their websites more than those that don’t use blogging. The kind of content you should include in your company blog is mainly content that provides solutions to the problems of your target audience. There is no doubt that blogs are a good way of generating leads.

5.     Online Video Marketing

This is one strategy that businesses have not taken full advantage of. Produce short videos about your brand and post them on sites such as YouTube. It is an easy thing to do. Video marketing is turning out to be a very economical lead generation technique due to the huge numbers of people who use the social networks to get information. Remember when posting your video to sites like YouTube give it an appropriate description by using certain keywords that will also raise your ranks in search engines.

If you put these five lead generation techniques into practical use you will definitely experience an effective digital marketing strategy. As a company your brand awareness will increase, you will create more leads and eventually generate more sales for your service or product.

5 Lead Capture Apps You Need To Know About

Lead Capture ApplicationsAs a business owner you should be well aware about leads and how to generate them as well. Such knowledge comes with selecting the most suitable applications to serve this purpose. The following is a list of apps that you can make use of when capturing leads.

1.     Lead Capture App

With this application people who visit your website are required to register by providing their names and email before they can proceed to look for information on your website. Besides creating leads, the Lead Capture App helps you know what your customers and other prospects look for on your website. This provides you the opportunity to customize your website according to the preferences of your clients.

2.     Zuant

One great feature about Zuant is that you can capture leads even when you are offline. The moment you go back online the leads are updated to your database. In addition to that, it also has live reporting which permits you to monitor and follow-up on your leads continuously. There are graphs that indicate each leads captured ever hour.

With Zuant you can also create customized questionnaires with an indefinite number of questions. For the answers, there are many formats to choose from. The best part is that you do not need to download any software so you can access your leads from wherever you are.

3.     On Spot Social

This is a great iPad app that captures leads in the field. It is also very suitable for individuals who are not tech-savvy as a result of its interface which is very user friendly. On Spot Social also works whether you are online or offline. Therefore, you can still attend an event as you capture your leads then upload them to your database as soon as you go online.

4.     Validar Universal Lead Capture

This app can be personalized to be used at whichever event you attend and works with various hardware such as magnetic stripes, barcodes among others. According to the questions answered by leads, this app can assign scores to your leads. It is a very simple application whose major strength is its customization properties. Another fascinating aspect about it is that it alerts you when the perfectly lead is in the vicinity.

5.   QuickTapSurvey

QuickTapSurvey is another application that allows you to capture leads without necessarily being online. It can be utilized as a kiosk and is also very easy to set up.

The app allows you to:

  • Customize your design by choosing from a variety of templates, themes, logos and background pictures
  • Capture unlimited leads with full contact details
  • Capture leads using a customized contest entry or prize giveaway splash screen
  • Encrypt data and keep it safely on your iPad or Android tablets
  • Use more than 15 qualification questions to qualify your leads
  • Use integrations or API to send lead data to your CRM

Those are just some of the lead capture apps you can opt to use when you attend an event. Before you settle for one, make sure that the app satisfies all your needs and works in line with your business objectives.