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Infographic: Post-Event Lead Nurturing Strategy

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

To access our Event Lead Management Kit, which includes this resource, click here

Marketing events can be a very costly effort. There’s the booth rental, the booth design/display, travel and expenses for your employees working the booth. Service costs like electricity, cleaning, or wifi can sneak up on you. Badge scanners are expensive (have you looked into other options?).

I think you get my drift: marketing events cost a lot of money. Return on investment (ROI) is paramount. Once your team has captured hot leads at an event, you should be prepared to follow up with those leads quickly and effectively. There’s no time to waste – don’t let your competitors beat you to the punch.

We are often asked for examples of how a business can (and should) nurture leads post-event. Below is an infographic that examines a tried-and-true post-event lead nurturing strategy. 

Technology to Support Lead Nurturing Strategy

The first step in determining your post-event lead nurturing strategy is to make sure you have the technology in place to automate it. Don’t count on these things being done manually – it’s just not realistic. Companies are busier than ever these days, usually with multiple people wearing multiple hats – stretched thin. There’s also tons of room for distraction at (and after) marketing events. The more administrative tasks you can automate, the better. Let your employees spend their time building relationships and making connections.

There are lots of options out there, but we recommend a wholistic approach. Look for technology that works together, so you don’t have to spend time exporting and importing. For example, our event lead management solution allows businesses to create and customize lead capture forms, prepare intelligent post-event workflows, quickly capture leads onsite, instantly sync with a CRM, and then place them into those previously mentioned workflows. No additional technology is needed.

Of course, we love our solutions. But, there are lots of options out there! Just make sure you have something in place to be able to effectively execute your plan.

Lead Management Strategy – Instant Tasks

Create a list of all the actions you want to take once you’ve captured the lead’s information, and separate them into groups based on the time of the outreach. Here are a few examples of what you might want to do instantly:

  • Tag the Prospect with the Event Name
  • Add the Prospect to the Event Leads list
  • Assign a grade or score to the Prospect based on your ideal buyer criteria
  • Distribute the lead (Prospect) – based on round-robin, geography, or product interest
  • Sync the Prospect Record with your CRM

Side Note – Lead Scoring vs. Lead Grading

Let’s talk more about lead score versus lead grade. You may want your reps to call a Prospect if their score is high and their grade is high. Or maybe just one or the other. To make that determiniation, you should know the differences. 

Lead scoring is a way to measure engagement, and it happens over time. Even before your event, a Prospect may have already been to your website, scanning a few of your webpages, which would increase their score. It will continue to increase as they continue to interact with your website or your content.

On the other hand, grading is a way to measure how well a Prospect matches your ideal buyer criteria. Your reps can qualify and assign a grade onsite at the event. With our event lead management solution, reps can collect lead data quickly and either grade them in the moment, or they can go back later and grade them when they have a lull in booth traffic.

Lead Management Strategy – Starting Your Nuture

Once those organizational actions have been completed (usually within seconds), what do you want to do next? Let me answer that for you…you want to follow up. Insidesales.com conducted a study that found 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. That means that the timing of your follow up matters.

If at all possible, reach out to your leads within an hour of them visiting your booth. A great example of this kind of outreach is with a text message. If you’re capturing a lead’s mobile phone number, use your marketing automation platform to send a text message saying, “Hi Jane, it’s Bob. Thanks for stopping by our booth! We’ll be in touch soon – but in the meantime, here’s my number if you have any questions…” That is sure to make your company stand out.

24 Hours Later

Send an email. Even though you already sent a text message, send an email 24 hours later. Give your Prospect time to filter through messages from other booths, but not enough time that they forget who you are. Remind them of a product feature that sets you apart from other exhibitors at the trade show.

Pivot

At this point in the game, you may want to consider customizing your lead nurturing strategy based on the previously mentioned lead score and/or grade (depending on what matter most to your business) and how the Prospect interacts with your outreach or content. Your marketing automation platform should have the capability of customizing the workflow using this kind of criteria. If the lead score is high, assign a task to a rep to make a call. If it’s low, continue to nurture via email.

Don’t disqualify leads with a lower score or grade. They may be hesitant because they are taking this decision more seriously. Offer a piece of educational content, like an infographic or a case study. Try to be their source of education in the industry, so they begin to see your company as a thought leader.

If they download the content, you may want to pivot further based on that. If they downloaded it, offer another link to an informative blog post with a powerful call-to-action (CTA). Make the decision to reach out to you easy.

If they didn’t download the content, perhaps they need the same information as the lead above, but rather they need it summarized within the email itself to reduce effort. Include your CTA within the email itself, to make it even easier.

In Summary

Continue nurturing your Prospects for several weeks until they are ready to buy, or place them into your newsletter list so that you can continue your educational content without being too pushy.

It’s all about creating a sense of authority and innovation within your industry. Those that actively attend trade shows, conferences, or other marketing events are not passive. They are engaged, and their presence at an event will make them hyper-aware of you and your competitors.

If you decide to exhibit at an event, be prepared to make it count. Here’s an infographic that you can save for when the time comes. And, good luck!

Should I Write Business Blog Posts?

Business blogs can be somewhat of a hot topic, as it relates to marketing investments. It might not be for every company, or every employee. Regardless, it’s important to think through the pro’s and con’s of starting (and maintaining!) a business blog before committing.

The Con’s of a Business Blog

  • It’s time consuming. You need to actually put thought into your business blog posts so that they offer value. You also want to strategically pick a topic that will drive traffic to your blog, and therefore your website. Brainstorming topics and content can take time away from other, more pressing tasks. And you’ll likely not see immediate results, so that isn’t very encouraging.
  • It can feel like busywork. Sometimes, you won’t have a fresh idea, yet you’ll still feel compelled to remain on a “content schedule” (which is important to business blog success). Content schedules are usually how marketers organize posts from team members and guest writers. It ensures that they regularly hit that goal. However, it can also lead to boring, uninspired posts if you’re not careful.
  • It goes out of date quickly. As the internet is flooded with business blog posts from companies large and small, readers are trained to look at the date of a post. If it wasn’t within the last year (give or take), and didn’t generate a lot of traffic right off the bat, it’s basically irrelevant. It feels like it was a waste of time and effort.

The Pro’s of a Business Blog

  • It increases search ranking. Google, and other search engines, have a part of their algorithm that rewards you for having lots of pages, rich with keywords, and that have been recently published. Since every blog counts as a page, there is a theory that this can help your company appear more in searches.
  • Still on the topic of search engine optimization (SEO), search engines heavily weigh the number of external sites linking to your website. External links to your business blog prove your content contains helpful, relevant information. A great blog can serve as “link bait” that other websites will be inclined to reference, creating those important external links (source). It can also help you shed light on internal links that are buried deep within your website, by linking them in your copy.
  • It’s an easy way to publish fresh content, and speak directly to your client base. And even if your clients aren’t reading blogs on a regular basis, they most likely are searching Google for answers.
  • It’s a relevant excuse to post to social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and get your name out there, encouraging brand awareness.
  • If you put proper thought and consideration into your blog post topics and content, it can be a great way to establish your company as thought leaders in your industry. There’s always a conversation going on online, and it’s important to be a part of it. Clients and Prospects will look to you as a reliable resource for information on your industry, and will (hopefully) then come to you when they are ready to buy.
  • Blogs are a relatively cost-efficient marketing investment. Your business probably already has a website. All it really costs is time.
  • It encourages your blog contributors to research, learn, and stay on top of news and trends. What better way to facilitate learning and inspire ideas?

The Conclusion

The decision to spend time on blog posts is going to be unique to your business. If you or your team is not fully on board, it will be like pulling teeth. If your company needs help with improving its Google ratings, and you can dedicate 30-40 minutes a week to come up with fresh content, blogs are wonderful. However, if you have a strong online presence already, and are already considered thought leaders, blogging may be unlikely to show you a true ROI.

Tips

If your organization does decide to publish a company blog, here are a few tips.

  • Request contributions from your colleagues. Ask qualified people on your team to take 20 minutes out of their week to email you a few paragraphs about something they have been thinking about that week, as it relates to your business and industry. You can then do the grunt work of making it blog-ready, and your posts will have more perspective and expertise if intelligent team members agree to contribute.
  • Create a content calendar, and stick to it. Decide how many posts you’d like to do per week, when you plan to post, and where you plan on sharing (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). Make it a part of your weekly process.
  • Actively promote your content. Your blog won’t shoot to the top of search engines overnight. It takes work, dedication, and intentional promotion.

Interested in how Lead Liaison integrates with your website? Read our post on our Squarespace integration here.

Reviews Matter

During the last couple of years, traditional advertisement methods, such as television ads, and even Internet-based ads have decreased in terms of their influence on the market, and for obvious reasons. People are now free to state their very own, unbiased opinions, on practically all products and services sold over the Internet, almost everywhere in the world.

For those who do not know, online reviews are basically the opinions of consumers on certain products and services, posted either on the company’s website, on social media networks, on e-commerce sites, but also on review platforms, such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, G2 Crowd, Capterra, TechCrunch, Wired, IMDb, CNET, RateMDs, Foursquare and many more.

With time, online reviews have managed to become a big trend on the internet, thus determining how consumers and business owners throughout the world act. Nowadays, online reviews can influence a multitude of our decisions, including what phone we have, what we eat on a daily basis, where we dine, where we travel, which hotels we book, and what other products we purchase. Reviews have become a way of assessing the overall quality of a product or service, prior to the first-hand experience, through the help of others that have used the product/service before.

Regardless of their importance, it is surprising that not many business owners can fully grasp the importance of online reviews yet. With this in mind, in a recent study by WebsiteBuilder.org, it was determined that with every star a business gets in terms of their rating, their profits will increase by around 5-9%. On the other side of the spectrum, 22% of customers are bound to give up purchasing a product after reading just one negative review, so the impact is huge. Business owners should be aware of the fact that there are numerous ethical practices that can be established, to reduce the number of negative reviews, and increase the number of positive ones.

If a little work is put into effective review management and customer satisfaction, then businesses throughout the world will be able to yield larger profits, and experience more popularity, both online, but also offline.

Here’s a cool infographic that WebsiteBuilder.org put together. 

onlinereview-infographic-by-websitebuilder.org_-1

Is Geotargeting Right for National Brands?

Is Geotargeting Right for National Brands?This Marketing Profs article discusses the marketing issue many national brands face: geotargeting to smaller areas is often impossible, leaving local businesses to fill in the gaps in the market. The result is local market representation failing to become part of a company’s overall strategy – therefore, lost revenue.

Local marketing strategy and geotargeting are only one piece of a larger marketing automation puzzle. For businesses, the implementation of the right marketing automation strategy is only the beginning of the plan – not intended to be the plan itself. It’s important that large national brands that are thinking about geotargeting consider if they have the staff and resources to address the geotargeting data that emerges from marketing automation implementation.

Understanding Geotargeting

The first step in considering geotargeting for large national brands is to get an idea of what goals the brands are hoping to accomplish. Ultimately an increase in sales and revenue is always the goal, but so is identifying whether or not the associated costs will be worth the investment.

For instance, if every geotargeted customer costs $100 in marketing dollars to obtain while the typical revenue per customer is $70, there’s a problem. Marketing automation is a good way to understand these ROI disparities and determine whether or not geotargeting is worth it for a larger business.

Marketing Locally

Marketing automation is also great for building localized lists. Having a standard set of users to continuously target will show you if your geotargeted marketing campaigns are as effective as possible. The sum of the geotargeted parts is your end user base in any given area, so it’s important to understand that marketing to a cluster of users in a singular location is essentially what you’re going for. Your end users are your bread and butter, so carefully monitoring how they use your marketing automation campaigns will make all the difference.

It’s important to work with a marketing automation firm that really has it together and can implement geotargeting effectively. After everything is set up, the available data stream is up for the company’s interpretation and use. Marketing automation set up is only the beginning – from there, companies need to be able to rely on their company’s support to help interpret data and figure out how to run their geotargeting efforts on a consistent basis.

Lead Liaison has some of the best customer support and follow-up in the business. We work with large and small brands alike and would love to chat with you about geotargeting your business! Contact us today for a free consult.

The Importance of A/B Marketing Strategies on the Web

A/B Marketing StrategiesDid you know that a website’s design matters? The way your website was designed has an impact on your client’s reaction! Websites are normally designed with a certain aim, which is a call to action. The achievement of this call to action goal highly depends on the user’s response to the website content. With regard to this, many companies are incorporating the A/B marketing strategies into their testing.

In today’s digital world, A/B marketing strategies have proven to be a vital tool that businesses should possess, so as to enable them establish the most suitable features that work best for their websites. This tool is responsible for providing you with information regarding how users react to the content on your website. The reactions in question refer to the layout, use of words and pictures, the colour scheme, navigation among other elements. These factors are tested by comparing at least two different designs of a website’s landing page (hence the term A and B). When the comparisons are made, the version with the highest number of sales is considered to be the best.

So why is A/B testing important for your business?

Yes, it is a good thing to have this tool. However, it is more of a vital aspect that should be part of your marketing strategy. The good thing about A/B testing is that you will be in a position to constantly know which one of your website designs performs best. Here are some reasons why you should use A/B testing:

  • Help in market research: With A/B testing you will not waste any time or money on focus group discussions to find out what kind of websites consumers like best. As you well know, the outlook of your website is highly determined by customers depending on their preferences. This is a marketing tool that will help you in establishing that.
  • Problems are solved easily: If you have a specific feature on your website that is getting a negative response from users, A/B testing can assist you in determining why that particular feature is failing to work. Sometimes it could be as a result of the wrong choice of words, colours or even the certain placement of a button.
  • You are able to determine your objective: The major objective of any website is to have a high performance rate especially when it comes to call to action. Whatever you aim at achieving with your website, A/B testing will provide you with the knowledge to establish priorities make necessary adjustments and constantly carry out experiments on various designs so as to attract more traffic to your website.

There are some marketing professionals out there who carry around the assumption that A/B testing is a complex tool to use along with their marketing strategies. What they don’t know is that the best thing about this tool is that it is very cost-effective and, most of all, it helps you understand detailed facts regarding human psychology and how different designs have an impact on users.