Be a SMART Marketer, Know the Best Time to Call your Prospects

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Be a SMART Marketer, Know the Best Time to Call your Prospects

When is the best time to post on social media?  Maybe between 7 to 9 in the morning before classes and office hours start, 5 pm till late evening, weekends, or just anytime a thought or a moment that deserves a click comes up; regardless of who likes, reacts or shares the post.

In business, you couldn’t care less on your social media posts. According to  The Social Media Hat there are optimum post times for businesses to catch the majority of followers when they are most active. 

Worst Time:

  • Facebook: 8pm – 8am
  • Twitter: 8pm – 9am
  • Google+: 6am – 8am
  • Pinterest: 5pm – 7pm

Best Time:

  • Facebook: 1pm – 4pm
  • Twitter: 1pm – 3pm
  • Google+: 9am – 11am
  • Pinterest: 2pm – 4pm, 8pm – 1am

The social media posting data was probed not solely for users to maximize the peak exposure period but to enable them to reach target followers at a time when they are most active and ready to respond. 

The same tactic works well for marketers in analyzing the best time to call prospects.

We’ve learned so many telemarketing lessons and strategies in the past like to call prospects during Wednesdays and Thursdays between 8-9am and 4-6pm and promptly calling inbound leads within 5 minutes of receipt, but getting hold of a prospects in a phone call at his best time is a prevailing challenge for most telemarketers up to now.

The truth is, these proposed calling time frames may have been proven effective in the previous years, but may now hardly withstand the challenge brought about by the rapid evolution of the digital age that has affected and continue to affect the way people do business.

Related: Inbound and Outbound Strategies is a Match Made in Marketing Heaven

Today, decision makers move and think fast, are aggressive, interactive and adeptly practice technology-based sales scheme from start to finish. This should be a compelling reason for telemarketers to become smarter in analyzing the best time to catch prospects when they are most ready to answer a business call and at the same time, utilize all available tools and resources that would ease the call flow while mitigating call failures like missed appointments, No Answer, several follow-ups and busy signals, SMART Calling is one of the proven tactics.

Here’s a quick walk-through of SMART Calling

SMART Calling is a technology process that is capable of prioritizing sales calls based on a set of rules that can be configured to optimize prospect reachability. Using a weight-based system of different events, filters, KPIs and lead scores, SMART Calling scores target prospects on the  list based on a combination of factors, including:

  • Lead score
  • Recency of the Last Call
  • Times of successful phone contact
  • Times of email opens
  • TImes of email replies
  • Times of website visits

Note that Lead scores are an indication of your prospect’s sales-readiness based on demographic and behavioral scores and an integral part of the prospecting process that will give insight of WHO to pursue first – a process that would hone agents to become SMART marketers. 

Read more: SMART Calling: What’s the Edge?

What difference can a SMART Marketer make?

The SMART Calling process will remain just a process unless efficiently utilized and proven effective by telemarketers, but wouldn’t you agree if we say vice versa? Undeniably, the telemarketing business, just like all the others have become much dependent on technology breakthroughs in streamlining and refining prospecting methodology.

Below are notable characteristics and skills of a SMART marketer:

A SMART Marketer knows how to reach targets who are ready to move further down the sales funnel.

The SMART Calling technique will enable the agent to prioritize calls in real-time, moving up calls to prospects with the highest SMART scores, giving a higher probability of speaking with the target decision maker. 

Related: Who Says Telemarketing Can’t Drive Leads Further Down the Sales Funnel?

A SMART Marketer knows when the target decision maker himself is most reachable and available to talk.

 

While Lead scores will demographically show you WHO to call, SMART Calling provides the agent the ability to demographically and behaviorally calculate not only with WHO to pursue first but also the best time WHEN to call and  HOW to best reach the target decision maker as to whether via mobile, email or social/professional network sites.

Enabling marketers to reach warm prospects at the right time with less time wasted on busy signals, voicemail or no-answers, and more time for actual talk.

Related: Keep Prospects Glued on the Phone Like Bees to Honey

A Smart Marketer knows how to run an efficient marketing campaign.

SMART Calling processes contact data and makes adjustments in real-time, improves agent productivity levels with less idle time and more talk time, and gets you in front of your target prospect at the best time – when they are most interested and willing to hear what you have to offer.

Let’s simply put it, SMART Marketers  are those who Reach the Right Person at The Right Time, just as how savvy social media posters snappily catch the most followers at a time when they are most ready to Like, Retweet or Share your posts.

 

 

 Be a SMART Marketer, Check out The Savvy Marketer’s Blog

SMART Calling

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Marketing is from Mars, Sales is from Venus

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Should there be any relationship that badly needs counseling this Valentine’s Day, it is the one between Marketing and Sales. These two separate branches have been going at each other as to who could provide more profit. Needless to say, both should remain equal despite what most people think that Marketing is from Mars and Sales is from Venus. Like in any given relationship, both should come together and try to align their differences in order to gain a long-lasting and fruitful connection.

Here are some ways to foment romance between your Sales and Marketing teams:

#1: Accept and move on

The most difficult yet very significant endeavor couples often face during the first stages of their journey is in trying to accept their differences and shortcomings. This stage marks the point where they could either make it or break it. Once they get through this stage, the journey will most likely be smooth sailing from there onwards. This holds true for both marketing and sales. While marketers call for awareness and salespersons push for more deals closed, both are actually geared towards one common goal – rake in more revenue.

Take good tips from this 5 to 5 Calling Rule for Inbound Leads (That Generated Over 40% Increase in Sales)

#2: Serve and support

Another essential ingredient that strengthens the bond between partners is the principle of give and take. Each should complement what the other person is lacking. In business, putting all the burden of selling into the hands of the sales team alone calls for a burnout.

This is where your marketing team can prove its worth and provide aid by means of effective marketing campaigns. What this does is it develops and nurtures prospect relationships over time, putting your sales team a step ahead the next time they should make a call.

Related: AskCallbox: What makes an effective lead nurturing program?

#3: Speak the same language

The key to a healthy relationship is to know what your partner really wants. Imagine when someone in marketing says they have brought in 100 leads, and your sales team takes this good news as all of the prospects are ready to buy.  Check out how this 5 to 5 calling rule for inbound leads generated over 40% increase in sales!

This could lead to some confusion. When this occurs, you will definitely find yourself amidst an endless debate, especially when things do not happen according to what one expects. If this is the case, each party should reconsider how to communicate with each other in order to get their message across more efficiently and accurately.

Related: Why Sales People Should Earn More than CEOs

#4: Meet regularly and keep talking

What makes commitments stronger and last longer is not with the things each partner could provide, but it is what both could do together which makes them earn the right to be called a sound couple to begin with. Once you have bridged the gap between your marketing and sales team, be sure to keep them working on the same page. Each party should always find time to come together and discuss about success and how to continue supporting each other to achieve future goals.

 

Conclusion

Long-term relationships require hard work. “Making it”does not happen overnight, or by accident. Same goes for bringing together sales and marketing. Each has their own defined roles, but definitely needs the other to end up generating more sales and revenue for your company.

Unlike with Romeo and Juliet, each party does not have to go into the extremes just to convey the message across and sustain the unrelenting beat of the core of your business.

 

 

6 Growth Hacking Lead Generation Techniques for 2017

Find out these 6 Growth Hacking Lead Generation Techniques for 2017

 

Boost your Business with Better Marketing Strategy!

Go explore The Savvy Marketer’s Blog or Learn more about our Lead Generation Services

Talk with our Marketing Consultant or Dial 888.810.7464

 

 

How to Reach C-Level Decision Makers and Boost B2B Sales

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How to Reach C-Level Decision Makers and Boost B2B Sales

Are you looking for ways to reach out with C-level executives and boost B2B sales? Well, an optimized B2B marketing plan can indeed help businesses to overcome certain pain points when dealing with clients.

But that can only be achieved if you will work with a professional marketer in the industry. So how do you do that? Check out the following tips for a successful strategy in reaching marketing success this 2017.

New Ideas for a Winning B2B Marketing Strategy

CEOs need to understand the importance of an ultimate business to business marketing plan to guarantee great results. Although it’s really hard to catch the attention of customers today as they are always busy, there are effective tips to help you get positive feedback or at least make them notice your brand.

Don’t worry because here are some of the best techniques to make them recognize the value of what you offer.

#1: Use multi-channel marketing approach.

With an effective multi-channel contact plan, you can connect to a wider clientele base easily. One important channel is LinkedIn. You can email them a killer offer to make them accept your call and make sure to follow up your call with another message via email. Learn more about Multi-Channel Marketing Approach!


IT Decision Makers Find a Fresher Way in Reaching out to Prospects!


#2: Offer something valuable to build connection.

Many B2B businesses believe that their products or services have clear value to potential clients but sometimes, not receiving a positive feedback means that the value isn’t clearly presented. In order to ensure that they see the value of your offer, it’s important to give freebies such as SEO services to create rapport. In return, customers will see how determine you are in offering them something they need. Remember, sales are all about establishing relationships.

Related: Diversify or Die? Here’s How to Thrive in Newer Markets

#3: Get referrals.

If you want to grow your network, you need to meet your friends’ friends. It’s more likely that they know what kind of people you need in your business. In fact, the guiding principle in sales referrals is that the people you like exactly know the people you would be interested to know of.

They have to be: 1. someone who did business with your company before 2. Or anyone who have dealt business with people in your LinkedIn contacts.

Related: Building Tremendous Credibility and Make Clients Refer You

Leave optimized voicemails.

Most of the time, salespeople don’t know how to leave compelling voicemails. Did you know that too long voice messages are dull? If you create unprofessional sounding voicemails, tendency is that potential clients won’t give you a shot. The best thing to do is make it at least 30-second long, sounds more than interesting, sparks curiosity, and ends with easy-to-remember contact information like your phone number or email.

Related: Who Says Telemarketing Can’t Drive Leads Further Down the Sales Funnel?

Provide Targeted B2B Content

Also, one important thing to highlight in your B2B marketing strategies is that B2B content shouldn’t always be about white papers, long-form presentations, or lengthy content format. What matters is the value it offers the clients.

With 95% of customers choosing shorter content formats, you really need to provide direct-to-the-point information if you want to capture buyer’s attention in a span of 30 seconds.

Related: The Five Elements of Quality Content (According to an End-user)

 

Utilize all the possible marketing channels to reach your B2B prospects and allot more attention to platforms that gives you more revenue than expenses.

 

 

Here’s an Idea how we our Clients get leads

from our Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign

Multi-Channel Marketing Approach - Callbox

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5 Reasons Why Prospects Aren’t Responding To Your Social Media Posts

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5 Reasons Why Prospects Aren’t Responding To Your Social Media Posts

Are your social media marketing techniques not working on your current target market? Well, you’re probably not doing it right. Social media feeds or online articles have to be compelling enough in order to catch the attention of the readers and visual media will always play an important role in this aspect.

So if you’re ready to know the common reasons why your target buyers are not responding to your social media posts, here are the following highlights and learn from them.

#1: You’re not building trust right from the start.

The peak point of any sales funnel today begins in building an audience and generating leads. And when you are able to establish relationships with customers, rest assured that it’s a long term success to benefit from. Once your customers trust your brand and you connect to them consistently, sales can be easy to boost online.

Learn a thing or two about building trust and relationship on social media with “Return on Relationship” Expert: Ted Rubin.

#2: You’re not feeding buyers with great content they need.

In order to create long lasting engagement, make sure that your online articles have something valuable to offer to buyers. Also, they want interesting posts that are both informative and creative. For instance, you can provide them with practical advice on crafting an engaging email or an attention-grabbing subject line. Fuel their curiosity and create ultimate brand impressions they will not easily forget.

#3: You’re not giving your buyers the kind of experience they look for.

Many companies today are taking advantage of visual media when creating content because buyers love to consume those types of information. In fact, according to Nielsen, average consumers watch more than 206 videos per month. Remember that video emails result to 200-300% increase in terms of click-through rate.

So if you are not integrating videos into your content today, you better start. Stick to these three S’s for creating viral video content and you’re good to go!

#4: You’re not maintaining customer relationships after making sales.

Buyer-seller relationships don’t end after making a sale. Truth is, it’s only the beginning of a healthy engagement with buyers. If maintained, this will lead to a successful marketing strategy in the long run. So once you’ve made a sale, the next step is to give helpful guidance, educational resources, and professional support. Do it properly and you’ll get referrals from your current buyers.

#5: You’re not concentrating on setting your brand apart from competitors’ products.

The best thing marketers can do for their brand is to differentiate its value from competitors’. Define the company’s image and present it clearly to the target market. If buyers find your brand unique, they are more likely to buy from you.

 

Getting buyers to engage with your brand takes more than skills. Businesses should treat it as both art and science that calls creativity and accuracy. So the next time you wonder why buyers don’t respond to your online posts, review these guidelines and be sure to make room for improvement and you’ll be sure to see better results!

 

 

Broaden your skills today! Read more social media tips on The Savvy Marketer’s Blog

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The Perfect Response to “We Are Currently Working With Your Competitor”

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On Telemarketing: The Perfect Response to "We Are Currently Working With Your Competitor"

In telemarketing, any sales rep knows that hate is not the reason behind a prospect’s objection towards a sales pitch. Instead, it is indifference. And what could be more indifferent than the words “We’re all set. We’re happy with our current supplier.”?

In fact, hearing this can easily put even the most seasoned telemarketers off guard and into a tight spot that they often forget how to handle objects in sales calls. But, fret not; here are some of the ways of handling sales objections to get to the perfect response to “We are currently working with your competitor.”

#1: Find out what you are up against

Knowing your competition is the first step to making loyal customers notice your brand and turning them over to your side. Harvest the information you need by asking questions on why and how their current supplier satisfies them.

What edge do they have over the other providers and how do they deliver their service?

These are just some of the information you might want to get hold of in order to come up with the best sales responses. Though this may not instantly turn prospects your way, it is just as good to know that you have already achieved the first part to getting your company heard – establish rapport


Read more The Remedy for Unqualified Leads: Nurture Them Until They’re Ready


 #2: Compliment prospects on their decision

After being told “We’re already working with your competitor,” most sales reps would almost instantly turn defensive and start insisting on how different they are from the rest. Although in some instances this approach could work, it can also be one of the most devastating mistakes one can make.

Never pitch your way out without understanding the specific situation that the prospect is already in. Instead, acknowledge them first for their decisions and only then can you start to offer the better options you have in store for them. Not only is this a smart move in overcoming customers objections, it will also help you establish credibility that’ll earn you business referrals. Most importantly, get them to listen.


Here’s how to keep prospects glued on the phone like bees to honey!


#3: Propose value and match product to prospects needs

Now that you have drawn their attention, it is time to show the potential customer your value proposition. Tell them what separates your brand from the competition and what benefits your company can provide. Once you get that out of the way, follow up by matching your product to the prospect’s needs.

Every buyer has different concerns so let them be the judge of things, but try to lead the conversation by giving them all you’ve got. Put emphasis on the strongest points and make them see how ideal your brand can be in solving their unique business needs.


Read more tips on What to Tell Clients Who Say “You’re too expensive.”


#4: Seize the opportunity

In case you have done all the hard work and you’re still not able to win you’re prospect over does not mean your efforts have gone to waste. This is the best time to capture the opportunity and entice them to take action. Chances are, you are dealing with a smart buyer. Getting them to consider your brand requires more work. What you can do is to offer to send information in order for them to go over your product and come up with a sound decision. Offer them digital downloads in sales that will convince them even more.

Asking them to attend an upcoming webinar is also a wise move or you can opt to let your sales team take over from here and advise your prospect to expect a follow up phone call from them.

So when you’re on a sales call, the thing to remember whenever you are faced with the dreaded objection “We’re already working with another company and we’re happy with them” is to keep your cool. It doesn’t have to be your cue to exit stage left; it’s simply an invitation to improvise.

 

 

The Calling Rule that Generated a Million dollar Sales Close

The 5 to 5 Calling Rule for Inbound Leads (That Generated Over 40% Increase in Sales)

Create better telemarketing strategies, Check out The Savvy Marketer’s Guide

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How to Create High-Performing Landing Pages [GUEST POST]

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How to Create High-Performing Landing Pages

Every business has a particular reason for landing pages but the most common ones are to get more leads, increase sales, or build awareness about the brand. These pages are so important that marketers often design new ones for each campaign they launch. For example, a recent article on Hubspot reported that 48 percent of marketers developed new landing pages for each campaign.

The motivation behind this tactic is simple:

Good Landing Page = Good Return on Investment

However, if you neglect the importance of landing pages for the marketing and growing, the consequences will be the same: waste of time and money. To avoid these outcomes, one needs to follow two simple rules. Let’s review them below.

Rule #1: Relevancy and Clarity

According to Hubspot, 55 percent of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on a website. What this means for you as a marketer or business owner is that you have 15 seconds or less to capture the attention of the people visiting your site.

“But that’s only 15 seconds!” you can say, arguing that the time for making a good impression is clearly inadequate. You are right. But that’s the reality of the modern online business and refusing it is a stupid idea.

To ensure that the time spent by visitors on your website is as effective as possible, you should provide a clear and relevant landing page. This requires a lot of consideration but the main ones can be described using the following questions:

  • Can I trust this website?
  • Can this place be beneficial for me?
  • Am I presented with sufficient information?
  • How much time will all this take?

The answers to these questions should the main information on your landing page. Also, they will help to entice the viewers to stay and do what you need them to do: convert.

Rule #2: Effective Organization

Every effective landing page follows a certain organization that has specific elements that ensure maximum results. The first and most important element is the headline. It should clearly represent the benefits for the customers in order to attract their attention. For example, “Marketing Tips for Businesses” is a good headline but it is too general. “Breakthrough Marketing Tips for Small Businesses” is a much better headline because it emphasizes the effectiveness of the solution and clearly defines the recipients of the benefits.

The next major element in the structure is text. Its amount should be kept to a minimum to ensure that viewers actually read it. For example, “the best writing service for academic paper inquiries” is a good text but it once again, it lacks benefits for customers. “Professional essay writing service with 10 years of experience and 7,000 happy clients from U.S. and Australian colleges and universities” is a more quality text. It shows the potential customers and convinces the viewer to make the right decision (because 7,000 people have already made this choice and received a good service).

Use techniques to emphasize benefits of your offer, such as bulleted points. If your text is ready, move on to the Call-to-Action (CTA) Button. It is the button that viewers click to convert, so it is very important to you provide only one action button. If other options are offered, the conversion rate will be low.

To make sure that attention of the viewers is focused on the action button, there should be no distractions on the landing page. Multiple actions buttons, weak placement, navigation bars, weak testimonials, and messed up conversion forms were described as the main distractions that screwed up millions of possible conversions last year. Reduce these distractions to increase conversion rates.

The next important element on the landing page is the subscription form. It consists of the fields where visitors are required to provide their details. It should be big, prominent, and distinct in order to attract attention and make an appreciable impact. Remember: this element should stand out to be noticed and fulfill its function.

Lastly, an effective landing page is consistent with the design of the website. Making it different is a mistake because the visitor may lose the feeling that the page is a part of your website.

Headline + Text + CTA Button + Subscription Form + Consistent Design – Distractions = High-Performing Landing Page

Now we know how to design great landing pages! Only one thing is needed: final considerations before handing your vision of the page to the web designer.

Final Considerations

  • Clearly, one should keep in mind the audience that will visit the page. Take a minute to think whether the landing page “speaks” to the target audience. This might help you with the design.
  • Define the message that will “hook” the attention of the viewers. Remember, it should emphasize the benefits for the customers. Business owners and marketers often create several messages and then brainstorm with their team to define the advantages and disadvantages of each one. As the result, the best message is defined.

Where to next?

Go to your web designer and start developing the landing page! If you want to see how this task is done, you may also use tools for building landing pages such as Instapage and KickoffLabs.

 

Author Bio:

Tom Jager is professional blogger. He works at A-writer.  He has degree in Law and English literature. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. You can reach him at G+  or  Facebook.

 

 

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6 Growth Hacking Lead Generation Techniques for 2017

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6 Growth Hacking Lead Generation Techniques for 2017

Every year, businesses need to come up with new strategies to achieve success. Your marketing plan may have served you well last year, but you need a fresh and updated one to attain your goals this 2017. So your lead generation techniques, for example, must keep up with the new demands and needs of your market today. This will help you create a steady stream of income as well as higher conversion rates that you exactly need.

By planning a new budget that is based on successful channels, your business will prosper in no time. But what are the latest growth hacking lead generation techniques that you can use this year? Let’s take a look at the ultimate tips you can use in your marketing plan this 2017:

#1: Learn how other companies beat competition in the market

You know what they say, “If you can’t beat them, join them”. This is very much applicable in today’s global market competition played by huge companies around the world. You can compare your business to others that offer the same products or services. That way, you can learn the best ways on how to attract potential customers and convert them to repeat buyers. Check out paid search, review sites, or product listing pages.

Related: The Hidden Gems of the Web: Where Can You Get a Good B2B Lead List?

#2: Personalize your marketing campaigns

When people feel special when visiting your site, they are more likely to return. Make sure they get what they exactly need and provide them up to date information that excites them. Email marketing is also a great way to achieve customer retention and build new contact lists this 2017. Exert more effort in achieving great customer experience for better lead conversion rates.

Related: Multi-Channel Marketing: A Fresher Way of Reaching IT Decision Makers 

#3: Practice account-based marketing

This technique is now a trending issue for marketers. ABM campaigns help salespeople in creating a targeted accounts’ list that make lead generation easier. For better results, they offer beneficial services to customers such as training, business assessment, and personalized videos to grab their attention.

Related: Why Customer Profiling Could be the Best Investment your Company Makes

#4: Focus on customers as ultimate investment

By improving your customer’s journey while they transact with you, it’s easier to make them come back. You can practice thoughtful and strategic communications to ensure engagement and healthy interactions. Customers are satisfied when they get assisted all throughout the buying process.

#5: Track channels that give closed deals

Marketers know that zero attribution equals to zero spend. It doesn’t matter which industry you are in this 2017. What is really important is how you play your game. Don’t forget to track down channels that provide you closed deals every time. This will help you get more volumes of leads while you gauge your marketing success. In addition, it will open more opportunities because you know which channels to target and what factors to benefit from. Here’s how to increase new business inquiries this 2017 in 5 easy ways.

#6: Content marketing and blogging

Content is important to business sites more than ever. If you can create infographics, blog posts, videos, and other similar content, your visitors will always be thrilled to get to your site. Fresh content also scores to more effective lead generation strategies this 2017.

Here are some tips from our recent blog posts:

 

 

Getting serious with your Digital Marketing? You better get this FREE EBOOK!

Why You Should Bet Your Money on Digital Marketing (And Win)

 Learn more tips and tricks in creating quality and shareable content!

Read more posts on The Savvy Marketer’s Blog

Or learn more about our Lead Generation Services Dial 888.810.7464

 

 

Get Started with these 10 Content Marketing Editorial Calendar

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10 FREE Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Templates

At the start of the year, we all have this list of promises of improving ourselves and leaving the bad habits behind.

Well, changing our lifestyle is as hard as the third day of January when suddenly all your fitness motivation dissipates and you’re back to binge eating again. However, let’s give a round of applause for people who are still on track with their New Year’s resolutions. Not all will have the drive to ignore pizza.

Surely everyone wants to fully commit to their goals for the whole year and reap the fruit of their sacrifices.

Yes everyone, even content marketers, wants to have the best results for their campaigns because nothing could ever be more rewarding than those things you worked hard for. However, they have to keep themselves motivated and focused on their annual goals. That’s why they have their content calendars with them.

Content calendars serve as their progress board and help to remind them of this essential three-steproutine –be on track with your content publication due dates, publish different content types and serve the right content to the right target audience.

Now that you know what a content calendar is for, it’s time for you to have one. I know you don’t have the luxury of time, so here’s a list of FREE content calendar templates to start the year with.

#1: HubSpot

Today, this is one of the best content marketing editorial templates that marketers take advantage for free. HubSpot offers fillable forms and samples to follow a specific content marketing plan. Also, it includes KPI objectives, SWOT analyses, comprehensive timelines, and content-mapping features. This Excel-based template can support any business structure. Heads up –  it’s gated, but it’s worth the email trade-off. Download here..

#2: Shape+Sound

SS

For startups, this is the ultimate content marketing editorial calendar template. Besides a free tool, it’s a web-based template that provides helpful resource for B2Bs. The main advantage is that content can go with buyer stages while easily assigning list topics or pain points to authors working on a site.Download here..

#3: Moz

This comprehensive template offers a free MS Word format content planning feature that is 5 chapters long including some handy tips. It can also guide marketers in goal creation, branding, background research, and in using related tools. Download here..

#4: CMI

This template basically focuses on the fundamentals of content planning. It produces compelling content like yearly reports to track the entire marketing plan for the year. Though gated, downloading the free template doesn’t require much information from the users. Download here..

#5: QuickSprout

For those who need easy and quick content creation, this is the perfect tool. Available as PDF and online downloads, QuickSprout also offers practical tips, infographics, and samples to efficiently guide users. Download here..

#6: Buffer

This Word doc template gives a plethora of tips including a 21-step guide, executive summaries, persona creation, and a lot more. Also, it offers information through blog post, download, and slideshare presentation. Download here..

#7: Convince and Convert

This free editorial calendar template is simple to integrate. It’s Excel-based to re-purpose old content and make them relevant again for the time being. Users will enjoy this color-coded template for simpler usage. Download here..

#8: AXZM

This includes plenty of templates such as editorial calendar, content audit template, and persona worksheet. However, this is gated and needs users to promote it on social media before they can fully use the template for free. Download here..

#9: Pam Moore

Pam moore

Accessibility is gated while the template splits every month into another tab including a content inventory tab to ensure well tracked published content. Download here..

#10: Bob Angus

This free editorial template offers standardized calendar along with an advanced mapping feature to see particular events on a large scale. It also helps users to get updates on conferences, product launches, and other important milestones. Download here..

 

Bottom Line

This list includes the leading and most widely used templates today. There are other options to choose from to help content marketing plans succeed in a timely fashion without paying a single cent, but if you’re smart, you won’t waste time looking for those other options, and start with one of these winners we’ve picked out for you instead.

 

 

Getting serious with your Digital Marketing? You better get this FREE EBOOK!

Why You Should Bet Your Money on Digital Marketing (And Win)

 Learn more tips and tricks in creating quality and shareable content!

Read more posts on The Savvy Marketer’s Blog

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The Power of Infographics: One of the Most Effective Marketing Tools Available to You Today

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The Power of Infographics

Infographics are a lot more than just a way to “gussy up” boring content. Make no mistake – that is definitely a plus. If you present people with thousands of words of plain text, their eyes are likely to glaze over – according to a study by the Media Insight Project, only 41% of Americans say they actually make it past the headline on something like a news story or a blog post in a given week.

Enter: The Infographic

If you pair that exact same information with compelling visuals and present it in the framework of an Infographic, however, suddenly you’re grabbing people’s attention. But Infographics are a lot more than just a way to make sure your message is actually received in the way you want it to be. They’re also one of the most effective marketing tools available to you today for a wide range of different reasons.

Visual Marketing Is Effective Marketing

The primary reason why Infographics are so successful in terms of marketing has less to do with the format itself and a lot to do with how the human brain functions. According to one study, when people hear information, more often than not they remember only 10% of that information 72 hours later.

When a relevant image is combined with the same information, however, that percentage jumps to an incredible 65% over the same period of time.


According to a study conducted by Hubspot, roughly 90% of all information transmitted to the human brain is visual in nature.


This is because the brain can process visuals a colossal 60,000 times (!) faster than traditional text.  40% of people will always respond better to visual information (particularly in terms of things like following instructions) than they will to plain text that conveys the same message.


When you consider that approximately 93% of ALL human communication is nonverbal, suddenly the effectiveness of Infographics starts to make a lot of sense.


 Related: The Five Elements of Quality Content (According to an End-user)

The True Power of Infographics: Breaking It Down

All of this leads to something of a perfect storm that also explains why Infographics have grown so popular over the last few years alone. If you think that you’ve seen more Infographics lately than ever before, particularly on social media, it’s not just you.

Marketers are currently using the full power of this brilliantly simple format to their advantage.


According to Google and as reported by Forbes, the people actively searching for Infographics has increased over 800% in just two years.


The following statistics also paint a very clear picture about why marketers across the board are embracing the Infographics concept with open arms:

  • Publishers who make regular use of Infographics tend to show an increase in traffic by an average of 12% over those who lean heavier on non-visual content.
  • Content marketing (of which Infographics are a part of) generates as many as three times the number of leads as traditional marketing.
  • At the same time, content marketing collateral like Infographics also cost roughly 62% less than those more traditional channels.
  • 90% of customers who responded to a survey said that they find custom content like Infographics incredibly useful, particularly when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
  • An Infographic isn’t just 30 times more likely to be read than a text article. It’s also more likely to be posted on social media, liked, shared and even linked back to across the board.

Infographics are terrific branding tools. They’re great for generating referral traffic. They help with everything from raising awareness to increasing engagement, all in one attractive and visually compelling package.

If you know how to make them properly, that is. The truth is that you don’t necessarily need to invest heavily in the world’s best (and undoubtedly most expensive) graphic designer to get in on the Infographics game yourself. You just need access to the right tools.

Related: You Can’t Hit Two Birds with One Stone: Content for Demand & Lead Gen

Modern Day Tools and Best Practices for Creating Infographics

The brilliance of Infographics rests in their simplicity. This is true both in terms of the way they allow you to repackage information in a way your users are more receptive to, AND in terms of how easy they can be to create with the right tools.

To that end, Visme is an application that was created with exactly that idea in mind. It doesn’t take sense to make the process of creating something so brilliantly simple needlessly complicated.

It’s designed both to be easy-to-use and accessible to anyone with little to no formal design training needed. It has a wide array of important benefits, including but not limited to ones like:

  • You can change the look of ANY element, including specifying its size, its position, its color, etc.
  • It gives you the ability to add interactivity to any project by embedding videos, third-party content like quizzes or polls and more.
  • It gives you access to an incredibly library of existing visual assets. Get Infographic inspiration from 6,000 vector icons, millions of free images and more.
  • It’s also multi-faceted. In addition to Infographics, it lets you create all types of visual content like presentations as well.

When creating Infographics, however, there are a few key things to keep in mind. The format is a great one – but it can only do so much. You need to have a purpose behind your Infographic. It can be a message that you’re trying to communicate or a story that you’re trying to tell, but this will help guide you through the creation process more than any single tool ever can.

You’ll also want to make sure that you’re not overloading your Infographic with TOO MUCH information. Again: less is more and brevity is the soul of wit. Don’t overload your reader.

This is part of the reason why stats-heavy Infographics are shared the most often – they find a way to paint a vivid picture with as little of the “wall of text syndrome” as possible. Here’s How to Effectively Use Research in Creating Marketing Infographics

In the End: Infographics Are Here to Stay

In truth, Infographics aren’t JUST one of the most effective marketing tools available to you today. They’re also an incredible important one, and one that will undoubtedly stand the test of time. Humans are naturally visual learners and Infographics don’t help you fight this, but use it to your full advantage.

They help strengthen the rest of your campaign AND they can have almost immediate positive effects on everything from social media to landing pages.  They also bring with them the most important benefit of all: the opportunity to deeply connect with your target audience in a way they both actively enjoy and can’t get enough of.

And really, what is more important than that?

 

Author Bio:

He loves to write about topics that help fuel people’s design and communication skills. Founder . Making engaging visual content and data visualization creation effortless for non-designers

 

 

 

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Top 7 Trends in Software and IT Industry: What to Expect?

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Top 7 Trends in Software and IT Industry: What to Expect?

The huge changes happening in the IT industry significantly affect the mega software trends that data centers currently integrate. For instance, companies manage unyielding business demands, immeasurable infrastructure, and major change in terms of system control. But with the availability of advanced software products, IT professionals are sure to cope with these changes.

Check out the current trends in the industry and be ready for 2017:

#1: AI and Advanced Machine Learning

Natural-language processing, neural networks and deep learning are technologies related to AI and advanced machine learning. However, it also covers more complex systems that can predict, adapt, learn, understand, and operate separately. That way, smarter programs and devices are created based on the information provided by the systems.

#2: Open Philosophies

With the help of open development philosophies, data centers are able to go deeper in the lowest level components to efficiently understand the process and outcome. There are 2 percent of project applications engineered to facilitate horizontal scaling. But instead of project IT integrating legacy applications to open infrastructure, it should use new workloads to renegotiate companies’ hardware contracts. This will prep them up for better open-standard software and hardware.

Related: Why Omni-Channel Marketing is Ideal for IT and Software?

#3: Intelligent Apps

Technologies that can potentially change the workplace through easier daily tasks like VPAs (virtual personal assistants) are called intelligent apps. Also, they include enterprise apps and security tooling like ERP (enterprise resource planning) that can match AI-enabled systems. Hence, it will concentrate on AI-powered interfaces, self-directed business process, and advanced analytics.


Here’s How to Clinch that Million-Dollar Sale in the Software Industry


 #4: Software-defined Tools and Systems

When we say software-defined, it means controlling a system through the hardware; and that is applicable on any equipment used by data centers today. And this 2017, software-defined storage and networking will get more significant than ever. However, companies shouldn’t view this as a cheaper way for their business. Agility is one advantage that they should focus on instead.

Related: Marketing BI Software: Be The Heaven-Sent Solution to Customers

#5: Intelligent Things

Autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots are the main categories of intelligent things. And IoT (Internet of Things) devices can be developed as intelligent things through AI-enabled systems such as in medical facilities, factory floor, office, and home systems. This year, they are expected to shift to collaborative from stand-alone models.

#6: Big Data

Big data analytics are important in solving today’s problems in the industry. For instance, real time data can help the healthcare industry reduce mortality rates by tracking a patient’s progress through an updated database.  The real time input provided by big data can greatly help every sector in becoming prepared for what’s to come.

Related: Top 5 Sales Blind Spots in the IT and Software Industry

#7: Mobility

Clients, workforce, and companies are mobile. This only means that bringing data segregation into business and personal apps and data can facilitate IT systems’ success and effectiveness. And though apps are isolated from one another, they are still located in one single device for ease of use.

These are only some of the big trends in the software and IT industry that you need to prepare for. Always keep up to date with the current developments for a more successful software integration with your business.

 

Read more of our clients’ successful marketing stories!

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Influencer Interview Series: Jan Barbosa Marries Content Marketing and PR

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Influencer Interview Series Jan Barbosa Marries Content Marketing and PR

Last year was a great year for us partly because during the last quarter, our Influencer Interview Series was graced by three of the most respected people in the industry – Matt Heinz, Ted Rubin, and Mike Allton – who each talked about their specialties. The Savvy Marketer can’t thank those geniuses enough.

2017 is just a few days old, meaning it’s not too late to make good on our promise to start the year with a bang. So here we are picking up where we left off, with yet another brilliant and well-liked influencer, brand ambassador, and thought leader, Jan Barbosa. Here’s what he shared when The Savvy Marketer caught up with him.

The Savvy Marketer: You’ve been doing content marketing for a while. For you, what are the attributes of a successful lead generating content?

Jan Barbosa: I try to keep it simple and stand on 3 very basic rules:

First, define your target. Mine is social media oriented and I try my best not to stray — I stay far from politics, religion and themes that may offend some of my readers. It’s quite hard to get a following interested in what you have to say and it will be ridiculous to lose them over an emotional comment or share. There’s a place for everything and everything in its place.

Second is the value of the content you are sharing. I don’t blindly share content just because it comes from influencers or gurus. I read the post once or twice and think of my followers. Can they learn from it? Can they apply this content to their jobs? Will knowing the creators of these articles influence them? To create value you have to leave your ego behind and step in the shoes of your followers.

Third and last, my content has to be found. Some say the less hashtags, the better. I say use enough hashtags to be discovered. Your content needs to rise above social media background noise, and if it can’t be found, it doesn’t matter how good it is, it will pass as static. Also, don’t ever forget the power of relationships. When you help your peers to be found, you are also helping yourself to be found. Building your social media squad beats going at it solo anytime!

Related: The Five Elements of Quality Content (According to an End-user)

TSM: A good content marketing program paired with significant social media presence is a must-have these days, but how do you operate in the social media bubble where sometimes, what you see is not what you get?

JB: There’s a true need to be as open and transparent as possible (within what is professional), and this can be attained by using social proof, such as comments or testimonials from influencers in your field, or even co-producing or publishing a case study with a bigger brand. The key here is trust! With so much fake news and lies spreading throughout social media you really need to show your relevance and trustworthiness in your content and relationships. 


Get to know and Follow these SOCIAL INFLUENCERS!


TSM: What do you think of video in content marketing? Can we go any further or have we reached its peak?

JB: Although I think that text content is dominant (and will still be), we cannot by any means deny that when used right, video can deliver a lot of content in a small amount of time.

About reaching its peak, we are far from that, and Gen-Z is going to break the ceiling of what we Gen-X’ers would call peak.

Just days ago a coworker was showing a home video about his 6 year old “experimenting“ with his phone. This kid was recording tips on how to play console games and on making a secret camera out of a box of Corn Flakes, and posted it on YouTube.

I was just amazed! Imagine, this knowledge had been passed along to 50, 500, maybe even 5000 other youngsters like him. That’s the kind of video marketing Eureka moment we will receive from Generation Z.

Create your own viral video with this Three S’s Rule: Short, Substanstial and Shareable!

TSM: You’re also into PR. Tell us how you marry content marketing and public relations.

JB: Content marketing means having a new great book in a library and those who regularly visit become aware of it and read it. PR means announcing in the local newspaper and radio station about this great new book and why everyone should come inside the library and take a look at it. PR brings awareness to your content. It creates the excitement and curiosity that attracts a whole new audience that can convert into followers. I like content marketing, but I love PR. I must admit, I always think of myself more as a Thought Promoter and Social Networker than anything else.

Related: Influencer Interview with The Modern Marketer: Matt Heinz

TSM: What do you think are the content marketing trends we should all watch out for?

JB: Great question! I’m very excited about two particular trends which I think will become dominant in 2017:

Live Stream: Just weeks ago I said this trend would be grabbing headlines in 2017, and I stand by my word. After the fall of Meerkat, the surviving video platforms have been evolving at rapid pace. Just recently, Twitter announced the capability to broadcast live video from the Twitter app itself while Instagram has added IG live; Facebook steps the ante with Live 360 and Snapchat pushes group messaging. In all, it’s a hectic take-no-prisoners race to be video king of the hill as users and marketers study which platform could better tell their story.

Mobile: The age of smartphones is upon us and it will obliterate the desktop once and for all. Mobile friendly content marketing will be indispensable for any serious presence in the web. Pages must load faster, graphics load smoother, content easy to read and be shared. 

Related: Here’s How to Manage Google’s Mobile First Indexing for SMBs

The added capability of Mobile to take advantage of VR and Augmented Reality will push content marketing to whole new realms of possibilities. And if we look anywhere around us, smartphones are one of the most affordable and efficient means to push content. Why? Well, most people own one and how many times a day do we check them for messages or updates? There’s the answer.

 

Comments? Questions? We’d love to hear from you, guys!

Influencer Interview Series: Mike Allton Wears The Social Media Hat

We are in the search for our next influencer interviewee,

we would love to read your suggestions. Comment below!

Learn more sales and marketing tips on The Savvy Marketer’s Blog

 
 

Increase New Business Inquiries this 2017 in 5 Easy Ways

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How To Increase New Business Inquiries This Year

Many things in life rely on good old trial-and-error method – choosing a major, looking for a job, hiring an employee, finding a significant other. But especially finding a significant other. You never really know until you try. Indeed, life is a box of chocolates.

When it comes to business, there’s only so much you can do to make sure everything goes well. There are feasibility studies, various marketing strategies at your disposal, and all other measures necessary for a business to thrive. But there are also numerous factors beyond your control that impact your business trajectory. Needless to say, nobody can eliminate these variables from the equation altogether. You can only limit their potential negative effects, and that is by adhering to certain standards – standards that have evolved through time and practice and continuous innovation.

Here are several tips on how to level up your business inquiries this year.

#1: Planning is Winning Half the Battle

Is there a saying that means in the neighborhood of “Planning is winning half the battle.”? No? Then it’s high time we had that saying. Planning, strategizing, preparation – whatever you call it in whatever language – is always the key to success, be it in sports, academics, war, or business.

Anybody who comes in prepared will beat, nine times out of 10, somebody who’s good but ill prepared. Ok, you can argue that we can never be truly prepared for anything, but by golly, just do your best preparing.

That said, list down your new year resolution for your business or planning out a decent marketing or lead generation strategy will always beat an incredible tech solution or software.

Rebecca Matias, Business Development Manager of Callbox, agrees.

“To put things in perspective, optimizing landing pages so they perform better, or qualifying leads properly before they move down the sales funnel will have a much better outcome than just making a hundred updates and wishing for the best,” she said.  Get to know Rebecca, read more about her..

#2: Lead by example

Whether it’s data management, a new payroll software, CRM, or an automated lead nurture tool, learning to use a new system is a pain in the neck. Sure, some people enjoy discovering how a system works, but aren’t really keen on infusing it into the “whole system” because they’ve grown too comfortable with the existing one. It’s always more love at first sight than an enduring kind of love. Most of us abhor change and would rather stay where we’re comfortable at or do what’s convenient. The solution?

Find a team of people to lead the charge. Better if they’re more senior than the subordinates.

ameer ahmad

Based on experience, being senior and able to show “battle scars” adds up to one’s credibility, authority, and overall respect. Sometimes, it just needs a great leader and a little prodding to make a great team. In our case, because we know brief internal correspondence from the bosses come through Spark and Slack instead of email, we’re far more likely to keep an eye on them than email,”

said Ameer Ahmad, Lead Generation Specialist and Appointment Setting Expert.

In your own organization, try to get people on board fast to make sure you don’t waste your money on a system no one uses.

#3: Cleanse your Lists

Oftentimes, we use the turning of the year as an excuse to start with a blank slate, to recalibrate our standards, to raise the bar, and it’s only fitting that when we do this, we do it across the board. Along with your plans to go to the gym, save more, get a pet iguana and volunteer for that group of tree-huggers, include cleaning your mailing list/s this year. I think it’s a good place to start.

“A bad email address can never convert. A clean email list increases conversion rates by removing addresses that will never convert. When your messages are being received by an engaged audience, your conversion rates will increase,” the nice people of GetB2BLeads, say.

Read more on Start Fresh with a Clean Email List for 2017

What you need is a database of leads that’s clean and qualified at all times so your sales team is able to focus more on closing significant sales. Of course, a clean and qualified database starts with a one qualified lead at a time, and ends with regular cleansing. That said, your organization should have a team dedicated to cleaning your data. If you don’t, your platform wouldn’t work. 

Here are some easy tips and guide for you to have a cleaner list this 2017:

Put greater emphasis on quality marketing data this year, learn more about our customer profiling process!

#4: There’s more to content than Blogs

Make sure you’re creating and distributing varied content. Again, that’s easier said than done, but it makes a ton of sense. Blogs are a staple. But you can add press releases, short videos, podcasts, case studies, and whitepapers in the mix. Always think about John Paul Aguiarwhere customers want to engage with you. Is it via Email, webinars, social media, events or through phone calls? Which is best for specific customers? Think about that when building personas out, and when qualifying leads.

“Write targeted, helpful content that fits your audience at all levels. Don’t worry about giving to much away for free, I would rather write a helpful piece of content that teaches something on its own, than to write content that leaves the reader needing to go elsewhere to finish the ‘learning’,” 

said John Paul Aguiar, an Internet entrepreneur,  pro blogger and social media consultant.

Related: The Five Elements of Quality Content (According to an End-user)

#5: One Man’s Meat is another Man’s Poison

Any decent lead gen system will have dozens of templates and automated triggers to help you get more out of it.  It’s great, but don’t let your life depend on them. Set aside some time to – for lack of a better term — breaking rules. By that I mean implementing something that veers a little away from the traditional way things are done. But first you have to have a deep understanding of your internal processes and know what works for you and what doesn’t.  

Consider this strategy from a PR guy who was helping his team come up with ways to assure their prospects their phone and chat lines are handled by real people and not bots. Running out of solutions, the PR guy told his team to deliberately use typos in their live chats (and apologizing for them right away). “That way, they’d know the one they’re chatting with is 100% warm-blooded.” PR guy = borderline genius. So yeah, ignore advice that doesn’t fit your style and do what works for you.

Related: How NOT to Market your Product: 9 of the Worst Branding Failures

Parting Shot

If this list looks familiar, it’s because the pros have said this at one time or another. And by pros I don’t mean those who have the most awards, the most twitter followers, or the biggest names. These are people who have been around long enough to commit a significant number of errors, learned from them, moved on, and succeeded. They just care enough to share some of the lessons from their blunders. After all, success isn’t success just by falling down and getting back up, but by also preventing others from falling down in the first place.

 

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