Posts

5 Reasons Why You Should Outsource B2B Lead Generation [GUEST POST]

Businesses who nurture leads make 50% more sales than those who don’t. While your business can’t afford to throw away half of its revenue, you may be concerned that it can’t pay for a specialist agency to generate its leads. However, getting the specialists to handle your sales is not only a cost-effective way of making money for your business, but it also gives you access to a lot more than a sales team – as I explain below.

 

1. Lead generation companies do a lot more than you think

Do you have reservations about using an external company for B2B lead generation because you think they’ll take your money run? That it’ll make a couple of calls and leave it at that? Well, it might surprise you to discover that not only will they deliver you results, but it’ll deliver them in a variety of ways.

Lead generation companies may specialize in one area, but often they are multi-facet experts who can cover all of the following services:

While you may think you’re hiring a company to get you more sales (and you’d be right), as you’ve seen from the services above, investing in a lead generation agency can bring a lot more benefit to your organization than just new business.

 

2. Contacts and data mean they speak to the right people

One of the main problems companies encounter with an in-house outreach program is the resources they have. Good lead generation is about speaking to the right people at the right time and that comes down to having the correct contacts and data – resources that allow an outsourced lead generation company to speak to the right people.

Contacts and Data

I’ll explain the value of resources to you by using the example of Callbox: Callbox has a large in-house database of over 44 million business contacts from companies across the world. This means it can select from a much wider source of sales leads than your business is able to. Callbox also has 300 data specialists, meaning it can determine which leads are qualified.

Buying access to the contacts and data owned by a B2B agency is a quick way of getting the resources you need to generate the leads your company wants. You could direct your own workers into generating leads, but it would take them time to build up a contact list and develop the analytical skills to separate the good leads from the bad.

 

3. It lets you focus on the things that have to be done in-house

Whatever area of B2B your business operates in, one thing will ring true – the thing that generates revenue for your company is its USP. Why? Because it’s the asset you possess which can’t be bought elsewhere. If you want to generate as much money as possible for your business then you need to focus as much of your resources as possible on its USP.

Outsourcing your lead generation to an agency allows you to do precisely that.

 

4. Results, results, results (that can be reviewed more efficiently)

Commission is one of the key features of sales. It gives the sales team an incentive to win more business and takes some of the costs away from the person paying for the service. Outsourced B2B lead generation agencies are sales companies at heart and many of them use a commission-based fee structure. What this means is they are geared towards delivering the results your business demands from its lead generation strategy.

results

Like other services which you pay for to advance your business – such as PPC, or social media marketing (the latter being something you can get from an outreach agency) – your results are presented as detailed reports that are set against metrics. This means you can see exactly where the campaigns run by your outreach team have succeeded (or failed, as will occasionally be the case from any lead generation strategy).

The result is that you can effectively review your B2B campaigns and make sure there is an ongoing improvement in the number and quality of your leads – especially if you’ve selected an outreach agency that’s working on commission, as it has a vested interest in generating you more and better leads.

 

5. It’s a cost-effective way of winning more leads for your business

Every business has visible costs – if a company has an office then people know it has to be paid for, if it has staff then outsiders are aware that they earn a salary. But there are many costs hidden away from the public eye, such as insurance, training, sick days, and software. Outsourcing your B2B lead generation allows you to strip away some of these, making it a cost-effective way of earning you money.

If you’re running a B2B ecommerce company, lead generation is the lifeblood of your business. However, it’s not always that easy to generate enough leads to keep your business profitable. Setting up an email list, creating a sales funnel, launching offers, and creating lead capturing assets are just some of the many tactics you can use to find prospects for your business – but these all require significant expertise and investment.

Cost-effective

A lead generating agency, on the other hand, focuses on driving growth for ecommerce businesses. And that’s all they concentrate on. An agency also has its own dedicated staff and optimized systems that are fine-tuned to develop hot leads. Conversely, If you want to carry out your own leads you’ll need to hire and train staff to do it or do it yourself – each of which costs time and takes your resources away from your business’ USP.

Before choosing a lead generation agency, it’s important to do your research. If possible, scan reviews, testimonials, and ask for referrals. At the same time, it’s advisable to ask your preferred outsource partner questions about their processes, tools, whether they have their own CRM software and if it will be able to integrate with your B2B CMS for a seamless experience. In B2B, an individual sales lead or a sale can be worth a lot of capital, so really put some thought into the customer experience journey pre and post-sale.

While there’s no hiding the fact that using an outreach agency does cost you money, it also saves your business money too. So unless you want to pay the true cost of generating your own leads, you’ll be wise to pass on the hidden costs to the experts.

 

Conclusion:

All businesses want to keep costs low and plenty think the answer is to look after everything in-house.

While there are some things that must be kept in-house, many tasks can be outsourced and dealt with cheaper and more effectively by specialist companies. B2B lead generation is one example of a vital business component that can be outsourced.

So review the five reasons I’ve outlined in this article and if you can’t find a genuine counter to them, get in touch with a lead generation agency today.

 

Sign up for the 6-Day Lead Management Bootcamp

Author Bio:

Guest Author Avatar

Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer and campaign designer for MicroStartups, a website focused on the charity world and microbusinesses. With years of experience in the sustainability, marketing and creative industries, Kayleigh knows how to grow a business from the ground up. Visit her blog or follow her on Twitter @getmicrostarted for the latest startup and entrepreneur-based news and tips.

#1 B2B Lead Generation Strategy You Should Be Focusing On [GUEST POST]

Be it the fact that the B2B purchasing cycle is long — generally spanning years — or the reality that even a good lead can take weeks, if not months, to materialize into a sale, maintaining a healthy pipeline of leads is crucial. Unfortunately, it’s also very challenging.

length of b2b purchase cycle

Source: Demand Gen Report

However, as much as we might look for the golden egg of generating B2B leads, the one that works is the one that takes a lot of effort and time, especially in terms of waiting.

That one B2B lead generation strategy is building an inbound marketing strategy, i.e., one that attracts potential leads to you, and builds the trust necessary to graduate that lead into a sale.

 

How to Implement an Inbound Marketing Strategy

In terms of inbound marketing, it’s important to delineate between lead generation and demand generation efforts. You can employ inbound marketing to achieve either, but for generating new leads, you must take specific steps when attracting and engaging traffic.

1. Build Buyer Personas & Define the Buyer’s Journey

To achieve any of what we’ve stated below, you must create buyer personas of each target audience and define a buyer’s journey for each one.

You cannot afford to skip on either one of these ingredients — doing so will lead you to poorly designing and implementing the rest of your inbound marketing strategy.

Buyer Persona

The buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer, i.e., the person you are targeting as a prospective lead. It’s semi-fictional in that the persona itself is not a real individual, but this persona’s characteristics must come from the real world.

You’ll need to use real-world demographic, firmographic (e.g., industry or market segment information), and other data to capture this persona’s fears, aspirations, interests and other attributes you can respond to with your marketing.

proportion of b2b marketers

Source: Content Marketing Institute

Since the B2B process involves multiple decision-makers and stakeholders, you will not be tied to just one buyer persona — you will need to develop many.

Buyer’s Journey

The next step is to define the journey of your buyer personas.

The idea behind the buyer’s journey is to have a pathway for readers who might not be ready to buy (90% of readers don’t know what brand or product to select when starting their search).

The pivotal idea here is that even inbound marketing will bring in people who aren’t yet ready for a sales call, you can nurture them into leads. You do it by engaging with them more and, in turn, push them through later stages of the buyer’s journey.

This is an exercise in patience, so if you can’t be bothered to pursue leads by attracting them to your content and nurturing them over time, this strategy isn’t for you.

2. Bring Relevant Traffic

Your next step is to bring those people who match your buyer personas to your website.

You can do this through three methods: organic, paid traffic, and social media.

Organic Traffic

You will attract organic traffic by enabling your website to rank on the top of Google (or at least the first page) and other search engines.

You achieve this by employing a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. The basic idea of SEO is to rank for specific search terms (i.e., keywords) by methodically including them in your content. Your goal is to rank for the keywords your buyer personas are asking on Google et. al.

The standard SEO strategy typically involves researching for keywords by following your buyer persona’s online activities. You do this by finding their online watering holes, such as LinkedIn groups, forums, industry news websites, etc.

You can also search for those keywords by looking at Google’s recommendations, but to verify the search intent, you’ll need to return to your personas’ watering holes.

ahrefs

Source: Ahrefs

Next, examine those keywords’ traffic (to ensure there are people actually searching for it) and the keyword difficulty (to see how much investment it’ll take to rank for it). You can use a range of SEO tools, such as Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Moz, to achieve this.

Paid Traffic

A complementary method for organic traffic is leveraging paid traffic.

Simply, you pay Google to get your website to rank. This is a good way to skip the time it could take to organically rank for very competitive keywords.

However, the optimal strategy would be to use paid traffic to push time-sensitive engagements, such as you exhibiting at a conference and a new product release.

Retargeting

If you have the right data about your personas, you can also leverage retargeting — i.e., if your persona visits your website, you can push ads to them when they visit other websites.

Social Media

If people recognize your brand and congregate on your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, you can push that traffic to your website as well.

In fact, if your business closely aligns with an actual problem people want to solve, you can build a strong social media presence. Grammarly, for example, aids writers by preventing typos, so its Facebook Page pulls in lots of writers to share ideas and opinions.

social mediaYou can also advertise on social media. In fact, you can leverage audience metrics such as age, geography, and others to target your engagement to very specific subsets.

3. Convert Using Relevant Content

Pulling your personas to your website is only one part of the battle, you must also deliver on the readers’ expectations. This is where compelling and relevant content is critical.

In general, this could comprise of blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, podcasts, webinars and much, much more. However, you must not create content haphazardly.

Remember our earlier section on the buyer’s journey? Well, this is where you will need to pay careful attention to ensure each of your readers get to the right content. In specific terms, you shouldn’t have someone who’s not ready to buy reach a sales page.

content formats

Source: Demand Gen Report

It’s tough to discuss this section in isolation of SEO. The kind of reader you get depends on the keywords you’re ranking for. For example, a question about an undefined problem is likely to be an early-stage reader, i.e., someone who doesn’t even know the solution, much less purchase.

Early Stage

As noted earlier, early-stage content typically guides the reader into understanding the problem.

For example, you could have a reader dealing with a slow application update cycle where their developers are complaining about too many interconnected parts and other issues.

For this content, you could have blogs that explain how slow update cycles are a symptom of a deeper problem — i.e., obsolete software architecture. In fact, you can create lots of content for just highlighting how oft-mentioned symptoms — such as slow updates, frequent bugs, crashes, etc — are all caused by old ways of developing software.

Middle Stage

The next stage is to discuss solutions.

Returning to our software example, you can use blogs, webinars, case studies, eBooks and other content to explain why containerization and microservices are the way forward.

You can also have a whitepaper that outlines the steps your readers can take to transition their old legacy software code to a containerized environment.

You will obviously highlight your own solutions, but don’t shy away from mentioning alternative or competing ones as well. Just ensure that you’re working to debunk them and, in turn, guide the reader to preferring what you have to offer.

Late Stage

The final stage is to convert the reader.

Your late stage content should include content that helps convince the reader that you are the way forward. So if you’re offering development support for containerization, you should offer a case study about how a client working with you was able to roll-out fast updates, for example.

The Longer the Text, the Less Likely it’ll Convert Prospective Business Consulting Clients

content length vs conversion

Source: Unbounce

Finally, your conversion pages — e.g., sales pages, product pages, service pages, etc — should push the reader into an action, such as contacting you for an assessment. This content should be short in length and simple/accessible in understanding.

Business Consulting Pages Should be Readable at the 6th or 7th Grade Level for Best Conversion Chances

reading level

Source: Unbounce

 

Track Your Results!

meme

There’s no point in investing in this without setting the right inbound marketing KPIs and, in turn, closely measuring them after implementation.

The strength of digital marketing as a whole rests in our ability to return to what we have out there and iterate and improve upon it. However, we can’t do that effectively without data and candor in our work — how can we improve if we can’t identify the flaws?

Once you find those flaws — or opportunities — you should return to the top of this post and repeat the implementation process as part of your iterative approach.

 

Author Bio:

Guest Author Avatar

Brianna Pyne is a thought leader in the Digital Marketing Industry, one of Brianna’s passions is writing & speaking at conferences. She is currently working with JumpFactor and helps produce content related to content marketing & SEO for B2B businesses.

Download the Ultimate Lead Generation Kit eBook

What You Should Know About Optimizing Voice Search [GUEST POST]

By 2020, it might be possible that 30% of websites sessions will be accessible without the need of a screen. You might significantly ask how will it be possible. Literally, this will be made possible by a voice-only search that can allow a user to browse consumer information, website, and the internet without scrolling through desktop and mobile devices. The voice-based search engine listens when the user talks and ensures delivery of quality, accurate and easy to understand information from your website.

 

What is voice search

It is a speech recognition technology that allows users to speak instead of typing words in the search query to generate content from a website. This audio technology analyzes the voice query via speech recognition and orally delivers results to the user.

However, it might seem to be a new technology but this tech has been there in the market. For instance companies like Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Siri, Amazon Alexa utilizes this voice search approach as part of user experience in content search. Nevertheless, voice search technology concepts like speed-to-text and voice dialing are some examples. In terms of optimization, it is not only specific devices that can be optimized for voice search but also websites, platforms, and brands.

 

Impact of voice search on SEO ranking

Voice search has significantly improved user experience in pursuit of related and relevant searches and it is because of this fact that by 2020 half of online searches will be conducted using vocal searches.

The aim of SEO is to provide the user with the most valid search result prioritized at the top for fast experience. Voice search is one of the most convenient user search interfaces.

In connection to that, many tech companies have employed blogger outreach services to ensure online consumers find them first on the top search page results. These services come at a cost for writing content that sells your business that once posted on guest sites improves the SEO rankings of your site and also help to raise the domain authority of your site.

 

Strategies on how to optimize for voice search SEO

Users adopt voice search with specific needs, for example, complete an action like listen to a song, access information or purchase a product but regardless of the aim, google for instance uses a common algorithm to rank sites being visited. Therefore, below are several ways on how to improve voice rankings irrespective of user intentions.

Here are several ways of improving voice search ranking.

1. Use of long-tail keywords

Different search engines including Google deliver results to meet people’s desire while taking consideration the intent and context. This makes it become quite important for inclusion of long-tail keywords, phrases that are highly searchable and demonstrates clearly the intent of a user.

Actually, Microsoft has discovered that voice queries are generally longer than typed words . for instance ” Chrismas eve discount new Samsung Galaxy 5″ is a long- tail that suggests that the user is seeking to use Christmas holiday in pursuit of buying Samsung phone at a cheaper price. This search brings better results than having searched for Samsung Galaxy 5 which can bring other things like the latest information concerning the device etc.

2. Optimizing mobile device and voice search.

Getting a quick answer can be easier via talking into a phone than having to type on sometimes a tiny screen or even stop to tap away the time you are driving. Moreover, mobile queries are normally designed by voices and that figure will keep growing in a couple of years to a predicted percentage (50%)

For a fact, Google moved toward mobile-first indexing in 2018 that made its site more friendly. Taking action to verify the version of your site for mobile device and avoiding flash, helps to minimize load time and ensures that each page is ready.

3. Use of structured data

This makes search engines give more accurate results after scanning and understanding your site’s content by use of the said structured data. A reference can be sought from Schema.org on a full list of standardized formats that meet your website page info and classification in an easier way that Google can digest.

4. SEO top rule stands

It talks about creating valuable content that can speak to readers’ challenges, addresses their pressing points. Moreover, from Google’s search quality rating guidelines, it notes that “lack of purpose pages should be rated lowest quality.” To avoid this it is important to integrate meaningful answers for popular questions from precise and captivating content. For instance, you can go a step further and read out loud what you have written, if it is sensible then google voice recognition will capture it too.

5. Employ the use of local searches

This involves search based on nearest location, i.e include ” near me” in order to get best-related results. Many people around the world search for what could be nearest to them. In relation to this, many consumer platforms use location-based queries to bring the best search and results a good example is Google search. For instance, you can search’ cheap housing in California’ instead of ‘cheap housing’. The latter will give very generalized results showing housing anywhere in the world but the former will only take you to California related results.

6. Ensure your website loads quickly

Many search engines prefer to prioritize websites that load quickly to give users fast experience. According to Moz, one of the signals adopted by Google to rank pages is by site speed.

You can speed up your site loading by doing the following:

  • Minifying CSS, HTML and JavaScript.
  • Avoiding post-click landing pages.
  • Enabling compression.
  • Speeding up server response time.

 

Am I able to view my voice search Ranking?

voice search is critical to the improvement of brand awareness and more on conversions so that you can see your voice search rankings to and track improvement. We have digital agencies that are able to run queries, track and give a report on rankings to its clients so one can recruit them for that purpose. Briefly, the point is to keep optimizing above-recommended voice SEO practices and ultimately you will be able to see good fruits.

 

Conclusion

Voice search is currently being adopted by a majority of platforms to make interactions between user and content more convenient. It is therefore of great importance that those in online business adopt this too alongside collaboration and adoption of other SEO tools. Once you create your platform that runs on a desktop, mobile app or website remember to include voice recognition feature to meet some clients special needs eg. those with physical disabilities like not able to type.

 

Author Bio:

Guest Author Avatar

Jessica Smith is a Digital Marketing Expert who helps clients increase their revenues by improving their organic traffic(With a primary focus on keyword rankings, backlink profile and on-page optimization) and building powerful campaigns through Google Adwords. She has been in the marketing industry for over ten years 10 years. Her core role is as the Principal Consultant at Outreachlinkbuilding.com, a USA based digital marketing agency specializing in SEO.

Download the Ultimate Lead Generation Kit eBook

5 Expert Tips and Predictions for Video Marketing in 2019

In the U.S. alone, digital video marketing is a $135 billion industry. Whether it’s in the form of a livestream that’s broadcasting in real-time, social stories that get in front of your user’s face, or a next-generation VR or AR offering that adds an extra digital element, video marketing is going strong.

 

The Many Benefits of Video Marketing in 2019

Do you know why video marketing is going so strong that 93% of businesses reported gaining a new customer as a direct result of a video posted on social media? It’s because of the power of video storytelling that engages and keeps them on the hook until the very end. In fact, because of its visual nature, 80% of users can recall a video ad they’ve seen in the past 30 days, and an astonishing 81% have been convinced to buy a product or service after watching a brand’s video. To top it off, of the businesses using video marketing:

  • 97% say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service
  • 78% say video gives them a good ROI
  • 76% reported an increase in traffic
  • 76% reported an increase in sales

It all comes down to the fact that videos are equal parts entertaining and engaging, and can deliver just as much, if not more information than other forms of content. Even better, it’s all passive. Whereas a blog post like the one you’re reading right now necessitates a user to become a reader, a video does not. Instead, they become a viewer whose only job is to watch and absorb.

 

Video Marketing Trends for 2019

Now that you have a good idea of the power of video marketing, it’s time to get your brand ready to use it. To this end, we’re going to cover a list of five video marketing tips and predictions from the experts you need to know about as we move deeper into 2019.

1. Social Media Will Feature More Vertical Videos

“Facebook ads get prohibitively expensive for most businesses, as there is increasing demand against an inventory base that isn’t growing.  We’ve seen the base cost of traffic nearly double each year– now being close to $8 per thousand impressions, regardless of whether they are bidding for leads, ROAS, video views, or whatever.

The antidote is 15 and 60 second vertical videos (to look like what a friend would post, not an “advertisement” a business would run) and running chatbots (like MobileMonkey, where we can promote within a consumer’s inbox, which marketers haven’t ruined yet).” – Dennis Yu, BlitzMetrics

Image Source: Spotx.tv

The continual rise in the cost of ad-based traffic is making it hard to traverse the line between profitability and attractability, i.e. the ability attract an audience. On the one hand, you need to grow your audience and increase sales to grow your own business. On the other, doing so costs money that you may not have, and even if you do, its worth is diminishing by the day. Like Dennis points out, a solution to this dilemma comes in the form of vertical videos that mimic your Facebook friend’s videos and bypass the “ad barrier” most consumers have when browsing content online.

2. Multiple Video Formats Will be the Go-To

“While the last several years have been about short-form video across many platforms, I think the future will find content more segmented: Short-form, vertically-oriented video for Instagram, live video for Twitter. For longer form content, my team and I prefer YouTube, where viewers are more accepting of 5+ minute videos. Across all platforms though, the major trend will continue to be producing franchises that resonate with socially active audiences.” – Osman Noor, ESPN

Similar to first of the video content trends for 2019 we’re going to cover today, marketers are finding that using multiple video formats on alternate platform works much better than using the same one everywhere. For example, while landscape videos are still the go-to for YouTube, square videos work better on Instagram, vertical videos on Facebook, and so on. Key here is figuring out where your users are consuming video content, and then tailoring yours accordingly.

Here is an example of a case study video optimized for narrow mobile screens (i.e: Instagram)

While on the other hand, this About Callbox video is formatted for landscape (i.e: Youtube)

3. Storytelling Will Include Virtual Reality

“More will use VR storytelling. Virtual reality is really an underused tool and partially that is because not all consumers have the headset. But given that you can watch virtual reality videos as 360 versions on a phone or app, and not very many events are using them yet, it’s the perfect time to jump right in and make this strategy a big differentiation for your company.” – Christoph Trappe – Stamats Business Media

Whether it’s actual virtual reality (VR) in which you’re transported to a different world you can interact with, or a 360° video that places you in the middle of all the action, the reality is that storytelling is getting much more virtual. More and more brands are realizing that injecting a VR element into their videos make them much more entertaining, which leads to a big jump in engagement.

4. The Rise of Augmented Reality

“There’s a reason every single mobile company and tech giant is investing millions, if not billions, of dollars in augmented reality (AR) as part of their corporate roadmap. AR is a big part of the future of social media marketing.” – Cathy Hackl – You Are Here Immersive Labs

Like VR, the rise of augmented reality (AR) content is another video marketing predictions for 2019 we’re seeing everywhere. Spurred on by the popularity of applications like Snapchat and Pokémon Go that use AR technology, AR in video marketing creates engagement and intrigue by allowing users to interact with real-world environments AND digital elements.

5. More In-House Videographers

“In 2019, more and more companies will realize that, whether we like it or not, we’re all media companies. In other words, these companies will accept the undeniable influence that video is having on the B2B and B2C sales, marketing, and customer service process– and the fact that if they don’t start to do something about it (show, not just tell), they’ll be left behind by their competitors. Furthermore, more and more companies will hire in-house videographers as a full-time position, due to the fact that in order to truly create a “culture” of video within an organization, you must become, for the most part, self reliant.” – Marcus Sheridan – Marcus Sheridan

Finally, one of the biggest video production trends for 2019 is that an increasing amount of brands are investing money on themselves to create in-house video production teams that eliminate the need to go to a third-party. Instead of relying on someone else’s vision, these brands are finding that they can get more when they jump into the fray from beginning to end.

 

Final Thoughts

There’s no question that content marketing should be part of every business’ strategy, no matter their size or intustry. From the smallest eCommerce run from an entrepreneur’s living room, to the biggest enterprise with branches across continents, content marketing is a must. And then there’s video marketing, a tried and true tool at your disposal that’s only getting stronger.

As you create your strategy and begin production, keep in mind that YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are the top 3 platforms for marketers posting social marketing videos and video ads:

  • 87% of marketers have published video content on YouTube. Out of these, 90% found it to be an effective strategy
  • 68% of marketers have published video content on Facebook. Out of these, 87% found it to be an effective strategy
  • 41% of marketers have published video content on Instagram. Out of these, 78% found it to be an effective strategy

You should also know that longer videos come with diminishing returns (95% of consumers believe a video should be less than 2 minutes long), and that consumer-focused videos that benefit them perform better (the top three most effective branded video types are how-to videos, videos about sales and promos, and top 5 lists). In other words, make sure not to bore your viewers, and most importantly, that you’re providing something they can actually use.

 

Author Bio:

Matthew Fritschle

Matthew is a content writer for Aumcore, a digital marketing agency NYC has to offer. He writes on a variety of topics that range from online video advertising to the latest technological trends.

Download the Ultimate Lead Generation Kit eBook