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When and How To Break the Fourth Wall with your Customers

When a character in a movie breaks the fourth wall, it is always a sweet treat for the audience. Character favorites from Bugs Bunny, to Kuzco, to Deadpool, have cracked us up one too many times with the art of talking and/or relating to us through the screen. But more than that, it made us viewers feel included and the characters even more relatable. But what actually happens when you break the fourth wall?

Breaking the fourth wall happens when the actor or character starts interacting with the audience. It removes the invisible wall, signaling that there stands nothing between them and the audience. Now, what if I told you that you can do the same thing with your customers? That even in a corporate setting, you can still ensure your customers that there is no wall between you and them?

Instead of putting a distinction between “you” and “me”, it is better to let them feel that there is a “we” instead. Because let’s face it, without our best and loyal customers, our brands are nothing. Having said that, engaging customers is a common practice in the modern world of marketing using various types of social media platforms. These engagements are executed in many ways like contests, surveys, blog posts, infographics, and videos to name a few. Breaking the fourth wall in marketing oftentimes means that you put yourself into your customers’ shoes and see things from their standpoint; including them. 

By letting your customers into your world, you not only strengthen your relationship with your customers but also build a better brand reputation for yourself. 

Now let’s explore hows to the what.

Targeted B2B Marketing Handbook: Guide, Checklists and Worksheets eBook Cover

Targeted B2B Marketing Handbook: Guide, Checklists and Worksheets

Find, engage and convert the right prospects with the right message.

DOWNLOAD NOW

 

Tag Team

Don’t just serve your customers sneak peeks and appetizers. Let them tag along with you. A good example of this is behind-the-scenes videos such as HBO faithfully kept doing for every episode of Game of Thrones. Giving your customers a deeper insight into what you’re doing or working on, is a show of authenticity and transparency. Like, “Hey, let’s go on an adventure. Come with me so you don’t miss a single thing!” 

 

Together is Better

Your consumers will always know what they want best. So why not try and co-create something with them? Whether that’s a product or a service. Great innovations always arise when different minds come together. 

 

Yay  ̶m̶e̶ We!

Promoting your services and products is great – in fact, it’s a must. But once in a while, it’s also good to step away from the “me” and shift into the “we” perspective. Find other things that you can share your thoughts on and encourage your customers to engage in conversation. You don’t have to compromise with your content. Just choose content that’s still relevant to your brand and talk about it with your audience. 

 

Everyone’s Got a Story to Tell 

Everybody likes to hear a good story, and for a company, there is no story sweeter to the ears than the stories of your customers about you. You don’t have to white-knuckle hold everything in your grasp. Loosen up sometimes and trust your customers and even your own best employees to tell about your brand and how it helped them. 

And last but not least…

 

Community is Everything

Look forward to building a lasting, healthy community with your customers where you advise and help them and they do the same for you in return. Trust is the glue that keeps any relationship. Especially a community together. It’s all about developing a good relationship between your company and your customers and maintaining a good balance in your marketing strategies. 

 

Now the follow-up question is, “Is this really necessary?” and of old-school marketing were to answer you, the answer would be “no”. But we are in a new era of marketing where collaboration and relationships are vital to the success of every business. 

Don’t be afraid to embrace change and new things and letting go of old ways that staggered growth and progress.

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

Influencer Interview Series: How Top Marketers Shop for Father’s Day

Looking for ideas on what to get someone this Father’s Day? Then you came to the right place. The Callbox team recently reached out to a number of top marketing influencers and asked how they choose the perfect Father’s Day gifts. We rounded up their answers in this blog post, and we guarantee you can’t go wrong with the shopping tips they shared.

But besides giving out practical gift-buying suggestions, their responses also gave us a ton of insights on a crucial thing in B2B marketing: understanding what our audience really wants and being able to deliver on these expectations.

Whether it’s mapping content to relevant buyer personas, tailoring your messaging strategy to different segments, or adapting your value proposition to a new target market, most of the things we do as marketers simply boil down to figuring out how to best delight potential customers—which is a lot like picking the perfect Father’s Day present.

So, don’t worry if you haven’t yet started shopping for Father’s Day. Use this influencer roundup as your handy gift-buying guide:

 

Pam Moore (The Marketing Nutz)

Photo of Pam Moore with Quote

Pam Moore, CEO at social media training and consulting agency The Marketing Nutz, suggests finding two or three things that your dad, husband, or grandpa loves to do as a Father’s Day present. I totally agree with this, since I really think experiences make people happier than material gifts.

Keep it super simple. Think of what they love to eat, drink and do. Pick one or two or three. Here’s an example… buy them a new 32 oz Yeti cup at Sports Authority. While there pick up a gift card for them to use on their favorite sport or hobby. Then, take them out to eat and talk about all the things they are going to eat, drink and do the next year! You’ll be amazed what a fun day your dad, hubby, son or grandpa has!

 

Mike Allton (The Social Media Hat)

Photo of Mike Allton with quote

Mike Allton is the founder of The Social Media Hat, a full-service digital marketing agency, and brand evangelist at Agorapulse. Mike makes an excellent point when he says presents that involve “time spent” tend to be the best Father’s Day gifts. Again, experiences make us way happier than objects ever could, and that’s a scientific fact.

I find that the best gifts, particularly for parents, are ones that incorporate the gift of time spent.

It’s fine to buy them an item that they need or want, but that relational gift is usually so much more valuable, particularly as we get older and tend to have less time to spend with our parents.

Why not give them a dinner out with you or a trip to the park or a game night? Think of something they love to do and then incorporate yourself into that plan.

 

Timothy Hughes (Digital Leadership Associates)

Photo of Timothy Hughes with quote

Social selling expert Tim Hughes gives a very touching answer to our influencer roundup. He wants to take his parents out to once again experience an activity they both love when they were still young.

My father is 87 has a dementia and lives in a home. He tells us that he has totally lost all memory but for some strange reason he can still recall his love of classical music. He and my mum were big fans of the Proms, they used to go when they were courting and before they had my brother and myself. I would love to take both my parents to see the Last Night of the Proms one more time.

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Sue Zimmerman (The Insta Expert)

Photo of Sue Zimmerman with quote

Sue Zimmerman helps women entrepreneurs achieve digital marketing success through visual storytelling using Instagram. Sue shares a very short but very sweet answer. At the end of the day, it’s how much dads value something that makes it a perfect gift.

I think about what he wants and needs then I buy it – this year I got him a subscription to Amazon Prime

 

Joe Pulizzi (Content Marketing Institute)

Photo of Joe Pulizzi with quote

As one of the towering figures in marketing today, Joe Pulizzi certainly knows a thing or two about delivering what people want. That’s why his story about choosing the perfect gifts for both his dad and step-dad is simply priceless. His main takeaway for delighting dads: find something that will take them back to the good ole days.

My dad is easy to buy for. He’s like me and loves bourbon. Elijah Craig Small Batch to be exact. But my step-father is a different animal. A few years ago I was pondering what to get him and I remembered he used to have a huge vinyl record collection and a big stereo. Vinyl had made a bit of a comeback and the nostalgia of yesteryear was compelling. So I jumped online and ordered him a Crosby portable case record player and went down to the used record store to buy him 5-6 albums I knew he used to have. You would have thought I bought him front row tickets to Hendrix. He loved it.

So, think about something your Dad used to do that he doesn’t do anymore. And find something that will take him back to the good ole days.

 

Robert Katai (Bannersnack)

Photo of Robert Katai with quote

Here’s a very interesting response from Robert Katai, digital marketer and content strategist at Bannersnack. Robert’s answer is certainly something we can all learn from. That’s why we saved it for last.

My insight is this: time is the most important piece today. That’s why on Father’s Day I’m recommending to everybody to give their time: time to listen, time to ask, time to just stay together and create memories from this important present.

 

Conclusion:

I hope that helped narrow down your shopping list. It’s not easy to find the perfect gift for the dads you know, but sometimes all it takes is letting them experience something they really enjoy.

 

Happy Father’s Day to everyone in the marketing world!

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

7 Best Picks from Callbox’s Library for Your 2019 Summer Reading List

I can’t wait to pick up David Kushner’s newest book The Players Ball. It tells the story of the bitter rivalry between two of the leading figures during the worldwide web’s early days, which eventually shaped the digital world as we know it today.

More interestingly, though, the book also (incidentally) sheds some light on the murky origins behind many of the things that we marketers know by heart today—display ads, PPC, paid subscriptions, online revenue models, conversion funnels, etc.—despite not strictly being a marketing book per se.

But if you’re looking for a great addition to your summer reading list that’s marketing-related, we got you covered. The Callbox team hand-picked seven titles from our marketing library. These free eBooks are perfect for expanding your marketing knowledge while enjoying a relaxing and thought-filled summer day.

Take your pick from this selection of Callbox’s in-depth and in-demand B2B marketing eBooks and whitepapers:

 

ABM Telemarketing Scripts for Cold Calling Key Software Personas

With more and more B2B marketers adopting ABM strategies, an increasing number of companies are now looking for handy resources to help them succeed at account-based marketing.

With this eBook, we wanted to equip marketers with the tools, tips and tactics that help them effectively handle two key areas of ABM programs: phone outreach and persona targeting.

This resource includes:

  • Actual call scripts tailored for different personas in a typical software purchase process
  • Complete examples of buyer persona profiles for each decision maker role
  • Step-by-step guides and actionable tips for phone outreach

Grab your copy of the ABM Telemarketing Scripts for Cold Calling Key Software Personas eBook now!

Download the ABM Telemarketing Scripts for Cold Calling Key Software Personas eBook

 

By the Numbers: Marketing Stats that Drive Top B2B Industries in 2019

It’s certainly not news that the B2B marketing landscape is rapidly changing. But these changes impact each industry differently, and marketers need to take these differences into account.

That’s why late last year, we released the first edition of our industry insights compilation that covered nine key B2B verticals:

  • Cyber Security Software
  • B2B FinTech
  • IT Managed Storage
  • Cloud Solutions
  • Advertising / Marketing Agency
  • Healthcare
  • Management Consulting
  • Manufacturing and Distribution
  • Telecom

The eBook takes a deep dive into the trends and developments reshaping each of these industries. It also provides research-backed strategies and tactics to help marketers  keep up with these changes.

Grab your copy here.

 

Targeted B2B Marketing Handbook: Guide, Checklists and Worksheets

With the onward march of data and technology, achieving the Holy Grail of marketing (to reach the right people in the right places at the right time with the right message) is finally close at hand, right?

Not exactly. A huge percentage of marketers still find it difficult to target, segment, and personalize their campaigns and strategies to match what B2B buyers want.

We published this free resource to help B2B marketers lay the foundations of a fully-functioning targeted marketing program. The eBook is packed with step-by-step guides, handy checklists, ready-to-use templates, and hands-on worksheets that cover the four key areas of a targeted marketing strategy:

  • Identifying and classifying potential buyers that have the biggest impact in the sales process
  • Aligning the sales funnel with customers’ buying journey
  • Finding the right combination of marketing channels for engaging prospects
  • Mapping content/messaging strategy to relevant stages of the customers’ purchase process

Grab your copy of the Targeted B2B Marketing Handbook: Guide, Checklists and Worksheets eBook now!

Download the Targeted B2B Marketing Handbook: Guide, Checklists and Worksheets eBook

 

40 B2B Sales Email Templates for Every Situation

Although not exactly an in-depth whitepaper, this downloadable resource is still a great way to learn from B2B email copies and templates that generated actual results.

To put together this compilation, We scoured the web for examples of effective B2B sales email copies backed by solid KPIs like opens, CTRs, reply rates, conversions, spam complaints, unsubscribes, etc. We also made sure that the template collection covers a wide range of B2B use cases:

  • Cold outreach
  • Follow-ups
  • Lead nurturing and engagement
  • Referrals

Download your copy of the 40 B2B Sales Email Templates for Every Situation eBook now!

 

Ultimate Lead Generation Kit to Jumpstart your Business

This eBook is both an excellent primer and refresher on modern lead generation. We prepared this eBook with the needs of marketers getting started in lead generation in mind, as well as crafting it as a resource to fill any gaps about lead generation that more experienced marketers tend to have.

With Callbox’s Ultimate Lead Generation Kit, you’ll learn what matters in finding, identifying, and qualifying B2B leads:

  • End-to-end mastery of modern lead generation process, from setting objectives to monitoring results
  • Thorough understanding of each key marketing channel used in lead generation today
  • Practical strategies to integrate people, process, and platforms needed in lead generation

Download the Ultimate Lead Generation Kit eBook

 

Weeding Out Junk Leads with Predictive Lead Scoring

More and more B2B marketers are turning to predictive lead scoring algorithms to help them prioritize and nurture leads better. Compared to traditional lead scoring techniques, predictive lead scoring paints a clearer and more precise picture of where leads are in their buying journey.

But adopting predictive lead scoring systems can be daunting to many marketers. This technology needs a number of requirements in place to properly work.

That’s where this eBook comes in handy. This resource gives a detailed introduction and implementation guide for marketers looking to leverage predictive lead scoring technologies:

  • What lead scoring is and why it matters
  • Choosing between traditional vs. predictive lead scoring
  • How predictive lead scoring works
  • Things to keep in mind when choosing and using predictive lead scoring systems

Grab your copy of the Weeding Out Junk Leads with Predictive Lead Scoring eBook now!

 

150+ Software/Tech Marketing Stats to Help You Plan for 2019

Your marketing plan is only as robust enough as the data points that support it. That’s why you need solid data and stats to serve as basis for your planning assumptions and forecasts.

That’s what we wanted to achieve with the 2019 edition of our 150+ Software/Tech Marketing Stats eBook. This free resource rounds up essential trends and developments driving B2B technology marketing today.

But this eBook is more than just a compilation of data points. It includes analysis and insights to help you make better marketing decisions:

  • Overall IT/software marketing trends
  • Developments for each essential channel in tech marketing
  • IT/software decision makers’ buying behavior, content preferences, and buyer profiles
  • Comparison of different IT/software marketing strategies

Download your copy now!

Download the 150+ Software / Tech Marketing Stats to Help You Plan for 2019 eBook

 

Conclusion:

Whitepapers and eBooks are great ways to gain in-depth knowledge of marketing topics. While it can be hard to keep up with information from an avalanche of blog posts, infographics, and videos, eBooks provide a comprehensive and detailed treatment of a topic, which is what we need to learn something for the long-term. So, happy reading!

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

B2B Customer Acquisition Examples: 10 Campaigns to Learn From

Unicorns like Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy have one key lesson that marketers in the B2B space can (and should) pick up. These tech brands have managed to adeptly pivot and scale their customer acquisition efforts as their business evolved.

For these three companies, winning their first 1,000 customers was vastly different from growing their customer base to 1,000,000 paying users. As their customer count expanded, their growth goals and challenges shifted, which required a corresponding change in their customer acquisition strategies.

Word-of-mouth had proven to be very effective during their early stages, but all three companies began relying on more traditional acquisition tactics as they steadily hit one growth milestone after another.

That’s the power of having the right customer acquisition strategy, and it works the same way for B2B organizations as it does with consumer-focused companies.

In today’s post, we’ll take a deep dive into 10 real-world examples of B2B customer acquisition campaigns that actually produced proven results in terms of deals won and revenues generated.

The examples cover a wide range of B2B scenarios—from SMBs to enterprises, single channel to multi-channel strategies, and digital to traditional marketing. Anyway, let’s get started.

 

The Ideal B2B Customer Acquisition Process

Before we dissect these ten customer acquisition examples, let’s first answer the question: what does an effective B2B customer acquisition strategy look like? Four key ingredients need to be present in order to create a solid customer acquisition program:

  1. Relevant: Buyers make a purchase based on how a brand fits their needs at the moment.
  2. Diversified: Customers come from different sources and respond to different tactics.
  3. Persistent: Customer acquisition is a continuous process, not just a single campaign.
  4. Scalable: The process for generating new business must be able to keep up with growth.
  5. Flexible: Customer acquisition also needs to evolve with how potential customers buy.

We’ll now see how each of these characteristics translates into actual customer acquisition processes.

 

B2B Customer Acquisition Examples

When writing this post, I came across numerous case studies and whitepapers on real-world B2B customer acquisition programs.

But I chose the ones that really stood out in terms of sales results and new business acquired. Plus, I also wanted to cover as much ground in this post, so I went for a diverse set of customer acquisition strategies, different levels of business maturity and various industries.

1. Intronis (multi-channel direct mail marketing)

Challenge

Cloud-based data security provider Intronis has more than 50,000 customers. It primarily sells to a network of MSPs that offer Intronis-branded backup, security, and data protection solutions.

The company wants to focus on acquiring small- to medium-sized MSPs partners and generate at least a majority of new accounts from this segment.

The main target prospects for this effort are owners and IT directors, which Intronis says are typically difficult to reach via traditional channels.

Solution/Strategy

Intronis decided to use a unique strategy which they had never tried out before: a multi-channel campaign centered around direct mail. The marketing team’s research indicated that the usual tactics probably wouldn’t be very effective with the target prospects. So they chose a whole new path:

  • Send out two direct mail pieces to target prospects in order to land a 30-minute meeting
  • Follow up via email after each piece
  • Include a classic Atari video game replicator and other gaming consoles to incentivize response

Results

  • 35% conversion rate
  • 700% ROI
  • 11 new customers

2. Optum (integrated marketing strategy)

Challenge

Optum is a $37-billion healthcare tech company that provides healthcare analytics, healthcare management, revenue cycle management, and compliance solutions.

To promote a newly-launched product line, Optum carried out demand generation and thought leadership initiatives. But this required tying the different activities together into a coherent customer acquisition process.

Solution/Strategy

Achieving this goal meant the company needed to plan and execute an integrated marketing campaign. The strategy they came up with combined:

  • Advertorials
  • Display ads
  • Email
  • Direct mail
  • Campaign website

Results

  • 5,100% ROI
  • $52 million in new business

3. PR Newswire (accelerated sales cycle)

Challenge

PR Newswire is one of the world’s leading news distribution, audience targeting, and content marketing service providers. Having already been in business for more than 60 years, the company is starting to notice the huge shift in how potential customers buy their solutions.

Customers now have greater control of the buying process, so PR Newswire understands that they need to move past product-centric messaging and focus on what buyers care about.

But to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person in a crowd of 25,000 prospects and customers, the company’s approach at acquiring new business also needs to scale.

Solution/Strategy

PR Newswire rolled out a customer acquisition program that enabled the company to engage prospects with relevant content:

  • Automating touches as much as possible
  • Targeting and segmenting prospects using granular data
  • Providing what prospects expect at each stage of the sales cycle
  • Engaging prospects through multiple channels

Results

  • 8% growth in SQLs handed to sales
  • 7% increase in number of won deals
  • 30% shorter sales cycle

4. RewardMe (startup winning its first high-value account)

Challenge

RewardMe is a customer loyalty platform for restaurants and retailers. During its early days, the company pursued its first big deal with one of the largest franchises in the United States.

Jun Loayza, RewardMe’s co-founder, was introduced to a key person in the franchise by a mutual acquaintance. The main challenge was to leverage the referral and turn it into a very favorable business outcome.

Solution/Strategy

According to Jun Loayza, his approach at winning the high-value deal consisted of:

  • Scheduling a discovery call to ask crucial preliminary questions
  • Personalizing the solution to match the client
  • Finding out how RewardMe stacks up against the competition
  • Preparing a 30-minute presentation (20 minutes for the pitch and 10 minutes for Q&A)
  • Never sounding too eager or too desperate to close the deal
  • Setting a definite deadline for the prospect to make a decision

Results

Just two days after their face-to-face meeting, RewardMe locked in a 12-month contract with the large franchise. RewardMe continues to apply the strategy to close other large deals, which has so far produced consistent results.

5. SAP (account-based marketing)

Challenge

With 77% of the world’s transaction revenue passing through an SAP system, SAP is a clear market leader in the enterprise software space.

SAP America wanted to cross-sell other solutions in its product portfolio to the top customers in the region. The problem was that its current marketing activities weren’t personalized or targeted enough to generate the response SAP expected.

In its messaging, it wasn’t very clear that SAP knew exactly which product its most strategic customers were already using.

Solution/Strategy

The SAP team felt the best way to deliver a dedicated campaign to each of its top accounts was through an ABM program. The company then took the following steps:

  • Consulted with experts on building an ABM model
  • Acquired internal buy-in for the proposed ABM program
  • Started with a few accounts (5) as test case
  • Do a deep research on each target account and used acquired insights as guide

Results

Within two years after the start of the program, SAP’s ABM initiative was able to produce:

  • 55 high-value target accounts
  • $27 million in new pipeline opportunities
  • $57 million in revenues

6. Volvo Construction Equipment (CRM-driven multi-channel marketing)

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is an international manufacturer of premium construction equipment. With more than 14,000 employees, It’s one of the largest companies in its industry.

Volvo CE faced the challenge of nurturing and converting more prospects from their SEO and social media efforts. With B2B buyers increasingly in control, it’s very hard for organizations like Volvo CE to pinpoint which channel leads will interact with the brand.

SEO and social media drive traffic to Volvo CE’s website, where they’re converted into leads by asking them to subscribe to the company’s newsletters.

Solution/Strategy

Volvo CE extensively relies on its CRM tool to collect data and extract insights helpful in lead nurturing and conversion:

  • Once leads are generated, their data is stored in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • The company’s ESP is integrated with Volvo CE’s CRM and website.
  • Leads receive a series of emails which are relevant to their needs based on data pulled from the CRM tool.
  • These are determined based on pages viewed, products purchased, etc.

Results

With its personalized lead nurturing program made possible by the effective use of CRM data, Volvo CE has seen the following results:

  • Increased their email open rates from 15% to 20% in 18 months
  • Generated $100 million in revenues from digital marketing activities

7. Thomson Reuters (marketing automation)

Challenge

Thomson Reuters bills itself as “one of the world’s top sources of answers” providing news, information, data, analysis, etc. for businesses and professionals in various fields. But when it comes to marketing automation, the company had a lot of questions.

For years, Thomson Reuters followed a spray-and-pray approach at email marketing. Its marketing team hadn’t clearly defined what their ideal leads looked like and therefore tended to leak out at different points in their funnel.

Solution/Strategy

The chief reason why the company hadn’t followed a precise lead definition was a lack of alignment between sales and marketing.

In order to fix this, the company needed to overhaul its marketing automation process and platform, which also led them to:

  • Adopt a common lead definition that sales and marketing agree on
  • Standardize the sales process
  • Implement a lead scoring system

Results

  • 175% increase in revenue attributed to MQLs
  • 23% jump in total leads generated
  • 72% reduction in lead conversion time

8. G Suite (referral marketing)

Challenge

For the uninitiated, G Suite is Google’s collection of productivity and collaboration tools that you and I use every day. It now has a user base of more than 5 million paying businesses.

But when it was released in 2006, G Suite (originally Google Apps for Your Domain) needed some clever referral marketing in order to gain traction with users.

Solution/Strategy

Google incentivized signups by paying program participants cash for each new user they bring onboard:

  • Referral links and coupon codes were provided to program participants.
  • A participant gets $15 for every qualified new user that signs up through his/her link.

Results

As of year-end 2018, 5 million paying businesses use G Suite, and it’s also one of the most widely-used software products today.

9. Zoho Mail (targeted referral strategy)

Challenge

Like G Suite, Zoho Mail was also launched amid a great deal of referral buzz back in 2013. But Zoho’s referral program appeared to be a little more targeted than Google’s.

The campaign was aimed at SMBs, which were the target market for Zoho’s hosted email mail solution. Everything about the program was tweaked to reflect the needs and preferences of this audience.

Solution/Strategy

The referral program gave existing users up to 20 free accounts for simply bringing in new signups:

  • A referral page provided an online hub for the signup and work-of-mouth process.
  • The page simplified registrations and sending out invites, using minimal form fields.

Results

Since the referral program began, Zoho Mail has signed up over 10 million business accounts.

10. MSP Company (multi-touch, multi-channel marketing)

Challenge

The company is a managed IT provider, and is one of our long-term customers. I just wanted to share how this MSP firm’s customer acquisition process is as close to ideal as it gets.

This client has two headquarters, one in the United States and the other in Australia. We’ve been working with this customer for years now and have helped them reached key business milestones.

Solution/Strategy

In one of the campaigns we managed for this MSP, they won new contracts that helped them reach their quarterly numbers.

This MSP company already had a well-defined customer acquisition program, so it was easy to integrate our strategy into their process:

  • Identified and profiled key IT decision makers in the target companies
  • Carried out multi-channel outreach with phone, email, and LinkedIn
  • Nurtured and converted prospects through personalized, one-on-one touches

Results

  • $150,000 in new contracts
  • 90 qualified sales appointments

Check out the full case study here.

 

Conclusion:

If we compare all 10 examples of B2B customer acquisition campaigns we’ve seen so far, it’s clear that much of the success in generating new business boils down to engaging and connecting with your audience, as well as adapting strategies that are relevant to your target prospects at a given moment.

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

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#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.

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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.

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Marketing Renaissance: 6 (Old-School) B2B Trends Making a Comeback

Spring has sprung. You can feel it in the air. It’s the season of rebirth and renewal. Out with old and in with the new, right?

Well, sometimes, it’s actually the other way around. Some of the latest trends in B2B marketing today have actually been in use since anyone can remember, but had gotten sidelined and are now seeing a strong renaissance. We’ll take a look at six of these trends in this post.

Also, I’d like to share a very interesting response from our Easter influencer outreach, since I think it’s closely related to today’s topic and worth mentioning here.

A couple of weeks ago, I went around asking marketing influencers:

“If you could bring back or revive a past trend, activity, or practice that got lost in the Digital Age, what would it be and why?”

Jason Keath, CEO at Social Fresh Conference, gave a very insightful response, which I’ll point to below.

Anyway, here are six old-school trends making a comeback in B2B marketing today.

 

1. Direct Mail

I remember back in the late aughts how a lot of folks in marketing proclaimed that direct mail was dead, allegedly killed by email. Flash forward several years later, and we see something very surprising.

Not only does direct mail continue to be alive and well, it’s actually becoming a more important marketing channel, especially as people continue to feel overwhelmed with the amount of email and social media messages they regularly get.

Why is direct mail now making a comeback? A lot of it boils down to technology. It’s now easier to personalize and segment mailing campaigns using CRM tools, while it’s also much simpler to track direct mail campaign performance with analytics.

 

2. Print Marketing

The rise and fall (and revival) of print marketing also mirror direct mail’s trajectory. In 2007, snail mail catalogue deliveries peaked at 19.6 billion. In 2016, this dropped by more than 50% to 9.6 billion deliveries.

While this looks alarming, savvy marketers actually see this drop as an opportunity to leverage a less crowded channel. As digital content continues its explosive growth, prospects also increasingly experience content fatigue.

Plus, with the help of today’s digital marketing tools and technology, print marketing wields a significant impact on buying behavior:

  • 69% of consumers consult a printed catalogue before making an online purchase.
  • Print marketing recipients view print materials for an average of 30 minutes.
  • Catalogues drive an average of 2.5 purchases.

Print marketing initiatives like catalogues, postcards, and mailers are crucial parts of multi-channel marketing programs. This is why I completely agree with Jason Keath’s answer to our Easter-themed influencer outreach question:

“Postcards. They are the Tweets of their day. Short letters that are easy to compose and send. But they can mean so much for sending your love to friends and family while you travel.

The mail we receive today is so full of junk. It’s nice to see a letter or a postcard from someone who took the time to write something down, but a stamp, and send you some old fashioned snail mail.”

In fact, 50% of postcard recipients say that postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship.

 

3. Soundless Videos

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a past marketing trend, but it’s a very old (think early 1900s) production format that’s gaining traction among marketers today.

Soundless videos make sense because audiences are simply fed up with the interruptive noise of auto-play videos. According to multiple publishers, around 85% of Facebook video views take place on mute. Even Google Chrome has updated its settings to enable auto-play only for muted or soundless video ads.

If you’re not yet making them part of your video content portfolio, silent videos are definitely worth a try. To make the most of soundless videos, apply best practices like powerful visual messaging and closed captioning.

 

4. Cold Emails

In just a few short years after direct mail had been declared dead, some marketers also said the same thing about email. This has been thoroughly debunked countless times, but still continues to pop up time and again.

Cold emails, in particular, bore the brunt of this email-is-dead onslaught that, until recently, most sources simply advised against sending out cold emails altogether.

The fact is, cold emails are an essential element of the entire B2B marketing process. That’s because:

  • They help you reach decision makers where they actually spend most of their time—their inbox.
  • Cold emails are one-on-one, targeted, and personalized—which are qualities you don’t easily find in other digital channels.
  • They enable you to improve both quantity and quality of touches.

It’s these things that make cold emails an indispensable tactic in trending marketing strategies like ABM.

This visual guide reveals the 15 best-kept B2B email secrets to win prospects’ hearts

 

5. Phone Outreach

Since the dawn of digital marketing, outbound telemarketing hasn’t really enjoyed a stellar reputation. Together with traditional channels like direct mail and print marketing, it was one of the first marketing tactics to be labeled “obsolete” by naysayers.

In recent years, however, more and more marketers are starting to embrace phone outreach and its new role in the multi-channel marketing mix. Telemarketing enables a two-way conversation between people, which is what you need to:

  • Collecting sales intelligence and profiling prospects
  • Nurturing and qualifying leads
  • Reinforcing and responding to touches made in other channels
  • Converting leads and closing deals

I think phone outreach will always have a place in marketing. You can track or message prospects all day but, when it’s all said and done, you still need to pick up the phone and talk to a person.

Get your FREE ABM Telemarketing Scripts for Cold-calling Key Prospects.

 

6. Marketing’s CX Role

On a more strategic level, the marketing trend that’s also seeing a resurgence is our role as marketers in driving customer experience (CX). Forrester calls this the “B2B Marketing Renaissance”, and it’s something to smile about.

For too long now, we marketers have taken almost a hands-off approach at CX. We’ve traditionally had very little interaction with customers that marketing teams have nearly zero impact on the CX process.

Now that buyers are following a self-directed, nonlinear path to purchase, marketers are becoming more involved in the revenue generation process and the customer life cycle.

We’re no longer just suppliers of leads. We’re now sources of revenue and customer advocacy. That’s a change I’m really looking forward to.

 

Conclusion:

These are “old” trends that are making a comeback. If you ask me, I think these are all welcomed changes. It’s about time.

I hope you had a great Easter!

 

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.

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The 2019 Callbox Influencer Awards: Meet This Year’s Winners

The 2019 Oscars may be over, but awards season is still in full swing here at Callbox. We’re excited to announce the big winners of our first-ever Callbox Influencer Awards.

With the Callbox Influencer Awards, we shine the spotlight on five marketing influencers whose work has dramatically transformed the following key marketing areas:

  1. Content Creation
  2. Social Media
  3. Book Publishing
  4. Video Marketing
  5. Live Events

For each of these categories, our editorial team sifts through dozens of potential candidates and chooses the influencer which best embodies the spirit of that category’s award and, at the same time, also represents the ideals that drive Callbox’s marketing services.

Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2019 Callbox Influencer Awards:

 

Influencer Award for Content Creation

annhandly

In a world awash with blog posts, infographics, guides, videos, whitepapers, and what have you, it can be very tough for us marketers to stand out and connect with our audience through content. But a few exceptional content creators do get their message across and generate genuine engagement.

The Influencer Award for Content Creation honors B2B marketers who not only consistently produce engaging material, but also provide inspiration for others to craft quality content. This award recognizes a marketer’s overall body of work and its impact, not just a specific campaign or content piece.

In short, it’s an award for people who help move B2B content marketing (and the rest of us) forward.

This year’s Influencer Award for Content Creation goes to Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Marketingprofs. We choose Ann due to a number of reasons. First, Marketingprofs continues to be a leading resource for marketers the world over (including for us here at Callbox, particularly The Savvy Marketer blog). Under Ann’s leadership, Marketingprofs has produced content pieces that make marketers say “Why didn’t I think of that” out loud.

Even more significant, it’s her advocacy for “good content over good-enough content” that really earns her this distinction. Ann has been waging an unrelenting war against plain, mediocre content for years now, and this campaign has inspired marketers to craft content that’s meaningful and engaging. After all…

Marketing is art plus intent.– Ann Handley

 

Influencer Award for Social Media

kim-garst

If you asked marketing thought leaders about social media a decade ago, most of them would have simply dismissed the new channel as pure hype. A rare minority, however, saw past the early excitement and realized the true potential of social media in driving marketing (and even sales) results.

Today, social media is an essential component of any modern marketing strategy. It’s a key channel in the buying process, and it’s the ideal place to engage and interact with potential customers.

Depending on who you ask, anywhere between 50% to 90% of B2B decision makers research a solution via social media, and at least 9 in every 10 B2B marketers include social media in their marketing toolkits.

That’s thanks in large part to influencers like Kim Garst who helped shape how social media evolved into an indispensable marketing tool. It’s for that valuable contribution that we’re awarding the 2019 Influencer Award for Social Media to CEO and social media influencer Kim Garst.

Kim is founder and CEO of Boom!, a leading personal branding and social media consulting company. She has consistently been named by various sources (including Forbes, Inc., Sendible, etc.) as a highly-influential social media influencer for several years now. But, more importantly, Kim is widely considered as one of the most prominent social media pioneers that drove the development of the channel.

If people like you, they’ll listen to you. But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.– Kim Garst

 

Influencer Award for Book Publishing

mark-schaefer

Books hold the power to change not only our minds but our lives as well—and marketing and sales books are no exception. A good marketing-focused book broadens our perspective while at the same time deepens our understanding of a specific marketing subject. Most of all, a good book makes us more effective marketers and better persons.

Here at the Savvy Marketer, we devour tons of books each year, with topics ranging from overall marketing strategy to specialized areas of interest. We believe that a thought leader also needs to be a good author, so that their ideas can have a stronger and longer-lasting impact.

That’s why we’re making the Influencer Award for Book Publishing as a key part of our annual influencer recognition. This award gives distinction to a marketing influencer who demonstrates original insight, in-depth expertise, and far-reaching impact through his or her published books. Simply put, this award recognizes an author’s valuable contribution to the field of marketing.

The 2019 Influencer Award for Book Publishing goes to social media consultant, keynote speaker, and marketing educator Mark Schaefer for his string of highly-influential books tackling social media and modern marketing.

Mark is the author of the best-selling book on Twitter The Tau of Twitter, the first book on influencer marketing Return on Influence, the highly-acclaimed content marketing guide The Content Code, a comprehensive book on branding Known: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age—among others.

All these titles make Mark Schaefer among the most prolific and widely-cited authors in the marketing world, and an influencer definitely worth a close follow.

Business results on the web don’t come from content; they come from content that moves. Even if your content is great, there’s no guarantee it will rise to the top in an increasingly competitive world.– Mark Schaefer

 

Influencer Award for Video Marketing

gary-vaynerchuk

The next great frontier in content marketing is video. That’s because videos increasingly drive purchase decisions, as shown by a recent Forbes and Google study on video consumption in the C-suite.

The report finds that 75% of C-level executives watch work-related videos on business websites weekly, while 52% watch work-related videos on YouTube each week.

We want to highlight and promote the importance of videos by recognizing the people that do excellent work with this medium. That’s what our Influencer Award for Video Marketing aims to achieve.

Like an engaging video clip, a video marketing influencer needs to possess three key qualities to be successful. He or she focuses on storytelling (not just promotion); he or she knows the audience inside-out; and he or she is someone viewers can learn from.

We searched far and wide, and we find VaynerMedia founder and CEO Gary Vaynerchuk to be the best candidate for the 2019 Influencer Award for Video Marketing.

Gary’s marketing career story—from expanding his father’s wine business online during the Web’s early days, to becoming a multi-million-dollar serial entrepreneur with several successful companies under him—is an inspiration to many marketers. His lengthy track record of successful marketing partnerships with various Fortune 500 clients speaks volumes about how well he knows his target audience.

But most important of all, Gary Vaynerchuk teaches us a lot about video marketing. Gary is one of the earliest marketing influencers to predict the rise of video as today’s single most important content marketing strategy, and he continues to evangelize this message to make sure no marketer gets left behind.

No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.– Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Influencer Award for Live Events

jay-baer

There’s no doubt that live events remain a crucial marketing tactic even in the digital age. The Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report finds that 84% of senior leadership (VP and C-level) in B2B organizations consider live events essential to business success.

But live events aren’t exactly a walk in the park to organize and execute. It takes careful planning and preparation to make sure everything runs smoothly—from making sure attendees respond to invites, to converting and nurturing event prospects.

Some marketers simply seem to have the right touch for live events. Effective event marketers know how to joggle registrations, attendance, engagement, and logistics together to achieve the results they expect. Callbox’s Influencer Award for Live Events is dedicated to recognizing marketers who demonstrate these qualities.

This year, the Influencer Award for Live Events goes to J Baer, founder of Convince & Convert and one of the marketing world’s most in-demand speakers. A Certified Speaking Professional, Jay (together with his team) delivers keynote presentations, conducts training workshops, participates in industry events, and works with other organizations to make the most of their events.

Jay Baer is widely considered as one of the most influential, inspiring, and insightful marketing speakers today. A quick glance at his events schedule proves this point.

What if instead of trying to be amazing you just focused on being useful? What if you decided to inform, rather than promote?– Jay Baer

 

Conclusion:

Congratulations to this year’s big winners. The entire B2B marketing world is a whole lot better because of the work you do.

For the rest of us marketers, let’s all try to follow in the footsteps and stand on the shoulders of giants. We’ll reach and see farther ahead that way.

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

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15 Best-Kept B2B Email Secrets to Win Prospects’ Hearts [INFOGRAPHIC]

The-15-Best-Kept-B2B-Email-Secrets-to-Win-Prospects-Hearts

Writing sales emails is probably not your idea of spending Valentine’s Day, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get into the loving spirit while preparing your drafts and templates. The next email you send out just might be what you need to move the sales process forward – if you put your heart into it, that is.

How exactly do you win over B2B prospects through emails?

But how exactly do you win over B2B prospects through emails? Today’s infographic shows 15 proven ways to generate more opens, click-throughs, replies, and conversions. These best practices cover 5 crucial requirements of a compelling B2B email:

  1. Finding the optimal sending schedule and frequency
  2. Capturing your audience’s attention with an irresistible subject line
  3. Striking the right balance between content and design in the email body
  4. Ending on a right note with an engaging closing line
  5. Helping recipients act and respond with a clear CTA

 

Infographic-The-15-Best-Kept-B2B-Email-Secrets-to-Win-Prospects-Hearts

 

1. Finding the best sending schedule and frequency

Just like dating, wooing prospects through emails requires impeccable timing. You need to know the right day and time to send out emails, as well as determine how frequently to stay in touch.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule that tells you the ideal email sending schedule, and different studies in the B2B marketing literature can suggest vastly different email sending times and frequency. This means you’ll have to determine this based on your own experience and requirements.

Fortunately, marketing project management platform CoSchedule has published extensive compilations of various studies on optimal email schedule and sending frequency, which we can use as starting points to time our emails more effectively:

  • The best day to send emails is Thursday, and the best time is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • You should send no more than 5 outreach emails each month and 1 email newsletter each week.
  • 89% of email contacts expect you to reply within 1 hour.

 

2. Capturing your recipients’ attention with an irresistible subject line

In many ways, subject lines work like pick-up lines. They’re both designed to hook and retain your audience’s attention, and both try to achieve the objective of initiating a conversation.

But, unlike a pick-up line, a subject line (mostly) does away with cheesy puns and wordplays, focusing instead on substance and conciseness.

Again, there’s no magic formula to craft succinct subject lines (although AI seems to be getting better at this task), so you have to test and iterate to find subject lines that work best for you.

Addressing recipients by their first name in the subject line increases open rates by 20%

Here’s a couple of things to keep in mind in your quest for a captivating subject line:

  • From lines trump subject lines at driving email opens: 64% of recipients will read an email based on the sender’s identity, while 47% will open an email based on the subject line.
  • Subject line length impacts open rates: subject lines with 6 to 10 words generate the highest open rates.
  • Subject line personalization works: Addressing recipients by their first name in the subject line increases open rates by as much as 20%.

 

3. Striking the right balance between content and design in the email body

Now that you’ve gotten your recipient’s attention, it’s time to bring your email’s main message in front of your audience. Getting your message across means applying the right mix of content and design elements on your email body.

The email body is where you deliver what your subject line has set out. It’s where you build the case for taking the action specified later in your CTA, so the components of the email body all need to move toward that direction.

right-balance-between-content-and-design-in-the-email-body

There are millions of possible copywriting angles and design choices you can make when developing the email body, and only a handful will actually have a direct, positive impact on engagement, response, and conversions.

The following email body best practices are supported by recent research in B2B email marketing:

  • Email messages that have between 50 to 125 words generate response rates of more than 50%.
  • Emails written at a third-grade reading level have the highest  response rates, fetching 17% higher response rates than emails written at a high school reading level and 36% higher response rate than emails with a college-level writing style.
  • Email recipients rank the top email turnoffs as: too much text (17%), slow-loading images (17%), emails not optimized for mobile (16%), and inconsistent design choices (12%).

 

4. Ending on a right note with an engaging closing line

A quick glance at messages in a typical inbox is enough to tell us that most marketers tend to treat closing lines only as an afterthought. Closing lines play a more important role than simply providing a place for you to sign off.

Closing lines impact whether recipients act or ignore your CTA

Email closings bridge the gap between your message and the action you want recipients to take. If subject lines determine whether a prospect opens an email, closing lines impact whether recipients act or ignore your call-to-action (CTA).

To maximize responses and conversions, consider the following research-backed tweaks to your email closing line:

  • Email closings are great places to personalize. Emails that mention the recipients’ first name tend to produce above-average reply rates.
  • A little gratitude goes a long way. Emails that end with some variation of “thank you” generate 63% to 65% response rates.
  • For emails with a conversational tone, signing off with “Cheers” yields a 54.4% reply rate.

 

5. Enabling recipients to act and respond with a clear CTA

Anyone who has seen at least two dozen rom-coms will eventually notice that practically every movie in this genre includes a climactic scene where one of the lovers chases down the other and make a grand speech in some comically unsuitable setting.

While the CTA resembles the climax to a story, it’s very different from what happens in a film. Your email’s call-to-action sets the stage for the next step in your relationship with a prospect. It’s where prospects decide how the rest of the story plays out.

treatment-group-test-b

A/B Test: Putting only 1 CTA lifts CTRs by 42%

So, to improve the chances of prospects acting on your CTA, take these key insights in to account when crafting your call-to-action:

  • Clear and simple CTAs produce higher conversions. Emails with a single, specific CTA generate over 370% more clicks.
  • CTAs with some personalization Perform 202% Better Than plain-vanilla, generic CTAs.
  • The most common verb in a CTA is “Get”, and CTAs tend to be 14 characters on average.

 

Conclusion: Use these 15 email secrets on your next send-out or campaign, and win the hearts and minds of your target prospects.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

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When and How To Break the Fourth Wall with your Customers

When a character in a movie breaks the fourth wall, it is always a sweet treat for the audience. Character favorites from Bugs Bunny, to Kuzco, to Deadpool, have cracked us up one too many times with the art of talking and/or relating to us through the screen. But more than that, it made us viewers feel included and the characters even more relatable. But what actually happens when you break the fourth wall?

Breaking the fourth wall happens when the actor or character starts interacting with the audience. It removes the invisible wall, signaling that there stands nothing between them and the audience. Now, what if I told you that you can do the same thing with your customers? That even in a corporate setting, you can still ensure your customers that there is no wall between you and them?

Instead of putting a distinction between “you” and “me”, it is better to let them feel that there is a “we” instead. Because let’s face it, without our best and loyal customers, our brands are nothing. Having said that, engaging customers is a common practice in the modern world of marketing using various types of social media platforms. These engagements are executed in many ways like contests, surveys, blog posts, infographics, and videos to name a few. Breaking the fourth wall in marketing oftentimes means that you put yourself into your customers’ shoes and see things from their standpoint; including them. 

By letting your customers into your world, you not only strengthen your relationship with your customers but also build a better brand reputation for yourself. 

Now let’s explore hows to the what.

Targeted B2B Marketing Handbook: Guide, Checklists and Worksheets eBook Cover

Targeted B2B Marketing Handbook: Guide, Checklists and Worksheets

Find, engage and convert the right prospects with the right message.

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Tag Team

Don’t just serve your customers sneak peeks and appetizers. Let them tag along with you. A good example of this is behind-the-scenes videos such as HBO faithfully kept doing for every episode of Game of Thrones. Giving your customers a deeper insight into what you’re doing or working on, is a show of authenticity and transparency. Like, “Hey, let’s go on an adventure. Come with me so you don’t miss a single thing!” 

 

Together is Better

Your consumers will always know what they want best. So why not try and co-create something with them? Whether that’s a product or a service. Great innovations always arise when different minds come together. 

 

Yay  ̶m̶e̶ We!

Promoting your services and products is great – in fact, it’s a must. But once in a while, it’s also good to step away from the “me” and shift into the “we” perspective. Find other things that you can share your thoughts on and encourage your customers to engage in conversation. You don’t have to compromise with your content. Just choose content that’s still relevant to your brand and talk about it with your audience. 

 

Everyone’s Got a Story to Tell 

Everybody likes to hear a good story, and for a company, there is no story sweeter to the ears than the stories of your customers about you. You don’t have to white-knuckle hold everything in your grasp. Loosen up sometimes and trust your customers and even your own best employees to tell about your brand and how it helped them. 

And last but not least…

 

Community is Everything

Look forward to building a lasting, healthy community with your customers where you advise and help them and they do the same for you in return. Trust is the glue that keeps any relationship. Especially a community together. It’s all about developing a good relationship between your company and your customers and maintaining a good balance in your marketing strategies. 

 

Now the follow-up question is, “Is this really necessary?” and of old-school marketing were to answer you, the answer would be “no”. But we are in a new era of marketing where collaboration and relationships are vital to the success of every business. 

Don’t be afraid to embrace change and new things and letting go of old ways that staggered growth and progress.

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

Influencer Interview Series: How Top Marketers Shop for Father’s Day

Looking for ideas on what to get someone this Father’s Day? Then you came to the right place. The Callbox team recently reached out to a number of top marketing influencers and asked how they choose the perfect Father’s Day gifts. We rounded up their answers in this blog post, and we guarantee you can’t go wrong with the shopping tips they shared.

But besides giving out practical gift-buying suggestions, their responses also gave us a ton of insights on a crucial thing in B2B marketing: understanding what our audience really wants and being able to deliver on these expectations.

Whether it’s mapping content to relevant buyer personas, tailoring your messaging strategy to different segments, or adapting your value proposition to a new target market, most of the things we do as marketers simply boil down to figuring out how to best delight potential customers—which is a lot like picking the perfect Father’s Day present.

So, don’t worry if you haven’t yet started shopping for Father’s Day. Use this influencer roundup as your handy gift-buying guide:

 

Pam Moore (The Marketing Nutz)

Photo of Pam Moore with Quote

Pam Moore, CEO at social media training and consulting agency The Marketing Nutz, suggests finding two or three things that your dad, husband, or grandpa loves to do as a Father’s Day present. I totally agree with this, since I really think experiences make people happier than material gifts.

Keep it super simple. Think of what they love to eat, drink and do. Pick one or two or three. Here’s an example… buy them a new 32 oz Yeti cup at Sports Authority. While there pick up a gift card for them to use on their favorite sport or hobby. Then, take them out to eat and talk about all the things they are going to eat, drink and do the next year! You’ll be amazed what a fun day your dad, hubby, son or grandpa has!

 

Mike Allton (The Social Media Hat)

Photo of Mike Allton with quote

Mike Allton is the founder of The Social Media Hat, a full-service digital marketing agency, and brand evangelist at Agorapulse. Mike makes an excellent point when he says presents that involve “time spent” tend to be the best Father’s Day gifts. Again, experiences make us way happier than objects ever could, and that’s a scientific fact.

I find that the best gifts, particularly for parents, are ones that incorporate the gift of time spent.

It’s fine to buy them an item that they need or want, but that relational gift is usually so much more valuable, particularly as we get older and tend to have less time to spend with our parents.

Why not give them a dinner out with you or a trip to the park or a game night? Think of something they love to do and then incorporate yourself into that plan.

 

Timothy Hughes (Digital Leadership Associates)

Photo of Timothy Hughes with quote

Social selling expert Tim Hughes gives a very touching answer to our influencer roundup. He wants to take his parents out to once again experience an activity they both love when they were still young.

My father is 87 has a dementia and lives in a home. He tells us that he has totally lost all memory but for some strange reason he can still recall his love of classical music. He and my mum were big fans of the Proms, they used to go when they were courting and before they had my brother and myself. I would love to take both my parents to see the Last Night of the Proms one more time.

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Sue Zimmerman (The Insta Expert)

Photo of Sue Zimmerman with quote

Sue Zimmerman helps women entrepreneurs achieve digital marketing success through visual storytelling using Instagram. Sue shares a very short but very sweet answer. At the end of the day, it’s how much dads value something that makes it a perfect gift.

I think about what he wants and needs then I buy it – this year I got him a subscription to Amazon Prime

 

Joe Pulizzi (Content Marketing Institute)

Photo of Joe Pulizzi with quote

As one of the towering figures in marketing today, Joe Pulizzi certainly knows a thing or two about delivering what people want. That’s why his story about choosing the perfect gifts for both his dad and step-dad is simply priceless. His main takeaway for delighting dads: find something that will take them back to the good ole days.

My dad is easy to buy for. He’s like me and loves bourbon. Elijah Craig Small Batch to be exact. But my step-father is a different animal. A few years ago I was pondering what to get him and I remembered he used to have a huge vinyl record collection and a big stereo. Vinyl had made a bit of a comeback and the nostalgia of yesteryear was compelling. So I jumped online and ordered him a Crosby portable case record player and went down to the used record store to buy him 5-6 albums I knew he used to have. You would have thought I bought him front row tickets to Hendrix. He loved it.

So, think about something your Dad used to do that he doesn’t do anymore. And find something that will take him back to the good ole days.

 

Robert Katai (Bannersnack)

Photo of Robert Katai with quote

Here’s a very interesting response from Robert Katai, digital marketer and content strategist at Bannersnack. Robert’s answer is certainly something we can all learn from. That’s why we saved it for last.

My insight is this: time is the most important piece today. That’s why on Father’s Day I’m recommending to everybody to give their time: time to listen, time to ask, time to just stay together and create memories from this important present.

 

Conclusion:

I hope that helped narrow down your shopping list. It’s not easy to find the perfect gift for the dads you know, but sometimes all it takes is letting them experience something they really enjoy.

 

Happy Father’s Day to everyone in the marketing world!

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

7 Best Picks from Callbox’s Library for Your 2019 Summer Reading List

I can’t wait to pick up David Kushner’s newest book The Players Ball. It tells the story of the bitter rivalry between two of the leading figures during the worldwide web’s early days, which eventually shaped the digital world as we know it today.

More interestingly, though, the book also (incidentally) sheds some light on the murky origins behind many of the things that we marketers know by heart today—display ads, PPC, paid subscriptions, online revenue models, conversion funnels, etc.—despite not strictly being a marketing book per se.

But if you’re looking for a great addition to your summer reading list that’s marketing-related, we got you covered. The Callbox team hand-picked seven titles from our marketing library. These free eBooks are perfect for expanding your marketing knowledge while enjoying a relaxing and thought-filled summer day.

Take your pick from this selection of Callbox’s in-depth and in-demand B2B marketing eBooks and whitepapers:

 

ABM Telemarketing Scripts for Cold Calling Key Software Personas

With more and more B2B marketers adopting ABM strategies, an increasing number of companies are now looking for handy resources to help them succeed at account-based marketing.

With this eBook, we wanted to equip marketers with the tools, tips and tactics that help them effectively handle two key areas of ABM programs: phone outreach and persona targeting.

This resource includes:

  • Actual call scripts tailored for different personas in a typical software purchase process
  • Complete examples of buyer persona profiles for each decision maker role
  • Step-by-step guides and actionable tips for phone outreach

Grab your copy of the ABM Telemarketing Scripts for Cold Calling Key Software Personas eBook now!

Download the ABM Telemarketing Scripts for Cold Calling Key Software Personas eBook

 

By the Numbers: Marketing Stats that Drive Top B2B Industries in 2019

It’s certainly not news that the B2B marketing landscape is rapidly changing. But these changes impact each industry differently, and marketers need to take these differences into account.

That’s why late last year, we released the first edition of our industry insights compilation that covered nine key B2B verticals:

  • Cyber Security Software
  • B2B FinTech
  • IT Managed Storage
  • Cloud Solutions
  • Advertising / Marketing Agency
  • Healthcare
  • Management Consulting
  • Manufacturing and Distribution
  • Telecom

The eBook takes a deep dive into the trends and developments reshaping each of these industries. It also provides research-backed strategies and tactics to help marketers  keep up with these changes.

Grab your copy here.

 

Targeted B2B Marketing Handbook: Guide, Checklists and Worksheets

With the onward march of data and technology, achieving the Holy Grail of marketing (to reach the right people in the right places at the right time with the right message) is finally close at hand, right?

Not exactly. A huge percentage of marketers still find it difficult to target, segment, and personalize their campaigns and strategies to match what B2B buyers want.

We published this free resource to help B2B marketers lay the foundations of a fully-functioning targeted marketing program. The eBook is packed with step-by-step guides, handy checklists, ready-to-use templates, and hands-on worksheets that cover the four key areas of a targeted marketing strategy:

  • Identifying and classifying potential buyers that have the biggest impact in the sales process
  • Aligning the sales funnel with customers’ buying journey
  • Finding the right combination of marketing channels for engaging prospects
  • Mapping content/messaging strategy to relevant stages of the customers’ purchase process

Grab your copy of the Targeted B2B Marketing Handbook: Guide, Checklists and Worksheets eBook now!

Download the Targeted B2B Marketing Handbook: Guide, Checklists and Worksheets eBook

 

40 B2B Sales Email Templates for Every Situation

Although not exactly an in-depth whitepaper, this downloadable resource is still a great way to learn from B2B email copies and templates that generated actual results.

To put together this compilation, We scoured the web for examples of effective B2B sales email copies backed by solid KPIs like opens, CTRs, reply rates, conversions, spam complaints, unsubscribes, etc. We also made sure that the template collection covers a wide range of B2B use cases:

  • Cold outreach
  • Follow-ups
  • Lead nurturing and engagement
  • Referrals

Download your copy of the 40 B2B Sales Email Templates for Every Situation eBook now!

 

Ultimate Lead Generation Kit to Jumpstart your Business

This eBook is both an excellent primer and refresher on modern lead generation. We prepared this eBook with the needs of marketers getting started in lead generation in mind, as well as crafting it as a resource to fill any gaps about lead generation that more experienced marketers tend to have.

With Callbox’s Ultimate Lead Generation Kit, you’ll learn what matters in finding, identifying, and qualifying B2B leads:

  • End-to-end mastery of modern lead generation process, from setting objectives to monitoring results
  • Thorough understanding of each key marketing channel used in lead generation today
  • Practical strategies to integrate people, process, and platforms needed in lead generation

Download the Ultimate Lead Generation Kit eBook

 

Weeding Out Junk Leads with Predictive Lead Scoring

More and more B2B marketers are turning to predictive lead scoring algorithms to help them prioritize and nurture leads better. Compared to traditional lead scoring techniques, predictive lead scoring paints a clearer and more precise picture of where leads are in their buying journey.

But adopting predictive lead scoring systems can be daunting to many marketers. This technology needs a number of requirements in place to properly work.

That’s where this eBook comes in handy. This resource gives a detailed introduction and implementation guide for marketers looking to leverage predictive lead scoring technologies:

  • What lead scoring is and why it matters
  • Choosing between traditional vs. predictive lead scoring
  • How predictive lead scoring works
  • Things to keep in mind when choosing and using predictive lead scoring systems

Grab your copy of the Weeding Out Junk Leads with Predictive Lead Scoring eBook now!

 

150+ Software/Tech Marketing Stats to Help You Plan for 2019

Your marketing plan is only as robust enough as the data points that support it. That’s why you need solid data and stats to serve as basis for your planning assumptions and forecasts.

That’s what we wanted to achieve with the 2019 edition of our 150+ Software/Tech Marketing Stats eBook. This free resource rounds up essential trends and developments driving B2B technology marketing today.

But this eBook is more than just a compilation of data points. It includes analysis and insights to help you make better marketing decisions:

  • Overall IT/software marketing trends
  • Developments for each essential channel in tech marketing
  • IT/software decision makers’ buying behavior, content preferences, and buyer profiles
  • Comparison of different IT/software marketing strategies

Download your copy now!

Download the 150+ Software / Tech Marketing Stats to Help You Plan for 2019 eBook

 

Conclusion:

Whitepapers and eBooks are great ways to gain in-depth knowledge of marketing topics. While it can be hard to keep up with information from an avalanche of blog posts, infographics, and videos, eBooks provide a comprehensive and detailed treatment of a topic, which is what we need to learn something for the long-term. So, happy reading!

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

B2B Customer Acquisition Examples: 10 Campaigns to Learn From

Unicorns like Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy have one key lesson that marketers in the B2B space can (and should) pick up. These tech brands have managed to adeptly pivot and scale their customer acquisition efforts as their business evolved.

For these three companies, winning their first 1,000 customers was vastly different from growing their customer base to 1,000,000 paying users. As their customer count expanded, their growth goals and challenges shifted, which required a corresponding change in their customer acquisition strategies.

Word-of-mouth had proven to be very effective during their early stages, but all three companies began relying on more traditional acquisition tactics as they steadily hit one growth milestone after another.

That’s the power of having the right customer acquisition strategy, and it works the same way for B2B organizations as it does with consumer-focused companies.

In today’s post, we’ll take a deep dive into 10 real-world examples of B2B customer acquisition campaigns that actually produced proven results in terms of deals won and revenues generated.

The examples cover a wide range of B2B scenarios—from SMBs to enterprises, single channel to multi-channel strategies, and digital to traditional marketing. Anyway, let’s get started.

 

The Ideal B2B Customer Acquisition Process

Before we dissect these ten customer acquisition examples, let’s first answer the question: what does an effective B2B customer acquisition strategy look like? Four key ingredients need to be present in order to create a solid customer acquisition program:

  1. Relevant: Buyers make a purchase based on how a brand fits their needs at the moment.
  2. Diversified: Customers come from different sources and respond to different tactics.
  3. Persistent: Customer acquisition is a continuous process, not just a single campaign.
  4. Scalable: The process for generating new business must be able to keep up with growth.
  5. Flexible: Customer acquisition also needs to evolve with how potential customers buy.

We’ll now see how each of these characteristics translates into actual customer acquisition processes.

 

B2B Customer Acquisition Examples

When writing this post, I came across numerous case studies and whitepapers on real-world B2B customer acquisition programs.

But I chose the ones that really stood out in terms of sales results and new business acquired. Plus, I also wanted to cover as much ground in this post, so I went for a diverse set of customer acquisition strategies, different levels of business maturity and various industries.

1. Intronis (multi-channel direct mail marketing)

Challenge

Cloud-based data security provider Intronis has more than 50,000 customers. It primarily sells to a network of MSPs that offer Intronis-branded backup, security, and data protection solutions.

The company wants to focus on acquiring small- to medium-sized MSPs partners and generate at least a majority of new accounts from this segment.

The main target prospects for this effort are owners and IT directors, which Intronis says are typically difficult to reach via traditional channels.

Solution/Strategy

Intronis decided to use a unique strategy which they had never tried out before: a multi-channel campaign centered around direct mail. The marketing team’s research indicated that the usual tactics probably wouldn’t be very effective with the target prospects. So they chose a whole new path:

  • Send out two direct mail pieces to target prospects in order to land a 30-minute meeting
  • Follow up via email after each piece
  • Include a classic Atari video game replicator and other gaming consoles to incentivize response

Results

  • 35% conversion rate
  • 700% ROI
  • 11 new customers

2. Optum (integrated marketing strategy)

Challenge

Optum is a $37-billion healthcare tech company that provides healthcare analytics, healthcare management, revenue cycle management, and compliance solutions.

To promote a newly-launched product line, Optum carried out demand generation and thought leadership initiatives. But this required tying the different activities together into a coherent customer acquisition process.

Solution/Strategy

Achieving this goal meant the company needed to plan and execute an integrated marketing campaign. The strategy they came up with combined:

  • Advertorials
  • Display ads
  • Email
  • Direct mail
  • Campaign website

Results

  • 5,100% ROI
  • $52 million in new business

3. PR Newswire (accelerated sales cycle)

Challenge

PR Newswire is one of the world’s leading news distribution, audience targeting, and content marketing service providers. Having already been in business for more than 60 years, the company is starting to notice the huge shift in how potential customers buy their solutions.

Customers now have greater control of the buying process, so PR Newswire understands that they need to move past product-centric messaging and focus on what buyers care about.

But to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person in a crowd of 25,000 prospects and customers, the company’s approach at acquiring new business also needs to scale.

Solution/Strategy

PR Newswire rolled out a customer acquisition program that enabled the company to engage prospects with relevant content:

  • Automating touches as much as possible
  • Targeting and segmenting prospects using granular data
  • Providing what prospects expect at each stage of the sales cycle
  • Engaging prospects through multiple channels

Results

  • 8% growth in SQLs handed to sales
  • 7% increase in number of won deals
  • 30% shorter sales cycle

4. RewardMe (startup winning its first high-value account)

Challenge

RewardMe is a customer loyalty platform for restaurants and retailers. During its early days, the company pursued its first big deal with one of the largest franchises in the United States.

Jun Loayza, RewardMe’s co-founder, was introduced to a key person in the franchise by a mutual acquaintance. The main challenge was to leverage the referral and turn it into a very favorable business outcome.

Solution/Strategy

According to Jun Loayza, his approach at winning the high-value deal consisted of:

  • Scheduling a discovery call to ask crucial preliminary questions
  • Personalizing the solution to match the client
  • Finding out how RewardMe stacks up against the competition
  • Preparing a 30-minute presentation (20 minutes for the pitch and 10 minutes for Q&A)
  • Never sounding too eager or too desperate to close the deal
  • Setting a definite deadline for the prospect to make a decision

Results

Just two days after their face-to-face meeting, RewardMe locked in a 12-month contract with the large franchise. RewardMe continues to apply the strategy to close other large deals, which has so far produced consistent results.

5. SAP (account-based marketing)

Challenge

With 77% of the world’s transaction revenue passing through an SAP system, SAP is a clear market leader in the enterprise software space.

SAP America wanted to cross-sell other solutions in its product portfolio to the top customers in the region. The problem was that its current marketing activities weren’t personalized or targeted enough to generate the response SAP expected.

In its messaging, it wasn’t very clear that SAP knew exactly which product its most strategic customers were already using.

Solution/Strategy

The SAP team felt the best way to deliver a dedicated campaign to each of its top accounts was through an ABM program. The company then took the following steps:

  • Consulted with experts on building an ABM model
  • Acquired internal buy-in for the proposed ABM program
  • Started with a few accounts (5) as test case
  • Do a deep research on each target account and used acquired insights as guide

Results

Within two years after the start of the program, SAP’s ABM initiative was able to produce:

  • 55 high-value target accounts
  • $27 million in new pipeline opportunities
  • $57 million in revenues

6. Volvo Construction Equipment (CRM-driven multi-channel marketing)

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is an international manufacturer of premium construction equipment. With more than 14,000 employees, It’s one of the largest companies in its industry.

Volvo CE faced the challenge of nurturing and converting more prospects from their SEO and social media efforts. With B2B buyers increasingly in control, it’s very hard for organizations like Volvo CE to pinpoint which channel leads will interact with the brand.

SEO and social media drive traffic to Volvo CE’s website, where they’re converted into leads by asking them to subscribe to the company’s newsletters.

Solution/Strategy

Volvo CE extensively relies on its CRM tool to collect data and extract insights helpful in lead nurturing and conversion:

  • Once leads are generated, their data is stored in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • The company’s ESP is integrated with Volvo CE’s CRM and website.
  • Leads receive a series of emails which are relevant to their needs based on data pulled from the CRM tool.
  • These are determined based on pages viewed, products purchased, etc.

Results

With its personalized lead nurturing program made possible by the effective use of CRM data, Volvo CE has seen the following results:

  • Increased their email open rates from 15% to 20% in 18 months
  • Generated $100 million in revenues from digital marketing activities

7. Thomson Reuters (marketing automation)

Challenge

Thomson Reuters bills itself as “one of the world’s top sources of answers” providing news, information, data, analysis, etc. for businesses and professionals in various fields. But when it comes to marketing automation, the company had a lot of questions.

For years, Thomson Reuters followed a spray-and-pray approach at email marketing. Its marketing team hadn’t clearly defined what their ideal leads looked like and therefore tended to leak out at different points in their funnel.

Solution/Strategy

The chief reason why the company hadn’t followed a precise lead definition was a lack of alignment between sales and marketing.

In order to fix this, the company needed to overhaul its marketing automation process and platform, which also led them to:

  • Adopt a common lead definition that sales and marketing agree on
  • Standardize the sales process
  • Implement a lead scoring system

Results

  • 175% increase in revenue attributed to MQLs
  • 23% jump in total leads generated
  • 72% reduction in lead conversion time

8. G Suite (referral marketing)

Challenge

For the uninitiated, G Suite is Google’s collection of productivity and collaboration tools that you and I use every day. It now has a user base of more than 5 million paying businesses.

But when it was released in 2006, G Suite (originally Google Apps for Your Domain) needed some clever referral marketing in order to gain traction with users.

Solution/Strategy

Google incentivized signups by paying program participants cash for each new user they bring onboard:

  • Referral links and coupon codes were provided to program participants.
  • A participant gets $15 for every qualified new user that signs up through his/her link.

Results

As of year-end 2018, 5 million paying businesses use G Suite, and it’s also one of the most widely-used software products today.

9. Zoho Mail (targeted referral strategy)

Challenge

Like G Suite, Zoho Mail was also launched amid a great deal of referral buzz back in 2013. But Zoho’s referral program appeared to be a little more targeted than Google’s.

The campaign was aimed at SMBs, which were the target market for Zoho’s hosted email mail solution. Everything about the program was tweaked to reflect the needs and preferences of this audience.

Solution/Strategy

The referral program gave existing users up to 20 free accounts for simply bringing in new signups:

  • A referral page provided an online hub for the signup and work-of-mouth process.
  • The page simplified registrations and sending out invites, using minimal form fields.

Results

Since the referral program began, Zoho Mail has signed up over 10 million business accounts.

10. MSP Company (multi-touch, multi-channel marketing)

Challenge

The company is a managed IT provider, and is one of our long-term customers. I just wanted to share how this MSP firm’s customer acquisition process is as close to ideal as it gets.

This client has two headquarters, one in the United States and the other in Australia. We’ve been working with this customer for years now and have helped them reached key business milestones.

Solution/Strategy

In one of the campaigns we managed for this MSP, they won new contracts that helped them reach their quarterly numbers.

This MSP company already had a well-defined customer acquisition program, so it was easy to integrate our strategy into their process:

  • Identified and profiled key IT decision makers in the target companies
  • Carried out multi-channel outreach with phone, email, and LinkedIn
  • Nurtured and converted prospects through personalized, one-on-one touches

Results

  • $150,000 in new contracts
  • 90 qualified sales appointments

Check out the full case study here.

 

Conclusion:

If we compare all 10 examples of B2B customer acquisition campaigns we’ve seen so far, it’s clear that much of the success in generating new business boils down to engaging and connecting with your audience, as well as adapting strategies that are relevant to your target prospects at a given moment.

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

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#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.

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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.

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Marketing Renaissance: 6 (Old-School) B2B Trends Making a Comeback

Spring has sprung. You can feel it in the air. It’s the season of rebirth and renewal. Out with old and in with the new, right?

Well, sometimes, it’s actually the other way around. Some of the latest trends in B2B marketing today have actually been in use since anyone can remember, but had gotten sidelined and are now seeing a strong renaissance. We’ll take a look at six of these trends in this post.

Also, I’d like to share a very interesting response from our Easter influencer outreach, since I think it’s closely related to today’s topic and worth mentioning here.

A couple of weeks ago, I went around asking marketing influencers:

“If you could bring back or revive a past trend, activity, or practice that got lost in the Digital Age, what would it be and why?”

Jason Keath, CEO at Social Fresh Conference, gave a very insightful response, which I’ll point to below.

Anyway, here are six old-school trends making a comeback in B2B marketing today.

 

1. Direct Mail

I remember back in the late aughts how a lot of folks in marketing proclaimed that direct mail was dead, allegedly killed by email. Flash forward several years later, and we see something very surprising.

Not only does direct mail continue to be alive and well, it’s actually becoming a more important marketing channel, especially as people continue to feel overwhelmed with the amount of email and social media messages they regularly get.

Why is direct mail now making a comeback? A lot of it boils down to technology. It’s now easier to personalize and segment mailing campaigns using CRM tools, while it’s also much simpler to track direct mail campaign performance with analytics.

 

2. Print Marketing

The rise and fall (and revival) of print marketing also mirror direct mail’s trajectory. In 2007, snail mail catalogue deliveries peaked at 19.6 billion. In 2016, this dropped by more than 50% to 9.6 billion deliveries.

While this looks alarming, savvy marketers actually see this drop as an opportunity to leverage a less crowded channel. As digital content continues its explosive growth, prospects also increasingly experience content fatigue.

Plus, with the help of today’s digital marketing tools and technology, print marketing wields a significant impact on buying behavior:

  • 69% of consumers consult a printed catalogue before making an online purchase.
  • Print marketing recipients view print materials for an average of 30 minutes.
  • Catalogues drive an average of 2.5 purchases.

Print marketing initiatives like catalogues, postcards, and mailers are crucial parts of multi-channel marketing programs. This is why I completely agree with Jason Keath’s answer to our Easter-themed influencer outreach question:

“Postcards. They are the Tweets of their day. Short letters that are easy to compose and send. But they can mean so much for sending your love to friends and family while you travel.

The mail we receive today is so full of junk. It’s nice to see a letter or a postcard from someone who took the time to write something down, but a stamp, and send you some old fashioned snail mail.”

In fact, 50% of postcard recipients say that postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship.

 

3. Soundless Videos

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a past marketing trend, but it’s a very old (think early 1900s) production format that’s gaining traction among marketers today.

Soundless videos make sense because audiences are simply fed up with the interruptive noise of auto-play videos. According to multiple publishers, around 85% of Facebook video views take place on mute. Even Google Chrome has updated its settings to enable auto-play only for muted or soundless video ads.

If you’re not yet making them part of your video content portfolio, silent videos are definitely worth a try. To make the most of soundless videos, apply best practices like powerful visual messaging and closed captioning.

 

4. Cold Emails

In just a few short years after direct mail had been declared dead, some marketers also said the same thing about email. This has been thoroughly debunked countless times, but still continues to pop up time and again.

Cold emails, in particular, bore the brunt of this email-is-dead onslaught that, until recently, most sources simply advised against sending out cold emails altogether.

The fact is, cold emails are an essential element of the entire B2B marketing process. That’s because:

  • They help you reach decision makers where they actually spend most of their time—their inbox.
  • Cold emails are one-on-one, targeted, and personalized—which are qualities you don’t easily find in other digital channels.
  • They enable you to improve both quantity and quality of touches.

It’s these things that make cold emails an indispensable tactic in trending marketing strategies like ABM.

This visual guide reveals the 15 best-kept B2B email secrets to win prospects’ hearts

 

5. Phone Outreach

Since the dawn of digital marketing, outbound telemarketing hasn’t really enjoyed a stellar reputation. Together with traditional channels like direct mail and print marketing, it was one of the first marketing tactics to be labeled “obsolete” by naysayers.

In recent years, however, more and more marketers are starting to embrace phone outreach and its new role in the multi-channel marketing mix. Telemarketing enables a two-way conversation between people, which is what you need to:

  • Collecting sales intelligence and profiling prospects
  • Nurturing and qualifying leads
  • Reinforcing and responding to touches made in other channels
  • Converting leads and closing deals

I think phone outreach will always have a place in marketing. You can track or message prospects all day but, when it’s all said and done, you still need to pick up the phone and talk to a person.

Get your FREE ABM Telemarketing Scripts for Cold-calling Key Prospects.

 

6. Marketing’s CX Role

On a more strategic level, the marketing trend that’s also seeing a resurgence is our role as marketers in driving customer experience (CX). Forrester calls this the “B2B Marketing Renaissance”, and it’s something to smile about.

For too long now, we marketers have taken almost a hands-off approach at CX. We’ve traditionally had very little interaction with customers that marketing teams have nearly zero impact on the CX process.

Now that buyers are following a self-directed, nonlinear path to purchase, marketers are becoming more involved in the revenue generation process and the customer life cycle.

We’re no longer just suppliers of leads. We’re now sources of revenue and customer advocacy. That’s a change I’m really looking forward to.

 

Conclusion:

These are “old” trends that are making a comeback. If you ask me, I think these are all welcomed changes. It’s about time.

I hope you had a great Easter!

 

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.

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The 2019 Callbox Influencer Awards: Meet This Year’s Winners

The 2019 Oscars may be over, but awards season is still in full swing here at Callbox. We’re excited to announce the big winners of our first-ever Callbox Influencer Awards.

With the Callbox Influencer Awards, we shine the spotlight on five marketing influencers whose work has dramatically transformed the following key marketing areas:

  1. Content Creation
  2. Social Media
  3. Book Publishing
  4. Video Marketing
  5. Live Events

For each of these categories, our editorial team sifts through dozens of potential candidates and chooses the influencer which best embodies the spirit of that category’s award and, at the same time, also represents the ideals that drive Callbox’s marketing services.

Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2019 Callbox Influencer Awards:

 

Influencer Award for Content Creation

annhandly

In a world awash with blog posts, infographics, guides, videos, whitepapers, and what have you, it can be very tough for us marketers to stand out and connect with our audience through content. But a few exceptional content creators do get their message across and generate genuine engagement.

The Influencer Award for Content Creation honors B2B marketers who not only consistently produce engaging material, but also provide inspiration for others to craft quality content. This award recognizes a marketer’s overall body of work and its impact, not just a specific campaign or content piece.

In short, it’s an award for people who help move B2B content marketing (and the rest of us) forward.

This year’s Influencer Award for Content Creation goes to Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Marketingprofs. We choose Ann due to a number of reasons. First, Marketingprofs continues to be a leading resource for marketers the world over (including for us here at Callbox, particularly The Savvy Marketer blog). Under Ann’s leadership, Marketingprofs has produced content pieces that make marketers say “Why didn’t I think of that” out loud.

Even more significant, it’s her advocacy for “good content over good-enough content” that really earns her this distinction. Ann has been waging an unrelenting war against plain, mediocre content for years now, and this campaign has inspired marketers to craft content that’s meaningful and engaging. After all…

Marketing is art plus intent.– Ann Handley

 

Influencer Award for Social Media

kim-garst

If you asked marketing thought leaders about social media a decade ago, most of them would have simply dismissed the new channel as pure hype. A rare minority, however, saw past the early excitement and realized the true potential of social media in driving marketing (and even sales) results.

Today, social media is an essential component of any modern marketing strategy. It’s a key channel in the buying process, and it’s the ideal place to engage and interact with potential customers.

Depending on who you ask, anywhere between 50% to 90% of B2B decision makers research a solution via social media, and at least 9 in every 10 B2B marketers include social media in their marketing toolkits.

That’s thanks in large part to influencers like Kim Garst who helped shape how social media evolved into an indispensable marketing tool. It’s for that valuable contribution that we’re awarding the 2019 Influencer Award for Social Media to CEO and social media influencer Kim Garst.

Kim is founder and CEO of Boom!, a leading personal branding and social media consulting company. She has consistently been named by various sources (including Forbes, Inc., Sendible, etc.) as a highly-influential social media influencer for several years now. But, more importantly, Kim is widely considered as one of the most prominent social media pioneers that drove the development of the channel.

If people like you, they’ll listen to you. But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.– Kim Garst

 

Influencer Award for Book Publishing

mark-schaefer

Books hold the power to change not only our minds but our lives as well—and marketing and sales books are no exception. A good marketing-focused book broadens our perspective while at the same time deepens our understanding of a specific marketing subject. Most of all, a good book makes us more effective marketers and better persons.

Here at the Savvy Marketer, we devour tons of books each year, with topics ranging from overall marketing strategy to specialized areas of interest. We believe that a thought leader also needs to be a good author, so that their ideas can have a stronger and longer-lasting impact.

That’s why we’re making the Influencer Award for Book Publishing as a key part of our annual influencer recognition. This award gives distinction to a marketing influencer who demonstrates original insight, in-depth expertise, and far-reaching impact through his or her published books. Simply put, this award recognizes an author’s valuable contribution to the field of marketing.

The 2019 Influencer Award for Book Publishing goes to social media consultant, keynote speaker, and marketing educator Mark Schaefer for his string of highly-influential books tackling social media and modern marketing.

Mark is the author of the best-selling book on Twitter The Tau of Twitter, the first book on influencer marketing Return on Influence, the highly-acclaimed content marketing guide The Content Code, a comprehensive book on branding Known: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age—among others.

All these titles make Mark Schaefer among the most prolific and widely-cited authors in the marketing world, and an influencer definitely worth a close follow.

Business results on the web don’t come from content; they come from content that moves. Even if your content is great, there’s no guarantee it will rise to the top in an increasingly competitive world.– Mark Schaefer

 

Influencer Award for Video Marketing

gary-vaynerchuk

The next great frontier in content marketing is video. That’s because videos increasingly drive purchase decisions, as shown by a recent Forbes and Google study on video consumption in the C-suite.

The report finds that 75% of C-level executives watch work-related videos on business websites weekly, while 52% watch work-related videos on YouTube each week.

We want to highlight and promote the importance of videos by recognizing the people that do excellent work with this medium. That’s what our Influencer Award for Video Marketing aims to achieve.

Like an engaging video clip, a video marketing influencer needs to possess three key qualities to be successful. He or she focuses on storytelling (not just promotion); he or she knows the audience inside-out; and he or she is someone viewers can learn from.

We searched far and wide, and we find VaynerMedia founder and CEO Gary Vaynerchuk to be the best candidate for the 2019 Influencer Award for Video Marketing.

Gary’s marketing career story—from expanding his father’s wine business online during the Web’s early days, to becoming a multi-million-dollar serial entrepreneur with several successful companies under him—is an inspiration to many marketers. His lengthy track record of successful marketing partnerships with various Fortune 500 clients speaks volumes about how well he knows his target audience.

But most important of all, Gary Vaynerchuk teaches us a lot about video marketing. Gary is one of the earliest marketing influencers to predict the rise of video as today’s single most important content marketing strategy, and he continues to evangelize this message to make sure no marketer gets left behind.

No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.– Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Influencer Award for Live Events

jay-baer

There’s no doubt that live events remain a crucial marketing tactic even in the digital age. The Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report finds that 84% of senior leadership (VP and C-level) in B2B organizations consider live events essential to business success.

But live events aren’t exactly a walk in the park to organize and execute. It takes careful planning and preparation to make sure everything runs smoothly—from making sure attendees respond to invites, to converting and nurturing event prospects.

Some marketers simply seem to have the right touch for live events. Effective event marketers know how to joggle registrations, attendance, engagement, and logistics together to achieve the results they expect. Callbox’s Influencer Award for Live Events is dedicated to recognizing marketers who demonstrate these qualities.

This year, the Influencer Award for Live Events goes to J Baer, founder of Convince & Convert and one of the marketing world’s most in-demand speakers. A Certified Speaking Professional, Jay (together with his team) delivers keynote presentations, conducts training workshops, participates in industry events, and works with other organizations to make the most of their events.

Jay Baer is widely considered as one of the most influential, inspiring, and insightful marketing speakers today. A quick glance at his events schedule proves this point.

What if instead of trying to be amazing you just focused on being useful? What if you decided to inform, rather than promote?– Jay Baer

 

Conclusion:

Congratulations to this year’s big winners. The entire B2B marketing world is a whole lot better because of the work you do.

For the rest of us marketers, let’s all try to follow in the footsteps and stand on the shoulders of giants. We’ll reach and see farther ahead that way.

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

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15 Best-Kept B2B Email Secrets to Win Prospects’ Hearts [INFOGRAPHIC]

The-15-Best-Kept-B2B-Email-Secrets-to-Win-Prospects-Hearts

Writing sales emails is probably not your idea of spending Valentine’s Day, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get into the loving spirit while preparing your drafts and templates. The next email you send out just might be what you need to move the sales process forward – if you put your heart into it, that is.

How exactly do you win over B2B prospects through emails?

But how exactly do you win over B2B prospects through emails? Today’s infographic shows 15 proven ways to generate more opens, click-throughs, replies, and conversions. These best practices cover 5 crucial requirements of a compelling B2B email:

  1. Finding the optimal sending schedule and frequency
  2. Capturing your audience’s attention with an irresistible subject line
  3. Striking the right balance between content and design in the email body
  4. Ending on a right note with an engaging closing line
  5. Helping recipients act and respond with a clear CTA

 

Infographic-The-15-Best-Kept-B2B-Email-Secrets-to-Win-Prospects-Hearts

 

1. Finding the best sending schedule and frequency

Just like dating, wooing prospects through emails requires impeccable timing. You need to know the right day and time to send out emails, as well as determine how frequently to stay in touch.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule that tells you the ideal email sending schedule, and different studies in the B2B marketing literature can suggest vastly different email sending times and frequency. This means you’ll have to determine this based on your own experience and requirements.

Fortunately, marketing project management platform CoSchedule has published extensive compilations of various studies on optimal email schedule and sending frequency, which we can use as starting points to time our emails more effectively:

  • The best day to send emails is Thursday, and the best time is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • You should send no more than 5 outreach emails each month and 1 email newsletter each week.
  • 89% of email contacts expect you to reply within 1 hour.

 

2. Capturing your recipients’ attention with an irresistible subject line

In many ways, subject lines work like pick-up lines. They’re both designed to hook and retain your audience’s attention, and both try to achieve the objective of initiating a conversation.

But, unlike a pick-up line, a subject line (mostly) does away with cheesy puns and wordplays, focusing instead on substance and conciseness.

Again, there’s no magic formula to craft succinct subject lines (although AI seems to be getting better at this task), so you have to test and iterate to find subject lines that work best for you.

Addressing recipients by their first name in the subject line increases open rates by 20%

Here’s a couple of things to keep in mind in your quest for a captivating subject line:

  • From lines trump subject lines at driving email opens: 64% of recipients will read an email based on the sender’s identity, while 47% will open an email based on the subject line.
  • Subject line length impacts open rates: subject lines with 6 to 10 words generate the highest open rates.
  • Subject line personalization works: Addressing recipients by their first name in the subject line increases open rates by as much as 20%.

 

3. Striking the right balance between content and design in the email body

Now that you’ve gotten your recipient’s attention, it’s time to bring your email’s main message in front of your audience. Getting your message across means applying the right mix of content and design elements on your email body.

The email body is where you deliver what your subject line has set out. It’s where you build the case for taking the action specified later in your CTA, so the components of the email body all need to move toward that direction.

right-balance-between-content-and-design-in-the-email-body

There are millions of possible copywriting angles and design choices you can make when developing the email body, and only a handful will actually have a direct, positive impact on engagement, response, and conversions.

The following email body best practices are supported by recent research in B2B email marketing:

  • Email messages that have between 50 to 125 words generate response rates of more than 50%.
  • Emails written at a third-grade reading level have the highest  response rates, fetching 17% higher response rates than emails written at a high school reading level and 36% higher response rate than emails with a college-level writing style.
  • Email recipients rank the top email turnoffs as: too much text (17%), slow-loading images (17%), emails not optimized for mobile (16%), and inconsistent design choices (12%).

 

4. Ending on a right note with an engaging closing line

A quick glance at messages in a typical inbox is enough to tell us that most marketers tend to treat closing lines only as an afterthought. Closing lines play a more important role than simply providing a place for you to sign off.

Closing lines impact whether recipients act or ignore your CTA

Email closings bridge the gap between your message and the action you want recipients to take. If subject lines determine whether a prospect opens an email, closing lines impact whether recipients act or ignore your call-to-action (CTA).

To maximize responses and conversions, consider the following research-backed tweaks to your email closing line:

  • Email closings are great places to personalize. Emails that mention the recipients’ first name tend to produce above-average reply rates.
  • A little gratitude goes a long way. Emails that end with some variation of “thank you” generate 63% to 65% response rates.
  • For emails with a conversational tone, signing off with “Cheers” yields a 54.4% reply rate.

 

5. Enabling recipients to act and respond with a clear CTA

Anyone who has seen at least two dozen rom-coms will eventually notice that practically every movie in this genre includes a climactic scene where one of the lovers chases down the other and make a grand speech in some comically unsuitable setting.

While the CTA resembles the climax to a story, it’s very different from what happens in a film. Your email’s call-to-action sets the stage for the next step in your relationship with a prospect. It’s where prospects decide how the rest of the story plays out.

treatment-group-test-b

A/B Test: Putting only 1 CTA lifts CTRs by 42%

So, to improve the chances of prospects acting on your CTA, take these key insights in to account when crafting your call-to-action:

  • Clear and simple CTAs produce higher conversions. Emails with a single, specific CTA generate over 370% more clicks.
  • CTAs with some personalization Perform 202% Better Than plain-vanilla, generic CTAs.
  • The most common verb in a CTA is “Get”, and CTAs tend to be 14 characters on average.

 

Conclusion: Use these 15 email secrets on your next send-out or campaign, and win the hearts and minds of your target prospects.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

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The Top Digital Marketing Conferences in 2019

Attending (and joining) conferences is a worthwhile investment that you can make as a marketer, not only for a learning experience but also for the networks built throughout the conference. However, with some of its outdated agenda and key takeaways that you have already acquired a year ago, some events may not be worth your penny anymore.

In a sense that you have already mastered the basics, you now have that excitement building up in your system where you tend to seek a more compact and interactive conference that will cover all aspects of digital marketing. That is to say, you have that drive in learning more than just the fundamentals of the industry.

With that appetite, it is time to get the hang of the ultimate trends in the marketing space while getting the most of what you have paid for. Learn a ton and get hooked in the marketing conferences below from our 2019 list that you cannot miss for the year to come:

 

SMX West (Search Marketing Expo)

Date: January 30-31, 2019

Location: San Jose, CA | SAN JOSE CONVENTION CENTER

Want to gain more insights regarding SEO or SEM? Search Marketing Expo perfectly fits. It is curated by Search Engine Land, the leading news site for search marketing as it covers all digital marketing disciplines. SMX are just as obsessed with SEO-SEM as you are, so the varied sessions are designed to help improve your search marketing efforts and for you to pick up fresh tactics from expert speakers. Learn more about their conference, click SMX now.

 

eTail West

Date: February 19-22, 2019

Location: Palm Springs, CA | JW MARRIOTT

The eTail confab dubbed as “The eCommerce and Omnichannel Conference” is a two-day meeting where trends and strategies for growth in retail are discussed. With thousands of retailers collaborating, there are thousands of insightful takeaways that you can get. From its best-in-class awards down to its infamous receptions throughout the event – you really don’t want to miss the classic eTail experience. Learn more of the eTail community and view their 2019 agenda at a glance.

The value of a conference is measured on how feedbacks would turn out. Nevertheless, it is of no doubt that each of the abovementioned conferences will guarantee a wholesome experience that will save you time, resources, effort and money.

With the variety of topics tailored accordingly for each category – digital, search, B2B and the likes of marketing – you can get access to industry experts and spice up your strategies with their quality talk. Each conference will power up your skills and would change the way you do digital marketing. Truly, marketing conferences are a goldmine!

On top of that, have we missed something from the list?

 

The B2B Marketing Exchange

Date: February 25-27, 2019

Location: Scottsdale, AZ | HYATT REGENCY SCOTTSDALE

What to expect? Three days of content, networking, and tactical takeaways. The B2B Marketing Exchange is a three-day event where you can learn various marketing solutions, strategies and conditions – basically all that’s new in B2B. The lineup would include more than 100+ expert speakers and 90+ sessions offered that are ideal for business-to-business marketers and freelance writers. Dive into B2B Marketing Exchange to register!

 

PubCon

Date: March 5-7, 2019

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida | FORT LAUDERDALE CONVENTION CENTER

Experience a conference that would transform your online marketing strategies for the better! PubCon is a three-day conference that features multi-track sessions designed to offer a wide range of advanced strategies through their workshops and networking opportunities with businesses worldwide. It is a premier new media and optimization conference gathering search engine optimizers and webmasters across the world for a knowledge-rich discussion that can be integrated into your marketing operations. Catch their early bird pricing, check PubCon to register!

 

ad:tech

Date: March 12-13, 2019

Location: Sydney, AU | THE HILTON HOTEL

Learn more, network more and market smarter with ad:tech, a two-day conference, and exhibition where you can take home a handful of new insights from distinguished speakers across the industry. Build professional connections and learn from the biggest brands as you meet the “who’s who” of digital. Get empowered and experience a value-packed event with the latest in advertising and marketing technology. Explore their 2019 conference, click ad:tech to register!

 

Social Media Marketing World

Date: March 20-22, 2019

Location: San Diego, CA | SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER

Be enlightened as the masterminds of social media world share their solid practical knowledge in social media marketing that you can use back in the office. Get all the information you need, keep up with important trends and understand the breadth of the event’s “hands-on” marketing tracks. Grab the opportunity to level up your skills and expand your network. See the sessions and keynotes of Social Media Marketing World and register!

 

ContentTech Summit

Date: April 8-10, 2019

Location: San Diego, CA | MARRIOTT MARQUIS SAN DIEGO MARINA

Learn how technology can shape your marketing strategy for you to provide a better customer experience! In ContentTech, you will hear from the top minds of the industry how the effective use of technology can be of great help in your digital marketing efforts. Get a taste of a mega-conference that constantly innovates and keeps pace with its attendee’s needs while focusing on content technology. Be a part of their community, connect with ContentTech Summit today!

 

Social Media Strategies Summit

Date: April 30- May 2, 2019

Location: Chicago, USA | UNION LEAGUE CLUB

Compete in an ever-changing, dynamic landscape as you learn the defined strategies for a social media success at the 2019 Social Media Strategies Summit. Meet forward-thinking speakers, take in invaluable content, revitalize your strategies and go home with strong takeaways. This three-day event full of discussions, peer-to-peer learnings and case studies will help you accelerate your career and improve your influence. Join their community, click #SMSSummit today!

 

DigiMarCon

Date: June 5-6, 2019

Location: Houston, TX | JW MARRIOTT BY THE GALLERIA

Take in fresh ideas and experiences from exceptional speakers of DigiMarCon, the premier digital marketing conference you cannot miss in 2019! Discover powerful and inspiring talks from leading thinkers about basic and advanced principles of digital marketing that would help you transform your agency, your business and above all, yourself. Take a look at the DigiMarCon line-up and reserve your seat now!

 

VidCon

Date: July 10-13, 2019

Location: Anaheim, CA | THE ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER

Hype up your channel and grow your alliance in this four-day Industry Summit where you’ll get to meet your favorite creators, grow your audience, build and sustain profitable communities and even boost your content creation with the help of its varied tracks: Community Track, Creator Track, and Industry Track. Get in touch with the top creators and learn in-depth strategies from the experts. Come and celebrate in this creator conference, hit VidCon now!

 

MozCon

Date: July 15-17, 2019

Location: Seattle, WA | WASHINGTON STATE CONVENTION CENTER

A three-day, one-track conference where you’ll get to meet insightful speakers who can help polish your passion and skills as a marketer. With their up-to-date discussions and diverse SEO trainings, you can learn high-caliber tactics not just in SEO but also in growth marketing, content marketing, keyword strategies, and the like. You’ll surely leave home packed with new and best practices vital in the marketing environment. Connect with MozCon amazing community today!

 

INBOUND

Date: September 3-6, 2019

Location: Boston, MA | THE BOSTON CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTER

If you want your business to grow better, INBOUND has the right track with a strong foundation for you. The Inbound Conference is a remarkable business event where the top minds of the community gather together for endless inspirational talks. It’s more than just four days of learning from diverse session tracks, it’s where you establish connections with other marketers who are also passionate about marketing. Register for INBOUND 2019 and join thousands of marketing professionals!

 

MarTech Conference Series

Date: September 16-18, 2019

Location: Boston, MA | HYNES CONVENTION CENTER

Marketing. Technology. Management. That’s what MarTech is all about! Mainly focused on harnessing the already professional marketers who still thirst for improvement, the said conference is ideal for those who want to connect with the brightest, discover the best practices and learn from their fellow tech-savvy marketers. They can help develop your marketing talent that would someday help you succeed in your career. To register, check out MarTech today!

 

SearchLove

Date: October 14-15, 2019

Location: London, UK | THE BREWERY

Advance your thinking and get inspired by new ideas as the core leaders of the industry share their secrets and tips in online marketing. Widen your field of knowledge on digital marketing in this two-day event, meet friends old and new, and discuss topics where you can learn next-level tactics on how to stay at the cutting edge. Join other search marketers across the world, check out SearchLove now.

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.



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The Ultimate List of Must-Have Multi-Channel Marketing Tools for 2019

Can’t figure out which tool to include in your 2019 marketing tech stack? You’re not alone. Last time Scott Brinker checked, he counted 6,829 different marketing solutions available commercially, so it’s really not that easy to choose.

Luckily, we at Callbox took the time to painstakingly sift through every trusted review and recommendation resource recently published. We looked for the top-mentioned tools across various listings in a handful of categories and found a number of platforms that stood out. The list covers several marketing channels including:

So, without further ado, here are the top B2B lead generation tools, apps, and platforms you need in your multi-channel marketing stack for 2019:

 

Email Marketing

Email Marketing Tools

It’s 2019, and email still plays a central role in multi-channel marketing. In fact, the latest stats from Content Marketing Institute show that 79% of B2B marketers rank email as the most effective distribution channel for demand generation.

But email campaigns only work well when powered by the right email marketing tools. Choosing the email platform that best fits your requirements comes down to your budget, the number of contacts you have, the tool’s automation features, personalization/segmentation capabilities, and tracking/reporting. Here’s a list of the most highly-recommended email marketing tools available today:

 

MailChimp

MailChimp is a widely used email marketing and marketing automation service. Although it’s a popular email marketing platform among small startups, It offers a wide range of plans for SMBs and enterprise customers.

One of its key selling points is its ease-of-integration with a whole ecosystem of apps and services. MailChimp provides a full range of value-added features essential for modern email marketing campaigns, including email tracking, signup forms, spam filter diagnostics, auto-responders, and split testing.

Pardot

Pardot is Salesforce’s marketing automation solution tailored for B2B companies. Together with a whole host of marketing capabilities, Pardot includes an email marketing system that supports longer and more complex B2B sales processes.

Pardot offers several useful features such as template builders, email automation, email personalization, and testing/tracking capabilities.

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is a CRM and marketing automation platform primarily geared toward SMBs. Its email marketing solution is ideal for businesses with 2 to 25 employees that generate between $100,000 to $3 million in annual revenues.

Infusionsoft’s email marketing capabilities allow you to craft professional-looking templates, develop and manage campaigns, and optimize every aspect of your email marketing program.

Aweber

Aweber offers a full suite of email marketing and auto-responder tools aimed at small businesses and startups. It provides flexible pricing plans based on the number of contacts you need to reach and available features you choose.

Aweber’s email services include email creation tools, drip and auto-responders, signup forms, and unlimited emails.

GetResponse

GetResponse is a popular email marketing platform for both SMB and enterprise customers. GetResponse claims to maintain a deliverability rate of 99.5% for its users.

Email lists form the core of GetResponse’s services, enabling users to import, maintain, and grow their contact database through list-building and list management features. GetResponse is ideal for sending out newsletters and doing nurturing campaigns.

 

Social Media

Social Media Tools

With 75% of B2B buyers using social media to support their purchase decisions, this channel continues to be a crucial part in the modern multi-channel marketing stack. Today, more than 9 in 10 B2B marketers rely on social media to reach and engage decision makers.

In a crowded and noisy social media space, only marketers with the right tools can connect with their target audience. Social media tools roughly fall into four broad categories: campaign management, social listening, and content creation.

 

Buffer

Buffer is a web and mobile app with an organized layout and interface that streamlines the process of managing social media accounts and publishing updates.

Buffer also provides features for optimizing engagement, tracking analytics, and team collaboration. The platform is a popular choice among brands, SMBs, agencies, and individuals, especially since Buffer offers a clean UI, excellent customer service, and extensive knowledge base.

Oktopost

Oktopost is a social media management platform mainly tailored for enterprise-level B2B companies. The tool provides a robust set of features that help marketers with lead generation and marketing attribution through social media.

More than just a tool for scheduling social media updates, Oktopost allows users to track and monitor multiple profiles, boost social media engagement, and facilitate employee advocacy.

Brand24

Brand24 is a social media listening and monitoring tool. It helps you keep up with what people are saying about your brand, company, or product on social media—and lets you respond in a timely manner.

Brand24 lets you specify searches for keywords and choose sources to monitor including most social media networks and other online platforms such as blogs, websites, and forums.

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a handy platform for finding and analyzing the best-performing content and top-rated influencers in your niche or market. Its social search engine is a powerful tool for coming up with shareable posts and updates based on trending topics and widely-followed people.

BuzzSumo also lets you learn about which content and channels your competitors are focusing on, ensuring that each content you publish hits its mark.

SnapApp

According to a DemandMetric report, interactive content generates two times more conversions than static content. That’s why SnapApp should be part of your social media toolkit for 2019.

SnapApp is an all-in-one platform that lets you easily design and deploy interactive content pieces like quizzes, calculators, interactive videos, lead capture forms, and landing pages. As social media feeds continue to get overcrowded, it’s going to be unique content that stands out.

 

Phone

Phone Marketing Tools

With all the changes in B2B marketing we’re seeing lately, the phone remains a crucial part of the multi-channel marketing mix—although its role has now been transformed as well. B2B marketing relies on the integration of inbound and outbound phone interactions with prospects to accelerate conversions.

Today’s lead generation campaigns use phone calls to turn touch points from other channels into relevant and personalized conversations. That’s why you’re going to need the following tools to make the phone a functioning part of your multi-channel marketing strategy:

 

Talkdesk

Talkdesk is a cloud-based contact center platform that’s used by over 1,400 customers and more than 30,000 users around the world. Its outbound dialing system offers a full suite of dialing and call management features that boost rep productivity and performance.

Talkdesk integrates seamlessly with Salesforce and provides smart list management capabilities including DNC integration and list optimization.

Aircall

Aircall is a cloud-based business phone system that provides phone numbers that can be used on any device. With Aircall, you and your team can place and receive calls whether at the office, on the go, or when working remotely.

Aircall offers services for businesses of any size—from small startups to enterprise-level companies—and is ideal for businesses with remote or international teams.

Bria

Bria is a softphone VoIP solution for service providers, enterprises, and OEMs. Bria boosts users’ productivity by serving as unified communications and contact management tool.

Bria uses Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), which means users can easily control voice calls through their app and can set up video/audio meetings.

ExecVision

ExecVision is a sales conversation intelligence platform that helps you train and coach reps. The platform identifies reps’ areas for improvement by processing calls and transcribing conversations.

ExecVision’s key features include call recording, collaboration, content management, dashboard, goals/quota management, learning plans, and other functionalities.

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a sales CRM and pipeline management software that’s recently making waves in the CRM space. Integrating Pipedrive with your inbound and outbound phone system can greatly enhance rep productivity.

Pipedrive’s one-click integration enables quick and seamless workflow synchronization, while its click-to-dial and screenpop capabilities give your reps the information they need, right when they need it.

 

Organic/SEO

Organic/SEO Tools

For most B2B marketers, the company website forms the core of their marketing strategy—and for good reason, too. Around 57% of B2B marketers claim that SEO generates more leads than any of their marketing initiatives, and organic search accounts for 95% of all web traffic.

To get the most out of this channel, you’ll need some heavy-duty tools like:

 

Google Analytics and Google Search Console

First off, these are two separate tools, but Google Analytics and Google Search Console work well together that you really should use both.

Google Analytics gives you insights on your site’s performance in terms of traffic, engagement (bounce rates and time users spend on site), navigation, conversions, and ROI. Google Search Console lets you know any issues that Google’s spiders encounter when crawling your site.

Screaming Frog

The Screaming Frog SEO spider crawls pages on your site and reports any SEO issues it runs into. The tool helps you find and fix problems with title tags, meta descriptions, headers, broken links, and other optimization glitches.

According to the tool’s pricing page, the Screaming Frog spider is free, but upgrading to the paid version lets you crawl more than 500 URLs and access other advanced features.

Page Speed Insights

Google’s Page Speed Insights is a tool that offers a fast and convenient way to test and measure the speed of a webpage. The tool gives a detailed report on what’s slowing down a given URL and also suggests ways to fix the identified issues.

Page Speed Insights should be used regularly to make sure that all your pages load without delays or slowdowns.

Sumo

Sumo (formerly SumoMe) provides a suite of online marketing tools designed to help your website grow traffic and conversions. The tools cover six key digital marketing areas: list building, on-site analytics, social sharing, traffic boosting, communication and e-commerce.

At press time, Sumo consists of 13 apps including lead capture forms, CTA templates, heat maps, contact forms, etc.

Crazy Egg

SEO increases the visibility of your website so that it can actually generate traffic. But once visitors reach your site, they’re on a journey toward conversion. At this stage, you’re going to need solid conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy and tools so that visitors can turn into leads and customers.

Crazy Egg is a web optimization tool that lets you easily analyze user actions and conduct A/B split tests. Its main features include user session recording, user behavior tracking, and A/B test handling.

 

PPC

Pay-Per-Click Tools

PPC leads are 1.5 times more likely to turn into customers than site visitors from other sources. This is why PPC complements (read: not compete with) with marketers’ SEO efforts. The two strategies work hand-in-hand since each focuses on a different stage of the B2B sales funnel.

To seamlessly combine with other channels in the mix, PPC initiatives need the following tools:

 

WordTracker

WordTracker is a keyword research tool with a number of useful features for PPC campaigns. The tool presents data on search volume, PPC competition, CPC, and related queries.

WordTracker offers a streamlined UI and intuitive navigation. Most users who reviewed the tool points to the high quality of results that WordTracker returns.

AdWords Performance Grader

Wordstream’s AdWords Performance Grader is a free PPC campaign audit tool. It helps you gauge how well or poorly your existing AdWords campaigns are actually doing.

The tool is very easy to use. All you need is to enter your account’s email address and in less than a minute, the tool returns a free detailed report that includes a final grade on your overall AdWords performance.

Wordstream

For a more complete PPC management solution, Wordstream is a popular choice among marketers. Wordstream offers a wide range of PPC and online marketing tools that help you create, manage, and track PPC and social media campaigns.

Wordstream also supports managing different PPC campaigns across different platforms (Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, etc.) all in one place.

RollWorks

In early 2018, AdRoll launched RollWorks, its suite of online marketing solutions specifically tailored for B2B companies. The RollWorks platform is deeply rooted in AdRoll’s proven B2B retargeting expertise, enabling customers to implement highly-targeted online campaigns.

RollWorks bills itself as an ABM and B2B marketing growth platform, so it’s definitely something worth considering if you’re looking in that direction.

Unbounce

A key component of PPC campaigns is landing pages. Unbounce is a tool that lets you design and create custom landing pages without writing a single line of code. The tool features a drag-and-drop landing page builder as well as an entire library of customizable templates.

Unbounce also offers other lead capture and conversion optimization capabilities, so it’s a great tool to include in your online marketing stack.

 

Chat

Chat Tools

B2B marketers are increasingly relying on chat messaging to support their customer acquisition efforts. According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), live chat increases conversions by 20% and customers who chat are 3x more likely to buy.

So, if you haven’t already, you need to spruce up your online presence with the following proven chat tools:

 

Freshchat

Named the best live chat tool for 2019 by FinancesOnline, Freshchat is a cloud-hosted live communication and engagement platform ideal for customer support, marketing, and sales. Freshchat offers robust live messaging capabilities that bring chatting to a personalized level and adjust live conversations to meet your customers’ expectations.

The platform is an all-in-one hub for omnichannel engagement that lets small and large sales teams prepare and distribute contextual messages, capture and qualify leads, and collect valuable insights.

Zoho SalesIQ

Zoho SalesIQ is a live chat and visitor tracking software designed for SMBs and enterprise-level companies. The platform enriches prospect and customer engagement by providing a robust environment for live conversations as well as capabilities for gaining valuable sales intelligence.

With Zoho SalesIQ, each chat session with potential customers is processed and translated into useful sales intelligence indicators that can help sales teams make more informed decisions.

LeadBot

Drift’s LeadBot chat solution ranks as one of the top marketing chatbots available today. LeadBot lets you quickly and easily build a chatbot for your website that automates many lead generation activities such as booking a meeting, sharing relevant content, and handling queries.

Among LeadBot’s key features are different “Skills” for different tasks, an easy-to-use Visual Builder for developing your chatbot, saving/indexing conversations, and advanced targeting/personalization.

 

Mobile

Mobile Marketing Tools

It’s now been a few years since mobile was declared the next big frontier of B2B marketing, and it’s now clear that the channel impacts the B2B buying process. Recent stats compiled by Smart Insights indicate that 80% of business decision makers use mobile at work, with 60% of B2B buyers saying that mobile played a key role in a recent purchase.

To ensure your mobile marketing initiatives perform well in 2019, here are a few tools you need to have:

 

AdMob

Google’s AdMob is an app monetization platform that lets marketers deploy targeted in-app ads. AdMob allows you to run and display ads on mobile apps whose users are also your target audience.

Because AdMob is a Google platform, it also leverages the solid targeting and monitoring capabilities you experience in other Google marketing and advertising tools.

SlickText

SlickText is an SMS marketing platform that lets you generate and drive traffic and conversions through text messaging campaigns. The platform offers a complete menu of features and functions for different SMS campaign requirements along with robust reporting capabilities.

SlickText showcases a smooth UX design and allows you to conveniently develop and manage SMS campaigns that target high-value prospects. It also supports two-way conversations between you and your contacts.

Repsly

Repsly is a cloud-based mobile CRM designed for field sales teams. The tool integrates and synchronizes key sales intelligence so that field reps are equipped with the tools and data they need.

Repsly also enables higher sales team productivity and close collaboration through a host of team management features. It’s definitely a must-have tool for remote teams and reps that rely on real-time sales intelligence.

 

Bonus: Lead Management/Nurturing Tools

Lead management and lead nurturing tools

A modern multi-channel marketing technology stack wouldn’t be complete without a lead management/nurturing platform that binds all the different processes and tools together.

This platform ideally needs to include both marketing automation and CRM capabilities in one package, so that marketers and sales reps gain a single, unified view of a lead or opportunity as the prospect moves through the funnel.

The following four lead management tools consistently rank at the top of various marketing software review sources, and each is an ideal solution for a given class of marketers:

 

HubSpot CRM

Winner of FinancesOnline’s 2018 Best CRM Award, HubSpot CRM is a free and simple CRM tool designed for quick and seamless deployment. The platform’s primary benefit is that it lets sales teams rapidly use the tool without changing anything in their existing workflow.

HubSpot CRM also integrates well with a number of leading marketing technology solutions, making it an ideal nerve center of marketing and sales activities for small businesses.

Salesforce Essentials

Salesforce Essentials is Salesforce’s small business package for its Sales Cloud and Service Cloud offerings. This means that Salesforce Essentials provides both sales intelligence and customer support capabilities for SMBs.

Since the platform has been engineered for small businesses, Salesforce Essentials simplifies implementation of a full-featured, end-to-end CRM tool. Additionally, with Salesforce’s rich ecosystem of marketing technologies, the platform’s interoperability and integration with other tools won’t be much of an issue.

Marketo

Marketo is a comprehensive marketing automation platform primarily designed for large and enterprise-level B2B companies.

The main reason why more than 2,300 B2B organizations all over the world rely on Marketo is that it streamlines the entire marketing process, enabling users to get more out of their marketing and sales workflows.

Oracle Eloqua

Another leading marketing automation platform for enterprise-level organizations is Oracle Eloqua. Although developed for large B2B companies with vast marketing requirements, the platform actually simplifies marketing automation with its intuitive drag-and-drop design and a highly intuitive UI that clearly lays out each step of the marketing process.

Eloqua features a number of key capabilities crucial to modern multi-channel marketing processes, including lead management, campaign management, targeting/segmentation, marketing measurement, and sales-marketing alignment.

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Conclusion: As you pick and choose the right tools for your 2019 marketing tech stack, keep this list as a handy reference. In the end, it’s going to be your goals, requirements, and resources that determine which tools work best for you.

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.



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