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What the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge can teach Online Marketers about being Cool

What the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge can teach Online Marketers about being Cool

No one likes a really cold bath. It’s the shivering, the awful sensation of numbness, and the fears of deadly hypothermia that makes it a detested affair. Who in his right mind would dive in a pool of Arctic water anyway?

Well, athletes undergo cold water therapy in preparation for strenuous work. But in recent weeks, people from across the web have offered to douse themselves with cold water and record their psyched reactions for a very different reason – to raise awareness for a disabling muscle disease.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS is an illness that affects two people out of 100,000 a year. Highlighted by severe muscle atrophy, ALS is known to disable its victims.

As a sign of support to ALS sufferers, celebrities like Lady Gaga and ordinary people took on the Ice Bucket Challenge, which has become a viral phenomenon online.

The rules are clear: Ask a friend to take the challenge; if he doesn’t comply, he is urged to donate to the ALS Association; if he does, he is still urged to donate and ask other friends to also take the challenge.

To date, the trend saw at least $30 million in donations from drenched and freezing philanthropists across the globe.

And B2B online marketing players may wonder why such a simple (albeit outrageous) act would turn out to be a campaign of epidemic proportions.

We will only know the answer by knowing the factors that made the challenge that popular.

Ask, “What drives us?” The reason why the challenge became so popular was because it is driven by altruism and not just a whim to show off one’s tolerance to polar temperatures. Likewise, anchoring your online lead generation campaign on a specific platform demonstrates that your company is inclined to a mission broader than just the selling of certain products. So, when determining a campaign strategy, ask “What should be our top priority?”

Be Consumer-centric. Many social media users used it as an opportunity to voice out support for friends and relatives who have ALS. Perhaps, what made the ice bucket challenge so popular is the fact that it inspires people into action. Marketers must take note: Our job is not just to sell, but to make an impact on personal lives.

Think small; Go big. The challenge started when two New Yorkers used it as a way to raise money for ALS sufferers within their area. Online users then picked up their campaign and began drenching themselves silly with cold water in their own creative way before challenging their friends to follow suit. Social media has made it possible to turn little whispers into effective calls to action. And online marketers must make the first step of establishing a stable online presence.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge continues to rule the World Wide Web as a demonstration of social media’s ability to bind people together for a cause.

For B2B marketers, the challenge shows the potential results of an effective online campaign that focuses on a specific mission, considers the human side of the market, and the fact that initial investments no matter how small can snowball into hefty returns.

Source: What Marketers Can Learn From the Ice Bucket Challenge

6 Surefire Ways to Increase your Online Lead Generation Numbers

6 Surefire Ways to Increase your Online Lead Generation Numbers

Marketers can either follow their gut instincts or go by established practices in carrying out their B2B lead generation campaigns. Whichever works, the bottom line is to make the most out of online marketing efforts.

However, there are certain aspects of online marketing that fall into the realm of common sense – things that need not require sufficient wisdom just to take into consideration. All you need is enough courage to test them and see if they fit to your marketing system.

According to Derek Gehl, CEO of Internet Marketing Center, testing is the only way to discover what works–and what doesn’t–on your website, and it’s the best way to start increasing your sales exponentially.

Here are some tricks of the trade from a blog post by Gehl:

Offer just one product or service on your home page. Do you sell a number of products or services on your website? If so, I’d strongly recommend you test whether or not this is the best strategy for you. It’s all about focus. Instead of trying to please everyone who visits your site by offering a large range of products with minimal detail about each one.

Feature different benefits in your headline. Your headline has a huge impact on your sales. It’s often the first thing visitors to your site see so it must grab their attention and compel them to read your sales letter. A successful headline should highlight a problem your target audience faces and stress the main benefit of your product or service in solving this problem.

Focus on your site visitors – not yourself. The most successful sales copy focuses on the reader. Too often, business owners neglect this simple golden rule. Look carefully at your sales copy. Is it filled with references to “I,” “me” and “we”? Instead of using sentences like “I designed my time-management software with the busy homeowner in mind,” try “Your new time-management software will free up hours of time for you to spend with your family.”

Boost your product’s desirability by adding images. Images of your products make them seem more tangible and “real” to your visitors and are a powerful sales tool. But sometimes revealing what the product is too early in the sales process can kill the sale–you may need to highlight the product benefits and value before you reveal exactly what it is.

Read the full article at 12 Ways to Increase Online Sales

 

The Future Of Generating B2B Leads Online

We must admit, generating more B2B leads online has become an exercise of necessity. With automation and interactive voice recognition (IVR) being the norm, it does make one wonder if telemarketing is still needed in the lead generation business. Pundits are saying that the internet, with its wealth of information, will make salespeople obsolete. Customers have information right at their fingertips, so they no longer need anyone peddling directly to them anymore.

That could not be further from the truth.

Based on the recent research done by the Acquity Group, more than 95% of business owners looking for new businesses online still prefer having someone on the phone to discuss business with. In other words, a salesperson is still required in the appointment setting process. These potential sales leads still require talking to an actual person, in order to assess the value of a business they wish to work with. This is an important development in the B2B lead generation business.

The explanation is simple, direct consumers only need to read user reviews or company pages before they buy anything, leaving the salesperson out of the loop. Corporate buyers, however, are in a different field. They spend a lot in just one purchase, so they have to think their options carefully. Naturally, they would require someone to walk them through the buying process.

This is an opportunity for you. Just be sure that you remove the aggressive selling part on your lead generation campaign, since this is a turn-off for these prospects.

Redefining Lead Generation With SEO Marketing

 

Having a hard time generating qualified sales leads? That is to be expected. With the world economy still feeling the after-effects of the financial meltdown in the United States and Europe (and there is no denying that everyone still feels it), finding prospects can be pretty difficult at this point. Still, that is no reason to just sulk around, mope about your fate, or perhaps do a dozen other unproductive things in your office. Rather, this should be an opportunity for new lead generation tactics. That is where interest in search engine optimization (SEO)  marketing take off. And believe me, there are a lot of interested people here.

 

This form of marketing works by improving the standing a website, or group of websites, in internet search pages. This is a rather subtle operation, and results will definitely take longer than telemarketing, but it does present some interesting possibilities. Think of SEO as a form of support in the general marketing campaign. You have to admit that generating B2B leads using old channels is hard. Right now, sales is slow. But your priority is to keep your business visible in the internet. As long as you are there, it would be easy to promote your business to potential buyers. So how will you start on this?

 

  1. Remember to research your market well. Analyze what keywords they are most likely to use and incorporate that in your over-all SEO marketing campaign.
  2. In SEO marketing, your aim is to provide information, not to sell. The selling part can be done later. What is important is that you engage the interest of prospects, prove that you are an industry authority, and that you and your company can be relied on in the future.
  3. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are great mediums to engage prospects and customers in conversation. This will help increase your presence in the online community. Just keep in mind that your aim here is simply to have a conversation at this point.
  4. Try hosting a webinar or a video conference with interested prospects and attendees. This will help cement your reputation as an industry expert, as well as put an edge over your competitors. You will need the help of appointment setting specialists on this.
  5. Be active blogging and article contributions. In this way, you can promote your own business through other online channels. It would be a good boost to your reputation as well.

 

Once you have established your presence in the Internet, and search engine results appear to be favorable, then it is the time for you to engage in a more aggressive sales campaign. Seek your from your network interested prospects in the United Kingdom. Once they express willingness to talk business with you, now is the time for you to give them a telemarketing call. And it will be an easier job, since it will no longer be a cold call anymore.

 

Of course, if you have a hard time negotiating and doing business with prospects on the phone, it would be a good idea to work with a professional lead generation agency, then.