Social Media: A Revolutionized Business Tool

Social Media: A Revolutionized Business Tool

Social networking has created a comprehensive virtual environment that allows people around the globe to converse. Since the advent of social networking sites – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, our involvement to the global trend has been revolutionized. It gave people an opportunity to meet new friends on a more diverse domain. The definition of social media does not end with that, as it goes beyond what we think it can do. Social media has been altered to become a significant aspect of the modern business sector, especially in lead generation, to constantly promote consumer interest and address inquiries on products and services.

For instance, LinkedIn has been establishing connections between potential human resources to respective companies across the world. With more than 277 million members, it has become one of the biggest social media sites linking people to great job opportunities.

One of the most crucial functions of social media in business is it provides presence awareness. Companies need to apply their marketing strategies in this area to be noticed by its target market over potential competitors. Another function of social media is it helps the company to develop the plan to promote product improvement. This is done by the collection of qualified leads based on the current trends in the internet. This is a very potent sales marketing approach because it constantly change based on the shifting trends which will give the company a competitive advantage on lead generation.

Nevertheless, social media improves customer-company relationships. The company can give a real-time connection to its customer to address customer service issues. This is a very integral aspect of every business – to hear what their customers are saying and to do something about it.

Social media is a cheap and yet very effective investment. Companies have easy entry points to upload all the useful information about their company and the offered products and services. This is very effective to companies offering services like telemarketing, where they use variety modern channels in linking their products to customers. Telemarketing companies have clients based across continents, and the only way to gather relevant B2B sales leads is to execute their main marketing strategy on cloud.

The new era of business marketing and management is continuously evolving and we have revolutionized a new business tool that will aid us in adapting to these vague changes, and that is social media.

How to Perform B2B Lead Generation Email Campaigns the smart way

It has long been established that email marketing is still the most reliable lead generation channel for B2B marketing. It’s traditional, yet it never fails to deliver the numbers – with a competent level of quality of leads, at that – and it serves as a safety net in case all other options are not performing.

However, its success doesn’t revolve around blasting huge volumes of emails to contact lists and wait for whoever responds. Successful email campaigns entail strategy and a lot of monitoring.

According to Jonathan Long, Founder and CEO of Market Domination Media, here are 4 important steps in making sure your email campaigns are producing good results:

1. Track all activity. Most email-marketing-software and platforms allow you to track open and click-through rates of any links included in the message.

Are subscribers even interested in what you are sending them? Are they all opening your emails but not clicking on any of your calls-to-action?

This data will quickly let you know if your approach is working or if you need to make some tweaks to your messages.

2. Segment your list based on activity. Most email marketing software will allow you to see the level of engagement for each subscriber. This allows you to see how responsive they are with your mailings. You can then break your subscribers into groups.

When you group your subscribers together based on activity, it allows you to market to each group separately.

3. Split-test frequency. Every business is going to have a list of subscribers that react differently to the frequency they are emailed. Some lists will interact with every message, even if they are emailed several times a month. Other lists will perform better if you just reach out once a month.

There is no guessing game involved. You are going to need to split-test several frequencies and use that data to fine-tune your approach.

4. Never stop building your list. You should always be adding to your list, and using different forms of online marketing to build your list. Paid search marketing, search-engine optimization and social-media marketing can all be used to drive traffic to your landing pages and lead capture forms.

For your automated-email-marketing funnel to keep producing revenue, you need to constantly add fresh prospects. If you stop adding new leads, you will eventually hammer your email list to death.

Source: 4 Ways to Make Sure Your Email List Doesn’t End Up Dead

Top Reasons Why B2B Telemarketing Strategies Fail

As long as there are phone lines across giant buildings and stretching underground beneath our feet, and as long as there are cell towers, satellites and fiber optic cables connecting us to the web, people will always be making and taking calls.

Even in the near future, when all of the business people in the world are those who grew up in the digital age, they would still need to talk to people from remote distances. In short, telemarketing will never die.

It’s a traditional yet highly effective B2B lead generation channel. Telemarketing and appointment setting bridge marketers and potential clients in a way that no other medium can. Nothing beats phone calls.

But why do some telemarketing campaigns fail? According to a blog post at EConsultancy.com, these might be the culprits:

Lack of segmentation

Savvy online marketers know how important segmentation can be, but it’s just as important — if not more important — to outbound telemarketing campaigns. Without segmentation, targeting the right people is all but impossible and entire programs can fail as a result.

Failing to collect data

Not every call that gets made as part of an outbound telemarketing program will produce the desired action, but every call is an opportunity to collect valuable data. This data can be used to develop a better understanding of the market, improve strategy and make the type of adjustments that are required to turn an underperforming program into a performing program (see below).

Staffing

Nothing is arguably as important to a telemarketing program as the people on the phones. Put simply, a telemarketing campaign is generally only as good as the people making the calls. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, finding folks who are capable of doing a good job can be very difficult.

Poorly-defined goals and expectations

Setting the right goals and establishing the right expectations are crucial if an outbound telemarketing program is to succeed. Far too often companies have unrealistic notions of what a telemarketing campaign can produce, and how fast. One of the most common: the notion that you should try to take an initial contact with a prospect from start to close in the first call.

Timing

Effective marketing involves hitting the target audience with the right message at the right time. While timing is often a challenge in many channels, it’s more difficult in the context of telemarketing for obvious reasons. As anyone who has received a phone call from a telemarketer at 9:05 a.m. on a Monday morning or 4:50 p.m. on a Friday afternoon can attest to, telemarketing campaigns don’t always appropriately factor in timing well enough.

Source: 10 reasons why outbound telemarketing programs fail

5 Likely Reasons Why your Social Media Campaigns are Failing

The best asset of social networks used for B2B lead generation is that added ability to interact with the target audience in a way that’s not too transactional. It’s like seeing businesses step down from their supposed pedestal and reaching out to the people.

But that nature of interaction also has its downsides. Most marketers agree that there are really no definite measure of social media ROI, and that it is only a special channel through which prospects are easily contacted.

Whichever approach your lead generation campaigns may take, it doesn’t take away the fact that the power social media offers is something that shouldn’t be wasted on poorly executed strategies.

As per SocialMediaToday.com, these are some of the common reasons why social media campaigns backslide:

1. Not being where your target customers are. It’s not important to maintain a presence on just any social media network in order to engage with potential and current consumers; you have to be where they actually are. If you are posting content and updates blindly to Twitter, but members of your target market aren’t present there, what’s the point? The first step in effective use of social media for lead generation is to research and determine which social media sites your target audience is active on a regular basis.

2. Not providing valuable content. If you’re just pushing out content about your product and why it’s so “awesome,” more than likely, people will not want to share or engage with it. If someone is following your brand on Facebook, it’s probably to see what valuable content and offers you can offer them. Rather than product-focused content, focus on content rich with tips and tricks which can help to relieve your target customers’ pain points.

3. Not using calls-to-action or sharing targeted links to landing pages. Don’t just say you have a great blog or that your fans should check out your awesome new ebook, link to it, and use an enticing call-to-action to do so. You’d be surprised how commonly businesses neglect to do this. Furthermore, share targeted links.

4. Not integrating email and social media. Email marketing and social media are great friends, not enemies. They work together well, help each other out to promote content, and share one another’s information on a regular and consistent basis. You should promote your presence on social media sites through buttons on each email as well as share links to email opt-in forms for social followers to sign up to be a part of your email database.

5. Not analyzing the effectiveness of your social media efforts. You may be on the latest and great social platforms, sharing awesome content, listening and engaging with your potential audience, and collecting that valuable lead information, but how do you determine if it’s working as well as you want it to? You should be regularly analyzing how much traffic and leads you’re generating from each social platform you’re participating in as well as how valuable it is. This will allow your team to evaluate its efforts and make adjustments if needed.

Source: 7 Reasons You’re Not Generating Leads From Social Media

 

B2B Content Marketing: 7 Ugly Truths you should be concerned about

What is wrong with how marketers produce, distribute and use content as a tool for lead generation?

While there are countless businesses that have been successful in content marketing, it certainly doesn’t speak for the majority of lead generation marketers that depend on attracting prospects through their leads.

A post at Eloqua reveals what exactly is going on out there, and why you should take a look at your own conten marketing efforts.

From Blog.Eloqua.com:

Ugly Truth #1: Everyone wants to create content, but no one wants to discuss promotion and distribution

In today’s crowded digital world, assigning no distribution or promotion plan is a foolproof way to make sure your content will not be viewed. The old model of “one and done” is over.

Ugly Truth #2: Many folks in your organization already create content without a strategy

Fun fact: 70% of marketers say they lack a consistent or integrated content strategy, despite the fact that 82% of content marketers see positive ROI for their inbound marketing.

Ugly Truth #3: Many folks create content they want to publish not what the customer needs.

Make sure your customer has a seat at the table by validating the content idea with research.

  1. Review the number of Google searches it appears in
  2. Research in trades and national news
  3. Perform  a small number of searches on social media: Linkedin and Twitter
  4. See  what others are writing about on the contra of that idea

What your expert think is “cool” maybe better position for a blog, but not much else that takes more resources and time to write.

Ugly Truth #4: Your content is created in a silo

Most of your content writers are focused on their specific piece and not its greater impact. When you create content for your audience, you no longer think in silos. You try to build content that can be used and written across the company, not just the division.

How can you combat content silos? Create a company-wide editorial calendar. You can start breaking down silos once you realize there is a broader story to tell.

Ugly Truth #5: Your content is probably one and done

This goes back to Ugly Truth #1. Organizations need to accept that in order to compete in a crowded marketplace, you need to put dollars behind your content.

Ugly Truth #6: Interesting content needs to have a call to action. Interesting on its own isn’t enough

Without a call-to-action, content marketing efforts amount to little more than writing exercises. It’s not enough to publish useful information; you want readers to engage with you and take an action that will provide value for your business.

Ugly Truth #7: Few marketers evaluate the performance of the content

If you want more money, you will need to your program is worth the time, resources, and money.

So where to start? First and foremost see how your content is performing on your site and social platforms. Are folks sharing or downloading the content? Has the media picked up the report?

Read the full post at  Seven Ugly Truths About Content Marketing

Marketing Activities you should Outsource to Professionals

Some things are better left to experts, especially when the fate of a business is on the line. This is certainly true in the world of marketing.

No one is really an expert of everything; each person can only specialize in a handful of fields. When we desperately try to be a “Jack of all trades”, we end up not reaching the maximum potential of our efforts.

That’s why we need to understand that there are marketing channels that need external help for them to be truly effective. An excerpt from a KissMetrics blog post enumerates 4 of these channels that marketers need to outsource:

1. Copywriting

Effective copy goes far beyond attractive wording. There’s a science to it, and yet it’s also an art. A change in one word can increase click-throughs by 161%.

Your copy isn’t something to assign to the team member with an English degree. This channel is better left to the experts. Top-shelf copywriters will consistently provide dramatically worthwhile ROIs, and the higher your traffic rates, the more profitable that investment is.

2. Infographics, Video, & Other Artistic Media

The quality of the media you produce is directly correlated to the status of your company in the eyes of viewers.Average infographics and videos don’t automatically propel a business into prominence.

It’s better to hire out quality pieces, even simple ones, than to create your own lacking pieces of media. Unless you have an artistic wizard on your team, these forms of media marketing are better left to the experts.

3. Long-Form Content

Long-form content has the capacity to serve as a flagship of your company. It is a one-time investment that reels in long-term benefits. It’s worth the investment to do it right. An expert content creator can craft something that excites readers, and if your free content is exciting, people will assume that your premium content is worth the money. This is why long-form content is better left to the experts.

4. Events

The question is: have you ever organized an event? If the answer is no, this type of undertaking is better left to the experts.

An event is a highly complex affair to host. Without prior experience in event planning, you are probably completely unaware of the plethora of details needed to facilitate your event.

Read the full article at http://blog.kissmetrics.com/better-left-to-the-experts/

Bored Email Subscribers- Breathe life into your email marketing campaign

Bored Email Subscribers- Breathe life into your email marketing campaign

It only takes one uninteresting message for your subscribers to mentally tag your emails as boring. That’s why every email is important – it should be able to maintain a high level of relevance and interest for them to keep opening your future emails.

But yes, a decline in open rates is almost inevitable, especially when you’ve been catering to the same people for a long time. In these cases, you need to revitalize your readers’ interest and find new ways to make the online relationship ‘fresh’.

Here are some of the things you can do to lift the boredom curse from your email subscribers:

Let them tell you what’s wrong

Something is definitely amiss. It’s for you to find out what that is. You can do a simple survey to uncover reasons that might have been causing their change of heart:

  • What exactly do they want to receive from you?

  • Any recent changes that made them change the way they treat your emails?

  • How often do they want to receive emails? Do they want to receive fewer emails in a week?

  • What suggestions do they have that they think will improve the email subscription experience?

Make minor tweaks on appearance and presentation

It wouldn’t hurt to test a few new templates – actually, a decline in interest is the best reason why you should do it. Retain half of your subscribers to receive the current template, while the other half will start receiving emails with a slightly more aggressive subject line, more lively colors and a freshly written text body. Measure any improvements. If none, no harm done.

Make it extra-personalized for the chosen few

Select about 10% of your email list based on who you think are more ‘precious’ in terms of buying capacity, requirements met and maybe a transactional history. Start customizing a special set of email copies specifically for your ‘elite’ list.

Basically, ask for permission to keep the communication lines open with them. Don’t use any template – have your email team compose a personal message with only a particular recipient in mind. This is an elaborate attempt to save an email relationship before they officially mark you as spam.

Don’t forget to go mobile

More people are opening their emails on mobile devices, so that means you need to make adjustments (you should have done this a few years ago) in the way you present your email copy. Keep your subject lines short so it won’t eat up a lot of screen space. Don’t insert your links in between a shrub of texts because it would make it hard for them to open them using their fat fingers. Also, make sure your rich media content and other aesthetic decorations are mobile-friendly.

Who are your B2B Buyers and why do you need to know them well?

Who are your B2B Buyers and why do you need to know them well

You’ve been doing business with a lot of people for quite some time now, but have you ever wondered who exactly these people are? Can you find a common link among those who have been making commitments to your business? Can you describe in detail what kind of people they are and how they go about in their decision-making and purchasing processes?

If not, then your sales and marketing success may not last long. When talking about lead generation, continually understanding your target market – particularly those who are interested – is the key to maintaining a long, fruitful business.

Here are some of the things you need to do in order to know (and keep knowing) your B2B buyers:

First, know where to find them (or where they find you)

Looking at your data for the last few years, surely there would be a pattern in terms of how you and your prospects “meet” for the first time. Do most of your leads come from website sign-ups? Do they usually call in? Do they respond to email blasts? Knowing how interactions are initiated will help you to easily paint an idea how everything works out from the beginning.

Describe your B2B buyers – and categorize them into personas

Pull up their information files and take a look at the basics. Among your leads, which belong to the upper/lower bracket in terms of company size? Annual income? Which of them are specialty personnel and which of them are C-level executives? Which among them buy more products or acquire longer contracts?

You can create your own scale and assign numbers according to your own criteria so you can easily sort future leads and predict their behavior. Which leads to…

Analysis of interactions

Now it’s time to know them deeper. If you still have access to call recordings, email threads or online conversations, perform a little analysis. What are their usual pain points? What’s the difference between those who declined and those who have agreed to an appointment or meeting? What are the usual objections? What ticks them off? What makes them laugh? What’s the magic word?

Use the data and push it a little bit more

Now that you know their soft and hard spots, you can put your analysis to the test. After being able to validate what you’ve learned, try to turn up the energy on your activities. Focus on the things that have worked in the past, and avoid doing the ones that didn’t quite bring in any help.

The Qualities of Good B2B Lead Generation Hires

The Qualities of Good B2B Lead Generation Hires

For a software company, hiring the right people for the job is the crucial first step before you conduct a really good B2B lead generation campaign.

You see, people are an important asset to any business. Hire the wrong people, assign the inappropriate person, and you will have bigger problems in your sales leads generation efforts.

That is why you need to choose well. The only question here is this: how will you do it. Marketing, for one, requires skills or qualities in people that will make them successful in this kind of work.

In any case, you might want to take note of the following traits of potentially successful marketers:

  1. Unique Mindsets

    All right, having a quirky mind might seem disruptive to your marketing process, but, sometimes, being different may actually be a good thing for your company. Having a unique approach on things can be an asset to your company’s future.

  2. Potentially Good

    Come to think of it, you cannot easily hire someone who has the exact skills you need for your B2B appointment setting campaign. Most of the time, you will get only people whose skills are close to it, but not there yet. It is up to you, as the manager, to train these people and turn them into employees that you need.

  3. Hard Workers

    Now this is a quality that you rarely see in marketers these days. Most would just do what they were told to do, or stick to their schedules. As for the great ones, these are the people who would often push themselves, who would go further than what is expected of them. They will do it if they think it will help reach their objectives faster.

  4. The Specialists

    All right, we all know about multi-tasking and the need to get someone who can do everything, but, in the software business being the jack of all trades will usually make you a master of none. It is better to get someone who is really good at one type of marketing than someone who can do all, but deliver mediocre results.

    Related: Things Your Business Will Gain If You Hire A Dedicated SEO Expert Today

  5. Job Descriptions Do Not Matter

    In any case, you are hiring someone who can get you more sales leads, right? So it is expected that you are hiring one who can do a variety of things that are beyond their job description. To them, something like a list of expected tasks to perform is just a guideline. They are not afraid to extend themselves if it means helping your telemarketing processes bring better results.

  6. You Can Leave The Job to Them

    The true test of an employee’s skill or talent in lead generation is that you no longer need to supervise them. You should hire people who exhibit leadership and marketing skills that will make your company succeed.

  7. They Ask For The Job

    And if they have the proof for it, then by all means hire them. If you think about it, those who ask for the job are more inclined to help their company involved. The other way around does not really give that.

 

So, what other qualities in a B2B lead generation hire can you share?

 

Make Email Work Right In Your Appointment Setting

Make Email Work Right In Your Appointment Setting

You may have a really good product or service to offer, but if there is anything marketing can teach you, it is that none of these matter if you fail to reach your business prospects.

Reaching out to your sales leads prospects is an important, if not obvious, prerequisite of business. That is why we conduct appointment setting campaigns in the first place. One of the ways we do that is by sending emails to all interested prospects. And yes, there are interested prospects. The problem here is how to make your prospects open them, instead of deleting your messages immediately.

 

The main reason for this could be traced to fear of spam mails. We all know how irritating receiving spam can be, so we throw them away every chance we get. Too bad for us marketers, this is also the same think that run in the minds of our business prospects. You see, in their eyes, every mail that they are not expecting, reek of selling, or just plain business focused, is considered spam. And they will dispose of your business mail the moment they see it. This is the same problem that telemarketing campaigns encounter. The rejection rate is simple too high. But there is a way to handle it.

 

Trust is essential here. When you are talking to business prospects, for example, in trade fairs and the like, tell them upfront why you are asking for their mailing address. Explain to them what benefits they can get if they sign-up for your newsletters or promos, what exactly are the kinds of lead generation content that they might expect from you, as well as the frequency of your company sending it to them. This can be time consuming, but at least you find prospects who are less likely to reject you.

 

Another thing you have to cover is setting expectations. You have to tell them the time and schedule of your mails, and stick to what you tell them. Timing and consistency play a key role in the success of your email campaigns. Keep in mind of your communication as well. Talk to your B2B leads just like you would be having a regular conversation. Lots of talks now, talk of business later. Just nurture the relationship first. This will solidify your connection with them.

Related: Recognizing the Assets and Disservices of Email Marketing

 

Lastly, try not to be to varied in your email schedule and content. Too often, we hear about businesses complaining of receiving mails at unholy hours, or getting content that they have absolutely no use for. Please, do not fall in that same mistake. Sure, you want to help your sales team reach their numbers, but sending promotions to people who only signed up for newsletters or weekly sales tips will not only ruin your customers’ trust in you, it will also make you lose sales leads as well. Now that would really hurt your bottom line.

Related: Not getting new Prospects? Give your Email a Facelift

 

Yes, you can still send business emails. You just have to know how to do this right to protect your appointment setting campaign.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...