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Marketing teams spend all their time and effort to find the best sales leads for their company. While staying within budget, companies strategize to stay ahead of competitors and generate ROI.
Without leads, there wouldn’t be any sales, and without sales, companies would not achieve revenue goals. Brand management and demand generation leverage one another to be successful, these activities are the responsibility of the marketing team.
Marketing professionals know that not all leads are the same. Medium and enterprise level businesses have a lot of supporting departments. The pressure is on for the marketing and sales departments to turn over gross profit.
The sales and marketing departments have to produce far more in sales than what’s needed to pay for their salaries and commission. The marketing team gathers a high volume of sales qualified leads, it then becomes the sales department responsibility to close the deal. The marketing teams nurture MQLs into Bottom Funnel or Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). Allowing, the sales team to spend all its time doing what it does best, selling.
Outsourcing middle funnel lead generation to lead generation companies saves the marketing team a lot of time and effort. They can concentrate on nurturing those leads to bottom funnel leads. It’s always an option to switch vendors if their leads are not converting as advertised. Knowing what leads to purchase improves the data for further analysis and budgeting.
Expanding to new unfamiliar markets is a challenging venture for businesses. Establishing a footprint in new territories is not easy even for big name brands. Going directly to lead nurturing is targeted and cost-effective. Having the marketing team concentrate their efforts on potential clients is better than trying to get the general public into top-funnel leads.
Medium and Enterprise level organizations spend a lot. The faster leads turn into sales, the faster expenditures are converted into profit. The company and more specifically the sales team preform at a higher standard with larger numbers of qualified leads.
The sales team can find leads on their own. Having them nurture leads through the entire funnel is fine for companies that offer large commissions such as real estate, automotive, and the defense industry. Sales teams spending a majority of their time nurturing leads instead of closing reduces sales production. It’s not a problem for big-ticket items, but for general consumption businesses, it’s an inefficient use of their sales force.
In the Information Technology space, competition is fierce. Tech giants to start-ups are all going after the same target market. It’s necessary the sales team concentrates only on SQL and the marketing team focuses on nurturing.
Launching sales campaigns to un-nurtured leads leaves a hard sell impression. Its important to nurture leads into middle funnel – going straight to sales when prospects are not ready to purchase will return in negative results.
Jumping directly from top-funnel to bottom funnel also needs a staggering amount of leads. A poor process can jeopardize the company by establishing negative perceptions in your target market.
Outsourcing generation and investing time nurturing leads is a more efficient move for smart marketing teams. Finding a vendor that can provide quality bottom funnel leads at reasonable price makes for a viable option. Running them with middle funnel leads on a different funnel will provide a good A/B testing scenario.
Each lead has the potential to be a sale. In reality, only a small minority of leads converts right away. There are several reasons, the first is the lead source. The quality of leads converting from different sources greatly varies. It’s smart to have a separate funnel for analysis purposes for each source.
Industry benchmarks are a good starting KPI, but your good marketing teams do what they can to beat their own numbers month to month.
The reasons why mid-Funnel leads are not converting to bottom funnel leads differs per company. However, the most common reasons are:
The first three reasons indicate that the leads can be recycled after further nurturing. The last two common reasons indicate a problem with the sales team. Having the marketing team analyze funnel data can save money by increasing conversion rates and resolving issues by recycling nurtured leads. Sophisticated technology is needed to keep track of all the data. Third-party lead generation vendors usually provide this technology as part of their service.
The marketing team has three major tasks, lead generation, nurturing them to sales qualified leads, and funnel analysis. Outsourcing lead generation activities will allow marketers to manage marketing funnel efficiency and increase conversion rates.
Thinking it’s time for your company to start working with a lead generation partner? Working with a lead generation partner will fill your marketing funnel with engaged leads that are squarely in your target market. Learn more about the best practices you need to launch an effective lead generation campaign with a partner.
It’s a given that one of the best ways to fuel business growth is through the generation of new sales leads but even the best marketing teams can struggle with identifying and pursing high value leads. Studies have shown – if it isn’t already, lead generation should be a top priority for sales and marketing teams. While the nature of business has evolved, one thing that hasn’t is the complexity of generating traffic and cultivating prime leads.
According to a 2013 report on lead generation, 61% of B2B marketers think generating high-quality leads is one of their biggest challenges. Finding niche lead providers that can deliver on promises requires careful consideration. The fact of the matter is; there are plenty of lead generation firms in the market and most – if not all of these – promise big results in exchange for your marketing investment.
Attracting potential clients to your websites can take a significant amount of time, effort and financing and even then, there is no concrete guarantee that landings translate into sales. To level this issue, sales and marketing teams have tapped lead generation companies to deliver databases that will provide quality leads.
So, the big question here is how do you select the right lead generation company for your organization? Below are the different sections that outline key questions you should ask before deciding.
The discovery phase is all about getting to know firms and what they can offer. It’s important to understand what you need and assessing if the firms you are considering can provide you those solutions and requirements.
Having a good understanding of the types of leads you require, and your target demographic allows you to be more insightful when selecting the right partner. Depending on your industry, it is important to know if a vendor operates within your industry. For example, Pure B2B is a data-drive lead generation partner that focuses on the technology buyer audience. Its global technology buyer audience includes IT, sales, marketing, finance, business and human resources.
Plenty of companies boast about having the most updated and expansive database listing, and key decision makers across multiple industries. On the other hand, there are more niche lead providers that offer databases relevant to specific industries.
It’s also important to look at the programs lead generation providers run; there are different methods to lead generation including top-of-funnel or bottom-of-funnel, programs sift through prospects to identify viable sales leads to be nurtured. Other programs include lead discovery, account-based marketing, database cleaning and program/ process optimization. Knowing the type of program a vendor utilizes will give you a better idea of how they operate and the pros and cons of the data you will be receiving.
Without sales leads, a company could be dead in the water in terms of business growth. When outsourcing your lead generation process to an external provider, there needs to be due diligence in reviewing the track record and experience of firms before settling into a decision.
When comparing account lead generation companies, some key characteristics to consider include their track record for providing quality leads. This can be seen based on their returning customer base and respective feedback. What is their target audience, their experience in the field and what are people saying about their services?
Working with providers that have veteran sales and project management teams will enable your company to tap the provider’s expertise. Pure B2B clients work with dedicated customer experience campaign managers who closely manage campaign performance with key emphasis on the systematic conduct of monitoring and optimization.
Lastly, your comparative review of lead generation companies needs to consider the price and overall cost of this marketing investment. Keeping in mind the extent of the services being provided, customer and administrative support available, size and relevance of the database, and overall company experience. Choose the company that will be able to provide you with all the service you need within your budget.
Business growth is the fundamental goal of lead generation. Through new business opportunities, companies can expand its customer base and scale up operations. Understanding your agency objectives, targets, and identifying key services being offered by providers will allow you to know if your business matches the expertise of a generation firm. Discover the benefits of having lead generation services that result in high-quality, engaged leads that are accurate and likely to convert into sales.
Building a foundation with a lead generation partner has become very important. Learn about the best practices you need to launch an effective lead generation campaign with a partner.
It’s Q2 2019, do you know where your sales and marketing statistics are? We like to keep a finger on the pulse of the B2B marketing funnels and sales pipelines world and thought we would share some interesting insights with you. Staying on top of sales and marketing trends like these can help you gain a new perspective on your own strategies and even help you initiate a campaign or channel pivot. Read on and enjoy!
You don’t have to face the daunting task of lead generation alone! Check out this whitepaper for tips on choosing the right lead generation partner.
The sales and marketing landscapes are evolving, especially with regard to lead and demand generation. Surprisingly, a successful lead generation marketing campaign may not equate to strong sales conversion rates. Why? Because not all leads are created equal – while some are simply digital window shoppers, there are Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) which should be your focus.
For many businesses in the B2B technology space, identifying and targeting new leads is critical to reaching sales goals and ensuring the company’s sustainability. Today, much of the pressure to reach these vital sales goals falls to the marketing team. This has resulted in increased scrutiny of marketing strategies and chosen marketing channels. In order to maximize the investment in your chosen strategy, it’s important to know the quality of the leads you are earmarking as MQL.
In order for sales and marketing to be truly effective, both teams need to align their strategies and share the processes of their day-to-day operations. MQLs are extremely valuable to a business and a marketing to sales pipeline needs to run and be tracked so you now which marketing techniques and strategies are resulting in revenue. Below are some best practices which can be employed:
Before anything, work with sales to define your ideal customer and target market so that marketers are equipped to identify leads that sales will be more likely to convert. 40% of sales reps say that prospecting is the most challenging part of their job. To address this, providing your team with an identifiable profile of preferred customer ensures marketing will be able to hand over likely customers. In turn, sales representatives are confident the MQLs provided by the marketing team are more likely to result in conversions. Knowing who MQLs are will enhance the overall workload and performance contributing to higher ROIs for your firm.
Insights on your MQL performance can provide you with optimization opportunities to increase conversion rates and decrease the number of leads that go cold. An established process between sales and marketing teams can minimize confusion, miscommunication, and gaps. A tailored and standardized strategy that underscores prompt engagement of MQLs will allow your teams to properly nurture potential customers leading to better sales conversions.
These processes work best if marketing and sales teams are working together. Through better persona development and targeting, marketers can execute appropriate campaigns and turnover vetted MQLs which in turn improves the performance of sales representatives. Establishing a mechanism for greater collaboration and trust between sales and marketing teams will give your organization an advantage over the competition and accelerate business growth.
Lead scoring is a method employed to rank prospects or leads according to a scale indicating their potential value to the business. Respective scores rate the leads interest, interaction, and professional profile which will then help your sales and marketing teams determine if they are ready to progress to a sales discussion.
The process and basis of evaluation is as critical as the results themselves. Traditionally, sales and marketing teams have relied on BANT – a sales qualification framework – used to identify and target prospective clients based on Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline. While BANT can be used as a guide, it’s time to move beyond the confines of BANT to focus on the needs of your leads based on their engagements with your brand.
By focusing on the presence of BANT’s four elements, you may be excluding intent data as well as rushing your MQLs to a sales discussion that needs additional information. In the end, BANT could be narrowing your field of opportunity and missing out on leads that may have been better for your firm.
Customers want service providers that are prepared, understand them and provide personalized services that consider their unique requirements. According to a recent report, buyers shared that the three most important elements of a positive sales experience are a sales representative who 1) listens to their needs, 2) isn’t pushy, and 3) provides relevant information.
In order to develop a customer relationship, it’s imperative that executives impress the need for sales and marketers to nurture clients and genuinely listen to their challenges and requirements. Leads are dynamic and their needs change over time. Today’s marketplace is no longer about pitching your product, rather it’s about providing client services and helping consumers identify and address their problems with the services you are offering.
Looking to integrate more intent data into your lead and demand generation strategies?
Find out what best-practices you need to establish to launch an effective data-driven marketing strategy.
With over 3 billion people using social media globally, it’s safe to say that certain social platforms can be a gold mine for your lead generation efforts. However, some digital marketers may not be utilizing this channel to its full potential.
Becoming a well-rounded B2B marketer means conquering your way through social media. Behind every business are real people, social media provides an avenue to not only market your brand, but humanize it and establish a valuable connection with B2B consumers.
Here are some common mistakes you might be making when using social media—and how you can correct them.
Having a lot of followers is a good thing—however, they don’t always translate to great performance. It is important to preserve current followers and engage new followers to your brand. Lead generation is the first step in nurturing prospects through your sales funnel; you want to attract as many followers as you can for this process to begin.
Look into metrics such as clicks to find out if your posts are doing well enough for your audience to take action. Check your website traffic to spot if the source comes from social media. If yes, break it down further and find out which platforms are the most popular. Finally, use this data to do optimize your next social lead generation campaign.
Are you taking advantage of micro-conversations with leads? Providing content that is relevant and engaging on your branded social media platforms is the first step, but are you simply tracking reach and not engagements? Are you actively responding to these engagements?
It is important to engage with your audience and keep conversations going. Developing a new following is important to brand awareness, don’t neglect to address followers who have previously shown loyalty to your company. Creating a dialogue shows that you care for your prospects versus climbing up the social media ladder.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter may all fit within the social media category, but they serve very different functions and attract diverse segments of users. Just because they are in the same category does not mean your brand should post the same type of content on each one. It’s critical to study the nature of top performing posts per platform in order to create strategies that incorporate the most relevant content subjects, formats, and messaging.
For instance, Twitter thrives on short and catchy copy due to its 280-character limit. Facebook allows for more content, short videos typically get more engagement versus other posts. LinkedIn is a professional space; a straightforward caption and link would be better here. Understanding these nuances will provide a guideline for when repurposing content and presenting it in numerous exciting formats to your audience.
That’s right, you can get a boost with strategic advertising. This strategy wasn’t prevalent in the early years of popular B2B social media, but it’s time to face the music. Some even say that organic reach is dead. Learning about social media ads is crucial in your quest to connect with the right audience.
Here’s what you can do; perform A/B testing efforts on several campaigns, explore your analytics and ad tools, focus on remarketing to audiences that have already visited your website, social media pages, or seen your posts. You can also take courses to increase your proficiency and optimize your ad spending.
Everyone’s on social media, that is both a good and a bad thing. It’s critical to keep a consistent posting schedule to save yourself from being outmaneuvered by other marketers who are more aggressive. However, that’s not to say that you should post at every hour of the day. That practice might hurt you in the long run—no one wants spammy content on their feeds.
Setting limits to the frequency of post can help reach your audience and maximize potential without going overboard. Aim to post regularly and allot time to engage with your prospects when you are not actively posting.
You’re not just out there to post on social media—it’s your job to listen, too. Social listening means paying attention to your audience. What are your followers saying about your service? What are the relevant concerns in the industry that you may be able to address? You can use hashtags, groups, and advanced search methodologies to “listen” in on conversations about your business, its services, your competitors, and the industry. Utilize this social listening data to devise and optimize social media campaigns that address the topics, challenges, and needs of your target personas.
Analytics should be every marketer’s best friend. You may be putting a lot of effort into your social posts, but it won’t matter if you’re not keeping track of relevant KPIs and metrics. Establishing and monitoring social media specific KPIs will help you understand if your current strategy is effective both on social and off. After all, aren’t you doing this to drive awareness, engagement, and leads? So always keep in mind that your social media posts for lead generation differ from those posted for awareness and thought leadership.
Study the characteristics of your best posts, such as format, engagement, reach, clicks, conversions, and time posted. Having a strategy that’s backed with data will make your social media posts fresh, relevant, and impactful to your audience.
Are you guilty of some of these mistakes? Fortunately for you, it’s not too late to change your ways.
Following the counter tips above will help you develop better strategies and tap into your social media audience more than ever!
Learn about the key principles behind developing powerful lead generating content for your marketing strategies.
The beginning of the year always signals a reevaluation of old strategies and the hunt for newer ones to stay competitive in your industry. We’ll be ringing in 2019 no differently with a new set of B2B lead generation strategies you should watch out for.
The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing, which means B2B lead generation tactics are evolving as well. Other brands are getting better at converting their prospects while some are stuck in their old ways, perhaps unsure how to shake things up.
65% percent of businesses are saying that lead generation is their biggest marketing challenge.
Thanks to a new marketing funnel, converting visitors into leads is a bit more challenging, but it provides a lot more room for creativity as well. There are many free lead generation tactics out there, but few will help you maximize your marketing ROI. Here are ten effective B2B lead generation strategies that will help you succeed in 2019.
Not every marketer is confident about whether or not they should gate their content. However, this is one of the most effective ways to attract and identify leads who care about your business.
When done right, gated content can increase leads and conversions. Case in point: Finance and trade website Trading Strategy Guides added almost 11,000 targeted subscribers to their email list in just one month by using a content locking script. Unbounce’s gated content stats reveal more campaigns with conversion rates that fall between 19-45%.
Publishing gated content on your website is wise if you’ve already built a library of collateral that you are sure your audience will enjoy.
One-size-fits-all marketing is dead. Users now expect personalization that allows them to cultivate deeper connections and more meaningful relationships with brands. In a SalesForce survey of 7,000 consumers, 57% of the respondents said they are willing to share their data in exchange for personalized offers, 53% for personalized product recommendations, and 52% for customized shopping experiences.
Moment marketing is a great way to become relevant or go viral for a certain period of time, but sticking to evergreen topics in your niche is a sure way to get noticed no matter what stage of the buying cycle your potential clients are in.
Evergreen content works hand in hand with your SEO strategy, allowing you to stay fresh on search engines. In a case study by Miles Anthony Smith, he presented a growth of 575% in organic traffic after adding evergreen content on his blog. It’s helpful, informative, and shareable—all the things people love about high-quality content. Plus, it never goes out of style.
Social media is no longer just an extra channel of publishing or promoting your content. This is your chance to engage with your audience. The average person has 7.6 active social media accounts and spends more than 2 hours a day on them. Take advantage of this.
You can start a Facebook group where you can have regular discussions on pressing issues relevant in your industry. Use hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to connect with like-minded individuals or specific causes or topics. LinkedIn is also a great platform to communicate with prospects and tell them more about your brand.
Don’t take word-of-mouth marketing for granted—it’s still the primary factor behind almost 50% of buying decisions. Statistics show that B2B companies with referrals reportedly have 70% higher conversion rates and 69% faster close time on sales.
Your satisfied clients are the best people who can market your business to others. Incentivize referrals! Make it more exciting for them by creating customized referral codes that entitle them to discounts. This also makes it easier for you to track where your leads are coming from, and which are converting.
Did you know that 48% of landing pages contain more than one offer? If you’re a part of this statistic, it’s time to rethink your landing page strategy. Multiple offers in one page can decrease conversion rates by 266%. Focus on a single goal for each landing page and be clear with your messaging in your CTA to reduce distractions. Your primary goal is to convert your visitors into leads, so make sure your landing pages and CTAs are convincing. Make landing pages an engaging, straightforward, and natural experience for visitors and they will be more likely to convert.
An excellent way to diagnose why your website visitors aren’t converting is through analyzing their actions on your website. Tools like Hotjar or Mouseflow can allow you to record user sessions and plot heatmaps on most-clicked buttons on your site.
Many CRO experts swear by this step and maintain that it’s one of the fastest ways you can uncover the “whys” in your process:
From here, you can rectify a situation or apply more of the same strategy to your other pages. This is helpful for A/B testing as well.
Ninety-two percent of consumers read online reviews when considering a product or service. If your website doesn’t have a testimonials page or a reviews feature, it could be hurting your chances to get contacted. Create opportunities for your clients and customers to add a review and post it on your website.
Reviews build consumer trust, improve your local search ranking, and ultimately improve conversions. Consumers are likely to spend 31% more on businesses with stellar reviews.
The persona of your brand is not limited to your website and social channels only. Branch out and appear on other sites to grow your credibility, such as guest blogging, getting interviewed, or answering questions on Quora.
Quora alone can help you gain thousands of leads if you answer the relevant questions in your industry. Developing your brand as subject-matter experts can increase brand awareness and also help first-time learners about your brand build trust faster.
Email is still the most popular lead generation channel—77% of B2B marketers use email marketing to drive leads.
In B2B, there is a lot of value at drawing the attention of your competition’s customers. Gmail Ads allow you to target your AdWords campaign to people who have received emails from your competitor. Sounds sneaky? It is, but it’s effective. It gives you direct access to people who are already familiar with the nature of your service.
Use this opportunity to show what sets you apart from the competitor. Use familiar language, optimize your email marketing layout, and give them an offer they can’t refuse.
In the world of B2B lead generation, you can expect each year to become even more competitive than the last. However, this is a good thing—your business is pushed to aim higher and get more creative with your strategies and technology tools.
Optimizing lead generation strategies is the foundation of all downstream success. Be smart and creative and you will find your visitors engaging and converting at higher rates.
Implement these 10 B2B Lead Generation strategies to bring in next level leads. Take a look at our free whitepaper and expand your knowledge on implementing strategies to close leads and increase ROI.
The digital age and technological innovation have opened the door for more flexible and accessible web-based solutions, inviting more and more organizations to utilize software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools, such as Salesforce, Slack, Zendesk, etc., to optimize processes and fast-track their operations.
SaaS has moved forward from being seen as technological innovation. Scratching the surface unravels its key characteristics: accessibility, flexibility in types of features and payment options, collaborative functions, and security, which qualifies it as a working business model.
This superior delivery method has made the global SaaS industry proliferate with no signs of slowing down. It’s said that 64% of small and medium businesses will commit to cloud-based technology as a means to boost workflow productivity in 2019. While a recent report reveals that 73% of organizations say nearly all (80%+) of their apps will be SaaS come 2020.
The SaaS ecosystem considerably evolved in the past years and will only progress as technology advances. Businesses operating within the trade will find it hard to stand out in this highly-saturated industry. Stay up-to-date and check out these latest trends to stay ahead of the competition.
Soon, it will become a common strategy to offer core services such as an API together with a suite of tools, rather than offer a full-featured service. This gives SaaS providers the ability to deliver well-supplied, focused services to keep afloat in an overcrowded market.
The unceasing debate over horizontal (operations-focused) and vertical (industry-specific) models will see a convergence soon. While each model has its own purpose, advantages, and disadvantages, it’s clear that neither is superior.
In this data-driven marketing age, you can witness SaaS applications moving towards the do-it-all approach, enabling the integration of third-party apps and current business solutions, making SaaS applications targeted but not industry-specific. This will only encourage more businesses to join in on the trend and push for open connectivity in the coming year.
SaaS businesses leverage on utilizing flexible pricing structures. You can provide the option to only pay for any particular feature clients may need; or optimize pricing methods for a month, three months, six months, or one year.
Like other industries, SaaS is being unsurprisingly tapped by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies. In 2019, it’s projected that businesses will develop and adopt machine learning-as-a-service (MLaaS) into their roster of web-based solutions.
Software companies who plan to embed intelligent applications into their business operations will want to select the fitting AI platform to create their service. The demand for MLaaS will continue to grow, which is why choosing the best cloud-computing provider is vital to this step.
One popular trend that’s widespread in the industry is the shift from SaaS to PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service). SaaS maturity encourages businesses to look for other ways to retain and grow their customer retention rates. A fantastic way to achieve this is to convert to PaaS, which allows clients to choose and create add-on apps to the original products. This scalability mainly enhances their overall experience with the service.
Since the industry is getting highly-saturated and the number of players continues rising, the competition is naturally heightened. That means in 2019, SaaS businesses and new players will try their luck in connecting to new prospects with micro-SaaS. These types of businesses don’t get outside funding but can have high margins, low overheads, and be location-independent.
Tyler Tringas of Storemapper defines it:
“A SaaS business targeting a niche market, run by one person or a very small team, with small costs, a narrow focus, a small but dedicated user base, and no outside funding. Hence, micro-SaaS.”
A survey from a financial company concluded that 43% of small business owners use their mobile devices to maintain their business. This calls for SaaS companies to concentrate on the mobile side of things. Since their services initially started as web or native apps, the task to provide a seamless mobile experience that is superior to their counterparts is vital to their success.
SaaS systems are more flexible compared to on-premise solutions or larger legacy software packages and products. Product development and research teams are always experimenting on combining and adding new features, tools, and plug-ins to their services to accommodate their clients’ requirements.
Standalone products can further improve flexibility as systems will be susceptible to custom manipulations and will let companies create apps at a fraction of a price. Additionally, open API architectures will allow connectivity alongside minimal coding, which implies that any app can work in any software environment.
Like any other business, SaaS companies put their clients first. As the competition intensifies, the goal to deliver a richer and more valuable experience for your clients will become a company-wide effort. Revenue and customer loyalty will follow as you continue to focus on customers.
Guiding them in making the most out of your SaaS software or service not only increases usage but also feature adoption (if service offered on free trial).
Speaking of free trials, this strategy will continue to rise. Free models eliminate customer apprehension in investing and committing point-blank. 61% of SaaS businesses offer variations of these as it is proven effective for customer acquisition.
SaaS technology has cemented its remarkable position in the B2B cosmos. Given that, it’s about time to face 2019 with new technologies and forward-thinking game plan to advance in this increasingly growing space. Before making any significant steps, it is best to know where to pivot, invest, and innovate.
To keep up with the trends and changing market demands, it’s important for brands to be data-driven. To help you out, claim your free copy of “A Complete Guide to Data-Driven Marketing” today!
Trust is an essential component in building customer relationships. You’ll want people to regard your brand with confidence because of the way you operate your business, interact with clients, protect their data, and promote your products and services. Ultimately, this trust will help boost online conversions.
Trust signals serve as validations from customers and online communities regarding the credibility and legitimacy of your business. It can be in the form of a badge, a certificate, content, or symbols that online users consciously or unconsciously look for to help them gauge the authenticity of your website. Trust signals also make your website SEO-friendly in the eyes of Google and other search engines.
With this post, you’ll learn about common trust signals that you can use on your website and how they can help in increasing online conversions for your business (sales & lead generation).
B2B buyers base their purchasing decision not just according to how much product info you provide to them, but also how useful the info is. You might think you’re doing a great service to your audience by writing lengthy product descriptions on your site, but you should try different methods of educating potential buyers about your product.
This is especially true if you’re selling something that’s either technical or customizable, such as software, in which case, you can come up with product training videos to show how your product works or to explain how you can tailor the program to fit specific business models or needs.
Once people have bought or used your product, encourage them to submit product reviews. Allowing them to talk about their experience with your product is a sign that you value their opinion, not to mention that their feedback can act as a valuable customer testimonial.
Just like product reviews, you can use customer testimonials as trust signals to show that people are satisfied with your offering. Note that testimonials work better if your company primarily provides a service and does not have e-commerce capabilities.
You can highlight testimonials anywhere on your website – from your homepage to landing pages that focus on a particular solution. Make sure the testimonials contain a detailed account of how customers benefited from using your service, not just generic comments that might fail to impress future buyers.
Testimonials can be effective in stirring certain reactions or responses, especially when they come from real people with real interactions with your company. Don’t forget to include your customers’ name, company name, job title, and actual photos, so website visitors can see for themselves that these customers are in fact legitimate people who use your services.
Through testimonials, people who used to be unfamiliar with your business may become more interested or even move further into the next stages of the marketing funnel. Combining user-generated content with personalized lead nurturing, you can engage your prospects and eventually encourage them to convert.
Because social media is mainly about communicating information and sharing it with others, it can be a great venue to get people to engage in trust marketing or word-of-mouth marketing. An active, engaging social media profile can help you connect with users as you share content, initiate interactions, and build relationships with your followers.
This makes it imperative for you to display your company’s social profiles throughout your website, where people can find out more about your brand’s personality. Once in a while, you can post photos of your company events or news about your brand’s milestones in the industry to help you become more relatable as a social community.
You can even display your personal Twitter or LinkedIn account along with your picture so that you can have a more personal connection with sales prospects. Business-wise, connecting with your social media followers can help you meet like-minded individuals who can be instrumental in further expanding your professional network.
B2B customers might prefer to speak to a representative about your business via phone first, while others might want to receive preliminary information through email, so make sure to include your phone number and email address prominently on your website.
Aside from these, you may also indicate which people they should contact in a particular department, so your website visitors will have a name to work with.
Providing information about your business address can also add to your trustworthiness, for the simple reason that it makes customers aware as to where to physically find your company. Also, from an SEO perspective, you can be found more easily on local searches.
You can also specify your business operating hours, so customers will know when they can get in touch with your company. By making all these contact details available on your website, you can cover every possible contact point with customers. Ultimately, this extensive contact access shows that your brand’s legitimacy and can help drive more B2B prospects to convert.
The precept behind showing the logos of popular brands or companies in your list of customers is that if someone of that stature trusts you with their business, then others should probably entrust their business to you as well. Lately, it’s also common practice to mention media outfits that have featured a startup retailer or an upcoming tech company as a way to influence public perception.
Content marketing can be a form of trust signal, too. When you share useful content through blog posts, for instance, you’re making use of an opportunity to help customers with their needs or problems through the information you provide. Your content will also show that you’re an industry expert who can provide valuable insights and instructions.
As long as you follow this path in content marketing, you’re increasing the trust signals for your business. The complete opposite happens when you serve content that’s overly sales-y, as customers are more likely to tag your business as self-serving and untrustworthy.
Security badges are also essential in ensuring visitors about the integrity of your site and that there’s no way for them to fall victim to scammers or spammers who might use their personal or financial information illegally. As a B2B vendor, you must assure your customers that your site or business has been verified for technical security and legitimacy of business.
Examples of common security seals include verified/accredited business badges and anti-virus secure badges. These can give your visitors peace of mind while searching your website and when considering your brand’s offering.
Trust signals play a big role in driving more conversions on your website because they see it as a safe and secure place where they can engage with you or buy from you.
Don’t give your prospects any opportunities to doubt your brand’s credibility. Make sure your website visitors know from the get-go that your brand can be trusted.
The internet has revolutionized the way people acquire goods and services, thus giving birth to the thriving ecommerce industry. Online sales have been growing over 20% annually, with projected revenue of $4 trillion in 2020.
Naturally, online retail has opened up an entirely new avenue in sales and marketing. In the past, traditional marketing methods relied on ads, billboards, and speaking to a broad audience. Now, ecommerce marketing has the luxury to target and personalize its efforts via acquiring good leads. As such, the right lead generation strategies should be in place to make sure you are reaching the right audience.
Here are some techniques you can apply to generate more leads for your ecommerce business:
Create timely pop-ups or CTAs on your site encouraging your visitors to tell their friend about your store and reward them for doing so. These types of forms usually require the referrer to enter their details and an unlimited number of friends—that’s instant contact information at the tip of your hands.
Email addresses are the gateway to talking to your customers with follow-ups, discounts, and other marketing techniques down the road.
To entice the referrals to make a purchase, give the new customers a discount. If it’s something that can get them to save money, people will be more inclined to buy the item.
Cookies are an excellent tool for retargeting. If your visitors don’t purchase after their first visit, encourage them to return by quickly reminding them of a product they viewed even when they are on a different website (i.e. Facebook).
Oberlo notes that cookies are not always reliable since they expire and are sometimes blocked. However, there are still some people whose information you can collect. The expiration is one of the reasons why you should initiate retargeting as soon as possible.
You can also use geotargeting to get ahold of the local market.
Ecommerce is living in a world of social media and the internet. Most people spend an accumulated two hours or more on their social media accounts. Take advantage of this by investing in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram ads. Most platforms allow you to include a link to your website and showcase your products in a carousel format.
Additionally, offer a sneak peak of your collection on social media. Features such as the Shop on Facebook Pages and Instagram Shoppable make things convenient for your audience. Plus, these tools can help boost your brand awareness by putting it in front of as many people within your target market as possible.
Encourage both first-time visitors and existing customers to sign up for your newsletter. The key is to give them something instantly in return, like a 10% discount voucher. This strategy is a popular incentive for email collection, which should be a top priority in your lead generation efforts.
This strategy operates on the same principle as referrals but can be more personalized in the long run. Now that you have their email addresses, you can send them free shipping deals straight to their inbox if and when they abandon their shopping cart. You can also send them an exclusive discount code that they can use during a limited time.
Most ecommerce websites encourage customers to create an account so that they can avail of specific perks, namely: seamless order tracking, personalized product recommendations, and a faster checkout process. This feature can help you extract more information from your leads by asking for additional details during account creation.
Remember, the catch here is always to make your customers feel that they’re exchanging their information for something valuable in return, so don’t forget to focus on the benefits of creating an account with your website.
If your website’s UX design isn’t polished, visitors may get confused. The primary goal is to make things simple and straightforward so that your buyers can successfully go to the checkout page without getting lost. The same goes for your call-to-action buttons. Use big fonts and colors that are attention-grabbing yet pleasing to the eyes, so they know what to do.
Another design consideration to take into account is the need for conversion rate optimization. This means regularly analyzing your conversion performance and running experiments to find the best-possible strategies for enticing sales.
Don’t forget to optimize your website for mobile. People also shop on the go. If your text is too difficult to read or your site is too tricky to navigate, you may risk losing a customer’s interest.
Things happen quite quickly online. If you use time-sensitive language in your promotional material, you can encourage visitors to act on your site. Creating a sense of urgency forms a strong catalyst that encourages buyers to make the purchase decision right then and there.
For instance, you could offer a unique 5% voucher before your prospective buyer exits your page and say that it’s only valid until the end of the day. All they’d have to do to redeem the code is enter their email address—and that’s an instant lead right there.
There will be no information to collect if people aren’t visiting your site. The best way to drive traffic is to ensure you have good SEO practices in place, so your store ranks well on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). When it comes to brand visibility, search engines are your bread and butter. If you can successfully rank your website well organically, that’ll mean a steady flow of visitors to your site and consistent growth of your sales funnel, for free!
Research the most commonly used keywords and search phrases and incorporate them into your product descriptions. Continuously monitor the SEO trends and invest in SEM and paid search ads to propel your lead generation efforts forward.
Competition in the ecommerce industry is fierce, but finding new and improved methods of attracting the right buyers and turning them into leads will help you stay in the game. Contact information is the currency of a great inbound marketing strategy for ecommerce.
Focus on the customer and use real insights to improve your value proposition. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can tailor-fit your processes, increase delivered value, and generate more ecommerce leads.
In the age of big data, marketing has shifted from brand-centric to a more customer-focused perspective and for good reason. For any business to thrive, the focus should be on providing the best customer service experience possible. In return, a loyal following can churn out positive reviews and testimonials as a form of social proof that can attract more buyers. In short, it’s the best kind of free marketing.
The impact is significant, with over 56% of people selecting a business with good reviews on Google over those with none. This statistic is an excellent motivator for why your brand should encourage customers to leave meaningful comments on your product pages, social media, and websites.
Customer reviews can also build a communication portal between you and your audience. They can list all the things they admire about your brand and simultaneously make you aware of your weaknesses, encouraging you to improve your product or service on a continual basis.
Buyers don’t immediately trust brands, and consumers don’t go on blind faith when they purchase products or services. According to G2 Crowd, 95% of consumers read reviews before they make a purchase, and about 40% form an opinion after reading up to three customer reviews. Those star ratings beside your brand name also make an impact, as only 57% of consumers would choose a service with a 3-star rating while a whopping 94% would go for brands with a 4-star rating.
Besides high ratings, you’ll want a lot of authentic reviews. Research shows that when comparing two products with similar ratings, consumers are more likely to pick the item with more reviews. Consumers also factor in how recent the reviews are.
Conversion rates can increase by up to 4.6% when prospective buyers see that a product has more than 50 reviews. As a bonus, the high quantity of positive reviews acts as an indicator to search engines so that they rank your website higher.
Essentially, reading online reviews functions the same way as asking a friend for their recommendation. So, it’s not surprising that 88% of people trust reviews as much as their peers. Consumers want to feel that they’re getting the best value for their money. And who else to turn to for advice than people who have experienced the product or service themselves?
There are plenty of general review websites that people check or see when they type your the name of your business into a search engine. Three of the most popular online review platforms are Facebook, G2 Crowd, and Google Reviews.
Here’s what you can expect on those platforms, along with a few others:
Industry-specific review sites are also important. Ideally, if you run an e-commerce platform, your buyers can leave reviews on the site. Review Trackers shares that the automotive industry has Cars.com and Edmunds.com, while the restaurant industry has the likes of Zomato and Open Table. It’s worth digging for other sites related to your niche so that you can better target consumers.
Here are some of the ways you can encourage your consumers to leave reviews about your service or product after they have made a purchase:
While gathering favorable reviews should be your primary focus, don’t be deterred by negative ones. Some consumers find it dubious when a product seems perfect or too good to be true. Capterra reports that more than half of online consumers trust a product that has a few negative reviews.
Having people review your services is a significant investment that will pay off in the long run. As you collect these reviews, don’t forget the real reason why you want to rise through the ranks—that is, providing valuable solutions and service to your customers.
Empower your consumers by allowing their voice to be heard and showing them that you can better your services and products to help them. That’s the true sign of excellent customer service and a great product.
Customer reviews are great for referral marketing. But to drive things home, check out our whitepaper on Conversational Demand Generation to learn how you can further enhance your digital marketing initiatives!