PureB2B is a data-driven marketing platform that offers lead generation and data services that accelerate the technology sales process by identifying intent among technology buyers.

Founded in 2009, PureB2B helps marketers meet the helps meet the ever-changing demands of B2B sales.

Delivering full-funnel, scalable solutions for sales and marketing teams.

Customized campaigns optimized to target your in-market buyers at any state of the buying cycle, PureB2B’s hands-on approach and buyer-intent data provide you with the sales and marketing pipeline velocity you need.

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.

Wrong Metrics for Social Media ROI

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.

Highlighting Reach Rather than Engagement

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.

Creating Similar Content for all Platforms

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.

Forgetting Social Media Ads and Remarketing

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.

Inconsistent Posting Frequency

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.

Failure to Perform Social Listening

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.

Skipping Data Analysis

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.

Time to Get Social

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!

Need Help Developing Content for Social Media?

Learn about the key principles behind developing powerful lead generating content for your marketing strategies.

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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.

  1. Gate Your Content Strategically

Gated Content

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. 

  1. Personalize More Touch Points

Personalize Touchpoints

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.

  1. Produce Evergreen Content

Evergreen Content

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.

  1. Build Social Media Communities

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.

  1. Launch an Incentive-Based Referral Program

Incentive-Based Referral Program

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.

  1. Optimize Your Landing Pages and CTA

Optimize Landing Pages

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.

  1. Record the Actions of Your Website Visitors

Record Website Visitor Actions

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.

  1. Encourage Online Reviews

Encourage Online Reviews

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.

  1. Expand Your Online Presence

Expand Online Presence

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.

  1. Use Gmail Ads to Target Your Competitors’ Audience

Gmail Ads

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.

The Takeaway

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.

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.

 

10 Game-Changing SaaS Trends for 2019

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. 

 

  1. Unbundling is In

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.

 

  1. Custom Integrations

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.  

 

  1. Pricing Strategy

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.

 

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

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.

 

  1. Jump to Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

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.  

 

  1. The Rise of Micro-SaaS

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.”

 

  1. A Mobile-First Approach

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.

 

  1. Standalone Features

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.

 

  1. The Focus is on Customer Success

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).

 

  1. The Rise in Free Trial Strategy

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.  

 

Summing It Up

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!
A Complete Guide to Data-Driven Marketing

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).

 

Tips for Using Trust Signals

 

  1. Include product info and reviews.

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.

 

  1. Showcase testimonials from customers.

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.

 

  1. Display your social profile.

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.

 

  1. Share your contact information.

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.

 

  1. Feature well-known customers’ brand logos.

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.

 

  1. Share your blog posts.

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.

 

  1. Display security badges and other seals of approval.

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 in a Nutshell

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:

 

  1. Create an email referral program

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.

 

  1. Use cookie data

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.

 

  1. Increase social media presence

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.

 

  1. Offer discounts to new visitors

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.

 

  1. Make account creation enticing

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.

 

  1. Optimize your web design

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.

 

  1. Use urgency in your copy

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.

 

  1. Improve your SEO ranking

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.

 

Conclusion

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.

 

Proof That Positive Reviews Drive Business Growth

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?

 

Where to Get Reviews

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:

Infographic-How to Get More Customer Reviews Testimonials and Social Proof

 

Conclusion

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!

Conversational Demand Generation Whitepaper

Not all contact lists are created equal, but if you’re working to grow your B2B lead database, your two options are to buy one or build one. However, with the market changing as quickly as it is combined with the need for startups to hit the ground running, bought lists are becoming more and more popular.

When it comes to finding quality leads, marketers are somewhat divided about whether buying B2B leads is good or bad for business. In this post, we’ll try to settle the question by presenting both sides of the issue – that is, why buying B2B leads can work and why it might not.

Why Bought Leads Are Effective

  1. More Targeting Opportunities

Marketing is a data-driven industry. This means you need to have detailed information about current and prospective customers to help you target the right audience with the right message. A B2B list has data about things like a company’s industry vertical, annual revenue, key decision makers, number of employees, and even corporate values. All of these you are useful in determining whether a lead possesses the characteristics of an ideal customer. Purchasing this data means that you won’t have to spend time and resources on collecting it yourself.

Once you have identified your target market, it’s easier to focus on your prospects pain points and challenges. This allows you to utilize the rest of the data from your list to better understand what type of content appeals to your audience and what other marketing strategies will make them more receptive to your pitch.  

  1. Multi-Channel Integration

Multi-channel marketing is when you use a selection of offline and online marketing channels to target the perfect customer. As a result, you can diversify your marketing spend, potentially generating more conversions and a higher return on investment (ROI) for your business. Collecting audience data from multiple channels requires a lot of time and resources, which is an impossible ask for some businesses.

Purchasing a B2B list means you have a good number of leads to tap for email marketing, social media marketing, and telemarketing. Customer relationship management (CRM) software will help you import the data and integrate it into your marketing campaigns.  

  1. Vendor Collaboration

There’s no doubt that quality leads are expensive. But does that mean that you should always choose the most expensive list instead of the cheapest one? In B2B lead generation, at least, the priciest list is usually the best. This assumes that your vendor was able to verify the data from the list against multiple sources and from the actual contacts on the list instead of acquiring contact information from some other source.

Therefore, you should be careful in choosing the company that you work with. Your vendor should be able to tell you where or how they got the data that they’re providing. Make sure they have a good track record of providing B2B lists that have excellent engagement and deliverability rates.

You can also look for data list companies that offer free trials. The best data vendors do this because they’re confident enough that their services will meet your expectations and so they’re likely a good option.

Risks of Buying B2B Leads

  1. Outdated, Useless Leads

 

Contact lists from data vendors aren’t always ready to be used instantly. They need constant updating to reflect changes in company affiliation, roles and responsibilities, location, and the like.

Unfortunately, not all data vendors take time to clean their database, so you might end up buying a batch of outdated, useless leads. This increases your chances of failing to reach the right address or person. With an out-of-date list, you’d be lucky to receive a response from less than 10% of the contacts you reached out to.

  1. Spam Label

One of the worst things that can happen when you buy B2B leads is to be labeled as spam. You might be guilty of pushing out template emails without filtering your list, making your emails irrelevant or spammy to contacts.

Moreover, it’s an open secret that data vendors sell the same contact lists to other B2B customers. Thus, there’s a chance that contacts in your list regularly receive the same offer from other companies in your vertical. This might create the impression that you’re one of those spammy email senders unless you take pains to personalize your message.

  1.  Penalties

There’s no way to tell how data vendors put their data list together. Did they implement a system? Where did they get the leads? How did they qualify the leads? Answering these questions is essential, so you can have a comfortable level of certainty that your leads will be interested in your campaign’s message.

Otherwise, you might be contacting someone who has expressed their intention to be removed from existing B2B databases. If this happens, you may be dinged for sending unsolicited marketing campaigns to people in your mailing list.

  1. Improper Segmentation

It’s not entirely accurate to say that it’s easier and better to create segments when you buy sales leads for your B2B company. Just because a list comes with a wide range of information about your contacts’ industry and demographics doesn’t mean that information is reliable.

If there’s one place where you can find great leads, it’s in your roster of existing customers. People who have purchased from you in the past are more likely to buy from you again, especially if there’s continuous engagement with your brand. You truly know these customers and how to segment them effectively.

To Buy or Not to Buy B2B Leads?

Building a list of quality leads to pass off to sales can be a handy skill to have, but it’s not the only option you can explore. Considering other alternatives is always advisable, especially in marketing. When you adopt different methods of finding B2B leads, your brand could widen its audience reach and ultimately help you grow your business.

Buying a contact list doesn’t come without risks and uncertainties, but if you’re careful and strategic about it, it can really pay off by adding both quality and quantity to your B2B leads list.

Don’t have the required time, resources, or infrastructure to build your own B2B leads list? Check out our recent whitepaper to learn the best ways of outsourcing lead generation to the experts!
The Ultimate Guide to Outsourcing Lead Generation

Customer Experience (CX) is a widely discussed business topic. Companies across the world are starting to shift their marketing focus towards building a better, more intuitive experience for their users.

A survey conducted by Econsultancy shows that companies are most excited about the opportunities brought by customer experience for 2018, even beating out fierce contenders like content marketing and mobile marketing. In addition, a recent Walker study suggests that by 2020, CX will overtake price and product as crucial brand differentiators.

CX is defined as the customers’ perception of how a business treats them. It can affect customer satisfaction and build both positive and negative feelings towards a brand. Meanwhile, companies can transform CX by understanding their customers and delivering personalized experiences to foster loyalty.

Simply put, if a customer likes your business and continues to like you, they are going to continue supporting you and even recommend you to others. However, collecting customer experience data for in-depth knowledge and valuable insights takes a lot of work that requires speed and precision.

Now is the time to implement CX strategies for your business, and according to Customer Strategist Journal, these are six key areas should be considered.


Creating a Better Customer Experience

 

  1. Segment Customers and Tailor the Experience to Match Each Group’s Needs

Knowing who your customers are is necessary if you want a customer-centric strategy. However, it shouldn’t stop there. You should group your prospects into relevant categories to create personalized functions based on your understanding of their needs.

This level of personalized communication will help to connect with their situation and help you deliver on your value propositions.

  1. Create an Emotional Connection

If you want a unique CX for your business, establishing an emotional connection with your users is a must. Research from the Journal of Consumer Research has proven that more than 50% of CX is based on emotions that help shape decisions. When emotions are involved in the use of a product or service, customers end up being much more involved, which is great for engagement and loyalty.

This is further proven by another statistic showing that businesses that use emotional connections in their CX experience 85% more sales growth compared to competitors that do not.

In addition, Harvard Business Review’s The New Science of Customer Emotions shows that emotionally-attached customers may repurchase and recommend the business and 44% are less likely to shop around for options.

 

  1. Get Feedback in Real Time and Work On It

The best way to inquire about your customers’ priorities and responses is to ask. Ideally, in real time.

Gain insightful feedback with post-interaction surveys that can be done through email, calls, and other automated tools to find out more about what they want. Real-time feedback will also determine if your products or services are still effectively fulfilling their needs and where improvements can be made.

  1. Deliver a Consistent Experience by Utilizing Multiple Channels

In whichever point of the buyer’s journey the customer is at, and whether the process is done face-to-face or on mobile, it is essential to deliver a high-quality CX time and again.

Different channels are now available to buyers, but make sure to innovate and improve all your channels to offer fresh experiences along with reliability on a consistent basis. Apply the right metrics and use customer satisfaction tools to measure each channel’s efficiency as well.

  1. Don’t Use Technology for Technology’s Sake

Technology may be as beneficial as human interaction when it comes to CX today, but it shouldn’t be the center of transactions. Problems emerge when technology is used without considering the needs of your customers.

Some businesses don’t realize that technology should only enhance the customer’s experience in doing business, not overshadow it. Improvements must be founded in differentiation, and for its long-term value for the company—not just for innovation.

Great CX still needs human interactions. Strike a balance between the enthusiasm of your IT department and the psychological insights of marketing, and make sure that improvements are geared toward resolving consumer issues.

Once again, always remember that technology is there to complement and enhance human interaction, not replace it.

  1.  Avoid High-Effort Experiences

Another common mistake when using technology for customer service is to elicit amazement from your audience. Whether you utilize technology or not, reaching out should not require too much effort from your customers.

Most of them don’t need to be astounded. They simply want their concerns to be heard and addressed. 

  1. A Long-Term Commitment to Customer Delight

Effective customer service addresses real-time concerns, and in turn, results in customer delight and loyalty. Outside of technology, there are still many other ways to make your customers happy.

Making customers happy should become part of your company’s DNA—encourage stakeholders and employees to come up with innovative ideas on how to make this possible. Value added through great service can establish your position as the go-to brand for your particular market.

  1. Make Your Brand Personal

Human interaction is still essential in customer service. Technology can provide the means to make these interactions as personalized and relevant as possible.

Discover each individuals’ preferences, past purchases, demographics, and shopping histories, and customize the service based on those. Tie your brand to an experience that customers will remember as something that is their own.

Show your audience that there are humans behind your brand and inject a bit of personality into your content.

  1. Use a Quality Framework to Train Your Team

Aside from utilizing technology, you should also hone your people to become better at customer service. Know what your customers are saying about the quality of your service then compare that to the experience you have defined. From there, you can identify the training needs of each member of the customer support team.

A quality framework means you have to schedule and track your team’s development through coaching, learning, and group training.

  1. Measure the ROI

To check if all your customer service efforts are paying off, use tools and metrics like the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which collects information by asking things like, “Would you recommend this company to a friend or relative?”

NPS was created by Rob Markey and Fred Reichheld from Bain and Company and is considered a standard for CX metric that many companies are using today. Feel free to use your own tools and metrics to measure ROI if you deem it more useful.

Create a Competitive Advantage with CX

When your customers are happy with your product or service, you’ll not only see an increase in revenue, but you also retain your customers and even gain more along the way—thanks to the satisfied ones who continue to support you.

Remember that customer experience optimization is an ongoing process. No matter the nature of your business, taking necessary steps to improve CX continuously is always worth the effort.

A growing business means a profitable business. However, profitability is only possible when the right customers purchase your products and services. It’s far from impossible, but acquiring both clients and prospects is a process that needs to be taken seriously.

To expand your customer base, you need to have a robust lead generation strategy. You’d think that the connection between leads and revenue would mean that most companies have figured out the best ways to collect prospect data. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.

In reality, designing the actual lead generation strategy is still a challenge, as 42% of 845 companies admitted having difficulty in planning a tactic for generating leads according to a survey by the Information Technology Services Marketing Association and Rain Group.

The good news is that plotting your strategy for lead generation is as easy as asking the what, who, where, when, and why of the Sales and Marketing processes.

Here are some of the essential questions you need to answer to before you start investing in lead generation:

  1. What Do Your Potential Customers Want?

Assuming that you already know who your targets are (as you should, by now), the next thing to find out is their needs.

Ask what their goals and pain points are to fully understand what value to deliver and how to tailor your message when communicating with them.

This means doing industry research, surveying consumers, consolidating information, and trying to make sense of the data.

  1. What Can Your Business Deliver?

Develop a unique selling proposition (USP) about your business and make sure that the entire organization aligns with and understands it.

The USP informs your target market why they should buy or get your product or service and what makes you different compared to the competitors—what can you promise and deliver to potential customers and what is your value proposition?

The message should be communicated right from the start of the buyer’s journey, as it will make your business stand out.

  1. Who is Your Lead?

You cannot generate a lead without knowing your business’ definition of “lead.” Make sure that all the teams involved in the process (especially the Sales and Marketing departments) agree on who the company is trying to get.

Aside from having a definite explanation of your target lead, this step can also help in Sales and Marketing alignment.

  1. How Do You Reach Leads?

Find out which channels to use to communicate with your leads by learning which websites they usually go to, the frequency of visits, and how they search for information.

Once answered, you can utilize strategies like content marketing, paid advertising, sponsorship, and affiliate programs targeted at your prospects.

From this data, you can then set up surveys, social media monitoring, interviews with current customers, A/B testing, and a lot more to gather information on or drive your leads.

  1. At Which Point in the Sales Process Do You Want to Generate Leads?

Every step of the sales process can generate leads, albeit not of the same quality. Therefore, the approach should differ at each point.

For example, someone who’s in the early stages is still learning about their problem and will probably need more nurturing. However, the same technique will not work if the person is already ready to buy.

Know the stages of your sales funnel inside out, and you’ll be able to zero-in on potential bottlenecks so that you can maximize conversion rates.

  1. What Do You Do With the Lead?

Leads should be directed to the Sales team for the final step (closing), but then, some of them may need to be directed to Marketing for nurturing, as they may not be ready to make the purchase yet.

Lead nurturing is the process of directing leads along the funnel to prepare them for the last part of the buyer’s journey by informing them why they should buy from the business. It’s essential to come up with an effective nurturing process and stick with it

  1. When Do Leads Become Prospects?

To establish if a lead is ready for purchase, your company should first have a method for lead scoring. In lead scoring, a lead can either be a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).

An SQL is a lead for a person in the Sales team to reach out to, while an MLQ is one that is for Marketing, as further nurturing is needed. There are key indicators needed to determine the score of a lead. Metrics for these indicators can be set through a Service-Level-Agreement (SLA) between the teams.

  1. Where are You Going to Distribute Your Content? 

Any content that earns you a place in customers’ minds as a trustworthy source is worth creating. And you can choose to deliver this content via blog posts, videos, images, infographics, webinars, whitepapers, eBooks, and the like.

Depending on the type of content you create you can learn which distribution channel should be used—websites, blogs, social media accounts, and email are all great options.

You can even leverage gated or exclusive content to collect key information from your prospects in exchange for giving them access to your content. 

  1. What Do You Want Customers to do After Purchase?

Interaction with a lead or customer shouldn’t end after the purchase. After all, satisfied customers can be utilized to gain even more leads and prospects, as they help you put lead generation strategies in the context of the customer journey.

Customers can be beneficial in gaining good publicity, especially in this era of social media.

  1. How Will You Track Your Progress?

Nowadays, there is no better way to track your lead generation progress than through CRM software. It’s reached the point where if you don’t have an effective customer management tool, you’re planning to fail.

With the right CRM software, you can quickly and accurately track the status and success of leads based on the goals and metrics set. In addition to behavioral data, these tools can help store and manage contact data, which can help in your lead qualification process.

Do You Have the Answers?

These questions should be set forth and answered carefully before planning a successful lead generation strategy. Your answers can be used not only as benchmarks for when you move forward, but also to avoid common mistakes, make better, informed decisions, and show where you need improvement in the planning, as well as with the process itself.

So, are you ready to get started with lead generation?

Leads are some of the most effective markers that measure the growth of your business. Leads can be generated through various methods, though some are more effective than others, depending on the nature of your business.

While there are many different lead generation strategies, quality is not always guaranteed, so you need to set a firm budget for acquiring these kinds of leads.

Lead sourcing is an ideal way to get ahead of the competition, but not all businesses have the necessary resources to allocate since quality leads are expensive—making it difficult for those that have a smaller budget to compete for new customers.

Thankfully, this doesn’t always have to be the case. There are free lead generation strategies that can be just as effective as expensive alternatives. But before we dive into it, let’s first explore the four essentials every lead generation strategy needs.

 

The Pillars of Lead Generation

 

 

Chances are, a significant number of your website’s visitors will never return if you don’t have a way to capture their information. And now that old methods are shunned, visitors are able to avoid marketing messages more easily.

To adapt to changing times, a new strategy must be applied, and Strategic Marketing Consultant and Facebook Ads Specialist, Nicholas Kusmich, suggests two ways: 1) give before you ask and 2) each step of the marketing process must be valuable in and of itself.

The first one calls for mutually beneficial methods that allow potential leads to opt-in to effectively gather information, and one way to do this is through lead magnets.

 

 

 

Client acquisition requires an optimized process that converts visitors into leads, but a problem arises when first-time visitors are unable to leave their information, which is why they never hear from you again. This is where lead magnets come in.

Lead magnets offer value to your site visitors in exchange for their contact information. They tend to come in the form of eBooks, training videos, trials, webinars, and white papers. These freebies present an opportunity for a trade-off where you offer them valuable content or tools in exchange for their contact details, which facilitates future communications.

 

 

 

Landing pages are crucial in converting your visitors into leads. They can be any page a visitor lands on after clicking on an ad, a call to action button, or any other marketing trigger.

Landing pages should be separate from your main home page and have the dual purpose of capturing leads and warming them up to become your next customers. The goal of your landing page is to educate your visitor with enough information to make them proceed with a purchase.

It’s also worth noting that your landing page should always deliver on the promise that you made on your ad source to reduce bounce rates.

 

 

 

Not all leads are created equal, and they must be prioritized by their levels of engagement. This is where lead scoring comes in, so you can prioritize your best leads that are closest to making a purchase decision.

This method can quantify interactions your potential customers have with your content through a point system, with values assigned to the type of engagement they’ve made. You can add or deduct points based on positive and negative attributes like downloading an eBook or opting out from your mailing list.

This point-based system used in identifying your hottest leads will save you a lot of time and money when trying to hit your target market and taking advantage of sales opportunities.

 

Free Lead Generation Strategies to Grow Your Business

Grow Your Business

 

Generally considered one of the most effective ways to reach your target customers, email marketing is still widely used as a marketing tool due to its direct approach and most importantly, its low cost.

Aim to send personalized emails with an opt-in method that utilizes an attractive call to action strategy. This not only helps you gain subscribers who enjoy receiving emails from you but also boosts your chances of conversions.

Free tool for the job: MailChimp

 

 

 

Writing blogs regularly helps keep your website fresh while building visibility on Google keyword searches.

An 11-blog per month target can help increase your lead volume by up to 4X, while increasing traffic by up to 3X, according to a Hubspot Benchmarks report. Don’t forget to include links to other websites and a prominent call to action.

Free tool for the job: WordPress

 

 

 

Social media is a great modern marketing channel thanks to its high penetration rate and sheer volume of users. Posting content and sharing what others post consistently can improve your visibility and boost your metrics.

You can amass a loyal following by building relationships with your potential customers through valuable social interactions. This is also where you can communicate and share information through dialogue whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social channels.

Free tool for the job: Hootsuite

 

 

 

Organic Search Marketing is arguably one of the most effective methods for consistent, long-term lead generation. Despite its broader scope and higher level of difficulty, organic search optimization still drives a significant portion of new leads for most businesses.

The SEO landscape is highly competitive and has been for some time now. But as long as you’re keeping up to date with the latest best practices and algorithm changes, you’ll be able to optimize your website’s pages accordingly.

Free tools for the job: Google Analytics for monitoring, Google Keyword Planner for optimization

 

 

 

Referral marketing programs involve effective tools and techniques that generate a consistent flow of leads referred by existing customers. This can be done by reaching out to your existing customers who can recommend your products or services to others.

The best way to get the ball rolling is through promos or rewards as these provide incentives for existing customers to act as referrers.

Free tool for the job: GrowSurf

 

 

 

Online reviews or testimonials are the new word of mouth in that most consumers look for these reviews before making a purchase.

Most customers are driven to leave a review if they are satisfied and happy with your product or service, or because they are disappointed, so make sure it’s the first reason.

Free tool for the job: G2Crowd

 

 

 

Your visitors won’t know what to do next if you don’t give them specific instructions, so make sure you give them a clear and concise call-to-action included in your marketing components.

A more potent combination is creating a dedicated landing page with a call to action for specific offers that are relevant to what they are looking for.

Free tool for the job: ButtonOptimizer

 

 

 

Digital and social marketing may be great channels in generating leads, but nothing beats personal contact when it comes to opening a two-way dialogue with your potential customers to develop trust.

As a marketer, you should attend networking events and consider being a presenter at these events when the opportunity arises. Even a 10 to 15-minute presentation could be huge for generating direct leads or even a referral from those who’ve seen said presentation.

Free tool for the job: Your amazing personality!

 

 

 

As mentioned in our lead capture strategy, we must give before we ask, so offering something of value relevant to your product or service is a great way to turn your visitors into quality leads. Valuable content attracts users, provides an incentive to engage, and increases your chances of converting visitors into leads.

Free tool for the job: Canva

 

 

 

Videos get 66 percent more qualified leads and hit a 54 percent increase in brand awareness per year, so start shooting informative videos, webinars and live chats to encourage engagement with your audience.

Make sure to include a clickable call to action button in your videos to funnel your leads to a relevant landing page where they can be further driven down your sales funnel.

Free tool for the job: Biteable

 

Key Takeaways

Generating quality leads doesn’t have to be expensive. All you have to do is keep the four essentials in mind as you build your lead generation methods and create a plan that combines all your chosen free strategies. Keep this as a reference for when you want to give your customer acquisition efforts a boost without breaking the bank.

 

Your sales and marketing efforts don’t stop at lead generation. This FREE whitepaper will help you effectively execute the entire process from generation to conversion:
Lead Management 101 Whitepaper