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Summer Reading for B2B Marketers: 10 Must-Read Blogs to Get Back in the Zone

Summer Reading for B2B Marketers- 10 Must-Read Blogs to Get Back in the Zone

Author: Graham Gallivan

As we move towards the end of the dog days of summer, your marketing strategy shouldn’t cool down with the weather.

While your prospects may have been out on vacation throughout the summer, they’ll be back at their desks in no time. Or maybe you took some vacation days of your own and need a pick-me-up to get back in the zone. With summer coming to an end, you need to be on your A-game.

Here are a few of the top B2B marketing reads you may have missed from our blog this year. Read on for some of the hottest topics and trends you should be aware of to keep your marketing tactics fresh and on the mark:

1. SEO for B2B: 3 Reasons Why You Can’t Avoid It Anymore

SEO for B2B- 3 Reasons Why You Can’t Avoid It Anymore

SEO for B2B: 3 Reasons Why You Can’t Avoid It Anymore

Are you leveraging SEO to its greatest potential? If not, you’re not alone. But the hesitation that some B2B marketers face when it comes to SEO is the very reason that the brands that do use it have a strategic advantage (vs. the consumer marketing space where SEO competition is at its height). To get ahead of the competition, learn why SEO is one of your greatest strengths and how it can yield low hanging fruit you may be overlooking: 61% of B2B decision-makers start the decision-making process with a web search.

2. Dynamic Duo: Close More Deals with Sales and Marketing Alignment

Dynamic Duo - Closing More Deals with Sales and Marketing Alignment

Dynamic Duo: Close More Deals with Sales and Marketing Alignment

Do you have what it takes to align with sales to close more deals? Businesses are 67% better at closing deals when sales and marketing are operating in lockstep, according to joint research by Marketo and Reachforce. One of the key strategies B2B marketers should leverage to increase productivity is lead scoring–ranking leads for their sales-readiness, sanctioned by service level agreements (SLAs) that are agreed upon by both sales and marketing. Read on for more on lead scoring and other tips to improve sales and marketing alignment.

3. 4 Account-Based Marketing Lessons from the Field

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4 Account-Based Marketing Lessons from the Field

While it’s not a new concept, one of the hottest trends in B2B marketing this year is account-based marketing (ABM). ABM is a strategic approach to lead generation in which your time and resources go into targeting a key group of specific accounts. Gone are the days of the broad-based marketing strategy as an end in and of itself.

While the traditional demand generation approach is great for generating and engaging a large number of qualified leads based on their attributes to move them further down the funnel and eventually close them, ABM is becomingly more critical for B2B marketers who want to win and retain certain key accounts. In fact, research shows that less than 1% of leads turn into revenue generating customers. Because of this, it’s time to evaluate the status quo and determine whether your time, budget, and resources should go into quality or quantity.

4. How to Unlock the Full Potential of Your Customer Base

How to Unlock the Full Potential of Your Customer Base

How to Unlock the Full Potential of Your Customer Base

Another key strategy for B2B marketers is customer base marketing. This all comes down to the math and two key stats. The first, also known as Pareto’s 80/20 rule, is that 80% of your business wealth will come from 20% of your customer base. The second is that it costs at least 10 times more to acquire new customers than to sell to the ones you already have, according to eMarketer.

With these stats in mind, the key is to think beyond acquisition and focus on increasing the customer lifetime value by marketing additional cross-sell products or services to an existing customer, working to keep them happy and keep them as a customer, and developing current customers into loyal brand advocates.

5. Get Scrappy: 7 Tips for Smarter Digital Marketing

Get Scrappy- 7 Tips for Smarter Digital Marketing

Get Scrappy: 7 Tips for Smarter Digital Marketing

With the array of tactics and new technologies in the marketplace, it can be challenging to identify what strategy will work best for you. They key? Get scrappy! Regardless of your organization’s size, most digital marketing teams feel that they could use more budget and resources. The key to succeeding in this digital age is to learn how to do more with less, using key tactics like putting brains before your budget, being efficient and effective, and seeing ideas everywhere.

6. Power to the Publishers: Content Is Going Full Throttle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Power to the Publishers: Content Is Going Full Throttle

Chances are you’re probably using content in your B2B marketing efforts, but are you leveraging all the available channels to get the most out of your content? The fact is that buyers today are more informed than ever, self-directing the majority of their journey before they ever interact with you, so hitting them with the right content at the right time is key. At the same time, technology advancements are driving our content marketing efforts further, allowing us to distribute on more channels and measure our results. Take advantage of what’s available so your content can rise to the top.

7. 5 Ways to Boost B2B Sales Through LinkedIn Social Selling

5 Ways to Boost B2B Sales Through LinkedIn Social Selling

5 Ways to Boost B2B Sales Through LinkedIn Social Selling

As a B2B marketer, you’re likely constantly looking for ways to arm your sales team to close more business. While your sales team may already be using LinkedIn to reach their prospects, there’s probably more they could be doing to take full advantage of the platform. In fact, LinkedIn even offers a Social Selling Index (SSI) to measure how effective your sales team is at tapping their network–factoring in the amount of content they share, their level of interaction, and the number of connections they have with your target audience.

8. Demystifying Social ROI in B2B Marketing

Attribution Matters- Demystifying Social ROI in B2B Marketing

Demystifying Social ROI in B2B Marketing

Contrary to popular belief, you can attribute revenue dollars to your social media campaigns. But because they’re more likely to serve as a point of initial or incremental engagement than as a deal closer, your social campaigns require tangible metrics. Learn how to use (and integrate) the latest tools and tactics to calculate your social ROI.

9. More is Not Always More: Be Wary of the Volume Game in B2B Demand Generation

More is Not Always More- Be Wary of the Volume Game in Demand Generation

More is Not Always More: Be Wary of the Volume Game in B2B Demand Generation

In demand generation, it’s not always a numbers game. Your organization needs to have a defined revenue model and business rules in place to ensure the best possible outcome. While it can be alluring to pump as many names into your database as possible, it’s even more important to make sure they’re vetted, giving your sales team the best chance for success. And once those leads become closed-won deals, make sure you’re analyzing your customer base to retain your customers and identify opportunities for growth–cross-selling and upselling them.

10. If Marketing Metrics Are Driving You Crazy, Read This

businessman destroying his computer

If Marketing Metrics Are Driving You Crazy, Read This

If there’s one topic that’s always top-of-mind for B2B marketers, it’s metrics. While there are a number of possible metrics you could track, the key to success for your business (and sanity), is focusing on the right set of metrics that indicate performance. Read on for a few tips on honing in on the right metrics that will serve you and your business well in the long run.

There you have it–10 B2B blogs to wrap up the summer with that will help you get back in the zone. Check out our other blogs and let us know your favorite ones in the comments below!


Summer Reading for B2B Marketers: 10 Must-Read Blogs to Get Back in the Zone was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post Summer Reading for B2B Marketers: 10 Must-Read Blogs to Get Back in the Zone appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


Marketo Marketing Blog

4 Ways to Win the Hearts of Consumers

4 Ways to Win the Hearts of Consumers

Author: Alexandra Nation

When I was 13, I enjoyed nothing more than spending my Saturday afternoons wandering around the mall. But these days, I have zero time, and even less patience, for this leisurely pastime of my youth. I now do over 80% of my shopping online–mostly because it saves me time, but also because the thrill of opening packages never diminishes.

Thanks to our global economy, I’m not just limited to products in the US. I can order a dress and a swimsuit from Australia, tea from the UK, and ham directly from Spain–all without leaving my couch.

As consumers, we have more options than ever and are busier than ever–two factors that have completely changed the way we shop. What hasn’t changed is how we make buying decisions. There are two things that I strongly believe, no matter the purchase:

  • People buy from people they like.
  • People buy based on emotion and back it up with logic, not the reverse.

In Simon Sinek’s brilliant TED Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” he breaks down how most companies sell:

  • Rattling off a list of features and benefits
  • Describing what they do (always), how they do it (sometimes), and most importantly but most rarely, WHY they do it (often an afterthought)

As Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Companies that understand how people make decisions win business. Their purpose drives their results and not the other way around.

In this blog, I’ll shine a spotlight on how brands can make their story and purpose crystal clear by answering the “Why?”:

1. Lead with Your Values

When customers visit your site, can they easily understand who you are and what you stand for? In other words, is your mission clear? What is your brand purpose? This type of clarity lays the foundation for what people will use as the basis of their purchasing decisions.

Try this exercise right now to identify your values: stop reading this blog post, grab a piece of paper, and write 5-6 words about why your company exists. To paraphrase Simon Sinek, your company does not exist to make money. That is just the result. The best brands can express what they stand for in just a few words.

One of my favorite examples of a brand that does this well is Cuyana, whose tagline is “Fewer, Better”. Cuyana’s founders joke that they’re probably the only retail company that encourages people to buy less. Their intent is for you to have the minimalist, quality wardrobe of your dreams, and their target audience is clear: women who don’t want a disposable wardrobe and take good care of their clothes. Personally, I shop Cuyana because my mother raised me on the old adage, “Pay twice as much, buy half as many.” Cuyana’s messaging resonates with me so much that I’ve started echoing Cuyana’s tagline to my friends when we discuss expensive purchases.Cuyana

2.  Tap into Emotion

How do you create Apple-like fanaticism for your product? You tap into your audience’s emotions to create a positive brand perception, one that converts buyers into loyal customers and then into advocates. Invoke emotions that build brand affinity, whether that’s funny, innovative, inspirational, or something else.

Elon Musk recently got on stage and revealed the much-anticipated Tesla Model 3 to a rapt audience–the energy in the room reminded me of an Apple conference with Steve Jobs. By the time he got on stage, before anyone had even seen the car (barring any speculative Internet leaks), the pre-orders were approaching 200,000. Shortly after his talk, this headline came out:

Tesla

Over a quarter of a million people put down a $ 1000 deposit for a car they’ve never seen in person and isn’t even completed. This is important to note, as the car’s features probably didn’t play a huge part in their decision (if anything, it only helped them justify it after the fact). Tesla has increased their positive brand perception so much over the past few years that everyone who pre-ordered the Model 3 wanted to be a part of that perception–the “it-factor” associated with owning a Tesla. 

3. Tell a Great Story

When I’m interested in a brand, I develop a slight obsession for it. I have to read everything about them, follow them on social media, and text all my friends: “You HAVE to check out this company. They have the most amazing story. I’ll send you a referral link! Do it now!”

One such obsession is Everlane. Everlane excels at creating buzz around their product releases, consistently generating thousand-person waitlists for new bags, coats, and shoes. They drum up buzz and excitement with a strong digital marketing strategy that tells a beautifully clear and compelling story–drawing people who believe that luxurious, long-lasting pieces should have transparent origins and a reasonable price tag.
Transparent Pricing

I’ve been shopping with Everlane for several years now and repeatedly reach for their pieces in my closet. As a lover of stories and why companies exist, I really appreciate their transparency about their factories and their materials. (And Everlane, if you’re reading this, please create the perfect wrap and A-line dresses. I will buy one in every color.)

4. Be Aspirational

Taylor Swift gives us serious #squadgoals. In fact, #goals is such a buzzword that Fitbit created a “Find Your Fit” commercial around it.

But here’s another interesting social media phenomenon: girls love to tag their friends in pictures of well-dressed women with just one word: #goals. But if goals are dreams with deadlines (thanks Pinterest), why not make your goals a reality? Rocksbox, an e-commerce startup based out of San Francisco, makes it easy for busy women to effortlessly ace their jewelry game through their subscription box service. Think of them as the stylish best friend with the closet you just wish you could raid. (I’ve got my eye on Blake Lively’s closet, naturally.)

It couldn’t be easier: you take a fun style quiz and receive a handpicked box of three beautiful pieces from top jewelry designers. You can wear the pieces for as long as you like–with an option to purchase–and then send back the box with the included pre-paid shipping label. Then, you submit your feedback and the stylist team will take it into account when they create your next set (as well as any items you’ve wishlisted on their Instagram account). Their fun, easy to use platform, and ongoing (cross-channel) feedback system has made me infinitely more adventurous in my accessory choices over the last few years–not to mention how fun it is to unwrap a surprise box of jewelry that shows up at your doorstep. I’ve been a loyal customer for four years and it doesn’t get old.

What are your favorite brands and why do you love the story they tell? If you’re an e-commerce company, how do you differentiate yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 


4 Ways to Win the Hearts of Consumers was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post 4 Ways to Win the Hearts of Consumers appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


Marketo Marketing Blog

How to Leverage Psychology for Influencer Marketing

Multi-Ethnic Group of Hands Holding Speech Bubbles

Author: Lillian Podlog

It doesn’t matter if Bradley Cooper hasn’t used a stapler in his life; if he endorses your stapler on social media, you’ll likely see a spike in your website traffic and sales. Case in point: after Lincoln enlisted Matthew McConaughey’s star power to advertise their MKX crossover SUV, sales for the brand increased 25% a month after the first ads debuted, according to Bloomberg Technology. This tactic is known as influencer marketing. Of course, it might not be that easy or cheap (or relevant) to get Matthew McConaughey on board with your brand. On the other hand, it will probably be easier to get an existing customer (perhaps one that’s not a celebrity) to put in a good word for your brand, but their endorsement is less likely to have a big impact on your bottom line.

Influencer marketing uses key individuals in a network to drive brand awareness and affinity. This can include everything from Beyonce’s reference of Red Lobster in her song “Formation” (which spiked a 33% increase in sales and helped the brand to trend on Twitter for the first time in history) to Ann Handley sharing your blog post on social media. Influencer marketing is a powerful tactic, but figuring out which influencers to target, and how, can be difficult. You have to factor in the time and effort you spend trying to get an influencer’s attention, the influencer’s relevance to your target market, and your ultimate payoff.

Earlier this year, a team of researchers at University of Southern California (USC) discovered a social media phenomenon called the majority illusion, which happens when well-placed members of a social network create the illusion that items on social media are more popular than they actually are. Understanding the majority illusion can help marketers better understand which large influencers and niche influencers to target.

What Exactly Is the Majority Illusion and How Does It Work?

Imagine a community. Everyone in this community loves hosting and attending dinner parties, some more than others. There are also several people in this community who are big advocates of using hybrid vehicles. In the figure below, every hybrid advocate is represented by a red circle. Each person in the circle hosts a dinner party, and their guests are represented by the lines that radiate out from each circle.

Circle Network

Hybrid advocates represent only about one-fifth of this community, but they have an oversized influence. Why? They attend more dinner parties than anyone else. If you attend a five-person dinner party where three people there are hybrid advocates, then you might assume that everyone is a fan of this new technology. But if your friend goes to a dinner party and only one out of ten people is an advocate, she might think the opposite.

Social media is essentially a series of dinner parties. Every person’s social media feed is a dinner party that they host. By having a large network, influencers are appearing in more feeds than anyone else (attending more dinner parties than the average user). Just like in our dinner party example, if a handful of influencers in the same vertical or niche talk about a particular company or issue, they can create the illusion that it is more popular than it actually is–in other words, a majority illusion.

Targeting Influencers

Within the social media realm, there are both large and niche influencers who can make an impact for your brand. Who you should reach out to ultimately depends on your goals, which may be to:

Increase awareness: If your goal is to build awareness about your brand or product/service, it makes sense to go after large influencers. Large influencers bring star power to the table with very large followings who will perceive their endorsement of you positively. And as we saw with the Lincoln and Matthew McConaughey, for larger influencers, your brands do not have to be an exact match in order to be successful. Nonetheless, it’s important to keep both your company’s brand and the influencer’s brand in mind as you identify relevant influencers. It’s crucial that you reach out to influencers whose personal brand does not contradict your own. For instance, a luxury clothing company should not reach out to a fashionista who blogs about and advocates buying second-hand.

Drive sales: If your product already has some buzz or perhaps you’re trying to target a few distinct markets, you can consider reaching out to niche influencers. Niche influencers operate within semi-isolated sections of a larger vertical (e.g. running enthusiasts within the larger athletics vertical). The researchers at USC found that the majority illusion occurs most frequently in environments where influencers have sizable followings, but where their followers have a low number of followers themselves. This is because followers with a low number of connections have less noise in their feed and are more likely to notice the influencer’s posts.

Whatever your objectives are: there are tools out there like BuzzSumo and Followerwonk that can help you find and identify the best individuals to target for different topics, keywords, and industries.

Once you’ve developed your list, here are some tips for engaging with influencers:

  1. Identify mutual connections. It’s helpful (but not necessary) to get a personal introduction to a large influencer. A mutual connection with a large influencer decreases the friction of your initial contact and increases the likelihood that the influencer will earnestly consider your request.
  2. Be authentic. Keep things real. Do your research and take the time to understand who an influencer is and what they’re passionate about. Connect with them outside of asking them for something. This not only builds a more personal relationship, but it also helps you build a relationship—one that’s beneficial for both sides. Also, be sure to show your appreciation for their efforts with a thank you note and creative gift.
  3. Provide incentives. Don’t expect the influencer to share your content from the goodness of their hearts. Your incentive doesn’t have to be monetary, but it’s important to have one. Let’s say you’re targeting a tech influencer. Something as simple as providing that influencer with exclusive information about your product can be a win-win. While you reap the benefits of their impact, the influencer reinforces their position as a tech expert with exclusive information. So, consider all of your company’s offerings and determine whether any of them be beneficial to your target influencers. Here are some other incentives you could potentially offer:

-Collaboration on content creation

-Promoting the influencer’s content

-Access to data or information

-Free products (and the first rights to review those products)

Whether you’re working with niche influencers, large influencers, or a combination of the two, remember that your strategy is key. Build relationships with the right influencers and time it so that influencers are sharing with their networks around the same time so you can maximize your impact.

What other tips do you have for identifying and building relationships with influencers? Share them in the comments below!


How to Leverage Psychology for Influencer Marketing was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post How to Leverage Psychology for Influencer Marketing appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


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