Best Practices: Inbound Marketing Strategies for B2B

Inbound marketing strategies for B2B business’s best practices include:

Recreate Existing Content and Try New Mediums

According to the Huffington Post, B2B companies who blog attract 67% more leads than those who don’t. This can give your company quite the competitive edge so if you haven’t already started blogging, try and recreate your previous posts into new formats to get more results for your time. Also try various mediums when releasing content, like videos. You never know which content medium match speaks most to your audience without testing them so find a way to place your content in new formats to generate more web traffic & leads!


Create Content from FAQs

People are bound to ask questions when visiting your site, so why not start building out your content from there? Unless your goal is to have customers reach out to you with questions, chances are you don’t want to be sitting at your computer all day answering them repeatedly.  Creating content that focuses on addressing these common questions will not only save you time but they will also improve the quality of your leads and can even speed up the sales process.


 Create a Content Calendar

This may seem like a lot of work at first, but once you see the true value behind your content marketing you will understand the power behind social media marketing.  Social media isn’t just for B2C, it can also play major roles in effective B2B marketing on platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Creating a content calendar will help you keep track of your social media presence eliminating any doubt about the strategic process halfway through the month. It will also keep you organized so you will always have content ready for posting. (How do I make one of these?)


Take Advantage of Marketing Automation Systems

Marketing Automation Systems exist to serve! Our personal favorite over at Corrao Group is Pardot because it offers a multitude of features that can save your team time, minimize manual mistakes, and align your sales and marketing teams. List segmentation, drip programs, email templates, A/B testing, content calendars, and auto responders are all at features at your fingertips with minimal to no effort.  Need proof? Check out our case study that made our client thousands.


Engage with Industry Influencers

Make yourself a valuable resource known to the leaders of influence within your industry. A great way of doing this is interacting on social media posts on LinkedIn or quoting tweets from influencers on Twitter. Other businesses follow and trust these people and therefore would be more likely to value an interaction or observation of yours involving them. Connecting with them via social media is a quick and easy way to make yourself known.


Focus on Your Titles

When searching for information on Google, title tags are what lets the search algorithm know that your content exists as a results option. This is a minor fix with your coding on both your website and your blog, but has the ability to make a huge (free) difference when it comes to driving traffic to your site. Make sure your text titles correspond with what readers expect to find on your page or you will face the wrath of Google penalties.


Make Your Web Pages Fast-Loading

B2B audiences consist of other professionals that are working and don’t have time to wait around, often times from their mobile phones. Don’t let a slow website be the reason they close the site and continue searching for the answers someone else.  There are a variety of tricks to make your website open faster including arrangement of your code, location of your code, the type of code, the size of your images, and many more factors that may give your company the competitive edge it deserves.

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Pardot New Feature Update – December

 

Check out what’s new in Pardot this month.

 

Two New Automation Criteria

New criteria available for Automation Rules, Segmentation Rules and Dynamic Lists

Pardot Automation Criteria Update

 

Engagement Studio Updates

Versioning is a new tool that is intended to help Engagement Studio users better understand how changes made to their programs impact their results. Any changes to program steps will be recorded as a new program ‘version’ and each version will have a unique name. A history of the versions, as well as the date and times of the starts and pauses, will be recorded in the new Activities tab (found next to the ‘Build,’ ‘Test,’ and ‘Report’ tabs), making it easy to understand when a program was edited.

Pardot Engagement Studio Versioning

Open a Report Card to compare historical results of different versions within each step.

 

Wave for B2B Marketing

Dive deeper into your data, get insights into your marketing performance, and quickly take data-driven actions. Wave for B2B Marketing allows the data-driven marketer to:

  1. Combine Marketing and Sales data in one place
  2. Know your Marketing campaign ROI and impact on Sales revenue
  3. Easily share insights with your team from anywhere

Wave for B2B syncing

 

Assigned User Variable Tags

Assigned user variable tags

 

Prospects Not in Salesforce Filter Update

Salesforce feature

 

Allow Multiple Prospects with the Same Email Address

Allow Multiple Prospects with the Same Email Addre

Salesforce Engage Product

 

Salesforce Engage Product & Service Notification

  1. Any Pardot admin can update points of contact.
  2. Any Pardot user type can be designated as a point of contact.
  3. A point of contact cannot be empty. Users listed as a point of contact cannot be deleted. Reassign before deleting the user.
  4. Notifications can only have one user listed as a point of contact. To send a notification to multiple recipients, create a Pardot user with a distribution list email address.

PARDOT’S ENGAGEMENT STUDIO – TRIGGERS OVERVIEW

Pardot’s Engagement Studio enables marketers to further customize their nurturing programs for their prospects, customers, and even partners. Engagement Studio has three main features that let you build your campaign around: Actions, Triggers, and Rules. Actions “do something”, Triggers “Listen for something”, and Rules “Check something.”

Drip Programs offer users 2 triggers: “has prospect opened email” and “has prospect clicked link”. (Note: Engagement Studio allows users to choose which link click to look for when using the “has prospect clicked link” trigger!). Let’s dive deeper into the new available triggers Engagement Studio provides us.


The following are new triggers that Engagement Studio can listen for from the prospect’s activity record.

  • Custom Redirect Click 
  • File Download
  • Form  – Engagement Studio can also trigger off of a form view
  • Form Handler
  • Landing Page – Engagement Studio can also trigger off of a page view

These triggers listen for either “any” of the following assets to be interacted with, or a specific one. For example, the new custom redirect trigger can listen for if the prospect has ever clicked on any custom redirect in your system or you can select a specific custom redirect. The end result of these triggers will leave you with a yes/no branch, just like in drip programs.

Triggers


In our next post we will be talking about all the new Rules of Engagement Studio.

How Do Lead Nurturing Programs Work?

Lead nurturing programs have a variety of benefits, most of which you may have read through already from multiple pieces of content. For this reason I am not going to show you the list of benefits that have been copied and pasted around the web but instead I am going to show you how you can actually achieve those benefits. Some programs have the end goal of guiding their prospects through the sales cycle while another program can have the goal of simply educating their prospects. The goal of these lead nurturing programs can differ but the approach to these programs should be similar, if not identical, each time. The process should be standardized and start with choosing the type of nurture campaign, choosing the audience, selecting the nurture’s flow and content, followed by reporting on the overall nurture campaign. We are going to walk through the process of building a successful lead nurturing program. 

  1. When building a nurture campaign the first step is choosing the nurture program’s type. As mentioned in the 10 Types of Lead Nurturing programs, there are a number of nurturing campaigns you can choose to run, keep in mind there are more than those 10 types. Are you running a welcome campaign? What about a campaign aimed towards bringing back those inactive leads from last year? The following steps are built upon this decision. You will also find that your ideal nurture campaign may be a combination of a couple different types.
  2. Now that you have decided on your nurture campaign’s type, the next step is choosing your nurture list. Who makes up your target audience for this nurture campaign? These can be prospects segmented by a location, interested product, or those who haven’t had contact with you in over 6 months. You should also think about making these nurture lists dynamic so when new prospects come into your system, they are automatically added to this campaign.
  3. If you were wondering when we were going to talk content, in this step you are choosing your content and nurturing flow. How complex do you want to make your nurturing campaign? Your campaign can be a simple sending of informative emails or you can input triggers such as email opens and URL clicks to take them down a different path. The trigger-based marketing technique retains a higher response rate than the simple sending of emails every week or two. The reason behind that is due to the customer receiving the content they are triggering with their interests. One example of this campaign is a webinar registration campaign where the initial email is an invite to a webinar. Those prospects who register should be sent more information on the webinar while those who did not open the email should be sent another invite a few days later. The next aspect to ask yourself is how often will you be sending content to your audience? Determining the flow will depend on the campaign type you chose in step 1. For example, if you have a long sales cycle, think about a longer pause in between email sends compared to a training campaign where the emails may be sent within a closer timeframe. 
  4. You know who your audience is and your content and flow is set, now it is time to track your campaign results. Monitor the emails you receive the most opens from, most CTR, but don’t forget about the emails who don’t perform well. Even though these campaigns are running automatically, it is important to check the report every now and then to see how your prospects are progressing. The report will tell you which emails are your most successful as well as which emails need some revision in order to lead to better conversions.

Lead nurturing doesn’t only show you what content works, it also shows you what content needs revising. View How Does Lead Nurturing Work for further information and tips on steps 1-4. The next topic in this Lead Nurturing series is making sure that your nurturing campaigns reach their maximum potential with best practices. 

How to Automate Everything With Pardot

Pardot is more than just Marketing Automation Machine. It’s an everything automation machine. We have proven that it can automate Marketing,  Sales, Sales Operations, Project Management, Accounts Receivable, and more. With this kind of potential, Pardot is not a purchase, it is similar to hiring a Virtual assistant. However, this virtual assistant only costs $0.34 an hour.

Heres you how Pardot accelerates these parts of your company:

Marketing

Pardot Automation

How annoying is it when your voicemails go unreturned or your emails go in the spam folder? We found a solution that uses the unique connection between Salesforce and Pardot to to automatically send out print mail and follow up emails to contacts based on their business information as well as their point in the sales cycle. This resulted in a 35% increase in response rate and 16% increase in conversion rate. It also gets rid on the Spam Folder problem and helps build superior, more personal relationships with your prospects and customers.

Sales

CSA_Sales_Badge

How much time does it take you to manage the connection with existing customers, monitor and manage customer experience, and stay up to with their new product/service updates? Well, we built an product that includes a preconfigured Sales Scoring model and automations. Your system is smarter than you think and will alert you at the best time to reach a prospect based on previous history. This resulted in an increase in Sales Efficiency with Salesforce Engage templates, real time alerts and reports with Salesforce Engage, and ability to handle a larger pipeline with more predictable outcomes.

Sales Operations

CSA_SalesOps_Badge

How much time does it take you to make sure you have Sales ready emails templates for each stage in Sales? Automating your sales operations will save valuable time with consolidated Salesforce Engage templates per each stage in your Sales cycle. Above that it will allow you to know when to reach out with real time alerts from Salesforce Engage. The automation through Salesforce Engage resulted in a dramatic increase in Sales efficiency with Engage templates and real-time alerts and reporting dashboards. This gives you the ability to quickly process more opportunities .

Project Management

CSA_PM_Badge

Are your Project Managers dealing with one too many projects that are forcing PM’s to chase down customers’ deliverables, schedule and reschedule meetings, and drown in emails? A solution we found was to utilize a Milestone-based system to provide templates, communication, and escalation alerts. This will keep your customers and partners in sync with integrated updates with a click on a button. The results include automatic task creation, automated business processes and the capability to update everyone on a project status with the click on one button.

Accounts Receivable

CSA_AR_Badge

Is your accounting department constantly chasing down payments and stuck with the latent tasks having to make calls and follow up emails? Wouldn’t it be nice to automate this process to get cash into your company faster?  We have a powerful solution that auto-generates invoices directly from Salesforce, sends it to the customer, automatically checks in until payments are received, and combines Pardot’s tracking capabilities for reporting. This awesome solution has cut our Daily Sales Outstanding has been by 52%, a reduction for 10-12 hours per AR agent per month and accelerates your cashflow.   I know what you thinking, I NEED THIS IN MY COMPANY.

Fill out the form below to learn more!

If you are going to Dreamforce make you come our talk, “Pardot, The Automation Everything Machine” Click here to Register

 

6 Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs!

Recognize what you want to accomplish

Is your organization B2B? B2C? Recognizing this and your goals before moving forward gives you maximum clarity in the quest for what marketing methods you know will work best.

Bring out the value proposition!

Find it. Write it. Use it. This is what your product or service is all about and how it separates you from everyone else out there! Focus on how your product is different and evidently better than others out there. (Keep in mind this is different from your slogan)

Keep working on your email lists

When it comes to online marketing, email lists are a must. Build it, keep building it, and then build it some more. You won’t regret this in the end especially since email marketing has the highest ROI compared to any other channel,

 

Create better content (duh)

This is harder than it seems. Know your audience, do your research, and use A/B testing! Your leads and customers will tell you, by their interaction, where your effective content is. Although, it’s the content that you don’t hear much feedback on that needs the revising.

Outsource to a partner or affiliate

Get your feet off the ground by outsourcing your marketing to a partner or affiliate. Your business will grow with the increase of connections, and the results can be extraordinary.

Ask for customer feedback

It’s the customer’s world, and we’re all just living in it. How will your product/service get better if you don’t know how your customers feel about it?

4 Lead Nurturing Campaigns You Should Try Today

In our previous blog post we discussed the benefits of Lead Nurturing. In this article I will dive into 4 Lead Nurturing campaigns that you can try today. These 4 campaigns are allocated to specific stages in a customer’s lifecycle, from the welcome campaign to the customer retention campaign. 

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The Welcome Campaign

They say the first impression upon meeting someone is critical and this applies to marketing content as well. When someone fills out a form they usually are expecting something in return, more information on a product, email updates, or specific type of content. By converting these autoresponder emails into a lead nurturing campaign, the prospect will begin their journey through your sales cycle. Your initial autoresponder should inform the recipient of the conversion point, speak about the nurture campaign they are on, and confirm their subscription to your marketing material. After some time, start to supply them with high-level information regarding the information they signed up to receive. Keep your educational and interesting and always provide them with targeted content based upon the information they requested to receive.

Educating glasses

The Differentiator Campaign 

When looking to purchase a product or a service, people don’t usually go with the first choice they find. Most of the time we look around, compare prices and features and then narrow it down to a few options. The point of this campaign is to explain how your product or service is different, and ultimately better, from your competitors. With each stage in this campaign, provide an advantage of using your product/service and a disadvantage of not using it. Be careful not to bash your competitors here, rather focus on why your product or service is the best in its industry. One of your emails that come from this nurture program can very well be the final push into positioning this potential customer into your sales cycle. 

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The Promotional Campaign

Towards the end of the sales cycle a customer may believe that your product or service doesn’t fit their current requirements at the moment. Whether the reason be a pricing issue or a features issue, this campaign can help persuade them into closing the deal. The key here is timing, if the timing of a promotion or additional features is right, the customer may be more obliged to closing the deal sooner than later. This campaign especially works for the larger accounts that your organization interacts with. 

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The Up-sell Campaign  

Why not sell to those who have already purchased something from you? They are familiar with your organization, your products, your services, so you should take that opportunity to try and sell them more. By offering your clients incentives and information on other products or services, you are leading them closer to another sell. With this all being automated, you can watch your clients show interest along specific stages of your campaign. You’ll want to focus on the new product but be sure to remind them of what they initially purchased. 

These are only 4 possible campaigns that you can start to implement today. With every new day there can be multiple new campaigns and the more you use them, the more use cases you will reveal. Here is a list of 10 Campaigns you can use. 

Five Reasons Why B2B Marketers Should be Taking Blogging Seriously

Blogging has become a crucial part of content marketing strategy. If you haven’t been regularly nurturing your relationship with prospects and customers with the help of a blog, you’ve been missing out! Recent industry surveys by The Content Marketing Institute estimate that 86% of B2B companies are currently blogging, along with 77% of B2C companies (source).

Blogging

So, why do you want to be with the majority on this?

1. More Leads

 

According to recent data, B2B businesses that blog achieve 67% more monthly leads than those that do not (source). Blog posts that can help solve customer pain points will naturally attract quality leads. Make sure your content is relevant to a problem that your company solves well, which leads me to reason #2…

 

2. The Trust Factor

 

Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information (source). Routine posts serve as effective means of indoctrination. Blogging shares the personality of your company and can turn potential prospects into loyal customers. If you understand your target audience, you can create content that speaks directly to them and builds a rock-solid relationship. If you need to learn more about your audience, the feedback you get from your blog will help you understand what content is most effective.

 

3. Increase Traffic to your Website

 

Internet users in the US spend 3x more time on blogs than they do on email! Studies report that blogging can increase web traffic toward your website by as much as 55%. And among companies that use email marketing, those that blog get twice as much traffic from their email than those who don’t (source). Increasing more traffic to your site means new unique visitors and lead generation, as well as increasing your page ranks on Google. That SEO will drive even more traffic to your website!

 

4. Blogging = HIGH ROI

 

Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13X more likely to enjoy positive ROI (source). Blogging is a cheap way to bring in leads organically, and often those leads are of a better quality. As described in 1 and 2 above, if your blog can consistently provide valuable information, prospects will come your way and eventually be converted into loyal customers. Content search leads close x8 more than traditional leads (source).

 

5. Influence Decision Makers to buy

 

81% of B2B decision makers use online communities and blogs to help make purchasing decisions (source). People who find themselves on your blog are there because they are seeking solutions. Adding an effective call-to-action to your blog posts can create a sales opportunity right then and there. CTAs can be as simple as subscribing to the blog, sharing a post on social media, or downloading a whitepaper. You can also convert them to a customer by promoting your product!

Sales and Marketing Automation…Let’s Work Together

You’ve heard it many times before and we’ll say it again now, Sales and Marketing need to be on the same page. Marketing automation makes the connection simple because both departments have a shared common database where marketing insight is provided to the Sales team. Thus, making it easier for them to coexist efficiently. This will then allow them focus on more important tasks, like prospect conversion, instead of each other. Sales isn’t worried about unqualified leads because the marketing automation system is only handing them off when they are qualified.

Tracking data through marketing automation has never been easier. With that data you can determine the strengths and weaknesses in your sales funnel, allowing you to make any necessary changes for the better.  You can also track team member efforts within the sales and marketing departments…(hello incentive to do better).

The data you’ve collected (email clicks, content downloads, website visits) gives you insight into what the prospect/customer is thinking and ultimately what interests them. Knowing what they like and dislike gives you the upper hand to customize everything to them, creating a superior experience. In most cases, a customers mind sees experience > price.

With that being said, marketing automation helps sales by bringing them only qualified prospects and marketing will be able to attract new prospects. Win-Win for both departments.

Better Experience = More Loyal Customers

The Benefits of Lead Nurturing

Why Should I Nurture My Leads?

Lead nurturing requires thoughtful communications, not the copying and pasting of generic sales emails in attempt to receive a reply back. When a lead nurturing program is functional, your prospects are receiving targeted content based upon their actual activities and interests, which ultimately provides them with what they want to see. If a prospect has visited a specific product page of yours for about 5-10 minutes, why shouldn’t an email automatically be sent to that prospect with further information and a notification go out to a sales rep? 

The statistics

26% of today’s marketers receive a 10% – 20% greater response from their lead nurturing campaigns than those who use standardized email campaigns. On top of that, more than a quarter of marketers receive a 20% – 30% greater increase in responses using automatic lead nurturing campaigns in comparison to marketers who do not use a nurturing campaign. (Demand Gen Report, 2015)

Save your sales team some time

As marketers we’re all too familiar with the unqualified lead scenario and the not so happy sales rep that comes back to us. The best lead for a sales rep is one that is educated on your organization and the product(s) they are interested in. If the sales rep has to spend a good amount of time explaining what your product is, that lead should not have been qualified in the first place. So how do we make sure a lead is qualified? Nurture! Nurturing provides you the ability to dramatically speed up your organization’s sales cycle by providing the lead with information they want to see before they come in contact with your sales team. Start with a high-level overview of your company and its products and then funnel your way down to which specific product the lead is interested in.

Revive inactive leads

Never give up on leads that your sales team couldn’t get ahold of, they just might not be ready for your product at this moment. 2 months later, they could be ready for your product! Although don’t expect them to dig through their email to find your contact information, you are going to have to put these leads on a nurture campaign. Your campaigns will provide you with the information that tells you when the lead is qualified again based upon activity with your emails, webpages, and other content. Present this recent activity information to your sales rep to show them that the lead is qualified again and for them to reach out to the prospect. 

Personalized emails

Lead nurturing is an extraordinary feature, but it shouldn’t be used to automatically send out those generic emails your team was sending out manually. You should personalize your content and lead nurturing provides you with that ability with variable tags and dynamic content. Organizations who personalize their content receive a 19% increase in qualified leads and sales. Including a personalized sales rep signature, using variable tags to input correct information, and sending content centered around the prospect’s interests and actions are a few ways to increase lead nurturing campaign effectiveness. 

Don’t stop…nurturing! (Please read in Journey’s voice)

A great deal of organizations think that lead nurturing stops when a lead has closed a sale with your organization, but that is just the beginning. Your current customer database is also considered a lead, because there is always an opportunity to sell additional products to them! Having done business with you before, they are more likely to engage with your content. Update them about your organization’s milestones, new product information, or even new services your company provides. Think internally too! Use nurture campaigns to train your new employees on software that your organization uses. 

What’s next?

Be on the lookout for our next blog post which contains a number of nurturing campaigns with proven success.