Posted on

Intent data and B2B lead generation: How it works the pluses and minuses

It’s no secret that the B2B industry is both more competitive and more difficult to successfully penetrate now than ever before. Not only can the number of B2B companies in the industry make it difficult for up-and-coming B2B industries to make an impact on the market; but consumers also have more information available to them than ever before.

This makes it increasingly difficult for B2B companies to influence purchasing decisions. Enter intent data, which gives B2B companies a way to reliably generate leads and focus content marketing, even in the digital age.

What intent data is (and isn’t)

Whenever you make a search on Google or any other search engine, you generate a data footprint of your intent. For example, if you type “what is the best movie of 2018,” data is generated indicating that you are searching for movies to watch.

As a result, you’ll likely start getting ads from publishing houses that have used third parties to purchase your intent data – such as Sony or Fox Searchlight advertising their movies to you. In this example, it’s easy to see the value of intent data for B2C companies, which can use intent data to advertise their products to users who they know are searching for similar items.

In short, every time you get an ad on websites such as YouTube or Instagram, you’re getting ads generated for you using your intent data. Intent data is not, as has sometimes been mistakenly insinuated, a way for B2B companies to – with certainty – predict who will buy from them and when.

Instead, B2B companies can use intent data to effectively generate leads and focus content marketing campaigns, making intent data even more valuable to B2B companies than it is to B2C companies.

How B2B companies can make intent data work in their favor

Crucially, B2C companies are not able to use intent data as effectively as B2B companies are. Because B2B has a longer sales cycle, and B2B purchases are often dictated by buying groups with multiple people, there’s far more leeway for intent data to affect how B2B companies generate leads and target certain clients as opposed to how B2C companies use intent data.

For example, using intent data allows B2B companies to see which members of buying groups are searching for the products or services they offer. Not only does this allow B2B companies to target stakeholders already searching for similar products or services with ads, but it also allows them to focus their content marketing in a way that catches other stakeholders in a buying group and leads them towards their products or services.

Other uses for intent data in the B2B industry

Intent data can also perform other crucial functions for B2B companies. For example, B2B companies can keep track of trends and evolve content marketing campaigns by using intent data to track how searches for B2B products and services are evolving across the industry.

B2B companies can also use intent data to track what previous clients and customers are interested in, allowing them to improve customer retention by constantly keeping themselves on top of their customer and client’s needs.

In conclusion, intent data has the potential to play an invaluable role for B2B companies, allowing them to prospect leads, focus content marketing, monitor industry trends and cross-selling opportunities, and improve customer retention.

If you’re interested in using intent data to help your B2B company reach its full potential, we’d love to help! Our team here at AccelSocial specializes in helping B2B companies generate valuable leads and more. To learn more about what we can do for you, click here.

Posted on

Want more leads? Turn to social media

Social media has long been a method of engaging customers, but it can also be a powerful lead generator. When most businesses think of social media, they see cat and viral Buzzfeed videos, but they underestimate its true potential.

Social media is a direct line to your customers, and through leveraging these helpful tips, you can transform it from customer engagement to lead generation. Businesses want and need qualified sales leads, and with social media, you’ve got a captive audience already tuned in to your company.

Show people your gated content

You spent a significant amount of time and effort to create your gated content. It’s the best content you have and the perfect way to get people to sign up for your newsletter. The problem is, people must be on the site to see it.

Social media is an ideal and free way to get your gated content into the hands of existing and future customers. Share the link to your gated content and LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media avenues become lead generators.

Add New

They’ve liked your page, or you’ve boosted the post to target a wider audience. It’s the perfect way to pique their interest and send them along the sales funnel.

People love a good competition

Contests and giveaways make the perfect fodder for lead generation and engagement. It’s like getting two birds with one stone. The contest or giveaway doesn’t have to be about free entries. Ask them to share stories about your product or how they would use your product or service.

You can have them sign up for your newsletter as part of the entry. You’re putting your product or service front of mind and engaging their sense of competition. Everyone wants to be a winner. Offering your followers a contest can generate numerous sales leads at one time.

Advertising on social media

Many people think Google Ads is the only real avenue for pay-per-click and display advertising, but every social media platform has their own version of pay per click and other advertising. You can use the ads to bring people to your gated content, boost your post for contests and gain new followers.

LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and more all have advertising methods. They can laser target potential customers and send them along the sales funnel. That’s the beauty of the advertising platforms.

You can target by various demographics to make sure the ad is seen only by people interested in your product.

Core principals of social media lead generation

These are all methods of lead generation on social media, but it takes more than just offering up content or your gated content. There are certain ways it must be done to make it work. These are the core principals of social media lead generation.

  1. You need to be sociable and gain followers. For this to work, you need to be interactive with people and have content people want to see. If you don’t have followers, not many people will see you lead generating material.
  2. Quality followers are what count. The content must be good, but it is also must be targeted at people who want to buy. A hundred quality followers are worth 1,000 casual followers.
  3. Create action with your posts. You don’t need a direct call to action in your posts, but creating actionable posts is crucial to lead generation.
  4. Be clear and concise. Don’t confuse or be tricky. You may think you’re being clever, but customers need a clear, brief message if they’re going to be a quality lead.
  5. Posts should be relevant. Your posts should be targeted, timely specific and actionable.
  6. Be different. Your social media doesn’t have to be all about your industry or be dry information. Feel free to liven things up and differentiate your brand from the rest.
  7. Build relationships. Trust is earned and not given. If you want to turn your social media followers to leads, then gain their trust through engagement and interaction.

AccelSocial can help you turn your social media accounts into lead generating machines. Contact us and let us show you what we can do.

Posted on

Social listening: Does it matter?

Social media is an important part of your website traffic. Google analytics can tell you how many people visit your site from Facebook, Twitter and other social media, but there’s an entire area lost to analytics. Dark social isn’t tracked by analytics and falls into the catchall of direct traffic.

It’s the black hole where everything Google doesn’t track gets lumped into. Direct traffic can come from 100 different sources, and it’s of little help to people wanting to do traffic analysis.

Overview of dark social

When you share content, Google Analytics is supposed to tell you where it came from. If your traffic comes from email marketing, secure website, WhatsApp and other sources, it’ll be placed into direct traffic. Many times, you can attribute dark social traffic to copied-and-pasted URLs into un-trackable platforms.

When someone uses an instant messenger and places a link, it goes into direct traffic. There are many ways to share content online, and dark social is a data hole that websites need to plug if they want proper analytics.

Why dark social matters

Understanding the traffic flow to your website means understanding the people coming to your site and why. When you can’t analyze that traffic, you can’t make informed decisions. When 100 people come to your site from Facebook, you might consider spending money to boost your posts

You won’t know if 200 people came to your site from WeChat or Snapchat. It might make you reconsider Facebook and put marketing dollars behind those apps. You might consider increasing your Snapchat stories.

Messenger apps such as Facebook can use chatbots to share content. Perhaps more important is the ability to have a complete understanding of the social activities of your customers and how you use owned, earned and paid content.

Google analytics seems slow to track these other forms of social media and as the years go on the landscape will continue to change. The WhatsApp and WeChat of today can be something completely different a year from now.

Analytics still won’t track it, so savvy marketers need to be on the forefront of popular apps and how you can leverage them for businesses.

Tools to track dark social

Google analytics may be unable to monitor these channels, but there are options.

Manual UTM tracking and segments. If you use email marketing, then you can manually track the URLs in your emails, so Google Analytics shows you the source. You can also create an advanced segment to track some dark social channels.

This requires you to be familiar with the advanced concepts of GA.

GetSocial.io. GetSocial.io is an app designed for tracking social media. You can use a WordPress Plugin to install, or you can paste a snippet of code onto your website. Once done, you’ll start tracking dark social.

ShareThis. ShareThis is a tool that lets people share content to friends through many target platforms such as email, direct message and text message. You can use menu options to begin tracking dark social. This also requires placing code on your site.

Dark social isn’t going away, and the failure to track it could negatively impact your business. Learn more about this subject and more by exploring our website.

Posted on

What to measure and why

Demand generation should be a holistic approach to optimizing the conversion and sales cycle. This way, you can form strong relationships with the right prospects. At the core of demand generation is measurement and testing. This is vital because, to quote Lewis Carroll, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” Certainly there are many metrics that can send you down a rabbit hole. When you track the right data, you can measure the effectiveness of your demand generation campaigns, understand your ROI and find ways to achieve growth.

What to measure and why

Here are the metrics that matter most and why they are helpful in optimizing conversions and sales.

Closing percentages. This is a valuable metric, especially for B2B organizations. The formula is rather simple: the number of deals closed divided by the number of sales proposals multiplied by 100. This will reveal not only how your sales team is doing, but also indicate the performance of marketing and customer success teams. You can see where strengths and weaknesses are within the funnel and reveal the effectiveness of qualifying and nurturing leads.

Funnel conversion rates. Because this metric focuses more on the middle of the funnel, it is sometimes overlooked. Don’t skip this important metric. It helps identify how well things are handled in the middle, including how well your teams provide content and pass along qualified leads to sales. You can see the percentage of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) that convert to sales qualified leads (SQLs) and how SQLs turn into meetings that nurture the relationship and convert customers.

Cost per acquisition. Abbreviated as CPA , this metric will show how successful your business is and help redefine goals for campaigns. To see if time is well spent and profitable, divide the cost of generating a lead (marketing expenses) by the number of customers acquired during the period you set.

Cost per lead. Most marketers are familiar with CPL. This will provide information on the value of a persona and how it relates to the target criteria. This provides insight on how to tailor the content or fine tune the message in the campaign. Also, if there is something preventing conversions, this metric will help reveal it.

Conversion to MQLs. MQLs are different than simple leads. These are prospects who express greater interest in your business because they have engaged with content and have provided their information. If your goal is to generate new leads, this metric is much more effective to analyze open rates, instead of simply looking at them. But remember, MQLs may be interested, but not ready to fully commit. What you do with a successful MQL will also be important: Explore MQLs to SQLs.

Average deal size. This metric is the average sales price or dollar value of each closed-won deal and it will vary depending on industry. It is beneficial in a few ways. It provides an overall view of the health of your cycle and you can see opportunities outside your typical deal size. You can then flag larger or smaller ones so you can appropriately prioritize, target and manage those deals accordingly.

Lifetime customer value. You find this metric by calculating the amount of profit a customer provides over the lifetime of their relationship with your business. This reveals insight into the success of customer engagement, quality of account management and closing deals. Understanding this metric allows you to segment customers into the most profitable groups, optimize spending on the most effective acquisition channels and help you keep high-value customers with the appropriate retention decisions.

Get the most from your measurements

Once you begin to analyze the right metrics, you can take steps to optimize your efforts. At AccelSocial, we help corporations with strategies throughout the sales funnel. To learn more about demand generation or the ways we can assist through performance-based advertising solutions, explore our website.

Posted on

Top Funnel inefficiencies

Sales and marketing teams are pressed for conversions and sales, leading them to place a natural importance on the latter end of the sales funnel. They prioritize on taking the leads they have and pushing them toward the sale, but ignoring top-end funnels and demand generation issues can corrupt the rest of the funnel. This leads to lower sales overall.

Streamlining the top sales funnel channels is imperative to maximizing your sales. Many times, some inefficiencies create problems down the line. The top end of the sales funnel includes lead generation, SEO, advertising and more. When these aren’t done properly, you end up wasting money and losing sales.

Top funnel inefficiencies cost you sales

A good sales lead becomes a customer for life. This is a top-funnel lead that is within the niche of your business, interested in your products or services, and wants to learn more. These are the leads that receive your email marketing and not only read them but click on the links as well. They naturally lead to the middle of the funnel and eventually become customers.

Bad sales leads are common when you have an inefficient top funnel system. It could be that your campaign isn’t finely targeted enough, your emails go to people uninterested in your services, or your on-site content doesn’t grab their attention. Your top funnel marketing isn’t interesting to the good leads, and instead is getting disinterested customers or those outside the price point of your product or services.

Inefficient top funnel marketing also brings in large numbers of leads. On the surface, this may sound ideal. The more leads you get, the better, right? Too many leads, especially those with little interest, just end up costing you time and money you don’t have. It’s better to have an efficient system that brings in top quality leads that you can nurture along the sales funnel.

How does inefficient top funnel marketing impact end funnel sales?

The sales funnel has three areas: top, middle and bottom. The top funnel brings in the leads, the middle nurtures them and the bottom brings them home for the sale. When your top funnel isn’t efficient, it impacts the rest of the funnel.

As a salesperson and marketer, your time is precious. Your time is money. Your efforts to market to bad leads in the middle funnel often end there. A good lead can naturally flow from one to the other with minimal effort. They’re already attracted to the prospect and the business. Bad leads take more time to nurture, and all your work may not end up in a sale.

Marketing spend is always a touchy subject, especially for SEO and Pay Per Click advertising. These are all top funnel activities and can cost three times as much when not executed correctly. Pay Per Click advertising and underperforming email marketing can drain a budget fast, with few or bad leads. All the extra money spent on top funnel marketing is leeched from the other funnels, where it could have been of more use.

They say that image is everything, and when your demand generation efforts are subpar, it makes you look bad. Who wants to order products from a site with a bad email marketing layout or content? Don’t let bad marketing bring down your brand reputation.

Fixing your top funnel marketing and demand generation

Don’t worry, we can save your top funnel marketing and increase your sales. The first step is managing your marketing better, so the leads you get are credible and worth the effort. PPC advertising should be optimized with proper keywords, high enough ad spend and fewer negative matching. Email marketing and other efforts must have a specific target audience. Social posts and advertising should engage consumers. How do you do that?

Create buyer personas that reflect the qualities and interests of your consumers. These personas are more than just profiles. It’s much deeper than that. They tell the story of your consumers. It’s who they are beyond the titles of their jobs. Personas give you insight on how the buyer thinks, their motivations and what they like and don’t like. Tailor your top funnel marketing around buyer personas and get a higher return on investment.

The content on your website and your email marketing must reflect the wants, needs and questions of your consumers. It’s not just about sales. It’s about educating them and convincing them your quality and experience make your company the best choice. Great content is indispensable for search engine optimization and user experience. A lead will travel through the sales funnel faster if their questions and concerns are answered on your website.

Demand generation isn’t expendable

You want sales but forgetting about top funnel demand generation will cost you in the long run. You’ll get too many uninterested leads. Those cost you money, time and get nothing in return. They’ll exit the funnel before reaching that final step.

Work on streamlining and optimizing your marketing efforts and website content. Create buyer personas to get inside the heads of your customers. If you want to learn more about how demand generation and content creation can impact your business, then Accel Social is here for you.

Posted on

Learn the basics of modern lead generation

A good lead is worth its weight in gold, but many businesses take an antiquated approach to lead generation. People are digitally savvy and look for more than just a company. They want peace of mind that the company knows what they are doing and are experts in the field.

Nurturing a lead and giving them something they want converts them into customers. It takes more than a simple call to action to get their attention, so learn the ins and out of modern lead generation with these tips.

SEO gets them to the website

An organic search is a powerful tool for gaining leads, but only if you can get customers to your site. Search engine optimization is everything you do to improve your rankings on search engines. The higher the rank, the better the chance of a page visit.

Optimize your site with keywords specific to your niche. Think about the types of terms your clients would use in search and use them strategically on your site. SEO involves claiming Google My Business and Google Map pages as well as your content.

Content converts

There’s a distinct difference between traffic generation and lead generation. Traffic gets them to your site, but that doesn’t make them a lead. It’s your content that convinces them you’re the company for them.

Develop blog posts, white papers, case studies and more that educate your client and show you as an expert. Too many businesses rely on sales pitches, but today’s consumers want to learn something and not just pick a company.

Competition is high in the digital age, so you need to set your business apart from everyone else.

Can’t get something for nothing

There was a time when a call to action had a great chance of an email signup. Those days are gone. People believe signup is synonymous with spam, so they don’t give their email addresses away for nothing. They expect something in return.

We discussed how good content helps get sales leads, but you can also give it away for email addresses. If you’ve got a case study or white paper that’s informative, then offer it to people that visit your site in exchange for a newsletter signup.

Leads will give their emails address if they believe they’re getting something valuable in return. Email marketing is still a viable way to convert leads into customers.

Landing pages hook your lead

When you have a PPC campaign or want to offer a special deal or program for customers, do you send them to a standard page on your site? You might want them to be dazzled by your product page. If you want them to go from lead to customer, then you need more.

Design a landing page specifically to promote a product, program or deal. Fill it with good information and make it separate from the other aspects of your site. It’s where you offer them the free report. It’s where you provide 10-percent offs for new customers. It’s where you send people that click on your pay-per-click ads.

Your landing pages need to pop and be eye-catching. They’re laser-focused on one aspect of your business and provide information that funnels them to the sale. The landing page is one place where a call to action is still very important. It’s front and center, telling them they’ve reached the right page.

Retargeting captures leads that left your site

Leads don’t always come to your site and buy outright. They’ll come and look around but leave to mull over their decision. This is where retargeting can help bring that lead back to your site. Retargeting shows people that visited your site ads and other information about your site as they search the web.

They can be on a different website but see an ad for your business. It keeps you in the front of their mind.

You can also show them a pop-up of similar products as they leave your site to entice them back. Leads need to stay or go back to your site to be of value, so retargeting is essential.

Set goals for lead generation

Leads need to be sought after and not just allowed to trickle in. You need to set goals per month, per quarter, per year or base goals on revenue. This gives perspective to you and your sales team. If you’re halfway through the fiscal quarter and down on leads or revenue, then you can create a push to make sure you meet goals. Without it, you can’t have a benchmark for revenue or leads and end up floundering.

We know leads and can help transform your site from a sales wasteland to a high-performance lead generator. If you want to learn more about lead generation or the ways we can help through performance-based advertising solution, then explore our website.

Posted on

How Content Creation Influences High Value Leads

At the heart of every great business is the content that defines it, which is where AccelSocial comes in. Content directly impacts a company’s brand identity and lead generation quality. It has all but replaced the entry level sales force and garnered such prominent value that new career paths have been created.

There is no arbitrary content in business because everything about it sends a message. Even the way content is presented is significant. Eminent content creation influences high-value leads with a finesse that most entry level sales people have not yet mastered.

Inform and educate

An informed buyer is a happy one. Early in the sales journey, buyers gather information and get to know a company. They often prefer to do this without the proverbial high-pressure sales pitch, instead gathering information from available content.

This type of nurtured information gathering is a vital part of the buying process. Your company’s content should serve to educate potential buyers and clients while sending a consistent message across all mediums.

The highly skilled team at AccelSocial can help you do that. We work with our clients to develop content that engages and energizes their audience.

Qualify and gauge

You can use specific types of content to qualify potential buyers while separating fact finders from serious inquiries. Use downloadable forms and gated content to gauge a buyer’s interest level, budget and even their position of authority.

This type of strategy can save a company’s sales team valuable time and money by identifying a potential client’s position in the sales funnel. Each specific content type serves a fundamental purpose in the sales journey.

Utilizing them effectively is the key to generating the highest return on investment.

Acquisition and value

Every business must establish its community and audience presence. Only then can it harvest the wealth of intelligence within that community and apply it to future marketing decisions. This activity helps set up the acquisition cost associated with each new client.

Not only can eminent content creation lower acquisition costs, but it can also increase the value of each sale. By using highly informative content to educate clients about the products or services they are paying for, you are automatically increasing the likelihood they will be satisfied with their purchase.

Furthermore, there is a greater possibility that you will foster long-term relationships with them while encouraging repeat business.

Authority and credibility

Content creation is a great way to showcase your company’s expertise in a specific industry. Whether content is created and posted on your company’s website or on social media platforms, it can help establish authority and credibility with clients.

If used correctly, it will also impact lead generation quality by helping to weed out ill-suited prospects and build trust with potential clients. This sense of trust and transparency will help guide high-value leads through your sales funnel.

At AccelSocial, we help create and promote compelling content that allows your business to harvest qualified, high-value leads. Our performance-based advertising and social solutions foster trust and growth because your success is our success.