What are the Best Techniques to Improve Conversion Optimization?

Conversion rate optimization is the neverending battle your business takes part in online. Increasing your conversion rate radically increases your business, so its importance can’t be overstated. The fact is only roughly 22% of businesses report being satisfied with their current conversion rates. For being so important, it is also one of the most abstract factors in marketing. There is no “one size fits all” checklist you can go down and, magically, your website conversion optimization process is complete.

Website conversion optimization is the long game. You may see an increase in conversions from slight adjustments here and there, but that’s a short-sighted strategy and will peak quickly. Conversion rate optimization begins with hypothesizing what will increase your conversions and testing to see what performs best. There’s a large factor of really getting into your audience’s head and considering what will influence their decisions most.

What can you do to present solutions to their problems?

Have you been trying to increase your website conversion optimization but just aren’t seeing the results you want? Not seeing the results you were expecting? It’s not about casting a wide net to catch everyone at once. Conversion optimization is most effective at a highly focused level. The famous saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” comes into reality here in a big way. If you’re trying to speak to everyone at once, you’re not talking to anyone in particular.

Since 90% of searchers are undecided about brands before beginning their searches, it’s important to connect meaningfully. That could be through compelling content, specific landing pages, or any number of ways that show you have what they need. One factor to consider? Sometimes they don’t know they needed something until you show them!

We’ll cover some of the best tactics for conversion optimization further on in this post. First, however, let’s examine why conversion optimization services are necessary for your business and what it is.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

You’ve heard the term “conversion rate optimization” before but do you really know what it is? Conversion rate optimization, often shortened to CRO, is the process of increasing the percentage of website traffic who complete desired actions. If you’re an ecommerce site, this doesn’t just mean completing the sale, however. That’s where confusion often lies. Business owners fail to see that conversions can happen at any stage in the funnel. A conversion may also be something such as opting in to an email list, downloading your ebook, or creating an account.

CRO and SEO

Conversion rate optimization is not one-note. Though not directly associated, CRO and SEO can intersect in various ways. Some argue they play against each other however, with careful adjustments and techniques, they should not.

In terms of A/B testing, this won’t lead to penalizations for duplicate content when properly implemented. When in doubt, add a canonical tag. Instead of 301 redirects, use 302s. A/B testing is encouraged. Knowing which page will better serve website visitors is ultimately better for rankings. After all, it’s all about creating a better UX for visitors to increase conversions in the end, isn’t it?

Why is Conversion Rate Optimization Important?

This may sound like a small victory but consider this: if your conversion rate optimization increases sales conversions from 1% to 2%, you’ve doubled your business. The same holds for increased leads and other factors. Some conversion optimization services promise outlandish percentages but don’t be fooled. The global average for e-commerce conversion is between 1% and 3%.

By its nature, website conversion optimization builds your relationship with your website visitors. This not only increases conversions now but also develops the ongoing relationship for later. Customers are what make your business successful. Without them, you don’t have one!

In 2016, Econsultancy stated that for every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 was spent trying to convert them. Why so low when its effects are so important? According to MarketingSherpa, 74% of conversion rate optimization programs will increase sales. The increased amount and continuing increases rely heavily on continued efforts of website conversion optimization.

What Should I Do for CRO?

So you’ve got it: conversion rate optimization is important. What should you do now? The motto when it comes to conversion optimization services is typically “test, test, and retest.” When you think you’ve tested enough, test something else. There is no end to conversion optimization. You don’t reach a goal and say “okay, I made it. I’m done.” Knowing where to begin, however, can be daunting for those new to conversion optimization. Have no fear! We’re here to present some of the best methods for website conversion optimization that will get you on the path to increased conversions.

Present Clear Value Proposition

 

 

Conversion rate optimization hinges on increasing conversions from website visitors. How do you expect to increase conversions if your visitor doesn’t know what you offer? More specifically for CRO, you need to show your customer what you offer that they need. This can be a product that they want, a solution to a problem they have, or any number of things. All the conversion optimization services in the world are useless if you aren’t presenting your value.

Add testimonials to give validity to your value propositions. Use your value props to sell solutions. Your product or service comes with awesome features but… why do they matter? What do they solve for the customer? How does it benefit them if they convert?

A/B Testing on Your Website

As we said before, the name of the game in conversion rate optimization is test, test, and retest. Never settle for “good enough” when there are always ways to improve. That being said, you don’t need to change your site every other day without cause. Focus on your primary pain points and A/B test solutions. Try variations of landing pages to see what converts the most then focus your efforts there. One test at a time isn’t the way to go; test out variations on all your landing pages. This puts you ahead of the competition as only 52% of companies and agencies that use landing pages also test them to find ways to improve conversions.

Of these, 44% are using software to split test. Be sure, however, that you’re only indexing necessary pages and not competing with your SEO in a negative way.

When testing, don’t just throw up any variation you can think of. Always make a decisive, specific plan with a goal in mind. Testing without a clearly-defined goal is shooting in the dark. How can you expect to empirically determine what works best when you don’t know what you’re testing?

Increase Number of Landing Pages

A recurring issue amongst websites is a lack of landing pages. More landing pages equal more conversion opportunities, and also adds to the variation on your website. As previously mentioned, if you try to speak to everyone, you’re speaking to no one in particular. This is visible with your landing pages. Having too much information or irrelevant information will lead to a higher bounce rate. In fact, companies have seen a 55% increase in leads after increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15. That’s substantial! Speaking of landing pages:

Streamline Your Landing Page

Streamlining your landing page cannot be overstressed. Ensure you’re providing relevant information for your website visitor but keep to the topic. Each landing page should stand on its own. Take away distractions that may lead to loss of interest and a higher bounce rate. Consider leading directly to services instead of categories. For an e-commerce site, consider bypassing a cart and sending them directly to check out instead.

If your visitor is coming to your page, don’t make them work for what they’re looking for because chances are they won’t. Offer them exactly what they’ve searched for immediately. Give them the incentive to convert right away. Keeping relevance also provides further incentive to explore your site further. After all, if the page they landed on was direct and clear, it stands to reason other pages would be, too. This will lead to a lower bounce rate.

To help keep your landing page simple, give only one offer on each page. Multiple offers on one landing page become overwhelming and very sales-y. You want your landing page to feel personalized. The usage of the video has become exceptionally successful. Using videos on landing pages has reported increased conversions by 80% or more.

Create Content That Converts

Creating engaging, dynamic content is a prime way to improve conversion rate optimization efforts. We all know the phrase “content is king” but underestimating the significance of that statement will cut your CRO efforts off before they get started. Having a simple list of products for sale or a bullet point of services won’t create the conversions you are hoping for.

Creating awesome content that converts is essential! This could be a video you’ve placed on landing pages, an informative blog to help guide your target through the sales funnel, etc. Great content gives your website authority and builds trust with visitors. No one is going to purchase goods or services from someone they don’t trust. That trust has to be built. Since conversions can be any goal along the funnel, don’t neglect conversions higher up. Repeat visitors are more likely to reach your ultimate conversion (or macro-conversion).

Overall, conversion rate optimization is the key to build and scale your business. Remembering to capture conversions throughout the entire sales funnel is paramount. You can use streamlined landing pages, visuals, converting content, and optimized copy to give visitors a personalized feel. Truly, there is no easy checklist conversion optimization services use to fix everything. It takes testing, relying on data, and experimenting to get the results you seek. Always begin with a clear goal in mind for each conversion you seek.

Unclear goals result in a waste of time, money, and effort.

As always, Brenton Way is here to help you with our conversion optimization services! Contact us and let’s discuss how we can improve your CRO and grow your business.

Heart Stopping Methods for Content Engagement

What makes your heart beat skip? What gets you excited when you’re surfing the web? Do you fall prey to targeted advertising, or do you like to randomly explore the web for content?

This week, nearing our one year anniversary, the team at Brenton Way thought we would put together a list of 15 types of content engagement methods we love and why! We wanted to provide our readers – you guys! -with something fun and engaging to push through winter and get us to spring!

Blogging

Every writer has to start somewhere, and blogging is our favorite platform to suggest to first-timers. A blog can be customized and tailored to you and a client. It can embody a brand, a lifestyle, an agenda, a philosophy, or simply images. A blog holds the key to your brand guideline and for who you want to be as a writer. But, the best part is that a blog can also change, and you with it. A blog also takes time to create traffic; patience is key!

You want to make sure that when you write a blog, it is SEO friendly. Personal and private blogging aside, A blog can increase awareness for your product by getting you closer to being ranked on google, and gain viewership on multiple platforms through link sharing. You also want to make sure your blog is current with themes and subjects or else no one will read it.

When working in such a fast-paced and ever-changing environment such as digital marketing, you have to continually reevaluate yourself and your team. Asking yourself if there’s a negative to things like blogging is essential.

Blogging itself would not have a bad effect on your work, however, a blog could destroy your credibility if done wrong. Any errors in grammar and content will drag your name down, as well as your rankings. A lot of times we come across blogs that haven’t been updated in weeks or months, this is one of the fatal flaws of having such an accessible platform. People might lose interest in their blogs and move onto creating new ones. They fail to realize, blogs are allowed to change!

Book Reviews

Short, fun, and thoughtful – a book review can sell and be creative. An older form of content, book reviews have survived the test of time by bringing with them the power that audiences genuinely have. If a book has no reviews, would you read it? Probably not. If a book has a good or bad review, people are going to change their impressions and thoughts before reading it.

Reviews are concise and summarize the material. We work with a lot of clients who are authors, and getting their books reviewed is a great way to create local traffic and buzz. However, a book review is supposed to be critical, you don’t want to write:

  I liked the book.

        The book was good.

        The bok sucked.

Those are reactions, and they don’t increase engagement, they shut it down. You want to expose what makes the work new, exciting, noteworthy, and enjoyable. How does this work expand your knowledge of this subject area and will the audience appreciate it?

Case Studies

We make cases studies every season to reevaluate ourselves and show our clients that we are paying attention. Getting more clients is great, but understanding how you actually helped or failed a client is vital to strive. Content is not always about SEO or selling; you’ll need to do a lot of self-branding in order to create a credible name for your team and your business. A case study represents your work ethic and your client’s impressions of you.

When you begin a case study, you’ll want to write about someone that your “ideal customer” will relate to. We also want to encourage writers to include their journey with each case from beginning to end because leaving out important details will cause readers to question the reliability of the case.

Although a case study is realistic and informative, you should not forget to format it for better readership. You have a chance to expose your greatness, and using a dull format will destroy it. Be sure to also mention the types of strategies and methods your team used in this case to make it about your success, not about the client.

Ebooks

Depending on what platforms and tools you have access to an ebook can be a great decision for your business. We recycle and repurpose all of our content seasonally – turning old stories into relevant ebooks.  An ebook can be short or long; it can have visual graphics or be primarily copy, as long as your content is relevant and emphasizes your value proposition, then you are in the clear!

In marketing, you have to always try and find an angle for your work, an ebook is perfect for this. Include a sign-up incentive with your ebook,

“Sign up with us and get a free ebook!”

You also want to expose your expertise on the subject of your ebook; why waste the opportunity to be a figure of authority in the community?

How-to

How to write a how-to; bullets and simplicity is the key! How-tos are a fun way to let your team relax and write content that is based more on instruction rather than entertainment – unless you work at Buzzfeed.

A how-to, like a guide, walks readers through an exercise or practice, but it does so with simple instructions and often uses images as instructions. You can use videos as well – more on that later. How-tos are informal but descriptive. They also need to be specific and written to help someone with no expertise on a subject – keep that in mind when debating on your target audience.

“How to Clean Your Desk”

Infographics

Not to pick favorites, but we love infographics. A fresh, exciting and easy way to get engagement for your clients and readers alike. With all the amazing digital tools and software these days, an infographic can be made simply and with little effort – not to steal jobs from graphic designers, but content collaboration among departments is gaining popularity.

Keep in mind, the perfect infographic takes advantage of visuals and copy; you want to be informative, and entertaining. We also like to promote patterns or a consistent flow in order to have the content smooth organically from beginning to end. The main idea needs to be expressed right off the bat, simply, then you can share examples, and relevant statistics.

The most important thing to remember about infographics is to use power words. You’re going to need the bold font, and words which have deep meaning to stand out among the other infographics.

Interview

Our CEO does interviews every season to show that we are current and dedicated to the local community. More than a quora posting, an interview gives listeners or readers insight to the person beyond the curtain.

Interviews are simple: do research, have a clear objective, and always lead to a question that will start a striking conversation. You want the person to be comfortable to open up to you, not feel attacked or on trial. Questions that make a person reflect on their past experiences are perfect, and always take audio or physical notes.

Lists

Lists, like this one, serve a strong purpose in giving readers a surface level understanding of a complicated concept. Research is hard enough with all the information floating around the web. It takes time no one has enough of, to discover any real information about things. It can be tedious and hard to sift through real reviews and real case studies to discover the types of software or clients you want – a list can help you with that.

Examples:

Ten Best IT Consulting Firms in Los Angeles

15 Ways to Change Your Lifestyle With SEO Marketing

Longform

Longform content is longer content – easy enough to remeber, right?. We consider longform content to exceed 2000 words, regardless of what others out there think. The longer a content piece is, the more SEO rankings you’ll have the opportunity to get. This tactic increases user engagement, internal linking, backlinking, reference opportunities, and room to develop your thoughts and ideas.

In all sense of the matter, longform content is long – it keeps readers on the page for more time. This gives you the best opportunity to generate leads with sign-ups and linking.

Some pointers for writing longform content; make sure you are appealing to more than one target audience to gain access to more sharing communities. You have a lot to say, make sure you build yourself a big enough room to talk about it all; don’t constrict yourself with titles that are close-minded.

Meme

A meme has its appropriate spot in the limelight, and it exists in more light-hearted posts. However, the days of censorship and boring marketing tactics are long gone. We encourage connecting with users and target audiences by what they already appreciate. A good meme goes a long way.

So how exactly can you use a meme for marketing? There are a few ways, grabbing attention from readers is probably your biggest goal. A meme is an instant a recognizable tool that can boost engagement. We would suggest taking advantage of memes as a way to generate viral popularity for your brand. But, you can’t force it; if your content writer and graphic designer cannot come up with a natural meme without forcing it or losing originality, then don’t make them. Every brand uses content differently, and memes are high risk.

Podcast

We’ve done a few podcasts over our first year in business, and each time they got easier and more interesting. Entertainment value aside, products are a great all access method of sharing ideas and content.

Here is a link to one of our first podcasts, a little rough around the edges, but always good fun and material!

We created the process through some simple steps; first, we narrowed down to one topic. Then we made sure to have the right equipment set up. You don’t need to get fancy when making a podcast, but, you’ll need good audio equipment to stand out. Afterwards, edit your work and get it up there! PRomote podcasts everywhere since anyone can have access to them.

Product Reviews

product review can seem simple, but it’s a great way to get involved in the community around your client, product, or brand. Writing a review for someone else will show your willingness to join in on a community instead of being highly competitive. It’s also a great way to get others to promote you for free!

Depending on if you are the product promoter or the product reviewer always make sure you research the product. We’ve all read reviews of a product that was clearly ignorant of the actual details or selling points, and that’s just embarrassing. It seems pretty obvious, but be sure that if you’re reviewing a product, that you’ve actually tried the product. And, in a similar sense, if you’re asking someone to review your product, be sure to send them actual samples.

Research

The all feared research project has haunted most people since childhood. Coming from the foundation of academia, research is well thought out, refined, built with a strong foundation, and can outlast most other content. It takes time, patience, and practice to create and is often hard to promote all its efforts.

A well-researched piece of content should take no less than two weeks, even if you could write all day, you want to be sure your work is well planned out.

Two shorter versions of content are listed below. These are great for those who want to focus on graphics over copy.

Templates & Checklist Downloads

When in doubt, make a checklist! They are fun, easy, and engaging! We like to use these pieces of content in between research and skyscrapers to help our audience get comfortable. They are also a great way to give your clients answers fast and reliably. When you build a checklist, you give the reader options, and ask them for feedback naturally, helping to build the content together. It’s also a great way to make a pdf download for anyone looking for templates and checklists in your brand field.

Video

Recently, video content has become a necessity for platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Videos help to increase engagement and allows for viewers to watch multiple clips in short periods of time, without feeling as though they have over-consumed content.

The truth is, all these methods could be used interchangeably because they all have great results. What matters most is consistency, patience, and practice. Don’t stop working on a blog just because your traffic has stayed the same – it takes time!

If content really does scare you, seem daunting, or seems boring, just contact someone who can help. Brenton Way is active on TwitterFacebook, and out team members are always ready to answer questions on LinkedIn, and Instagram.

How to Kickstart Your SEO and Lead Generation in 2018

In this post, we will discuss emerging trends in SEO and Lead Generation that can be used to improve your rankings and generate new leads for your business. The second half of the post will examine how good SEO can power your lead generation strategy and deliver highly targeted organic traffic to your business.  

Search Engine Optimization is in a state of perpetual change, and staying on top of it can be challenging for even the best of marketers.  Keeping informed of the latest trends will ensure that your website remains at the top of Google’s rankings for the long term.  There are a few critical areas to focus your SEO efforts on in 2018 – the quality of your content and user engagement being top amongst them.  

Search Engine Optimization

 

SEO encompasses a large number of tactics and methods that can be used to improve the ranking of your website and content in Google’s search results.  SEO methods and terminology have been around for years, yet they are constantly evolving.  Here are the areas to focus on in 2018.

 

Adopt a mobile first strategy

 

In 2018 optimizing your website for mobile visitors should be a top priority.  Mobile ready content is more important than ever before as more than 50% of internet traffic originates from mobile browsers.  If mobile visitors have a bad experience using your website they are unlikely to return, which makes it crucial that your content is optimized for mobile readers.  While you shouldn’t neglect the desktop version of your site, your mobile site is considered a key ranking factor by Google.  In fact, more searches are made from mobile devices than desktops during certain hours of the day, which has lead Google to prioritize the mobile browsing experience.  The takeaway from this is that if your mobile site omits important information or is poorly optimized, it will certainly harm your rankings.  

 

Enhancing your site with Accelerated Mobile Pages

 

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are a Google project launched in 2015 to improve the user experience of the mobile web.  Since its initial launch, the AMP Project has been widely adopted across millions of domains and reduced load times to less than half a second. Google doesn’t directly use AMP pages as a ranking factor, but AMP pages significantly improve the user experience and load time which increases user engagement.  Many websites use AMP pages as a landing page and then require the user to click through to the main website to continue reading the content. Splitting content like this results in a poor user experience and should be avoided. As of February 2018, Google will require AMP pages to have “close parity” to the content on the original website, putting an end to this practice.  AMP technology has a place in many SEO strategies as it sets your site apart as an industry leader, and enhances the visitor experience with reduced loading times.  

 

Optimize your site for voice search

 

Almost every smartphone sold these days allows the user to make searches using only their voice.  This trend is expected to continue, and by 2020 it’s expected that over half of all searches will be voice searches.  And it’s not only smartphones that are making voice searches; devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Assistant and Siri are becoming a part of everyday life.

 

To take advantage of voice searches, you need to modify your keyword strategy to account for the style of language people use when searching.  Consider the types of questions that people will ask and provide answers in an easily available format.  Adding a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section to your website can increase voice rankings dramatically if the FAQ’s match the typical phrasing that your visitors use.  Consider engaging with your customer support team to see what types of questions your customers are frequently asking and then develop content that will rank highly based off these results.

 

Recognize the importance of Featured Snippets

 

The featured snippets section is one of the most coveted positions on a search ranking page.  This is the answer box that appears at the top of the search results and provides an instant answer to many types of query.  Featured snippets provide a quick summary to a search query, and then allows the user to click through to the page for further information.  Only the top result for a search query will make it into this prized position and the top spot is often occupied by a Wikipedia article. However, you can often occupy this spot for your own website by answering queries in simple and easy to understand language.  This usually takes the form of a paragraph of content that summarizes a broad topic, but bullet points and data tables can also rank highly here.  Research the current results for a given query and see how your site could improve upon or summarize this answer into a brief soundbite.  Because featured snippets are usually read out by Siri or Google Assistant, they also play an important role in optimizing your site for voice search.  

 

Create exceptional content

 

The era of search engine spam and low-quality content is quickly fading.  If you want to rank highly in 2018 then it is truly a game of quality over quantity.  There is an absolute plethora of content written for every conceivable niche, meaning that users demand to be directed to the most authoritative content available.  This means knowing your topic inside and out and ensuring that you are producing content better than anything else available on the web.  The most recent Google algorithm updates evaluate the quality of content to ensure users are getting good answers to their queries.  This makes it imperative to understand who your target audience is and what type of questions they need answered.  

 

Focus on the User Experience

 

For Google to remain the dominant search engine, they must return high quality, user friendly results to their visitors.  This means your website must continue the great user experience that starts on Google to attract visitors.  In practical terms, it’s important that users spend as much time as possible on your website, and visit multiple pages before returning to Google to make another query.  Ensuring that your site has fast loading times and a low bounce rate helps your users navigate better, but also checks the boxes that Google uses in its ranking algorithms.  In terms of user engagement, you should place your most relevant content near the top of a post.  Users don’t want to scroll endlessly down a page to find the content they are looking for; often they will just return to Google if they don’t instantly see the content they searched for.  

 

Optimize for Machine Learning

 

Artificial Intelligence once belonged to the realm of science fiction, but Google’s new RankBrain AI is being used to help deliver search results.  RankBrain analyzes the intent behind a user’s search query to learn and adapt to new keywords over time and to constantly improve search results.  How does this apply to your own SEO efforts? It’s all about making your keywords specific to individual landing pages, and anticipating the keywords your users may search with in the future.

 

Constantly evaluate your keywords

 

Choosing the right keywords has always been at the core of good SEO strategy, but in 2018 its more important than ever to avoid “keyword stuffing”.  We mentioned that visitors are looking for exceptional-quality content, and forcing specific keywords into a piece of content usually breaks the flow and feels unnatural to the reader.  Google’s algorithm has moved well beyond exact keyword matching and will rank pages that have variations on keywords highly.  Content should be written for the user first and foremost, and keyword phrases only used where appropriate.  

 

Users are searching with longer, and more natural language queries which your keyword strategy should take into account.  It’s also important to develop content around an entire topic and then link it together to provide broad information about a topic.

 

Focus on quality in your link building

 

Links will always be an important piece of Google’s ranking algorithm, but the quality of links is more important than ever before. Linking from your website to external content endorses that content in the eyes of Google and reflects upon your brand image.   Put a lot of consideration into the sites you link to and evaluate your incoming links as well.  If low quality spam sites are linking to yours, you may incur a Google ranking penalty, so its important to be aware of your incoming links and manage them accordingly.  If you do have low quality incoming links, use the google “disavow” tool to prevent them from counting against your sites ranking.  

 

Lead Generation

SEO is only one piece of a broader lead generation strategy. To make sales, you need to have a constant stream of high-quality leads coming into your business. If you don’t have a source of incoming leads, it doesn’t matter how good your salespeople are at closing or how amazing your product is. In this section we’ll look at how generate leads in the B2B space and get your pitch in front of as many decision makers as possible.  

 

Talk to your prospects regularly

 

Content marketing such as your website, blog posts and videos are an important aspect of lead generation, but there is a glaring flaw with these mediums. The communication only goes one way.  It’s important that your prospects can chat with you so that you have opportunities to sell to them, and to hear their feedback on your product offerings.  Try to move the conversation off email and onto interactive mediums such as webinars or conference calls where it makes sense to do so.

 

Generate new leads through social media

 

The most challenging part of finding new leads through social media is reaching the right people.  Platforms such as Twitter operate on an enormous scale, which often makes it difficult to narrow down your audience using hashtags and keywords.  Tools such as CrowdFire can make it easier to get a bird’s eye view of your audience and to find influencers that would be a good fit for your brand.  Once you find potential leads via social media, it’s often a long process to engage with them and build up the rapport necessary before moving into the sales process.

 

One awesome tool that is free you can use righ now is called Twazzup. It allows you to start finding people who are talking about relevant posts based on specific topics or keywords that you choose. Target unhappy customers from your competitors and have them join you or offer free access to customers who you think would be interested in what you offer.

 

Don’t buy lead databases

 

The importance of quality in B2B lead generation cannot be overstated, so be careful to avoid this one.  Buying lead databases usually doesn’t work and can even harm your reputation with customers. This is because any company with a good quality lead database is not going to sell it, as it would reduce the value of their own marketing efforts.  Even worse, you could be fined for sending unsolicited bulk email if prospects decide to take legal action against your business.  Instead of buying a lead database, focus on growing your list of leads organically through your content marketing efforts.  

We are actually able to take the unstructured data around the web and help define it. We use this to help find decision-makers for our clients, and even understand their user behavior based on specific data sets. This is all thanks to the boundless public information

 

Add Marketing Automation to your Sales Funnel

 

When you collect a prospects email address you should place them into an autoresponder series that slowly drip feeds them content as they move through the sales process.  Each message sent to your leads should be as relevant and targeted as possible.  It’s a mistake to use the same content on your new prospects that you would for your usual customers. Once a lead has moved through your marketing automation funnel they should be comfortable with your brand, allowing your sales team to move in for the close.

 

Answer Questions on Quora

 

Question and answer services like Quora can be a great way to generate new B2B leads.  People searching on Quora are already seeking to solve problems that your business could do for them. Answering user’s questions in an authoritative and knowledgeable manner on Quora establishes the authority and expertise of your brand and often directly generates new leads.

 

Use YouTube for Lead Generation

 

Video is increasingly becoming the preferred method of content for many online visitors.  Using YouTube to generate B2B leads can be difficult, but it provides a unique opportunity for your business to stand out.  To succeed on YouTube it’s important to regularly post content that will be shared organically across the web – try and have at least 10 pieces of video content when first starting a YouTube channel.  

 

Videos that introduce your service to an audience tend to be the best performers for lead generation.  Don’t forget to have a clear call to action in your video that places prospects into your content marketing funnel. One of the major advantages to using YouTube for lead generation is that it allows you to build your remarketing lists and then further engage with prospects.  

 

Generate Great Online Reviews

 

Most potential leads will search for reviews of your service before making a purchase decision.  They will seek out honest reviews of your brand when doing their research, and fake reviews easily stick out.  This makes having reviews of your product available an important aspect of lead generation.  

 

Don’t be tempted to buy fake reviews. This will quickly backfire and hurt your search rankings and brand credibility.  Instead, always ask your current customers to review your product after purchasing.

 

Use Paid Ads

 

Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) is one of the best ways to find new leads quickly.  LinkedIn ads are particularly effective in generating leads in the B2B marketing space.  LinkedIn offers several different advertising options: sponsored content, InMail, Lead Gen Forms and more. However, Lead Gen forms are easily one of the most cost-effective methods to generate new leads in 2018.

 

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms prepopulate a form with information from the users LinkedIn Profile. This makes it far easier to capture leads, as it reduces the number of abandoned forms and makes data entry unnecessary on mobile devices.  All the user must do is press a single button, and they will be opted into your marketing lists which provides you with their full contact information.

 

Install an Exit-Intent Pop-Up

 

Pop-ups on your website can annoy visitors if not used correctly, but a cleverly placed exit-intent pop-up can add leads into your sales funnel. In simple terms, exit-intent is a technology that tracks a user’s browser movements and displays offers or opt-in forms when they are about to leave the page.  By showing a message when the user is about to leave, their intent is often redirected, and they end up on your mailing list.

 

Cold Calling Still Works

 

Cold calling has been one of the most effective lead generations strategies for years.  Many have predicted that it would see a decline due to the rise of social media and online marketing, yet it remains an effective source of new business.  One of the main advantages of cold calling is that you can receive immediate feedback to your pitch, and adapt it as you go.  Well trained sales staff will know when it’s appropriate to deviate from the script and can tailor your pitch to a specific prospect.  

 

Talking on the phone also creates a human connection with your prospect that simply can’t be replicated by other mediums.  Finding common ground and shared experiences allows sales staff to build the credibility of your business.  Potential customers can then research your company on the web and become customers later, even if the initial pitch is unsuccessful.  

 

The main benefit of cold calling is that it breaks through the noise of advertising and social media and can immediately generate new leads.  Warm calling can also be used to follow up with prospects at different points in your sales funnel, such as when they complete an email or telephone opt in.  Studies have shown that the sooner you follow up with a prospect, the greater the chance that they will convert. It’s extremely important to follow up with leads ASAP when they submit any contact information on your website. Cold calling can be an amazing lead generation channel, especially when a well proven script is used.

 

Lead Generation Through Email Marketing

 

Email lead generation has always been at the heart of internet marketing and this will continue for the foreseeable future.  Despite the rise of social media and paid advertising, email marketing remains an effective strategy for lead generation because it allows direct access to your audience while minimizing costs.  

 

While email may appear simpler than other lead generation channels, its only getting harder to stand out in increasingly crowded inboxes. This makes it crucial to master good email composition strategies so that you engage effectively with your audience.  We recommend looking into Findthatlead if you want to find an email for a specific person at a company.

 

Choosing your subject lines

 

Subject lines are the first piece of your email that a potential prospect will interact with, and they can make or break your email campaign.  A subject line is like the headline of an article; a poor subject line means that your email will remain unopened.  Make sure to pick interesting and relevant subject lines that communicate value to the reader before they open your message.

 

Establish a purpose for each email

 

Before you create your lead generation emails, you should clearly define the purpose of each message.  An autoresponder series can contain dozens of emails to slowly nurture a lead, and each message should serve a singular goal.  For example, an email might be used to educate the reader on product offerings or to increase your social media followers.  

 

Provide value to your prospects

 

The body of your email message should be engaging and encourage the reader to take further action.  The easiest way to do this is by providing valuable content to the reader which leaves them wanting more.  Keep an email short and to the point and deliver value to the reader as soon as possible in the message.  Never bombard readers with information that takes too long to process as this will bore them and cause them to abandon the email.  

 

Conclusion

 

A successful SEO strategy in 2018 will deliver more value to the visitor than ever before.  The link between good SEO and lead generation is becoming stronger as more businesses are implementing inbound marketing strategies.  Although it’s important to keep an eye on the newest tactics and trends, never take it to extremes and compromise the value of your brand. A well optimized site in 2018 should continue to work effectively for years to come.  

Top Digital B2B Lead Generation Channels and Tactics

Here are new acquisition channels you need to use to find new B2B leads.

In a world dominated by technology and a constant flow of information, B2B lead generation has gone digital and this trend is here to stay. In the past direct marketing was considered the most effective way to generate new business leads, but now its use is very restricted account to only 15%. The rest of the spectrum is dominated by digital channels for generating B2B leads, with each one requiring a unique set of tactics to produce the best possible ROI. Which are the top ones? Here is a comprehensive list plus advice and ideas on how to make the most out of them.

Email Marketing – How to Use It

This is the clear winner among the B2B lead generation channels. The most recent surveys and research studies show that it is used by 88.6% of businesses, while for 73% it is the most effective of all channels. For 61% of companies, it provides the highest return on investment.

What makes email marketing so popular? The key factor is the low cost per lead. It is reduced to the possible minimum with the software tools designed to give you a high level of automation. Scalability is also a major advantage. You can increase the volume of emails which you send at a high rate in a short time with minimal impact on costs, if any. Another factor which is important for the success of email marketing is the ability to track performance.

What are the best email marketing tactics for generating B2B leads? This channel is used for outbound marketing that is for reaching to prospective customers directly. When you do this, you must have a specific offer in place. It could be a special deal or a valuable piece of content, depending on your precise goals.

Here are some valuable B2B marketing tricks to help you generate more leads via email:

  • Personalization is key – The more you know about the prospect, the better offer you can make. There are various tools for data generation that you can use, from Google AdWords to CRM software.
  • Provide a solution – Use the data you have gained to identify problems experienced by the prospective customer and offer a solution. Your email should make it clear to the recipient that you have a good understanding of their business and exactly what it needs to do better.
  • Determine carefully the sending frequency and times – The best way to do this is to study the behavior of your target audience. The majority of studies have shown that the optimal frequency for most email marketing campaigns is between one and two emails per week. The best sending times are regarded to be late morning and early evening.

Organic Search – SEO Tactics

Different studies show that the number of companies using organic search as a channel for B2B lead generation is between 70% and 78%. For 46%, it brings the highest ROI. While the channel may not seem to be as popular as email marketing, it is a staple one for all online marketing activities because the search engines are the primary source of traffic to any website, no matter whether it is targeting businesses or consumers. While in recent years paid search has gone up in popularity, companies and agencies must optimize their sites for Google and its counterparts to generate traffic and in broader terms generate credibility in the online world.

The two staples to effective search engine optimization are content optimization and link building. Identifying the right keywords for attractive prospective customers and using them in an effective way in the content and meta tags and descriptions is the primary step. When it comes to getting inbound links, the main tactics include collaborating with influencers in your industry and offering content on sites, which are popular with your prospects, including social media ones.  

While there is not much room for creativity and applying innovative B2B marketing ideas in the field of SEO, there are some key factors for success:

  • Quality over quantity – In recent years, the search engines, naturally led by Google, are focused extensively on delivering the most useful content to internet users. If the content on your web pages is original and brings high value to prospective customers, you will kill two birds with one stone – more traffic and a higher conversion rate.
  • Mobile is key – The number of mobile searches has surpassed those made on desktop computers, meaning you must have your business website optimized for mobile. Responsive design is the way to go.
  • Keeping up with the trends – This is essential as organic search is the most dynamic channel for B2B lead generation.

You will need productive website conversion tactics in addition to effective SEO. Start with the basics such as a simple, short and well-designed sign-up form. It is always best to offer something in exchange when asking for the visitor’s name and contact details.

Paid Search – The Right Approach

More than 50% of companies and agencies running B2B marketing campaigns use paid search or search engine marketing (SEM), as it is formally known, to generate leads, with one survey showing that is 54%, while another – 59.6%. The idea behind SEM is simple. When a person uses your targeted keywords to search the web, your ad appears on the first search engine results page (SERP). It looks exactly like the organic search results with a small sign noting that it is an advertisement.

How does SEM compare to SEO? It is very cost-effective because you will pay only when someone clicks on the ad. It’s major advantage over SEO, however, is that it produces results much more quickly. The competition for appearing on the first SERP and near its top for practically any targeted keyword is fierce today and it is a fact that search engine optimization is an ongoing process. That is why SEM is typically used by new companies looking to have a head start with B2B lead generation, by those entering a new niche and by the ones running a marketing campaign for a new product. Additionally, paid search can be highly targeted giving you the opportunity to generate top-quality leads.

Some of the key B2B marketing tricks and trips in the field of paid search include:

  • Focus on the offer – While the ads appear on the search engine results pages, they still have to have a unique value proposition and attractive text instead of being purely informative.
  • Use tests – These will tell you exactly what works best for your target audience when it comes to paid ads. The presentation is often as important as the nature of the offer itself.
  • Measure your performance – Tools like Google AdWords give you all the data which you need to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of your SEM campaigns and to make improvements where necessary.

Social Media – Top Channels and Techniques

This is one of the latest channels for B2B lead generation, but it is the third most popular in surveys, with the number of companies and agencies using it reaching 82%. It brings the highest ROI for 41% of companies.

While the social media form one major channel, it is worth looking at the ones responsible for generating the highest number of B2B leads. The list includes:

  • LinkedIn – 62%
  • Facebook – 37%
  • Twitter – 34%

While each one of these social networks has its specific characteristics, the tactics for using them are focused on the same thing – creating a community around your company and brand. On the social networks, communication with prospective customers is on a more personal level and the primary factor for success is to be proactive.

While ads are useful for sparking interest in your company and offers, activities such as providing valuable content and communicating directly either as part of a group or on one-on-one basis are far more important. The social networks are the best online platforms to build relationships with prospective and existing customers. You should not underestimate their value for generating customer data either. They can give you valuable insights into the businesses that you are targeting and the decision makers respectively.

Check out some valuable B2B marketing ideas that you can use when developing your social media strategy:

  • Create an inspiring profile and keep it up-to-date – Think of it as the face of your brand on the social networks. It has to be informative and friendly at the same time. Your company should appear approachable above all.
  • Connect with the right people – Do your research and identify the circles and groups where your potential customers are likely to be. Do the same with the influencers that they are following. This is an effective way to connect.
  • Be proactive – The social networks are excellent platforms for promoting deals and content that you have and for linking building too. However, as highlighted earlier, it goes beyond posting and tweeting. The more you engage with your customers, through answering their questions and sharing their posts, for example, the higher the returns will be.

Display Advertising – New Opportunities

The latest studies reveal that around 47.5% of companies use this channel to generate B2B leads. It is considered to be the fourth most effective digital channel with 37% of managers saying that it works for them. With the growing use of cookies, display ads offer more and more exciting opportunities to marketers.

There are two main techniques used in display advertising campaigns for B2B lead generation. The first one is to display ads on websites which are popular with your target audience. The second one is retargeting. It involves displaying your ad on various sites which the user visits after he or she has been to yours. This technique is highly effective for attracting prospective customers who have shown interest in your company and products, but haven’t taken any action on your website.

Use the following B2B marketing tricks and tips to generate more leads in a more efficient way with display ads:

  • Precision targeting – Use tools which enable you to target prospects using behavioral data and possibly demographics, if applicable.
  • Use hooking techniques – The most common ones involve offering special deals and providing content for free. When you retarget a prospect, base the ad on what he or she has viewed on your website.
  • Creating brand awareness – You can create more informative ads when you launch your brand or a new product.

Content Marketing – The Major Conversion Currency

Some 82% of companies use content marketing for lead generation. This is a tactic which has proven to be highly effective in B2B marketing because, after all, information is as valuable as gold in the digital age. When you provide high-quality content to your prospective customers, the chance of conversion increases immensely. The same technique can be successfully used for building brand loyalty also. All of the channels discussed above can be used more effectively when you provide content which is useful to your prospects.

What types of content work best for B2B lead generation? A recent survey has revealed the list:

  1. Whitepapers
  2. Webinars
  3. Case studies
  4. Blog posts
  5. Videos
  6. Infographics

The first three types are unique for B2B marketing and this is one of the reasons why they work so well. Decision makers are always happy to learn new things and possibly new skills.

Check out some B2B marketing ideas to help you get high-quality leads with the content which you produce:

  • Whitepapers, webinars and case studies can be offered exclusively to prospects who show interest in your company.
  • Keep a blog as part of your website and supply fresh content several times a week. Make sure that the posts are optimized for the search engines for best results.
  • Use videos and infographics as teaser content on your blog and on the social networks.

Putting It All Together

Now that you have a clear idea of the best digital B2B lead generation channels and tactics, it’s time to decide which ones to use and how. To make this important decision, consider the specifics of your brand and study your target audience in detail. Build a complete lead generation strategy with clear goals and milestones.

4 Secrets Behind 10x Content

10X Content

A term that has recently been in the limelight, and brought to focus by Rand Fishkin’s video episode, “Why Good Unique Content Needs To Die”, 10x means more. As writers, we often hear, Write me something original and good. Writers don’t often go into a blog thinking, I can’t wait to plagiarize the heck out of this blog! Unfortunately for writers, bloggers, and our agencies, content needs to do more than being written. Content needs to drive users, and these days – in the simplest terms possible – it has to be 10 times better.

What Changed?

A lot has changed in the last decade, and marketing evolved with technology.  

  • User Experience


User Experience in EPM” – http://blog.hostanalytics.com/user-experience-in-epm-the-host-analytics-epm-platform

When did we start caring about the user, probably the same time we realized that losing them would crush our agencies and our businesses. Making your small business’ blog and website more user-friendly includes caring about site speed, images, relevancy, and content.’

 

  • Link Building Drowned Within Link Earning

Google’s algorithm has changed the way links become considered desirable. Adding links to blogs used to be easy, but now it’s all spammed up.There are natural ways to earn links; getting references and influencers to share the love. If you fall prey to easy cheat linking, Google will notice, and you’ll just as easily be pushed out of the ranking.

  • Content Marketing Skyrocketed

The platforms for marketing have increased dramatically in the last several years, and it’s going to be hard to stand out amongst it all. Everything used be easy when we just to worry about Facebook, but today a small business needs to focus on maintaining five channels for social media at all times.

  1. Facebook
  2. Linkedin
  3. Twitter
  4. Instagram
  5. Pinterest
  • Optimization  

Lets face it, no one wants to open a browser and wait. Many of us are still haunted by the sound of our DSL loading, and those 2 minutes of pure limbo while we inched closer to the screen, just to see the site browser. But nostalgia isn’t enough to warrant waiting for a site to load. Users want speed; they want graphics, colors, links, ebooks, and videos. We want to be able to share articles instantly and interact with the network. This desire has enriched the quality of content but also upped the benchmark.

If that all seems a little daunting, Rand Fishkin’s whiteboard outline can easily dissipate your anxiety.

How To Create 10x Despite The Losing Numbers

Rand Fishkin suggests practicing the search process ourselves; search queries can be dull, but they will instantly show you the current influence and range of the topic.

But what happens next? How do you filter these millions of search results into useable content? It is important to take into account the top ten ranking results, but also note which ones are advertisements, businesses, and articles. After you can create a finite understanding of the results you are seeing, then ask yourself; what can my business contribute?

Is your content going to just add to the massive amount of search results already spamming the internet, or are you willing to make your content 10x’s better? It’s a matter of devoting a few more hours and a few more searches; maybe even building on and developing relationships with influencers. These little steps are hard to kickstart, but once you’ve created some golden social media platforms and gotten your voice to stand out, you will see results.

Quality work is always going to be sought after, but it can easily be hidden by a bad web page, and broken links.

Adam Monago goes above and beyond by creating a list of 6 Tips For Creating 10x Content, which I found great and useful. It’s a lot of common sense, but with a little bit of charisma.

He charts these tips out as:

Don’t Be Discouraged

When I first started writing content, I was lost in a sea of websites that promised to teach me SEO and get me rankings. I had an instinct that I was as a losing battle every time I regurgitated another article and overused my keywords. It can be a daunting task to turn something redundant new. But this is our job, and I’m not so certain when writers stopped having fun with their work. SEO is scary, it’s hard, and it’s time consuming. However, once you get a feel for it, tasks that took you weeks, will start to take less than a day.

For more information check our our blog at Brenton Way and read on!

20 Must-Have Tools for Lead Generation & Client Activations

New Marketing Tools you can start using now to start generating new leads

Practically all companies and agencies who use digital marketing channels and tactics for B2B lead generation rely on modern tools in their work. They fall roughly into two categories – ones that automate tasks and ones that provide data and insights. There are tools which are designed to give you both. Which are the most effective ones to use for new marketing lead generation?

Here are some of 20 which will prove to be invaluable in your work. With them, you can use all major digital marketing channels, from email marketing to organic search and the social media, in the best possible way. There are ones designed to help you with conversion too.

1. ActiveCampaign

This is a tool which combines CRM and email marketing. The most valuable feature of the software is the tracking of the activity of leads on your website. You can set it up so that a specific activity triggers the sending of a personalized email targeting the specific individual. Like traditional CRM software, ActiveCampaign enables you to store and manage lead and customer data. It has performance tracking features too. It is a highly valuable tool for personalizing and automating your B2B lead generation activities.

2. MailChimp

This is perhaps the most popular tool for email marketing, which is the primary channel for B2B lead generation. The software features a campaign builder with intuitive interface which is very easy to use even for those with basic technical skills. You can automate your campaigns almost completely with MailChimp. Customizing, testing and tracking emails is easy. Email delivery based on time zone is one of the features enabling you to achieve even more effective targeting. You will get reliable analytics to measure the performance of your campaigns. You can use the data generated from email marketing for social network campaigns.

3. Google Keyword Planner

This is one of the most valuable tools for search engine optimization. It enables you to pick keywords for creating the content of your website. With the tool, you can identify the most used keywords and the level of competition for them. You can track the changes in the number of searched for each one over a specific period for time for more detailed evaluation. Local business, in particular, can take advantage of the keyword data by country, region and city. Use Google Keyword Planner for more effective SEO which will help you to increase website leads.

4. Google Trends

This tool has a variety of uses. It’s helpful for identifying seasonal search trends, which are important for many companies targeting business customers. You can use it for tracking what your prospective customers search for the most these days. Then you can use the popular keywords for SEO and content marketing. This is a great way to increase website leads without spending any extra money on your digital marketing activities.  

5. Ahrefs

This tool emerges as one of the comprehensive for those looking to improve the search engine rankings of their website to generate more leads. It gives you competitor analysis to help you get an idea of what your competitors are doing so that you can do better. You can use up-to-date backlink data to evaluate and improve your link building tactics. It is possible to receive notifications when you or any of your competitors gets a new backlink or lose one. The content research feature shows you the pieces of content on the web for the keywords that you put in. This is extremely useful for content marketing as well as for SEO purposes.

6. Hootsuite

Many marketers focused on increasing leads consider this tool to be the most effective for managing their social media marketing activities on a daily basis. It enables you to view and post updates on all social networks that you are using. The real-time analytics enable you to evaluate your posts and your campaigns as a whole. You can use the data to calculate the return on investment and improve your tactics. It is possible to take advantage of profile protection and access controls for keeping your activities secure.

7. BuzzSumo

As the third most widely used channel for B2B lead generation, social media marketing is mandatory for your strategy. The problem is that this is the most dynamic of all channels with the interests of your target audience shifting so quickly that it’s hard to keep track. This is where BuzzSumo comes in. It shows you the most popular content on the social networks for any topic. This enables you to produce posts which will attract a large number of prospects fast. What’s more, the tool shows you who has shared the most popular content. You can use this information to target prospective customers directly or to identify new influencers within your industry and cooperate with them to enhance your digital marketing efforts.

8. Growbots

This is not simply a tool, but a way to generate new lead opportunities immediately through cold emails. The AI systems helps you define the best times to send your emails and automates the tedious aspects of your email efforts. The tool allows you to build your contact list in minutes and find the right prospects without having to do manual searching. Recent study showed that by spending the time to create thoughtful cold introductions, you will have a 32% increase in response rates.

9. LinkedIn Sales Navigator

This is a tool designed especially for B2B lead generation. With it, you can use the social network’s advanced search function to identify leads that match your customer profile best. You will also receive direct recommendations on the basis of your preferences. To use LinkedIn Sales Navigator more effectively, you can import data from your CRM and vice versa. You can get sales insights directly and even unlock the full profiles of leads. The tool enables you to contact prospective customers directly using the social network’s own channels and to personalize your outreach.

10. Socedo

It is considered to be one of the best sources of B2B intent data from Twitter, which is the third most popular social network for generating business-to-business leads. One of its major advantages is that you can pinpoint prospective customers based on their behavior in real time. You can simply use a keyword to find decision makers who could be potentially interested in your product. The tool is useful for both approaching cold leads and reviving your communication with ones that you have already contacted.

11. Leadformly

This is a highly valuable tool designed to help you increase website leads. With it, you can create sign-up and other forms that will bring conversion up. You would not want your efforts for attracting visitors to your site to be wasted because of generic or way too complex forms. You can use built-in analytics and insights into your target audience to customize the forms more effectively. The tool uses conditional logic for better segmentation. There are also features like the progress bar which assist your prospective customers with filling out the form easily and quickly.

12. ClickMeeting

This is an online platform for hosting webinars, which are regarded as the second most effective type of content for B2B lead generation. It is very simple to use and works with most tools for lead management. The first step of the organization process is to customize your webinar room and send out invitations to your prospective customers. To conduct the webinar, you can use a variety of features including presentations and whiteboards. There is a wide selection of audio modes to pick from. You should take advantage of the feature for creating polls and surveys as it can give you more information about your leads and help you evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts.

13. Google Analytics

How good is your website at new marketing lead generation? This digital tool is designed to provide the answer. Google Analytics is essential for marketers who want to learn more about the visitors to their website and their behavior and who want to evaluate the effectiveness of their tactics. The tool is designed to provide a great amount of detail, so it is important to tweak the settings to match your needs precisely.

14. Unbounce

Landing pages are among the most useful tools in digital marketing. Unbounce enables you to create ones for effective conversion in little time and without effort. You don’t need any web design or development skills or knowledge to do a good job. You can use this tool to create a landing page before the official launch of your website to generate awareness. It is also helpful when you run paid search and display ad campaigns. In such cases, you need a landing page which will be as effective as the ad messages that you use.

15. Lead Forensics

The best way to measure how good your digital marketing tactics are is to check how many of your website’s visitors become your leads. But what if you could check who is on your website and get detailed information on the visitor to generate a lead of high quality? This is what Lead Forensics will do for you. It tracks the IP addresses of visitors to your site so that you know which companies are interested in your brand and services. What’s more the software will give you their contact details directly. This is extremely valuable for B2B lead generation as you will be able to reach to the potential customer directly using an outbound technique of your choice.

16. Venngage

A recent survey has revealed that infographics are among the best types of content for B2B marketing. Venngage enables you to create them easily and quickly in just three steps, no web designer skills required. Select a template, add charts and text and customize the infographic with colors and fonts that will make it more attractive to your target audience. You can use infographics for new marketing lead generation in more ways than one. They are great for promoting exclusive content such as whitepapers and case studies on social media and via email.

17. Bontact

This tool is designed to help you with turning visitors to your websites into leads. Its main feature is an online chat to use on your website, but you can also use it for phone calls, emails and text messages. This is how you and your staff will become more productive when conducting your B2B lead generation activities. You will always be quick to respond and to engage the prospective customer.

18. Qualroo

This is a clever tool designed to help you increase website leads. It enables you to survey specific types of visitors to your website in order to gain valuable information about them and to convert them into leads more easily and quickly. The exit surveys, in particular, can be extremely powerful for keeping visitors and converting them. Qualroo has advanced features such as skip logic which generates a question based on a previous answer.

19. Brand24

With this tool, you will keep track of all mentions of your brand on the web 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This allows you to react immediately and to take action for reaching a new lead. Brand24 is particularly helpful when decision makers inquire about your brand on social networks. With it, you can also identify influencers who you can establish collaboration with to target and engage your audience more effectively. The tool is very easy to use, regardless of how large and diverse your team is.

20. Broadlook’s Capture

This is a helpful automation tool which allows you to focus on generating and applying creative ideas instead of doing tedious technical work. With Capture, you move data from various channels directly to the B2B lead generation database which you keep. The list of sources which the tool works with is quite long. It includes search engine results, social networks, email archives and PDF files, to name some of the main ones. When you are well-organized, you will achieve better results while keeping your costs down.

Stop creating bad content! Heres how to do better.

You have defined your audience personas, created an editorial calendar and spent hours researching and writing the perfect content for your customers. Now you’re ready to crush it with your content marketing, right? Not quite.

Content marketing is getting increasingly competitive and noisy. In a 2015 survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 77% of marketers reported using content marketing for their strategy. 76% planned to increase their content production in 2016. With so much content fighting for the attention of your audience, marketers need more than just good writing to set themselves apart.

As you plan your content marketing strategy, consider using design and visual storytelling to differentiate your content from the competition.

Why design?

Rather than explain why the visual element of content marketing is so important, let’s try the show, don’t tell method with an infographic:

We are a visual culture. People respond better to visual content and even process information more efficiently when presented in a visual way. With so many performance advantages, it’s clear how design can elevate written content.

With the convincing out of the way, let’s talk about specific ways to introduce design and visual storytelling into your content marketing strategy.

The golden ratio of images

We all know that blog posts need images but are you using enough?

One of the best ways to increase the reach of your content is with the right amount of images. BuzzSumo did the math for us, and found that the right amount of images is one every 75-100 words:

“In a study of over one million articles, BuzzSumo looked at how many blog posts with images were shared. Then they looked at how many images, per how many words, got the best results. What they found was articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the amount of shares of articles with fewer images.”

Finding images can be tough, especially when you’re adding them every 75-100 words. For some tips on finding good images for your content, check out Pamela Wilson’s guest post on the topic.

Create relevant images

When adding images to your content, you may want to consider creating custom-designed images for your post rather than adding stock photography or memes. An often quoted statistic is that content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images, meaning relevance is just as important as quantity when measuring the effectiveness of blog imagery.

If you are considering developing new imagery for your content, it can be helpful to write the content before approaching a designer. A good designer should be able to use the content to quickly understand your design needs and provide relevant, original imagery for your blog. Crowdsourced design from a service like crowdSPRING is especially helpful for projects like this because you can see how your blog post inspires the designs of many different creatives and pick the style most suited to you and your audience.

Visual storytelling though infographics

Infographics are a popular form of content marketing because they take the substance of a good blog post or case study and compress the content into something significantly more shareable. Social media tool Mass Planner reports that infographics are liked and shared 3 times more than any other content on social media.

I have written about how successful an infographic can be for businesses, but don’t just take my word for it. Neil Patel, co- founder of KISSmetrics and Quick Sprout, used infographics on the KISSmetrics blog to generate over 2.5 million visitors in 2010 and continues to believe in the power of infographics.

“I can say with conviction that infographic publishing has been one of my most powerful marketing strategies.”– Neil Patel, QuickSprout Founder

Though you can create entirely original content, one of the most efficient ways to start using infographics for your content marketing strategy is to repurpose existing blog posts. Many companies have repurposed their best blog posts into infographics with great success. Buffer turned them “How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy From Scratch” post into an infographic during their “no new content” month (more on that here) and continues to use portions the infographic for their email courses.

With the content already outlined in the existing blog post, the bulk of the work is in the hands of your designer who can immediately get to work on communicating the information visually.