Archive for the ‘Tips & Training’ Category

Four Tools to Help Flip the B2B Lead Generation Model

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In years past, the goal of the digital marketer was to drive web traffic. Prevailing wisdom taught us that an increase in traffic would lead to an increase in the number of contact form submissions. It was a passive strategy at its core: Build a campaign and wait for the leads to come rolling in. As Tom Petty aptly reminds us, however, the waiting is the hardest part.

But imagine if your web traffic visitors were real people walking into a retail store. Would you ignore them until they walked up to the counter? Of course not. You would approach them and offer your assistance. Today’s blog will look at four tools that give you the ability to approach your site visitors in the same way.

 

IP Tracking:

As the name implies, IP tracking tools examine the IP addresses of inbound web traffic to determine the owner of the visiting network. In other words, they tell you what companies are visiting your site. Sounds cool, right? We thought so too, and after we piloted IP tracking with one of our IT clients, we immediately saw its potential for lead generation across all B2B categories.

In addition to telling us which companies are visiting a site, IP tracking ties in with Google Analytics to identify the individual pages that a company viewed and how they got to those pages (ie. organic vs. specific paid campaigns). Armed with this information, our clients’ sales teams can now send personalized outreach emails to company decision makers about relevant products or services.

Ready to get started? We recommend an IP tracking solution called Leadfeeder.  While there are a number of platforms on the market, we like Leadfeeder for its easy setup, useful integrations and straightforward reporting.

 

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation sounds complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. Essentially, it is a process of simplifying tasks like social posts, emails, etc. For B2B clients, marketing automation can leverage a customer’s CRM to streamline email outreach through the CRM or integrations with third-party tools like MailChimp.

Combined with IP tracking and a little bit of research, marketing automation can open up some amazing possibilities. For example, you might create a series of emails that go out to decision makers at companies visiting your website. These emails can be tailored to the product or service that a particular company was investigating. Within these emails you might include a link to register for an upcoming webinar, download a case study or white paper, or connect with the sales team to schedule a one-on-one demo or consultation.

Marketing automation can also help you understand why visitors aren’t filling out a contact form. If a lead downloaded a free tool but hasn’t taken further action, you can send a series of tips and reminders about the benefits of the tool. This can help remind a lead to take the next action or get in touch if they have questions about how to use the tool.

At the end of the day, the goal of marketing automation is to move leads and contacts down the sales funnel toward a buying decision without taxing sales reps to do more outreach on luke-warm leads.

 

Live Chat

Live chat has evolved to become an increasingly useful tool in the B2B marketer’s playbook. In addition to giving site visitors the opportunity to ask questions without ever leaving their browser, today’s live chat solutions can be combined with inbound call/text campaigns that give potential customers the ability to communicate with you how and when they are most comfortable. Going a step further, many tools allow you to proactively start a conversation with site visitors, allowing you to initiate calls or emails, schedule demos and capture leads even faster.

Worried about after-hours staffing? Many live chat services allow you to turn your chat into a lead gen tool when your in-house team has logged out. There are outsourced service providers who offer an answering service to take messages, or the chat can be used to capture initial questions and prompt the site visitor to leave a message for future reply. Your inbound team will then be able to come in each morning and respond to leads that self-generated overnight.

 

Remarketing

In today’s over-saturated, multi-screen media environment, it’s difficult to break through to your target audience. But what if we focus on the ones that are already visiting your website? Remarketing allows you to tag site visitors, or visitors to a particular landing page, and then follow them around the web with digital display advertising.

If someone visits your website, looks at a few pages and then leaves without filling out a contact form, remarketing can help stick ads in front of them while they’re browsing other sites. Like the couch that follows you around the web after you looked at the IKEA site, you can remind these potential leads about your services, increasing the likelihood of return site traffic and contact form submission.

Focusing a portion of your advertising budget on potential customers that have previously visited your site results in higher conversion rates to lead capture, some studies showing a doubling effect.

 

There Is No Magic Bullet

It’s about building smart, layered, marketing campaigns to increase the delivery of relevant content to your target audience when they are in a buying mindset. Try a few of these ideas out and we promise, your sales team will thank you.

 

Want to learn more? Contact us today for a consultation on our outsourced marketing solutions for B2B businesses.

Measure Ad Performance with the Right Metrics

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Metrics_eblastHow do you know if your advertising is working?

Determining the effectiveness of your advertising can be tricky. Advertising reports typically focus on reach and impressions, but do these numbers actually mean anything for your business? Does your advertising address your business goals?

Determine your business goals first

Having a large number of impressions can be great if your goal is to generate awareness. Let’s say, however, that you want to grow your sales. Measuring impressions is like counting how many people walk by your store, whether or not they come in and purchase anything.

In order to measure the effectiveness of your advertising, you have to first define your business goals. Your business goals can span from gaining new customers to upselling existing customers to educating about a cause. Once you have clear goals, then you can find the best tracking method.

Start tracking

No matter your ad spend or method of advertising, you can implement some form of tracking to measure results.

Digital advertising offers infinite methods of tracking, from simple Google Analytics tools to more complex, customizable options. These analytics allow you to see what happens beyond the click – including how long visitors stay on your site, how many pages they view and whether they submit a contact form. You can track these results back to the individual ad or ad platform.

If you are using more traditional advertising methods, consider using tactics such as redeemable coupons or unique tracking phone numbers.

At the very least, keep a post-it note handy and tally up every time someone mentions your ad. Most CRM (customer resource management) software allows you to track sales or customers back to your advertising. This might mean that you have to train your staff to ask every customer how they heard about your company, but this will help you find out which forms of advertising are working.

Compare your results to your expenses

The last piece of this puzzle is the tracking of your expenses. Don’t throw everything into one general advertising budget. Itemize your advertising spend for every activity using a CRM software or by working with your accounting office. You can’t fully evaluate your ad performance if you don’t take your spend into account.

Review your results!

All of this work amounts to nothing if you don’t review the results on a regular basis. Evaluating these numbers monthly, quarterly or annually will help you make more educated decisions on where to invest your advertising dollars. Plan to make changes and optimize your approach with the ads and platforms that are performing best.

Ready to leave impressions behind and start focusing on the metrics that show results?

At Robot Creative, we understand the importance of advertising for results. Our team will help you identify the metrics that make sense for your business. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation today.

Understanding Geomarketing: Geofences vs. Beacons

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geolocationYou’ve probably heard of using IP addresses to target your audience by physical location…and maybe you pushed out your message to someone who actively checked in to your space on Foursquare or Facebook. Mostly due to ever-changing mobile technology, “Geomarketing”, or targeting your audiences based on geographic location, is one of the most quickly evolving trends in marketing.

The idea of geomarketing isn’t new. For years, marketers have been able to purchase mailing lists and/or set up pay-per-click online campaigns based on zip codes or a radius around a specific geographic location. What’s different about recent innovations is the ability to message directly to consumers on their personal mobile devices based on their proximity to a physical location.

This type of mobile-based geomarketing technology takes several forms and can be used for countless applications, from pushing coupons or product information to helping a customer find his/her way around a retail location.

Two of the main forms of geomarketing that you will probably experience soon, if you haven’t already, are geofencing and beacons. Both of these technologies use a wireless signal to pinpoint a person’s proximity to a particular location, such as a retail store, but there are important distinctions between the technologies and how they can be used.

Geofencing
Geofencing is the practice of establishing an electronic perimeter around a specific geographic point using GPS technology, which requires satellites and cell phone towers to communicate with mobile devices. When a potential customer enters or leaves this perimeter, the geofence triggers an action, such as a timely text message or promotion alert sent directly to the customer’s mobile device.

For a geofence to work, customers must download an app, install it and opt in to receive notifications. There are common apps that can be set up to use geofences, or businesses can set up and promote proprietary apps. Because of their reliance on GPS, geofences work best outdoors and are less accurate than beacons for pinpointing a person’s exact location.

Beacons
Beacons are an evolved form of geofencing. The main difference between geofencing and beacons is that beacons use bluetooth technology rather than GPS to determine a person’s proximity to a specific location. This has several implications:

  • There are many different types of beacons available from popular brands, including Motorola, Google and Apple, and they all work a little differently. They usually require hardware (beacons) that must to be installed at the location, but in some cases, like Apple’s iBeacon, they can be built into existing devices. The beacon communicates through an app that customers must install on their devices and allow to receive notifications.
  • Beacons allow a very accurate estimation of where a customer is located – within inches. A retailer could use this technology to provide messages directly to a customer shopping in a particular aisle or standing in front of a particular display – think coupons, product reviews or click-to-buy. The retailer could also help lead a customer to a particular item within a store.
  • Because beacons are small, battery powered devices themselves, they are portable and can be used as a mobile geofence. They could be placed on a moving object, such as a bus or a cab.
  • Beacons allow a business to track a person’s activity as he or she moves in or around a space. Creepy as that sounds, it’s not so different from web analytics (marketers have been tracking customers’ movement through websites for years). Businesses can learn a lot from this type of data, including where, when and how to display messages and what messages resonate best with customers.

Interested in learning more about what geomarketing can do for your business?
Contact Robot Creative for more information.

Don’t Be A 5-Second Site: How To Write For The Web

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Upcoming Marketing Mastery Series Presentation for the American Marketing Association (AMA) San Antonio Chapter
Presented by Brittany Tradup
Marketing Director, Robot Creative

How much time do you really spend reading a single web page? Odds are, you haven’t read one in years. If you are like most users, you probably scan a web page in 30 seconds or less with a purpose, looking for specific content. If you don’t find it quickly, you move on. Reading on a screen or monitor is very different from reading a printed piece, so web writing needs to be approached differently.

  • Write real website content that will engage users and get them to take action
  • Review best practices for search-engine friendly content to get users to your site
  • Understand what customers want from your site and make it easy for them to find what they need

DATE: Thursday, February 6th, 2014
TIME: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
LOCATION:
TriPoint – Meeting Room 1
3233 N St Mary’s St
San Antonio, TX 78212
Register Now

COST*
AMA Members – $15 (with member-only promo code)
AMA Nonmembers/Guests – $20
AMA Student Members – $15 (with member-only promo code)

Walk-ins accepted on a first-come/first serve basis. Additional $5 at the door. VISA, MasterCard and American Express accepted.

* Attendees registering as members are subject to verification. All memberships must be current and in good standing, or will be subject to the non-member fee. Late Cancellation and No-Show Policy in effect.

RSVP by Monday, February 3rd, 5 p.m.

Top 5 Google AdWords Mistakes

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Anyone can be up and running with Google AdWords in just a few minutes. Let’s face it though – what makes it super cool, also makes it dangerous! After reviewing dozens of accounts, we’ve identified 5 common mistakes that businesses make when setting up their AdWords campaigns. These mistakes can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars a month and/or result in lost click opportunities.

Not Taking Advantage of Targeting Options
Google very cleverly provides a system of account organization that makes it possible for businesses to create targeted campaigns and allocate budgets. More than half of the accounts we’ve reviewed, however, have only one campaign with one ad group and one ad variation that shows up for all keywords and links to the company’s homepage. Businesses are using a blanket approach instead of considering how an ad will specifically address what a user is searching for. Users are more likely to click on an ad if it contains their search phrase, so you should create ad groups that group similar search phrases and link to specific pages on your site related to those search phrases – not to your homepage.

Arbitrary Budgeting
With no more strategy than, “This is what I think we can afford,” a business will arbitrarily set a daily budget, not taking into account what the campaign requires to be successful. With this approach, campaigns may shut off after just a couple of clicks a day and will quickly be deemed unsuccessful. A more strategic approach involves understanding the search popularity of keywords along with the expected cost per click for a geographic area and setting click goals based on your conversion rate. You should also look at AdWords as a part of your overall media budget and make adjustments based on the ROI of each initiative. You may find that AdWords gets a much better return than other media and deserves a much higher percentage of your budget.

Falling for the Default
Google wants you to get clicks – that’s how they make money. Most of the default settings in AdWords are designed to be broad reaching, such as Display Network and broad match keyword matching. If you aren’t careful, your budget can max out quickly on irrelevant clicks that just result in a high cost per conversion. Because most small businesses work with a limited budget, the concern should be quality over quantity of clicks. We usually recommend a conservative approach in the beginning with very targeted settings that you can open up as you evaluate the success of the campaign.

Lack of Tracking
While many businesses that try Google AdWords have Google Analytics installed on their websites, they often don’t have the two accounts linked. This is a simple step – as long as both are set up under the same Google account. The importance of this step shouldn’t be overlooked because it allows distinction between paid and unpaid Google search traffic. Analytics show detailed traffic information (including average time on site, bounce rates and average page views) on a campaign level, an ad variation level and a keyword level, so the performance of AdWords ads should never be in question! More importantly than site analytics, you should also have a method for tracking your sales and customer contact from AdWords ads – even if it’s just tick-marks on a notepad when you ask, “How did you hear about us?”. Set a baseline before you start, and review results on a regular basis, so you can measure the return on your AdWords investment.

Set It and Forget It
This is probably the single most critical mistake a business can make with any advertising initiative, but especially one that is so easy to review and adjust. The keywords you select, the ads you write, the settings you apply, the cost-per-click bids you set, the competition and countless other factors are all subject to regular evaluation and changes. Because every one of these factors is easily trackable, you should review your account on a regular basis, at least monthly in the beginning. Look at it as a fine-tuning process that has the potential to get big results.

Google AdWords is a powerful small business marketing tool that can be deceptively simple to set up right “out of the box”. If you really want to harness its power, approach your campaigns strategically and take the time to get to know the system. It will pay off with highly effective advertising that gets results.

What’s the Deal with Daily Deals?

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It’s the latest craze in social media-based marketing. Through “daily deal” sites like Groupon and Living Social, businesses low-ball their prices by offering limited time promotions of 50% off or more.

You’re probably wondering how your business could possibly make money on these deals – especially when the site usually takes a cut of up to 50% off the already low sale price. The truth is that you likely wouldn’t make money – at least not on the promotion itself. But you can still get a lot out of these promotions with the proper planning and follow up.

Consider the Goal
If your goal is a quick revenue boost, daily deals can provide it, but it will be at the expense of a profit. A better goal is to boost your customer list for future marketing. It’s the age-old concept of loss-leader pricing. A business offers a product or service at an insanely low price with a single purpose – to get customers. Revenue from sales of the deal itself may not even cover the cost of goods sold, but every person who purchases the deal becomes a new customer to market to in the future. Everyone knows that it’s less expensive to market to existing customers than to prospect for new ones.

Another valid goal is education. Thousands of people may be subscribing to your local Groupon or Living Social site and see daily deals each day. If you offer unique products or services that many people may not have heard about, daily deals can be a great way to get the word out to a large group of potential customers.

Consider the Promotion
When you are planning your promotion, of course you have to think about what is going to entice your target audience to purchase your product or service now. A potentially less obvious consideration is: what offer might lead to increased average ticket sales through commonly bundled items? If you sell tennis shoes, for example, you could increase the average sale by getting customers to purchase socks or other work-out accessories at full price. Think about what you should offer for a discount that will provide room for upselling at the point of transaction or for ongoing customer retention opportunities.

Have a Follow-Up Plan
The key to getting the most out of your promotion is to have a plan – to collect customer information when offers are redeemed and to reach out to your new customers later. Before you send out your promotion, put processes or strategies in place to ask for customer email and mailing addresses. Then, plan out your promotions for the rest of the year to directly market to your newly expanded list.

Think about When to Send
With the growing popularity of daily deals, businesses are lined up to participate, so know that it can take several weeks to get rolling. Other than that, you should consider when to send out your promotion so that it is most beneficial for your business. Want a revenue boost during a tough season or want to get rid of some of that extra inventory at the end of the year? Make sure you consider whether you have the staff and inventory to handle a big boost in demand!

Could daily deals help your business boom? Plan it right and follow through, and you just might see what the hype is all about.