Did you notice that leads and deals are an anagram? Correct: like “sales demo” and “some deals” #discreteplug.
For most B2B companies, the purpose of direct advertising is to bring new leads to the sales team. With that said, marketing is an art (or science) with a wide range of techniques and tools that can generate a much wider impact on prospects - and deals.
From awareness to retention, acquisition, and conversion, your marketing strategy can be the lead-breaker or deal-maker in many cases. The following sales stat says it all: 89 percent of companies that aligned sales and marketing lead generation efforts reported measurable increases as a result of continuous lead nurturing.
Without further ado, here’s a full guide on how to leverage marketing to increase (pretty much all) your sales metrics:
Work on your email marketing strategy
Email marketing is a great way to communicate your company updates, discounts, new features, and basically, every announcement you want to share with your subscribers. This tool allows you to remind them of your existence, to bring them back to your website, and of course, to incentivize them to purchase/upgrade their package.
But one-and-done emails are only one of many inbox-related strategies. You can create action-based triggered emails - meaning in human language emails that are sent automatically when someone makes an action on your website/product. The most infamous of the triggered emails is the “welcome email” that is sent when a prospect leaves their contact details. Triggered emails allow you to engage with the prospect immediately, according to their behavioral pattern or to particular actions they took.
Another type of email outreach is time-related emails - not dependent on specific actions. For instance, you can decide that every two weeks, your subscribers will get a newsletter incentivizing them to come back to visit you. You can send them interesting content about their industry, “How to” guides about your product, users’ testimonials, best practices for using your product, the cloud is the limit.
SEO: Get the leads to find you
You probably already know that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. When it comes to your online visibility, it is essential to master some SEO techniques in order to conquer the heart of Google (and Bing if you’re picky).
After conducting thorough keyword research and understanding what works for your business, you should spread your keywords strategically over your website, generate relevant links from external sources to your pages, and make sure you show up for the right search terms on Mt. Google.
For instance, we love appearing on walnut recipe searches (it’s healthy and all), but those are false positives, and we’re more into business-related keywords such as Sales Enablement, Sales Demos etc.
In general, SEO is a complex and technical world. From Sitemaps to alt-text, Headers, meta-titles and descriptions, user experience, and other curse-words, there is a whole science to rank on search engines. But one aspect remains to create good content that answers searchers’ queries, which is pretty straightforward.
Acquisition: Go get new leads
Speaking of SEO, one of the best strategies to find out the most relevant keywords for your business is to create a Google Search campaign. You’ll discover valuable insights about your search terms and of course, generate leads - while paying only for the clicks you get, which is always nice.
If Google helps you collect leads based on their intent (meaning the keyword they used), social media advertising allows you to reach your audience based on their interests, industry, or even work-titles. According to LinkedIn, more than 80% of leads generated through social media come from.... well, LinkedIn. Which kind of makes sense since the LinkedIn advertising system gives you access to specific professional details about your audience - particularly useful in B2B. Not cheap. But accurate.
Make the most out of social media
Let’s continue talking about social media if you don’t mind. Besides your website, your social channels are the main communication asset with the wider community. Each social network allows you to share a different aspect of your company’s personality and requires a different approach.
A nice way to grab the essence of the main social networks is to look at their default posting suggestion:
- LinkedIn asks: “What do you want to talk about?”. The professional network obviously wants you to start a real conversation. It’s recommended to post there, relevant industry content that can generate interest and discussion.
- Facebook asks: “What’s on your mind?”. The more emotional approach of the social giant is meant to push the users to create a more genuine connection, and invites you, as a publisher, to share more creative content. It’s less about what you say than how you say it.
- Instagram asks: “Write a caption”. Come on’ Instush! A bit of effort. The social platform doesn’t really care about what you have to say but about what you have to show.
- Twitter asks: “What’s happening?” Our blue bird friend requires us to share newsworthy elements and to interact immediately. The conversations on Twitter are meaningful, and a lot of brands take advantage of the attention their answers get (like Wendy’s for instance).
More generally, social media is extremely useful to educate your community, to share news and updates for brand awareness, to position your company as an authority in its field, and - last but not least - to offer support to your users while collecting valuable feedback.
Blog: content is king
If in B2C marketing content is King of the North, in the B2B field, content is Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. Your blog doesn’t have to be specific about your product - we talk here about marketing for sales while we offer a demo tool. The goal is more to break-down your company’s DNA into useful and interesting categories for your potential users. They’ll remember you as the one who first introduced them to some topics that they were looking for.
More than that, your blog is one of the most important assets for your SEO. You can bring traffic from long-tail keywords and niche topics that are easier to tackle (less competitive) than the generic keywords of your field. For example, it will be easier to rank for “Sales CRM trends 2021” than “Sales” or “CRM”. You got the point.
Online and offline events
Nostalgic moment: Offline events seem like a thing of the past. Today, most events are held online but hopefully, we’ll sometime soon be able to shake some hands and not have to digitally mute ourselves. Either way, online events, webinars, and other conferences are some of the strongest means to grow your network, reinforce your relationship with important customers, position your company in your field, and generate new leads.
The best part: they’ll be leads with trust, with more potential to turn to deals.
Other marketing content to consider
The scope of content items that can turn into lead generating machines is wide. Below are some of the classical ones, known to convert fairly well:
- e-Book: Creating an e-Book about an important topic for your target audience is a great way of collecting their information while sharing valuable information. From case studies to research, and knowledge aggregation, you can bring real value and get real leads. Everyone wins.
- Survey: Curiosity may have killed the cat, but professionals are constant-learning creatures. By creating a downloadable survey, you’re providing original and insightful content to your audience - while you get the opportunity to learn relevant insights for your business.
- Video: It’s a bit obvious but it feels wrong not to mention it. Videos are one of the most popular marketing assets: Ads, testimonials, product videos, tutorials, expert interviews, cats freaking out from the sight of cucumbers, you name it. Each of these video types - except for the cats one - allows you to have a different impact (promote your product, educate, engage etc.). And it works: as stated by Animoto, 88 percent of marketers are satisfied with their videos’ ROI.
- One-pager: This is one of the most critical marketing assets for your sales team. When trying to sell a product to a prospect, sending a one-pager is one of the most effective ways to explain what’s your product - and most importantly, how it can benefit your client.