In this webinar our founder, Mike Templeman, will show you how to build a full-funnel marketing campaign.
Hi everyone, welcome to the webinar, my name is McKay Allen, I’m the Director of Marketing and Communications at Convirza, thank you for taking the time out of your day to be with us and to join us for this webinar today. We have a fantastic webinar with Mike Templeman of Foxtail Marketing and we’re excited that Mike’s agreed to join us today. He’ll start his presentation here in a moment.
First just a couple of quick housecleaning items: people often wonder who is Convirza and why do we do these webinars so we’ll answer those questions briefly. We’re a call analytics company, and essentially we do three things related to phone calls. Number one is we do attribution, we marry phone calls to specific marketing channels and campaigns etc. so we can tell you what’s producing calls and what isn’t. Number two is we actually provide the analytics around phone calls, so we actually analyze the phone calls with voice recognition technology and we can give you data relating to things like lead score for every phone call, conversation rate for every phone call, whether or not the caller resulted in a sale for every phone call. The third thing we do is we provide automation, so we actually have workflow-based marketing automation built into our call analytics system so this is HubSpot or Marketo style marketing automation for phone calls. So calls can automate all sorts of actions from emails and text messages to big management changes for your AdWords system or even alerts and notifications that go to people in your organization. So all those things can be automated, that’s what we do.
Second question is webinars, we do a ton of webinars, why do we do all these webinars? Well we like to have experts and like-minds who know their stuff, know their feel, and who can provide us with fantastic content. It’s a great content marketing tool for us, number one, and number two is it allows you to learn really great best-practices from some of the brightest minds in the world of marketing. And so that’s why do it.
In terms of house-cleaning for today’s webinar we tend to ask questions, you’ll notice the little question bar in the bottom of your screen there in the GoTo Webinar panel there, just type questions into that screen, I’ll read those to Mike at the conclusion of his presentation and he’ll address those. The other thing I’d like to do real quick just so you can see where that question area is, just type in where you’re calling in from today in that question area and we’ll get an idea as to where you all are as well as let you know where this question area is. We’ve already got some people typing in, I’m based in Salt Lake City, Mike is based outside of Salt Lake City, we have some people calling in from PA, NY, CA, we’ve got Dallas, we’ve got VA on the line, we’ve got a lot of people on the line today, so thanks for being here everybody. Emeryville, CA is another one, that’s right across from San Francisco across the Bay Bridge there. So thanks for being here everyone, we appreciate it.
The other thing to note is the webinar’s going to be recorded, and it’s being recorded right now so we’ll send that recording to you via email probably tomorrow morning is when we’ll send that out. And we already have Mike’s slides available on SlideShare, we’ll send that out as well.
So with that, I want to introduce mister Mike Templeman, I met him at a conference in Vegas, turned out our offices are very very close to each other and we didn’t realize it. In addition to being the CEO of Foxtail Marketing, he’s also a contributor to FastCompany, to VentureBeat and to Entrepreneur. He has worked as a consultant before and he has really become an expert in the space of demand gen, that’s what his agency specializes in, they work with a lot of companies to create leads and close business, which is really what an agency should do.
So with that, Mike thanks for joining us today, we appreciate it, I’m going to give you control of the screen, sir, and let me know when you have that. Perfect, there’s Vanilla himself, is that you Mike, that’s fantastic.
We often get mistaken for each other but that’s the man himself.
Well he’s looking patriotic, too, which is appropriate this week.
I know right? Well I am a Canadian and today is Canada day so…
There you go! Fair enough. Well Mike thanks for joining us, we appreciate it, go ahead with your presentation and if there’s any issues I’ll interrupt you or we’ll wait ’til the end for questions.
Right, so as McKay was saying today’s going to be on demand generation, just real quick obviously the little background on me, along with contributing to Foxtail Marketing we’re one of the fastest growing agencies right now in the country, about 70% of our clients are in the SaaS industry, a lot of the other ones make up B2B tech services, we do have some B2C clients in there as well but the core string that runs through it all is the demand gen, this idea of a full funnel marketing campaign that moves people to a buying decision and how to optimize for that. And so with that let’s just go ahead and get into it.
So demand generation as we’re defining it is marketing that causes prospects to enter your funnel, progress toward the bottom of the funnel, I personally feel it must move the needle for leads, it has to be persistent, and it does not end when the sales team is involved. And we’ll go over that in more detail but that’s something I’m very passionate about is mixing sales and marketing because I think that’s the most effective thing for any company. So with most marketers they are always obsessing about the bottom of the funnel, and obviously this is where the ROI and the metrics come in where people can see close rate and conversion rate and lead numbers and stuff like that, so they’re beaten up quite a bit to produce metrics from the bottom of the funnel, but if you ignore the top and the middle you start realizing that it becomes a task to try and produce and real results there at the bottom, so we’re going to focus on all three and some strategies to do that and then some examples and some use-cases for it as we go through.
So real quick, let’s start with the top: at the top we like to use these channels [on screen: “blogging with social promotion, thought leadership, digital PR”] for top of funnel traffic and that is blogging with social promotion, thought leadership, digital PR, and SEO can be included in here, SEO is pretty much a full-funnel, it raises awareness, it also helps with the convincing, and then it helps close as well. So there’s different stages for that, but just understand that SEO will kind of be persistent through all of this.
Now with blogging this is the one that a lot of people kind of hate because everybody’s tried blogging and most people don’t get results out of blogging. McKay at Convirza actually has a cool case study that he’s done specifically with their company and I believe it was 150 blogs in 50 days, they did three blogs a day and it ended up producing some phenomenal results for them, and really what you do see with blogging is there are some inflection points based on the volume that you’re producing. Some tips that we give to our clients: one is that everyone should be blogging, Google likes to see multiple authorship in your blog, but also people like to see different voices and hear from different aspects of the company, and with that we institute a lot of blogging techniques with our clients but here internally we produce about ten blogs a week and everybody blogs, everyone from the front-end interns all the way to myself. I produce quite a few blogs for the company blogs. Now, the blogs should be engaging and fun, there’s something that I harp on and that is human marketing, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a business marketing to another business, there’s always one human on one end and another human on the other end and you should never forget that because people want to be engaged.
Now this is the part that a lot of people ignore when it comes to blogging. Blogging is not a field of dreams, set it and forget it scenario. You do have to promote them to get the most results out of them. Now you will get some SEO results but really to maximize what you can get we do social promotion. And it’s very cheap, it’s campaigns that run on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that are building awareness of the blog and promoting it out to your target audience. You do this by creating custom demographics or creating custom audiences in Twitter and Facebook they allow you to do that and you do that through email address that you’ve either accumulated or purchased or anything like that, and I’ll explain a little biut more how to do that in the end.
Now we will get into retargeting and remarketing further on down, but you have to ensure that remarketing and retargeting is set up on your site. Why? Because you’re getting top of funnel traffic here, yes they’re in your target audience if you’re doing this correctly, but if you just touch them once with a blog post they’re going to be gone. They’re going to leave your site and never remember who you are. So the trick is to inject a remarketing and retargeting cookie on their browser to get some kind of information if you can get a call to action for them to subscribe to the blog and get an email out of it you can do even cooler things when you actually have an email address from them, but remarketing and retargeting is essential.
This is ensuring that the C-Suite, the VP level, really anyone in the company can do this, this is employee advocacy, but it’s building up your team members as thought leaders. The two platforms that work really well are Twitter and LinkedIn, you have very engaged audiences there, it used to be Google+, still for some but lately it’s becoming more of a waste of time, and what you really want to do here is don’t just be a re-purposer or re-broadcaster of other people’s thoughts, it’s taking your own thoughts and putting them on there, and don’t just give the company line but rather what works really well with thought leadership is taking a very hard stance on news that comes up in the industry. Something comes up, give your feedback on it, give your thoughts on it, explain how you would have done things differently or criticized, honestly criticism will cause conversation, cause interaction, and that leads to more sharing, more exposure. Yes, you’re always going ot have someone that doesn’t agree with you but that’s what you want. The Seth Godin quote is “the danger is not in standing out, but in blending in” when you’re marketing, so you want to make sure you stand out.
Social Sharing Continued
So get the team involved in sharing as well, commenting and liking. Most of the algorithms on Twitter and LinkedIn have some things in there, some systems in place that if something is getting traction through shares and likes and comments it will get more weight and more authority in people’s newsfeeds so it gives it more reach. So what we do here in the company is someone puts up something of theirs, a thought leadership piece, or a post of theirs, and they put it up on Slack, everybody goes, shares, likes, comments on it. We’ve had people disagree with people in the office, and start conversations just like that. Again, you don’t have to agree with everybody. With LinkedIn there is the long form posting that you can do and it’s at the top, everybody has access to it. You can basically post a blog there. What I would suggest is if you are going to do that you want to post it on your blog first if you’re going to be using it on multiple locations. LinkedIn does get crawled by Google and you can get duplicate content hits if you don’t have the first publisher date on there so you want to make sure first publisher is on your site, wait a few hours, and then publish it on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has that Pulse feature which can move your post to some really cool results. We had one client in particular, they’d posted on there through some sharing and some traffic they were able to get about 40,000 views on the post, it was picked up by Pulse, it moved to the top of Pulse for that category, and it resulted in 40,000 views with a lot of shares, a lot of likes. Now what does that mean? Actually they were able to track six sales opportunities directly to that post. Six doesn’t sound like a lot, but their LTV is around $300,000 per customer, so really it had a huge ROI for them. Pairing it with a call to action at the bottom, don’t be afraid to put a piece of content that you have and say “Hey, go download this here for more.” You can excerpt one of your e-books, put it on LinkedIn and then ask people to download the full piece of content from your site, or you can put a link to your blog and say “visit our blog for more information on this and subscribe.”
This is a little bit of growth-hacking I guess you would call it but every company should be doing this. it’s not for big or small companies, it’s for everybody, and the way you do this is you create custom audiences in Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn for journalists and thought leaders. The custom audience feature in LinkedIn and Twitter, you can upload a certain audience to there, it can be as small as 20, with Twitter it has to be a minimum of 500, and you can push ads directly to those people. With LinkedIn you can go in there and create an audience of people who work solely at Forbes, or at MSN, or at TechCrunch, or any of these things. You can target the employees there, you can go down and even say something to the extent of “journalist” as a job title. You create that custom audience and it’ll get pretty small, and then you push your blog post to them, and disguise them as press releases that tell a story. So you take your press release and you rewrite it at a blog post. Convirza recently raised a round, and a blog post about how Convriza’s changing the call metrics markets and some of the successes they’ve had and these types of things. You write it up and you push it out, and these journalists and thought leaders read it and it spurs them to dig a little deeper, they’ll scratch, they’ll ask you if they can ask some questions about it. They might just write their own story repurposed from it. We’ve had people get exclusives on VentureBeat, TechCrunch, MSNBC from these tactics. The budget is actually very small to do this, it doesn’t require a lot, you can set a $500 budget a month just to doing this and you will touch most journalists with your stories. It’s a way to stay persistent, in front of them, without pestering them with the outreach emails that you have to do with PR and these types of things. It’s incredibly effective.
Webinars obviously, we’re on one right now, very very effective. And then create landing pages with forms, retargeting, and exit intent, and I’ll go into that a little bit more in a minute. So the e-books and white papers. First off, one thing you want to do is stop talking about yourself. We tell our customers and clients to give until it hurts. You’re teaching, you’re educating with these things, but most of all you want to build trust. Nobody wants to go pick up your brochure, so write something that fixes their problems, but be engaging. Also, be brief, 100 page e-books, we’ve seen them, we’ve seen 300 page e-books. They’re dead. People want to read something they can read on the subway or before they go to bed or something like that. So fifteen, twenty pages, thirty pages, honestly that’s getting pretty long. Make them visual, have graphs, have text boxes, these types of things. Again, just going back to being informative, but most of all be engaging. What I mean by “be engaging” is a lot of people think they have to write a dissertation on their industry and why their product is great and why their expertise is so high, but more than that people again, human to human marketing, want to be engage. And I’ll give you a case where we had two clients, one of them a Hadoop SQL database company and then the other one a data analytics group for sales.
Now both of them pretty boring in terms of their product, so instead of writing about their product or even oftentimes writing about hte industry, they went a different route. The Hadoop SQL database group, they wrote about the top 25 hacks, well we wrote it, but they produced the top 25 hacks for Hadoop and shortcuts and these types of things. What we did is we went out and found 25 experts in that field and we got them to give us their feedback or we took stuff from their blog and asked for permission on that, and why that one worked out well, well all the experts helped promote it because it helped build their brand, secondly it was just really quick, easy reading and it was really engaging so people loved it.
The other group, they put together guides on giving the perfect demo and how to close deals faster with 100 tactics for closing sales faster. Again, short, to the point, people love lists, people just like to be engaged. You can take multiple blog posts and combine those into an e-book, that’s a quick way to get one of those done. But be engaging.
So the audits, they’re good for standoff clients, people that you have trouble reaching, they’re an awesome ice breaker for your sales people, and the way we describe this is they should be giving themselves as you see here a picture of a psychiatrist, but they should be giving themselves a self audit, asking themselves the questions that are very telling to really qualify them for your team. And then at the end, say we will call you with your results. And it gets sent to a sales person and a sales person can call and they’re not calling to sell, they’re calling to give them their results and have a conversation. It’s a perfect ice breaker. If they don’t get a hold of them that way, email them the results. You’re giving real value to them, maybe add some suggestions in improving certain areas you noticed are weak from their answers.
Webinars, this is the one where the first point is the most important. They always start small but you’ve got to stick with it. Webinars I’ve seen so many groups give up because they didn’t get a great attendance to their webinar, the point is that webinars compound, people that come to one webinar may want to come to another one or they’ll remember you and they’ll keep coming. And at some point when you combine that with retargeting, remarketing, email campaigns, these other tactics, you reach these inflection points. We had one group who went from their first webinar of ten attendees to six months later they had over 300 they had come to one of theirs. And that’s because they started using all their other tactics. Another group we had actually broke their GoTo Webinar, they didn’t have enough subscribers because they were used to around 20-30. For some reason one of the messages really struck, they hit an inflection point and they had about 300 or 400 people try to sign up, they were only on a 100-person subscription and it was a great problem to have, but it looked really bad. They had to reschedule it, they fixed it, and it worked well for them. But you just keep going because you don’t know when that will happen.
A lot of people make this mistake, they just give stuff away for free. If you’re giving something, ask for something. Based on the value of what you’re giving, ask for something commensurate in return. So if you’re giving an e-book, something that took a lot of time, something that’s very helpful, ask for name, phone number, email, company name, you’re totally fine doing that. If you’re giving a quick snippet of information, maybe an infographic or a quick slide deck, something of that nature, gate it behind but only ask for an email in those situations. It’s less valuable. Always have remarketing, retargeting on their landing pages. You should have remarketing and retargeting because they’re obvious interested in what you’re writing about, they’re in your target audience, you want to continue talking to them. Again, I’ll touch on retargeting, remarketing later if anybody has any questions about that.
You should always be testing ad copy, always be testing landing page copy, always be testing everything. Buttons, calls to action, titles, images, everything should get tested.
OK, bottom of funnel strategies. Now here’s remarketing / retargeting, I’ll get more into that, marketing automation. Now I call these bottom of funnel, but really they’re full-funnel tactics, they move people from the top all the way to the bottom, but I’ll put them here just to discuss them. Then we’re going to go over some custom audiences and working with sales.
Retargeting / Remarketing
So retargeting / remarketing is actually one of the most effective means of marketing. It has huge ROI for almost everybody. The clicks and interactions that you get on those campaigns are very cheap. So if you look at CRM for instance, CRM software, a PPC click for a keyword targeted click on that for AdWords will run anywhere from 25 to 55 dollars and it’s like that for most software. Data analytics, all these types of software are very very expensive. A click on Google’s display network will run you anywhere from 30 cents to a buck fifty, two dollars if you’re really specific and so you can get them back to your site for a fraction of what it costs to get them there in the first place. Now, the reason you’re doing that is because they came to your site for a reason, they’re usually if you’re targeting correctly in your target audience, you want to keep your message in front of them, and there is this effect where subconsciously we don’t recognize things until we see if seven times, you know the rule that change is who you talk to, but there is that effect where all of a sudden you’ll start seeing this brand all over the place, if any of you have ever been to our website you see us on social media, on every website where Google has an ad unit there. So you install the tracking cookies everywhere, if you have a property that your site owns you should install your cookies there. The cookies that you should install, the ones that are like can’t miss, Twitter and Facebook and the AdWords cookie. Now I know there’s a lot more and a bunch for retargeting services, but honestly AdWords has about a 98% penetration and Facebook and Twitter are the two that provide social media retargeting. You can do retargeting on LinkedIn but it does require their pro features and they actually manage it for you and it’s insanely expensive. If you’ve paid for it you know, you have to spend I believe it’s a buck fifty per month per person that has that cookie on their site. Which, just do the math, that can get insanely pricey.
Now, the ads that people put here, a lot of people think, “well I’m remarketing so let me get them to buy. Buy, buy, buy. Ask, ask ask.” If you’re always asking, people are going to tune you out. So instead, keep giving, again give until it hurts. So do a display ad announcing your newest guide. Do a display ad about a webinar coming up. If it’s remarketing to your target audience you know it’s going to be money well spent. Have display ads for the audits, for free trials, for all of these things, and then mix in there “Hey let’s talk” or “fill out a form” or something of that nature, but make sure that it’s not always just an ask. The more you can mix in other ones the better the results you will get from retargeting and remarketing.
Everybody has email addresses, in fact we usually walk into most of our clients and they’ll tell us they have 20-30,000 names. They’ve either purchased them or they’ve built them over the years, and we say “great, what are you doing with them?” Well everybody is blasting them with emails and that’s all they’re doing. There’s no segmentation or anything. What a lot of people don’t realize is that with Twitter and Facebook becoming more and more popular I hear clients say to us all the time “Facebook doesn’t work for B2B.” It actually has the best ROI for our clients, and Twitter does as well because they link their business email to their social accounts so they can get notifications on their social accounts. The minute they do that you can have access to their social account. And that means you can have access to it on desktop and on mobile, which is the holy grail of retargeting is being able to target people on mobile because a lot of mobile browsers don’t accept cookies so it’s hard to track people. But Facebook and Twitter have almost over 80% utilization rates on their mobile apps so people are seeing it there. So what you do is you take all these 30,000 emails that you have and you upload them into a custom audience in Facebook and Twitter, and if you need to know how to do that just Google it, it takes about five minutes to do. You put it in there, and then you create campaigns targeting just these people. Again, you had their email, you purchased it somewhere, you know they’re in your target audience, so use it to show up in their social feeds. They may not make the purchase decision because of Twitter and Facebook, but you can reinforce the brand, you can get them to download content, you can get them to come to some of your events, or your webinars, these types of things. Facebook is actually the highest ROI for our firm personally in terms of retargeting, Twitter is second, LinkedIn is third. LinkedIn is critical in everybody’s and I actually look at LinkedIn as a top and middle funnel rather than a bottom funnel. Direct response ads on LinkedIn do not convert well, I’ll tell you that right now. You can expect maybe a 1-2% conversion rate. Clicks on LinkedIn cost $5-10 depending on how you’re targeting, so you’re looking at very expensive costs to get someone to fill out a form. However, it’s phenomenal at targeting your audience, you can tell me that you want to only go after VPs of Sales who work at this industry within companies that are this size who have gone to this school and have these as hobbies, or this as a skill set. You can get crazy specific, so you get them to your site, if they download a book and they give you all their information then perfect – that’s a win. If they don’t, don’t worry. You captured them for retargeting, so you use that $5 click or that $10 click to get them to the site, now you’ll use these 30 cent to $2 clicks to bring them back time and time again. And that’s how you make it a valuable resource. So LinkedIn is critical, and yes you can attribute, if you go full funnel, a lot of the closes to a first touch with LinkedIn but you have to give credit to Twitter and Facebook for nurturing because they’re incredibly effective at doing that.
Now you can run very specific campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, which is actually quite a bit of fun if you have at least 500 people on Twitter you can run it, on Facebook you only need 20 so what we’ve had clients do is upload their list of people they saw at a tradeshow and create an ad all about the tradeshow and they put up their logo and say “Hey it was great meeting you at DreamForce, or it was great meeting you at SMX” and all of a sudden people react at a very very high level to that because you’re getting kind of creepy good at your targeting. And they will give you props and they will convert and respond to those types of ads, so think about how granular you can get with custom audiences, and that’s where moving them down towards the purchase decision, if you can get so granular it is OK to ask for that sales conversation.
Marketing automation is critical, if you’re not doing it yet you’ve really got to be doing that, honestly. And you’ve got to be spending time on it, we come across so many of our clients, we use Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, ActOn, SilverPop, HubSpot, I could go on and on and on. Personal favorite is HubSpot, I think it’s one of the best UIs, I think it’s got some of the best tracking cookies for attribution. Marketo and Eloqua are obviously the ones of choice for the enterprise, and the other ones are all scraping for a piece of the market share. You need to use it for its full functionality which is ensuring that all the tracking abilities are there. You need to be using it for lead scoring, that you have a drip campaign for all occasions, there’s a drip for that. If they downloaded an e-book there’s a drip for that, a white paper a different drip, if they subscribe to your blog a different drip for that. All of these things are in there, you should personalize it, pick individuals at the company to send these emails from. It goes back to human to human marketing. People will react if you speak to them on a personal level. So instead of saying “Convirza would like to show you a demo, or Foxtail Marketing would like to show you a demo” say “Hey, this is Jim or this is Mike, or this is McKay or something like that and have that conversation. Do not use HTML, optimized email, those things just don’t work on mobile. They also get blocked by a lot of spam filters, and the best-converting emails are usually short text-only emails. Use it to move people from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel, the minute you get their email whether you get it at the top or the bottom you should be moving them down. And that is not always asking but giving, giving, giving, giving, giving with slight reminders of who you are and what you do. So make sure your emails, there’s that old salespeople should never send a circle back or “just pinging you” or “coming back to the conversation” email because they’re not giving any value and it’s just pestering the client. But rather what they should do is give value with every email, so you see a lot of really good sales people say “Hey here’s an article I found, wanted to see if you’d be interested in that, oh by the way where are we on this?” That’s how your emails should be moving people down the funnel. “Hey thanks for downloading our guide, here’s a recent webinar we did, you can watch the video here. Thank you for downloading our white paper, thank you for subscribing to this, here’s this, here’s this. Give it all to them, give them everything, give as much content as possible. HubSpot says 83% of B2B buyers are researching before they buy, so give until it hurts. OK? And then the part of just not being too pushy, know how to ask. You can ask in a footer, you can ask at the end of the email, but don’t just email to ask, because that’s just going to get you unsubscribed or spammed.
Working with sales: biggest part that a lot of companies forget. There is a blend that is happening, we don’t know at which point sales and marketing really separate nowadays if you have a fully integrated marketing funnel to a great nurture funnel on your sales teams. You can create with your marketing automation personalized email campaigns for each sales rep. To save them the time and effort so that when they get to a point where a client says “contact me in six months” or “I’m just not interested right now” every one of those situations should have a form in your SalesForce or in your CRM, it should have a form filled out and they should categorize that. And when they categorize that it should immediately go over to your marketing automation and you have a preset campaign to keep moving those people down. If they say “not right now” or they can’t afford then wait until four months down the road to send the first email. If it’s just not the right time then send the email the next quarter. Think about these email campaigns, put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and think about how you’d want to be followed up with. Don’t remove them from campaigns until they are sold, or unless they unsubscribe, but a lot of people have a preset drip that goes four or five emails. What happens after that? Well they go onto the scrap pile because they never converted, or truthfully, after the drip campaign finishes if they have not responded they should go into your long-term nurture, which is your newsletter or your blog post updates or something like that until they either unsubscribe or they close. Those are the two options. They either have to say no, “I don’t want to hear from you anymore” or yes. But if you haven’t heard from them you have to take that as a no-answer and you have to work toward one of the other ones.
Give all the content that the marketing team uses and give it to the sales team, they want case studies, white papers, e-books, infographics, slide decks. Why? Because they’re going to share it with the people they’re talking to, but they can also share it on social media. Social selling is becoming huge, and if these guys and gals have infographics and slide decks and these engaging types of pieces to share on LinkedIn or share on Twitter they’re going to seem more interesting and it’s going to go all the way back up to the top of the funnel and help build their thought leadership. It’s part of working with the sales team, making the sales team members into thought leaders.
So that covers the full funnel, some of the strategies in there, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have, I know I went quickly over a lot of things, but I can go more in depth if there is anything. McKay? You can go ahead if you’d like.
That was great, Mike, that was fantastic stuff. He really did a thorough treatment of demand gen in a short time, which is not easy, so that was well-done. And I would echo everything Mike said as well. There’s a significant amount of value that you can provide your prospects through just providing useful information for them. So whether it’s data that you can provide them with, whether it’s content you can provide them, there’s a lot you can do that would spark them to provide their information and increasing information as they move down the funnel. So great stuff, Mike.
OK we’ve got a lot of questions here so let’s just jump into those.
Talk about e-books, compare those to white papers a little bit, Mike. I don’t know if you have any data backing this up or if it’s just opinion, but what are your thoughts on white papers versus e-books. Do those definitions even matter anymore?
They do, I have noticed that some people expect to have a more clinical, investigative look at something with a white paper, whereas an e-book can be fun, engaging, it can be really anything you want it to be. It’s kind of that old SAT question: are all white papers also e-books, and are all e-books white papers, but no. White papers should usually be kept to being more investigative and informative, and e-books should be more engagement oriented. We have had people kind of download a white paper that was mis-categorized as a handbook or something like that and say “Hey, this didn’t give me any insight or in-depth citation or anything like that, so I would just say keep white papers informative, a little shorter, e-books are longer form and more engaging.
Great, that makes sense. What about specifically for companies that are just getting started. So if you’ve got a very small email list, how do you even begin this process? Do you have to spend money at the outset or are their content methods that you can use at the outset that will jumpstart your engine when you don’t have that large of a database to begin with?
The ones that are the easiest to scale up on the lowest budget would be blogging, because you can get the resources internally to write for it, to give you some idea on what we’ve tracked ourselves, we initially started blogging once a day back when we first launched the company, and our traffic grew and grew and then it plateaued. We then went back to once a week and our traffic actually never dipped. We then moved in one fell swoop to just kind of go nuts and we now blog ten times per week. In the two months that we’ve been doing that we saw a 300% increase in our organic traffic, and that’s actually very very significant because we had really good traffic to start with. We’ve also had about a 200% increase in just inbound leads that we’ve been receiving from there. So if you can blog, blog as much as possible. That’s a great way to start. Have a call to action for people to sign up to get insights. If you go to our website you’ll notice there’s a little popup that says “do you want some free marketing tips?” Well we capture tons of emails from that, and that’s how we build out our list, and then the other way is to create something that makes them want to give you information. So an e-book, you could task something within the company to create an e-book, or like I said, grab five or six of your best blog posts and merge them into an e-book. Put it up on a landing page that requires an email, name, phone number, and start building your list like that. Promote that socially. If you don’t have a big budget to promote that then go into LinkedIn groups, write e-books that involve experts in the field, and let them know and they will usually promote it to you for free to their 20,000 Twitter followers or their 50,000 LinkedIn followers. That’s a great way to get a lot of traction very very quickly. We’re working with a group right now on developing a big rock piece of content, we call it a rock, because it’s what you build everything else upon, but it’s called the “Inside Sales Bible” and it is a in-depth look at different aspects of inside sales, each chapter written by a different expert, and it’s taking a long time to put it together, but the buy-in we have from these people and the amount of followers they have and every one of them saying “we’re going to promote the heck out of this,” it’s going to hit in a big way with almost no budget behind it. After that we will be doing paid budget to increase that, but that’s like a sneaky way of getting a lot of that organic reach for your content.
Perfect. Talk about retargeting a little bit. I’ll give you our example, Mike, we’ve had limited success with retargeting and it’s really a great branding activity but we’ve had a hard time actually generating much in terms of lead gen from retargeting specifically related to banner ads. Now we haven’t done a ton of Facebook retargeting for example, but we’ve got a lot of people asking retargeting questions. Any best practices for retargeting, and is our experience common, or is that on the low end of the curve in terms of how we’re performing with retargeting and not actually generating many leads from retargeting banner ads specifically?
No actually that’s a very common concern, and the reason that you can usually identify there is because you’re asking. Again, if you’re constantly asking for the sale, people are going to start tuning you out. So instead, we give, give, give, give, give, so we have a lot of retargeting ads but very few of them are actually demands on their time. Most of them are us giving them additional information to build that relationship. You’re going to notice that if you turn off your retargeting your organic traffic and direct traffic are going to drop because even though they may not be directly clicking on your retargeting ad they are seeing your brand and it’s making them come to your site. So retargeting should always be up again, it’s great for branding, but if you’re giving that’s going to start increasing the efficacy of your retargeting. The way you’ll measure that is you’ll start to notice that as you start to put in these other pieces, starting to give away with your retargeting you’ll notice that your organic and direct leads start increasing significantly when you’re doing that. Also image use is huge, you’ll notice a lot of our ads have very bright colors, expressive people. In B2B people for some reason people think that boring is efficient, and it’s not. And boring is effective, and it’s not. Don’t put up the typical gears turning image that everybody uses in B2B and don’t put up the typical chart moving upwards on B2B. Those images are so played out, and that’s the thing, nobody even recognizes those anymore. We’ve already identified that people have banner blindness, they don’t even look to those things. If you’re giving them banner blindness on top of giving them the image they’ve seen a hundred times you’re just going to blend in. And that’s another point on that, is with AdWords retargeting, yes, it can be tough because they put their ads where banners are, and people have trained themselves not to look toward where banners are on websites. Go out there and look at banner blindness and you’ll see heatmaps of where people’s eyes literally do not touch the areas of the page where banners are. However, with Facebook and Twitter it injects your message directly into their newsfeed on both of those, so they can’t get away from it. And 90% of the time, actually 99% of the time, the only way to identify it is that it has a grayed out text that says “sponsored” but if you make it engaging they won’t even see it as an ad they’ll see it as “look a new article to read,” or “Hey, a study’s been done on this,” or “I might want to go look at that infographic.” That’s why Facebook and Twitter are so dang effective is because they put it front and center and people can’t avoid them.
That’s great advice. Mike, thanks for taking the time today, sir, we really appreciate it. Really good content. We’ve done a ton of webinars, we’ve done about 250 webinars over the last couple years and you had some fantastic tactical advice and I think that’s what everybody’s after, so thanks for taking the time to prepare a great presentation, Mike, we appreciate it.
My pleasure, thank you, McKay.
Everybody, thanks for joining us today, we really appreciate your time. We’re hosting a webinar tomorrow with a partner of ours called RingPartner, we’re going to be targeting about why call duration is not a good measure of lead quality for phone calls. So please join us for that webinar, you can learn more about that on our website, and Mike, any final thoughts before we close up today?
No, I think I hit all the points I wanted to go off of, I’ll just leave with a nice picture of Vanilla Ice, and everybody have a great fourth!
That’s a wonderful picture. Thanks everybody, have a wonderful fourth of July, or a great Canada day, I suppose. So thanks again everyone, goodbye.