Tag Archive for lead generation

Lead Generation: 10 Tips For Getting More Subscribers

10 Tips For Getting More Subscribers

More subscribers are almost as good as money in the bank, so here you go…

1. Include a call-to-action at the end of your blog posts.

Let your visitors know that if they like your blog posts, they’ll love your newsletter content.

That’s because you save some of your best niche tips, tricks and secrets for subscribers.

To get more subscribers, include a link to your landing page at the bottom of your posts, along with a reason to click on that link.

Example: Discover 101 more weight loss tricks for free—click here!

2. Encourage a viral effect.

You can get more subscribers simply by including a note at the bottom of every newsletter where you encourage your existing subscribers to forward your email to their friends, family and colleagues who could benefit from the information.

Example: “Do you know someone else who could benefit from these dog training secrets? Please forward this e-mail to them—they’ll thank you for it!”

3. Use your forum signature file to get new subscribers.

If you’re visiting busy niche forums, include an ad and a call-to-action in your forum signature.

Example: “Free report reveals the health secrets your doctor doesn’t want you to know! Click here to claim your copy now…”

4. Point your social followers to a free report.

Make full use of social media sites—Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest—to grow your list.

Simply point your fans and followers towards your squeeze page to pick up a free report. Include this link on your profile page as well as in some of your posts.

5. Embed your links in your products.

Include links in your free reports too and encourage your readers to share what they have read with their friends.

6. Drive traffic to your landing page using videos.

You can create YouTube.com videos for the sole purpose of driving traffic to your newsletter sign-up page.

To get the best results, include a call-to-action at the end of your video where you promise viewers they can get the second part of the video—for free—when they join your list.

7. Tap into Hubpages to get new subscribers.

Create Hubpages.com pages around niche topics with the purpose of driving visitors and point as many links as possible to your landing page.

8. Co-promote with others in your niche.

Here you can swap endorsements with your partners. You can post your endorsements on your respective blogs as well as in your newsletters. I’ve also very successfully done ad swaps where I swap ads with other marketers.

9. Unleash the power of content marketing.

First create a multi-part article series around a niche topic.

Then upload Part 1 to the article directories (such as: EzineArticles.com, GoArticles.com and IdeaMarketers.com) and upload the rest of the series to your autoresponder.

Use your article byline to encourage people to get the rest of the series (starting with Part 2) by clicking through to your squeeze page.

10. Form a newsletter co-op.

Do a co-registration deal with one or more people in your niche, that is, when a prospect joins your partners newsletter, they also get the option of joining your newsletter at the same time (simply by checking a checkbox).

Summary…

You can use each of these 10 lead generation methods to get dozens, hundreds or even thousands of new subscribers. Test them out, track performance and do it over and over again. Just imagine how big your list will be once you apply all these methods.

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation

Marketers often use the terms demand generation (demand gen) for lead generation (lead gen), interchangeably, but they’re not the same strategies.

I would like to clearly lay out definitions and goals so you are never lost for words about the difference between demand generation and lead generation again.

It is important to make the distinction between the two as marketers today are under the spotlight. They are asked to demonstrate ROI for each marketing dollar spent. Lead generation is one of the best ways to evaluate demand generation efforts.

What is Demand Generation?

Definition: Demand generation covers all marketing activities that create awareness and interest in your product, company and category. It includes a mix of inbound and outbound marketing.

Goals: Brand awareness and Creation of interest.

  • Demand generation not only focuses on your offering but also on your category.
  • Content designed for demand generation is generally more readily accessible and shared as much as possible.
  • Examples of Demand Generation content:
    • A whitepaper.
    • Blog posts.
    • Social media posts.
    • A public relations campaign.
    • A PPC campaign.
    • A product video hosted on YouTube.
    • A booth at a trade show.

Demand Generation Singapore
Lead Generation Singapore

What is Lead Generation?

Definition: Lead Generation is the process of collecting leads through form fills for the content you provide or through a website tracking software to add to your database of leads.

Goals: Collection of qualified leads to build trust and relationship; establish the expertise of the company and nurture them through the funnel until closed as customers.

Longer sales cycles, multi-step engagements, and enterprise sales require a lead generation strategy and process.

  • Examples:
    • A form ahead of your e-book/whitepaper/webinar.
    • A form on your PPC landing page.
    • Website visitor tracking of all your website visitors.
    • A form kept at your booth in a trade show.
    • A form to receive regular communication such as newsletters.

Remember: If you’re starting a lead generation campaign, be sure to have some sort of lead management system in place, such as HubSpot. You don’t want to create all that content only to lose your leads in the funnel.

In a nutshell, demand generation shapes perception, and lead generation is a data-gathering system.

It is critical to have a marketing plan that consists of both demand generation and lead generation. Each individual piece of content should be trying to do one or the other, not both at once. You have to distinguish lead-generating content from demand-generating content and craft each one accordingly.

10 Essential Google AdWords Tips

10 Essential AdWord TipsIf you are doing e-commerce or exploring lead generation via PPC marketing, some AdWords tips can help get the ball rolling for you. Making money with Google AdWords is very easy, and yet most people fail miserably at it! Using AdWords effectively requires a precise combination of art and science. You should be able to get that creative edge on your competitors, and you should also be able to manipulate the numbers game!

Designing The Ad

  • Be specific. This is the most important of all AdWords tips that you’ll get. You only want clicks that can convert to sales. So be specific in the headline of your ad. If you sell floral pattern bed sheets, mention the entire thing in the heading. You don’t want people looking for geometric patterned sheets clicking through!
  • What’s-In-It-For-Me. Yes, tell the customer how they would benefit by using your product. Find out what they need, and then provide it to them.
  • USP. What makes your product unique? What is the advantage in choosing your product over any other brand?

Keyword Selection

  • Cost. Most articles on AdWords tips will tell you about finding a balance between the popularity of keywords and their CPC. Sometimes incorrect spellings can also get you an abundance of targeted traffic while keeping the CPC low.
  • Targeted traffic. For exact keyword phrases, use quotes and square brackets, like NYC Theatre Tickets or [Lion King Broadway Tickets].
  • Freebie hunters. Use -free to keep them away as they aren’t likely to result in any sales.

The Extra Edge

  • Own website. What most articles on AdWords tips fail to tell you is that it is also important to have your own website, with a proper opt-in form so that you can build a mailing list of all visitors. People who don’t buy now can change their minds later.
  • Landing page. It is better to have a separate landing page for each of your products, just like a separate ad for each of them. This ensures a better customer experience and makes it easier for you to track the individual conversion rates of products.

Number Crunch!

  • Budget. Another hard-to-find point in the most common AdWords tips lists! You need to make a budget, as to how much you can bear to spend per sale, and then stick to it.
  • Profit. Ascertain your profit/sale. Then use that data to work upon decreasing cost or increasing sale, so as to reach the desired profit.

So that’s about it! The above 10 AdWords tips can help you get your profits rocketing up. Oh, did I miss the eleventh one? Well, the last tip in my list is Testing. You can simply never have enough of it. You need to keep testing and re-testing; keep changing a word here and a phrase there; keep improving! And don’t forget to enjoy the experience!

Discover 5 Elements That Make A Headline Magnetic

Ever encountered the following?

You’ve spent the entire week crafting this amazing ebook offer guaranteed to solve your audience’s problems, as part of a new marketing campaign.

With great anticipation, you put the finishing touches on your ebook and release it on the Internet.

You wait for the hits to roll in. Clicks start rolling in, but your conversions remain flat-lined.

Or worse still, no one clicks on your offer.

What could have gone wrong?

Attracting people’s attention online takes more than great content and slick design.

Headlines and titles are the most important part of anything you write. A powerful headline convinces people to keep reading and engage with your offer.

Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger stresses the importance of a catchy headline, saying, “Each element of compelling copy has just one purpose—to get the next sentence read.

People do judge a book by its cover. HubSpot did A/B testing on a title of an ebook offer to see which title would perform better. They took the original title “The Productivity Handbook for Busy Marketers” and compared results with a revised title “7 Apps That Will Change the Way You Do Marketing”.

Source: “The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks and Ideas“, HubSpot

The revised title generated 776% more leads and improved conversion rates from 32.3% to 51.7% compared with the original title.

In short, the title has a significant impact on how attractive or effective your offer is.

So what’s the secret behind great titles to hook your reader?

Great titles employ one or more of these elements:

1. Make a promise

Source: Entrepreneur

2. Create intrigue

Source: Upworthy

3. Identify a need

Source: Forbes

4. State the content

Source: Goins Writer

So how do you go about creating these types of magnetic offer titles?

1. Use Numbers

Many ebooks and blog posts use numbers to start off their headlines. People typically remember three to five points, but odd numbers like 13 or 47 can also catch people’s attention for being unusual choices. Examples:

HubSpot’s “100 Ideas that Changed Marketing”
BuzzFeed’s “47 Hilariously Underwhelming Local News Headlines”

2. Use Interesting Adjectives

Examples include:

Effortless
Absolute
Wonderful
Free
Amazing
Essential

Users especially love verbs and adjectives in their headlines.

3. Use Unique Rationale

Consider the following examples in creating original list posts and ebooks:

30 Reasons to Start a Business Right Now
4 Secrets to Writing Killer Blog Content
10 Timeless Lessons from the Wall Street Crash
7 Proven Headlines that Convert

4. Use Trigger Words

Words like ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘when’ help to persuade readers of the value of your content. Strong headlines include either a trigger word or a number, rarely both.

5. Make A Promise To Your Reader

Are you listening to what your readers want or need? How does your content address these needs? Promise your reader something valuable.

Powerful headlines dare your reader to read your content.

Once the reader is hooked, deliver on what you promised in the headline. People don’t want to be tricked into reading something uninteresting. They want to be sent on an exciting journey and take away valuable insights in the process.

The best copywriters can take days to craft the perfect headline. Crafting a headline can often be something we think off the top of our heads but spending more time on your headline can propel your content above your competitors.

Before you publish, ensure the headline grabs people’s attention and doesn’t let go. And then deliver on what your headline promises.

The 5-Step Formula To Successful Inbound Marketing

The 5 Step Formula To Successful Inbound Marketing

1. Create valuable content for all stages of the purchasing cycle

Marketing is like a gear; it is always moving. Think of this while you create your content. You should think of what your target audience needs and what they problems face so that they can benefit from your content. What they need yesterday may not be what they need today, so it is important to keep updating your content and make sure that it is always valuable. Blogging, social media posting, email marketing and video publishing are all great ways to consistently update your online presence and get found in search engines and by your audience.

2. Invite people who need your products and services

It is important to set goals and understand who you are creating content for and why. Focus your content around long-tail keywords and phrases that your customer are likely typing when they research products and services online. The Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a helpful tool that allows you to compare different search volumes of different keywords and phrases so you can gain a better idea on what keywords to optimize.

3. Convert visitors into leads and build the relationship

Conversion is very important in Inbound marketing*. Once someone lands on your page, it is necessary to give them a call-to-action (CTA) so that you can collect their personal information, learn more about them and begin the process of servicing their needs. For example, you can make it clear and obvious that visitors can register for free ebooks. By their registration, you get their contact details which is important for the next step of cultivating the relationship through a dialogue.

4. Transform leads into satisfied customers

Once you have found your potential leads through lead scoring, there are various ways to transform them into customers. Follow-up emails, tailored email marketing, workflows and campaigns are the common ways to do so. A key point is to personalize your messages to them, such as according to their background, interests and needs. You can also use an marketing automation software like HubSpot Singapore to trace your leads to see what kind of messages they are more interested in.

5. Monitor and modify your marketing strategy

The last step is one of the most essential pieces to Inbound marketing. You need to evaluate your results, such as how much you have spent to acquire how many leads and customers. You should keep refining your lead generation strategy to make sure that you are consistently meeting your goals and going in the right direction. In addition, you should rigorously test the effect of different CTA designs, website designs and website content because a little difference can deliver a significant improvement in results.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, social media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

5 Ideas (Plus 7 Actionable Tips) For Lead Generation Success

Singapore and Asian marketers would acknowledge that they can’t do without lead acquisition; it’s their ONE job to get the leads acquainted with their business, nurture the relationship and make it easy and comfortable for prospects to buy from them sometime down the line.

It is worth noting that offline and online lead generation techniques are always evolving. Singapore and Asian businesses have to stay one step ahead of their competitors and this requires them to adopt new lead generation strategies. As a marketing manager, what are the top 5 strategies to bear in mind in 2015?

conversation

1. Sharpen your story by crafting a compelling message

A compelling message is a marketing representative’s most valuable asset. It is a message that says less about the company and offerings and more about the prospect and their needs. One of the most important steps is to begin creating a list of client issues your company has successfully addressed.

The list should include:

a) customer pain points you’ve removed.
b) client problems you’ve solved.
c) opportunities you’ve helped customers capture.
d) actual results you’ve achieved for your clients.

This list is crucial in expanding your company’s efforts to reach out to your potential customers in Singapore and Asia.

From this list, craft a “playbook” of short and sweet talking points you can use within the first few seconds of a conversation, then lead off with what you can do for them. You are most encouraged to draft a conversation or phone call script to get yourself confident at steering the dialogue in the right direction.

subscribe

2. Invite prospects to opt-in online

Following up with prospects after the initial conversation is critical to maintaining the connection and staying on top of their mind. In the first place, marketers would have already determined what outcome they want out of a conversation. A recommendation would be to get prospects to subscribe into a list to access more value-adding information.

Statistical studies have confirmed that the highest rate of conversions emanates from leads that knowingly opted into your communications. This fact implies that lead quality always counts before quantity, making it essential to first identify the core audience that represents the highest potential for success.

personalization

3. Personalize the selling process

Since every customer is an individual, there is no such thing as “one size fits all”. Sales failure results due to 3 main reasons:

a) the sales team attempts to sell the “almost right” product.
b) attempts to begin the sales process start too early.
c) the message falls flat because it does not fit the buyer’s context.

Lead generation needs to match the context of your buyer. It should give the sales team a headstart in identifying the right focus, but the sales team needs to sell effectively.

A seamless flow of information allows that to happen. Marketing teams can tailor every pitch to address the concerns of the individual buyer. Sales teams can coordinate the upsell and new messages to minimize customer pain points. This cycle creates lasting customers and higher conversions. Also, an FAQ list or website section can be developed based on the most common questions asked by potential leads. Not only will this feature engage prospective customers, it also saves time, labor and the marketing budget.

phonecall

4. Focus on generating high-quality leads

61% of B2B marketers stated that the biggest challenge they faced is generating high-quality leads (Source: B2B Technology Marketing Community). There are 7 things you can do to generate high-quality sales leads:

a) Ask for referrals: This is the best lead acquisition method yet. There is nothing like an existing customer knowing someone else who can similarly benefit from your products or services. In this sense, the new leads are already qualified and the word-of-mouth is also a great form of endorsement.

b) Generate targeted online traffic with SEO and SEM: Experienced digital marketers know that intensive and extensive deployment of the right industry keywords in their website content and ads is key to attracting leads based on what words they type to conduct an online search.

By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, and is not interruptive. It is the guiding principle of Inbound Marketing*.

c) Seek marketing collaboration: Do some business networking and seek out fellow professionals who are willing to explore a win-win situation in marketing for each other. This helps you extend your reach to new sources of prospects which you would otherwise never have thought possible. One such conducive environment for collaboration opportunities is found in BNI meetings.

d) Organize a seminar, workshop or meet-up event: Meetings that provide opportunities for face-to-face interactions are great platforms to project an impressive image of the business and the people behind it. Then follow-up with these attendees to stay on top of their mind.

e) Telemarketing: This may come as a question mark, but believe it or not, it has the one feature that digital marketing does not have and it is the reason why it endures today: it still provides the human touch. Telemarketing can become a great complementary activity within a larger, integrated marketing campaign.

For example, leads undergoing the lead nurturing process will fill in their contact number into an online form at some point, which marketers can then proceed to call, to learn more about their prospects and ultimately arrange a consultation meeting.

f) Search for possible leads in LinkedIn: Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn has the highest percentage of interconnected business professionals as its main users. Interactions in LinkedIn Groups, mailings and news feed almost always reflect every concerns of business, work, occupation and marketplace issues, so you have every opportunity to project your own expertise and unique selling proposition (USP) through publishing contextual, relevant and helpful content to drive leads and encourage engagement.

g) Provide contact information on every web page: A typical website has a “Contact Us” page for sure but we found that having a call-to-action button, which links to the contact page, on every web page works wonders by increasing click-through, so website visitors become more likely to leave an enquiry.

outsource

5. Make lead generation more effective and cost-efficient through outsourcing

Rather than scale up headcount in your company and face the delays and challenges of hiring and training, you can find outsourced lead generation companies that will set appointments with qualified leads. Do research and make sure that any third party that is representing your brand to future customers matches your quality standards and makes the right first impression.

In addition, web-based content distribution services that have extensive distribution networks will promote your content for a fee. The content is often placed behind a lead generation form, and you will generally pay per lead. You may also be able to sponsor placement in a newsletter that is distributed by a relevant third party with similar customers to yours. These can be tricky to find but if you can find a newsletter publisher with a sympatico audience, you could achieve quick exposure to new prospects.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing in Singapore and Asia that involves SEO, social media marketing, blogging and creating landing pages to generate sales leads.

Discover How To Optimize Your YouTube Videos And Generate Maximum Views

Video marketers may tend to associate YouTube with Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Marketing, but Business-to-Business (B2B) Marketing cannot be counted out.

92% of B2B customers watch videos online, 43% of that demographic researches services or products for their business through online videos and 76% of marketing professionals include video marketing as part of their overall digital strategy. (source: B2B Video Marketing Strategies)

When you produce your video, one approach is to address a main issue faced by your B2B customers, and then it is important to let your prospects or customers easily search for the solution provided in your video.

The trick is in keyword optimization, that is, filling in choice keywords in the video description and embedded text. Here’s how to do it:

1. Video subtitles and closed captions are actually searchable text, so they generally make your videos more searchable.

2. Search-optimized title, tags and descriptions are important to let target buyers search your solution to a problem, so make sure you are filling keywords which they are using for their online searches.

3. Associate your website to your YouTube channel, and also put in keywords and your website URL in annotations e.g. video title, speech bubble etc. to gain more exposure.

Video marketing usually has the common aim of generating sales leads. Therefore, you should:

1. Guide the potential customer to take action by going to your website. Simply instruct them directly in the video.

2. Add an annotation to your video with a link to your website or a landing page.

Video analytics is a valuable tool to track views and engagement statistics and discover how well your videos are doing. It helps you to re-evaluate the focus on future topics for your videos and the keywords you use.

Some points to note:

1. Actual audience engagement and average drop-off rates of your videos are shown in video analytics, as well as how each video is contributing to lead generation and revenue which help to gain better insight into who your hottest leads are.

2. Video analytics can track how long an individual actually remains engaged on a video, enabling you to treat a lead who watches only 10 seconds differently from one who watches the video all the way to the end. This feature offers a reliable means of tracking actual engagement with content and video analytics can provide the exact figure for the marketer.

3. Import video analytics data into your marketing automation or CRM platforms to to maximize the value of video marketing. It provides a comprehensive insight into how prospects interact with the brand across multiple channels throughout the buyer’s journey, and it also enables the marketer to start reporting on his/her videos’ impact on lead generation, pipeline development and closed revenue.

In conclusion, make sure that with every video include a call-to-action and an URL of a landing page or page back to your website where folks can learn more about your business or offer, and use video analytics to revise your video content strategy to generate more leads.

26 Fantastic Ways To Grow Your Email List Organically

26 Fantastic Ways Singapore Businesses Can Grow Their Email Lists Organically

For many companies in Singapore and Asia that are inclined towards digital marketing, email marketing is a big part of pushing their products and services out in order to get more sales. However, start-up marketers shudder at the thought of building a subscriber list from scratch, because the task just seems onerous, so they turn to purchasing mailing lists from 3rd-party sales lead generation companies as a first resort. But chances are purchased lists in Singapore or Asia may do more harm than good in marketing your brand.

Firstly, you never know how many times the same contacts have been resold and emailed to by previous customers! The initially warm receptivity of fresh sales leads towards email ads wears out with the passage of time and it becomes a matter of time before they turn hostile by reporting email ads as spam.

Secondly, these contacts, which never personally opt in through your website in the first place, are not going to recognize you or your company. In any marketing processes, there is “warm-up phase” required to educate and nurture sales leads until they come around to understanding who you are, where you are coming from, what is your expertise, and finally, what you have to offer. Failure to adhere to best marketing practices can result in ruining your brand’s reputation in the long run, something which is obviously undesirable. This malpractice of email marketing is common in Singapore and Asia.

Thirdly, when you factor in the inevitable attrition rate, acquiring new email subscribers is as much continuous as it is critical to the survival of any online business in Singapore and Asia.  This means you can’t rely on buying email lists forever, even if you are privileged to purchase warm, targeted lists from rare quality sources—you could go broke! It pays to reduce your acquisition cost by generating email sales leads yourself, with your own skills and technical resources.

For these 3 big reasons, I have created a quick checklist of 26 tips for growing your list organically for you to run through. Some are simple to execute, while others are sophisticated and require planning. Not all will be applicable in Singapore or Asia depending on the nature of your business, but do keep your mind open and continue to maintain what you have always been doing and considering new methods. These are tried and tested implementations that email marketers in Asia reported with great success.

1. Wherever possible, publish your opt-in form in the top fold on every web page. Your website visitors can’t help but notice it and subscribe if they so wish. Give your opt-in form as many chances as possible!

2. Use a lightbox-style popup form. A popup form is best implemented in article pages, whereby the visitor scrolls down to scan the article and is disrupted by a sudden popup. For the best conversion rate, the offer must be related to the topic of the article. Not recommended for implementation on every web page because it would seem obnoxious. Use it selectively.

3. Speaking of the offer, make it an valuable gift that visitors can’t resist! Ask yourself: What is it that I would pay for but give away for free? Not saying that you are to give the whole house, but value is subjective. Think strategically what you can offer as a lead-in—the beginning phase of a buyer’s journey to bring complete fulfillment to their needs, wants, problems, challenges etc.

4. Give visitors compelling reasons to subscribe by stating the benefits of your offer. Even introduce quantity-limited or time-limited exclusivity.

5. Create an ecover graphic for your gift to increase its appeal. You can find some amazing 3D ecover designs here.

6. Keep your opt-in form short and sweet. Most forms I see on other websites only ask for a name and email address and that is good enough. Some even do away with the ‘name’ field. Here at iSmart, as we provide landing page design to our B2B clients, we also find the necessity to ask for more information about their visitors like job designation, income level, number of years of experience etc., but we implement ‘smart’ forms designed by HubSpot Singapore which will not ask the same questions again should existing subscribers opt in for another offer on the same website, not even their names and email addresses.

7. Have dedicated landing pages to drive subscriptions because visitors can now focus 100% of their attention on your offer, thus increasing conversion rate.

8. Reproduce your landing pages in your Facebook fan page! This is possible with setting up a tab and showing your landing page within the tab’s iFrame area. Use Woobox for this.

9. Make use of social networks to send your fans and followers to the landing pages. Tweet about it or announce it in your Facebook timeline or LinkedIn news feed. Also mention your offers in your LinkedIn profile description, as Google+ posts and in the Google+ ‘About’ section. If you have gotten ecovers ready, pin them on Pinterest and consolidate them in a pinboard so that fellow pinners and followers can find them easily.

10. Include social sharing buttons on the landing pages to encourage subscribers to share them to their own connections!

11. Include your landing page/offer link in your email signature.

12. Try pay-per-click (PPC) advertising using Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to drive targeted traffic to your landing pages. Compared to email list purchases, you can start small and manage your expectations over how much ROI is generated from each lead.

13. Design mobile-optimized landing pages and use AdMob to promote them.

14. Write and submit articles to article directories or be a guest blogger. Content marketing is mostly a free but effective method to demonstrate your expertise, establish your authority and get readers curious about what you can do to solve their challenges.

15. Email existing contacts to let them know of your latest gift and encourage them to share with their social connections.

16. Go one step further by setting up an affiliate program to attract affiliate sign-ups so that affiliates are motivated by monetary incentives to promote your landing pages, provided you have something to sell in the back-end.

17. Comment on other blog posts of related topics so that you can leave your name and landing page URL in your comment.

18. If you write a regular newsletter, archive old issues for public viewing so website visitors can expect what kind of quality content you have to offer, and will subscribe if they so wish.

19. Branch out into producing short YouTube videos to drive traffic to your landing pages. The URLs can be mentioned in the text description or shown as a caption or in the last few seconds of the video.

20. Do ad-swapping. Ad-swapping is a mutual arrangement in which 2 non-competing marketers exchange ads to cross-promote each other, the main aim of which is to get new subscribers very quickly. Ads can come in the form of banners, text links, blog posts or even tweets, but the most common and effective swap medium used by digital marketers is email. If the other party is reluctant to carry out an ad swap, discuss how else he could benefit from collaboration for as long as you can get him to promote your gift/landing page to his list as a form of personal endorsement.

21. Purchase a solo ad space. Normally, marketers would not do ad swaps because they already have a solo advertising scheme in place for their emails or newsletters. Check with them how much it costs to place an ad in their newsletters and how many new subscribers can be expected. Marketers can charge for solo ads because they have huge readership, so do consider solo advertising as a possible investment option for lead generation.

22. Keep creating new offers! More offers lead to more landing pages and more reasons to opt in more often to download them.

23. I have seen a couple of brilliant last-ditch effort to get unsubscribers to resubscribe again. A simple message on the ‘unsubscribed’ page goes like this: “We are sorry to see you go. If you feel you have unsubscribed by mistake, please click the button below and you are back in the list!”

Other websites employ a “double unsubscribe”, which is similar to “double opt-in” in that you have to click a confirmation link in a new email.

Yet others offer an alternative gift (or a lightbox popup form) on the ‘unsubscribed’ page to entice you back, or execute an exit popup showing a subscription form for another gift.

24. If you are a frequent business networker, you can also print your landing page URL on your business card and tell people about it if they need more information.

25. Host your own events, both online and offline: webinars, hangouts, seminars, training classes, networking sessions, contests etc. These events provide opportunities for participation and the first gate is a simple online subscription or registration form!

26. If you print marketing collateral, include your landing page URL or a QR code in them. QR codes are especially effective for exclusive promotions and can be depended on for its ‘anonymity’, need for a small print area and suitability on certain items like receipts, catalogs, small sheet inserts, bags, boxes, price tags, etc.

How To Get More Sales Leads By Solving Landing Page Problems in Asia?

How to Get More Leads by Solving Landing Page Problems

Landing pages have one simple purpose: to generate sales leads. Many companies in Singapore and Asia, for lack of digital marketing expertise, do not know how to utilize landing pages, and as such, miss out on online lead generation opportunities. Yet, for a significant percentage of companies that do, their landing pages are poorly designed and have poor lead conversion rates. Today, you will discover the prevalent challenges that cause a lack of sales leads in Singapore and Asia and the solutions to solving the most common professional landing page problems.

Problem #1: No traffic

Once you’ve created and put up your professional landing page, the next step is get raw traffic. If you’re not getting any traffic flow in the first place, there is no way you can increase your number of sales leads. Here are a few things you can try in order to generate more traffic:

– Create more content

Statistics state that blogging 3 times a week increases traffic by up to 55% as compared to blogging once a week. Logically, when there’s more content on your website for people to read, readers are likely to stick around longer on your website and would be curious to learn more about your expertise. Having more content also means more opportunities to be found on social media platforms and in search results. For tips on creating content, check out our blog post “4 Easy Ways To Churn Out Blog Content Consistently“.

– Search engine optimization

Make sure to use the same language that your target audience is using in order for your website to get found. By using similar terms, your website will rank higher in search results, which will bring you more traffic.

– Increase your social media presence

Try getting more followers on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, so that you can get new traffic referred to your website. You can do this by following other relevant accounts on social media so that they will be aware of your presence and will then check you out, which might bring you traffic eventually.

Problem #2: Low conversion rates

If you’re getting good traffic, but no conversions, you’re going to have to make a few changes to your professional landing page in order to optimize it for generating conversions. To do this, you can try changing elements such as your forms and CTAs. Form length is tricky, because with short forms it is difficult to capture enough information, yet with long forms, visitors tend to leave your page before filling up the entire form. Try A/B testing with several different form lengths to see what works best. You can also do this with different colours and sizes of your CTAs to see what gets the most clicks. Read more about A/B testing here.

Problem #3: High bounce rates

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who viewed your page, but left your website. Here are a few things you can do to make sure people are staying on your site, so that they eventually fill up your forms:

– Optimize your website for mobile devices

If your web page is not compatible with mobile devices, viewers are going to leave immediately. With more people using mobile browsers nowadays, you might be losing out on valuable traffic and conversions because of this. Optimize your page such that not only are mobile users able to view the page, but are able to navigate it better using mobile-only landing page features.

– Decrease page load time

There are many small things you can do to make your page load faster, such as changing the file size of the images you use on the professional landing page. When your page loads faster, people are less likely to leave halfway through the loading process.

Use these tips to give your landing pages a little revamp in order to get higher conversion rates!

The Secret to Integrating Email Campaigns with Social Media and Mobile

The Secret of Making Email Campaigns Work Effectively with Social Media and Mobile

Among businesses going digital, email remains a popular marketing channel in Singapore. It is one of the most effective methods for mobilizing contacts. You can personalize an email to address each recipient individually as if each of them thinks they are the only one to receive it from the sender, therefore they should feel their interest has been served.

However, email marketing is not a winning strategy on its own. Rather than using it as a one-off tool, your marketing efforts will be far more successful if you properly integrate email marketing with social media marketing and mobile marketing.

Email & Social Media Integration

It is evident that email strategies that are integrated with social media produce better results. Studies show that 65% of the top 20% of B2B marketers integrate email with social media for the purpose of lead generation, compared to the industry average of 51% (Aberdeen Research).

Fortunately, integrating social media into your email strategy is easier than you might think. Here are some tactics to help you get started:

Adding social media sharing and follow buttons to your emails will increase the reach of your emails beyond the recipients in your database. By increasing the visibility of your brand, you are more likely to generate new leads.

Send emails based on social media insights. By using integrated marketing analytics, you should be able to see a list of email subscribers and leads who have mentioned your company on social media platforms. You may like to send them a follow-up email with targeted information in addition to responding to those highly engaged social leads.

Grow your email list through social media. Leveraging your social media presence gives you additional channels to build your email list, thus improving the awareness of your brand. For an example, consider placing a call-to-action on your Facebook page. Ensure that you spell out clear benefits to email subscription so that you can turn your social media followers into subscribers.

Email & Mobile Integration

Creating a strategy to reflect the way recipients open and read emails is going to be extremely important in the coming years. Studies show that 48% of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and 69% of mobile users delete emails that are not optimized for mobile viewing. However, it is surprising to note that only 11% of emails are mobile-optimized. Here are some tactics to make your email strategy mobile-optimized:

– Test your email templates to see how it appears on different mobile devices.

– Ensure the call-to-action buttons and links are easy to click for readers using touchscreens.

– Create both plain text and HTML versions of your email.

– Use descriptive text under the images, in case it does not appear.

– Optimize the landing pages and forms of your email links so that mobile users can easily fill out their information.

Top 5 Online Tools Singapore Marketers Can Use For FREE

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Tools You Can Use For FREE

As marketing cost of Singapore businesses gets higher nowadays, Singapore marketers are looking for alternative tools they can use at the best price—FREE. This article shows 5 of the best and free online tools we are using now.

  1. HootSuite

This powerful marketing tool will help you manage your companies’ social media presence with ease. Once you create an account, you will be able to add 5 of your social media accounts, to which you can post in just a few clicks. You can even schedule your updates for any given time. By using its own dashboard, HootSuite also allows you to monitor the newsfeeds of all your accounts in just one window.

  1. FollowerWonk

As stated on their website, this web app provides you with Twitter analytics, allowing you to dig deeper into your twitter account and find out more about your followers. You can find out who your followers are, where they are, and when they tweet. You can also use super-actionable visualizations to compare your social graph to others, and can even share your reports with anyone.

  1. Photo Pin

As a blogger or an article writer, it is important to add some visuals to your posts on the internet to make it more attractive to the readers. Finding FREE and GOOD images has been a challenge even for me until I came across this website called Photo Pin, a website which provides good quality photos with most of them free for download.

  1. Google Trends

Keywords are getting trickier as time passes by. With the recent Google keyword apocalypse (Google’s 100% keyword change), we’ve lost access to much of the keyword data that laid the foundations for our previous efforts. Fortunately, there are still ways to find out what the high opportunity keywords are. Ironically, one of them is to use Google. Google Trends allows you to search for a keyword and assess its search volume throughout different time and location dimensions. You can see the keyword’s overall performance to determine whether it’s being entered more or less often in a Google search—a great indicator of whether or not you should continue optimizing it on your site.

  1. Hubspot’s Marketing Grader

If you’re new to Inbound Marketing*, your website is the place to start in building an Inbound approach. There are plenty of things to consider, from the website’s SEO performance to your “social friendliness”.

HubSpot’s marketing grader tool takes a look at your website through 6 critical inbound lenses: Overall, Social Media, Blogging, SEO, Lead Generation, and Mobile Optimization.

Marketing Grader will help you understand:

  1. Competitive Benchmarking: Is your marketing more or less effective you’re your competition?
  2. Lead Generation: Are your marketing efforts generating enough leads and sales?
  3. Mobile Marketing: Is your web presence optimized for mobile devices?
  4. Social Media: How effectively are you using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in your marketing?
  5. Blogging: Is your blog driving results that justify the time investment, or are you wasting time doing the wrong things?
  6. Overall Analysis: What are the strong points and shortcomings in your marketing?

Marketing Grader also outlines why you should take particular steps to improve and what your top priorities should be. With customized action items to help the top of your funnel, the middle of your funnel, and your analytics, Marketing Grader makes it easy for you to figure out your next steps.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

7 Cheats For Better Lead Generation

7 Cheats For Better Lead Generation

One of the problems that I most often hear about from clients, both small or big business owners based in Singapore and Asia, is that they do not get enough sales leads to grow their business.

Yes, generating sales leads is an essential part of growing your business.

Here are some tools that I would like to share for generating sales leads which use more of an Inbound marketing* approach.

  1. Websites

Exchange links with other entrepreneurs or partner websites that have the same niche or focus as yours. When people visit the other websites, they will come across your link and be redirected your website, which will bring you more traffic.

  1. Landing pages

a) Add simple forms

This is an easy way to get your clients’ information. Keep in mind that the form should be very simple and easy for them to fill up. Short, concise forms do better than lengthy forms. It’s certainly common sense that people don’t want to waste time filling in information.

b) Offer something which can help your clients’ business

You could allow your visitors to submit forms for:

1) Free demos

2) Free eBooks

3) Free Assessment

4) Case Studies

5) Free Webinars and so on…

  1. Email Marketing

This is simply one of the most powerful forms of lead generation. For very little cost, a professionally written email marketing campaign can generate a steady supply of high quality, targeted sales leads for your business.

  1. Blogging

Blogging is very feasible, and only takes some commitment for you to be able to turn it into a lead generation tool.

Your lead generation depends on your call-to-action.  If you want to increase your sales leads, here are some things you can implement on your blog:

  1. Subscribe to email course – this is a series of informative emails your visitor opts into, which will allow you to have the chance to sell your business in the emails.
  2. Download a free eBook or report – this captures people’s information for later follow up, which is how you generate leads for service businesses.
  3. Social media sharing – Using social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to promote your blog content can help in reaching out to a wider readership and also in popularizing the content. You can do this by enabling viewers to share your blog’s content on social media networks by inserting sharing buttons on your web page.
  4. Register to see training video – Training videos are becoming popular now because you can get a great, informative video.

These are some of the strategies which can be helpful for doing lead generation with blogs.

  1. Social Media

When it comes to lead generation, social media can be a very effective tool for Singapore and Asian businesses. There are millions of people who are active on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) on a regular basis. For this reason, using social media can help you to remain connected with your exciting clients or potential clients, and market your services in the best possible way.

  1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

It is also equally important to make it easy for people to find your website or pages through search engines.

Here are the best practices for Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

a) Pick a primary keyword for each landing page

b) Place your primary keywords in your headline and sub-headline

c) Include the keywords in the body content

d) Include keywords in the file name of the image (Using Alt-Tag)

e) Include the keywords in the page URL

If you apply these SEO practices to your website, you will definitely get higher rates from organic searches. The higher you rank in organic searches, the more people will find you.

  1. Follow-up emails

Send “Thank You” emails or follow up emails to your clients after they buy your products or services, and send them an email few weeks later with a special offer or announcement. This way, you can keep the relationship going.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing in Singapore and Asia that involves SEO, social media marketing, blogging and creating landing pages to generate sales leads.

Discover How Healthcare Professionals Can Apply Inbound Marketing

Discover How Healthcare Professionals Can Apply Inbound Marketing

The healthcare industry in Singapore remains highly regulated not only for medical practices, but also for the promotion of medical businesses. This I have learned, first-hand, from my visit to a doctor last week.

As an Inbound marketer, I am surprised to know that information like “before and after” results and testimonials are prohibited from publishing. Doctors also can’t creatively apply pricing offers like discounts either, or show illustrations or publish wordings in manners that are persuasive (e.g. benefit points).

Despite these obstacles, should healthcare professionals in Singapore adopt and apply Inbound Marketing strategies in their businesses? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’! Non-promotional content published on a website need not be academic or dry. Still, Inbound marketing demands that content is written to cater for the interest of website visitors first and foremost—it must be understandable to the layman. This in itself is already a big benefit when doctors can demonstrate their perfect understanding of clients’ needs and pain points through content marketing in the proper context.

A survey conducted by The Pew Internet Project states that “looking for health information is the third most popular online activity” following email and using a search engine. In other words, health information is actually the most sought-after online content! As more Internet users do research to gain better understanding of ailments, treatments and medical services, I believe most of us have searched for health information before and commend Mayo Clinic’s official website as an excellent example of content marketing.

By using Inbound Marketing*, doctors can connect with their online visitors without sacrificing compliance to medical and ethical guidelines. As I wrote previously, going Inbound is not just closing the sale—it is an end-to-end lead generation and conversion process. Every web element must come together in a website to form a buyer’s journey that leads a prospect to sit on the patient’s chair.

The buyer’s journey consists of 3 stages: Awareness, Consideration and Decision. At the Awareness stage, a medical website can start by introducing more details about the medical conditions a doctor specializes in, like:

* how the conditions arise and why
* properties, characteristics or symptoms of conditions
* the consequences of conditions if left untreated
* the dominant demographic of patients which the conditions target
* prevention measures and self-medication tips if available

Content can come in the form of ebooks, whitepapers, blog posts, infographics or some combination of these medium where appropriate or strategic. Other types of content include transcription of public talks, educational videos and journal papers or articles. If the content comes in downloadable files like ebooks, it is perfectly all right to set up subscription pages so visitors can opt in freely to access them. Thereafter doctors can still email their prospects regularly to stay on top of their minds, reminding them that they are a source of solutions and expertise.

Once the prospects have all the information they need to fully understand the medical conditions, next, they will want to know all the options for professional treatment. Considering that medical treatments are a serious matter, they will want to weigh all possibilities to find out what is most favorable to their needs. Give them all the details they need, including methods/procedures involved, typical costings, drawbacks, duration, expected results and other implications—again, written in a most neutral and non-promotional style.

This style of writing probably gets a little more difficult when it comes to the Decision stage. Here, doctors will inform their prospects why they are the authority whom they should seek help or treatment from. Instead of saying what past results they had achieved or how successful their patients had completed treatment, doctors can bank on their qualifications, years of experience and the content they had earlier sent out. Or they can privately invite questions from subscribers through email and give answers back, and if face-to-face discussions are warranted, may invite subscribers into their office. Yes, such ‘funneling’ can be done without the slightest hint of hard-selling. As online communication channels mature, even the use of Skype and Google Hangouts are very effective at building proper doctor-patient relationships.

Marketing in the healthcare industry of Singapore is no laughing matter. Guidelines or not, doctors still have an obligation to inform their patients and prospects as much and as accurately as possible. Showing off their credentials in this manner beats out any commercial gimmicks any day. Inbound marketing gives meaning to a marketing process, just as doctors need to publish meaningful, engaging and educational content for the benefit of their readers, and make themselves stand out. It may be the only reason healthcare professionals in Singapore need to commit themselves to establishing a long-term online presence.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing in Singapore and Asia that involves SEO, social media marketing, blogging and creating landing pages to generate sales leads.

Inbound Marketing In Singapore Needs A Serious Jolt!

Google Trends

The screenshot you see above is captured from Google Trends. “Inbound Marketing” as a key phrase first appeared in 2007 and has been on an upward trend. Today, it is widely practiced around the world and is gaining popularity in Japan. We expect tremendous growth in South-East Asia for the adoption of Inbound marketing in 2015.

I used to hear that South-East Asia is behind the United States in technological trends by 10 years. We at iSmart seriously hope that Inbound Marketing catch on fast in Singapore, not just because we are in the business, but because outbound marketing is getting less viable by the day as the marketplace evolves. Many local marketers are not highly aware of new development in digital marketing methodologies, yet the potential for going Inbound is huge when Singapore is considered the most connected country in the region, with broadband Internet penetration close to 100%! Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines also boast a sizeable Internet user base.

It’s up to us to evangelize the long-term benefits of Inbound Marketing. With ECommerce getting more prominent of late, we are confident that Inbound Marketing is sure to follow next.

Singapore marketers must be thinking, “What’s so special about Inbound if it’s any different from digital marketing?” When I first got in touch with the Inbound philosophy, I could not tell it apart from my earlier Internet marketing experience either, but the subtle difference is there. In fact, you’d never realize email marketing can take an outbound approach as much as an Inbound one.

For example, every time you blast out an eDM mail and hoping and praying someone will click it, that’s outbound. On the other hand, a website visitor arrives at one of your landing pages and download an interesting ebook offer. Thereafter, a series of scheduled email messages is sent out to him on a 3-day interval to nurture his interest until he becomes sales-ready: that’s Inbound.

Outbound: First, you execute a marketing action, then prospects react within their choice.

Inbound: First, prospects signal their interest by their top-of-the-funnel action, then you follow up on them.

Which marketing approach is easier…much easier? There is no debate: Inbound is the way to go because it builds on prospects’ interest that is already there; they come to you on their own initiative. At any point in time—not even in the closing stage—there is no hard selling. Even traditional business owners would have a few good ‘Inbound’ moments, like when you pick up a call and someone whom you have never prospected asked about your products and services. Would you be happy to receive random leads like this at no extra advertising cost? Sure you would. Inbound Marketing is touted to lower lead generation costs by 60%!

I think one of the strongest component of Inbound that sets it apart from digital marketing in general is its follow-up process. Many corporations in Singapore may have an email database here and a blog there, but they’d never know how various digital marketing elements can gel together to become comprehensive. Inbound Marketing, through the use of HubSpot, the world’s no. 1 Inbound Marketing software, is a holistic approach to converting a cold lead into a warm Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) which ultimately becomes a customer, and throughout the process, the marketing execution is timely (saves time) and cost-effective (saves money).

Inbound Marketing Is Hard

Inbound is not just list building: landing pages are strategically positioned along the buyer’s journey to frame a lead’s problems or challenges and offer corresponding solutions.

Inbound is not just content marketing: articles are written not generically, but with a sharp focus that is relevant to the readers depending on their buyer persona and where they are along the buyer’s journey.

Inbound is not just email marketing: emails are written to be helpful, informative and conversational and sent to the appropriate segmented subscriber list to engage subscribers and build closer relationships. The dialogue and nurturing process breaks down leads’ defenses so they can be more open to speaking to your sales team later.

Inbound is not just search engine optimization (SEO): selected keywords lay the foundation for remarkable content to be written for searchers first, then the search engines. This paves the way towards better understanding of your buyer personas’ queries.

Inbound is not just closing the sale: Too much money, time and effort had been spent to acquire customers only for businesses to neglect them. It is a grave mistake and a huge let-down to customers. According to the White House Office Of Consumer Affairs, “It is 6, 7 times more expensive to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one.” Inbound customer service goes above and beyond to build trust and lasting relationships as a critical priority to creating the Inbound experience. When customers become promoters of your business, you gain 3 very powerful intangible benefits: social proof, marketing leverage and competitive advantage.

It is clear to us that Inbound requires a higher marketing school of thought in order to provide a fuller customer experience in relation to our businesses. Singapore companies have always been ahead of neighboring countries in terms of business practices, so it is high time that we must uphold our leading position by continually updating our marketing strategies to meet business growth goals.

Inbound is the next wave of marketing to maximizing your growth potential. If you are not sure how to get started, do not hesitate to call us or drop us a mail, or you can apply for a FREE website evaluation. We relish a challenge that helps us on both sides to grow in knowledge and expertise in 2015 and beyond.

7 Ways To Craft Perfect Posts For LinkedIn

7 Ways To Craft Perfect Posts For LinkedIn

According to LinkedIn, more than 4 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages. Furthermore, 87% of users trust LinkedIn as a source of info that affects decision-making.

How do you ensure your content is among the trusted sources?

Let’s look at the LinkedIn-specific best practices.

1) Keep link titles under 70 characters.

When you’re uploading a link directly to your LinkedIn Company Page, if the original post has a lengthy title, be sure to click into the title to edit it. Any title above 70 characters gets cut off when posted on your Page.

2) Keep link descriptions under 250 characters.

Similar to the link title limitations, the description associated with your status update is given 250 characters before it’s cut off with an ellipsis. So shorten your meta description to properly display on LinkedIn.

3) Share links for engagement.

According to QuickSprout, including a link in your LinkedIn posts drives 200% more engagement. Just be sure to follow the above tips to optimize those link updates accordingly.

4) Share images for comments.

According to QuickSprout, posting images results in a 98% higher comment rate. “A picture is worth a thousand words”, so start sharing quality images and get more comments.

5) Share videos for higher shares.

According to QuickSprout again, linking to YouTube videos results in a 75% higher share rate. Rather than reading a long novel, people are more interested in visualization of the content in form of the video.

6) Publish a new status update roughly once a day.

According to LinkedIn, publishing 20 posts per month allows you to reach 60% of your audience. More status updates get readers to familiarize with your company name and the content you publish.

7) Send LinkedIn Announcements.

LinkedIn announcements can serve as a powerful tool to increase your LinkedIn lead generation. On the days we send an announcement to a LinkedIn Group, we see a spike in leads for the day. We also see the impact of that sent message trickle over the next day or two. Another option is to engage in a set number of groups and then find a way to use one of the group’s announcements for your own (relevant) marketing.

6 Hallmarks Of A Powerful Smarketing Relationship

Marketing and Sales teams may seem like strange bedfellows: having distinctively different roles but can’t do without each other, but the truth is both teams are mutually dependent and marketers and salespeople can integrate their work and culture seamlessly together.

Any perceived barriers between Marketing and Sales that arise is a result of inaction on the part of department heads to lead the initiative of understanding each other’s work. It takes time and effort, but the benefits are tangible. HubSpot had stated that “organizations with good alignment between sales and marketing teams achieve 20% more revenue growth on average annually.”

With the larger picture of revenue increase in mind, we present 6 strategies you can apply to foster a Smarketing relationship that works.

bullhorn

1. Communicate!

Yup, it all starts with talking to each other first. Communication is the building block to trust and teamwork and ensuring that both teams know what common goals to work towards. When messages become clear internally, they will be similarly conveyed externally to prospects and customers, thereby making them happy and benefiting all sides.

For a start, Marketing and Sales can arrange flexible networking sessions to get acquainted with each other. At a later time, they can conduct weekly or monthly meetings to talk strategies and review targets. Effective communication helps both teams understand how they can improve and reach their goals in tandem and as separate departments.

One innovative initiative is to get both sides of personnel to form small teams to compete against one another and reward the best performers.

teamwork

2. Set common goals.

Goal-setting has to be one of the key agendas of meetings between Marketing and Sales. When goals are clearly defined, with real and attainable numbers, within a set period of time, both teams will know what the goals are and come together to determine the best course of action to work towards them.

Having goals also promotes transparency and makes the post-analysis part easier. If targets are missed, either side can report and tally actual results against targets, learn from mistakes and find ways to improve the end-to-end lead generation, nurturing and conversion process, therefore it is a very good way to keep Marketing and Sales aligned together.

The goals can be included in an SLA (see point 6).

buyer personas

3. Collaborate to design an agreeable buyer persona.

One of the most prevalent cause of friction between Marketing and Sales is the poor quality of leads. While Marketing may accuse Sales of not doing enough to convert the leads well, Sales in turn would accuse Marketing for not generating the best type of leads.

To mitigate this problem, both sides must take some time to come together to define and review their buyer personas according to the personas’ pain points, aspirations and compelling key messages that will attract them to your business.

Consider questions like:

* Where do quality leads come from?
* What are they looking for?
* What topics interest them?

More questions can be found in this blog post: Discover 5 Powerful Methods For Designing Your Buyer Persona

fresh content

4. Determine the content that actually drives and converts leads into sales.

Within Inbound Marketing* context, content is the marketers’ most valuable asset, and is the key to attracting and nurturing new visitors. Of course, the quality and relevancy of content creation must be constantly reviewed and tweaked to cater to the desired buyer persona.

How would marketers know certain content needs to be tweaked accordingly? By talking to salespeople! They are the ones who will provide direct feedback right from the source: the leads. They are the ones speaking with the leads on a daily basis, so they will know if the leads have already formed a mental picture of how the company can offer the right solutions to help them. If there is a prolonged mismatch of expectations over a number of face-to-face consultations, it becomes obvious that the leads are not properly qualified, thus marketers need the necessary feedback to fine-tune the content or lead nurturing process.

data sharing

5. Seamless data sharing via software

Ideally, the best way to generate and analyze marketing and sales data is to integrate the software that each team uses so there is a seamless handoff of leads and shared data. The more visibility each team has into the other’s activities, the more that you will not only strengthen the Smarketing relationship, but also help keep overall efforts aligned.

Sales can see how leads are generated through which effective channels and therefore contribute more ideas for lead generation and improvement which Marketing may not thought of.

On the other hand, Marketing can see the conversion results of the leads handed to Sales so marketers can seek improvement in lead generation or the buying process.

sla

6. Develop a Service-Level Agreement (SLA)

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract between your marketing and sales team which clearly states what each team is responsible for and the numbers they need to hit to meet the overall goals. Both teams contribute individual goals, and together, you’re able to track how your Smarketing team is performing. It alleviates tension, breaks barriers and promotes the collaboration necessary for this relationship to function harmoniously.

Essentially, these are the types of things to be stated in an SLA for each team:

Marketing Team

  • Total sales goal in terms of revenue quota
  • % revenue that comes from marketing- vs. sales-generated leads
  • Average sales deal size
  • Average lead to customer close %

Sales Teams

  • The speed of follow-up for marketing-generated leads
  • The depth of follow-up for marketing-generated leads

As time goes, the SLA needs to be continually monitored, adjusted and reported back on. An SLA helps both teams to see the value that each department brings to the table. They can see how each team is contributing and will be more willing to work together to achieve those goals.

With these 6 hallmarks in mind, think of how powerful your business could become if you embraced and integrated a unified marketing and sales team! A successful company collaborates and works together as an entire team.

Sure, you may have separate roles and departments, but ultimately you have one goal: to produce real business results. When the expertise of both Marketing and Sales teams align, the potential is endless.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, social media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

Things You Must Do Before You Submit To Article Directories

SEO Article Writing

Business writers and content strategists know that article marketing is one of the oldest and most effective techniques in getting targeted prospects to their websites and converting them into buyers. As article writing, submissions and publications get increasingly popular, more tools are made available for making the article distribution process easier.

But first, let us look at the common mistakes that some writers make before submitting their contents to article directories:

1. Confusing the reason to promote the articles with the reason to write them.

In article writing, there are three key benefits why you are promoting them: branding, lead generation and promotion, which are all part of your optimization efforts. But there is only one reason why you write an article, and that is to inform your audience. If the article is not focused on this primary and most important purpose, it has failed to achieve the three promotion benefits because no one will be interested in reading them or passing them on to others.

You need to figure out first how to get people to read what is in your article, then make them click on your resource box. You can achieve this by producing better content.

2. Failing to maximize the promotional opportunities of article marketing.

You may know already that your articles can help you generate additional links back to your website. But do you know that you can get more visitors and better search engine results from those same articles?

Mention keywords at strategic places. Just be sure not to overdo them. Some are even using anchor text which is also an effective method. But it is important to know that a majority of the directories are not able to support this and overdoing keyword density can cost you.

Remember that is not only about the links back to your website. Part of doing well in your article marketing is getting picked up by publishers with a large number of audiences and gaining the ability of leveraging other brands because of the quality of your work. Better search engine results also are great benefits.

Start out with a plan and see to it that your article will serve the function that you intended it to have.

3. Publishing content that does not help your readers.

Maybe in the process of writing articles, you are thinking that all that you wanted is links back to your website. And any visitors it can generate are fine.

Guess what? Not all article banks and directories are going to accept your content automatically. Oftentimes, they have some guidelines and specifications on the articles that they are accepting.

You can double the number of sites you can submit to by writing articles that the directories want to share with other people. All it takes is one publisher with a hundred thousand readers to increase your potential audience overnight.

Write the articles that publishers want in their publications if you want your article marketing to work the most effective way for you. This also means you have to obey the standard guidelines, spell checks, researching on a good topic and even hiring a writer to produce a good content on your behalf.

In the end, it is all really a matter of choice on your part. You can start getting a little exposure from increased links back but on a very basic level, or enjoy massive exposure from a little extra time making quality content.

It will be your choice. You may not be aware of the fact that an article published on directories is not meant to have the same level of exposure as highly-targeted content focused on a well-defined group of people.

Learn the difference between these two and it will surely help you know what kinds of articles to write and to submit.

7 Vital Ways For Asian Businesses To Generate Sales Leads

7 Vital Ways For Asian Businesses To Generate Sales Leads

Inbound lead generation has its basis on a triangle strategy comprising of search engine optimization, business blogging and social media promotion. The triangle strategy can help you move curious strangers from across the Internet back to your website and landing pages. Discussed below are 7 tangible ways that you can start utilizing to create leads for your business based in Asia.

Search Engine Optimization

  1. On-page SEO

On-page SEO deals with forming the content of your web pages in a way that makes it easy for search engines to see and understand what the page is all about. Practically, the search engines look at 5 specific areas to understand your page: The page URL, the page title, the header tags, image ‘alt’ tags and body copy. By placing keywords into these key areas, you effectively communicate your page’s message to the search engine through Inbound Marketing.

  1. Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO deals with building Inbound links to your website and landing pages. The more Inbound links that you have to your site, the more valuable your content must be. However, not every link is viewed as equal in the eyes of the search engines. Some links have more ‘authority’ than others. By authority, I mean the weight and importance that is assigned to a specific link.

Business Blogging

  1. Pair Blog Content and Premium Content

The most common way to generate leads is to have individuals fill out a form on your website or landing page to get access to a piece of ‘gated’ content. One way to consistently expose premium content offers (the landing pages) to your audience is to closely pair blog content with premium ‘gated’ content. By doing this you create a lead generation opportunity for every blog post that you write.

  1. Increase Visibility with Blogging

Blogging is also very closely intertwined with search engine visibility. Each new blog post that you write generates a new page for the search engines. So by blogging frequently you exponentially increase your visibility. This enhanced visibility greatly improves the likelihood that visitors will find your blog, read it and become a prospect.

Social Media Promotion

  1. Understand the Culture of the Network

When looking to promote your company through social media, it’s very important to know the culture of the networks on which you are posting. A tangible example would be the difference between Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook has a fun and casual culture, while LinkedIn has a more professional feel. So post content that is consistent with culture of the network.

  1. Diversify Your Content

Social media platforms like Facebook, and Google+ are very visual networks. So start by creating content that is visually appealing because this will help you quickly garner attention from potential prospects. This way your Inbound Marketing* strategy will work out well.

  1. Build Frequency

To effectively grow your followers, fans, and subscribers you need to be posting frequently. By posting content consistently to each social network, your followers can get into a routine with your marketing communication. So develop a mechanism to schedule your posts frequency that allows your fans to get into a rhythm with your messaging frequency.

In conclusion search engine marketing, blogging and social media can be very effective ways to economically increase your company’s visibility and generate leads for your business in Asia.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

How To Review Metrics To Increase Leads And Sales For Your Marketing Campaigns

How To Review Metrics To Increase Leads And Sales

Tracking performance data via analytics is an integral aspect of marketing campaigns, but most marketers in Singapore are not well versed in it, even underestimate its importance. Testing and tracking can help marketers know where they have fallen short in their marketing strategies so they can improve on these areas, and maintain what they have been doing well.

With so many analytical measurements like traffic volume, lead conversion, email open rate and click-through rate, social media reach etc., it can be daunting to understand what numbers are relevant to campaign performance.

After reading today’s article, you will be know how to use analytics to identify the data you need to examine, based on several different scenarios that you may face.

Scenario #1: You need brand awareness

Analytics helps you to identify things like whether people recognise your company and its logo, what they know about your company, and what they think about when they hear your brand’s name.

Look at traffic. Look at where your traffic is coming from to figure out which marketing channels are the most successful. This way, you can tailor your marketing efforts in the future to leverage the most effective marketing channels. Additionally, look at how much direct traffic goes to your website—this represents the people who already know about your company and are visiting as a result. Reviewing the changes in these metrics over time will give you an idea of your brand’s presence.

Look at search engine rankings. As your company gains more awareness, important keywords will begin to have higher search engine rankings. If you’re focused on branding, however, you should look for improvement in traffic that is driven from brand-specific terms in particular. Create your content around the keywords that you want to rank higher on search engines and drive greater volumes of traffic to your website.

Look at social media reach. The size of your following can be an indicator of brand awareness. Additionally, take a look at how engaged your following is; for example, how much your content is liked/favourited and shared/retweeted.

Scenario #2: You need a bigger database

After having amassed a large following and established heavy traffic to your site, the next step would be to do something with these followers and viewers—by converting them into opt-in leads. Database growth is important for good sales, so take a look at these metrics to help you grow it.

Look at blog visits. If your website traffic continues to grow each day, this could be a good indicator that your lead generation will also continue to grow. However, if it is starting to or has already begun to plateau, you’ll need to take a look at your content and SEO, and how you can drive more traffic to your blog.

Look at social media reach. Similarly, your social media platforms are an opportunity for lead generation, and so if your social media reach has stagnated, it’s unlikely that you’ll get new leads anytime soon. To remedy this, consider starting new discussions on different channels, and try promoting your interesting content more frequently.

Look at landing page traffic and conversions. Check your landing page analytics to see if your site traffic is actually going to your landing pages, since that is where leads are generated. Look at which channels are bringing you the most landing page traffic and further optimise those channels to bring even more traffic and henceforth, leads.

Scenario #3: You need more leads to convert to customers

Look at lead-to-customer conversion rates. Review your lead-nurturing processes, like which workflows have low engagement rates. Is it because of the low quality of the content, or the call-to-action is not strong or convincing enough? By identifying underperforming workflows and optimising them, you can help move more customers further down the funnel.

9 Tips For Generating A Customer Through Social Media

9 Tips For Generating A Customer Through Social Media

We’ve previously blogged about how social media helps with marketing efforts. Along with the growing importance of social media in B2B leads generation, Inbound Marketing* has proved to be the most effective marketing tool, according to the report State of Inbound Marketing in 2013. But just how important is social media?

– Social media contributes 14% of marketers’ total pipeline in 2013 and an additional 21% of marketers report that social media has become more important to their company.

Facebook leads social media in lead generation, with 52% of all marketers sourcing a lead from Facebook and 74% saying Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies.

Company blogs and LinkedIn are in the second place, with 43% of marketers generating a customer from each of these respective channels.

Twitter also records strong customer delivery potential, with more than 36% of marketers (source: State of Inbound Marketing in 2013).

When these marketers can generate a customer through social media, why not you?

To be one among those marketers, use these 9 tips to generate a customer through social media.

  • Keep it simple – As long as the content is useful, simple and informative, people won’t mind following a post from your company.
  • Don’t spam – This is one of the biggest no-nos in marketing. Not only could this hurt your brand image but can also hinder your marketing reputation. This includes sending mass event invites and messages to like your brand from your personal emails.
  • Effective responses – Acknowledging customer posts or answering their questions is important when it comes to social media. It takes two hands to clap and for customer-marketer interaction to take place, inbound marketers must make an effort to engage with leads or customers on social networks. In most of the situations, same-day replies are a must, as most users expected quick responses in this digital age.
  • No clustered updates – Avoid making multiple updates within a short time span, as it may be seen in the same light as spam. This could annoy your social media followers and you may lose the long-term attention of your audience.
  • Address by the name – If your are going to send a reply (via email) for the feedback or posting a comment, address the recipient by the name of the company or his personal name. This will build a strong relationship between you and your prospect/customer.
  • Highlight important posts – If your brand has any very important updates; e.g. acquisitions, sales, or features in news articles; you can highlight them in your page’s timeline. This helps promote these updates rather than have them lost in a wall of text.
  • Private messages – People may send you private messages on these social media. You’ll find that most of these messages will be customer service-related, such as enquiries, so make sure to check and reply them as promptly as you can.
  • Be genuine – Nobody wants to have a conversation with a robot. In every interaction you have on social media, be yourself as much as you possibly can. Personalized interactions make the other people feel like you actually value and care about their interests.
  • Customized images – Having personalized images for your cover picture will attract more customers to your website, particularly your landing page. If your website looks bland, the customer will likely not be interested.

Here are few examples of companies who have attained top positions in using social media as a part of their business:

Facebook

  • Amazon loves to engage their followers with interesting questions and visual content that link to relevant products on their website. (HubSpot)
  • Kickstarter keeps its followers engaged with news about new projects and opportunities to invest in. (HubSpot)

Twitter

  • Burger King does a good job of tweeting pretty frequently and actively replying to and interacting with its followers. (HubSpot)
  • Vogue Magazine has a consistent rhythm for their tweets that give its followers a nice stream of content. (HubSpot)

LinkedIn

  • Starbucks feature a number of helpful articles about retail related companies and keeps its followers up to date on how the company is currently progressing. (HubSpot)

YouTube

  • RedBull is a content producer at heart and has been recognized by the digital industry as an innovator for all things content-related. It posts one to three videos per day.

Social media is the face your company shows to the world through the Internet, and it is imperative that the impressions you give are positive to both long-time followers and people that have just recently discovered your social media page.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.