Posts Tagged "lead generation"


Chatbots: No Longer Just a Buzzword

Chatbots: No Longer Just a Buzzword

Chatbots are a must-have lead generation and customer service tool for supply chain businesses in 2019.

The newest generation of B2B buyers is increasingly dominating the two-way conversation between marketers and buyers. They prefer to gather purchasing information on their own — overwhelmingly via online searches, vendor websites, and peers and colleagues — rather than talking to sales representatives. They are unsubscribing from marketing emails at alarming rates, citing over-communication as the number-one reason why. And they are using messaging platforms to speak directly with brands when they have questions or problems.

At the same time, buyers are demanding more personalized communications, faster response times, and an improved, cohesive user experience on all of a vendor’s digital channels.

All these factors are driving the growing popularity of chatbots as a lead generation and customer service tool. But, at Fronetics, we think it’s time to stop viewing them as a trendy communication mechanism and more as a necessary part of a supply chain operation’s marketing strategy.

Chatbot applications for the supply chain

I’ve written before about the impressive implications that automation has for supply chain marketing & sales efforts. (HubSpot reports that businesses using marketing automation receive a 451% increase in qualified leads.) At Fronetics, we’re seeing chatbots as one of the most successful and easy-to-implement marketing automation tools in the current marketplace.

Chatbots are relatively inexpensive, inherently low-maintenance, and surprisingly user-friendly — to both the buyers interacting with them and the vendors setting them up. They help website visitors find the information they need quickly, while gathering user data that is useful in marketing and sales efforts, all without taxing human resources. In fact, Chatbots Life reports that businesses can save up to 30% of costs associated with servicing customer requests by using a chatbot.

Millennials, in particular, appreciate the quick, easy, and unobtrusive communication option that chatbots offer. And, as we all know, this generation comprises an increasing percentage of the B2B purchasing landscape. In a crowded marketplace, vendors that offer a pleasing user experience will have the competitive edge when it comes to winning business and growing a base of loyal customers.

A real-life example

We are recommending chatbots to clients because we have seen firsthand how effective they can be. I’ll give you an example from our own experience at Fronetics.

We recently implemented a chatbot on our website that we synced with my calendar, allowing users to schedule a time to speak with me about our services. I am not exaggerating when I say that within 24 hours, we had a lead come through the bot. I spoke with that lead at the time he scheduled, the next morning, and delivered a proposal to him the next day.

Chatbots are here — in a big way. If you’re not using one, your competitors certainly are (or will be soon). Having a chat mechanism on your website will soon be the difference between winning more business and missing out… if it’s not already.

This post originally appeared on EBN Online.

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Posts Tagged "lead generation"


Infographic: 4 Strategies for Supply Chain Marketers to Build a YouTube Audience

Infographic: 4 Strategies for Supply Chain Marketers to Build a YouTube Audience

If you’re trying to build a YouTube audience, you’ll need equal parts strategy, creativity, concision, and valuable subject matter.


Highlights:

  • Strategy and creativity are top priorities.
  • Keep content short and sweet for maximum impact.
  • Offer value to your audience rather than a sales pitch.

An increasing percentage of search traffic is perusing YouTube for information, advice, and education. That makes the platform ideal for getting in front of prospects looking for products and services like yours.

But I’ve seen a lot of B2B marketers getting YouTube wrong. The good news is that the problem is usually that they’re trying too hard — and not in the right ways.

To effectively build a YouTube audience that will eventually become leads and, hopefully, customers, you need to be distributing video content that showcases your organization’s expertise in an approachable way. Here are some simple rules for how to go about that (without barking up the wrong tree).

4 Strategies for Brands on YouTube

4 ways to build a YouTube audience

1)      Be disciplined about your content schedule.

When it comes to publishing content on social media, when you post is nearly as important as what you post. YouTube is no different. Creating and sticking to a consistent schedule for posting new content essentially trains your audience and lets them know when they can expect to hear more from you.

Creating video content consistently doesn’t need to feel like reinventing the wheel. First off, videos should be part of your content calendar in the same way as blog posts, case studies, and other forms of content. You don’t need to create brand new material for each video. Take a high-performing blog post and re-package the ideas into video content.

2)      Get creative.

Creativity for B2B companies is all about striking the right balance between entertaining presentation and informative, high-quality content. Think about approaching the information you want to convey in a different way. Can you use a different medium (like animation) or interview two subject-matter experts together if your one-on-one interviews are feeling stale?

There are plenty of technologies available today that will help you create exciting, engaging video content relatively cheaply. Or you could always consider outsourcing your videography.

3)      Keep it short.

While we’ve seen recent growth in long-form YouTube content, for most B2B marketing purposes, shorter videos are far more effective. Of course, this is good news in that producing shorter videos can be less time-consuming and costly. But I cannot emphasize enough the importance of quality over quantity here.

A 1- to 2-minute video of high-quality, well-edited content will get far more engagement (and be more successful in helping you build a YouTube audience) than 15 minutes of lecturing or poorly executed, complex animation. Click To Tweet

A 1- to 2-minute video of high-quality, well-edited content will get far more engagement (and be more successful in helping you build a YouTube audience) than 15 minutes of lecturing or poorly executed, complex animation. If you have a lot of footage about a certain subject, consider releasing a series of shorter videos.

4)      Don’t make video a sales pitch.

Content marketing is inbound marketing, and video is no different. Countless studies have shown that increasingly buyers prefer informative, valuable content to blatant sales pitches.

This doesn’t mean that your content shouldn’t be branded, but it does mean that your focus in creation and execution needs to be what you can offer your audience, rather than you’re asking from them.

Use your video content to address specific concerns or answer questions that are relevant to your target audience. It’s simple: if you give something of value, you will build a YouTube audience that could eventually become your leads and customers.

What have you been doing to build a YouTube audience?

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Posts Tagged "lead generation"


How to Use Social Media to Promote Events and Conferences

How to Use Social Media to Promote Events and Conferences

Follow these 3 steps to use social media to promote events, conferences, and other business occasions.

Social media is a powerhouse tool for growing brand awareness, audience engagement, and lead generation. It’s also one of the most effective ways out there to promote special events.

Social media is a powerhouse tool for growing brand awareness, audience engagement, and lead generation. It’s also one of the most effective ways out there to promote special events. Click To Tweet

But simply creating a Facebook event and sharing it once or twice won’t get you the most bang for your buck. You need to be strategic about your use of social media to promote events and conferences.

Follow these 3 steps to make the most of social media as a promotional tool.

3 steps to use social media to promote events for your business

1. Choose your platform wisely

Not all social media channels are created equal, and neither are all events. Finding the platform that suits the unique needs of your event or conference is a big part of a successful promotional campaign. For instance, Facebook is a great option for large-scale public events, since it lets you hone in on your target audience in specific ways.

On the other hand, for corporate events like seminars, conferences, and continuing education programming, LinkedIn is your best bet. LinkedIn lets you set up your event and allows attendees to network with each other before the event even happens.

When it comes to more informal events, Instagram is a great way to identify and engage with potential attendees. The platform’s highly visual nature is ideal for sharing imagery related to your event, and it’s an ideal place to use hashtags.

2. Pick a hashtag

If your social media circle includes people under the age of 35, you’ve probably noticed that pretty much every wedding, graduation party, and even family vacation has its own hashtag these days. Corporate events are no different. Hashtags are a fun and memorable way to foster a sense of community, and they have the important benefit of being an easy way to group all information, questions, and comments about your event.

The most effective hashtags tend to be short, memorable, and easy to read. It’s also worthwhile to do a quick search to make sure your hashtag hasn’t been used before. In all posts related to your event, use your hashtag prominently, and encourage your audience to do the same if they share or post independently.

3. Don’t forget about content

One of the most effective ways to promote events on social media is — you guessed it — content. Blog posts, related case studies, testimonials from former events, promotional interviews with potential attendees or keynote speakers, videos, case studies, and white papers/industry reports are all content types to consider.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you promote a new event. Chances are, existing content can be repurposed and reposted on social media channels. You’re serving the dual purpose of promoting your event and driving more traffic to view and interact with your content.

When it comes to promoting events, social media is your friend. Approaching it strategically can help you raise awareness, attendance, and interaction and reach for your brand.

How do you use social media to promote events?

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Posts Tagged "lead generation"


How to Use Guest Posting as Part of Your Content Strategy

How to Use Guest Posting as Part of Your Content Strategy

Guest posting can help you build your reputation as a thought leader, grow your contact list, improve your SEO, and expose your content to new audiences.

At Fronetics, we use guest posting as a part of our own — and many of our clients’ — content strategies. Essentially, we partner with a relevant influencer or company and swap content to post on each other’s blogs. It can be a really effective way to reach new, relevant audiences and provide interesting perspectives and voices to keep your core audience engaged.

What’s so great about guest posting?

Guest posting has all kinds of benefits. Every time you post as a guest, you expose your content to a whole new audience. We talk about the importance of exposure all the time when it comes to content marketing. Your biggest asset isn’t your products or services; it’s your expertise. Guest posting helps you establish your brand as a thought leader.

Guest blogs can be a really effective way to reach new, relevant audiences and provide interesting perspectives and voices to keep your core audience engaged. Click To Tweet

In addition to posting with industry influencers and peer brands, guest posting for larger publications can be hugely beneficial, for obvious reasons. Not only are you introducing your brand and content to a broad audience, you’re associating yourself with an established authoritative source.

By the same token, having other brands author guest posts on your own blog is a great idea as well. When key influencers write for your blog, they bring their audience directly to you, allowing you to tap into a new and relevant set of prospects. Not only that, by inviting peers to contribute to your content, you’re forging and strengthening relationships within the industry.

Guest posting is great for SEO

We’re always talking about how to improve your SEO. One benefit of guest posting that’s often overlooked is that it can significantly improve your search engine rankings.

Search engines use backlinks from other websites, particularly popular ones, as part of their algorithms that determine how search results are ranked. According to online business expert Sarah Peterson, in a guest article for the Huffington Post, “You can use the opportunity of your guest post to include 1-2 backlinks to strong pieces of content you want to rank for.”

Grow your contact list

We all know that email marketing is hugely effective and profitable, if your contact list is strong and effectively segmented. Another often overlooked benefit of guest posting is that it has the potential to strengthen and enrich your email marketing efforts.

Because you’re being exposed to new audiences, both as a guest blogger and when guests write for your blog, you have the opportunity to target and cultivate new leads from relevant sources. Use guest posts as an opportunity to usher prospects to lead generation campaigns on your own website.

Says Peterson, “if you’re not using this marketing strategy, you could be leaving a ton of email subscribers on the table.”

How do you use guest posting in your content strategy?

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Posts Tagged "lead generation"


Content Marketing vs. Your Sales Staff: Who Does What?

Content Marketing vs. Your Sales Staff: Who Does What?

When your content marketing and sales forces align their efforts, they form a powerful symbiotic relationship that grows your brand and your bottom line.   

There’s a big misperception out there that content marketing represents some kind of threat to the job security of sales personnel. It’s absolutely true that content marketing is an inbound approach, contrary to the traditional outbound approach of a B2B sales force. But make no mistake: Content marketing is not a substitute or replacement for an expert sales staff.

It’s absolutely true that content marketing is an inbound approach, contrary to the traditional outbound approach of a B2B sales force. But make no mistake: Content marketing is not a substitute or replacement for an expert sales staff. Click To Tweet

In fact, it’s when marketing and sales work in tandem that they’re most effective. They can help each other out to generate more leads, nurture current leads more effectively, and even help close more deals.

Content marketing helps generate a steady flow of quality leads, and it provides targeted information to usher prospects down the sales funnel. But even quality leads don’t turn into sales on their own. This is where a sales staff comes in, to take those leads and cultivate them into new business.

Content marketing and sales: Division of labor

For content marketing and sales to work seamlessly together, it’s important to have a clear idea of the role of each. They provide different touch points for leads at each stage of the buying cycle. Here’s a quick primer:

1. Forming a relationship

In this early stage of the buying cycle, your content marketing efforts go toward opening up a dialogue with potential customers. Often, potential leads’ first engagement with your brand comes when they read one of your blog posts, come across your website while searching for product solutions, or see one of your social media posts through their network.

This is when your sales staff picks up the ball, keeping that positive contact going by developing it into a conversation. It’s your sales team’s job to cultivate an ongoing personal relationship with that prospect.

2. Providing information

Now that you’ve established a relationship and your sales team is continuing a dialogue with your prospect, content marketing can step in. B2B buyers report spending more time than ever conducting research, using expert content such as vendor websites, user reviews, and social media before making purchasing decisions. The content that you share with prospects at this stage of the buyer’s journey should be designed to answer informed questions and tip the scales in your favor.

At this stage, your sales staff should be directly answering questions from prospects. When a potential customer reaches out with a query, it’s likely that he or she has done a fair amount of research. So your sales reps need to speak specifically to the customer’s needs in a way that content alone can’t do, to keep them interested and moving down the funnel.

3. Advocating for your brand

Content marketing increases brand awareness for your business. It helps elevate your brand position within the industry and keeps your business top-of-mind, even at a time when potential customers aren’t ready to make a purchase.

When a customer is preparing to make a purchase, your sales staff is the primary advocate for your brand. They should be proactive in pursuing business when customers show interest in your content or when they reach out with questions. They drive dialogue and get to know customers and how your business can help them.

A match made in heaven

When content marketing and sales work together, you’ll see the results hit your bottom line. Curating and creating great content will generate quality leads for your company. And it also empowers your sales force to build relationships with potential customers — and close the sale.

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