Cold calling is a challenge for most of the people; it raises a spectre of dread and fear. If you follow these ten tips of cold calling, you will find the entire process much effective and easier to break the ice. These tips will help to improve your b2b sales lead generation as well as sales rate over the phon
1. Overcome your fear
If you are feeling fear about calling customers, you might have different uncertainties in your head. Think that it’s not personal, the receiver on another end he or she is not going to hurt you. Imagine what can be the worst thing that would happen to you? They will hang up your call or mistreat you. Take it all as your learning medicines.
Take heart from the experiences of others and put some time in shadowing of your colleague see how he or she makes phone calls, it will help you to overcome your fear. As you start calling, your fear will start to disappear eventually.
2. Plan your Script
Write out few lines that can support you to give a good start and good end. You cannot write the script of the entire conversation. For example,
“Hi, I am Paul Mike, Marketing executive of ABC Company. We supply lubricants that are efficient for machine lines; I saw your buying requirement on Exporthub regarding automotive lubricants, are you interested in buying these lubricants? If buyer says yes then you can ask him questions like how much quantity you need and so on. You can carry on with your natural conversation when the customer answers your first question. But be prepared for every query that a customer might ask you.
Remember, if you write a complete script it will not pay off you; just write few points and you’re your script accordingly to gain credibility and confidence in the eyes of your customer.
3. Choose the best time of calling
The best time to cold call is 4:00-5:00pm, the second best time is 8:00-10:00am and the worst times are 11:00am to 2pm (Insidesales.com & Kellogg school of business).
Thursday is the best day to prospect. Wednesday is the second best day. Tuesday is the worst day. (InsideSales).
It varies from industry to industry and working hours of your target audience. In light of these two factors, you can decide the best calling time for yourself. Choose the calling time when you feel very energetic, and you don’t have a load of other operational tasks. Typically, morning hours are better than the afternoon.
4. Plan every phone call
Before you start making phone calls to your customer. Take a look at every lead on your list in the sheet. Plan every lead efficiently that how can you bring it toward engagement and conversion. There are three steps to plan well. Ask yourself
- What is the right objective?
- What is the right approach?
- Who is the right person?
Your objective can be asking for sales appointment or convince the client on a given quotation etc. The right approach is developing strategies which help you to achieve your objective. Strategies may include offering the discount, free delivery or anything by which you can be successful to persuade your client toward conversion. The right person is an individual you try to approach who can help you to achieve desired results. In sales usually, the right person is CEO, VP, Purchase manager, operational manager or owner of the company.
You have to combine all these three while approaching your lead on call. They can play crucial role to break the ice.
5. Your Voice
Your voice should be firm and confident in courteous tone. Stay polite but don’t speak like overly “sweet.” Say your words slowly so the listener can quickly collect your thoughts. Don’t make long pauses during conversations.
Make sure don’t sound to be nervous otherwise buyer will think you shaky or unprofessional and might hang up your call. If you find yourself nervous, then ask yourself the reason either it’s because of lack of product knowledge or natural fear. You easily overcome with some amount of concentration and willpower. Practicing a pitch twice or thrice before dialing a phone number will be helpful to you.
6. Hook your customer
Plan some points to attract your customer for instance, “we are ISO certified”. Tell customer your USP (Unique selling point) of your product or services, and identify the pain area or core need of the client then align your product as a solution to this problem.
When negotiating on pricing, if the prospect says too high price focus on highlighting benefits, features and competitive advantage you are offering and if they argue about low quality or quantity. You can tell him we are also charging you the low price.
It is not a hard and fast rule, but it can work well when you tailor this technique according to your situation.
7. Handle Objections
Do you know 58% buyers report that salesmen are unable to answer their queries effectively? (Forbes Insight)
You will often receive queries and objections if you belong to sales and business development. Learn to handle objections and queries. Write answers on your sheet of top ten queries and objections. Practice them well to respond your customers effectively.
8. Don’t forget to follow up
44% of salespeople give up after one follow up. (Marketingdonut).
Follow up is part and parcel of cold calling. If you don’t follow up regularly, then you won’t be able to close orders and make sales. Do quick follow-ups until you get any final status of yes or no? In this way, you will gain excellent speed in chasing good leads toward conversion.
9. Don’t get distressed by rejections
Only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment (Leapjob.com)
Rejections are the routine norm of sales life. So you don’t need to get upset by lots of rejections. Out of 100 calls, ten might take an interest in your offer and out of 10; one prospect would like to buy your product or give you an appointment. Consumers have many options to buy because they receive offers and quotations from several suppliers.
Try to ask out a customer, if he is not willing to buy from you what the reason behind it is? If he tells you the reason, you will learn more about consumer preferences and your product strengths and weaknesses. Or you can also ask him to give you any referral. Referral plays crucial role in closing sales.
- Do you know 80% of sales calls with a referral lead to a meeting? (IKO-system.com).
- 91% of customers say they’d give a referral? (Dale Carnegie)
10. Evaluate your performance
Keep track of your sales efforts, measure how many minimum calls can bring you to one conversion. Take inventory of all the elements which play the crucial role in your failure and success of cold calling.
Whereas, you also need to consider other elements that can affect your sales performance such as product USP, the number of available buyers data in the marketplace, size of your company, timing to approach customers, competitor’s offer, etc.
You can consider all these aspects while doing a self evaluation of your sales performance to improve your sales skills efficiently.
The bottom line is
Above all, the more you practice, the better you will be able to master the skills of cold calling. As you progress in practice, you will see how your hidden talent of sales will come out and lead you toward success.…
If you are heading a career in B2B marketing, constant learning and reading habit can turn out to be part and parcel of your career growth. In this regard, marketing executives and leaders must carve out time to read out useful books that help you discover some of the smartest marketing moves.
Over the months, I have seen books worth of content and digital marketing. But, some books sound very useful for the head and heart of enthusiastic marketers.
Here is a collection of top ten books from authors who are constantly making waves in marketing industry by creating helpful content for B2B marketing strategists around the globe.
1- Full Funnel Marketing by Matt Heinz
The Full Funnel Marketing is written by award-winning blogger Matt Heinz. The book is a terrific guide to lead management. Also, it gives the reader an in-depth understanding of the concepts of lead generation, leads nurturing and lead conversion. The book is a roadmap for B2B and B2C marketers for improving their lead management strategies.
2- Welcome to the Funnel by Jason Miller
The author of this book is Jason Miller. He is a content marketing leader and a writer of famous book Rock n Roll photographer. He has described the most important and proven content marketing tricks in the book including impressive statistics. Miller adds interesting pictures and images along significant content marketing information. The book is a practical guide for employing B2B content marketing strategy and social media tactics effectively.
3- Impossible to Ignore by Carmen Simon
Impossible to Ignore is a creative piece of marketing art filled with research-based techniques. The book states how to stand out in the crowded marketplace and rise above the noise of online marketing. The author Carmen Simon helps B2B marketers on how to run influential marketing campaigns and deliver effective marketing and business presentations.
4- Hacking Marketing by Scott Brinker
The author Scott Brinker is a visionary marketer who brought us ground-breaking solutions to current fast-paced marketing environment. The book explains how to find a balance with fast, data-centric and high-tech marketing culture with modern tools and tactics. The book is a turn-key solution for all the high-tech marketing challenges and chaos.
5- The Big Data-Driven Business by Sean Callahan & Russell Glass
This book is a product of two authors Sean Callahan and Russell Glass. It reveals the fact that data is a king in B2B marketing success. Enormous data allows reaching target better and make smarter decisions. Reading this book will tell you:
- How data is going to transform the B2B and B2C industries worldwide.
- The best use of technology to reach data and further use it for conversion.
- Case-studies of data losers and winners and many more.
6- Driving Demand by Carlos Hidalgo
In this book, Carlos Hidalgo pinpoints the obstacles standing between success and failure of B2B marketing. The book sheds light on efficient strategies for applying change management into an organization. The contents of the book contain case studies, exercises and clear roadmap on how to drive B2B marketing demand and efficiently communicate with customers.
7- Content Inc. by Joe Pullizi
Joe Pullizi, the founder of content marketing institute, educates the readers on how to make the audience love your product. In this regard, he explains the content marketing tricks and tactics that lays the foundation for your strong B2B brand image. The book is vital for B2B marketer in building digital brand through content marketing strategies.
Besides, Joe Pullizi has carved out six step of business building. These steps are simple, smart, practical and cost-effective. The book contains practical advice and effective techniques for entrepreneurship, content marketing, and B2B brand building.
8- Aligned to Achieve by Tracy Eiler & Andrea Austin
The book is an excellent guide on how to build a dream team of marketing and sales. Smart, practical explanations, tips, case studies and dozens of corporate examples lead you to take particular actions over theory. The authors Andrea and Tracy address the old-age problem of marketing and sales misalignment and how to solve it effectively. Reading the book will help you to:
- Understand the damage of misalignment between marketing and sales.
- Discover driving forces behind marketing and sales misalignment.
- Explore Benefits of marketing and sales unity regarding revenue, growth, and productivity.
- Find Strategies that can improve your technology, leadership, process, and culture to support and initiate alignment between marketing and sales.
- Identify the areas to modify marketing and sales programs for starting cooperation and collaboration between sales and marketing departments.
- Determine how other organizations are uniting their marketing and sales team into the great workforce for business growth and development.
9- Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini
After all, marketing is all about persuasion and leading your audience to take the desired action. The author Robert Cialdini, the social psychologist, sheds light on benefits and key techniques of effective persuasion. He said persuasion does not only lie in the message but the timing, determining the right approach, knowing your right objective, incorporating a hook in your message and choosing the right audience together is crucial in the success of marketing campaigns.
In this context, the author has revealed some scientific techniques to improve persuader mindset in delivering effective persuasion messages. Also, he illustrates on how to exercise effective persuasion techniques to get your marketing campaigns successful.
The book is highly valuable in polishing your marketing skills as well as your persuasion skills. It can be helpful for one’s career and personal life.
10- The Power of Visual Storytelling by Jessica Gioglio & Ekaterina Walter
The power of visual storytelling is filled with thought-provoking examples and colorful images. The authors Jessica Gioglio and Ekaterina Walter explain that attention and visual storytelling is a new commodity in the digital marketing world. Furthermore, they guide how B2B marketers utilize rich media, presentations, infographics, videos, and photos to arrest the attention of their target audience.
The book delivers an excellent roadmap concerning how to align your social media, content marketing, and infographics effectively to make your brand stand out in the crowd.
Overall, these books will work as life-blood for your career. Don’t miss out these books because “Leaders are Readers” (Harry S. Truman). I would suggest selecting the book that compliments your situation and career then take necessary steps towards the implementation. You will see the considerable difference between your past and current successes.…
Gartner 2017 Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Florida tapped on a wide unexplored digital world. The bottom line lies around how immersive experience, artificial intelligence, constant adaptive security and event-thinking lay the foundation for next generation digital businesses.
In this event, Gartner has highlighted top 10 trends of strategic technology that will be trending in 2018 and onwards in several industries, especially in the E-Commerce industry.
These trends are summarized below:-
1- Artificial Intelligence
The use of artificial intelligence is creating hype in the corporate world. AI carries the high potential to execute multiple tasks effectively. AI is useful to utilize mass data effectively for decision making and also plays a vital role in reinventing ecosystems and business models.
According to research survey of Tractica, the trend of adopting artificial intelligence in the business world is increasing. In 2015, the net worth of AI market was 11.1 billion USD. And the net worth of adopting AI systems will be 11.1 billion USD by 2024.
In this context, organizations should move toward adapting AI. They need to invest in human resource, training and development, IT skills, equipment, processes and model creation to transform their business processes into Artificial Intelligence mechanism.
In this way, organizations can increase their productivity across all departments effectively.
2- Analytics and Smart Apps
Along with AI, the trend of using smart apps and analytics are growing as businesses are becoming digital time by time. There is some amount of AI present in every app.
Gartner focuses on exploring smart apps that can highlight use cases and augment human actions across business processes, advanced analytics, and fresh user experiences.
Gartner also identifies augmented analytics that exploits machine learning to automate preparation of data, as a zone of strategic importance.
3- Smart Things
Gartner also talked about IIOT. The growth of IIOT has encircled several things. Beside IIOT, machine and AI facilitate business processes to function semi-autonomously or autonomously. For instance, a robotic vacuum cleaner having computer vision can clean and navigate home with negligible intervention. As technology excels, there will be lots of smart things that will function collaboratively to accomplish the goal.
4- Digital Twin
Gartner spoke about the significance of digital twins in the business world. Digital twins are digital copies of physical world mechanisms. They can effectively use as digital replicas for physical processes, systems, and assets. Digital twins usually work parallel with IIOT. They play a crucial role in responding to change, improve operations and capable to cut the cost of operations and maintenance efficiently.
IIOT and digital twins are widely used across several industries. Digital twins and IIOT provide medical data and biometrics to doctors. It can also work as a digital twin for the town. It can offer useful information to cities and state planners about maintenance and operations.
5- Cloud Computing
Gartner concentrates on achieving cloud computing capabilities so that organizations can put their servers, data and electronic resources on cloud computing systems to cut acquisition, space, and maintenance cost.
6- Conversational Platforms
Conversational platforms are online channels where users interact with the digital world. It refers to sophisticated conversational software technology for customer base and employees. These platforms will be more advanced so they would not need any human support on the backend.
They engage in conversation with the user and translate the communication into further more personalized formats which can be a useful data for research and development. Conversational platforms can play decisive role in designing strategy for business growth.
7- Immersive Technologies
These technologies are blurring the boundary line between digital and physical world. Virtual reality (VR) puts the consumer in a rendered digital environment. Augmented reality (AR) dissolves the thick line between physical and digital world by overlaying digital information in the physical world.
These technologies when emerging with IIOT and conversational platforms, they will bring a significant shift to immersive and ubiquitous computing in digital business world.
8- Block Chain
The blockchain is tokenized, distributed decentralized and shared ledger that eliminates business friction via independent individual participants or applications. It is a digital ledger that contains the feature of incorruptibility. It does not program to record only financial transactions, but it can be widely used across several business processes and operations.
9- Event-Driven Architecture
It is a pattern of software architecture that promotes consumption, detection, and production of events. The EDA pattern can be applied via implementation and design of systems and applications that broadcast events among coupled software services and components. The EDA is an effective technology to track and monitor every event of business processes.
The event-sourced real-time situational awareness is foreseen to be a must-have characteristic for up to 80% of digital businesses by 2020. Whereas, 80% new business ecosystem will demand event processing support.
10- CART (Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust)
E-Commerce industry evolves into a complex security environment. The employment of sophisticated tools has also increased the threat and security concerns to digital world. CART facilitates decision making that is trust based in real-time and allows highly specialized adaptive responses to the security system of the digital business.
However, conventional security techniques exercising control and ownership will not seem to be working efficiently in the digital world in the long term.
These ten strategic technologies are vital to increasing productivity and cutting cost.
However, digital entrepreneurs and B2B marketplaces have to anticipate the right fit of strategic technologies to their organization. It is not essential that every technology is the right fit for you and you are the right fit to adapt every technology.
There are several constraints such as will your organization bear the cost of implantation of technology? Does this technology be relevant and useful to your organization structure, industry, and product?…
They say content is the king when it comes to market a business online. Most people confuse the term ‘content’ with text or blogging. The fact is, working on text is just one aspect of content marketing, there’s a lot more to explore.
2019 is Almost here, are you Equipped?
Research suggests that B2B marketing has undergone a major shift and everything’s changing from audience to modes of communication with them. In this reign of transformation with 2019 knocking on door, B2B companies are striving to stay ahead of the curve. Experts suggest that for B2B brands it is important to dive into every detail associated with the changing and upcoming market trends.
To keep up with the pace content marketing is one of the most crucial factors to hold on. Visuals in face of infographics, videos and other presentations are seen to be performing well as compared to text. However, a good combo – informative blog with graphical demonstrations and videos could be groundbreaking.
To have an insight into what the future of content marketing looks like have a sneak peek into the following infographic. From news alerts on what top brands are doing to excel to secret success recipe, we have said it all.
Do you know, 70 percent B2B sites will start proposing personalized features for prospects by 2018? Gartner.
Personalization is making the best use of collected data of web buyers then create unique, customized and relevant content for every prospect.
After several trial and error experiences, B2B sites understand website personalization is the critical element for increasing conversion and engagement rate with key audiences. Therefore, they start adopting them swiftly.
There are several benefits connected with the web personalization. Let’s have a look upon these benefits
“45% online shoppers show more interest in websites that present personalized recommendations” Invesp
Have you noticed when you entered any B2B site? They ask for signing up for your ID. As you sign up the B2B website or if you are already sign up member of the website. Your information is saved with reference to the sign-up ID. It helps the B2B brand to give you a personalized experience.
B2B sites save buyer search history rather than bombard them with a lot of ads. Most users like that their search history is preserved on the site and visible to them for further correspondence. In addition, B2B web brands also save your purchase history and expose you to relevant ads and concerned recommendations.
According to Hubspot, target ads on call to action rates were 42% higher than ads exposed on a website to induce prospects.
In this way, personalized content is result oriented; you hit the right person with the right message at the right time. It increases your brand reputation and creates significant interaction with prospects leading them toward conversion.
Add More Conversions to your Bucket
Leads nurtured with targeted and personalized content generate 20 percent more sales opportunities than impersonalized features (Demand Gen.)
Conversion rates increase due to personalization because as buyer enters to the B2B site and he found relevant ads, search options, and recommendations. It decreases the buyer search time and lessens his mental cost. In this way, it leads the buyer to choose the right product which appeals to his need.
In addition to personalization, there are other important factors too that play a crucial role in conversion. These elements are:
- If you have certifications, mention you are certified with pictures of certificate.
- The quality of the product you claim on your site must meet with prospect expectation.
- The delivery and payment terms must base on win/win scenario.
- If you display product demonstration, the picture/image, text, a video must be easy to understand and appeal to user needs.
- Offering a free sample or giving a free test trial to your product or service will also increase chances of winning buyer into a cash cow.
- Adding shopping cart with comfortable and secure online payment options will also attract your target audience toward conversion.
The above points will help you in conversion brought by the effort of personalization into your bucket.
Give an Appropriate Space to Customer Mind
Users are more likely to return from the site as they are bombarded with lots of ads, where they are forced to sign up and found lots of options of unrelated products to select. Web personalization decreases the overload of information and leads the user to access the content appealing to his pain areas, interest and solution of his problems.
Web personalization gives the user an appropriate space to function what he likes and dislikes. In this way, B2B brand has got two-fold benefits.
- One user has got mental space to comprehend and make a better decision.
- Another, B2B site monitors which page prospect lands thus tracks user landing pages, clicks, impressions, and make a personalized history of a customer.
B2B web also gets a chance to analyze causes for returning of the user from a site and reasons for browsing more pages of the website. Thus, the B2B site can also determine its strengths and weaknesses and identify areas for improvement works them and make more efficient results.
Nevertheless, it is highly essential to keep the sign-up process comfortable and not asking too much personal information like landline numbers. Only name, email, and buying need options are fair enough to include in the sign-up form, and you can add the phone number as an optional field because some users would not like to mention their phone details.
It has been observed that lengthy sign-up process can distract the prospect from your site and once the buyer has returned he would hardly ever come back to your site.
Everything is fine in the above picture but deleting the date of birth, keep singular field for name is much better to develop the customer data base for web personalization.
By 2018, B2B E-Commerce sites with excellent personalization increase their sale by 30%. “Gartner”
Exact Target and Forecast consulting research shows that 96% marketers believe that personalization play key role in loyalty and retention of the clients.
Web personalization helps B2B sites to earn customer loyalty easily. The marketing rule of thumb (how to do b2b marketing) is that adding more benefits to the client and decreasing more costs to the customer will attract customers and prospects to your site and will result in brand loyalty.
Web personalization decreases the energy, time and effort cost and put right in front of consumer what he likes. On another side, web personalization lets the consumer feel that business is going their way rather than going from the direction of the B2B site.
In this context, you can also ask feedback with your clients when you are changing your website interface, add or delete any website service feature and ask your client which type of personalization in content, ads, search recommendations he or she is looking. In this way, you can approach your clients with the more personalized format.
Along with Web personalization, it is also important your site must be mobile friendly effortlessly to open on mobile, tablets and other smart hand devices. Your site must function with consistency, reliability and ensure error-free browsing. The content that is used for personalization must be user-friendly and easily readable and accessible to give a user a positive and productive experience of your site.…
Are you the one who dreams about top-notch website contains gigantic traffics of visitors and prospects?
Many of the B2B marketer or E-commerce sites entrepreneurs think to invest in building a hi-fi website. Furthermore, adding SEO technique to make it more efficient. That’s all. However, there is other multi-channel of e-commerce which is overlooked. If they are used in conjunction with SEO, there will be tremendous results.
What are other E-commerce Channels?
Direct Traffic Driver:
It includes email marketing, direct navigation of URLs or bookmarking and affiliate marketing tactics.
Paid Mediums of Search:
Paid search includes drawing people traffic clicks through pay per click (PPC) toward your website. You can buy people clicks through Bing and Google search engines. As they drive traffic to your site, it can further lead to conversion and ROI. One needs to master the keywords management, building keyword levels and rates of conversion, etc.
CSE (Comparison Shopping Engines):
There are various CSEs with a wide variety of B2B models for B2B Business Marketing from paid (Shopzilla, Shopping.com, Nextag) as well as free (Thefind.com and Google product search). They also play the vital role in bringing quality traffic of prospects to your site for order closing.
These are large sites like Amazon and e-bay, where most of the online customers buy products. One of the best ways is to buy space from these sites and market your products to their online shelves. They permit products for sale on their web pages.
Your site must be mobile optimized so consumers can quickly browse on their smart phones. You can explore research data of buyer search history of mobiles through tools like thinkwothgoogle.com etc. In this way, you can alter, change and update your course of action for conversions.
Social Media Marketing:
There is significant chunk of people available on Facebook estimating around 200 million and 750 million on Twitter. These websites are successful to win the trust and credibility of the people. Therefore enormous traffic of people makes transaction and purchase in masses from social media. Social commerce has become part and parcel of social media. However, SMM insights can give an edge to segment target audience and choose the best value for them.
Points to Ponder
- Here you need to concentrate all the channels of E-commerce hitting possibility. Considering only direct market drivers will be risky. What would happen if it gets fail or respondents got offended due to bulk emailing? Therefore try to hit the market from multi-sides and be an all-rounder.
- Do not entirely rely on organic sources. If you are serious about online business then do understand online come up with the few or more tools of paid marketing, otherwise it is hard to survive.
- Distribute your goods everywhere you can, the striking fact of online industry is the user is going to buy the product from one site out of million websites. You can be that one online site so try to make your website and products visible as more as possible to multi-platforms.
- You must be completely equipped with the research and updated information on your tool, digital platform for visibility, target audience features and cost vs. profitability of choosing channels in e-commerce.
A dream of top-notch e-commerce website can become a reality or near to the reality by using different tools of e-commerce smartly. It is like if you want to hit star try to hit moon if you miss the moon, you may land on stars. However, persistence and consistency can always bring growth and progress toward reaching a Big Dream.…
The foremost requirement to score gigantic revenue this holiday season is connecting with your customers’ right. For many reasons, running a promotional giveaway contest tend to serve the purpose best. Most brands opt for it as it’s no hidden strategy but only few are able to create the value and earn big!
Organizing a promotional giveaway may sound simple but it’s not as easy as picking a name randomly out of the hat. There’s more to it.
The campaign must be able to serve two purposes consecutively – band awareness and desirable profit. Doing it right allows for maximum impact in minimum budget. Contests cater to brand advertising as well when social media channels are used. 89% marketers report that social media channels gained their companies maximum exposure.
Other than exposure, social media marketing is highly effective for increasing website traffic and generating leads along with improving search rankings and customer relationships. A marketer should never forget these points.
Basically, giveaways are a marketing strategy, all you need to do is use the tools right to promote your brand and generate revenue.
Work Out the Contest Type
Promotional contests are not done in a similar way. There are three different types of promotions – Sweepstakes, contests and lottery.
Contest - For candidates to enter a certain skill or effort is required to win the prize. Some poplar contests are grounded on a similar theme – users are asked to share a certain photo, video, caption or essay. In the end, the winners are finalized based on judgment and votes.
Sweepstake - On the other hand, sweepstakes require no skill or efforts and are completely based on luck or chance. Winners are selected randomly and no payments or purchases influence the decision.
Lottery – It simply means that candidates voluntarily made some sort of purchase or other contribution to enter the competition. For example, purchasing a ticket to enter the contest and win comes under lottery.
It’s recommended not to opt for lotteries because state and federal laws restrict such kind of giveaways. Prefer contest or sweepstakes and decide what you want to give away and whether you want to have a skill involved or pick the winners randomly. However, contests always turn out to be more exciting. It’s because they put efforts to win the prize, as a result, they stay engaged with your brand.
Pick the Right Platform
After deciding on whether you want to run a contest or sweepstake move on to choosing the right channels where it can be hosted. Generally, the most viable social channels include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, e-mail and your website.
Its recommended to try multiple platforms rather than working on any one of them. Running the contest on multiple platforms allows for multi channel participation from the customer which caters to brand exposure even more.
Most brand owners choose to run the competition on their website but for some reasons that’s not very effective. Social media channels help to establish brand loyalty because people who follow you on social media are already interested in your business. Moreover, any actions they take on your business profile like commenting, sharing, liking or posting will be seen by their friends too, catering to maximum brand exposure.
Set a Deadline
This may sound unimportant but the fact is many companies make this mistake and loose some really potential customers. Your deadline has to be clear and highly visible on your contest postings. If it’s not prospects might turn away that the competition has already ended even when you haven’t declared any winner. The loss is worse when prospects decide not to share your postings just because they couldn’t find any deadline.
Another reason why you need to keep the deadline clear is to avoid late entries. Suppose you are running a contest on Instagram where the contestant with maximum number of likes wins. The competition has ended and the winner is determined. Later on another contestant participates and scores more number of likes than the one you selected and claims the prize.
What will you do now? And this may a not very good image of your company. To avoid such headaches down the road make sure not to keep the deadline vague.
Keep the Rules Clear
Here comes the most important part – There has to be no confusion while the contest is ongoing. Every contest comes with rules which may vary depending on the location and legal regulations. Consider the following set of rules that are generally included:
- Eligibility for participation – Age, location etc
- No purchasing is involved
- Purchases are not associated with chances of winning
- Starting & End date
- Privacy regulations about Winner Identity
- Selection Criteria
- Odds of winnings
Other than these it’s also important to consider the rules and regulations of each social platform you’re hosting your event on. For example, if you’re using Facebook it’s important to ensure that your post by no means should be affiliated, endorsed or sponsored by Facebook – The Company.
Keep the Prize Relevancy in Check
Deadline is all set, rules are clear, now what? Have you considered what you will be giving away? Be sure that the prize coordinates with your brand image and must be attention worthy.
For instance, your business deals in snowboarding and ski equipment. Now running a contest that offers 3 day holiday in Bahamas certainly won’t make sense. Instead offering the opportunity to fly to a sky lodge will perfectly speak to your audience.
If you are intended to give away a physical prize make sure to include a picture as it won’t be attention worthy for your customers unless they see it.
Never Go Without a Customized Hashtag
Well, promotions never actually go without Hashtags, if you really get it. All you need to do is come up with a unique Hashtag that perfectly speaks about your brand and the promotion as well.
In case you are new to it and can’t compose an interesting one, use Hashtagify. The tool helps you identify the current trends in industry. You also get to know if anyone else is using it because you’re supposed to use a new one.
Those who are already working with Hashtags, be sure to use a different one for each contest.
Additional Tips from Experts
Be sure that Mobile Users are not Left Behind – Run your contest on social platforms that are strictly for apps like Instagram. Facebook and Twitter are also available on apps. Moreover, if you have your own app, consider it for the contest as well. You can easily notify your customers with contest updates directly on their phones.
Keep the Social Sharing Option Open – A share button has to be dominant enough for your audience to notice. This will get your contest maximum exposure.
Let Everyone Know About the Winner – It goes back to establishing the timeline. Keep in mind that you would need a week or two to select the winner depending on the volume of entries. Once you’re done announce the winner publically.
The bottom line is – you need to have a road map, a clear goal and running a giveaway contest would require some thought and planning.
Determine the kind of giveaway you want to run, choose the platforms you want to host it on and take good care of branding alongside.
Never stop after running a successful contest, head to the next one!…
B2B organizations seem to be very alluring. However, in the roots of every B2B sales lead generation process; there are lots of obstacles and challenges with the blend of blood and sweat. Some businessmen fail to understand such risks in the competitive era of digital technology.
Some of these challenges are discussed below in the article that E-commerce B2B companies can encounter in running a B2B business.
For the establishment of the B2B organization, it is essential to acquire a vast amount of the capital. The B2B companies need a building or physical space on rent, CRM, sales personnel, technical staff to produce a service; if B2B is selling the product then there should be a machine or production line for goods production, employees to run an organization. There must be some capital in reserves too to bear any additional cost or meeting expenses during the time of long sale cycle.
STEPPING INTO THE MARKET
It is also a difficult decision which product or service; entrepreneur should take the initiative. Therefore, the B2B organization has to see its strengths and capabilities for doing business in the particular product or services.
Moreover, he also has to anticipate product and market lifecycle which will generate revenue for his B2B E-Commerce. Some products are obsolete due to rapid twists and turns of technology like cassettes have replaced with the CDs and DVDs. However, few industries are well-known for revenue generation like rice.
Every product and industry has its pros and cons. Therefore, the decision requires a carefully research study and skill set of an entrepreneur.
ESTABLISHING WEB BRAND
In order to build a high brand image of the B2B business. Massive budget and qualified human resource will be needed to execute an initial marketing campaign. The owner has to be patient because establishing a brand will take time to carve in the minds of the target market.
On the other hand, it also depends on the strategy of paid and organic marketing campaigns of the digital organization. Once the brand established, it will drag the quality traffic of prospects to the B2B website directory.
HOW TO GET BUYERS
Another challenge that B2B businesspeople face is the lead generation. How to get the quality traffic of buyers to the site? It requires following steps to be taken which seems easy but when moving into the implementation phase feels like cracking the hard nuts.
Establishing the CRM: It must track all the clicks, impressions, bounce rates; sign-ups (must be user and information friendly). The CRM needs proper database workable for technical, sales and all workforces. It must be capable to highlight loopholes, weaknesses and visitors data.
Lead Measurement Process: CRM must be capable of separating qualified and unqualified leads for sales personnel.
Marketing Tools: Essential tools for marketing like chatting, emailing and calling facility must be provided to marketing and sales team. Furthermore, sales support staff and other personnel like finance must also be equipped with all essential tools to back up revenue generation and sales activities.
Sales Activities: The salesperson should only work on qualified leads which are provided to them through CRM and marketing efforts.
After 2 to 3 years of existence of the B2B organization. The company will more likely to progress and thrive provided that all strategies actions have taken effect. The sales become trouble-free as they have focused toward the niches and toward particular target market. They find the data from their website easy for them to approach. Therefore, once the site has established the information database of prospects, the sales find a platform to approach their targets.…
When it comes to social media marketing, there is a vibe of uncertainty. Many social media marketers have set up their accounts to spread the word out and build an authority – working with the ‘conventional ways’ throughout. However, marketers expect for something auto magical to occur that leads to growth in minimum span of time rather than linking their bottom line with their social media activities.
On the other hand, some marketers have already realized the worth of social media marketing and started to work out on implementation of their overall marketing mix n social channels. To help the marketers learn from the leaders in the industry TrackMaven has released a ‘Social Media Impact Report 2016’ that pinpoints the most successful B2B industries on social media channels and their activities behind the scene.
The Plan of Attack
To prepare the report, TrackMaven evaluated a year’s worth of content produced and published by 316 B2B brands across 17 different sectors on Social Channels. Social Platforms that were included in the report includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Construction machinery B2B
Based on the TrackMaven’s analysis, following is the summary of some key findings:
Companies in the Lead
In the report, leading companies are determined following simple criteria – audience growth and content engagement on social media channels. Based on that, engineering companies, biotech firms and financial service providers are ranked the highest. The average audience growth on social channels for financial companies is recorded around 81.77% per brand. In addition, biotech companies are leading with most engaged followers featuring an average ratio of 12.46.
Among other B2B industries, audience growth seems to entice machinery manufacturers in TrackMaven’s report. With 129.02% follower growth rate B2B Machinery Manufacturers are ranked on top.
In case of software providers, graphs witness high follower growth but with low engagement. The sector’s follower count is as high as 82% but the customer engagement ratio is lowly 2.62.
A Sector Breakdown
Regardless of the sector, businesses strive to maintain a benchmark not just within but also across the industries. Such kind of comparison caters to unveiling opportunities, exposing strengths, discovering threats and understanding weaknesses.
B2B industries operate in a huge number, each having different nature of business and audience. Based on that, certain industries rule over social media while other strives for recognition. Audiences active on social media channels belong to certain niches, greater the number of active audience from the industry’s relevant niche higher will be the audience growth and engagement in response to right marketing approach.
Another report by Brandwatch illustrates the social presence of B2B companies within 10 different industries. It emphasizes on insights associated with social media activity, average audience, PR hits etc. The report provides the marketers with a chance to evaluate their brand on a company, industry or generic B2B scale.
The analysis unveils strengths and weaknesses from each industry in a clear and precise manner. Following are the key finding from the Bandwatch’s social media report:
Over two months, the B2B energy industry gained up to 2,659 PR hits. On the flip side, the industry’s promotion of negative to positive mention is marked 35.8% upon comparing with the industry average which is 24%.
B2B Owned Performance
The social climate we have today involves infinite B2B brands competing to gain dominance in face of their share of voice and develop meaningful engagement with potential customers. One of the biggest challenges that firms confront is building a brand voice that relates with their target audience.
However, top performing industries are seen sharing some common elements that cater to their social success:
Analysis on Facebook content suggests that more than half of B2B owned posts contain a photo. As marketers realized that engagement relies on visuals their commitment to photo based posts began to pay off.
However, relying solely on image-based post is not the only key. B2B brands with owned performance also post imageless statuses and other updates in face of links.
Smart brands choose to dig into insights and swap their poor performing posts with consistently engaging material like images.
Overall, up to 30 million B2B social interactions occur online each year. Social channels are providing B2B industries to take advantage of the opportunity by adapting to shifting expectations of their customers, advocates and critics.…
The major objective of content marketing is to capture the attention of relevant prospects and readers. Research shows content marketer has 5-10 seconds to make an impression and arrest the reader’s attention. The content must be catchy and captive enough to keep the reader engaged till and attract quality prospects.
The purpose of the content marketing is threefold:-
- Strengthening the brand awareness and image.
- Increase engagement by drawing quality prospects.
- Driving revenues and conversion for the organization.
To generate excellent content for B2B marketing success it’s important to keep the arm's length from the following mistakes:
Unsystematic Content Marketing Calendar
The content marketing or digital marketing department needs to establish an organized marketing calendar for publishing contents. Decide and choose the best time of posting the content in conjunction with the needs of your target audience. The period includes daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly you can set the time. For this, you have to study analytics of your audience, their purchase cycle, time of using social media and browsing of product solution blogs and posts.
In this way, you can plan out what needs to be done and what does not need to make extra efforts. Making calendar will save your time and ounces of energy that you can employ in other productive areas.
Not Analyzing the Target Audience
Before writing the content determine the needs of the target audience. Then align the content with the pain areas, interests and solutions that address the problems of target market. In addition, brainstorm with your writers about which areas and points needs to be highlighted across the target readers who can bring engagement and conversion. Google, web and other social media analytics can be useful for data gathering.
Failure to Speak the Customer's Mind Voice
Once you get the relevant data of target audience behavior, slice and dice the data and find out words and tone of your client. Then use these words and jargons in your content that sounds familiar to the target audience. Keep track of comments that your reader passes on to your blogs and posts. It will also help in gauging the language of the customer's mind. Doing this will add value in personalizing your content.
Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
According to one research survey, 40% readers think poor grammar and spelling reduces the credibility of the brand. Content with grammatical mistakes shows organization lacks in professionalism. As a result, a mature reader leaves with a bad taste in mouth.
No Content Diversification
In your target audience, there are different people with different instincts and tastes. Some like short visual posts, some are attracted by videos. Some are enticed by the graphs and informative material in the content. Posting single pattern of content can bore and distract your audience. Therefore, it's important to play around different types of content flavor (text, pictures, video) to hit various sentiments in one go.
It's helpful if you can gauge the attitude of a majority of target audience toward content composition through marketing research surveys, chat or interactive conversation with the prospect.
Failure to Speak the Personality of Value Proposition
The B2B content marketing strategy must explain the actual benefits and value of the company’s product. In this context, one must provide authentic facts with credibility. Consequently, doing this will be helpful in building the trust of customers over the brand. The content marketer should explore the dimensions of the brand and product how they reduce the effort, time and energy cost. Also, express the function and performance benefits of the product. The more unique and authentic you communicate how the product solves the problem. The more chances will be for your content to stand out the crowd.
No Call to Action
The B2B marketer must urge the reader to take action. By persuading, the marketer can attempt engagement and conversion too. Asking for action examples can be like, for more information about our product please click, pass comments on our post does it solve your problem of car polishing, interested buyers of the product can inbox us, etc.
Content is Not Device Friendly
Either professionals or the general public, they use different types of smart devices for browsing the internet. Your target audience has several options like notebook, Tablet, Palmtop, laptops, computers, and mobiles for surfing the web. Therefore, your content must be user-friendly as well as device friendly. Similarly, the content must be helpful to mobiles because according to Pew Research Center, 77 percent people in the USA holds the smart phone. In this context, a marketer must determine the percentage of the target market that holds smart devices. Furthermore, explore the ratio of people who browse the internet via different mediums (Mobiles, Tablets, Notebooks, and Computers, etc.). In this way, you can anticipate prospect's gadgets which are reading your content and surfing internet. Which devices they use the most for reading content or browsing internet is valuable information for content marketing.
Sometimes, the content is excellent, but it does not work very well. Therefore,
- You also need to consider the factors of content optimization and web optimization.
- Ensure content target correctly to the right people.
- Publish on the right platform?
- Keep ideas and information in check.
Apart from factor mentioned above, if your organization is not allocating proper resources for content marketing in terms of budget and human resource this can also lead to failure in content marketing.…