iSmart Communications Blog

3 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Lead Generation (Clone)

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 25, 2018 11:19:01 AM

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, Blogging, Google Marketing Tools

SEO VS SEM: Which One is Better for Your Business?

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 21, 2018 10:30:00 AM

Most businesses are aware that search engines can drive massive traffic to their web properties, and it is not just any random traffic, but traffic that actually converts into leads and sales.

However, there is one dilemma you may face as a business when trying to use the search engines to grow, and that is whether to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

In this post, I am going to dig deep into this problem and hope you will get some insight from it.

What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method to enhance a website’s ranking on SERP (Search Engine Results Page) to receive organic traffic and drive visitors.

Although organic traffic is free of charge, the course of SEO may still involve some kind of cost.

What is SEM?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a way to funnel in relevant traffic from the search engines by buying paid or sponsored ad listing.

SEM often refers to Pay-per-click advertising (PPC). While there are many PPC platforms on the web, the most popular and successful option is Google Adwords.

Now that you know what SEO and SEM is, let’s talk about the pros and cons of both.

SEO: Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Brand awareness

If your customer doesn’t recognize your brand, they don’t know it!

Takes more time

Longer time to see the results

Stronger branding

The Internet gives you the opportunity to connect to your target audience by providing information they are looking for.

Too competitive

Depending on the chosen keywords, it sometimes can be very competitive

Increased trust and credibility

By trusting Google, people also trust the websites that manage to rank high in Google’s SERP.

Need regular monitoring of backlinking

Your business has to regularly reach out to other websites to get backlinks that are worth-while.

Building numerous irrelevant links to trick the search engine no longer works.

More traffic

Needless to say, using SEO, you can drive a lot of targeted, ready-to-buy traffic to your website!

 

Lower cost and better ROI (Return on Investment), and higher sustainability

The cost is always lower than SEM

Helps you to improve your results over-time, thus having higher ROI in long-run.

 

 

SEM: Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Reaching the top

SEM allows your webpage to rank even higher than the organic search results

And usually, the first webpage catches the most attention!

Can be very expensive

Over time, the costs keep growing

 

Have more control

Sponsored listing of PPC ads gives you more control over the results you achieve.

Testing and fine-tuning the detail of the ad can certainly improve the overall performance.

Needs continual investment

PPC campaigns require you to keep investing money to keep it going.

No money, no results!

Increase brand visibility

Unlike SEO, where you may or may not get the right people to visit your website, your ads are very well-targeted towards users who are actually searching for similar products/services that you provide.

Allows competitors to review your campaign

PPC makes everything transparent – your ads, keywords, landing page – all will be known by your competitors

Quick, measurable results

With properly created PPC campaigns, the results can be analyzed, and conversion-related problems can be fixed within a short span of time

Expect to see significant results from the PPC campaign within several weeks.

 

So, are you confused about which one to choose?

Before you decide which one to use, you must understand your business and long-term goals.

If your business puts a lot of emphasis on creating a strong online presence and getting better returns in terms of both, short term and long run, then you should balance both SEO and SEM together.

Your SEO efforts can cover up some of the disadvantages that SEM has, and vice versa. By implementing these two marketing practices in your business, you will end up getting the best of both approaches.

How can you incorporate them together?
(1) Collect conversion-related data from your PPC campaign and use the statistics to optimize your organic search rankings.
(2) Work on both paid search and organic search listing to double your traffic! This can give better results especially if you are aiming for competitive keywords that need a bigger PPC campaign budget.
(3) Keywords that are too expensive to invest in, or are not really delivering much traffic should be put into SEO. This way, we can ensure that the SEM efforts are directed towards keywords that have a better ROI.

By focusing on SEO and SEM, you are automatically opting for a better approach than your competitors who are just focusing on either one of them. However, these approaches differ from one business to another, depending on the business goals. Therefore, if you want your business brand to be seen in the SERP, make sure you develop an optimum search engine marketing strategy, that would involve SEO, SEM or both together.

Read more: 3 Thing Your Competitors Can Teach You About Lead Generation

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Topics: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Lead Generation, Lead Generation Asia, Lead Generation Singapore, Digital Marketing Trends, Search Engine Marketing, Pay Per Click Ads

The 5 Best Practices of Email Marketing for Effective Lead Generation

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 20, 2018 9:54:40 AM

To some people, email marketing is an overlapping part of inbound and outbound marketing. “Spamming” is a word that is enough to scare people away from hitting the “send” button.

In fact, email marketing is still an effective practice that can consistently deliver a high Return on Investment (ROI) for your business if used properly. That is because using an appropriate way of delivering your email, can effectively build trust with the visitors, and trust itself is the most important “currency” in this era since word of mouth is how people develop trust in a brand.

Your customers are the ones who will help you to continue the buying process for others by sharing their experience with people they know – therefore the delight stage is crucial to turn them into promoters if you still remember the inbound methodology!

So, how can we send emails that build trust and convert? Let’s check out the points below:

1. Offer email with high value and relevant content

First, be sure to ask for the visitors’ contact information on landing pages. Many businesses do not collect email addresses anywhere on their site! While inbound marketing emphasizes that before we can close leads into customers, we have to nurture them until they are sales-ready, email is a channel that aids you in the nurturing phase. If you do not collect emails from your leads, how can you possibly nurture them?

Besides, make sure your content is relevant to them! Each lead should be nurtured based on their interests and lifecycle stages, and you can determine it by looking at the pages they have visited or content they have shared on social media platforms. Good nurturing can make your message relevant to the leads and potentially win you a new customer!

2. Set up Behavioural Emails

Behavioural emails can be defined as the practice of sending automated, targeted emails to your contacts based on historical interaction. This is all based on a user-focused approach to send an email – actions that your leads take would determine what kind of emails they receive.

This has proven to be effective. According to a study from MarketingSherpa, 39% of marketers said that “automatically sending emails based on triggers” was the most effective tactic for improving email engagement.

When you send a behavioural email, you are creating a highly personalized experience! Therefore, setting up triggered emails can make your leads or visitors feel like they are interacting with human beings, and not robots.

3. Segment emails according to subscriber behaviours

Okay, by now you probably understand that we have to create highly relevant content for the readers of our email so that they don't simply delete our email or worse, mark it as spam.
So, how can we determine the relevance of content to our respective readers?

This can be done by segmentation.

Segmenting makes your email more relevant to your readers, and thus the open rate, click rate and the number of sales can be increased.

There are several ways to segment your readers, such as based on:
- The time when the visitor signed up
- The pathway that the visitor signed up for

Segmentation is seemingly simple but an important part of your successful email marketing. Segmentation is what helps you send the right person, the right message, at the right time. The DMA, a Data & Marketing Association, found that 77% of email marketing ROI came from the segmented, targeted and triggered campaigns.

Therefore, using segmentation, you can combine content and context together which can help you write the best emails in the world and make sure they connect with your audience and don’t waste their time.

4. Design your Email

While developing email marketing tricks is geared at moving leads deeper into the sale funnel, there are three design and copywriting elements that marketers should be mindful of:

(1) Subject line
A subject line is the first thing that determines whether a person reads your email. Therefore, spend some more time thinking about ways to improve your subject line. Remember not to use sales-y words like “free” that much, or it would be easily marked as spam.

(2) Imagery
The human brain generally pays more attention to images than text, and we also comprehend images 60,000 times faster than text!

Therefore, using images that can convert and reinforce your idea is much better and quicker than giving your reader a paragraph of text.

(3) Call-to-action (CTA)
To effectively close leads into customers, lead nurturing is an important part of the process. The best way to educate and nurture them is to have them consume your content: whether in the form of eBooks, webinars or videos.

Therefore, your email needs to effectively advertise your CTA. Make use of action words, such as attend, download, read, try now, etc.

Also, make sure the CTA button is clickable and visible on all devices that people may use to check your email, especially mobile phones or tablets.

5. Make sure your emails are sharable

People would always forward emails to their friends, family or colleagues. Therefore, not only do you need to make it easy for them to read, but you should also encourage them to share and forward the email to someone they know.

There are some ways you can do this:
- Add a button that automatically formats an email for them to forward
- Add a sign-up link so people who get the forwarded emails can view and sign-up to your products/services easily
- Add social sharing buttons so people can share your email through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media channels

There you have it! Hope this post will help you master email marketing to convert and close leads!

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Topics: Lead Generation, Emails, Social Media, Lead Nurturing, Twitter, Blogging, Lead Generation Asia, Lead Generation Singapore, Email Marketing, Digital Marketing Trends, Instagram

6 Benefits of Blogging for Lead Generation

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 19, 2018 5:35:28 PM

Blogging is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to generate leads for your business. It might require some time to write quality content. However, with a strategic content strategy, the process gets simplified and becomes less time-consuming. Blogging at least 3 times a week will give you a great compounding effect on your website – which will definitely help you generate leads for your business.

Here are 6 benefits of blogging to generate leads.

1) Blogging creates fresh content and helps with SEO

All of the major search engines are enamoured of fresh, relevant content and blogging is one of the most straightforward and inexpensive methods for offering this content. When a business creates blog posts consistently, they are constantly providing Google, Bing, Yahoo and the others with fresh content to index. This is also an opportunity for businesses to insert those relevant keywords that consumers will use to search for the types of services or products that the business offers. 

2) Establish Your Business As An Industry Leader

It does not matter how small your business is, blogging is a good way for your business to build trust and establish clout in your industry by providing content that will be viewed as valuable, expert information. In time, posting blogs that are helpful and informative on a regular basis can make you the "go to" resource in your particular niche within the industry, subsequently increasing leads and conversion rates.

3) Gathering feedback, reviews and testimonials

Blogs and reader comments are a key source of information for your business and for other readers and customers.
Reader comments, and particularly customer comments, provide detailed and immediate feedback on your business activities, products and services.
Positive feedback gives confidence to other potential customers, while negative feedback gives you the chance to respond to concerns, defend your product/services or improve your business processes.

4) Create Opportunities for Sharing

Every time you blog, you create an opportunity for your audience to share your blog with others. Whether they link to your blog post, tweet it, or email it to others, it’s free marketing and it further validates you as a credible business.

5) Helps you contextualize your CTA

The problem is that to motivate readers to take an action you need to answer the question “why?” Why sign up to your newsletter? Why browse your products? Why follow you on Twitter?
Your blog post is in a unique position to answer the question “why take action?” By addressing your prospect’s needs, you are constructing an argument for why they should engage with your brand. This doesn’t have to be explicit. If a hair salon writes a post called ‘Worst haircuts of 2017’ that is the talk of the water cooler, then the question of “why subscribe to your newsletter for more great content” has already been answered. By the way, you should include a CTA in 99% of your blogs!

If your blog post creates a compelling reason for your audience to respond to a CTA then it is going to very quickly start generating more business as your readers are guided through the sales funnel. And what’s more, because it’s an informative blog post, your audience won’t feel like they have been sold to. It’s a win-win.

6) Embed videos and presentations.

Blog articles are naturals for embedding videos or slide presentations, thereby allowing you to multipurpose content and easily share back stories with your website audience.
This also makes it easier to share socially. You can truly create a content hub for your business that your associates can use in day-to-day business interactions.

I hope I have convinced you on the benefits of blogging. If you are interested to know more about iSmart Communications and how we heavily we emphasize on blogging, feel free to visit our blog page.

 

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Topics: Lead Generation, Social Media, Blogging, Lead Generation Asia, Lead Generation Singapore, Digital Marketing Trends

Top 3 Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out for Before 2019

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 14, 2018 6:00:18 PM

The digital marketing revolution is here to stay as long as technology keeps evolving!

With new technologies emerging every single day, digital marketers can never stop where they are. Racing ahead of the curve is a must in order to create new business opportunities for themselves and it involves being proactive, anticipating what will come next and taking the necessary steps to get your business where it needs to be.

Here are some of the digital marketing trends that you should expect in 2019:

1. Voice as the trendiest search-marketing tool

ComScore predicted that half of all search queries will be voice-based by the year 2020. Voice recognition technology is only expected to grow bigger and bigger, with website users welcoming the use of convenient intelligent voice search – searching for solutions with their hands off the keyboard!

Voice search usage is pretty normal in almost all day-to-day scenarios. For instance, when the user’s hand is full, or when they are driving using the GPS. But considering how word accuracy rates have been improving over the years, users are becoming accustomed to having their needs met through voice search, and it will be a tough challenge for all the marketers out there, struggling to figure out how to be found in voice searches.

2. Videos on social media channels

Facebook, YouTube and Instagram has enabled live video streaming and made waves in the past three years. In 2016, more than 80% of internet users watched live videos than the previous year –  very likely because of the rise in advanced modern streaming services. So take note! This is a trend that you should not miss!

Put live stream videos aside, videos are already dominating the web. Washington Post has predicted that videos would account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. People nowadays always prefer to watch videos, rather than reading static words and texts. Together with the IGTV launched in June 2018, which provides an additional video broadcasting channel that is specially designed to use on smartphones, the trend of video ads will only become more popular.

If video marketing is done well, it can produce amazing results! According to HubSpot, simply adding a video to an email boosts the click-through rate by 200 – 300%, and putting one on a landing page increases the conversion rate by 80%, too!

Therefore, marketers should definitely consider video marketing as one of their social media strategies. Take advantage of the newly-launched IGTV on Instagram, or just use YouTube to create eye-catchy video content to convert visitors into leads.

3. AI Chatbots and AI-powered solutions

AI-powered solutions will soon be everywhere, from small businesses to large corporations!

If you thought 2018 is the year that brands started to experiment with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine-learning) applications, 2019 will be the year to fully adopt and implement it right.
According to a study from LivePerson, only 19% of respondents had a negative opinion on chatbots. Coupled with so many features, AI chatbots can bring life to both the marketers and the users. In future, it will become more and more “normal” in the eyes of the people.

In 2019, AI-powered technologies are expected take customer-centric marketing to a whole new level. With the increasing use of AI, marketers are able to deliver highly personalized messages to their leads, expect better analysis and enhanced customer profiling.

The value that marketers can gain from improved efficiency and productivity is profound. Think about the AI-powered solutions can that can help you conduct all the necessary tests, like automated A/B testing and algorithms that update themselves in real time so as to instantly help you increase your marketing ROI (Return on Investment). This would surely save you a lot of time and effort!

Since it can also lead to higher customer satisfaction, AI will emerge as the hottest technology trend that every business corporation would try to include in their marketing strategy.

Well, what are you waiting for! Develop a chatbot for your brand! This will surely help you connect to your target audience with precision, increase efficiency and pave the way for extraordinary consumer experience.

With so many new technologies emerging, the future of digital marketing is unpredictable.
As businesses become more familiar with AI and ML capabilities, they will strive to deliver better and personalized experiences for their users. Clubbed with the “Big Data Analytics” era, the future will not leave any smart business behind, as there are just so many insights and opportunities for businesses to develop and follow. Hope you enjoyed the read!

 

 

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Topics: Lead Generation, Social Media, Video Marketing, Lead Generation Asia, Lead Generation Singapore, Digital Marketing Trends, social media marketing, Animated videos, Voice recognition, Artificial Intelligence, AI Chatbot

4 Obvious Signs to Invest in Search Engine Optimization

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 13, 2018 4:03:45 PM

As a small business owner in this digital marketing age, you probably know that one of the key elements to running a successful business is being able to attract your customers online. For every business that wants online visibility, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always a preferred choice to boost their organic search results. Learning how to optimize your website using SEO is a very useful skill that can help to drive traffic to your website. Combined with the other strategies in inbound methodology, it can eventually help to attract visitors and convert them into leads.

Are you unsure about whether your website needs to be optimized through SEO? Let’s check out whether your business has the following 5 signs. And if you do, it’s not too late to start investing in SEO!

 

1. The most obvious one – your website does not show up in search engines

If your website is not showing up on the first few pages of SERP (Search Engine Results Page), this is already the most obvious sign that you need to optimize your website for SEO! Having a website alone is not enough if it cannot be seen by the audience. Only by optimizing your website through various methods, such as index inclusion, keyword analysis and on-page optimization, it is possible to slowly climb to a page 1 ranking.

 

2. You THINK your website is original and up-to-date.

Keeping your content original and up-to-date is really important. If you feel that your content has not been updated for a long time, then you should update it with fresh content!
You need to constantly update your website content with the latest information, as Google has confirmed that fresh content is a major factor that plays a crucial role in search engine ranking.
Look at this case, where blog posts of the business owner observed a progressive drop in traffic through organic search. This was because he didn’t update it for 4 months, and other sites that were competing for the same keywords were being updated regularly. Once the owner started updating the content, the web traffic bounced back to the normal level.

So, make sure to keep your website content updated, and keep publishing piping hot content in your blog! Blogging is the easiest way to get your webpage to rank #1 on Google, just like how HubSpot does it.If you're not sure what topic to write about, you can send out a couple of quick surveys, or engage with customers through social media to understand their needs and questions, and write a blog post that addresses their concerns!

 

3. Your webpage does not look credible

Think about the first time you meet a person, the first thing that you would notice is their appearance, and how they are dressed, right?
The same rule applies to website design – the appearance of your website is the first point of contact that your website visitor has with you. If you know that the first impression of a person is the best impression, then the first impression of a visitor to your website is also equally important!
Your website design doesn’t have to be too fancy or dramatic, but it must be clean and professional so that it catches your visitor’s eye, and builds credibility and trust in your business.
The goal of having a smart and professional website is to bring in potential high-quality leads, that can be nurtured and even converted into customers to take your business offers.

However, this is not enough! A professional website also needs proper SEO to improve it and become visible on search engines. With better website design optimized for SEO, you are on the right track to developing your business reputation and people will start becoming aware of your brand.


4. Your website has poor “relationship” with other websites
Link building is an essential part of SEO, and this will only happen when you develop relationships.
There are two fundamental ways in which search engines use links: not only is it used to discover new web pages, but it also helps to determine how well a page should rank in the SERP - because links are signals to Google that your website is a quality resource that is worth paying attention to.
Since Google put link building as one of the most important ranking factors for SEO, many businesses started taking advantage of this – by spamming links. In fact, this is only a very short-term strategy as Google would soon find it out.

So, building links from high-quality and a highly influential website is the best strategy for optimizing your website performance through SEO. Since they are highly influential, and additionally if you can get external links from them, you are allowing their website visitors to visit your site too! Together with good content and positive user experience, (e.g. low bounce rate), your website ranking will soar very soon.

If you realize that your website is facing some issues based on the points above, then maybe its high time to start making changes!

Before you start your optimization work, not only do you need to understand the basic techniques of SEO and the mistakes not to make when doing so, you also have to stay up-to-date with the new updates that Google launches constantly and figure out the best SEO practices. This is because Google algorithms are complex and always evolving, so there is never a magic formula for SEO.

So, keep refreshing your content, stick with the most current SEO practice and you will definitely climb the ladder on your way to the SERP!

 

 

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Topics: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, Google+, Google Marketing Tools, Google Adwords, Google Adwords Express, Keyword Research, Search Results, Free Advertising on Google, Search Engine Marketing, SEO Myths, Google Search Algorithms

The 6 Best Tips to Generate Leads using SEO

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 12, 2018 3:09:53 PM

 

Search engine optimisation is extremely important for your business. It allows your website to be found by prospects when they type in certain keywords. Having your website organically ranked highly on Google will get you more leads than you could ever imagine. As such, it is vital to learn some SEO tips for your business.

Here are 6 tips that you can use to generate leads using SEO.

1. Do Your Keyword Research 

Use a tool like Google trends to make sure you’re targeting effective keywords that match your potential customer’s search intent.
Basically, you want to make sure you’re picking the best possible keyword to write about. Here’s a quick example showing that people are using the word “blog” more frequently than “article” when it comes to SEO.
To do this head to Google.com/trends and examine the popularity of different keywords that pertain to your business. Start with customer service requests you receive in your daily operation and see how you can answer those questions through content.

2) Audit Existing Content for SEO

Doing content analysis is an important part of using SEO for lead generation. That’s because it’s the only way to tell how your existing content is performing so you can make it even better.
You also want to avoid SEO errors that may hurt your search ranking. Since SEO best practices change regularly in response to Google algorithm updates, it’s important to make this kind of audit a regular part of your strategy.

3) Fresh content strategy

Fresh, high-quality content is food for search engines; they love it. Website blogs are useful for providing they add content that is of significant interest to your consumers. Don’t forget to post this on social media to drive more traffic back to your website via high domain ranking sites that are extremely well liked by search engines.

4) Add alt text to images

All of the images on your site should have descriptive alt text. This ensures that if your images can’t display for some reason, people will still be able to understand the content. This is also the text that displays if a user hovers their mouse over an image.
Since bots only read the text, search engines can use alt text to understand images and include them in relevant image searches. This will help your website rank higher on Google search, thus getting you more leads for your business.

5) Monitor Rankings

You’ll need a baseline so you can measure improvements from your organic lead generation strategy. To do this, you’ll need to know where key web pages in your lead and sales funnel rank now.
If you just want a quick check, Google your target keyword phrase and see where your page comes up. Make sure you use an incognito or private window, as Google tailors search results to your account.
For a more structured approach, go to Google Search Console, and navigate to Search Traffic » Search Analytics.

6) Site’s performance

There’s no time to relax thinking you have completed your SEO strategy and things will be just great. Wrong; SEO is ongoing and once you start there’s no going back if you want to maintain a good online presence. You will have to endlessly monitor your site’s performance using an analytics tool like Google Analytics, to control which keywords and traffic are creating the most conversions. This data will identify the best keywords to target in your SEO strategy and likewise the ones that are not performing. In addition, you get a good insight into the general performance of your website.

I hope you have gained some knowledge and learnt the tips from us. SEO might take a while for the results to come, but it will definitely be worth the time.

 

 

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Topics: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, Google Adwords, Free Advertising on Google, SEO Myths, Google Search Algorithms

The 5 Secrets to Generating Leads using LinkedIn

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 7, 2018 6:07:25 PM

 

LinkedIn can be a very powerful tool to consider when generating leads for your company. There are so many professionals on LinkedIn and it’s a platform you definitely need to check out if you have not done so. The platform may seem complicated at first but it will get easier once you familiarise with it. Here are 5 ways to generate leads using LinkedIn.

1) Be active

The best way to show that your profile is active and that you’re interested in making connections is to post often.
You can use the LinkedIn Today tool to find news within your field and interests. Then you can share that newsworthy content. This is an easy way to add posts and make sure that what you’re sharing is relevant and important. You’ll be seen daily on your LinkedIn network and that will get you noticed. Someone in your network may have a need for your speciality and if they remember seeing that you’re always on top of things in your field, then that could potentially be a new lead.

2) Build out your lead list 

Spend ten minutes a day investigating the connections of your contacts to see whom you don't know personally, but would like to meet. Make a note of those whom you would like to be introduced to. Start first with the "Recommendations," since those are probably the strongest relationships of the LinkedIn user you are viewing.

3) Join relevant groups

LinkedIn groups or in other words, a lead generation goldmine. A group is a community of likeminded LinkedIn professionals, who connect in a dedicated space to share news, information and opinion. There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn covering a whole range of subjects. Think of these groups as pre-sorted pools of prospects, where potential leads are categorized by interest.
Groups are excellent for virtual networking and the more active you are, the more you’ll find your connections and relationships growing. As with any form of prospecting, it can be very time consuming. So be wary of joining too many groups in the first flush of enthusiasm. Focus on a manageable number that you can really contribute to and maintain on a regular basis.

4) Share Advice in LinkedIn Groups

Once you have joined the groups, you should start sharing your knowledge and insight with the very people who you want to work with. 
If, for example, your company sells products or services related to the human resources industry, you should join LinkedIn groups likely to be frequented by industry professionals.
While talking in groups, you need to look out for posts that are getting maximum interaction and get actively involved in them. As you engage, remember to offer advice in an educational way and refrain from self-promotion. Additionally, be sure to share your own thoughts once or twice every week.

5) Use Ads to generate LinkedIn leads

Another method that can help you generate leads instantly is LinkedIn ads. Through LinkedIn ads, you can get across your message and the link to your landing pages in front of your perfect target audience quickly. If you have a good budget you should be able to get several qualified leads in days and weeks rather than having to wait for a long time.
You can then try out using LinkedIn groups and ads. If you require these leads urgently and have the budget for it, you should aim for the ads directly. First, create a test ad on a small budget to see how it converts. If you are satisfied with the results, you can invest more into it.

These are some important tips you can use when starting out with LinkedIn for your business. For more lead generation tips, you can read some of our other blog posts.

 

 

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Topics: Lead Generation, Content Marketing, Lead Nurturing, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Ads

5 Tips to Generate Leads using Google AdWords

Posted by Pooja Vinod Kumar

Sep 6, 2018 11:17:19 AM

One of the most popular methods to generate leads is Search Engine Marketing (SEM) using Google Adwords. Google Adwords allows you to advertise certain keywords on Google search, thus allowing your brand to be visible to prospects when they type in the keywords.

Here are 5 tips you can use to generate leads using Google Adwords.

 

1) Start with Search network campaigns

The Search network is key when it comes to targeting the hottest prospects for your products and services. So, undoubtedly, your first port of call should be Search network campaigns. Through this, prospects on the Search network can actually take an action by searching for a solution to their problem, unlike the case of marketing on the Display network, that would interrupt your prospects as they browse the web. Generally, prospects on the Search network take an action by searching for a solution to their problem — already qualifying them as a lead. They are near to the base of your marketing funnel, which makes them the most likely to convert to a lead or customer. Launching on the Search network can also give you a good idea of contextual keywords that can be carried over to the Display network.

2) Use all Ad extensions Available

AdWords is becoming very popular at building dynamism into ad delivery. This means that every advertiser gets to take advantage of ad extensions that would deliver a more tailored or individualized ad to each user. Most of the time, individualized ads often deliver higher click-through rates, improve the quality score and simply take up a more competitive real estate on search results.

You should use every Ad Extension available and applicable to your campaign, mainly because too many businesses have no Ad Extensions at all. Setup is both quick and painless and the results are real! 

 3) Use negative keywords

Negative keywords are words that have no relation to your ad. They help to curtail the broad scope of the ad by making the ad present on only relevant search result pages. For example, if your ad is about watches but then you include the negative keyword ‘clocks’, it means that customers who were interested in clocks but not watches won’t be directed to your page, saving you money on a click. An extensive list of negative keywords can significantly increase the quality of your traffic and improve your CTR (click-through-rate) to a great extent.

4) Select keywords carefully

One of the most important things to do is to select keywords carefully. The Google keyword tool is the perfect place to start and it’s free! You need to do your research diligently and select the best keywords you want to advertise. You need to look at the search volumes and also the cost per click for each of the keywords. Also, as mentioned above, one of the most common and costly AdWords mistakes is focusing all your attention on positive keywords that bring you traffic.

5) Align the Ad message with your landing page

It is very crucial to align your ad message with your landing page. This is a very important Google AdWords tip that will help you improve your quality score and increase the rate of clicks to your landing page.

The quality score is a benchmark that Google uses to know whether your ad campaign is effective and relevant to your audience or not. It reduces your advertising costs, gives your ad a wider reach and better ad positioning in terms of search and display networks.

These are 5 tips you can incorporate in your SEM campaigns in order to generate leads for your company. You should also improve the ranking of your website organically by doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to fully reap the benefits of having your keywords ranked on the first page of Google.

 

 

 

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Topics: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Lead Generation, Google Marketing Tools, Google Adwords, Google Adwords Express, Free Advertising on Google, Search Engine Marketing, Google Search Algorithms

5 things to note for Blogs to generate leads

Posted by Jemson Chan

Aug 29, 2018 4:06:26 PM

 

Today, more companies are gradually starting to understand that blogging is one of the ways to getting found online, converting visitors to leads, nurturing those leads to sales and delighting customers.

However, as with any other social media platform, just having a blog is not enough.

Despite witnessing a growing number of companies with blogs, many tend to be about their company. The articles might be about new hires, awards, company picnics, business deals, etc. And while that kind of information is appropriate to include on a website, it is definitely not going to generate many leads. In fact, it’s not even going to get much traffic.

Therefore in order to generate leads, a business blog needs to have remarkable content that prospective customers will love and share on social media. And that kind of content is crucial for generating inbound links to your site that can dramatically improve your search engine rankings.

A famous quote by Wendy Piersall: "Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first."

Here are the five things to take note if you want to set your company blog on fire and start generating more traffic, leads and customers:

1. A Buyer Persona Focus

Buyer personas are characteristics that describe your ideal buyer. According to Adele Revella of Buyer Persona Institute, "Buyer personas are examples of the real buyers who influence or make decisions about the products, services or solutions you market."

Your blog could be an opportunity to educate your buyers at the start of the buyer's journey. The more that you are able to write about what is interesting or helpful to your buyer persona, the more successful your blog will be.

It is recommended to blog about their typical questions and challenges if you want to having an effective lead generation blog to which your buyer personas will return repeatedly.

2. Focusing on one Topic Per Post

Focusing on one topic per blog post helps to clearly and concisely address your buyer persona’s problem. One topic per post also helps with search engine optimization (SEO) by better enabling the search engines to know precisely what the post is about, particularly as it relates to keywords.

And while you should always write for searchers first and search engines section, there are a few key things to remember to keep both happy:

  • Include your blog post topic keywords in your post title.
  • Keep your blog post titles to within 55 characters. However, it's OK to exceed 55 characters.
  • Try to include meta descriptions. These are the snippet of information that appears below the link of a search result. While these are largely ignored by the search engines, they are read by the searcher deciding whether to click on the results or not. Keep meta descriptions under 140 characters.
  • Include image file names and Alt tags. Since search engines like Google can’t read images, you need to tell them what the image is. 
  • Include links and anchor text. Link to other parts of your website to strengthen the reader’s experience. The anchor text you include in the link indicates to the search engines what the linked information is about.
  • Focus on mobile. About half of all Internet searches are now on mobile devices. Search engines want their users to have a good experience while searching, so they are giving preference to mobile-optimized sites.

3. Consistency And Frequency

There are people searching for the answers that you’re providing (and the search engines) based on consistency and frequency. As the attached chart from HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing report indicates, frequent and consistent blogging pays bid dividends.

4. Formatting And Imagery

Yet another reason why your blogging should focus more on the searcher as opposed to the search engine is due to blog formatting & imagery. In fact, the proper use of formatting and imagery makes your blog more visually digestible for the reader.

If your blog is not reader-friendly and inviting, you won’t draw your reader’s attention and keep them there. And you won’t likely get them to return.

Regarding blog length, make sure that the blog post is of an adequate length and that it addresses the questions your visitor might have.

Other formatting must-haves include:

  • Bolded text
  • Subheads, numbers and bulleted lists
  • Embrace whitespace 
  • Use high-quality images

5. Lead Conversion Opportunities

Last but most improtantly, make your blog generate leads automatically. This could be done by thinking of the blog post as the first step in the buyer’s journey of researching their problem. Afterwards, give the reader the opportunity to take the next logical step.

For instance, this post is about improving your lead generation opportunities from blogging, so a call-to-action for an eBook about lead generation is included right here.

However, if a CTA about social media were included at the end of this post, that would not be the optimal lead conversion opportunity.

Remember that your blog has lots of prime real estate, so ensure that you include CTA buttons in the side bar, end of the post, and in-text links. Ensure that the offers are as closely connected to the topic as possible in order to increase the relevancy & conversions.

Also, don't forget to download the free e-book for more useful tips & strategies.

 

 

 

 

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Topics: Content Marketing, Blogging, Content Creation, Business, Lead Generation Singapore

How to use social media for B2B generation

Posted by Jemson Chan

Aug 28, 2018 4:45:00 PM

It is an open secret that social media has taken over every aspect of our lives and changed the marketing landscape forever. However, many B2B marketers still doubt social media’s effectiveness as a lead generation tool.

Perhaps they believe it’s difficult to ascertain metrics for their marketing efforts, maybe they don’t know how to put together a solid strategy, or maybe they’re just unsure about how to generate sales on a social media platform .

B2B marketers very often recognize the importance of social media in the B2C realm but usually don’t see it as a viable lead generation channel in their respective industries. In fact, a recent study revealed that more than 70% of B2B marketers were disappointed with the ROI of social media for goals like increasing brand awareness and generating leads.

With this in mind, today’s post requires you to put aside your hesitations and join us as we teach you how to turn your social media channels into a quality lead source.

 

Listed below are some of the best ways to start generating leads from social media:

1) Optimize Your Profiles

The simplest method to generate leads on social media is to optimize your business page profiles. It  includes steps such as a compelling call-to-action, making your contact information accessible, linking to your website, and making your value proposition obvious.

It may seem like simple but yet it is crucial to implement. For if potential clients don’t know what you want them to do or how to reach your business, they’ll never become a lead.

This could be broken down using the big three platforms for B2B: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Facebook:

  • Business Name: While this will typically be an easy choice, it’s important to remember to go by the name that your customers and prospects will most associate with your business. Not only does this make sense for consistency and brand recognition reasons, but this name can impact whether or not your Facebook business page shows up in Google search results. So be sure that your business name and the URL match.
  • Vanity URL: Facebook now lets you choose your own vanity URL. When you create your business page, your URL looks like this example:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Equine-Calculator/857469375913?ref=ts

But as soon as you get 25 “likes,” you are eligible for your own unique Facebook URL, which would turn the above example into this:

http://www.facebook.com/YourName

For most companies this will be your business’s name. If you include special characters, hyphens, or a variation of your company name, this page will be much harder for customers and prospects to find.

  • Call-to-Action Button: Facebook gives business pages the option to include a CTA button. The seven options include Book Now, Contact Us, Sign Up, and other options. The best part is that you can send the link to a page on your business website. We recommend sending visitors to a free trial form, a form to contact sales, or some other sort of clear offer.
  • About Page: Facebook provides businesses a place to list their address, phone number, hours of operation, etc. Ensure to complete all this information. Not only is it helpful to visitors, but it also boosts the pages SEO value.

Listed below is an example of an ideal business Facebook page. Their business name and vanity URL are the name of their company, they have included a “Sign Up” CTA, and their “About” page is complete.

Twitter:

  •  Your business profile should be compelling and inviting but yet professional. Your profile should compel clients to want to learn more about you.
  • Profile/Header Images: An ideal Twitter profile image should be some variation of your logo including color, size and how it will look on different devices. Knowing that your image is something that your followers recognize you for, hence it is important to keep it consistent. Your header image, on the other hand, should be changed fairly regularly to match your marketing initiatives.
  • Pinned Tweet: Twitter allows you to pin important tweets to the top of your feed without losing them among your other tweets. If your goal is lead generation, this tweet should contain a CTA and a link back to your business site. Consider pinning a tweet about gated content or a free trial.
  • Open Your DMs: Make sure your direct messages are open to the public. That way, if customers or prospects have questions, they can come to you directly. Prepare responses to common questions ahead of time.
  • Hashtags: Tweets with hashtags tend to generate double the engagement as compared to tweets without. However be careful not to use too many hashtags to avoid being mistaken as spam. Your marketing team should develop a strategy as to which hashtags to use etc...

Below shows an ideal Twitter account. The bio is direct and short with a link back to the business site. Take note of the use of a pinned tweet with hashtags too.

LinkedIn:

  • Images: As with both Facebook and Twitter, your profile and banner images can have a big impact on the success of your page. Make your profile image some recognizable variation of your company logo and be sure to mirror your header image with current marketing initiatives.
  • SEO: LinkedIn company profiles are often indexed by search engines. Be sure that the first few lines of your company description are compelling and contain your target keywords, as this text will often be used as Google’s preview text. LinkedIn users can browse the platform using keywords, meaning that this optimization will help get more eyes on your profile within the platform.
  • Showcase Pages: LinkedIn offers the ability to create separate pages to showcase products, brands or initiatives. These pages live at the top of your profile in prime page real estate. Use these to help out with your lead generation efforts.

 

 

2) Listen to What’s Going On

Social listening is the process of monitoring your customers or prospects on social media to gain valuable insights.

With social listening, you can join in on conversations, make recommendations, and guide prospects toward your brand’s solutions on social media. Here are a few quick ways you can start listening today:

  • Set up Google Alerts: Once this is set up, Google will send you a notification via e-mail every time your company, brand, or any other keywords you want to track are mentioned on the web. Here’s how you create a Google Alert.
  • Monitor hashtags and keywords: As mentioned in the Twitter sub-section earlier, most of us are familiar with the power of hashtags. Therefore as marketers you need to research the hashtags that your customers are using. For example, a conferencing software might track the use of #meeting, #videoconference or similar keywords. 
  • Invest in a social media management tool: Although it’s not necessary to purchase a social media tool, it can be of great help for big companies. Most of these tools have scheduling capabilities, hashtag tracking, competitor analysis, and much more.
  • Join message boards: Many social media platforms have forums or message board capabilities. This allows B2B marketers to hear what customers and prospects are saying. These groups are often broken up by industry, job function, software users, and much more. Join in the conversations, answer questions, and offer your product as a valuable solution but in a more subtle manner.
  • Follow your competitors: Keep an eye on the competition — not just to see what they’re doing, but also to see what complaints their customers have. This can assist you to generate ideas for your own content, campaigns, and much more.

 

3) Prioritize Social Selling

Although social media is typically a marketing responsibility, that doesn’t mean your sales team can’t or shouldn’t get involved. In fact, 90% of top-performing sales people now use social media as part of their selling strategy.

The extent to which you involve your sales team is entirely up to you and your company, but its best to start small. Remind your reps to monitor certain message boards, answer inquiries left on your business profiles, and join in on customer conversations.

Provide the support your reps need in the form of guidance and the content they need to convert prospects into leads.

Do note that not all social platforms were created equally. A platform that works for one company might not work for yours. Be sure to test them all, analyze your results, and tailor your social selling strategy accordingly. Check out these B2B Sales Rep’s Guides to see a breakdown on the three biggest platforms (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).

4) Gate Your Content

As you should know by now, social media is a perfect outlet for content marketing. Unlike traditional marketing channels, social media allows for two-way conversations with clients and prospects. But if you don’t gate your content, you have no way to collect leads.

If you are unfamiliar with the term, gated content is any type of content that exists behind a form that requires visitors to provide their contact information in exchange for your resource.

As always, there are pros and cons to gating your content. The benefits of putting your content behind a form include:

  • Increased leads: Not gating your content essentially means giving away your valuable resources for free and hoping that the reader appreciates it enough to come back and fill out a form. By requiring site visitors to give you their e-mail address, you’re almost guaranteeing more leads for your company.
  • Increased nurture opportunities: Just because someone views your content doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to buy your product. Rather than crossing off this type of lead, add them to your e-mail lists and nurture them until they’re ready to make a purchase.

While there may seem to be no downside to gated content, here are some things to be aware of:

  • Lower lead quality: As previously mentioned, a lead that comes from gated content isn’t always ready to take the plunge and make a purchase. It can be frustrating for sales reps to receive an influx of leads who don’t want to buy.
  • Reduced readership: Publicly available content will definitely receive more visits and reads than gated content. If your organization prioritizes brand awareness, visits or reads, gated content might not be the tactic for you.

As with most marketing tactics, the key to successfully using gated content is to find a good balance. Be sure to serve your followers a good mix of gated and ungated content.

 

5) Hyper-Personalize with Buyer Personas

Most social media platforms offer advanced targeting capabilities that keep advertising costs low while generating high-quality leads. Consider these statistics:

  • 59% of marketers believe paid social is more effective than organic social (source)
  • Over 50% of B2B marketers rank social media as a “very” or “somewhat” low-cost ad option (source)
  • Marketers see a 25% lift in conversions for paid social media compared to organic social media (source)

Firstly, analyze your clients and prospects to compile buyer personas. Buyer personas are basically detailed profiles of your target customers. Think about who your best customers are and what traits they share. For example, do they have a specific job title, work in a particular industry? Are they a specific age bracket or gender? Do they have children or disposable income?

Once you’ve identified your buyer personas, create highly specific content, offers or promotions that target these buyers accordingly. The more specific you get, the more success you’ll have.

 

6) Give Something Away

Social media contests or giveaways are a great way to expand reach, increase brand awareness and to generate leads. It is recommended to conduct sweepstakes or giveaways that can only be entered once a prospect provides their contact information.

Remember to be super targeted with the paid promotion of your contest. For it can be tempting to advertise a large audience but more entrants doesn't necessarily mean better leads as none of them may be sales qualified. This defeats the purpose of holding a social media contest. Only target people you feel may have a genuine interest in your product.

You could also limit entrants by choosing a prize that only your target audience would want to win.

 

7) Offer a Free Trial

This method is relatively straight forward: Offer a freemium version of your product and promote it via social media. The free trial tends to generate leads on its own. However, social media can help expand the reach of your campaigns and amplify your results.

To see the most success with this approach, you must offer features that allow users to know the benefits of the product without offering the entire set of features.

For B2B companies, this approach is most successful when using LinkedIn, for it is a platform where professionals are accustomed to seeing overt advertisements and are actively looking for products and services.

 

 

 

 

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Topics: Social Media, Content Marketing, Content Creation, Business, social media marketing

5 Reasons to Use Animated Videos in Your Content Marketing Strategy

Posted by Jemson Chan

Aug 23, 2018 2:22:43 PM

 

Animated videos are engaging instruments that can assist you in storytelling more comprehensively. The fact of the matter is that 65% of people are visual learners, and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. 

Due to these reasons, there has been an inevitable shift towards visual content on social media. Just last year, the number of video posts per person has increased 94% in the US alone. Currently Facebook averages more than 4 billion video streams every day. Then there’s the picture superiority effect in which pictures and images are more likely to be remembered than words.

Below are some statistics that will compel you to use more video in your marketing:

  • Including video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%
  • After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online
  • 1/3 of all online activity is spent watching video
  • 50% of executives look for more information after seeing a product/service in a video
  • YouTube users watch more than 3 billion hours of video per month, according to YouTube

If video is not part of your content marketing strategy yet, the time to start using it to market your product is now.

Here are 5 benefits and reasons for you to start using video in your content marketing strategy.

Video ,especially animation, has been integral to the most recent & successful advertising campaigns. The John Lewis Christmas campaigns are always memorable thanks to some show-stopping animated sequences.

The ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ safety campaign won several awards and got its message across in a funny, memorable way. Even the big tech giants understand the importance of animation. Case in point is Google Doodle. However, you don’t need to have a huge advertising budget to utilise animation in your next content marketing campaign. 

If you are still not convinced, here are five reasons why you need animation:

More Stimulating to Viewers

Images are definitely more stimulating than text and moving images more so than still ones. Video site YouTube is increasingly more popular than Facebook because millennials would rather watch videos than read text-based still image content. Animated content leads to better engagement.

It is also much easier to get information across when you animate it. Its best to animate the information if you want to keep your audience engaged.

  Dry, boring information becomes far more interesting when it’s animated. If you want to tell your clients about a new piece of machinery, present it using an animated sequence.

More Memorable

You would most probably remember the last animated video you watched. That’s because animated content is instantly more memorable and entertaining. This means people would want to share it with their friends, increasing the chances of marketing through word of mouth. Its therefore no surprise that the likelihood of an animated film clip going viral is much higher than a blog post.

For the goal of content marketing is to grab your audience’s attention and hang on to it for as long as possible.

Reach a Bigger Audience

As mentioned earlier, animation is very shareable. People love to share great content within their social networks. Its possible to produce a funny, memorable animation clip and watch it go viral. If this happens, your content featuring your product or service could easily reach a global audience. This means reaching out to a wider amount of leads

More Cost-Effective

If you want more value for your money, animation is a top choice. Remember that it costs a tremendous amount of money to create a professionally produced video clip for marketing purposes.

Hence, it makes economical sense to create an animation as oppose to hiring a film crew to make a professional marketing video for your company.

Better Conversions

And last but not least, animated videos results in better conversions. The whole point of a marketing campaign is to attract viewers and convert them into leads and customers. Its important to note that animated videos have a much higher click-through rate compared to text. Studies indicate that website animation can provide a 70% boost in conversion rates. They are shared 12 thousand times more than regular content. Yes. You heard it right 12,000x more.

Therefore, if you want to boost your brand and build a stronger customer base, animation is the way to do it.

 

 

 

 

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Topics: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Marketing, Content Creation, Business, Google Search Algorithms, Animated videos

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