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Salesforce Simplifying B2B Facebook Marketing?

16 Nov


Perhaps unjustly, Facebook has never been known as a hub for B2B lead generation. This is not for lack of potential – plenty of companies use Facebook for surfacing contact info. However, following up on that contact through automation and CRM systems required a bevy of tools that were disconnected and independent of each other. No longer – Salesforce Lead Analytics for Facebook brings the sales funnel together.

The Salesforce tool innovates by working simultaneously across Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), Facebook itself and the Facebook Audience Network, which is the official name for the Facebook ad platform. Users of the Salesforce Lead Analytics tool will enjoy a data stream that connects the first interaction of the customer all the way to the purchase. Users will also be able to connect data from upsells and resells. The dashboard will showcase the most important performance metrics that marketers need to improve campaigns, such as leads generated and total views, as well as sales performance related to ads. In addition, the proprietary Salesforce Einstein AI will give a marketer a score for each prospect after that prospect finishes with a lead form.

There is plenty of other data for marketers to pick through with this new tool. Some of the other featured data includes a Pardot score rating, ad spend for campaigns, click through rates, campaign ROI and qualified leads that each campaign generates.

Salesforce is not done here. Alongside the Lead Analytics tool, the company is also bringing out the Einstein Account-Based Marketing tool. This tool will automate the connection between the sales and marketing staff. The data in both departments will now be easier to marry, streamlining execution time.

These new innovations from Salesforce have definitely come under duress. Its main competition in the CRM landscape, Microsoft, has greatly strengthened its position in the market through its soon-to-be acquisition of LinkedIn. Although Salesforce has tried to block the acquisition, the effort will likely fail. However, these new tools certainly bolster Salesforce’s position in the market, especially since they are currently on the cutting edge of technology here.


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The New Market for B2B Social Influencers

14 Nov

Business agreement handshake at coffee shop

Influencer marketing has long been a staple in the B2C marketplace. However, many experts believe that it will soon rise in the B2B marketplace as well. As thought leaders in influential markets begin to grow social media followings, they will be able to use inbound marketing techniques like podcasts and live streaming in the same way that commercial companies do.

The audience is definitely there for these techniques. Livestream recently reported that 81% of Internet users watched more content in 2016 than in 2015. Convince and Convert reports a 14% increase in the number of podcast viewers year over year. Because of stats like these, savvy B2B marketers are looking to move into influencer marketing in a big way.

There is still a huge amount of potential in B2B influencer campaigns even as the current generation of campaigns rises in competition. Most companies still do not think of influencer marketing when they look to marketing, so the technique has plenty of room to grow. Savvy companies are already pitching social media influencers to work with them. Although the market is still the Wild West, there are a few techniques that have been tested.

Using Publishers as Influencers

Because business in some markets hinges on the latest news in that industry, publishers hold a great deal of power as social media influencers. Companies are finding great success through partnerships with publishers for content or full-on promo campaigns. Publishers often have more staff focused on running a blog or maintaining a social media presence. They have the potential for much more than the traditional banner ads – you can move forward into social media posts, branded content, and even sponsored reviews.

Sites like the Wall Street Journal and Business Insider have already created portals for partners.

Well Known Speakers and Authors

If you can hook up with an author or speaker who is self-employed, there will be no limits to the collaborations they can take on. You can offer these people visibility and viability in exchange for the collaboration. You may be able to reduce the price you pay, although your visibility will usually not be enough on its own to warrant free promo services. However, you never know. Experiment with authors and speakers with larger or smaller audiences to find your sweet spot.

Types of Campaigns

Virtually any marketing campaign can be bolstered with an influencer campaign. Awareness campaigns, online reviews and presentations are just a few of the ways that you can collaborate with social influencers. For instance:

- If you are trying to use social media to promote a new product, have your influencers post about the product instead of trying to drive traffic through your brand to your brand. Make sure that you research the FTC guidelines on sponsored content.

- Create long form content with a well known influencer or blogger. Your target audience will come to learn from the white papers or webinars that your influencer creates, and you will get leads and exposure from your sponsorship.

- Send influencers to cover industry events for you. They will be able to take photos, videos, and blog about the event while judiciously mentioning your business as they go. If you have the ability to give people press passes, all the better. Those are like gold to the social influencer.


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Why B2B Marketers Could Learn Some Things From B2C Brands

24 Oct

Business building, skyscraper looking up

B2B and B2C are too often seen as completely separate and distinct modes of business. As consumers become bulk buyers and large companies demand more personalized service, however, business practices are overlapping between the two disciplines more and more. There are quite a few things that B2B marketers could learn from the consumer marketing pros. Here are just a few of the most successful tips.

The Audience as Your Central Focus

It is becoming important to recognize even the largest of companies as a personal partner in the sales process. If your sales process consists of checking off boxes in your CRM, you may soon find yourself supplanted by a company that drills down into the personal information of your former customer. You need individual site hierarchies. You need to understand a company’s capacity to purchase. Most importantly, you must cultivate personal relationships within the company in order to truly qualify a lead and streamline your sales funnel.

Getting More Personal

The more precisely that you know your target market, the more effectively you can target relevant content to qualified leads.Your work in this matter will provide an advantage not only to your company, but also to the prospects you market to. If you personalize your research and connection to customers, they will buy more because they “get” the reasons why you are actually contacting them. Forego the temptation to waste your time marketing to unqualified leads for the sake of playing the percentage game.

Omnichannel Marketing

It may seem counterintuitive to talk about streamlining the sales flow process while expanding the communications platforms upon which the sales funnel takes place. However, giving your prospects a proper choice of how to get in touch with you actually personalizes the experience more for them, giving you a leg up on your competition. You never know how a company may prefer to be contacted – direct mail, phone, social media – so it is best to have all of those stations fully manned and ready to go.

Benefits, Not Features

Features are what your tech staff communicate to your executive staff when the company is looking to generate a genuinely superior product for the marketplace. Once the value has been established, it must be translated to the needs of each individual user. This is where your personalized research into each prospect will truly pay off. Just as you never know how your prospect will prefer to contact you, you never know what feature will truly speak to their needs unless you know them. Benefit descriptions speak directly to the immediate problems that a prospect is facing and gives precise solutions.

There will always be a bit of difference between selling to Sears and Roebuck and selling to Joe Roebuck. However, a good marketer understands the distance between business is closing as technology expands and improves. Take the tips above to heart no matter the scale that you sell on. Every marketer needs to be more flexible in order to keep up with the challenges of the modern business landscape. For best results, bring it all together in a constantly evolving strategy that takes the responses of your target prospects into account at all times.


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4 Questions Small Businesses Should Ask About Your Website

16 May


In some ways, the features that make a website a good website vary from one small business to the next. Every small business serves a unique market, and your website should reflect that. But there are a few key basics that every small business should demand in their website regardless of market if you want to be competitive in your market.

Whether you already have a website or are thinking of getting a new one, these are the key questions you should be asking:


  1. SEO?  While optimizing your site so it appears high on the list of results that search engines return for their users may sound easy, it’s actually fairly complicated—especially because search engines like Google are constantly changing things to perfect their search algorithm. Are you positive your website is optimized for SEO best practices.
  2. Leads?  Can you prove your website is driving leads for your business? If not, it can be almost impossible for you to understand its cost vs. value. Like any other investment you make as a small business, the numbers should add up. Make sure your site includes a system that allows prospects to enter their information to ask for services and assistance. Lastly, look into pay-per-click (PPC) for your website and determine whether your site has the built-in capabilities to prove where the leads are coming from.
  3. Copy?  Words matter, and they especially matter on your website. So what is your website saying about you? Have you personalized it for your market? Does it convey what makes your company unique and special? Does it make a potential customer trust you? And lastly, are you leveraging keywords effectively so you show up first—and not your local competitors—when potential customers go searching for the products and services you offer?
  4. Products and services?  Does your website effectively display the products and/or services you offer? Are you able to quickly and easily update your site to reflect what is current? If not, are you showing your customers outdated products or services no longer available? Today’s customers want to be able to research their options—this is an easy but important opportunity for you to be their partner in getting the product information they need.


And lastly, a bonus question—do you have a website at all? If not, why don’t you? Better yet, if you have a website, are you putting resources into promoting it via PPC and other services that make you stand out against competitors?

As more and more people turn to the internet to not only find service providers, but to do research and find someone they trust, it becomes that much more important for you to have a strong web presence.

The truth is, if you’re failing any one of these questions, you could potentially be sending potential business prospects to your competitors, even if these prospects would typically already be inclined towards your brand. That’s why it’s important to ask questions regarding your website, whether it’s new or old.

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Inbound and Outbound Marketing: A Lesson in Marketing Reinforcement and Recall Value

11 May



Too many business owners assume that inbound and outbound marketing are mutually exclusive and have little, if any, impact on one another. The truth is that both forms of marketing reinforce the other. Inbound marketing is best thought of as a “pull” style of marketing that makes use of premium content, referrals and an array of other means to bring in customers through online channels. Outbound marketing is more of a mass marketing effort that attempts to reach a wide audience. It pushes the service or product directly to the audience rather than relying on them to find it on their own. 

Inbound and Outbound Marketing: The Importance of Recall Value

Business owners, managers, and marketing managers are finding that inbound marketing greatly enhances outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a somewhat covert means of advertising that keeps the business’s services and products on the minds of potential customers. Furthermore, the company itself, including its brand, remains at the forefront of the customers’ minds. The importance of this ubiquity cannot be overstated. This is the “recall value” that companies and marketers strongly desire.

Consider a target customer who is exposed to a company’s product, service, and/or brand by way of inbound marketing channels over and over again. Such a customer is able to rapidly recall his familiarity with the product and its features after being exposed to the selling points through outbound marketing campaigns. This means inbound and outbound marketing efforts reinforce one another in an effective manner.

Another Layer

Inbound marketing also enhances outbound marketing by providing an additional layer of depth to the overarching marketing picture. As an example, a traditional outbound advertisement on TV that motivates a prospective customer to visit the advertiser’s Twitter or Facebook page to learn more about the product or service gives the customer another way to engage with the company, its brand, and it’s product/service. This is an important additional layer to the product’s marketing. Inbound marketing really does provide a prospective customer with the opportunity to interact with the business, its offerings and even fellow consumers. This in-depth experience is much more important than functioning as passive observers who are subjected to conventional outbound marketing efforts.

Covert and Overt Marketing

Inbound marketing engages the target customer with the company’s offerings as well as its brand. It really makes customers feel as though they found the company’s products/services on their own. This experience provides customers with a sense of empowerment that has truly organic roots. Whether it is a web search, social media, or a referral that brings the consumer to the product, the point is the customer did it on their own so they value the connection with the product that much more. This phenomenon builds a unique style of brand loyalty as the consumer finds the product or service on their own rather than receiving it in a traditional top-down outbound advertisement.

A consumer who finds a product or service through inbound marketing and later sees the company name, brand or a specific offering in an outbound marketing effort will likely be that more receptive to the message. They already identify with the company and its offering, as their own actions connected him to the seller’s inbound marketing efforts. It is a spontaneous sequence of events, making it that much more legitimate from the customer’s perspective. This is the magic of reinforcing inbound marketing with outbound marketing. It is the perfect way to inspire brand loyalty across posterity. 

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