How to Create the Perfect Lead Generation Form [Infographic]

September 1, 2015

Marketers spend billions of dollars and thousands of hours each year developing compelling content, search-optimizing websites and blogs, fine-tuning their ad targeting, and engaging with influencers and prospects on social media.

While these activities serve a number of purposes—establishing thought leadership, expanding brand awareness, improving customer retention—lead generation remains the top goal.

how to design the perfect lead generation formSo once you’ve attracted a prospective customer to your website, you’d really like them to convert into a (potential at least) lead by completing some sort of call to action: downloading a white paper or report, registering for a webinar, subscribing to your newsletter, signing up for a free trial, asking for an online demo, or some other goal.

To maximize the odds that will happen, you need to build the perfect lead generation form.

Well…okay, creating the “perfect” lead gen form may be a tall order. But building a better lead gen form is eminently doable. Where should you start?

The infographic below, from Formstack, provides several helpful tips and best practices, among them:

  • • Keep it short! Ask only for essential, basic information. You can earn the right to ask for more details later in the lead nurturing process.
  • • Position forms above the fold, and on the right side of the screen; forms on the right side of the page generate 24% more leads.
  • • Use attention-grabbing colors, like blue, green, and orange.
  • • Optimize for mobile users: incorporate mobile-friendly features like simple-select buttons and drop-down lists.
  • • Test everything! Colors, form length, copy, headlines, and images. Form A/B testing alone can boost conversions by up to 25%.

Check out this infographic for more ideas.

How to construct the perfect lead gen form - infographic

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20 Brilliant B2B Marketing and Digital Business Stats and Facts

August 25, 2015

B2B marketers today certainly live in “interesting times” (in the sense of the not-actually-Chinese curse).

While search, social media, ecommerce and content marketing have dramatically altered the roles of buyers and sellers, a number of traditional channels (that is, pre-dating millennials) remain highly effective.

B2B marketing and digital business statistics 2015

Image Credit: B2B Marketing Insider

The collection of facts and stats below shed light on this paradox, as well as other insights. Here are four key takeaways from this research for B2B marketers:

  • • Sales people won’t disappear, but their role is changing, and many are struggling to adapt. 82% of B2B decision makers think sales reps are unprepared; product demonstrations are among the least-valued types of information for buyers; and half of all B2B purchases may be made directly online by 2018. To succeed, B2B sales people need to focus on the three Rs—no, not reading, `riting and `rythmetic, but rather responsiveness (50% of sales go to the first salesperson to contact a prospect), relationships, and references.
  • • Social media accounts are like seat belts; they’re only effective if you actually use them. 55% of B2B buyers say they search for product/vendor information on social media. Yet while 95% of B2B marketers have created corporate social media accounts, half are still not active on social media on a regular basis.
  • • Don’t rely too much on advertising. Ads certainly have their place in a web presence optimization (WPO) framework, as the “paid” pillar in the paid-owned-shared-earned (POSE) media model. Search ads are effective for capturing immediate demand and display ads are useful for brand awareness. But 80% of B2B decision makers prefer to get information from articles rather than advertising, and 40% of millennials don’t trust ads—so strong organic tactics need to be part of the mix as well.
  • • The classics still rock. Despite the tremendous growth in digital marketing, several basic old-school marketing channels remain highly effective. Trade shows remain the top source for B2B lead generation, with 77% of marketers saying they generate a significant quantity of leads. 59% of CMOs still say print marketing is an effective channel—and 64% of buyers cite print among their trusted sources of information—while 51% still see value in direct mail.

Get more inspiration from these 20 B2B marketing and digital business stats and facts.

12 B2B Marketing Facts and Statistics

1. Death of the salesman? When purchasing online, B2B buyers rate pricing as the most useful information (though not, generally, special offers or discounts). Technical information and specifications are the next-most important topic. Product demonstrations are least valued. (V3B Blog)

2. 55% of B2B buyers search for information on social media. (Biznology)

3. Today’s sales process takes 22% longer than 5 years ago. (Biznology)

4. 91% of customer say they’d give referrals; only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. And 82% of B2B decision makers think sales reps are unprepared. (Biznology)

5. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (B2B PR Sense Blog)

6. B2B customers now expect the same range of omnichannel buying options they enjoy as consumers – which is why almost half of B2B buyers (49%) prefer to use consumer websites to make work-related purchases. (The Future of Commerce)

7. 52% of B2B buyers say they expect half of their purchases to be made online by 2018. (The Future of Commerce)

8. 78% of B2B customers (and 83% of consumers) say fulfillment options – such as next-day delivery – are important or very important. (The Future of Commerce)

9. Although 95% of B2B marketers have created corporate social media accounts, half still are not active on social media on a regular basis–and just 10% feel they are able to articulate the business value of social media efforts. (MediaPost)

10. Good old-fashioned trade shows remain the top source for B2B lead generation, with 77% of marketers saying they generate a significant quantity of leads, and 82% saying they generate high-quality leads. (MediaPost)

11. The average cost of a B2B sales lead varies widely by industry. Healthcare leads are most expensive ($60) followed by business/finance ($43). At the low end are leads for marketing products/services ($32) and technology ($31). (B2B Marketing Insider)

12. Just 34% of B2B organizations say they touch leads with lead nurturing on a monthly basis. (B2B Marketing Insider)

8 Other Digital Business Stats and Facts

13. Six of the ten busiest websites are based in the U.S. – but 86% of their visitors come from outside America. (TechCrunch)

14. 15 of the 25 largest U.S. tech companies were founded by first- or second-generation Americans. (TechCrunch)

15. Marketing is all about digital now, right? Not quite. 59% of CMOs still say print advertising is an effective marketing channel. 58% say the same for TV, 51% direct mail, and almost half radio and telemarketing. (AdWeek)

16. The larger the company, the higher the marketing expense budget as a percentage of revenue. Firms with revenue of $5 billion or more spend on average 11 percent, compared with 9.2 percent for those with revenue between $500 million and $1 billion. Marketing budgets as a percentage of revenue varied widely, with nearly half of companies (46%) spending less than 9% of revenue; 24% spending 9-13% of revenue; and 30% spending more than 13% of revenue. (Gartner)

17. 40% of millennials (aged 25-34) don’t trust advertising. Marketers trying to appeal to this group need to understand that, but also that this group is highly educated (33% have a college degree) but struggling financially: many have student loan debt, 52% don’t have enough money to cover basic living costs, and 35% are either unemployed or work part-time. (Heidi Cohen)

18. 50% of sales go the first salesperson to contact a prospect. (Biznology)

19. So much for the “death” of old media. Though the heyday of print may be over, the two most trusted sources of information remain the online versions of traditional media outlets (68%) and print (64%). Blogs come in at 21% (ugh). (Cision)

20. 14% of businesses fail due to poor marketing. (B2B PR Sense Blog)

This was the ninth and final post of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity. Hope you’ve found the series entertaining and enlightening!

#1: Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

#3: 21 Spectacular SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

#4: Five Intriguing Inbound Marketing Stats [Infographic]

#5: 31 Sensational Social Media Marketing and PR Stats and Facts

#6: 17 Excellent Email and Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts

#7: 14 Dazzling Digital Marketing Stats and Facts

#8: 35 Stupendous Social Networking Facts and Stats

#9: 20 Brilliant B2B Marketing and Digital Business Stats and Facts

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How to Use Social Media for Event Marketing [Infographic]

August 17, 2015

Using social media to maximize the impact of live events (like trade shows, forums and conferences) is where shiny new tools meet old school marketing.

As noted here previously, trade shows and other live events remain one of the top three lead generation channels for B2B companies, despite the fact they’ve been around for a while (the first trade conferences were in the 1700s).

But social media marketing, which emerged as a distinct discipline just eight years ago this month, has proven a powerful tool for maximizing the results from and investment in live event marketing.

Social media marketing started in August 2007

Growth in searches for “social media marketing” per Google Trends

A new infographic from the Lakeshore Convention Centre in Ontario provides a number of interesting facts and helpful tips for using social media to market events. Among the key points:

  • • Social media marketing budgets are projected to double over the next five years.
  • • Yet—less than half of businesses use social media for event marketing, and just 11% use blogging to market events.
  • • A Facebook event listing can serve as an information hub for attendees. Companies can use this to promote the event, post updates, and respond to inquiries.
  • • Two of the best ways to use Twitter for event marketing are to create an events-specific hashtag, and provide a pre-crafted tweet for attendees to send out upon registering.
  • • Keep the buzz going after events by posting photos of the conference or trade show to Facebook and Instagram.

Check out the complete infographic for more ideas.

How to leveage social media for event marketing

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35 Stupendous Social Networking Facts and Stats

August 11, 2015

Though “social media” broadly encompasses a variety of platforms including blogs (WordPress, Medium, Tumblr), content sharing (YouTube, SlideShare, Instagram), and content curation (Scoop.It, Triberr, Paper.li), the term is nearly synonymous to many for the big social networks.

And with Google+ being deprecated, social networking now primarily means the “big three” of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, plus Pinterest now at #4.

Facebook facts and stats 2015

Image credit: The Wonder of Tech

Here are a few highlights from the social networks stats and facts below:

  • • Everyone’s on Facebook–except CEOs? Facebook is of course (by far) the largest social network. It drives more than one-fifth of all social media referral traffic to websites; 30% of the U.S. population gets its daily news there; and 77% of B2C companies have acquired a customer through Facebook. Yet just 8% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a Facebook account–a lower adoption level than American grandparents.
  • • Twitter can’t get no respect. Though 85% of B2B marketers distribute content on Twitter, only half view it as an effective social media channel, and just 42 Fortune 500 CEOs have a Twitter account (and a third of those haven’t posted anything in the last 100 days). Yet 75% of journalists use Twitter to build their personal brands, and Twitter drives more web visits than StumbleUpon,  Reddit, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn–combined.
  • • And LinkedIn means business… 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching technologies and services to purchase; 65% of B2b companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn; and 91% of B2B marketers distribute content there. The most popular type of content is industry insights.
  • • …while Pinterest means shopping. Pinterest drives 25% of all retail website referral traffic. Consumer brands are noticing: 36% of Fortune 500 companies had a presence in 2014, up from 9% in 2013 and just 2% in 2012.

Find these and many more nuggets of information in these nearly three dozen stupendous social networking facts and stats.

12 Facebook Statistics and Facts

1. Each day on Facebook, there are 350 million photos uploaded; 45 billion “Like” buttons clicked; and 10 billion messages sent. (The Wonder of Tech)

2. Facebook accounts for 21% of all social media referral traffic to websites. (TechCrunch)

3. 81% of B2B marketers use Facebook to distribute content. (Digital Marketing Philippines)

4. Worldwide digital ad spending topped $140 billion in 2014. Facebook accounted for 7.8% of that total. (eMarketer)

5. 8.3% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a Facebook account, putting them firmly behind America’s grandparents in terms of adoption. 2.6% of CEOs have Instagram accounts. (MediaPost)

6. While 55% of SMBs maintain a Facebook Page, just 20% have run a Facebook ad or promoted post. (MediaPost)

7. 77% of B2C companies have acquired customers through Facebook. (Ber|Art)

8. In an average month, 1.28 billion users are active on Facebook. (Convince & Convert)

9. In the United States, average click-through rate (CTR) for Facebook advertising increased by better than 50% last year, from .09% to .14%. But the average Facebook CTR in the U.K. is nearly twice that, at 0.27%. (Convince & Convert)

10. Facebook drives 23% of all website traffic. (Shareaholic)

11. 81% of millennials are on Facebook and their median friend count is 250. (Heidi Cohen)

12. 30% of the U.S. population gets its daily news on Facebook. (BentoBox Media)

8 Twitter Facts and Stats

13. 85% of B2B marketers use Twitter to distribute content. (Digital Marketing Philippines)

14. Or 74% of them do, depending on whose stats you believe.  (Biznology)

Twitter social media marketing

Image credit: Ber|Art

15. And yet – only half of B2B marketers view Twitter as an effective social media channel. (Ber|Art)

16. Twitter offers more referral traffic per share than Facebook. (Social Media Today)

17. 42 Fortune 500 CEOs (8.4%) have a Twitter account, though nearly a third haven’t posted anything in the last 100 days. Those who do post send an average of 0.48 tweets per day. Roughly half tweet once a month or less, and less than a quarter tweet daily. (MediaPost)

18. Twitter drives just over 1% of all website traffic. While that’s considerably less than Facebook or Pinterest, it’s more visits than are driven by StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn–combined. (Shareaholic)

19. Twitter is where millennials turn for business and financial information as well as sports. (Heidi Cohen)

20. 75% of journalists say they use Twitter to build their personal brands. (BentoBox Media)

10 LinkedIn Statistics and Facts

21. 91% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content. (TopRank)

22. Just 30% of executive directors at the top 100 companies in NASDAQ are active on social networks. LinkedIn led the way, with 23% of executives maintaining a profile on the professional site, followed by Twitter with 11%. (MediaPost)

Why B2B marketers should use LinkedIn

Image credit: Ber|Art

23. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of B2B companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn. (Ber|Art)

24. 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching technologies and services to purchase. (Ber|Art)

25. 97% of the Fortune 500 companies have a company profile on LinkedIn. Yeah, I’m thinking the same thing–how is it possible this isn’t 100%? (Sword and the Script)

26. 98% of sales reps with 5000+ LinkedIn connections achieve quota. (Biznology)

27. You are almost 5X more likely to schedule a first meeting if you have a personal LinkedIn connection. (Biznology)

28. Twitter and Facebook may reign when it comes to social sharing of stories, blog posts, and visual media, but when it comes to direct traffic to your main site, LinkedIn is far and away the No. 1 social referral source. LinkedIn accounts for 64% of social media-driven visits to corporate home pages, vs. 17% from Facebook and 14% from Twitter. (Buffer)

29. The three most popular types of content on LinkedIn are industry insights (favored by 60% of users), followed by company news (53% – likely popular with job seekers) and new products/services (43%). (Buffer)

30. To optimize reach, post at least 20 times per month on LinkedIn. But keep in mind that “LinkedIn’s best-in-class marketers post 3-4 updates per day, which could mean up to 80 posts per month” (though only if your content supports this). (Buffer)

5 Pinterest Facts and Stats

31. Women account for 69% of all users but 92% of all pins on Pinterest. (Ber|Art)

32. Pinterest accounts for 25% of all retail website referral traffic. (Ber|Art)

33. 36% of Fortune 500 companies had a presence on Pinterest in 2014, up dramatically from 9% in 2013 and just 2% in 2012. (Sword and the Script)

34. According to data from Shareaholic, Pinterest drives nearly 6% of all website traffic–5X as much as Twitter (does that sound right?). (Shareaholic)

35. Pinterest is where millennials shop. (Heidi Cohen)

This was the eighth and penultimate post of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity.

#1: Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

#3: 21 Spectacular SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

#4: Five Intriguing Inbound Marketing Stats [Infographic]

#5: 31 Sensational Social Media Marketing and PR Stats and Facts

#6: 17 Excellent Email and Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts

#7: 14 Dazzling Digital Marketing Stats and Facts

#8: 35 Stupendous Social Networking Facts and Stats

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This One Thing Has Become The New SEO Reputation Management Secret This Year

August 4, 2015

Guest post by Jon Rognerud.

As a business and/or brand, nothing is more important than maintaining a solid reputation throughout your respective industry.

It is critical to maintain a solid reputation because an increasing number of consumers have started to use it as a way to dictate their purchasing behaviors and decisions.

More and more consumers are now using social media and review websites to make all kinds of purchasing decisions. Therefore, it is imperative, as a business owner or marketer, to focus on improving and maintaining a healthy reputation in the marketplace.

Brand reputation - social media profiles

In this article, I will be going over one of the biggest kept secrets of this year when it comes to managing your reputation online.

What Search Engines Are Looking For?

1) High Authority Domains.

If you are trying to maintain a healthy reputation in the marketplace and on the Internet, you need to focus on leveraging high authority domains that are already built.

Google and other search engines have different criteria that they look for when they are trying to figure out the rankings for different keywords and phrases. However, one of the biggest things that they look for when trying to rank websites is the “strength” that each web property has.

The way that Google calculates these authority and trust indicators is by learning how long the domain has been in existence, how many links are pointing to it, and how many strong websites it is associated with.

This may sound technical and confusing, but there’s some good news here. You cannot change how long your domain has been in existence, but you can impact the strength of domains that your website is linked to.

Therefore, it is always wise to leverage the highest, most trusted domains that you can. You can do this by linking your website to other authority websites in your niche/industry. And, by linking your websites (pages) to established and populated social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Slideshare, YouTube, Pinterest, and more.

But it doesn’t stop there – you have to continually expand content and build incoming links for these properties too. For example, you could reference content pieces from your LinkedIn articles to your Twitter profile, and boost its “trust”, resulting in higher rankings for that web property.

2) Social Proof.

If you consistently get people talking about your business and/or brand on social media and you link these websites to your own brand’s websites, you should be able to better control the overall search results for your company’s brand.

The benefit is that you get more control over the overall reputation of your brand and will allow you to suppress the negative mentions about it in the search engines. And, you have to monitor this conversation continually, and respond to all – either positive, neutral and negative comments or specific mentions.

(Note: For some markets, like financial services industries, FINRA has issued limits on social media use, but each market can leverage social to their benefit when proper strategies are built.)

How do you actually do it?

1) Create Social Media Accounts For Your Brand.

The first thing that you are going to want to do is be sure to create social media accounts for your brand on each of the available social media platforms. Be certain to create them where your customers and prospects visit as well.

It is imperative that you create social media accounts on all of the available and popular social media platforms because each one that you create and manage is going to propel your brand’s website higher in the search engines. These social media accounts will eventually be pushed to the front page of search results if done right.

2) Manage the Social Media Accounts.

It is not enough to simply create the social media accounts. You are also going to need to manage the social media accounts that you create. Search engines look for activity as well as the existence of the social media accounts and overall user engagement. Continually build links across your network of highly trusted websites.

Make sure you are posting relevant content such as; articles, pictures, videos and links. By doing this, not only are you going to be able to attract more people to your website – thus strengthening your brand’s websites rankings but you will also be able to repress negative things being said about your brand/company.

Free tools to get you started

In order to figure out what Internet sites your brand is being discussed in, you could utilize Google Alerts.

By using Google Alerts, you get automatic email notices whenever your brand and/or company is being mentioned online. This allows you to promptly respond or make some sort of corresponding action associated with the mention.

With social mention, you can figure out whenever someone mentioned your brand or company on the Internet, and you can also research in “real-time.”

Be sure to utilize the Google KeyWord Planner Tool, Google Analytics (you can set threshold alerts to be automatically emailed to you) to help improve your brands reputation by creating quality, topical and keyword-based content that your audience is searching for.

To learn more about how the process works, check out this infographic “10 Brand Reputation Success Principles.”

Brand reputation management success principles infographic


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jon RognerudJon Rognerud is a recognized authority on SEO, who has spent more than 20 years creating and managing web and marketing projects from small to large companies, including positions at online giant Yahoo! He also founded Chaosmap.com, a Fortune 500 search marketing company in Los Angeles, California. His latest book, “The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website” from Entrepreneur Press is available in bookstores nationwide. Check out his personal website, http://www.jonrognerud.com to learn more.

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