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B2B Marketers Step Up Shift From Activity Metrics To Identifying & Driving Engagement

For much of the past decade, success for B2B marketers has been defined as getting buyers to respond to offers by clicking on, opening or downloading an asset. While these actions are still often used as a sign of initial interest from an individual buyer or an account, marketers are increasingly shifting their focus and efforts to new tactics and tools that can determine engagement beyond impressions or form fills.

Video Lets Marketers Get Personal

Video has become an effective tool for B2B marketers, and an appealing medium for buyers. Many marketers are using video strategically at every stage of the buying cycle, and those efforts are yielding good outcomes.

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The 2016 Lead LifeCycle Series To Spotlight ABM, Interactive Content And Data-Driven Funnel Strategies

While the buzz around account-based marketing (ABM) has B2B marketers reassessing their strategies to engage with prospective customers, successful B2B organizations are finding that a full-funnel approach — fueled by data analytics and new interactive content formats — can properly engage and nurture prospects within key accounts. This leads to more personalized conversations for sales reps, and an enhanced customer experience.

These topics (and more) will be discussed throughout Demand Gen Report’s Lead LifeCycle Series, an online webinar series taking place July 18-27. Attendees will be able to access more than 11 hours of content covering the top trends and best practices B2B organizations are leveraging to woo buyers at each stage of the funnel. 

“Our annual Lead LifeCycle Series will provide B2B marketing and sales practitioners with the information they need to further enhance their content, messaging and campaigns,” said Carol Krol, Editor-in-Chief at Demand Gen Report. “From driving leads to enabling sales, this webinar series will have everything you need to accelerate your sales funnel from top to bottom.”

Here’s a quick rundown of what attendees can expect from the two-week-long webinar series.

Fuel ABM Initiatives With Smart Strategy And Key Technology

Expansions in strategy and technology have enabled B2B marketers to better tackle the task of incorporating an account-based approach to the way they market throughout the sales funnel. But one of the main hurdles with ABM implementation is understanding where to start.

During the opening session of the series, Radius’ Shari Johnston will provide a playbook for building the foundation of every account-based strategy. The session will also highlight use cases from ABM veterans who will discuss their ventures with the strategy.

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ABM may be hot, but it’s far from new. In fact, it’s actually a long-established strategy in which marketing and sales teams focus their efforts on accounts (rather than individual leads). Technology has enabled B2B marketers and sales teams to align their efforts and engage with key account prospects — keeping messaging consistent and relevant.

In a session with Act-On Software, attendees will learn how modern technology makes ABM accessible, scalable and repeatable — and how it is delivering some tremendous results. The session will also address the new ABM funnel metrics companies can use to fast-track prospects to final sale.

The combination of processes and technology not only leads to alignment, but also helps companies  identify the best metrics for tracking overall marketing and sales success.

In EverString’s session, the company will discuss how it has aligned sales and marketing, and fed the top of the funnel in the process. This session will also cover how to identify and fix sales and marketing misalignment, outlining key metrics and strategies for maintaining a relationship that enables both teams to work together to increase pipeline.

Increase Engagement And MQL Pipeline With Interactive Content

B2B buyers do not care if you are engaging with them via ABM or not — they expect a relevant and engaging customer experience that is consistent throughout their buying journey. As more and more content is created on a daily basis, interactive content formats are being created to catch buyers’ eyes and keep the marketer’s brand top-of-mind.

Content4Demand will spotlight a common challenge for B2B marketers: While interactivity and cutting-edge content formats are used for the top of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel is fueled by case studies and more product-focused resources, the middle of the funnel is often neglected. The session will detail how interactive content can be leveraged in the middle of the funnel to nurture prospective buyers within target accounts and nudge them closer to a purchase decision.

Campaigns fueled by compelling content are not only driving better results, such as open and click-through rates, they are also proving to be more cost-efficient in converting and accelerating the flow of qualified leads.

During a session with SnapApp, attendees will learn how interactive and conversational content formats drive engagement and campaign conversion results.

Leverage Digital Body Language For Content Creation, Lead Segmentation

Today’s era of content engagement is changing the marketing playbook, creating new rules for marketers looking to tap into the content needs and preferences of potential buyers. To identify those content preferences, marketers have to leverage a variety of metrics and behavioral analytics to better understand how buyers engage with their brand.

LookBookHQ will highlight how the buyer’s digital body language can help B2B companies identify their most sales-ready prospects and improve conversion rates by leveraging that insight in the content creation process.

Audience data can also bring value to a variety of initiatives across multiple channels. Email is a prime example. Leveraging behavioral insight from key prospects, marketers can segment their database to keep emails as relevant as possible to maximize engagement.

Social123 will discuss real-world examples of how companies are optimizing their audience data to better segment their database and target the right prospects with relevant content. The session will show how segmentation and targeting can help improve messaging and enable marketers to pair top-notch content with key personas.

Once marketers are leveraging their audience data, predictive marketing becomes an option to take campaigns to the next level. Not only do predictive analytic solutions have the potential to enhance lead scoring efforts; the technology may also identify prospects that have been flying under the radar.

Lattice Engines will discuss use cases from CDW, Intel Security and Hootsuite to highlight how predictive analytics enabled these companies to improve conversion rates at various stages of the sales funnel.

More To Explore

ABM, interactive content and data-driven marketing are only a few of the topics Demand Gen Report will cover during the two-week-long series. Some of the other sessions taking place during the 2016 Lead LifeCycle Series include:

  • Full Circle Insights will highlight key strategies for targeted engagement with prospects and timely handoffs from marketing to sales to reduce the risk of missing deals;
  • Vidyard will discuss how video content can help companies at the bottom of the sales funnel seal the deal, as well as enhance onboarding and upsell opportunities; and
  • ON24 will cover best practices and tips for creating mid- and bottom-of-the-funnel webinars that can help drive prospects toward a sale.

Want to learn more? Click here to view the full agenda for the 2016 Lead LifeCycle Series, taking place July 18 – 27.

 

5 Ways B2B Companies Can Rule Instagram

rule insta blog

With its emphasis on visual context, it’s no surprise that Instagram has become a huge platform for B2C companies. But when I started thinking about how the channel could benefit B2B companies, I had to pause. I understand why most B2B companies turn to Twitter and LinkedIn to engage with followers. A major con for Instagram is that it doesn’t allow the user to include direct links in their captions like they can with Twitter and LinkedIn, which essentially means companies can’t direct their followers to their websites.

That’s OK! Instagram is still a valuable channel for B2B companies, if they play their cards right. You have to think of Instagram as a “wind down” platform. Users go on it to sit back and enjoy beautiful images, not to be pitched a new solution. So B2B companies should save those types of posts for Twitter and LinkedIn, and use Instagram to engage with followers, potential buyers and prospects in a more casual manner. This is what will drive the relationship and encourage them to constantly think of your company.

Here are five ways B2B companies could rule Instagram, with some examples from major players in the game who are doing it right.

1. Start A Hashtag

1oracleA hashtag that accompanies images of company life and culture is a great way to showcase the people behind a brand. For example, Oracle’s #lifeatOracle hashtag displays company events and volunteer work, while the company’s #MyOracleDesk hashtag highlights employee engagement from their point of view. These fun images will help personalize your company’s Instagram and consolidate images from multiple company and employee Instagram accounts.

2. Promote Your Event

1zendesk

Hosting or sponsoring an event? Use Instagram to promote what’s going on inside a conference to show people what they’re missing, and to get them to attend in the future. Take it a step further to highlight restaurants and activities for your attendees to check out after event hours.

3. Host A Giveaway

1buffer

Learn from your followers by hosting a giveaway that enables them to share their experiences. For example, Buffer asked followers to share their customer service experience through emojis to score a book.

4. Let (Furry) Friends Takeover

1hootsuite

Highlight employees and partners by letting them take over your Instagram account. This will show off your relationships with people inside and outside the company, giving potential prospects a look at what it’s like to have you on their side.

Also, no matter who you are, posting images of animals is sure to be a hit on Instagram. If your company allows pets at the office, why not show them off by letting the little critters take over your Instagram account, as Hootsuite has done?

5. Show Off Upcoming Content

1vidyardIf your company has a mascot, make it the star of your Instagram. Vidyard provides sneak peeks into new content they’re creating by posting photos of their mascot Vbot on the job. This gets followers, clients and prospects excited for what your company has planned in the pipeline.

Is your company doing anything unique to engage with their followers on Instagram? Tweet us at @DG_Report!

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