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Review Sites Promote Content Creation, Customer Advocacy For B2B Companies

B2B review sites are growing in popularity as marketers realize the added benefits beyond the promotional aspect of the review itself. Companies such as Marketo and ID Wholesaler have found great success by using positive reviews on channels such as G2 Crowd and TrustPilot to enhance their email marketing and social initiatives. Using that content, they’ve found, can help to seal the deal for buyers.

#B2BMX Q&A: Lenovo’s Michael Ballard Discusses Company’s Intent-Driven Transformation

ballard headshotWith the amount of data available to today’s B2B marketers, it’s amazing what programs can be created to engage prospective customers with the right message, via the right channel at the right time. With intent data—insights that show buyer propensity—marketers can dive even deeper to create relevant conversations that move buyers along their journey.

Michael Ballard, Sr. Manager, Digital Marketing at Lenovo, has first-hand experience with intent data and will be discussing the topic in detail during a session at the upcoming B2B Marketing Exchange, taking place in Scottsdale, Ariz., Feb. 20-22.

In an event preview Q&A, Ballard discusses the value intent data has brought to his organization, and where the B2B marketplace stands with finding the balance of traditional and intent-driven insights.

Demand Gen Report: Can you please share a sneak peek into what you'll be covering in your session at the B2B Marketing Exchange this year?

Michael Ballard: As marketers in 2017, we have access to more customer data than any other generation. But what do we do with it? How do we access it? What types of information do we need? I will show how Lenovo is transforming all its digital programs away from its reliance upon 1st party data lead scoring and triggering campaigns from publicly available intent data. Our initial pilots with this strategy has given us some of our most successful campaigns based on leads generated.

DGR: Your session will  focus on how Lenovo uses intent data. Why is this type of data valuable to your marketing initiatives?

MB: We need to leave our egos at the door. Our customers don't care about us until they are ready. We need to stop pushing what we "think" they want and wait for them to tell us what they care about. Marketing has always been an interrupter in people’s lives … just take a stroll down Times Square. We now have the ability to only show people information they want and when they want it. Marketing now becomes less annoying and starts to become a true partner.

DGR: Other than intent data, what else factors into identifying when buyers are in market and what they are researching?

MB: We still digest traditional lead scoring and use that as a determination point. However, we are starting to blend intent with predictive modeling for look-a-likes. But keep in mind, intent data (theoretically) covers almost all digital activities that we cannot see on our own properties … at least in B2B activities. The bigger question becomes how do we properly blend traditional lead score, with predictive scoring and with intent topic surges? Do we give more weight to one over the other? Only time and historical data will tell.

DGR: What are you most excited for at the B2B Marketing Exchange?

MB: I really enjoy connecting with other peers and getting caught up with what vendors are doing in this space. There is always a lot of great energy at the conference and gets me excited to tackle bigger challenges. The tracks are carefully thought out and provide a great variety of choices. Plus, the venue is always incredible!

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!

  • Published in Blog

The Magic of 12: How to Magnify Lead Generation Results Using Multiples

Dan_Mcdade_150w
By Dan McDade, President & CEO, PointClear

“I called them three times, and they didn’t get back to me so they must not have been interested.”

Have you, a member of your field sales team, or one of your inside reps ever called a prospect a few times without connecting and then given up? The answer is likely “yes” as the temptation is to assume a prospect isn’t interested and move on.

The Magic of 12: How to Magnify Lead Generation Results Using Multiples

Dan_Mcdade_150w
By Dan McDade, President & CEO, PointClear

“I called them three times, and they didn’t get back to me so they must not have been interested.”

Have you, a member of your field sales team, or one of your inside reps ever called a prospect a few times without connecting and then given up? The answer is likely “yes” as the temptation is to assume a prospect isn’t interested and move on.

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