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LinkedIn relaunched their Company Pages as LinkedIn Pages last November. The relaunch included a number of new features and upgraded features that let B2B marketers manage a company page on LinkedIn more effectively than before.

If you haven’t had a chance to catch up on the update, or you’ve perhaps been neglecting your LinkedIn Pages while you were pursuing other things, this article can give you a quick brush up.

We’ll show you what you need to do to manage your company page on LinkedIn in 2019, and give you a few opportunities for extra credit so your company can stand out and win more business.

Make Sure Your LinkedIn Company Page is COMPLETELY Filled Out

Let’s start with some low-hanging fruit. Maybe you created your LinkedIn Page a long time ago, and have perhaps forgotten about it recently, or you’ve neglected it a bit in the last few years. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to check in and see how your Page looks now. Since the update last November, there are a few new fields and settings to update.

This only takes a minute or two, but it’s a high-return task. Completing your LinkedIn Page’s information will usually net your Page about 30% more traffic.

Here’s what you need to complete:

  1. Upload your logo.
  2. Add a tagline.
  3. Describe your company in about three sentences. According to LinkedIn, most companies use this space to describe their “vision, mission, values, and a brief description of their products and/or services.” Of course, if you can sprinkle a couple of keywords into your company description, all the better.
  4. Add your website’s URL.
  5. Add your phone number.
  6. Add your industry.
  7. Add your company size.
  8. Add your company type.
  9. Add the year you were founded.
  10. Update your specialities (again, think about your keywords here).
  11. Add a cover image for your page.

And voilà – you now have a fully completed LinkedIn Page.

There’s a video guide from LinkedIn about how to do this introductory setup here.

And here’s what the interface itself looks like:

Set up Admins to Manage Your Company Page on LinkedIn

If you’ve used almost any social media management tool, you’ll be familiar with the idea of “Community Managers,” – basically account admins who plan and post all social media content, and who are tasked with responding to comments and possibly forwarding any complaints to Customer Service.

LinkedIn’s new Pages has this functionality. Page admins can post and share content, and they can reply to comments as well. They can do this work from almost anywhere, too: LinkedIn’s app allows admins to manage a company Page on LinkedIn when they’re on the go or from their desktops.

Share Content from Employees

This may be one of the best new features of LinkedIn Pages. It finally makes it easy to share top-performing posts from company employees to the company’s Page. This sort of employee advocacy is powerful, effective, and not used nearly enough.

Of course, this means you’ll have to get all your employees to update their LinkedIn accounts, and link their accounts to your company Page. Fortunately, that’s not hard. There are instructions for how to do it here. Note that only an employee can add themselves to a LinkedIn Page; admins can’t do it.

Here’s an example of a post Glassdoor’s official LinkedIn Page re-shared from an employee’s feed:

LinkedIn Page admins can also reshare any post – from anyone – that directly mentions their LinkedIn Page. So if a client mentions you, or someone mentions a webinar or conference event you’re holding – all that can be re-shared to your LinkedIn Page.

Instructions for how to re-share any post that mentions your page are here.

Use Hashtags

Each LinkedIn Page can be associated with up to three hashtags. Hashtags have had their challenges on LinkedIn, but they do work on the platform now. Including your three most valuable hashtags on your Page is a good idea.

Share PowerPoint Presentations, PDFs, and Word Docs Directly from LinkedIn Pages Posts

Get extra visibility for your presentations. You can still upload presentation decks to SlideShare (which is owed by Microsoft, which also owns LinkedIn).

HubSpot shares a lot of embedded SlideShares on its LinkedIn Page. Notice how they’ve also bent “the rule” (or more accurately, the assumption) that an embedded PowerPoint has to be horizontal.

This vertical PowerPoint takes up much more space in the feed, so people are more likely to notice it when it first gets published. Also, because you can click through the PDF, and because of the shape, it’s very reminiscent of an Instagram story. HubSpot has managed to make the old PowerPoint format seem new again.

Include All of Your Company Locations

Remember: People don’t do business with businesses. People do business with people.

One of the most compelling reasons to do business with one person over another is how close they are. But that’s not the only reason to include your company’s locations in your LinkedIn Page. It can also help you show up for more searches on LinkedIn, and it can help you attract local talent.

Use Content Suggestions to Find Content to Share

The best B2B social media accounts don’t just share their own content. They share third-party content, too – articles, research studies and other high-value content that will be useful to their audience.

There are dozens of content curation tools that can help you easily find great content to share. LinkedIn is now offering another option. From within your LinkedIn Page, you can use “Content Suggestions” as a content curation tool.

Content suggestions has several filters that make it more useful than many other content curation tools. You can filter content by country, for instance, and by industry, and by what people of different seniorities are sharing.

It’s an interesting, free way to find good content to share on LinkedIn. You could also use it to find content to share on your other social media accounts.

You could even use Content Suggestions to add a bit more content to your email newsletter. Many companies now have a “What We’re Reading” section in their newsletters with curated articles they think are especially interesting.

Post to Your LinkedIn Page at Least Once a Week

According to LinkedIn, “pages that post weekly see a 2x lift in engagement.” The reach for LinkedIn is also excellent (especially compared to Facebook). LinkedIn claims that companies who post 20 times per month will reach 60% of their audience. That’s about ten times better than what most B2B companies are getting on Facebook now.

Post More Videos

LinkedIn hasn’t always been as video-friendly as it is now. So if you’re still managing your company page on LinkedIn like you were a few years ago, with text-based posts, it’s time to evolve.

Here are a few best practices for video on LinkedIn:

  • Keep videos short. LinkedIn will accept videos up to ten minutes long, but shorter videos tend to work better. Even 30 seconds isn’t too short.
  • Upload your videos directly to LinkedIn. Don’t use a YouTube link, for example.
  • Upload MP4 video files rather than MOVs files. If you use the MP4 format, you’ll be able to include a title, a custom thumbnail, and an SRT captions file.

Marketing superstar Neil Patel recently published a video about getting more video views on LinkedIn. He believes LinkedIn video is one of the best opportunities for exposure in marketing right now. Why? Because LinkedIn’s algorithm is “hungry” for video content. So you’re likely to get four to five times more views and engagement for video on LinkedIn than you’d ever get with text-based content.

Make Use of the Custom Call-To-Action Button

Engagement with your posts on LinkedIn is great, but a better goal for managing a company page on LinkedIn is to have people click through to your website and complete a specific action. Call-to-actions help with this.

Here are the custom call-to-action buttons now available for LinkedIn Pages:

  • Contact Us
  • Learn More
  • Register
  • Sign Up
  • Visit Website

The call-to-action button will appear right below your company’s tagline, which turns that copy into a prime opportunity to invite people to contact you for a special offer, sign up for your newsletter, or register for a special event.

Here’s what the custom call to action looks like from within the desktop version of LinkedIn:

And here’s what the setup for it looks like:

Conclusion

LinkedIn Company Pages can be an excellent way to build a hub for your business on this critical B2B social media platform. And while LinkedIn certainly doesn’t have the reach that Facebook has, being able to reach 60% of a small audience may end up being better than reaching 0.6% of your audience on Facebook.

But it’s the employee post sharing features of these new Pages that we like the most. Many star employees fully understand the benefits of maintaining a personal brand, and they regularly share professional wins and great social posts.

Being able to reshare those posts to a company social media feed is a great way to improve engagement, be more approachable as a business, and showcase the type of great people your clients or customers will get to work with.

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Marketers still face several barriers when it comes to adopting artificial intelligence (AI), but those who have implemented this tool are seeing a large amount of success, according to new research.

DemandBase recently conducted a survey to gauge how marketers are integrating AI into their overall strategies. Statistics showed that only 18 percent of marketers are currently using AI. However, of those who use it, more than 40 percent say that AI is the, or one of the, most important investments to achieve better sales and marketing performance. Almost one-third of these individuals said that AI is revolutionizing marketing and sales performance.

“We’re still in the early days of AI for B2B marketing and sales, and there is a great deal of education that is needed to close the gap between implementation and expectations,” said Peter Isaacson, CMO at Demandbase. “It’s exciting to see the optimism that exists in the B2B marketing community. As early adopters continue to have success, AI adoption will continue to accelerate, and AI solutions will become table stakes for all marketing and sales teams.”

Marketers Remain Hesitant to Launch AI-Driven Projects

AI continues to be a valuable asset for marketers who have adopted it, but previous research suggests that many are still hesitant to turn to it to achieve their strategic goals.

The Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) and Forrester Research recently published a report titled the “Global Digital Outlook” report for 2018-19, and statistics showed that AI technology and initiatives related to AI-driven digital experiences have been at the top of marketers’ minds for the past 12 months.

That being said, just 16 percent of marketers said they are actively working on AI-related projects. Furthermore, 27 percent have no plans to utilize AI in 2019.

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Although B2B marketers are constantly reaching out to buyers, new research shows that it may be the behavior of their target audience that keeps them from ultimately closing deals.

A new study published by Aberdeen titled “Why Do B2B Buyers Struggle?” took a closer look at why B2B marketers fail to drive sales, despite utilizing effective marketing tactics. As it turns out, the behavior of B2B customers may be to blame, as indicated by the new research.

About 50 percent of B2B buyers say that they have an incomplete, unclear, or poorly defined criteria when they are involved in a purchase. Furthermore, 53 percent claim that they postpone decisions on at least half of purchases.

As it turns out, B2B marketers can potentially help with these pain points. About 72 percent of B2B buyers claim that they reach out to vendors early in the process, meaning that being receptive can potentially help. Approximately 38 percent said that they are willing to speak to a vendor earlier than usual in the consideration period if they provide them with objective information to help them frame a decision.

The Emotional Factor During the Buying Process

Taking B2B buyers’ emotions into consideration may help during the purchasing process, according to previous research.

Ipsos published the “GBI USA Launch Presentation” to measure some of the factors that B2B buyers weigh during the customer journey. Global Business Influencers (GBIs) make up less than 1 percent of the population, but they are significant to B2B marketers. Research showed that 74 percent of GBIs score highly on willingness to embrace emotion in their lives, and 16 percent “strongly agree” that they rely on gut feelings to make work decisions.

Most GBIs (42 percent) “somewhat agree” that they rely on gut feelings to make work decisions, and this could apply to buying decisions as well.

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Marketers have shifted their focus toward providing a more personalized experience, but as new research shows, many are still missing the mark. RedPoint Global and The Harris Poll recently surveyed more than 3,000 customers and 450 senior marketers in the US, UK and Canada, and their statistics showed that 34 percent of marketers believe they do an “excellent” job of delivering an exceptional customer experience – but only 18 percent of customers agree with this sentiment.

To learn more about why there is a disconnect, we spoke to John Nash, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at RedPoint Global.

Marketers (34 percent) are nearly twice as likely as customers (18 percent) to believe that businesses are doing an “excellent” job at delivering exceptional CX — what can marketers start doing immediately to meet customer expectations?

“The best way to start is to use existing data in better ways, to provide a more relevant, personalized experience for individual consumers.  Today’s consumers expect a personalized experience when they interact with a brand—and 54 percent are willing to provide personal data in exchange for a better experience.

While 63 percent consumers expect personalization as a standard of service, they are reluctant to give over their data to companies without knowing how their personal information is being used.

Data is such a critical component in the personalization of the customer experience, yet most brands have significant data assets they simply are not using to the fullest extent.

The data sits in silos, or is inaccessible in the cadence of the customer, or has unclear purposes – so marketers need to find innovative ways to create a unified, single customer view and activate it in the context and cadence of the customer.

There are also ways to provide a personalized experience for each customer without sacrificing privacy. As long as there is a value exchange for that data – personalized experiences that offer convenience and transparency in how data is managed – the consumer is willing to offer access to information.”

57 percent of marketers say their company has the right CX strategy in place, but is unable to execute it effectively — why is this the case? What factors are influencing marketers’ CX strategies?

“Most marketers recognize there is still much progress to be made in executing their customer experience strategy. Not only is data siloed, but most marketers also have fragmented sets of engagement systems and decision engines. This creates a lot of friction in the end customer experience that can only be overcome with a single point of control over data, decisions and interactions.

Most enterprises lack the ability to create a single point of control, creating a barrier to executing their customer strategies. Some common ways this is manifested is the inability to engage customers in real-time, or personalization that lacks relevance due to limited depths of data. Despite having tremendous amount of data in their systems, the information is siloed and inaccessible.

Some 25 percent of marketer’s report that they lack the ability to make the information actionable and meaningful.

Marketers that want to execute their CX strategy effectively need to break through information silos and create a single point of control over data, decisions, and interactions. This will require cross-functional commitment to closing the CX gap and integrating new technology that can bridge existing processes and systems.

It is also now possible to achieve this level of control along with the speed and scale required for real-time engagement, yet another big hurdle with 50 percent of marketers identifying it as a major challenge to executing their CX strategy. Without these real-time dimensions, an offer, a recommendation, a notification, or any other interaction will miss the optimal moment of engagement.

To remain competitive, todays brands must have these capabilities to provide contextually relevant, timely and personalized omnichannel experiences.”

Businesses with up to 9 engagement systems in place (61 percent) express difficulty providing a seamless customer experience — should marketers begin scaling back? Why or why not?

“Fortunately, there is way to obtain a single point of control without having to rip and replace the variety of individual channels marketers have invested in. This is possible with modern customer engagement hubs that take an open garden approach to connectivity.

Having a variety of touchpoints is a practical reality, and the number of touchpoints will continue to expand over time as consumers pursue new channels of engagement, including IoT devices.

Open garden connectivity not only enables companies to leverage their existing technology investments, it enables them to continually innovate their customer journeys as new technology emerges.

It also is a cost-effective way to counteract entrenched data silos and allow them to overcome the friction and fragmentation in the customer experience that is at odds with what consumers expect.”

About 63 percent of customers expect personalization as a standard of service, yet many believe that companies are not keeping pace with their expectations — what can marketers do to change this sooner rather than later?

“Consumers are expecting a brand to be able to consistently keep pace with them at every stage of their path-to-purchase that has individualized beginnings, middles, and ends. In fact, over half of consumers welcome companies to leverage relevant data about them to anticipate their needs and provide them with specialized offers.

Brands must expertly manage each consumer’s journey not only as a individual consumers, but also in the context of the complete customer lifecycle. Each touchpoint must be fully leveraged, with all information gathered on each consumer in turn influencing every action and decision.

A marketer that knows where a customer has been and where and when they’re going can begin to not only personalize interactions but do so with relevance to an individual customer – at the precise moment of the engagement.

Additionally, if marketers use customer engagement hub technology that can easily adapt and grow with the technologies to reach the customer, then keeping pace is a much more feasible endeavor.”

Most customers (54 percent) say that they are willing to share personal information with businesses if it will create a more personalized experience — how can marketers begin to use this data to their advantage?

“The more data you have, the deeper you understand the preferences, habits, challenges to reach each consumer with relevant messages and offers. Today’s consumers are willing to offer business to a company that personalizes its services, and for 37 percent of consumers, these types of personalized offers/messages will make them even more likely to purchase or use services from that company in the future.

Marketers should capitalize on consumers’ willingness to share personal data which, in turn, fuels a deeper personalized relationship between consumer and brand.”

Nearly 86 percent of marketers say they have made improvements in closing the gap between CX strategy and execution across all customer interaction channels over the past year — what are some of the new tactics that marketers are using to achieve this? Where is there still room for improvement?

“Most marketers express confidence that they have closed at least some of the gaps with respect to strategy and execution – and believe they are moving in a positive direction but realize there is more progress to be made. This is complicated by needing to work with a moving target as consumer expectations continue to increase, and the technology to reach them continues to change.

Marketers also understand that for consumers, personalization goes far beyond, for example, addressing someone by name in an email.

To provide a seamless omnichannel and personalized experience, marketers must establish a single point of control over all data, decisions and interactions. This single point of control provides marketers with a golden customer record of the customer across all enterprise solutions and data sources.

It goes far beyond basic transactional history or personal information; it reflects behaviors, interests, and preferences that are combined into an always-updating record that provides insight on a customer throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

Brands that work to deliver this seamlessly and in real time is where we will see the most progress in customer interactions in the near term.”

ABOUT JOHN NASH

John Nash has spent his career helping businesses grow revenue through the application of advanced technologies, analytics, and business model innovations. As Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at RedPoint Global, John is responsible for developing new markets, launching new solutions, building brand awareness, generating pipeline growth, and advancing thought leadership. Connect with John on LinkedIn.

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Although B2B marketers are focused on creating marketing collateral, such as white papers and ebooks, new research suggests that these forms of content are not the most trusted among B2B buyers.

Recently, TrustRadius published “The 2019 B2B Buying Disconnect” report to shed light on the disconnect between B2B marketers and vendor expectations. Statistics showed that most B2B marketers (about 80 percent) focus on marketing collateral – ebooks, white papers and webinars – to educate and engage their prospects.

However, on a scale of 1 to 4 (4 being the most trustworthy), B2B customers said that marketing collateral barely earned a 2.5 in terms of trust.

In terms of trustworthiness, B2B customers ranked their own prior experience with a product (more than 3.5) as the most trustworthy. However, product demos earned slightly more than 3.0, on average.

In regards to effectiveness on a scale of 1 to 4 (4 being the most effective), B2B marketers ranked product demos the highest, at slightly more than 3.5.

The Most Effective Tactics for B2B Marketers

Product demos may not be the only way that B2B marketers attempt to resonate with their target audience in the near future. Previous research shows that video marketing, for instance, is beginning to grow in prominence.

Spiceworks conducted a survey of more than 250 marketers to gauge which trends are on the rise in the B2B realm. Research indicated that the most mainstream trends are currently video marketing (68 percent), ABM strategy (64 percent) and on-demand content strategy (55 percent).

Influencer marketing (48 percent), purchase intent targeting (44 percent) and advertising on emerging social channels (44 percent) are becoming more common as well.

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As marketers shift their focus to content personalization as a way to resonate with their target audience, new research suggests that companies that already have done so are seeing an improvement to their bottom line.

Monetate recently published the “2019 Personalization Development Study” and statistics showed that 93 percent of companies with an advanced personalization strategy have experienced revenue growth. About 78 percent of those with a full or partially personalization strategy have seen a growth in revenue as well.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, 52.5 percent of companies with no personalization strategy have experienced revenue loss.

Approximately 44.4 percent of businesses that have seen 3x ROI claim that their primary goal metric for personalization is to increase customer loyalty. About 22.2 percent of the same group said that their main goal metric is to increase customer lifetime value.

Marketers Face Room for Improvement in Personalization

Marketers remain heavily focused on delivering a personalized experience, but previous research suggests that many of them are still missing the mark, despite having tools like MarTech at their disposal.

Acquia published the “Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report” and found that 68 percent of customers and 79 percent of marketers believe brands generally do not make customers feel like individuals. This is despite the fact that 87 percent of marketers believe they are delivering engaging customer experiences through resources, such as MarTech.

Approximately 55 percent of customers say that companies are “behind the times” when it comes to interacting with them both offline and online.

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Video content is playing a critical role in how marketers reach out to their target audiences, and new research shows that it is paying off when it is used in email marketing as well.

GetResponse recently published its “Email Marketing Benchmarks” report, and statistics showed that emails with YouTube videos had a 29.60 percent open rate, and a 6.62 percent click-through rate. Messages that contained Vimeo videos had a 36.99 percent open rate and an 8.13 percent click-through rate.

While these statistics suggest that video is the answer for email marketers, GetResponse Product Manager Mateusz Ruzik notes that not all email clients support it.

“For now, the best workaround is to use an image (maybe even an animated GIF) that looks like a video player and links to your page,” Ruzik says. “That way, you’ll boost your click-throughs and enhance your contacts’ experience – as they’ll watch the content in their default browser or video player. As soon as Google implements this feature (they haven’t said when), it will spread to most major email clients.”

Video Content Continues to Grow in Prominence

This is not the first report to suggest that video content is becoming a more critical component of digital marketing strategies.

“The State of Video Marketing” report published by Demand Metric and Vidyard recently discovered that for the fifth consecutive year, at least 80 percent of marketers (83 percent in 2018) believe that video is becoming more important as a form of marketing content.

Marketers are already using video in different applications as well, in addition to email. Website (85 percent) is most common, followed by social media (84 percent), YouTube (67 percent), landing pages (57 percent) and recorded webinars (55 percent).

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Measuring ROI from paid marketing for B2B is a critical problem a lot of marketers are trying to tackle. B2B marketing is not transactional, and that’s easy to forget. ROI is measured along a cycle that could span weeks or months depending on your industry and business model. During this time, the customer engages with your brand in a variety of ways.

This post will provide some strategic tactics marketers can use to better measure B2B advertising effectiveness, and provide a list of KPIs expert marketers are measuring to help them hit their ROAS goals.

Track Every Dollar

In the past, tracking the ROI of a digital ad was similar to how billboards are still measured today–throw it up and hope for the best. There was no good way to measure the effectiveness of what brands were sharing. That lead to lots of top-of-funnel effort: views, impressions, clicks, etc. No doubt those traditional marketers were driving revenue, but no one could effectively measure the impact.

Today, with the advent of tactics like remarketing, and uploading custom audiences to target people at specific stages, we can effectively carry out full-cycle marketing. Marketers now have the strategy and knowledge (and responsibility) to close the loop!

To do that, my advice is to invest in an automated solution! The marketing landscape today consists of a wide range of tools to measure and optimize everything from content to campaigns (check out AdStage!).

This also means that your competition is likely taking advantage of data and technology to improve their own marketing. Since you can now automate tasks that are sucking up loads of time, a million rows in your Excel sheet isn’t something to brag about, it’s something to streamline! Automate the consolidation of data to focus on the stuff that matters.

Create KPIs and Measure Outcomes

Are you familiar with the Iceberg Principle? It states that only a small amount (the ‘tip’) of information is available or visible when the ‘real’ information or bulk of data is unseen, deep down in the water.

As recently as 5 years ago, marketers were fully focused on clicks, but missing out entirely on quality, and therefore actual value. You can drive 100,000 people to your site, but that doesn’t matter if they’re not taking action beyond that. By focusing on top-of-funnel metrics, you’re missing the whole story, and more often than not, when you dig deeper, you might find out that you’re driving the wrong kind of traffic.

A click is just a small part of the overall story. In a marketer’s iceberg, at the absolute very least, you must ensure that you’re optimizing for MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads). But to be truly successful, you have to go even deeper, and optimize for SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) and beyond. So don’t stop at MQL. Go deeper!

The meaningful data lies beneath the surface.

So how do you do that? With a little marketing math. The metrics below are what everyone’s daily dashboard should show. Then, knowing that 1% of leads turn into customers, work backward with this math.

If you know that you need to drive more SQLs, for example, you can prioritize which initiatives or projects you need to work on. Use this math to identify the lowest hanging fruit or projects that can help move the needle the most.

Play around with this formula to better understand your funnel. This exercise will help you identify stages where you might be losing good prospects and where to focus. On top of this formula, you MUST have a system in place to track your efforts, especially if you’re spending money to acquire customers.

Otherwise, you won’t know your ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) and therefore won’t be able to measure how effective your efforts were at producing results.

Measure Pipeline Contribution Back to Campaigns

Now we’ll dig into how to surface the numbers you need to accurately prove ROAS by connecting ad data to down-funnel metrics. The most effective way to do that is to use hidden fields to pass more data into the CRM. Let me explain.

The vast majority of B2B companies use forms as a lead capture mechanism on their websites. For these forms, businesses generally rely on a third-party marketing automation system like Marketo or HubSpot. When a form is built, you can embed hidden fields called UTMs (Urchin Tracking Modules), which help you capture additional information when someone fills out and submits the form.

On a form, you’re likely already tracking things like name, company, and email address. But you also want to know where the person came from.

How did they land on this page? 

You can use these hidden fields, or UTMs, to learn this information. Using UTMs, you can track back to parameters like content, medium, or source. When you send all this information along to your CRM, you can also include these referral tracking parameters.

The next step requires you to pull your CRM reports. If you’re doing this manually, you will need to download all of your ad data down to the URL because that’s where your tracking parameters are (the UTM parameters). Then put all this information into Google Sheets. For the CRM side of the data (we use Salesforce in this example), use G-Connector to pull data from Salesforce and drop into your Google Sheets.

You could run reports such as an opportunity report or a lead report. In that report be sure to expose the UTM parameters as columns. Now it’s time to play the matching game. Drawing lines from one side to the other side, using VLOOKUP to match the data sets and try to combine them into one set. Beware, this can be very manual, time-consuming, and prone to error.

Using this data, you can now show the value of your ad campaigns! If you can map your offline conversions to online campaigns, you want to end up with a table like the one below. An easy, visual summary of your results and progress that shows spend, MQLs, SQLs, and most importantly, cost.

Determine ROI and Report Regularly

CRM tools used to be the sales’ domain, but marketers are now using them as well. Because we’re smart marketers, we’re technically the ones that sent a lot of the data into the CRM systems through forms and hidden fields. It makes sense that we should now leverage it by creating marketing dashboards that align with sales.

But note that one important piece of information missing in the CRM is the ad cost. If you just report in the CRM, you’re not going to be able to optimize to the actual ad that delivered those customers. You will have to bridge that gap either manually in Google Sheets, or automatically through products like AdStage.

Once you can link metrics that illustrate a customer’s entire journey, you can finally dial-up campaigns that actually work, and turn off the ones that don’t yield bankable results. In essence, you stop optimizing for leads and start optimizing for customers.

For example, in the table below you can clearly show which ad network yields the best return. You can then make a more informed decision on how to allocate budget.

By connecting your ad data to sales data, instead of reporting on clicks, you can report on revenue. With this approach, you can show marketing’s contribution to the sales pipeline and also prove how much marketing is contributing to driving SQLs, closed deals, and ultimately revenue.

KPIs to Measure

As you sit down to adjust your processes and reporting, be sure these KPIs are at the top of the list. These are the metrics you need to determine your ROAS.

SQLs are the new MQLs

  • Sales and marketing alignment is more important than ever and when marketing is measuring for sales goals, a natural bridge is formed.

Contribution to pipeline

  • Marketing can grow its value to the organization by focusing on leads that are more likely to turn into paying customers.

Contribution to closed-won deals

  • Ideally, the sales team is giving credit to marketing every time a close bell rings. The organization as a whole should strive to understand where the lead came from and the steps along the way that helped close the deal.

Actualized revenue from marketing campaigns

  • You should be able to answer “What is my ROAS from my spend?”
Final Thoughts

Now you’re armed with the strategies that will help you set up and measure full-cycle, down funnel marketing campaigns. With every campaign, remember that clicks and impressions are out, and expert marketers are now zeroed in on ROAS.

About the Author

Sahil Jain is the CEO and Founder of AdStage. Prior to founding AdStage in May 2012, Sahil co-founded his firstcompany, Y-Combinator backed Trigger.io at 20.

He dropped out of UC Berkeley, where he studied Philosophy andEcon, to join AOL Corp Devt. at 19.

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As marketers continue to invest in data and analytics to increase their overall effectiveness, new research suggests that customers are actually a driving force behind this area of investment.

IAB recently published “The Outlook for Data 2019” report and statistics showed that this year, 69.4 percent of marketers claim that the demand/interest from their customers is driving their data-related efforts. This is an increase from the 66.2 percent who said the same in 2018, and the 61.8 percent who cited the reason back in 2017.

About 38.9 percent of marketers stated that their general desire to be more “customer-centric” is driving their investment in data and analytics this year, which is also an increase from the 33.8 percent who said so back in 2018.

Marketers Finding Success with More Data

Previous research suggests that as marketers invest more in data and analytics, they are seeing a general improvement in their overall performance.

YouAppi recently published the results of a survey of more than 540 marketers to determine how their use of data impacts their overall success. Approximately 98 percent of the respondents stated that they have increased their organizational investment in data, and 97 percent are seeing an improvement in their performance.

In addition, an excess of half of these respondents claimed that the improvement has been “significant.” About 96 percent stated that their job duties have called for a greater focus on data as of late, with 57 percent categorizing the increase as “significant.”

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As marketers continue to shy away from traditional means of marketing, new research shows that digital marketing continues to grow.

Statistics from eMarketer recently discovered that total digital ad spend in the U.S. is set to grow 19 percent to $129.34 billion in 2019, and account for 54.2 percent of estimated total US ad spending. Mobile, in particular, will also continue to grow in dominance – it will account for more than two-thirds of digital ad spending, at $87.06 billion in 2019.

Directories, such as the Yellow Pages, are set to take the biggest hit, down 19 percent this year. Traditional print (newspapers and magazines) spending will fall about 18 percent.

“The steady shift of consumer attention to digital platforms has hit an inflection point with advertisers, forcing them to now turn to digital to seek the incremental gains in reach and revenues which are disappearing in traditional media advertising,” said eMarketer forecasting director Monica Peart.

Video Marketing Continues to Grow in Prominence

Some forms of digital marketing and content, such as video, are seeing more success than other tactics. More specifically, previous research suggests that video will only continue to grow in prominence in the near future.

Demand Metric and Vidyard conducted “The State of Video Marketing” and found that for the fifth consecutive year, at least 80 percent of marketers (83 percent in 2018) believe that video is becoming more important as a form of marketing content.

Marketers use video in many different applications. Website (85 percent) is most common, followed by social media (84 percent), YouTube (67 percent), landing pages (57 percent) and recorded webinars (55 percent).

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