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We all wish we had been early adopters of today’s massive content platforms – YouTube, Google, Medium etc… Alas, most of us were not. However, if you look hard enough, you might just find the next amazing platform for content marketing. I think I may have. Zest   Let me take a step back and …

Using Zest to Dominate Content MarketingRead More »

The post Using Zest to Dominate Content Marketing appeared first on Scalable B2B.

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As we move into 2019, B2B marketers can look back at the last 2 decades in awe - how far we have come! Looking forward, there are 10 trends that B2B marketers must begin to embrace if they want to remain relevant in an ever-changing space.

The post 10 B2B Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019 appeared first on Scalable B2B.

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Every one of us - startups or individuals - must consider ourselves a media company. Even if you are a SaaS company, as a marketer, you must position yourself as a media company.

The post 6 Steps to Dominating Content Marketing appeared first on Scalable B2B.

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A high converting landing page is the holy grail of any B2B inbound marketing campaign. While you probably know that's true, you may be struggling with how to create a landing page that converts well. You aren't alone.

The post 6 Steps to a High Converting Landing Page appeared first on Scalable B2B.

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With all the hype around Account Based Marketing, can B2B marketers still rely on the effectiveness of Inbound Marketing?

The post Inbound Marketing is Not Dead appeared first on Scalable B2B.

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When it comes to SEO, especially B2B SEO, nothing is more important than the keyword research you do prior to actually working on content.

Why put so much effort into your content if no one ends up reading it?

See, we are living in a world that is saturated with content – in all areas and industries.

So how do you get your voice heard in this noisy environment? That’s where keyword research comes in.

When you have a question, where do you generally go to find the answer?

Chances are, you answered what most people would – Google.

Why Do Keyword Research for B2B?

As was mentioned earlier, with so much content out there, how would you ever get to the top of search results?

You have to be strategic.

Sure, we’d all love for every piece of content we write to magically appear at the top of every search any of our target customers make.

But, that’s not realistic.

Keyword research is a necessary tactic for B2B marketers because it enables you to identify keywords that are

  1. Relevant to your target market
  2. Are actually searched for
  3. Are low competition

These three points are the main crux of keyword research, particularly for B2B marketing.

Features and Benefits of Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest

Recently, SEO guru Neil Patel purchased the keyword research tool Ubersuggest (formerly ubersuggest.io) and incorporated it into his own site, neilpatel.com.

If you aren’t familiar with Neil, you should definitely check out his content.

Not only is he a world-renowned SEO guru, but he puts out fantastic content (video, written, audio) that can help any marketer with leveling up their skill set.

The newly re-designed tool is pure gold for B2B marketers looking for a way to do keyword research.

Let’s go through some of the features and benefits of Ubersuggest.

The Price

It’s free

Yes, free. 

There are lots of keyword research tools out there, but most of them cost between $100-$300 a month!

With Ubersuggest, you get most of the benefits of those other tools, but at a much better price – $0.

Neil has said a few times on his various channels that he has no intention of charging for Ubersuggest.

And, in fact, it seems like he wants to add more free SEO tools to his site.

Search Volume Estimate

For each keyword you input, Ubersuggest will estimate how many monthly searches are made for it.

Though I don’t know for sure, it’s likely that this data is pulled from Google’s API somehow, but I might be wrong.

It’s true that many tools have this kind of estimate, and they are rarely 100% correct. 

However, it’s a fantastic benchmark. You can see if one keyword has significantly more searches than another.

Cost Per Click

While this is less relevant for SEO, it still gives you an indicator of the value (at least the value given by Google) of that particular keyword.

My guess is that this data, too, is pulled from Google’s API as it aligns with the numbers you’d see in Google’s keyword planner tool.

Paid Difficulty

Another data point that is probably less relevant for SEO, but still a good metric to have in mind.

This indicates how difficult it is to rank for this keyword for paid Google ads (formerly “AdWords”).

SEO Difficulty

This is seriously an amazing metric. Though it’s not 100% clear how this number is arrived it, being able to take the difficulty score and compare it to the search volume is the kind of thing SEOs dream of.

Until now, a lot of people would utilize strategies such as the Keyword Golden Ratio. However, Ubersuggest now gives you an easier way to do it without complicated calculations.

Keyword Ideas

Now we get to the meat and potatoes.

Ubersuggest, as the name implies, not only gives you powerful metrics – it suggests potential keywords, including long-tail keywords, for you to try.

This is extremely useful, particularly if your initial keyword is highly competitive.

You can take a look at similar keywords and find one that has a sufficient amount of monthly searches but is lower in competition.

You even get this fun word bubble from Neil telling you about your keyword

B2B Keyword Use-Case Using Ubersuggest

I know what you are thinking – this all sounds great, but how can I use this to my advantage?

In this use-case, you’re planning on writing a new piece of content and want to know which keyword(s) to optimize it for.

Let’s go step-by-step through the process.

Assuming you aren’t coming into this with an idea in mind, you can actually use Ubersuggest to help you craft the entire focus of your post.

Step 1: Initial Keyword

What’s the main focus of your product, service, or blog?

Start there.

If, for example, your blog generally focuses on topics regarding project management, try that high-level keyword first.

Uh-oh, looks like Neil says this one is going to be tough!

Not to worry, that’s why this tool exists in the first place.

Mouse over to “SD” (SEO Difficulty) and re-order it to go from lowest to highest.

The goal here is to find a keyword that has a medium-to-high amount of monthly searches but a low level of difficulty.

Perfect!

This long-tail keyword has almost 2,000 searches per month, but a difficulty level of only 8.

This would be a great keyword to use.

Step 2: Gathering Additional Keywords for Your Post

While your main keyword is the one you are going to try to rank for the most, having secondary keywords sprinkled throughout your post serves several purposes:

  1. Puts you in contention for top search results for other keywords, even if the monthly searches are low
  2. Can act and as semantic keywords for your post, which will be read by Google as supporting your initial keyword
  3. Gives you more ideas for sub-sections of your post

Ubersuggest makes this really easy, just look at the suggested keywords that it provides and try to add them as H2 or H3 sections in your post!

Step 3: Analyze The Top Ranking Posts

One of the benefits of Ubersuggest, beyond keyword research and analysis, is that it shows you the top 100 pages that rank for a given keyword, as well as some other stats relating to them.

Since you are trying to get position 1, why not take a look at what its current inhabitant has done to get there?

First, you’ll notice that though the exact phrase is not used in their title.

Google’s algorithm is clearly picking up on the semantic similarities between “Program Manager vs. Project Manager” and “Project Management vs Program Management.”

While the differences are minor to a human mind, the fact that Google was able to understand the complexity of natural language is actually pretty impressive.

But, that’s for a different blog post.

Now, let’s take a look at the content itself.

If we take the entire post and create a word cloud, showing which key phrases and words are used most, we can learn a lot about how Google decided this particular post should be listed first.

By pasting the content of the post into a free word cloud generator, we get a great 30,000-foot view of the main focus of the post.

As you may have suspected, the keywords “program”, “project”, and “manager” are all featured prominently.

Let’s take a deeper look at how many times, exactly, some of these key phrases appear.

Two of the most critical keywords appear very often in this post – 15 times for “program manager” and 18 times for “project manager.”

However, the exact phrase that this post is ranking for doesn’t even appear a single time in the post.

The post is also not incredibly long, only 735 words. 

These days, that’s a pretty short blog post.

Ok, so with this information in mind, there are a few things you can do in your post to have a better shot at ranking higher:

  1. Use the exact phrase – The currently #1 ranking post does not use the exact phrase once, so you can have the advantage there. Don’t keyword stuff, but at least use it in the title.
  2. Skyscraper – A very popular content tactic among SEO experts these days is the skyscraper technique. Essentially, find a high ranking post and write a similar post, but just make it 10x better. In this case, the post was only 735 words which means it wasn’t very in-depth. If you go deeper and make something that is long-form, you have a great shot at overtaking the #1 spot
  3. Semantic keywords – This post is a clear indication that Google values semantic keywords nearly as much (maybe just as much?) as exact match keywords. You can see that because the post doesn’t even have a single use of the main phrase, but is stuffed with semantically similar terms.
Ubersuggest for B2B Keyword Research: The Verdict

One word, awesome. 

For a totally free tool to give you these kinds of actionable insights is unheard of.

To be able to get data on competitiveness, overall monthly searches, and suggested related keywords is just unbelievable.

Not to mention being able to see all the posts that rank for your keyword, along with all the other data.

It also looks like Neil might be planning to include some new features in the tool…

This could be a really cool feature – an engine that suggests content for you in order to help you rank higher? Hopefully, it is included free, but it’s certainly possible this feature will require some amount of money.

What do you think about the new and improved Ubersuggest? Leave your comments below!

The post B2B Keyword Research Using Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest appeared first on Scalable B2B.

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Whether you are new to B2B marketing or an experienced vet, we all struggle with coming up with finding B2B marketing strategies produce positive ROI.

A good B2B marketing strategy will be scalable – it is as effective on the small scale as it is when you do it at a large scale.

While the tried and true methods that have worked in the past are definitely still relevant, some new tactics are also emerging.

Here are 25 B2B marketing strategies that you can start using today:

1. Content Marketing

The keystone of many B2B marketing strategies tends to be content marketing.

Why?

Because it serves so many purposes.

Let’s take a step back and understand what B2B marketing is all about…

Yes, the ultimate goal is to generate warm leads for a sales team. However, before we get to the bottom of the funnel, we have to look at the top.

And what drives people’s interest in your product or service compared to your competition’s?

Thought-leadership.

Content marketing is a fantastic way for a B2B company to display that they not only have a fantastic product but that they are a well-respected voice in the field.

2. SEO

If a tree falls in the forest, but no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Perhaps this would be better stated as “if a B2B company puts out a ton of amazing content, but no one reads it, did it really exist at all?”

If no one finds your content, then it will have zero value.

Yes, you could put money behind paid ads, and you probably should.

However, the best way to get readers to your content is by optimizing your site and content for search – SEO.

The practice of search engine optimization is constantly changing.

That’s because the algorithms that govern which pages show up at the top of search results are also constantly changing.

As a B2B marketer, you have to keep up-to-date with the latest trends regarding SEO, or else you’ll lose out on precious traffic to your competition.

Some fantastic SEO-focused blogs you should be reading include:

These blogs are your best resource for finding out the latest trends, as well as news about new algorithm updates and other important issues regarding SEO today.

3. Email

There is one thing that is almost a 100% guarantee – your potential customers have email and read it daily.

That’s just a fact.

So, if you have some sort of apprehension about leveraging email marketing because it might come off as “spammy” you better let that go ASAP.

It’s only spammy if you are spamming people.

B2B email marketing comes in two basic forms:

Inbound

When someone comes to your site and gives you their email address in return for something like an eBook or access to a webinar, they are now an inbound lead.

Once their email is collected, you are now able to nurture them with email marketing.

Since these leads have essentially raised their hand and shown at least a modicum of interest, the type of content they will get will be different.

In general, you should be leveraging some sort of marketing automation tool for this kind of email activity.

Outbound

Otherwise known as “cold emailing,” this type of B2B email marketing tactic requires real effort, or else you risk falling into becoming just another spammer.

And you don’t want that.

Cold email outreach can carry with it one of the highest ROIs of any B2B marketing strategy.

But, in order to make it a success, you have to make sure the person on the receiving end does not feel like they are being reached out to be a robot.

That means that, even if you are sending emails en masse, you have to make sure they have context for the recipient.

4. ABM

The latest trend in B2B marketing is Account Based Marketing (ABM).

However, this is really a tried-and-true tactic that has been repackaged in a new, sexy title.

Account Based Marketing is a tactic in which a marketer first identifies the “accounts” (companies or individuals) they want to convert. Then, contact information for these people is collected and they are put through a well-constructed marketing campaign.

One of ABM’s greatest benefits is that, due to the fact that the prospects have been hand-picked, the sales process tends to be quicker and more efficient.

B2B Account Based Marketing leverages many channels – however, email marketing tends to have the greatest focus.

5. Virtual Chat

One of the latest crazes in marketing, in general, is the use of virtual chat or chatbots on your website.

When they first hit the scene, they were often used by B2C companies rather than B2B.

However, these have proven to be amazing tools for B2B marketers when done correctly.

The main goal of any B2B marketing strategy is to generate qualified leads and virtual chat gives you the ability to both interact with engaged visitors, as well as qualify them on the spot.

6. Direct Mail

Yes, you read correctly.

Mail, as in snail mail.

It might be old school, but this marketing strategy having a renaissance of sorts.

B2B direct mail marketing is a great tactic when coupled with other outreach methods, such as outbound emailing.

However, just like emails, direct mail should be contextual and relevant to the recipient.

Try sending some sort of gift, perhaps something that you know they like – such as a poster of an athlete on their home team.

7. Banner Ads

Though they are becoming increasingly expensive, banner ads still have great potential for B2B marketing.

Rather than putting your resources towards banner ads through display networks, which can be expensive and provide poor performance, try approaching the blogs you want to be seen on directly.

Often, these blogs will have advertising options that include display ads.

By doing this, you will be able to target the exact audience you are looking for and not rely on algorithms.

One strategy is to look at where you are getting traffic from – is there a blog that once mentioned you that is still driving traffic to your site? Is that traffic converting?

If so, reach out to them – see if you can get your banner on their site.

Clearly, they have an audience that is interested in your product or service.

8. AdWords (Now part of “Google Ads”)

Trying to organically rank for those highly desired keywords can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

Yes, organically ranking is definitely the ideal, but sometimes it’s just not realistic.

That’s why AdWords still has so much value for B2B marketers.

If you’ve already outlined a list of high-value keywords, along with those powerful long-tail keywords, you should look it over and decide which keywords are your most valuable.

(If you don’t have such a list, now is the time to write it.)

AdWords is actually as much an art as it is a science. You need to understand how to craft AdWords ads that are of high quality, or else you will end up paying more or, even worse, not have your ads display at all.

9. Retargeting/Remarketing

Ever visit a site and then notice that you see ads for that very same site everywhere you go?

That’s retargeting.

It’s actually a far more effective form of paid advertising than purely running banner ads.

Using services such as Google Ads or AddRoll, you can serve relevant ads to people at various stages of the buying cycle.

Some retargeting platforms enable you to dictate which ads are shown based on the sites that a visitor “dropped off” on, as well as suppress ads for people that shouldn’t see them – such as those people that have already purchased.

10. Inbound Marketing (Lead Generation)

Leads, leads, and more leads.

That’s what B2B marketers are after.

One of the most tried and true tactics for lead generation is Inbound Marketing.

That is, attracting potential visitors to your site with great content, getting them to fill out a form (in exchange for a piece of content), and then marketing to them as they move through the buying cycle.

Well, that’s nice in concept, but how do you generate leads.

That’s a topic that could have an entire encyclopedia written about it.

The two most important things to focus on for generating inbound leads are:

  1. Have awesome content that establishes thought-leadership in your niche
  2. Optimize your site for converting traffic into leads

Optimizing your site for conversions includes adding forms and website popups – though this must be done tactfully, or you will annoy your visitors.

11. Prospecting

Sometimes, you want to go straight to your prospects, rather than wait for them to come to you.

That’s when lead prospecting comes into play.

B2B lead prospecting can be done in many ways, but you will always first need to have defined personas of the types of people you most want in your sales pipeline.

With those personas, you can go to places like LinkedIn to find prospects that fit your pre-defined personas.

With those names, companies, and job titles in hand, you can head over to Hunter.io to find their potential email addresses.

On its face, this is a simple process. However, there is a lot of complexity to it and it can be time-consuming – unless you have a defined process to follow.

The real work comes when you begin reaching out to those prospects; your communications with them cannot seem templated.

You have to create context in order to get their attention.

12. Quora

As mentioned earlier, establishing thought-leadership is one of the most important aspects of B2B marketing.

Quora, a social network where people ask and answer questions, is the perfect vehicle for doing it.

Quora has over 100 million visitors each month. 

Take some time every week to go through questions within your space and answer them. Make sure to be as in-depth as possible.

Then, ask your work colleagues and friends to upvote your answer so that it will get to that coveted #1 spot.

Make sure to include a link back to your site or the post that you are summarizing with your answer.

13. Blog Commenting

This is another tactic that, if done incorrectly, could end up being straight up spam.

However, when done thoughtfully, blog commenting can be a great way to drive relevant traffic to your site.

You should set aside 30 minutes every day to visit the top blogs in your industry. Find new posts that are somewhat related to a post on your blog. Then, make a comment on the blog relating the post with the one you created and share a link.

You should also check Google news search daily for relevant blogs to comment on.

14. Facebook (Facebook Groups)

While a less obvious match for B2B marketing than LinkedIn, Facebook still has significant potential.

Beyond the standard updating of company pages, a new channel within Facebook is giving B2B marketers greater opportunities to expand their reach.

It’s called Facebook Groups.

While not “new” per se, it’s only now gaining traction amongst B2B marketers as a way to build a community and create an engaged audience.

With LinkedIn Groups falling into mediocrity (for now), Facebook Groups are wide open for B2B marketers.

Building a community takes time – it won’t happen overnight.

However, if you keep at it, you will reap the rewards.

15. Twitter

Twitter isn’t just for reading the President’s latest tweet-storm.

It’s actually a fantastic distribution channel for content – you just have to know how to get that content in front of the right people.

B2B Twitter marketing should not be an after-thought, it needs to be finely planned and executed.

Make sure you thoroughly research your niche – find out which Twitter accounts have the most followers and engage with them as much as possible, even if they are competition.

Also, research hashtags – make sure to use them in your tweets when distributing your content.

Tweet on a regular basis – multiple times a day.

And not just your own content, you should be curating content as well.

16. LinkedIn

As the pre-eminent professional social network, LinkedIn is an obvious choice for B2B marketers.

Marketing on LinkedIn can take many forms, and upcoming changes to the platform mean that strategies will have to change, too.

Having a wide network on LinkedIn is a huge asset, particularly if your connections are in positions and companies that could be potential sources of revenue for you.

That’s why leveraging your personal profile tends to have greater benefit than a company page.

Not to say that a company page should be ignored – it should not. Your company page should be constantly updated when you publish new content or have a new announcement.

However, with your personal profile, you have much more to work with.

From long-form content to video and hashtags, leveraging your personal profile can be a great marketing strategy for B2B marketing success.

Let’s not forget about LinkedIn Groups, though.

In years past, LinkedIn Groups provided an amazing channel for B2B marketers. However, they have since become a cesspool of spam and low engagement.

But change may be coming and LinkedIn Groups could potentially be something you should look at in the near future.

You can read more about the upcoming changes to LinkedIn Groups in this post.

17. Pinterest

In the world of B2C marketing, Pinterest has become the latest fad. However, this has not fully made its way over to the B2B side.

And, frankly, it might never make it at all.

However, part of being a good B2B marketer is trying to be where the audience is before they even get there – so you have to put some effort into Pinterest.

A good strategy for getting started with B2B marketing on Pinterest would be to create an image for each new post you make and pin it. Make sure to superimpose the title of the post on the image so that people can easily know where they are going.

This can easily be done on Photoshop, or you can also check out Canva.

Got infographics? Great, use those on Pinterest as well.

Pinterest is likely to become a very widely-used marketing strategy for B2B, so get in on it before everyone else!

Additional B2B Marketing Strategies

Other B2B marketing strategies you should consider include:

  • Webinars
  • YouTube
  • Podcasting
  • eBooks/White Papers
  • Infographics
  • Reddit
  • Branded company swag
  • Social bookmarking sites
  • Facebook advertising
  • LinkedIn advertising
  • Pinterest advertising
  • Events

The post 17 B2B Marketing Strategies You Can Use Right Now appeared first on Scalable B2B.

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Voice search is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing forms of search.

Here’s the question – how can a B2B marketer capitalize on voice search?

The answer is to write content that answers simple questions in a clear and concise fashion.

In this post, we’ll show you how you can optimize your content not only for regular search but for voice search results as well.

Voice Search Stats You Should Know

Here’s a crazy statistic:

40% of adults use voice search at least once per day!

To give you some context, voice search has only really been around for the last 7-8 years – beginning with the launch of Siri.

However, voice search is set to explode in the next few years.

That’s because of the growing popularity of home devices like Alexa, HomePod, and Google Home.

Voice Search: How Did We Get Here?

Though you may not think about it when you are asking Siri or Alexa a question, the ability for an algorithm to take your voice and find a relevant answer is actually quite amazing.

Neil Patel highlighted this amazing Stanford study that found that voice search is 3x faster than your traditional typed search.

Stanford experiment shows speech recognition writes texts more quickly than thumbs - YouTube

Crazy, right?

Actually, it all stems from a fast-growing technology called NLP, or Natural Language Processing.

NLP essentially focuses on the processing of language based on what it implies, not its actual meaning.

It all comes down to semantics.

When we say certain things, other humans will interpret (hopefully correctly) what we actually mean, not necessarily the exact words that we say.

Google, with their Hummingbird algorithm update, broke out ahead of the pack in this regard.

Hummingbird turned the SEO world on its head because it shifted the focus of the algorithm from the exact matching of keywords to the intent of the content.

No longer could marketers stuff their desired keyword as many times possible – it just doesn’t work anymore.

This was the inflection point of how we got to where we are with voice search.

Granted, virtual assistants such as Siri had been around for quite some time. However, Google has the clear advantage when it comes to the quality of its voice search results.

What are People Searching For?

The truth is, we haven’t really reached critical mass with voice search… yet.

Most voice searches right now are not really relevant to a B2B marketer – things like sports scores, the weather, and directions.

Source: Google

However, given the immense rise of voice search, it’s only a matter of time before your target market is also searching via voice.

B2B marketers are always looking for the white spaces – places that are not saturated by other marketers.

That’s why it’s important to start strategizing about voice search now, while there’s little competition.

Strategies to Optimize for Voice Search

So how do you get your content at the top of voice search results?

Voice search is still in its infancy, but there has been some great research done by well-known SEO gurus – such as Neil Patel and Backlinko.

However, given Google’s propensity to change up its algorithm, what’s true today may not be true a year from now… or even next week.

Based on the research out there, here are 4 tips that B2B marketers can use to get ahead of the game when it comes to voice search:

1. In the form of a question, please

Think about it – when you are doing a voice search, what are you actually doing?

You are asking a question. 

Hey Siri/Alexa/Google, what is ____?

When writing your content, think about the questions it could answer. Most importantly, answer the question early on in your post, and do it concisely.

You can then expound on your answer throughout the post.

One of the best tools out there to help you find the kinds of questions people might be asking is Answer the Public.

First, input your desired keyword.

Answer the Public will then create a matrix of potential answers relating to that keyword.

The possibilities here are endless.

You might want to take some of these potential questions and input them into something like Google Keyword Planner to see which phrases would have the highest amount of searches.

However, this number would be for regular search, not voice.

The real challenge is to understand what questions your audience is asking.

Here’s a great post on some B2B SEO strategies that will help you get some ideas.

2. Keep it short

Most SEOs today will tell you that long-form, in-depth content is the best way to get to the top of search engine results.

And they wouldn’t be wrong.

However, when writing B2B content with voice search in mind, it’s important to focus on the question you are answering early on in the post.

Make sure that your answer is short.

Backlinko recently did a study of Google Home search results and found that results to queries generally were around the 30-word range.

3. Keep it simple

According to Backlinko’s study, the average reading level for voice search results was 9th grade. 

Now, in the context of B2B, this may seem a bit less relevant – most people searching are older and, most likely, more educated.

However, that is probably beside the point.

Google’s #1 goal is to serve answers to peoples queries that are simple and easy to understand.

That’s why, even if your business is a highly sophisticated SaaS product, you should aim to keep your blog content as simple as possible.

Particularly if you are trying to rank for voice search.

Remember, a voice search result won’t read your entire post, just a snippet.

Therefore, you can be more complex further down in your post, but when you give your initial concise answer, make sure to avoid complexity as much as possible.

4. Speed is the name of the game

More and more, having a fast loading site is becoming one of the important assets in the fight for higher search results.

It seems that for voice search, it’s even more important.

According to the study by Backlinko, top voice search results, on average, load over 50% faster than traditional search.

Source: Backlinko

Half-a-second to first byte load time is extremely fast.

How does one get their site to be that fast?

You may be tempted to make your site flashy, with all the newest bells and whistles that are available using CSS and Javascript.

However, if you do that, you have to weigh that against the inevitable fact that doing those things will slow your site down.

Here are a few more strategies for speeding up your site to help with voice search:

  1. Make use of a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, or Swift Performance
  2. Design with a mobile-first methodology
  3. Have an Accelerated Mobile Pages powered site
Where does voice search go from here?

Artificial intelligence, which is the backbone of voice search, is going to play a huge part in every part of our lives going forward.

Google, Apple, Amazon, and all the other voice search players that haven’t even popped up yet are going to continue to invest in this amazing technology.

As a result, the shifting search behavior we are seeing among millennials towards voice will inevitably become the norm among all searchers – including professionals.

B2B marketers should look at this as an amazing opportunity – a marketing channel that hasn’t yet been completely saturated.

Imagine what the company that was the first to invest in SEO was able to accomplish?

While you may not see huge results today, an investment into optimizing for voice search now will pay huge dividends in the future.

Your thoughts?

Where do you think voice search is going? How will it impact B2B marketing today and in the future?

Are you already working on a voice search optimization strategy?

Comment below!

The post B2B Marketing Strategies to Optimize Content for Voice Search appeared first on Scalable B2B.

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Today I’m going to show you exactly how to crush a B2B cold email marketing campaign.

In fact, this is the same process that’s helped me grow my increase conversion rates over 100% compared to previous campaigns.

It’s important to note – this is not rocket science. 

Many B2B marketers are hesitant to try cold email as an outreach method for B2B marketing. But, honestly, it is one of the best and cost-effective strategies for generating sales qualified leads.

It’s true that, when done poorly, cold email could easily become a spammy nightmare.

However, after much testing and failures, we were able to implement this very simple hack to completely skyrocket our B2B email marketing success.

So what, you might ask, is the secret?

One word: context

Campaign Background and Goals

Let’s take a step back and look at what this campaign was and what its goals were.

The company in question was a content-based site that monetized via sponsored content.

These sponsored pieces were purchased either individually or in bulk – and it was the bulk buyers we were after.

The goal of this campaign was to generate sales-qualified prospects for our sales team to go after.

While we were also doing “traditional” inbound marketing, we felt that it was going to be more successful to attempt some outbound, account-based marketing.

After discussing internally and looking at previous campaigns we had done – their successes and failures – we set out to create a campaign that would be infinitely more effective and successful than any other we had done up to that point.

First, we had to define the persona of the target that we’re going after.

Defining Personas

Every company should have ideal personas that they go after.

From integrate.com

Based on the persona that you have created, you can then build your content and positioning to gain their interest.

However, especially with smaller startups, your company may have not done this yet.

For this particular B2B campaign we look at several variables:

  • Job Title
  • Company Size
  • Authority
  • Budget
  • Immediacy of Need

For this campaign, we looked for the following:

  • Director of Marketing
  • 30+ employees
  • Decision maker
  • $100,000 annual marketing budget
  • Looking to do a branding campaign in the next month

Lastly, and most importantly, we were looking at companies that have raised a round of funding greater than $1 million in the last month.

The reasoning behind this was that any startup that has recently raised money:

  1. Has a budget
  2. Is clearly trying to get more visibility around their brand
Lead Research

Before starting our research, we created a spreadsheet that included 6 fields:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Job Title
  • Amount Raised
  • Industry

This spreadsheet would end up as a .csv file and be uploaded to our marketing automation platform for use during the campaign.

First, we needed to find companies that met our most important criteria – recent round of funding.

To do this, I went over to a highly underutilized channel for B2B prospect research – CrunchBase.

Once we had our list of companies, amount of money raised, and the date of the funding round, we went over to LinkedIn to find the Directors of Marketing at those companies.

Given that the target market included Marketing Directors at startups, it was the most reasonable place to look.

Once we had the names, job titles, companies, as well as the titles of the jobs that these companies were looking for, we then set out to find their actual contact information.

One tool that I found to be successful over and over again, is hunter.io, which has both a freemium and paid subscription service that essentially allows you to find the email addresses of anybody.

In essence, Hunter will look at the person’s name, company, and company URL. If they can’t find their exact email address, they’ll match the naming convention of other people at that company, and will give you a likelihood of if the email address is correct.

In my experience, Hunter has been correct about 85% of the time.

We did have a paid account, so we were able to upload a CSV large scale and spit out the results of the emails.

Once we had all the relevant information, we then uploaded our .csv list to our marketing automation tool.

(At the time, the platform we used was Pardot)

Email Cadences

We then set out to create smart email cadences in order to get relevant email content in front of our prospects.

Some of the fields in our .csv file – namely amount raised – were not default fields and therefore needed to be added as “custom fields.”

It was this field that was the most crucial aspect of the campaign, as it was the information that added context to the emails.

The emails and subject lines themselves were written as templates, but utilized mail merges in a way that would make the recipient feel like it was written just for them.

Given that subject lines are the key to getting someone to open an email, we made sure to include the Amount Raised field within the subject.

Congrats on raising <Amount Raised> 

There are a few things to notice here.

  1. It’s short
  2. It’s simple
  3. It’s personalized

The body of the first email began as follows:

“Hi, <first name>,
I noticed that <company> just raised <amount raised> – congrats!”

Here, too, you can see that we accomplished two things: personalization and context.

The email continued:

“I wanted to let you know that we have the perfect audience for you to increase your brand awareness and generate relevant traffic”

Finally, we ended with a call to action…

Testing Calls to Action

We tested two different strategies in terms of calls to action.

  1. Fill out a form to schedule a meeting
  2. Respond with the best time to speak

We found that a response was much more effective.

Overall, what we did in this campaign created the outcome in which were able to convert 10% of these prospects into sales qualified leads that our sales team was able to work with.

This was a campaign that was extremely successful and something I duplicated over and over again.

In Conclusion…

Regardless of the industry that you’re in, all that you need to do is create context.

Prospects then get emails that don’t seem like they are automated, it seems like they are unique and personalized to that individual person.

And by doing that you will see an incredible increase in success rate of your email marketing campaigns.

The post This Cold Email Hack Increased Conversion by Over 100% appeared first on Scalable B2B.

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Recently, Scalable B2B was listed as one of the Top 100 Best B2B Marketing Blogs by Feedspot.

We’re incredibly honored to be listed next to some of the amazing blogs that we, ourselves, love to visit.

The internet can be a crowded place, and we often get inundated with content. However, if you are able to cut through the abundance of schlock out there, there are some fantastic B2B marketing blogs that can offer you immense value.

In celebration of being named by Feedspot as a top B2B Marketing Blog, we wanted to highlight for you our top 10 b2b marketing blogs.

Please note, this list is in no particular order.

Top 10 Best B2B Marketing Blogs1. Hubspot

Believe it or not, the phrase “Inbound Marketing” was coined by… you guessed it, Hubspot.

As described by Hubspot, Inbound Marketing consists of 3 main stages:

  1. Attract potential customers with great content
  2. Engage leads with strategies like email marketing
  3. Delight your customers so that they can become advocates

Hubspot’s blog is incredibly active, with almost two blog posts per day on average.

They cover topics that focus on the three stages of Inbound Marketing, as well as overall B2B marketing best practices.

Our Favorite Blog Posts on Hubspot: 

2. Oktopost

While there are many B2B marketers out there, Oktopost takes a unique approach to its blog.

Given that Oktopost is a social media marketing tool for B2B, their blog content is mainly focused on leveraging social media for B2B marketing.

While many B2B marketers overlook social media, Oktopost provides real, actionable insights into how to best scale your B2B social media marketing.

Our Favorite Blog Posts on Oktopost’s Blog:

3. Scalable B2B

No list would be complete without some blatant self-promotion.

In all seriousness, Scalable B2B sets itself apart from other B2B marketing blogs by the mere fact that it was created by B2B marketers, for B2B marketers.

Scalable B2B publishes both in-house written content, as well as community-submitted content.

The great thing about Scalable B2B is that we aren’t promoting our service or product – our primary purpose to provide you, the B2B marketer, with the best insights, tips, and actionable tools to scale your company’s marketing and fill your pipeline.

Our Favorite Blog Posts on Scalable B2B:

4. Pardot Blog

Purchased by Salesforce in 2013, Pardot was then incorporated into Salesforce’s “Marketing Cloud” along with ExactTarget.

The Pardot blog, unsurprisingly, is heavily focused on B2B marketing as it relates to marketing automation.

While the blog clearly promotes Pardot and other Salesforce related solutions, the content they provide offers some amazingly valuable information for B2B marketers.

Our Favorite Blog Posts on Pardot Blog: 

5. B2BMarketing.net Blog

It’s hard not to include the B2B Marketing Blog in a list of… well, B2B marketing blogs.

This extremely active blog focuses on a wide range of B2B marketing topics and includes writers with diverse backgrounds within B2B marketing.

Our Favorite Blog Posts on B2BMarketing.net: 

6. Bizible

Just like HubSpot’s ability to claim the name “Inbound Marketing,” Bizible came up with its own phrase – Pipeline Marketing.

Bizible, which is owned by Marketo (and now Adobe), is a solution for marketing performance management and revenue attribution – a badly needed tool for all B2B marketers.

The content on their blog is heavily focused on the attribution side of B2B marketing, which makes sense given the solution that they provide.

Our Favorite Blog Posts on Bizible: 

7. Madison Logic

Account-Based Marketing is all the rage these days and this blog is the place to go if you want to learn more about how to leverage ABM for B2B marketing.

Madison Logic, given their expertise in the field of ABM solutions, has an amazing variety of content that gives real insights and tips to marketers looking to learn more about ABM.

Our Favorite Blog Posts on Madison Logic: 

8. Heinz Marketing

In the world of B2B, sales and marketing are often so closely aligned, they are sometimes indistinguishable.

That’s why the Heinz Marketing blog is focused on providing value from both the sales and marketing side of B2B.

Heinz Marketing, owned by B2B marketing thought-leader Matt Heinz, is an agency that focuses on helping B2Bs fill their sales pipelines with amazing B2B marketing tactics.

Our Favorite Blog Posts on Heinz Marketing:

9. Yesler

Yesler is a Seatle-based B2B marketing agency with tons of experience and immense passion for B2B marketing.

Their blog is a fantastic resource for B2B marketers who want to find out actionable advice about how to leverage the latest B2B marketing tactics and strategies.

Our Favorite Blog Posts on Yesler: 

10. Marketing Envy

Marketing Envy is a startup-focused B2B marketing agency.

As such, their blog content is heavily focused on B2B marketing for startups and technology generally.

One of the great things about Marketing Envy’s blog is their focus on more cutting-edge tactics of B2B marketing, such as Reddit or leveraging hashtags within LinkedIn.

Our Favorite Blog Posts on Marketing Envy:

In conclusion…

With all the noise out there in the blog-o-sphere, Scalable B2B is maniacally focused on providing the highest caliber B2B marketing content for our readers.

Being featured as a top B2B marketing blog by Feedspot is thrilling and we’re looking forward to continuing to provide you – the B2B marketer – with amazing content to help you maneuver through a changing world.

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to get amazing B2B marketing content sent directly to your mailbox.

With all the new technologies, tactics, strategies, and trends out there, we are keeping our finger on the pulse of the B2B marketing world – so you can focus on scaling your B2B marketing and crushing your goals.

Just getting started in B2B marketing?

When you are just getting started with B2B marketing, the wealth of knowledge available can often feel overwhelming.

If you try to learn everything, it will be like trying to boil the ocean.

The best thing to do is start with the basics – read up on B2B Email Marketing, B2B SEO, and B2B blog writing.

Those are going to be the bedrock of your B2B marketing going forward.

Good luck!

The post 10 Best B2B Marketing Blogs appeared first on Scalable B2B.

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