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24 Ways to Spend Your Marketing Budget Next Quarter

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24 Ways to Spend Your Marketing Budget Next Quarter

Whether you have use-it-or-lose-it funds left over from the last quarter or are putting together a marketing budget for the first time, it’s valuable to know which strategies will offer the highest ROI.

Click here to download 8 free marketing budget templates.

These 24 ideas cover content, advertising, social media, SEO, and lots more.

1. Test new versions of calls-to-action that are performing poorly.

Estimated cost: $50 per call-to-action

This test helps you identify the best ways to move prospects further along in their buying journey. To implement CTA testing, sort CTAs by click rate and conversion rate in your analytics software.

Next, redesign the ones with the lowest performance and test them. One way to do this is by performing an A/B test, which will show you which design your audience prefers.

Friendbuy improved call-to-action (CTA) clickthrough rate by 211% with A/B testing, for example.

Friendbuy’s A/B testing

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A simple design change like choosing a different photo, or tweaking the wording to connect with leads can convert more visitors.

2. Invest in user experience insight tools to monitor user behavior.

Estimated cost: $150

User experience insight tools help you see how your audience interacts with your website. You’ll learn if they’re scrolling deep enough to find your beautifully designed CTA. You may even learn that your CTA button isn’t working — a good explanation for low conversion rates!

Here’s an example: Charli, a web designer, discovered that one of her product pages only got a 0.9% conversion rate from 1,000 views.

When she monitored her page using Hotjar, she found that when visitors clicked the “Buy Now” button, they were taken to yet another “Buy Now” button, causing buyer friction.

Install heat map tracking software, like Hotjar or Crazy Egg, on your landing pages to uncover blockers and fix those.

For more marketing strategies, check out this episode of Marketing Against the Grain.

3. Revise landing page copy.

Estimated cost: $300 per page

Do you have landing pages with conversion rates of less than 15%? Rework the language and/or design so it’s tuned into your target persona’s needs.

You can use social media or industry-specific communities for research to understand your users’ pain points. Forums like Reddit can help too.

Make a post, asking your community how they feel about a topic. Or use a site:domain search to narrow down existing results in public communities.

Finding specific info about communities you want to market to

No matter what changes you make, it’s always a good idea to do A/B testing before you make them permanent.

4. Find SEO keyword opportunities on your website.

Estimated cost: $250

SEO keywords help you leverage search engines as a distribution channel for your content. Consider that Google processes approximately 5.6 billion searches per day — and that’s an important distribution channel for any business.

One of the ways to discover keyword opportunities you can pull traffic for is to look in the “results” section of your Search Console property. Scroll through the keywords to find keywords you’re ranking for without a dedicated page.

On one of my hobby sites, for example, I’m ranking for “support bands for apron belly” and “best pants for apron belly” — and I don’t have blog posts for either.

Using search console to find keywords to optimize for with your marketing budget

I could create blog posts on those keywords — or landing pages if they were landing page keywords — and start ranking right away.

Pro tip: Use HubSpot’s SEO Marketing Tools to monitor your SEO performance on auto. That way, you never miss an opportunity to optimize.

5. Do a social media engagement analysis.

Estimated cost: $250

There’s no point throwing money into marketing channels that don’t work when you can double down on those that do.

Audit your social media accounts and messages to reveal which platforms and messaging received the most meaningful engagement.

For example, you may find that TikTok generated more conversions for your business than Twitter. Once you have that information, you can prioritize marketing on TikTok while you figure out Twitter.

6. Conduct a usability test.

Estimated cost: $350

A usability test gives real feedback from potential customers. Similar to the results you get from a Net Promoter Score, you’ll figure out what customers like and don’t like about your web pages.

You’ll need a tool like Hotjar to run a usability test. Then you’ll need to:

  • Recruit participants from your target population. These could be your clients or website users who opt-in to participate in your test.
  • Assign representative tasks to participants.
  • Observe how the participants carry out the task.

From there, you can figure out how to revise the content on your website to be more user-friendly. For instance, if you find that your product pages aren’t easy to navigate, you can mark this as a task to work on for the next year.

7. Try ad retargeting to boost performance.

Estimated cost: $500

Retargeting ads give you another chance to show up in front of a previously interested lead with a new, personalized offer.

For example, I was on the Firstbase website the other day. Since then, I have gotten personalized ads that made me click to learn something new about them on social media.

Firstbase retargeting ads

Ad retargeting can give your acquisition numbers a boost. Look for ad retargeting options on social networks like Facebook, so you can build and revise ads within the channel.

8. Experiment with social media advertising.

Estimated cost: $500

Social media offers the ability to target very specific audiences and craft engaging messaging based on the pages they visit most with social media advertising.

You may want to try advertising if you’re already successful with different social media campaigns. It is possible to target your audience and promote a post to see if it gets more traffic. You can also test affordable ad retargeting choices like LinkedIn Sponsored updates.

9. Consider influencer marketing.

Estimated cost: $100 – $10,000

You may not have thousands of dollars in your budget. However, experimenting with influencer marketing does not necessarily come with a hefty price tag. If you have some wiggle room in your budget, you can partner with nano-influencers or micro-influencers.

Shopify estimates that nano-influencers, with 1,000 to 10,000 followers, charge up to $100 per post. Micro-influencers with 10,000-50,000 followers charge between $100 and $500 per post. oUser Report Data Here

If you don’t have an influencer strategy, it’s time to start setting the foundation. HubSpot research found that influencer marketing will continue to grow in 2023, reaching its highest ROI thus far.

Of marketers using influencer marketing, 89% will increase or maintain their investment next year.

10. Invest in employee knowledge.

Estimated cost: $500

Because marketing is an ever-changing industry, investing in learning opportunities makes your team well-equipped to excel in their day-to-day tasks. Training can come in the form of ebooks, blog posts, or webinars.

Additionally, scope out courses online that will give team members a deeper understanding of the industry.

For example, HubSpot Academy offers courses about content marketing, social media marketing, and sales, in digestible, interactive lessons. Courses update as needed, so you don’t have to worry about getting a certification for an outdated skill set.

Here’s a cross-section of just some of the courses in the academy.

Hubspot Academy

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11. Celebrate your success in the past quarter.

Estimated cost: $500

Remember to allocate some funds to celebrate your colleagues and their wins for the quarter. This doesn’t have to be a huge blowout party, but it could be something small (like sending colleagues a care package) that will remind your team that you appreciate their hard work.

Come up with superlatives and present them in a year-end meeting. Awards like “Best Movie Buff” or “Funniest Marketer” build up morale.

12. Perform customer research.

Estimated cost: $500

You may have done previous customer research at the start of the quarter, but allocate some funds on an ongoing basis to understand your customers’ behavior.

Luke Lee is the CEO of PalaLeather, a fashion design brand. Lee says, “We always make sure to allocate funds for market research and consumer analysis. It helps us understand our target audience and what they are looking for in terms of products or services.”

How are you monitoring the web behavior of your customers? Are you investing in social listening tools? And have you revised your personas to reflect the change in customers?

Invest in tools that will help you accurately perform customer research so you can develop new ideas and strategies for future campaigns.

13. Design an infographic.

Estimated cost: $150

Run an analysis, such as a thorough analysis of customer demographics on Twitter, and visually represent your findings in an infographic. This infographic can provide a bird’s-eye insight into specific sections of your customer base.

Additionally, infographics can serve as great material for a blog post.

Check out this infographic from NPR. Not only does it utilize brand colors, but the infographic also shows listener data with unique visual representations.

 Spending your marketing budget on infographics, sample from NPR

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If you were to write a blog post about social media demographics in the marketing industry, for example, you could use the Twitter infographic to illustrate your findings. You can use a tool like Canva to design your infographic (plus, it’s a tool that integrates with HubSpot).

14. Invest in short-form video.

Estimated cost: $100

Making your first short-form video only requires access to a smartphone. However, if your team has extra budget, consider investing in the tools needed to level up your production. That can include a clip-on lav mic or a tripod for your phone.

HubSpot research found that the use of video will grow significantly in 2023. We found that 24% of brands plan to invest more in video than any other media format.

15. Optimize your outdated blog posts for conversion.

Estimated cost: $100

Because the life of a blog post can span several months, and because you’ve published new content offers, you may need to revisit old posts and see if there’s a more relevant call-to-action to improve conversion on your blog.

SEO tools help identify posts that are falling in traffic and can be updated with new information. Keep an archive of previous blog posts to assist with keeping track of blog performance.

16. Perform a sales analysis.

Estimated cost: $1,000

Finding qualified contacts in your CRM that your company wasn’t able to connect with could close sales that didn’t happen last quarter.

With a sales analysis, you can identify those contacts so you know exactly whom to target within the next few months.

Next, come up with ideas to reach out to those customers and connect with them. There are a couple of different ways to do this. You can:

  • Send a personalized email.
  • Create a specialized offer just for closing sales.
  • Look into performing an account-based marketing campaign.

17. Invest in a better CRM integration.

Estimated cost: $300

Does your website automatically send leads into your CRM? Can your sales and marketing teams share feedback on leads? If not, now might be the time to make adjustments to your CRM integration to make it work better for your company.

Look into CRMs that automatically integrate with the programs you use daily. There’s a reason why HubSpot is the number one choice for many; we integrate with everything!

HubSpot’s integrations

This will streamline all the work you need to get done. Collaboration between teams will improve as well.

18. Conduct an SEO audit on your website.

Estimated cost: $500

SEO audits clean up your website, improve the user experience, and boost the chance of webpages being found on search engines. When you improve the SEO language on specific pages, you’re making them easier to be crawled by Google and recommended to searchers.

Reevaluate your website for SEO opportunities every three months. Have your core webpages reviewed to optimize on-page factors, and review web copy for missing keywords.

19. Plan and script a webinar for the next quarter.

Estimated cost: $200

Of marketers, 16% are planning to leverage webinars for the first time in 2023. That’s because webinars are a great way to generate new leads. Focus on topics that solve your target persona’s pain points and produce a high-quality webinar. It can be live and saved for later or prerecorded.

Persona pain points you can focus on are topics you know your audience has questions about, such as sales analytics. For a webinar like this, reach out to a top salesperson at your company and ask them to host. Alternatively, interview them about topics they see as trending.

Once you shoot and edit the webinar, you can promote it via email subscribers and on social media.

Spending your marketing budget promoting webinars

20. Localize your website for an international audience.

Estimated cost: $2,000

If you have an international audience or are planning to expand internationally, remember to update your website. A localized website will make the content on it relatable to local audiences. Go beyond translating the language and think of what customers in other countries will really love.

For instance, research some topical elements and offers that are popular in different regions — really familiarize yourself with culturally relevant graphics and website formats that are interesting to global audiences.

21. Compile an ebook of relevant information.

Estimated cost: $500

An ebook is another content marketing idea for generating leads. Studies or experiments you’ve conducted over the course of the quarter that provided interesting results could be very valuable for your customers.

Look at ebooks that are impressive and take notes of what’s inspiring about them.

Decide on a topic for your ebook and work on formatting it as an offer to subscribers and for social sharing. Additionally, create an offer you can add on a couple of relevant topics to expand the reach of your ebook.

22. Contact industry thought leaders for an interview.

Estimated cost: $500

HubSpot likes to host “HubTalks,” in which we bring different thought leaders in for an interview. This could be a book author, educator, medical professional, or motivational speaker. These talks are meant to inform or entertain attendees.

Talks like these expand the knowledge of employees and give them opportunities to explore their interests. Have your team vote on possible interviewees or topics so you’re picking the right thought leaders, and ask them to submit questions. This is a great opportunity for team bonding and learning.

23. Invest in search ads.

Estimated cost: $1,000

Search remains one of the most effective channels for advertising. The people searching are already qualified users, as opposed to people on social media who aren’t.

Sid Kumar, director of product marketing at Exoprise, says they spend two-thirds of their marketing budget on search ads. “Our annual budget is around $300,000, out of which we spend $200,000 on paid ads (around 66%). $150,000 of that portion goes into Google Ads, while the rest is on Bing,” he says.

Search ads can be a cost-effective way to drive new leads, especially if you target keywords that are high intent (ones that indicate a searcher’s close to making a purchase).

“We have vetted Google Ads leads for many years and found that they are the most reliable for the business,” Kumar adds.

Optimize your website and landing pages for conversions, and make sure you track campaign performance by metrics like conversion rate and lead cost. This will help you to pinpoint areas of the campaign that are performing well, and areas that need attention.

24. Outsource content creation.

Estimated cost: $800 per article

Outsourcing content creation can be a smart move if you’re struggling to gain traction with content. It can free up your time to focus on other tasks, frees up internal resources, and can result in improved content quality — especially if you hire expert freelancers.

“We work with content creators to work on our IT blog,” says Dario Diament, vice president of marketing at InvGate. “Content is a strategic element for us. In order to scale we need third-party resources to help us with that. That’s why we spend 20% of our budget on content right now.”

Eric Doty, content lead at Dock, is “going all-in on SEO from almost day one. So we spend the bulk of our marketing budget on freelance writers and tools to manage that process. I spend a third of our budget on freelance content writers that contribute at least 6-8 blog posts per month.”

Spending Your Marketing Budget

It’s tough to make sure you’re spending your budget wisely. When you stop and think about what your team needs, and what your audience needs, however, you can begin to form a pretty good idea of how to plan out those resources.

Once you do a little research, plan your budget accordingly, and get ready to step into a new quarter on a great note.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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