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When Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2022? [Cheat Sheet]

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When Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2022? [Cheat Sheet]

If you want to find the best time to post on Instagram, you’re probably trying to reach a specific goal. Maybe you want to maximize the number of likes you get on each post. Or you hope to improve brand awareness by getting new followers.

If you’re new to social media you might start posting as often as you can and see what happens. But what if you add some scientific thinking to the process? For example, you could try posting at different times of day and jotting down the likes per minute for each post.

New Data: Instagram Engagement Report [2022 Version]

That experiment could have value over time, but it’s also pretty intense and time-consuming. Is there an easier way to figure out when to post on Instagram?

In this post, you’ll find everything you need to start posting at the best times on this popular social media platform. Keep reading, or jump to the section you’re looking for with the links below:

The times above are for Instagram engagement in local time — meaning that your audience is in the same time zone as you are when you post. So, if you live in Los Angeles and your primary audience is also in Los Angeles you would post at the times above. If you live in Los Angeles and your target audience is in New York, you’ll want to shift these posting times three hours forward.

Best Time to Post to Instagram Cheatsheet

Best time to post on Instagram cheatsheet

How We Found the Best Instagram Posting Times

This data comes from two sources. First is HubSpot’s 2022 Instagram Engagement report. This extensive report reviewed 110M posts across 1M Instagram users. The report also has several sections specific to English-speaking countries. They analyzed data from close to 85M posts from North America alone.

This post also contains more original research from the HubSpot team. They surveyed 300 professionals from 16+ industries about their preferred days and times to post on Instagram.

Why post on Instagram at a certain time?

According to global Statista data, mobile users spend an average of 11.2 hours a month on Instagram. That’s about 1% of their time each month, or one in a hundred chances that you will catch your users when they’re on the platform.

So, posting when your top users are online will make a difference. It will give you more time to connect with your most important followers.

But for many marketers, social media posting is just one more thing to do on a busy day. It can be tempting to post whenever it’s convenient or to schedule posts for a time that feels logical, even if there isn’t any data to back it up.

These are a few reasons why it’s important to post to Instagram at specific and consistent times.

Increasing Reach

Some users on Instagram focus their feeds on the friends, businesses, and influencers they already follow. But many others use Instagram for inspiration and discovery. This post from a machine learning engineer outlines some of the factors in helping new users discover your posts.

Best time to post on Instagram insights: Instagram connected recommendations graphic

One of those factors is recent engagement. This post from the Instagram blog also outlines how important fresh and recent content is.

So, if you post when your top users are online, your new content is more likely to be one of the first things they see. This can also boost engagement, another ranking factor. This combination increases the chances that new users will discover your account and posts on the platform.

Check out this post for more tips on how to grow your reach on Instagram.

Building a Loyal Audience

Loyalty takes time and effort to build. It’s especially tough for small businesses that have to compete with big brands on social media.

Posting during peak times on Instagram helps you connect with more of your followers at once. It shows your audience that you want to engage with them and keeps your brand top of mind.

It also helps set expectations. Building loyalty is about more than great products and customer service. It’s about being a consistent presence in their feeds that helps you build relationships.

For example, say you run your media business in the Pacific time zone, but a third of your customers are in the Australian Eastern time zone. If you post all your content from 9 a.m-5 p.m. PST, those posts will appear between 3-11 a.m for your Australian customers. Chances are your Australian audience won’t see many posts from your brand.

And what if an unhappy customer in Australia posts a story about your brand? That one post could shape that entire audience’s perception of your brand.

To build a loyal audience, it’s important to understand when your audience is online and to use that information to choose the best time to post.

Increasing Engagement

According to 2022 HubSpot research, the global average Instagram engagement rate is almost 6%. That’s more than double the average engagement rate in 2021.

Instagram engagement creates a ripple effect, like throwing a rock in a still pool. The first ripple is obvious — if you get immediate likes, comments, and saves after posting, it’s more likely that your post will show up in more feeds.

Instagram features that can impact the best time to post: Following and Favorites

The next ripples come from other Instagram features like Favorites, Search, and videos. Each feature has an independent algorithm. And each feature weighs engagement differently. For example, becoming a favorite for your followers means your posts will show up at the top of their feeds every time they log in. Engagement rates factor into which posts get bumped to the top of Search pages.

So, posting at the right time doesn’t just mean more comments, messages, and saves. It creates more opportunities for engagement too.

Testing New Algorithms

Like most online tools, Instagram launches constant updates to shape the user experience. As a business, your team needs to quickly understand how each update could impact your users and strategy.

Algorithms are complex. Instagram leaders say that each part of the app uses an independent algorithm.

So, one day your latest videos might show up in the feed but not surface on Discover, and it may be tough to figure out why. This can have an immediate impact on your business.

There are a few ways that you can manage these updates. For example, you can keep up with the latest social media news. But the best way to understand the latest algorithm changes is to run tests with your own posts.

So, what do you need to run reliable and useful tests that can help you understand which content your users see after an update? Number one is a consistent posting schedule. The fewer variables your test has, the more trustworthy your results will be.

Better yet, you should post at the best times for your audience on Instagram. This way, you’ll have consistent timing and a wider test group. That strategy can help you get more reliable results.

Understanding New Features

Your posting schedule can also help you understand new Instagram features. Carousels, Stories, and Reels are all unique parts of Instagram. And depending on your content and industry, they’ll each have different rates of engagement.

If your business is investing time and resources into Instagram, it’s important to have a strategy. Strategies usually include different types of content. Whether you want your posts to show up as suggested content or to boost your shoppable stories, you want useful eye-catching content.

When Instagram releases new features, it can take time to understand:

  • What the new feature does
  • When users see new features
  • How they interact with each new feature
  • Resources needed for feature content

The sooner you understand a new feature, the more likely it is that you’ll make the most of that feature before your competitors. For example, this post on the Instagram blog tells users how to see more of what they want on their feeds.

Like testing an algorithm update, knowing the top posting times for your niche can help you test new features for your users faster. Social testing is most useful when you know your test audience, which makes posting time important.

Streamlining Your Posting Schedule

Choosing the right times for your audience can make it much easier to schedule your posts. Many social media and marketing managers take advantage of social scheduling tools. While these tools can make the process of social media posting much easier, it can be tough to get results if you’re not posting at the right times.

It’s all about creating the right content at the right time for your audience. And set posting times can also help you create a more personalized social media calendar for your ideal buyer personas.

Here are a few more ways that choosing the best posting times for Instagram can help you simplify your posting schedule:

  • Creates focused times for content planning and tracking
  • Limits the need for “always on” social media management
  • Offers opportunities to batch-create targeted post content

Finding Your Best Customers

A 2020 Instagram Trends research study says that 44% of people surveyed use Instagram to shop weekly.

That’s an incredible incentive to connect with your best customers on Instagram right away. But how can the best posting times help you find those shoppers?

You may be new to your industry. If that’s the case, the industry-specific posting times below can help you understand when your users are online. This can help you start seeing from their perspective and you can use those insights to improve your content.

For example, people in financial services are easiest to reach on Instagram on Sunday nights. This is just before the next work week begins. It may be a way to wind down the weekend and prepare for what the next week will bring.

But workers in agriculture are easier to reach on Saturday mornings, and mostly skip Instagram during the week. These professionals might be in spots with limited service during the week. Safety is also a concern, so it may be difficult for them to use mobile devices while on the job.

You can also block out these times on your schedule to engage with users who follow your business. Comment on posts, ask authentic questions, and watch videos from your target audience.

These times are when the biggest pool of your users is active online, so it’s the best time to start a conversation. It’s easy to send a message on Instagram, but not every message gets a response. If you can be there to engage in real time, you’ll get much more value from the time you spend on the platform. You’ll also have a better chance of connecting with top customers.

Is there really a best time to post to Instagram?

It’s clear that posting time matters on Instagram. But is there really a best time to post to get the results you’re looking for? To answer this question, let’s hear from some members of the HubSpot social media team.

Content Quality

It can be tempting to churn out content to meet ambitious deadlines in the hopes that the right customers see your posts. But content quality is what creates the most value for your audience.

Community Management & Growth Specialist Mathew Cruz says,

“It sounds obvious, but making your content as engaging and optimized as possible for the platform it’s being published on is key. “

So, begin each post with the best possible content, then optimize to make sure that followers get to feel the impact of your efforts.

“Start with your target audience, and what types of content and information is most useful to them. What kind of content might they save for later? What might they share with a friend? What might incentivize them to comment on your content? Start with these questions and work backwards in order to improve your reach and performance.”

Annabelle Nyst, Senior Content Manager, Social Media

Best time to post to Instagram example: Choosing the right trending conversations to respond to

You can also get some inspiration from top influencers and brands on the platform.

Another way to create quality content is to line up with recent trends and news. But this strategy isn’t the right fit for everyone. Here’s more useful advice from Annabelle Nyst:

“When it comes to posting around tentpole moments, events, and trending conversations, you should ask yourself: Does this make sense for my brand to be a part of this conversation? Are we adding value here?”

Instagram’s Algorithm

The best posting time isn’t really about when you post, it’s about when you want users to see your content. But that’s up to the algorithms that are unique to each part of Instagram.

So, the care you put into posting time is only one part of a more complex system that delivers your content to people on the platform.

According to Mathew Cruz: “Instagram’s algorithm and UX changes have made an impact on the effectiveness of posting at specific times. Unless your users are consuming their content in the “following” view, the time your audience will see your content can vary.”

To optimize the chances that people will see and engage with your content, check out these tips:

“Look at what the Instagram algorithm appears to be prioritizing at any given moment – for example, Reels. We know that Instagram has been leaning into Reels as a format in order to compete with TikTok, so how can you incorporate Reels into your strategy?

The more you adhere to what Instagram wants to see, the more the algorithm will favor you. Also, always optimize for value and engagement first.” – Annabelle Nyst

Best time to post to Instagram example: Instagram features

“With Instagram, understanding the UX and algorithm changes can be more effective in strategizing content publishing rather than simply timing.

For example, with Instagram’s shift to pushing video over images, the types of content you choose to create and publish may impact the chances of it being pushed out to users.

Additionally, feeding the algorithm with what your content is about helps it know where it should go. For example, adding relevant captions, hashtags, and sounds can help increase chances of it appearing on the feeds of users that enjoy specific types of content.” – Mathew Cruz

Content Consistency

Social Strategist Erin McCool says: “Quality and consistency of content is more important than timing.”

Consistency is key to taking advantage of social media opportunities. Whether you’re amplifying your stories at the same time each week or posting with branded hashtags, a steady schedule is essential.

If you don’t have a clear brand voice on Instagram, it won’t help you to reach more audience members. Without consistency, it’s unlikely that users will recognize and connect your content to your brand no matter how many times they see it.

So, don’t just post at the best times. Use the best times to post as a guide for a consistent posting schedule. This strategy can help you reach the right audience at the right time with the right content.

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Time Zone

Your location can heavily influence the success of your social media marketing strategy. Audiences behave differently depending on where they are in the world, and you can benefit from knowing when they’re most active on Instagram.

You know that evenings tend to be the best time to post to Instagram for engagement. But how do you make that happen if your audience lives in multiple time zones?

This is where you need to make some decisions about the best posting times on Instagram for your audience. To help you make these choices, here’s more compelling data from the 2022 Instagram Engagement report.

United States and Canada

The report breaks down data by region in North America and highlights five top cities.

Miami

Best Times: 8-9 a.m.

Best Day: Sunday

Atlanta

Best Times: 11 p.m.-12 a.m.

Best Days: Saturday through Monday

Kensington-Chinatown, Toronto, Canada

Best Times: 4-10 p.m.-12 a.m.

Best Days: Sunday and Monday

Houston

Best Times: 10 a.m., 1-2 a.m.

Best Day: Saturday and Sunday

Los Angeles

Best Times: 5-8 p.m., 3 a.m.

Best Days: Monday through Wednesday, Saturday

Best Time Each Day to Post on Instagram

Every day of the week is a good day to post on Instagram, but you’re likely to get the best engagement on weekends.

The chart below shows the average engagement of each day of the week. As you can see, even though weekends are when you’ll see the most engagements, the data is pretty steady throughout the week.

The best day to post to Instagram chart, HubSpot Research

This means that you’ll want to do deeper research to figure out which days are best for you to post. This is where industry-specific data can help.

For example, if your followers work at a desk job with regular hours, they might be taking a lunch break around noon. This would mean that they could be more likely to scroll through Instagram during that time to catch up on the latest from their friends, favorite brands, and influencers.

But what if they work in an industry with a less consistent schedule? For example, real estate agents often work around their clients’ schedules, showing homes on the weekend or after work hours.

This means that their scrolling time will be different from other users. You’ll want to track their behavior or use industry benchmarks to find the best day to post.

Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri actively shares Instagram updates on Twitter. Many of his recent posts highlight new Reels features and emphasize the importance of Reels.

At the same time, HubSpot research shows that only one in four Instagram marketers are using Instagram Reels. That said, 29% plan to use Reels for the first time in 2022.

Trusted resources offer the same tips for the best time to post Reels as they do for other types of content on Instagram.

The top tip for Reels timing: Be sure to post consistently. If the uploading days or times you post are sporadic, the algorithm won’t prioritize your account visibility.

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry

General data about optimal post timing is a great starting point. But if you want to get more granular, HubSpot research surveyed over 300 professionals to help you engage with your top audience. Here are the best times to post on Instagram for over 16 popular industries.

Education

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Education

Best Times: 9 p.m.-12 a.m.

Best Day: Monday

Worst Days: Wednesday through Sunday

Healthcare Companies

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Healthcare

Best Times: 6-9 p.m.

Best Day: Saturday

Worst Days: Tuesday through Friday

Financial Services

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Finance

Best Times: 9 p.m.-12 a.m.

Best Day: Sunday

Worst Days: Wednesday and Thursday

Retail

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Retail

Best Times: 3-6 p.m.

Best Day: Sunday

Worst Day: Tuesday

Ecommerce

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Ecommerce

Best Times: 9 p.m.-12 a.m.

Best Day: Saturday

Worst Days: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday

Business Services

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Business

Best Times: 9 a.m.-12 p.m., 6-9 p.m.

Best Day: Friday

Worst Days: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday

Consumer Manufacturing

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Consumer manufacturing

Best Times: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Best Days: Wednesday and Friday

Worst Days: Monday, Tuesday, and Sunday

Manufacturing and Materials

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Manufacturing and materials

Best Times: 12-6 p.m.

Best Day: Friday and Sunday

Worst Days: Monday through Thursday, Saturday

Construction Companies

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Construction

Best Times: 6-9 p.m.

Best Days: Thursday and Sunday

Worst Days: Monday and Saturday

Agricultural Organizations

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Agriculture

Best Times: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Best Day: Saturday

Worst Days: Weekdays

Electronics Organizations

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Electronics

Best Times: 3-6 p.m.

Best Day: Thursday

Worst Days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday

Energy, Utilities, and Waste Management

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Energy, Utilities, and Waste Management

Best Times: 6-9 p.m.

Best Day: Saturday

Worst Days: Sunday through Friday

Information Technology

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, IT

Best Times: 6-9 p.m.

Best Day: Saturday

Worst Days: Monday and Thursday

Media and Entertainment

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Media and Entertainment

Best Times: 3-6 p.m., 9 p.m.-12 a.m.

Best Day: Friday

Worst Days: Sunday and Monday

Transportation and Logistics

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Transportation and Logistics

Best Times: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Best Day: Saturday

Worst Days: Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday

Advertising and Marketing Organizations

Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry graphic, Advertising and Marketing

Best Times: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Best Days: Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

Worst Days: Tuesday and Friday

How to Find the Right Time to Post to Instagram for Reach

Data on the best posting times for Instagram is incredibly useful. That said, it’s often most effective when you’re just starting out.

As you continue to develop your presence on the platform, you might want to boost your results and do some posting time research on your own. The tips below are useful places to start.

1. Check Your Top Posts

Tracking your top posts can help you understand what posts are most popular and which topics draw the most engagement. It can also help you see how posting time impacts those factors.

For example, is that recent post about company events the most exciting content for an online beauty company? Or did it generate the most likes last month because it was posted on Saturday evening, a top time for ecommerce engagement?

You can use Instagram Insights to check out your top-performing posts, as well as factors like:

  • Engaged audience
  • Total followers
  • Most active times

HubSpot customers: You can check the Top Posts report for a quick list of your top ten posts. You can also check interactions, clicks, shares, and impressions for each post.

As you start to look at your social analytics, it can be tempting to focus on the numbers. But when you’re looking at top posts, it’s important to stick with your creative side and to look at your numbers from your customer’s point of view. As you check your top posts, ask yourself:

  • What is special about this post?
  • What kind of content is it?
  • If it’s a video, what makes this video stand out?
  • If it’s a photograph, how is this photo different from the others you’ve posted?
  • Did you edit the post?
  • Did you add text or design elements to the post?
  • Is there something that ties the people who’ve liked this post together?
  • Does this post connect to a current trend or event?

You may want to gather top post insights for a few months before you dig into analyzing your post content. This can help you see the top content your users respond to and when they want to see that type of content.

2. Track Competitor Posting Times

Another way to choose the right time to post for your audience is to figure out who else has their attention. Starting with your top competitors helps you figure out when to post and what content works on different days and times. Competitive analysis can also help you:

  • Learn about trends and benchmarks in your niche
  • Update your social strategy
  • Pinpoint new opportunities

There are a few ways to begin this research.

First, just scrolling through Instagram can give you a wealth of competitor insights. Take a look at a brand’s likes, hashtag copy, and how many hashtags they use. This can give you a quick profile of who follows that brand and what keywords they use, so it can hint at that competitor’s strategy.

If you want to do more detailed research, there are many great tools to help you track your competition. For example, you can create competitor streams with HubSpot’s social media software.

Best time to post on Instagram example, Competitor streams, HubSpotWith this feature, you can track multiple competitors at once and filter your results by social network or time period.

3. Focus On Engagement

Strong engagement on Instagram is between 1-5%. According to HubSpot research, the average engagement in 2021 was 5.86%. The average engagement rate for 2020 was just 2.26%, so these rates can change quickly.

If you want to improve engagement, start by calculating your Instagram engagement rate. You can measure your rate with your all-time numbers, but it can be helpful to break this data into smaller sections, like months or weeks. That way you can see engagement patterns for your account over time. It can also make it easier to see how the times you post on Instagram could impact your engagement rate.

Engagement rates show how people are reacting to your content. So, whether you’re sharing Reels, going live on Stories, or posting polls, questions, and quizzes, you can measure your impact. Engagement rates can sway based on:

  • Audience interest
  • Relevance
  • Social authority

It’s also important to remember that your most engaging content may not be as sticky at the same hours each day. Some content takes time to pick up views and shares before it makes an impact during peak engagement hours. Other content is like a firework — exploding quickly and disappearing just as fast.

To optimize your post timing for engagement, you need to get organized. The best way to find an ideal posting time is by testing the timing of your posts to see which post time generates the most audience engagement.

For example, what if you want to figure out when you get the most likes and comments on your Instagram carousels?

Say you create and post five different carousels a week and post them at random times. That approach will make it tough to get data that shows you the best times to post carousels for engagement.

But what if you post five similar carousels at a slightly different time each day? Then you can compare your engagement rates with the time you posted each carousel. This can show you the best time to post carousels for engagement so you can plan future carousels with those times in mind.

4. Use Your Data

When you’re new to Instagram, follower and engagement numbers are often low. Numbers for posting time, content type, hashtags, and more can be so similar that you may not spot the patterns that can help you grow.

Social media analytics can make these patterns easier to see and experiment with.

For example, the audience section in Instagram Insights can show you the days and hours when your followers are active. You can use that information to create a posting schedule. This can help you see whether posting during peak hours improves your reach.

At the same time, it’s important to remember that anyone with an account has access to Instagram Insights. And according to HubSpot research, 52% of Instagram accounts have 1,000-10,000 followers.

So, there’s a good chance that other brands are showing up in your followers’ feeds during that active time. You may want to post outside of active hours to see if your account draws more attention when there’s less competition.

It’s great to have the best times on Instagram available when planning your strategy. But tracking your own data can give you the personalized insights you need to stand out.

Boost Instagram Engagement on Your Schedule

Organic Instagram engagement and a consistent posting schedule go hand in hand. Each industry has natural peaks and valleys of activity each day. This means that your Instagram strategy should flow with them. Use helpful resources, like this cheat sheet, to plan your social media calendar and watch your engagement rate soar.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2021 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.

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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.

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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.

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  • 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!

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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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