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How Can B2B Sales Go Digital-First Even After Covid-19?

digital-first b2b sales

Covid-19 has taken growing trends and accelerated them at exhilarating speeds. This has made it difficult for businesses to keep up with new consumer needs and best practices. Juggling social distancing and quarantine periods has been difficult enough; now organizations need to figure out how to thrive in a post-Covid world.

One such trend is that of digital and virtual sales. A study conducted by McKinsey and Co. shows that 90% of B2B decision-makers are confident that virtual sales will continue even after Covid-19 has passed. While remote/digital sales became necessary to prevent the spread of the virus, businesses should prepare to make this a part of their full-time strategy entering 2021.

Changing your B2B sales strategy is easier said than done. To help you make the transition effectively, keep the following tips in mind. They’ll help you get started on the right foot.

Embrace New Technology

Transitioning to digital sales will be a challenge if your business isn’t equipped with the right tools. A carpenter will be much more productive with a table saw than a sheet of sandpaper. Your digital arsenal will need a boost if you hope to find success with virtual sales.

Here are the types of tools you’ll need to succeed with digital-first B2B Sales — especially during and after this pandemic.

  • Videoconferencing tools enable more fluid and personal interaction with customers.
  • Customer relationship software keeps track of customer information and sales leads.
  • Data analytics tools let you know which strategies are working and which aren’t.
  • Email marketing software automatically sends email messages to generate leads and close sales.
  • An online sales navigator organizes the sales you make online over platforms such as LinkedIn.
  • Sales presentation tools broaden the capabilities of your videoconferencing calls, increasing their effectiveness.

While even one of these tools will help, the best strategy implements multiple tools. Start with your digital sales goals and pick out the tools that will help you reach them.

Learn How to Build Relationships Digitally

A huge part of sales is the relationship-building process. How can you develop close ties with customers and partners without seeing them in person? Just like with sales pitches, you’ll need to take a different approach to really reach your clients on a deeper level.

Charles Gaudet, CEO of the business coaching and consulting firm Predictable Profits, offers the following three-step guide for building relationships digitally:

1. Social Selling

Your social media sites can be used for more than just marketing. Interacting with clients’ pages by liking, commenting, and sharing their content helps establish a digital relationship with them.

2. Video

As with sales pitches, video is more effective than text or voice alone. Video calls are more personal than emails or even phone calls. While all three should be used to a degree, great success comes from making sure video is a part of your relationship-building strategy.

3. Steady Communication

As important as the platform you use to contact customers is how you communicate with them. Such is true with any partnership or relationship. Prompt follow-ups, honest inquiries, and genuine care expressed through steady communication will go a long way.

These three simple steps will help you start developing relationships with your customers virtually. As you get used to the process, you can adjust it to meet the needs of your customer base and fit it to your team’s strengths.

Learn How to Sell Virtually

Traditional sales tactics aren’t as effective in the virtual world. Some techniques will translate over nicely, but your general sales approach will need some tinkering to align with virtual interactions. These small adjustments are what set a successful digital sales strategy apart from the rest.

For example, in-person sales meetings often involve reading and expressing body language. Body language helps the sales rep gauge buyer interest and figure out what keeps them engaged during a presentation. Your appearance, expression, gestures, and posture also carry more weight in an in-person meeting.

What methods will you use in your digital sales strategy?

Virtual meetings don’t allow for as much physical expression, so you must learn how to generate interest and attract attention using other methods. For example, a study performed by Gong.io shows that deals close 127% more quickly when video is used. Video allows you to connect with customers more effectively and use visual resources that can be of great benefit to a sales pitch.

Be Aware of Pitfalls

Digital sales isn’t a fairy wonderland of endless cash flow and paying customers. There are still pitfalls and obstacles that stand in the way of success. Recognizing and anticipating these pitfalls will prevent you from getting stuck in a sales rut.

“The biggest pitfall of a digital-first sales approach is the ability to get and keep your prospects’ attention,� notes Gaudet. “With every enterprise sales organization using a digital-first strategy, inboxes are flooded with messages. To counter this challenge, companies must use an omnichannel approach to prospecting.�

An omnichannel approach means using a variety of sources to contact and connect with customers. Email, social media, and cold calls are all methods that work better together than separately.

Grab Hold of Digital Assets

Prospects will do their research when shopping online for products, services, or business partners. Due to their careful research, you’ll need to have your digital assets lined up and displayed to attract their attention and lure them to your company.

Your first digital sales weapon is your website.

Your website is often the first exposure a customer will have to your brand. Your website should have educational resources, clear pricing and product/service options, as well as a certification of authority in your respective field.

Your online sales and marketing strategies will bring customers over to your website and social pages, where the content they find will influence them just as much as any sales pitch would. Take the time to review your digital assets to look for ways to strengthen them, display them better, or add to them.

Give digital sales a try — and get good at this type of sales.

Ready to give digital sales a try? Remember that your remote sales team is important and will need training for these unprecedented times. Better now than later, because this trend will sweep you in its direction eventually whether you like it or not.

The sooner you start working on your digital sales strategy, the sooner you can optimize it to shatter your sales goals in 2021.

Image Credit: pexels; pixabay

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Entrepreneurs Marketing Tech

How AI is Transforming Online Marketing

ai online marketing

AI is swiftly working its way into many facets of our everyday lives. With more and more companies using AI, it isn’t an exaggeration to say AI might bring the next industrial revolution. It has already started making large strides in areas such as customer service, but what can it do for online advertising?

It’s Revolutionizing Email Marketing

Email marketing is a mainstay of the digital marketing world. It’s easy to see why when you realize over 300 billion emails are sent each day. It’s no wonder advertisers want to get a cut of the pie. Thankfully, Artificial Intelligence is there to help with some of the more laborious tasks in email marketing.

Personalization

Writing dozens of different emails for your customers individually can only work for a small, locally-owned business. If you’re a larger enterprise, you’ll eventually have to resort to sending out emails at scale to get the word out.

AI can help you with this. It’s no secret that people are different, and what might make one person open an email the moment it hits their inbox, another may not even take a second look. AI algorithms can analyze how your recipient reacts to different subject lines and opening lines and personalize these so that they’re far more likely to open them.

Sending email goes far beyond basic salesman tactics, such as using your customer’s name. AI can incorporate a person’s whole field of interest, as well as mutual contacts, in order to extrapolate what type of content appeals to them. This will, in turn, help you boost your click-through rates through the roof.

Personalized emails perform far better than their non-personalized counterparts. In fact, some case studies have reported an increase in generated revenue of up to 171%!

Another benefit of AI is that it can find the time that your customer is most likely to open an email. They might be much more likely to open an email coming at 10 AM on a Wednesday than one coming at the end of their weekly Netflix binge. AI algorithms can help identify these individual preferences at a large scale.

AI doesn’t just help with email marketing personalization – it can help with personalization on the outreach side of things, too! AI algorithms can help sales and PR teams determine the most effective points of personalization to use when sending a follow-up email, for example.

Practicality

While we humans pride ourselves on being adaptable, we cannot notice the small changes that an AI will. This, in turn, helps you optimize your email campaign towards your customer’s changing needs. What you’re trying one week might not work by the next.

One of the biggest benefits of AI, however, is how well it can see our errors. People are quite prone to handwaving errors and ascribing them to factors that they are not in control of. Luckily, AI does no such thing. Instead, it’ll let you know the weaknesses of your campaign with the brutal honesty a person wouldn’t be able to muster up. AI grammar checkers, for example, can help you identify spelling, grammar, and even syntax issues in your email copy.

Finally, using AI can be significantly cheaper in the long run than using people. The benefits of hiring a machine learning services company far outweigh the costs. While the marketers themselves will always serve a crucial role in marketing, AI can save you dozens of laborious hours. Not only will you make more money, but your workers will also thank you.

It’s Helping Target Customers with Social Media Ads

Social media is the latest large frontier in advertising. Ever since Facebook has skyrocketed in popularity, corporations have been looking for ways to use social media for advertising purposes. AI helps with this and can even help a business isolate its target audience more precisely.

Maintaining Consistent Quality Across Platforms

It’s no secret that there are many more platforms where you can advertise in order to garner attention. It’s no longer enough to simply purchase a TV ad and be done with it. Today, consumers require multiple touchpoints before they turn into buyers. If you aren’t on a variety of social networks, in addition to TV and popular streaming services – your ads may not be as effective.

Your brand needs to have its message delivered through a variety of different channels. This can be hard to manage consistently if you’re making every campaign by hand. Usually, you’ll get a few very similar campaigns that will be somewhat engaging to most of your audience.

Rather than settling for somewhat engaging, today, you’ll need to impress your customers if you want their business. This can easily be done by using AI to help subtly guide your campaigns towards your target audience. For example, Hulu has a largely older audience in comparison to TikTok. With TikTok having a primarily adolescent-teenage population and Hulu favoring older audiences, you’ll need to take two drastically different approaches.

Localization

Even as a medium to small corporation, you’ve definitely faced issues when localizing your ad campaigns. It can be hard to really know what the locals of your area want by simply doing a handful of manual surveys.

By incorporating AI, you can automate a good chunk of this process. Something especially surprising is how good AI is at optimizing a CTA to the geographical location of your choice. Since the call to action is one of the most important parts of an ad, this can lead to a massive increase in sales.

If you’re branching out to a new area, that makes localization all the more important. This is especially true if you’re expanding to an area where you’ve already got competitors. If you misjudge the cultural norms of the area, you might find yourself with a failure on your hands. AI is spectacular at detecting these nuances, and even smaller corporations can benefit from this these days.

Social Media Ad Copy

Despite the technology being fairly new, AI has been getting more and more use as a method of creating social media ad copy. Companies are using it to create copy, which is later simply edited by marketers, with some daring to hand over the whole process to the AI. Here are some advantages AI can offer in creating social media copy:

  • Speed – AI is much faster than people. It can take historical data about your customer’s behavior and come up with what you should post next by the time a writer has written the outline.
  • Time – If you’ve got writers that can do better than the AI in terms of copy quality, this doesn’t mean it’s useless. It can provide you with valuable data that your authors can use to craft the perfect ad.
  • Detect trends – AI can help you predict trends ahead of time, as well as detect subtle changes in customer behavior. This will help you better understand your target audience and improve the equity of your brand.
  • Frequency and theme – AI can check out your past posts and the posts of other companies in your niche and analyze them in order to determine what posting times and subjects are proving most effective at the time.

Product descriptions fall into a similar pattern. They will also be written faster and more effectively with AI than they will with a human author. Another benefit of AI in this area is that AI is able to update its listings at a moment’s notice.

If it notices that your customers are fans of something, it’ll make an effort to make that stick out more in the description immediately. Furthermore, this can be combined with localization to make custom region-specific descriptions.

Measuring Performance

Another use for AI which saves manpower is measuring performance. Manually calculating things like engagement rates are a death sentence for progress. Instead, you could have AI look through almost every facet of how your ads performed.

Not only can you track user engagement flawlessly, but you can also compare and contrast your ad’s performances amongst target groups and even different forms of social media. With that being said, this isn’t to be used recklessly.

With AI that’s sufficiently advanced, you can even determine which parts of your ad copy your users dwell upon the most and which goes by barely detected. This will let you put out more polished adverts with haste.

As always, it’s a good idea to have the AI’s performance monitored by a human every now and again. For example, Amazon has had a famous incident where its AI was extremely biased towards male candidates.

One example of how AI is helping with performance-based marketing is with Facebook. Facebook’s ad platform uses the performance of your ad to determine which users should see the ad. By leveraging multiple data points quickly, Facebook is able to put your ad in front of the users who are most likely to be interested in your product or service.

Improving The Customer Experience

There are a lot of ways to gain new customers; however, none of them are quite as infallible as providing an amazing customer experience to influence word of mouth. Companies have been trying to outdo each other in customer service since the dawn of modern capitalism. Today, AI is the next technology you’ll need to incorporate in order to ensure your customers get the best experience possible.

AI Chatbots

The customer service industry is one of the ones that have benefited the most from the inclusion of AI. If a customer has an issue with a product, or they’re having issues navigating your website, they’ll want to talk to someone to have it explained for them.

Now, these can be full-time employees who are paid for all of the manpower in answering the questions that your customers may have. On the other hand, you could have AI handle that (like an AI bot) while your employees are given tasks that are harder to automate.

This change is already in full swing. If you’ve seen a “Talk to one of our representatives� button on any sites you’ve visited recently, the chances are that’s a chatbot right there. With that being said, that isn’t a bad thing; chatbots are generally clear in writing and are sometimes more helpful than actual workers.

This isn’t to say that you should fire any customer service employees on the spot. No! Rather than letting these valued employees go, it is best to delegate them to other tasks, with customer support being done by people exclusively in the cases where the AI doesn’t rise to the occasion.

Predictive Marketing

Imagine being a vacuum cleaner salesperson in the ‘70s. When would the ideal time be to knock on someone’s door to sell them a vacuum cleaner? When their old one just broke.

Unfortunately, for a vacuum cleaner salesperson in the ‘70s, there was no way to know when exactly that was. Today, AI can predict most of a customer’s purchasing desires and decisions. Because of this, it is one of the most important tools to get started with.

Customers don’t want to be bombarded with ads for things they don’t currently need or care about. Because of this, any customers you advertise to that simply have no need for your product or service are nothing but wasted capital.

By using AI that puts large amounts of data together in order to better understand consumer behavior, you can ensure that the customer is going to be interested in your product.

For example, let’s say that customer A has been searching for vacuum cleaner bags, vacuum cleaner pipes, as well as vacuum cleaner alternatives. Customer B has been searching how to use Vacuum Cleaner X. The AI will be able to determine that Customer A’s current vacuum cleaner is broken, and Customer B has possibly just purchased a new vacuum cleaner. With this information, it will show Customer A an ad for your company.

This is extremely common in large corporations such as Google or Amazon. However, it’s slowly becoming more affordable for small and medium-sized businesses.

Improving Your UI

The UI (User Interface) is what your customers interact with your website or mobile app through. Having a seamless interface is crucial in making conversions because customers won’t stay on a site that’s not easy to use.

Thankfully, instead of hiring dozens of UI testers and running constant surveys among your target group, you can have AI do the testing for you. The AI has the intuitiveness of a person but is able to identify issues more quickly so that you can make changes to the UI more easily.

It looks through a variety of things, such as:

  • Where the user is when they load up the site
  • How long they stay on the website
  • The site’s bounce rate
  • The user flow
  • How many products each user views before leaving the site

These metrics can be measured by an AI at a large scale to help you make more informed decisions quickly.

Conclusion

While AI certainly has a long way to go, it’s has made massive strides in its development lately.

AI is not perfect, and there’s still a long way to go in terms of improving it. However, your business could definitely benefit from making use of AI in your next marketing campaign to improve conversions, targeting, and user experience metrics.

Image Credit: jose francisco fernandez saura; pexels

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How to Properly Use PR and SEO to Amplify Marketing Results

PR and SEO

A business is as good as how it portrays itself. It might have the best product on the market, but how it packages that product determines how it will fare. Here is how to properly use PR and SEO to amplify marketing results.

What is Your Consumer Appeal?

With the advent of technology, firms are increasingly becoming competitive to match the supply of goods and services from competitors. Revamping online presence features prominently in communication strategy as companies angle out their consumer appeal.

PR and SEO handle the same segment, but their approach is different. PR is creating desirable content that resonates with consumers, while SEO customizes the content to rank among the competition.

If these two components of the corporate communication link, they form an integrated communication approach that works both offline and online. Let’s take a look at a few tips on how to use SEO and PR to conquer online marketing.

Capture the Attention of More People

You are capturing more people’s attention if you are using SEO to find your clients and improve your image. SEO brings you to the top of search rankings even if the customer was not looking for your business specifically. If nothing else, the customer will continue to see your business represented in search results.

Over time, it will become clear to the customer that you are an expert in the industry. After all, your website continues to appear in their search results. Potential customers will remember your name, and they will associate your brand with a certain industry. You have branded yourself as a useful resource, and customers will start searching for your company alone in the future.

SEO Keyword Lists to Grow Your Audience

However, you must use SEO keyword lists to grow your audience. If you have just one or two keywords, you are only capturing a fraction of the attention that you deserve. Think bigger. Use SEO keyword lists to highlight everything you do and every location you serve.

For example, you should not list the services you provide. It would help if you used industry keywords that mix with these services. A company that offers pressure washing might add the name of an industrial device it uses.

It would be best if you listed everything you pressure wash. Therefore, you will have keywords for pressure washing driveways, sidewalks, homes, offices, commercial buildings, and industrial buildings.

Where Are You Located?

Take the next step by adding locations to your keywords. You have positioned yourself as a company that can provide customers with the service they need, but they might not know where you are located. Adding every location you service and the surrounding towns or cities makes your SEO more effective.

At the same time, you are adding these locations to your branding. You now have a reputation for serving people in every city you have listed.

When people live and work in your area, they often drive by convenient locations that are far from home. Someone who drops the kids off at school might realize that you are close to the school. You have become a convenient option. If you are close to someone’s office, you are convenient.

SEO Keywords

Finally, you must add keywords that make you look like a family business. You want to talk about helping families, helping local businesses, or helping local students. When you speak to your customers using friendly language, they are more likely to shop with you.

Adding SEO keywords to your content helps more people find you, and you have successfully integrated PR with SEO.

Increase Brand Awareness

The main aim of marketing is to make products known to the public. Brand awareness entails detailing the component and benefits of the product and its utility to the consumer. Clients choose a product based on how well they know it. Crafting a product description is part of public relations where the producer paints a picture of the product.

SEO brings in the online search patterns which the possible consumer uses to get information. Infusing the keywords into the product description and forming a desirable word combination increase product visibility on search engines. The impact of SEO amplifies the PR of the brand.

Enhance Content Development

As you develop content, you want to be as specific as possible. You are educating your customers when they are reading what your business does. You have branded your business such that you work in every city in the area.

By doing so, you have proven to customers that you can help them even if you do not have the same zip code as them. Additionally, it would be best to talk about specific issues that customers in that area have.

Creating a post on an issue, product or statement needs systematic wording. Content development is more than putting words together to explain. Whereas the formulation of the statement drives the meaning, how it sounds, and the target market informs its development. PR ensures formations while SEO customizes it to reach the target market.

How do You Better Serve Your Customer?

If you work in the pressure washing business, you should talk to customers about how you can solve their problems with salt on the roads in the winter, debris on their homes, and other specific items to that town. You can even reference local landmarks that show you have worked in the area.

You are not just an expert in your industry. You are proving to your customers that you are an expert in their hometown. These customers are more likely to trust you, and your brand looks more trustworthy because you have spoken directly to the customer.

What About Vids?

While you can say that you serve everyone in the area, many customers will not believe you until you reference the place where they live. Each new article should educate the customer on something new, and you can do the same thing with videos.

More potential customers will see videos with titles that include locations. Plus, customers can see you working in their area and might even recognize the background. As these videos progress, customers realize that you can come to their location to offer the same service. They trust you because they have seen you at work, and they understand that you can respond quickly.

Content development is popular in blogging, especially for companies offering social services. It helps create a narrative that appeals to a specific cluster of people. Business websites use SEO and PR to style their content to score a particular business goal.

Improve Brand Confidence and Consistency

Every business strives to come out in the best way possible. The product might be exemplary, but its communication decides how it will fare in the market. Consumers relate more with a known brand than a newcomer. They trust their ability since they have little information on the competitor.

However, the difference between brand awareness and brand confidence is how steady and consistent it is, both as a product and its quality. The authority fit commands is in how it communicates and interacts with its customers. The feedback mechanism sparked by the description improves its visibility and implore the producers to standardize the product. Trust builds brands, while confidence breeds authority.

When you are using PR and SEO together, you can be much more consistent with your brand message. A list of keywords will keep you on-task, and you can write in the same style every time you release an ad or write an article. Consistency makes businesses much more profitable, and you want to get as much help being consistent as you can.

Improve Your Brands Reputation

When you want to improve your brand reputation in a certain area, you can start using those keywords more than others. For example, a company that offers plumbing and electrical services might have just started offering its customers electrical services. Start talking more about electrical work to show that you are an expert in the industry.

You can do the same with any other product or service that you offer. If you have been thinking about your approach to these issues, it is much easier for you to brand yourself as an expert in new fields. Customers will see the same brand message in many locations, and they will feel as though they can trust you.

How May I Contact You?

You must also remember that customers can interact with you if you are posting articles online, writing in your blog, or using social media. You can use a script to talk to all these customers so that they always get the same message. This is vital to your success because it shows customers that you have taken the time to give them the best experience.

Share Ideas and Grow as Business Partners

You can share ideas more easily when you have a positive brand image. As you share your message and brand your company as an expert in a certain field, other companies will want to work with you. These partnerships can be profitable and increase your level of productivity. Social media is one place where people often share ideas and meet new partners.

When you are on social media, you can engage in witty banter with other businesses. These businesses might want to work with you, and your chat logs might even go viral. You can share ideas with these businesses, and you can even ask your customers for ideas. This is a very important step in the process because you want your customers to feel involved in what it is that you do.

Do You Convert Your Keywords to Hashtags?

You can convert all your keywords into hashtags. This means that you can share PR-style ads and slogans with the public, but you can use all your SEO keywords to reach more customers. These keywords are not just used in searches.

Social media companies have designed algorithms that find new people for customers to follow. When someone has searched for a company like yours, you will be recommended if you are close to their location.

Many of your most loyal customers might come to you because they found you on social media. Plus, they can check out your pictures or videos, leave comments, and even recommend your business to others. These people can even share your posts via a messenger app.

Social Media Apps

Social media apps also allow your customers to share your posts on their feeds. When customers really like your business, they will advertise for you. You can even create contests that ask customers to post your images or videos on their feeds. When they do this, they might win a prize. While these customers are excited to win something for free, they tell all their friends, family, and followers that you are trustworthy.

You might even go so far as hiring influencers who will advertise for you on social media. Tell the influencer all the hashtags you want to use, and they can add more credibility to your brand by posting about you a few times a week. Each of these steps, then, ensures that your brand image is improving while also driving web traffic to your site.

Communal Sharing

Social media has become a business tool for all budding enterprises, thanks to the following it attracts. Companies invoke social connotations to explore new markets and reach a wider audience. They customize their posts to rank higher with social circles. It spreads faster and relays messages in socially acceptable wordings.

Sharing a post or an advert personalizes the message and reaches as many people as possible. Websites are customizing posts to bring out the intended message before the reader fully opens it. Transmission is faster and conversion significant. This digital marketing strategy opens up companies to infinite possibilities.

Final Words

When you want to improve your public relations and your overall brand image, SEO is a good place to start. You might think that these two things are completely unrelated, but they are not. Many people do not know anything about your business, and they have never been exposed to a marketing campaign of yours in the past.

As you read through these tips, imagine how much your brand can improve when using the proper keywords and strategy.

Are You Trustworthy?

PR is the act of making your brand look more trustworthy. You want everyone who interacts with your brand to believe that you are the best company for the job. SEO helps you find the newest customers. Mixing these two things makes sense when you are running a business in any industry.

Moreover, companies rely on the internet to push their brand beyond its confines and research on emerging trends. However, its marketing results determine its sales conversion and product customization moving forward. As companies develop their communication strategies, a combination of SEO and PR should be their primary focus.

Image Credit: Jopwell; Pexels

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How To Use Video to Power-Up Your Email Campaigns

video email campaign

Email marketing has resurfaced as one of the most effective ways to reach audiences. While many companies spend entire budgets trying to improve their social media presence and get heard above the noise, email campaigns offer a more personalized and direct approach, even when it comes to new audiences.

That being said, nobody likes spam. The current rise of newsletters as an informative and entertainment medium has proven that audiences are drawn to receiving content that’s not just interested in selling or promoting something.

And here is where the video comes in.

By pairing your email campaign with a video marketing strategy, you’re getting the best of both worlds by delivering valuable and engaging content straight to your customer’s mailbox.

In this piece, I’m going to guide you through the necessary steps you need to take to boost your email campaigns with video. We’ll see how to choose the right type of video for your newsletters, what are some of the best tips and tricks used by the pros, and much more.

But first…

Why Video?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

As you probably know, time is one of the most precious goods of the digital landscape. And video is the most efficient form of communication, cramming large amounts of information into just a few seconds of animation.

Plus, video is the king of engagement. You see it everywhere, from binge-able content and video tutorials to the recent popularity of streaming platforms such as Twitch and Tik Tok. Video is the preferred format of content for all kinds of audiences.

Marketers have been using the virtues of video content on their email campaigns for a while now, and the results speak for themselves:

Choosing the Right Type of Video for Your Message

There’s at least one type of video for each of your marketing needs. So, you should start by determining your campaign‘s main goal and then work with a production team to create a piece designed to achieve it.

Here are some of the most effective type of videos for your email campaign:

New Product or Service Reveal

Newsletters are a way of showing your subscribers what you’ve been up to, and there’s no better news to share with them than the launch of a brand-new product or service. This comes in the form of a product video or demo that showcases your creation’s most important features and characteristics.

A great idea is to include your subscribers in the pre-launch phase of your campaign. That way, they get an exclusive treat before anyone else. This tactic can be especially useful for small businesses that are looking to build a loyal customer base and for brands that want to benefit from word-of-mouth marketing.

Explainer Videos

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how audiences demand valuable content from the brands they follow, and no other type of video is more helpful than the explainer video. Just as the product video centers around the features of your product, the explainer video focuses on the benefits of your product and how it can better the lives of your customers.

Explainers are short animated pieces that usually don’t go over the 90-second mark. But suppose you need a long-form video that guides users through a lengthy process. In that case, you might want to consider making a series of tutorials or how-to videos that give specific and clear instructions on how to install your product or use it properly.

Customer Stories

Many marketers make the mistake of talking way too much. But isn’t it more effective to let your happy customers do the promoting for you? Customer stories are honest and heartful testimonials from the people you’ve helped along the way. And what better way to deliver these powerful stories than directly to your leads’ inboxes?

Customer stories are at adding a real human face to your brand, humanizing your company, and making your customers trust you more. After all, people trust other people, as simple as that. Make sure your testimonial feels as honest as possible.

Event Invites

Promoting events through email just makes sense: it’s like delivering an invitation right to someone’s mailbox. And what better way to get your audience excited than with a stunning video.

Your vid doesn’t need to be lengthy; just an intriguing animation with your event’s date and location will do most of the time. If it’s a regular sort of event, you can also create a recap of last year’s edition to attract those on-the-fence attendees.

The Three Golden Rules for Using Video on Your Email Campaign

Like with any other marketing strategy, there are plenty of ways to approach using videos on your emails to great effect. However, that’s not the same to say that some practices and principles don’t tend to outperform others!

Here are some we recommend following.

1) Don’t Embed Video on Your Email

One of the most common first-timer mistakes is to think you should embed your video on your email, just like you do on your landing page. But if you’re subscribed to a couple of newsletters, you’ll notice that most of them rather use a thumbnail linked to the video hosted online. This is because many email clients often don’t support the technical requirements needed to play a video right inside the email.

But if you think this is a limitation, then turn that frown upside down. Think about it: instead of making your audience watch a video within the email itself, you can direct them to a landing page where they can watch the video and visit your online store next (or any other specific action).

2) An Attractive Thumbnail Can Make the Difference

Using a thumbnail is the most practical form of ensuring your subscribers will watch your video regardless of the device or email platform they use. So, it’s time to design an attractive thumbnail that intrigues your audience! There are a couple of ways to do this:

· Use a static picture with a play button

This is the easiest way. You can simply use a screencap of your video and insert a play button right at the center of the picture so that your audience knows it’s linked to a video.

· Use a short GIF of your video

GIFs are the closest thing next to actually uploading your video, giving the illusion of video but with the key difference that they are well-supported across email clients. And even though some platforms like Outlook 2013 and Windows 10 don’t play GIFs, they’ll show the first frame of your GIF as a static image.

Extra pro tip: Keep your thumbnail below 200KB, or below 1MB if you’re using GIFs. There’s a chance your email will be identified as spam if it contains heavy attachments.

3) Place Your Video Below the Copy

Before embedding your thumbnail, make sure you write a brief introduction. It doesn’t need to be too long, just a few words to introduce your piece. Formatting is super important in emails. A message with just a picture will look like spam.

Conclusions

The global lockdown has made many companies rethink the way they connect with their audience. Now more than ever, audiences demand valuable content from the brands they support, and an email campaign that uses video can do that.

The pandemic has also taught us how unforeseeable the future is and how things can change from one second to the next.  While this article provides a comprehensive guide, it’s up to you to start figuring out what your own audience likes and dislikes, and what type of emails and videos are going to strengthen that bond. I wish you the bests of luck.

The post How To Use Video to Power-Up Your Email Campaigns appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
Apps doston app Marketing ReadWrite short video app Social social marketing YouTube how to's

6 Effective Ways to Use Short Video for Social Marketing

Short video apps are on the trend currently. After the ban of Tiktok in India, so many social platforms for short videos came out.

For example, Instagram has introduced the feature “Reelsâ€� of showcasing short videos. I really like an app called Doston to make short video clips. It’s good at offering amusing, trendy, and entertaining content.

However, if you have thought that short videos are only for fun, then you probably need to change your view.

Because short videos can be informative, they can be used to represent a business, and as well as used for multiple purposes.

And if you do not know how many other ways you can use short videos, then you’re in the right place to find it out.

Here are the six ways in which you can use short videos for social marketing effectively.

  1. How-To Videos

    how-to-video-doston
    Source: pexels

YES, it is possible to make “how-to” videos in 30 to 60 seconds.

If you are good at making food or decorating a food plate, then you can catch the eye of thousands of users.

It will be a kind of real quick video in which you can create a healthy meal by showing step-by-step instructions; you can also give the voiceover in it.

Follow your passion because you can get loads of traffic by putting that kind of video on platforms like Doston, Instagram reels, etc.

You can do it using the inbuilt editing features in many apps that you can find in the app store — or look up a vid on YouTube that will teach you how to add visual effects and magical filters.

2. Product Unveiling

how-to-videos-for-marketing
source: Pexels

If you want to showcase your product, it would be great to create a 30-second clip to show whatever you are selling.

Whenever you are demonstrating your product, you don’t have to be overly promotional.

You have to convince your customer so that they can buy after watching your video. So keep it up to the mark, simple, and clean.

Remember that you do not have to solely focus on explaining the product, but you also have to emphasize what kind of benefits your viewers could get after spending 30-60 seconds on your video.

3. Behind The Scenes

behind the scene video for marketing
source: Pexels

Creating short videos of behind the scenes is a fun way to let your viewers see the people behind the business or show what is going on behind closed doors.

People want to see funny stuff more and behind the scenes is the best to get engagement and gain attention.

Wondering what could be your behind the scenes?

The scenes could be anything like your office tour, personal things, funny content, (think: a funny photobomb, and do that in your vid — on purpose.

4. Show Off Your Skills

show off your skills for marketing
source: Pexels

You can go master in showing off your skills by posting the real quick short videos.

You can create and edit your videos in it with its inbuilt editor that will help you to make more polished content.

It offers loads of features like easy editing, add music, quick downloads, and more that would help make your best short video.

5. Event Showcase

behind the scene video for marketing
source: Pexels

If there is an event around, many brands will share the relevant content in your industry.

For instance, if you post a video on your site related to a particular event like a holiday, and if your video has the potential, it will be more likely to be shared around other media networks especially by friends and family.

6. Share What You Have

share what you have for marketing
source: Pexels

You are not required to be more creative or professional — you just want to share what you are good at doing and creating.

Professional videos look fantastic. However, to make an impact you don’t need a huge budget. With basic props and ordinary objects, you can do spectacular stuff — take a look on YouTube at the Holderness family vids — hilarious.

Some of the best short videos are not focused on the design and animation of big budgets and they are the ones using everyday objects.

Also read: 5 best short video app

Top Image Credit: anna shvets; pexels

The post 6 Effective Ways to Use Short Video for Social Marketing appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
Google Marketing search engine search engine optimization SEO Tech

What Does the Future of Online Search Look Like?

Online search has evolved so gradually that many people find it hard to track its growth. One day, voice-based search seemed like a dumb gimmick that only heard what you said half the time. The next day, it felt like voice search had been working well for years. 

But the fact is, over the 20ish years it’s been around, online search has changed dramatically. It has evolved from a clunky, barely-functional tool for finding specific webpages to being the ultimate channel for knowledge and discovery. With just a phrase, you can summon accurate information on any topic, get answers to any common question, find the exact product you’re looking for, or simply discover more about a subject. 

So where do we go from here? How does search get better? And how could it change our interactions with technology overall? 

How Search Has Evolved

Before we can look into the future, we have to look at the past. How has search evolved to date? 

The frontrunner in the search engine world is Google. It became the dominant online search competitor from the moment it entered the scene, and today, it retains share of nearly two-thirds of all online searches. Its brand is synonymous with online search, and it continues to set standards for how other search engines operate. 

It’s important to remember that Google, now owned by Alphabet, is a for-profit company. The service is free and accessible to anyone with an internet connection, but ultimately, Google is interested in making money. Its main source of revenue is advertising; when people click ads, the businesses who placed those ads pay a small sum of money to Google. 

Accordingly, to serve the best ads and attract as many money-generating users as possible, Google is incentivized to give users the best possible experience. 

This amounts to achieving several sub-goals, including: 

  • Providing more relevant results. Google has long been the primary search engine choice because of its ability to conjure up relevant results—in other words, to provide users with content that matches their queries. In the old days, this amounted to finding content that contained keywords and phrases similar to what was included in the user’s query. But over time, this evolved to Google systematically understanding the intent behind user queries as well as the purpose of content throughout the web. Today, it can find much more intelligent, qualitative matches. 
  • Providing more authoritative results. Additionally, Google has evolved to provide more authoritative results. Just because something is a topical match doesn’t mean it’s trustworthy—or that it’s going to be satisfying to an end user. The web is filled with spam and low-quality content, and part of Google’s job is to filter that content out. Over the years, it has developed much higher quality standards, capable of detecting spammy links, bad writing, and other signs that a website shouldn’t be trusted. 
  • Providing a quicker, more intuitive interface. Google has also developed its search engine to provide users with a faster, more intuitive interface. You can get results almost instantaneously, even if you search a convoluted phrase—and you can search using any number of different methods, such as voice-based search. 
  • Providing direct information and answers. Google has also attempted to simplify and hasten the search process by giving users direct information—rather than merely directing them to a website that might have the answer. If you search for a relatively simple, answerable question (like “who was the first President of the United States?â€�), you’ll get an immediate answer—no clicking required. This not only makes the user experience simpler and more enjoyable, it also keeps the user on Google for a longer period of time, increasing the likelihood that they’ll click an ad. 

We can expect Google to continue evolving along these pathways. But what could further evolution along these lines look like? 

New Ways to Interact With Search Engines

First, we’ll likely see the emergence of new ways to interact with search engines. Rather than simply typing in a query or using our voices, we’ll have a variety of new modes of engagement. 

  • New devices. For starters, we’ll see search become more integrated with a wider range of devices. Already, we’re conducting searches with our laptops, smartphones, tablets, and speakers throughout the house. In the future, the internet of things may introduce us to even newer, more innovative modes of engagements. Search-capable devices may be practically everywhere. 
  • Conversations. Voice search has already represented a massive breakthrough, so what if we could search in a more interactive way—like through conversation? Having a search “agentâ€� guide us through our search could give us even more customization options—and give us more relevant results than ever. 
  • Gestures. What’s even faster and easier than searching with your voice? In the future, you may be able to search using simple gestures. With the right device and ample user prep, it could be possible to use gestures like pointing, nodding, or even blinking to search and browse results. 
  • Thoughts. Though likely reserved for the distant future, a brain-AI interface (like Neuralink) could even make it possible to search using only your thoughts. 

Personalization and Prediction 

In some ways, Google can be considered a data company. Its advertising network relies heavily on its ability to give advertisers meaningful data about their advertising targets. Additionally, search results already rely heavily on user data; your demographic group, your previous search history, and even the way you interact online can all shape your search results. 

In the future, this data-centric search model will grow to become even more powerful. Driven by big data and artificial intelligence (AI), Google and other search engines may be capable of actively predicting your searches before you execute them, providing you with results they think you need before you truly need them. At the very least, we’ll see even more personalized experiences, with search results tailored specifically for individuals based on a litany of data points. 

Alternatives to Google

While Google continues to retain ownership of the largest share of online search, there are other search competitors that are slowly rising. For example, Bing is every bit as functional as Google, with some distinct advantages, and DuckDuckGo is becoming an increasingly popular choice for users concerned about privacy. Additionally, there’s plenty of room for a new, agile, innovative startup to disrupt the industry—potentially rethinking search from the ground up. 

In the coming years, we could see a paradigm shift here. It all depends on the entrepreneurs and programmers at competing tech companies and startups. If a new player or an existing competitor finds a way to unseat Google, it would probably be because they offer a fundamentally different experience—one that’s difficult to imagine, given our immense familiarity with the current scope of online search. 

Higher Quality Standards

Though difficult to execute from a programming perspective, Google and its rival search engines could make a push to introduce even higher quality standards than before. Despite their best efforts, there’s still an abundance of badly written content and irrelevant links on the internet. Additionally, search engine optimization (SEO) makes it almost trivially easy for skilled content creators to manipulate search rankings in their favor. More advanced techniques could potentially filter content based on depth, accuracy, and possibly even intention—clearing up search results with better content than ever. 

It’s unlikely that we’ll see a major transformation of search in the next few years. For the foreseeable future, we’ll likely witness a gradual unfolding of new features and small updates to the search engines we’ve come to know and love. But beyond that, as new innovators attempt to disrupt the industry and older players strive to remain dominant, we could see a fundamental rethinking of the average search experience. By the end of the decade, online search could be practically unrecognizable. 

The post What Does the Future of Online Search Look Like? appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
lead generation lead generation tools Marketing

Top Lead Generation Tools to Grow Your Business

lead generation tools

While the COVID-19 global pandemic has compelled most businesses to cut their expenses, there is an even more compelling need for balancing accounts, inventory management, and avoiding customer churn. Even the marketing sector has undergone a huge paradigm shift with automated lead generation for better and deeper reach amongst the masses.

Lead generation is one of the most important elements of B2B marketing and is consequential for the growth and thriving of a business. But, then again, is Lead Gen really such a difficult task?

The process of Lead Gen begins with identifying and reaching the right consumer masses, getting them to visit your website, product, and service catalog, and convincing them to purchase for lead conversion. It doesn’t end here as you have to put constant efforts to nurture these leads for a lifetime.

The way to begin is to have the right lead generation tools. These tools are consequential and have distinguishing features that you will want to explore.

Features of Lead Generation Tools

Here are some of the common features that a lead generation tool must-have.

1. Usability

Top lead generation tools offer impeccable ease-of-use and make the entire job of spreading the word across the masses easier and better. They don’t require core technical aptitude or coding skills for the best results.

2. Platform Integration

The modern business landscape integrates different types of business software and automation that work in close association to achieve the desired business outcomes. So, all the top lead generation tools offer seamless integration across all the major platforms for effortless working.

3. Diverse Functionality

Best lead generation software has a diverse set of features and functionalities for holistic and comprehensive support to marketers. From analytics to reporting and from lead flows to landing pages – lead generation tools come with a rich toolbox for marketers.

4. Landing Page Builders

As per Forbes, businesses with more than 40 landing pages get 12 times more leads than those with five or lesser landing pages. Further, landing pages with videos can increase your conversions by 80%.

And, these stats indicate the importance of having a robust and reliable landing page builder tool. When you can automate the entire process, you automate lead conversion, which is certainly a major business growth driver.

5. Marketing Dashboards

All-inclusive marketing dashboards for B2B and B2C marketers are yet another important feature offered by the top lead generation tools. These dashboards are equipped with everything a marketer might need for lead generation, marketing automation, lead management, account-based marketing, and much more.

After having a brief overview of the various important features of lead generation software, let us move on to explore its different types.

Types of Lead Generation Tools

Lead generation tools can be broadly divided into the following categories:

1. Email Marketing Tools

These tools offer unparalleled performance when it comes to online lead generation and is among the best online lead generation tools.

2. Email Lookup Tools

They prove to be extremely useful when you need to connect with people that are not on your email list. These tools allow you to find their email addresses and contact details and help you connect with them.

3. Marketing Automation

Marketing automation tools automate tasks such as social media posting, email marketing, and ad campaigns, etc. Hence, they not only improve work efficiency, but they also help marketers in offering more personalized customer experiences.

4. Calendar Scheduling

The calendar scheduling tools help you overcome the challenges of scheduling meetings and by-pass the back-and-forth email chains. They give your prospects more flexibility and keep your calendar packed effortlessly.

5. Form Collection Tools

Form collection tools do the task of collecting email addresses and other personal contact details of your website visitors that can be your prospective customers. They help you create the email lists for drip campaigns and content promotion, etc.

6. PopUps

Popups do an incredible job when it comes to grabbing the attention of your visitors. They also collect email addresses and other personal details.

7. Live Chat

Live chat tools allow you to cater to your website visitors in many ways. From grabbing the attention via chat prompts to displaying the messages regarding the latest deals, to solving queries, etc. – they allow potential customers to get in touch with your team in a quick manner.

8. Inbound Lead Generation Tools

These tools help you bring more leads to your website and other channels. It involves creating content and campaigns to drive more traffic to your website, which leads to conversions.

9. Contests

Contest tools are great for creating brand awareness and getting the participants and people, in general, to sign up for your email list. Once done, you can continue to add them to your email drip campaigns.

10. Marketing Management Tools

The marketing management tools help you maximize lead generation, measure performance, and improve the quality of leads.

11. Social Media and Forum Tools

When it comes to collecting leads from social media channels and forums, these tools offer the best assistance by collecting the email addresses and other contact information from social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn.

Now, let’s dive in and take a quick look at the top lead generation tools and what makes them worthy of their ranking.

Top Lead Generation Tools

Without further ado, let’s look at the best lead-gen tools.

1. Qualaroo

top lead generation tools Qualaroo

Qualaroo is one of the top lead generation tools that are smart and allows you to ask the right question at the right time and gather quality feedback from your customers and visitors.

You can show the surveys and popup lead generation forms on your website as well. You can target the customers via specific actions, events, behavioral patterns, cookies, location, and even the data received from your apps.

It offers advanced targeting and a unique feature – Qualaroo Nudges that improve your response rates as well.

Pricing:

There are three plans – FREE, ESSENTIALS ($25 pm), and PREMIUM ($50 pm). You can use any one of them for free for 15 days.

2. ProProfs Chat

top lead generation tools ProProfs Chat

ProProfs Chat is one of the top inbound lead generation tools that optimizes your sales funnel. It allows you to capture qualified leads and saves them to a CRM software of your choice. One unique feature is the “announcements” via which you can share the upcoming events, sales, updates, and new product launches with your website visitors.

It offers multi-faceted engagement tactics that your sales team can use to identify upsell opportunities.

You can use ProProfs Chat to create a highly reliable lead generation system that comes with important features such as a customized pre-chat form by which you can collect data and direct the incoming visitor queries to the right teams or departments.

Pricing:

There are three plans – FREE, ESSENTIALS ($12.75), and PREMIUM ($17). You can use any one of them for free for 15 days.

3. AeroLeads

best lead generation tools AeroLeads

AeroLeads is an internet-based lead generation tool that allows you to capture qualified leads in the form of company details and email addresses. It sits as a sleek Google Chrome plug-in and allows you to add the contact details to a lead management page.

You can search and add the contact details collected by the AeroLeads plug-in to see them on the lead management page finally. Next, you can edit, filter, and sort the collected leads easily. It can be easily integrated with other major platforms and software.

Pricing:

You can select from their four plans- TAKE OFF ($49 pm), CLIMB ($149 pm), CRUISE ($499 pm), ENTERPRISE (Price decided on a call with the team)

4. Mediatoolkit

best lead generation tools Mediatoolkit

Mediatoolkit is an online media monitoring and analysis tool that can help you learn about all your social media mentions 24X7 from any source in the world.

You can automate your social media and website monitoring and filter the results via powerful search filters, such as Tags, Boolean Search, Location filters, and Language filters, etc.

It has a unique data analysis dashboard that helps you do the sentiment analysis, influence scoring, and generate excel data sheets for reporting and assessment. You can create custom alerts and save your data in various forms such as PDF files or excel sheets etc.

Pricing:

There are four plans, Pro: 117$ pm, Medium Business: 444$ pm, Enterprise: 1100$ pm, Agency: Pricing on call.

5. ProProfs Survey Maker

top lead generation tools ProProfs Survey Maker

A cloud-based software, ProProfs Survey Maker, empowers you to gather qualified leads and capture their recurring troubles.

The software comes with an impeccable knowledge base and a huge library of questions that allow you to understand the purchase intent, exit intent, and overall experience of your customers and prospects.

It allows you to customize the customer interactions and comes with a fantastic survey distribution system that distributes surveys via email, website, social media, and embedded links.

So, the odds of you reaching the relevant prospects are higher and better.

Pricing:

There are three plans – FREE, ESSENTIALS ($50 pm), and PREMIUM ($100 pm). You can use any one of them for free for 15 days.

6. LeadQuizzes

best lead generation tools Leadquizzes

LeadQuizzes is another impressive online quiz maker that is one of the best lead generation software for SMEs and start-ups.

The marketers can create surveys, increase their leads, and learn about their customer behavior without needing a developer. The tool comes with powerful popup controls that allow you to capture more leads and data from your website.

Pricing:

There are three plans – Standard: $49, Pro: $99, Premium: $249.

7. Poptin

best lead generation software Poptin

Poptin lets you create engaging forms and popups for your websites within minutes and helps you make an offer that your customers cannot refuse.

It helps you reduce shopping cart abandonment by offering popups and boosts visitor engagement by conducting surveys and collecting feedback. You can make user-relevant offers for better-personalized experiences and make use of the autoresponder emails to send coupons or welcome emails to improve customer experience.

Poptin allows you to create Email forms, Advanced forms, and Contact forms, etc., for improved lead generation.

Pricing:

There are four plans to choose from – FREE Plan, Basic Plan ($19), Pro Plan ($49), Agency ($99)

8. RollWorks

best lead generation software Rollworks

RollWorks is an account-based platform that is perfect for B2B marketers and ABM solution seekers. This is powered by machine and data learning and is undoubtedly one of the top lead generation tools.

The tool comes with the ABM Readiness Assessment Guide that empowers the B2B marketers with the right insight into their ABM readiness. You can identify the ideal customer profile for your business and target accounts and key buyers to improve your ROI.

You can also engage the existing accounts and measure the impact of your lead generation activities.

Pricing:

There are four plans, out of which the Starter plan is available at $975 per month, and the others, namely – Standard, Professional, and Ultimate, require team contact for pricing.

9. Aimtell

online lead generation tools Aimtell

Aimtell offers better visitor engagement via web push notifications and helps you acquire, engage, and retain leads as well as customers after they leave your website.

You can send highly personalized push notifications to your visitors, customers, and prospects for better reach and better customer engagement. You can acquire subscribers and automate their user journeys effortlessly.

Pricing:

There are four plans to select from – Basic: $49, Plus: $99, Pro: $199, Enterprise: $299

10. VisitorQueue

VisitorQueue: online lead generation tools

VisitorQueue allows you to identify the name, user data, and contact details of the people and businesses that visit your website. You can share the collected data with your team and enjoy better conversions without much ado.

The tool allows you to access the key decision-makers’ contact details of other companies or businesses that visit your website. You can enjoy an unlimited number of users in every plan, and the tool comes with dedicated customer support.

You can enjoy seamless integration across all the major platforms and software.

Pricing:

Five plans are priced according to the number of unique companies per month – 100 companies: $31, 300 companies: $63, 500 companies: $79, 1000 companies: $135, 2000 companies: $199

11. LeadBoxer

Leadboxer: online lead generation tools

LeadBoxer is an automated lead generation tool that speeds up the lead qualification and helps you grow your revenue. You can capture new leads and also gain actionable insights into your website visitors.

The tool offers real-time information about online visitors and shows the users currently interacting with your website. You can optimize workflows to solve your customer intelligence issues by using this tool.

Pricing:

There are two plans – Basic: $231 pm, Premium: $586 pm.

12. Outgrow

best free lead generation tools Outgrow

Outgrow allows you to create engaging, interactive content such as assessments, quizzes, surveys, polls, and calculators. All of them are top lead generation content pieces and can be generated with ease without any coding experience.

You can share the content as a slide, pop-up, or embed it on a webpage or URL of your choice. Outgrow comes with many pre-built templates and impressive layouts optimized for engagement, conversion, and screen sizes.

This tool has a separate dashboard for better end-to-end analytics and can integrate with more than 500 3rd party sales and marketing tools. You can also add buttons like ‘Follow,’ ‘Like,’ and CTAs such as ‘share’ on the result page.

Pricing:

There are four plans – Freelancer (Quiz Only): $14 mo, Freelancer: $25 mo, Essentials: $95 mo. and Business: $600 mo.

13. Optinmonster

best free lead generation tools Optinmonster

Optinmonster is one of the best lead generation tools that help you grow your email list exponentially.

The easy drag-and-drop builder allows anyone to create stunning pop-ups and lead generation forms that can be optimized for higher conversion rates. With more than 50 in-built templates, you can create six types of lead generation content, of which some are highly impressive, such as full-screen welcome mat, floating bar, and lightbox pop-up.

The worth of Optinmonster lies in its powerful segmentation and targeting engine that allows you to offer highly personalized customer experiences. You can target the right people at the right time by showing a highly relevant offer.

Further, Optinmonster works on all types of websites and platforms seamlessly.

Pricing: There are four plans – Basic plan: $9, Plus Plan: $19, Pro Plan: $29, and Growth Plan: $49.

14. Leadfeeder

top lead generation tools Leadfeeder

Leadfeeder is one of the best lead data collection tools and enables you to identify details of your visitors, such as their Email addresses, and company names, etc.

What makes Leadfeeder an amazing tool is that it tells you what companies visited your website even when they don’t fill any contact form.

It also finds the contact information of the employees working at that company, so you have the leads that never inquired about your products and could turn out to be excellent potential leads for your sales pipeline. You can install the Leadfeeder Tracker for a trial.

Pricing: The LITE plan is available for free, and the PREMIUM Plan is priced at $55 monthly.

15. Prospect.io

Prospect.io: best online lead generation tools

Prospect.io is a type of prospecting and outreach tool that allows you to turn your contacts into sales and leads. It is an automated lead generation software that not only helps you find the email addresses of your prospects but also verifies them.

You can also track the data on every interaction by using Prospect.io. It is a modern sales automation platform that integrates effortlessly and sits quietly in your browser as an extension.

So, whenever you want, you can launch a cold Email campaign right from your browser and allows you to sell your products and services to decision-makers.

Pricing: There are two plans – Essential: $149 and Business: $299, both billed monthly.

16. Reply.io

Reply.io: best online lead generation tools

Reply.io is an Email look-up tool that automates your sales outreach list, such as follow-ups, personal details, tasks, social touchpoints, and calls.

It automates the manual tasks of a sales rep, such as sending a follow-up. The tool comes with several integrations and team management tools that allow for efficient and effortless working.

The tool extension allows you to add new contacts to your multi-channel sequences, make direct calls, and manage & access your tasks.

Pricing: There are three plans – Individual: $70, Business: $60, and Enterprise: $50, all billed monthly.

17. Leadformly

best lead generation software LeadFormly

Leadformly offers more than 50 templates that are customizable and relevant to different industries. It is a LeadForm builder where each form is built with more than 58 best practices in the UX domain.

The software increases the completion rates and usability of the LeadForms and helps you avoid the big lead leaks via forms. The forms can be embedded anywhere and come with lead scoring and notifications.

Easy customization, intelligent validation, conditional logic, and insightful analytics are the other perks offered by Leadformly.

Pricing: The software is available for $179 billed annually, and a free trial is also available.

18. Hellobar

best lead generation software Hellobar

Hellobar is another commendable lead generation tool that will not only increase your website visitor’s stay time but also pursues them to take the action that you want them to.

The software is easy to use and allows you to use it as a bribing tool (a free eBook or user guide etc.) for your visitors.

Hellobar also allows you to send traffic to a specific landing page, and it can help increase the social media following and likes.

Pricing: The price is based on the number of click-throughs per month. 100 click-throughs: $4.95, 500 click-throughs: $12.95, and 2500 click-throughs: $29.95.

19. Mailchimp

Mailchimp: best lead generation software

Mailchimp is one of the most famous lead generation software that also helps you build your brand. This is undoubtedly one of the easiest Email marketing platforms.

MailChimp is intuitive in nature and comes with a drag-and-drop Email builder that makes it easier to create stunning Emails.

It also comes with Email automation and can store 200 email contacts while sending 12000 Emails per month. The software comes with customizable sign-up forms and segment lists for lead nurturing.

Pricing: There are four plans – Free: $0, Essentials: $10.39, Standard: $15.52, and Premium: $310.49, billed monthly.

20. Marketo

Marketo: best lead generation software

Marketo is a lead management solution that offers many other features, such as Email marketing, lead scoring, analytics, lead management, etc.

As far as lead management is concerned, Marketo offers segmentation, lead nurturing, CRM lead generation, online behavior tracking, lead scoring, and grading and Automated alerts (tasks).

Marketo comes with basic reporting for analytics, program management, A/B Testing, and Automated Email Responses. It can easily manage Email deliverability and can also send outbound Emails.

Pricing: The pricing information can be availed via calls to sales reps.

Summarizing all Tools

Given below is a tabular summary of all the tools discussed above that offer you a quick review of all their features. Take a look and zero in on the tool that suits your business the best.

Top Lead Generation Tools at a Glance:

Tool Features Perfect For
Qualaroo Lead generation surveys, popup lead generation forms, and customer feedback Businesses of all scales and all types
ProProfs Chat Real-Time Assistance for Chat Leads, Chat Routing, Chat greetings, cross-platform support, Personalized Live Chat Support for increased lead generation. Businesses of all scales and all types
AeroLeads Lead Capture, Lead Database Integration, Prospecting Tools Businesses of all scales and all types
Mediatoolkit Sentiment Analysis, Influencer Tracking, Customer Engagement, Dashboard, Trend Tracking, and Social Media Monitoring SMEs and Enterprise setups
ProProfs Survey Maker Capture qualified leads, identification of their pain points, lead generating surveys, and customized customer journeys. Businesses of all scales and all types
LeadQuizzes Lead Capture, Lead Segmentation, Lead Validation, Lead DB Integration and Data Export/Import SMEs and Start-ups
Poptin Auto Update, Survey Builder, Real-Time Editing, Landing Pages/Web Forms, and Pre-built Templates Marketers, eCommerce websites, and digital agencies
RollWorks Lead segmentation, Workflow automation, Lead locator, Contact discovery, and Customer targeting. Businesses of all scales and all types
Aimtell Advanced Segmentation, Customized Notifications, Welcome Messages, Expiring Notifications, Scheduled Campaigns Businesses of all scales and all types
Visitor Queue Lead Conversion Tracking, Goal Tracking, Campaign Management, Lead Scoring, Pageview Tracking, and Referral Source Tracking SMEs and large business setups
LeadBoxer Lead Scoring, Lead Management & Routing, Company Identification, Smart Lists, Auto Form Tracking, Up-sell opportunities, Customer Experience SMEs and large enterprises
Outgrow Building and Personalizing Emails, Automated Email Responses, Landing Pages and Forms, Lead Scoring and Grading, Lead Nurturing, Automated Alerts and Tasks, and CRM Lead Integration, etc. SMEs and Large Enterprises
Leadfeeder Data availability, lead builder, search, reporting, Integration with CRM/marketing automation, data accuracy and dashboards, etc. SMEs and medium enterprises
Prospect.io Tools for data import and export, high-volume sending, email list management, automated email responses, surveys, multi-user account, personalizing and building emails, A/B Testing and basic reporting, etc. SMEs
Reply.io Analytics, Task Management, Email Automation and tracking, Email scheduling, notifications, workflow management, content management, and Email categorization, etc. SMEs
LeadFormly Drag & drop form builder, form analytics, multi-user management, GDPR compliant, advanced conditional logic, 15+ question types, and more than 1000+ integrations, etc. SMEs and Enterprises
Hellobar Pop-ups, hello bars, modals, sliders, A/B Testing, Targeting, Alert bells, page takeovers, etc. Businesses of all scales and all types
Mailchimp Data export and import tools, integration APIs, manage Email lists, basic reporting, automated Email responses, high-volume sending, sending outbound Emails, building and personalizing Emails, A/B Testing, etc. Businesses of all scales and all types
Marketo Lead nurturing, lead scoring, segmentation, automated alerts and tasks, landing pages, mobile-optimized forms, A/B Testing, CRM lead generation, automated Email responses, etc. Businesses of all scales and all types

Final Verdict

Lead generation tools help you to plan your business growth trajectory in a focused manner. From landing pages, surveys to advanced analytics, lead generation tools reveal your customer’s pulse and create quality business prospects.

You can choose from a plethora of lead generation tools after shortlisting your needs and requirements.

For example, if you need a cost-effective tool for creating an email sales campaign, MailChimp will be the best fit.

Further, for understanding the social media mention of your brands, you can opt for Mediatoolkit. Lastly, for creating employee engagement and NPS surveys, you could consider using ProProfs Survey Maker. You could also try out a combination of tools to meet your business needs.

Want to share your thoughts? Please feel free to drop your comments below.

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Categories
AI analyst analytics tools customer feedback data Marketing Tech

The Best Way to Make a Customer Feedback Program Work for Your Brand

customer feedback brand

How has your brand been handling your customer feedback program? Is it possible that you don’t have one in place? Today more than ever before, the customer is the king. Their powers to make or mar a business have increased tremendously. Here is the best way to make a customer feedback program for your brand.

Your customers have access to many social networks, and the competition has become more intense — now you are subjected to web-based ratings.

Due to the ease of accessing social media, a consumer can, with just ordinary clicks, post positive and negative feedback online, which can either make your brand soar or completely come crashing.

If you are unfortunate and don’t have an efficient customer feedback program that can be deployed to gather, analyze, and act upon the data, you are in the deep blue sea. On the other hand, if you have put in place a robust customer feedback program for your brand, you will avoid all manners of negative and detrimental reviews, with an assurance of a handsome return on investments (ROI).

Nemertes’ 2019-20 Intelligent Customer Engagement research study of 518 companies discovered that 66.7% of companies gather customer feedback. The feedback includes 43.6% use customer health scores to observe developments continuously.

The study also revealed that though about 50% make modifications frequently based on that feedback, 45.7% make adjustments periodically and believe they can do more than that.

The sad aspect of the discovery, however, is that 3.1% of those that gather customer feedback completely refuse to do anything with the information they have at their disposal.

After you have the gathered data — then what?

Once your data analyst has finished working on the gathered data using investments in survey and analytics tools, whatever changes that are recommended must be swiftly applied, which means that your brand’s C-suite must be aligned with the customer feedback program for prompt action.

Key players needed for the success of the program

Everybody who is part of the decision-making body in your organization must be involved in the program to guarantee expediency. However, there are some whose roles are very vital for successful customer feedback.

Some of these key players are as follows:

Chief customer officer (CUO)

In conjunction with the chief revenue officer, chief marketing officer, and maybe some others depending on the brand, should be solely responsible for the development of the business case. This should outrightly specify what relevant information they need from customers, how often this is needed, and which success metrics they will track.

The CUO is also responsible for analyzing the data, recommending change, and overseeing that customer service agents comply with new scripts or processes.

Chief information officer (CIO)

Your CIO should be responsible for selecting the tools you need for gathering and analyzing customer feedback. It’s also the CIO’s business to ensure that you have the best supporting network and server or cloud platforms.

The CIO must work with a team that oversees the training of AI data sets and data scientists, who develop the feedback programs and, in the end, give feedback to the CIO.

Chief marketing officer (CMO)

Your CMO is responsible for ensuring that you are getting positive ratings and curtailing negative feedback, using social media, guest posting, blog, and the web. Whenever you have any marketing program that is not aligned with your customer feedback, the marketing team ensures this is corrected.

Chief revenue officer

Your chief revenue officer oversees your sales strategy and SEO — and decides when to effect changes based on your customers’ feedback.

Mode of operation

For your customer feedback program to be effective, you need to follow the following steps:

  1. Collate your data

Your brand has its peculiarities; hence, your requirements must also be unique. It’s your business to determine the type of data you need and how to gather the data.

Metrics you can rely on to succeed in the collation include customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), transactional net promoter score (TNPS), customer effort score, post-call surveys, or custom surveys.

You may not have enough workforce to do the collation; you can easily outsource this service to a third party. The basic procedure is to send survey requests to customers to gather this information regularly.

It’s not just all about gathering data but ensuring that you get comments that are qualitative and useful at the end. You should be able to deduce from their comments the reasons for rating you either high or low.

  1. Analysis

After you have gathered the data, the next thing is to make sense out of it and this requires analysis. You determine the analytics tools that are relevant to your brand, it should not be an a-one-fixes all sort of affair.

According to Answerrocket, you can even deploy AI-enabled analytics tools to carry out the task where it is necessary. The essence is to determine when comments are negative, positive, and mixed.

  1. Recommendations

The data analysis tools you use should be able to make recommendations for a strategic but non-urgent change or raise an urgent red flag. The change could be due to complaints from a customer who has a point to iron out.

You can also implement changes based on recommendations from your data analysts, who have discovered some anomaly in the way things are handled based on the data. This anomaly could be from your marketing strategies, advertising campaigns, or branding.

Examples of recommendations you may come across include:

Act on the findings

It’s of utmost importance that you act on the data you’ve got and other recommendations. You can’t expect any meaningful impact from your analysis if this is not done.

It’s annoying to realize that some organizations will put in serious efforts to gather and analyze data to haphazardly implement the recommendations. In this era of AI and machine learning, you can deploy both humans and technology to act upon customer feedback.

The recommendations may be based on feedback from an individual, a group of customers with similar circumstances, or all your customers. The action you take will depend on the situation at hand and what the process dictates.

Degree of success

If you have been able to resolve the issues raised by your customers, you mustn’t stop there. There is the need to maintain a good CX, and that warrants that you keep on gathering more information from them regularly to ensure you are on the same page.

If the action you took worked perfectly, that might be a signal for you to embark on bigger projects since you are in the good books of your customers. If, on the other hand, your action did not have the desired impact, you need to innovate.

Whatever may be your outcome, don’t stop measuring success. And finally, revise.

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Categories
Digital Marketing Digital Marketing Strategies Marketing

Why Do Most Digital Marketing Strategies Fail?

Digital marketing strategies are arguably the best way to grow a business—especially a tech startup that’s looking to reach a wide audience and scale with online product and service offerings. But the sad truth is that employing a digital marketing strategy is no guarantee of success.

It’s hard to determine what percentage of digital marketing strategies succeed or fail, since the definition of “success� varies (as we’ll see). However, it’s reasonable to conclude that the majority of digital marketing strategies don’t achieve their full potential—and a disproportionate number of strategies end up losing money for their respective businesses.

So why is it that so many digital marketing strategies fail?

Defining Success

First, we need to define what “success� in digital marketing is—and incidentally, this is the first point of failure for startup entrepreneurs. Too many people go into marketing without a clear definition of success of their own to guide the strategy. If you don’t know what success looks like, how can you possibly achieve it?

There are a few different ways to define success in marketing, but the most common metric is your return on investment, or ROI. Your ROI is a measure of how much money a strategy brought your business, compared to how much you spent to achieve those results. A positive ROI means you made money, and the higher your ROI is, the better. A negative ROI is a clear indication that some element of your strategy isn’t working.

However, you may be more interested in achieving a specific level of success; for example, you may want your marketing strategy to bring in 100,000 new customers, regardless of how high or low the ROI is. What’s important is that you have some goal and some definition of success to drive you.

Lack of a Coherent Vision

Similarly, many digital marketing strategies fail because they lack a coherent, overarching vision. A marketing strategy is a set of ideas and directives designed to help you achieve a goal. Within that strategy are many tactics you’ll use, such as email marketing or search engine optimization (SEO).

Too often, marketers focus exclusively on tactics; they execute the ground-level work to bring new customers to the brand, but they don’t have a “big picture� vision to tie all those ground-level tactics together. Without a foundation to provide a map for all those individual tactics, those tactics will remain unguided, and may fail.

Inconsistent Branding

Your company’s brand is at the heart of all its marketing, advertising, and core messaging—or at least, it should be. Throughout all these materials, your brand should be front and center, and it should be presented consistently.

On a superficial level, you can think about your company’s name, identity as it relates to colors, logo, and other visual features. But on a deeper level, you should be thinking about your core values, your tone, your voice, and how your brand is different than your competitors. These features should shine through whatever other messages you want to present—and should be consistent across all mediums and channels.

Overly Independent Channels

Modern digital marketing includes attention to a multitude of different channels, including email, social media, search engine results pages (SERPs), and banners on various websites. There are dozens of ways to reach your customers, and the most effective marketers know that you’ll need some combination of these to see the best results.

However, there’s a difference between adopting a true “omnichannel� strategy and simply investing in many different channels simultaneously. Well-executed omnichannel marketing strategies attempt to unify these channels and give customers a cohesive overall experience. If each channel offers a different message and an experience so unique that it feels like a different brand, it’s not going to work in your favor.

Cheap and/or Spammy Tactics

In an effort to see fast results or spend as little as possible, some brands succumb to investing in spammy or cheap marketing tactics. For example, they may buy spammy backlinks in an effort to boost their domain authority or buy an email list to send marketing emails to as many people as possible—even if they never signed up to receive those emails.

In the short-term, some of these tactics can work. They provide decent on-paper results. But long-term, they almost never pan out. Eventually, your business could attract a penalty from Google or get blacklisted by email service providers. And even if you escape that fate, your reputation may take a massive hit.

Not Investing Enough

On a similar note, some digital marketing strategies fail because the business wasn’t willing to invest enough to make the strategy work. Sometimes, it takes more money to invest in quality work; a $10,000 designed website is probably going to look better and be more functional than a $100 one. Other times, investment is a form of trouncing the competition. For example, if all your competitors are paying $10,000 per month on marketing in a specific channel, and you’re only paying $1,000 per month, you’re not going to beat them. If you spend $15,000 per month, you’ll almost certainly rise to the top.

Additionally, many digital marketing strategies (like SEO and social media marketing) take time to develop. If you only invest money for a month, you’ll never get to see the true fruits of your labor.

Obviously, there’s such a thing as investing too much, but investing too little can also be a death sentence.

Taking Competition Head On

Your startup is going to have competition, whether it’s now or later. Competing effectively is all about finding a way to compete indirectly. If you try to compete directly, you’ll be butting heads against an entity that already has experience in this area, or that is willing to outspend you. Instead, try to compete in a way that renders their power useless.

For example, instead of competing to win the attention of a national audience, try to appeal to a local audience. You could also appeal to a different target demographic.

Investing Too Much Too Early

Digital marketing depends on an ongoing process of measurement, evaluation, and adaptation. The more time you spend marketing and advertising, the more you’ll learn about your audience, your competition, and even your brand itself. With this increased knowledge, you’ll be able to spend money more efficiently and market “better.�

This course requires your business to gradually increase its investment over time. If you invest too much, too quickly, you’ll be investing quite heavily into a strategy that has not yet proven itself, with minimal knowledge to work with.

Lack of Measurement

Marketing without measurement is like throwing darts blindfolded. You can’t see the target and you can’t see whether your shots are landing. Despite this, many startups are perfectly willing to treat their marketing strategies this way.

If you want to be effective, you need to be measuring everything and studying those metrics. How much are you spending? How many people are you reaching? If you change a variable in your messaging or distribution, how do your engagement metrics change?

Doing Everything Internally

It’s possible to market your business exclusively with an internal team—but it’s not always productive or efficient. Most of the time, it’s better to work with a dedicated professional outside your business, such as a marketing agency or a team of independent contractors. This way, your internal staff can stay focused on your core products and services, and you can get access to more dedicated specialists.

Refusing to Adapt

Marketing strategies must change if they’re going to become successful or remain successful. You need to learn from the past, study the changing competition, and consider adopting new technologies and new approaches. Otherwise, you’re going to fall behind. Some digital marketing strategies fail simply because their executors failed to keep up with the latest changes.

Digital marketing can be tricky to pull off effectively, but digital marketing success is well within reach for most startups. If you work hard to avoid these common pitfalls, you’ll have a much higher chance of getting the results you want.

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Categories
Colors that Attract Customers to Buy how to market a product effectively Marketing marketing tricks to sell products Small Business web design

Psychological Techniques Used in Selling Products

psychological tech in sales

Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. It is the study of both conscious and unconscious phenomena, which also includes our feelings and thoughts. It plays a major role in human society and is considered an important factor in understanding someone or anyone.

There are so many branches under applied psychology like clinical psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, legal psychology, neuropsychology, occupational health psychology, human factors, forensic psychology, engineering psychology, school psychology, sports psychology, traffic psychology, community psychology, medical psychology, and sales psychology.

Psychological techniques are used in product selling — but do you know how to use psychology in your sales?

The customers can be grouped based on their purchasing habits. A few customers buy new products based on their impulse. The impulse category of customers can be easily convinced into buying your products.

A few customers use logic over impulse while purchasing new products.

These customers cannot be easily convinced into buying new products. You need to properly understand their needs and project your products in such a way that the customer feels that your product is essential for them. You first need to build trust with this type of customer. When they feel that your products can be trusted, they will automatically want to use them.

SEO Consultants knows the market trends and can predict the people’s mind based on what keywords they search in their search engines. They can tap into a customer’s emotions and predict the best approach to close a sale. A common mistake in sales pitches is focusing on the cost of the products instead of focusing on the customer’s needs.

Let us look into some of the sales tricks and the sales psychology involved with the business of sales.

Color, color, what color do you choose?

We all know and agree that humans are visual creatures. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visual information is processed 60,000 times faster than any other type.

Colour has a significant impact on our behaviors, and this includes if we purchase a product. Let us see the impact of different colors on products and sales.

* Red

Red is so beautiful! It creates a sense of urgency, suitable for bulk sales that happen during peak sales seasons like annual clearance or black Friday sales. Red is associated with movement and impulse. It gets people to act and is important for crucial elements like your call-to-action button of a website.

* Green

All of the varied colors of green are associated with health, peace and nature. It is used in stores to relax customers and promote environmental awareness and products that support the environment’s growth and harmony. Green stimulates a sense of calmness in your brain and encourages decisiveness to buy a relevant product.

* Purple

Purple is commonly associated with royalty and respect. It stimulates problem-solving mechanisms as well as enhances creativity. Consequently, it is used frequently to promote beauty and anti-aging products.

* Blue

Blue brings in a sense of security and productivity. This color is one of the most favorite colors for men, usually like a royal blue color. Using this color helps create a feeling of trust. Hence, using it will help promote trust in your product.

* Yellow

It is cheerful and promotes positivity. The yellow appeals to a young target audience with ideas of happiness, excitement, and creativity and creates an urge for even window shoppers to buy the product.

* Black

It’s associated with authority, power, confidence, and strength. Black is a bit of a tricky color, but when used right, it can convey luxury, elegance, sophistication, timelessness, and maybe a hint of mystery.

* Gray

Gray symbolizes feelings of practicality and solidarity. It is clean in its approach and is used by the unparalleled leader in cutting-edge technologies.

* White

White is associated with cleanliness, purity, and safety. White is an unavoidable color. Anything that is white provides a sense of calmness. White also provides the scope for creativity.

Less is more when it comes to color.

Providing a customer with too many different options makes it harder for a customer to decide, leading to the possibility of them walking away without buying anything at all.

If your company has a variety of products, your customer might get decision-suffocation. Tweakyourbiz says that decision-suffocation can be avoided. For example, instead of promoting each and every product individually, categorize them into a common basket and promote them. Also, research your potential and be well prepared. Promote your products based on need.

Try to understand more about the prospects’ needs before dealing with them in person via call or mail. When getting a chance to talk to the customers, ensure to ask questions that will help you understand more about their requirements. This will help you understand your customer needs and strategize your product-market accordingly.

Make it hard for your customer to say no.

Even hesitant buyers won’t say no to a great opportunity. But you have to make sure to paint them a picture that they can see well enough to purchase what you are offering. You can tap into this potential by offering something they’ll miss out on if they don’t make a purchase — rather than just highlighting an added value.

A gift is all one wants

Everyone loves a gift. You can throw in some useful little gifts with your product or products to attract more buyers. When it comes to online marketing, content is an effective way for online retailers to provide value to potential customers.

Give us a story

All of us love a story and a story can easily draw attention when said in the right manner. Once we are drawn to a story, we start living it. Your marketing ideas can be spun like a story, placing the user in the center alongside the brand. The right story will help your customer to relate to the product more.

Certainly, social proof is also an important factor among your customer.

Every element of your product contributes to your brand identity. Your goal is to create a personality that your target customer will like. Sales psychology can act as a catalyst to reach your customer’s inner mind.

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