A Beginner’s Guide to B2B Social Selling

Social selling is a hot topic in the digital marketing world, but it’s one that many digital marketers are still unaware of.

What does B2B social selling look like? What are the benefits? And how can you get started?

The first step? Understanding what B2B social selling is.

What is B2B Social Selling?

B2B social selling is a term that is often used interchangeably with social media marketing. However, the two are very different in practice. Social media marketing focuses solely on building brand awareness and building relationships with your audience. B2B social selling focuses on generating leads and converting those leads into customers.

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B2B social selling is the use of social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, to connect with potential clients. It is a way for salespeople to build relationships with potential buyers and establish a dialogue with them. It is not a way to spam your audience with information about your product or service, but instead to provide value and engage in meaningful conversation.

The way in which consumers shop is changing. In fact, when it comes to the B2B buyer journey, 84% of C-level and VP-level buyers use social media in their decision-making processes.

Social selling helps to bridge the gap between the awareness and consideration stages of the buyer’s journey. The awareness stage is where your potential clients are just becoming aware of your brand and its products or services. The consideration stage is where your potential clients actively seek solutions to a problem and actively compare your brand against others.

How Can B2B Sales Benefit from Social Selling?

The potential for using social media to generate leads is high. And salespeople have the ability to engage with prospects in a way that was never possible before. Research shows that businesses that have partaken in social selling have reported:

  • An increase in the number of leads (39% of respondents)
  • A deeper relationship with their clients (31% of respondents)
  • Improved lead conversion rates (24% of respondents)

Studies even show that 89% of top-performing sales individuals believe that social networking platforms are essential parts of their sales strategy.

While those numbers are promising, some of the most beneficial aspects of B2B social selling include:

Puts You Where Your Audience is Most Active

Social media has become a go-to source for information and entertainment. That means that your audience is spending a great deal of time on social media, making social media platforms an excellent place to reach your audience.

Facebook boasts over 2.8 billion active users and is the second most popular website in the world. Twitter has over 300 million monthly active users, and LinkedIn has over 722 million registered users.

These platforms give you the ability to connect with your potential clients in a way that you could never have imagined before.

Allows You to Build Deeper Relationship with Your Audience

The core of B2B social selling is building a relationship with your customers. Social media allows you to build deeper relationships with your audience. It allows you to engage in meaningful conversations and build trust with your audience. It is a great way to get to know your potential clients and identify their pain points.

Generates Higher-Quality Leads

Typically, the sales process begins with a lead. The lead is someone who has shown an interest in your product or service but has not yet taken the next step in the sales process.

The best leads come from referrals. When your potential customers trust you and know that you’re a reliable source for information, they are more likely to refer you to their colleagues. Social media is the ideal place for referrals and reviews, which are vital because 45% of B2B buyers say they use these materials during their decision-making process.

Reduces Contact Time Between the Awareness and Purchase Stages

The gap between the awareness and consideration stages of the buyer’s journey is shrinking. This is due in part to the speed at which information travels and the ease with which people can compare products.

Social media has reduced the amount of time between the awareness and consideration stages. By the time B2B buyers have resorted to using social media as part of their research, they are already aware of your brand and what you have to offer.  

This means that they are much further along in the buying process than they would have been in previous years. At this point, they are looking for reviews or for someone to direct them in the next step of the sales process.

Which Social Media Platforms are Best for B2B Selling?

Each social media platform offers unique benefits when it comes to B2B social selling. It is vital that you choose the platform that best fits your business goals and your target audience.

For instance, studies have shown that in the U.S., approximately 18.3% of adults have used Facebook to make a purchase.

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eMarketer

However, when it comes to B2B buyers, you want to research carefully which platforms are best suited to your sales efforts. LinkedIn, for example, is an excellent option if you are trying to reach B2B buyers, with LinkedIn ad exposure increasing purchase intent by nearly 33%. However, Facebook and Instagram have also proven beneficial as well.

Before deciding which social media platform is best for your B2B social selling strategy, you need to understand who your audience is, where they’re finding you, and how they are currently interacting with your brand. Once you have those details, you can decide where best to start your B2B social selling.

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People turn to social media because it provides them with a more personalized experience. Why not bring personalization to all aspects of your marketing efforts?

Hushly’s Content Personalization Tools utilize artificial intelligence and several personalization models to allow you to provide the ultimate personalized experience to each of your visitors.

If you’re curious how these models can help you personalize your customer’s journey, request your custom experience today!

5 Types of Leads in Marketing (And How to Convert Them into Customers)

If you’re a marketer, you know that leads are one of your most important assets. Of course, each marketing team will have a different way of labeling the many types of leads in marketing. However, knowing some of the common types of leads can be good to start with.

What are the Different Types of Leads in Marketing?

Before you can start determining the best ways to help your leads convert, you need to understand the vast array of leads in marketing. Here are five common types of leads that you’ll find in your marketing efforts.

1. The Free Trial User

A free trial user has expressed interest in your product or service and would like to try it out before they make a purchase. This is an excellent opportunity for you to get that person to sign up for a free trial of your product or service. These limited opportunities help your lead to get a feel of what you can do for them. If they find that they enjoy the product/service, they are more likely to convert from lead to customer.

Converting a Free Trial User to a Paying Customer

There are a few different ways that you can convert a free trial user into a paying customer. One way is to offer them a special discount on their first purchase. This will help to motivate them to make that first purchase.

Another way to convert a free trial user is to offer them an added bonus. For example, if they purchase one of your products, you can offer them an additional product at a discount. This will help motivate them to make their purchase and maybe get them to make a second purchase in the future.

2. Information-Qualified Lead (IQL)

An information-qualified lead has filled out a form or signed up for a newsletter, but they are not necessarily interested in your product or service – at least not yet. Instead, they are interested in obtaining more information.

These are individuals searching for something. If they’ve decided that you could be of value to them, they’ll hand over their contact information to gain access to further information.

Converting an IQL into a Customer

This type of lead is the perfect candidate for an educational blog post or a whitepaper. By providing them with more information about your product or service, you can help to educate them and ultimately turn them into paying customers.

3. Sales-Ready Lead (SRL)

A sales-ready lead has already expressed interest in your product or service, and they are just waiting for the opportunity to purchase it. These leads are already aware of what you are offering, and they’re just looking for a way to purchase it.

Converting an SRL into a Customer

The best way to convert a sales-ready lead is to make the purchasing process as simple as possible. In addition, you want to create a seamless customer experience that caters to each person’s needs. This is crucial as personalization can increase marketing ROI by nearly 20% and has been proven to turn first-time buyers into repeat customers.

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Neil Patel

4. Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQL)

A marketing-qualified lead has shown interest in your product or service, and they have filled out a form to receive more information. They are ready to make a purchase, but they aren’t quite ready to make a purchase right now.

Converting an MQL into a Customer

The best way to convert an MQL into a customer is to nurture them. This will help to build a strong relationship while also helping them to make a purchase. Offer them a discount or free trial to help to encourage them to make a purchase.

5. Sales-Qualified Leads (SQL)

A sales-qualified lead has already expressed interest in your product or service, and they’re ready to make a purchase now. They just need a little bit of help to push them over the edge. These are the leads that you want to cultivate.

Converting an SQL into a Customer

The best way to convert an SQL into a customer is to provide them with the information they need to purchase. Provide them with a coupon or a discount to help to encourage them to make a purchase.

Bonus: Hot, Warm, Cold, and Dead Leads

While the five types of leads in marketing mentioned above are the more technical names you’re likely to come across, it’s more likely that you’ll come across the terms hot leads, warm lead, cold lead, and dead lead.

  • Hot Leads: These are leads that are ready to act now. They don’t need more information. They just need someone who can help them complete their purchase.
  • Warm Leads: These are leads that have reached out to you (through a form or email, for example) and expressed interest in your product or service.
  • Cold Leads: These are leads who have not shown any interest in your product or service, but you have reached out to them.
  • Dead Leads: These are leads who may have filled out a form or opted into your email. However, they have zero intention of ever purchasing your product or services.

Get the Right Leads with Hushly’s Lead Quality Assurance

In B2B marketing, a quality lead is ready to act now. They need what you have to offer and are ready to make that transition from lead to a customer with little nurturing needed.

Ensuring that you are focusing your attention on the right leads doesn’t have to be complicated. Instead, focus on only the most qualified leads, thanks to Hushly’s lead verification services.

Get started today!

5 Strategies to Help Boost Your eBook Marketing

When it comes to your B2B content marketing strategy, you need to include several different types of content into the mix. This helps you better reach your target audience and improve your overall SEO.

One important type of content worth considering is an eBook. Now, it’s not enough to simply publish a regular eBook. You need to make sure you are taking the time to consider your eBook marketing strategy as well.

An eBook can be a powerful lead magnet and an effective way to help improve your overall B2B content marketing strategy. However, if you are trying to determine whether or not an eBook is a good fit for your business, it is essential to first understand what an eBook actually is.

What is an eBook?

An eBook is essentially a digital version of a traditional, paper-based book. It can contain text, images, audio, and video, and is typically delivered via the internet. These electronic books are a great way for B2B brands to showcase their expertise and provide their target audience with a valuable resource.

The eBook market is growing rapidly. In 2020, approximately 191 million eBooks were sold in the United States alone. In fact, the eBook market has seen medium growth in the U.S., while Asia and Australia have seen a high market growth.

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But it’s not enough to simply publish an eBook then sit back and wait for your audience to come to you. That’s where eBook marketing comes into play.

What is eBook Marketing?

Ebook marketing is the process of promoting your eBook and helping to increase your visibility and sales. This is a complex and intricate process, and it requires you to consider a variety of factors, including:

  • What is the topic of your eBook?
  • How will you market your eBook?
  • How much will you charge for your eBook?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What type of content is included in your eBook?

When it comes to eBook marketing, you need to make sure you consider every aspect of the process. Otherwise, your eBook marketing campaign will fall short of its potential. You also need to factor in where your eBook marketing will fall amongst your larger content marketing strategy as well.

You don’t want to simply slap it into your editorial calendar as if it was just another lengthy blog post. Instead, content such as eBooks should become the cornerstone of a marketing campaign.

Let’s say your eBook is on the effectiveness of social media marketing and ways to build an effective social media strategy. Once you have your eBook written and ready to go, you can use the information you included in the eBook to help you draft shorter blogs on more specific topics and then conclude it with a call to action that directs the readers to your eBook.

5 Ways to Help Improve Your eBook Marketing Efforts

Did you know that when it comes to sharing information for content, 76% of B2B buyers are willing to do so in exchange for a whitepaper and 63% for an eBook? That’s because these forms of content are much more in-depth than your standard content shared on your blog and social media pages.

However, simply designing and publishing an eBook isn’t enough. You need to understand how to market it properly, too. Here are several different ways you can help improve your eBook marketing efforts.

1. Partner with an Influencer or Industry Expert

Influencer marketing is a tactic that has been around for some time, though it has been gaining in popularity recently. Studies show that nearly 68% of U.S. marketers from companies with 100+ employees are planning to use influencer marketing in 2021. Further research shows that nearly 90% of marketers believe influencer marketing to be effective.

Asking an influencer to share your content or products helps you reach a much broader audience. They can help you gain a strong following and get your eBook in front of the right audience. Influencers can also help you gain more credibility and let your audience know that you are a knowledgeable and trustworthy source of information.

2. Create a Landing Page for Your eBook

Another way to help improve your eBook marketing efforts is to create a landing page for your eBook. This landing page can be used to help promote your eBook and entice more people to download it (whether it be free in exchange for personal information or paid for).

If you are using a landing page, you need to make sure that it is highly optimized for search engines. This helps you improve your SEO and get your eBook in front of more people.

3. Use Social Media to Share Your eBook with Your Audience

Social media is one of the most effective ways to help improve your eBook marketing efforts. There are several different ways to use social media for marketing your eBook.

  • Share Your eBook Directly on Social Media – If you are using a landing page for your eBook, you can share it directly on your social media pages. This allows you to get your eBook in front of your audience immediately.
  • Create a Social Media Ad Campaign – If you don’t want to share the eBook directly, then you can create a social media ad campaign. This ad can be used to help promote your eBook and entice new visitors to learn more about it.

4. Post It on Your Blog

A great way to help improve your eBook marketing efforts is to post it on your blog. This allows you to include a longer description of your eBook and links to where people can download it. You can also include a call to action in this description, encouraging people to download your eBook.

5. Use an Email Campaign

If you want to help improve your eBook marketing efforts even more, then you should consider using an email campaign. You can do this by creating a series of emails that include links to your eBook. You can also include a call to action at the end of each email, encouraging people to download your eBook.

Consider an eBook for Your Next Lead Magnet

If you are looking to create a lead magnet for your business, you should consider creating an eBook. Not only are they more in-depth than a lot of your other lead magnets, but they can also help you improve your overall B2B content marketing strategy.

Need help getting started with your next lead magnet? Check out our guide on how to create lead magnets today!

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing: What’s the Difference?

In B2B marketing, lead generation is of top priority. However, statistics show that 61% of marketers say generating leads is one of their biggest challenges. This is why there is a lot of discussion about inbound vs. outbound marketing.

Yes, they are both essential in creating a successful B2B marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many marketing teams still don’t understand how truly unique each approach is.

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing: Here’s What You Need to Know

Whether you are starting your marketing strategy from scratch or you are in the process of revising your current strategy, it’s vital that you understand the difference between inbound and outbound marketing.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a way of reaching out to your prospects that is characterized by attracting, engaging, and educating them. This is done through various methods, including content marketing, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO).

This method is the primary marketing approach for nearly 74% of marketers worldwide, with that number increasing when you break down by location. For instance, 79% of marketing professionals say inbound marketing is their primary approach to marketing in the US.

Inbound marketing is a long-term approach that requires patience. It focuses on the needs of your prospects, so you can create content that is useful and valuable to them.

Inbound Marketing Examples in Action

Inbound marketing is the primary marketing strategy globally because there are dozens of ways to implement it into your strategy. Some of the best ways to use inbound marketing include:

  • Social Media – Social media is an excellent way to build relationships with your prospects. By creating and then sharing content that resonates with your target audience, you can gain their trust and interest. This will put your brand in front of them, which will increase the likelihood of them buying from you.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – SEO is one of the biggest components of inbound marketing. By optimizing your website, blog, and other online assets, you can improve the search engine rankings of your content. This will increase the amount of traffic you get to your website, which will help you reach new leads.
  • Blogging – This tactic is the cornerstone of inbound marketing because it’s all about creating valuable, informative content. By creating an easy-to-read blog that is relevant to your target audience, you can attract new leads and build your credibility.

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Outbound Marketing

While inbound marketing focuses on attracting and engaging your target audience, outbound marketing is a strategy used to reach out to your prospects.

With outbound marketing, you are actively trying to reach out to your prospects through various methods. This includes cold calling, email marketing, direct mail, and digital advertising.

Outbound marketing is a more aggressive approach to reaching out to your prospects. This method is used at the top of the marketing funnel because it focuses on generating awareness. It is used to generate interest in your product or service before you can even begin to educate your prospects.

Common Examples of Outbound Marketing

The best way to understand outbound marketing is to see it in action. There are a variety of ways to implement outbound marketing into your strategy. Some of the most popular methods include:

  • Cold Calling – This is one of the oldest and most traditional forms of outbound marketing. It involves calling a prospect, without any prior contact, in the hopes of getting them to agree to a meeting or phone call. While cold calling often gets a bad reputation, it’s more effective than you may think, with studies showing that 69% of buyers have accepted a call from a new salesperson within the past 12 months, and 77% of sellers saying that phone calls to a new contact are “extremely” effective.
  • Cold Email Messaging – This is a newer form of outbound marketing. While it’s similar to cold calling, it allows you to send an email to a prospect and then leave it up to them to decide whether or not they want to reply. This is an excellent approach to use when you don’t have much information on a prospect. Cold email marketing is often given a bad reputation, too. Although, some studies have shown that a properly personalized cold email can have an open rate of 47%, with an average reply rate of 9%.
  • Direct Mail – Direct mail is another commonly utilized outbound marketing method. It involves sending a piece of direct mail to your prospects, such as a postcard or letter. This is a great method to use when you have a physical address for your prospect. It’s also an excellent option for B2B marketing because it allows you to include a personalized message, along with a business card. While most marketers will tell you that direct mail is dead and tend to favor inbound methods, studies show that direct mail offers a 29% return on investment. It’s also a preferred method of contact amongst 73% of Americans who state that they enjoy reading the mail whenever they want.
  • Digital Advertising – Digital advertising is one of the most used forms of outbound marketing. This includes everything from social media ads, to retargeting ads. Digital advertising is a powerful tool that gives you the ability to target your prospects based on their specific needs.

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Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing: Benefits of Each

Now that you have a better understanding of inbound and outbound marketing, it’s time to look at the benefits of each.

Benefits of outbound marketing:

  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to implement
  • Quick to start generating results

Benefits of inbound marketing:

  • Easy to track leads
  • Creates a better, more seamless customer experience
  • Builds credibility

Optimize Your Lead Generation Forms with Hushly

With the right strategy, inbound and outbound marketing are equally effective. They both require a lot of hard work and dedication but can deliver tremendous results.

The most important thing to remember is that each form of marketing has its own benefits. It’s up to you to decide which approach will work best for your brand. Once you have decided on a direction, you can start implementing your strategy.

Once you have, you need to make sure you have a place to send your prospects so you can collect their information.  This is where a lead generation form builder can come in handy. Lead generation forms are used to collect information from your prospects, which can be vital for your B2B marketing strategy.

Here at Hushly, we have created a lead generation form builder that is easy to use and can be customized to fit your brand. This form builder is the perfect way to collect information from your prospects so that you can nurture them and convert them into leads.

Want to give it a try for yourself? Request your custom demo today!

5 Ways to Boost Your Alliance Marketing Plan

Alliance marketing provides a unique opportunity for B2B companies to connect with other businesses within the industry. It’s a quick, cost-effective way to build trust and grow your business. Alliance marketing, also known as strategic partnerships, is nothing new. However, it’s still a highly underutilized marketing method that can produce great results for your business. If you don’t have an alliance marketing plan in place or you need to revamp your current plan, then you’ll want to start with the basics.

What is Alliance Marketing?

Alliance marketing emphasizes collaboration between two or more companies that are not in direct competition for the same customers. Yes, they share the same audience, but only to a certain degree.

A great example of everyday alliance marketing is a car wash found at a local garage. While the garage services vehicles in one way, the car wash services the same audience in a different way. Together, they bring together a wider customer base since they serve the same people, but at different stages in their customer journey.

Alliance marketing can take many forms. It’s a broad category that encompasses any cross-industry collaboration between two or more companies. Examples can include:

  • Partnerships
  • Joint venture
  • Co-branded products and services
  • Partner-generated content

Why Having an Alliance Marketing Plan is Vital for Your B2B Business

With 57% of companies saying that they use partnerships to acquire new customers and another 44% saying they form alliances to gain insights into the market, companies must understand why having an alliance marketing plan in place is essential.

The benefits of having a well-planned alliance marketing plan in place for your B2B business are numerous, including:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Increased reach
  • New content ideas
  • Strategic positioning
  • Increased ROI 

Research shows that when it comes to alliance marketing or partnership programs, the top priority amongst 77% of businesses is revenue growth, followed by acquiring customers (74%), increased customer retention/loyalty (72%), and improved customer experience (72%).

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Impact/Forrester

Once a mature partner program has been in place, studies show that revenue growth can reach as high as 78%. However, even a low maturity plan can see a 27% in revenue growth.

Examples of Successful Alliance Marketing in Action

There are many examples of successful alliance marketing campaigns in action. A few include:

GE and The Economist

GE, the multinational conglomerate, partnered with The Economist to create a new marketing tool called “GE Lookahead.” The product was launched in 2013 and has since been considered one of the best examples of content marketing in action.

GE Lookahead was a global marketing tool that brings together an all-star lineup of experts from various industries to discuss and debate some of the most important topics of our time.

Uber and Spotify

In 2014, Uber and Spotify formed a partnership that allowed Uber drivers to include Spotify Premium as part of their driver package. In addition, the partnership meant that Uber customers could listen to Spotify as they ride, allowing Uber to create a customizable experience for their riders.

5 Ways to Enhance Your Alliance Marketing Plan

Since alliance marketing can be a highly effective way to generate leads and boost your brand awareness, it’s important to take the time to enhance your plan. You can do that by considering these five latest alliance marketing trends:

1. Automate Your Alliance Marketing Plan

Automating your plan can help you build a strong foundation for your partnership as well as keep track of everything that needs to happen. Automation can come in many forms, including:

  • Tools to help you manage your program
  • Apps to help you track your progress
  • Software that allows you to manage everything in one place

2. Implement Data Privacy Programs

Data privacy is a major concern, especially in light of recent privacy breaches. Because of this, it’s vital that you have a data privacy program in place to protect your employees and your customer’s information. It’s also important to make sure that you’re staying compliant with the latest privacy regulations.

3. Launch ABM Campaigns

ABM, or account-based marketing, is a strategy that focuses on targeting specific accounts and business decision-makers within those accounts. By focusing on a specific audience, you’re able to optimize your efforts and create a more targeted marketing plan.

The benefits of ABM campaigns include:

  • More focused marketing strategies
  • Increased ROI
  • Improved lead quality
  • Faster conversions
  • Increases close rates

By targeting those who are ready to take action, you are able to tailor your marketing plan to those who are most likely to convert. That means fewer resources are wasted on those who are still in the early stages of the buying journey.

4. Create a Mobile Experience

As mobile continues to dominate the business world, it’s essential that you create a mobile experience for your customers. Mobile is the most used device for accessing the internet, with approximately 54.8% of website traffic being mobile traffic. It’s also the preferred device for purchasing goods and services.

The more seamless the mobile experience is for your customers, the better. That means making sure that your website is mobile-friendly and ensuring that any mobile apps are easy to use and functional.

5. Consider Adding Influencer Marketing to the Mix

Influencer marketing is one of the latest trends gaining popularity in the business world. It’s a strategy that connects your brand with an influencer or thought leader in your industry. By connecting with influencers, you’re able to expand your reach and connect with a new audience that may not be familiar with your brand.

Dive into ABM Campaigns with Hushly

An alliance marketing plan is a highly effective marketing strategy that can help B2B businesses grow. It’s a great way to reach new audiences while also creating new opportunities for your brand.

Once you’ve broadened your audience, it’s time to start targeting those decision-makers, and thanks to account-based marketing, you can do just that!

To learn more about how account-based marketing can help your brand, check out our guide on ABM for beginners.

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5 Tips to Improve Your B2B Brand Messaging

The B2B industry is highly competitive. It’s not uncommon for businesses to have a hard time differentiating themselves from the crowd. To stand out, you need to craft a message that is both unique and appealing to your customers. A B2B brand message is more than a tagline. It’s a reflection of your brand. It needs to contain all the information your customers need to know about you, your products and services, and how you can help them.

What is B2B Brand Messaging?

B2B brand messaging is how you communicate your brand’s value proposition and personality to your audience. This is done both through verbal and nonverbal messaging and includes everything from design elements on your website, such as videos and your choice in imagery, to the way you speak to your customers on social media, through chats/voice, and via email messaging. B2B brand messaging is a key component of any successful B2B brand strategy.

Why Your B2B Brand Message is Important to Your B2B Brand Strategy

Developing a B2B brand message is an essential part of your B2B brand strategy. It’s what will inform every aspect of your brand strategy, from your brand’s personality to the way you interact with your customers.

If you don’t take the time to craft a unique B2B brand messaging, then you will not only blend in with the competition, but you risk coming off as inauthentic to your audience, which can and will turn them away.

A B2B brand message is also a way to communicate your brand’s personality. It’s what makes you unique within the industry. It’s what your customers will remember about you in years to come.

How you present yourself to your audience is critical. When it comes to your consumers, three essential brand attributes that they look for include trustworthiness (31%), creativity (29%), and authenticity (22%).

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Venngage

If you don’t take the time to craft a unique B2B brand messaging, then you will not only blend in with the competition, but you risk coming off as inauthentic to your audience, which can and will turn them away.

A B2B brand message is also a way to communicate your brand’s personality. It’s what makes you unique within your industry. It’s what your customers will remember about you in years to come.

Elements of a Strong B2B Brand Message

Several elements help make up a robust B2B brand message. They include:

  • Tagline – A tagline is a short, memorable phrase that communicates the purpose and benefit of your brand. It’s essentially a condensed version of your brand’s value proposition and is one of the first elements your customers will engage with, so it needs to be spot on.
  • Brand Promise – A brand promise is a statement that communicates the value that your brand will deliver to your customers. It’s what keeps your customers coming back for more.
  • Brand Personality – Your brand personality is made up of your brand’s attributes, which are the traits that you want to convey to your audience. It’s what makes your brand stand out from the crowd.
  • Brand Voice – Your brand voice is how you communicate your brand’s personality to your customers. It’s the tone and style of your brand.
  • Brand Look and Feel – Your brand look and feel are the design elements that help convey your brand’s personality. It includes your logo, color scheme, fonts, and imagery.
  • Brand Touchpoints – Your brand touchpoints are the places where your customers interact with your brand. They include your website, social media, packaging, and advertisements.

5 Tips to Create a Better B2B Brand Messaging

Research shows that being able to make competitive comparisons between yourself and your competitors makes you approximately 1.4 times more likely to exceed your business goals. Again, one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from your competition is through strong B2B brand messaging.

If you’re looking to create or revamp your brand messaging, then here are some tips to get you started:

1. Know Your Audience

Your B2B brand message should be designed to resonate with your target audience. If you’re going to stand out, you need to know whom you will be addressing, what their pain points are, and what solutions they are looking for.

Yes, you need to highlight your brand and how it stands out from the rest, but you need to do it in a way that resonates with your prospective leads.

2. Ensure Your Message is Customer-Centric

Once you know who you are targeting, it’s time to start speaking directly to them. Again, your brand message should be geared towards your customers, not your business.

Every element of your brand message should be designed to help your customers. Therefore, your brand message should answer the questions, “What’s in it for me?” and “Why should I care?”

3. Be Unique

Your brand message is your unique selling proposition. Therefore, it should communicate your value proposition and differentiation in a clear and memorable way.

When crafting your B2B brand message, avoid: 

  • Being generic. Don’t use words like “best,” “greatest,” or “leading” in your messaging.
  • Don’t make claims about yourself that can be easily proven false.
  • Don’t use vague and overused words that don’t really mean anything.

4. Be Honest

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when crafting your brand messaging is being dishonest and trying to be something you’re not. Your target audience can spot inauthenticity a mile away.

If you are not confident in your messaging, then your customers will see right through it.

5. Be Consistent

Your brand message should be consistent across all your touchpoints. It should be the same in your blog posts, social media posts, website, and wherever else you interact with your customers.

Get Personal with Hushly’s Content Personalization Tools

When crafting B2B brand messaging, it’s vital to remember that you want to make sure you are getting personal with your audience. Your brand messaging needs to resonate with your audience, and there is no better way to do that than by personalizing your content.

Hushly’s content personalization tools make it easy to keep your audience engaged while delivering the information they need.

Curious how our tools can help you? Let us show you how it’s done! Request your customized experience today!

What is B2B Growth Marketing? And How Can It Help You?

We all know that the world of digital marketing is shifting rapidly. As a B2B business, you need to be on top of the latest marketing efforts to keep up with the competition. If you’re not, you risk losing your customers to the competition. But marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. You need to tailor your strategy to your business and whom you’re trying to reach. B2B growth marketing is a new approach to marketing that is changing the way businesses are reaching their customers.

What is B2B Growth Marketing?

B2B growth marketing is a newer approach to marketing that focuses on generating leads from qualified prospects through content, email marketing, social media, and other online marketing tactics. It is great for businesses trying to increase leads, sales, and revenue in a short amount of time.

Another term that is often used to refer to B2B growth marketing is B2B growth hacking. Growth hacking is a marketing technique used to increase a business’s growth and sales using unconventional means. It is a great way to learn about your target audience, improve your sales and lead generation strategies, and provide you with a way to improve your business continuously. However, it should be considered a short-term strategy to help you get off the ground.

Once you’ve started seeing your initial results, you want to transition from these short-term, unconventional efforts to a more strategic, long-term strategy that utilizes more conventional marketing tactics, such as email, social media, etc.

Benefits of B2B Growth Marketing

Approximately 61% of marketing teams say that generating traffic to their site and generating qualified leads is among their top challenges. With B2B brands looking to increase their lead generation in any way they can, it’s no surprise that B2B growth marketing is becoming popular.

Generating leads and increasing sales is the main benefit of using B2B growth marketing. However, there are a few other noteworthy benefits of using this marketing strategy.

Improved SEO Rank

If you’re using content marketing to generate leads and improve sales, your business can end up ranking higher in search results. This is through creating and sharing content that utilizes search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to ensure that your piece is adequately optimized. This will ensure that your content is ranked by search engines and put in front of your target market. 

Increased Brand Awareness

B2B growth marketing can help your business build its brand and reputation. Creating high-quality content and advertising your business in the right places will help your business become a recognizable brand, which will help you build trust and credibility with your target audience.

Improved Customer Experience

B2B growth marketing will help your business improve its customer experience. By utilizing more marketing tactics, such as email marketing, your business can communicate with leads and customers in a more personalized way. This will help lead to better customer retention rates, higher conversion rates, and more satisfied customers.

5 B2B Growth Marketing Tactics Worth Exploring

When you first get started with B2B growth marketing, it can be difficult to know where to begin. You can use many different tactics to help you improve your lead generation, sales, and revenue. Here are a few of the best tactics that you should consider using:

1. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a great way to engage with your target audience and build a relationship with them. It’s also a great way to share your content with your target audience and drive traffic to your website. However, when you use social media marketing, you need to be smart about how you approach it. You don’t want to bombard your audience with sales messages. Instead, you want to use social media to engage with your current and potential customers and build a relationship with them.

2. Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads and improve sales. It’s important that you create high-quality content that is engaging, informative, and generates a response from your audience. When you’re crafting your content, it’s essential to keep your audience in mind.

  • What do they need to know?
  • What do they want to learn?
  • What do they care about?

Your content will be much more effective if you can answer these questions.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the ways to reach your target audience. It allows you to communicate with your customers in a personal way while providing them with the information they want. Email marketing can be effective when used to provide your customers with helpful content. It can provide customers with useful information, such as tips and guides or promotional offers.

4. Account-Based Marketing Campaigns

An account-based campaign is a B2B growth marketing tactic focused on providing value to your target audience by speaking directly to them. It helps you create a personal relationship with your target audience and tell them more about your business. The goal is to build a relationship by giving your target audience information that is valuable to them.

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G2

5. Lead Verification

The ultimate goal of B2B marketing is to generate leads that are actually interested in your product and will eventually become customers. However, leads can be expensive and difficult to obtain, which means that you want to ensure that you’re generating quality leads that are interested in your product. There are several tactics you can use to help you improve your lead quality.

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your leads are quality leads is by verifying them. Verification helps you separate the interested leads from the ones that aren’t.

Quality B2B Growth with Hushly

When it comes to B2B growth marketing, you can use countless tactics and strategies to help your business grow. However, it’s crucial that you use tactics that are relevant to your target audience.

Hushly has several tools available to help you with your B2B growth marketing, including ABM campaigns and lead quality assurance. After all, finding the right leads who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer makes all the difference when it comes to your business’s goals.

Don’t waste your time with unqualified leads. Hushly’s Lead Assurance Services will help you address those ready to act now.

Get started today!

How Can Experience-Based Marketing Drive Brand Growth?

There is a huge difference between marketing to customers and marketing to prospects. Experience-based marketing gives a company a way to target its prospects by connecting them to relevant content. It allows companies to reach their target audience, and if used correctly, it can help a company grow its brand.

What is Experienced-Based Marketing?

Experienced-based marketing goes by several different names, including engagement marketing and experiential marketing. What sets this type of marketing apart from more traditional marketing is that it focuses on creating the best experience for your prospects. Experienced-based marketing relies heavily on engaging your audience and providing them with a personalized experience.

It uses content to connect with your customers and prospects, and it also uses various tools to gather information from them. With the right information on your audience, the better experience you can provide them.

What Classifies as an Experiential Marketing Experience?

There are a few key components to an experience-based marketing campaign. Whether you’re trying to create a memorable experience via a live event or you’re trying to do so via your content creation and various digital marketing strategies, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind to ensure you are creating a truly experiential marketing experience:

You Have Active Participation/Engagement from Your Audience

Your audience is the driving force behind experiential marketing. To create a compelling experience, you’ll need to get your audience involved. Whether you’re going for a live event or you’re going for a content-based strategy, your audience will need to be actively participating in the experience. You can’t force your audience to participate, but you can entice them to.  The more you engage with your audience, the more likely they are to engage with you.

You Are Providing Your Audience with Long-Lasting Value

Experienced-based marketing is not about getting your audience to simply take advantage of a special offer or a promotion. It’s about providing them with value that will last long after your event is over or your content has been consumed.

This means you need to be addressing your audience’s needs in the here and now, as well as promising them content or services that will address their needs in the future as well. Remember, you can’t just focus on immediate sales. You need to focus on the long-term relationship you’re building with your audience.

You Are Actively Promoting Your Brand’s Values – Not Just Your Products/Services

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you’re creating an experience-based marketing campaign is to focus on your products/services and not your brand’s values.

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “People don’t buy from companies. They buy from people.” This is true in the case of experience-based marketing, too.

People want to buy from brands they can trust and share the same values as they do. They want to buy from brands with a story to tell and are willing to share that story with their audience.

When you’re creating your experience-based marketing campaigns, you need to focus on the values behind your brand. You need to focus on the story your brand has to tell and why you do what you do.  Your audience wants to know that you are more than just a company – you’re a person or a group of people who are genuinely invested in their well-being.

What is an Example of Experience Marketing?

Experience marketing is about providing your targeted audience with a personalized experience that will engage them and make them want to learn more about your products or services. One way to do this is with an adaptive content hub

An adaptive content hub is a website that provides your prospects with the most relevant content based on their preferences and interests. This way, your prospects are more likely to find interesting content, and they are more likely to engage with your content.

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Hushly

The brand MindTickle has an excellent example of a fully functional adaptive content hub that serves up content based on various factors, including keywords the searcher is using and the prospect’s stage in the sales cycle.

By focusing on experience-based marketing, the brand fueled a 93% growth!

The Key to Successful Experience Marketing

The key to successful experience-based marketing is creating a memorable experience for your prospects. It’s about getting them involved in your campaign and giving them a way to interact with your brand.

It’s about providing them with the information they need when they need it most.

Experience marketing is all about personalized experiences, and it’s about providing your audience with a memorable experience. When you do this, you are more likely to build customer loyalty and forge lasting relationships with your audience.

Providing content or hyping up your next event isn’t enough. You need to make sure you are setting specific goals and defining success based on interactive KPIs, such as:

  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Likes
  • Pins
  • Clicks

By defining success and monitoring these KPIs, you’ll be better able to see what is working and what isn’t when it comes to getting your audience excited about what you have to offer. You’ll also be able to gather critical information about your audience that will help you design more personalized experiences moving forward.

Experience-based marketing is a great way to grow your brand and build customer loyalty. When you combine experiential marketing with content marketing, you have a powerful combination that can help you meet your sales goals and drive brand growth.

Experience-Based Marketing with Hushly

When it comes to creating a strong experienced-based marketing strategy, Hushly has several options that can help your B2B brand create the most memorable experience possible for your audience.

We have various solutions that can help your company grow its brand and reach its sales goals. From customizable, adaptable content hubs to account-based marketing solutions that help you connect with your audience in a meaningful way, Hushly has everything you need to help you engage with your audience.

Get started by requesting your demo today!

5 Elements of the B2B Sales Process You Should Never Automate

A vast majority of B2B marketing teams have started to automate many (if not most) of their workflows because it’s a proven way to increase efficiencies without sacrificing effectiveness. B2B sales teams, on the other hand, have been slower to adopt automation. That’s because the B2B sales process still requires a bit of a human element to make it work effectively.

Why You Need to Humanize Your B2B Sales Process

B2B sales teams have been slow to adopt automation because they understand that people are still crucial in the sales process. If you ignore this fact, then your sales team will fail. Here are the reasons why:

You Can’t Automate a Genuine Relationship

An essential element of the B2B sales process is building relationships with potential customers. Your consumers want to know that you understand their needs and can level with them personally. 84% of B2B buyers are more likely to buy from sales reps who understand their needs/goals. Artificial intelligence may be able to learn and make educated suggestions, but a computer will never be able to understand or empathize with your consumers the same way you can.

You Can’t Automate Trust

When you’re trying to build trust with your potential customers, you need to show that you understand their needs. You can’t do that with a computer. Potential customers want to know that you have their best interests in mind. They don’t want to feel like you’re just trying to push a product on them or take advantage of them.

Studies show that only 3% of B2B buyers trust sales reps. However, these individuals still seek out interactions with a sales rep during three vital stages of the buying journey:

  • 19% during the awareness stage
  • 60% during the consideration stage
  • 20% during the decision-making stage

5 Elements of the B2B Sales Process That Need a Human Touch

While there is a time and place for automation in the B2B sales process, a few elements still require that human touch. Here are the five elements of the B2B sales process that you should never fully automate:

1. Prospecting

Prospecting for new leads is a vital part of the sales process because it helps you build your pipeline and stay top-of-mind with your potential customers. Sure, some prospecting tasks can be automated, such as lead verification. However, if you automate the entire prospecting process, you run the risk of sending out irrelevant messages or being perceived as spam.

For example, you can’t fully automate the processes of building consumer profiles. While this process can be partially automated, it relies heavily on data collected from your interactions with your potential customers. These interactions include phone conversations, meetings, and social media interactions – all of which require human interaction.

2. Initiating Connections

Connecting with potential customers through automated messages may seem like the most efficient and effective way to build your list of leads. However, these messages can sometimes come off as spammy or impersonal. Subsequently, they can damage your brand’s credibility and cause your leads to disengage with your messages.

A great example of when you shouldn’t send an automated message is conducting cold email marketing as part of your prospecting activities. Many B2B sales teams reach out to potential leads to initiate a business relationship. If you’re sending out an automated email, it’s easy to tell. This message often lacks personalization, which is a big turn-off to consumers and can come off rather robotic in nature. You want to always make sure you are taking the time to personalize your messages to stand out to the specific individuals you are speaking to.

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Yesware

3. Demonstrating Value

When you’re trying to demonstrate value to your potential customers, they want to hear it from a person and not a computer. If you try to automate this process, your potential customers will feel as though they’re just another number on a list. This can have a negative impact on your brand’s credibility and cause your leads to disengage with your messages.

4. Negotiating Terms

Negotiating terms is a crucial part of the sales process because it helps you finalize your business relationship’s details. If you try to automate this process, you risk missing an important detail or misinterpreting the information you’re receiving. This can lead to a breakdown in communication, which will ultimately lead to a failed business relationship.

5. Closing the Deal

Closing the deal is the final step in the B2B sales process. However, it’s not something that you can automate. Closing the deal requires a human element because it involves a personal conversation between you and your potential customer. This conversation helps you finalize the details of your business relationship and gives you the opportunity to ensure that you’re providing a truly valuable solution to your potential customers.

Aspects of Your B2B Sales Process You Should Automate

While the entire B2B sales process shouldn’t be automated, many areas can and do benefit from automation, including:

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring helps sales reps to prioritize their time and resources by focusing on the leads that are the most likely to convert. This process can be automated by using a software solution that collects data from your interactions with your potential customers. The software then analyzes this data to determine the likelihood of a prospect converting into a customer.

Follow-up Messages

One of the most common ways to automate the B2B sales process is using follow-up messages. These messages are sent to your leads after they engage with your company (e.g., they visit your website, download your content, etc.). These messages are designed to help you nurture your relationship with that prospect and increase the likelihood of a conversion.

Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

Chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming increasingly popular because they make it easier for your prospects to interact with your company. These tools are an excellent resource for providing your B2B consumers with quick responses to frequently asked questions. If the bot can’t answer their questions, the individual can be forwarded directly to a sales agent to ensure they get the answers they need.

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Salesforce

Lead Quality Assurance with Hushly

Are you looking for a superior lead quality assurance solution that can help you increase the number of sales-ready leads in your pipeline? If so, check out the Hushly Lead Quality Assurance solution.

Hushly’s Lead Quality Assurance solution collects the information your lead enters into your forms and checks it against the individual’s LinkedIn profile to validate it before sending it to your automated marketing platform – helping you deliver high-quality leads to your sales team.

Ready to see what Hushly can do for you? Request your custom experience today!

What Most B2Bs Get Wrong About Buyer Journey Mapping

Buyer journey mapping can be an excellent B2B marketing technique for helping your company understand how your potential customers reach their decision to do business with you. But buyer journey mapping can be a tricky thing to get right.

While studies show that effective buyer journey mapping can increase cross-sell and upsell revenue by an average of 79%, if you’re not approaching the mapping journey the right way, you could be missing out on significant potential.

Are you using the concept of buyer journey mapping to your benefit? Or are you one of the many B2B brands that are missing a massive piece of the puzzle?

Buyer Journey Mapping: What is It?

Buyer journey mapping is the process of defining your ideal customer and where they’re at in the buying process. It is a visual representation of how your prospect interacts with your business, from the moment they become aware of who you are and what you do to the point when they make a purchase.

The goal of buyer journey mapping is to help you understand how your customer makes their purchasing decisions, which will help you create the best possible customer experience.

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Upland Software

When you map the buyer journey, you can gain insights into how your potential customers interact with your brand.

Why Traditional Buyer Journey Mapping Doesn’t Work

Unfortunately, many B2B companies try to use this information to control their customer’s behaviors, which simply isn’t feasible. You can’t control how your potential customers behave, but you can control how you interact with them.

The problem with traditional buyer journey mapping is that it focuses on what your customer should do rather than what they actually do. As a result, you end up with a difficult-to-follow map that doesn’t accurately reflect the buying process.

How to Do Buyer Journey Mapping Right: Focus on What You Can Control

So how can you make buyer journey mapping work for your B2B business? It all comes down to knowing what you can and can’t control. While a traditional buyer journey map can help you understand what your customers want of you at specific buyer journey stages, you need to realize that your job now is to supply them with the information they need to make a confident buying decision.

Most importantly, that means supplying them with various pieces of content and plenty of non-promotional interactions that make them believe that their decision to make a purchase was 100% their own.

So, instead of focusing your attention on trying to control the buyer’s behavior, focus on what you can control, including:

Creating Premium Website Content

Your buyers will come to your website looking for answers to their questions. Make sure that you have quality, easy-to-find content that will answer those questions. Your website is your B2B marketing hub, so make sure it’s a place where prospects will want to come again and again.

Premium website content goes well beyond your standard blogging calendar. Instead, you want to make sure you are providing your audience with a vast array of content options, including:

  • Infographics
  • Slideshows
  • Video content
  • eBooks
  • Case Studies
  • Whitepapers

Ensure that you are providing your audience with a steady stream of quality, value-adding content that will help them make a confident, well-informed decision.

Creating Valuable Social Media Posts

Social media is a powerful way to make connections with your prospects. Make sure that you’re using your social media platforms to engage with them, not just to push your content and products.

A great way to use your social media platforms is by sharing thought-provoking posts, highlighting consumer comments/reviews, and even sharing third-party posts for your audience to check out. Content curation is a great way to show your leads that you’re a trusted resource for them when it comes to making a purchasing decision.

Writing Informative Blog Posts

One of the best ways to engage your prospects is by providing them with educational content that helps them with their buying decisions. By providing your audience with the information they need, you’re building a relationship based on trust and valuable information, rather than one based on you trying to control their behaviors.

The key here is to make sure your publishing relevant content consistently, as 47% of B2B buyers say they will read at minimum three to five pieces of content from a brand before they make the decision to even speak with a salesperson.

Personalizing Content for Your Audience

Personalized content is more effective than mass-produced content. Studies show that B2B consumers have extremely high expectations when it comes to personalization. 84% of business buyers state they are more likely to buy from sales reps that understand their needs/goal.

Again, you can’t control what your leads do. However, you can demonstrate that you understand their goals by providing them with personalized content to answer their questions or directly address their concerns.

Depending on how your audience is receiving their information (your website, from signing up for your email newsletter, etc.), you can personalize your content delivery in several ways. For instance, if an individual is receiving information via email, you can direct them to an email preference center so that they can tell you exactly what kind of information they want to receive.

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Really Good Emails

However, if you’re looking to give your audience a personalized experience while viewing your content, you can implement an adaptive content hub that utilizes AI to present only the most relevant content to each of your audience members.

Hushly

Give Your Users What They’re Looking for with Hushly

Are you ready to give your B2B audience the most immersive, personalized experience yet? Then you’ll want to check out Hushly’s adaptive content hub.

With today’s B2B buyers being flooded with information from all angles, it can be challenging to sift through it all. Instead of bombarding them with a site full of possibly irrelevant content, why not give them the right information right off the bat? By implementing AI technology, our content hub does just that.

Ready to provide your audience with a personalized content experience? Request your custom content experience today!