8-Item Checklist for On-Point MarTech Stack Optimization

When it comes to marketing technology (martech), your martech stack is one of the most important things you need to take care of. When you have a stack of technology that is tailored to your business’s needs, it will work for you. However, many brands get wrapped up in all the new technology released. So much so that their stack often becomes bloated and inefficient, which is why martech stack optimization is so crucial.

What is MarTech Stack Optimization?

A brand’s marketing tech stack is a combination of software that you use to help you market your business. It can include software for advertising, social media, analytics, email, customer service, and CRM.

Today, there are thousands of available tools for marketing teams to use, and as new tools continue to be updated and released, it can be hard to stay in your lane.

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Chief Marketing Technologist

The urge to try new tech tools often leads to a bloated stack. That’s why martech stack optimization is so important.

Martech stack optimization is the process of building your marketing technology stack to optimize all of your marketing efforts.

Unfortunately, when you have a bloated stack, it becomes inefficient and can hurt your business. If you don’t have the right tools in place, you won’t be able to reach your goals.

That’s why it’s so important to have a stack that is tailored to your business. Instead of wasting time and money investing in dozens of different tools, you want to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What are your marketing goals?
  • Which technology/tools will help you reach those goals?
  • Do they need to work together? Or can they be used independently from one another?
  • What is your budget?

Answering these questions are the first steps in your martech stack optimization. From there, you’ll want to move on to this handy checklist.

MarTech Stack Optimization: Your 8-Item Checklist

There’s no denying that optimizing your marketing technology stack is crucial for your digital marketing success. Approximately 86% of marketers say they invest in martech stack optimization.

What’s important to remember is that it’s not enough to have the right technology; it has to be optimized for your goals. And while this checklist is by no means exhaustive, it should be a good starting point to ensure you’re getting the most out of your marketing technology.

1. A Content Management System

A content management system is a tool that allows you to create, edit, and manage content online. This is one of the most critical components of your martech stack because it enables you to create content that can be published on your site, social media, and email campaigns.

A content management system will allow you to create content for all of your digital campaigns. It will also make it easier to update your content and manage your content in one place.

2. An Email Marketing Platform

The next piece of your martech stack is your email marketing platform.

An email marketing platform is a tool that allows you to create, edit, and manage your email campaigns. It will give you the ability to create templates, send emails, and track your performance.

Most email platforms will also allow you to connect your data with your other marketing tools, allowing you to market to your audience based on their behavior.

3. An SEO Tool

SEO tools are essential for boosting your search rankings. They will allow you to track your keywords and monitor your search traffic.

Search engines like Google and Bing use SEO to rank websites. They look at a variety of factors, including how relevant a website is to a keyword, how well it is optimized, and how often people are searching for that keyword.

This is why SEO tools are so important. They will help you see where your site is ranking for keywords and where you can improve.

4. An Analytics Tool

Analytics tools help you understand what your audience is doing on your site and how they are engaging with your content. They allow you to see how often your audience is visiting your site, how many visitors you have, and where they are coming from.

Analytics tools will help you understand what is working and what isn’t to make changes that will improve your engagement.

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Yoast

5. A Mobile Marketing Tool

Mobile marketing tools are a must-have for any business. They allow you to reach your audience on their phones, so they can engage with you wherever they are. With mobile internet traffic making up 54.8% of all traffic, having a mobile marketing tool in place is crucial.

Mobile marketing tools include things like push notifications, mobile websites, mobile apps, and more.

6. CRM Software

A CRM system is a tool that allows you to store and manage your customer data. It will help you manage your customer relationships to stay in touch with them throughout the entire customer journey.

You can use CRM software to store customer demographic data, contact information, sales forecasts, and more. It will make it easier to track your customer interactions and see how you can improve your customer experience.

7. An Advertising Tool

An advertising tool is a tool that allows you to create, edit, and manage your advertising campaigns. It helps you track your performance and plan your advertising spend.

8. Automation Software

Finally, if you’re a growing brand, you will want to make sure your martech stack includes automation software that works with your most important tools. Automation software will allow you to automate your marketing tasks, so you can spend less time managing your marketing and more time doing what you do best: growing your business.

Make the Most of Your MarTech Stack

When it comes to marketing technology (martech), what you have in your stack can make or break your business activities. The right technology in place will help you reach your goals and make it easier for you to do your job.

But if you have a bloated stack, it can be hard to get things done. That’s why it’s crucial to optimize your stack.  

Do you have a bloated MarTech stack that needs trimming? Then download our guide on how to make strategic cuts!

5 Ways to Effectively Track MQLs

Leads are the lifeblood of any business. The best way to turn them into customers is through marketing. However, it can be challenging to determine which leads are qualified and which ones aren’t. Identifying and targeting marketing qualified leads (MQLs) is an essential part of a successful marketing strategy.

However, before diving into tips for tracking your MQLs, it’s crucial that you take a moment to understand what they are and why they matter so much.

What are MQLs?

Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are leads that have demonstrated interest in your business but haven’t yet purchased from you. They are leads that have expressed some level of interest in your product or service – from a simple inquiry to a sign-up for your newsletter.

Why are MQLs Relevant?

MQLs are critical to a successful marketing strategy because they provide a source of customers that are already interested in your business. These are individuals who have:

  • Added items to the shopping cart (then likely abandoned it for one reason or another)
  • Downloaded a free eBook
  • Filled out one of your online forms
  • Have clicked on an ad to find your website
  • Have contacted you to request more information
  • Have repeatedly visited your website
  • Provided you with an email address for a newsletter/mailing list
  • Used your software demo

They’re an excellent start for building your customer base, and they also help you understand your audience.

With the right nurturing, MQLs are a golden opportunity to convert leads into qualified sales leads and eventually customers.

5 Steps to Effectively Track MQLs

Tracking MQLs stands out as one of the most critical tasks in online marketing. If you’re not doing it right, it could be costing you quality leads and money. Fortunately, there are several ways you can start tracking MQLs.

1. Define Your MQLs

The first step in tracking MQLs is to define them. At this point, you’re not looking for leads that are actively searching for your product or service. Instead, you’re looking for leads that have expressed interest in your business and need more information.

You need to take the time to sit down and outline what an MQL looks like for your brand. One of the easiest ways to do this is to create user personas. User personas are fictitious representations of the people who will use your product or service. These can be used to understand your audience’s needs and help define the behaviors your leads will engage in once they’ve expressed interest.

2. Track Demographic Data

Once you’ve defined your MQLs, the next step is to gather demographic data. This is an essential part of the process because it helps you understand the types of people who are interested in your products or services.

Demographic data typically includes:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Income

To gather this data, you can use a variety of sources such as Google Analytics or Facebook Audience Insights.

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Google

This information can then be used to further define your MQL and help you plan and create your ideal customer experience.

3. Track Behavioral Patterns

While demographic data is important to track, it’s only part of the picture. The other part is behavioral data. Behavioral data is defined as the actions your leads engage in that help you understand how they interact with your brand.

You can measure and track a variety of behavioral patterns, including:

  • Website visits
  • Time spent on your website
  • Pageviews
  • Lead forms filled out
  • Leads that are added to your email list

Again, this data is important because it helps you understand your audience and their needs. It can also help you create more targeted content and lead nurturing campaigns.

4. Analyze Engagement

Engagement is the key to successful marketing. The more engaged your leads are, the more likely they are to take action, such as buying from you or signing up for your newsletter.

To better understand how engaged your leads are, you can use a variety of tools to track their activity.

Analytics tools are a great way to get an overall look at how your leads are engaging with your brand. For example, you can use Google Analytics to see how many visitors you have, which pages they’ve viewed, and which links they’ve clicked on.

You can also use tools like Google Search Console to see how many people are searching for your brand.

You can also use social media to measure engagement. For example, you can use Twitter and Facebook to see how many people follow you, like your posts, or comment on your posts.

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Yoast

5. Develop a Lead Scoring System

Lead scoring is a great way to track and analyze your leads. A lead scoring system is a scoring model that assigns a numerical value to a lead based on specific criteria.

This could mean assigning a value based on their behavior or based on specific demographics – or even a combination of each of the above.

Your lead scoring system will help you define exactly where on the lead qualification scale they fall. The more points in their favor, the higher their quality. This allows you to spend your time and money more effectively nurturing the right set of individuals, ensuring that they move through the sales funnel and ultimately become customers.

Improve Your Lead Quality with Smart Microforms from Hushly

Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are a treasure-trove for any business, but they can be elusive for marketers. Tracking them can be a challenge, but there are ways to make it easier.

Improving your lead quality is a critical part of any marketing strategy, and if you’ve been struggling, Hushly can help.

One of the easiest ways to turn your potential leads away is to present them with long, complicated forms that ask too much of them. Hushly’s lead form builder can help you create forms that are easy to fill out and gives you the tools you need to make sure your leads are qualified for your business.

For example, you can use Hushly’s lead form builder to make simple microforms that ask for the bare minimum of information. From there, you can follow up with your lead, get to know them better, and start building genuine relationships with each one.

Ready to get started? Then request your demo today!

A Quick Guide to Account-Based Retargeting

Imagine being able to make the most of your audience’s attention in the most effective way possible. Imagine being able to understand exactly what your target audience wants when they want it.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is about making your marketing efforts more effective by focusing on the right people at the right time and understanding your audience’s preferences and how they interact with your brand. But what about those who have already interacted with you without making a conversion? They’re still relevant to your brand, and you need to be reaching out to them as well, and account-based retargeting can help.

What is Account-Based Retargeting?

Account-Based Retargeting is a way to retarget a specific audience within a B2B company.

Traditional retargeting is a marketing method that uses cookies to track your website’s visitors and collect information about them. This is useful for finding out what products your visitors have viewed, how they found your site, etc.

Once you’ve found out these things, you can then retarget those visitors with ads and content specifically tailored to their interests and behavioral patterns.

Account-Based Retargeting is a similar concept, but it takes things one step further. In B2C, traditional retargeting methods work because companies are targeting specific individuals. However, in B2B, you have to be careful whom you are retargeting and how you approach them.

How you approach these B2B individuals will require very specific information that speaks to their role within their company. This is where account-based retargeting comes in.

With ABM, you can retarget a specific account, which is a group of people who share a common interest or are part of a specific team. This makes it easier for you to understand your audience and reach out to them in the best way possible.

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Hushly

Does Account-Based Retargeting Work?

Account-Based Retargeting effectively targets your audience and converts them into customers by sharing engaging content and advertisements that suit their specific needs.

In 2020, RollWorks, a Hushly client, found that approximately 40% of their retargeting traffic was actively engaging with the brand’s content. How? They were delivering the right content to the right people at the right time. They accomplished this by leveraging intent data and personalization to serve the right message at the right time.

Thanks to the active engagement from their retargeting traffic, RollWorks was able to see conversion rates that were 950% better than the B2B retargeting average.

Hushly

5 Benefits of Account-Based Retargeting

Sometimes, the best way to gain new customers is to keep in touch with your existing ones and connect with those that never converted. Account-based retargeting is a great way to do this, and it’s a lot more effective than traditional retargeting. Not quite sold on the benefits of account-based retargeting? Here are five things you’ll want to consider:

1. Can Help You Lower Total Retargeting Costs

With account-based retargeting, you can be sure that your retargeting is focused on the right people, and this means that you can spend less time and money on your retargeting campaigns.

With traditional retargeting, you need to spend a lot of time and money trying to reach an extremely broad audience. When you’re working with a B2B clientele, you can’t be spending time and valuable resources on the wrong people.

With account-based retargeting, you only have to spend time and money on the people relevant to your brand, which can save you significantly.

2. Deliver Specific Messaging to Specific Individuals

When you’re sending out retargeting messages and advertisements, you want to focus on the people who are most likely to convert.

You can use ABM to reach out to specific individuals within an account and deliver content that speaks to their specific needs. This same concept is then applied to your account-based retargeting efforts, ensuring that you’re only sending out information that speaks to the right people at the right time.

3. Allows You To Develop Meaningful Relationships

When marketing to a B2B audience, you have to focus your time and attention on the decision-makers. These are the people who will make the purchasing decisions.

With account-based retargeting, you can establish meaningful relationships with your target audience and develop a rapport with them. With the right messaged that is targeted directly to the decision-makers, you can create a lasting impression.

4. Helps Sync Up the Efforts of Your Marketing and Sales Teams

One of the most significant benefits of account-based retargeting is that it allows you to synchronize your sales and marketing team. When you have individual accounts for your target audience, you can make sure that your sales and marketing teams work together on the same goals and are all on the same page. This means that you can work together to coordinate and create a plan for each account.

Not only that, but they can work together on brand language, messaging, and content to ensure that your audience is getting the same experience no matter who they are talking to.

5. Drives Sales

The primary goal of any retargeting campaign is to drive sales. With account-based retargeting, you can be sure that your retargeting is focused on the right people, allowing you to personalize the type of content and advertisements that you percent to each account.

This ensures that you’re only sending out relevant information and that you are also directly addressing them in a way that is both informative and engaging – resulting in better relationships and more sales

Bring More Focus to Your Next Campaign with Hushly’s ABM Campaign Pages

Account-based marketing is an outstanding way to make sure that you are reaching out to the right people at the right time. By understanding your audience and developing a rapport with them, you can ensure that your retargeting efforts positively impact your overall bottom line.

Here at Hushly, we can help you bring more focus to your next campaign by helping you build your own ABM Campaign Pages. With our ABM Campaign Pages, you can create account-focused microsites with personalized content that is tailored to each individual.

Curious how we can help you create stand-out ABM campaign pages? Contact us today for more!

How to Create Gated Content that Works: 4 Tips

Gated content has been a popular topic of discussion in the marketing world in recent years. For a while, gated content was an effective way to generate new leads. However, recently, the concept of gated content has been criticized for being outdated. Should you create gated content? Is it still a viable method for collecting new leads?

To answer this question, it’s essential to understand what gated content is.

What is Gated Content?

Gated content is content that is locked down to a specific group of people. This means that those who are interested in the content will have to apply to get access.

Statista

The goal of this content is to generate leads and build relationships with people.  However, businesses used to allow just about anyone to enter an email and gain access to the content, even if they had no intention of doing business with your brand in the long run – which is why the question of whether or not gated content is a viable lead-generation has become so popular.

Should You Create Gated Content? Is It Worth It?

Gated content, when done right, can be a powerful lead-generation tool. However, if the content is too difficult to access, it will turn off your audience.

This is why you have to make sure that you create gated content that is accessible to everyone and is worth the person giving you something in return. Complicated forms on a mobile device are an instant turn-off for someone trying to get more information from your brand.

A form with multiple entry fields, a high number of questions, and a long wait time to access the content are not worth the person’s time.

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Salesforce

Gated content that is difficult to access will not generate leads.

If you want to use gated content to generate leads, make sure it is accessible and easy for those looking to apply for access.

Here at Hushly, we believe in micro gating content. We give customers direct access to a sample of our gated content, and when we finally ask them for something in return for the entire piece of content, we keep that form simple.

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Hushly

In these instances, less is more. By giving your audience access to some of your content, you are giving them a taste of what you have to offer, and if your content is up to par, they will be more than willing to exchange their email address for full access.

So yes – gated content does work when done correctly. However, you don’t want to simply give anyone access to your pieces. Instead, you want to filter out the garbage requests for access by filtering out garbage email addresses.

To do this, consider filtering out generic email addresses, such as Gmail and yahoo, and limiting access to only those with a verified business email.

4 Tips for Creating Gated Content that Works!

Gated content is a great way to generate leads. However, if you are thinking of using this method, make sure that you are using it correctly. Here are four tips that you can use to create gated content that works:

1. Make Sure to Create Content for Every Stage of Your Buyer’s Journey

One of the most common mistakes that companies make when using gated content is only to create content for one specific stage of the buyer’s journey.

If you are only creating content for the stage where your audience is most likely to be looking for your product or service, you are missing out on many opportunities.

To be successful with gated content, you need to be creating content for every stage of your buyer’s journey. Your audience doesn’t just want to know about your product or service when they first start their research. They are looking for very specific information to address a pain point or answer a specific question.

You need to create and share content that answers these questions and provides solutions to these pain points – no matter what stage in the buyer’s journey the searcher is in.

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Hushly

2. Never Make Gated Content Your First Touchpoint with Your Audience

A touchpoint is defined as a point in time when someone interacts with your brand. These interactions can be as simple as a tweet or as complex as a conversion.

While gated content is a great way to generate leads, you shouldn’t make it your first touchpoint with your audience. If you gate all your content and hide it away from your audience, they will get the impression that your brand is out to make money off them, and they are going to be less likely to trust you.

If you want your audience to trust you, you need to make sure that you interact with them.

You can start by sharing content relevant to them and their interests in the way of a blog post that is open and free to read. From there, you can then suggest related gated content for your audience who wants to learn more. That way, you create a relationship with your audience before you ever ask them to give you something in return.

3. Provide an Incentive for Your Audience

If you will use gated content to generate leads, it is essential to give your audience a reason to want more.

Instead of completely locking up your most valuable content, why not consider giving your audience a sample of your content before asking them for their personal information?

This is a great way to get your audience excited and curious about your content. If they are excited by the content, they will be more than willing to give you their contact information, and you can then use that information to follow up with them.

4. Repurposed Gated Content

Creating a piece of content should never be approached as a one-and-done process – gated or not. Updating and repurposing your content is an excellent way to get more out of your content.

If you have gated content that is not getting the results that you want, you should be using it to create more content in the same vein.

You can create a second piece of content using the same information but with a different approach. For instance, if you have a piece of gated content that focuses on a recent industry report you published, you can use some of the statistics from the report in a blog post that your audience has full access to. From there, you can invite them to learn more by accessing/downloading your full report.

You can use this same approach for creating engaging social media posts that help boost your activity on your platforms and help draw interested individuals back to your website for more information.

Boost Your Content Engagement with Adaptive Content Hubs

When it comes to content, the more engagement you have, the better. However, you also need to be making sure that you are presenting the right content to the right individuals.

To do that, you need to be using adaptive content hubs. These hubs are a way for you to segment your audience and present them with the content they want.

Here at Hushly, we have a content experience that revolves around the content that our audience wants to learn about.

With our adaptive content hubs, we can segment our audience into different groups that are looking for different types of content, and we can do the same for you!

Contact us today to learn how!

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.

SuperOffice

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.

Personalize Your Customer’s Journey with Hushly

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.

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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.

Mordor Intelligence

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!