How to Choose a B2B Marketing Agency that Understands Human Behavior

B2B marketing agency

You’ve no doubt noticed that “customer experience” or “customer journey” is all the rage in B2C marketing right now.

It’s all about creating a seamless and humanized experience for leads and current customers across multiple platforms – but should a B2B marketing agency take a similar strategy?

Well, your B2B buyers are also consumers for the 16 hours a day they’re not at work.

They want you to treat them like individual human beings – not merely extensions of the company they work for.

Here’s how to choose a marketing company that understands the importance of forming a human connection with prospects, leads, and current customers.

How to Choose a B2B Marketing Agency

There’s a new concept in marketing called B2E (everyone) or B2P (people).

It means that at the end of the day, you’re marketing to individual people – even if you’re targeting full teams or entire companies as part of an ABM strategy.

In our digital world that relies on data, it’s easy to neglect that there’s a single person behind every email address and number. They deserve to be treated that way and your B2B marketing agency should understand that.

They Understand That the Line Is Blurring Between B2B and B2C

83% of B2B buyers – compared to 84% of consumers – say that the key to winning their business is treating them like a human being.

Personalization is vital for meeting B2B expectations now. 85% of B2Bs say that they might look elsewhere if a business doesn’t take steps to personalize the very first interaction – that’s a lot of pressure!

Features like adaptive content hubs, content bingeing, and self-nurturing landing pages can help you meet buyer expectations and create the personalized experience they want – whether they realize it or not.

An adaptive content hub offers personalized content recommendations to every visitor based on their browsing behavior. Here’s what it looks like in action:

Hushly

They Take Steps to Clean Up Your Data

Discouraging research shows that only 1 out of 5 organizations are running effective personalization strategies.

Why? Well, one big problem is that they’re not working with accurate data.

Business data starts to rot a lot faster than consumer data. People change jobs, get promotions, switch roles at a company – all of this impacts your personalization strategy (especially if you’re running an account-based marketing strategy).

In fact, up to 62% of organizations are working with data that’s nearly half incorrect.

Your B2B marketing agency should strive to help you collect genuine leads with features like human lead verification and clean up the bad data you already have so you can create a successful B2B marketing strategy.

A B2B Marketing Agency Should Help You Create an ABM Strategy

Frankly, not every B2B marketing agency has the skills or resources to help you develop an effective account-based marketing strategy. However, they should at least mention the topic and point you in the right direction.

When it comes to personalization, it doesn’t get much better than ABM because you’re personalizing content with a specific company and job role in mind.

They Understand the Importance of Integrated Marketing and Social Selling

What do the most lucrative industries have in common? They use effective social selling strategies.

Social selling involves much more than posting on social media. Your marketing company should understand that social selling involves the following:

  • Participating in conversations
  • Connecting with your best customers
  • Building a strong brand authority on the right platforms

Social strategies are important because they show customers and leads that you care about and value their opinions and problems.

Your B2B Marketing Agency Should Have an Effective Exit Intent Strategy

What happens when a lead tabs away from your website? If you’re throwing a form at them, you’re just pushing them away even further, faster.

Instead, give them more of what they came to your website for: great content.

No one wants to fill out a form as they’re trying to walk out the door. Instead, use personalized popups like this:

Hushly

A B2B Marketing Agency Should Put Mobile Experience First

Research from Think with Google shows that roughly 70% of all B2B searches will happen on mobile devices in 2020. Furthermore, B2Bs will spend between two and three hours each day researching from their smartphones.

A mobile-friendly website is a necessity – not a luxury – and there’s nothing less mobile-friendly than forms and fully gated content.

When a lead arrives at your website from a Google search result or a link they found on social media and they’re hit with a form before they can access your content, they’re not going to deal with filling out the form on their phone. They’re just going to hit the back button and look for the information somewhere else.

Instead, let your content breathe. Let your leads browse your website at their own pace and provide their email address when they’re good and ready.

They Mention Plans to Create a Customer Management Strategy

65% of business buyers say they’d consider switching vendors if a company didn’t start personalizing communication. Your marketing agency should track intent data so you can continue nurturing current customers before they jump ship.

The buyer’s journey doesn’t end after you close the sale. Give them personalized content to build your relationship in the long-term and maintain your customer base.

Level-up Your B2B Marketing Strategy with Personalization

A B2B marketing agency should immediately take steps to personalize the buyer experience across your website and landing pages. Forms and fully gated content have no place on mobile screens – they just push your visitors away and tell them to find the information somewhere else.

Instead, we recommend lifting the blockade on your content so your leads can self-nurture and educate themselves. It works, too. In fact, you can skyrocket your lead conversions by 51% and content engagement by 305%!

Want to see what a B2B marketing strategy without forms can accomplish? Check out our personalized exit-intent popups.

Why (and How) B2Bs Absolutely Need to Protect Web Forms from Spam

Protect Web Forms from Spam

Bots are everywhere.

How many times have you seen “hello, thank you for this very informative article on this topic I will continue reading your blogs on this topic” in a WordPress comment section?

Unfortunately, bots do a lot more damage than just padding comment sections with generic spam.

In your forms, spam can throw off your personalization strategy and cost your business money.

Here’s how to protect web forms from spam in the first place – and even break your reliance on outdated forms entirely.

Why You Need to Protect Web Forms from Spam

Chances are, as your website stands now, your lead magnet forms are your best asset for collecting information about your visitors and creating personalized content like email campaigns and retargeting ads.

When bots enter the picture, they can do a lot more damage than people realize.

Since bots make up about 38% of all internet traffic, this is a very real threat.

It’s Screwing Up Your Personalization Strategy

AI tools, segmentation, lead routing, retargeting ads, triggered email campaigns – all these personalization strategies rely on data to learn about your visitors and adapt.

Bot traffic can significantly throw off your data, especially if the bots are well-disguised enough to fill out your forms and mimic human mouse movement.

Not to mention, not all spam information comes from bots. Plenty of real humans may fill out your forms to access gated content but since they don’t work in B2B, they’re not part of your target audience.

It’s Tedious Removing Incorrect Data

Frankly, spam and bots waste time.

When spam or low-quality leads come in through your lead magnet forms, you must spend time verifying the data and cross-referencing accounts yourself.

You could also pay for third-party bot protection and verification services – but wouldn’t you rather avoid it in the first place?

It’s Wasting Your Time and Money

Time is money and vice versa.

Time and money spent sorting through poor data to improve your segmentation and personalization strategies are time and money taken away from other marketing resources.

For example, your retargeting ads will convert much better and drive more revenue without spam information weighing you down.

It’s much more efficient when you can protect web forms from spam and keep your data healthy from the beginning.

How to Protect Web Forms from Spam

Use these tips to protect web forms from spam so you only deal with high-quality data on bona fide business leads.

Use a CAPTCHA

CAPTCHAs – sequences of letters and numbers from a photo you type into a box – are good for keeping spam out of your inbox. Unfortunately, they can also frustrate leads and genuine visitors as well. Some are impossible to read, and many people don’t care to listen to the sequence.

Include a Test Question

If you work on a WordPress site, you may have had to fill out a simple math equation to enter the admin side of the site. A simple question like this prevents brute force hacking attempts and can protect web forms from spam. Again, this additional question can be a nuisance for genuine leads.

Use a Third-Party Service

You can also simply pay to make your bot data and spam go away. Third-party services are available to sort through your data, remove bots, and shield your lead magnets from spam.

Include an HTML Honeypot Question Strictly for Bots

Using HTML, you can include a special question that only bots will see and fill out. If “someone” answers the question, you’ll know they’re a bot and you can simply remove the data from your system.

Employ Session Cookies

Cookies are also effective for preventing direct traffic to forms – which typically comes from bots. However, if someone bookmarks your landing page, they’ll also get flagged as spam.

Use IP Information to Block Spammers

If the same IP address filled out your form 20 times, it’s safe to say that’s a bot. Keep an eye on this type of traffic and purge the data from your system.

Forms are Holding You Back

Honestly, forms are outdated.

Yes, you read that right. Consider these fast facts:

  • By 2020, 70% of all business searches will take place on mobile devices.
  • Mobile traffic influences 40% of all B2B revenue in leading organizations.
  • 65% of businesses will consider switching vendors if a company does not supply a personalized experience.

What do these facts have to do with forms? Simple: forms aren’t mobile-friendly. No matter how much time you spend optimizing them, they’re still clunky forms that no one wants to fill out on their phone.

Plus, leads like to educate themselves at their own pace. By gating your content behind an annoying form, you’re holding back your lead generation capabilities.

Protect Web Forms from Spam

Source: Think with Google

Alternatives to Forms Every B2B Should Consider

Break your reliance on forms with the following strategies that allow leads to self-nurture.

Plus, you’ll be able to protect your web forms from bots because you’ll only be collecting verified leads from real humans with business email addresses.

It’s a win-win! Except for the bots – they lose.

  • Self-nurturing landing pages: Let your leads consume ungated content at their own pace. Give them a sample and let them give you their business email address to download the rest.
  • Content bingeing: Apps like Amazon and Spotify have made buyers expect the same endless curation from every website they visit – even your B2B website.
  • Adaptive content hubs: Using data-driven AI technology, you can create a content hub that hand-selects personalized content for known leads and anonymous visitors based on information they’ve already read.

Start Generating More Leads Today

Hushly can help you generate 51% more lead conversions and break your reliance on forms in one fell swoop! Forms aren’t mobile-friendly but adaptive content hubs are. Let your leads nurture themselves and submit an email when they’re ready.

We also use special tools and human verification through LinkedIn data to make sure your email submissions not only come from a real human but a bona fide business address.

Take our demo for a spin and see what a life without forms can be like!

What is Intent Data? Why You Need Information to Fuel Your B2B Strategy

What is Intent Data?

“What are your intentions with my daughter?”

As a sitcom joke, this line is obviously outdated – but think about it from a B2B marketing perspective.

“What are your intentions with my website?”

When someone visits your website, wouldn’t it be great to know exactly why they’re there?

Specifically, wouldn’t you love to know which leads are ready to buy – right now?

According to Marketing Profs, companies with an account-based marketing strategy generate 208% more revenue than those that don’t – but you need the right kind of data to deliver successful results.

If you’re wondering “what is intent data,” that’s the gist of it: understanding why someone has visited your website. Here’s why it’s important and how you can use it to fuel your B2B marketing strategy

What is Intent Data?

Using information about a visitor’s online behavior, intent data tells you their stage of the sales funnel.

Think about how you conduct online searches and how Google guides your search:

  1. You type “sore knee after running” into Google and browse some of the links.
  2. After learning about common running-related knee conditions, you type the letter R into the search bar and Google prompts you to finish a search for “runner’s knee.”
  3. You return to the search bar and type “il” and Google assumes you’re typing “iliotibial band syndrome.”
  4. After learning about IT band syndrome, you go back to the search bar and type “IT band” and Google already knows that you’re looking for “IT band syndrome treatments.”

From here, you can see why this prior search history and other information like age and gender may be useful for a physical therapy office. They can understand your intention – that you’re seeking treatment from running-associated knee pain – while running PPC ads and providing personalized content on their website.

However, that’s B2C. What is intent data in a B2B context?

Topic Data

Intent data involves two components: behavioral data and context.

When someone visits your website, you may not think you know much about them, but other websites do. Using topic data, you can figure out:

  • Which website they visited before arriving at yours.
  • How long they spent reading about specific topics.
  • Which other topics they’ve recently researched.

Context Data

Context data supplies background to your behavioral data which may include:

  • The company a visitor works for.
  • How long they’ve worked there.
  • A visitor’s job role and buying power.

It’s easy to see how combining behavioral and context data can help you identify a lead’s stage – and role – in the buying cycle.

Where Does Intent Data Come From?

Intent data can either be anonymous or known. It can come from either first-party sources (your website and lead magnets) or third-party sources (other websites, social media, other email lists, and other websites’ lead forms).

  • Anonymous Intent Data: You have an IP address and other information based on it (like Google search history and company name) but not a name or face.
  • Known Intent Data: You know more personal details about a visitor based on information from sources like forms.

Why is Intent Data Important?

Intent data sounds cool, but why does it matter? Is it worth the time and effort?

Yes. Here’s why.

It’s Useful for Personalization

65% of businesses say they’d have no problem switching vendors if a company does not provide personalized content.

That’s a lot of lost revenue. 

With intent data, you can gain a better understanding of your leads and website visitors so you can create personalized content for leads at every stage of the buying cycle.

It’s Hyper-Relevant

Intent data doesn’t just give you information about website visitors – it puts that data into context.

Context is especially useful when the time comes to run personalized email campaigns and retargeting ads on social media.

It Saves You Time and Money

You’ll know which leads are ready to buy, which aren’t quite decision-makers, and which are just browsing so you’ll be able to laser focus your marketing efforts.

Every dollar will stretch much farther when you know the buyer intent of each lead.

It’s More Accurate than Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics are useful, but they’re often delayed. Intent data is based on real-time behavior and information so it’s the most correct and up-to-date data available.

What is Intent Data Useful For?

Here are a few ways you can incorporate intent data into your overall B2B personalization strategy.

Creating Effective Account-Based Marketing Strategies

If you’re only targeting senior-level executives, you’re missing out.

According to research from Think with Google, while 64% of senior execs have the final say, non-C suite members still have a massive influence in the buying process.

Intent data can help you identify how much influence each visitor has, which role they play, where they’re at in the buying stage, and which other competitors they’ve researched.

What is Intent Data?

Source: Think with Google

Personalize Your Website’s Experience for Everyone

With features from Hushly like content bingeing, adaptive content hubs, and self-nurturing landing pages, you can use intent data to personalize content – even for anonymous visitors.

Filtering Your Audience List by Engagement

Since intent data happens in real-time, you’ll be able to score leads more effectively and offer them the most relevant content at any given moment.

Running Successful Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting ads through email marketing and social media can play an extremely useful role in your B2B marketing strategy, but if it’s not hyper-personalized, it won’t deliver results you want. Intent data can optimize your retargeting game.

Improve Your Personalization Strategy Now

Hushly can help you create a personalized experience for every website visitor. Using data-driven technology, you can create adaptive content hubs and self-nurturing landing pages with content bingeing features that allow your leads to educate themselves at their own pace – perfect for account-based marketing.

Best of all, Hushly uses human verification to make sure all of your leads are not only real people but also real B2B buyers by cross-referencing LinkedIn information. You only pay us for real leads, not using the platform. Check out the demo now!

3 B2B Marketing Ideas to Overhaul Your Results

b2b marketing ideas

With so many B2B marketing ideas out there, it’s tough to know where to begin.

However, if you’re like most B2B marketers, you know it’s definitely time to make some changes. In recent years, competition has heated up among some B2B companies, but many have been left behind because they rely on outdated ideas that no longer produce a reliable ROI.

3 B2B Marketing Ideas to Implement Right Now

If you’d like to shake things up this year and potentially find a brand-new opportunity to completely overhaul the results you’re used to seeing, here are three B2B marketing ideas that are worth trying.

1. Rethink Your Brand Voice

This might not seem like the kind of suggestion that belongs on a list claiming to be the absolute bestB2B marketing ideas, but it’s easily one of the simplest ideas to implement considering its potential for returns.

That’s because it could be your secret weapon for increasing engagement.

The better you’re able to engageyour market, the better allB2B marketing ideas will do. When your brand’s voice sounds bland, uninterested, or just doesn’t exist, you’re standing in your own company’s way when it comes to attracting and converting leads.

Of course, “use an engaging tone” is always good advice. The reason it has the power to overhaul your company’s marketing results is because B2B companies are notoriously boring when it comes to their content.

So, try out a new tone. You can even start with just a single channel first (e.g. social media, email marketing, guest posts on other sites) to be sure you have the right one before spreading it far and wide.

2. Start Becoming the Go-to Industry Authority

There may be no better example of this than HubSpot. Do they make incredible CRM software? Absolutely.

However, a far greater number of people all over the world probably know about HubSpot for their incredible content, which they post multiple times a day.

It means they cast an extremely wide net – most of their readers probably aren’t prospects – but they also absolutely dominatetheir market. The potentially low conversion rate probably doesn’t worry them too much because:

  • They’re still making huge profits
  • They’re keeping their competitors from doing the same

HubSpot still posts plenty of blogs that deal directly with what they have to offer, but the majority of what they publish sets up their company as the most trusted source of information for any business that wants to do well online.

Do the same with your content marketing. Share and comment on industry news. Provide helpful advice that doesn’t involve a pitch for your products or services. Conduct interviews with other authorities. There are countless ways you could go about doing this and it will probably take some experimentation, but once you discover what works best, you’ll enjoy all the benefits that come from being a recognized authority.

3. Implement Some Level of Account-Based Marketing

We’ve covered account-based marketing (ABM) on this blog a lot, but it’s for a very good reason: it works. It works extremely well.

For example, 87% of marketers report that ABM exceeds anything they’ve tried before. This is easily one of the most important B2B marketing ideas in the last 10 years.

Still, it’s a big step to leave behind what your company may have been doing for years – even if your results were never outstanding – to switch over to something that you’ve never tried before.

Fortunately, you can also make the switch piecemeal.

For example, brainstorm with your team about an account you’d absolutely love to have. Don’t name the biggest possible prize you can think of – not yet. For this initial run, just consider a current lead you’d like to convert ASAP, a past client you’d like back, or a company you think would be a good fit that you know is in market.

Then, put together a team of some of your best marketers andsalespeople with the goal of converting them earlier than the timeline you generally see for your funnel.

Whether you succeed or fail, you’ll no doubt see the potential for ABM. You’ll also have learned a lot for improving your second attempt. Then, slowly but surely, you can transition over to harness the power of account-based marketing.

How to Take These B2B Marketing Ideas Even Further

Implement just one of the B2B marketing ideas above, and you’ll be rewarded with more qualified leads who are excited to become clients.

Then, let our software assist with that conversion. Contact us today to see for yourself how we increase conversions for our clients by 51% – guaranteed.