Lead Generation Archives - Klaxon

Pay Per Click Advertising with Google Adwords: more than just clicks and traffic.

Google Adwords, or any Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaign must be clearly defined, carefully monitored, and maintained, to be the most effective. It is vital to understand your audience, and have clearly marked goals, not only to make sure that your campaign is providing the most value, but to understand the benefit of Adwords on other channels.

Google Adwords is not a risky advertising move, it’s more targeted, more measurable, and ultimately more profitable than almost any other medium, but that ease of use does mean, that inexperienced advertising can lead to missed opportunities and misguided interaction.

Using Adwords to gain leads, conversions, brand awareness, or applied as tool to understand keywords and audience, are some of the best uses of the service. When applied correctly, it is possible to create highly specific targeting which fulfils the needs of your business, allowing you to turn those leads into highly profitable, engaged customers.

Adwords is not a click factory

Let’s clarify one thing right off the bat, if your PPC account manager is only reporting clicks and traffic, they’re doing something wrong, very wrong. Google Adwords in partnership with Google Analytics allows bidding to not only be highly specific, but also highly measurable and accountable. This means that you can focus on specific endpoints for your Adwords campaign, whether that’s conversions, click-through-rate to a specific page, or engagement with your brand, and the route that users have taken to reach it.

Before monitoring any metrics, or even considering the analytics that Google provides, you should set goals and conduct research.  When you research keywords, competitors and audience, you can build a more complete view of how your goals can be achieved, and with tools such as Google Trends, you can monitor peaks and troughs. Which is especially useful if you’re in a seasonal or resurgent industry.

I cannot stress the importance of setting and fully discussing goals with the team who will deliver your advertising campaign. Not only to create a clear set of success criteria for your campaign to understand whether the campaign is working for your business, but also to allow your search engine marketer to discuss ways in which you can increase the reach of the campaign; offline, through social, and other marketing channels. Goals are important… they let everyone working on your campaign to plan, become profitable, and sustain a strong and positive relationship.

Using Google Adwords and PPC for Lead Generation

Creating leads and acquisitions are commonly seen as the primary functions of Google Adwords, and Google has created a great marketplace to drive customers and possible conversions towards your site or store. Profit on a per acquisition basis allows advertisers to balance the price of a conversion, with the limit of their budget to create the best possible return on investment.

Whilst some businesses use Adwords to provide a constant flow of users, it is also possible to create a campaign tailored around a specific product range, store, or even promotion, allowing your scope to fit your goals and budget. All campaigns allow your adverts, whether it be a text, image, product or video ad, to appeal to a specific user’s need, whether they’re precise such as “buy macbook pro 2014” or as vague as “new laptop”.

Lead generation can be used as effectively for offline businesses. All you need is a store location registered with Google+ Local (Google’s service for associating real-world businesses with their identities online), or a call extension (which allows users to call you from their phone with one button press), and you can prompt a conversion to your store, without the user having to complete complex directory enquiries.

Using Google Adwords and PPC for Brand Awareness

Google Adwords allows your customers to make instant purchasing decisions, yet is equally effective at building relationships with your brand, products or company.

A key metric here is impressions, the number of users who have seen your ads. Impressions can easily be in thousands with Google Adwords, this is due to Google’s incredible volume of search traffic, but also its many partnerships with sites online. Through Google Display Advertising, you can have adverts appear in email-boxes, on thousands of partner sites, on YouTube, and many other media providers, all of which can be highly targeted to reach your audience.

Google Adwords also has a feature called Remarketing, this allows you to continue to engage users after they have left your website, keeping them in contact with your brand, while they browse other website. This can be highly effective for products and services which have longer lead times, but also this re-appearance of your advert is great for cementing a brand in the mind of the user.

When using Google Adwords for brand awareness, messaging, imagery and branding are of upmost importance, that is why, for larger campaigns, I would recommend you work with an organisation which has these elements built into their team. With great branding, messaging, graphics and video experts in addition to your advertiser, you can create an advert which can create a customer relationship which is long, stable and profitable, while missing one of this components can mean a less successful campaign.

Using Google Adwords and PPC for Keyword Research

Google Adwords can also be used as a search tool for other methods of online marketing, such as Search Engine Optimisation. Creating broad-reach adverts, with effective landing pages (page the user goes to when the advert is clicked), it is possible to get data not otherwise accessible to search marketers.

As Google has made changes towards privacy and implemented solutions which protect user data more deeply, strategies such as Keyword Research with PPC continue to be effective, consensual ways to get data which will let Adwords Campaigns be targeted to the correct user groups.

There are many applications of Google Adwords, only a few of which have been described here. If you business has goal, which involves leads, conversions, brand awareness, or many other measurable targets, then Advertising through Google Adwords will likely be a highly effective solution for your business.

Pinterest Advertising for B2B Marketers

I’ve previously written and spoken about the use of Pinterest for B2B Marketers.

In fact we have a presentation slide deck on the subject you can download here. We think there is a case for B2B marketers to use Pinterest, assuming you have the right campaign objectives in mind.

If you are unsure, run through this checklist first. Answer yes to all and you could build a case for adding Pinterest to your social media mix:

> Is there a social media policy in place?
> Is your audience on Pinterest?
> Have you defined a content marketing plan?
> Are there appropriate image assets created, bought or identified?
> Do you have resource & authority to execute on another social channel?
> Can you track & measure the impact?
> Have you defined objectives / goal paths post click?

I was interested to see the announcement last week that Pinterest will “start experimenting with promoting certain pins from a select group of businesses”. See the full announcement email below.

It might soon be an option for you to add Pinterest to your advertising mix too.

pinterest for b2b marketing

7 Core Steps to Inbound Marketing

Ever wondered what exactly inbound marketing is or how to do it?

It’s a much used term these days and b2b marketers all over the planet have been switching on to inbound vs outbound marketing.

The basic principle is straightforward: create compelling content that attracts your target customers to your business when they are ready to buy.

Contrast that to the more traditional outbound marketing strategies where you broadcast your marketing messaging at your target audiences, often with no intelligence as to where they are in the buying cycle. This is batch and blast, numbers based b2b marketing.

The principles may be simple, but in practice inbound marketing requires some smart thinking to be effective. The last thing you want is to waste your resources churning out content that’s missed by 99% of your audience.

To help you think about building inbound marketing into  your b2b marketing mix, take a look at our 7 core steps to b2b inbound marketing:

1.  Build your Buyer Personas

Sounds easy right? Frankly it should be.

Start off by developing an understanding of your customers buyer personas: who are they, where they work, what age brackets and experience they typically have, what industries are they in, which journals they read, what are the typical challenges they are faced with, do they have purchasing authority… the list could go on.

All these great tit bits of information that will help you to understand who your customer is. You can see a really great example of this in practice from email marketing company mailchimp here.

Just in case you’re thinking what I’m thinking, the answer is yes. This actually applies to all marketing and not just inbound.

2. Create Great Content

Now that you have a clear picture of who your customers are,  you will need to create content that meets their needs and answers their questions.

How?

Start off with an editorial plan and calendar that aligns your content to your buyer personas. If your customers are seeking easier ways to manage their enterprise information, create content that answers questions such as:

> how can I best manage my business information, or

> what ECM solutions are best suited to banks (assuming you are targeting banks)

Create content in formats your customers are likely to respond to. For example, should you be targeting IT buyers working in banks, a blog or a Linkedin Group is more likely to reach your audience than a YouTube video or a facebook page.

You should get the idea by now, but get in touch if you want to talk about creating an editorial or content plan for your business.

Be careful to create content that answers you target customers questions, in a format that are likely to engage with and will share where they hang out online.

3. Optimise for Search Engines 

Now that you have defined your buyers and created compelling content, you need to make sure it can be found and ranked well by the search engines.

This takes a bit more work and you may want to consult an SEO expert to help you setup your website optimally. A good starting point is to think about the keywords your target customers are likely to use and worthwhile focussing on with your inbound marketing. Google’s keyword tool is great for this.

By the way, if you’re website is based on WordPress you might find this simple WordPress SEO Checklist we created useful too.

4. Capture Leads

Inbound marketing is not a cheap tactic but it should be more efficient than outbound. However it will only work if you create enough points to capture your target audience’s information.

What do I mean by that?

Essentially you create compelling, high value content that your audience is willing to exchange their contact details for in order to receive. You will be no stranger to calls to action like ‘complete the form to download your report’ I’m sure.

Not all of your content should be hidden behind a lead capture forms. Blog posts for example should be freely accessible, as should demo videos or podcasts.

But if all roads eventually point to a lead capture form, you will start to see web visitors convert into sales leads.

5. Nurture 

It’s all too easy for marketers to think there job is done once the lead form is filled. But it’s not. You need to nurture your leads at every stage in the buying cycle until they are suitable qualified to pass onto your sales team.

We do this with lead scoring based on how visitors interact with our site (and for our clients too). You can read more about this here.

Yes this is likely to mean creating content that aligns to stages in your buying cycle.

6. Seal the Deal

As soon as your sales team close the deal with a client, it’s time to get your inbound marketing hat on again. Ask yourself ‘how can I nurture them for cross-sell / up-sell opportunities, or can I create a compelling case study or a testimonial with this customer?’

All these traditional marketing tactics and assets make great materials to pour back into your inbound marketing machine. This is nothing new for any marketer, just the delivery mechanic has shifted to online.

7. Monitor, Evaluate & Adjust

The classic feedback loop. It’s no different with inbound versus outbound, just you will have a lot more data to review and from which to make informed decisions. Your website analytics package is likely to be the starting point, but if you have a marketing automation system setup you can drill down a lot more into individual decision makers or key accounts.

Analyse what content is working and either create new assets or re-purpose the existing to stretch your budget, for example:

> turn that blog post on business intelligence into a slide deck

> repackage that slide deck into a short animated video, or recording of your VP delivering the talk

Also look at what channels are working for getting traffic and importantly conversions. Spending all your time pouring content out via twitter or Linkedin but not seeing any website traffic, or ultimately conversions, suggests your message is wrong or your audience isn’t on twitter.

And that’s it, 7 Core Steps to Inbound Marketing for b2b marketers. Let us know how you have been getting on with inbound marketing for your business in the comments below. 

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Cost per lead

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Digital Marketing Case Study

One of our clients was recently interviewed by Jon Buscall for his excellent Online Marketing & Communications podcast.

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Are Blogs Valuable in B2B Marketing?

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I was asked this today. The first time in a while actually. It surprised me as I was under the impression most people now know the value of blogging. We certainly do.**

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Three Lead Generation Tactics for Tech Marketers

If you are ever stuck for sales leads, here are three classic lead gen tactics you might want to build into your marketing plan. These will attract leads at various stages of the buying cycle and, executed well, will undoubtedly swell the number of leads in your pipeline.

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Content Based Marketing

I’m a member of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on Linkedin and came across this excellent slide deck from group founder Holger Schulze. This one’s well worth a moment of your time if you are interested in content based marketing – which it seems an increasing number of B2B marketers are.

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Aligning Marketing with Resources

resourcesQuite often I hear people talking about doing social media marketing because it’s free. I always smile at this, because  social media marketing as I understand it is far from free.

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