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Selling is the backbone of every business. It’s how you generate revenue and produce profit. But to sell, you need someone to sell to, and customers are developed from leads. If your business offers product and service solutions for sale to other businesses, you need B2B lead generation. B2B lead gen differs from a business-to-consumer, aka B2C, approach, but many companies make the mistake of deploying a B2C strategy in a B2B space. Understanding the difference is the first step to making B2B lead gen work for your business.


The mechanics of effective lead gen


B2B lead gen starts with a well-defined strategy: the who, what, where, and how questions. Who is your target audience? What are your unique selling propositions? Where is your best chance at visibility? How will you structure your sales funnel? These questions form the foundation of a successful B2B lead gen strategy:

  • Who? Determine your target audience by understanding what type of business benefits from your product or service solution. Group potential prospects into well-defined, specific types to maximize your messaging efforts. Consider critical variables, including company size, industry, and annual revenue.


  • What? Customize your value proposition for each specific customer category. Of the unique benefits your company offers, how do your solutions benefit each group? Drill down to create specific use cases and messaging prompts that relay value directly and succinctly.


  • Where? Leverage the marketing channels most appropriate for your customer prospects and brand messaging. There is no “best” channel, and often, an omnichannel approach is the best way to generate visibility for your product or service. Refine your call to action (CTA) for each channel.


  • How? Structure a sales funnel to capture leads across multiple channels and at each point in the customer journey, from awareness to action. The funnel should move prospects toward a purchase by showcasing value at every stage. Make use of gated content, free consultations and/or demonstrations, and other value-adds to facilitate lead capture.


These are the pillars of effective B2B marketing and lead gen. Take the time to fully establish them to create support for every campaign built atop them. The result isn’t just more leads — it’s better leads at a lower cost.



Lead scoring and qualifying


Not all leads are weighted equally. Use lead scoring to determine the most valuable, high-priority leads. Criteria for determining lead scores can vary from company to company and campaign to campaign. Ultimately, lead scoring assigns more weight to the attributes most important to your salesforce: industry, company size, anticipated spend, and engagement.

Scoring leads allows B2B sales professionals to qualify them. Qualifying leads allows for a more effective approach for converting leads to customers. Lead qualification generally means interacting with prospects to get a sense of their needs, barriers to purchase, concerns, questions, and other information relevant to the sales process.

During qualification, leads fall into three basic categories:

  • Marketing qualified leads (MQLs). These leads have expressed interest through inbound channels but have not yet interacted with your sales team.

  • Sales accepted leads (SALs). SALs are leads a salesperson has vetted and deemed acceptable for follow-up because they meet target-based qualifying criteria.

  • Sales qualified leads (SQLs). These leads show strong buying intent. They have interacted with salespeople and meet multiple qualifying criteria.

Lead qualification helps sales teams use their time effectively and allows marketing teams to create more effective messaging based on SAL and SQL feedback.



Capturing, converting, and learning

Lead generation is always evolving. Capturing a lead doesn’t always result in conversion, and conversions aren’t the end of the road. B2B marketers should think about lead gen as a continuum. How well are you reaching your established audience? How do you know? Your answers can be found in the conversions you’ve already made.


Companies should maintain awareness of key performance indicators (KPIs) to help them understand which lead-gen practices are fruitful and effective — and which ones need improvement. KPIs reinforce key performance actions (KPAs), aka what you want your leads to do. For example, if your KPI focuses on generating leads through an on-site form, the KPA is filling out that form. If you’re not getting people to fill out the form, it’s time to rethink and/or retool the path to a successful outcome.


Good KPIs inform relevant KPAs, and effective KPAs turn leads into customers. To make this continuum work, companies need to keep learning, from the leads you capture and those you lose. The path to effective lead generation continues to evolve, and continuous learning is critical to continuous improvement.


Don’t focus on selling; focus on building


Effective B2B lead generation happens in phases, and each phase must align with its objective. Whether you’re identifying audiences for targeted value propositions, or crafting messaging for a particular medium or channel, everything comes back to specific, measurable goals. B2B lead gen isn’t about selling a product. It’s about building a brand.

Build your own B2B lead generation machine with help from the experts at roikings.io.

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The Benefits of Social Media Reporting

In the social media marketing world, communication is key. For social media agencies communicating your social media strategies to clients and the results thereof, is what matters most – proving the value behind the work.


The performance of social campaigns can be communicated by way of results of data, but you can also show the worth of the work you put in for your clients through social media reporting. Here, we unpack how you layout the results and what facts to include, and outline them in the overviews.


Reporting is an Essential Exercise

As a social media company, the reports you generate will offer a deeper understanding of the results of a campaign, to your team, and will also provide important information to your clients. Presented in such a way that they can understand the impact - which in turn proves your worth as their agency for their online networking and social communication. As you know, this ultimately brings in new clients and increases business for them.


Establish Performance Criteria

Set benchmarks for all your campaigns so you can measure the performance of each drive. The standards and strategies you set can then be gauged, attained, and even surpassed.


Keep Tabs on Your Targets

Monitoring progress is vital to the success of the goals put in place for your team and consequently for the growth of the client’s business. If you produce reports at regular intervals you will be able to chart the progress and stay on course or if necessary make adjustments. This may be the difference between a relatively successful campaign to one that hit the ball out of the park.


Keep Your Team and Clients Informed

Ensure everyone involved stays connected. The status of progress, in the form of reports, ensures your team stays briefed, through this they will likely remain focused and it will promote confidence to follow through with the campaign, pulling out all the stops. Reporting also allows the client to feel informed, assured, and will trust in the process.


Maximize and Enhance Results

Patterns and trends are really important data that can be extracted from reports.

When something has worked well, you want to build on that. You also want to take the business to the next level, learning from what didn’t go so well or according to plan - making future strategies and campaigns better.


Concrete Results Reap Value

Reporting can really make the campaign speak for itself. Many factors and crucial elements can be highlighted that resulted in the success of a campaign. These can be utilized and provides proof that what was achieved is valuable – good or bad.


What to Consider When Generating Social Media Reports

There is no set form to a report, it all depends on your client’s requirements and what they want to accomplish. In order to put together a worthwhile and thorough report though, you should consider the following angles:


Analytics

To be able to scrutinize and review the results from critical aspects like revenue, conversions of new followers/clients.


Graphs

From a visual point of view, graphs and charts really bring home the data in a clear and concise way.


Analysis

Dissecting the data and numbers in bite-size chunks. By breaking down the results and adding background information and context, leads to potential next moves.

Your report should also include a performance evaluation, that has measured the efficiency of the following marketing categories:


Brand Awareness

Creating awareness of your client’s brand is key for a social media agency. How the brand is perceived and how well it is known and recognized, all play a role when it comes to promoting a new product or even just reviving a brand or launching a new one. Use metrics that ensure the numbers stack up with regards to audience, post reach, the details behind post impressions, mentions, tags, and engagement.


Metrics for Engagement

Tracking audience engagement is digging deeper into the awareness that has been established. This is important because it shows how followers are responding.

You should measure and access the quantity and quality of post likes and reactions, comments, PMs, shares, rate of engagement, and followers.


Traffic through a Website

Website engagement is a really important aspect for any business, for branding and product/service content; potential engagement through email/newsletter sign up; and e-Commerce activity. This drives revenue and gathers leads - so make sure your reporting metrics include clicks – such as links and URL, click-through rate, and bounce rate. You need to quantify the good and in turn, the not-so-good.


Revenue and Leads

This entails how the social media platforms fair regarding overall leads, sales, and earnings. Be sure to include metrics like: generated leads, conversions, e-Commerce, and offline return, as well as ROI.


Social Listening

As well as tracking and observing your followers and clients and understanding their needs through engagement, insight into hashtags will also help monitor the influences of your followers. Include the following hashtag reporting: own/campaign and brand, niche and trending, and even competitor hashtags.


Using Influencers

This form of social media marketing involving social media influencers can be a game-changer for brand awareness and revenue. If this forms part of your client’s campaign, you must include a report and show the results of the tracking to comprehensively include the value of new followers, fan engagement, link clicks, and other social media factors mentioned above.


Social Media Management Software ~ Why To Use It

Defined by a suite of tools such as management, scheduling, automating, monitoring and analytics – it will make reporting more metric effective, efficient and relevant. Top and tail this with your team’s analyses of the campaign and overall remarks, and you will most certainly demonstrate the value you and your team bring to the table. We recommend looking into our very own SMMS App by https://www.roikings.io/socialmedia

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Does your agency handle content creation or social media planning and programming?


Arranging the work so that your team and clients succeed requires a set of standards that can be used for every project. Here are some best practices to consider when writing content.


Your Goals from a Social Media Perspective


The main objectives that you create for content should be structured around the tried-and-tested, fail-proof SMART goal context.


S-pecific - The more definitive your goals are the more likely you will reach them. Such as: to achieve an increase in brand awareness, the direct goal would be to drive website traffic.

M-easurable - Choose and use metrics you can measure and quantify. Such as clicks, e-Commerce, engagements.


A-ttainable - Set achievable goals that are realistic and not ‘pie in the sky.’ Then ensure you have the resources, and plan accordingly.


R-elevant - Always link what you decide your social media content goals are to your business objectives so that it is a win-win.


T-ime based - A timeline is key when setting the framework for these goals. Deadlines must be set so you have a definite time frame to aim for.


The Audience to Target

Focusing on the right or the wrong, the audience could be a make or break for your customer campaign. The social media content you create should fit, appeal to, and work on the right target audience. This will enable conversations, allow you to get to know what your followers/customers want, and the ability to connect with your audience.

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You must research the


target audience you are aiming for which can be done in several ways:



Insights

Available on social media platforms such as Facebook – enabling you to delve a little into who your targeted audience is, what they are talking about, what their interests are, and what is currently trending. Making use of social media marketing tools is definitely something to consider.


Analytics

Google Analytics, for example, provides data and information regarding your website visitors.


Customer Service

Whether your customer service is a team or simply a dedicated email address, you should take the time to learn what your audience is querying, or asking questions about.


Sales Patterns

Understanding purchasing patterns and preferences can lend insight into your audience.


Brand Expression

Content needs to be expressed in such a way that the brand gets noticed and speaks for itself. This way, it becomes recognizable and familiar – in a good way - not bland and ‘invisible’ but ‘known’. Give your content some personality and be personable.

This is something that will come first and foremost, organically – from the organization’s mission, vision, and values. It's also important to establish a brand voice to link the customer and audience to the brand creating a sense of familiarity and common ground. Ensure your team is in the loop too so that everyone is on the same page.


Mix It Up

A varied approach to content is going to be the difference between your potential followers and customers feeling uninspired or creating content that informs, grows, and engages your followers and customers.


Your content should be identifiable but diverse.


CREATE a calendar of content that

…includes user-generated content, influencer post shares, testimonials, and endorsements from your audience and customers that are giving good feedback.

… lines up with your audiences’ interests by using ideas from other brands and websites - but make it your own by brainstorming these ideas and creating original content.

…is interactive – videos, live streams, polls, etc., to see what works well. This will allow both your customer and their audience to get to know each other.

… shares posts, news, and links from other relevant and relatable pages/influencers/ brand partners on social media. This will deepen the relationship between your customer and their audience.


Find Inspiration from the Competition!

It is always a good idea to check on your competitors and to sometimes do what they are doing, but only better. Better yet, stay ahead of the game, strive to be a leader and influencer in your field.


What is the competition doing?

Well, take a look! Browse profiles and home in on your top competitors and keep them in the fold, professionally.

Rankings - comparative tools for platforms, like Alexa enable you to compare your brand to your competitors, giving you useful information to work with.

Facebook Ads – what type of ads are your competitors running? Look into their ad history, this might spark ideas for your own content.


Social Media Monitoring

Tracking what is being mentioned about your brand allows you to observe and improve content. Re-hash, re-write, or re-share user-generated content, as well as answer common queries and address complaints.


Social Media Content Scheduling

Scheduling is a critical element of your campaign as the opportunity for impact has a time limit and is sometimes short-lived. There are ways to improve your social media performance when deciding on the best times to publish content, for instance:

The most obvious starting point would be to go with the recommended times that studies have proven to be the most effective times to post. But these are not definite and may not tie in with the project’s plan or audience.

Again, the use of social media insights and scheduling tools can give you an indication of when followers are active, and most likely to take note of posted content.


Scheduling Approval of Social Media Content

Owners and investors will most likely want to sign off on the content you have created and aim to use. This can also be included on your social media scheduling app. Organize this ahead of time so that you can streamline the process and keep everyone efficient in their involvement too.


Review and Improve Content

Reviewing, and if necessary, modifying and improving content, from one month to the next or from campaign to campaign, is essential. It will aid you in making sure you are on track to optimize the campaign’s performance. Define the metrics that matter most. Patterns can be identified by comparing different time periods across the expected goals of the campaign. Your findings should lead you to experiment and improve, or even just simply republish popular posts.


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As with every customer and brand you manage, each objective will be different and so too the strategy. Using these best practices and suggestions can help you establish and formulate a strong foundation and hot-off-the-press social media content!

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