Lead Generation from Social Media Marketing

Sometimes it’s hard to tell when your social media marketing efforts result in lead generation. But sometimes it is really easy.

Day 1: Share a Blog Post to a LinkedIn Group

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Details Matter: Notice when I shared the story to the LinkedIn group I didn’t just use the blog post headline for the LinkedIn title.  Instead I wrote a custom title that was relevant to the group in which I posted the story.  NPR reporting is a burdensome task for Meditech administrators.  It takes a lot of time and effort, and if you are paying a consultant to do it then it costs a lot of money.  So this was a really compelling benefit highlight in the LinkedIn title of the post.  If you look at the Marketo lead activity log report below you will notice that Travis never even viewed the blog post.  He was hooked by the topic of NPR reporting and he didn’t even bother to look at the blog.

Day 2: Group Member Asks For More Info

SM2-aDay 2: Nurture Using Case Studies

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Details Matter: Notice that when I posted the links to the case studies, I took some extra time to pull out a compelling tidbit for each one — a quote from the customer, an important statistic, a benefit the customer appreciated through the use of our product.  I included that information in the discussion thread.  Again, notice the Marketo lead activity report below shows that Travis only clicked through to one of the case studies but he got an important little tidbit from each of them by virtue of my commentary.

Day 2: Receive Request For Demo

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Posted in Drip Marketing, Lead Generation, LinkedIn, Marketo, Social Media | Leave a comment

7 Ways Marketing Automation Makes Life Better For Multitasking Marketers

By Bob Hebeisen
Multitasking (image courtesy of Shutterstock)

True story: the other day I stepped on a dead bird while walking home from daycare drop-off.

I didn’t see it because I was reading my email on my smartphone.

Multitasking can be messy!

We are all living in a multitasking world.  There is really no escaping it.  Paying half attention to where you are going might be good enough for avoiding big mistakes (like walking into oncoming traffic).  But it hardly lends itself to flawless execution.

Here are 7 ways Marketing Automation helps marketers multitask more effectively:

#1. Setting Up Marketing Campaigns For Appropriate Tracking

I used to work for a billion-dollar tech company with an army of marketers.  This company had the worst marketing systems: a homegrown Content Management System (CMS) and a poorly configured Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  It made it incredibly difficult to set up campaigns for proper tracking and easy execution.

For example, here is how a marketer needed to zig-zag through the systems in order to execute an email marketing campaign:

Inefficient Campaign Setup Without Marketing Automation:

  • Create your HTML email in the CMS.
  • Separately, create your landing page in the CMS.
  • Go into the CRM and set up your campaign.  During campaign setup you would create tracking URLs.
  • Copy the tracking URLs from the CRM and go back into the CMS and add them to the HTML email.
  • Go back into the landing page in the CMS and tag it with the CRM’s campaign code.
  • Then you would import the HTML email into the CRM system and finally execute the email campaign against a list segment.

If you messed up any part of this process — or if you cut corners because you just had too much other stuff to do and were up against a deadline — then the tracking for the campaign would not work and you would have incomplete metrics for the campaign you had slaved over.  Ugh!

Marketing Automation solutions unify all these marketing activities into a single seamless process, so setup is a logical workflow and tracking is handled automatically.  This saves you a ton of time and ensures proper results tracking.

7 Ways Marketing Automation Helps Marketers Multitask More Effectively:

#1. Setting up marketing campaigns for appropriate tracking
#2. A/B testing
#3. Integration with CRM
#4. Lead nurturing for better lead quality
#5. Doing the little things right, automatically
#6. Reviewing results and applying your learning
#7. Taking a moment to celebrate your successes

Posted in Hubspot, Marketing Automation | 8 Comments

#2. Marketing Automation: A/B Testing

By Bob Hebeisen

Multitasking (image courtesy of Shutterstock)Part 2 of 7…Here are 7 ways Marketing Automation helps marketers multitask more effectively:

#1. Setting up marketing campaigns for appropriate tracking
#2. A/B testing
#3. Integration with CRM
#4. Lead nurturing for better lead quality
#5. Doing the little things right, automatically
#6. Reviewing results and applying your learning
#7. Taking a moment to celebrate your successes

In the example I used earlier when discussing setting up a campaign with a poorly integrated CMS and CRM, the process was difficult and convoluted for setting up even a simple campaign.  Now, imagine you wanted to do something more interesting like:

  • Track results by source (so you could determine the effectiveness of one list vs. another list)
  • Test two different offers
  • Test an email subject line variation
  • Test a landing page headline variation
  • Test a long lead capture form vs. a short form on the landing page
  • Test different segmentation options on your lists…

Any of these variables might be an important factor for maximizing the ROI of your marketing effort.  But in an inefficient system like the one described earlier, employing testing discipline made a difficult campaign setup task explode with complexity.  It was so onerous to set up testing that we often just didn’t bother to do it.  We would just go with our “gut” instincts of what we thought would produce the most leads.  Lack of Marketing Automation absolutely contributed to a lack of optimization of our marketing efforts at that company.

Conversely, with Marketing Automation, A/B testing is simple to set up and measure.  See the screen shots for an example.

The banner at the bottom of the blog post pictured is called a “CTA” (“call to action”) in HubSpot. When you click the banner you go to a lead capture landing page. This CTA is set up to alternate two different banners, each one promoting a different offer. Half the site visitors see banner A, and the other half see banner B.

Here is HubSpot’s CTA dashboard showing the results of this A/B test. You can see that one banner is producing more clicks and more submissions.

7 Ways Marketing Automation Helps Marketers Multitask More Effectively:

#1. Setting up marketing campaigns for appropriate tracking
#2. A/B testing
#3. Integration with CRM
#4. Lead nurturing for better lead quality
#5. Doing the little things right, automatically
#6. Reviewing results and applying your learning
#7. Taking a moment to celebrate your successes

Posted in A/B Testing, Hubspot, Marketing Automation | 5 Comments

#3. Marketing Automation: Integration With CRM

By Bob Hebeisen

Multitasking (image courtesy of Shutterstock)Part 3 of 7…Here are 7 ways Marketing Automation helps marketers multitask more effectively:

#1. Setting up marketing campaigns for appropriate tracking
#2. A/B testing
#3. Integration with CRM
#4. Lead nurturing for better lead quality
#5. Doing the little things right, automatically
#6. Reviewing results and applying your learning
#7. Taking a moment to celebrate your successes

Have you ever generated a ton of leads, and then proudly walked down to the sales bullpen and have your sales reps tell you the leads were junk?  Well Marketing Automation can help with that too.

Marketing Automation solutions typically easily integrate with SalesForce.com and other major CRM systems.  So your leads can be flowed automatically into the CRM, and the leads stay synchronized as you continue to execute marketing and sales activities against the contacts.

Have you ever had to manually upload leads into your CRM?  Or manually export leads from the CRM to use for a marketing campaign?  Or manually updated a bunch of contacts in the CRM to reflect the fact that a marketing activity was just executed against them?

If you have, then you know that it is possible, but it is often not easy, and it can easily sink half your day each time you do it (or it can be so unpleasant that it gets put on the back burner and delayed for a long time).  So having your marketing activities automatically synched with your CRM is an immeasurable benefit.

Another advantage of having your Marketing Automation and CRM systems integrated is that metrics continue to be tracked as the sales team works leads and updates the status.  So you can measure the effectiveness of your campaigns at a deeper level — not just cost per lead, but cost per opportunity, or cost per sale, or cost per customer lifetime value.

Next time your sales reps tell you that your leads are lousy, you can actually run a report to see if the data supports that assertion!

7 Ways Marketing Automation Helps Marketers Multitask More Effectively:

#1. Setting up marketing campaigns for appropriate tracking
#2. A/B testing
#3. Integration with CRM
#4. Lead nurturing for better lead quality
#5. Doing the little things right, automatically
#6. Reviewing results and applying your learning
#7. Taking a moment to celebrate your successes

Posted in Hubspot, Marketing Automation | 6 Comments

#4. Marketing Automation: Lead Nurturing For Better Lead Quality

By Bob Hebeisen

Multitasking (image courtesy of Shutterstock)Part 4 of 7…Here are 7 ways Marketing Automation helps marketers multitask more effectively:

#1. Setting up marketing campaigns for appropriate tracking
#2. A/B testing
#3. Integration with CRM
#4. Lead nurturing for better lead quality
#5. Doing the little things right, automatically
#6. Reviewing results and applying your learning
#7. Taking a moment to celebrate your successes

Propel prospects down the sales funnel and along “The Buyer’s Journey” by sending them a systematic sequence of offers and content.

Another way to drive higher lead quality is through lead nurturing. After the initial lead is captured, “drip” a sequence of emails to grow the relationship with the prospect and guide them down “The Buyer’s Journey.” Pass the leads to sales only after they are mature and closer to a buying decision.

Basic lead nurturing can be accomplished without Marketing Automation software. But sophisticated conditional logic needs to be supported in order to accommodate different triggers that can drive variations in the sequence of emails and sales interaction. This is the bread and butter of Marketing Automation.

7 Ways Marketing Automation Helps Marketers Multitask More Effectively:

#1. Setting up marketing campaigns for appropriate tracking
#2. A/B testing
#3. Integration with CRM
#4. Lead nurturing for better lead quality
#5. Doing the little things right, automatically
#6. Reviewing results and applying your learning
#7. Taking a moment to celebrate your successes

Posted in Buyer's Journey, Hubspot, Lead Nurturing, Marketing Automation | 7 Comments

#5. Marketing Automation: Doing The Little Things Right, Automatically

By Bob Hebeisen

Multitasking (image courtesy of Shutterstock)Part 5 of 7…Here are 7 ways Marketing Automation helps marketers multitask more effectively:

#1. Setting up marketing campaigns for appropriate tracking
#2. A/B testing
#3. Integration with CRM
#4. Lead nurturing for better lead quality
#5. Doing the little things right, automatically
#6. Reviewing results and applying your learning
#7. Taking a moment to celebrate your successes

I was reading a Harvard Business Review article the other day and the author turned the phrase “complexity traps and kills good ideas.”  He was talking about complexities in your business model, but it is equally true for marketing execution.

If a marketer’s plate is overflowing, instead of doing all the little things right, he is likely to go into triage mode and cut some corners on things that add complexity to his task list.

Here are a bunch of things Marketing Automation does right, automatically, so there is no danger of skipping them in the interest of expediency:

Social Media share buttons automatically placed on emails, landing pages, and blog posts

Marketers know that it is a best practice to include social media sharing buttons on the content they publish, so viewers of the content can easily share your content with friends and colleagues.  But sometimes in the haste to get things done we can let little details like this slip.  Marketing Automation solutions don’t forget, they do it automatically.

View email as an HTML page link on all emails

Creating a HTML page for every marketing email you create can be tedious.  But there are benefits to doing so, in case your email is not rendered properly by the recipient’s email client.  And also because if it is done properly the HTML pages themselves can lend SEO “juice” to your website.  Marketing Automation tools can be set up to do this automatically so it takes no additional effort on the part of the marketer.

Incorporating target keywords in your blog titles, headlines, and body copy

It is a rather obvious tactic that marketers should include target keywords in their blog posts to improve SEO.  Marketing Automation solutions like HubSpot can actually prompt marketers to do so, identifying the fact that keywords are absent from your blog posts while you are composing them.

Social Media tracking & measurement

Here’s a famous myth: it is not possible to track the effectiveness of social media marketing.

The fact is, it is just as easy to measure the inbound traffic and leads generated by social media as it is for any other form of online marketing (email, PPC, etc.).  You just need to generate coded links for each social media post so the source can be tracked.  The problem is it is a tedious exercise to create those coded links manually because the volume of social media posts is typically much greater, and social media marketing managers have simply lacked the discipline to do it.

But Marketing Automation tools can automate this process.  See the screen shot of HubSpot’s Social Media Publishing tool.  Each post can be scheduled and the results can be tracked.  In fact you can see that Social Media Marketing can produce results just as well if not better than other measurable forms of online marketing.

HubSpot’s Social Media Publishing tool let’s you schedule posts and status updates so they are posted at the time when they will make the most impact. Also, note that clicks are tracked for each post.  See more detail on how to automate Social Media Marketing with HubSpot.

HubSpot reporting shows us Social Media Marketing results. You can see that in this example Social Media Marketing is driving significant lead conversion (only email marketing is performing better).

7 Ways Marketing Automation Helps Marketers Multitask More Effectively:

#1. Setting up marketing campaigns for appropriate tracking
#2. A/B testing
#3. Integration with CRM
#4. Lead nurturing for better lead quality
#5. Doing the little things right, automatically
#6. Reviewing results and applying your learning
#7. Taking a moment to celebrate your successes

Posted in Hubspot, Marketing Automation | 6 Comments

#6. Marketing Automation: Reviewing Results And Applying Your Learning

By Bob Hebeisen

Multitasking (image courtesy of Shutterstock)Part 6 of 7…Here are 7 ways Marketing Automation helps marketers multitask more effectively:

#1. Setting up marketing campaigns for appropriate tracking
#2. A/B testing
#3. Integration with CRM
#4. Lead nurturing for better lead quality
#5. Doing the little things right, automatically
#6. Reviewing results and applying your learning
#7. Taking a moment to celebrate your successes

When multitasking marketers are juggling too many balls at the same time, usually the first thing that falls to the floor is analyzing results.  Marketing Automation helps in two ways.

  • First, you gain efficiency thanks to their improved workflow and automatic data handling and all the other things I’ve discussed above.  So you are less frantic taking care of the tactics and have more time to focus on the strategy.
  • Second, Marketing Automation does a great job with analytics dashboards.  It’s usually the first thing they display when you log in each day, and they email you a daily report of yesterday’s activity and progress against KPIs.

In the example I used earlier when discussing setting up a campaign with a poorly integrated CMS and CRM, it was impossible to get good reporting:

  • Go to the CMS to see how many form submissions were attributed to your landing page.
  • Pull the number of email deliveries, bounces, opens, clicks, and leads from the CRM.
  • Go to the web analytics application to get the pageview statistics for your landing page.
  • Put all the numbers in a spreadsheet and perform calculations for conversion rate, cost per lead, etc.
  • Note that the numbers almost never matched up: Web analytics pageviews would not match the number of clicks, number of form submissions from the CMS would not match the number of leads in the CRM, etc.  So what numbers do you trust?

What a nightmare! There was a Marketing Operations department that defined dashboards each year to measure marketing performance against goals. It was so difficult to pull together the data that it often took the entire first quarter of the year for them to get dashboards created — one full quarter without marketing reporting!

Rolled-up analytics in your Marketing Automation system is a huge advantage!

The HubSpot dashboard report gives you a quick look at site traffic, leads, and landing page statistics.

The landing page report shows you which landing pages are performing the best, so you can learn from your successful pages and adjust the ones that are under-performing.

HubSpot email reporting gives you deliverability/open/click reporting.

The HubSpot traffic report tells you what sources are driving the most traffic to your site and which ones are producing the most leads.

7 Ways Marketing Automation Helps Marketers Multitask More Effectively:

#1. Setting up marketing campaigns for appropriate tracking
#2. A/B testing
#3. Integration with CRM
#4. Lead nurturing for better lead quality
#5. Doing the little things right, automatically
#6. Reviewing results and applying your learning
#7. Taking a moment to celebrate your successes

Posted in Hubspot, Marketing Automation | 6 Comments