5 Lead Generation Ideas for B2Bs

5 Lead Generation Ideas for B2Bs

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5 Lead Generation Ideas for B2Bs

When we talk about the B2B lead generation, we need to ask ourselves: Which of the available methods would work for us now? Marketing strategies for B2Bs are continually changing, while the goals remain the same – more leads, more sales, and  better return on investment

Lead generation strategies have to change alongside market demands and adapt to them to be successful. With the development of technologies, customers today have different expectations when it comes to customer experiences, such as personalized service, no repeating problems, innovation, and such.

If you want to generate more leads, then you have to know when and how to adapt to new trends and to optimize your strategies. Here, you can find out about some methods for improving your B2B lead generation.

1. Creating a Customized Content for B2B Audience

Customers choose what they will consume online, whether they’re ads or online movies. Customized content affects B2B businesses as well, and it’s important to know that most of the customers prefer brands that provide personalized (humanized) content. It seems that the marketers are taking this seriously as 60% of B2B brands stated that they experienced more positive results when they had customized their material compared to the content that wasn’t tailored. Even though customization can be difficult, when implemented, the results are significant and measurable, even in small ways. It should be one of the main focuses for all B2B marketers.

2. Social media

One of the most popular channels for B2B sales and lead generation is – social media. There is no marketing strategy today that can be without a robust social media marketing plan. A well-developed strategy implemented on LinkedIn (world’s largest professional network) can have a significant impact on your lead generation. LinkedIn is the most successful network when it comes to acquiring qualified leads for B2Bs. Noted, almost 80% of B2B leads are generated via LinkedIn.

No matter which social media channel you use, it is essential to know how to use it because merely connecting with a potential customer won’t do. You have to send personalized connection requests to attract the right people to your brand. Presenting yourself as an active member of the community brings relevant information, solutions, and value.

3. Email marketing

Surely we can observe this type of marketing as one of the oldest ones. But even though many years have passed, email marketing still gets the job done (and does it quite well.) For B2B marketers, it is still one of the most efficient ways to generate leads, but with all the analytic and promotional apps and tools that have come along the way – email marketing has also evolved. B2B businesses are getting excellent results with email marketing with the help of automation tools. These tools can connect with your CRM to automatically send targeted emails to potential leads, help you increase transactions by getting personal, segment your emails to make a more significant impact, and sync up with the customer buying cycle.

4. Mobile Marketing

The ever-increasing usage of mobile phones tells us that the world is shifting more and more from PCs to mobile phones. A research done by Google says that 50% of B2B queries came from mobile phones, and the number is expected to grow. By optimizing your website for mobile phones, you will shorten your sales cycle and help your customers to make buying decisions more efficiently. Of course, it can’t happen without a proper, mobile-responsive website. Also, it has to provide an enjoyable customer journey to improve ways of engaging and reaching new audiences.

5. Video Marketing

Video marketing strategy provides an excellent opportunity to reach a targeted audience and generate more leads. About 75% of successful executives stated that they boosted their website traffic once they started using video content. Video is one of the biggest influences on customer’s buying behavior. 64% of the time, customers purchased after watching video content from a particular brand. Also, having a video on your landing page can increase the rate of conversion by at least 80%. After seeing these numbers, more and more B2B marketers are planning to use YouTube and social media video as their content strategy.

The developments happening in technology are changing customers’ online purchasing habits. All of this represents new challenges for B2B marketers, so it has become crucial to develop marketing strategies that will bring more lead generation. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different tactics and to combine them on multiple channels. Let these mentioned ideas guide you toward creating the best possible strategy for your brand.

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Instagram Tips: How to Utilize Videos for Your Business

Instagram Tips: How to Utilize Videos for Your Business

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Instagram Tips: How to Utilize Videos for Your Business

There is no doubt that Instagram has become one of the fastest evolving social platforms these past few years. The Mobile-First trend, Square videos, Live Streams, Instagram Stories, and now IGTV – these features have made this social network extremely useful for companies and product promotion. In June 2018, Instagram hit the mark of 1 billion users, with 25 million being business profiles.

In its essence, Instagram is more of a visual social media platform where marketers can use photos and videos for promotion. If you’re a marketer, then we probably don’t need to tell you about the rising importance of video content. During the last few years, the demand for video exploded because it’s easier to consume and people like to be visually stimulated (which is not the case with text.)

It is free to create a business Instagram profile, and you can start using it for your business purposes as soon as you register.

Instagram Stories Video

According to recent reports, more than 250 million active users check their Story feed every day. Stories are there only for 24 hours, so they generate a sense of urgency. Here’s how you can use Instagram Stories video for your business promotion.

Show the Behind the Scenes

Add a human touch to your video content by showing the team members that stand behind your brand. Have them share their thoughts about the company and what is their role in it. Show a sneak peek of a new product, a brief montage of the manufacturing process, or a spontaneous demonstration of your product in action.

Share Premium Offers

People love deals, so use Instagram Stories to give them premium deals that are valid only during that 24-hour story lifespan. This tactic will get you new followers and have them coming back to your stories hoping to catch one of your new deals.

Give Your Story to an Influencer

Influencers have emerged thanks to social media, and companies can reach out to them in various niches. Partner up with an influencer from your industry and run an Instagram Story takeover to introduce your content to their followers.

IGTV

The newest feature on Instagram – the platform now allows users to upload 1-hour long videos. It is still reserved for those with a large following, while others remain limited to 10 minutes. With 1 billion users, they are rivaling YouTube with their social network television, as YouTube now has 1.8 billion users. You can use IGTV via the Instagram app or the separate IGTV app. The best thing about it is that videos have that real-life appeal, without having to be polished like YouTube content.

Timeline Videos

Instagram timeline videos can be up to 60 seconds long and play automatically. You can use them to:

Make Short Commercials

To link your product to a particular lifestyle or portray it artistically, you can create short commercials. They can be inspirational, emotional, or funny, and a great way to entice your audience and have them identify with your product.

DIY Videos

Produce a 1-minute how-to video that explains how to use your product. Don’t think that 1 minute is not enough; you’ll be surprised.

Showcase Products

Create a product video to showcase it interestingly and excitingly. Focus on its key features and make attention-grabbing, brilliant footage.

How to Create the Most Effective Instagram Videos

#1 Find and Maintain a Unique Visual Style

Is there a particular visual style than your target audience relates to? Do your research to identify it, and try to create something different than your audience is used to see from you. On the other hand, perhaps you won’t need to steer away from your current style because that’s what resonates the best with your audience. Develop some ideas, test them, and see what works and what doesn’t by tracking your engagement metrics.

#2 Horizontal Videos are for the News Feed

And verticals videos are for stories. The days are long gone when vertical videos were considered a bad choice due to the rise in popularity of mobile-recorded videos. Vertical videos are the new standard and are particularly fitting for the Instagram Story feed because they create a more immersive experience. However, vertical videos look awkward and small in the timeline, horizontally-shot videos are a better option.

#3 Hashtags, Text Overlay, and Subtitles

Use relevant and specific hashtags so your target audience can find your posts easily. Misused and overused hashtags will have an adverse effect because your audience may find them annoying. Text overlay will help the viewers get your message even if they have the sound muted for whatever reason. And thanks to subtitles, they’ll be able to follow any narration playing over your video.

Creating the perfect Instagram video is tough work because there’s no absolute way to do it. Test and use these tactics to understand your viewers’ preferences, tweak your video creation strategies, and you’ll soon find what works best for your business. Instagram is about the ability to broadcast the moment, so always give your best to highlight those aspects of your business.

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Everything You Need to Know about Facebook Events

Everything You Need to Know about Facebook Events

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Everything You Need to Know about Facebook Events

Facebook is indeed a multi-purpose social platform. Unlike Twitter or Instagram, Facebook has a great event feature. It allows users to organize their gatherings and let their connections know about their upcoming events (whether online or in their communities.) If you have a Facebook account (and you most probably do), you can host your event, make it open to anyone or make it invitation-only, and invite followers of a page, members of a group, or friends.

An event invitation on Facebook can reach many people quickly, and the RSVP area on the event page shows you how many people are planning to attend it. Also, when someone clicks on “Interested” or “Going,” it shows up on their newsfeed, which means that their friends can see it.

As a business owner or marketer, you can use the Event feature to extend your promotion efforts. You can create a private event which only the invitees can see (but also invite others if you allow them) or a public one which anyone on Facebook can view and search for it.

How to Set Up a Facebook Event

To set up an event, you need to:

  1. Go to the Events tab and click Create Event.
  2. Click on Create Private Event or Create Public Event.
  3. Choose a theme for your occasion – travel, family, holiday, birthday, etc.
  4. Upload a photo, pick the date and time, name the event, and add an event description.
  5. When the event is created, click on the Invite button and start inviting your guests.

Write a Good Description

A correct Event description will include all relevant information and details regarding the schedule, special guests, and pricing. Add information about the venue as well, for example, if it’s a larger location, add clear and specific directions so attendees will know where to go when they arrive.

Use an Enticing Event Photo

The event photo should be relevant and eye-catching. For example, choose a festive picture if you’re hosting your company’s anniversary. As for the photo size, Facebook recommends using the 16:9 aspect ratio or 1920 x 1080 pixel image.

Include Keywords in the Tags Section

To make it more searchable, use relevant keywords as tags to optimize your Facebook event. Start typing the keywords, and Facebook will provide suggestions in a drop-down menu. That way, Facebook will recommend the event to people based on their interests, which is particularly useful for Public Events.

How to Promote a Facebook Event

First, start with your network and circle of friends. But instead of waiting and hoping that they will share it with their network and so on, you can promote your event by running a Facebook Ad. You’ll notice the Boost Event tab on your event page and make sure to push it to people who aren’t aware of your brand but may be interested in attending.

If you co-host the event, ask the other hosts to share the event as well. Share updates, photos, videos, and stories on the Event page as the date of the event approaches, to generate more interest. During event preparations, use the Facebook Live feature to take the attendees behind the scenes of the event.

Post conversation starters, details, and relevant information in the Facebook Event page to keep the attendees excited about coming to your event. Every time you post something, people who have checked “Going” or “Interested” will get notified about the new post about the event.

Limitations

To avoid spam, Facebook sets an invite limit to 500. If you invite a large number of people who don’t bother to respond, Facebook could limit the number of people you can invite even further. To avoid this, allow anyone you invite, also to welcome their connections, and name a co-host who can also attract up to 500 people.

Gatherings and networking events are one of key elements to expanding your network of connections, but also to connect to your employees outside the office where you don’t talk about work, but get to know each other and have fun. That’s where Facebook Events feature comes into play as one of the best ways to create and promote your event.

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7 Tools You Can Use to Research The Best Twitter Hashtags

7 Tools You Can Use to Research The Best Twitter Hashtags

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7 Tools You Can Use to Research The Best Twitter Hashtags

To improve your presence on Twitter, first, you need to understand how this social platform works. The key to better engagement and communication with users across Twitter is to learn how to use some handy tools to identify Twitter hashtags that are relevant to your brand and your audience.

Here are 7 tools that you can put to great use.

1. ExportTweet for Purchasing In-Depth Hashtag Reports

With ExportTweet, you can buy in-depth hashtag reports at a reasonable price. There, you can find influencer data, check out top tweets, research keywords, and track data. There is a free version of this tool, but it allows you to use it for only 100 tweets. The paid version, on the other hand, provides you with unlimited tracking. There are some alternatives considering ExportTweet, such as the insight it gives on geographical location, related domains, most active posting days, most active influencers, links, top images, and videos.

2. Navigational Tool Trendsmap

This tool allows you to find trending hashtags by location, and find out how different places discuss different topics online. It is excellent for marketers since they can use this kind of information to geo-target their messaging. Geotargeting allows you to know which issues are hot and trending in a particular area, thus to directly engage with the audiences there. So, as topics may vary at different places, cities and countries, start using this hashtag tool finder to keep in touch with the trending topics.

3. Twitter Itself as a Tool

Maybe the most obvious place to find out about trending hashtags is Twitter itself. It is easy to use and can provide the most accurate information on a given subject. Twitter can also show you “tailored trends” for each user according to where they are and who they follow. The only flaw is that Twitter gives you only a small part of the top trending topics. So, if you want to look for more hashtags, you should supplement your efforts with other tools.

4. RiteTag to Discover Hashtag Popularity

With RiteTag, you can track your current hashtags, find new ones, as well as find the best suitable hashtags for your images and text. RiteTag has its Chrome extension which you can use to highlight text and get hashtag suggestions by right-clicking on an image. When you do a hashtag search via RiteTag, it organizes the results so you can see which hashtags will boost your tweet visibility and which hashtags are less popular.

5. Socialert for Tracking Hashtag Campaigns

Socialert is perfect for individual users and small businesses. You can do free searches for seven days to analyze up to 300 tweets until the tool asks you to pay for an upgrade. With Socialert,  you can see geographic data, hashtag reach, and impression rate. If you decide to get a paid version of Socialert, then you will also get historical data, influencer tracking, in-depth analytics, and search filters.

6. Tweet Archivist for Real-Time Data

Another free hashtag research tool for hashtags. Tweet Archivist provides real-time data to its users, and with the free version, you will be able to see top URLs associated with the hashtag, top associated words, languages used, influencer index, and user mentions. Once you decide to pay for a monthly subscription, you could receive three archives updated every hour and download data.

7. Hashtagify

Hashtagify is used for its exceptional visual interface. Use it to find relevant hashtags, but also to find out which influencers are using the hashtag. That will enable you to get more information about the reach of that specific hashtag as well as details about its scope in different geographic areas and languages.

Hashtags on Twitter are crucial for a successful Twitter marketing campaign, and with these tools, you can find the right hashtag to use for your business.

What tool or combination of tools you’ll use depends on your needs. And it’s also important to plan out a good strategy since hashtags are one of the critical elements for successful Twitter marketing. Free versions and trials of the mentioned tools can help you decide whether if you want to invest and how much, but if you’re going to expand your marketing, even more, you should dig deeper.

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How To Provide Personalized Customer Service Through Instagram Live

How To Provide Personalized Customer Service Through Instagram Live

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How To Provide Personalized Customer Service Through Instagram Live

If you thought Instagram Live couldn’t help you provide a better and personalized customer service, better guess again. After the IGTV launch in June, Instagram rolled out another new feature – Instagram Video Chat. And with 1 billion users on their platform, Instagram is quickly becoming a one-stop-shop network that aims to satisfy all their users’ needs. Now, besides Live Video, we have the direct and group Video Chat option added to the app’s expanding set of features.

Why Use Instagram Live and Video Chat for Customer Service?

If the most substantial part of your target audience is on Instagram, then it makes perfect sense – social media users like the convenience that social media platforms provide them. And if they can buy products or services right there, then why not provide them with customer service when they have questions or need assistance. Many consumers out there are trying to reach a brand via social media for customer service.

Customers turn more to video to get their answers, so by leveraging Instagram Live you can help you stand out from your competition. It establishes credibility and instills trust. 

Instagram Live

Instagram Live can be used to provide answers to your followers directly, but you can also save it, slice it up into several shorter videos to separate the answers for each frequently asked question (FAQ). You can schedule and promote an Instagram Live event, so your customers will know when to get online and ask questions in the comments. Also, you can make a list of FAQ’s, post a video, and then save it to your Instagram collection. That way, your followers can access your collection to find the answers they need.

Benefits of Visual Chat for Customer Service

Customers want immediate solutions when they experience an issue, expecting it to be handled within 30 minutes when making a call. And most of them reach out to their phones to contact customer support, but is an audio interaction enough?

Real-time video is much more efficient than other solutions because it’s easier for customer service representatives to make someone understand their instructions. Pre-recorded videos are useful but not as much as real-live video communication, such as the one Instagram now offers with their new Video Chat feature.

Live video communication also builds trust more than other means of support. Customers can now connect a face to the person they’re talking to and will be more likely to return if another problem comes up.

Video communication for customer service improves customer engagement and retention, but it has to be thoroughly prepared. What’s fundamental here is the interpersonal skill of your customer service staff, which range from a friendly attitude to nonverbal gestures.

Video chat also allows hearing impaired customers to communicate via sign-language, providing assistance that is not possible over non-visual channels of communication.

How to Use Instagram Live and Video Chat

You can launch an Instagram Live stream by tapping on your Stories camera button. Then configure your settings and set up your video by picking the camera you want to use (front or back), writing a short description, and configuring your story settings. Start recording and hit the stop button when done. After it ends, tap Save, and your Live video will be saved on your phone, ready to be uploaded and kept in a Customer Service Support collection.

As for Live Video Chat, you can’t chat with everyone. You can only engage in a video chat with a person that you had a direct message conversation. So, you can provide live video customer service only after they’ve reached out to you via DM. Then tap the video camera button to begin the video chat with a person or even a group (it supports up to 4 people in the conversation.)

While engaging in the video chat, you can switch from the front to the rear-facing camera at any time by tapping the double arrow icon. You can also mute or unmute your mic, turn your camera off and back on, minimize the chat to navigate around your smartphone, and eventually leave the video chat.

With live video communication, businesses will add a more personal touch to the interaction with their customers, as well as help your customer service representatives to determine the problems quicker thanks to the show-and-tell method. Google and Amazon have already proven that live video support for customer service works, so what are you waiting for?

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How to Get Verified On Instagram (And Its Benefits)

How to Get Verified On Instagram (And Its Benefits)

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How to Get Verified On Instagram (And Its Benefits)

In the last few years, Instagram has been rolling out new and exciting changes to their platform. In June 2018, Instagram users were introduced to IGTV (Instagram’s version of social television where users can upload and share 1-hour videos.) And as of August, profile verification isn’t just reserved for brands, celebrities, and public figures only. Now, anyone can request to get the blue “verified” badge next to their name, but the process still isn’t that easy.

Let us walk you through the process of getting verified on Instagram as well as the benefits that the blue badge brings.

Before We Begin

The verification process consists of different steps. It’s essential to provide your proof of identity on a few social media platforms. If you already have a verified Facebook, then you’ll easily verify your Instagram as well. Another way to do it is to increase the number of your Instagram followers because that tells Instagram that you’re a real person.

Get Verified on Instagram

  • Open the Instagram app on your phone and go to Settings
  • Scroll the menu down and tap Request Verification
  • Add your full name, account name, and a photo of your ID (if you want to verify your personal account) or a business/legal ID (if you’re proving a Business account)
  • Tap Send

Once your application has been reviewed (you’ll have to wait a bit), you will be notified if your request is approved or denied. Right now, Instagram verification is in high demand so not every account will get verified, so the designation doesn’t lose on its value. If your account meets all the qualification, Instagram will give the blue badge.

What is the Criteria?

  1. Follow Instagram’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.
  2. Authentic. You have to prove that you’re a real person, registered business, or brand. In other words, be who you say you are.
  3. Public. Make your account public and viewable to everyone.
  4. Complete. Fill up your Bio section, add a profile photo, and upload at least one post.
  5. Unique. With exceptions to language-specific accounts, only one account per business/person may be verified. Also, Instagram doesn’t verify general interest accounts (such as those that aggregate funny memes or pictures of pets).
  6. Notable. When it reviews your application, Instagram will look at whether you’re featured in multiple news sources and whether your name is searched for. 

Benefits of Having a Verified Instagram Account

When people see the blue badge beside a name, they tend to trust it more. It means that Instagram perceived your account as an authentic account with an organic following, which allows people to find those they want to follow and avoid imposters.

Having a blue badge makes an account look exclusive because not everybody can get verified. It adds more power to the brand value, making you feel more confident to share content through your account. People will trust you more, and you can leverage that to include an influencer or two to promote your brand.

Another significant advantage of having your account verified is to prove that it’s the only official one, which significantly helps to fight out identity theft. Countless fake accounts impersonate great businesses, public figures, and celebrities. You don’t want people to mistake a phony account for your real one, and perhaps get a wrong impression of you.

If I Can’t Get Verified, What Can I Do About It?

  • You need to do everything you can to prove the authenticity of your Instagram account.  
  • Share your account in other communication channels. When sending out newsletters or emails, add your Instagram account in the signature. Embed it in your blog posts as well as your business cards, product packaging, and signage at a store or event.  
  • Add a link to your website on your Instagram profile. Be sure to add the link to your site, but not a connection to another social network, because Instagram doesn’t tolerate that.  
  • Promote your account on other social media profiles and your website. It will clear up the confusion about which account is your official one as well as help a broader audience to find you on Instagram. Include a link to your Insta account on your website, other social media profiles and pages, and any other online profiles.  
  • Write a good Bio and keep a consistent brand aesthetic. A strong Instagram Bio must convey personality, show what you do and who you are, include a compelling CTA and relevant keywords. As for the brand aesthetic, establish a consistent Instagram look by using the same filter for all your posts. It will tell your audience that your account is real and legit.  
  • When you’ve done everything, go and resubmit your request for verification. If you stuck to a good Instagram strategy and managed to build a dedicated following, you will get your account verified. As a team of experienced social media management professionals, Strong Social can help you improve your social media presence.

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