How B2B Businesses Should Be Leveraging LinkedIn

LinkedIn hit the scene in 2003 as just another networking site. Fast forward to 2018 and now they have over 500 million users, it’s the #1 channel B2B marketers use to distribute content, and it accounts for over 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs. Mic drop.

If you’re not effectively using LinkedIn for B2B lead generation marketing, it’s time to start. But just like any other business decision, you want to be methodical and strategic about how you use LinkedIn in order to get the most out of it. Luckily for you, we have compiled 3 strategies that will draw people to your business and ultimately help generate qualified leads, and increase revenue.

Gear your company page towards lead generation with SEO in mind

You must work for great leads; they don’t just happen. Think of your company page on LinkedIn as a pipeline for generating leads to your company website. Rather than simply describing what your business does, create a thought-provoking pitch that speaks directly to your target audience. Remember that the most important part is the first few lines, because that’s all LinkedIn displays until the users clicks “see more”.

Use an image that commands attention and sparks interest. Get creative and have fun with it. Regularly post updates that are aimed at your target audience so that you’ll stay fresh in their minds, and be sure to make these clickable and conversion-focused.

From an SEO perspective, your company page can be a powerful tool if properly optimized. Google will feature roughly the first 150 characters of your company overview description in their search results, so be sure to weave your important keywords into this portion. Putting these targeted keywords front and center will increase your chances of engagement on LinkedIn.

SAP is a great example of a quality company page geared toward SEO:

It’s engaging, and they place the keyword “enterprise application software” in the beginning of the description.

Take advantage of Advanced Search

Advanced Search is LinkedIn’s most powerful tool for effective prospecting. It provides a great way to narrow down your search.

Advanced Search allows you to filter people by location, industry, current company, past company, profile language, school, and nonprofit interests. You can continue to use filters without having to re-do your initial search. This allows you to easily see how the applied filters affect your initial search, providing results that are focused and actionable. In this way, you can gain invaluable insight into a certain group that might be a better fit for prospecting.

Pro Tip: Upgrading your sales team to LinkedIn Navigator can help provide them access to additional filtering options, and a wealth of data and information not available in free version.

Utilize “Showcase Pages”

LinkedIn created Showcase Pages for companies looking to promote individual offshoot brands. These are a great way to connect directly with a more specific target audience—the point being to generate better leads. Who doesn’t want that? According to LinkedIn, “it makes sense to create a Showcase Page when you want to represent a brand, business unit, or company initiative. These pages are intended to develop a long-term relationship with a specific audience.”

HP effectively utilizes Showcase Pages to highlight their business segments such as HP Graphic Arts, HP Labs, and HP Sales Engagement. Here’s their HP Labs showcase page:

Make this page as effective as possible by:

  1. Putting a keyword in the page name that this audience will relate to; keeping the page name short, so the entire name shows up in the sidebar,
  2. Making the page conversion-focused, and
  3. Regularly posting meaningful and relevant updates.

 

Using Showcase Pages with these LinkedIn B2B marketing strategies in mind is a surefire way to step up your lead generation.

If you are in need of some hands on help with LinkedIn marketing, please contact us today!

Does Blogging Help With SEO? 9 Essential Steps for Success

It seems like every company, big or small, has a blog nowadays, but do blogs help SEO? Few companies capitalize on their blog content to drive SEO gains, which can be a crucial component in a growing business’ success. Here are 9 essential steps that can help your company reap SEO blogging benefits:

 

  1. Create a captivating title tag for your blog.

Don’t just name your website’s blog title “Blog”. There are 100s of blogs out there, and the first step you can take in making your blog section stand out from the rest is through unique branding. Naming your blog is an optimization opportunity, so when you name your blog, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is the overarching theme of your blog?
  • What would be a captivating description in your industry?
  • Can you incorporate important SEO keywords in the blog title/name?
  • More specifically, WHO are you trying to reach?

 

  1. Reach your targeted audience with EVERY blog post.

The ideal way to increase your blog’s popularity is to keep your targeted audience in mind while creating every blog post. This is especially true if you practice an account-based marketing approach to customer targeting. Continuing to create content that is relevant and rewarding to a segment of your targeted audience will increase your authority in the industry. Each blog post should have target keywords that relate to the specific needs of your customers.

Creating content that is new and specific to your targeted audience will keep them coming to your site again and again.

Another important aspect to keep in mind when targeting keywords on specific blog posts is to focus on a maximum of 1-2 keywords/phrases. Throwing in too many keywords/phrases into your posts can hurt your SEO, because search engines view this as keyword stuffing. Uphold the readership and integrity of your blog posts by honing in on essential keywords and using them in a natural manner.

 

  1. Implement a smart URL structure.

While URL structure may not directly impact rankings, an efficient structure can improve CTR and make your links more appealing in the SERPs.

When creating URLs for individual blog posts, marketers often resort to including every single word in the title of that blog post, creating overly long and hard to read URLs. The key here is to create a blog URL that is both descriptive of what is on the page, but also concise.

Another consideration for URL structure is reporting efficiency. Oftentimes companies do not include “/blog/” in their URL structure. This can make it difficult to track page progress within Google Analytics. By including “/blog/” in your URL structure, you improve the ease of reporting for your site.

 

  1. Continue to optimize your blog posts.

One of the best ways you can continue to generate steady traffic to your blog is by optimizing your existing blog posts on a regular basis. Reviewing your current blog posts and identifying on-page revisions for SEO will be your key to success. Here are a few SEO tips for optimizing your blog pages:

  • Add an internal linking structure to other pages within your site.
  • Add optimized images or begin to optimize existing images.
  • Link one blog post to another related blog post, such as this post on SEO blogger writing.
  • Review all of your blog title tags and meta descriptions. Make sure all include target keywords and fall within Google’s title tag/meta description length.

Optimizing your site’s already existing blog posts will save your company time and resources.

 

  1. Identify where your blog is lacking.

Take a closer look on your own or meet with your team to identify the high-priority keywords/phrases for which you want your site to rank. Does your website/blog lack the content to rank for these industry keywords? If it does, then these are great topics for new blog posts. Keeping the SEO tips listed here in mind when creating new content will boost the organic growth of your site!

 

  1. Add optimized images into your blog posts.

Including images on your blog posts helps create positive user engagement! Adding easy-to-understand ALT tags helps describe the image to Google and other search engines. This tactic is also great for people with vision impairments who are using screen readers.

Additionally, instead of having an image name look something like “IMG2684286.jpg,” try writing something more descriptive (like with ALT tags). For example, “skydiver.jumping.sky.jpg.” Having descriptive image filenames is helpful for users who find your images in search, as well as for Google, which uses these filenames as a snippet of search results.

In other words, the more descriptive, the better!

 

  1. Mark up your blog posts.

You’ve got those SEO blogging basics down, but don’t forget about structured data markups! Structured data helps provide Google explicit clues about the meaning of a page. Structured data markups can be added to your HTML code and may help improve the way your page is shown on the SERP.

Be sure you are following Google’s structured data guidelines here, and get on your way to rich results display.

  1. Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly.

Mobile usage has surpassed desktop usage, especially when it comes to content consumption. It’s important to know that Google has been displaying mobile-friendly results FIRST since the Penguin algorithm in April 2015, so ensuring your site/blog is mobile-friendly should be of the highest priority.

Has your site been disregarding its mobile usability? If so, make sure your site has a “responsive design.” In other words, it should have an interchangeable user experience on both desktop and mobile. If the design of your site is different on mobile than it is on desktop, user experience may be considered poor. Make sure your designs align and ensure URLs are the same on all devices.

 

  1. Take advantage of your social media presence.

Sharing your blog posts on social media has many advantages:

  • Your social media channels will remain current and relevant. Companies often struggle with what they should post on their social media. Blog posts are a great option!
  • It helps keep your target audience engaged. By sharing your blog posts on various social media channels, you are increasing the likelihood of users viewing it, as well as keeping them interested!
  • Google considers the social signals of your site. Having a social media presence improves your SEO results and increases referral traffic.

You should always share your blog posts on social media channels. When sharing them, be sure to include a couple of sentences briefly summarizing the blog post. Include those targeting keywords and watch those rankings soar.

Keep in mind, a blog is one of the many ways you can boost traffic to your site. If you are looking to optimize your blog to help with SEO, following these steps will be hugely beneficial in the engagement of your blog. Don’t be alarmed if you’re not seeing immediate growth, as SEO is a gradual process that takes time. If you are mindful in your choices while blogging for SEO and patient in the process, you’ll be pleasantly SERP-rised.

We put out tips like these every week. Subscribe to our newsletter for industry trends and more important insights delivered to your inbox.

If you need help implementing any of these steps in optimizing your blog for SEO or if you have questions about your site’s current performance, contact us for a free consultation of your website today.

 

Account Based Marketing: Tools, Tips, and Tactics for ABM Success

Account Based Marketing Overview

The age-old conversion funnel has stood the test of time, with minor tweaks along the way. Although this funnel has proven successful, Account-Based Marketing (more simply referred to as ABM marketing) can help provide new ways to drive ROI for B2B businesses. With the advent of new technologies, there is no better time to include ABM as a strategy to increase sales and revenue.
ABM is a style of marketing where a company’s most important clients are carefully identified and the silos of sales and marketing are knocked down to create unique solutions for a client’s business needs.

Types of Account Based Marketing

ABM can be broken down into three distinct subsets: Strategic, Lite, and Programmatic. While traditional ABM (Strategic) has been the usual suspect, new technologies have enabled different types of strategic ABM to emerge.

Strategic ABM (One-to-One)

Strategic ABM is what is typically thought of as the more “traditional” route of account-based marketing. The goal is to create highly tailored ABM marketing campaigns that are hyper-focused on individual target accounts. With Strategic ABM, your investment per account and lead is generally larger than other styles of ABM, yet it often offers the best return on investment (see our video brochure example later on in this article). In this model, the key to success lies in a synergized plan of attack between sales and marketing:

  • Highly-customized marketing plans for individual accounts utilizing the knowledge and insights from sales teams.
  • Forge strong relationships with your target account’s most-valued stakeholders and gatekeepers.
  • Highly-targeted marketing interactions that understand your target account’s business issues.

ABM Lite (One-to-Few)

ABM Lite takes the principals of Strategic ABM, but waters it down a bit. With ABM Lite, you identify target accounts that are considered “second-tier” and group them together with similar accounts. Success with ABM Lite centers on working collaboratively with the sales team to determine:

  • Which accounts to target and group together
  • How to tailor content and marketing initiatives to target account groups
  • What pain points are experienced by the target account groups

Programmatic ABM (One-to-Many)

Programmatic ABM has emerged thanks to the advent of new technologies and capabilities available to digital marketers. In Programmatic ABM, marketing works with sales to identify a multitude of accounts (into the hundreds or thousands) and finds unique ways to market at scale. Heavy analysis into analytics and audience targeting is necessary but can be accomplished by a small team.

  • Leveraging technology to personalize marketing campaigns to specific, named accounts at scale.
  • Working with sales to target specific segments
    • Horizontal markets
    • Vertical markets
    • Other groups of named accounts selected from an overall market

Benefits of Account Based Marketing:

Drives ROI

According to new research conducted by the ABM Leadership Alliance, 77% of marketers believe ABM has driven greater success for their target accounts than any other marketing or sales initiative. With ABM, by specifically targeting accounts, you can precisely target spend. This targeting can drive ROI by reducing wasteful spending.

Aligns Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing have remained largely independent entities relative to one another. The void left between the two has resulted in an untapped opportunity where highly-tailored campaigns can result in high ROI sales. Synergizing the two departments also benefits the company as a whole. As the great Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success .”

Forges Deep Client Relationships

Ask any businessperson and they will tell you that the key to success is relationship building. It’s no secret that the more your client likes you, the more they are willing to overlook small hiccups and retain you as a partner or vendor. ABM centers around the idea of treating an individual company as a market of its own. Reaching out to more touch points within the company is essential in this model of marketing. By talking to more people within the company, you are forging deep client relationships that will pay dividends throughout your campaign and engagement.

Efficiency

With ABM, you are shortening the sales cycle by falling farther down the traditional marketing funnel. With key accounts in mind, you can hasten the sales process and close deals faster. This can ease the burden of time and budgeting for both marketing and sales. For most companies, highly targeted and personalized selling has proven to be successful in increasing conversions and shortening close times.

Uniqueness

The point of marketing is to stand out! What better way to stand out than intimately understanding your target account’s pain points, goals, and business strategies? Show that target account that you are different from the masses.

Steps to ABM Success

Define and Identify Your Target Accounts and Ideal Customer Persona

This stage is where your sales team really flexes their muscles. Business intelligence plays a key role in the initial stage of an ABM campaign, and honing in on your Ideal Customer Persona (ICP) can pay big dividends. Below are just a few things to keep in mind when defining your ICP:

  • Who are your most successful clients?
  • What product or service do they most often purchase?
  • What industries are your bread and butter?
  • What is your Ideal customer’s company size?
  • What is your Ideal customer’s revenue?
  • What technologies does your ideal customer use?
  • What Industry is your ideal customer in?
  • Where geographically is your ideal customer located?
  • Who at your ideal customer makes the purchase decisions?
  • Who at your ideal customer influences the decision maker?

Pro Tip: Technology like Everstring.com can help you identify your ideal customer using firmographic and technographic data, personalized signals, purchase intent, and artificial intelligence. Having access to this data can help you properly segment and build different target lists. You can then utilize the techniques mentioned below to execute and start closing more deals!

Identify Stakeholders and Key Players

Look at your target company and determine its structure. Can you identify who the decision makers are? In your experience with past clients, which position(s) generally make the decisions (CMO, CEO, VP, Marketing Manager)? By mapping out the key stakeholders in an account, you can determine the best channels and content to market.

Personalize Content and Messaging

Marketing to the CEO versus the CMO can be a completely different ballgame. The CEO may feel better connected to content documenting top-level success metrics while the CMO is more concerned about the specific marketing strategy. Knowing exactly what to market, as well as who will be receiving the information, is a crucial component to a fruitful campaign.

Execute Campaigns on Target Channels

Once you have identified the key stakeholders and the customized content to be disseminated, the next step is determining the best marketing channels to attack. There are a multitude of channels that can be utilized (highlighted below), but much like determining the custom content and messaging, channels can say a lot about your company. Are custom email sequences the right fit? Will custom mailers be unique and connect with your audience? Will a good old-fashioned phone call go a long way? There are a lot of considerations to be made when identifying the right channel, but keep in mind, a multi-channel approach can be effective as well.

Learn, Learn, Learn!

Not all campaigns are successful. If closing rates were 100%, innovation would go nowhere. There is a silver lining with every unsuccessful ABM campaign: lessons learned. Smoothing out bumps in the sales process or identifying channels, stakeholders, or content that was ineffective can pay dividends on future campaigns. The same goes for successful ABM campaigns too! Perfection is a myth and points of progress can always be found even in the most seamless of marketing operations.

Account Based Marketing Tools and Tactics

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “this is great, but where do I even begin? What tools can I utilize and what tactics have proven to be successful in ABM campaigns?” We’re glad you asked. With the advent of new and more advanced technologies, there is no better time to start with account-based marketing.

Bing Ads

Bing Ads has really stepped up its game and has become a premier platform for account-based marketing campaigns. One of the most lucrative ways to leverage Bing Ads is through their access to LinkedIn audience data. The unique thing about Bing Ads is that you can engage the three types of ABM (Strategic, Lite, and Programmatic) to take a blended approach to your campaigns, especially considering the amazing insights their in-market audience data can reveal.

Bing Ads In-Market Audiences

Bing Ads makes targeted search campaigns almost too easy. With data leveraged from LinkedIn, advertisers can now directly target an individual’s industry, job function, and/or company. With these capabilities, advertisers can utilize Bing Ads for highly targeted and customized campaigns along all three variations of ABM.
In-Market Audiences don’t stop there. Bing Ads curates lists of users who are ready to make a purchase in a specific category. This will help marketers put on their sales hats to identify new prospects within similar markets as their target accounts.

bing ads in-market audiences

This curated list acts as a “remarketing list” that is delivered by Bing through predictive intelligence. By leveraging user data, they can identify users who have shown purchase intent signals within a particular category, including searches and clicks on Bing and pageviews on Microsoft services (including LinkedIn!).

In-market audiences are extremely robust and perfect for ABM account targeting. Bing is continually adding to this list, making it stronger and more targeted:

Bing Ads In-Market Audiences Industries

Bing Ads’ multipurpose platform takes a lot of the headaches out of ABM, thrusting your company into a better position to identify target accounts, key players, and reaping the benefits of account-based marketing campaigns.

ABM Using SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a secret weapon when it comes to ABM. SEO is based on searcher intent, looking deeply into trends and themes to uncover what type of content is most relevant for a user or target audience. A successful SEO campaign revolves around the premise of providing searchers quality, relevant content based on their search behavior. This premise is similar to the goals of ABM: ABM should utilize data derived from a successful SEO campaign in order to help other marketing channels thrive. As a bonus, if you’re also engaged in a paid media, you have the benefit of tracking which keywords lead to more ICP engagement and conversions. You can use this data to help drive a sophisticated account-based marketing SEO strategy.

Direct Mail ABM

In this increasingly digitalized world, direct mail has become a diminishing marketing channel. Sure, it may be difficult to measure the success of a direct mail campaign, but the impact of a highly targeted account based marketing mail campaign can go a long way. By customizing marketing materials and sending those materials to your ICP, you can leverage direct mail to stand out from your competitors. This highly-targeted touch point can help build and engage important relationships with your identified accounts. Something as simple as a client-unique buyer’s guide or sliding in your business card with a handwritten note can go a long way in this digital age.

Video Brochure ABM

Video brochures allow your sales team to send a customized video or videos via a hand held video screen that you physically send to your ideal customer. Imagine receiving a package in the mail, and when you open it there is a tablet style screen that automatically starts playing your customized video message. The video monitor can be custom built into a package with your branding and messaging, and can be customized in size, color, and texture. Adding customized videos to each brochure takes seconds, and the “WOW” factor on these brochures cannot be described unless you’ve seen one for yourself. You can choose to create custom videos for high value prospects (Strategic ABM), or send a one size fits all video to groups of customers (ABM Lite). Video brochures can provide one of the highest conversion rates and an incredible ROI if done correctly.

Email ABM

When was the last time you audited your email campaigns or tailored drips to a select audience of users? If your email campaigns seem stale or haven’t yielded strong results, there is some good news for you. There are ways to segment users, customize content, and personalize the touch points you have with your target accounts to bring email to the forefront of your marketing arsenal. Put simply, if email isn’t currently your top performing channels for both “cold outreach” and “relationship nurturing” there may be a lot of potential with email ABM.
Email is a great opportunity to practice Programmatic ABM or ABM Lite. You can segment users by industry, job title, or company, create unique content experiences, and send out campaigns en masse.
Examples of Email ABM:

  • Presidents and CEOs receive blogs and case studies displaying your company’s overall success.
  • CMOs and Marketing Managers receive content that is more technically based, highlighting a the unique angle you take in your industry and how your business can affect their bottom-line.
  • Cold prospects receive emails touting your advantages and ways you can help them.

Pro Tip: Software providers like Outreach.io offer robust platform solutions that help manage the day to day sending of emails. Outreach can also segment target groups into separate drips and sequence other touch points like phone calls and social touches.

Phone Call ABM

Sometimes, a good old-fashioned phone call can do the trick. With ABM, all contact with your target account is highly customized and well-planned. Gone are the days of cold calling and hoping for a bite. By infusing ABM with phone campaigns that target your ICP, you can better understand your target accounts, personalize your value, and detail the risk that an account takes by not utilizing your services.
Content Marketing ABM
Customizing your content is a key component to engaging a target account and nurturing the relationship within a successful ABM campaign. Utilizing SEO and Bing Ads data, you can identify what pieces of content engage users the most, how to tweak underperforming publications, and eventually tailor a customized marketing experience for your target account. All of these forms of content have the ability to be customized for any and all target audiences you identify:

  • Blogs
  • Whitepapers
  • News Articles
  • Emails
  • Case Studies
  • Testimonials
  • Videos

LinkedIn ABM

LinkedIn Marketing is a great way to target your ICP. LinkedIn provides all kinds of targeting options that allow you to pay to show your ads to your ideal customer. LinkedIn for B2B lead generation and paid marketing options can be used to find your ideal customers. Tools like Sales Navigator give you access to filtering that will narrow down your network as well as the general LinkedIn population by things like company size, revenue, position, keywords, and even allows for Boolean searches. A properly trained team with access to LinkedIn Navigator can do wonders for any ABM strategy. That coupled with LinkedIn advertising can help to hyper accelerate your ABM strategy.

When Should You Start Using ABM?

The future of marketing is here, and its name is Account Based Marketing. With new technologies and strategies emerging on an almost daily basis, there is no better time for a B2B company to engage in ABM. You don’t need to try every tactic all at once, and you may want to consider hiring experts in the areas that you don’t have a lot of experience in. You also shouldn’t get too aggressive too quickly as you can run the risk of overloading your team’s ability to handle all the new business.

Would you like to learn more about how Titan Growth can help with your ABM needs? Feel free to drop us a line at 800-658-7511 or contact us by clicking here.