If one were to judge by the extraordinary mileage that Twitter got at the recent 55th Grammy Awards, one would think Twitter sponsored the whole show! I for one was irritated at the ridiculous, almost obnoxious reminders throughout the show by the host, LL Cool J asking the audience to Tweet to the official handle and promoting the various hashtags. But then I calmed myself recognizing that this is the world of stars; an industry that is all about in-your-face, push, thrust and shameless promotion. And more the better.Top 5 Questions that 7000+ Businesses Are Asking About Lead Generation
Then I read the latest Marketing Benchmarks Report from HubSpot to find that 7000+ businesses (customers of HubSpot) include Twitter among the top digital marketing assets for a company—the others being web pages, landing pages, blogs and Facebook. Well, considering the businesses surveyed include B2C and B2B companies, I guess I should not be too surprised. So here are the top 5 questions that these 7000+ businesses are asking about online lead generation:
1. Will increased volume of content result in more incoming traffic?
My response: The volume of content means nothing if the value quotient is not high. In fact, I am a big advocate for “less is more”; deliver the right quality of content first before you start to build volume. The HubSpot report quotes these statistics: “Companies with 51-100 web pages generate 48% more traffic than companies with 1-50 pages.” “Companies with over 50 employees and 1000+ web pages see 9.5 times more than companies with under 51 web pages.” May be true, but is this targeted traffic and what is the conversion potential?
2. Do more landing pages mean more leads?
My response: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, build content for segmented audiences. If every landing page you create is targeted at a specific, niche audience, then yes, you stand a better chance of drawing quality incoming traffic. And then again, you must have effective lead filtering in place so that your sales people are not getting continually frustrated by what marketing throws at them as leads but which may at best be hand raisers.
3. Does increased frequency of blogging impact lead generation?
My response: Consistency is the key. If it were so easy to notch up great leads from blogging more frequently, I would do it twice a day! As you build readership to your blog, it is important to keep to a schedule of posting. Of course, when you have a burning issue to blog about, don’t wait for your regular posting day or time, but in general, if you post on certain days of the week or times of the day, it helps to follow a pattern that readers can remember and follow easily. Social sharing is a spontaneous activity, so if your blog follows a more or less set schedule, you’ll start to notice a similar pattern of viral marketing and back links to your site and blog as readers begin to share, like and comment on your posts.
4. Can an increased Twitter following result in higher website traffic?
My response: The question is, what is the protocol to convert awareness generated by social media activities into qualified leads? From a tactical perspective social media may have replaced traditional means of go-to-market but at the end of the day, what is the final output?
5. Is it possible to improve website traffic through an expanded Facebook reach?
My response: It depends on what that Facebook fan population looks like. Who are these people that are becoming your company’s fans? If you monitor your fans’ activities, you’ll discover the tragic truth that most people after they become a fan of your Facebook page will never come back to it. It’s the ones that come back and read your posts, share them and comment on them, they are the ones you need to concentrate on. Why? Because they are definitely engaged compared to the others, so look for ways to nurture them and build greater loyalty. They may not buy from you, but if they have the power to influence those that will buy from you, then it is worth keeping them engaged and interested. That is what your efforts should focus on rather than simply growing a fan base.
As far as B2B marketing is concerned, this other report puts the numbers into perspective: Optify’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report. While it shows that 82% of all social media leads are sourced from Twitter, it also points out that social media accounts for less than 5% of traffic incoming to B2B business websites. I rest my case.
And before we get excited about that 82%, it would be worthwhile to understand what they really mean by ‘leads’—is there a universal definition of a lead? When does a lead become a true sales lead? I wrote in a previous blog post about the “Pinocchio Principle” that makes people feel compelled to withhold their contact details from an organization. So we have to remember that a lead isn’t a lead until someone is engaged enough to be honest with you. Read this case study I shared about the Pull Versus Push Strategy.
Which online lead generation platforms are you utilizing for B2B? How do you strike a balance between quality and quantity? Let’s discuss this.
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