5 Ways Lake One Uses Vidyard for B2B Video Marketing

The cameras are rolling around here at Lake One. While we don’t have our own personal glam teams (yet), we do have everything else we need to create solid content for our B2B video marketing efforts. How do we do it, you ask? Well, with the help of our trusty partners, Vidyard. If you haven’t heard of them, (which isn’t likely) Vidyard is an online video platform for businesses. From video creation, hosting, integrations, sharing, optimization, and analytics, they make it pretty impossible to have an excuse not to be doing video. 

Which, if you aren’t, you should include video as part of your sales and marketing strategy. B2B video marketing is a must and not just because we say so. The numbers speak for themselves. Content Marketing Institute found that 71% of B2B marketers use video marketing and 66% of B2C marketers use it. Not to mention the ROI. Optinmonster noted that video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year and 93% of marketers say they landed new customers by using video on social media. 

B2B Video Marketing

Here are five ways that Lake One uses Vidyard for our b2b video marketing efforts:

Lead Generation/Prospecting

Ever feel like your lead generation efforts are the same old, same old? Looking to spice things up and even have a little fun? If only there was something that could help with that. 

Video is a great and often overlooked tool when it comes to lead generation and prospecting. A few ways to use video for lead gen: 

  • Add video to your landing pages 
  • Add video to other pages on your website, such as solutions pages, client testimonials and more
  • Add video to your thank you pages or send a personalized video to high-value leads who download resources off of your website 
  • Include videos in your prospecting emails 

Pro Tip: Be sure to include a CTA (call-to-action) at the end of your videos. Let viewers know what action you want them to take after watching your content.

Lead Nurturing

Since the goal of lead nurturing is to move someone through the buyer’s journey from the awareness stage to the decision stage, video is a great way to help achieve that. Especially for things like email nurture sequences (drip campaigns), it’s a nice way to break-up the content that’s in the emails and get your lead’s attention. Here are just a few types of videos you can use when nurturing leads: 

Related Reading: Turn Your Website Into a Lead Machine with HubSpot Lead Flows

  • Demo or explainer videos
  • Interviews with thought leaders
  • Promoting upcoming webinars or events your company is hosting or sponsoring 
  • Testimonials from clients that showcase the value they received from your product or service 
  • Educational videos that are relevant and provide value to your viewer 
Video Marketing stat
Source: Neil Patel

Client Management 

When it comes to managing client relationships, it can be easy to get caught up in an endless cycle of emails calls back and forth. While sometimes picking up the phone can solve for that, it doesn’t always accomplish everything you need it to. That’s where videos come in to play. 

Meetings 

It used to be commonplace to meet with clients in their offices for kick-off, monthly or quarterly meetings. That all changed virtually overnight, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While Zoom and other video conferencing tools are great, sometimes what needs to be accomplished can be done in a video. Whether it’s a training, showing a client where to locate something, or a simple introduction video, Vidyard is a great tool to be able to manage clients. 

Training

At Lake One, especially since we’re a virtual team, we love using Vidyard for training purposes, whether for ourselves or for clients. One team member, I won’t name names, even refers to their internal training videos as “Trainings with Tiffany.” We didn’t say you couldn’t have fun with the tool, in fact, we encourage it. 

With Vidyard you can record yourself on camera, record the screen or a combination of both, so people can see exactly what you’re doing when training. We’ve built up a library of sorts for training for both ourselves and clients. It’s a great way to go back and rewatch something or provide videos to team members who might have missed a live training session. 

Vidyard will also transcribe your videos too, whether you’re creating videos directly on the platform or uploading them from elsewhere. This is a nice feature for accessibility reasons, but also if you want to repurpose the video content, you already have the transcription ready to go. 

Outreach

Which would you rather receive in your inbox? A generic email with a bunch of buzzwords, going on and on about guest posts and how much someone loves your “most recent piece” all in an effort to partner for link building purposes. Or, would you rather get an email that features an engaging video that’s short and to the point, briefly touching on the topics and value this person could add to your site? I don’t know about you, but I choose door number two.

We use video to either replace or support the messages we send surrounding our outreach efforts. It’s a great way to humanize ourselves and get our message across quickly. It’s also sometimes easier to explain an idea out loud, versus trying to capture it in writing. Plus, with any luck, you’ll stand out from the other pitches that your prospects are receiving. 

Content 

We know that video is a must when it comes to B2B video marketing and creating the type of content that buyers want to consume. Considering that 85% of all internet users in the U.S. watched online video content monthly on any of their devices, it’s no longer an option whether you incorporate video into your content plan or not. Here are a few places to use and types of videos you can create:

  • Blog posts
  • Social posts
  • Sales emails 
  • Demo or explainer videos 
  • Website, in place of other graphics 
  • Email marketing campaigns 
  • Long-form videos/webinars 
  • Customer testimonials
  • And more! 

Related Reading: How Engaging is Your Content Marketing? 5 KPIs to Measure Content Engagement

Thanks to Vidyards reporting capabilities, you’re able to see who’s watching your videos, from where, for how long, and get insight into how your videos are actually performing. Like any content, video for the sake of video isn’t a strategy and won’t drive the results you’re looking to achieve. Be methodical in the videos you’re creating and putting out there. These are just a few ways that Lake One uses Vidyard. If you have any fun ways you use it, drop a note in the comments.

Interested to learn how Lake One can help you with video? One of our strategists would love to chat.

Chat With Our Experts

SaaS Inbound Marketing: Taking Your Business To the Next Level

If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one around to hear it, did it make a sound? If a great SaaS product is created and there’s no inbound marketing strategy involved, will it be as successful as it could be? Well, I don’t know about that tree, but I do know if you’re looking to 1) promote your SaaS product and services 2) standout in a crowded marketplace and 3) meet revenue goals, then SaaS inbound marketing should be a part of your plan to help achieve those goals. We’ll tell you why in this post, where we: 

  1. Define SaaS inbound marketing and methodology 
  2. Showcase why inbound matters for SaaS buyers 
  3. Identify tactics beyond just free trials to promote your SaaS company 
saas inbound marketing

SaaS Inbound Marketing 

SaaS inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. 

There are three ways that the inbound methodology can be applied to your SaaS buyers: 

  • Attract: Here is where you draw the right people (that’s key) with content and resources that they will find valuable. This will help establish you as a trusted source and someone they’ll want to engage with. 
  • Engage: This is where you will present your insights and solutions to their problems and goals. If you can either solve for their pain point or help them reach their goal, they are more likely to do business with you. 
  • Delight: Last but not least, delight. Here you provide help and support customers to find success with their purchase. 

inbound for saas
Image Source: HubSpot.com 

Keep in mind that there are some unique considerations when setting out to develop a winning SaaS inbound marketing strategy though. Due to the number of decision-makers and the size of the transaction – content is key. 

Related Reading: How Engaging is Your Content Marketing? 5 KPIs to Measure Content Engagement

By and large, gone are the days of buyers reaching out to sales or requesting a quote first. Long before that happens buyers are consuming as much content as they can get their hands on. In fact, according to Gartner research, B2B buyers spend less than 20% of their time actually meeting with suppliers when considering a purchase. The remainder of their time is spent doing research online, offline, or with their peers. If you don’t have content and resources to meet them where they are at in their research process, they will find someone else who does. 

Why Inbound for B2B SaaS Buyers

SaaS inbound marketing is important because SaaS products tend to have a shorter sales cycle and are constantly evolving. Utilizing inbound allows you to address the buyer’s needs at every stage of the buyer’s journey. By providing credible information at each touchpoint, you’re creating trust between you and your prospects, while building authority for your brand. It’s a win-win. 

Inbound is also more suited for SaaS models, as it requires convincing your customer to integrate your product or software into their everyday life, which is different than selling someone on a one-off purchase. A SaaS product purchase means a change in habits and lifestyle, which isn’t as easy to sell. 


This Might Interest You: Signs Inbound Marketing Is Right For You

Put simply, SaaS inbound marketing is ideal for SaaS buyers because ultimately the goal is to answer your buyers’ questions. Inbound does that and does it well. To get buyers interested you need to start with focusing on them. By doing this, you will make their shortlist of potential solutions to their problem. Since the research tells us that B2B buyers are doing their homework long before they talk to you, by focusing on them you will have a trickle-down effect of driving downloads, leads, trials, etc. with the true measurement of success being revenue. 

The New B2B Buying Process
Image Source: Gartner.com

Know Your B2B SaaS Buyers

Now that you know why inbound marketing is ideal for B2B SaaS buyers, how do go about laser focusing the right efforts on the right buyers? Start with well-articulated buyer personas. 

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your buyers and various stakeholders. By creating this fictional character as I’ll call it, it allows marketing and sales to put themselves in the buyer’s shoes and understand the journey from their perspective. It helps you know what questions they have, what motivates them, and what barriers they have to overcome.

Not sure where to get started? There are tools for that. You can use Hubspot’s Make My Persona to walk you and your team through the process. At a high level, here are some of the main questions you will want to answer when defining your personas:

  • What does success look like for them? 
  • How do they measure that success? 
  • In their role, what barriers do they need to overcome?
  • What questions do they have throughout their buyer’s journey? 
  • What terms are they searching at each stage of the buying and research process?
b2b saas buyer
Image Source: HubSpot’s Make My Persona

Pro Tip: Creating great content for each stage of the buyer’s journey is a must, but so is having a website that makes buyers want to come back to again. Learn more about that here.

SaaS Inbound Marketing is More Than Free Trials 

Once you have your buyer personas established, you can work to find the tactics that will help move them from personas to leads to customers. And while product trials are a popular route when it comes to marketing SaaS, SaaS inbound marketing is much more than just free trials. Sure, that’s one tactic you can and maybe should use, but when marketing for a SaaS company, you can’t be a one-trick pony. If you are, you will quickly find yourself left behind by others who are offering more. In an already crowded industry, you can’t afford to give your competition any help. So what else should be up your SaaS inbound marketing sleeve? 

  • Content Strategy: We’ve already discussed the importance of creating targeted, valuable content for each stage of the buyer’s journey, but it’s worth mentioning again. A solid content strategy can help attract visitors to your website, build your brand, and generate leads. This includes more than just blogs, emails, ebooks, and infographics. Think video content as well. According to Wordstream, using videos on landing pages will increase conversions by 86%.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Once you’ve created that really great content, be sure you’re optimizing it for search so you’ll actually get it in front of your personas, by doing both on-page and off-page SEO. Keep in mind, SEO is what we would call a “long game”. You likely won’t see results immediately, but all good things come to those who wait and when done properly, your B2B SEO efforts will be worth the wait. 
  • Paid Search: If SEO is the long game, then PPC (pay-per-click) is the short-game. Definitely a player to be played. Inbound can help reduce the amount you need to spend on Adwords, but millions of people still click on search engine ads every day. To avoid missing out on potential leads, you may want to consider investing in PPC. 
  • Account Based Marketing: More than just buzzwords, account based marketing is gaining even more popular because it works. It is a highly effective way to engage with potential leads. It allows sales and marketing to collaborate to create a personalized buying experience for high-value accounts.
abm roi
Image Source: ITSMA.com
  • Here are just a few  tactics when implementing ABM: 
    • Host targeted events
    • Record and send a personalized video
    • Create and launch a LinkedIn In-mail campaign
    • Conduct account-based advertising and retargeting
    • Create custom landing pages for targeted accounts 
    • Send small gifts via direct mail and follow up via email
  • Social Media: While traditional social media channels should be a part of your SaaS inbound marketing strategy to a certain extent, SaaS companies can also benefit from being in unconventional channels where their users might be hanging out. There are forums that you can be a part of to position yourself as experts in your industry. Sites like CNet Forums, Spiceworks Community, and the like are examples of channels to explore in addition to your regular social platforms. 

We know SaaS is a complex industry, but the decision to launch an inbound marketing strategy doesn’t have to be. If you’re interested in learning more about SaaS marketing or want to take your efforts to the next level, let’s connect.

Chat With Our Experts

Fuel Your Startup Success: 6 Benefits of Marketing Automation

It’s nearly impossible to talk about marketing strategy today without discussing the benefits of marketing automation and the important role it can play in your startup organization. HubSpot said it best and said it simply: Marketing automation is all about using software to automate marketing activities. 

So, why does that matter? Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have unlimited time or resources to spend on repetitive tasks. Enter, marketing automation. A tool that can automate social media posting, ad campaigns, email marketing, and more, all while providing a personalized experience for customers. But that’s just the start. In this post, we’ll cover 6 benefits of marketing automation that will help fuel your startup success: 

  1. Time Savings 
  2. Lead Nurturing 
  3. Scalability 
  4. Aligned Sales and Marketing Teams 
  5. Higher Conversion and Close Rates 
  6. Reporting 
benefits of marketing automation

Time Savings 

Workflow Automation 

As a startup, you could likely benefit from a tool that allows you and your team to save time, be more effective and efficient. Marketing automation can be incredibly helpful in that department. It can allow for task creation, real-time routing, and follow-up across channels. 

The creation of workflows allows startup companies to have marketing automation systems work both smarter and harder for them. For example, startups can:

  • Route internal requests 
  • Create custom tasks by sales rep
  • Set subscription types automatically 
  • Send custom ‘Thank You’ emails 
  • Set service or product interest categories

Thinking about starting to use marketing automation? Take the assessment to see if it’s right for you. Start here.

List Segmentation/Pulling 

Another benefit of marketing automation and a real timesaver is the ability to both segment and pull lists automatically. It pulls contacts that meet a certain set of criteria based on the information you have set up in your database. Whether your contact database is massive or in the building phase, automated list pulling is a must to save both time and ensure you’re tailoring your messaging to your personas.

In the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report, when asked to indicate their top three results, 39% of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced higher open rates, 28% experienced lower unsubscribe rates, and 24% experienced better deliverability and greater revenue. 

Why List Segmentation Matters in Email Marketing

Lead Nurturing 

Lead nurturing is the building of relationships with potential buyers who are not currently ready to buy but could be an ideal customer in the future. The goal of lead nurturing is to educate the prospect, build their awareness of your organization and its products or services, and build trust. 

How does marketing automation play a role here? It allows you to create lead nurturing campaigns, otherwise known as email drip campaigns. These are a series of emails spaced out over time that help buyers move from the awareness to the consideration to the decision stage of the buyer’s journey. Depending on your persona’s needs and your buying cycle, what to include in your emails, how many to send, and how often, will vary. 

Related Reading: 5 Ways Marketing Automation Can Help Boost Lead Volume

A few examples of actions that can initiate a lead nurturing campaign for startups are if a lead: 

  • Attends a webinar you’re hosting 
  • Downloads one of your case studies
  • Requests more information on a specific service or product  
  • Downloads a piece of premium content like an infographic or ebook

But remember, while ‘automation’ is a large part of this, nurturing campaigns should not be something you set up and let run its course. It’s important to consistently monitor things like email open rates, marketing attribution reports, and engagement. This will allow you insight into what’s working in your workflow and what’s not and then optimize accordingly. 

Scalability

Email Marketing 

Sending one email manually is easy. Sending a couple hundred or even thousands of emails that way, a little less so. That’s where marketing automation comes in. But how do you automatically send emails at scale without losing the personalization your buyers have come to expect? That’s one of the beauties of marketing technology. It allows for that personalization without all the manual labor. A few personalized “tokens” that you could include in your emails include: 

  • Recipient name 
  • Company name
  • Role or job title 
  • The last piece of content they downloaded 
  • Recommending content related to other pieces they’ve viewed or downloaded 
  • And more! 

Pro Tip: Get creative with your personalization, because we know personalization drives more replies, but don’t overdo it. Studies have shown that once you alter 50% or more of your email marketing template, the impact on the reply rate was negligible. Don’t waste precious time and resources on over personalizing. Learn more about more B2B email best practices here.

Source: Oberlo.com

The use of email goes beyond just personalization though. Although an important piece, it’s just one of the ways you can use it. So, what other benefits of marketing automation are there when it comes to email marketing?  

  • Create and save email templates 
  • A/B test your campaigns easily 
  • Automatically segment and pull lists 
  • Schedule emails and campaigns in advance 
  • Better reporting on what’s working and what’s not 
  • Automatically follow up with your leads 

Related Reading: Email Marketing for Startups: 5 Things to Consider Before You Hit Send 

Aligned Sales & Marketing Teams

Maybe a surprising benefit of marketing automation is the ability to facilitate collaboration between sales and marketing teams. Marketing and sales teams are able to use marketing automation to move leads through their buying funnel seamlessly. By creating automatic processes, this allows marketers to bring in leads, assess their readiness to buy, and send them to a sales rep without needing to manually intervene. Here are just a few ideas of sales collaboration oriented workflows: 

  • Assigning lifecycle stages and lead statuses
  • Transitioning Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) to sales
  • Closing the lead quality feedback loop
  • Assessing a lead’s readiness to speak with sales or lead scoring

Higher Conversion Rates 

Ultimately, the goal of all of this is to convert the aforementioned leads into customers. By using marketing automation, you can increase your conversion and growth rates, as it allows you to provide your subscribers with content that’s relevant to their buyer’s journey and as we know, personalizing communication and tailoring your messaging and content to your personas is key for engagement and effectiveness. 

Source: Moosend.com 


But don’t just take our word for it. We’ll let the numbers do the talking. According to recent studies, 80% of marketing automation users saw an increase in their number of leads using marketing automation software, and 77% had an increase in conversions.

Reporting 

Predictions and Decisions for the Future

How does the saying go, “You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.” Or something along those lines. Well, the same is true for making predictions and decisions for the future when it comes to your business. You have to know how things are currently performing before you can make informed decisions on what to do next. 

At Lake One, we’re about data first. Show us the numbers. But what does that have to do with marketing automation you ask? Well, a lot, actually. One of the benefits of marketing automation is the platform itself and the ability to create different dashboards to view the numbers and reports that matter most. 

Master your B2B website strategy. Grab the guide here.

A few examples of reports you could create for your startup include: 

  • Email campaign performance 
  • Traffic sessions 
  • Lead source 
  • Landing page performance 
  • Contact lifecycle funnel 
  • Sales pipeline 

Marketing for startups can be challenging enough without adding unnecessary tasks and time to your already full plate. So whether your startup needs to save time, nurture leads, scale email marketing efforts, align sales and marketing, increase conversion rates, create reports, or all of the above, marketing automation has you covered.

Prove the Value of Your Program: How to Measure Sales Enablement Success

Making a case for sales enablement isn’t always the easiest thing to achieve, but once you secure that buy-in, measuring the success of your efforts is important. Even measuring the failures of your efforts is a must. Having insight into how things are performing allows you to know which activities to continue to invest in and which activities no longer serve you and your sales team. But sales enablement performance shouldn’t just be a concern for sales, marketing should also be actively measuring sales enablement success. Having the right metrics provides insight into what to expect from the investment that’s being made. 

Aberdeen found that companies with excellent successful sales enablement programs have:

  • 32% higher team sales quota attainment,
  • 24% better individual quota achievement, and
  • 23% higher lead conversion rate.

So how do you measure sales enablement success? 

How to Measure Sales Enablement Success

How to Measure Sales Enablement Success

When it comes to evaluating sales enablement efforts, different organizations may adopt varying metrics or KPIs to measure success. While some organizations might use different metrics based on their structure, we recommend starting with these:  

Related Reading: A Roadmap to a Sure-Fire B2B Sales Enablement Strategy

Lead-to-Customer Conversion 

If you want to measure the impact of your sales enablement activities, the lead-to-customer conversion rate is a good number to track. The ultimate goal of sales enablement is to help the sales team close more deals, right? Right. One thing to keep in mind is that this metric is influenced by other factors, such as the number and quality of the leads generated. But that doesn’t detract from the importance of it. If this rate is high, it indirectly indicates that your sales enablement efforts are working or at least improving. 

Content Performance 

Content for the sake of content doesn’t do anyone any good. Having compelling content, on the other hand, now that’s a different story. This is one of the most effective tools you can equip your salespeople with. But it’s important to measure how well content is performing. Determine this by analyzing the number of total downloads, number of likes, number of shares, ratings, etc. The more insight you have into what content is resonating best with your prospects, the better you can enable your sales team with those types of materials. 

Source: Seismic.com

Attribution Reporting

Once you know how your content is performing, you can run attribution reports to see how much influence each piece of content had in helping turn leads into customers. They will of course view many pieces of content, but this report provides insight into what content they read and are most interested in late in the buyer’s journey. 

Onboarding and Proficiency

When it comes to sales enablement and how to measure success, you’ll want to measure the effectiveness of each sales rep and how it relates to how long it takes for onboarding and ramping, but also proficiency. Ensure that sales teams are well-versed in the processes and materials. Cutting down the ‘time to productivity’ is a primary parameter that can help prove the effectiveness of your training efforts. 

Companies with a dedicated sales enablement function improved their sales training effectiveness by 29%.
Brainshark “6 Sales Enablement Statistics You Have to See (2018)  

Win/Loss Rates 

How are you stacking up against the competition? Looking at your win/loss rate can help you measure how well you’re equipping your sales team when they’re up against competitors. 

Source: CSOInsights.com

Actual Time Spent Selling  

Enablement programs that are set up properly should empower sales reps by providing all the tools necessary to sell when they need them. By having these tools and resources at the ready, it allows more time for the reps to actually sell and close more deals. Measure the percentage of each rep’s time spent on the actual sale and attainment. Allowing them to focus more and have fewer disruptions in their sales process should increase their close rate and overall revenue. 

Measure Against Sales Goals 

At the end of the day, the goal of sales enablement is exactly that: enable your sales team. Enable them to sell effectively, sell confidently with the materials they need, when they need them, and to close more deals. So it comes down to are they meeting or exceeding their sales goals? Are your enablement efforts and activities creating an effective sales team? 

Hint: if the answer isn’t yes, it’s time to readjust and look at what activities are actually serving you and which ones are hurting your enablement efforts. 

Sales Enablement KPIs  

As we mentioned, what metrics are most important can vary from organization-to-organization. Ultimately it comes down to what are your goals and which metrics are going to help move you closer to achieving those goals. Regardless of what metrics you choose to narrow in on, when measuring your sales enablement KPIs, it’s important to remember to: 

  • Analysis even before activities: If you don’t have a sales enablement program yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t still measure your sales activities and success. By doing this, you’ll have a baseline to start from to measure the impact and success of your sales enablement activities once you do implement them. 
  • Review results frequently: This is an iterative process, sales enablement. So don’t just set KPIs and call it a day. Be sure to review results frequency so you can pivot your efforts if needed. It’s also good practice to get a regular cadence of reviewing results with leadership to show them the impact of the enablement efforts. Especially if those results are good, it will show the ROI of the investment. 
  • Adjust KPIs if necessary: Just as you will refine your sales enablement process and materials, make sure you do the same with your KPIs. Tailor them to your sales team, materials, and sales enablement processes. As part of reviewing results frequently, be checking to make sure you have the right KPIs. 
  • Capture proficiency scores: When it comes to measuring program effectiveness, don’t forget that sales is an important factor. Make sure all your sales reps are at least on the same level from the beginning. This will make it easier to see changes in individual sales rep success and how that relates to sales enablement materials, strategies, and techniques being used. 
How to Measure Sales Enablement Success

Continual Feedback Loops

Once you know how to measure sales enablement success and what to be looking at, it’s important not to stop there. These efforts and iterations on the enablement activities should be an ongoing process, with sales and marketing aligning closely and sharing information frequently. 

Salespeople are the ones interacting 1:1 with prospects and new customers and as a result, they will have important insights on how marketing efforts can be improved or strengthened. Consider things like any direct feedback from customers. Did they mention liking or even disliking a specific piece of content or resource? 

This feedback is important to know what content is or isn’t resonating with your personas and customers. It gives marketing direction on what to focus their efforts on. But this is a two-way street. Marketing should be communicating and sharing their insights with sales as well. Analytics like open rates, conversion rates, traffic, etc. can be helpful for sales teams. Having that open, frequent dialog around set key performance indicators is a must. 

how to achieve sales and marketing alignment

Email Marketing for Startups: 5 Things to Consider Before You Hit Send

When it comes to email marketing for startups, there are five things we recommend considering before hitting that send button. These ideas might help free up time, resources, and money by being more effective and efficient in your email marketing strategies: 

Email Marketing for Startups

Laser Focus Your Lists   

You don’t want to send your emails to just anyone and not just anyone wants to receive your emails. The saying “quality vs. quantity” rings true here. Focusing your email marketing efforts and curating a select list of people will help with overall performance. Not all buyers are the same nor are they all in the same place in the sales cycle. 

Emailing all your leads? Click here to learn how lead scoring can help qualify and convert.

List segmentation allows you to pull contacts that meet certain criteria based on the information that’s in your database. According to HubSpot and the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report, 39% of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced higher open rates, 28% experienced lower unsubscribe rates and 24% experienced greater revenue. 

To make this critical step even easier, when you utilize marketing automation software, list segmentation can be done automatically. If you aren’t currently utilizing marketing automaton, we recommend it. Especially if you have a large list of contacts, combing through them manually to create your lists can take a lot of time you may not have. 

Get Personal 

Now that you’ve got your carefully crafted email and targeted list, you need to make sure that you’re personalizing your email marketing efforts. Don’t just write to your “list”. Write to Joe Anderson or whatever individuals are on your list. This should be a human-to-human experience. We’ve all been on the receiving end of an impersonal, maybe even spammy email… did you read it? And if you did, did you feel valued or motivated to engage with the sender at all? I’m guessing not. 

Here are a few examples of how to personalize email marketing for your startup: 

  • Address your recipient by name in the greeting
  • Reference their company name 
  • Reference their role or job title 
  • Reference product or product category of interest
  • Note mutual connections
  • Reference the last piece of content they downloaded 
  • Acknowledge seasonality
  • Send by timezone 
  • Include personalization tokens in the subject line

All that said, there’s such a thing as a diminishing return when it comes to personalizing your communications. In a study conducted by HubSpot, they found that personalization drives more replies, only up to a certain point. Once someone altered 50% or more of their email marketing template, the impact on the reply rate was negligible. Create your email templates and work to customize the important pieces that will drive results, but personalizing more than half of your template will not provide more replies. So save your time and energy for other efforts in your startup. 

Make It Mobile-Friendly

Admit it. One of the first things you do when you wake up in the morning is check your phone. I wonder if your buyers are doing the same thing? With 68% of email campaigns being opened on a mobile device, they probably are. That’s why it’s important to ensure your emails are readable and ready to go for mobile. 

When doing email marketing for your startup, how can you ensure your emails are mobile-friendly? Campaign Monitor suggests: 

  • Watch your subject line length to make sure it’s not too long  
  • Use pre-header text to add support to your subject line 
  • Keep your copy short and sweet to engage with buyers efficiently
  • Give thought to your images as they won’t all show up on mobile devices
  • Keep your CTAs front and center to get to the point quickly 
  • Make it click-friendly by leaving white space around links and CTAs
  • Test your emails across multiple devices and email clients 

In today’s digital age, customers expect emails to be mobile-friendly. If you’re not meeting that expectation, you’ll quickly find your emails in the trash or worse, viewers will unsubscribe. 

Focus on Lead Nurturing 

Sending one email does not an email marketing campaign make. To seriously make an impact with your email efforts, you need to focus on nurturing leads and not just spamming them with emails. 

For a valuable, long-term nurturing strategy that allows you to move leads through the sales funnel at their own pace, we suggest an email drip campaign for lead nurturing, or as we refer to them as, nurture sequences. A drip campaign is a series of marketing emails that work together to move consumers toward a final conversion point. (Just don’t make these mistakes!)

These sequences should consist of helpful information, updates, products, services, and notifications spread out over time, meant to educate and engage your leads. The keyword here is “drip.” This is not an all at once blast of information; they should be sent slowly, providing ongoing value to readers. 

Pro Tip: To ensure lead nurturing is most effective, we recommend having a lead scoring system in place. What this does is pinpoint where a lead is within the buyer’s journey and can provide you direction on how to best communicate with them going forward. To learn more about lead scoring, click here

Lead Scoring

Take Advantage of Technology 

As we mentioned above, one benefit of using marketing automation when it comes to email marketing is that you can automate your list segmentation. But that’s just the start. When you take advantage of automation software, you’re allowing the tool to work smarter and harder for you. Given the fact that none of us has an unlimited amount of time and money to dedicate to email marketing, we recommend this route. 

Related Reading: 5 Fundamental Marketing Automation Tasks To Fuel Startup Growth

Marketing Automation for Manufacturing


So, what other ways can marketing automation help with email marketing for startups? 

  • Segment and automatically pull lists 
  • Implement drip campaigns 
  • Schedule emails and campaigns in advance 
  • Personalize communications by including personalization “tokens” in your templates 
  • Create and save email templates 
  • Allows you to easily A/B test your campaigns 
  • Better reporting on what’s working and what’s not 
  • Automatically follow up with leads 
  • And more!

TL;DR (Also Known as Key Takeaways): 

  1. Segment your lists. Casting a wide net might get you a lot of fish, but they probably aren’t all the fish you want to catch. Be specific and targeted with who you’re emailing and nurturing. 
  2. Get personal. Personalize your communications, whether it’s a promotional email, a drip campaign, a thank you email, and beyond. This is true for leads and current customers. You’re emailing more than just an inbox, you’re emailing a person. 
  3. Make your email mobile-friendly. 78% of people use their smartphones most often for email. Your buyers are reading your emails on their phones, so make sure they can actually read your emails on their phones.
  4. Be intentional with your emails and focus on lead nurturing. Set up drip campaigns and spread out the communications to leads. Allow them to move through the sales funnel at their own pace while engaging and educating them. 
  5. If you can, use marketing automation. Make your life easier by putting technology to the test when it comes to email marketing. By automating some of the more time-intensive and manual tasks, this will free up your time and talents for other things.

Making Lemonade: Event Marketing Pros on Leaning into COVID-19

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on all of us. In the business world, one area hit especially hard is the world of event marketing. From conferences to experiential marketing, both B2B and B2C brands had to pivot fast. According to research conducted by PCMA in early April, 87% of in-person events were canceled and 66% were postponed as a result of COVID-19. With a critical piece of the sales and marketing tool belt wiped out overnight, how do businesses pivot, succeed, and plan for the future of events? We reached out to marketing and event leaders to get their perspective on event marketing in the age of a pandemic. 

Our Experts

Jenna Johnson | Communications Marketing Manager – Dominium 

Richard Rizzardi | VP of Client Engagement- Star 

Jackie Evans | Manager, Conferences + Accounts – Type A Events

Kristina Connor | Field Marketing Manager – Field Nation 

Stephanie Lindo | Manager of Next Generation Business Development – Heroic Productions

Watch the entire panel discussion

How Engaging is Your Content Marketing? 5 KPIs to Measure Content Engagement

Do you know how many people genuinely enjoy your content? Sure, you might have a handful of comments and a few people emailing you to say they enjoyed your content. (Even if that’s followed with a guest post pitch.) But are you measuring that content engagement?

Engagement is a key goal for many marketers. It shows the reader is genuinely enjoying the content you’re sharing, and they’re giving their time to act on it—be that with a social share or a subscription to your email list.

The downside? Research has found that getting target customers to engage with a brand is the top challenge for B2B marketers.

You can make that easier by measuring content engagement with these five engagement metrics:

1. Social Shares

A social share means that someone has read your content and gone out of their way to share it with their own network, be that on Twitter, LinkedIn, or a niche forum.

Shelby Rogers of Solodev explains: “Having high levels of engagement shows that your content resonates with people. That means your messaging broke through the noise of infinite scrolling and posts, caught a user’s attention enough for them to like, and made an impact enough for them to comment on your content.”

Related Reading: Lake One’s Guide to LinkedIn Marketing

You can find how many people have shared your content using tools like Buzzsumo or Shared Count:

measure content engagement

Or, you can look for social shares on specific platforms by adding your URL into the search bar:

measure content engagement

(Research has found that written articles, videos, and images are the three most engaging types of content on social media. You might already be experiencing social shares if those three formats make the bulk of your content strategy.)

2. New Backlinks

The number of backlinks you’re collecting for your website is another important marketing metric to consider to measure content engagement, as Joe Robison of Green Flag Digital explains: “Backlinks drive both referral traffic and show Google your new content is trustworthy, contributing to your overall rankings.”

Find this using backlink profile tools like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush:

measure content engagement

People only link to other URLs if the site is trustworthy. After all, the goal of SEO is to prove to Google that you’re trustworthy enough to rank well in their search results. 

Associating your site with another, high-value one proves that, but if other people are linking to you, they must think you’re authoritative enough to be associated with.

3. Organic Ranking Positions

You can’t get a good search presence if you don’t have a solid army of backlinks pointing to your content.

Once you start building those backlinks, you’ll need to move your attention to another metric to measure content engagement: Your organic ranking positions, which tell you the keywords each piece of content is ranking for (and in what position.)

It goes without saying that you want as many position #1 rankings as possible. But so long as you see the upward trend of more and more organic keywords you’re showing for, it can prove that your content is engaging enough for Google to rank it well. Click here for more on the Dos and Don’ts of B2B SEO.

This is also ideal if you’re using the topic and cluster model, as Stephen Jeske of MarketMuse explains: “Of course, a cluster of pages can’t rank, but you can look at the individual page rankings in the context of the cluster. That can reveal a lot about what is or is not working within that group.”

4. Brand Market Share

Stan Tan of Selby’s, “The end goal [of content marketing] is building a brand so you don’t have to rely on spending money on TV ads, Facebook ads or other forms of advertisements.”

Brand market share is a tactic you can use to measure this. It tells you the percentage of customers in your industry that purchase your products.

You can determine your brand market share with this formula: 

(Your total sales / The industry’s total sales) * 100

For example: If you make $100,000 per year in an industry that has collectively made $1 million in sales, your brand market share would be 10%.

Again, this metric is best-measured when you compare it over time. Pick a time frame to regularly check-in on how your content affects your brand market share—such as every quarter or once a year. How much market share did you grow by? 

5. Qualified Leads

There are two types of leads that marketing departments want to report on:

  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): A person that fits the buyer persona and has similar qualities to their typical customer. 
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): An MQL that’s been passed to sales reps, who’ve confirmed that they’re a potential customer. 

Related Reading: Best B2B Lead Gen Tools

You should keep an eye on these metrics—not by setting a figure amount to reach each month, but by monitoring how they change over time. This change can be another indication of content performance and engagement.

For example: Do you get more SQLs after publishing a long-form piece of content? Does the topic of your content influence how many SQLs you get that week? Which type of content has the best MQL to SQL conversion rate?

Summarizing, Casie Ost of Beacons Point adds: “You can bring new eyes to your website, but the only way to get ROI from your efforts is to turn them into paying customers. Therefore, if you focus on tracking metrics of your qualified leads, whether it be a MQL or SQL, those are the key metrics client’s will really want to see.”

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Final Thoughts

Content marketing is one of the most difficult marketing channels to track. And whilst everyone visiting your content might not hit the “purchase” button on their first visit, you can use these metrics to determine whether they’ll end up there.

But the benefits of engaging content go beyond that initial purchase. A report by Gallup found that B2B companies retain fully engaged customers more than others by 27%. (And we’ve all seen the statistics on how much cheaper it is to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one.)

Use these metrics to track and measure content engagement. Always use them as a benchmark when trying new tactics, and figure the perfect formula for a piece of content that encourages the reader to take action. 

How We Work from Home: 10 Tips from a Remote Marketing Team

As a virtual marketing agency, remote work has been part of our process and infrastructure at Lake One since day one. However, we know this transition doesn’t always come easy. It’s one thing to work from home but it’s entirely different to do so productively.  

work from home tips

Here are a few of our tried and true tips and tricks to help:

Dress for Success 

You won’t catch us wearing dress pants or ball gowns around the house, but waking up and changing into your “work” clothes provides that shift from home to work. We’re not saying ditch the yoga pants or comfy clothes, but wearing what you wore to bed can make it tougher to get into work mode. 

via GIPHY

Set a Schedule

Especially in the early days of your transition, it’s good to stick to your regular routine, as if you were going to go into the office. One of the concerns we consistently hear about working from home is people not knowing when work ends and home begins. A schedule and a dedicated space can help you separate work and home life. 

Dedicated Space

If possible, have a spot where you can shut the door. Even a desk in a spare bedroom. That may not be possible in every situation, but having a space clearly marked as workspace when you work from home will also help with getting your headspace set for work. 

work from home tips

Set Boundaries with Friends and Family

Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean you’re not working. Make it clear to friends and family that you can’t just drop everything to meet for lunch or help them with an errand. It can be tougher with the family that lives with you. Having that dedicated workspace can help. Let your family know that when you’re in your “office” you’re not to be bothered. 

Take a Break

Some people are so worried that others will think they’re not working when they’re remote that they overcompensate and don’t take any breaks at all. That’s a recipe for burnout. Grab the coffee, go to the gym, eat your lunch, or go get the mail. Especially if these are things you did before you began working from home.

Get Out of the House

If you’re someone who isn’t easily distracted and can work from a coffee shop, we recommend getting out of the house and changing up the scenery every once in a while. If that’s not for you and you know you’ll be too distracted or spend all of your money on coffee, we recommend getting outside, taking a walk around the block, or check morning emails from your back porch. 

work from home tips

Play Some Music 

For some, listening to music while they’re working is far too distracting. But for those of you who are used to the white noise of an office: printers printing, people chatting, or keyboards clicking, the quiet that comes from working from home, might be too loud. We recommend listening to some music to drown out the quiet. Don’t just take our word for it, science says it’s beneficial. 

Take Advantage of Tools

Remote work today is significantly easier than it was 5, 10, and 15 years ago. Thanks to a ton of tools that make communication, collaboration, and management easier and still enable culture and comradery even when we aren’t all sharing the same space. Here’s our remote working stack. 

Communication

Slack

Slack chat is the core of our daily life. We break out channels by clients, work type and groups to keep everything organized. We also strive to inject some culture and fun with things like gifs and apps like hey taco

Project Management 

Asana

PM tools can provide visibility both internally and externally facing if needed. We’ve tried an endless number of them, Asana has been our ticket because of its flexibility and product vision. 

Collaboration

Google Suite

This very blog post was drafted by our entire team in a Google Doc. We couldn’t function without Google collaboration between our team and our clients.

Google Hangouts  & Zoom video 

Video conferencing is what powers all of our Daily Stand-Ups, Virtual Coffee Breaks and helps us facilitate virtual workshops and strategy sessions with our clients. 

Resource management

Harvest + Asana

Keeping track of workload and managing to expectations is key when your team is spread out. We rely on a combination of Harvest for time tracking and allocation and Asana for forecasting. 

Get moving

Sitting in front of your computer all day is brutal on your body.  Like number 6, taking breaks to stretch is also important. Here’ a great set of simple stretches you can do that will keep your loosen you up and keep you feeling great. 

Regular Check-ins

Set regular check-ins with your team. This can take a lot of forms. For us at Lake One, it’s a daily standup and a weekly run down. Our daily standup is a quick pulse on what everyone did the day before, what’s coming up and if there are any blockers that need to be addressed. Our weekly rundown is a strategic look at everything we’re working on. Clients, business development, marketing and operations. While these are meetings and designed to move our organization forward – it’s also a time for our team to interact with each other. We have a lot of Adhoc working sessions virtual as well. 

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What Could Professional Services Marketing Learn from Product Marketing?

When marketing a product, people typically talk about FABs (features, advantages, and benefits). This technique is referred to as FAB selling. It’s a widely used and accepted method within sales and typically very effective when the product lives up to the FABs. But what does that have to do with professional services marketing? Well, a lot actually. Just because professional services “product” is an intangible one, doesn’t mean there aren’t still features, advantages, and benefits to showcase. While different approaches, if we take what we know from product marketing and apply it to professional services marketing, we could learn a thing or two.

Here’s what professional services marketing could learn from product marketing:

professional services marketing

No MPGs or RPMs but there are FABs

You already know that professional services marketing and product marketing require two different approaches. There’s no argument there. Marketing professional services isn’t like marketing a car, for example. You can’t just list off the bells and whistles. If you, your team, and your service are the “product,” you’re selling something much different. You’re selling an experience, something that isn’t necessarily tangible. Maybe you’re a law firm or an accounting firm or a surveying company, or {insert whichever professional services industry you’re in}. The point is, you can talk about what services you offer and your capabilities (features), how you’re different from competitors and what problem you solve for your customers (advantages) and ultimately, what’s in it for them and what value do you provide (benefits).

marketing professional services

Product Marketing Insights for Professional Services

Credibility

When it comes to credibility, products have the advantage of customers being able to physically try it out or use it. These products have been tested and inspected. If someone doesn’t like a product, they can {usually} return it. That’s not the case with services. So what can you do? When someone is searching for professional services, they want to work with a team that knows what they’re talking about. Most people want to work with a company that has experience and success stories to back it up. Without that experience, it can be tough to gain the credibility you need to build that trust with your buyers. Adding case studies and customer testimonials on your website to highlight your expertise and success stories will increase your credibility. If you’ve been in business for a while, be sure to call that out, too.

Returnability

As mentioned above, you can’t usually return a service. It’s a finite thing. Once you’ve used the service or started the process, you can’t return that time spent. With products, there’s almost always an ability to return if you’re not satisfied with your purchase. Of course, there are caveats to this, but in general, buying a product typically comes with a short window of time to get your money back if product realities fall short of expectations. Since services don’t have that option, make sure you are targeting the right audience, vetting buyers before you commit to working with them, and of course, provide top-notch service to customers. This can reduce or eliminate buyers wanting to “return” your service.

marketing professional services

Tangibility 

The tangibles of a professional services company aren’t tangible at all. Those “tangibles” are usually things like experience, expertise, efficiency, and a proven track record of success. Services aren’t like products. You can’t hold them in your hands. You don’t usually get to test drive services. How do you overcome the fact that there are no tangibles? By ensuring your messaging and marketing about your services are effective, standout and that you tell your story and why buyers should choose you. 

Scalability 

When you create a product and perfect that process, you can usually take it and mass-produce it. You’re able to scale the production. This can allow for cost savings and a higher volume of available inventory. As we mentioned above, having a process in place for your service offering is about as close to scalability as you will get. With services, you, your people, and your talents are the “product,” so it can be a little harder to scale these operations. But, it can be done. Especially when you have a tried and true process for doing your work. Scaling professional services slowly and with a calculated approach can ensure every experience can be customized to the client while still representing the company. There’s flexibility in professional services marketing that you don’t necessarily have in product marketing.

Ownability 

When you buy a product, you own it. It’s yours or your company’s. You can usually transfer that ownership. Going back to the car example, someone can buy a car, drive that car for a while and then later sell that car to someone else. You can’t, however, go to a tax professional, have your taxes done, and then later sell that appointment or tax prep to someone else. But just as people need cars to drive, people need professional services. Showcase the value of their purchase and deliver on it. Capitalize on the fact that you’re selling a great experience and make that experience worthwhile for buyers.

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The Professional Services Marketing Mix: 7 P’s 

Finally, when thinking about your professional services marketing, don’t forget about the extra P’s. Marketing 101 tells us that there are 4 P’s when it comes to the marketing mix that relates to products. They are product, price, place, and promotion. In the case of professional services marketing, however, there are three more P’s that are added: people, process, and physical existence. 

People: Services are inseparable from the person or people providing it, which is why this is such a defining factor in the service delivery process. You and your team are key to making your service stand out and delivering on what your buyers want or need.

Process: It’s hard to scale something that isn’t a product, that’s where process comes in. Process is the closest thing to scalability that professional services can offer. Having a service delivery process in place ensures that the same standards of service are repeatedly delivered to customers. You might call it a playbook or a business blueprint. Whatever your company calls it, make sure it exists and that it’s a well-oiled machine.

Physical Evidence: There are rarely tangibles in an intangible professional services business. So how do you take nothing and make it something that customers can see and try to make it more real for them? Think about the marketing materials you send out, the resources you provide on your site and the website itself. Investing in a quality website that showcases who you are and what you’re about, can help customers visualize you. It can lend to credibility, professionalism and much more. 

Related Reading: 5 Enviable B2B Websites and Why We Love Them 

While professional services marketing and product marketing have their differences, there’s an opportunity to learn something from each. They both have their challenges, their pros and cons, and both require skilled professionals to market them successfully. Knowing the differences between the types of marketing and not applying a one-size-fits-all approach can ensure you’re creating the proper strategy out of the gate and positioning yourself strong when it comes to marketing your professional services.