In part one of our series, we talked about some of the pros and cons associated with lead generation and some tools to help combat the challenges. (Click here if you missed it.) Now we’re going to share with you some techniques to actually generate those elusive leads we all covet so much. Let’s start by thinking of your lead gen strategies and program as a toolbox. These tactics are all just tools in there to use at your disposal. Some you’ll use, some you won’t. You might have a favorite that gets the job done every time and another that you only pull out to tackle special projects. There’s a mix of old school and new school lead gen tactics. Take a look and find the ones that will help you build a successful lead gen strategy.
With marketing automation, you can serve the right content to the right person at the right time – at scale. You can also drive consistency and efficiency with internal processes. And not to mention, it just might be my favorite tool in our marketing tech stack.
So, how does marketing automation apply in the real world? Here are some of our top tried and true must-have B2B marketing automation examples.
What is B2B Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is technology that allows you to automate, streamline, and measure your marketing tasks and workflows.
However, its true power comes through sales and marketing alignment combined with a well-utilized B2B CRM.
Sales & Marketing Alignment in Automation
If it feels like your sales and marketing teams are on different planets, adding automation to the mix won’t solve that. Ensure your teams are aligned by outlining responsibilities, defining key terms like lead statuses and lifecycle stages and aligning your team goals.
Reaching total harmony among teams can be a process, but at a minimum, it should be an active joint effort.
B2B Marketing Examples for Sales Collaboration and Internal Processes
Marketing automation helps to facilitate collaboration between sales and marketing in real-time. It’s the conduit between the two teams. These processes within B2B businesses are centered around sales collaboration and the facilitation of internal processes.
Automation for Sales Collaboration
Sales collaboration takes place in a variety of ways, but the most common are some of the marketing automation examples outlined below.
Not all leads are created equal and for that very reason, we leverage lead scoring. Lead scoring is ranking lead readiness to convert based on the lead’s behavior. The idea behind lead scoring is that a lead can take specific actions or engagements which speak to their sales-readiness. For example, a user who is highly engaged on the site, downloading multiple offers visiting key pages (like pricing), and signing up for the blog, etc. is in theory, more ready to purchase than a user who visited one or two pages on the site a couple of times.
Lead scoring allows a sales and marketing team to work together to develop criteria identifying leads likely to make a purchase so they can be followed up with by Sales. How to do this will be different for each CRM. In HubSpot, you set up your behaviors and scores and then create a workflow or a list to send all leads who meet your threshold over to sales automatically.
Setting Leads to Marketing Qualified & Assigning to Sales
This next section really applies to setting any lifecycle stage or lead status, but we’ll focus on Marketing Qualified Leads because that lifecycle stage is a must and a big factor in measuring marketing ROI.
Again each CRM will be different, but in HubSpot, our favorite way to achieve this is by creating what we call, a MQL List. The list includes all of our specific MQL criteria like the following:
Role is (insert the desired role)
Company name is known
Phone number is known
Industry is (insert the desired industry)
And the lead source is none of offline
Note: MQL criteria setting is part of the sales & marketing alignment process and should be revisited at a minimum twice a year.
Once your list is built with your set criteria, you can create a workflow that notifies sales or creates a task for the MQL to be reviewed by sales.
B2B companies often have complex business processes. Marketing automation can drive efficiencies and allow for real-time routing, task creation, and follow-up across functions and channels.
Is your sales team divided into territories? Or divided by certain products, services, or areas of expertise? If so, lead routing is your ticket to removing the manual review of leads and automatically routing by key differentiators. You’ll most always start with a form submission of some type and follow with if/then branches or conditionals to route leads.
For example: If a contact fills out the “Demo Request” form and their country is set to the U.S., then assign Frank as the contact owner and create a task for Frank to review.
It’s also common that workflows be used to ensure your CRM stays up to date and with as many properties completed as possible. Workflows can be used to manage some of the following:
Subscription Types: If contacts fill out forms such as a newsletter sign up, a webinar, product updates, etc… you can manage their subscriptions on the back end with workflows.
Opt-Outs: If you want to keep a running master opt-out list, you can create a workflow that states if a contact opts out of communication, add them to a specific list.
Contact Owners: Similar to the above lead routing scenario, you can use workflows to ensure all contacts have an owner. Or if they don’t, use a workflow to create a task for a sales leader to review.
Copying Across Property Types: This might vary depending on your CRM, but you are likely using different types of properties or objects to store your data. For example, a company record or contact record. In some cases, the information should be the same in both places. Rather than duplicating efforts, use a workflow to copy the value from one property to another.
B2B Marketing Automation Examples for Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is the process of cultivating relationships with potential buyers at every stage of the sales process and through the buyer’s journey. It puts a focus on meeting buyers where they are at, listening, and providing helpful relevant information.
Marketing automation allows you to create lead nurturing campaigns, also known as email drip campaigns which are a series of emails spread out over time that help buyers move from awareness to consideration to decision.
When it comes to what emails to include and how many and what frequency, it really depends on your personas needs and your buying cycle and the action the contact took. Nurturing campaigns are definitely not ‘set it and forget it’. Email open rates and engagement all the way through to marketing attribution reporting, will be your workflow gut check and point you towards areas for optimization.
Lead to MQL Nurturing & Beyond
Lead to MQL nurturing is a common point in the buyer’s journey in which nurturing can start. It’s likely initiated by a contact downloading a piece of content. From there, you offer the lead relevant information that you think may help them solve the pain point that brought them to your site initially. Along the way, you give them plenty of opportunities to convert with additional content and CTAs.
The goal is to nurture the lead until they become a Marketing Qualified Lead and meet your set criteria. From there, queue sales!
Form Submission Follow-Up
Depending on the type of form a contact submits, you might not need a full-blown workflow, maybe a simple thank you will suffice? If so, workflows are your ticket. They can easily go from a 10 email sequence as mentioned above, to a one and done thank you for your submission email.
Pro Tip: Take your ‘Contact Us’ form submissions to the next level by sending a follow-up email post submission letting your contacts know when they can expect to hear from you in response to their inquiry.
Date Based Marketing Automations
If you have a CRM like HubSpot, workflows don’t have to be based solely on a contact property, they can be date-based too! This is perfect for webinars, trade shows, and other events. The following can be handled with date-based workflows:
Leading up to an event
During an event
Post-event follow up
Marketing Automation Optimizations
Okay, you set up all of the marketing automations above, that means you’re done and can move on to the next initiative right?
In case the ‘how about no sloth’ didn’t give it away, the answer is ‘no’. The setup is only the beginning. Sales and marketing automation tools typically come with better reporting capabilities and you should totally use them. Whether it’s lead flows, MQLs, or subscriptions, reviewing and optimizing your marketing automation workflows are a must.
Also, it’s worth noting there’s a part of the story that can’t always be seen in the data. Take the time to talk to the teams and solicit feedback. Are the automations working? Are they missing the mark? Meeting on a regular cadence will help uncover those issues too.
So tell us, did you like the examples? Are we missing one of your favorites? Sales and marketing automation can save you time and help your B2B business scale. If you’re considering incorporating automation into your sales and marketing strategy, we’d love to chat.
Nearly every single job you could think of utilizes tools. Whether physical instruments, software, or learned skills, tools are what we use to accomplish our jobs fast, easier, and better. For marketing and sales professionals, we call those tools your marketing tech stack.
What is a Marketing Tech Stack
A marketing technology stack, or martech stack, is the collection of marketing tools you use to accomplish marketing activities. These tools empower the scalable growth of sales and marketing functions and are often cloud or SAAS (software as a service) based. Typically these tools help automate manual tasks, simplify complex business processes, and/or carry out marketing tactics.
As of 2019, there are over 7,000 martech platforms available to choose from. With that many options, you could literally subscribe to and cancel thousands of tools before finding the right ones for your organization. So how do you pick the right marketing tech stack? Well, our framework follows the marketing and sales workflow: planning, attracting leads, converting awareness into opportunity, nurturing opportunity to customers and repeat customers, and finally reporting and automating. The more categories you can stitch together under one umbrella, the less you end up with a dreaded Frankenstack. Here’s what to look for in each category.
Tools for Marketing Planning
Planning how to tackle your tasks often consumes significant resources and time. Who is doing what? What day does it need to be done? The project management side of work can get incredibly complex, especially if you don’t have a system in place to hold people accountable and provide transparency. To bust out marketing calendars and the like, some people look to Excel or even handwritten schedules. Technology has a much better way though. Look for tools that provide the framework and ability to automate or add efficiency to planning processes. Simple things like ways to curate content to review it in one place or connecting an editorial calendar to publishing schedules can increase efficiency and reduce last-minute deadline crunches.
When building your marketing tech to help with planning, ask:
Do I need integrations with other tools?
How do I want to view my plans – in a list? Calendar? Something else?
How easy can I remove or add people to the tool, to individual projects, or to individual tasks? How granular do I need to get?
Tools for Attraction and Conversion
The highest level goal of any marketing initiative is to grow awareness and drive demand. Awareness is typically built through three means – paid, owned, and earned/shared media. You want tools that allow you to carry out a strategy that brings potential leads within each of those buckets. They may be a tool to publish content (a CMS), something that helps you find earned media opportunities, a social publishing tool, etc.
Once you’ve brought the leads in, how will you convert them? Your tech should help fulfill whatever success looks like to your company- a form filled out, a cart checkout, an app download, a click to call, a donation, etc.. Your goals here will largely dictate the tools you pick.
Consider asking these questions:
What are the functions of my website? My current CMS? Have I used them to their full capabilities yet or do I need additional tools?
Again, consider integrations. If you need data from a form to be added to your CRM, ensure you can integrate to avoid manual work.
What are the gaps in the current processes? Where am I spending the most time?
How are we tracking, monitoring, and improving marketing efforts? Do the tools I’m looking at implementing provide the insights I need?
Depending on how your organization is structured, nurturing may live with marketing or sales. Tech for lead nurturing looks like tools where you can create workflows or drip campaigns, sales sequences, and advanced targeting. You want the marketing technology that helps drive new and repeat sales.
Once that sale is in, your martech stack should also aid in moving contacts from the marketing process to the sales process, for tracking and reporting. Whether you use a funnel, a flywheel or any other term – it’s more important that there is a handoff and metric that can clearly feed your reporting. Otherwise, when it comes time to close the loop on how marketing is contributing or how is the revenue team collaborating, you’ll be out of luck.
Sales tools can also have a lot of bloat. We’re looking at you, CRM.
What tools will help with my sales and marketing alignment?
How do my teams currently work together? How do I envision using martech to improve that?
What type of transparency do I want in the sales pipelines?
Tools for Analytics and Automation
Finally, analytics and automation. This category may seem like a bit of a catch-all but it’s the glue that connects everything. The technologies here serve one of three purposes. First, to deliver insights about any of our various marketing touchpoints or databases via a set of analytics. Second, provide optimization via testing, personalization, or data visualization. Third, and finally, leverage automation apps and tools to create a connection between other pillars above, tools, or data sets.
Try as you might, you will almost always inevitably end up with data coming from a few sources. You can either put together manual reports, be lucky enough to have an in-house data team, or pull in a data dashboarding tool like Databox.
A few things to consider:
Are there any of the tools in any of the categories above that may have automation capabilities themselves (or serve across multiple categories- i.e. tools like Hubspot).
What data is important for my organization?
Do I need a dashboarding tool to streamline data sources?’
Who will actually analyze the data and how will it be used?
Benefits of Martech
When you implement a marketing technology stack, you’re building the framework for everything mentioned above. The tools you decide to use are the bones of your strategy. In many ways, they enable your team to take your marketing to the next level. This includes:
Marketing automation and reduction of manual work
Increased lead generation and the ability to nurture leads
More impactful analytics, insights, and reports
Better aligned sales and marketing teams
Streamlined processes and the simplification of complex operations
Ability to generate and carry out a comprehensive strategy
Key Takeaways for Building a Marketing Tech Stack
Again, we want to reiterate that there are many marketing tech tools that provide solutions across these categories. Find them. Use them. Integrate them. Layout your goals, ask the important questions and map out your strategy before you subscribe to every Freemium platform available. By doing so, you’ll create an environment for efficiency, more impactful insights, and better alignment. Plus, we bet you’ll actually end up using all those tools.
You likely know that sales and marketing alignment is our jam. We are all about the two teams communicating openly and working towards common goals. But did you also know that we are all about working smarter? Sales and marketing automation can help you with some of the heavy lifting allowing you to scale and spend your time on the things that matter most to your business.
Despite the joint naming, sales automation and marketing automation serve distinct purposes within an organization. In this post, we’ll define both sales and marketing automation and share some of our top tips for implementation.
What is Sales Automation?
HubSpot defines sales automation as the mechanization of manual, time-consuming sales tasks using software, artificial intelligence (AI), and other digital tools.
With the sales team focused on one to one communication, automation can help with prospecting and outreach and cut down on response time, making sales uber efficient. More specifically, sales automation helps with:
With the marketing team focused on communicating to a group of people, (ideally targeted to personas), automation adds scalability and also personalization. Without marketing automation, it’s nearly impossible to include personalization at the scale needed for most B2B businesses.
Marketing automation helps to accomplish the following:
If you’re either considering sales and marketing automation for your business or your current efforts aren’t going so well, this next section is for you. Here are our top five sales and marketing automation tips.
Tip #1: It starts with alignment
If it feels like your sales and marketing teams are on different planets, adding automation to the mix won’t solve that. It’s best to have a meeting of the minds first. There you should outline responsibilities, define key terms and align your goals.
Alignment can be a process, but at a minimum, it should be an active process.
Tip #2: Don’t overbuy
Underutilized technology can be a costly expenditure. Not every company needs sales and marketing automation and not every company needs all the bells and whistles of enterprise-grade solutions. Being aligned as a team will help you hone in on the features that are necessary.
Here are some questions for consideration when evaluating the needs of your teams:
Are you struggling to segment and prioritize leads?
Do your leads require nurturing?
Is your sales team struggling to find the time to follow up with leads?
Are you leveraging your content?
Do you know where your teams are coming from?
How are leads handed off?
Tip #3: Have a plan
Sales and marketing automation can be great, but not without a plan. Having an agreed-upon strategy of what matters to your organization will help you select the tech that meets your needs and execute day to day.
Automation isn’t the entire strategy, but it’s part of it.
Tip #4: Who owns automation?
Bringing on new technology can sometimes have people asking, “Who’s on first?” We strongly recommend appointing an automation internal champion. This person is responsible for adoption, consistency and holding teams accountable.
Tip #5: Don’t forget you’re marketing and selling to humans
When it comes to automation, you can have too much of a good thing because at the end of the day, you’re still marketing and selling to humans. No one wants to engage and converse with a robot, especially if the buyer is in the decision stage.
C’mon. Is there anything in sales or marketing that is set it and forget it? The answer is no. There isn’t. Sales and marketing automation tools typically come with better reporting capabilities. Use it!
Also, there’s part of the story that can’t always be seen in the data. Take the time to talk to the teams and solicit feedback.
Sales and marketing automation can save you time and help your B2B business scale. If you’re considering incorporating automation into your sales and marketing strategy, we’d love to chat.
If you do a Google search for “easy to use CRM” you’ll return more than 50 million results. Why so many? Because people hate using CRMs. Back in 2001, Gartner measured a 50% CRM failure rate. Chief among the reasons: lack of focus, complexity, and lack of commitment or buy-in. I’ve worked across multiple CRMs from Salesforce to HubSpot. As our client work spans marketing and sales teams, we inevitable tackle the CRM question. Many times we get asked, “Is a HubSpot CRM is right for our company?”. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. This is how we help our clients answer this question.
If your organization matches any of the following, the HubSpot CRM might be a good fit for you:
You’ve struggled to adopt a CRM,
You’ve struggled to align sales and marketing
Your sales processes aren’t extremely complex
You like access to support without large costs
You’re looking for a functional CRM without blowing the bank.
Don’t go it alone. Let’s figure out your best CRM option together.
Where are you in your CRM journey?
If you’re relatively new to CRM, or an organization that’s struggled to adopt CRM across functions, HubSpot can be a great option. It’s been built to drive ease of adoption. Its integration to email inbox makes managing contacts easy, and it let’s reps spend more time selling and less time updating contact records.
Are your sales and marketing teams in alignment?
If you’re looking to drive alignment throughout your marketing machine through the lead management – and you’re using the HubSpot marketing platform, HubSpot sales is a smart addition. Rather than adding more tools and tech to the mix, keeping with one platform helps drive data quality and reporting consistency. (Ps- Here’s a way to check your Smarketing alignment if you need it.)
How complex are your sales processes?
Generally, the more complex the sales process gets, the more time you need to put into your B2B CRM strategy. If your organization struggles with CRM adoption and aligning your sales and marketing team around consistent processes – HubSpot’s CRM is a great entry point to building your sales and marketing data muscle.
How do you learn best? Are you a self teacher who can poke around new software with ease? HubSpot is an intuitive CRM with a fantastic knowledge base and support team. If you’re looking to get a CRM up and running fast, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better support resources without shelling out thousands of dollars for training or administrators.
What kind of efficiency would your sales team benefit from?
Ironically, sales reps spend the minority of their time actually selling. Too often they’re stuck with the administration of their CRM. HubSpot’s CRM is loaded with easy to use tools to drive sales rep efficiency so they can spend more time selling and less time administering software.
What’s your budget threshold for software?
How much do you want to invest in your CRM? Consider all the costs. Subscription fees – term – setup and ongoing maintenance – support. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly CRM with some horsepower, HubSpot might be the right fit for you.
What are your reporting needs?
Generally speaking, the more robust your reporting needs are, the more HubSpot may not be able to deliver. There are a lot of reporting options available within HubSpot, and with the reporting add-on, you can accomplish more. But compared with enterprise-level CRM, this is one area where the CRM doesn’t always stack up.
A conversion funnel is what we call the path a user follows to convert on a landing page. You can read more about the basics here, but the parts that make up a conversion funnel are the CTA, Landing Page, Thank You Page, and the Thank You Email. As marketers and business people, we want people to convert, but sometimes our marketing underperforms or our guts say that good performance could be better. So then we test. Here are practical ways to implement A/B testing on conversion funnels and improve their performance.
A/B Testing CTAs
CTA testing in HubSpot could not be any easier. By creating two versions of your CTAs- A and B- HubSpot will naturally serve the CTAs equally. When running multivariate CTA testing, we’re focusing the majority of our attention on the Click Rates because clicks are the main goal of a CTA. Submission rates are a secondary factor because they are mostly an indication of your landing page performance. The caveat here is relevance, though. High clicks and low submission rates can be an indication that the promise of your CTA is incongruent with that of your landing page. The messaging of one or the other may need to be adjusted.
In this example, version A and B were created at the same time. After a few months of testing, both have nearly identical views, but the clicks on version B are a full percentage point higher. At this point, since we have a decent amount of data, it might be time to create a new version “A” to see if we can beat or at least match version B.
A/B Testing Landing Pages
HubSpot also makes implementing A/B testing on landing pages super easy. What you’re looking at when testing landing pages are submissions. WordStream tells us we want 10% or higher to be considered among the best. Some of the things you could vary are your headlines and copy. You can even try testing the medium of your offer- guide vs eBook vs infographic etc.- to see what your audience is more compelled to utilize.
One of the biggest advantages to A/B testing a landing page is to see how the length of a form affects your submissions. As marketers, we of course want as much data as we can get, but we also know that there’s a breaking point in what we request. High-value offers have a higher threshold for longer forms. To test, create two variants of your landing page- one with a shorter form and one with a more complex form- to find out where your persona’s threshold is. If you can get away with having a longer form and requesting more information without your submissions rates suffering, go for it.
If you’re not sure where to start with your landing page testing, you can try setting up heat mapping to see exactly how your users are interacting with your page. You might find people are leaving right away (a better headline or more appealing design, perhaps?) or abandoning the form (shorten that sucker up!). Bounce rates can also indicate where to start.
You create Thank You Pages (TYPs) variants the same way you do Landing Pages in HubSpot. So what are you looking for here? Engagement. You want people to access their offer (via a link or a button) and then go on to engage with the site. This is where you have the opportunity to move them through the funnel or charm them with delight. You can create full variants of your TYP or try testing a CTA within your TYP as we discussed above.
A/B Testing Thank You Emails (Kind of)
Thank You Emails are the automated emails that send after a user submits a form. They can be set up directly on the landing page form or via a workflow. Unfortunately, you cannot implement A/B testing of automated emails in HubSpot. But, there are a few ways to get around it. What you want to measure by testing thank you emails are your open rates and click rates.
Open rates are correlated to the strength of your subject line. To test, benchmark your current views and opens then manually make and publish your updates to the same email. Allow your updates to gather data and then measure performance against your benchmarked data. Rinse and repeat.
You can test the click rates in your thank you emails by creating multivariate CTAs as discussed in the CTA section above. You can also manually update the copy and hyperlinks to your “next step” offer (whatever action you’ve included in your TYE that you want your user to take next such as downloading a different offer or contacting you for a consult). Benchmark your stats and revisit often to check the efficacy of your updates.
So when building your B2B search engine marketing tech stack, where do you start? With our article of course. Here are some of the must-have marketing tools for your B2B SEO stack.
But First, Strategy
We do need to preface this post with a word of caution and Intercom says it well, “a tool is not a strategy”. They go on to say, “you can compare different software packages by their features, but that’s like marrying someone based on their dating profile. The real value marketing software offers is in the strategy and approach it enables.”
So with that being said, start with the strategy and follow with technology. Don’t get lost swimming in the martech ocean of options.
Tech that Attracts & Optimizes
HubSpot’s new Flywheel is the latest and greatest model when it comes to how people think about their businesses. (Curious about the Flywheel? Learn more here). The Flywheel is broken down into three stages: Attract, Engage, and Delight. For this post, we’ll focus on tools that help attract visitors and as a little bonus, many of the tools serve a dual purpose with the ability to help curate data for later optimizations. Technology BOGO.
Marketing Automation Software
Marketing automation software. The mothership. The big Kahuna. It’s almost impossible to talk about digital marketing technology without at least mentioning it. So what exactly is marketing automation? According to HubSpot, marketing automation is defined as the following:
Marketing Automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions such as emails, social, and other website actions.
In addition to the tasks noted above, most marketing automation software has additional features that can help to attract website visitors, which brings us to HubSpot.
HubSpot is inbound marketing, sales, and service software that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Although that definition is somewhat technical, HubSpot really can be a one-stop shop.
At Lake One, we’re big fans of HubSpot and not to mention, we’re also a HubSpot Gold Agency. However, admittedly, HubSpot is an investment in time and in most cases, money. Pricing varies from free to paid based on different services and Hubs.
Why we love it: We love HubSpot for its multi-use features that allow our marketing activities to stay connected in one platform. A few of our HubSpot favorites that further B2B SEO efforts are:
Landing pages: HubSpot makes it easy to create and duplicate landing pages that are optimized for conversion.
Forms: Forms are a must when it comes to capitalizing on the traffic you drive (whether paid or organic) to your website
Reporting: Although this doesn’t directly impact SEO, it sure does when it comes to optimization and measuring the effectiveness of your efforts. You can see where traffic is coming from and how visitors are converting (or not converting) on your site.
If you are hesitant to make the leap and purchase marketing automation software, rest assured that there are other tools out there to help you with your SEO objectives. Read on dear reader, read on.
If you’re an avid Lake One blog reader, you know we love data-driven decision making. The same rules apply for B2B SEO and especially, keyword research.
Ahrefs is a well-known tool for backlinks and SEO analysis. You can audit your website, research competitors, and explore keywords and content. For keywords specifically, you can see top questions, new keywords, and keyword suggestions.
Why we love it: Among other things, Ahrefs gives you insight into how many backlinks it would take to rank on Google’s page one. We can plan our goals and outreach efforts accordingly with their additional insight.
Google Analytics gives you a birds-eye view of your organic traffic but also allows you to drill-down into specifics like channel or by segment such as audience, behavior, and conversion reports for your organic traffic segment.
Why we love it: It’s a time-tested, reliable source- it’s the Granddad of web analytics. We also love that we can set up goals to track traffic as it moves through specific funnels as a means to monitor how audiences navigate through the site.
Unbounce is a platform that allows you to quickly create, launch, and test-high converting landing pages, popups, and sticky bars without developers.
Why we love it: If you decide to go sans HubSpot or another marketing automation software with landing page capabilities, this is the next best thing. You can easily create customized landing pages and have insights into the data for optimization.
Digital outreach and backlink building are critical, yet manual, components of SEO. If done right, outreach should be personalized and tailored to each opportunity. As you can imagine, when it takes several earned backlinks to make an impact on B2B SEO, digital outreach can be time-consuming.
BuzzStream helps automate some of the outreach processes through researching influencers, managing your relationships, and conducting outreach that’s personalized yet efficient all in one single platform.
Why we love it: Especially as our team continues to grow, it’s critical we have outreach housed in a visible platform for the team at large to access. It takes outreach out of the depths of our inbox and puts it in front of our team.
Don’t mistake tools as a strategy. Lead with a strategy and tools and technology should follow.
Marketing Automation Software like HubSpot is awesome, but not necessary to achieve your B2B SEO goals.
Content tools that help you easily create and optimize landing pages are a must.
No matter what tools you use, you can’t forget about the linkage! Digital Outreach can be time-consuming, but critical.
Part of the Lake One Modern Marketing philosophy reloves around utilizing a smartly crafted tech stack to research, execute, and analyze marketing. There are many tools we collectively use, but independently, we have a few front-runners that allow us to work smarter and harder. Here are our favorite MarTech tools for making life easier.
Keyword research can be laborious. With the Keywords Everywhere extension, it becomes part of all your activity. Some of the best features include seeing keyword data across multiple sites from search to Amazon. Set KW to highlight keywords at a certain volume, price, or competition threshold so you discover them quickly. Then, you can to add to and export lists. Keywords Everywhere is a marketing tool that makes research become part of regular internet browsing.
I’m a martech nerd. I love to know what tools are being used. With the Ghostery plugin, you can dissect a competitor’s marketing stack quickly by seeing what tags are installed. For me, I usually stumble upon a new tool once or twice a week worth exploring.
I was a long time iPhone user, since the first generation. A couple of years ago I converted. First, for battery life. I’m on the road a lot during the day with clients and prospects, so not needing to carrying a charging cord with me every second is huge. Second, with new generations of Pixels, they’ve built in spam tracking and call screening. Unfortunately, with number spoofing, it’s too easy for spammers to take up space in my voicemail. At a glance or with a call screen I can weed them out and not interrupt my day. Third, the camera/video is awesome. The Pixel makes for a great tool to produce quick content on the go.
I’ve had Jing installed on my machine for nearly a decade.
Jing makes taking and sharing screenshots a breeze, and in my opinion, is a must for those in client-facing roles. Why? Because of its ease of use and quick sharing capabilities. My favorite feature is the option to take a screenshot, annotate it, save it as a ‘copy’, and then share it simply by using “paste” vs having to save it to your computer and upload. You can paste it wherever you need it to go (in an email, in a slack conversation, google doc, and even in a text message).
If you have a Mac, you’ve likely used Preview for one thing or another like viewing a picture or a PDF. But file viewing isn’t why Preview makes my list… It’s the ability to easily resize images for the web.
As best practice, images should ideally be under 500KB if possible, and Preview makes it happen with a few clicks. Simply click ‘Tools’ and then ‘Adjust Size’. Voila.
By definition, “Slack is a collaboration hub for work, no matter what work you do” and that’s pretty spot on. The possibilities with Slack seem endless, but at Lake One, we use it for ideation, collaboration, and oftentimes, we share client updates. Here are a couple of our favorite features.
Channels: Slack allows you to sort your conversations by channels. On our #LakeOne channel, we often discuss our internal marketing efforts, like this blog, and team wins. 🙂
Integrations: Slack can integrate with several platforms (think HubSpot, HeyTaco, and Google Docs) and provide real-time updates.
Giphys: You can easily incorporate Giphys into your slack conversation and this feature alone has provided so many laughs. I may be biased, but our slack channel is pretty entertaining.
In all seriousness though, Slack allows the ability for instant communication which is a must, especially for virtual teams.
Yoast is a blog plugin for WordPress. There are so many reasons why this makes my favorite marketing tools list. First, without Yoast, there’s no way I can edit my meta description or SEO Title. Yoast allows me to do that- they call it the Snippet. In addition, I can enter in a “focus keyword”. By doing so, Yoast scans my post and helps guide my optimization process. I can get a snapshot of how well I’ve included my keywords through the blog, meta, and alt-texts. It gives suggestions to make the post more SEO-friendly by offering improvements and pointing out potential problems.
Additionally, Yoast offers a “readability” analysis. This tells me if any sections are too long, how the writing scores on the Fleche Reading Ease test, and if there are too little or too many transition words. It gives me an overall audit of how well the post is written.
Because, #ViturtalTeam. We use Google Hangouts for all of our internal meetings. We love it because we already use Google Calendar, so adding Hangouts is a simple extra step. We even have one specific Hangout URL bookmarked that we pull up for impromptu meetings or check-ins with each other. This saves our team a ton of time and allows us to connect via video chat to keep projects moving.
While we love Slack for instant chat, the voice and video calls can be glitchy, not always picking up on the microphone. Hangouts saves the day in reliability there, so it’s always our default for voice and video.
Whenever we start doing social media posting for a client, we conduct a hashtag analysis. We look at the hashtags they tend to use already and then brainstorm what we think would be beneficial for them based on their content strategy. I run those hashtags through RiteTag. RiteTag tells me how popular (or not) a hashtag is in three categories: get seen now, get seen over time, and don’t use. It also gives me related tags I can add to our list and allows me to decide what the better choice between two may be. For example, #DigitalAgency is good for long-term exposure whereas #DigitalAgencies is no bueno. #DigitalMarketing is a great choice to be seen now. RiteTag is a marketing tool every marketer should have bookmarked for easy access.
If you’ve been paying attention, the most likely 2019 marketing trends will come as no surprise. With an over-arching theme to connect to consumers personally, we expect 2019 to be filled with content intended to engage and meet consumers where they are rather than getting in their face. Here are the four trends we’d like to call attention to for the upcoming year.