Posts Tagged ‘lead generation’

A Business Development Manager’s Guide to Exhibitions & Trade Shows

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Trade Show, Exhibition

As all Business Development Managers know, the best way to connect with your leads and ultimately win new business is through meeting actual people in the flesh. But getting that first meeting to understand challenges faced by a lead and how you might be able to help them is notoriously difficult to secure, particularly if you’re selling a service that you don’t yet know if they need.

The exhibition or trade show can be the ideal place to put real faces to the names you have in your CRM and connect with them on a human level. Though there are numerous strands to an effective lead generation strategy, exhibitions and trade shows can be part of this and can be essential in strengthening new relationships. (more…)

How to use social media for B2B lead generation

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

“I’m quite certain that Facebook isn’t going to be relevant for us” said a sales manager I recently spoke to. That’s a bold statement as he just said he couldn’t think of a way to use a network that is regularly frequented by one in seven people on the planet. Sure, Facebook might not be the first place you turn to when looking for B2B leads and sales through social, but it can play an important role when used effectively. Follow this step-by-step guide and you can start using social media for B2B lead generation right away.

Step 1: Know thy audience

Audience @ LeWeb 11 Les Docks-9317

As is the case with so much digital marketing, your starting point for a successful social media lead generation campaign should be understanding who it is you’re are attempting to engage with. This means creating a buyer persona.

Your buyer persona will be a fictional representation of the typical person you are trying to reach. It will tell you about the issues that concern them, the challenges they face in their roles and where they look to find answers. This should include the magazines they read, the websites they visit and the social networks you think they use. Use this to create the content that you will use to lure them onto your website. (more…)

Six great examples of B2B companies using social media

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Social media provides a valuable set of tools for B2B marketers. Here are some of the best examples of B2B firms utilising social media across a range of business activities.


Hubspot twitter profile

If you’ve ever searched Google for email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, lead generation or almost any other aspect of digital marketing, you are quite likely to have discovered HubSpot’s content. They are masters of content marketing. Pushing out eBooks, webinars, checklists, toolkits, blog posts and slideshows by the bucketload.

Lead generation with social media

HubSpot utilises social media channels to distribute their content for the purposes of lead generation for their inbound marketing campaigns. Calls-to-action, landing pages and high quality materials ensure that they add large volumes of leads to their marketing funnel, each of which can be tracked by source – even down to the individual tweets. Learn more about how to use inbound marketing in your business.


Executives are often compelled to ask what social media has delivered in terms of revenue whilst missing the additional benefits it can bring; Boeing executives are not of this breed though.

Early adopters

Boeing’s use of social media really kicked off in 2005 when Randy Baseler, then VP of marketing (now retired), set up Randy’s Journal. It gathered 500,000 visitors in the first two years online with a strong and active community of employees and enthusiasts alike. Since then, Beoing’s social media usage has increased, with social media playing a significant role in the digital marketing and stakeholder engagement strategy for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (see the video below for more details about that).

Social media newsroom

Boeing look to use social media to engage a wide range of stakeholders – media, customers, shareholders, aviation enthusiasts, etc – with exclusive content that would only ever be available through the company. For Boeing, social media offers a chance to take control of the media output and become their own newsroom.

At Farnborough International Airshow 2010 Boeing created their own microsite which produced news articles throughout the event. Todd Blecher, Communications Director at Boeing, stated: “We attracted 103,710 visitors who made more than 225,000 visits and 222,300 views of our videos. That was remarkable for us. I’m very proud of that effort.” In short, it was a runaway success.


Peddinghaus are manufacturers of structural steel fabrication machinery. Structural steel fabrication is not a glamorous industry (trust me, I worked in it for five years) but Peddinghaus Corporation has embraced the latest digital marketing trends by establishing themselves with a large, active and very visible presence on YouTube and Twitter.

B2B video marketing

Peddinghaus offers a good example of what can be achieved when a manufacturing business takes online marketing seriously. Since starting to utilise YouTube two years ago, Peddinghaus has gained over 28,000 video views on their channel. Videos range from basic product demonstration videos through to a series of short case studies showing you the benefits that utilising Peddinghaus equipment can bring to a steel fabrication company.


One business that has completely embraced social thinking throughout the corporate structure is IBM. Where as many businesses use “social” as a marketing activity, IBM has turned itself into a social business.

Creating a social business

Transforming a business into a social business requires more than simply getting all the employees on to Twitter and LinkedIn. It isn’t just about engaging with customers through blogs or online communitities either. Becoming a social business requires social thinking to be embraced for internal communications as much as external communications. As IBM puts it, “When you inspire your workforce to innovate and collaborate more productively, you create tangible business value.”

The presentation below details how IBM transformed from a traditional business into a social business over the past 20 years.

IBM Social Media Marketing from Tiffany Winman


Cisco has been “doing social” for some time now. In 2010 it published the Cisco Social Media Playbook: Best Practice for Sharing (embedded below) which details how Cisco intends to use social media including the four steps of their social strategy: listen, plan, engage, measure, and they have a section of their website dedicated to social media activity.

Reducing costs with social media marketing

One of the most compelling early cases supporting social media marketing came from Cisco back in 2010. When it launched a new router exclusively through social media, the results were astonishing: nearly three times as many press articles as with traditional outreach methods; 9,000 people attended the social media product launch event – 90 times more attendees than in the past; one-sixth the cost of a traditional launch.

The campaign won awards and saved the business over $100,000 compared to a traditional product launch. Impressive results by anyone’s standards.

  Cisco Social Media Playbook:  Best Practice Sharing by Cisco

RS Components

RS Components are the world’s largest distributor of electronic products. As part of a task to develop their online presence within the electronic design engineering community they created DesignSpark, a “global gateway to online resources and design support for engineers.”

The results were impressive:

  • DesignSpark is the fastest growing community of its kind with 45,000 members in its first year.
  • The DesignSpark PCB tool has been downloaded over 60,000 times, helping RS increase their presence within the EDE community.

Read the full DesignSpark case study.

By Martin Broadhurst

Inbound marketing 101: landing pages explained

Friday, March 15th, 2013

In order to start converting website visitors into leads, you are going to need landing pages. They are an important cog in the inbound marketing machine where we convert our leads into prospects; gain more insight into our existing leads; capture important lead data and position our brand as experts in our field. Read on for the full low down on the importance of landing pages…
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Four essential tips for lead generation through Facebook

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Using Facebook as a marketing tool is neither new nor exciting; in fact, as of July 2012 there were a reported 11m businesses using Facebook Pages to promote their products and services. What is often lacking is a clear method of converting to business results that mean more than reach, talking about this or likes. The following article details four key steps for generating leads through Facebook.

Create Data Capture Landing Tabs


In order to get leads from Facebook you need to make sure you have a method of capturing lead data as a simple Facebook Like counts for little in this regard. We need a more definite way of communicating with our leads, such as a phone number or email address, so our efforts need to focus on acquiring this information from our Facebook audience.

Begin with an offer; ebooks, webinars, templates, reports, whitepapers, competitions, vouchers are just a few of the types of tactics you can use. Whatever it is, make it compelling to your audience so that they feel giving over their email address in exchange for the offer is worthwhile.

Create a tab within Facebook using one of the many iframe apps or similar to promote your offer. Ensure you have a form on there to capture lead data within the tab and make the page focused on the single goal of acquiring the lead data.

Create Landing Pages on Your Website

This might sound like lead generation 101 but you will find external landing pages play a key part in driving leads through Facebook. When posting content to your Facebook Fans, make sure you include regular links to your offer landing pages as well as pointing people towards your on-Facebook lead generation tabs.

By varying where you send your Facebook fans, you will be able to monitor which has the best conversion rate. This sort of insight is beneficial for deciding how to deliver future online campaigns, in particular, deciding how you spend your budget when you…

Use Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are still surprisingly under-utilised by marketers on Facebook. Despite there being 11m Facebook Pages, there are reportedly only “hundreds of thousands” of them advertising on the platform.

FB ads

Ads can and should play a significant role in your Facebook marketing efforts. Ads help to increase Page likes, which is valuable if these likes are then promoted to effectively, but they can also provide a good stream of traffic to your Facebook offer tab or your external landing page. Monitor the click-through rates and conversion rates on each and optimise your Facebook ad campaigns accordingly to reduce cost-per-lead.

Use Targeting Options When Updating Your Page

The targeting options provided to Page owners when posting updates are another under-utilised tool in the Facebook marketer’s toolkit. These updates can be targeted at an audience based on location and/or language data meaning if you want to promote your latest ebook exclusively to an audience in London, you can do just that! To really raise your game, try using the promoted posts tool to dig even deeper in to the targeting options. When used correctly, promoted posts drive higher levels of engagement due to the word-of-mouth nature of the posts.

FB Update targeting

Using these tools will further enable you to refine your lead generation strategy on Facebook by not only making your updates more personal to the audience you are trying to reach, but also allowing you to focus your marketing efforts only on a relevant audience. This is especially pertinent if you are speaking to an international audience on your Page.

By Martin Broadhurst

Three simple ways to use Twitter for lead generation

Friday, February 15th, 2013

When it comes to social media marketing, Twitter is the place to be in 2013. If you don’t believe me, consider this: 21 of the 56 commercials during the 2013 Superbowl mentioned Twitter which is six times as many mentions as Facebook received. With all this focus on Twitter, many marketers are still struggling to attribute ROI to their efforts on the network. This blog post will show you how to start generating leads through Twitter and demonstrate return on investment from social media marketing.

Utilise Your Profile Banner Image

You don’t get a lot of space on Twitter to design and make your own. The only design changes you can make are to your profile background, profile picture and your banner image; the last of these is the one you should be using for key messages. When people click on your username, your profile summary will appear with a biography and a link to your website. This will be your first chance to sell your business to a potential customer.

UFC Twitter Profile Banner

The above example from the UFC demonstrates this perfectly. In spite of the fact they are promoting the most popular female competitor in the sport, they don’t have loud, brash sales messages. Instead, they use the image to grab your attention and the profile biography to sell you the story with a link beneath where the visitors can go to find out more about the event, including where to buy it.

Listen and Respond

If you aren’t listening on Twitter for opportunities, you aren’t doing it right. This is something that everyone can do and you don’t even need the most rudimentary of design skills. All you need is a search facility. Thankfully. Twitter provides us with a pretty good one.

Twitter Search box

Every business should, at the very least, be using the Twitter search facility to listen for the following:

  • Mentions of your business
  • Mentions of your competitors
  • Industry hashtags
  • Phrases such as “Can anybody recommend a [insert industry relevant phrase]?”

Just as there are people on Google searching for businesses likes yours, there are also people on Twitter searching for suppliers. I should know; I’m one of them.

Data Capture, Data Capture, Data Capture

Social media marketing is a complex beast and has many business uses ranging from lead generation to customer service, public relations to market research. However, when it comes to generating leads through Twitter or any other form of social media, we should absolutely make sure we have a way of capturing lead data.

Salesforce is one of the best companies in the world for getting this absolutely right. When it comes to providing quality content perfectly pitched at their audience, Salesforce nails it. The Twitter account is forever sharing blog posts that then point people to landing pages where they can encourage visitors to part with some contact details in exchange for a webinar or a PDF guide to CRM advances. Each one of these leads can be directly tracked back to Twitter thus helping to demonstrate social media marketing ROI.

Twitter considers itself an information network rather than a social network. As such,  you should use the vast amount of information available to find your own opportunities. Provide people with information about your products, forthcoming events and downloads through your profile summary and encourage them in to your sales funnel.

by Martin Broadhurst