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27 surprising facts about salespeople who are Social Selling 0

Posted on July 20, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Social Selling

Social Selling is the use of social media to interact directly with prospects, to answer questions and offer thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.

Social selling is not hard selling. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s about discovering people who may eventually be interested in what you’re selling – then making yourself useful to them. For salespeople, especially in B2B industries, its purpose is to establish relevance to prospects rather than interrupt their daily lives with cold calls and sales pitches.

It’s not a buzzword. It’s a real way for generating revenue and results. Here are 27 facts about salespeople who are Social Selling.

  1. IBM saw an Increase of 400% in sales in a Social Selling Pilot Program (source: IBM)
  2. 98% of sales reps with 5000+ LinkedIn connections achieve quota (source: Sales Benchmark Index)
  3. 90% of C-suite executive say they never respond to cold calls or email blasts (source: Harvard Business Review)
  4. 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine (source: Fleishman-Hillard)
  5. 86% of IT buyers use social media in their purchase decision process (source: IDG Connect)
  6. 82% of B2B decision makers think sales reps are unprepared (source: SiriusDecisions)
  7. 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers. (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  8. 75% of customers say they use social media as part of the buying process (source: IBM)
  9. 75% of the sales people said they have not received formal training from their company on how to use social media (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  10. 74% of B2B marketing companies use Twitter to distribute content (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  11. 72.6% of salespeople using social media outperformed their sales peers (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  12. 61% of US marketers use social media for lead generation (source: IBM)
  13. 57% of the buying process is done before sales contact (source: Corporate Executive Board)
  14. 55% of B2B buyers search for information on social media (source: MediaBistro)
  15. 54% who used social media tracked their social media usage back to at least one closed deal. (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  16. 50.1% of sales people who report using social media state that they spend less than 10% of their selling time using social media (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  17. 50%-70% of the buying process happens before salespeople get involved (source: Forrester)
  18. 50% of identified sales leads are not ready to buy (source: Gleanster)
  19. 42% Follow or Like a friend or brand; 79% are motivated to do this in order to learn more about the brand (source: Fleishman-Hillard)
  20. Over 40% said they’ve closed between two and five deals as a result of social media. (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  21. Social media users were 23% more successful than their non-social media peers. (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  22. Today’s sales process takes 22% longer than 5 years ago (source: SiriusDecisions)
  23. 15% of non social media users missed quota 15% more often than their sales peers using social media (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  24. More than 10% of the respondents said; “Yes, It directly contributes to my closes.” (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  25. You are almost 5X more likely to schedule a first meeting if you have a personal LinkedIn connection (source: Sales Benchmark Series)
  26. Marketers spend an average of 4-6 hours a week on social media (source: Social Media Examiner)
  27. B2B marketers who use Twitter generate 2X as many leads as those that do not (source: Inside View)

If a picture helps explain some of these statistics, below is an infographic from Inside View.

Do these facts about sales people who are Social Selling surprise you? Does your company engage in Social Selling? Do you think your company could be getting better results?

Social Selling Infographic

4 native advertising case studies prove ROI 0

Posted on July 14, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Show me the ROINative Advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it’s placed.

  • In 2011, it didn’t exist as a paid media channel.
  • In 2013, native advertising is a $3.7 billion media industry, 56% larger than social display ads (source: eMarketer),

But, for all the money being poured into native advertising, does it generates revenue for the businesses that use it? Does it “Show Me the Money” to advertisers and marketers?

Here are 4 native advertising case studies that prove ROI.

 

Native ad ROI case study Twitter Promoted Tweets

  • DIGITAL MARKETER: has an offering called Authority ROI. It is a course designed to teach bloggers how to make money for their blogs by treating them like media properties They use Twitter’s Promoted Tweets for this campaign. Because the ads are “native”, they look just like any other tweet. There’s no mention of a product.  There’s no selling. They build three “native worthy” landing pages with informative articles.  The ROI of Twitter Promoted Tweets is +198% based on the :
    • 359K Impressions
    • 9.71K Engagements (this benefits us on Twitter well beyond this campaign)
    • $0.27 Cost Per Engagement
    • $2,663 Spent
    • $7,937.85 in Revenue

 

  • GE: is showcasing young innovators on the Jimmy Fallon show in a native property called “GE Fallonvention.” As GE’s executive director of global brand marketing, Linda Boff, explained, GE is “leaning in” to native advertising more and more. The multinational conglomerate has been one of the early adopters of the “brand as content creator” trend, using social media platforms and online media partnerships to establish itself as more than a brand that makes big machines, but rather a brand that cultivates and supports a culture of innovation and invention. “Great content can come from a lot of different places, but funnily enough, it seems to be traditional media can get a little more attention when it comes to native,” she said.  The first segment has gotten 333,106 views on YouTube so far, and, according to Boff, the video completion rate is 92 percent.

 

Mini USA native advertising ROI case study

MINI USA: has a program with BuzzFeed since 2012. BuzzFeed COO Jon Steinberg explains the objective on SlideShare: “The primary goals of MINI’s collaboration with BuzzFeed were to continue broadening awareness for the brand slogan ‘Not Normal’, emotionally engage with its audience, and enhance perception of MINI as a fun brand.” On BuzzFeed alone, the first articles has more than 100,000 likes, is shared 35,000 times and were tweeted 7,000 times. As a result of the native ad campaign, the number of those who would consider buying a MINI as their next car has increased by 35.8%. The statement ‘MINI is a brand that stands for fun’ was supported by over 50% more test participants at the end of the campaign.

 

News Cred ROI native advertising case study

  • NEWS CRED: is a B2B SaaS company that use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, other native advertising and Google Adwords. They are looking for these vehicles to drive: 1) Names: At the earliest stage of the sales cycle, they identify names and contact info of prospects, 2) Leads: Names converts to a lead when the person expresses real sales interest, 3) Opportunities: Leads convert to opportunities when the have successful meetings with leads who show intent to buy and 4) Closed Won Deals: Opportunities convert to closed won deals when contracts have been signed. In terms of ROI, for every $1 spent on LinkedIn Updates, News Cred earned $17.60 in revenue; for other native advertising, the ROI was $1 returned $14.60 and for Google Adwords the ROI was $1 returned $3.10.

If you’re interested in native advertising and ROI, the IAB is conducting a Native Advertising eCourse beginning August 5th. It consists of three online course of one hour each.

Do these case studies convince you of the ROI of native advertising? Do they tell you, for native advertising to “Show Me the Money,” marketers has to spend money or have a strategy for how that money makes money?

30 hard facts on content marketing to drive ROI 1

Posted on July 06, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant, and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action.

How important is content marketing to profitably running a business?

The marketing decisions any company on the internet has to make is how to invest between “owned,” (a website, video, CRM system), “earned,” (communications that commented, liked and/or shared) and “paid” (ads – search, display, banner, native) properties. Anything a company can do is going to fit in one of these areas.

What sort of return should your company expect from content marketing investments in these areas? Here are 30 hard facts about the content marketing to drive ROI.

OWNED

  • 93% of B2B marketers report to using content marketing in their marketing mix (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 90% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. (Inbound Writer)
  • 86% of B2C marketers include content marketing in their marketing mix (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 81% create content for social media (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 73% of B2B organizations have a person dedicated to overseeing content marketing strategy (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content. (Custom Content Council)
  • 58% of B2B marketers are planning to increase their budgets on content marketing in the next 12 months (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 55% of B2B marketers are planning to increase their budgets on content marketing in the next year (source: Custom Content Marketing Institute)
  • 40-40% are expecting to increase their output for web updates, SEO content and social content next year (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 30% of B2B budgets are currently allocated to content marketing (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 28% of B2C budgets are currently allocated to content marketing (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 43.9 billion was spent on custom content spending on production and distribution last year (up 9.2% versus the previous year) (source: Custom Content Council)

EARNED

  • 97% of websites with blogs see more indexed pages on search engines (source: Content+)
  • 82% of consumers trust a company more when the CEO/leadership team are active social media users (source: TopRank)
  • 82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI for their inbound marketing (source: HubSpot)
  • 70% of people want to learn about product through content rather than traditional advertising (source: Business Intelligence)
  • 67% more leads per month on average are generated by B2B companies that blog than non-blogging firms  (Social Media B2B)
  • 50% of buying decisions are made because of word of mouth (source: Content+)
  • Roughly 50% of marketers struggle with producing enough content, and producing content that engages (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 23% of all time online is spent on social media and blogs (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 10-20% of website content drives 90% of it’s web traffic; 0.5% of that content drives over 50% of traffic (source: Inbound Writer)
  • 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day (AOL)
  • Top 3 reasons people follow brands on social media are interesting content (Content+)
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links (Content+)

PAID

  • 79% of marketers report that their organizations are shifting to branded content (source: Forrester)
  • 77% of business buyers prefer different content at various stages of the product research process (source: SalesForce)
  • 72% of Marketers think that branded content is more effective than magazine advertisements (source: Content Council)
  • 69% say it’s superior to direct mail and PR (source: Content Council)
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads (source: Business Marketing Insider)
  • 62% of companies outsource their content marketing. (Mashable)
  • three content marketing tactics that deliver the highest ROI are featured articles (cited by 62% of marketers), video (52%) and white papers (46%) (source: eMarketer)

To understand the anatomy of content marketing, below is an infographic from Content+.

Do these facts convince you content marketing could change your ROI?

 

11 ways to find your brand voice 4

Posted on June 29, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Brand Voice

A brand voice is how a brand speaks to its audiences.

It connects a vision, mission and values to a personality; done well, it’s is relevant, timely and builds relationships that last. It’s the human face for a business or company. It’s an expression of the people behind the brand. It sets your company apart and builds trust.

Particularly in the digital channel, with the depth of information on a website and publishing opportunities available through social media, it is an essential consideration to your brand platform

Here are 11 ways to find your brand voice.

  1. GET IN THE PRACTICE OF STORYTELLING: In marketing a product, you search for a “unique selling proposition.” For your brand voice, you tell your “unique story.” Every brand has one. They just have to find it. Tell it is small, manageable chapters to learn what resonates with your audience. Don’t be afraid to re-tell it.. If it means something to your audience, they’ll want to hear it again.
  2. LOOK FOR YOUR ARCHETYPE: To help tell your story, the term “archetypes”, as it is used in marketing, has its origins in Carl Gustav Jung’s theories. He believed that universal, mythic characters— archetypes—reside within the collective subconscious of people the world over. Archetypal images represent fundamental human desires and evoke deep emotions. There are 12 archetypes which symbolizes a basic human need, aspiration or motivation. For example, Disney is the Innocent; Jeep is the Explorer and Nike is the Hero. There is an archetype that is a fit with your brand to guide in telling your unique story.
  3. DEVELOP YOUR LANGUAGE: To address the needs of our audience, develop the language that stands for the problems your brand solves. Your expertise. What your business does, or makes or provides better than anyone else. It’s not only your differentiation but the keywords help be found on the internet.
  4. CREATE BUYER PERSONAS: A representation of your ideal buyers based on market research and real data about your existing customers are buyer personas. They provide tremendous structure and insight for your company. Buyer Personas help you to  have better conversations that attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers to your business
  5. SHOW YOUR AUDIENCE YOU SHARE THEIR VALUES: How you relate to your audience is not just what you offer but the values you have in common. They are established through conversation, dialogue and action. They form bonds that can carry you through a crisis.
  6. DEFINE YOUR COMMUNICATION CHANNELS: 54% of people find a website through natural search;  32% through social networks and 28% from links from other websites according to Forrester. While it’s important to broadcast, it is more more to know the different benefits of each channel. For example, Twitter may be the best channel for spreading your content, Facebook for sharing, LinkedIn for comments and email marketing for speaking to key customers. This help to manage your time and expectations.
  7. PRACTICE THE 80/20 RULE: There is an 80/20 rule the Content Marketing Institute finds to me true about content for brands. 80% of content should be about your customers and trying to solve customer challenges. 20% can be sales-related and talk about products and services. This is a good guideline to observe.
  8. BE AUTHENTIC, CONSISTENT AND HUMAN: Regardless of what product or service you offer, customers are drawn to brands that deliver on honesty and authenticity. Whether it’s through tweets, blogposts, webinars, or any other type of communication, make sure you’re a true problem-solver.  Since it plays a crucial role in ensuring brands come through on that act of integrity, brands need to engage in conversations to build long-term relationships.
  9. LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE: If you ask someone what they need, they might not know. But if you listen carefully to what problems they are having, then you just might figure out what they’d really like to see from you.
  10. BE WILLING TO CHANGE: There’s something to be said for staying consistent, but, if you learn something new by listening, be willing to change. An enduring brand voice is one that stays relevant because is able to adapt to changing needs and tastes..
  11. WALK YOUR TALK: Substantiate your voice with your actions. Respond to detractors when they come out. Get back to people in a timely manner. Offer proof points that you deliver on what you say. Do unto your audience as you would like them to do unto you.

Does you brand have a voice? What is it that sets it apart? How does your business tell its unique story?

 

21 reasons every business should have KPIs 0

Posted on June 22, 2014 by Rob Petersen

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable measurements, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of an organization. They will differ depending on the organization.

Erica Olsen of OnStrategy explains in this brief video what KPIs are, why you choose the metrics that matter most and how to set up a KPI dashboard as an actionable scorecard to keep your strategy on track.

But it takes work to align a company around common goals, establish key metrics and create regular reporting. Is it worth the effort? Here are 21 reasons every business should have KPIs.

  1. CLARIFIES EXPECTATIONS: What is expected can be communicated in a clear and unambiguous manner
  2. DIRECTS BEHAVIORS: Unless you explain how to measure progress and success, people create their own assumptions and follow them
  3. FOCUSES ATTENTION:  When people are faced with so many competing demands on their time and resources, what is measured tends to get their attention – particularly when it is linked to reward systems
  4. IMPROVES EXECUTION: If you don’t measure, it’s a lot harder to know what to execute
  5. INCREASES OBJECTIVITY: Management is by facts instead of feelings and instincts
  6. MAKES PERFORMANCE VISIBLE: It puts what is most important out in the open
  7. FACILITATES FEEDBACK: Feedback in the form of timely, relevant measures is the basic navigational device of any individual or organisation
  8. IMPROVES DECISION MAKING. One of the major causes of failure in decision-making is poor or non-existent use of data
  9. REDUCES UNNECESSARY OPINIONS: Instincts and gut feelings may have a place in business analysis but they are mostly relevant to the person who has them. But one clear visualization of key data can clarify a thousand opinions
  10. QUANTIFIES ACHIEVEMENT: Progress is measured by impact on goals and measured against a standard or target
  11. PROVIDES FOCUS WHEN THERE IS CHAOS: When an unexpected competitive development or operational snafu occurs, there is a clear picture of the direction what really matters
  12. IDENTIFIES ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS: Because key metrics are chosen, insights are clearer and easier to identify
  13. ACHIEVES TARGETS SET BY STRATEGY: If analysis is based on a strategic goal and cause and effect analysis, it’s easier to identify steps that enable your organization to hit key business targets
  14. MEASURES VITAL ACTIVITIES: In addition to enabling company to hit key targets, KPIs identify the vital activities that enable companies to hit them again.
  15. IDENTIFIES NEED FOR RESOURCES: No one likes having their budget cut. When your key measurements are established, the need for funding or staff is easier to justify, harder to refute and better for negotiation
  16. CREATES ACTION: If a group of people meet regularly to look at key metrics chosen around a common goal, “what do we do based on these results” occurs much more naturally and effectively
  17. CREATES CONSISTENCY IN ACTION: Not only does action occur but it occurs more consistently. Big results usually happen when small steps are taken, continuously.
  18. FOSTERS COLLABORATION: The people involved with the business work better together because they share the common bond of establishing the strategy, choosing the key metrics, creating the reports and taking the action that come from regular review of the KPIs
  19. ESTABLISHES ACCOUNTABILITY: When people collaborate around a common goal and key measurements, they more likely to recognize their accountability and it’s more effectively enforced
  20. MEASURES CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION FOR REAL: A key metric many company choose as a KPI is customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction or both. The KPI process makes this possible. When look at relative to other key metrics, it provides real evidence for satisfaction and dissatisfaction as well as a course of action if improvements need to occur
  21. ARE THE ACTIONABLE SCORECARD TO KEEP STRATEGY ON TRACK: The educator and creator of the Peter Principle, Laurence Peter, said: “If you don’t know where you, you’ll probably end up someplace else.” KPIs are the best means a company to stick to strategy and not end up someplace else.

Does your business have KPIs? Do these reflect key benefits to you? Are there others you would add? Does you company need help establishing KPIs to keep your strategy on track?

 

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    BarnRaisers is a full service digital marketing consultancy and agency. We build brands with proven relationship principles and ROI.



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