4 Great Strategies to Improve Your B2B Lead Generation in San Jose, CA

Use B2B Lead Generation Strategies for California as one of your most important targets.  Forget about unique visitors.  Creating leads is what generates sales.  The more well-qualified leads you can acquire, the more likely you’ll see a great return on your online marketing investment and watch your company grow in the process.

Which B2B lead generation strategies for California work best ?  We’ve spent years working in the local industry, so we have a few insights…

Four Must-Use B2B Lead Generation Strategies for California

1 – Content marketing

Despite all the new types of online marketing and lead generation, content is still king.  Content marketing is going to be your all-around heavy hitter.  It’s reasonably affordable to engage in, and each piece of content can have a lifespan that goes well beyond its time on your website.  Content can be repurposed and go viral and be spread around social media circles.

Written content – like blogs and eBooks – are the most popular type, due to their low costs and high ROI.  If you have the budget, video is extremely popular among buyers and highly-shared, but it’s expensive to create.  For a good middle-ground, consider a podcast!  They’re cheap to produce but can have a surprisingly wide reach.

2 – Search engine optimization

SEO goes hand-in-hand with content marketing, but it still should be remembered on its own.  It is one of the key B2B Lead Generation Strategies for California. SEO tactics don’t just involve the blogs on your website – they also encompass factors such as your meta-tagging, support for multiple devices and the overall user experience on your site.  All these things go into determining your search engine ranking.

SEO should always be at the top of your mind when modifying your website or doing content marketing.

3 – Email marketing

People continuously try to declare email marketing to be dead, but it just isn’t so.  In fact, email marketing offers one of the single highest average ROIs in the industry: 3,800%, according to Hubspot!  Yes, that’s $38 back for every $1 spent.  No other form of marketing can reach so many individuals at once, with such a low average cost-per-message.

Better yet, email marketing can be made even more affordable by repurposing content from your website.

4 – Social media

Finally, don’t overlook the value of direct social media participation.  As one of the key B2B Lead Generation strategies for Calfiornia, it’s a great way to get your name in front of people and establish yourself as a leader.  With social media, the trick is to focus on contributing rather than marketing.  Impress people with your thoughts and insights, then trust them to investigate your business if you’re offering something they want.

Need more help generating B2B leads in California?  Hivemind Studios has the experience you need!  Contact us today.

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10 Steps to Create a Monthly Inbound Marketing Report

10 Steps To Create A Monthly Inbound Marketing ReportUpdated: July 1, 2019

Create a Monthly Marketing Report that shows how your marketing campaigns and strategies are performing.

Everybody has a boss. And that boss wants to know how your inbound marketing is going. Sometimes that takes place in the 5 minutes prior to a Board Meeting and sometimes in an employee review. But the best way to keep the boss satisfied is to create a Monthly Marketing Report that proves just how valuable your marketing campaigns and strategies are and their performance. The following example represents how we put one together using Hubspot software, but the data points are the same with whatever systems, technologies, and processes your company follows.

Items in a Monthly Marketing Report

Step 1: Linking Domains

In Hubspot, you can go to the Analyze Marketing tab, then Competitors, and then click on the View Historical Trends button in the top right of your screen. Select Linking Domains from the drop down menu and you’ll see how many links you generated during the last month. Action Item: If the number of links decreased then you should start building relationships with relevant websites and blogs.

Step 2: Leads Generated From Keywords

Again under the Analyze tab, you go to Sources and change the date range to one month. In the table below the graph, look at the organic search data and note how many leads you generated from organic search. Action Item: If your lead volume for organic search declined then you should start blogging more during the next 30 days.

Step 3: Leads Generated From Referring Websites

Again under the Analyze tab, go to Sources and change the date range to one month. In the table below the graph, look at the number of leads created from referring websites (referrals). This is an important kpi for your monthly marketing report. Action Item: If there is a decrease then you should examine your website calls to action.

Step 4: Leads Generated From Social Media

And one more time, under the Analyze tab, go to Sources, and change the date range to one month. In the table below the graph, look at the number of leads created from social media sites. Action Item: If there is a decrease in the number of leads generated from social media, then you should start being more active in relevant social sites during the next month

Step 5: Landing Page Conversion Rates

Under Create, go to Landing Pages and track the conversion rate for each of your landing pages. Keep track of the conversion rates for all your landing pages. Action Item: If conversion rates are decreasing you should examine why that might be and test new variations of specific landing pages using AB Testing.

Step 6: Blog Analytics

If you go to Blog Analytics, you can track the number of blog home page views for the last 30 days. Select one month in the drop down on the right and click “refresh graph. “ Note the increase of new blog subscribers (email and RSS) for last 30 days. Action Item: If there is a decline in blog subscriber, you should start promoting your blog over the next month.

Step 7: Visits by Page

Under Analyze, go to Visits by Page, and change the date range to one month. Identify your top ten most visited pages for that month and track the number of visits for each page. Note if the top ten most visited pages changed from the previous month. Action Item: Go to each page to make sure the pages have at least one relevant call to action.

Step 8: Marketing Reach

Under Analyze, go to Reach, and in the table below the graph note the percent change for each source. Take a screen shot of the graph to include in your Excel workbook. Action Item: If your reach is declining then you should spend more time that month in your relevant social media sites and creating blog content.

Step 9: Paid Search Campaigns

You only need to complete Step 9 if you are using paid search in your marketing strategy. Go to Sources, change the date range to one month, and filter by Paid Search. Note the visit to lead ratio of each campaign. Action Item: If some ratios are decreasing then you should adjust your paid search keyword strategy, change the ad, or modify the landing pages.

Step 10: Source Conversion Rates

Under Analyze, go to Sources, and change data range to one month. Then in the table below note the Visit to Lead and Lead to Customer conversion rates for each source. Take a screen shot of the graph and table to include in your Excel worksheet. Action Item: If your conversion rates are decreasing then you should re-examine your content and landing page strategies.

Items in a Monthly Marketing Report

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5 Easy Ways to Improve the Effectiveness of Your Inbound Marketing

Whether you’re here in San Jose, CA, or anywhere else in the world, inbound marketing is still the go-to choice for building leads.  A website built for inbound marketing and optimized for search engines can be one of your most powerful sales-generation tools.

Chances are, you’re already using some aspects of inbound marketing on your own website — but any strategy can always be made better. Here are some tips to follow, if you’re looking to improve inbound marketing campaigns.

How often do you visit your competitors' websites? Look at what they're doing, then find a way to distinguish yourself! Click To Tweet

5 Ways to Improve Your San Jose, CA Company’s Inbound Marketing Strategy

1. Publish consistently 

One of the most common mistakes we see in companies doing inbound marketing is that they don’t commit to a publishing schedule.  Ideally, to improve inbound marketing campaigns, you should be adding some new content to your website several times a week.  This helps keep it prominent in Google searches, as well as ensuring repeat visitors always see something new.

2. Add plenty of geo-targeting

If you’re looking to build local traffic, geo-targeting is one of the best ways of doing so.  This involves constantly mentioning the location you want your material to target. If you’re in a larger city, try being even more specific.  For example, New York City is a very big place, so mentioning specific neighborhoods like Hell’s Kitchen or Chelsea would be more effective at driving local traffic and improving inbound marketing campaigns.

3. Answer questions

With the rise of smartphone-based browsing, users often aren’t searching for keywords – they’re asking questions in natural language, often via virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa.  Use tools or surveys to discover what questions your target audience is asking, and answer those questions directly. As a bonus, if you have a particularly good/popular answer to a common question, you might get one of the answer boxes at the top of the Google search results.

4. Watch your competition

How often do you visit your competitors’ websites?  It’s a very good idea to do so frequently.  Look at what they’re doing, then find a way to distinguish yourself.  Don’t knock them off; be different!

5. Use data tracking to experiment

SEO and inbound marketing is constantly evolving, and your own data should be pushing that evolution.  Experiment with different types of content, different CTAs, and other tweaks to your content, then track responses to gauge effectiveness.  Always be willing to pivot, if you find a more effective approach.

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HiveMind Studios Knows Inbound Marketing in San Jose, CA

We have extensive experience building great websites focused around strong inbound marketing principles.  Contact us to learn more! You can also visit HiveMind Studios online for a complete list of SEO, digital marketing, and advertising services.

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Inbound Versus Outbound Marketing + 3 Example Strategies for San Jose Startups

When considering the options of inbound versus outbound marketing, a Silicon Valley startup should look for strategies that facilitate lean and consistent growth. The tactics, time spent, and the costs of each option are drastically different and so are the outcomes. Deciding which strategies work best for your business is what this article will help you do.

Any new startup seeking to attract venture capitalists, needs to maintain a healthy balance between inbound versus outbound marketing. Deciding to go all-in on direct mail, radio, billboards, or even television commercials might seem like a good way to spread the word, but the costs involved are not in everyone’s budget. The strategies below highlight the marketing efforts of three San Jose startups that used inbound versus outbound marketing strategies.

The lines between inbound and outbound marketing blur when we discuss advertisements. The principles are the same, but a good way to think about it is: we are either providing value to build trust or pushing sales messages to convince the customer to buy.

This article presents a case for both marketing options depending upon a variety of factors: budget, target audience, product type, etc. Let’s delve into the details and you can decide for yourself.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound versus Outbound Marketing Definition

Defining Characteristics

Without getting too technical, inbound versus outbound marketing represent two schools of thought: push (outbound marketing) versus pull (inbound marketing). The question you must ask yourself is “how long can you wait to get an injection of customers into your business?”

If the answer is, “I can’t wait,” then skip ahead to the section on Outbound Marketing, which is the quickest way to sell your products and services, although the risks might be much higher.

On the contrary, if you’re trying to create a brand of substance, a loyal following, and can afford to wait, then focus on this section. Inbound marketing means turning your brand into a magnet. What’s important is creating value by solving problems for an exact customer you’ve researched.

In your research, you need to identify the pain points of the target audience. Then shape your brand around solving those pain points using content, email, and social media. Once the relationship is set and an audience solidifies, it’s time to be more aggressive with your sales initiative. In many cases, selling the products and services isn’t necessary, because the customer already knows about them and is waiting for the right time to buy.

Pricing

San Jose startups love inbound marketing techniques (described below) because they are significantly cheaper. (but beware if you’re using pay-per-click (PPC) ads or trying to reach influencers, as the costs can build quickly.

What sometimes makes inbound marketing expensive is outsourcing, but it takes significant resources to execute an effective inbound marketing strategy. If you need help in many areas, you might want to look at an integrated marketing agency (like HiveMind Studios). If you only need a little help, you might try working with freelancers.

Pros and Cons

If you Google all the pros of inbound versus outbound marketing, it will look like inbound marketing is the clear victor. There are many pros like the cheap costs, ease of learning, and the sheer amount of people on the internet.

The cons are talked about less, but here are some to bring you back to reality…

  • SEO takes a long time to reap the benefits.
  • Content marketing takes a long time too.
  • Virtual sales letters lack feedback and can “bomb” without any reasoning behind it.
  • Email marketing is annoying and people’s inboxes are cluttered already.
  • PPC is expensive and also somewhat annoying for the customer.
  • Social Media is constantly changing.
  • Influencers are unpredictable and sometimes very expensive.

Despite all those negative qualities, inbound marketing is a beast and all those negatives can be countered using proper tactics. Check out the HiveMind Blog for the best inbound marketing strategies.

Types of Inbound Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – SEO takes a lot of time and content to get to the top of Google Search Engine Results. Of course the reverse is also true. When you do put in the work, it takes everyone else a lot of time and effort to take you down.
  • Content Marketing – High-quality content ensures the long-term success of your business by keeping your company fresh. If you create useful content, prospects will reward you by purchasing your products and services.
  • Webinars – An easy way to get the attention of more clients is to create an online webinar that genuinely helps your customers.
  • Email Marketing – Email is a great way to expand a lean business. If you offer something they need and add a good subject line, getting more meetings, more clients, and more money is easy.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertisements — If you know how your target market responds to ads, try all the various types of PPC ads available on Google and social media. The targeting platforms are very sophisticated and provide a way to get right in front of your ideal client base. The better your copy, videos, and images are the better your ads will do.
  • Social Media – Creating an online brand isn’t complete without being social on every major social media platform. It’s hard work to create native content every day, but with automation tools like Buffer, you can plan out your social posts months in advance. Social media is all about consistency and brand authenticity.
  • Influencer Marketing – Instagram and YouTube made influencer marketing a legitimate business. It used to be reserved for movie stars and professional athletes, but today, smaller brands can have a daily spokesperson that represents your brand.

What is Outbound Marketing?

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing Strategies

Defining Characteristics

Any time you hear the term outbound marketing, think traditional. Another way to distinguish inbound versus outbound marketing is slow and less expensive versus fast and more expensive, but this is not always the case.

Pricing

Obviously, traditional media like billboards, radio ads, and cable television are more expensive than creating and promoting a YouTube channel. For some businesses, television is the perfect place to be. It all depends on the target market.

Consider a restaurant like Dominos or Taco Bell. You might get a craving for something to eat when you’re on Facebook. That doesn’t mean it’s the best place to put an ad for pizza. It might work here and there, but guessing is expensive. Instead, placing that ad on television during a football game is a far better place if you have a similar budget to Papa Johns or Taco Bell.

What do you do if you don’t have a large budget, but still need to market to your audience in a similar way? Try an inbound strategy like YouTube ads or PPC ads for live-streaming sporting events. YouTube and other streaming services provide ways to market to your audience when they are likely to buy your product without breaking the bank.

Pros and Cons

I’m sure you can see one of the cons of outbound marketing strategies is the cost. However, one of the pros is the short-term profits you can make. Even a good video ad on YouTube can turn a lackluster bottom-line into a new benchmark.

This is why I asked “how long can you wait to get paying clients?” at the beginning of the article. Many businesses are just one good ad away from going from 6 to 7 figures almost overnight.

Another issue with outbound marketing is your ads might completely miss their targets. Make sure your research is sound before committing to an ad. The best “ad men” always go above and beyond when they create an ad or a sales letter. Some of them even go as far as testing its persuasiveness and taking it door-to-door. You probably won’t have to go that far, but keep it in your back-pocket if things aren’t going so well.

Types of Outbound Marketing

  • Television and Radio Commercials – Everyone wants to make a commercial that can stick around for years, but not every company can afford it. With the emergence of video streaming services like YouTube, Hulu, and Spotify, how many people are even watching television? If your target audience is of a younger demographic, you should focus your marketing efforts where they tend to matriculate.
  • Telemarketing – Despite the negative stigma of telemarketing, it works! I’ve had the pleasure of working with many telemarketing agencies, and I can tell you it’s not for everyone. However, it will get you clients with brute force. It’s the ultimate push technique if you are persistent and provide your cold-callers good leads and an air-tight script.
  • Direct Mail – I get a ton of mailers from local businesses in my mailbox. I sort my mail over the wastebasket, but every once in a while one of the promotions catches my eye. If you check the prices at your local post office, they offer pretty good deals. Consider it if you’re looking for local clients.
  • Print Ads – This is very effective with vertical markets, if you can find publications that serve your exact audience. Media costs are lower and therefore ROI is higher. Print ads in consumer publications are more expensive, but you can often restrict the area you are reaching. Very important here is that the ad creative must be fresh and engaging.
  • Sales Letters – This is a trusted sales approach to getting more clients and selling products. For decades, at-home marketers relied on direct response sales letters to sell books, seminars, family crests, etc. If you’re interested my favorite resource is the book Ultimate Sales Letter by legendary copywriter Dan Kennedy.>
  • Brochures – After you’ve spoken to a potential client, you might try sending them a brochure to follow up. Combine that with a sales letter and profits may start rolling within a matter of weeks.

The San Jose Startup Inbound versus Outbound Marketing Strategy

Researching companies that take the inbound versus outbound marketing argument seriously is a passion of mine. San Jose, San Francisco, and other Silicon Valley companies seem to be hotbeds for creating new products and adaptations of traditional marketing principles.

Below are a few examples of companies that employed a consistent and simple inbound marketing strategy to bring their company from the garage to the skyscraper. If you see something in their strategy you feel can help you grow your business, by all means, try it. These strategies are cost-effective even after buying into an email marketing campaign manager like MailChimp or a social media automation tool like Buffer.

Keep in mind, I don’t get paid to promote these tools. They are just some of my favorites and good examples of companies that are forward thinking when it comes to inbound versus outbound marketing styles.

Mint

Mint is a new take on money management, just outside of the San Jose area, that built an empire using content marketing and email. They didn’t have a massive budget for ads or a call center. They relied on pre-selling their brand with content marketing and collecting emails.

Mint sells the idea that being able to manage your money shouldn’t be that complicated. In essence, they solve a problem for a huge audience.

By creating a basic website and collecting one-million emails, a year prior, they had all the customers they would need when they finally launched their mobile app and portal.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a San Francisco startup, that used social media in an ingenious way to distribute their file sharing app. They offered a basic version of their app for free and gave each user the ability to increase their amount of storage space by sharing the app on social media and getting someone to sign up.

Everyone needs access to more file storage, especially with the restrictions of email. They solved a problem and followed with plans for more storage for businesses.

The idea is to teach people how to use Dropbox in their daily lives and then add them to their businesses because it’s so convenient. Does this sound familiar? It should because Apple did something similar by giving their computers to schools. Now everyone uses Apple.

Zoom

Zoom is a free video-conferencing platform from San Jose. If your business uses video-conferencing, zoom might be the platform you’re looking for. Like many startups, Zoom offers a free option to entice you to try their platform. However, Zoom allow you to use their platform as much as you want. If you want more bells and whistles, you have to pay, but their main product is free.

Many companies fear to give their products away for free. This is not for the faint of heart, but giving away your product for free is not a bad strategy in the beginning. There are plenty of ways to generate revenue, from a free product such as offering paid add-ons, selling ads on the website, and offering consulting services.

Whatever you choose to do, keep an open mind and look for other companies that have already made it to where you want to go. Often times, there is a track you can follow to find success.

The Defining Factors

There is no need to focus all your effort and budget on one strategy or the other. Inbound versus outbound marketing doesn’t need to be a hard debate for many companies. If you’re an established brand and have the budget to make an investment in direct mail, radio spots, TV ads, and call-centers, go right ahead with outbound marketing. It’s a fantastic way to find out right away if your products are viable.

For lean startups, choosing between inbound and outbound marketing is usually easy. If you’re still on the fence about your strategy, try checking out some of these blogs to help you in your journey: SEO Strategy Simplified: The Things Every Business Owner Needs to Know, 10 Steps to Create a Monthly Inbound Marketing Report, 4 Great Strategies to Improve Your B2B Lead Generation, Hybrid Marketing 101: What Every Marketer Needs to Know

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Importance of Digital Marketing for SaaS Companies

Do you have an amazing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product that’s not getting the attention it deserves? If this sounds familiar, don’t despair, there’s a simple solution: hiring a firm that offers digital marketing services specifically for SaaS companies like yours. Fortunately, HiveMind Studios is always available to take on new clients and provide digital marketing expertise that assists with your growth objectives. 

But if you’re still not convinced of the importance of hiring a knowledgeable marketing specialist for your SaaS company in San Jose, perhaps the points below will help you make up your mind.  

4 Advantages of Digital Marketing for Your SaaS Company

1. Generating Recurring Revenue 

When you offer software as a service, generating recurring revenue is going to be the primary way your firm can grow and expand. Since customers don’t pay up front to use your software, your product needs to already be generating buzz before clients encounter it. This is where a great marketing firm comes in handy, making it easier to sell regular subscriptions. 

2. Collect Important Data 

Every company wants to generate long-term growth by retaining existing customers. However, there will always be prospects who for one reason or another, don’t return to use your product. A marketing firm can collect the necessary data needed to help you identify why customers are going elsewhere and what you can do to make more of them stick around. 

Driving signups can be done in several ways: everything from offering enticing deals to providing customers with information that's unique and educational.  Click To Tweet

3. Tracking Signups 

Many SaaS companies attract clients by offering free signups or self-service options. Ultimately, increasing the number of signups will help give your company staying power. Driving signups can be done in several ways: everything from offering enticing deals to providing customers with information that’s unique and educational. 

4. Measuring Unique Visitors Each Month 

By tracking the number of unique visitors to your site each month, you can gain valuable insights into the success of your SaaS solution and the effectiveness of your marketing plan. In addition, you can look at comments, email subscribers, and the amount of time a customer spends on your website. This data will be useful in determining future top-funnel campaigns. 

HiveMind Studios is your San Jose, California Marketing for SaaS Firm 

Want to get the most out of your marketing investments? HiveMind Studios will develop a strategy that can make it happen. Call our team today or visit us online to learn more about our SEO and inbound marketing solutions

How Inbound Marketing Creates a Win-Win Sales Experience

What does it feel like to be inside your online sales funnel?

Chances are, if you’re like many sales-driven B2B businesses with little to no experience with inbound marketing, you need inbound marketing to help you fix the tactics that drive prospects away as often as spur them to buy. Inbound Marketing creates a Win-Win Sales Experience.

I think back to an early car buying experience. I was looking at cars for my daughter, who was about to leave for college. We arrived at the dealership and walked around looking at models and pricing. We knew which car we were interested in, but we’d never driven that make or model.

A salesman approached and we asked about taking one of the cards out on a test drive. The salesman said we would need to come inside and sign a “Purchase Intent” document. Basically, we needed to commit to buying the car before they would give us a test drive! We were still trying to figure out which car we liked, and he was pressuring us to close the sale.

We walked off the lot and never looked back.

It’s not just the car salesmen who are guilty

While this is a somewhat extreme and, I hope, rare example of poor salesmanship, there are, unfortunately, a number of online practices that I routinely see B2Bs engaging in that create similarly undesirable buying/selling experiences – with, I can only imagine, corresponding results.

For example, I see many businesses requiring a prospect to supply a large amount of personal information plus responses to prying sales questions regarding budget, time to buy, and so forth just to obtain product literature. Is it any wonder so few of them convert?

There are many things wrong with this scenario, but let’s start with one:

The primary obstacle here is when the prospect’s expectation that this information should be available for free or with very little buy-in clashes with the reality of the high buy-in required where the prospect is expected to divulge a lot of personal information. It’s not a fair trade. It doesn’t inspire trust. Erecting unnecessary hurdles in sales is always a bad idea. Your job is to make the path to purchase the path of least resistance, not most.

What’s more, your prospect is probably wise to the fact that this information is designed to facilitate a sales call that they probably aren’t ready for. It’s a safe bet that this overly-aggressive approach is sure to drive all but the most stalwart prospects off the lot. Can your business really afford to turn all other interested, but not yet committed, prospects away?

So how do you handle these prospects in such a way as to get them to eventually convert?

The trick is to understand how Inbound Marketing Creates a win-win buying/selling experience – one that removes obstacles, instead of erecting them. And this starts before a sales person ever makes contact. It starts with marketing – specifically, inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is about connecting with your prospects when their interest is already piqued and drawing them gradually, but steadily, down your sales funnel through an exchange of information that serves them as much as it does you. The give and take are in proportional lock step. Prospects happily share more and more of their personal information with you because at each step of the way you reprove the value of doing so. By facilitating their decision-making process over time, you earn their trust, and remove obstacles to their purchase decision. When they’re finally ready to pull the trigger, your sales team has all the information they need to close the sale effortlessly, leaving them with more time to close more sales. It’s how Inbound Marketing Creates a win-win situation. But it only works when you conduct yourself vis-à-vis your leads as an “obstacle remover” – or, in other words, as a guide.

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