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Unlocking the Lead Generation Potential of Search and Social Media

Presented on June 27, 2013

In this webinar, Search Mojo’s Janet Driscoll Miller and Sarah Lokitis, will show you different ways to utilize search and social media marketing channels for lead generation, including some new tactics you may not have known about.

Presenters: Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO, Search Mojo and Sarah Lokitis, Social Media Manager, Search Mojo

Presented on June 27, 2013


Kari:

Welcome to today’s webinar, Unlocking the Lead Generation Potential of Search and Social Media. I’m Kari Rippetoe, Content Marketing Manager at Search Mojo. And I’ll be serving as your moderator for today’s webinar.

Before we get started, I just have a few reminders. Firstly, a recording of this webinar will be made available to everyone who registered, and will be sent out via email. Finally, we encourage you to Tweet about today’s presentation using the hash tag Mojo Webinar. Plus, you can also follow us on Twitter at Search Mojo.

Today’s presenters are Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO of Search Mojo, and Sarah Locitis, Social Media Manager at Search Mojo. Janet will be discussing search marketing tactics for generating leads, including SEO and paid search. And also the basics of how marketing automation works.

Sarah will be talking about how social media can be used to generate leads, both organically and from paid advertising. And showing you some specific tactics you can implement.

Before I pass it over to Janet, I’ll tell you a little bit about Search Mojo. Search Mojo was founded in 2005, and specializes in all things search marketing including SEO, pay per click, social media advertising, online reputation management, and content marketing. Search Mojo is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and we also have an office in Charleston, South Carolina. We’ve been featured in several marketing publications and blogs. And we also speak at several conferences, including SMX, Marketing Props B2B Forum, and Pub-Con. Our clients include a variety of B2B and consumer brands, non-profit organizations and educational institutions. And now, I’d like to pass it over to Janet.

Janet:

Thanks, Kari. So, we’re going to start off today by talking about why would you use search and social for lead generation. Well, this particular study, which came out just a couple months ago, shares how lead generation and conversions are viewed by marketing channel, by the different tactics that we take. And as you can see, social media, SEO, and PPC are really at the top of the list. Both for reporting at below average cost per lead for channels. So, lost cost to get the leads in. But, also delivering above average sales conversion.

So, as lead generation marketers, our job of course is to drive in leads. But, obviously we want this to be really targeted leads that are going to close for our sales team. So, before we get started, let’s start at the end. First of all, we need to talk about measurement. And what are the things we want to measure and what do we want to capture when we do these types of tactics, search and social to make sure we’re taking the most advantage of what we’re trying to achieve and get leads in?

So, search, social, and sales cycle. How does search and social really affect our sales cycle? We need to look at how we’re putting leads into the funnel. So, search and social’s job is obviously to put the leads into the funnel, and then we want to take marketing automation and have a tool to help us nurture leads so they can become opportunities. Well, what we know about search and social is they tend to generate high quality leads for us. So, they put them into the funnel.

Marketing automation takes it to the next level. So, it’s really important you think about having a marketing automation tool. And that you look at this in the context of the funnel itself, and understanding how search and social actually, as tactics, are actually working inside of your funnel and getting your leads all the way through to sales.

Here’s an example of how you can also set up Google Analytics. So, this is just a screen shot from a travel booking site, so looking at how leads are falling out of the funnel. So, you want to take a look, also, through Google Analytics and measure that way to see which types of tactics are working best at getting the most people all the way through the funnel and seeing which ones give you the best results.

And, also in Google Analytics is sort of a new option that just came out this year is Google Universal Analytics. The reason that this is really valuable to have, this new version of Analytics, is it has something called Attribution Modeling in it. And I made a short URL there for you, so you can access more information about Universal Analytics, and specifically Attribution Modeling. The problem we have as marketers, and especially as Lead Generation Marketers, is we oftentimes have to attribute all of the benefit or all of the value of one of our tactics on last interaction or first interaction. We typically only have those choices based on some of the tools that we had available to us before.

So, for instance, if you’re using Salesforce.com, it only has one field for lead source. And so, the problem was you could either choose to fill in the lead source field in the first interaction or the last interaction, but you didn’t have a chance to look at how over time all the different tactics that might have affected that particular conversion and that particular lead coming in or sale. And so, that’s where Universal Analytics is really helpful. So, I encourage you to take a look at that. I will let you know that is does involve putting in different code on your site. It’s a new version of analytics. You have to actually sign up for it, integrate it separately. So, take a look at that, and consider using that for your measurement as well.

Now, let’s talk about the opportunities with organic search. We’re going to go through organic, then paid, and then social. So, let’s start with organic search. As I mentioned, SEO clearly driving in some of the best leads for the lowest cost. And so we really want to take a look at how can we drive in more leads? Well, the very first thing you got to think about is getting your SEO house in order. There are certainly some basics you need to consider. First one being keywords. Are you targeting the right keywords? Are they too broad? Are they too specific? You need to make sure that you’re taking a look at how you’re optimizing your keywords and which keywords are appropriate for you.

The second of course is getting those keywords into your content and worked into the content itself. Does your website reflect, for instance, the keywords that you’re trying to optimize for?

Third is inbound links. Of course, this is still a very important part of the Google algorithm, as well as the Bing algorithm. And those are links from third party websites that point into your website. And we’re not going to focus a lot on all these individual tactics today, per se. But there’s lots of content on our site about this. But, inbound links, specifically, you want to take a look at things like, ‘Can I get links from my press releases or my content,’ or can you reach out to blogs to get some coverage. Making sure that you’re taking advantage of all the inbound link opportunities from other sites that you can get.

And finally are things like social signals. Google Plus is really becoming even more important in especially ranking in Google. So, you want to make sure you’re taking a look at all the social opportunities you have. And how they tie to Google. Specifically, your Google Plus profile is very important for your brand. So, take a look at all those things. So, these are the four top things I would look at from an SEO perspective, when you want to get your SEO house in order.

But, I also want to cover today, though, some very specific opportunities that you have through SCO, that you may not be taking advantage of yet. And one of those is rich snippets. The rich snippets is a great way to get increase click through rate on your organic listings that you see. Bing has some, but not very many. But Google certainly has quite a few available. And some of them include reviews. If you have a site that has recipes on it, you can do recipe rich snippets.

Authorship, which I have an example there at the right, of Danny Sullivan, who writes for Search Engine Land. And you can see his information there, and you see a snippet of his picture. Products, events, music, video. You can see there’s an example also underneath of the example with Danny of a video rich snippet from a webinar from our website. How it shows a video thumbnail. Apps and breadcrumbs. So, these rich snippets provide extra information, as you can see from these two examples that actually enhance the visibility of that particular listing in organic search. You say, ‘Okay, great, Janet. That’s fantastic, but what kind of effect does that really have on lead generation?’ Well, before I move onto the next slide and tell you about that, if you want to learn more about rich snippets, you can also download our rich snippets graphic at this handy dandy short URL there, Snippets Infographic. And you can go to our site and reach that.

So, we’re here to talk about lead generation. So, what effect does rich snippets or do they have a lead generation? This is a slide or an example I have from Justin Briggs. And I spoke on a panel with him last week at SMX. And he shared this slide, and we were talking on this panel about authorship, which is a type of rich snippet. And he shared an eye-tracking study, which you can see here, where a heat map was overlaid on it. And you can see where people look on the page and the red area is where they look the most. And what I want you to notice here is the fourth entry on this page. The fourth entry. Not number one. Not number two. The fourth entry had the most views on this page, and it has a rich snippet. Now, that being said, it got what appears to be more views than the first entry. And so, even if you’re not the top listing in Google, even if you’re not number one, rich snippets give you the opportunity to really get a lot more visibility even if you’re not the number one listing.

Some other folks who spoke on me with the panel last week also talked about click through rate. Because that’s what we really care about. Not just visibility, but are people going to click on those entries as well?

So, this is a slide from Mitul Ghandi of seoClarity. And he was on this panel with me also for authorship. And he looked at a study, or he did a study for his own blog, where he shared the click through rate of traffic he got from this organic search entry here, this blog post, that was listed in organic search in Google. And what can you see is on the left, what it looks like before. On the right is with the authorship rich snippet as an example. And as he shared with us, he got double the traffic just by putting that rich snippet, even though it was in the same position as before.

So again, it’s not only going to give you more visibility, it’s also going to give you enhanced traffic. And it’s not just for the authorship rich snippet that I was showing you. It’s all types of rich snippets. So, Mike Blumenthal also shared some great click through rate data on his blog. Now, I will tell you click through rate data from organic search is very difficult to accurately measure. So, these situations are the best case situations where they could try to measure their click through rate. But, it’s not always exact. But this really compelling data from a before and after perspective. Now, the study Mike did, he did a video rich snippet. And I want you to notice before and after. Now, that particular video rich snippet appeared on the third result. Notice how the third result appears to have basically stolen click through rates and clicks from the first result. Not really from the second, but from the first result. And there’s actually a residual effect on the fourth result even when the fourth result didn’t have a snippet, either. So, what’s happening is these snippets are making people’s eyes go down the page, drawing the eye down to the snippet. And it’s increasing click through rate as well.

The next thing I want to talk about is marketing gates. So, as Lead Generation Marketers, we love our marketing gates. But, they are really a double edged sword, and I’ll tell you why. First of all, from a lead generation perspective, we want to gain new leads via organic visits. So, all of us as Lead Generation Marketers, we think, this is great. We want to gate our content so we can get those leads in. Perfect. But, the problem is from the SEO side, the search engine bots can’t really get past these forms. And so, what ends up happening is, as a Lead Gen Marketer, maybe you’re getting leads in, but your content isn’t getting all the visibility it can in organic search, because the bots can’t get to that information, index it, and then rank it in Google.

So, I want to show you how we approach this on our own site, and how we usually recommend to clients how to alleviate this problem and get best of both worlds. Lead gen but also getting the SEO visibility. What you want to do is help the bots bypass the forms. So, how do you do that? Here’s an example of our site. I did a search for Search Mojo Webinars. And bam! Look at all these wonderful, rich snippets that show up on the page. It’s fantastic. So, you can see all these great thumbnails there. So, the way we do this is we basically gave Google and Bing, a way around the form. Because you have to remember that in a marketing gate, when you have a form that Google, Bing, and these different search bots cannot fill out the form itself. They’re not a human being. They can’t put in a zip code. They can’t put in their name. They can’t do any of that stuff. So, you have to give them a conduit, a way around the form, so, they can get to the content, index it properly, and then show it in search results.

Now, that being said, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your marketing gate. If a human user comes to that site, you can still require them, with a marketing gate, to fill that information out before they are actually able to access all of the content. So, that’s the approach you want to take is don’t just get your content and forget about SEO. Because you’re leaving a lot of fantastic, valuable SEO content on the table and not actually allowing it to be indexed or even found in a lot of cases by these search engines.

Here’s an example of what our marketing gate looks like on the Search Mojo site, and we gate all that content you just saw. All those, our kind of webinars are gated. One other thing I want to recommend that we do here at Search Mojo that Sarah will touch more on social here in a few minutes, but what I want to emphasize is; also consider looking at things like the social log in button to try and improve this conversion when people come organically to your site. Because, if people click on that ‘sign in with Linked In’ button, the beauty of it is, Linked In through their API provides a lot of information back to you.

Basically everything you could find out on somebody’s profile when you look at it on the public domain there on Linked In, and so as a Lead Gen Marketer, you want to gather as much information as you possibly can. But sometimes, you’re limited, because you want to make your forms short so people will fill them out. Not run away, and say that’s too much information to give you. So, signing in with Linked In is a one button click, and it allows you to get more information as a Lead Gen Marketer.

Now, in our preliminary studies, we’ve only had ours up for about four months now. But, what we’re seeing is about 10% of the people who come to this forum actually use the social log in button, because it’s more convenient. We certainly want to do more testing on that. Make the button bigger, make it more prevalent, try and get more people to use it. But, right now I feel like that’s a pretty good stat to say 10% are using it, and now I just want to test and try and get more people using it. Because it’s very helpful for us and it’s helpful for the end user.

Now, let’s talk about some opportunities with paid search. So, they’ve talked about paid search also has typically a pretty below average cost compared to some other opportunities out there. And deliver pretty much above average sale conversions as well. So, how can we optimize our paid search? Well, one of the first things I think we should think about as Lead Gen Marketers is ad extensions. It’s an area where I don’t always see as many people taking advantage of this as they could be. Ad extensions, similar to rich snippets, is like the rich snippets of ads. It provides more information on each ad than maybe you typically would have on a text ad in Google Adwords. Now, these are only available in Google Adwords. And you have different options here, like ‘offers’. The first one here on the right where it says official Google Lava Lamps. That’s an offer. See how it says ‘view offer’? $10 off a green lava lamp underneath. So, you can put in special offers.

Site links, which is the second example with Liberty Travel. It allows me to have up to six additional links there. Those are great for when you have a very broad keyword that you’re advertising on. You can get into more specifics underneath that broad keyword. Location extensions, if you have a place that people are going to be visiting. Call metrics, so awesome for Google Adwords. That’s the ADT example there, where Google actually puts a phone number on there that routes to a phone in your location, and tracks the information about the length of the call and can attribute it even back to down to the ad group level and keyword level and see where you’re getting those phone calls from. And seller ratings is another one. If you sell anything that, sell online, even if you’re B2B, you can get seller ratings as well.

So, another thing I want to talk about really quickly is retargeting. Retargeting is becoming a fast, popular type of advertising on the internet, and it is available in Google Adwords. As you can see here, it’s one of the fastest growing channels for lead prospecting this year. It is hot, hot, hot! Red hot stuff. And I want to tell you why it’s so great. If you’re not familiar with retargeting, let me show you how this works. I’m a fan of the Redskins. I like to say for better or for worse, I’m a fan. And I go to this blog here. It’s a Redskins blog, and you can see that on this blog I have an ad for SEO Software. Now how many people do you think visit this blog who really need to buy SEO Software? Probably not a whole lot. So, this was actually a retargeted ad. As an example, I went to Advanced Web Ranking Site. They coded me. I go to different sites across the web, and I see this particular ad.

So, why would you use retargeting? Well, you want to reach people who have already had some relationship with you in your brand category, brand or category. So, in other words, if someone’s come to your site, they sort of have a relationship with you already. You’ve established some brand identity with them. And so, retargeting can be incredibly effective for that reason. Now, there are two types we’re going to talk about today. There’s lots and lots of options around retargeting. We’re going to talk primarily about two options that I think are really hot.

Site based retargeting, which is where you retarget those who have visted your site or landing page. Now, Sarah’s going to talk a little bit more about this, again with social and how you can combine site based retargeting with social a little bit later. So, keep that in mind. It’s people who come to your site or your landing page and maybe they didn’t convert immediately. It’s a great way to nurture them over time before they become a conversion.

The second one is YouTube retargeting. For years, I have said, I love YouTube. I love video. I think it’s great. But the problem I always have with YouTube is, it’s not your website. And so, when you send people to your YouTube channel, you don’t get as many analytics. You don’t get as much information. And it’s hard to convert them, because there were no conversion actions on YouTube channels. So, what could you do? How could you sign people up?

Well, the beauty of this is if you have a YouTube channel, you can retarget people who have visited your YouTube channel, subscribed, or even unsubscribed from your YouTube channel. And you can then use retargeting ads or Google Adwords to keep talking to them. So, these are people who have tried to identify with your brand in some way, but maybe they never even came to your website. They just went to your YouTube channel. Now you have a way to recapture those people that maybe you didn’t have before.

I like this particular saying, ‘On the internet no one can tell you’re a dog’. And, what Sarah’s going to share with you now is some social media ideas for lead generation and opportunities that are available. And so, maybe people think no one can tell you’re a dog, but maybe they can. I’m going to hand it to Sarah now. She’ll tell you more about that.

Sarah:

Alright. Thank you, Janet. So, now getting into the more social media side. Like Janet said, social media’s a really great opportunity for lead generation, because people are raising their hand and telling you about them. They’re telling you what they like, how old they are, where they shop, what their interests are, and job skills even. So, let’s first get into the organic side.

In this same chart that you were taking a look at a little while ago, you can see that social networks are one of the top lead prospecting channels of 2013. And, this has grown a lot over the past year. And, a lot of people have their social channels built out on the big four that I consider are Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Google Plus. Depending on your industry, you might find more success with one or the other. But, really social media is a great way to market with content marketing. You first get in there and listen to what the people are asking for, what they’re saying. And then you can kind of tailor how your product can fit in to solve their needs. It’s great to talk about your business a lot, but you really want to know how you and your business can help that audience.

By creating content like info-graphics, case studies, checklists, white papers, and guides, you can really see if they’re receptive to one sort of asset or another and provide that information that will take them off of the social media to fill out a form or get to your site to answer the questions that you’re looking for. As Janet said, get back into the marketing automation, so that you can nurture them to become the opportunities and sales that you are looking for in the end. Because it’s great to talk and have a lot of fans to chit chat about cats and different cool things on the internet. But, you really want to get them down that funnel.

I wanted to just point out a couple places that you can share on social that the different social networks are kind of tailoring towards this more lead generation avenue as you can measure your different social efforts. And so, one thing is the Magna Powertrain products and services on LinkedIn. There’s opportunity to put a banner that directs back to your site to fill out a form or get more information. And then you can also list different product information. And with recommendations, that’s a great way to build authority and references. So, it’s not you just saying how great you are. You’re getting that social media engagement to get you those leads.

Another place on Google Plus, this is Self Magazine started a community about health and fitness. And they’re really listening to what people are asking and sharing about. And so, they can create content that targets those needs and answers those questions. So people, in the end, convert, buy the magazine, whatever goal they want in the end. So jumping into paid social, there’s great opportunities to target people, whether you’re B2B or B2C, you’re always targeting people, and a good professional is never really off duty. I know I get social media products and ads on Facebook. And I might not always be in the mood for them. But if I am looking for a new product or tool, they can still reach me there. And I might even look it up later. So, let’s see.

What we already know about search, both organic and paid, is that it is a wonderful avenue to capture leads. Especially search. If they’re looking exactly for your product, you have them at that moment when they’re looking to convert. But, sometimes you get into sticky situations where the keyword for your product that maybe the best keyword for your product doesn’t really describe the cost or that entry level. So, for instance, if we had a social media management software tool that required a $100,000 commitment, is the soccer mom searching for a social media management software tool to help her soccer team? Or is it the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, who really is interested investing that kind of commitment?

You don’t really have that ability with search all the time. And especially because sometimes Google decides that if you get too cutesy, I guess, with your search using Adwords, it kind of prevents that long tailed keyword to show. Google keeps saying that the people are using more terms when they’re searching. But if it’s not something that a lot of people search, they might not show your ad. Because not enough people are searching for it. And if you get into phrase match or broad match, you can be spending out of control with really high costs per click that you want to avoid.

So, social kind of gets into that space that search can’t provide by providing that demographic targeting. Here are examples of what Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to target. And people are, again, raising their hand saying, I like this. I am part of this group or this organization, that really help you target your ads and generate the leads of the quality kind of leads that you’re really looking for. But, with every marketing effort, before you say, ‘I’m going to send this white paper out because I think it works’, you really need to understand who your target audience is and what they’re going to be interested in before you start creating ad copy and creating those different parts of the equation. Depending on your industry, people might be interested in different things. I know our experience has shown that in the B2B industry, white papers have been very successful; but that might be different for your company or business. So, again, we always like to test and see what works and what’s resonating with your audience. What, frankly, you’re capable of making to provide those answers to the audience out there.

So, with LinkedIn targeting options, you can target location, company, job title, skills, and groups as well as a multitude of other factors. I don’t really suggest using the age targeting. A lot of people, on their resume for instance, are not going to list their age. So, that’s kind of, will narrow the bucket for you. But one thing that we found is groups is [sic] a great way to identify people who are interested in a certain subject and interested in learning more. Groups are a place you can ask and answer questions, provide materials, so it’s less like a ‘set it and forget it’ type of resume. And those people are more likely to click on your ad because they’re engaged and active on the platform.

With Facebook, again, Facebook has changed a lot in the past, I would say, six months even. Because they’ve introduced better conversion tracking that will show view through conversions which are really similar to TV ads. Where you see a TV commercial, but then maybe later down the road, you go to the website and fill it out. And it’s sort of hard to track that. But, because you’re able to be captured with a cookie, the Facebook pixel is on you, and so people can see what you do after that. So, that’s a really great feature. Then also there’s targeting options that are called ‘partner categories’ now, which are pretty new, and allow you to target people’s different job functions, different interests. If they’re new moms, if they even have a certain car, or likely to buy a certain car, that Facebook’s giving you that ability to dig a little deeper into that. And we’ll probably see that developing and changing over this next year.

So, kind of, let’s go back to everything we’ve talked about today. And bring it all together with search and social advertising. If there’s an ad targeted to people with interests in financial planning, which you can find both on Facebook and LinkedIn, depending on how you target. From there, a user clicks on that ad, they’re sent to a landing page that’s focused on a financial planning white paper or a different asset. Insert your business industry here. And so, with re-marketing, we can mark that person as interested in financial planning. And so even if they fill out the form, or if they don’t fill out the form, we can mark them with retargeting. And if they do fill it out, we can nurture them through marketing automation or if they hadn’t filled it out, and you kind of want to bring them back, you can send them retargeting ads. So, they’re like, ‘Oh maybe I should have read that white paper. Or I should have bought those flowers on that site.’ I know that’s happened to me a few times.

And so, one example with one of our clients, so a little case study here, is where we incorporated LinkedIn advertising and retargeting to a search campaign. So, this is over, I believe, a six month period. And in 2012, when we introduced the LinkedIn and retargeting to this company, we saw that there was a definite increase in conversions. And this is an enterprise level company. It’s not something that you just buy a $20 t- shirt. It’s a big deal for companies. And so, let’s see, we also have a 1,500% improvement in conversion rate over the same time period year over year, along with a 94% reduction in cost per lead. This is huge. The cost really went down. But we were more effectively targeting the audience with LinkedIn ads. And capturing them to then retarget to bring them back. To bring them back through the pipeline and the funnel. And we had really excellent results in this case, you can see an increase in revenue. This is actual. And then also, for the sales guys, they were working on 1,100% increase in what was on the pipeline, so there’s amazing potential here.

It does require some testing, but it’s a great way to really market the people who are interested in you instead of just sending out plain banner ad or TV product that is hard to promote. All right? So, I think that wraps up what we’re talking about here with social and search for lead generation.

I’ll pass it back to Kari, and thanks for listening.

Kari:

Great. Thank you so much, Sarah. And if you’re interested in hearing more about Search Mojo’s services or anything that Sarah or Janet talked about during today’s webinar, feel free to reach out to start a conversation with us. Sean McCusty is the person to reach out to, and there is his contact information there. And if you’re interested in attending our next webinar, that will be on July 11th, at 2:00 pm eastern. It’s called Blogging’s Biggest Challenges and How to Overcome Them. I will be presenting that webinar along with Todd Wickersty, who is the co-founder of Story Ware. And you can register today for that webinar at search-mojo.com/blogging.

If you’re interested in reaching out and connecting with either of today’s presenters, there is all of their social media information as well as for Search Mojo. Thank you once again to Janet Driscoll Miller and Sarah Locitis for presenting today’s webinar, and thank you very much for attending and we hope to see you again soon.