Marketer gets morning coffee ☕️.
Gets daily dump of emails from execs forwarding every piece of competitor marketing they see on Linkedin, email drops and industry sites. 😖
Today, some of it looks pretty good. So you start Googling the competition.
What are they doing? What messaging are they using? What channels are they clearly all over?
Ugh. They’re clearly killing it. We’re so behind. 😞
👎 Just Because They’re Doing it Doesn’t Mean it Works…
Here’s the hard truth: often your competitors are more lost than they appear.
Even more deceivingly, sometime they’re playing with marketing dollars they’re being forced to spend by VCs. Unlike you, they have the luxury of not being all that worried about performance and ROI right now.
Trying to replicate their channels thinking, ‘if they’re doing so much of this, it must be working’, can be a one way ticket to massively wasted budget.
👎 If the Messaging Isn’t Resonating, the Channel Doesn’t Matter
The reality is it’s really hard to know if a competitor’s messaging is on target or not. What might seem to be great headlines and solid copy might not be at all.
Assuming they have it nailed and replicating their approach could be just repeating their mistakes.
If they’re using flawed messaging, the channels they deploy that messaging to won’t matter. They can try to brute-force it with extra spend, but that’s not going to last.
👍 Go Your Own Way: Focus on Your Customers Instead
Amazon didn’t focus on what other ecommerce stores were doing. They obsessed over their customers first. What did they want? What did they need?
What does that mean for marketers?
The only way to really nail your messaging and GTM is to truly understand what’s on the minds of your customers and prospects.
That means gathering the intelligence on what matters to them. How can you do that?
Here’s four ways:
- Survey existing customers. Send them out a survey to complete with a little gift card incentive for their time. Give them free-form fields and some open-ended questions to get insight into the terminology and language they use to describe their problem.
- Listen to recordings of AE and BDR calls. What pains did the customers bring up? What were their objections?
- Pick up the phone/zoom and interview some customers yourself. What caused them to choose your solution? What decision criteria did they apply to their buy? What did you do better than your competition?
- Ask for access to closed/won and closed/lost CRM data. When your team won a deal, what were the reasons? When they lost, what were the reasons? Address these in your content, copy and GTM campaigns.
Doing the research is hard, and that’s the reason your competition probably hasn’t done it. Chances are they’re just taking internal corporate verbiage and positioning and regurgitating it into marketing campaigns.
However, as you dig into the research, you’ll be rewarded as you see patterns emerge. These patterns, the signals in the noise, are your messaging points. Lean into them and no matter what channel you pursue you’ll be miles ahead.
In short: your competitors don’t have the answers – your customers and prospects do. Keep the focus on their needs and your competitors will be wondering how you’re doing it.😎
Speaking of differentiation, competition and messaging, check out the podcast episode below where Neil Patel shares how he approaches a new campaign👇
Are Your Webinar Attendees Paying Attention?
Recently, ActualTech’s lead moderator Jess Steinbach shared her top strategies and tactics for generating audience engagement during webinar presentations.
She’s moderated over 100+ webinars this year alone, so we’re excited to share her recommendations here:
1. Create a lively atmosphere: The webinar should feel like a live event with buzz, sound and energy. Do everything you can to replicate the feel of a live event.
2. Interactive activities: Incorporate activities that encourage the audience to participate. For example, we’ve brought in props like a ‘magic eight ball’ to liven up a myth-busting section of the webinar. Use fun quizzes, surveys and even online games that the audience can join in on.
3. Make it memorable: The goal is to make the webinar stand out in the attendees’ minds. When they scan back over their day, the webinar should be the thing that bumps out from their memory. Think of a schtick- something that they wont’t forget. We’ve even had some presenters show off the collectibles on their Zoom background wall! This increases the chances of them remembering your brand or product when they need a technology solution.
4. Authenticity: Be authentic to your message, story, and mission. Bring in your genuine human interaction from the speaker to the audience and ask them to be a part of it. Ask the audience to pop in the chat their answers to ‘warm up’ questions.
5. Use demos: Demos can be used effectively to showcase key features of a product or service. However, it’s important to think about what key features you are really trying to showcase with the demo. One of the best demos we’ve seen was “how to recover your data in 4 minutes” – showing off the vendor’s recovery features live.
6. Collaborative discussion: The best ideas for engagement come out of a collaborative discussion. It’s rare that someone comes up with a brilliant idea on the first try. More often than not, it’s a conversation where ideas are kicked around and iterated upon. ActualTech’s moderators and webinar coordinators love brainstorming engagement ideas with our clients. Even 15 minutes of back-and-forth chat with experts can unblock any creative juices and generate ideas.
7. Make it relevant: It’s important to look at where the connection points are from the theory that you’re talking about to the audience in their lives and how they’re going to use it. Think use cases, case studies, bring on a customer and interview them. Help the audience see the practical value of what you’re presenting. Focus on them, not you.
Remember, the goal is not just to entertain but to engage the audience in a way that they remember the webinar, learn something from it and engage with your sales team when they reach out.
Want to see some real-life examples of engagement strategies that rock?
Check out the video of the episode below for some inspiration! 💥👇
Marketers should treat ChatGPT like a intern. 🤓
The more vague the instructions you give an intern, the more off-target your results will be.
Same with ChatGPT.
If you talk to it like you would to a human intern, you’ll see some amazing results. 🤯
Just use natural language and explain exactly what you need, how you need it to look and feel (or sound), what can’t be left out.
“You are a marketing assistant at a company that specializes in ransomware remediation. Write a promotional email with a maximum of 500 words that explains three benefits of selecting a ransomware remediation solution provider before they experience a ransomware attack. Include a statistic of how long it takes the average company to recover from a ransomware attack and what percentage of companies actually get their data back successfully. Include in bullet points three selection criteria for choosing a ransomware remediation company.”
Here’s some tips to optimize the output:
1️⃣ Give it a persona before the instructions to help it have perspective as it writes
2️⃣ It can tell the difference between “Features” and “Benefits” so tell it you want specifically want benefits.
3️⃣ Tell it exactly how long the content needs to be (500 words in this case)
4️⃣ Tell it what kind of social proof to include (the statistics ask)
5️⃣ Give it quantities. “Give me three” – Be specific here.
6️⃣ Give it formatting tips: “Three bullet points”
Once you have prompts like this saved in your prompt library you can reuse/recycle ♻ for next time.
Speaking of using ChatGPT to 10x yourself as a technology marketer, have a listen to the podcast episode below for more hacks and time-savers! 👇
Whether it’s registration pages for ebook downloads or webinar signups, B2B landing pages are notorious for low-conversion rates.
Especially when the forms look like this:
Hello Foreigner! Please enter your ‘Foreign Province’ 🤦♂️
Here’s three starter steps you can take to optimize the conversion rate on your event’s registration or gated asset’s landing page:
✅ Get rid of any unnecessary fields
If users hit the reg page and see a 30-field form, they’re gone.
Don’t ask the end user for demographic or firmographic info if you don’t have to. There’s automation for this!
✅ Make sure that the branding, the creative and the copy all match the email promotion that you sent out
Eg. If you’re saying, “Hey, this is what we’re going to be talking about, this is the title of the webinar”, the look, the feel, the colors, everything must match what’s on the reg page.
If people get there and there’s a disconnect, there’s something they think something’s off and they’re gone. It’s subtle, but important.
✅ Make sure any prize or incentive you’re using is front-and-center
Use clear terms and conditions and matching prize graphics to your promo/ad/email so that everybody can feel comfortable that that prize is actually going to be awarded.
The bottom line is to use lead enrichment technology to allow you to simplify your forms and brand/message matching reduce abandonment.
Once you’ve got the tools, processes and workflows in place you’ll be well-positioned to reap the benefits on every page you create.
Speaking of optimizing your webinar and hybrid event strategies, check out the podcast episode below: we dive DEEEEEP into strategies and tactics to boost your lead gen efforts👇
There seems to be about a 50/50 split among marketers I’ve talked to on whether or not it’s a good idea to incentivize lead gen efforts with prizes to boost lead counts. Roughly half think prizes are a great way to boost attendance for webinars, survey participation or content asset downloads. The other half feel that it dilutes overall campaign lead quality and doesn’t align with the goal of finding, and speaking to, only the most qualified of prospects.
But are prizes and incentives really a lead quality ‘sinkhole’? Or can they lift your lead counts to the next level?
Since executing B2B lead gen campaigns as Co-Founder of ActualTech Media, my opinion has swung strongly toward incentivizing in a big way. At ATM, we’ve seen prizes lift webinar registrations by over 60% and downloads of content assets by over 140%. For instance, here’s some stats from a recent webinar campaign where we tested ‘having .vs not having’ a prize:
- Reg form conversion rate before adding the prize offer: 21.6%
- Reg form conversion rate after adding the prize offer: 34.9%
Improvement in signup rate with Prize: +61%*
*Identical traffic source, landing page, copy, reg forms. The only difference was the addition of a prize promo. These results have since proved typical in campaigns we’re working on.
So how can you use incentives and prizes effectively to boost your lead numbers without tanking quality? Here’s some factors to consider in using incentives well and some ideas on how to maximize the lift:
Swaying Just One Potential Lead or Registrant Can Make an Entire Incentive Effort Pay Off
Think about this for a second: In B2B sales – especially in the Enterprise IT world – a single sale can be worth thousands or often hundreds of thousands of dollars. If just one qualified prospect swung from potentially registering to definitely registering because you have a prize they find neat or compelling, the entire incentive or prize has been paid for many times over. Why not risk pushing that one potential prospect over the edge and into the funnel when the relative cost is so low? You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Make the Prize or Incentive Genuinely Unique and Valuable
“Win an iPad!” “All attendees receive $5 Amazon gift card!”
We’ve all seen these incentive pitches and collectively yawned. For your prize to actually provide lift, you need to be unique. How can you use this opportunity to stand out? This is where understanding your prospect’s persona is essential.
For your prize to actually provide lift, you need to be unique.
What would your prospects love to have but their spouses would never actually want them buying for themselves? If you’re marketing in the tech world, what’s hot AND unique right now? Go to Apple.com/store and sort by ‘most popular’ items. What would your prospects look like heroes for if they brought it home to their kids? For instance, with our ActualTech Media events, Lego has been a huge hit.
If you’re a little nervous about going too far away from your corporate line, what valuable on-message resources can you give away? Are there subscription services you could give away access to? Are there book collections that are handy for reference? Can you offer free licenses, copies or samples of your partner’s products? Can you buy an hour of a well-known experts’ consulting time and give that away to your lucky winner? The possibilities are endless, and they don’t have to be physically-shippable products.
Build Goodwill by Rewarding Participants for their Time
Your prospects’ time and attention is finite. Show that you actually understand that by offering your prospects a fair trade in exchange for their time. One of the easiest ways to do that in a scalable way is with a shot a genuinely enticing prize.
Show that you actually understand your prospect’s time is valuable by offering a fair trade in exchange for their time.
It says “we understand your time is valuable and we’re willing to do a little something extra to thank you for participating”.
But shouldn’t your content alone be reward enough for their invested time? Perhaps. But in reality, humans form brand associations on multiple levels. Why not seize an opportunity to go a little farther by showing that you’ve thought about all manner of incentives to reward their time and interest. At the very least your brand will be closer to mind and in a positive light when your sales team starts following up.
Effectively Announcing Winners Provides Bonus Reach
So let’s say that you’ve done a good job of boosting participation and leads by including a great prize or incentive. You notice attention levels on your webinar spike when you do the live draw. Great! But don’t miss a golden opportunity to capitalize on and extend the reach of the incentive draw. Turn the awarding of the prize and the announcement of the winner into an event all to itself. How?
Give the winner a shout out on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Ask the winner to retweet it. Once their prize arrives, ask them to tweet a picture at you with their prize and smiling face. Help future leads see that you really do reward participation in your events or readers of your content assets. Economies of scale await those who brainstorm ways to turn the draw or prize into an event of its own.
Now for the Objections…
So what about the standard objections to incentivizing lead response? Let’s look at the two usual suspects:
“We’ll just end up with a bunch of people who only registered to win something and aren’t really interested in our solution.”
Absolutely. But see point number one above. Do the risks of a few freeloaders outweigh the potential benefits of an incentive moving just one truly qualified prospect into the funnel? In the case of high-value sales, the risk equation is almost always overwhelming tilted in favor of the benefits of capturing more potentially qualified prospects.
“Sales will hate us for sending them a bunch of ‘prize-hounds’ who aren’t even close to qualified. We don’t have the sales cycles to chase down useless leads.”
Right again. But think about this for second: Is the problem that you’ve captured some low quality prospects, or is it that your lead nurturing and scoring processes could stand to mature to meet this challenge? Could a carefully planned and executed post-event or post-download automated lead nurturing funnel act as both a natural quality filter and even potentially move some of these ‘low quality’ prospects into the ‘qualified column’?
Rather than fretting over the efficacy of sending sales raw, un-nurtured leads and hoping for the best, why not invest the time to think about what happens after an event or content asset download to boost prospect interest before the campaign or promotion even starts?
Of course, there are situations where incentivizing lead gen just doesn’t make sense. We’ve worked with clients who have lower-cost solutions that need to be more careful how they filter leads, but like everything in marketing, test, test, test, and see if it works for you.
I’d be willing to bet the lift you’ll see by carefully incorporating prizes and incentives into your campaigns will make it well worth a shot.