5 Outbound Lead Generation Best Practices

5 Outbound Lead Generation Best Practices

5 Outbound Lead Generation Best Practices

There’s so much information out there about inbound marketing. From how to transition to inbound marketing to tools that help you do it, there’s a wealth of blogs, resources, and more to teach you everything you need to know about inbound marketing. Outbound marketing doesn’t have the same support out there, yet. 
For quite some time, marketers were moving away from outbound marketing because it was disruptive and largely ineffective. But today’s modern outbound marketing, which is targeted, specific, and relevant to ideal leads, can be remarkably effective. If you’ve been looking for ways to implement an outbound marketing strategy that delivers the leads you want, on the timeline you need, we’ve got answers. 

Here are 5 outbound lead generation best practices you can use to implement intuitive, successful outbound marketing strategies that aren’t disruptive, and deliver the leads your sales team wants. 

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01. Develop Accurate Buyer Personas

Outbound marketing is inherently less focused than inbound marketing. You’re putting out a message to a range of consumers you don’t know. Unlike inbound marketing, where the consumer chooses to engage with your content or website, you’re putting a message out to consumers who don’t necessarily know you or your brand. 
It’s more important than ever to identify who you want to talk to, so you can craft ads, emails, and events that speak to those ideal leads. 
That means developing accurate buyer personas. 
If you’re new to the buyer persona game, we’ve got a handy step-by-step guide to developing your buyer personas that should help you out.
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In general, you want to figure out who your ideal client is:
  • How old they are
  • What their job title is
  • What industry they work in
  • What their personal life looks like
  • What their personal and professional goals are
  • What challenges they face
When you have a clear picture of who you want to market to, it’s much easier to develop an outbound lead generation strategy that will still work to bring in the qualified leads you want, rather than just anyone on the internet. 

02. Create Targeted Messaging

Again, the danger of outbound marketing is always drawing in leads you don’t want.
Whether you’re developing an ad or an email campaign, you know what those buyer persona’s pain points are.
Develop content that speaks to their interests, their pain points, and their goals. 
The more tailored your content is to your buyer personas, the more you’ll encourage those qualified leads to reach out and talk to your team. It’ll also be easier for unqualified leads to see that they’re not a fit for what you’re offering. 
There is harm in creating ad copy that’s too generic. The less specific your messaging, the more likely you are to pull in buckets of unqualified leads. 
While it might seem like you’re getting a ton of leads, and that might be exciting for a minute, your sales team will quickly notice that these leads aren’t useful to them. 
Unqualified leads, especially those gained through outbound marketing tactics, are expensive. They cost money to convert, and then they cost your sales team time to connect with, only to find they’re not a good fit.
To avoid a lot of extra work for your sales team, and to maximize your outbound marketing budget, targeted messaging is an essential outbound lead generation practice that works to pull in just the qualified leads your sales team can close. 
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The outbound lead generation best practice that helps eliminate unqualified leads is messaging. You know who your buyer personas are now — craft messaging that speaks directly to them. 
Whether you’re developing an ad or an email campaign, you know what those buyer persona’s pain points are.
Develop content that speaks to their interests, their pain points, and their goals. 
The more tailored your content is to your buyer personas, the more you’ll encourage those qualified leads to reach out and talk to your team. It’ll also be easier for unqualified leads to see that they’re not a fit for what you’re offering. 
There is harm in creating ad copy that’s too generic. The less specific your messaging, the more likely you are to pull in buckets of unqualified leads. 
While it might seem like you’re getting a ton of leads, and that might be exciting for a minute, your sales team will quickly notice that these leads aren’t useful to them. 
Unqualified leads, especially those gained through outbound marketing tactics, are expensive. They cost money to convert, and then they cost your sales team time to connect with, only to find they’re not a good fit.
To avoid a lot of extra work for your sales team, and to maximize your outbound marketing budget, targeted messaging is an essential outbound lead generation practice that works to pull in just the qualified leads your sales team can close. 

03. Complete Quality Keyword Research

The success of paid advertising, whether it’s Google PPC or Facebook advertising, relies on you choosing the keywords that your ideal buyers are searching. 
That’s why keyword research is an outbound lead generation best practice. The better your keyword research, the more likely your outbound marketing ads are to perform well. 
And let’s remember, you’re paying for these ads. The better your ad targeting, the less you’ll spend to pull in outbound leads that are qualified and ready to buy. 
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If you’re new to keyword research, Google’s Keyword Planner is a great place to start. The tool makes it easy to find keywords relevant to your company, industry, or product, and it tells you at a glance how much the average bid cost is per keyword. 
If you’re new to keyword research, Google’s Keyword Planner is a great place to start. The tool makes it easy to find keywords relevant to your company, industry, or product, and it tells you at a glance how much the average bid cost is per keyword. 
A few paid keyword tips to keep in mind:
  • If you’re looking to drive sales and conversions, look for keywords that show buyer intent. These are usually highly-specific searches, like your exact product number, or a brand name. A search like “Size 9 Women’s Nike Training Shoes” is one with great buyer intent. The person typing in that query knows exactly what they want, they just have to figure out where to buy it. 

 

  • If you have a smaller budget, choose long-tail keywords. These keywords typically have a lower bid cost but can deliver more qualified leads. Though you’ll probably see fewer clicks on the keyphrase I used above than something like “women’s shoes”, the clicks you do get will be much more qualified. 
  • Look for high search volume, low competition. These keywords will be cheaper to bid on, but with a high search volume, you’ll still get in front of plenty of potential leads.
  • What are your competitors doing? If keyword research has you stumped, look into what your competitors are bidding on. Tools like SEMRush and Spyfu can help you out here. 

04. Manage Up-to-Date Contact Lists

Unlike advertising, email marketing is a tactic where you know something about the people you’re emailing. 
They gave you their email address for a reason, and that means you can use the context you have on those contacts to deliver relevant, specific messaging. 
But, targeted email marketing only works if you have up-to-date, organized contact lists. 
You could have the best email workflows and campaigns the world has ever seen. But if you’re working with out-of-date contact lists, your emails will always miss the mark. 
Contact list management is the dishwashing of digital marketing — no one wants to do it, but somebody has to. Click To Tweet Though it can feel like a pain to your marketing team, it’s important to run through those contact lists regularly, at least once a quarter. 
Just like you might split up the work of washing the dishes at home, consider breaking up contact list management into smaller tasks. 
Have your sales team diligently re-categorize leads after they close. If your marketing team is working with a lead and they go cold or transfer up to sales, encourage them to adjust that contact’s status immediately. 
If everyone pitches in just a little bit, it becomes much easier to manage contact lists. When you get to that quarterly list grooming session, it won’t be nearly so difficult or time-consuming. 
No matter how you do it, make sure you’re managing and updating your contact lists regularly. Email marketing is responsible for some of the highest outbound lead conversions — managing your leads effectively is an outbound lead generation best practice you just can’t overlook. 

05. Choose the Outbound Marketing Platforms that Best Serve Your Lead Generation Goals

Every outbound marketing platform is different. That means they’re not all perfect for your lead generation goals. 
Facebook is different from Linkedin, and both of those social media platforms deliver significantly different results than a webinar, industry event, or direct mail campaign. 
The fifth and possibly most important outbound lead generation best practice I’ll leave you with today is this: choose the outbound marketing platform that best serves your lead generation goals. 
To develop an effective outbound marketing strategy that delivers the leads you want, you need to use only the platforms that will serve your goals. Here’s a quick look at what I’m talking about: 
  • Email Marketing. Can deliver qualified leads that close, but you first need a list of contacts. 
  • Facebook Advertising. Great for raising brand awareness and driving leads to your website, but less likely to deliver immediate sales. 
  • Instagram Advertising. Delivers brand awareness, but not as great at driving conversions. 
  • Google Advertising. Delivers qualified leads to your site, and depending on the keywords you bid on, can produce great conversion and close rates. 
  • LinkedIn Advertising. Delivers highly qualified leads, and gets you in front of the professionals you want, but can be more expensive, with a lower likelihood of conversion. 
This is just a general overview of a few digital outbound marketing tactics. 
Each of those platforms does offer ways for you to develop campaigns that are more directed at awareness, driving web traffic, leads, or conversions, but it’s important to know that they don’t all work the same way, and each platform has its unique niche of benefits.  
For example, if you’re a manufacturing company looking to invest in account-based marketing tactics, Instagram probably isn’t the platform for you. LinkedIn and email marketing are likely to be more successful at targeting the key companies and positions you already know you want to get in front of. 
While every outbound marketing platform provides value, it’s an important outbound lead generation best practice to select and invest in only those platforms that align with your goals. 
If you’re having trouble deciding which platform is best suited to your outbound lead generation goals, look back at your buyer personas. 
Where do your ideal buyers hang out online? Are they avid Instagram shoppers, or are they researching solutions on Google? Maybe they’re big networkers, always looking to connect with someone new on Linkedin or Facebook. 
You’ve spent the time developing killer buyer personas. Don’t forget about them — use them to help guide your outbound marketing strategy. 
When it comes to developing an outbound marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads, your best bet is to pair those fast-acting outbound marketing platforms with inbound marketing strategy. By defining your buyer personas, taking the time to research the keywords you plan to bid on, and by tailoring your messaging to the platforms and people you want to talk to, you’ll start to see the outbound lead generation you’ve been looking for. 
We hope these outbound lead generation best practices help you optimize your strategy to pull in more of the right leads. If you have any more questions about inbound marketing, outbound marketing, or how to apply any of it, we’re here to help
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Developing an Outbound Marketing Strategy That Delivers Qualified Leads

Developing an Outbound Marketing Strategy That Delivers Qualified Leads

Developing an Outbound Marketing Strategy That Delivers Qualified Leads

We’ve talked about outbound marketing a lot. At this point, we hope you’re on board with it. Outbound marketing, when created for 21st-century consumers, is effective. It’s the creating part that’s hard, though. 

If done without research or data, your outbound marketing strategy can be both broad and expensive. Read: you’re spending a lot of money on leads you don’t actually want. 

That’s why it’s so important to put in the time up front to develop an outbound marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads. If you’re struggling to build an outbound marketing strategy that pulls in more money than you spend, here are a few ways to turn it around. If you haven’t even begun your outbound marketing strategy, this will help you start off strong. 

Here’s what you need to do to develop an outbound marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads:

Understand Your Audience

The first step to developing an outbound marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads is understanding who your qualified leads are. The thing about outbound marketing is that it usually costs money. You don’t want to spend on a campaign that’s not hitting the right audience. 

Before you even think about building an outbound marketing strategy, you need to fully understand who you're marketing to, and why. Click To Tweet This is called developing your buyer personas. And in case you’re new to buyer personas, we’ve put together an entire step-by-step guide to creating your buyer personas to help you out. 

No matter what your outbound strategy looks like, it’s important that you’ve started with clearly defined buyer personas. When you know your audience, you can better develop ad campaigns and outbound strategies that speak directly to them. 

Set Goals for your Outbound Marketing Strategy

You also need to figure out your goals before you launch, or even build, your outbound marketing strategy. 

What are you hoping to achieve with outbound marketing? If you’re reading this, my guess is that you want more qualified leads. In that case, how many qualified leads would you like to generate from this strategy? Where do you want those leads to go? 

Make Sure You're Setting SMART Goals

If you’re planning a specific ad campaign, what action do you want those leads to take? Like your Facebook Page? Convert on your content offer? Or are you launching a remarketing campaign that you’d like to end in a sale?

What you’d like to achieve with your outbound marketing strategy doesn’t matter so much as having a reason for your outbound marketing strategy. You shouldn’t be running ads just to run them — that’s a quick trip to an unsuccessful campaign. 

Set your goals for your outbound marketing strategy, whether that’s to build brand awareness or draw in more of a certain type of lead, and then you can get started on building the strategy itself. 

Develop an Outbound Marketing Strategy Based on Data

What sets outbound marketing apart from inbound marketing is that you have a massive amount of data at your fingertips. Inbound marketing is exceptionally successful, but you don’t see results immediately, and some tactics can be tough to master. 

This is why an outbound marketing strategy is such a great complement to a quality inbound marketing strategy — it gives you the data you need to make specific, targeted marketing efforts. 

 

Use data to build your outbound marketing strategy. Here are a couple of examples of what I’m talking about:

  • Know Your Keywords If you’re working on paid search ads, it pays to know your keywords. What search queries are your target buyers putting in? And really look at the data. Don’t bid on a broad term with a massive cost per click if a long-tail keyword can deliver similar, or more qualified results. 

  • Get Good at Identifying and Setting Your Audiences – You’ve done a lot of work establishing your buyer personas. Put that research to use when you set audiences for your paid campaigns. Especially on social media advertising, this is where you want to spend the most time — if your ads aren’t hitting the right people, you’re spending money for nothing. 
  • Only Pay for the Leads You Want If your paid outbound tactics aren’t delivering qualified leads, change them! Excluding certain audiences is a great way to optimize ads that consistently deliver leads who aren’t quite warm enough for your sales team. You can also adjust audiences, spend, and more on the fly. Give your ads some time to build, but if they’re not delivering the right results after a few weeks, don’t be afraid to make adjustments. 
  • Send Emails with Intention – We’ll talk about email marketing more, but make sure you’re using data to send emails with intention. When do your subscribers tend to open emails most? Is there certain content they prefer? Could you segment your email list to deliver more targeted, relevant emails? Use data to build your email marketing campaigns, and you’ll see higher open rates, click-throughs, and more leads coming in from that outbound marketing strategy.

Deliver Quality Information

It doesn’t matter if your outbound marketing strategy is built of paid search campaigns, social media advertising, email marketing, or a combination of those three and more. No matter what tactics you use, you need to have quality information behind every single campaign. 

Ad campaigns have to lead to a page that’s helpful and informative. 

Emails should provide content that helps those warm leads learn more about your product, determine which product or service is best for them, and make a purchasing decision. 

This is a big component of a successful outbound marketing strategy. If you’re developing ad campaigns that just lead visitors to your home page, you’re missing out. 

Check out this blog about landing pages to learn more about optimizing outbound lead conversions with the right content. 

Craft Relevant, Specific, Timely, and Helpful Emails

People have volunteered in some way to get your emails. Whether they subscribed to your newsletter or gave up their email address in exchange for a content offer, they made a conscious decision to receive email from you.

It’s your job to ensure they don’t regret that decision.

Basic Email Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Don’t email too often. 
    • Once a month is great
    • Once a week is okay if you really have something to say
    • Once a day is way too much

  • Do craft relevant content
    • Generic newsletters sent to your entire list will fail
    • Develop specific, relevant content that speaks to a specific pain point or question
    • Deliver that specific, relevant content to the right people

  • Do segment your email lists
    • Remember those buyer personas? They’re a great place to start with segmentation.
    • Think about how often you’re emailing each segment. If you have a list of leads in the awareness phase and a list of leads in a particular industry, remember that there could be overlap. Be conscious of the overlap so no one gets bombarded.

If email is a part of your outbound marketing strategy (it should be, it’s useful!) you need to have a purpose for every email you send. 

Before you press send, ask yourself: 

  • Why am I sending this email?
  • What are my goals with this email?
  • Will the people receiving this email appreciate the content?

If you have an answer to all of those questions, and the answer to the third question is yes, then you’re doing email marketing right. 

Remeber that Outbound Marketing Doesn’t Stop With a New Lead

Outbound marketing doesn’t stop when you get a new lead. In fact, outbound marketing is often most successful when it’s used on visitors you already know are qualified leads. 

The people in your email list, those visitors who have shopped around your site a few times, and the leads who keep downloading your content offers are all great opportunities for your outbound marketing strategy. 

The goal of any marketing strategy is to generate leads that turn into sales. You can’t abandon leads after you get them to your site.

You can continue using your outbound marketing strategy to pull those leads closer to a sale with lead nurturing.

Incorporating lead nurturing into your outbound marketing strategy

Believe it or not, lead nurturing is an essential component of any outbound marketing strategy. While there are plenty of inbound lead nurturing tactics, like publishing helpful content that addresses every stage of the buyer’s journey — outbound lead nurturing is particularly effective, since it gives you the opportunity to speak directly to leads you know are already interested in your product or service. 

Two great lead nurturing tactics to add to your outbound marketing strategy include:

Remarketing

Remarketing is a form of digital advertising. When people come to your site and browse your products, cookies track their activity. When they make it to a page on your site that indicates they’re close to making a purchasing decision, they get thrown into your remarketing ad campaign. Then, ads for the product or service they were just browsing pop up on other websites. 

If you’ve ever gotten ads for that pair of jeans you were looking at on your Facebook page or Instagram feed, you’ve gotten remarketing ads. 

These are a super-effective way to draw warm leads right back to your site. They’re a good investment for any outbound marketing strategy because they tend to have a solid success rate. 

Email Workflows

Email workflows are an intuitive, easy outbound lead nurturing strategy.  You’ll have to take a little time to get them set up, but once they’re going, they’re seriously helpful. 

When we talk about email workflows, we’re talking about a succession of emails that kicks off when a lead takes an action. 

  • Let’s say they downloaded a content offer. They’ll get a thank you email right after downloading that gives them the link to the offer. 

  • Then, two days later, your workflow could send out another email asking that lead what they thought, and if they had any questions. 

  • And the workflow goes on like that until they reach the end (a breakup email), or convert to a sale.

In general, email workflows are about three or four emails long, with about two or three days between emails. 

They are so useful for nurturing leads. 

First of all, your sales team doesn’t have to remember to send all of those follow-ups — you can automate them with most email software services. 

Second, it helps pull those leads through the buyer’s journey with relevant, helpful information.

When done right, everyone’s happy. 

The takeaway here is that your outbound marketing strategy should always include tactics that nurture leads once they’ve come to your sales or marketing team. There’s not much point in generating leads if you don’t have a plan to help them convert to a sale. 

Optimize Your Outbound Marketing Strategy Constantly

The key to an outbound marketing strategy that meets your goals?

Constant analysis and optimization. 

Your outbound marketing strategy is never done. You should always be analyzing your results, and applying what you’ve learned to new ad campaigns and email marketing workflows.

The best way to continue growing is to continue working. Keep a close eye on your outbound marketing strategy, and make changes as you can.

While it’s not a good idea to stop and start ad campaigns all the time, or change your email templates every month, there’s a lot you can learn over time. Small changes often have the biggest impact. 

The data you get from your outbound marketing strategy is right at your fingertips, and it tells the story of your success. Use it to keep improving. 

The Most Successful Outbound Strategy is the One that Complements an Inbound Strategy

And finally, I’d like to leave you with a quick reminder. The most successful outbound marketing strategy is the one that complements an inbound strategy.

Inbound and outbound marketing go together like peanut butter and jelly. Click To Tweet They each fill in the gaps of the other strategy. While they’re both strong ways to grow your business and pull in qualified leads in their own right, you’ll see the biggest success when you use them together. 

Check out this blog on how Inbound and Outbound Work Together for more info on developing a cohesive digital marketing strategy. 

A quality outbound marketing strategy takes a lot of work upfront, and quality maintenance to keep it going. Let us lighten the load. For more info about optimizing your outbound marketing strategy to pull in the right leads, or for help getting your paid ad campaigns off the ground, just drop us a line

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What is Outbound Marketing in 2020?

What is Outbound Marketing in 2020?

What is Outbound Marketing in 2020?

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Outbound marketing is and has been a lot of things. If we’re honest, it hasn’t always been great. Outbound marketing is probably best known for annoying push marketing.

Yeah, we’re talking telemarketers, cold calling, that delightful junk mail you’re always throwing away, and basically any form of marketing that pushes a product or service on you, without even attempting to be personal. It’s not relevant, it’s usually poorly timed (ahem, telemarketers who call at dinner time), and it doesn’t usually put you in a positive frame of mind to make a purchase. 

But now that we’re clear about how terrible outbound marketing used to be, we can talk about what outbound marketing is in 2020, and how it can be successful and useful today. We’re going to focus on effective outbound marketing because even though there are companies out there still using traditional techniques like telemarketing, there are better, more efficient, and more positive ways to implement outbound marketing in 2020.

What is Outbound Marketing in 2020?

In 2020, outbound marketing is an effective way to get your message in front of the right people immediately, and on a larger scale than organic and inbound tactics can deliver. 

It’s important to remember that while outbound marketing has been frustrating to consumers in the past, it’s still a successful marketing strategy when applied correctly in a non-interruptive way. As we move into 2020, outbound marketing will continue to evolve. We’ve already seen outbound marketing deliver results for our clients in forms like pay-per-click advertising, social media advertising, and even strategic outbound email campaigns, and we expect that trend to continue throughout this new year. 

In 2020, successful outbound marketing has less to do with what platforms you use, and more to do with how you apply your own strategy to those platforms. Let’s take a look at what outbound marketing that works will look like in 2020.

Successful Outbound Marketing in 2020 Will Be:

Outbound marketing doesn’t have to be disruptive. In fact, it can be a really helpful form of marketing, especially for consumers who are ready to make a purchasing decision. Here’s a glance at what outbound marketing in 2020 should look like.

Personalized

Impersonal, disruptive messaging is the number one reason that traditional outbound marketing strategies fail. When done right, outbound marketing can produce serious results for your company. It puts you in front of a large pool of the right consumers. 

But, you’re only going to get their attention if your message is relevant to their goals and pain points and if it’s not disruptive to their life.

That’s why we’re hoping that in 2020, more people start to look at outbound marketing through an inbound marketing lense. There’s nothing wrong with paid and outbound tactics — they really do work! But, they work best when they’re approached with an inbound mindset of incorporating your message seamlessly into the consumer’s day, rather than interrupting them to shout out an impersonalized promotion. 

Take the time to understand what your audience is looking for. If you’re on Facebook, choose audiences who have a legitimate interest in your product or service. If you’re working on paid ad sets for Google, choose search terms that are relevant to what you’re promoting. No one wants to see an ad for gym shoes when they searched “ice cream near me.”

If you’re hoping to implement successful outbound marketing strategies in 2020, personalized, relevant messages that aren’t disruptive are the key.

Efficient

Outbound marketing tactics in 2020 have a specific purpose — to convert qualified leads more efficiently than inbound tactics can. Outbound marketing gets your message in front of the right consumers, right now. Make sure you’re using that to your advantage. 

Implement your 2020 outbound marketing campaigns where you know they’ll be the most effective, and efficient. Outbound marketing tactics like remarketing and paid search ad campaigns targeted to end-of-funnel keywords are great ways to quickly convert leads who have already shown interest in your company. They just need that little extra push to convert. 

That’s what you use outbound marketing for — efficient, tactical conversions of the leads you already know are interested in your product or service. If you’re trying to use outbound marketing tactics to nurture leads and build relationships, you’re not going to see those immediate results or the ROI you’re looking for, because that’s not what outbound marketing is designed to do. 

Cost-Effective

The time for massive outbound marketing budgets is over. We’re not saying you shouldn’t spend money on outbound marketing, but we are saying you should be strategic about where you spend your budget. Digital outbound marketing methods can be exceptionally cost-effective if you know what you’re doing. How to know what you’re doing? Here are a few good ways to start:

Target End-of-Buyer's-Journey Keywords

It’s worth it to spend money on outbound marketing campaigns that target people at the end of their buyer’s journey. They know exactly what they’re looking for, they just need to make a purchase. 

Long-tail keywords like “Honeywell Commercial Alarm System Installation in Grand Rapids” show you that the consumer has already done their homework, and made their decision. Now, they just need to find a provider. When you bid on these keywords, you’ll show up as a first option for those consumers who are ready to buy. 

Spend on High-Return Markets

If you have a specific product or service that secures higher returns, that’s where you should be allocating your outbound marketing budget. If you can spend less to make more with your outbound campaigns, you’re going to see the ROI and the results you’ve been looking for.

Above all, analyze your outbound marketing campaigns constantly. Keep a close eye on where your money is going, and where it’s delivering leads.

In 2020, the paid advertising market will be more competitive than ever. The best way to get ahead without breaking the bank is to spend strategically on just the campaigns sure to deliver you the best results, and the greatest ROI. 

Strategic

Outbound marketing is one part of a complete digital marketing strategy. It’s important to apply outbound marketing tactics in the spaces where they can provide you with the greatest returns. 

In 2020 outbound marketing will be one of the fastest ways to get your company out ahead of the competition, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the only marketing tactic out there, and it shouldn’t be the only component of your marketing strategy. 

Outbound marketing costs money. And as more and more people are buying into paid social media advertising, pay-per-click ads, display campaigns, and more in 2020, the costs of outbound marketing will continue to rise. 

In order to see significant returns, and to get the leads you want at a price that allows you to keep growing, it’s important to be strategic about where you use your outbound marketing tactics. 

For example, inbound marketing can help you nurture leads with relevant content that answers questions. Outbound marketing can’t do that. Outbound marketing can raise brand awareness, get your company in front of the right leads, and help you close those buyers who are ready to make a decision, but it can’t do the long, hard work of lead nurturing, educating, or building relationships — all important components of an effective long-term growth strategy. For that, you need other tactics and strategies like inbound marketing and excellent customer service. 

In 2020 the key to a marketing strategy that delivers growth is understanding how to balance inbound and outbound tactics for the best results. Use outbound marketing where you can get those quick wins: targeted and remarketing ads, calling consumers back to you at the end of their buyer’s journey, and raising brand awareness. But remember that in the end, outbound marketing is a tool to help you build on an already solid marketing foundation. 

If you use your outbound tactics to supplement an already amazing website, rich original content, and a robust digital marketing strategy, you’re sure to win in 2020. 

Not sure how to implement outbound marketing in 2020? Don’t hesitate to reach out! We’ve got a ton of resources on outbound marketing, and we love to chat about how inbound and outbound marketing can complement each other. We’d be happy to help answer any questions you’ve got. 

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Advantages of an Outbound Marketing Strategy

Advantages of an Outbound Marketing Strategy

Advantages of an Outbound Marketing Strategy

Why are we talking about outbound marketing? Isn’t everything about inbound marketing now? We’re not knocking on inbound marketing, and we don’t think it’s a mutually exclusive, either/or situation. We just think that outbound marketing strategies have been getting a bad rap lately, and we want to correct that. 

Used strategically, outbound marketing tactics are an essential component of a balanced, holistic, and effective marketing strategy. Here are the key advantages to an outbound marketing strategy that you should be aware of, so that you can take full advantage of all available tactics and strategies to get what you really want from your marketing efforts: more conversions, more leads, and ultimately, more sales.

An Outbound Marketing Strategy gets Immediate Results

Inbound marketing works, but it’s a long game. You have to create a lot of content, strategically share that content via every available and relevant platform, and you have to do it consistently, over a long period of time to truly see results. While that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing—it’s definitely worth doing— you are going to have to be patient.

Sometimes, you just can’t play the waiting game. You need to get something out there and in front of the eyes of your potential clients, and you need to do it now. That’s where an outbound marketing strategy comes in. 

When you’re willing to pay to play, you’ll start seeing results a lot sooner. Why? Well, it’s partially because if you didn’t, those advertising platforms wouldn’t be able to show ROI, and they wouldn’t be able to get or keep clients. These advertising platforms are motivated, therefore, to present your ad to the right people, people who have a potential interest in your products and services and are likely to take action on your ad.

It Allows You to Target Messages Strategically

With inbound techniques, you’re drawing in people to your brand and your offerings. They are people who are actively in the market for your product or service and who are searching for what you have. This is great because these leads are already qualified to a degree; they’re much further down the funnel or the buyer’s journey than someone who doesn’t yet know he has a problem to begin with, let alone one that your product or service solves.  

Outbound marketing strategies bring your messages to the people you want to see them—whether they are already searching for your products and services or not. This is useful to supplementing your inbound marketing efforts, which while effective, may not be working as quickly as you’d like. With inbound marketing, you can’t choose who is seeing your content. You can optimize your content for search and share it strategically, but you can’t guarantee that the purchasing manager or another key decision-maker at your ideal account is going to see it.

But with outbound marketing, you can. The targeting options for pay-per-click (PPC) ads have expanded over the years to include a wide range of demographic and interest-based criteria that allow you to be extremely precise in how your ads are served. For example, with LinkedIn Ads, you can target your ads by job title and company. With this targeting capability, you can serve your ads to nearly the exact person you want to see them.

It Still Gets Qualified Leads

If You Do It Right

While the inbound process does a lot of qualifying of leads for you, it doesn’t mean that inbound is the only way to get qualified leads, or that the leads that you do acquire from outbound techniques are necessarily unqualified or lower quality. You have to be strategic with your outbound marketing efforts, but you can still get qualified leads, which makes it a valuable part of a balanced marketing strategy.

Strategic is the key word here. A lot of the people who say outbound doesn’t work are usually doing it wrong. It’s not going to be as effective for an industrial manufacturer to run Facebook ads for a whitepaper as it is for a publisher to run ads for the release of a new book, right? 

Facebook doesn’t have the information about its users that would be most effective in targeting professionals in the right industry for whatever you’re manufacturing, but it does have information on people’s interests like authors and books they like.

If you’re going to use outbound strategies, you need to have a clearly defined target audience: what they do, where they work, what are their roles and needs, what is going to appeal to them. It’s the same information you need to create an effective inbound strategy and create good content. You also need to know where to find your audience, which platforms are they using, and where can you reach them with your messaging most effectively. 

Clear and effective messaging is also essential to obtaining qualified leads. Misleading or vague copy and less-than-relevant keywords might help you get more clicks, more impressions, or more email addresses, but if you’re not delivering on what these leads want and expect, they’re not really qualified. 

You’ll get more leads, but they’ll be lower quality. And quality is the name of the game here. One perfectly qualified lead is better than 50 leads more dubiously qualified. Which do you think is going to lead to the most sales, and the greatest lifetime customer value? 

An Outbound Marketing Strategy Supports Your Inbound Efforts

If you have an inbound marketing strategy already in place, integrating outbound tactics is a great way to support it. You have great content, whitepapers, guides, ebooks, blogs, etc., and you shouldn’t let it languish unseen on a landing page or your blog that gets very little organic traffic. 

Sure, you share it on social, and that gets you some clicks and engagements, but most organic social content is seen by only a fraction of an organization’s or page’s followers. Organic reach (meaning how many people see a post organically, through it showing up in their feeds) can be abysmal. According to Hubspot, on Facebook, organic reach can be as low as 2%. This means that your posts aren’t getting seen, at least, not as much as you want to be.

What’s one way to guarantee that your social posts that contain your amazing and thoughtfully-created content get in front of people’s eyes? Promotion. Depending on your industry, messaging, and the platform, this could be as simple as boosting already-well performing posts with your content. It could also mean creating new sponsored posts or even display advertising on those relevant platforms. 

Maybe you have an amazing email list and amazing emails that your subscribers love, and that’s one way you disseminate your really good content to them. Cool, awesome, we love it. But, how are people finding out about your newsletter? How are they signing up? Outbound lead generation campaigns can garner sign-ups for your email list, and get them in the pipeline for receiving your content that’s sure to convert.

Outbound marketing has been a little less popular lately, but when done properly, it can offer some serious advantages. Let us help you develop a plan that works. 

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How to Get Your Social Media Ad Campaign Off the Ground

How to Get Your Social Media Ad Campaign Off the Ground

How to Get Your Social Media Ad Campaign Off the Ground

If your organization is like most, you’ve probably been using social media platforms organically for your business for a while, posting occasional company updates or sharing your content. To level-up in the social media space and use social media to its best advantage for your business, you need to start investing in outbound marketing and running social media ad campaigns. But that can be a daunting task. Here’s our guide on how to get your social media ad campaign off the ground.

Why Run a Social Media Ad Campaign?

You want to reach people. Everyone is using social media. It’s really that simple. According to Hubspot, 42 percent of people in the world are using social media. That’s 90.4 percent of Millennials, 77.5 percent of Generation X, and 48.2 percent of Baby Boomers using social media, and on average, they’re spending over two hours every day on social networks. If you want to reach people, social media is where you can find them. Click To Tweet

Because of this, social media ad campaigns are scalable, relatively inexpensive, and can have a huge ROI. Most social media advertising platforms also have great analytics to help you analyze and hone your strategy and report on campaign performance.

Determine Your Social Media Ad Campaign Goals

Like any and all advertising campaigns, for your social media campaign to be successful, you need to begin with clearly defined goals. What do you want this campaign to do? That can depend on your industry, position, brand, and current situation. Some common goals include:

  • Brand awareness
    • We’re a new company and we want people to know that we and our products/services are out there
    • We’re an established company who wants to stay top of mind for our consumers
  • Engagement
    • We want people to like/share/comment on our content
  • Traffic
    • We want to drive traffic to our website or a specific page
  • Lead generation
    • We want leads for our new product line
    • We want leads to subscribe to our email list
  • Sales
    • We want people to buy this product or service

Social media ad campaigns can help you reach any of those goals, and your goal will determine who you target with your campaign, the ad creative and copy you use, and how you target your desired audience. Your goal will also determine how you calculate ROI and the effectiveness of your campaign.

Determine Your Target Audiences

One of the major benefits of social media advertising are the targeting options available to you, so determining your target audience is crucial to taking advantage of these options.On social media, people are just giving away useful demographic and behavioral information about themselves that you can use to find interested and decision-ready customers. Click To Tweet

Social media users enter their names, locations, age, gender, and other demographic indicators, plus indicate their interests by their behaviors: watching certain videos, liking and engaging with posts, people, and brands, and clicking on all sorts of things that catch their eyes. Social media platforms leverage this information to serve the most relevant ads—the ones most likely to result in a like, click, or conversion.

Who Do You Want to Reach?

So, you need to determine who you want to target with your ads. This will depend in part on the previous step, determining your goals. You might have various different groups of people you want to reach, but because of the differences in these groups, like their industry or stage in the buyer’s journey, you may have different goals pertaining to them. 

Check Your Buyer Personas

If you don’t already have buyer personas, creating them would be helpful to understanding who you want to target with your ad campaign. Knowing basic demographic information about your ideal client, as well as their roles, goals, and challenges pertaining to your offerings can help you know who to try to get your ad in front of.

Let’s say that you’re a book publisher who publishes historical fiction. You want to grow your email list to send marketing content to readers of historical fiction who are likely to buy your books. Your campaign goal is lead generation, and your target audience will be historical fiction readers… but you want to be more specific than that, and social media can help. You know that people who like certain historical fiction authors and titles will like your books—and you can target them based on their demonstrated interests.

Select Social Media Ad Campaign Platforms

Guess what? This depends on your industry, target audience, and goals (ugh, we always say that). 

That historical fiction publisher has an audience of women between ages 18 and 70, skewing toward 45-65, and they want to generate leads. For them, Facebook is going to be their primary advertising platform, though they might also use Pinterest, etc.

But for an industrial manufacturer who is selling to B2B clients, specifically, sourcing specialists/buyers who work for other large manufacturers, LinkedIn is probably going to be the most useful and relevant platform. This is both because that’s where professionals will be engaging with content related to their work and the targeting options that let you target audiences by their company and job title.

Maximize Your Budget

There are several factors to maximizing your budget, including choosing the right audience and targeting them precisely, using the right platforms, and having clearly defined goals for your campaign that guide all aspects from creative to targeting to placement. Another critical factor is actually setting the right budgets and parameters, and adjusting those as needed.

Keep an Eye on Your Social Media Ad Campaigns

One of the great things about social media advertising is that you can monitor campaigns in real time and make adjustments as necessary. “Set it and forget it” sounds nice, and if you’re a social media advertising pro with lots of experience, maybe you can do that. For everyone else, monitoring your campaigns is crucial. Why? You might find that your budget is too low or too high, and you’re spending too much without seeing results or seeing marginal returns for additional spending.

Adjust Social Media Ad Campaigns According to Data

If a campaign is spending all of its percentage of the lifetime budget for that day before noon, you might decide to end it sooner so the daily budgets would be higher and the ads would serve more each day. You might also discover that a campaign is working really well and you want to extend it past your original end date—that’s a great way to maximize your budget, because you already know it works and has the necessary ROI to be worthwhile.

Social media has so much potential in the marketing and advertising space because an audience—your audience—is already there, engaging with content. Taking advantage of that with advertisements can boost your advertising reach and ROI immensely, and the first step to doing that is getting a campaign off the ground. With a little practice and experimentation, you’ll see the benefits of those campaigns in your bottom line.

Still want a little help getting those social media ad campaigns going? We got you.

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