Pereion Solutions Blog

The Value of Marketing Automation for IT Service Providers

Posted by Greg Jackman

Tue, Jun 17, 2014 @ 08:06 AM

Marketing automation provides the tools that make it possible for IT service providers, or managed service providers, to build pipeline and grow their businesses. When we refer to marketing automation we’re talking about applying techology that allows you to more fully understand and interact, with potential buyers throughout the sales lifecycle. Marketing automation provides the resources to identify, nurture, and close these prospects in a manner that is valuable to them.

 

The key feature of any marketing automation tool is to focus on the relevance of communications: Deliver personalized messages to your targeted audience.

 

The most significant capabilities of any marketing automation tool are:

  • Segmentation tools within your databases
  • Automated communications with trigger marketing
  • Campaign creation, design, deployment & measurement
  • CRM integration and synchronization
  • Lead management, scoring, routing, and nurturing
  • Tracking, logging & analyzing you website traffic
  • Systematic demand creating activities
  • Optimizing your social media efforts
  • Real-time sales alerts for specified prospect activity

As a result of these capabilities, marketing automation is able to produce these key benefits:

  • Drives revenue and improves ROI
  • Improves integrated data management
  • Increases conversion rates

To build on this point, Gleanster Research conducted a study on the effects of marketing automation, showing that it has the capability to yield strong results at low marketing costs:

 

Reasons to Implement Marketing Automation1

gleanster reasons2 resized 600

 

Furthermore, there is evidence that the marketing industry is beginning to pay attention to these statistics and recognize the value in creating demand through marketing automation: 

  • Companies that use automation experience a 10%+ increase in revenue within 6 to 9 months.2

  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.3

  • The adoption of marketing automation technology is expected to increase by 50% by 2015.4

  • Businesses that use marketing automation experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.4

 

Act-On & HubSpot are two Pereion partners that provide marketing automation services.

 

Act-On is a cloud-based marketing automation platform with simple tools that track and measure any of your complex programs. They provide you with straight-forward approaches that analyze your web traffic, nurture your leads, integrate with your CRM, and allow you to easily manage your campaigns.

After just six months of implementing Act-On's marketing automation tools, NuGrowth Solutions, a provider of sales and marketing services, nearly tripled their lead generation with an increase of 192%, and improved their open rates by 34%.5 They were able to achieve this explosive growth because of Act-On's capabilities to:

  • Engage prospects productively through lead nurturing
  • Execute on enhanced segmentation lists
  • Deliver results quickly to the right sales people
  • Automate follow-up email responses to the appropriate prospects
  • Track and compare campaign results effectively

HubSpot’s marketing automation also feeds your sales pipeline, offering marketing analytics to optimize all your programs. They offer automated workflows to set up your marketing automation process so you’re able to engage and nurture your contacts with targeted, personalized emails at the most relevant time. These workflows are based on your buyer persona and goals. HubSpot provides the tools for you to attract, convert, track, categorize and profile your leads according to their characteristics and behavior.

Australian Rezdy, a B2B company that produces online reservation software for leisurely travel, had to grow their business with limited staff and resources. With HubSpot’s marketing automation tools, their nurturing program increased their lead generation by 500% and web traffic by 380%.6

Are you using a marketing automation platform? How has it benefited your company?  If you’d like to discuss the specific marketing automation objectives for your business, please use the comment section below or contact Steve Perry directly at slperry@pereion.com.

For more information on the best inbound marketing practices for a IT Service Provider, (including marketing automation on page 17) please download our Marketing Playbook for IT Service Providers:

Pereion Marketing Playbook for IT Service Providers

Please also feel free to share this blog using the social media icons above. You can subscribe to the Pereion blog below, as well, to continue receiving information on how IT solution providers utilize marketing automation, and other inbound marketing strategies.

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1Leveraging CRM Marketing Automation with Digital Marketing Tools, Digital Warriors, 2014.
2 The Data You Need to Make a Compelling Case for Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, 2014.
3All The Marketing Statistics You Need, HubSpot, 2014.
4100 Stats, Charts, and Graphs to Get Inbound Marketing Buy-In, HubSpot, 2014.
5Using Act-On, NuGrowth Sees 3X Increase in Leads, Act-On, 2014.
6Australian Rezdy Software Uses Marketing Automation to Increase Leads by 500%, HubSpot, 2014.

Topics: Pereion Solutions, IT Marketing Services, Marketing Automation Provider, Marketing Automation, MSP, MSP Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Technology

The Role of Social Media in IT Service Provider Marketing

Posted by Greg Jackman

Mon, Jun 2, 2014 @ 08:06 AM

The real core value of social media marketing is relationship development with your potential customers. Focusing on the right conversations, with the right content, in the right areas, with the right people.

According to HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report, social media drove 14% of marketers’ total lead pipeline in 2013.1

One of the biggest misnomers about social media is that it doesn’t apply to B2B companies. When in fact, 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form.2 As a B2B, you’re able to use social media to create brand awareness, encourage social sharing, and most importantly, gain trust.

Marketers today are choosing to invest their resources into inbound marketing methods more and more, with social media and SEO leading the way. Traditional marketing methods, such as telemarketing and pay-per-click are dropping off, reinforcing the idea of progressing towards more of a focus on customer relationship development practices.

 Social Media Leads Marketing Time and Budget Allocation2

 

The Case for Inbound Marketing for MSPs   Part 4   Social Media   Image2 resized 600

Social media is not a one-way street. If no one is discussing, interacting or sharing your content, a vital piece of your social media marketing strategy is missing.

The key concept among any social media platforms is to stay engaged in the conversation.

Create a voice in your target market to position your company as a thought leader within your industry. Depending on the size and type of your company and industry, you’ll mainly want to focus on these social media platforms:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

If you're looking for a more technical audience, you'll want to seek out specific forums like Toolbox.com, Stack Overflow, Slashdot, and Digg.

LinkedIn provides a network of business professionals, like IT solution providers, and is more appropriate for a larger market base. Acting as a business-building tool, LinkedIn allows you to collaborate with other experts in your industry, giving you the opportunity for your targeted messages to reach the proper audience and be more effective. Communication on LinkedIn occurs in their following areas:

  • Company Pages
  • Company Showcase Pages
  • Groups

Twitter can also be a good tool for B2B marketing, as it’s a very quick and easy way to:

  • Pick up vendor communications
  • Join a broader conversation
  • Follow your favorite companies
  • Connect with decision makers and influencers in those companies

You don’t have to worry as much about always creating content on Twitter. If you’re struggling with the idea of starting a blog, Twitter provides that simple, effective touch into your customers with little effort.

Facebook works the best when trying to promote your business within a small market, targeting personal values such as family, friends, and neighbors. That said, Facebook leads social media customer sources, with 52% of all marketers sourcing a lead from Facebook in 2013 and 74% saying Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies.1

LinkedIn has proven to play a major role in the social media world by increasing brand awareness, creating conversations, and building positive reputations. The following are a couple best practice examples of LinkedIn tactics:


  • Prudential Retirement, a financial solutions provider, engaged their audience enough to spark 11,000 poll responses and 230 comments from LinkedIn members on their LinkedIn polls.3
  • ADP, the payroll solutions provider, created a LinkedIn Company page that grew to 85,000 followers in one year and 1.3 million impressions per month.4

 

B-Co Communications’ story shows us a great real world example of how Twitter is able to generate several promising business leads. B-Co Communications is a very small PR firm in Canada that was able to attract media coverage from just one Tweet leading to several quality leads. Part of the beauty of Twitter (and social media in general) is that regardless of the size of your company, it levels the playing field because it’s personal enough for anyone to be able to engage their target customer.

At the end of the day, you want social media to generate direct leads, and produce new customers for your business. Social media's reach will have a multiplier effect on your website traffic. Regular social media engagement and interaction will at least increase your website traffic, lead to higher conversion rates, and keep your digital marketing efforts moving in the right direction.

To learn more about social media marketing for IT Service Providers, we encourage you to download the Pereion Marketing Playbook for IT Service Providers:


Pereion Marketing Playbook for IT Service Providers

 

If you’d like to discuss your social media objectives with us, or inbound marketing in general, please use the comment section below or contact Steve Perry directly at slperry@pereion.com.

Please also feel free to share this blog using the social media icons above. You can subscribe to the Pereion blog below, as well, to continue receiving information on how IT solution providers utilize social media, and other inbound marketing strategies.

 

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1 Free Report: 2013 State of Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, 2013.
2100 Stats, Charts, and Graphs to Get Inbound Marketing Buy-In, HubSpot, 2014.
3Prudential Retirement Case Study, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, 2012.
4ADP Case Study, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, 2013.

Topics: Pereion Solutions, IT Marketing Services, Marketing Analytics, MSP, MSP Marketing, Inbound Marketing

6 Simple Steps to Improve SEO in MSP Marketing

Posted by Greg Jackman

Tue, May 13, 2014 @ 08:05 AM

I know you have probably heard over and over again that SEO is important to enhancing your website and growing your lead generation. That said, with all the technical changes in search algorithms it can be difficult to sort through and just focus on those items that will make a difference in Search Engine Optimization. What specific steps should I be taking? This is intended to give you a few actionable steps to keep your website SEO in good shape: 

  

1. Build a Solid Keyword Plan.

a. Put together a list of words and terms relevant to your business or industry and prioritize the ones you’d like to rank for (these can also make good blog topic ideas). Remember that people are using full sentences or longer phrases more and more in their searches. Keep your target locations in mind as well.

b. Take advantage of SEO tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Act-On Inbound or Hubspot’s Keyword Research Tool to check the rankings of your keywords and note their competition levels. Also, keep in mind that certain popular terms within your industry, will be extremely difficult for you to rank for, regardless of the size of your company.

 

2. Add appropriate Metadata on every page of your website.

       a. The Page Title should contain no more than 70 characters.

       b. The Meta Description shouldn’t exceed 50 characters.

       c. The Meta keywords should have no more than 500 characters.

Note: Keywords that are more towards the front of the metadata copy will rank better in search.

 

3. Optimize the body copy of all webpages with keywords as naturally as possible (avoid keyword stuffing) for the purpose of human readers, not Google crawlers.

a. Headers & URLs: Place the most important keywords towards the beginning of your headers and URLs. Choose keywords you think will get clicked and shared the most. The term Social search refers to how content being shared on social media increases the amount of links and traffic to your webpages, and thereby improves search rankings.

b. Links: Include keywords in the text of your hyperlinks, especially in the first ones listed on a page. Note that it’s better to link to a page that is already ranking well in SEO.

c. Tags: Using tags sparingly. Tags themselves do not improve SEO; rather it’s the relating of one piece of content to another. Overusing tags, or creating tags that share the same words, looks like duplicate content to Google crawlers and you’ll be penalized.

d. Image Text/Alt Text: Use keywords in your image text. Not only will this be visible to search engines, but if an image doesn’t load properly for a visitor, they will at least still be able to read the text that describes that image.

 

4. Link Building. Sharing links with your Alliance Partners (and vica versa) will grow your website’s link profile, draw the attention of search engines, and direct more web traffic to your website.

 

5. Mobile Optimization. Since a significant portion of today’s internet search traffic comes from mobile devices, Google penalized the search rankings of webpages that aren’t mobile optimized.

 

6. Blogging. Every time you create a new blog page, you’re creating another dynamic page, or dynamic content. So by creating an ongoing blogging strategy, you’ll continuously be adding fresh content and developing a quantity of pages for Google to rank on your website.

 

As you can see, a solid SEO strategy is essential to driving more prospects to your website, and keeping them on your site. So by optimizing all the pages of your website, you increase your chances of those prospects finding you in local search results, retaining their attention, and eventually increasing your conversion rate. The graphs below put into perspective the marketing channels companies spend their time and energy on, versus what channel produces the best results: SEO.

SEO, Social Media Play Key Roles in Customer Acquisition1

SEO, MSP marketing

According to this chart, SEO leads have a 15% close rate, while direct mail (outbound lead) only has a 7% close rate. So as you can see, working to improve your SEO is one of the most effective uses of your time and effort, in terms of converting sales, acquiring customers, and overall business success.

Just look to the real world for further proof on how SEO is benefiting businesses everywhere. Focusing on how HubSpot’s SEO Tools helped align their SEO practices, the following three companies were able to grow:

  1. Sobieski Services, a subset of The Sobieski Group providing plumbing, heating, and air conditioning solutions, increased their web traffic by 55%.2
  2. Legacy Dental boosted their website visits by 145% over the course of two years. In particular, their organic search inflated by 169%.3
  3. Paranet, a Managed Service Provider, increased their:
    • Monthly organic leads by 2000%4
    • Web traffic by 148%4
    • Landing page conversion by 1000%4

 

By now, we hope we have given you enough information to help you get started applying stronger SEO practices for your business. Feel free to read more on inbound marketing topics in our other MSP Marketing Plan blog posts. Act-On and HubSpot also offer valuable SEO guidance on their respective websites as well.

We encourage you to download our Marketing Playbook for MSPs to help you in your marketing efforts:

MSP Inbound Marketing

If you’d like to discuss your inbound marketing, marketing automation, or your specific SEO objectives with us, please use the comment section below or contact Steve Perry directly at slperry@pereion.com.

Please also feel free to share this blog using the social media icons above. You can subscribe to the Pereion blog below, as well, to continue receiving information on how MSPs can utilize marketing strategies.

 Pereion Logo      IT Marketing Services LinkedIn Showcase Page       Pereion Solutions Blog

1100 Stats, Charts, and Graphs to Get Inbound Marketing Buy-In, HubSpot, 2014.
2Sobieski Services Increases Revenue 125% with HubSpot Lead Intelligence, HubSpot, 2014.
3Health Services Success Story: Legacy Dental, HubSpot, 2014.
4 Paranet Increases Organic Leads By 2000% Using HubSpot, HubSpot, 2014.
 

Topics: Pereion Solutions, IT Marketing Services, MSP, MSP Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Pereion

IT Marketing Services: 3 Reasons For MSPs to Blog…and Blog Often

Posted by Greg Jackman

Wed, Apr 16, 2014 @ 08:04 AM

If you ask any marketer they will tell you that a blog is a must have for your website, regardless of your industry.  This is definitely true for Managed Service Providers, blogging should be at the core of your marketing efforts. Blogging is hard and time consuming, but there is no way around it.  

Here are three main benefits of blogging:

1. Improves SEO (Search Engine Optimization) & Web Traffic: The average company that blogs generates 55% more website visitors. The average company that blogs generates 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages.1

2. Increase Lead Generation: Companies that blog generate 126% more leads than those that don't.1

3. Increases Marketing ROI: Blogging = Business. 61% of US consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post.1

Managed Service Providers need to maintain a business blog because of the effect it will have on your marketing ROI. Below is a chart to demonstrate how the frequency of your blogging habits has on ROI. Of course, maintaining a higher frequency on your blog requires time and effort.

Blogging Regularly Linked to Higher ROI

Blogging Regularly Linked to Higher ROI

Blogging Frequency

 

Blogging will improve your SEO and drive more traffic to your website. Search engines, like Google, prefer dynamic content, so every time you post a new blog, you are creating a new page for your website. This gives search engines an additional opportunity to rank your website in search and index more of your pages. Over time, your SEO performance will improve.

The challenge for an MSP in blogging is coming up with good topics to write about and maintaining a consistent approach. But the beauty of blogging is that almost any topic related to your business or industry is fair game, the focus should be on educating your audience. Anything that sparks a conversion with your target audience is perfect. Even just raising awareness on a topic within your industry will still work in your favor. You should be able to naturally tie in your product or service within the conversation as well.

To cite a real world example on how blogging improves your business, Vifx, who delivers high-end architected virtualization, storage, and end-user computing solutions, leveraged HubSpot’s Landing Page tool to promote events and write better blogs. As a result, they increased their:

  • Site traffic by 76%2
  • Event attendance by 80%2
  • Time on page by 26%2

Regarding blogging strategy, there is not one right answer across the board. A good rule of thumb is to be blogging once per week. The following questions should help you to formulate a blogging plan.

  • How often should you post? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
  • What % of your web traffic is being generated from your blog?
  • Do you have web forms on your website to convert blog traffic to leads?
  • What are your competitors’ blogging about, and how often?

The best thing you can do is just get started! Start today! Do it consistently!

For more on MSP marketing practices, please see our MSP inbound marketing page.  HubSpot also offers some valuable guidance for blogging in this blog post as well.

Please download our Inbound Marketing eBook for MSPs to assist you in your blogging efforts:

MSP Inbound Marketing

To discuss how to implement a blog for your business, please comment below or contact Steve Perry directly at slperry@pereion.com.

Please share this blog using the social media icons above, and subscribe to the Pereion blog below for further tips on inbound marketing for MSPs.

Pereion Logo                                                Pereion Solutions Blog

 

100 Stats, Charts, and Graphs to Get Inbound Marketing Buy-In, HubSpot, 2014.

2  ViFX Uses HubSpot to Power Sales Team and Halve Its Sales Cycle, HubSpot, 2014.

                                                

Topics: Pereion Solutions, IT Marketing Services, MSP Marketing, Pereion

About this blog

This blog provides insight and tips on Customer Experience Analytics, especially in the usage of Acoustic Experience Analytics (Tealeaf) and Acoustic Analytics (CXA) to optimize web and mobile experience.

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