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Yearly Archives: 2014

How to get qualified leads using LinkedIn Showcase Pages

LinkedIn Showcase Pages… What are they?

Below is an example of how Microsoft is utilizing LinkedIn’s Showcase Pages. Microsoft is using Showcase Pages to segment their overall audience to what each of their contacts is really interested in, resulting in a more personalized relevant message.

LinkedIn Showcase Pages


What these Showcase Pages allow you to do is to niche down into your own business. Do you have multiple products? Do you have multiple personas? Need different content than your other products or services?  Showcase pages allows you to create up to (10) different pages off of your main page to “Showcase” a specific product or service.

This will allow you to drill down deeper into content for a specific buyer for these products. You can then use these pages to tailor more personalized content and keep your updates interesting to this buyer segment.

Why is this important?

This is really helpful for marketers to segment to specific audiences of theirs. Showcase Pages helps you segment your LinkedIn presence to help explain your company, products/services to a subset of your audience.

Actionable Takeaways

  • Determine if you need Showcase Pages. How many buyer personas do you have?
  • How different are your personas?
  • Do they require different content strategies?
  • If you answered yes to the above, Showcase Pages could be right for you

If you only really have one persona, then try using Showcase Pages a bit differently. In this case you can use these pages to help promote and advertise for an event or a particular campaign.



7 Tips to creating High Converting Landing Pages

landing page best practiceLanding Pages are an extremely crucial part to your lead generation strategy online. Without a dedicated landing page to convert visitors to leads, you are headed up creek without a paddle.

According to MarketingSherpa the number one reason marketers do not use landing pages to help drive new leads for their business is because they do not know how to set them up. This is a problem…

There are many reliable landing page software on the market today to help marketers easily create highly converting landing pages, without having to know a piece of coding. Every campaign you run should be tied to its own landing page, no exception. If you are promoting a new offer, event or driving interest on a product/service then you should be driving this traffic to a dedicated landing page, not your homepage.

Let’s take a look at these 7 tips to creating a high converting landing pages.

1) Get to the Point Already!

People ended up on your landing page because they are hooping you follow through with the offer you promised…give it to them…and make it as straightforward and to the point as best you can.

The landing page has one purpose, for you to tell the visitor exactly what it is they can expect to receive and a reminder of the benefits of why they need it.

2) Use contrasting colors

You want your main call to action to stick out. Draw peoples attention to your call to action and tell them exactly what you want them to do. If it is filling out a form or clicking on a button make it stand out and obvious what you want the visitor to do.

3) Branding

Use the same logo and color scheme as the rest of your website ( except for the call to action) so that people know they are still on your website.

4) Avoid to many Images

Don’t overdue the images and graphics. This may seem like a good idea but A/B tests by leading marketing companies shows a decrease in conversions when there are just to many “things” going on in the landing page. Use your logo, some text and a form with a contrasting call to action button.

5) Formatting

Format your landing page so that it establishes a clear visual hierarchy. Using the right titles, headlines and sub headlines helps you get across the right message in an easily readable format. Remember point one, get right to the point.

6) Add Social

If you have an offer that has been recieved well by your audience, then show some social proof with screen shots or a number ticker. If your numbers aren’r that impressive then make sure you add your social icons to enable that visitor to share the offer with their network.

7) Be consistent 

It is good practice to keep testing and optimizing your landing page layout, but once you find something that is working, keep the format consistent. Visitors like to see a common format across their journey on your site so make sure they know they know the difference between your landing pages and a blog post.

Lastly, lets look at an example of a well put together landing page.


landing page best practices




Looking at the landing page example above, you can see the 7 on page landing page tips you should incorporate to get the highest conversions you can.

The landing page has a clear, concise compelling headline and NO navigation bars. It clearly states in 2-3 sentences what the offer is and why it is valuable to the visitor. Most importantly it includes a short form for the visitor to fill out with a relevant image that shows what they will receive.

Use the example above to guide you when creating your next landing page.

Twitter updates and how this effects your lead generation


You should keep an eye on Twitter updates and how this may effect your lead generation.

Social Media has 100% higher lead to close rate than outbound marketing. ( State of Inbound Marketing, 2012).

Twitter has for a few months rolled out a couple updates that can help impact your traffic and lead generation positively.

So lets get right to it….

1) Images in the Feed

twitter for business





What is it?

Twitter will now automatically show images right in the feed as you scroll similar to how Facebook does it. Basically users don’t have to click the link just to get to the image now. It is proven that images increase click through rates on social.

Why should you care?

HubSpot ran some A/B tests and determined that including an image can increase lead generation by 55%. They also found that images improved clicks, retweets, favorites and overall engagement.

How can you implement images into your tweets. For best results, use text for your headline, a link to the content you are sharing OR to a landing page to generate leads and now a link to an image to draw in peoples attention.

Actions to take:

  • Along with text based tweets, start including relevant and compelling images
  • Start using your own photo’s and images. The button looks like this:twitter photo button
  • The image size can be 440 x 220.
  • Limit the size of your photo to 3MB
  • Limit your text. When Twitter automatically adds that image URL to your tweet, it usually takes up 26 characters of the 140.
  • If your goal for Twitter is to help increase traffic and leads, then along with the text and image, you should include a link to your content or better yet your landing page to help drive traffic back to your platform.

2) Lead Gen Cards

twitter lead gen cards


For promotional tweets only, twitter cards are multimedia drop boxes that enable marketers to collect information like email addresses right from a tweet- no need for them to click off onto a landing page.

Why is this important?

One less action the visitor has to take. Your sponsored tweets can now work for you in collecting your leads information. Twitter provides you with the analytics on the performance of your cards, including leads, cost per, and ad spend.

Action to take

  • Log in to Twitter Ads
  • Create your offer today. Create an offer that you know your targeted audience would be interested in. Content offers are a great way to generate top of the funnel leads. ( Those are people who are are aware they need something but not sure what).
  • Here is a great blog post by HubSpot you should read to learn more about twitter cards for lead generation.

How to use Pinterest for lead generation


how to use pinterest for businessPinterest is becoming an important player for marketers and their lead generation goals. Here we will review how to use Pinterest for business to help you drive awareness and traffic back to your website.

lets get to it…..

1) Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest now now offers FREE analytics tools for business accounts. This means you need a live working website. The analytics will give you more insight into your performance, ranging from impression and click data to engagement and behavior date….doesn’t get much better than this!

Why is it important for business’ lead generation?

You can now easily measure your influence and content strategy. You can measure this by looking at the activity around the content that you pinned as well as seeing what content on your website was pinned by users.

This will help you refine your content strategy to understand what kind of content your audience engages with giving you an idea of what to create in the future. **Understading what your content on Pinterest is doing, will help you double down on what works which will result in Pinterest being a traffic source for you.

How to use this:

  • Once your website is verified, go to the top right menu on your Pinterest page and click “analytics”.
  • You can watch this video tutorial to understand how to use Pinterest Analytics in more detail.

2) Rich Pins

how to use pinterest for business

Image source: Pinterest

Pinterest launched several new kinds of rich pins, each designed for different types of content.

  • Article Pins include a headline, author and story description
  • Product Pins include a headline, author and where to buy
  • Recipe Pins include ingredients, cooking times and serving info
  • Place pins include a map, address and phone number
  • Movie pins include reviews, cast and ratings.

How does this effect your business? The most important takeaway is that you can now include new forms of content on Pinterest that in the past may have been lacking the visual component.

If a large part of your strategy is content marketing, ( which would be a good idea) then now you can expand the type of content you can use on Pinterest. Pinterest can now play a role as part of your content distribution networks, just don’t forget that it is still a very visual audience.

Any business can now promote their blog or share related content here.

How to use this

  • Follow Pinterest’s official setup instructions
  • Use article pins to be shared frequently along with the visual content that works really well on Pinterest.
  • Company centric rich pins like product or place pins should be apart of your content sharing mix.
  • Treat Pinterest like any other content marketing strategy. It is one channel with the goal of providing a source of traffic to your website. To accomplish this, make sure you are distributing and sharing  mostly educational and entertaining content opposed to heavy me first content.



Facebook updates for lead generation and how you can react

Leads generated via social media and content marketing costs 61% less than a traditional lead.


Facebook changes and how to react

In this post we’ll talk about what a good social media strategy looks like on Facebook and some actionable tips that you can execute on to be sure your getting the most out of the platform.

 Leads generated via social media and content marketing costs 61% less than a traditional lead.

How can you best utilize Facebook so that the platform is working for you as a piece of your lead generation strategy?

1) Star Rating

Facebook now has a rating system similar to Yelp. Users can rate your business from 1-5 and write a comment. Facebook now has placed this rating right under your companies name.

Why is this important?

This is a useful way for prospects to measure customer satisfaction beyond the likes. Use both online and offline calls to actions to get people to leave a review for the business.

How to use it:

  • Focus on the quality of your business and customer satisfaction. If someone is unpleasant either offline or on, be attentive and the rest will take care of itself.
  • Users can find options to review your company on the right column of your business page underneath the “invite your friends to like this page” module. Here are Facebook’s step by step instructions
  • Whatever you do DON’T tell your employees or friends to leave you fake reviews, this will look horrible for your business as searchers ( that’s me and you!)! are now very good at identifying phony reviews.


2) Social Graph Search

Social Graph Search now pulls from status updates, photos, check-ins and comments across Facebook.

Why is it important?

This opens up a flood of opportunities for marketers, the biggest being able to monitor Facebook posts about events or promotions. In the past, searching for “Your favorite TV show” would show you related brand or fan created pages……now you can see the actual public conversations just as you would on Twitter. So tracking brand mentions and also giving you opportunities to create awesome content based on what your customers and prospects are saying. Right from the sources mouths.

Actions to take:

  • Fill out ALL of your profile information. Pay attention to your business’s hours, address, name and category as these are all options users can search for.
  • In the about section of your profile, use relevant keywords that best describes your business’s products or services which will help optimize your ranking and help you get found, similar to Google.
  • Run searches yourself to see what is being discussed so that you can come up with content ideas and simply survey the competitive landscape.

3) Clickable Hashtags

Hashtags have no doubt grown in popularity over the past year. From hearing them on The Tonight Show to hearing your friends drop the phrase in person, take advantage of them on Facebook.

Why is it important?

Since these are clickable, you want to use a keyword that best describes the content. Clicking on the hastag is like searching for that keyword, content that is similiar and uses the same hastag will show up in the results. You can increase your audience by publishing informative content that is relevant to a pre existing hashtag. People will naturally find you. You should monitor terms relevant to your business so that you have an opportunity to join the conversation.

Actions to take:

  • Put the hashtags in the actual description of the post.
  • Look for hashtags that are popular and relevant to your business


4) Facebook Replies

Facebook replices allows you to comment directly underneath another comment.

Why is this important?

Use this opportunity to engage directly with your prospects and customers. This will help you customize your responses to the situation and nurture those people who are may still be at the top of the funnel in their buyers journey.

Actions to take:

  • Encourage conversation  between your fans and visitors.  Try building a community.
  • Respond directly to visitors or leads with the right message.

5) Trending Topics

Trending topics kind of like hashtags, will show you what is the most popular topics being discussed. This can be anything from Billy Ray Cyrus to a major sporting event.

Why is this important?

This gives you another way to understand if what is trending has any tie in to your business. If your business is relevant to what is trending, then join the conversation, create some content and get yourself found!

Actions to take:

  • If the trending topic is relevant to your business, hop in and join the conversation…or create content that is can give your business some exposure.
  • Participate in trending topics that your business can relate too.


5 Top Lead Generation Blogs

This list of 5 top lead generation blogs is in no particular order and  is only part of a larger list that I have accumulated. These websites do share some great advice and strategies on how to generate more leads online. So lets check them out.

Lead generation is an incredibly important part of the marketing process.  In order to continually make  and increase sales, you will need to know how to generate leads by capturing interest in a particular product or service.

This can be done through numerous channels, which have evolved over the years and especially through digital channels like email and social media techniques. The below list of websites can help you get some ideas on how to generate leads for your business.

5 lead generation websites


How to Generate Leads:

As previously stated there are a number of different ways to generate inbound and outbound leads.  Those that want to see all the different options available, should review some of the great marketing resources that are at your disposal.

Below is a list of what we consider to be the top blog sites dedicated to marketing and lead generation.

Brafton provides insights on content for blogs and video blogs.


This blog showcases new tools to communicate effectively with potential prospects and leads.


Their blog features interesting marketing and lead generation information, they have a number informative newsletters you can sign up for and you can search for additional services by topic.


They offer a wide range of insights on how to generate leads and are experts in lead generation.


Forrester’s blog often features stories on what key leading businesses did to generate leads.


What call to action phrases generate the most clicks?

How do you write your call to action phrases?

This is a question that I always ask myself and hear all the time from customers at my day job too. Bottom line: Clarity Trumps Persuasion. 

Marketers tend to fall into the creative type and this can actually HURT them when it comes to creating effective calls-to-actions. The end goal is to GET THEM TO CLICK!

Be crystal clear about what offer is in your CTA. If you are offering something specific, then be specific. “Click here for your free Consultation/Guide/Quote whatever it is tell the visitor what they can expect if they click.  If you are hosting a free webinar, say ” Register for our FREE webinar on X”.  X should clearly convey a compelling benefit for the visitor in receiving the offer.


In the below example, the call to action “start free trial” is very clear as to what you will be doing once you click. They also include an image along with clearly conveying the benefits the visitor will get by starting a free trial in the supporting text.




call to action phrase


In summary, your call to action phrases should very clear, very concise and should convey exactly what the visitor should expect. Stick with phrases that make the visitor take action and avoid being to creative with your copy…this will only add confusion which wont get you the click!

Lastly, it is always a best practice to test test test, optimize optimize optimize. Call to action phrases that work great for one website may not translate to the same results for yours. That’s why it is important to test your call to actions to understand what is working. We’ll review in later posts how you can test your calls to action.


Where should you put your CTA’s?

Your Calls to Action placement is very very important. It’s actually an element of your website that you should be testing constantly to learn what works best. In future posts I’ll discuss ways you can test this and the best tools to help you.

Back to CTA placements….Calls-to-Action’s do best “above the fold”- the space on the website that is seen by a visitor without having to scroll down.

website heatmap

According to multiple heat map analysis anything that is below the fold will only be viewed by 50% of your visitors. So any calls-to-actions that you put below the fold will have less impressions and which will result in fewer opportunities to get a click. By placing your calls-to-actions above the fold you are doubling your chances of a click and therefore increasing your chances of generating leads for your business.

Lets look at some examples of good calls-to-actions and point out a few points on what makes them good.



freshbook cta example


This is on Freshbooks’ homepage. What I like about this call-to action is that it is above the fold so right when you land on their webpage you can see it. The second component I like is that the call-to-action STICKS OUT. With the green button against the blue background your eye instantly is drawn to it. What they also do well is that they use some social proof right about it by claiming 5 million people are using their software.. This is a proven tactic we covered here and it play in really well on peoples psychology of wanting to belong.

Resume Builder

CTA example


The above call-to-action is another great example. Why?  A couple things. 1) It stands out right? With the blue background they do a great job making the call-to-action RED. This gives it a little pop and draws your eye in. 2) The call-to-action phrase is simple and to the point. CREATE RESUME pretty much sums up what your about to do if you click on the button. Lastly, they do a great job supporting the call-to-action with arrows pointing to it as well as additional suggestions about printing and downloading as well as suggesting for you to share it with your social media network.

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Calls-To- Actions|What is a Call to Action?

What is a call to action?

Call to Action or a CTA is very simply what you are telling your webpage visitor what you want them to do. When people visit your site you need to direct them to where you want them to go! Seems pretty obvious right? Well it should but if you start to look for calls-to-actions now when you are on other website’s you’ll begin to notice how wildly ignored this best practice is. Calls-to-Actions can be presented as a link, image, button or whatever else you think will help you convince your website visitor to take action.

Just like this below…..

CTA’s are the secret sauce to driving traffic to your offers. If your CTA’s suck and don’t stand out…nobody’s going click them and you won’t get any attention to the wonderful offer you have.


Where do you use CTA’s?

what is a call to action

Glad you asked, CTA’s can be and should be used on every piece of content or interaction point with your audience. Calls-to-actions can be used on product pages (non landing pages) in display ads, email, blog posts, social media, direct mail and really anywhere you think you can market your offer.

Creating Irresistible offers Part 3 | Newsjacking

You are probably well aware of the term “newsjacking” and might see it across your social media feeds or think of it as an old play in the PR playbook. Newsjacking is what happens when you leverage the day/week/months biggest current events to draw attention to your own offer.


With the evolution of social media newsjacking has been brought to a new level. Big brands and bloggers alike can now ride the wave of big current events to expose their content and offers to thousands of people who are searching for those specific keywords and hashtags. By quickly reacting to and creating something that is witty or funny and ties back to your brand or offer you can hijack some serious traffic.


For example look at how Tide played nicely to last years super bowl blackout. They do a nice job of getting the brand name out there in front of thousands of people searching for the specific keywords and hashtag searches.

Tide Newsjacking tweet


Take a look at google trends and keep an eye out on the news to give yourself a chance to quickly pivot and spin up a nicely timed newsjack  to get your brand or offer in front of an influx of potential customers and advocates.