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What do the best B2B Infographics have in common?

Infographics are really trendy right now, but most of them don’t seem to be delivering that much real value – you know, that ROI stuff you’re always talking about…

So what should an infographic do? Why create them in the first place? One big reason to create an infographic is that people retain approximately 83% of what they learn visually, a drastic increase from the 20% retained by simply reading text.

Moreover, B2B infographics can be a great tactic for generating inbound marketing leads. To do that effectively though, with real value, we think they should do the following:

  • Tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. This story should be relevant to your audience.
  • Explain complex or quantitative information better than regular copy would.
  • Be easy to share and embed. (Try using a tool, like Pardot, to embed code for visual content. This will help readers share it on their sites, but will link back to your website.)
  • Help with SEO. (Use ALT Text to describe your infographic. Also, surround it with SEO-enriched text, such as a blog post. Then share the blog post, not just the graphic.)
  • Connect it to your content strategy, value proposition and your customer’s needs and pains.

We’ve had great results creating infographics for our clients and we’ve found that we get better results when we create the story first, not the graphic or the data. Before you start, really think about the story you want to tell.

If you’re just starting to play around with the idea of infographics, these do-it-yourself tools are are great place to start. Before you spend a lot of money, check out them out:

Better B2B Video That Won’t Bore Your Viewers

Customers have been calling us lately looking for advice on video content. Is it right for them? Is it worth the investment? 

When done right, B2B video content can be great and really effective. But frankly, most of it isn’t very good. Most video content on B2B websites is way too long, way too boring, doesn’t tell an authentic story, isn’t very valuable, AND has little or no relevance to the audience. Most bad B2B video content also does little to leverage the medium and typically doesn’t really make the company look all that credible.

Basically, they’re not usually valuable enough to finish watching. In fact, the average 2-minute video is typically viewed less than 50% of the way through.

That being said, good video content can be incredibly engaging, useful and informative.

So before you make the investment in video content, consider this first:

  1. Most video content is way too long. Can you convey your message in under 2 minutes? Or, even better, in 30-seconds or less?
  2. B2B videos rarely tell their stories visually. Visual content should deliver a visual impact. Can you tell your story better with visuals than with typically less-expensive written copy?
  3. Video has little SEO value. To make up for this, smart companies embed their videos on webpages that are rich in keyword copy.
  4. Most videos aren’t relevant to the audience. How will you make your content relevant to your customers’ needs and pains? If it’s not relevant, they won’t finish watching it. Then you’ve spent time, hard work and money creating content that’s really not working very hard.

But, video content does work. It works especially well when you keep it short, use it to visualize your credentials, and align the content to what your customers want to know. If you’re just starting out in the content game though, there may be better, more effective ways to attract and nurture leads and communicate with your audience. If you’re looking for ideas or advice, we’re always happy to talk to you about your content strategy and better marketing.

 

Video Lead Generation

Wistia specializes in hosting web video for businesses. They store your video securely in the cloud and serve it up however you like, any time, anywhere, on any device, — with trackability! In this guest post, Alyce Currier and Ezra Fishman look at getting better program results with embedded calls to action:

In the marketing world, the ideas of “lead generation” and “video marketing” both come up pretty often, but they’re usually seen as two separate worlds. Video marketing is used to explain your product and attract new attention to it; lead generation is a means of gathering emails by putting content, such as an ebook or whitepaper, behind an email gate. If you use video, you already know it’s a powerful way to scale communication and create emotional connections, but what’s next? How can you guide people further down your marketing funnel? Video marketing isn’t just about generating views, it’s about integrating video into all of your marketing efforts as an effective way to further all of your goals. We at Wistia may be a bit biased by our obsession with all things video, but we think the two worlds of video marketing and lead generation can, and should, work more closely together.

Using video the enhance lead generation

Include a video next to your lead generation form to demonstrate the value of what you’re offering. Give an introduction to what awaits the user after they sign up. The form below might be even more enticing if it were accompanied with a video:

No matter where you’re putting your email form or what you promise is behind it, people will always be hesitant to give you their email address. Video is a great way to connect with viewers and show them that what you’re offering is worth the tradeoff. Video allows you to connect emotionally, showing that you’re a real person with interesting things to say. Use video to build trust and excitement.

Lead generation right in your video

Instead of being used as a nice appetizer, video can also serve as the main course in your content marketing campaigns. Lots of companies use video for inbound marketing, but the challenge is: how do you continue to market to all of the people who watch one of your educational videos and then disappear? Well, that’s the same reason we use ebooks to capture emails, so the logical solution is to add email capture to your video content.

By adding an email collector to your valuable video resources (keep in mind that not every video is worthy of an email gate), you can start measuring the success of your video marketing with truly meaningful metrics, like leads generated or new prospects.

Have an awesome educational video that all your visitors love? Why not turn that enthusiasm into leads but putting an email gate in front of the content?

Or maybe you don’t want to restrict access to the video, but you would love for people who watch the whole thing to sign up for your mailing list. We recently updated our video email capture tool, Turnstile, to give this amount of flexibility. Turnstile enables you to put an email collector before, after, or even in the middle of your video. You can also automatically pipe leads right into your favorite email providers and trigger an autoresponse or set up drip campaigns. If you’re not quite ready for professional video hosting, there are also a number of WordPress plugins (https://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/) that can give you similar functionality.

The key is understanding how lead generation can be used to boost the impact of your ongoing video marketing efforts.

We made this video summarizing our experience using email gating with video, focusing on the tradeoffs involved with placing the email collector at the beginning, middle, or end of the video.


Why gather emails instead of just pointing people to your buy page?

Some people may be interested in consuming your content and learning more about what you’re up to, but not entirely ready to create an account or buy your product. By collecting an email, you ensure that you can stay in touch with these people so you’re at the top of their minds when they’re ready to take things to the next level.

How have you used video to enhance your lead generation process?

Lead nurturing programs that deliver against objectives

Are you missing the target?Lead nurturing programs are failing to deliver against business and marketing objectives in many complex B2B sales cycle companies that sell software, technology, and professional services.

Marketing automation has made it easy to capture leads into a marketing database, and the temptation is to reach out to as many of those leads as often as possible to convince them all to buy from you. That sounded very “Let’s Party Like It’s 1999”, didn’t it? Remember when we marketers and salespeople had the luxury of being in control of the flow of information? We were the gatekeepers of useful domain knowledge and subject matter expertise, and we had leverage with prospective buyers who needed to know what our company knew. Those were the days of the “sales cycle”.

B2B lead nurturing for today’s complex buying cycle.

Now, buyers have the power. The internet changed that.  Search engines changed that. The trendiness of “content marketing” changed that. They control the “buying cycle”. Useful information is now freely available to anyone with an internet connection. In fact, sifting through the search results is sometimes more difficult than finding possible information sources.

We can’t help buyers buy the way we used to. We can’t feed them a controlled, evenly-paced diet of useful insights and data to eventually persuade them that becoming a customer is the best way to unlock the full value of our company’s subject matter expertise.

Plan B2B lead nurturing around key objectives.

Brainrider is thinking about lead nurturing with the goal of positioning our clients as relevant, useful, and valuable to buyers, who should ultimately be buying from them. We plan around some key objectives:

Extend prospect engagement while it’s happening.

Think about how you consume content when you’re researching a purchase. You rarely consume one or two pieces of content a day on a regular, predictable schedule. You probably research for a burst of an hour or two, and then go back to your day job to-do list.

When a prospect is engaged with your content and programs—reading a white paper or e-book, watching a video, filling in a form, scanning your social media streams—suggest some other related content that might interest them.

Keep them there longer. Encourage them to engage deeper. Extend each burst of engagement. E-commerce sites have been obsessed with perfecting this tactic for a decade because it works. There are lots of ways to do this with your current marketing tool set.

Re-engage prospects with relevant, useful content.

In between those bursts of intense engagement, your prospects are doing a million other things, including engaging with your competitors. So, use your permission to contact them as a means of reminding them how helpful your company’s subject matter expertise will be as they make their buying decision.

But don’t try to predict which one content asset is the right one to offer in your monthly newsletter or sequential, or what the magical cadence should be. It’s not the same for every prospect.

Collect meaningful opt-in preferences like needs, pains, and topics of interest. Then suggest lots of relevant, popular, and recent content options and let them choose their own adventure.

Determine when prospects are ready to talk to sales.

We’re not nurturing prospects because we want to be forever friends with them, are we? We want them to buy from us. In most cases, that means they’re eventually going to want to speak to our sales team.

Our job as marketers is to make it easy for prospects to raise their hand when they’re ready to connect with sales, and to provide sales with all the useful info we collected during the nurturing process to help contextualize the sales conversations. Our job may also include identifying prospects whose tracked activities and profiles make them worthy of proactive outreach by our sales team, even though their hand hasn’t yet been raised.

Our goal is to collect the right information from prospects as efficiently as possible, and apply some human-powered assessment to what we have learned about our prospects.

Execute lead nurturing tactics that help the buyer buy.

There are lots of tactics that fall under these objectives, tactics that span how you manage your website, your larger online presence, your marketing campaigns and programs, and your marketing and sales content. Just remember that building out tactical action plans based on your objectives should be top priority.

If you execute nurturing tactics, like newsletters and drip campaigns, make sure you plan and design them in a way that supports a buyer’s decision-making process and, most importantly, provides them with value.

Pardot Elevate2012 Conference: A Curated Tweet Collection

Here is a quick list of great tweets from Elevate 2012 in Atlanta, Pardot’s Marketing Automation Users Conference.

Holy crap! Barry Manilow is at the Symphony Hall right now! #Pardot2012
@aprilewilson Oct 24, 7:17pm via Twitter for iPhone

In an email subject line, the only words that matter are the first four. Make them count. #Pardot2012 @sugarcrm
@chathri Oct 24, 9:45pm via TweetDeck

“@chris_heiden: Websites need to be easy to navigate. Get to the point and get the conversion. #pardot2012”
@kyleplacy Oct 24, 5:40pm via Twitter for iPhone

Psyched about new @Pardot features in the works esp. lifecycle funnel reporting & playbooks 4 integrated, multichannel campaigns #pardot2012
@BTDmarketer Oct 24, 5:32pm via web

Video is the top channel content marketers will increase investment in @eMarketer chart at #pardot2012
@BTDmarketer Oct 24, 5:30pm via web

Pardot Real Soon(tm): template regions, Wistia connector, lifecycle reporting, dynamic email content #pardot2012 #marketing #automation
@mihneastoian Oct 24, 5:01pm via Twitter for iPad

@MatthewBohar one does not simply video market into mordor #Pardot2012. 🙂
@aprilewilson Oct 24, 4:56pm via Twitter for iPhone

#pardot2012 “If content is king, then video is its crown.” Zach Bailey, Pardot
@MatthewBohar Oct 24, 4:53pm via Twitter for Android

For those who want to track the blog-able new features in @Pardot: bit.ly/RDNiS4 #pardot2012
@chris_heiden Oct 24, 4:43pm via Tweetbot for Mac

For most B2B, PPC landing pages are not selling your product, they are selling an offer. Don’t scare away your visitor. #pardot2012
@chris_heiden Oct 24, 4:29pm via Tweetbot for Mac

Want mine and @tjgephart’s 10 Ways to Elevate Pardot from this morning?: slidesha.re/QGCPps. Enjoy! #pardot2012
@chris_heiden Oct 24, 4:21pm via Tweetbot for Mac

#pardottip on lengths of forms and questions you ask. Would you want to submit that data? Either do your prospects. #pardot2012
@chris_heiden Oct 24, 4:19pm via Tweetbot for Mac

In order to be #agile, you need to #prioritize – don’t get into analysis paralysis either! @msweezey #pardot2012
@BTDmarketer Oct 24, 4:11pm via web

Reminder that subdomains are considered a completely separate website by search engines. Use site.com/blog instead @nolin #Pardot2012
@tjgephart Oct 24, 4:10pm via HTC Peep

Treat your blog like your resource page, sort by subject, categorize, and be happy #pardot2012
@marcommadness Oct 24, 4:09pm via Twitter for iPhone

Make key topics bookmarkable pages instead of tabs – easier for prospects to find & save them and good for SEO. @brainrider #pardot2012
@stephanie_gray Oct 24, 4:05pm via Twitterrific

Be relevant and send the user where THEY want to go – not where you want them to go @msweezey #agile #pardot2012
@BTDmarketer Oct 24, 4:04pm via web

props to the company guinea pigs willing to let @nolin critique their website in real-time at #pardot2012
@Sean_Essex Oct 24, 4:03pm via Twitter for Android

w/ email drip programs, don’t need to create ALL the emails at once – build the first few & see how they do – tip from @msweezey #pardot2012
@BTDmarketer Oct 24, 4:00pm via web

It’s fine if you don’t gate your content with a form, but you DO need to track those engagements! @nolin #pardot2012
@tjgephart Oct 24, 3:53pm via HTC Peep

Learning how to be agile. Pleased to see a daily huddle among team-members is first tip. My team does 15 min together every day! #pardot2012
@myfavouritemuse Oct 24, 3:49pm via web

I’m ready to learn “How Pardot Uses Pardot” and then it’s on to “Basic Best Practices for Drip Nurturing” #pardot2012
@mdlorey 9:05am via web

@AdamBlitzer Content is hard: you need a lot, it needs to be fresh, it needs to be high quality #pardot2012
@brainrider 9:14am via HootSuite

@AdamBlitzer, getting your personal congrats on my 911 preso meant so much. Great conference! #pardot2012
@anitamtaylor 9:15am via HootSuite

@AdamBlitzer confesses: “Content is hard – you need a lot, it needs to be fresh, and high quality.” #pardot2012 #b2bmarketing
@intelligentdem 9:15am via HootSuite

#pardot2012 Zombie Lead Management Infographic | MarketStar: marketstar.com/zombie#.UIk7Ok…
@adammprice 9:21am via Tweet Button

@AdamBlitzer The goal of a webinar is not the # of attendees – it’s the number of registrants. Make sure you record it! #pardot2012
@MelanieD_ID 9:23am via HootSuite

RT @KatieBullinger: “Peel the onion” with your leads by providing additional content on thank-you pages #pardot2012
@brainrider 9:23am via HootSuite

By putting data out there you become an authority. #pardot2012
@PardotNair 9:25am via Mobile Web

“Infographics are like crack for marketers.” – @AdamBlitzer #gold #pardot2012
@KatieBullinger 9:39am via Twitter for iPhone

Fake forward email. Genius!!! #pardot2012
@cceleratedFL 9:41am via web

B2B Marketing tip: Arm your sales team w/content for email signatures & set up personalized email drips – @AdamBlitzer #pardot2012
@ktmel 9:41am via Twitter for iPhone

test your emails before you send out drips. don’t make your sales reps look like fools. #pardot2012
@chris_heiden 9:41am via Tweetbot for iOS

About to sit down with @PardotVincent for #officehours at #Pardot2012. I plan to be an expert by lunch. No pressure, Vincent! 🙂 #Pardot2012
@snbaird 9:43am via TweetDeck

@KANASoftware mktg function spilt into product strategy, product marketing and marketing programs #pardot2012
@brainrider 10:03am via HootSuite

@KANASoftware getting 3.66% response rate across over 1 million blast emails #pardot2012
@brainrider 10:04am via HootSuite

How many prospects in ur database r active? Split email metrics between active vs. inactive 2 get a better sense of ur programs #pardot2012
@BTDmarketer 10:06am via web

Create a checklist before setting up a drip program. Yes! I love #checklists but I have too many that just live in my head! #pardot2012
@BTDmarketer 10:11am via web

Tagging and tracking URLs in drip programs – missed opportunity for sure – one of the first things I’ll dig into post conference #pardot2012
BTDmarketer 10:13am via web

#pardot2012 @RedtailCRM Use Pardot as your fishbowl when collecting contestants for your tradeshow free giveaway
@MatthewBohar 10:14am via Twitter for Android

#brilliant: @KANASoftware start your nurturing planning by setting a measurable objective #pardot2012
@brainrider 10:14am via HootSuite

Identify quantifiable goals before building your drip programs. Great talk to day Jessie! @KANASoftware #pardot2012 #pardotpro
@PardotKat 10:20am via web

Ideal marketing team? crew of the Star Trek Enterprise #pardot2012
@marcommadness 10:21am via Twitter for iPhone

Nice work @KANASoftware. Those are some impressive improvements to your email marketing stats! #pardot2012
@STR_Software 10:23am via web

Question to ask yourself before each marketing project: why am I doing this? Is it measurable? #Pardot2012
@marcommadness 10:42am via Twitter for iPhone

Tradeshows are one of last ways to be truly social with prospects. Face-to-face interaction, not just social media. #pardot2012
@ASColleen 10:43am via Twitter for iPhone

Add an extra day to trips for post-tradeshow meetings w prospects. Get them all in 1 room, sit back, and listen to their needs. #pardot2012
@PardotNair 10:47am via web

4 Ways Pardot Maintains a Culture of Innovation bit.ly/R1OEo0 via @Pardot #pardot2012
@mbwesson 10:56am via Buffer

The smaller the biz, sometimes the more complex the demand generation & automation programs can be – to their BENEFIT @abneedles #pardot2012
@BTDmarketer 11:22am via Twitter for Android

@abneedles says SMB companies are often more sophisticated about marketing than enterprise businesses #pardot2012
@Sean_Essex 11:24am via Twitter for Android

Don’t confuse marketing sophistication with complexity – difference between strategic vs tactical #pardot2012
@MalloryRLee 11:26am via Twitter for iPhone

“Agile organizations become masters of the obvious.” Don’t make your #demandgen campaigns complex @abneedles #demandgen #pardot2012 @jimewel
@intelligentdem 11:30am via HootSuite

“On avg, sales reps say only 31% of leads fit their ideal customer profile. Standard B2B #leadgen is failing.” @abneedles #pardot2012
@PardotNair 11:32am via web

Whenver u adopt a new mktg technology, u also have to adjust the sales/marketing process to have success.@abneedles #pardot2012
@BTDmarketer 11:33am via Twitter for Android