B2B Social Listening: How to Tune In

Good listening skills are paramount to any relationship and the same is true when it comes to B2B social listening. When done correctly, social listening skills can not only improve your social media interactions but also provide current, up-to-the-minute insights into the needs and pains of your audience, which will add depth and dimension to your marketing strategy.

Social listening B2B

What is B2B social listening? 

B2B social listening, also known as social media monitoring, is the process of listening and evaluating online discussions, to find out what customers, industry leaders, and competitors are saying about a company, brand, product, or concept. A study conducted by JD Power and Associates reported that 42% of companies listed social listening in their top three priorities for 2013. Compared to more traditional research tools like focus groups, interviews, and surveys, social listening often yields fresher, more current data, usually with less effort involved.

Social listening can be used to track relevant conversations that businesses can use to:

  • Connect with new prospects
  • Identify conversations and topics that will connect to your customers’ needs and pains
  • Identify and connect with potential partners / resellers
  • Monitor competitive activity
  • Support and engage with current clients and / or people who have participated in their programs

It’s a good idea to prioritize and rank these objectives according to what you are trying to achieve with your social listening strategy. This will help to determine which keywords to track.

What tools should I use for B2B social listening?

There are many tools available for identifying and aggregating data from public platforms. Examples include:

These tools deliver data, though—they do not interpret it.

While some tools are capable of organizing data by category and sentiment, technology cannot accurately translate the subtlety of sarcasm, clichés, and colloquial expressions. Human analysis is still necessary to interpret significance from the aggregated content. Technology is useful to expose the conversation, however it won’t do the interactive footwork for you.

How should marketers use B2B social listening to track relevant conversations?

 1.    Choose a platform (Brainrider recommends Argyle social, but there are many great tools available).

2.    Choose the keywords you want to track. These should be based on searches that are relevant to both your target audience’s problem, and your value proposition. You should also include competitor’s brand names, product names, solution names, or specific technical concepts unique to the industry.

3.    Set up keyword tracking.

4.    Set up campaign classification for your business’ content. Brainrider does this by defining the needs and pains of your customer, classifying those pains into 4-5 content categories, and then filtering those categories back through your value proposition, to ensure your keywords are connected to your business. You can tag assets within a campaign, and then track which campaigns are the most engaging.

5.    Set aside 30 mins – 1 hr/week to review and read conversations. Set aside 10-15 minutes every day to engage with 2-3 conversations each week. For example, you can engage is by offering resources to demonstrate subject matter expertise.

6.    Review your keyword in chosen platform, looking for relevant conversations.

7. Identify relevant conversations. Here’s some criteria Brainrider uses:

  • The message comes from one of your target audiences, prospects, potential partners / resellers, competitors, or current clients
  • The message is relevant to your business’s value proposition (someone is looking for a tool similar to what you provide, or trying to solve a problem that your business could solve).
  • The message shares something of value.

8.    If you spot valuable, relevant content being shared by a third party, share it with your followers.

9.    Continually cull your keyword list down to focus on those with a higher yield.

 What should you do next?

Download this content marketing strategy template to align your content development with your business objectives.

B2B Lead Generation Form Best Practices

B2B lead generation forms can serve as helpful marketing tools and can be highly beneficial to your business. If used correctly, they collect information about your website’s visitors, and ultimately turn anonymous visitors into identified prospects.

If you’re still unsure whether or not you need forms on your B2B website, here are a few benefits of using B2B lead generation forms. They help you:

  • Profile and get to know website visitors.
  • Generate better leads.
  • Understand visitors preferences, to better segment your database.
  • Get feedback from site visitors.
  • Qualify engagement and sales readiness.
  • Prove or disprove assumptions about target audiences.

There are 3 types of B2B lead generation forms:

  • STATIC FORMS (SF):

    These are the most basic B2B lead generation forms you can have. When using static forms, no matter how many times a specific prospect fills out a form, they will always get asked for the same information in the form fields. You can create static forms that include basic text, dropdown menus, checkboxes, or even file uploads.

  • PROGRESSIVE FORMS (PF):

    Progressive forms are a marketing automation feature that allow you to further qualify repeated visitors. These B2B lead generation forms allow you to select which form fields appear for a specific prospect, based on the information you already have about them.
    For example, if you’ve already captured a prospect’s full name and job title the first time they filled out one of your B2B lead generation forms, progressive profiling allows you to capture further information the next time they fill out a form. This means more valuable information for you in the long run.

  • MULTISTAGE FORMS (MF):

    Sometimes, if you’re working with a lengthy B2B lead generation form, it’s a good idea to break your forms up into 2 or 3 steps. That way, if a prospect starts filling out your form but doesn’t get through all the form fields, you can at least capture some basic information.
    This also means, if you’re creating a multistage form, you want to start with the most basic information first and get more specific in the next steps.

What B2B lead generation form is right for you?
It all depends on what your objective is!

USE

OBJECTIVE

TYPE

Gated Content (Download)

Putting high value resources behind a form on your B2B website is a great way to capture and identify qualified leads. As a rule of thumb, asking for “first name”, “last name”, “company”, and “email” is good practice.
If the asset you’re offering is of extreme high value to your prospect, you can ask for additional form fields. A great way to further qualify returning prospects would be implementing progressive forms.

(SF),
(PF)

Subscribe / Manage Your Preferences

These types of forms capture prospects who are interested in subscribing to your content as well as give you insights into each prospects needs and pains.
Create an Email Preference Centre to allow prospects to opt in and out of your lead nurturing mailing lists (“I’m interested in”).

(SF)

Event or Webinar Registration

If you’re running a webinar or any other event, don’t miss out on the opportunity to capture prospect information. This is where you can find out what they’re specifically interested in and follow-up appropriately.

(SF),
(PF)

Contest

Usually, if you’re running a contest, your goal is to capture as many leads as possible, rather than further qualify prospects. Therefore, keep your B2B lead generation form fields to a minimum to maximize form submissions.

(SF),
(PF)

Get a Quote

This is a great way to nurture and further qualify the sales readiness of leads. Because these prospects are demonstrating an intent to buy, you can require specific information (beyond just full name, email, company). Ex. “Company Size”, “Number of Employees”, “Role/ Title”, etc.
A great way to encourage form submission is to use a multistage form, where you request more basic information on Step 1 and more detailed information on Step 2 and 3. Avoid creating more than 3 steps, as that might discourage form completion.

(SF),
(PF),
(MF)

Contact Us

Allow prospects to get in touch with you right from your B2B website. Variations include “Send Us a Message”, “Request a Call”, “Ask a Question”, or “Request a Demo”.
Keep form fields to a minimum. Create a dropdown menu to filter what kind of inquiry the prospect is submitting (sales, careers, customer support, others, etc).

(SF)

Survey / Poll

Collect feedback on your products and services. Offer a free download in exchange for the feedback.

(SF)

Sign-Up (Free Trial)

Collect all necessary information to sign-up prospects to a free trial of your product or services.

(SF)

User Registration

Create a members-only section on your website where you provide access to exclusive content in exchange for prospect information. Because you’re offering more than one resource, you can require more fields in your registration form.

(SF)

Small Talk with Adam the Bobblehead: A Look Inside the Bobbleventure

Over the past few weeks, Brainrider has documented Pardot‘s Adam the Bobblehead as he journeyed on a “Bobbleventure” around Toronto. So, we decided to catch up with Adam the Bobblehead in an intimate one on one interview to hear more about the details of his experience. Our Content Marketing Strategist, Miranda Steinway, sat down with Adam for “Small Talk with Adam the Bobblehead: A Look Inside the Bobbleventure”.

3 Challenges To Consider When Creating A Multiregional Or Multilingual Website

Creating a multiregional or multilingual website is important for companies that are servicing customers in different countries or regions or plan to grow and expand into foreign markets.

What’s the difference between a multiregional and multilingual website?

Making your site multilingual means making it available in multiple languages. Remember, 75% of the world’s population doesn’t speak English! Therefore, if your organization plans to grow and attract customers in different countries, you should consider investing in a multilingual site.

Making your site multiregional, on the other hand, means localizing your site for different regions—whether in the same country or internationally. For instance, if your service offering differs between Canada and the US, both of which are English-speaking, you may consider having a Canadian version and a US version of your site with content focused on each target group.

Creating A Multilingual B2B Website

When your organization is ready to implement a multilingual or multiregional site, there are various services and tools available to help with the process. However, if you don’t do it properly, you may run into 3 common pitfalls:

1. Badly Translated Content

Machine translators are quick and cost-efficient, but they’re not very reliable and can result in low quality translations, which can negatively impact user experience, messaging and site ranking in search engine results. To ensure your site content is translated properly and in the right context, engage reputable vendors that offer human translation services and are knowledgeable about your target and industry.

2. Content Management Nightmare

If your site has lots of pages of content and you are translating it into several other languages, you can easily find yourself in a content management nightmare. During content development and translation, it may be best to create a copy deck of your entire site in English and have that translated into the different languages. You can also use cloud services such as GatherContent, which allows you to export your content into your site’s compatible CMS or API. Another neat tool to consider, if your site runs on WordPress, is the WordPress Multilingual (WPML) plugin.

3. Bad SEO

Your site should be search engine friendly and each page should have meta title tags, a meta description, keywords, alt tags, etc. If it’s not, this the perfect time to optimize your site so that Google ranks your pages better! To properly optimize your sites in the other languages, make sure you don’t directly translate keywords as per Daily SEO Tip. People may not search the same phrases in different regions or countries. Also, make sure you properly set up your sitemap so that Google knows whether your site is multilingual or multiregional and doesn’t penalize you if you have identical content, say on the Canadian and US versions of your site. Check Google support for best practices in setting up sitemaps and additional useful information on multiregional and multilingual websites.

What’s Next?

If you’re thinking about creating a multiregional or multilingual website, we’re happy to help. Contact us and check out examples of multilingual sites we’ve developed for Hubwoo and Livingston International.

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