Inbound Form Strategy that Align with ToFu, MoFu, BoFu Offers

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Any inbound marketer knows that forms are an essential element of a good lead capturing strategy. Forms gate your premium content offers and allow you to capture essential details about your leads. A well-structured form can provide your marketing and sales teams with the key information to help them close the deal. 

Unfortunately, many marketers seem to be unaware that form strategies aren’t exactly one-size-fits-all. Countless companies make the mistake of serving the same exact form over and over again, on pieces of content all throughout the funnel. This is a critical error that can ruin your lead generation efforts. 

Using HubSpot’s best practices will set your team up for inbound lead generation success. Your forms must mirror the detail and value of their associated content offer and their position in the buyer’s journey. Creating your forms with content value and buyer stage in mind will promote lead generation and help shape the way your marketing and sales teams engage with these new leads.

To begin creating a form strategy, you must make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of the inbound buyer’s journey in conjunction with the sales funnel. These two models work cohesively to help unify the efforts of your marketing and sales teams.

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Inbound Buyer’s Journey

The stages of the B2B buyer’s journey can be broken up into three parts: awareness, consideration, and decision. Each section of the buyer’s journey corresponds with two sections of the sales funnel. 

Buyers in the awareness stage are in the Top of Funnel as visitors or leads. In this stage, the buyer is realizing their problem and starting to research potential solutions. This stage of the buyer’s journey is primarily educational and research-based. 

Buyers in the consideration stage are considered to be in the Middle of Funnel. In this stage, the contact is classified as a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). At this point, the buyer begins to evaluate potential solutions to the problem they researched in the awareness stage.

Last is the decision stage, where buyers are considered an opportunity or customer. This stage of the buyer’s journey signifies that the user has decided on a solution for their problem, they are ready to purchase and now they are considering specific brand or provider.

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If you follow inbound best practices, you already know that your premium content offers should be created with these different stages in mind. The hard part is making effective forms to correspond with each piece of content. Luckily, you can take the guesswork out of form creation by adhering to an inbound form strategy that aligns with your buyer’s journey and sales funnel. Making forms with the buyer’s journey and funnel stage in mind can streamline operations and drive lead generation. 

Top of Funnel Forms (ToFu)

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Top of Funnel content lives in the very first stage of the buyer’s journey, the awareness stage. Examples of Top of Funnel content are offers like guides, ebooks, whitepapers, or checklists. These are primarily educational assets that can help the buyer in their research process.

Because the user is only in the very first stage of the buyer’s journey, you don’t want to overwhelm or alarm them with a lengthy, overly-personal form. Nobody wants to share a ton of personal information right off the bat.

Top of Funnel forms should be thorough enough to give your sales and marketing teams adequate information to pursue the lead, but broad enough to make the lead feel comfortable with sharing. Details like name, company, company size, email, and industry are usually safe bets for Top of Funnel form fields. These elements provide enough information for your marketing and sales teams to follow up, without being too personal.

Middle of Funnel (MoFu)newbred-mofu 

Next is the Middle of Funnel content. This is the “consideration stage” of the buyer’s journey. Middle of Funnel content usually takes the form of templates, calculators, product webinars, case studies, or demo videos. These pieces of content show that the buyer is deciding whether or not your solution could be a good fit for their business.

Because the buyer is showing a more high-involvement interest, you can ask for more personal details without being too invasive. Phone number is a Middle of Funnel detail that allows your team to follow up with the lead in a more personal way. Gathering details like “biggest challenge” allows your team to better understand the problems of the lead and how your business can be a potential solution to that problem. By capturing this type of information, your team can better tailor their sales conversions and build rapport.

Bottom of Funnel (BoFu)

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Last is the Bottom of Funnel content. This funnel stage is associated with content offers like demos, trials, estimates, and consultations.

Being that this is the highest-involvement stage of the buyer’s journey, it makes sense that the form associated with this stage will be the most detailed. Make sure you are asking questions specific to the Bottom of Funnel content offer. The answers to these questions should help your team better deliver on the trial, demo, consultation, etc. For example, at New Breed, we ask the lead what type of marketing automation they use. This information helps us better understand their problem make sure that the lead is getting the most out of their marketing consultation.

Always consider the perspective and lifecycle stage of the buyer when creating your forms. If they are still a lead or visitor in the awareness stage, keep your forms short and sweet. Once they move down the funnel and into the consideration stage, you can get away with more detailed, personal questions. In the decision stage, the buyer is clearly interested in what your company has to offer. Choose form questions that will help your team better understand the lead’s pain-points and goals.  

Lifecycle stages aside, always remember to use best judgment when creating form questions. Only ask questions that will enhance your engagement with this lead. Figure out what information will help your team deliver and create your form questions from there. 

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The Evolution of Social Media and What It Means for B2B Marketers

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Social media has changed drastically over the past 5 years and yet so many B2B marketers seem to be stuck in the past when it comes to their social strategy. The evolution of social media is ever-changing, but there are several key trends that are here to stay.

The good news is, these features give social media the potential to be an extremely powerful tool for marketers – but only if you use them correctly. As social platforms continue to evolve, it’s crucial that B2B marketers evolve with them. This means adapting to a mobile-first audience, creating excellent video content, and utilizing social ads and AI tools to their full potential.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Social users no longer see updates organically, they’re served specially curated content by an algorithm. As the user engages with the platform, the algorithm learns the user’s interests and the content curation becomes even more precise.

This means that it’s more crucial than ever that you follow inbound content creation best practices. Creating niche content specific to the pain-points and goals of your buyer personas will ensure that the algorithm will serve your content to the right audience, thus promoting quality lead generation.

The same goes for your social advertising efforts; the more specific the content, the more qualified your leads will be. If your ads are targeted towards your B2B buyer personas, the advertising automation will have an easier time serving your ads to the right users, and in return, you will receive highly qualified leads.

Sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are quickly setting the standard for marketing and advertising automation, with no signs of slowing down. It’s up to savvy B2B marketers to use these technologies to their fullest advantage.

Download The Essential Guide to Developing a Content Strategy to learn how to  effectively drive high conversions.

Social Advertising

B2B marketers tend to be wary of social advertising methods, and rightfully so. It’s no secret that social ads don’t convert as well for B2B industries. But that’s all about to change. One social platform has rolled out an innovative new feature to make life easier for social users and B2B marketers alike. Facebook Lead Ads are here and they’re going to be revolutionary for B2B social media conversion.

As normal, users are served your ad where they can sign up for more info or request something from your business. But here’s where it gets exciting: Facebook has created a way to streamline the worst part about lead generation: filling out tedious forms.

By clicking your lead ad, users are taken to a form that has been auto-filled with information from their Facebook profile—like their name, number, or email. From here, the user simply hits “submit” to complete the form and become your newest lead. With Lead Ads, users can convert on your form in less than two clicks. Of course, you can customize your form and add fields as you’d like, but the essential contact information will be covered by Facebook, making the process a whole lot simpler for your new potential customer. Facebook has always been a pioneer when it comes to social media innovation but it’s only a matter of time before other platforms follow suit. 

Mobile Usage

No longer are consumers using their desktop computers to access social media. Now, browsing occurs predominantly from mobile devices, making B2B conversion seemingly impossible. Social media conversion rates for B2B industries are classically low to begin with, adding a mobile-first preference into the mix seems like a recipe for failure. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Apart from revolutionizing lead capture, Facebook Lead Ads will also enhance the mobile experience for social media users. No longer will mobile users have to fumble with cumbersome forms on their touchscreen devices. With auto-fill, submission on mobile social platforms is as simple as tapping “submit.” This increased usability could potentially skyrocket your mobile social conversion rates and allow you to easily reach users with a mobile-first preference.

Video

Social content is no longer limited to text or photo posts, users can easily stream high-quality video on any device, no matter where they are. With this increased accessibility to video content, it’s no surprise that social users overwhelmingly prefer to consume media in the form of video.

This poses a huge problem for marketers: good video is costly and time-consuming to produce. Not to mention, it’s pretty difficult to create quality content if your team isn’t seasoned in filming and editing. Even worse, low-quality video content is a negative reflection of your brand. Unlike with other forms of media, you can’t really get away with making mediocre video content. If you’re producing video, it’s essential to make sure you are following video production best practices. Don’t be afraid to outsource your video efforts if necessary. Paying to produce high-quality video will be well worth the money, especially considering the current social trends.

Social media can be a powerful B2B marketing tool, but only if you know how to effectively capitalize on emergent trends and features. To make the most of your time and resources, pay attention to the way social media continues to evolve and adjust your social strategy accordingly.

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How to Combine SEO and SEM for the Highest Returns

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You have two options for expanding your search program endeavors. One is paid search via Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, etc. The other is optimizing your content for SEO. Rarely do you see companies using both, together, well. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Your company can be different. You can use both paid and organic search to get a larger traffic boost than you’d see using one or the other.

The Benefits of SEM

Search Engine Marketing gives you the advantage of setting up ads and paying for views and visits. Creating well-researched ads with attractive text and the correct bids for target keywords will allow you to get in front of searchers and bring them to your website. As long as you create well-developed landing pages that relate well to your ad (via the Quality Score provided by Google AdWords) you can almost ensure a certain number of clicks on your ad (and consequently, visits to your site). When you begin a new campaign, investing in some ads for your new pages or landing pages related to that campaign can bring some solid conversions to your site.

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The Benefits of SEO

For SEO, we always recommend that you optimize each page you publish. You never know if a year or two from now you could be ranking for that keyword you optimized for way back when, and it could end up being one of your strongest landing pages for bringing in organic traffic. SEO does take time, however, so use it for the long-term gains as supposed to the quick wins you can get from pay-per-click efforts in SEM. As you consistently produce content that is optimized and targeted toward your personas’ search habits, you’ll start to bring in more and more organic traffic from these posts as the content ages.

To summarize: SEM is great for those quick wins and developing early traffic to your new pages, while SEO is a longer-term effort that involves some preliminary research to make sure you target and optimize around the right keywords. Using these programs separately can bring in decent amounts of traffic, but what if you were able to combine the two to bring in even more traffic? Now does that sound like something you might be interested in?

Combine SEO and SEM for Killer Results

Let’s start with examining how you could use SEO and SEM for a new campaign. You’re strategizing your new campaign and already have determined what topics/keywords you want to chase. Now when researching keywords to optimize your content, why don’t you hope over to Google AdWords Keyword Planner and look up the competition and search volume for your chosen keywords. If you really want to invest in new inbound best practices, each of these keywords will work under the Topic Cluster you’ve chosen. Once you’ve determined a few good keywords to chase from a SEM perspective, optimize your content for the chosen long-tail keyword and prep some ads to be released as soon as the content gets published.

So you’ve written your content, optimized it for your researched long-tail keyword, created ads that have good Quality Scores that lead to your new page, and you are ready to publish. Now you have to focus on tracking your ads and the traffic your new content is getting. Depending on how successful your ads are and how quickly your content climbs the SERP pages, you’ll want to start weaning the budget for your ads as your content gets into the top five pages. If you never reach that third page, it might be a good idea to keep a minimal budget associated with this ad, but focus more budget on your new content as you consistently publish more and more.

And there you have it! If you plan your content publishing schedule strategically, you’ll be creating content at the same time as you create with ads to go along with that content, and once you start reaching a good point from a SERP perspective, rinse and repeat.

Of course, you’re not quiiiiiite done. As marketers, we’re never done! You need to make sure you have correct tracking and reporting set up so when you are determining your next content strategy, you can look back and use these insights to inform your strategy going forward. If you can correctly structure this strategy, your content will be killing it from both a paid and an organic standpoint. Let us know your strategies in the comments or reach out on our social channels.

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Owning vs. Renting Content: Creating an Effective Inbound Promotional Strategy

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As marketers, we are constantly churning out content to promote our brands. The question is, what type of content should we create and how should we promote it?  Understanding the difference between “renting” and “owning” content is critical for creating an effective inbound promotional strategy.

“Rented” content is paid placement of your message, better known as advertising. Common examples of paid media are search engine or banner ads, boosted/sponsored social posts, television, radio, and print ads.

With rented media, you create the content, but you have little control over the placement of your message. Take banner ads for example: you create the images, write the copy, and choose the landing page, but you can’t completely control who the ad gets served to. In some cases, you can use audience targeting, but overall, the placement of your ad is up to the platform that is hosting your ad. Moreover, paid content only lasts as long as you are willing to pay for it.

“Owned” content is media you create and distribute on channels you control. Examples of owned media are any pieces of content you have created that are hosted on your blog, website, social platform, email, or any other channel you have control over.

Because these pieces of content exist on channels you own, you have much more control over the placement and audience of this messaging, especially if you are using HubSpot’s Smart Content feature. While creating these pieces of content may cost money, you are not paying an outside party to promote these pieces of content. Additionally, these pieces of content exist on your channels for as long as you would like them to.

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Why Owned Content is Top Priority

If you subscribe to the Inbound Marketing methodology, owned media is your most valuable asset and should always take priority over paid.

Quality owned media can be costly to produce, but once you’ve created it, you can host it for free on your platforms as long as you’d like. Owned media generates leads for as long as you let it whereas paid media only generates leads as long as you’re willing to pay for it. The quality of your owned media acts as an authentic reflection of your brand. If your content is high enough quality to generate leads on its own, it will enhance your brand equity.

It’s understandable why so many companies get caught up in paid. You can spend some money and gain leads almost immediately. It’s easy to become addicted to the instant gratification that comes with renting your content.

While you may be gaining leads fast and furiously from paid content, the quality of these leads likely won’t compare to those generated organically. Paid media may produce nearly immediate results, but in the end, inbound content will provide you the highest overall ROI.

Choosing When & Where to Use Paid Content

While owned content aligns strongly with the Inbound methodology, this isn’t to say there isn’t a time and place for paid content. If done correctly, paid content can enhance your owned content and drive lead generation. It is essential to remember that paid content should be supplementary to your best owned content, not to be used as a primary marketing tactic.

The key to effectively using rented content to amplify your owned content is to strike when the time is right. Using real-time marketing to create and promote content based on current events or trends is essential for establishing authority and thought-leadership. By promoting these “spur-of-the-moment” pieces of content through paid methods, you can further drive engagement and conversion while reinforcing your status as a key player in your industry.

Additionally, paid promotion can be useful for boosting your most successful pieces of organic content. Watch for closely for patterns and trends within your marketing and sales metrics to determine which pieces are best suited for paid promotion. Content with high conversion or click-through rates are most likely to produce the highest ROI.

While owned content should remain your most valuable asset, there are instances where paid content can be effective for generating leads and driving awareness. When it comes to choosing between rented or owned content, moderation and data-driven decision making are essential for creating an effective inbound promotional strategy. Use experimentation to figure out what ratio of owned to paid works best for your brand.

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Why B2B Companies Need Influencer Marketing for Inbound Growth

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Too often, B2B companies are quick to dismiss Influencer Marketing as an impractical strategy because they’re accustomed to seeing it used exclusively for B2C business. Though Influencer Marketing first emerged in the B2C market, there are innovative ways for B2B companies to effectively utilize the strategy.

What is B2B Influencer Marketing?

In the B2B industry, Influencer Marketing takes the form of a mutually beneficial marketing relationship, where two brands (or a brand and an individual/group) partner to promote awareness and generate leads. Instead of paying or asking consumers to promote a given brand, influencer marketing dictates reaching out to relevant figures within an industry to forge mutually beneficial, co-marketing relationships.

Download our Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing to learn how to build a  successful, optimized strategy.

Why is B2B Influencer Marketing Effective?

It’s no secret that inbound marketing has the highest ROI. People don’t trust outbound marketing, they trust other people — that’s why Influencer Marketing should be a key component of your inbound strategy. When thought leaders promote a brand, they infuse that brand with authenticity and authority and improve its social reach. The more wary consumers’ attitudes towards traditional marketing methods become, the more crucial Influencer Marketing tactics become.

B2B consumers are often highly involved in the inbound buying process (because their buying decisions are likely to affect their entire company) and are more cautious in their purchasing habits. B2B purchasing anxiety can be alleviated, in part, by Influencer Marketing. By forming brand associations with respected thought-leaders in a given industry, it’s possible to garner brand authority and urge cautious B2B consumers down the funnel.

Proven B2B Influencer Marketing Strategies

Ideally, you want your co-marketing partner to be a thought-leader or respected name within your industry. They can be another business or a specific person, depending on the type of audience you’d like to reach. Once you have determined a viable partner to act as your “influencer,” you can begin to draft a marketing strategy that works best for both parties. When it comes to B2B influencer marketing, the time commitment and engagement level required of participant vary by strategy.

Examples of influencer marketing tactics that are low-involvement when it comes to commitment and engagement level are mutual content sharing and backlinking. These tactics are great for starting out a new co-marketing relationship. 

Once you have established your co-marketing relationship with those low-involvement exchanges, you can move onto higher-involvement opportunities. Guest blogging/featuring are medium-involvement and would be an excellent next step in your co-marketing relationship. 

Lastly, content co-creation and webinar/event co-hosting have the highest involvement level. These strategies take a great deal of coordination and preparation from participant and should be used only once you have established a comfortable co-marketing relationship.

When done right, Influencer Marketing can be an effective strategy for B2B companies to generate leads, build brand equity and establish valuable networking relationships within their industry.

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Streamline your Lead Management & Handoff Process by Using The Fit & Interest Matrix

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Managing incoming leads and determining the when to hand them off to the appropriate team member can be challenging. We’ve outlined a clear process and hierarchy for managing and reassigning leads through what’s known as the “Fit and Interest Matrix” — a process that’s helped both New Breed and the client’s we partner with become more efficient at lead management.

Understanding the Fit vs. Interest Matrix

In order to understand the fit vs. interest matrix, it’s vital to leverage the appropriate analytics to inform your strategy. Referring to a lead’s demographics and firmographics will help you determine if a given contact is a good fit your your company and the services you provide.

But how can you collect the most pertinent and valuable insight from your leads? Demographic requests can be expressed in form fields as questions about a contact’s current position, company, experience level and industry. Firmographics entail questions about the number of employees that work at a given company and the amount of annual revenue a company brings in.

Gauging interest level is exactly what it sounds like. Is the new lead interested in your company’s products or services? Have they done anything on your website to express their interest in a concrete way? You can use implicit information such as the pages they’ve viewed on your site, the forms they’ve filled out, or their level of engagement with emails to determine whether they’re ready to have an introductory conversation. All of the above (demographics, firmographics and interest level) can be gauged from implicit and explicit data.

Leveraging Implicit and Explicit Data

Implicit data, as you might infer, is information that isn’t implicitly provided, but instead gathered from available data streams — either directly or by way of the analysis of explicit data. Explicit data is information that is intentionally provided by a contact. For example, explicit data would include gated information provided form fields. Both types of data are collected and analyzed to determine a lead’s quality, fit and interest in your company.

So how can you use these two to types of data to streamline your lead management and handoff efforts? The Fit and Interest Matrix uses explicitly provided qualities to determine a contact’s fit and weighs that against their implicit interest level. We can visualize this matrix with a four quadrant design. In the diagram below, interest level is marked on the x-axis and fit is represented on the y-axis (so the highest fit and interest level would be represented by a data point in the upper right quadrant of the graph). When a leads comes in, marketing and sales can quickly locate where they belong in the matrix in order to nurture them down the funnel more efficiently.

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The Four Quadrants of the Fit vs. Interest Diagram

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Good fit and interested, – These are leads that are high-fit and high-interest. Not only would they ideally match your top buyer personas, they’ve also likely extended extra effort to reach out to you for help. Sales should follow up with these leads immediately. An example of a high-fit high-interest lead would be a company that belongs to one of your ideal industries, who has money to spend and a submitted a BOFU form for a free consultation.

Good fit, less interested, – These are leads are a good potential fit, but have not yet expressed much interest. They should be enrolled in lead nurturing campaigns by the marketing team in order to increase their sales-readiness. An example of this would be a lead who fits an ideal persona but hasn’t responded to emails, or hasn’t followed through with communication attempts.

Poor fit, high interest. – These are leads that are a poor fit but have expressed interest in your products or services. Marketing should follow up with these leads to establish a good relationship them, in the event that they become a better fit in the future. Freemium or one-off products or solutions work well for this type of lead, since they nurture leads without monopolizing valuable sales time.

Poor fit, poor interest. – These leads are not a good fit and aren’t interest in your services. Don’t waste your time with these leads — they won’t become customers. An example of a poor fit, poor interest lead would be a B2C company (if you primarily work with B2B) who hasn’t responded to any marketing emails and has interacted with little to none of your content.

By using the Fit vs. Interest matrix, you can improve the efficiency of your operations by quickly eliminating poor-quality leads and sending high-quality leads directly to your sales team for follow-up. This process decreases lead conversion time and helps engender a more unified marketing and sales approach.

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Pwnie Express Experiences Lead and Demand Generation Success

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Pwnie Express is a cyber security company dedicated to closing the ever-increasing IoT security gap. Through their product, Pulse, they are able to provide threat detection of wireless and wired devices in and around your workplace in an effort to keep your company and customer data secure.

Pwnie Express began working with New Breed during Spring 2016 in an effort to strategically and technically build out marketing and sales processes and automation within HubSpot. They found themselves with a debilitating lack of visibility into the pipeline which led to a lack of adequate reporting and therefore no way to showcase marketing AND sales success to their board of directors. Read more about our initial engagement with Pwnie Express here.

After appropriately configuring their funnel, automation and reporting, we were able to focus more on generating demand and increasing qualified lead KPIs.

Their Challenge

Throughout our relationship, Pwnie has faced various challenges, but this particular story focuses on a micro component of the overall demand generation strategy. As the company continues to rapidly grow, they are finding themselves with a number of outbound marketing opportunities, such as television appearances, to take advantage of. A big challenge they faced with this opportunity is how to bring that outbound and inbound experience together in a cohesive manner for the prospect.

One instance, in particular, stands out for its level of both opportunity and challenge. In early May, Pwnie’s in-house InfoSec ranger, Jayson Street, was set to be featured on an episode of National Geographic Channel’s Breakthrough. Breakthrough is a critically acclaimed series for the National Geographic Channel with very high viewership; for Pwnie, this type of exposure is incredible. We wanted to fully capitalize on the opportunity and not only promote the episode on the website to drive visitors to watch live, but also capture visitors who may be coming to the site due to the episode.

Ultimately the goals for the Breakthrough episode were to:

  • Promote the episode on the website in a way that puts the promotion front and center.
  • Generate leads with the original source attributed to the episode.

Given these two major goals, we faced additional challenges in service delivery: lack of time and resources. We were given only a couple of hours to propose and implement a solution, as we were informed of the episode and its airdate — Tuesday evening — on that Monday morning. Additionally, we didn’t have anything for visitors to convert on that would tag them as leads associated with the National Geographic Channel. We faced a seemingly impossible task head on and implemented a creative solution that yielded impressive results.

Our Process in Motion

With just one morning to turn around a demand generation strategy, we followed these steps:

  1. Identify the potential areas on the website for promotion
  2. Assess the options based on visibility, user experience and ease of implementation
  3. Determine the best option and identify the KPIs we can report on
  4. Determine the full strategy for promotion and lead capture
  5. Implement the solution

1. Identify the potential areas on the website for promotion

First we needed to figure out what our options were for promotion. We knew that we wanted to place it on the home page, but we needed to identify exactly where. We reviewed all of the different modules built on the HubSpot COS to understand the different elements that comprised each. We wanted to identify a placement that would be visible enough for site visitors yet didn’t feel out of place on the home page.

Ultimately, we were left with three options for placement:

  • Within the main hero banner
  • As one of four ‘cards’ directly below the fold
  • As one of three large CTAs directly above the footer

2. Assess the options based on visibility, user experience and ease of implementation

We critically assessed each of the three potential placement options based on the three requirements listed above: visibility, user experience and ease of implementation.

With our first option, adding to the main hero banner, we thought this placement would allow for high visibility as it would be the first thing you see when you hit the home page. It would also be incredibly easy for us to update, requiring zero development resources and therefore fewer touchpoints. But, at the end of the day, we didn’t think it would allow for the best experience on the site. Despite the ideal placement, it would have potentially left visitors confused as to what Pwnie does and led to an increased bounce rate. We didn’t want to make the wrong [first] impression for the 1,500+ visitors coming to the site every day. Through our assessment, we ditched this as an option.

With the second option, the card, visibility wasn’t what we needed it to be, despite ease of implementation and alignment with user experience. We’ve since updated the Pwnie home page, but below you can see what these cards I’m referring to look like, and therefore can conclude how that placement would have caused the promotion to get lost in the noise of the other cards. This option was also retired and we forged ahead.

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With the third option, visibility decreased even further due to position on the home page, but this section of the site is a global module; therefore an update on the homepage would have caused that update to occur across all pages using that module. This element made this placement a top contender, but upon further assessment we decided to also remove this as an option. These CTAs (also no longer on the updated home page) were text heavy and not visually enticing. (See below.) These design factors — on top of the fact that the placement is toward the bottom of the page — decreased visibility as well as weakened user experience. Because the site is built on the COS, ease of implementation would have been high because of the WYSIWYG editor, but this couldn’t outweigh the other two factors.

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None of these options were ideal, so we had gone back to the drawing board when a lightbulb went off: LEAD FLOWS. We hadn’t yet deployed a lead flow on the website. We determined that a lead flow not only met our top three requirements, but also allowed us to generate leads very easily. Two birds, one stone, problem solved.

3. Determine the best option and identify the KPIs we can report on

After we assessed our best options and removed them from further consideration, we explored the idea of lead flows. We then took lead flows through our assessment criteria. It was the winner. Additionally, by leveraging lead flows, we’d be able to generate leads in tandem with promoting the episode.

Once we determined this, we identified the success metrics we’d be able to report back to our client. Lead flows automatically tracks the top three KPIs we wanted to generate:

  • views
  • conversion rate
  • net-new contacts gathered

Another component of our strategy included emails that drove to a video so we also wanted to report back on:

  • open rate
  • click-through rate
  • video views

4. Determine the full strategy for promotion and lead capture

Next we needed to flesh out exactly how the lead flow would not only promote the episode but also generate leads. Because we didn’t technically have a conversion point, we needed to get creative in our execution. We needed to identify:

  1. Conversion point
  2. Lead flow type
  3. Lead configuration
  4. Follow up post episode airing

Conversion Point

The whole point of lead flows is to capture leads with the lowest barrier to entry. Therefore, a form is involved and you have no option to remove that form. We decided to offer visitors access to exclusive content from Jayson Street following the episode airing. Thankfully, our client was putting together a recorded interview with Jayson specifically on his experience on Breakthrough that we leveraged as the “exclusive” content.

Lead Flow Type

We wanted the promotion of the episode to be front and center so we chose the pop-up box option, which meant we could trigger its appearance based on a delay OR when trying to exit the page. This gave us the confidence that anyone who visited the site during the following 36 hours would see the promotion about the episode as well as have the opportunity to convert.

Lead Configuration

With Pwnie, we have a specific lead configuration process we’ve created to ensure that all leads are appropriately tagged with lead source and source detail. Their HubSpot is also integrated with Salesforce, where they have adopted a strict use of the campaign tool. Therefore, we needed to create a workflow that automatically enrolled contacts who converted on the lead flow to get their lead source, source detail and Salesforce campaign ID set. This was critical because these are fields we leverage for reporting and understanding how marketing is contributing to the pipeline. These are also fields the sales team regularly references to gain a better understanding of the lead’s interests and/or challenges.

Follow-up Post Episode Airing

Once the episode aired, we needed to make good on our promise and follow up with those that requested to receive exclusive content. We worked to identify the messaging for the email follow up and collaborated to get the interview over the finish line within 24 hours after the episode airing.

5. Implement the solution

Finally, it was time for implementation. We leveraged a variety of HubSpot tools to make it a reality:

  • Lead flows
  • Workflows
  • Landing pages
  • Email

We first created the lead flow. See below.

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Then we set up the below workflow to configure leads correctly.

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Finally, we created a landing page to house the video (exclusive content), and two different emails that drove to said page: one to those that signed up, and one to those who didn’t.

The Results

Once all was said and done, the lead flow promoting the episode and access to exclusive content was only live for a total of 36 hours. In that short period of time, we were able to generate 2,262 views of the lead flow with a conversion rate of 4.69% for a total of 106 contacts gathered. Of those contacts, 40 were net-new.

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In addition to the lead flow, we also sent out an email to the entire database promoting the episode and the exclusive content (not described above but another tactic we executed on to drive awareness around the show). See the email and form submission metrics below:

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After the episode aired, we sent an email to all sign ups. It was sent to 136 contacts (62 contacts have converted on the lead flow and the landing page via the promotion email) and generated a whopping open rate of 56.7% and a click-through rate of 44.7%!

We also sent an email promoting the exclusive content to everyone in our database who didn’t sign up for it. We didn’t see as high of a success rate but still were able to generate a 20.3% open rate and 7.2% click-through rate.

From those email efforts alone, we generated 561 video views at a 71% view rate.

Overall, we saw a high success rate when it came to demand generation and lead engagement and exceeded our expectations given the short time frame to generate results.

The Impact

Through this project, Pwnie Express was able to generate the awareness needed and the leads desired while also expanding the use of the tools leveraged in HubSpot, identifying new ways to generate more leads, and bringing outbound and inbound together.

While these particular leads have yet to translate to marketing-generated pipeline, we now have a better understanding of how to appropriately nurture them based on what they’ve previously shown interest in. There is high potential with many of these leads and we’re excited to see how they progress through the funnel.

The biggest impact of all was on Pwnie’s relationship with New Breed. Pwnie Express had recently lost a marketing team member around the time of this project and was left strapped for resources. Despite being a partner for over a year, Pwnie hadn’t leaned on our team for last-minute initiatives such as the National Geographic Channel episode promotion. Our ability to quickly deliver an effective strategy strengthened the relationship between both teams and has allowed us truly play the role as partner and an extension of their team. While Pwnie could count on us before, they now truly consider us a member of their team and can rely on us to meet their needs within the tight turnarounds they are occasionally faced with. This has created peace of mind for our main point of contact and lessened the burden of owning the entire company’s marketing initiatives. See what our point of contact, Dimitri, has to say about his experience with us so far:

“When I joined Pwnie Express, I needed a marketing partner to support our lead generation, nurturing, and marketing operations activities. New Breed stood out not only because they are locally based, but also because they have extensive knowledge and expertise in the key components of our marketing and sales tech stack – HubSpot and Salesforce. They’ve been a huge asset to our team, from building a new sales-ready website to support us on all technical aspects of HubSpot and Salesforce. We are a fast growing startup in a highly competitive market, and New Breed ensures our marketing and sales automation is a sales accelerant, not a source of sales friction. I truly view New Breed as a co-pilot in all things marketing operations.” ~ Dimitri Vlachos, VP of Marketing, Pwnie Express

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