Digital Market Research in times of crisis like COVID 19

Ludovic SALENNE, Digital Marketer, Blogger and Sébastien VITU, Salesman, Consultant Inbound marketer offer you this aperitif webinar, in which they are answering participants‘ questions about digital market research.

Ludovic SALENNE Sébastien VITU

 

 

 

 

 

The original digital market research (prospection digitale) webinar is in the French language only and can be viewed as a replay at this link.

Please note I have not dissociated the answers from Ludovic or from Sébastien in the replies. You will simply get both of their answers to each question.

So, now let’s get started with the Digital Market Research Q & A.

  • How to do digital market research without being too intrusive during the coronavirus crisis?

I hope as a salesperson, you haven’t stopped doing your offline and digital market research, because two months without turnover starts to be too long. Besides, if you still hesitated to do it after the deconfinement, you would have put your company financial health at risk. So, yes, you do need to carry on doing your market research.

The challenge is to stop talking about ‘You and your product(s)/service(s)’ and this is the real topic. This is the central theme we will be talking about tonight. Do not get into your sales pitch! These messages are currently inaudible to your potential customers because the situation is different. They have other things to think about than pouring money down the drain. Your potential customers think first about saving money rather than spending it.

Remember that regardless of the situation, the prospective customers base their decision in the grip of emotion. They then try to rationalise it, validate it to be sure they make the right choice.

Consequently, you must bring up with your prospective customer their context, their problems, their daily issues related to the economic recession. In other terms, you need to get them to admit to their negative emotions they feel in this situation. The goal for you is to have enough elements to bring value to them and incite them to visualise their positive emotions they could sense, instead of the negative ones, if they were working with you. Understand their objectives and position yourself with unbiased and benevolent solutions (Quite obviously, too much benevolence isn’t helpful to your business)…. This allows them to think and bring them progressively towards the positive emotions they would have if they trusted you.

It is necessary to adapt the message. We surely represent companies but we are also human beings talking to other human beings. We need to be present in both good and bad times for them. Remember, people buy things because they are afraid to lose money or afraid of not making enough money. If they buy things from you, it’s because it’s to do things that will interest them in.

Digital Market Research

For the older crowd out there, let me give you an example. When you talk to potential customers, you present them the flower from the Mario Bros (Nintendo Ness video game), it’s great. But if you talk to them about Maria throwing fireballs, you will interest them in. Let me explain what I mean. Mario, when he is very small and vulnerable, he feels anxious, which is a negative emotion. At that point, you could help him visualise the self-esteem boost he would get by eating this flower and throwing fireballs to get him to grow up, double his size.

  • Would communicating in one’s own name instead of the company’s name be more relevant and human in these circumstances?

This is what we call ‘Personal Branding‘ or ‘Employee Advocacy’ is the real solution but not only in the case of COVID 19.

In fact, if you are into B to B (Business to Business), your potential customers don’t look for a brand or a solution, they look for a person they can trust, who demonstrates he/she is the right person to help them reach their goals. In both B to B and B to C (Business to Customers), the relationship is very much human beings to human beings.

To come back to the Coronavirus, Harvard Business Review analysed the 3 last recession periods, in order to highlight companies‘ financial health trends and to detail companies‘ behaviours in recession times.  Their post helps you understand what is the position with your clients and the different company profiles there are going to be.

They will be defensive companies like the likes of Airbnb, which will reduce costs and budgets by laying off a quarter of its staff. In recession cases, other companies will, contrarily, invest a lot more into finding new opportunities and generating turnover and covering their sales team.

The challenge for your company is to mix defense and attack and find the right balance to adapt to the different events you will encounter during this COVID 19 crisis.

  • This question is a little ironic but does make sense too. Is beer a good vehicle to sell?

We are offering this aperitif webinar format based on the aperitif online meetups you may find in your cities. The aim is to forget a bit of our context and offer more closeness, to show authenticity like in real life. This moment will be used to create affinities with you and potentially initiate deeper relationships with you. Obviously, there will be an impact, maybe you will continue to come to us to meet up more often on the web, maybe you will share more our articles or contact us to work with us.  So, to conclude, does authenticity sell? The answer is, yes it does.

  • How to be visible and striking on Linkedin? How to grab the attention of potential customers and get them to contact us?

Connecting with people on Linkedin is very easy. But after the first connection, ie getting in touch with, creating links, and convincing them to go further than a Linkedin connection, it’s much more difficult.

To chase contacts on Linkedin to widen one’s own network, sure it’s good, but it’s a vanity metric to boost ones’ own ego. Concretely, if you stop there, there will be no impact on your turnover. To resolve this, the challenge is to avoid copying and pasting standard messages on social media networks. Beyond this, the vast majority of people you contacted on the spot (75%) in your market research, are not ready to buy. They are not ready to listen to you talking about your products, yourself, and even less so in the current situation.

To go back to previous examples, market research off and online are the same. If you send a sales message straight off connecting with someone, you are sending a ‘purchase decision’ message to a person that is already very mature/advanced in the buying process. But to be fair, it’s probably only the quarter of your target market, which is at this purchasing stage. In 75% of cases, you will either get no answer or negative answers. You will generate frustration on the part of your new contact.

Instead, bring value by sharing content bringing up solutions, or answers to questions potential customers are asking themselves. Do not forget that Linkedin is a social network and is not your  CRM. You can connect with people in your second and third-degree contacts to go further than your first contacts’ network.

If you go in the real-life and shake your potential customers’ hand and say ‘Hi, my name is XYZ, I sell you digital marketing solutions’. This is very likely going to fail. Similarly, even if your product has 10 amazing characteristics, if you don’t listen to the person in front of you to figure out what is interesting them in what you do, it will be useless. Listening will make a difference.

So, personally, before contacting potential customers on Linkedin, I’m used to checking what they are doing, what kind of content they share, the questions they ask in discussion forums. Generally, once I have done that, I have content that responds to their questions in the discussion forum. Then, I contact them through private messages by saying ‘Hi XYZ, I have seen that you asked a question related to my issue, which I understand very well because it’s also the same one as my clients. So, it gave me the idea to write a post and offer you to read it. In this post, I offer you solutions that are unbiased and allow you to resolve your problem’.

When you do that, you do not push unwanted information in front of them, you bring a solution to their problem. And here, you activate a very powerful psychological, which is the ‘reciprocity principle’. Let me further explain. If you invite me for dinner, afterward I will feel obliged to return you the favour. You will then have a response and a relationship will be created. You need to give before receiving/requesting something. Besides, you show interest in your contacts and in what they do.

On social media, you can like their posts, respond to things they have written, or find information with social listening and monitoring tools, it’s very important because it proves you are showing interest in what they do and who they are. On this point, I recommend you to read the book ‘Jab jab jab hook’ from Gary Vaynerchuck.

  • How to qualify a database file on the internet ?

When you take a contact database for sales pitches, there are about 75% of them which aren’t interested in it. In the 100 emails you sent, you may get 4-5 people opening it and zero return. So, when you buy a contact database, you will need to send the right message, at the right person and at the right time. For this, you will need to know, in which context and stage in the buying funnel is the person you are contacting.

Digital Market Research

When you buy a database on Kompass, you do not have such information. In order to gain this knowledge, the best way to go about it is to set up a series of emails, which will allow you to determine if the potential customers are at the beginning, middle or end of their purchasing cycle. That way, you can send them the right messages with answers to their questions and the right content suited to their purchasing stage. According to the information you will track (clicks on links), you will know which type of content they have interest in and at which stage. If the potential customers clicked on content related to a purchasing decision, you can call them.

The challenge is to send emails with different options of content to determine according to their behaviours, at which stage they are. Do not keep unnecessary contacts, or you risk being blacklisted by the servers when contacting them. A target is a person, not a company. You must do your homework by establishing your persona. You need to understand precisely who are your ideal clients and clients’ issues…These are questions you must answer creating your persona.

  • How many reminders should we send to a potential customer?

There is no definite answer to this, but I would say around 10, depending on the customer purchasing stage and their contact preferences (social media, emails, phone). It is worth choosing and testing different tools and vary channels. Remember to bring value during the whole sales cycle. The sales cycle is the average time for a client to sign a contract.

  • Should I create a blog or a website ? Should I integrate the blog in the site or should I keep it detached?

You need both:

– A website to showcase your solutions, your company, ie a ‘showcase website’.

– A blog to publish regular content bringing value and answering to problems your potential clients are facing during their purchasing cycle.

The challenge is to be well ranked on Google to attract more visitors and ensure your visitors have to do the least clicks as possible to do, in order to be converted into a potential customer. Consequently, I highly recommend you to integrate your blog(s) into your website, keeping the same domain name. This will allow you to attract more visitors and bring them into the conversion funnel. In turns, you will be able to convert them into potential customers or LinkedIn contacts.

  • For the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), I thought it was necessary to have different domain names to optimise BACKLINKS?

If your domain name is ranked lower than 40, the link bringing you to your website will have very low value. Having a good domain authority is complicated. It depends heavily on how many pages you have on your website. To have high ranked domains is good, however, having several low ranked domains isn’t.

  • Google is no longer a search engine but a response engine.

80% of our traffic comes from search engines. The issue is, soon Google won’t suffice. Especially since Google’s main objective is to bring users’ answers directly into the search results without needing them to click on any links. Furthermore, questions asked to vocal assistants are replied to directly without generating internet traffic. We will have to give another battle than the search engine optimisation one.

We need to think about grasping people’s attention and creating a community to gain regular, engaged, trusted traffic. The targets are to generate authenticity, bring closeness and build relationships. You can get their attention through videos, video-conferences, podcasts, webinars. Social media can be used to bring the right person in front of the salesperson. In B to B, other channels to consider are trade fairs, emails, and phone calls.

  • Which tool to use, in order to centralise our actions ? Hubspot or Sendinblue for beginners?

Digital Market Research

I do not recommend Excel, as it’s too complicated to update. The simple answer is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). If you are short with money, you can get free CRM solutions like Hubspot. Hubspot is well done with:  complete contact forms, behaviour patterns’ tracking, to follow the evolution of your contacts after marketing or sales actions you completed. Hubspot will also send you notifications when emails are opened.

Sendinblue is also fine. Either or CRM solution is fine, it very much depends on your goals.

You may as well invest in low priced CRM solution around 15-20 Euros a month.

  • Is it necessary to have a Premium Linkedin account?

No, it’s not necessary. To make good use of Linkedin, you need to have a sufficiently large network of around +500 contacts, with a maximum of people in the second-degree contacts. Over the +500 contacts, you can reach more people. Under that, Linkedin will limit the access to functionalities for everyone who isn’t in your network from the 3rd degree. But, if you have second-degree contacts, they can put in contact with someone from the 3rd degree. That way, you can send private messages, connection invitations…

The second solution is to share qualified/relevant content which will increase your number of contacts. This said, investing into a tool can be worth it.

  • What are the techniques to make an attractive and efficient Email LIST BUILDING campaign ?

The point is to pretend it’s a one-to-one conversation, the same way you would do with friends, colleagues, or relatives. We have personally stopped adding images in emails because this is not the way people send personal emails. Tip to increase your opening rate very quickly: fill in what we call the ‘pre-header’, ie the email preview. I also encourage you to use the ACCR method for your email list building campaign.

The second technique is to use the ‘last attempt’ trick. For example, you send them the questions ‘Are you still interested in…? This is the last chance to avail of this offer…’. We then grant the ‘rarity/loss principle’. In other terms, customers may feel they will miss out on something if they don’t take action. This is based on psychological biases.

  • I use a lot of long-tail keywords for my site but I don’t get traffic. Why?

It is very likely that the keywords which you are ranked for aren’t the ones talking about you. Remember to think about problems and answers, rather than about your business and products. Keywords must be relevant to the problems your target market is facing, and what they are searching for on Google.

What is a content upgrade and how can it impact your conversion rates?

What is a content upgrade and why does it help you increase your conversion rates more than a lead magnet? Kevin McGrath from Beacon will explain you this and how you can create it with Beacon tips and tricks.

But before delving into the topic, let me start introducing you, Kevin McGrath.

About Kevin McGrath

Content Upgrade

Kevin is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Beacon, a plugin that can be used with WordPress to help you generate more leads.

He has a background in Design and initially ran a web design agency called Starfish for about 6 years. But he is now more focused on Marketing and Growth.

Through his webinar, he talks about:

Lead Generation

  • Every marketer looks for more leads to gain more clients. However, most people don’t buy on their first interaction.

Indeed, people like to do research before they make a purchase (web price comparisons, shipping rates..). If people spend a big budget, they will want to make sure they get it right. When you do your research, you want to find out things like: How does this company work like another business like mine? Can this company offer a solution to the problem that I’m facing?

  • As marketers, we want to help you with your research and also available and stay in touch with you through the course of that research.

We want leads and email addresses from people who are likely to buy from us in the future.

  • Better Leads.

Avoid having an email list of poor leads not interested in your products. This will be a waste of your time to target these people.

So, in order to get email addresses, marketers have been doing this for decades. If you give somebody something of value in exchange for their email address, they are more likely to give it to you. We can give something like an eBook in exchange for an email address.

Generally, when people offer eBooks, they do so on a dedicated landing page to offer the prospect a lead magnet. A lead magnet is essentially a downloadable piece of content like an eBook, or a whitepaper or something that is basically information-based that you are giving your prospects to help nurture to become your customer.

Now, there are two points in this strategy:

1. Landing Page

2. Lead Magnet.

content upgrade

The Problem with lead magnet strategy

The strategy is flawed. Basically, if you are putting a lead magnet up on a landing page, you are going to have to spend a lot of time preparing the content for that lead magnet.

  • Large lead magnet.

The lead magnet will have to be impressive and well package (100 pages long).

  • Another page to drive traffic to.

That’s a new page in your website. You are not having the benefit of, say, a blog post, that is already gaining lots of organic traffic. You are going to have to come up with a new traffic acquisition strategy, in order to drive customers to the page.

  • Visitors need to be ‘warmed up’.

Once your visitors get to the page, you are going to have to warm them up to get them to download an eBook and see its benefits. You are essentially starting from scratch.

  • Trying to appeal to everyone is another issue with this lead magnet strategy.

I’m sure, guys, to have familiar with various customers’ personas, various stages in the buying cycle. Say, you have 2 or 3 personas with their individual needs and problems that they want to resolve, each may be at a different stage of the buying cycle. Some may not know you at all and others may know you well and just need a gentle reminder note.

  • eBooks aren’t anymore the new kids on the block.

They have been around for a while and as marketers tend to overdo these strategies with this as soon as we see some success with that. People have become jaded with the overall eBook strategy and do not take the time reading a lengthy book.

But don’t worry, there is a solution to that.

the SOLUTION WITH content upgrade system strategy

content upgrade

A content upgrade is a targeted resource for individual blog posts.

So, instead of having a dedicated landing page for a big eBook type of resource, it’s just a bonus offered as part of a blog post. You will place this free bonus just after the introduction of the blog post in a centred embedded box for better results. If you click on the box, you will get a pop-up asking for your details. It will bring you to a checklist or short 1-3 pages long content.

  • So, a content upgrade is a short actionable download like a checklist or resource guide.
  • It will build on the subject of the blog post.

So, the blog post is the theory and the free bonus is the practical application of that theory. So, you are educating people with the blog post. They are already interested in and read it and you are helping them to implement the advice in the blog post with your download.

  • It’s just a simple strategy and that’s why it’s so effective. You basically capitalise on that existing blog traffic.
  • It is also very targeted as related to a blog post for a specific persona at a specific stage in the buying cycle.

After anyone downloaded that targeted content, you can segment them as, for example, ‘a copyrighter who is interested in SEO’ if that’s the blog topic.

  • When you have that extra information, you are more likely to sell and market to them more appropriately in the future.

So, they are more likely to purchase his premium products from him.

  • But most importantly, this content upgrade system strategy results in high conversion rates.

Your conversion rate is essentially the percentage of people that come to your blog post and give you their email address. For eg, if you have 100 people visiting your page and 10 people downloading your content, you have a conversion rate of 10 %, The higher conversion rate is, the more efficiently you are using your traffic. It means the fewer resources, i.e time and money, you will have to spend driving traffic to your blog posts. So optimising for conversion rates is important. You can generate between 5 and 16 times more leads for your business. It’s a life-long evergreen strategy.

So, why is it working? You are offering something is short.

  • It’s a short article. Most people are more likely to download something short as they have a short attention span.
  • It’s useful. It is directly related to the blog post to help implement tactical and practical advice. It helps reader getting closer to the goals they want to achieve.
  • Because this is part of a blog post, readers are already engaged. The next part is to convince them that you can help them further by doing the content upgrade. People are more likely to opt-in when they are already engaged.

People tend to ignore pop-ups when they scroll down the page. So, if you can include your call-to-action within the main flow of the blog post, you will see better results. I would say to use the in-line forms.

Actually, LeadPages did some research into the number of clicks required to opt-in. They said that the two-staged call-to-action is more effective/ than the single stage one and perform better in terms of conversions. So, if you show an email box with an input form straightaway, people will try to avoid it.

So, before we move on, I’d like to recap.

What is the difference between a content upgrade and a lead magnet?

Content Upgrade Lead Magnet
 

  • Embedded within a blog post
  • Builds on the content of a blog post
  • Is short
  • Is actionable
  • Uses existing traffic
  • Prospect is nurtured by the blog post (more qualified traffic)
  • Has high conversion rates
 

  • Has a dedicated landing page
  • Lies on a standalone content
  • Is long
  • Is educational
  • Has new traffic required
  • Prospect needs to be convinced by the landing page
  • Has lower conversion rates

 

Content upgrades should be part of your blogging routine and go along with it.

So, your blogging strategy probably looks like this:

Content Upgrade

What I’m proposing is that you add an extra step to that process:

Content Upgrade

I want to show you how you can create these content upgrades.

Beacon can help to speed up the content upgrade strategy for you. I want to show you time-saving tips to implement these content upgrades into your blog posts quickly.

Beacon Time-Saving Tips and Tricks

  • Set up brand colours. This is quickest overly most overlooked feature within Beacon.
  • Create a re-usable content library, so that you can drop in any pieces of content into any content upgrades you create in the future.
  • Create a re-usable template so that you can create your branding and keep re-using it, instead of having to work from scratch every time.

So, in Beacon’s normal interface, I create a workbook with one of our standard templates. The template contains a cover page, a short introduction, a worksheet with some questions to answer. This kind of school-like exercise helps people think about strategic things by working through the process on their own. The content upgrade finishes with a call-to-action.

  • If you choose that template, go through each page to see what you can customise for your business. First thing, you are going to have to change that logo. You will need to pick your brand colour on all pages to get the colour scheme in line with my brand. I would advise a more sullen kind of colour but there is no colour to avoid.

Obviously, that’s not ideal. So I want to show you this trick. It is buried a little bit under the document settings (4th icon down the left-hand side). Once you click on it, it will open this ‘default styles’ panel. You will notice that the colour template is set up for you. This means that if you set up your template colours, this will be updated throughout the document.

  • What you are going to find in content upgrades is that you may be re-using certain types of content in every single content upgrade that you make.

One example of that would be an ‘about the author’ page to give readers context about who prepared the content upgrade. Why should they trust you? The purpose is to nurture prospects into qualified leads.

Let’s create an ‘about the author page’. Underneath the first ‘pages’ tab, I’m going to click on the ‘Add New Page’ button. I’ll look for a text focused page template. I’ll filter that. I’m going to choose the two columns layout. I’ll include an image. It’s always good to add an image of the author. I’ll also add some information from social media in a headline box/card at the bottom.

Every time I make a content upgrade, I don’t want to go through all those steps each time. Instead, I’m going to go to ‘Pages’ tab, then click on the 3rd button down ‘Page settings’. Then I’ll click on the ‘Convert’ button under ‘Convert this page into a template’. I’ll save that template and refresh the page. So, next time you click on ‘Add New Page’, you will have your template saved if you scroll down the templates.

  • How to convert an entire publication into a reusable template. I want to show you how to convert a document into a template.

Let’s create a re-usable template as a starting point. We are not going to have a worksheet in each template, so let’s delete that. You can your logo/image. You will be able in a week time to save image library as well.

To convert this into a reusable template, I’m going to click on ‘Document Settings’ tab on the left-hand side and click on the ‘Convert’ button. I’ll give this template a name and save it. Then I’ll leave the editor, go back to the ‘Dashboard’. When you go and click on the ‘Create New’ button, then ‘New Editor’. This will lead you to the ‘Pick your Magnet’ screen to choose a template. Let’s say we create a ‘Checklist’, select ‘No’ to import content. Then, on the next screen for ‘Choose a theme’, scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find your re-usable template. Then, you’ll click on ‘Add New Page’, filter for the checklist and add what you saved.

Note: Some of the features that I did show you are Premium Features. The part where I showed you the convert templates (page and document), you need a paid account to use that feature. However, the brands and colours are available for free. To justify going for a paid account, you will get exclusive bonuses.

EXCLUSIVE BONUSES

These will be available to you if you upgrade to a paid account after this webinar (Kevin will be notified once you do so). For that, just shoot an email to Kevin so that he can send them to you.

  1. Lead Magnet Learning Pack is a swipe file of 13 content upgrades used on our blog to help Beacon grow to 25000 users. This is a good source of inspiration for a content upgrade to make. They are all different in design.
  2. Expert Audio Interview with Laura Roader, founder of MeetEdgar. Laura has grown to 7 figures business. She developed a software product that uses content marketing, content upgrades and lead magnets to grow her business. I’ll be sharing with you some of the strategies she uses.
  3. Free Beacon Template Design that I will personally design for to your business worth $1000. I’ll have a consultation with you to understand your needs (2-3 days work).

If you have any questions, drop an email to Kevin@beacon.by and he will be more than happy to follow-up with you individually.

To finish off with this talk, you want to watch its demo and presentation:

Finally, if you are interested in, you may explore these 30 Content Upgrade Ideas to Grow Your Email List (Updated).