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5 Biggest Marketing Hacks from My Time at HubSpot, Salesforce, Microsoft & G2

Presented by: Ryan Bonnici, Chief Marketing Officer, G2

It's 2019. Content marketing and account-based marketing aren't new; they're sophisticated. The playing field is becoming more competitive than ever before, and new channels are revolutionizing the way customers find your business. In this highly strategic-and-tactical masterclass, Ryan Bonnici discussed how to: grow website traffic and leads by 10X, optimize lead and MQL conversion rates by 3X to 5X, and accelerate qualified sales pipeline to close customers faster.

Session Notes

Ryan entered the stage with electric energy (and great, flowing hair) that captured the audience’s attention. His prompt to get us all up on our feet to do five squats was a fun way to bring the energy back in the room (being the last presentation of the day) and get our blood pumping. He has a clever and informative presentation style, he left out no details, and he quickly distinguished himself as a true mentor and guide for the crowd of marketers. 

Ryan’s Mission

  • To help increase the probability of marketing success

1. Content Marketing 3.0 

  • Involves making content for all stages of the funnel 
  • Three Stages of the buyer journey: 
    • Awareness of a problem 
    • Consideration of different options 
    • Decision about a solution
  • Most buyers don’t actually know they need a particular product 
    • They might have another journey to find the product they need (i.e., they may be searching and trying to find out why they get headaches at work, to eventually find out that they need a pair of glasses! 
    • When we think outside of the funnel, it’s not just thinking about the product, it’s thinking about the journey in getting to the product. 
  • Most marketers just measure channels—they measure themselves as an email, social, PR marketer, etc., when really they are content marketers at the end of the day.
  • Marketers need to start measuring content. 
  • Using Advanced Content Analysis, you can find content topics that have significant organic demand. 
    • This will help generate ongoing organic visitors and leads with minimal promo required.  (This is relevant if you’re just started or if you have been making content for years.)
    • How to: 
      • Step 1. Export your data: Organic first conversion leads, opportunities and customers. 
      • Step 2. Sort the data: Understand the unique conversion rates per content offer.
      • Step 3. Add content topics: Group offers by their high-level topic (e.g. Facebook for business = Facebook)
      • Step 4. Calculate numbers per topic: Group offers by their high-level topic (e.g. Facebook for business = Facebook)
      • Step 5. Identify your top content: Our top topics are much more top-of-funnel than you would expect
      • Step 6. Get keyword search data and find your current rank for the top five keywords with high demand and content that already converts well organically. 
      • Step 7. Review future potential: Find ranking opportunities based on keywords with high demand and content that already converts well organically.

2.  Smarketing Alignment 

  • Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve 20% annual growth rate compared to a 4% decrease in revenue for companies who do not. 
  • How to be a Smarketer?
  1. Setting up a common language. 
  • What constitutes a Marketing Qualified Lead? -Something that involves intent. 
  • Never pass anything over to sales unless a person asks to speak with a sales rep.
  • You can still set up a lead. Otherwise, it can create an imbalance in quality and quantity that you’re passing to sales. 
  1. Setting up a process
  • Define your lifecycle stages.
  1. Prospect/ Visitor
  2. Lead
  3. MQL
  4. SQL
  5. Opportunity
  6. Customer
  • Agree on the definitions of each stage! 
  • Have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) as a contract between a service provider and the end-user that defines the level of service expected from the service provider.
  1. Utilizing tools
  • Build a Smarketing Alignment: 
    • Step 1.Determine Business Growth: New revenue goal/average sales price = # of  Customers
    • Step 2. Calculate the marketing side: New customer goal/MQL to customer close percentage = Lead MQL goal
    • Step 3. Calculate the sales side: The number of sales activities required to close enough customers (emails, calls, meetings) 
    • Step 4. Report on marketing SLA 
    • Step 5. Report on sales SLA 

3. Voice of the Customer

  • 90% of business buyers say they do their own research online and when they are ready to buy, they’ll find you. 
  • What content do B2B buyers seek online? Peer experiences are #1.  
  • Sales reps were naughty, but buyers didn’t like this
  • Five tips to leverage customer voice: 
  1. Be authentic and transparent: look to HubSpot's transparent pricing. 
  2. Respond to reviews 
  3. Embrace negative reviews: 67% of buyers who seek out negative reviews are more likely to convert a purchase than an average consumer  
  4. Proactively ask for reviews in the sales process: Identify opportunity points when someone is really engaged and loves your product 
  5. Take action! 

4. Build a Personal Brand 

  • A strong personal brand accelerates your work brand 
  • Tips for developing a personal brand: 
    • Step 1. The basics: 
      • Have a unique point of view, be willing to share your ideas freely, connect with others, be visible on social media 
      • Then you can build a reputation- create content for your own blog, your company blog...for anyone! 
      • Link to your best profile from every other profile (i.e., on Twitter post your LinkedIn)
  • Step 2. Research: 
    • Choose your goal publications. 
    • Review their editorial team and find an editor that writes about your industry. 
    • Write a guest post for them that is related to their areas of interest.
  • Step 3. Outreach: 
    • Email an editor and include your post. 
    • Keep it short—less is more! 
    • Mention another blog you write for.
  • Step 4. Follow up on your outreach
    • If there’s no reply after two days, follow up to the original thread with a short note. 
    • Mention a competitive publication that you will send the article to, if not them. 
    • Give a deadline to drive action. 
    • 80% of the time the editor will reply within an hour and give you a “go-live” date. 

5. Beat your Competitors 

  • Do a sharing analysis, look at what content are they creating and how is it resonating.
  • Our competitors are sharing content on many different networks, BuzzSumo is a great free tool to help you understand where their audience is most active.
  • Do a link-click analysis:
    • Step 1. Find a piece of content shared with short URL (
    • Step 2. Paste it into a browser and add a + at the end
    • Step 3. Now you can view the link click analytics of the sharer 
      • Use and share someone else’s content with your own CTAs on it. 
      • Use Follower Wonk to schedule content posts when consumers are there the most. 

Key Takeaways

  • It takes five steps to hack into marketing success
    • Content marketing 3.0 involves engaging all parts of the marketing funnel.
    • Smarketing alignment is the alignment and the way sales and marketing teams work together. 
    • Pay attention to the voice of the customer, and their experience with sales (and how marketing can make that better). 
    • Building a strong personal brand helps encourage a better work brand. 
    • Do what you can to beat your competitors by analyzing and borrowing from them.