Thursday, 31 December 2015

How to Post Curated Content Across Multiple Social Platforms

Do you manage several social media accounts?
Are you having trouble keeping them all active with fresh content?
Content curation plays a key role in keeping your social profiles and pages active, and your audience satisfied.
In this post I’ll show you how to quickly and efficiently post curated content across all of your social networks using Sendible with Feedly and Zapier.
publish curated content with sendible, feedly and zapier
Discover how to post curated content on multiple platforms with Sendible, Feedly and Zapier.

Why Sendible?

There are several reasons why I chose Sendible out of all of the other social media management tools available.
First, you’re able to create multiple queues to ensure that updates go out at the best times for your audience. That means you can add the content you want to curate to Sendible, and Sendible will post it to your accounts based on the queue you set up.
Second, it connects to a lot of different platforms.
  • Social Networks: Facebook (profiles, pages and your own groups), Twitter, Pinterest,LinkedIn (profiles and pages), Google+ (pages only, there’s a hack to get your profile updated too), Instagram (via email), Foursquare (page) and Plurk (a microblogging site popular in India).
  • Blogs: WordPress (.com and self-hosted), Blogger, Tumblr, TypePad, MovableType, Ning and Metaweblog.
  • Bookmarking Sites: Delicious, Diigo, Instapaper and Pocket.
  • Misc: Flickr, Scribd and SlideShare.
Each connected account counts as a service. Pricing for automation starts at $39 per month, based on the number of services.
Third, you can add RSS feeds to your accountCurate content within Sendible or set up auto posts from your feeds (each of these counts as another service). Auto posts can be set up to publish immediately, save as a draft or add to a queue.
Finally, it allows you to see analytics from your updates published through Sendible,monitor social mentionsget updates about activity from some of the top social networks in an inboxengage with tweets (retweet, reply, favorite, etc.), invite team membersassign tasks and much more.
So effectively, Sendible is everything you want from a lot of other tools all rolled into one. I like it because of the sheer number of networks you can connect to beyond the standard Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
Here’s a detailed guide to how to use Sendible to curate content across multiple channels.

#1: Connect Sendible to Your Social Media Accounts

To get started, sign up for a Sendible account. Then, choose the social media accounts, blogs, bookmarking and other networks you want to update from Sendible.
add account to sendible
After you sign up for Sendible, add your social media accounts, blogs and other platforms to your account.
Sendible will prompt you for the information and authorization it needs for each network.
authorize account access to sendible
Authorize Sendible to access each account.
If you want to add more than one specific type of account (like Twitter), log out of the first account and then log into the next account you want to add to Sendible. Then use the Add button for Twitter in Sendible to authorize it.
After you add the accounts you’d like to update using Sendible, create queues (schedules)for posting updates to them. To do this, go to the Engage menuclick on Queued in the left sidebar and then click the New Queue button.
create queues in sendible
Configure new queues for your updates.
Next, set up an RSS feed to auto post in Sendible. I have two set up in my own Sendible account: one is for posts I write and one is for my Feedly favorites. (This is the content I curate to all of my profiles. More on Feedly in Steps #2 and #3.)
To set up an RSS feed to auto post to your queue, first grab the RSS feed for your blog. If you have trouble finding it, I suggest using Google Chrome and the RSS Subscription Extension. This will help you find it using an icon in your address browser bar.
finding rss feeds
Add the RSS Subscription Extension to Google Chrome. Click the icon to find your RSS feed.
Copy the RSS feed URL and add it to Sendible. Go to Monitorthe Feeds menu and click the New Feed button.
add rss to sendible
Add a new RSS feed to Sendible through the Monitor section.
To set up the auto post, click on the feed in the right sidebar and then click the New Auto Post button.
add auto post sendible
Click the New Auto Post button to set up an auto post for a specific RSS feed.
From here, you need to configure the auto post. Choose the accounts where you want to send the new RSS feed items.
set up rss receipt in sendible
In RSS Auto Poster, select the accounts you want to receive the RSS feed items.
Next, choose the frequency you would like to check the RSS feedSelect Queued if you want to auto post new feed items to your queue. Also, select the queue you would like to use if you’ve set up more than one queue in Sendible.
add rss to sendible queue
Add the new RSS feed items to your Sendible queue. Make sure to check all settings.
Configure advanced options to customize the updates sent to your accounts. Be sure toselect New Posts Only under the Advanced Options to ensure that Sendible doesnt post older updates to your accounts.
configure auto post feature
Configure advanced auto post options such as types of posts to share, whether Sendible should repeat posts (it shouldn’t), posting sequence and more.
Once you finish configuring your auto post, save it to make it active.
From here, you have a couple of options. Continue to add new RSS feeds to Sendible and set them up to auto post to your queue to curate content to all of your accounts. However, since Sendible counts each auto post as a service, you may want to follow the next two steps so that you only have one service (one RSS feed and one auto post) for the content you want to curate, instead of dozens.
Alternatively, you could add RSS feeds to Sendible and go into Sendible to add them to your queue each day. But the following steps make everything a little simpler in terms of overall workflow once they’re set up.

#2: Subscribe to Blogs Using Feedly

Create a Feedly account and purchase the Pro option ($65 per year) to use the integration in the next step. Then start subscribing to the blogs from which you want to curate content. Use the search box on Feedly to do this or grab RSS feeds from your favorite websites and add them using the Add Content button.
blog posts displayed in feedly
Add your favorite blogs from which to curate content on Feedly.
Again, you may want to use the RSS Subscription Extension (mentioned above) on Google Chrome to help you find RSS feeds for your favorite sites. A lot of blogs and publications don’t publicize their RSS feed links to get you to opt into their email list instead.
After you add your favorite blogs, mark at least three posts as favorites using the bookmark link next to the post titles.
favorite blog posts in feedly
Mark posts as favorites to save for later in Feedly.
You can also bookmark favorites in the Feedly mobile app.
save blog posts in feedly mobile app
You may also save articles in the iPhone Feedly app.

#3: Set Up Zapier to Curate Handpicked Content

Here comes the fun part.
Set up an account on Zapier and sign up for a free trial of the Basic plan ($20 per month). This service allows you to create custom tasks (known as zaps) between one or more services. You’ll want to create a task that sends any posts you save for later inside Feedly to a custom RSS feed, created by Zapier. You’ll then add that custom RSS feed to Sendible to auto post your curated content to your queue.
Note: If you don’t want to handpick the posts, just create a task that sends any new posts in Feedly to a custom RSS feed, created by Zapier. Then add that RSS feed to Sendible to auto post for your curated content. Depending on what sites you choose, there could be a lot of posts added to your queue, since some sites like to publish 10 or more posts per day.
The “save-for-later” way allows you to handpick your curated content, and it really only takes a little time per day: 15 minutes or less if you just go by headlines.
Inside Zapier, click on the Make a Zap link and configure your task.
To start, select Feedly as the trigger and RSS by Zapier as the actionChoose New Article Saved for Later to handpick your curated content, or choose New Article in Category to have any new RSS feed items from all of your subscriptions added to your custom RSS feed.
choose a trigger action in zapier
Choose a trigger and action to set up a task to add new articles saved for later in Feedly to a custom RSS feed.
Next, connect your Feedly account.
connect feedly to zapier
Connect your Feedly account and configure account options.
If you use the option to add any New Article in Category, you will choose the folder in Feedly with the RSS feeds from sites where you want to curate content. You may also want to use the custom filter option to include or exclude content with specific keywords in the title.
Next, configure the custom RSS feed itselfusing fields from Feedly and the Insert Fields buttonAdd a keyword into the custom RSS feed URL, and use the button to copy it to your clipboard.
configuring custom rss feed
Configure the custom RSS feed. Use fields from Feedly and the Insert Fields button.
I only use the above fields that are required: Title, Source URL (the clean link to the post), Content (the Summary from Feedly) and the Pub Date near the end.
adding published date to custom rss feed
Insert the Published Date field when configuring fields on the custom RSS feed.
Next, test your task. If all goes well, you’ll see the following.
testing custom rss feed
Test your new custom RSS feed to see if everything is working correctly.
Click each Test Zap. If successful, you will get a Success message. Once everything tests well, name your task and save it.
Now, go back to Sendible to set up a new RSS feed with the custom RSS feed URL you copied from Zapier.
adding custom rss feed to sendible
Add the custom RSS feed from Zapier to Sendible.
Then, set up the auto post for that feed.
set up auto post for custom rss feed in sendible
Set up the auto post for your custom RSS feed from Zapier in Sendible.
Posting to Google+
Since you can’t schedule Sendible to post to Google+ profiles, the way around it is to create a task in Zapier that will email you when a link is posted to another one of the networks you set up.
For this task, I set Facebook Pages as the trigger and Gmail as the action.
set up a reminder to post task
As a reminder to post to Google+, set up a task to send an email when a new link is posted to your Facebook page.
To do this, connect your Facebook and Gmail accounts and select the Facebook page you want to use.
configure task options
Configure the Facebook and Gmail account options.
Then, tell it where to send the email.
configure task options
Add an email address, so it knows where to send the notification.
Next, configure the subject and body of the email.
configure task options
Configure the email to let you know when the new link is live.
When the link posts to Facebook, you’ll receive an email.
email notification for live posts
Receive an email when the post goes live on Facebook.
When you click the link in the email, it will set up a post to your Google+ profile with the link already inserted. It may look garbled in the preview.
preview google+ shares
Preview the share for Google+ before it goes live.
However, it’ll post correctly to your Google+ profile.
sharing a post to google+
Click Share to post on your Google+ profile.
The link from your email allows you to post to your Google+ profile on mobile, if you’re logged into your mobile browser. If you don’t like to check your email, modify the task above to text the same message to you instead of sending it via email. Just use SMS by Zapier as the action instead of Gmail, and you’ll receive a text.
receiving link by sms
Change the action to SMS by Zapier to receive a text with the link, instead of an email.
Click the link, and you’ll get the prompt to post the link to your Google+ profile.
previewing link by sms
Click the link and get a preview. Then share to Google+.
This method will remind you to update your Google+ profile and gives you a fast way to do it. You’ll be notified of any engagement you receive while browsing Gmail, Google or other Google products.
notifications for google+ actions
Get notifications of any new actions for curated content, and view engagement on Google+.

#4: Monitor Your Sendible Analytics

Once everything is set up and in motion, you’ll want to periodically monitor your Sendible analytics. Click on the Measure menu to find interesting insightssuch as the best time to post based on the schedule in your queue.
sendible analytics
Review Sendible analytics to view the best time to post.
Review the most popular content you shared, based on the number of clicks each link received.
top links in sendible analytics
View the top links you’ve shared.
Also, click on any of the above pieces of content to see which social networks drove the most traffic to those links. Notice it even includes tracking the posts to my Google+ profile, even though those posts aren’t sent through Sendible.
links stats in sendible analytics
Click on any link to view its stats.
Go to the top of the Quick Reports screen, and use the drop-down to switch over to additional analytics reports.
report views in sendible analytics
Switch between reports in Sendible for each network. Also view Links and Monitoring reports.
The Links report, for example, will show you which social networks drive the most traffic to the content you share.
traffic stats by network in sendible analytics
View the social networks that drive the most traffic to the content you share through the links report.
Sendible analytics may help you determine which types of content resonate best with your audience and where you have the most engaged audiences.
In Conclusion
Curating content to your accounts is not meant to fully automate your social media marketing. It’s simply there to keep your accounts alive and give your audience fresh material, so they can engage with it. My engagement on Google+ and Pinterest (two accounts I otherwise neglected) has increased dramatically since I started curating content to them a few times per day.
Incorporate additional updates along with your curated content to further engage with your audiences. By the way, this is something you can also do using Sendible, if you prefer.
Remember, always reply to any comments you receive on your various social networks. It’s the direct engagement that will make this strategy truly pay off.
What do you think? Have you tried Sendible? What strategies do you use to curate content to multiple accounts? 
Please share your favorite tactics and tools in the comments!
To view the original article Click Here

What Most Marketers Are Missing in Their Drip Emails

Marketing is like gardening or farming. Whether it’s leads, new users, or paying customers — your job is to nurture newbies to develop into great big fans. Your job is to cultivate.
It’s fitting that green-thumb marketers turn to drip campaigns, which relates back to the agricultural practice of drip irrigation. As Paul McFedries explains in Word Spy:
The phrase drip marketing may sound as though it’s based on the practice of water torture, but it actually comes from the phrase drip irrigation. This is an agriculture/gardening technique in which small amounts of water are fed to plants over long periods of time.
The concept is simple: provide value and care over time to grow happy customers.The problem is that marketers aren’t using email to its full potential to do so.
Drip marketing has been around a long time in various channels, but it gets messy when it comes to email. You’ll hear these terms used interchangeably — drip emails, automated emails, triggered emails, lifecycle emails, behavioral emails, autoresponders — causing confusion and misunderstanding.
We wanted to shed some light on what modern-day, sophisticated drip emails do and how to put them to work for you.

Drip Emails Have Evolved Beyond Timed Autoresponses

A drip email campaign is an automated sequence of emails, triggered by an individual’s action.
The old drip email system is simple and reflexive, kicking off when someone signs up for something like creating an account, subscribing to a website or email course, or making a purchase.
The problem with this dated system of drip emails is that they’re dumb to any context besides a pre-set timetable. Like a configuration of falling dominoes, once these emails start, they’ll keep hitting your inbox in a predetermined order and schedule until they run out, start a subsequent series, or you unsubscribe. That type of relentless conveyer-belt delivery leads one to muse, as McFedries does, that “Perhaps it is a form of torture, after all.”
In contrast, modern drip emails are triggered by people’s behavior. And by behavior, I’m not talking about email opens and clicks, like this:
old-school understanding of behavioral emails
I’m talking about user behavior — the very same behavioral data that you’re probably tracking with analytics tools. What’s so powerful about behavior? Consider one automated, behavioral email — the transactional email.
Transactional emails get much higher engagement rates than other types of email — and it makes total sense why.
Extremely high open and click rates for transactional emails
Experian’s Transactional Email Report
People expect to trigger such messages with certain actions, like making a purchase. You’d even get nervous if you booked an expensive flight but never got a confirmation email. In many ways, transactional emails are the ideal email,hitting all three requirements of revelance: right message, right person, right time.
When drip emails are triggered by people’s behavior on your site or app — rather than time or email opens — you’re starting out closer to that ideal because they’re responding to individual situations. Instead of a relentless, fixed sequences of messages, every person gets an email experience that’s customized to their needs.

Behavioral Drip Emails Make Your Job Easier

It’s an Email 101 rule that every email has a clear purpose. With behavioral drip emails, that purpose becomes much easier to work towards. Instead of being dictated by a time table, messages are tied to actual goals to help people succeed and experience their aha moments.
It’s the striking difference between receiving an email about adding a picture to your social networking app profile because you haven’t uploaded one yet — and receiving that message just because it’s the 3rd drip in the campaign. “Oh, you put up a photo already? Shrug.” isn’t the experience that you’re shooting for.
With purpose in mind, you can hone in on specific conversions instead of sending a random series of “best practice” tips. Here’s a great example of a behavioral drip campaign from CloudApp, a tool that allows you to easily share screenshots and other types of files:
CloudApp drip emails for one goal
For people to get any value from CloudApp, they have to create their first “drop” or file to share. If you’re a new user and haven’t created your first drop, you’ll start receiving this email series, spread out over a month. As soon as you create your first drop, the series stops. Because it’s tied to whether you carry out the action or not, you might only get just 1 or 2 of these emails.
Sending behavioral drip messages is a smarter, more focused way of working in marketing and product. You’re more effective at helping people succeed while ultimately sending them less email, and you can measure real results rather than guessing from clicks and opens.
But only 20% of marketers are using behavioral emails, according toEcoconsultancy’s 2015 Email Marketing Census. There’s a lot of catching up to do!

Farmers have to pay attention to what they’re growing and in what conditions and context. They take note of the weather, the seasons, the bugs, the quantity of sun and quality of soil, and gauge their progress by how their crops are thriving. And even the humblest houseplant-keeper learns that succulents won’t live if you water them just the same as your spider plant.
Any marketer of a product or service with real users knows that people neither act in the same way or in ways that you expect. It makes little sense, then, to send everyone the same series of messages and just hope for the best.
Just because you’re using automation doesn’t mean that interactions have to be unthinking or superficial. When you use behavioral drip emails, treating email as part of the user experience and responding to how users are interacting with you, you’re paying attention to growth conditions and listening to real people. That’s smart, modern marketing.
Are you using behavioral drip emails in your marketing or not? Share your experience with us in the comments!
To view the original article Click Here

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

How to Choose and Use Hashtags to Your Advantage

Studies have shown the recommended number of hashtags per tweet is two, whereas Instagram is a lot more forgiving: You can use up to 11 hashtags per post. Using more runs the risk of decreasing engagement.
The reason why hashtags are so popular is because they allow your post to be seen by a wider audience who might not already be connected with you. It's important to understand they were created as a service, as a way to shorten the process when it comes to finding more posts about topics you're interested in. 
Understanding this and why people use hashtags can help you develop your strategy for all the social media platforms you use. Twitter and Instagram are the most useful, but Facebook and Google+ also allow hashtags. However, because Google+ isn't as popular as the other networks, hashtags won't bring you the type of exposure you may get from using them on Instagram or Twitter. Conversely, most people use Facebook to connect with people they already know, so hashtags aren't as heavily clicked on or used as they are on Twitter and Instagram.

Do Some Research

When you're first starting to use hashtags, it's important to do research. You don’t know what's going to work and what won't be helpful. However, as long as you use hashtags regularly, you'll get a better feel for what gets more interaction, like clicks and retweets, over other hashtags that aren't as popular. There are a few tools you can use to help conduct some hashtag research, some of which are already built into the platforms and sites you already use.
Tagboard is a free service that allows you to search by hashtag across multiple social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Vine. Other hashtag analytics and search tools include and Topsy. These three resources offer paid and free versions.
A service like Tagboard allows you to see how active specific hashtags are across certain social media sites. It can also be used as a way to engage more with your target audience. For example, if you searched for the hashtag #HIIT, which is an acronym for “high intensity interval training,” you would find that this would be a great hashtag to use for a supplement company, a gym, or a personal trainer who shares free workouts and advice online. If you produce HIIT workouts, this would be a great hashtag to find more prospective customers.

Twitter Search

There are several different API services that allow you to search Twitter, but Twitter itself offers a search tool that’s easy to use and lets you filter by top results or live results. The results are automatically sorted from newest to oldest.
Continuing with the #HIIT example, when you search Twitter for this hashtag, you can not only sort by top and live, but also by the type of content, such as photos or videos. The drop-down menu “More Options” provides several more filter options, such as searching by location or accounts you already follow. It's also useful to look at the left-hand sidebar, where you can see related searches. The related searches may be great additional hashtag options that could work for your posts.

Instagram Instant

Like Google Instant, Instagram gives you instant results on hashtag use as you compose your post.
In an example for people interested in fashion, searching for terms related to “fashion” leads to a few interesting results. When you start to type “#fashion,” you see a few keywords in a pop-up. These may get more engagement than the original “#fashion” hashtag. Two other hashtags, #fashionista and #fashionblogger, have millions of posts, which could allow you to tap into the community of Instagram users using those hashtags. This is a great way to find hashtags you may not have initially considered or thought would be popular.
Once you find the hashtags you want to use in your post with a few free tools, it's time to consider your specific audience. You want to further narrow down the hashtags that are going to work best for your content.

Would You Search for That?

The tools listed above provide you with a list of hashtags that are a good place to start. However, without knowing your specific audience and how they use social media, even the best-intentioned hashtags can cause posts to fall by the wayside.
One question you should ask with every hashtag you use is, “Would I search for this?”Think of yourself as your perfect customer: How would you use social media to find products, content, or services you're interested in? If you don't think you would search the hashtag “#HIIT” on a regular basis, but you use “#proof” or “#workout”—whenever you post an after-sweat-fest selfie—then this hashtag may work better for your audience instead of something as specific as “#HIIT.”

Check out the Trends

What about audiences that are wider than something as specific as workout enthusiasts looking for intensity interval training plans? For a company that wants everyone to use their products, like laundry detergent or specific vacuum cleaners, check out what's currently trending in social media. Capitalizing on current events, like sporting events, major holidays, or seasons of the year, can be a good way to use extremely popular hashtags in a creative way that ties back to your products or services. 
For instance, a brand that sells laundry detergent could post a photo of grass stains on a football uniform during the Super Bowl. The post could then feature a promo code for a digital coupon for their most popular stain-fighting detergent. However, even though capitalizing on what's trending in social media can be a savvy strategy, be sure you don’t come across as insensitive or opportunistic. It would be distasteful to use the anniversary of a disaster or upsetting event as an excuse to plug your brand.

Add on to Existing Words

Once you narrow down your hashtags, it's time to implement them into your post. For Instagram, most accounts add hashtags at the end of their post, which is unique to that platform. However, for other platforms, like Twitter, it can be better to integrate the hashtags into your existing tweet. This can save character space and make the hashtags fit in more naturally.
Do your research, narrow down which hashtags fit best with your target audience, and use them in your existing content. This is the best way to use hashtags to your advantage. By leveraging hashtags to get more exposure, your social media content will go further and allow you to reach a wider audience that is searching for terms related to your content.
To view the original article Click Here

Web Analytics: The Secret Ingredient in Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is the ultimate conversion optimization hack: if you want to make sure leads get delivered to your sales team on time and that they’re truly qualified, you need to standardize the conditions of the hand-off. Call it automated quality assurance.
A high score means prospects are very interested and intend to buy; a low score means they aren’t. Simple, right?
If you’ve done any work with lead scoring, you know that isn’t true. B2B marketers constantly test and adjust their scoring criteria as they learn more about the buying process and what factors correlate with higher conversion rates. It’s a never-ending struggle.
If your lead scoring consistently disappoints, you might be neglecting one of the lesser-known, but critical, components of lead scoring – web analytics. It’s time to use web analytics to work smarter, not harder.

Scoring Without Web Analytics

Although it’s a fairly advanced (and new) marketing automation skill, lead scoring has already gained serious clout. According to a report by Lattice and Decision Tree Labs, 44% of B2B companies use a lead scoring system.
utilizing lead scoring
But, of that group, less than half use web analytics as a scoring criterion. That might explain why 59% say “incomplete or inconsistent prospect data” shakes their confidence in scoring, and 43% say the same about a lack of “insight into which attributes indicate buying behavior.”
A lot of marketers get hung up on firmographics (company name, industry, etc.) and BANT (budget, authority, need, timeline) without realizing:
  1. Even these data points take a long time to collect without web analytics.
  2. They’re missing out on a deeper level of insight that makes lead scoring truly valuable.
When scoring is too elementary or unfairly skewed, your sales team ultimately takes the hit. They waste time following up with leads shipped over from your marketing automation platform that are nowhere near qualified. According to SiriusDecisions, only 40% of salespeople say they find lead scoring valuable.
To be effective, your scoring framework must incorporate both explicit and implicit data about your prospects — not only who they are, but how they behave. Web analytics does both.
Let’s take a look.

Identify Your Prospects

Identifying prospects is where the “who they are” comes into play. In the old days (like 5 years ago), you had to wait for prospects to fill out a web form on your site to collect basic demographic and firmographic information.
This is still a valid approach, but it’s not the only way. Think about it like this: if you’re trying to figure out what fish are in a body of water, you could drop a hook and wait for the fish to bite, or you could use a sonar transducer (i.e., “fish finder”) to scan the lakebed and provide real-time visuals.
That’s kind of what web analytics do — or at least that’s one of their capabilities. It’s called reverse IP lookup, which means using the IP address of your site visitors to identify the company they work for and geographic location. Typically, you’ll need a marketing automation platform or a dedicated web analytics app to get this kind of visibility because Google Analytics provides only an overview.
companies visiting
An example of reverse IP lookup in Act-On: site visits from users at three separate companies, by location
As you collect more information about prospects, you can match names with organizations, decide how each company fits into your target market, and assign points based on the number of hits you’ve received from that company.

Use Digital Body Language to Paint a Clear Picture

Firmographic data is a necessary part of the vetting process, but it doesn’t always indicate interest or intent. Let’s say you’re an accounting software vendor and you see that a prospect from a mid-size law firm in Boise is visiting your site. Based on previously collected information, you know the prospect’s name and job title, and everything seems to be a good fit.
Not so fast. Just because they land on your site and match a persona doesn’t make them a qualified lead. You need to know whether or not the prospect is interested in your product and whether they intend to purchase an accounting solution in the near future.
The answer to these questions can be found in the behavioral data provided by (you guessed it) web analytics. This is where the “how they behave” comes into play. By tracking how prospects engage with your website and digital content, you can determine where they are in the buying process. This collection of data is often referred to as digital body language or DBL.
To collect digital body language, your marketing automation platform (MAP) assigns each prospect a unique ID and records their actions using tracking cookies. Your job is to assign point values to each digital action based on how it indicates interest and intent.
For example, downloading a how-to guide about implementing your solution indicates fairly strong interest, so you might assign it 15 points. Reading a blog post, on the other hand, indicates only passive interest, so you might assign it 1 or 2 points.
acton scoring rules
As you can imagine, there are a lot of different factors that go into behavioral lead scoring. Here are some examples of common web activities you can track and score:

1. Pages Visited

Google Analytics will show you which pages on your site receive traffic during a specified date range. But, if you combine web analytics with marketing automation, you can identify specific users and log which pages they view.
Jonathan Doe Monsanto
In the above example, a prospect made 1 visit to our site on November 10 and viewed 6 different pages. These page visits in themselves were not enough to score points, but they did lead to a whitepaper download, which we’ll address in a moment.
In addition to tracking views, some software products let you drill down even further to see how prospects interact with a page. For example, “heat mapping” software shows you where a visitor scrolled, what they read, and what they clicked on, even if it doesn’t link to a new page.
bitcurrent home
This “confetti” map from CrazyEgg shows page clicks segmented by referral sources, search terms, and more.
If your lead scores are in a slump, it could be that visitors aren’t clicking on the right pages and CTAs. Use a tool like CrazyEgg to see which areas of your site are performing below standard.

2. Downloads / Form Completions

Using a similar back-end process, you can track which gated assets your prospects download (“gated” meaning the content is tucked behind a web form). Common examples include:
  • Whitepapers
  • E-Books
  • Research Reports
  • Case Studies
  • Webinars
unbounce tech advice
Of course, your job as a marketer is not just to track downloads but to create assets that are aligned with your funnel stages in the first place and decide how to quantify engagement with those assets.
If you can do this successfully, the payoff is huge. According to Gleanster, 68% of successful marketers say “lead scoring based on content and engagement” is ahighly effective revenue driver.

3. Online Tools Used

If you’re a B2B company, there’s a good chance you offer some kind of “tool” (or more than one) on your website. The infamous ROI calculator is a common example. At TechnologyAdvice, ours is a Product Selection Tool, which businesses use to get tailored software recommendations.
web analytics software
Online tools are a great resource for B2B purchasers and a powerful asset in the hands of a skilled marketer — because you can exchange utility for contact information. Depending on the tool’s purpose, it might also be worth some points, so you’ll need to track engagement. If you assign a specific landing page to your online tool, this will be a lot easier.
landing page acquisition
Google Analytics can provide data on how and when your online tools are being used, but again, in order to associate this data with specific lead profiles, you need to use your MAP.

4. Referring Sources / Search Terms

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in what happens on your site that you forget to look at the customer journey before the site visit — i.e., the referral. Referral data describes how a prospect ended up on your site, whether it be a search engine query, a link from a third-party website, a display ad, or a call-to-action (CTA) button in your email newsletter.
Referral data is less common than some of the other behavioral scoring metrics, but it can be incredibly useful in the right context.
To go back to the accounting software vendor example, if a prospect runs a Google search for “best accounting software for small business,” it’s pretty likely they’re in the procurement process. If you don’t assign any points, it will take that lead longer to reach the MQL stage, and in the meantime, the buyer might sign with another vendor who contacts them before you do.

5. Subscriptions and Registrations

Subscriptions (to your newsletter or blog) aren’t directly correlated with purchase intent, but they’re still worth tracking and scoring. When someone provides their contact information and chooses to receive regular updates, they’re implicitly expressing interest in a relationship with your brand. The same could be said when a prospect registers to attend a free webinar or an in-person event, which should be scored higher.
Admittedly, interest at this stage is more in your content than in your product, but that’s an excellent place to start. In his 2014 book, Epic Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi explains how the Content Marketing Institute’s 140,000 subscribers account for the majority of their revenue. Also, once in the sales process, those subscribers close three times faster.
sign up now
Sure, a blog subscription will automatically kick the prospect’s information into your CRM database, but it’s the back-end web analytics that register the action and assign points to a lead profile.

Bringing It All Together

First, make sure you have the systems and processes in place to run lead scoring. Without the right technology, it will be impossible to track all these different metrics, not to mention analyze results and make adjustments.
If you want to connect web analytics with lead scoring, you’ll need a full-featured marketing automation platform (e.g., Act-On, Pardot, Marketo, HubSpot) — there’s no way around it. If you’re going the best-of-breed route, consider only compatible tools during your web analytics software comparison.
Second, remember that lead scoring works only if the content and campaigns behind it are flawlessly executed. You can assign 30 points to a lead because they downloaded a bottom-funnel whitepaper, but if the whitepaper itself is lousy, that lead probably won’t be excited to talk to a sales development rep.
Third, work with sales to create a shared definition of “qualified lead.” This definition will help you decide how to weight scoring criteria and where to set the threshold for an MQL.
With a calculated approach and web analytics at the helm, your conversion rate will climb, your revenue will increase, and your sales team will thank you.
To view the original article Click Here