What is a lead? You’ve asked and we listened

Leads, leads, leads. Once reserved for sales teams in smoke-filled offices, the word has been let off the leash and now it can be heard in unsuspected places, emerging from the mouths of people with no track record of selling anything. Anyway, let’s cut to the chase: a lead is a potential customer showing interest in your company. But why is everyone suddenly talking about lead generation and the importance of leads? Well, those are different questions, but we’ll happily answer them both for you.

A story of time, money and noise

The world is very different today than it was two or three decades ago. There are more companies, products, and consumers than ever before in the history of mankind – and thanks to global shipping and the internet it’s all sort of connected now. As a result, the act of selling products and services has changed in a radical way: consumers are not necessarily who they were before, nor who we think they actually are. If you like puzzles, just look at the many digital footprints that all of us leave around the web!

In this context of extreme competitiveness and unprecedented levels of information noise, generating and managing leads towards closing sales requires almost surgical precision. And that is exactly what’s happening – tech has done a great job in providing the lead generation (and management) tools for companies. Examples abound: Facebook is amongst the best companies for lead generation, offering target personalization to impressive levels. In fact, targeting is changing too: nowadays, you can pretty much ‘invent’ the target audience based on your preferences and Facebook will connect your company to them. In short, lead generation is all about cutting through the noise to save time and money (and sell, of course).

Managing leads

Once the leads arrive, a lead management stage begins. This is important for a number of reasons: first of all, leads can be very different: some will fit the company’s priorities, and others simply won’t. Managing leads means classifying and tailoring answers for each group and individual in order to provide meaningful experiences and reach sales targets. Companies like Salesforce and Hubspot provide excellent tools that turn lead management into a simpler task. Business owners can always turn to their marketing advisors to manage their leads and develop a funnel towards closing sales. A good point of departure consists in developing a Sales Level Agreement (SLA), where the marketing and sales teams agree on common goals for managing leads and closing sales.

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Summarizing: Getting leads requires a combination of marketing, advertising, branding, production and analysis efforts within a clearly defined strategy. Once the prospects show interest, the management work begins, and it’s usually a fun one: dealing with people that are reaching out to your company, showing interest for a product or service is way better than, let’s say, cold calling. Effective lead management is closely related to customer support, while great lead generation requires experience, creativity, and analytical skills.

If you have any questions or would like to share your ideas and thoughts with us, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a chat. We’re always eager to listen to new stories and work on challenges!

6 Types Of Video Marketing For Small Businesses

Many times before it has been said that the era of the homemade video was here. The first time this happened was in the mid-1960s, when the Super 8 film cameras made its appearance, inaugurating the first era of homemade videos. Nevertheless, Super 8 cameras proved inconvenient, and they didn’t actually allow the production of quality pieces.

Almost twenty years later, a new era of homemade video arrived, this time thanks to the Camcorder. The bulky piece of equipment became an instant hit: unlike the Super 8 cameras, the camcorder recorded directly on video cassette, which at the time became the standard video format for nearly everything. In parallel, the rise of cable TV propelled the use of the camcorder, and thousands of amateur shows went live thanks to this artifact. Still, film quality was still an issue, and editing required extra (and often expensive) equipment.

Despite the great leaps towards the so-called era of homemade video, we weren’t quite there yet: the real era of homemade video would have to wait for another two decades, until the late 2000s. It was there when three vital elements collided to produce a new reality for all things video: smartphones, social networks, and great editing software. Small businesses today can rely on these three elements to create astonishing marketing videos at scandalously low costs. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list with the best types of marketing videos for small businesses:

  1. Explainer videos. Not only the best way to translate complex concepts into a simple message, but also a great branding tool. Explainer videos are similar to sales pitches, but instead of focusing on the ‘what we do,’ they’re focused on the ‘how we do it.’ These are perhaps the most challenging videos concerning production and require a well-trained sense of timing, pure aesthetics and a carefully crafted message.

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  1. Company intros. A handy type of video, particularly for social media use. Placed on
    top of a Facebook page it can save valuable time and do a tremendous job in introducing your company to new audiences.
  1. Interviews. These videos are ideal for individual cases. Of course, it all depends on who are you interviewing. Thought and industry leaders that use a company’s product or service make great interview videos; also, interviews can be helpful when placed within company intro videos to reinforce a message.
  1. Live webcasts. The only rule to follow here is a golden one: do not engage in live broadcasting unless there’s something absorbing to show. If that’s the case, don’t forget to build up matching expectations within your audiences.
  1. Demos and Screencasts. These videos are becoming the norm when it comes to improving the customer support side of a company. Tackling potential issues of a product in advance shows that your company cares about customers.
  1. Reels. Ideal for companies that offer a broad range of products and services. Highlighting all (or most of) the possibilities in 2 minutes is a great conversation starter when talking business.

To conclude, make sure you have the right editing software – affordable, yet professional. There are many options out there with different features, but you can always trust industry leaders that offer seamless editing experiences.  

The Essential App Series #2: The Absolute Best Writing App We’ve Ever Seen

Rarely an app becomes an instant hit, and such is the case for Grammarly. Launched in 2008 by Ukrainian innovators Max Lytvyn and Alex Shevchenko, Grammarly is an incredibly helpful app that has the mission of making you a better writer. Far behind are the days of Word autocorrect and its sketchy, often inscrutable functioning; in the internet era where full cross-platform integration is key, Grammarly has sorted this vital aspect out in an impressive manner.

Nevermind if you aren’t interested in becoming the next David Foster Wallace: Grammarly is for people that, simply put, hit the keyboard. From routine email to work reports and academic dissertations, every text you write will be improved with the use of this app. It certainly is one of the most ambitious products we’ve ever seen, and it wouldn’t even be worth a mention if it didn’t deliver as it actually does:

  1. The app is great, but the browser extension is vital. Grammarly is available as an app for Windows and MS Office, and as a free browser extension for Chrome, Safari and Firefox. The browser extension might as well be the best add-on you’ll get in a while, since it automatically syncs with Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, and nearly every other platform that supports writing.
  1. Simplicity for enhanced learning. One of the best things about Grammarly lies within UX: the app goes unnoticed, until a mistake is made. Then, the app will highlight the error, providing word options to fix it. In addition, the app gives precise information about mistakes: for example, if you’ve confused a preposition, Grammarly will let you know about it. Encouraging the acquisition of knowledge instead of limiting the work to making corrections has been a very much needed iteration – until now.  
  1. Personalized feedback. Weekly reports with valuable stats come for free with Grammarly, and enhanced reports are included in the Premium plans. Keeping a close record of mistakes might sound like a shameful thing, but it’s actually very useful – the kind of feedback that reinforces constant improvement in a friendly way. 

If you haven’t tried Grammarly, we highly recommend it. According to the company,  76% of users find writing more enjoyable, 99% of students see improved writing grades, and 85% of users are now stronger writers. The numbers might look like an exaggeration, but rare as it might sound, we believe in them: thanks to Grammarly, we are stronger writers and find the act more enjoyable. Now it’s your turn to give it a try:

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We promise, it’ll be a wonderful, seamless experience. Having an app like Grammarly will improve your daily communications in unexpected ways. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to for more interesting stories and news!