Tom Shapiro: My Cheat Sheet: 10 Strategies to 10X Leads from Your B2B Blog

In this Inbound Speaks interview we chat with Tom Shapiro about his INBOUND 2020 session. He explains who should be in the room and why and even drops a tip or two along the way.

10 Strategies to 10X Leads from Your B2B Blog

Working hard, pumping out post after post, yet exasperated because you’re not feeling the love from your prospective leads? Many B2B blogs are full of non-performing, yawn-inducing, “me-too” posts. Your blog holds tremendous potential, though, to not only drive leads for your business but to be your #1 top leads driver. In this session, we’ll go beyond the basics and will walk through advanced methods for growing leads from your blog. From neuromarketing strategies and behavioral intelligence to audience-alignment and conversion techniques, your blog can become a petri dish for your marketing, leading to greater revenue and ROI.

Rethink Your Marketing

Shapiro is the author of the book “Rethink Your Marketing.” The book walks you through seven strategies (and more than 50 case studies) to identify the specific levers of your marketing that will lead to growth. You can find Rethink Your Marketing on Amazon (https://stratabe.at/rethink).

Audio

About the Expert

Tom Shapiro

Tom Shapiro is CEO of Stratabeat, Inc. (https://stratabeat.com/), a B2B marketing, branding, and web design agency.  Through his career, Shapiro has developed marketing strategies for multiple market leaders, including Intel, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, UnitedHealthcare, and P&G. Previously, Shapiro was the Director of Digital Strategy at the digital marketing agency iProspect. During his five years at the firm, the number of employees grew from 85 to more than 700. Shapiro has a deep passion for neuroscience, psychology and behavioral science, and his insights have been published in Chief Marketer, CMO.com, CNN.com, Forbes, HubSpot Blog, and MarketingProfs, among others.

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Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:00
All right, inbound attendees, it's your boy George B. Thomas. And you know what we do here? We're interviewing speakers who speak at interviews, or inbound and all those things. Look, listen, you know what it is? It's inbound speaks. And today, I'm super excited because we're going to be talking to Tom. Tom's got some very interesting things to say, Wait till you hear them. But before we get into it, let's hit that bumper and get into the good stuff. All right, Tom. So here's the thing. Why don't you take a few minutes here to let the inbound attendees know who you are? What you do, kind of what makes you tick?

Tom Shapiro 0:38
Sure, sure. And thanks for having me. George. Really appreciate it. So I'm Tom Shapiro. I am the founder and CEO of strata beat, which is a b2b branding and marketing agency in the Boston area. We work in in many different fields, but you know, a lot of technology and software clients, a lot of biotech biomed clients and I've been in marketing forever since before Google even existed. So I, you know, I think the first website that I built was in 1994. So I've seen a lot of evolution through the years. And my session is going to be 10 strategies to 10 x leads from your b2b blog. So very excited for for inbound and, you know, what, what, what makes me tick. So, I love marketing. And when you dig even further, what I love is psychology. And so what we try and do is always applying neuroscience and behavioral science and brain science to everything that we do, whether we're talking about branding, whether we're talking about web design, whether we're talking about SEO or content marketing, conversion, optimization, doesn't matter. We're always trying to apply neuroscience and behavioral science no matter what it is.

George Thomas 1:48
I love this. There's so much we could nerd out on first of all, the first website I built Tom was on geo cities do you remember geo back in the day, so we can earn out on that then then you Go into this like neuroscience and one of my favorite shows, I don't know if you've ever watched it lie to me, where it talks about like neuroscience and facial mannerisms to like, it's almost like this human lie detector you bless an inbound attendees. If you have not watched lie to me, you've got to do that. But that's not why we're here. We're here because of 10 strategies to 10 x leads from your b2b blog, that is your session. So first of all, Tom, who should be in the room, and why should they be in the room for your inbound this session?

Tom Shapiro 2:36
Right? So definitely b2b marketers should be in the room, anyone who's involved with content marketing, anyone who's involved in SEO, anyone who's involved in digital marketing, lead generation conversion optimization, I would recommend that you join

George Thomas 2:52
Yeah, and by the way, if you are listening to this right now and you're like, oh, content marketing, like What's that like? That's Probably where you should get started as a session on that. Now, I know that's not many of you, if any of you but definitely focus on like creating content. And then I like this 10 x leads portion of this of conversion and optimization. So I want to dive into that, Tom. And of course, we don't want to give away the whole cow, the whole farm, the whole anything here. So what's one or two tips that you would actually share now in between now and when they actually get a chance to view your session at inbound 2020 that you would share with the audience today?

Tom Shapiro 3:35
Sure. So yeah, out of the 10 strategies that we'll go over at inbound, one of the most important and one that we find companies rarely if ever do is take video recordings of all of your blog visitors and watch those recordings and learn from them and optimize your blog through user experience and conversions based off of those video recordings. So there's lots of salt That enables you to do this. There's there's mouse flow, there's full story, there's hot jar, there's desktop bowl, there's clicktale, on and on. They're all fantastic. I recommend all of them. You know, if you're a large enterprise, you might want to lean towards decibel or clicktale. If you're smaller, maybe mouseflow would be really good for your hot jar. But but they're all fantastic. What they enable you to do is watch the actual video recordings of your blog visitors. So this is, you know, this isn't in a lab. This isn't, you know, testers, these are your actual blog visitors and you're seeing how they act on your site. Now, one thing that I would recommend is really filtering these out. So you're looking at first time visitors versus repeat visitors in different segments. So you're not muddying up your analysis, right. If there's a specific campaign that people are coming in, analyze them as a segment, right? If you want if there's different topics that you cover very distinct topics. So for example, in our blog, we have distinct topics of marketing strategy, for example. And that's different than digital marketing. It's different than, say analysis, right. And so what you want to do is do your analysis in these segmented ways. So that you're understanding people who are interested in x topic versus y topic, this is how they behave. This is the digital body language that they demonstrate versus someone in a completely different segment. Because once you start analyzing everyone together, it's very difficult to extract insights that are accurate. And so just remember, filter, filter, filter, make sure and also remember, you know, mobile versus desktop completely separate all of those types of analysis. But it's amazing, you know, when you watch when you watch videos of your blog visitors, it provides you with insights that you'll never ever get out of something like Google Analytics. Google Analytics will tell you how many people might have visited a certain blog post. It won't tell you how far down the page they scrolled where their attention was on the page, what they saw what they didn't, where they were hovering, where they were clicking whether if there was a friction in the experience and so it's it's amazing the type of qualitative insights that you can gain through these video recordings to totally transform your blog.

George Thomas 6:11
Yeah, inbound attendees I hope you heard the term in that last segment that was digital body language because that is so dope like that right there like you have to rewind and re listen to that because here's the thing for the last like, several weeks we relaunched sprocket talk 2.0 I've actually been in Lucky Orange watching recordings of people use the website so that we can see what's happening. Now let me for warn all of you viewers, you're going to have these oh crap moments where you're like, it's right there. It's right there. Click that right. And they don't, they don't right so dough so be prepared to like have your mind blown and to be seeing things that you would just not even think about being seen. This is a great Great piece, one of the things that we do and you kind of leaned into this like to transition even my own mind on this interview, we'd love tagging, different pages with like the things that happen there. So for instance, here's a page where we talk about getting found online. And it's all of our content. Here's a page on automating your process and all of our content. So now we have tags, and we can see those tags when people actually viewed those pages, being able to segment that, but you mentioned and this is like a super ninja tip for everybody watching this interview. New versus old visitors mobile versus desktop visitors like start to really pay attention to those subsections and how they're using and what they're doing. Oh, and by the way, the other thing, you're gonna see design flaws in these recordings that you didn't see when you thought you qH your entire site. It's just gonna trust me. Trust me, it's gonna happen. You can hashtag sprocket talk that on Twitter, when you You find Oh crap, there's a button that doesn't have padding shoot, George was right. So here's the thing. Tom, are there any myths when you think about actually like lead generating from b2b blogs or even creating content around b2b spaces in that whole educational conversation? Are there any myths that we should like debunk before we send people back to their regularly scheduled day?

Tom Shapiro 8:25
Yeah, one is in the b2b space. A lot of companies that we talked to, for the first time, believe that they just need to be factual with their marketing. We call this dictionary marketing, right? Like, this is what we do. And that's what they want to talk about in their website. That's what they want to talk about in their marketing. That's what they you know, if they're at a, you know, a conference, wherever it might happen to be, even in a sales pitch, they want to tell the person what they do what they offer. And, you know, whenever we say look, you know, you really should be evoking Have an emotional response out of your audience. Right? Like That is how you drive people to action. And we'll go into a lot of detail on that during my inbound session. I'm so so when when we explain that to people, the initial gut reaction normally is Oh, no, we're b2b, that people don't react that way. reaction is a, they're human beings. That's how their brain is hardwired. You know, that is how a human being is constructed. That's how the brain is constructed. You know, emotion drives action. And so if you are completely in your marketing, your website, your blog, if you're completely devoid of that emotional element, and you're just trying to explain everything rationally to them. Good luck, because you will definitely not 10 extra leads out of your blog. I guarantee it. I guarantee it. I've seen it a million times. You know, you need to treat people like people like real people. And, you know, you go out to a bar, do you just tell people like what's in To drink and how the drink is made, and like that's your whole evening. That'd be pretty damn boring evening, right? The most memorable times that you have when you're going out when people don't mazing stories and they get you engaged and they make you feeling something, and you never forget it, right? It impacts you the most deeply. And so I don't know why it is. But there is a myth that would be to be you have to kind of lose your personality. And that is so far from the truth.

George Thomas 10:24
Yeah, I'm so down with this being human and I think actually it's where you have to almost be to be is where you have to double down on the human because it is like this thing where there's just becomes dry and stale. And everybody thinks that their industry is boring. And sometimes I wonder if that's an excuse to hide behind just so you can be boring. It's not what the world wants. And I love that you went down this this, you know, river, lane, direction, whatever word Because there are so many things that companies could be doing to tell a great story about the things that they're doing the products, the service, the whatever. So, I asked this last year I love this question. However, this year I'm prefacing it with I think inbound in the in the kit that they sent, the speaker should have spent center an applause button, like an easy button, where you could hit it and all sudden you heard an applause. So you get done with your session. People have just attended your session. You hit that applause button, because obviously they're in their house. They're standing up there giving you a, you know, a raving round of applause. What's the one thing that you want them to take away? Like, what's the hashtag one thing that you hope man, everybody that attends my session? This?

Tom Shapiro 11:49
Well, I hope that everyone comes away. Understanding that a blog is actually not just writing content. That's the most important thing. You know, to many companies. Just think okay, well how many blog posts Do we need a month? Okay, great. You over there, you're your content marketer, you write this many blog posts a month and put keywords in there too. It's a very rudimentary narrow minded way of looking at a blog, a blog should be a platform, it should be a framework, it should be a lead generation framework for you. And if it's not, you're not doing it correctly. Um, so the takeaway that I hope that you have if you attend my session is to look at your blog holistically. And I'll just throw one more tip in here. And I actually learned this from a friend and she's a former client, a direct, who used to be heading up marketing at proven error FinTech software company along with Sheryl cross. They're amazing marketers. And now a D has moved on to start a software company 20 X, but what they were doing was Brilliant, where they were using surveys as a lead generation tool everywhere. So, so think about the typical b2b company. And if they're going to do a survey, what do they do? They do one survey, right? The launch one survey. And it doesn't matter what page you're on, it doesn't matter what topic it is, you know, you get that one survey. And you know what they did, which I think is brilliant. What we do now at strategy is, we are launching lots and lots of surveys all the time to different audience segments. And they are page targeted within the website. So for example, you know, if you're on a blog post about web design, our surveys about web design, if you're on a blog page about SEO, our surveys about SEO, everything is finely tuned and finally targeted where we have a minimum, a minimum George of 10 surveys running all the time. And, you know, you think about that, and you think about that type of a strategy versus Oh, just write some blog post. See, each month, let's get at least four aiders, you know, 16, whatever it is, let's get this number of blog posts on a month, that doesn't work. What you need to do is look at it as a lead generation platform lead generation framework and look at it holistically from all these different angles, you know, neuroscience, behavioral science, how can we get surveys in there lots and lots of other things that we're going to cover during my session, but you have to look at it holistically, you bring it all together. That's the only way to 10 x your leads, you're really not going to do it any other way.

George Thomas 14:29
Yeah, I love this. And I love to simplify the complex because Tom, what I heard there is I heard Well, you should have your b2b blog. It should be educating people. By the way, when you're educating people, you should be doing surveys and when you say surveys, what I hear is you should be asking them questions. Here's the thing. Whenever you ask human beings questions, there's this thing that happens, you start to get to know them better. And what's interesting as humans because you know, bita bees aren't human. They don't act like humans, but as you start to get to know them better as humans, you can have deeper conversations. And might I just say what deeper conversations time comes trust. And we're all in this business of trust. And so this has been an amazing ride. Folks, here's what I'll say. I hope that you are paying attention to content marketing, I hope that you are creating the educational content. I hope that you'll use both of these tips that Tom has given us today, but more than that, I hope that you will attend his session and while you're doing these things and attending that session, we'll be here like always waiting for you in the next episode.