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Lead Gen Forms: A B2B marketer's guide on when to use them

By Jennifer Esty  |  March 17, 2022

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms have been around for years now. They are great way to capture leads from within the LinkedIn platform. They negate the need for a landing page, and they de-risk user drop off when switching from LinkedIn to another tab.

But we get asked all the time, when should you use a Lead Gen Form vs Sponsored Content (or another ad format)?

To help with that decision, we’ve developed a handy decision tree. It’s deceptively simple and, although a little tongue-in-cheek, the principles are genuine.

Sharp Ahead LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms Decision Tree

Ready to start your campaign?

A couple of more things to keep in mind:

Lead Gen Forms are prepopulated with the users details (yay!)

But many LinkedIn users have their personal email addresses as their primary email address and don’t always have up to date information (boo!).

And if you don’t spend time on creating properly targeted audiences and useful content, there isn’t a decision tree in the world that will make those campaigns successful.

Need help from an expert? Get in touch for a free 30-minute consultation.

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Why your Google Ads Optimisation Score is too high and what to do about it?

By John Woods  |  November 29, 2021

On 24th September 2021, we had the pleasure to host a session on Google Ads Optimisation Score as part of the Leeds Digital Festival

During the virtual event Dr John Woods, Founder and Director of Sharp Ahead, shared his expert observations on B2B paid media best practices. Dr Woods emphasised that, as Google progressively gamifies “good practice” for paid search advertising, we need to bear in mind that what’s good for Google isn’t necessarily good for B2B advertisers. 

You can now watch the full video recording of the event to learn more about:

  • Paid media campaigns
  • Whether automatic bidding beat manual bids set by a human expert
  • If an AI conversion optimiser reduce your cost per lead
  • Should you trust a machine to write your ad copy
  • The good, the bad, and the ugly of Google Ads’ optimisation score and automation.

We would like to thank all the attendees for their active participation and great questions in the Q&A part of the event.

Find out more about our PPC services or get in touch to see how we can help you deliver successful PPC campaigns.

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Constant Contact Acquires SharpSpring

What does this mean for your company?

By Nicola Haynes  |  June 28, 2021

Last week it was announced that SharpSpring has been acquired by Constant Contact – an established leader in online marketing technology.

As many of our valued clients are currently using, or in the process of implementing, SharpSpring, we wanted to give you a quick update on the latest news.  

In a session for agencies late last week, SharpSpring’s CEO Rick Carlson assured us that the fundamentals of the software will not change – Constant Contact and SharpSpring share the same values and vision. The acquisition provides the opportunity for further investment in the platform – meaning more great features for you and us!

What happens next?

Well, mainly, it’s business as usual. Constant Contact and SharpSpring will spend the next couple of months completing the legal necessities, and at Sharp Ahead we’ll continue to drive growth for our clients through the SharpSpring platform. 

We’ve been informed there will be no major changes for the foreseeable future. There are, however, a range of exciting new features already in the pipeline for this year, including: 

  • An SMS marketing tool
  • New integrations
  • New navigation
  • New opportunity manager
  • An updated mobile app
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Any questions?

We’ll keep you updated as and when we hear more about the acquisition and any exciting new features, but if you have any questions, or if you’re interested in becoming a SharpSpring user please do get in touch!

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Considering webinars? 10 top tips and 2 alternatives.

By John Woods  |  March 27, 2020
If you’re considering the pivot from face-to-face events to webinars, you’re not alone. In the era of social distancing webinars are an obvious choice for facilitating interactions between customers, prospects and suppliers.

Here are our top 10 tips for running a webinar from home– and 2 alternatives to consider.

  1. A webinar is not a hard sales pitch. People have given up their time to learn something not to hear your sales spiel. Use case studies, ask a customer to join you remotely for a Q and A, share your expertise. Think of it as an opportunity to position yourself as a thought leader.
  2. Don’t give away too much! A webinar should open conversations, build trust and facilitate the next steps.  There should be a clear call to action at the end of the that moves attendees down the sales funnel.
  3. Check WiFi speed – have you managed a general video call before at home on your laptop that was relatively smooth? Test video quality from room to room and find where the strongest signal is. 
  4. Sound quality is even more critical than video. If possible, use a microphone.  If you don’t have one, sit as close to your laptop microphone as possible. Make sure you are in a quiet, calm environment. If possible having children, noisy housemates or pets around as they will distract you and your attendees.
  5. Always have a practice run! Ask someone to dial into the practise webinar listen in to check quality.  Plan it for the same time of day as the live webinar for the most accurate test. If you have no one to help, simply record your test run and make sure you are happy with the sound when you listen back.
  6. Familiarise yourself with your webinar software (we like Zoom and GoToWebinar).  Make sure you know how to mute yourself, start the webinar, end the webinar and take questions (and practice these steps!). 
  7. Prepare questions. You probably have a good idea of what kind of questions your customers tend to ask so have a couple prepared in case your attendees are reluctant to ask their own.
  8. Avoid using long videos in your webinar. They often result in a mixed experience for attendees, who have signed up to hear and interact with people not watch videos (which you can always send out after the webinar)  
  9. Don’t panic if something goes wrong. Stay calm, keep the audience informed and mute yourself for a few seconds to compose yourself if you need to. 
  10. Follow up. Always email your attendees to thank them for their time and post the recording on online (the content isn’t sensitive).  Not only does this allow your attendees to re-watch or share their with colleagues, it also is a useful resource for future prospects. (You can also listen back to the webinar yourself and make notes of any improvements you might want to make for future webinars. 

Not sure if webinars are right for you? If you’re not comfortable running a webinar, or if you’re (rightly) worried your customers are being bombarded with them right now, here are two alternatives:

  1. Short instructional videos: consider creating some short, helpful videos on your product, service, or area of expertise. Use the same tips above on sound quality and practice. Keep them under a minute or so and amplify them through your social networks, inviting prospects and customers to follow you and signup to receive future content.
  2. Interviews: if you have a friendly customer or influencer willing to be interviewed, you can use the same software and principles above to record your conversation and provide that content to your prospects and customers. Again, amplify it throughout your networks and consider creating short teaser versions to repurpose for more content.

And of course, if you need any help defining your webinar strategy, want some coaching or hands on assistance, or just have some general questions on webinars, please get in touch.

Coffee next to a laptop

Rapidly Scale Your Digital Marketing for SaaS over Breakfast with Sharp Ahead and Accelerate

By Jennifer Esty  |  February 24, 2020

Join Sharp Ahead and Accelerate on the 17th March at The Curious Lounge in Reading where both agencies will be offering hands-on advice to grow your SaaS company using best practice digital marketing techniques.

The session will cover tips and tricks for PPC, CRO, SEO & Analytics with two amazing speakers and a panel of experts, as well leaving time for networking with peers, lots of coffee and an exclusive competition to win a free digital healthcheck.

Speakers at this breakfast event will include digital marketer and Sharp Ahead Director, Dr John Woods, who will be discussing how to create effective landing pages and Accelerate Analytics Director, Phil Pearce, will present ‘Analytics Growth Hacking Tips for SaaS’.

Tickets for this not-to-be-missed event are available via Eventbrite.

So, grab your reusable coffee cup and join us for a constructive morning!

Event details: 17th March. 8am-10am. The Curious Lounge, 20 Tudor Road, Reading, RG1 1NH. Tickets £4.99.

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