7 Best Practices for Great PowerPoint Slides

Posted by Scott Danish on Apr 9, 2019 3:08:24 PM

There are more than 500 million PowerPoint users and 30 million PowerPoint presentations created each day around the world. It’s a medium that B2B audiences are familiar and comfortable with, and a well-designed PowerPoint presentation will keep or recapture your audience’s attention.

Just as importantly, it’s a medium that puts presenters at ease: According to one study, 91 percent of people feel that a well-designed slide deck would make them feel more confident when giving a presentation.

The Advantages of PowerPoint

“PowerPoint presentations have a lot of advantages,” says Anne Spencer, a senior designer at BayCreative. “They have a ‘made for me’ feeling about them. Unlike a brochure, a presentation can feel like it’s been prepared for the specific meeting or occasion."

“It’s often the case a B2B executive, marketer or salesperson will find inspiration for something at the 11th hour, and it’s easy to make last-minute changes to slides because of its ‘open’ format that allows for easy edits to copy, imagery or animation," adds Arne Hurty, BayCreative's Chief Creative Officer. "And it’s a very flexible format. In the hands of a skilled designer, a PowerPoint presentation can have quality rivaling any presentation format. Even animation, when handled well, can make people forget they’re looking at a PowerPoint deck.”

The key that keeps coming up, though, is that the PowerPoint deck has to be well-designed. If your deck isn’t, you’re wasting your time.

So here are BayCreative's recommendations for creating compelling B2B PowerPoint presentations that capture and keep the audience’s attention.

Best Practices for B2B PowerPoint Presentations

  • Keep is short: It’s easy, when preparing a deck, to ramble on. This is pretty natural and probably happens because people do their thinking while working on slides, essentially drafting the outline of what they want that slide to be instead of creating the actual slide. It’s important to edit back and be cognizant of the talk track that’s going to happen. You don’t need everything that’s being said to appear on the slide. Sometimes a simple image is the best way to accompany all that’s being said
  • Keep it legible: In keeping with simple, consider how far people might be from the screen and how hard it is to read small type or see small images. Usually people are sitting pretty close to screens when working on slides, and it’s easy to forget how hard it might be to see that same copy from a distance
  • Build around company messaging: PowerPoints should be in lockstep with all your most current messaging, visual ID, and campaign work
  • Play off the speaker: The speaker is the star of the show and the PowerPoint is there to make them look good. The goal is rarely to have the audience staring at presentation slides during most of a presentation. Make slides that compliment what’s being said
  • Consistency: You want to avoid a presentation looking like it was cobbled together from a bunch of other presentations. Have a consistency in design and style throughout a presentation; a theme or graphical continuity that carries through. There are a million ways of doing this, with color, fonts, imagery
  • Thoughtful animation: Watch a movie or a show on TV. Notice the transitions from scene to scene. In almost every case, they are either abrupt changes of scenes or very quick fades. You don’t see scenes flying as a grid or spinning around to reveal themselves. Nor does it make sense to do that in your PowerPoint. Think about what’s going to serve best. A fancy transition is making more of a point about the transition than it is about the slide being transitioned to
  • Keep it current: Update your slide as necessary, but especially when there’s some kind of a trigger—such as new messaging, new products, new executive hired, new competition, new event, or new industries you’re trying to penetrate

Give Power to Your Message—and Get Help If You Have Limited Resources

PowerPoint is tremendously flexible and portable, which makes it an effective marketing tool. It works for everything from small, intimate, sales presentations, to keynotes at large conferences and is a great tool for self-running presentations, either sent to people directly in email (because file sizes are small) or run at a tradeshow.

By following the best practices we've laid out, you can create great B2B PowerPoint presentations that look professional. Or, BayCreative can help you do it (here are some examples of our PowerPoint work).

Executives, marketers and sales reps often have too much on their plates to devote the time and resources necessary to build and maintain truly effective PowerPoint presentations. That’s where outside help like BayCreative can come in handy. If you need help creating outstanding PowerPoint presentations, please let us know.

 All the best,
- Team BayCreative -

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Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Online Marketing, Content Development, inbound marketing, marketing strategies, Presentation, lead generation, Messaging, b2b marketing, digital marketing, content

How to Generate a Full Funnel of Qualified B2B Prospects

Posted by Scott Danish on Apr 3, 2019 10:48:41 AM

The math is simple...

The more leads you have on qualified B2B prospects for your product, service or solution, the more customers you’ll end up with. That’s why 85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal, and why 53% of marketers say half or more of their budget is allocated to lead gen.

By “lead generation,” we specifically mean cultivating the names and contact information of people and businesses who have shown interest in your product/service/solution. Once in place, lead generation campaigns allow you to fill out your sales funnel with qualified leads with little active effort on your part. Instead, you can you focus on converting those new prospects into customers.

Cultivating those leads takes time, but there is a straightforward method for doing so.

How B2B Lead Gen Works: An Overview.

An effective lead gen campaign is built around an offer of something of value to the prospect, such as a white paper or webinar that tells them how to solve a common problem. You create the piece, post it or the information for accessing it on a landing page on your website, and then post ads and send out emails and sales letters spreading word about the offer.

When the interested prospect signs up to access the material, they provide you with their contact information. Your sales team can then maintain contact with those prospects and gently move them down the sales funnel.

The Foundation of Any B2B Lead Generation Campaign is the All-Important Offer

The offer (sometimes called a "magnet") must hold some value for your prospects to convince them to share their contact information. After all, nobody enjoys getting sales calls, so they’re not going to just hand you their phone number or email address for nothing.

So your offer has to be informative and narrowly tailored to your prospects. Give them something they can use right now, and if it happens to be connected to your product, that’s great. (It should definitely connect with your product/solution/service. Don’t give them a baseball card price guide if you sell CRM software.)

What Content Will Work Best for Your Lead Gen Offer?

Some formats perform better than others at converting leads; it all depends on your audience. What would they prefer—an eBook or a webinar? A white paper or an online demo?

According to Hubspot, here are the types of offers that generate the most amount of leads, in order of performance:

  • eBooks or guides that explain how to do or accomplish something or that walks the audience through a process
  • Templates or presentations that make their job easier, lay out a step-by-step process, or provide them with a script
  • Research and special reports, which are more educational and are especially popular among service companies
  • White papers that have a topic of high interest to prospects. These are frequently about a new technology, recent innovation, or a new way of doing something
  • Kits, which are really multiple offers packaged together. These often include a brochure, video card or CD with a demo, customer success stories, technical specs, and more. These work best with prospects who already know your company
  • Live webinars and on-demand videos, which are really a white paper or special report done in an instructional format

It’s important to test different types of offers with your audience to determine what works best for your company.

How to Get Your Lead Gen Campaign Done

63% of marketers say their top challenge is generating enough traffic and leads. That’s partially because they don’t have the internal resources to devote to it: 61% of B2B marketers report that a lack of resources such as staff, funding, and time is the biggest obstacle to successful lead gen efforts.

At BayCreative, we can provide you with the expert resources for a successful lead generation campaign that targets the right audience with the right content. If you’re ready to fill your sales funnel with qualified prospects, please just let us know

All the best,
- Team BayCreative -

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Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Online Marketing, Content Development, inbound marketing, marketing strategies, lead generation, Messaging, b2b marketing, Pay-Per-Click, digital marketing, content

Clutch Names BayCreative a 2019 Top Branding Industry Leader

Posted by Scott Danish on Mar 29, 2019 1:11:47 PM

Since 1998 BayCreative has served as a trusted digital partner to some of the best brands in the U.S. and beyond, providing a full suite of marketing, creative and branding services. With the rise of social media and other digital platforms, the cultural significance of brands has never been higher, with good brands having a staying power like never before. The services BayCreative provides allows businesses and organizations to elevate their brands to praise and success, and they have earned us some praise ourselves.

Our agency is pleased to share that independent research firm Clutch has just named BayCreative as an industry leader among brand consultants in San Francisco. Clutch is a B2B ratings and reviews platform that uses data-driven research and client reviews to help businesses make more meaningful partnerships. After being the subject of this research, BayCreative was ranked among the leading 15 agencies, out of almost 400 of the top branding firms in San Francisco.

"Although we have Clutch analysts to thank for this recognition, we owe most of it to our extraordinary clients," notes Arne Hurty, the agency's Chief Creative Officer and Founder. 

According to Clutch, the most important factor they consider when evaluating firms is what the agency's clients have to say about them, and BayCreative clients have delivered! Hurty continues, "more than 20 BayCreative clients have shared their stories of working with us, and as a result we have an outstanding rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars."

Although we have received a large amount of feedback, we were struck by the words of one of our clients. When asked what they found impressive about BayCreative, they responded by saying:

“BayCreative demonstrates excellent listening, flexibility, a clear sense of design, and a knack for creative problem-solving. The team works closely with us to accommodate changes to the statement of work and never turns down a request.”

Scott Danish, BayCreative President and Co-owner, reflects "We strive to be a valuable partner on every project we complete, and reviews like this let us know that we are hitting our mark. We appreciate this opportunity to keep track of how we are performing for our clients, and we cannot wait to see what else they have to say about us."

BayCreative may have been recognized by Clutch as a 2019 Top Branding Industry Leader, but the quality of our full suite of digital marketing and creative services has also been commended. We are excited to be featured as one of the top digital agencies in San Francisco on "The Manifest." The Manifest is a sister-site to Clutch, and serves as a resource for small to midsize firms, providing industry insights and how-to guides. In addition, BayCreative garnered recognition over the past two years from Clutch as a: Top California Service Provider, a Top Digital Agency, a Top Video Production Company, a Top Ad & Marketing Agency and Top Web Designer.

Danish adds "the BayCreative team is proud to receive this praise, but we recognize that we did not earn it alone. Thank you to all of our amazing clients... we absolutely could not have done this without you. If you are pleased with the work we have done for you, feel free to submit your own BayCreative review on Clutch. And if you are looking to elevate your brand and your business, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. These first two decades have been kind to BayCreative, and we cannot wait to see what the next few hold for us!"

All the best,
- Team BayCreative -

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Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Online Marketing, Content Development, inbound marketing, marketing strategies, lead generation, Messaging, b2b marketing, Pay-Per-Click, digital marketing, content

Take the Stress Out of B2B Inbound Marketing

Posted by Scott Danish on Mar 26, 2019 11:32:23 AM

Beating the bushes for new clients can be disheartening. You make calls and constantly get voicemail. Send emails and a majority go unopened. Follow up and get ignored. Make a fabulous offer… and get ignored some more. You pay for a display ad in a trade publication and hope the right people happen to see it at the right time.

There’s an easier, less expensive, and more effective way to consistently fill your sales funnel with targeted prospects: B2B inbound marketing.

According to Demand Metric, inbound marketing generates three times more leads than traditional methods—and costs 62 percent less. So it seems like a worthwhile addition to your B2B marketing program. 

What is B2B inbound marketing? And why is it effective?

Why B2B Inbound Marketing Works

HubSpot coined the phrase “inbound marketing” in 2006. It means using a combination of relevant, informative content in various channels to increase your brand’s reach and draw people to your website, landing page, or tradeshow booth rather than outwardly pushing your brand, product, or service onto prospects. You attract people’s attention, engage with them, convert them to customers, and then delight them with more useful content.

It’s effective because by offering your audience something of interest and value, you’re cutting through their innate skepticism of advertising. If fact, it’s like you’re not even advertising at all. Rather, you’re communicating and helping them, and that difference can be powerful. You’re building trust, credibility, and momentum with your prospects and customers. 

Most Successful B2B Inbound Marketing Channels

The key to a successful inbound marketing program is to create content specifically designed to appeal to your targeted customers. Here are the most common channels used in inbound marketing:

  • Thought leadership pieces such as white papers, eBooks, and infographics that you post on your website or present on industry websites. Those pieces of content show audience members how to do something in a new and/or better way. If the reader likes what they read, they may look around your website to learn more.
  • Case studies. Here you’re showing the audience how an organization similar to their own solved a common problem—and maybe your reader will benefit from a similar approach.
  • A Blog (like this one!) that offers useful, practical advice that the audience can act on.
  • Videos that can take on the role of thought leadership, customer testimonials, product demos or blog posts.
  • Social media campaigns that offer quick insights into trends or useful tips and tricks.
  • Targeted pay-per-click campaigns on social media and online community pages that offer the promise of something relevant and useful to the viewer. It’s important that you deliver on that promise.

Inbound or Outbound? Both

An inbound marketing element can take some of the frustration and stress out of your marketing efforts by bringing prospects to you while you focus on outbound marketing efforts. That’s the key to an effective marketing strategy: It should incorporate both inbound and outbound marketing to capture the greatest number of prospects.

Lead Nurturing Accelerates the Sales Cycle

If someone choses to convert on your website (fill out a form) for certain types of content, you begin to identify at what level they are in your sales funnel. Designing and programming a series of lead nurturing workflows will help nurture these leads through the funnel over time in an automated fashion. Each month, as you add additional digital assets, these nurturing strategies get updated. It is common to have many of these campaigns running on your website.

Why?  Companies that automate marketing activity see up to a 10% revenue increase in just 6-9 months. (Source: Gartner Research).

Generally, it takes multiple touch points to successfully create a prospect. By building a relationship with a buyer, you can deliver the right content at the right time to move them to the next stage in the buying cycle. This allows you to deliver more highly qualified leads to your sales team and shorten the sales cycle when that conversation begins.

Email Marketing is Still an Efficient Way to Generate Leads at a Reasonable Cost

When you offer your website visitors useful or entertaining content, they choose to opt-in to your information by converting on your website forms. Email marketing is used to keep relationships with leads strong and to promote new content for effective lead nurturing.

Why? 50% of qualified leads are simply not ready to buy. (Source: Gartner Research)

Just because a website visitor becomes a lead doesn’t mean he or she is ready to buy. Email marketing is a great way to keep your name in front of your prospects. Moreover, one email blast can have different messages for different segments of your list. These highly targeted lists can improve your open and click-through rate, increasing engagement with a lead.

Make the Investment in B2B Inbound Marketing

Whatever mix you incorporate into your marketing efforts, you’ll need to invest either dollars or time. If you’re bandwidth is running thin and you need expert support, BayCreative can help. Please just let us know.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

From Forbes: “In order to stand out today, brands need something more. They need to focus on selectively, strategically positioning themselves as true thought leaders.”

From Neil Patel: “22 Inbound Marketing Strategies Your Startup Needs to Start Using Today

All the best,
- Team BayCreative -
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Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Online Marketing, Content Development, inbound marketing, marketing strategies, lead generation, Messaging, b2b marketing, Pay-Per-Click, digital marketing, content

8 Tips for B2B Marketers to Rock SEO Management

Posted by Scott Danish on Jul 29, 2015 10:00:00 AM

As a B2B marketer, you're always in search of new customers to grow business. To do so, you've got to "get found" by your target audiences. While the use of search engine optimization (SEO) might have made things easier, there are several mistakes B2B marketers still make when trying to manage an effective inbound marketing strategy. The following SEO management tips will help B2B marketers succeed among stiff online competition.

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Topics: SEO, Content Development, inbound marketing, full service marketing, marketing strategies, b2b marketing

7 Steps to Effective B2B Inbound Marketing

Posted by Scott Danish on Jun 1, 2015 1:49:45 PM

Meeting key performance indicators (KPIs) in your inbound marketing efforts needn't be difficult. In our experience, there is a simple seven-step process that companies of any size can follow to achieve success. Using this process, the various pieces of the puzzle – from content development to marketing automation — fall into place seamlessly.

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Topics: Content Development, inbound marketing, full service marketing, demand generation, lead generation

The Four Golden Rules of B2B Social Media Marketing

Posted by Scott Danish on May 28, 2015 10:59:00 AM

You’re smart, savvy, and you know your business like the back of your hand. So, why does it seem like no matter how much social media marketing you do, you’re only reaching the same, small circle of people? The answer is quite simple: Despite your best intentions, you might be doing everything wrong.

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Topics: Social, SEO, Content Development, inbound marketing

Inbound Marketing with Memes

Posted by BC Team on Apr 29, 2014 3:12:36 PM

For those who think that internet memes are the creation of Millennials, you would be mistaken. The word and concept of the meme was created in 1976 by a man named Richard Dawkins. Companies have been using forms of memes in their marketing strategies for a long time. From Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” campaign to Alka-Seltzer’s “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”, marketers have used humor and repetition to deliver their message. Harvard Business Review points out that these characters were well known and loved. However, many didn’t recognize memes until the eruption of the internet memes such as grumpy cat, the world’s most interesting man, and success kid. Today, memes are racing around the web, especially on social media sites and are some of the most widely recognized posts.

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Topics: inbound marketing

"Get Found" by the Right Prospects to Drive Lead Generation

Posted by Scott Danish on Apr 11, 2013 12:22:00 PM

Whether your goals are to build a qualified-leads database from targeted cold inquiries, or nurture warm leads to remain engaged, or just to get a foot-in-the-door with CXOs at named accounts—to be successful you need to focus you efforts on getting your Sales teams' phones ringing. To do this you need to develop integrated campaigns that leverage innovative inbound and outbound marketing techniques in broadcast and high-touch direct response. No matter what type of campaign, make sure you are using best practices in development, deployment, measurement and reporting. And, maximize the effectiveness of your sales team with self-qualifying landing pages, persuasive call scripts and custom sales presentations.

inbound funnel
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Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Outsource Marketing, SEO, Content Development, inbound marketing, full service marketing, marketing strategies, demand generation, lead generation

Graphic Design During the Webtop Revolution

Posted by Arne Hurty on Mar 8, 2013 8:23:00 AM

I lived through the desktop revolution. As a graphic designer I was definitely a rebel, on the front lines. Back in 1985, I made having a MacSE, a condition of taking any job. Exciting times. Typesetting shops were turning into digital prepress houses. Rapidograph pens, mylar, and stat cameras, were all rapidly becoming things of the past. Having drunk the Kool-Aid, I spread the word in my own way. I vividly recall indoctrinating my professor from UCLA, who also ran a high-end book-publishing house. I invited him to stop by after work one evening to spend a couple hours with me, and Aldus PageMaker. A message came a week later that he'd traded out all his drafting tables for Mac II's and PostScript printers.

Graphic design is more important than ever
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Topics: inbound marketing, quality design, graphic design

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