According to information from various sources, inbound marketing is 76% more likely than outbound marketing to be the strategy of choice for B2B sellers. However, these same reports show that documenting marketing ROI is a marketer’s biggest challenge. That’s quite a disconnect, and it suggests it may be time for B2B Lead Generation teams to step back and return to the fundamentals of inbound marketing. With this information, marketers can set themselves and their bosses up for success. Below is an explanation of how to generate B2B Sales with Inbound Marketing.
B2B Inbound Marketing: What Is It?
Generating B2B Leads with inbound marketing is a way to help prospective clients find the company before they even reach the purchase point in the buying cycle. By offering content that keeps those visitors coming back to the company’s site, marketers can build brand preference and awareness. When a marketing team leverages content that’s relevant to the site’s audience, they can include calls to action that pull the traffic through the sales funnel.
The Effects of Inbound Marketing
One commonly overlooked effect of building B2B Sales with inbound marketing is that the company has more opportunities to reach and engage with customers. When the company’s buyer personas like its content, the existing customer base is engaged and educated. Many inbound marketing teams forget about existing customers when forming strategies, but using inbound marketing to engage current customers can help companies expand operations and increase revenue.
Unlike PPC and other direct tactics, B2B Lead Nurturing with inbound marketing is sometimes hard to measure. Therefore, it’s extremely important for companies to define their goals at the beginning of an inbound marketing campaign. For a B2B seller, especially one with an in-house marketing team, it’s best to work backward from revenue goals to determine what the marketing campaign should accomplish. The number of new opportunities is the primary metric by which B2B marketing is measured, but even if that’s the goal, marketers should realize that SEO and content marketing take some time to implement.
Bridging the Gap
For marketers who are willing to wait, content can offer lasting and growing ROI in ways that no other marketing strategy or channel can. If a marketing team invests in inbound, members should allow enough time for results to be apparent. It may help to consider these statistics:
Companies with more than 30 landing pages create seven times more leads than companies with fewer than ten landing pages
Companies that create more than 15 blog posts per month get five times the traffic attained by non-blogging companies
Companies with over 50 blog posts can increase inbound leads by over 75%
Developing Buyer Personas
Persona analysis and market segmentation are different sides of the same coin. Whether a business is in the startup phase, looking for a way to cross the divide, or is expanding into a new market, having a detailed understanding of the target audience can help the marketing effort succeed. This is particularly true when that success depends on the constant production of content that solves leads’ problems and makes them want to revisit the site. Once the marketer sets goals, they should take some time to learn about and understand the target market. Know the ideal buyer by learning:
Where they come into the purchase cycle
Their specific challenges
Their definition of success
How they spend their time online
Based on the results of buyer persona research, the inbound marketing team should have an idea of the kind of content the ideal customer is looking for. Some customers prefer blog posts or videos while others want eBooks, whitepapers and webinars. However, for the average B2B marketer, blogging is the best way to attract customers to the company’s website, and it forms a launchpad to other content.
The Right Way to Blog
Keyword research is the cornerstone of a successful corporate blogging campaign. This means targeting longer keyword queries as opposed to competitive keywords. Long-tail keywords are ideal for blog post targeting, and they allow marketers to target niche-specific keywords to drive highly qualified leads to the site. While many marketers wonder how often they should publish new posts, they should focus on quality rather than quantity. Where post frequency is concerned, B2B sellers publishing more than 11 blog posts per month generate almost twice the leads of those who blog fewer than ten times per month.
Convert Through Capture Forms and Lead Magnets
If the product is a complex or costly one, it’s highly unlikely that the prospect will make a purchase on the first visit. Instead of engaging in a hard sell, marketers should consider offering an incentive or lead magnet that encourages an email signup or similar action. Special reports, white papers, and eBooks all work well. They’re an upgrade from the company’s free content, and they typically address subjects in greater detail. These lead magnets allow companies to show their expertise and experience, and they help to build the target market’s trust.
Grow and Close Leads With Email Marketing and Autoresponders
Once a prospect provides his or her contact information, the marketer can use a CRM system to follow up. Autoresponders are the perfect solution, as they allow marketers to slowly feed valuable content and sales pitches. Email marketing can help companies focus on qualified leads who are more likely to make a purchase.
A Marketer’s Next Steps
With these strategies in place, a marketing team can increase B2B Sales with Inbound Marketing. By creating and continually offering premium content, sellers can convert prospects into buyers as they move through the sales funnel.