The new approach to marketing, called inbound marketing, has been sending shock waves throughout the marketing industry lately. This relatively new concept allows companies and businesses to no longer be dependent on third parties, such as magazines, billboards, newspapers, television commercials, radio commercials, and others to get their message out. Now companies can use inbound marketing to tell their own stories. This is a major breakthrough because the cost to run an inbound marketing campaign is much, much cheaper than running an outbound marketing campaign using the third party channels we mentioned above. No other medium gives companies the ability to reach such wide audiences while only spending a fraction of the money that they would be spending on outbound. B2B inbound marketing will generate new leads for your company, help you nurture them, and ultimately increase your lead conversion rate.
The beauty of the internet is that your prospects look for you as opposed to you looking for your prospects. B2B inbound marketing specializes in generating content that will draw these prospects to your website, nurturing those leads with quality content and educational information, then converting those leads into sales. The cycle is very simple, and it’s great for businesses because the prospects who are navigating your site’s content are the ones who are doing most of the work. You just have the duty of making sure that your content is there and is easily available for them to see, read, digest and analyze. With inbound marketing, you are ultimately making your site more visible online, thus prospects will find you easier. If your prospects are having a hard time finding or navigating your site, you will lose traffic, and in turn, lose business. Inbound marketing prevents this from happening.
If you are just now starting to learn about B2B inbound marketing and all of its benefits, then you have chosen the right article to read! We have put together a list of things you will want to think about when developing your B2B inbound marketing strategy. Keep in mind that these are proven practices and they WILL generate new customers for you.
Tie Your Inbound Strategy to Your Already Existing Marketing Strategy
The most effective inbound strategies incorporate the company’s overall marketing strategy into it. Remember, you want to establish a singular voice with your audience, so be sure to match your inbound and outbound strategies so your customers don’t get confused. It is also a great idea to put information mentioning your inbound content on your outbound content. This can include things such as your social media links (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) or the link to your company’s website.
Get Yourself Support
You will want to get the full support of your company’s executives from both the sales and marketing departments. Aligning your sales and marketing departments using inbound is a surefire way to not just generate more leads from your site, but also to nurture and eventually convert them. If your sales reps are on the same page as your inbound marketing team, they will have a much better idea what is going on when leads ask them about the content and information that your inbound team created. They can also mention frequently asked questions they receive so that your inbound team can create more content that answers these questions. Essentially, the content used in your inbound strategy is the same as what your sales reps will use in their sales calls. If this isn’t aligned, you will have problems and leads will fall through the gaps in your strategy.
Begin With Just One or Two Channels
Once you have gotten full support for your inbound strategy, you will want to focus on one or two channels that everyone on your team is comfortable and familiar with. You especially want to pay attention to which channels your customers are using the most. Articles and blogs are a great place to start if you are wanting to share information that’s more technical. If your product is more visual, then you will probably want to start with videos and social media sites such as Facebook or Pinterest. Just keep in mind that whatever channel you start with, it will essentially be an extension of a sales meeting with a prospect.
Develop a Schedule
Just creating individual pieces of content on a sporadic basis will not work. You need to be able to create quality, unique content on a continuous basis and promote these pieces of content through the right channels at the right times. A good idea is to create a timeline of the content you will be producing and when you will release or post it. Scheduling your content to be released around product launches and industry events such as conferences and conventions is a great way to capitalize on your potential customer’s interest. The key is to maintain your visibility with your audience. If you are not constantly producing content that your audience can see, or you just stop producing, your customers and leads will think you disappeared or just forget about you completely. This is the last thing you want happening.
Develop a Credible Persona
Develop a singular, company persona that offers added value and insight into your company. Give unique industry perspectives and explain the benefits of your products or services using this persona. Deviating from your established persona will only upset and confuse customers. If they can’t trust your company’s online persona and presence, why would they ever want to do business with you?
Create an Awesome Promotion Plan
Once you have created your content, you will want to make sure your visitors can find your website easily, and then be able to find the content on your website easily as well. You can promote this by optimizing your site for SEO so that your site is easily found in search engines, using promotional tools such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, or broadcasting your content using email and social media channels like Facebook or Twitter. Remember, the key is to make it EASY for your site visitors to find anything and everything that would make them interested or at least curious about what you and your company have to offer.
Actively creating content, optimizing that content, and then promoting it is the most effective way to run a B2B inbound marketing strategy. On top of that, inbound marketing is unbelievably cheaper than outbound marketing, and it can create the same results, or even better! The future of the marketing industry is in inbound, so if you and your company don’t show some initiative NOW, you will most assuredly be left in the dust of the companies who are already implementing inbound into their overall strategies.
Certified Inbound Marketing Strategist | Content Marketing Specialist | Social Media Strategist | SEO