Inbound Marketing for B2B Growth
Inbound Marketing sets the foundation for successful B2B growth.
The goal of inbound is to grow a business organically by providing content that's valuable to your target audience. When content addresses the problems and needs of your ideal buyer, it attracts more qualified prospects and builds trust and credibility for your business.
But there are different types of content for different stages of the buyer's journey - Four to be exact! The four inbound marketing actions are: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.
Inbound marketing starts with blogging. A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.
"If you’ve just started blogging for your business, chances are the domain for your blog is brand new. Search algorithms like Google’s often value older domains with a reputation, so it’s a good rule of thumb to allow around six months to really start gaining traction from search engines."
- John Bonini, HubSpot
Your customers begin their buying process online, usually by using a search engine to find something they have questions about. So, you need to make sure you’re appearing prominently when and where they search. To do that, you need to carefully, analytically pick keywords, optimize your pages, create content, and build links around the terms your ideal buyers are searching for.
Successful inbound strategies are all about remarkable content - and social publishing allows you to share that valuable information on the social web, engage with your prospects, and put a human face on your brand. Interact on the networks where your ideal buyers spend their time.
Website Content and Design
Your website pages are your digital storefront. So put your best face forward! Optimize your website to appeal to your ideal buyers and transform your website into a beacon of helpful content to entice the right strangers to visit your pages.
In order for visitors to become leads, they must fill out a form and submit their information. Optimize your form to make this step of the conversion process as easy as possible.
Calls-to-action are buttons or links that encourage your visitors to take action, like “Download a Whitepaper” or “Attend a Webinar.” If you don’t have enough calls-to-action or your calls-to-action aren’t enticing enough, you won’t generate leads.
When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they should then be sent to a landing page. A landing page is where the offer in the call-to-action is fulfilled, and where the prospect submits information that your sales team can use to begin a conversation with them. When website visitors fill out a form on a landing page for the first time, that visitor becomes a contact.
Read More: 23 Types of Lead Gen Content
Keep track of the details about all the contacts, companies, and deals in your pipeline, and easily get in touch with the right prospects at the right time. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems facilitate sales by making sure you have the right information at your fingertips to better engage with prospects across every channel.
How do you know which marketing efforts are bringing in the best leads? Is your sales team effectively closing those best leads into customers? Integration with your CRM system allows you to analyze just how well your marketing and sales teams are playing together.
What do you do if a visitor clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page, or downloads your whitepaper, but still isn’t ready to become a customer? A series of emails focused on useful, relevant content can build trust with a prospect and help them become more ready to buy.
This process involves creating email marketing and lead nurturing tailored to the needs and lifecycle stage of each lead. For example, if a visitor downloaded a whitepaper on a certain topic from you in the past, you might want to send that lead a series of related emails. But if they follow you on Twitter and visited certain pages on your website, you might want to change the messaging to reflect those different interests.
The best way to figure out what your users want is by asking them. Use feedback and surveys to ensure you’re providing customers with what they’re looking for.
Provide your existing customers with remarkable content tailored to their interests and challenges. Help them achieve their own goals, as well as introduce new products and features that might be of interest to them.
Content Marketing vs. Content Marketing Strategy - Know the difference:
- Content marketing strategy: Vision, goals, audience research, voice and style, ideation, external governance
- Content marketing: Editorial calendar, creation, curation, promotion, iteration
Keep track of the social conversations that matter to you most. Listen out fo r your customers’ questions, comments, likes, and dislikes – and reach out to them with relevant content.
But before diving in, take a step back to learn and consider best practices of high-functioning B2B marketing departments, then decide where to invest time and money in your organization.
In the first six months of inbound marketing, you can expect to build the framework for larger-scale inbound growth in Months 1 and 2, and the first real traction (lead generation and site visitor increases) in Months 3 and 4. By the six month mark, you can compare leads and visits to your starting figures, and determine a rate that will generally show you what you can expect continuing with inbound marketing.
Keep track of the leads you're converting in a centralized marketing database. Having all your data in one place helps you make sense out of every interaction you’ve had with your contacts - be it through email, a landing page, social media, or otherwise - and how to optimize your future interactions to more effectively attract, convert, close, and delight your buyer personas.