Inbound marketing focuses on attracting potential customers through valuable content. Such a strategy helps bring in more of your best-fit prospects and, ultimately, turn them into leads and customers. Furthermore, inbound marketing is often less risky and inexpensive than outbound marketing.
However, in order for your campaign to work its magic, you would have to find out more about the key elements of a successful inbound marketing strategy for B2B. Some of them include understanding your audience and marketing funnel, creating content and promoting it, and measuring the campaign’s performance.
In today’s saturated digital landscape, developing an effective inbound marketing strategy is essential for B2B businesses to reach their target audiences and drive conversions.
An inbound marketing approach puts the focus on creating helpful content that educates customers so they can make better-informed decisions, which encourages brand loyalty and ultimately leads to more sales.
To get started with an inbound strategy, it is important for marketers to carefully craft a comprehensive plan that takes into account each individual step of the process.
Let’s dive deeper into inbound marketing strategy for b2b companies and take a closer look at each element for a successful program.
7 Key Elements of a Successful Inbound Marketing Strategy for B2B
A properly defined inbound marketing strategy will help you reach, interact with, and convert customers, and keep them engaged even after they have made a purchase.
But before you begin planning, you need to set a goal that is going to define the whole strategy. It has to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
“I want more sales” is not a SMART goal as it won’t allow you to measure how effective your strategy is. Instead, try something like “I want to increase leads by 45% in 3 months”.
Once you set the goal, you’ll know exactly what KPIs to focus on while implementing the marketing strategy.
Understanding Your Audience
By defining exactly who you’re targeting, you can tailor your content plan accordingly (because different groups of people respond to content in different ways).
To find your target audience, you should:
- Understand what problems your product or service solves
- Create ideal customer profiles by using technographic and firmographic data (such data is essential for B2B marketing as it provides insight into the size of the companies, their operations, and the software they use)
- Research who your competitors are targeting
- Analyze your social media and website traffic (you can use Google Analytics)
Analyzing the Marketing Funnel
An inbound marketing funnel works just like a traditional funnel. Awareness – Interest – Desire – Action – Retention – Loyalty
When developing a marketing strategy, you would have to figure out what type of your content is going to be associated with each stage of the funnel.
- Blog content, SEO, and social media are used to attract potential customers
- Forms, landing pages, and lead magnets can convert visitors into leads
- CRM, email marketing, and automation flows are used to close the deal
- Surveys, smart content, and social monitoring will help you turn new users into loyal customers
Performing a Content Audit
You would have to review and audit what you’re already doing, in order to be able to move forward.
To perform an audit, you should create an inventory of every piece of content and categorize it. An SEO audit focuses on such metrics as keywords, backlinks, and page speed. Depending on the goal of your B2B marketing strategy, you might want to run a content conversion audit that will focus on traffic, click rate, etc.
After you have finished with the spreadsheet, you will get to find out:
- What content is underperforming
- What content performs extremely well
- What content is missing (your target audience might be interested in something that you haven’t yet covered)
Defining the Value Proposition
Once you have a defined value proposition, you will be able to create relevant and helpful content that will attract potential customers and make the old ones stick with you.
Here are a few questions that will help you come up with your value proposition:
- What benefit does your service or product offer?
- How do you solve the customers’ needs?
- How are you different from your competitors?
Developing a Content Plan
Start brainstorming ideas and create a content calendar that includes content titles, ideas, and themes.
When pitching ideas, remember about your target audience and what types of content they tend to respond better to (ebooks, explainer videos, blog posts, interactive tools, etc.).
Developing a Promotional Plan
No matter how great your content is, the right people might not be able to see it if you fail to promote it.
Here are a few ways to do that for free:
- Make sure that your visuals and posts are optimized for sharing
- Learn how to use keywords effectively
- Offer a newsletter swap to potential content partners
- Engage with your audience (create polls, talk to people in the comment section, etc.)
- Reach out to influencers and experts that you have mentioned in your content (they might share the piece when it goes live)
Defining How the Performance Will Be Measured
Finally, a successful inbound marketing strategy for b2b companies needs to identify relevant KPIs to measure the effectiveness of the campaign. Do bear in mind that each stage of the marketing funnel can have different metrics.
To figure out how many people you have actually reached, you can use the number of unique visitors, the bounce rate, and revenue per visit. To find out how many visitors took action, pay attention to the number of leads and the percentage of conversion to leads, and so on.
Final Thoughts: Inbound Marketing Strategy For B2B
Inbound marketing is a powerful strategy to attract potential customers and bring in more of your best-fit prospects. When done right, it increases your brand’s visibility, drives targeted traffic to your website, and nurtures leads until they convert.
The key ingredient to an inbound marketing strategy for b2b companies it to make the most of inbound marketing lies in being able to identify your target audience, create content tailored for them, promote it effectively, and measure the results.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for successful inbound marketing campaigns, allocating resources strategically towards this type of approach is likely to generate an impressive ROI down the track.
If you manage to consider all of these key elements when coming up with your inbound marketing strategy, success will not keep you waiting. And remember that this strategy doesn’t have to be set in stone – you can always make a few tweaks, once you analyze the metrics.
Glen manages our integrated SEM and PPC digital marketing campaigns focused on increasing qualified web traffic that converts into paying customers.
He is an expert data analyst who loves to study competitors and identify the most advantageous value propositions for clients.