If there is one component every B2B marketing should have in their marketing mix, it is inbound marketing. Inbound marketing leads interested prospects to you instead of your brand approaching them first through ads or promotional posts.
Since you provide value first and convert them later, inbound marketing has a much higher conversion rate than outbound marketing.
Inbound strategies pull customers towards your brand with content marketing techniques, such as offering valuable information, solving customers’ pain points with FAQs, following the customer through several touchpoints with highly targeted content, etc. This method is the perfect fit for B2B businesses and customers because:
- B2B sales cycles are much longer than B2C and involve heavy research. As your customers want to learn about your offerings, inbound marketing provides them with the information they seek.
- A B2B sale involves multiple decision-makers, so customers may also need to discuss your offerings and share your content with several other people.
So, what is the secret to an effective inbound strategy? What are some strategies that can work for your business? Read this article to find out.
What is An Effective Inbound Strategy?
To make your inbound efforts a success, you need to focus on four key pillars:
- Attract your audience with valuable content
- Engage them by continuing to serve them relevant content, communicating with them, and responding to their queries.
- Convert them into paying customers
- Delight them with follow-up communications, customer service, loyalty programs, etc.
Here are four proven ways to devise and implement an inbound marketing strategy that works.
#1 Survey Your Current Customers
Since inbound marketing aims to attract customers to you, you must always make your strategy customer-centric. For this purpose, you should know your target market inside-out. The quickest way to do this is by surveying your existing customers.
Reach out to your clients and request them to fill out a survey, which pointed questions like:
- What is their most significant pain point? Their answers will help you understand their concerns and respond to them with compelling content that directly addresses them.
- Which solutions did not work for them? This will help you identify opportunities and discover what you can do better.
- What did work for them? The answer to this question highlights what you are doing right and why you should keep doing it.
Now, you can move on to the next step: using this data to create compelling content.
#2 Create Content That Adds Value
Make the quality of your content a priority. Here is a quick breakdown of the dos and don’ts:
|1. Create customer-centric content
2. Make your content interactive and visually appealing by adding videos, graphs, and infographics.
3. Create content specifically for various stages of the customer journey.
5. Add an element of storytelling to your content.
|1. Create generic content
2. Focus on your features rather than the benefits you offer customers
3. Limit yourself to blog posts
4. Write ill-researched content
5. Write short, information-heavy articles
#3 Website Visitors + Free Content = Inbound Leads!
To convert your website visitors into leads, you need to figure out how to obtain their names and contact information. The simplest way to do this is to offer them exclusive content in exchange for this information. This technique works exceptionally well in the B2B sector, where you need to appeal to customers who are looking for information.
For example, a website visitor is interested in learning how your product has performed over the years. You can create a simple lead form, ask the visitor for their email, and give them a download link to your product’s performance report. Simple! You can also offer content like product guides, case-study compilations, exclusive in-depth reports that follow up your blog posts, how-to guides and templates, and much more!
While generating leads in exchange for free content, you should keep two things in mind:
- Keep your lead forms short and straightforward. Lengthy and complicated forms are a sure shot way to increase your bounce rate.
- Once you gain subscribers, continue being helpful to them and give them reasons to stay on your email lists. Send valuable information regularly through newsletters, showcase promotional offers, and invite them to read new content.
# 4 Test, Understand, Improve, Repeat!
Testing your inbound strategies regularly is how you stay on top.
Once you roll out a campaign, monitor your results. Record your KPIs and see if they match your expectations. If not, identify the gaps and refine your inbound marketing campaigns gradually.
A/B split-testing can be very helpful while making improvements. As you have a basis of comparison for what works and what doesn’t, you can make small changes consistently and keep everything running smoothly.
The Bottom Line
Start now if you haven’t formulated a proper inbound strategy for your B2B business! Use the strategies outlined above to your advantage, and you will generate more leads at a much lower cost than outbound methods.
Make your customers the focus of your marketing message, engage them with quality content, draw them closer with free incentives, and test your marketing efforts consistently.