This is the third post in our Inbound Marketing 01 series intended to help B2B marketers boost brand visibility and generate better leads for their sales teams to convert into customers.
If you start executing tactics before you’ve put a comprehensive B2B inbound marketing strategy in place, you’ll find yourself banging your head against the wall in 12 months.
You’ll end up spending lots of time and money with little to no results to show for it (except one enormous headache).
Here’s five steps to make sure you get the most out of your inbound marketing efforts.
Step 1: Set inbound marketing goals
The first step to creating an inbound marketing strategy is to define your business goals. Based on where you are and where you want to go, it’s important to create a roadmap of how to get there.
Before the days of Google Maps, would you have ever considered a cross-country road trip without having a map in hand? Nope, we didn’t think so.
It’s critical you get a sense of what success looks like. Without pre-determined KPIs, you can’t judge the effectiveness of your inbound marketing efforts.
Step 2: Identify your target buyers
Before you move any further, you need to make sure you know who your ideal customers are. You also need to gather as much information about them as you can.
How do they spend their time? Where do they get their information? What do they care about?
Buyer personas are considered the backbone of an effective B2B inbound marketing strategy. People are sick of being bombarded with general, one-size-fits-all marketing communications.
By knowing who you are creating content for, you can more effectively target your message.
Step 3: Attract your ideal customers to your website
Having a deep understanding of your buyers allows your company to identify how prospects are searching for your content through keyword research.
Through this research, you can identify which keywords to target in order to attract the right type of visitor to your website and keep your prospects coming back for more.
Incorporating your target keywords into your blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and social media efforts is one of the most cost-effective ways to drive organic traffic to your website.
Step 4: Convert visitors into leads
Now that you have your visitors attention, it is time to convert them into into leads.
The vast majority of visitors that come to your website aren’t ready to buy.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are bad prospects. It just means that you need to continue to educate them until they are ready to buy.
In order to do this, you need to encourage visitors to fill out a form or give some type of contact information in exchange for something valuable.
This can be a how-to guide, a whitepaper or even an interactive checklist that educates them on an area or topic that they may currently be struggling with.
Step 5: Close leads into customers
Not every lead will turn into a customer. It’s up to you to provide them with relevant information at this stage to close the sale.
By now your leads are fully aware that your product or service may serve as a solution to their problem.
This is where your content needs to go one step further, communicating your unique value proposition and reassuring leads how you can fulfill their needs better than your competitors.
People will always choose companies they trust, especially after a strong connection has been established.
Many companies choose to nurture their leads through emails. This typically occurs through automated workflows or drip notifications.
Build your B2B inbound marketing strategy before jumping into tactics
We have seen far too many marketing dollars wasted on tactics without any connection to an overall strategy.
If your company is executing multiple tactics, something is bound to stick to the wall. Sadly, without an underlying B2B inbound marketing strategy, even the best tactical execution can miss the mark.
Inbound marketing strategy before tactics is a must when it comes to defining and executing an effective inbound marketing program.
Other posts in the Inbound Marketing 101 series:
- Persona Based Marketing: Get In Character So You Can Sell More Stuff
- The B2B Buyer Journey Should Fuel Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
- 4 B2B Marketing Tactics to Attract More Visitors to Your Website
- How to Generate More B2B Leads From Your Website
- B2B Lead Nurturing: Build Relationships With Future Clients