B2B Inbound marketing gives you a chance to drive highly targeted and strong leads to your business by sharing your expertise and knowledge on online platforms to gain credibility and trust of your target audience.
If it is done properly, B2B inbound marketing is a great way to rapidly boost your lead generation and drive high volume traffic to your website day and night.
However, to achieve it, you need to set your inbound marketing properly to make it effective.
Therefore I have written this comprehensive guide for you to maximize your effort and profit from B2B marketing. So you would avoid errors I have made when I was starting with Inbound marketing.
So, I hope you will enjoy this guide and find it helpful for your business.
B2B Inbound marketing is a relatively new way of business marketing to increase brand awareness and drive more demand for your products and services via digital marketing strategies, for example, content marketing, social media marketing, SEO, and branding. It is a way to promote business, increase profit, and achieve business objectives.
So, once you understand the term B2B Inbound marketing we can move furthermore and discuss what could it means for your business.
As Digital marketing is evolving you must evolve as well as your prospects are changing with it and these changes can leave your business behind.
Therefore, B2B inbound marketing has become essential for marketers to drive more and better leads to lower costs.
Well nowadays, inbound marketing is the main driver for businesses to bring more leads, convert them into customers, and improve customer retention nowadays. Basically, the whole cycle selling cycle is influenced by it.
That means inbound marketing influence the way how customers researching your solutions as well as the way how you can keep your customers.
From recent statistics, you can see that 68% of B2B customers prefer to research independently online and only 29% of people want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product. While 62% will consult a search engine.
Therefore, inbound marketing gives you a great way to drive your b2b buyers to your business with targeted content which gives them the solution.
Before we start to talk more about inbound marketing, let’s briefly discover the inbound marketing history and how it got here.
The idea of inbound marketing has appeared early in 2005 when HubSpot’s Co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan has started bringing the phrase up.
He thought that traditional marketing and the way how marketers are chasing for prospects is broken and a new approach should be created.
Mr. Halligan believed in a more friendly and helpful way how to get prospects and instead of chasing them, we should attractprospects.
Therefore as time goes on, and search engines are improving, inbound marketing has started to become a thing in the world.
Especially with radically changes in the way how people are shopping and react to traditional marketing.
Therefore in 2012 inbound marketing really started to grow as marketers are realizing that the old way marketing – outbound marketing is broken and new marketing is required.
Also, with buyers growing interested in online platforms such as Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) and Company, the marketers started seeing an opportunity within inbound marketing.
And as time goes by and online technologies are improving marketers are pushed to switch from traditional marketing strategies such as telemarketing and blasting emails to inbound marketing strategies such as content marketing and social media marketing.
And today’s marketing is highly dependable on inbound marketing and whether you are Start-up or well establish an organization.
Why do You Need B2B Inbound Marketing?
You need B2B inbound marketing because it is an essential marketing technique to drive targeted traffic to your business. With strategies like content marketing and social media, you drive highly targeted traffic to your website which improves conversions and maximizes your profit.
Also, the next reason why you need B2B inbound marketing is because of the buyer’s new approach to how they are making purchasing decisions.
And as a result of that, inbound marketing has become more important than everbefore.
Just let’s look at the recent statistics about inbound marketing and how b2b buyer’s behavior is changing in terms of doing research and making decisions.
68% of B2B customers prefer to research independently online — meaning the battleground for reaching B2B clients is clearly online.
90% of searchers haven’t made their minds up about a brand before starting their search.
Inbound marketing generates three times more leads per dollar than traditional methods.
Most B2B buyers are already 57% through the buying process before the first meeting with a representative. (Accenture)
67% of purchases are influenced by digital content. (Google, 2019)
50% of B2B search queries today are made on smartphones, and this percentage will grow to 70% by 2020.
As you can see, these statistics show that inbound marketing is inevitable for today’s marketing.
And, therefore, to survive and succeed in today’s business world, inbound marketing should be an essential part of your business.
Without a doubt, b2b inbound marketing is an essential part for your business to succeed, but what actual benefits it brings?
Whenever you are preparing a B2B marketing plan you should know what are the risks and benefits of strategies that you want to use.
Whether it is digital, traditional, or a mix of both marketing, it is important to know the benefits and risks of marketing strategies.
Therefore, let’s first discuss the benefits of B2B inbound marketing for your business to furthermore know why you should actually use this technique.
As marketing can be sometimes confusing with all the rules, strategies, hacks, and so on to make a proper inform decision.
That’s why I give you the benefits of B2B marketing at a glance for you to get only the important benefits of B2B Inbound marketing.
But before we jump into the benefits I want you to remember:
You should always do more intense research about inbound marketing and properly find out if it fits in your B2B digital marketing.
So without further due, let’s jump into the 5 top benefits of B2B inbound marketing.
1. Improve brand trust and credibility
Improve brand trust and credibility is important for b2b companies because b2b buyers are searching for a trusted advisor and qualify companies which can solve their problems. Therefore using inbound marketing for b2b companies is extremely helpful as you are proving to them, that you are the type of guy they are looking for.
2. Reduce Cost per Lead by 50% and more.
Did you know that inbound leads on average cost 61% less as compared to outbound leads? Also, 3 out of 4 inbound marketing channels cost less than any outbound channel and in addition to that, businesses that mainly rely on Inbound Marketing save more than $14 for every newly acquired customer. Inbound marketing for b2b organizations is a great strategy to reduce costs and improve profitability.
3. Improve Lead Quality
With recent statistics, buyers are in more control in what content they want to consume than ever. 62% of buyers prefer to do research online before they contact a salesperson. It has been noted that 57-70% of the buyer journey has been completed by b2b buyers before they contact a salesperson. Which means b2b buyers are educating themselves quite a bit. Unfortunately, 82% of buyers think, that salesperson is unprepared.
4. Improve Lead Conversion
Inbound marketers double the average site conversion rate, from 6% to 12% total with better targeting options which Inbound marketing gives within Digital marketing. With proper Inbound marketing, you can drive leads day and night leads without you actually do any work. Once you set it up, it runs itself.
5. Increase Customer Retention and Lifetime Value
Inbound marketing is not just focusing on acquiring new customers. But also to keep your customers be your customers which is call retention. Modern b2b digital marketing helps sales and customer service to improve business profits and objectives. Aligning content with a prospect’s stage in the buyer’s journey can boost conversion rates by 72%. That applies to your customers as well. (Business2community) Read more on the retention of your customers.
are especially great when you are starting with inbound marketing and having a low budget.
5. You can’t just buy success
I guess I totally messed up everything, just a second ago I talk about buying and hiring freelancers and agencies to buy the success, but now I say you can’t buy success?
So what is it? Make up your mind!
Give me a second to describe what I mean you can’t buy success.
As I already mentioned to you, inbound marketing is about creating helpful and valuable content for your target audience.
Therefore just hiring SEO experts and content marketing experts to do your content is not just enough.
Because nobody knows your business, prospects, and customer better than you! Therefore if you are creating inbound marketing, you need to grind as well.
Yes, you can hire a blogger to help you write an optimized SEO article but essentially you need to lead the blogger. You need to tell him what to write about, what pains and needs to address.
So, you can buy help from freelancers and agencies, but the success is depending on you.
how well you know your industry, your prospects, and customers determine the success of your content marketing strategy.
Don’t confuse it, please.
Inbound VS Outbound Marketing
Inbound and Outbound marketing strategies has its pros and cons and B2B (business to business) marketers need to consider both sides. Depending on marketers objectives they’ll need to select the beneficial b2b marketing strategyto their business.
Therefore, you should know the differences between inbound and outbound marketing. So you can decide which one of those fit you more to achieve business objectives.
Accordingly, your business objectives should form your marketing plan to make sure, you stay laser-focused.
But you need to keep your B2B marketing plan enough “fluid” to make sure, you can always be flexible. Because, if some changes coming to market places such as new trends, lowering budget, or a new threat you need to quickly react.
With that being said, let’s discuss the two marketing strategies inbound and outbound to better understand the principles each of the marketing strategy.
So, this is the main differences between B2B Inbound and Outbound Marketing
Focus on earning attention from the target audience and customers with helpful content. Usually easy to find through unique and helpful content shared across multiple digital channels to find people who would benefit from the content.
Demand attention from people to present products and services using an approach called “shotgun” – show ads (easily overlooked) as many people possible and hope some will get interested in.
Communication is interactive and is a two-way conversation
Communication is passive and often missed by the consumer.
Prospects will come to you via helpful content for them shared across channels such as Social Media, Search Engines, and Referrals.
Prospects will come to you via advertisement from TV, Billboards, Radios, Direct mails, Commercials, and Cold Calling.
Inbound Marketing helps produce qualified leads because buyers are searching for your products or services when they encounter problems.
Leads and impacts are virtually unmeasurable due to the passive nature of Outbound marketing.
Having a blog will get you 55% more traffic.
86% of people skip TV commercials.
The average cost per lead is $143.
The average cost per lead is $373.
Inbound marketing gives control to buyers which information wants to receive.
Outbound marketing gives control to companies what the people see.
2/3 U.S internet users regularly use a social media
87% of people watch tv and simultaneously are on the internet.
Those are the common difference between inbound and outbound marketing. Of course, there are more differentiate points between these two marketing strategies.
Therefore, once you learn more about both techniques, you can decide how to use inbound and outbound marketing within your B2B Marketing.
B2B Inbound Marketing Funnel & Customer Journey
B2B Inbound marketing funnel & customer journey are essential tools for your marketing to understand your prospects and customers and to better plan your marketing effort and resources.
It also helps you understand your business nature.
Understanding your business nature is an essential part of your marketing to deliver good results.
And therefore, inbound marketing for b2b business is based on synchronizing your marketing effort and prospects’ needs via valuable content to create effective modern marketing.
Especially that is important in modern marketing when by 2020, 51% of consumers expect that companies will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they make contact. (Instapage)
Not mentioned that 63% of respondents are highly annoyed by the way brands continue to rely on the old-fashioned strategy of blasting generic ad messages repeatedly. (Instapage)
That’s why tools like marketing funnel & customer journey help you to create unify marketing which delivers value to your prospects and profit to your business and not annoy them.
The Marketing Funnel is a simplifiedmodel of themarketing process to attract, educate, and convert leads into customers by offering valuable content for them. It provides help to marketers to create a full marketing cycle to nurture lead on every step of their customer journey and to maximize profit.
This helpful infographic gives an idea of how such a marketing funnel is working and how it could be used to create a better and unify marketing across multiple channels.
Also, the marketing funnel gives you an idea about what activities need to be done by your marketing to help sales and customer service departments. So, you can create a way to generate and convert leads and maximize profit from customers.
That means you can balance your marketing and sales activities to make sure you have a system and materials in place and maximize productivity.
And once you have that system you can better generate, educate your prospects. Also, you improve your conversion rate and customer satisfaction.
All of that will maximize your profit from your already hard work.
But that’s easy to say, isn’t it?
As your marketing funnel is just a guideline and you need to follow your customer journey to personalize this system and marketing materials to create modern marketing.
Therefore, you need to also learn about the customer journey and how to personalize your marketing.
The customer journey is the process of buyers how they behave from the moment when they start havinga problem until they are satisfied customers. Inbound marketing customer journey gives you a guideline to create consistent personalized marketing across channels to nurture your prospects with valuable content that answers their questions and addresses their pains and needs.
With the mapped customer journey, you can collect and analyze data to see how your prospects are finding you, do research, and become your customers.
But to analyze the customer journey, you need to follow your prospect’s touchpoints so you can map the customer journey.
Once you have this insight, then you can create a personalized map for your prospects to increase the effectiveness of your marketing.
Because of that, the customer journey is extremely helpful for your business. It allows you to create a pleasant experience for your prospects.
In addition, nowadays customer service is crucial for businesses as recent statistics prove that.
Look at these customer service statistics:
Companies with a customer experience mindset drive 4-8% higherrevenue than the rest of their industries. (Bain & Company)
Companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%.(Qualtrics)
73% of companies with above-average customer experience perform better financially than their competitors. (Experience matters)
96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand. (Microsoft)
83% of companies believe it’s important to make customers happy. Also, they experienced growing revenue with better customer service. (HubSpot)
Conclusion of Marketing Funnel and Customer Journey Roles
So, now you know, that marketing funnel is a guideline for your marketing to connect with prospects.
It gives your prospects ways to find you and learn about you and your products and services. So, they can become your customers.
Also, you learned that the customer journey helps you to understand how your marketing funnel matches your prospects to fill up the gaps in your marketing. And most importantly to create more personalized marketing.
Altogether, you can plan marketing activities in a way that resonates with your prospects and to always deliver what they need on every step of their journey.
In summary, create personalized marketing is not easy and it requires a lot of data to understand your prospects. But marketing funnel and customer journey can be helpful to better understand your prospects.
In addition, be also aware of your marketing resources to know what you can manage and afford to do, as I mentioned above, you need to find the right balance between your marketing department and your prospects.
B2B Inbound marketing is a way how to bring hot leads when they need your business. Strategies are the ways how they can get to your business.
Therefore, it is important to have enough ways to come to your business, because essentially the more entries you have, the more prospects you bring.
But, there is also a risk of having too many ways (marketing strategies) and that could cause you would not be able to manage them all due to small marketing resources.
And that’s why it is important to properly analyze what you can manage with your marketing resources.
Because the rule of thumb of b2c and b2b inbound marketing is quality over quantity.
And even though there are many different b2b inbound marketing strategies, you should focus only on the one you can handle.
Therefore, I am going to give you my favorite top 6 basic inbound marketing strategies you should consider if you are starting your business, or even have a well-established business but missing the essential b2b inbound marketing strategies.
So, let’s discuss them.
1. Create Target Personas
The most important part of inbound marketing is to be able to properly analyze and create target personas.
Why? Because inbound marketing is about to create helpful and valuable content that will attract prospects with pains and needs address within the content.
That is the main part of inbound marketing and also that’s how you target your b2b audience.
For example, you have knowledge about how to help startups with managing finances. So you can start creating content (videos, blogs, emails, podcasts, etc.) to provide help for them.
Give them tips and tricks on how to budget, do accounting, and so on.
Trust me, small business owners having problems with finance will naturally be interested.
And that’s why you should be crystal clear about who is your perfect prospects (target audience).
Once you know, who your target audience is, then you can create content to help to solve the problems of your target audience which they are facing.
So, to make sure you always know who your prospects are, you need to have a crystal clear picture of your targeted personas.
2. Produce Content Marketing
As I already said, the main pillar of B2B Inbound marketing is to produce valuable content that addresses the pains and needs of your target audience and provide help.
So, once you know your target personas, then you can start creating content for them.
Of course, there are many ways for you how to can produce content and deliver to your prospects, some are less expensive, and some are more expensive.
But, my advice is to focus on long term strategy, as most of the content’s strategies take some time before they actually start working.
Therefore, watching out for upcoming b2b trends of content marketing is a good way to find the one, which will fit your business. I mean in terms of your marketing resources and also to make sure, the strategy will not be effective anymore within a year.
Because as I said, to bring leads with content it requires consistently producing content and be patient
3. Engage in Social Media
Connecting and engaging with your prospects became a must for every business as prospects are more demanding how they want to connect with businesses.
That’s why social media are a great way how to connect with your prospects and customers and give them a personalized experience.
And it is no wonder that it is #1 b2b inbound marketing strategy for businesses as most of their audience are spending a lot of time over there.
This is some statistics about social media for b2b organizations:
Social is key for B2B tech companies. 76% of B2B tech companies are using social media to drive results. (MarketingProfs)
B2B buyers love to research before they buy. 55% of saying they look for information on social media.(vividfish)
66% of marketers found social media brought new leads. And, social selling is a key tactic for businesses. (HubSpot)
So, social media is an important part of an inbound marketing strategy to drive demand and achieve objectives.
Therefore, it is worth to look at social media and try to figure out what you could do to help your business.
4. Be Found by SEO
The #1 rule for inbound marketing is tokeepcreating quality content, as that is the most important factor for being successful with inbound marketing. But SEO has its important part too.
Unfortunately, just creating perfect content is not effective and some tips and tricks need to be applied to actually start driving traffic to your website.
As by statistics, 91% of all pages never get any organic traffic from Google, which is mostly due to the fact the websites do not have any backlinks.
Backlinks and high-quality content are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website.
You should also know, that Google has people to go through websites and rank them. These people follow a guideline they get from Google to rank their websites.
Fast and responsive website. Make sure you are having a website that is able to be accessed on any devices (mobile, tablet, desktop) and loading fast. Definitely check out more on this from Google Mobile-Indexing Guideline.
Make sure your users are safe! With SSL Certificate your website is protected from the potential threat of stealing personal data of your users. You can buy it easily online and install it on your website. The recommended site for buying SSL certificate is https://www.ssl.com/.
Hire an expert on SEO. Having a business is already hard work, so it might be better to leave your website professionals to improve your ranking, so you can totally focus on your business. Nowadays, you can hire cheap freelancers, which will do work, for example on Fiverr.
Why would you want to improve your SEO?
Well, let say, that on the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all clicks.
Also, 70-80% of people ignore the ads and go to organic search results sectionsonly.
5. Fire-Up with PPC
Pay-per-click (PPC) is usually done on search engines and on social media to pay for your traffic to come to your website landing page. (TIP: Have always special landing page for your PPC.)
But the reason why I would like you to consider PPC is that you can get quick traffic to your website.
Obviously, driving traffic withpay-per-click (PPC) is expensive, and on average it drives 200$ ROI only.
But what I would like to explain, is about the quick kick, which, you sometimes need to get traffic to your website landing pages.
As I have already mentioned to you, driving organic traffic takes some time.
Therefore, if you want to bring people sooner to your website, especially in the early stage of your website, you should get PPC (pay-per-click).
Also, another benefit of having PPC according to Formstack, PPC ads are one of the top three generators of on-page conversions.
And the top priority for PPC is 65% of all clicks made by users who intend to make a purchase go to paid ads.(valvet+meter)
So, having PPC can be effective for you to drive business to your website, plus Google reports that search ads can boost brand awareness by as much as 80%. Making consumers more likely to remember your brand and interact. (valvet+meter)
6. Create Digital Home – Website
So, if you are interested to learn more about the website, and what it does for your business, with all recent statistics about having a website, visit the article.
But, let me summarize it with the most important facts about having a website for your business.
Running B2B inbound marketing is all about building trust with your target audience and to show you are the expert in the industry.
Therefore, creating valuable content for your b2b business is an essential part of inbound marketing.
But in the end, you need to drive sales, and the content itself does not sell but educate.
Therefore, you need to have another tool to sell your products and services.
That’s why creating a website is about selling your products and services to your target audience.
Because, once you have educated your buyers, make them confident with all your knowledge, they want to buy from you. But If you do not have a website, how could they?
So, inbound marketing is about to deliver helpful and valuable content to your b2b buyers to address their pains and needs. But you still need to sell, and that’s why you should create your website.
B2B Inbound marketing hacks are the quick dirty tips and tricks to get going and make sure you are on the right path to succeed and drive profit.
As every marketing strategy goal is to drive profit for your company. Therefore, I want to give you my top 5 tips and tricks on how to succeed with your B2B inbound marketing and maximize the profit.
Over the last 5 years, I have been creating a ton of content and worked with many marketers.
And over this time, I found out what are the biggest struggles for marketers with inbound marketing.
Therefore, I give you these 5 top B2B Inbound marketing hacks for your business to drive better profit for your company.
Also, some of these I already mentioned in this article, but I need to press it more for you to realize the importance of it.
5 B2B Inbound Marketing Hacks
Write longer content has been proven by many marketers that it drives better results in terms of organic traffic and conversion rate. The average blog post is now 1142 words. Which is 41% more than the average length of three years ago. Today, to keep your audience engaged, you need to deliver remarkable content. Six times as many bloggers now write 2000+ word articles. (elite copywriter)
Always deliver value is the top priority. If you can’t create helpful content, then rather you should not be creating content at all. Because people will never come and do business with you if your content is full of BS. Therefore, first of all, focus on delivering valuable content.
Re-use content into other forms. I know that creating content takes a lot of time, resources, and effort. Therefore, you should maximize your effort. If you have created an article, then its easy to just create a video on the same topic. Trust me, it works very well, and you save a ton of time and money for your business.
Be mobile-friendly is another big part of your B2B inbound marketing as 52% of all traffic is done on the mobile phone. Therefore, if you want to capture the 52%, then you need to make sure, your website and content are available on all devices. It is called responsive design. Look out for it!
Update your content is the last but not least important b2b inbound marketing hack. As I know that creating consistently content is tough and after a few years, you can start running out with ideas. Therefore, updating old content is a great way to reuse and drive more traffic again. By recent statistics, updated content can drive more than 106% traffic than before the update.
B2B Inbound marketing tools are helping to create better and more effective inbound marketing strategies. Based on collected and analyzed data, which are transformed into insights. So, you can make smarter and faster decision backup with data.
In the modern digital age, data are the most important assets for the company to make informed decisions and avoid dangerous guessing.
That also applies for b2b inbound marketing to make it effective, you need to have data to focus your effort only on relevant strategies to your business.
With recent statistics, by 2020 consumers are expecting organizations to anticipate their needs before them.
And with data, companies can quickly discover trends to pursue them and avoid threats.
So, which b2b tools are the most important?
5 B2B Inbound Marketing Tools
CRM is a great way for your business to store your leads and customer information to quickly pull up information when you need it. With CRM you can create consistency across multiple channels and maximize profit from your effort. CRM has become a must for modern businesses.
LeadFeeder is a great tool for your business to see, which companies are visiting your website and how they move around. It will give you insights about their behavior and what products or services interest them the most.
Is the most important for SEO and inbound marketing tool for you to analyze and research your website and your competitors. Ahrefs will help you boost your digital presence with quick and useful information which you need to make a better decision related to your SEO and Inbound marketing.
BuzzSumo is a tool that shows you which contents are popular and what trends are important to your readers. Because creating trending topics is hard, BuzzSumo made it super easy to research what content you should produce to get the most engagement.
Last but not least B2B Inbound marketing tools are having a great outsourcing team, which can help you when your department is overwhelmed. As sometimes there is too much work ahead and outsourcing some of your b2b marketing tasks are just a great way how to manage more in less time and cheaply. Websites like Fiverr allow you to hire professionals that can help you with your b2b inbound marketing.