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B2B Inbound Marketing Strategy for the Entrepreneurially Challenged
A B2B Inbound Marketing Strategy is Important. Are you just getting started in B2B inbound marketing and feeling just a little challenged? If Inbound Marketing is new to you, it can be overwhelming to get started. Technical jargon and buzz words abound. Don't give up! Inbound marketing is really a simple process of managing how your company interacts with its prospects and customers on the Internet. Establishing a B2B Inbound Marketing strategy is a way to not only increase the number of leads that you generate but to attract only the highest quality leads who are ready to buy your product or service.
Why Use Inbound Marketing?
In the past, sales people used to engage with prospects and customers throughout the sales process to educate them about their company's products. Today, people use the Internet and social media connections to get educated about their options before contacting a salesperson. If salesperson contacts a prospect too soon in the buying process, it could make the prospect feel pressured and the sale could be lost. B2B inbound marketing provides strategies for managing these early contacts.
Because your prospects are looking on the Internet for information about your field in general, as well as your products and services in particular, you want to provide high quality content that attracts these prospects by providing valuable information to them. When you do this, your visitors become confident that you are an important resource. When they are ready to buy, they will approach your company as a trusted partner rather than an aggressive seller. To do this, your website needs to more than just a flashy brochure in cyberspace. B2B inbound marketing transforms your website into a lead-generating engine.
Know Who You Are Looking For
One of the first steps to turning your website into a lead engine is to develop a profile for the prospects (called a buyer persona) that you want to attract with your B2B inbound marketing. You need to identify the kind of organizations and the people in those organizations who will have an important say in purchasing your product or service. If you sell supplies for high-tech manufacturing process, your main audience may be the engineers and plant operators who will eventually use your product. They may be more important in the sales process than their company's purchasing department.
You also need to understand the stages in the buyer's journey. Many people who visit your website will just be in the awareness stage. They are seeing the symptoms of a problem and are doing research about the root cause of the problem. The second stage is the consideration stage. Buyers in this stage have become aware of the cause of the problem and are researching solutions. Finally, buyers reach the decision stage where they have researched solutions and are evaluating products and services. You want to create content that appeals to your buyer personas in each stage of their buying journey.
B2B Inbound Marketing Creates Attractive Content
Once you identify who the audience for your website is, then you can design content to place on your website targeted to the problems and concerns of people who fit your profile. You can also create content for each stage of the buyer's journey. Content for the early awareness stage might include white papers, ebooks and webinars. These help visitors connect the problems they are experiencing with causes. Buyers in the middle consideration stage might benefit from product videos, slide shows, data sheets and online brochures. These help present solutions to the root cause of the problem. Finally, buyers in the decision stage will want to see case studies, product demo videos and consultations. This content creation and curation is the core of B2B inbound marketing.
B2B Inbound Marketing Puts Your Prospects in the Driver's Seat
B2B inbound marketing uses automation software to keep the prospect in the driver's seat. This allows your prospects and customers to access your content when they are ready to consume it. You can also monitor the behavior or your prospects so that you can watch their progress on the buyer's journey. You will only directly contact leads in the decision stage of the journey. This means that your sales team will mostly be contacting highly qualified leads who have already identified their problem, been educated about the potential solutions and are ready to make a decision to purchase a product or a service to address their problem.
The Bottom Line
B2B inbound marketing attracts prospective customers into your sales funnel without any high pressure sales tactics. By turning your website in a lead engine, you create a sales tool that guides prospects through the buyer's journey without any intervention on the part of your sales team until the very end. At this point, your prospects are highly qualified and ready to buy a product or a service.
Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of services to enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line. Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow.