One of the greatest struggles B2B companies face is lead generation. One could even compare it to the woes of modern dating and finding potential matches. To make matters worse, many brands focus on the wrong tactics or chase leads that are unlikely to ever convert.
However, with the right inbound marketing techniques, your business, whatever its niche, can generate qualified leads and see substantial growth in B2B Digital Marketing ROI. You may even find your perfect match.
Finding Love in B2B Inbound Marketing
The Perfect Pick-up Line: Diversify Your Content Marketing
Content marketing has expanded beyond blog posts and email newsletters to infographics, case studies, videos, and more. This variety enables you to present information in different ways and keep your audience interested.
Some types of content will likely be more popular with your audience than others. As most B2B brands use social media content, you may decide that this is a good place to start. A different strategy could be to stand out from the crowd by creating lesser-used types of content, such as reports and microsites.
The best approach is to try several types of diversified content, even repurposing content into various formats. You should then measure your content ROI and focus just on the types that have the greatest impact on your lead generation efforts.
Give Your Best: Offer Premium Content
Once you have discovered which types of content your audience prefers, you can start offering premium content.
Premium content should be exactly that: premium, and so valuable that it is not "freely" accessible. It's a give-give. Do not just post it on your site or distribute the link to download. Create a cohesive content offer strategy, from landing pages to nurturing workflow. This gives leads a reason to provide you with their information. At the same time, you demonstrate your expertise in your area of business and present your brand as a source of support, rather than just a company looking to make a sale.
Whisper Sweet Nothings in Fluent SEO
Whatever type of content you choose, you need to ensure your audience finds it. As SEO best practices for B2B brands are always changing, you must stay up to date with the latest developments and continue learning about top tactics.
Currently, you should be doing at least the following:
- Design for mobile. More people are using mobile devices to access the Internet than desktop computers, including your potential B2B leads. Now, you need to design first for mobile and then adapt for desktop. This is a complete reversal of a few years ago.
- Optimize your social media content. With the rise of social content, search engines are including ever more posts from social media platforms in results. You need to optimize your social content just as you would blog posts and articles on your website.
- Use Google Webmaster Tools. This will inform you of any crawl errors and security issues. By resolving the problem as soon as possible, you enhance the experience for your leads and allow search engines to view your website correctly.
- Check page load speed. Slow loading pages not only drive leads away, search engines will penalize your site and you will drop in rank.
- Use long-tail keywords. One-word keywords are usually too competitive to achieve a high ranking, even for niche B2B businesses. Focus more on keyword phrases, using a competition tool to determine which are most likely to yield results.
- Create content for rich answers. Improve your chances of appearing at the very top of Google search results with content designed for rich answers. Find queries for which you can achieve a high ranking and create pieces with headings that clearly express the content.
Don't Be a Stranger: Use Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the oldest tactics of B2B inbound marketing, which means it has been tried and tested countless times. The method can work for any B2B brand, no matter your industry. Using email addresses gathered from offering premium content and other means, you can create a newsletter subscriber list. Be sure to allow subscribers to opt out at any time to avoid a negative image of your brand.
Email marketing has evolved from the basic technique it once was – seek to diversify email marketing campaigns and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques. To convert leads, you should use marketing automation tools in conjunction with HubSpot CRM software. This will allow you to send emails to the right leads at the right times and enable you to personalize content to make it relevant to the individual.
You should also use contact information to send your leads special offers, such as a free trial for a service. The user can take advantage of the chance to try before buying and will see your brand as wanting to help. Plus, both you and your leads will find out if you are good match for each other.
Connect: Harness the Power of LinkedIn
Social media is an integral part of B2B inbound marketing, and by far the best platform is LinkedIn. You should dedicate at least six hours a week of your social media management time to LinkedIn, according to Sales Hacker. The site is packed with leads; you just need to find them.
A top way to find people who meet your buyer persona criteria is with LinkedIn groups. Be as specific as possible with the keywords you use to search for groups to access users interested in your niche. Focus just on reasonably big, active groups to avoid wasting your time. The best groups to join tend to be “Members Only” groups, as here you’ll find real people and have real interactions.
Groups open to everyone are often packed with marketers looking to advertise their brands. Avoid being one of these marketers! By all means, promote your products and services on occasion, but still ensure your post is useful to group members. The majority of the time, however, you should join discussions, comment on posts, and share content from other members.
Work to keep your group contribution level high. After some time being active in the group, establishing your brand as helpful and knowledgeable, start interacting with individuals. Read what they are posting and offer unique advice or solutions.
Every B2B brand has a distinct target audience, meaning some strategies will work better than others. The key is to try several and monitor your success to determine what methods will help you generate qualified B2B leads.
Are you going on a lot of first dates with your leads but rarely going steady? Our inbound guide will show you why that is, and how to get your leads to commit to a long term relationship.