It’s no secret that B2B marketing is a challenge. It’s a challenging environment, filled with many complex marketing channels, each with its own set of rules, regulations, and pitfalls. The good news is that B2B marketing has also evolved. Inbound marketing strategies are becoming more sophisticated and effective and are more widely used than ever in the B2B space.
Inbound marketing is a strategy that shifts the focus from outbound marketing to inbound marketing, meaning that it focuses on attracting customers to your products and services rather than pushing marketing messages to them. It also relies heavily on content marketing, which uses content (such as blogs, e-books, videos, etc.) to attract new customers and keep current ones.
While there’s no formal definition of inbound marketing, it can be described as marketing where the customer comes to you. Inbound marketing is a form of marketing that generates leads for your business via search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SMM), and content marketing. These tactics are used to attract the right kind of leads looking for your product or service.
Inbound is not a new concept or even a new name. It’s a new trend in marketing that is maturing into a legitimate marketing strategy. In this articles, we will look at:
- What is b2b inbound marketing?
- Benefits of b2b inbound marketing
- Why is b2b inbound marketing a better strategy?
- Different types of b2b inbound marketing activities
- How to achieve higher ROI with b2b inbound marketing
What is b2b inbound marketing?
An article by Joe Pulizzi explains that inbound marketing is “the art and science of making useful, relevant, interesting content that draws your ideal customers to you.” It’s about understanding your ideal customer, finding the right content strategy, and publishing suitable topics.
Inbound marketing is partly a push strategy and involves attracting potential customers through strategic, pre-planned outbound activities. It’s also somewhat a pull strategy that relies on inbound marketing tactics such as SEO and social media.
Inbound marketing is sometimes referred to by the catchphrase’ content is king,’ which means creating valuable, engaging, and relevant content that can attract new customers.
Some companies have fully embraced inbound marketing as their primary strategy for customer acquisition and retention strategies. A great example is Hubspot — an interactive software company that develops products for inbound marketing.
Benefits of b2b inbound marketing
Inbound marketing is a cost-effective way to attract new customers and retain current ones. Here are some key benefits:
- Low costs: Inbound marketing is much less expensive than outbound marketing. And since you don’t have to contact potential customers directly, it’s also less time-consuming.
- High return on investment (ROI): Since inbound marketing is mainly based on blog content, social media, and SEO, it can have a higher ROI than other forms of B2B marketing.
- High customer satisfaction: On average, customers are 30% more satisfied with inbound marketing than other forms of marketing.
- Improved brand reputation: Inbound marketing leads to greater loyalty and less churn.
- Increased customer lifetime value (CLV): The average B2B customer sees a 300% increase in CLV from the time they’re acquired to their first renewal compared to traditional B2B marketing.
Why is b2b inbound marketing a better strategy?
The most significant reason for using inbound marketing is its focus on the customer. You can use tactics such as blog writing and social media to attract a customer directly. You don’t have to spend time and money finding out more about your customers. The customer is doing the work for you.
You can use inbound marketing to target your ideal customers, and you can use it to identify your perfect content. This kind of character makes it a better strategy than outbound marketing.
Different types of b2b inbound marketing activities
The following are some different types of b2b inbound marketing activities:
Blogging strategies: Blogging is often combined with SEO and social media. It can be an effective way of producing both content and leads.
Networking through social media: Social media isn’t just a platform for entertainment. It’s a platform that can be used to market your business, find potential leads, and connect with the target audience.
SEO strategies: SEO is all about creating high-quality content that attracts customers in search results.
Analytical strategy: This strategy tracks the performance of your different marketing activities, such as SEO, AdWords, blog posts, etc. It helps you maximize your return on investment.
B2B inbound marketing is becoming more and more critical as time goes by. It allows companies to reach customers directly, build relationships, and get feedback.
How to achieve higher ROI with b2b inbound marketing
One of the best ways to implement b2b inbound marketing is through blogging, which one of Hubspot’s founders, Brian Halligan, calls an ‘inbound engine’ for a company. Blogging is considered an excellent inbound marketing activity by Hubspot because it develops valuable content to attract potential customers.
There are many things you want your blog to accomplish:
You should update the blog frequently, but not every day. The blog should have one post per week. The average length of a HubSpot blog post is between 600 and 1,500 words.
Another way to increase your ROI with blogging is through sharing your blog content on social media sites. It’s a good idea to post your blog posts on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Sharing your blog content on these sites can drive traffic to your site.
How to track the effectiveness of inbound marketing activities
You can use two different tools to track the effectiveness of your inbound marketing activities: look-alikes and tracking pixels.
Look-alikes are tools that help you find out what types of content people are seeking on the Internet. You can use look-alikes to analyze your blog’s performance, as well as how much traffic you get on your site.
Tracking pixels are small embedded images that allow website owners to obtain data about the customers who visit their sites. This data often includes IP addresses, time and date of visit to a site, and browsers. You can use tracking pixels with inbound marketing activities such as blogging and content marketing. The only drawback of using tracking pixels is that they only work on custom websites and not with existing ones.
Cost effective ways of doing inbound marketing
If you want to unleash your hidden marketing potential, time is money. That’s why you should be conscious of what you spend on marketing and advertising. The good news is that there are many cost-effective ways of doing inbound marketing.
For example, if you pay a weekly or monthly fee to Hubspot, you will get access to a blogging platform that will help you create content that attracts potential customers. Hubspot also has a blogging coach who will help you create content for your blog and get higher search engine rankings.
Another way you can take advantage of inbound marketing is with your existing website. You can use it as your hub to attract more customers through content marketing and advertising over the web. For example, you could write a blog post about how you cut costs on your website’s hosting and how to promote products on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.
Tools to do inbound marketing
Inbound marketing doesn’t have to cost you a dime. You can use simple tools to do it. One such tool is a website similar to WordPress that requires no coding knowledge and helps you create content for your website. You can get information on starting a blog and setting up your site from WordPress or Hubspot. You can also invest in business cards that are printed with the URL of your website.
Challenges in b2b inbound marketing
B2B inbound marketing comes with its challenges. B2B companies have dedicated sales staff that do the inbound marketing for them. But if you are doing inbound marketing as a business, you need to plan your strategy and create content that builds up trust and drives traffic to your site.
For one, in B2B, people don’t like spamming. If you send a cold call email or cold marketing email to a prospect, they will not be very interested. It would be best if you built up trust before getting your foot in the door of a prospect’s business.
Second, marketing needs to be much more personal than one-size-fits-all spam messages. Personalized marketing emails relevant to your prospects will drive more engagement than any other strategy out there.
How to overcome those challenges
The best way to overcome the challenges you’ll face in inbound marketing is to focus on your goals and plan your strategy carefully.
If all you want is higher search engine rankings, SEO may be a good strategy. If your goal is to attract more leads, then content marketing can help you do it better than any other strategy out there. And if all you want are sales-ready leads, blogging, and customizing content marketing to attract those leads for you.
To learn more about B2B inbound marketing, here are some best practices to consider:
Go with proven strategies: When you want to implement an inbound marketing strategy for your B2B company, it’s always a good idea to follow proven strategies. You’ll be able to achieve higher ROI by choosing the right plan for your B2B inbound marketing needs. A good example is Hubspot which is known as one of the best companies in this space.
Know your target audience: It’s always a good idea to know more about your target audience before publishing content for them. Find out what they care about most. That way, you can create more relevant content to be interested in reading and sharing with others.
Choose the right content types: Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that attracts customers to your site. You can do this by blogging, sharing blog articles on social media, and SEO on your website.
Plan your strategies for maximum ROI: Plan your strategy for maximum ROI, so you’ll be able to achieve your goals. For example, plan the number of blog posts you’ll write and the number of times you’ll share your blog post on social media.
Deliver good content: The quality of your content is an excellent way to attract more customers. But it’s a much better tactic than spending money on ads and other marketing tactics to attract new customers.