Today we are sharing a guest post from SyncShow, an inbound marketing agency based right outside of Cleveland, Ohio. They specialize in both B2B and B2C inbound marketing strategies, which includes content marketing, lead generation, and lead nurturing. Contact SyncShow today or check out their blog to learn more about their services.
B2B and Inbound Marketing - How to Make it Work
A million questions need to be answered when starting a marketing initiative at a B2B organization. What mediums do we use? What are our areas of expertise? How much money and resources should we budget? How do we track and measure what’s working? What are our sales and marketing goals? And the list goes on. But the main point is: marketing is difficult for B2B organizations.
However, we challenge you to break away from your idea of traditional marketing (i.e. print ads, paid email lists, outbound sales calls) and cross over into the realm of inbound marketing. Where many traditional marketing outlets tend to interrupt someone’s flow of activity in order to get their attention, inbound marketing is all about earning attention organically, without interrupting anyone’s day. Some forms of inbound marketing include SEO, opt-in email lists, blogging, content marketing, and even word of mouth.
Taking the Right Approach
The first place to start when implementing inbound marketing in a B2B organization is deciding if it is something that you want to tackle in-house or outsource to an agency. Briteskies chose to go with an agency-approach in order to capitalize on the expertise and tools that an agency brings to the table. In addition, it becomes a fixed cost in the form of a monthly budget that the agency uses to reach and accomplish goals that were set together.
The Inbound Marketing Methodology
With every organization, there are going to be goals that are specific to that organization. With inbound marketing, there are a few general goals that help to steer companies in the right direction. This is what is known as the Inbound Methodology. In the Inbound Methodology, there are four overarching goals:
- Attract strangers to your website and convert them into repeat visitors (this is the top of the sales funnel)
- Convert those visitors into leads who engage with your content at a deeper level (this is the middle of the sales funnel)
- Close those leads into paying customers using data collected in the Attract and Convert stages (this is the bottom of the sales funnel)
- Delight customers and they will become brand promoters, thus talking to more strangers and beginning the cycle again
To sum, the goal is to get people from the top of the sales funnel, all the way to the bottom, at which point you may pick up the phone for an inbound cold call. (What’s an “inbound cold call,” you ask? Find out more in this blog post: Lead Generation and Conversion vs. Old School Cold Calling)
Integrating Inbound at All Levels of the Organization
For inbound marketing to be truly successful at your B2B organization, it needs to become a part of your culture. Blogging, public speaking, video creation, and social media are things that employees at every level of an organization can participate in, helping to increase engagement with your brand. More important than anything though is that key decision makers buy-in to the idea. This will help to execute the implementation process more smoothly, to reach success more quickly, and to implement a culture change, rather than a marketing program.
Briteskies is a great example of how a B2B organization can see success with inbound marketing (hey, you’ve gotten this far in the blog post, right?). In the first 6 months, they’ve seen a 45.15% increase in traffic (refer back to #1 in the Inbound Methodology) and an average of 20 Internet leads per month (a metric they were not previously tracking – refer back to #2 above).
Is your B2B company currently employing inbound marketing practices? Share your experiences with us in the comments below! If not, feel free to reach out to the Briteskies team with any questions or to SyncShow, an inbound marketing agency located in the Cleveland area.
To learn more about inbound marketing for B2B, check out some of SyncShow’s blog posts: