While it may have once been considered a nice bonus, simply having a B2B inbound marketing program won’t put you ahead of the competition anymore; these days you need it to keep your company in the race. Now that more B2B companies have moved to inbound marketing techniques instead of traditional advertising, your company needs to stay on the right track to optimize your B2B inbound strategy so you can stay in front of potential clients and close more deals.
Inbound Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
What separates inbound marketing from traditional marketing and advertising is that it utilizes a pull strategy. Using a pull strategy attracts relevant prospects who can be converted into good leads. Inbound marketers can utilize a pull strategy and attract customers by blogging, posting videos, and creating exciting website pages. The most important aspect in a pull strategy is attracting customers by intriguing them with who you are and what your company can offer them.
The B2B inbound marketing funnel is divided into four parts: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. The attraction stage involves creating content that grabs the attention of prospects. Marketers should aim to provide information while also conveying what sets you apart from other firms just like yours. As mentioned before, inbound utilizes a pull strategy which means that in this stage you should not bombard potential customers with ads, but let them find you through unique and informative content posts.
Now that you have attracted a potential client's interest, it is time to give them more detailed information through the conversion stage. Create content that resonates with customers and highlights solutions to problems they are facing. Provide downloadable content that presents reports and case studies of actual clients and their use of your company.
In the closing stage, it’s time to take those customer leads and turn them into paying customers. It’s crucial at this stage to provide free trials, testimonials, and consultations. This stage is about reassuring your prospects that they are making the right choice by choosing your company over the competitors.
Once the prospect has been secured as a customer, the marketer's job is not over. It’s very important to delight customers by keeping them up to date on new information within your company and how they can be helped further. Executing the delight phase of the marketing funnel can be done through weekly tips and newsletters.
Setting SMART Goals
When creating an inbound marketing strategy, some tactics to keep in mind are to set SMART goals within the B2B inbound marketing funnel to effectively obtain your objectives. Through each of these stages of the funnel, a marketer must plan accordingly by creating goals that can produce powerful results. The best way for inbound marketers to create goals is to use the SMART method.
First, what is a SMART goal? SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Before a strategy is launched, you want to make sure that your goals meet these criteria.
Tip 1: Creating Specific Goals
Creating a Specific goal involves having precise requirements for your goal. For example, instead of "post more tweets every week," have something more like, "post ten tweets every week." Having a specific goal ensures everyone is on the same page and creates a tangible target for your team to meet.
Tip 2: Creating Measurable Goals
A Measurable goal can be tracked and will motivate your team to reach that goal. You’ll be able to track progress and acknowledge achievement once the goal is accomplished. To create a measurable goal make sure to ask questions like, how much? or how many? The objective is to make sure that your team will know when a goal has been accomplished.
Tip 3: Creating Attainable Goals
Having an Attainable goal involves knowing your goals can be reached within a certain period. Ask yourself, can this reasonably be achieved in the short-term? It is always important to have long term and reach goals, but in order to track progress be sure to know what your team is capable of and what can logically be accomplished within a certain time frame.
Tip 4: Creating Relevant Goals
To create a Relevant goal, make sure that goals set matter to both you and your team. It’s great to be setting many goals that you know can be achieved, but do all of these goals have importance right now? Figure out what is most important by asking yourself questions such as:
- Is this the right time?
- Does this seem worthwhile?
If you’ve done your research about what your company needs and where it can improve, making a relevant goal will be easy to do.
Tip 5: Creating Timely Goals
For a Timely goal, you need to create deadlines. If your goals do not have a specific date for when they should be reached, then most of the other aspects of your goals can fall apart. Having deadlines and establishing time limits allows for progress to be measured and creates accountability for all team members to work together and obtain their goals.
This is just a starting point for the potential that can be achieved by your company’s marketing team. There is so much to learn and create, but it is important to remember not to overload yourself with everything at once. Take it piece by piece and prioritize. Focus on what is most important for the company at the moment and what work can be done to accomplish what is needed.