7 Inbound Marketing Best Practices to Generate LeadsDec 3, 2018 - Marcel Odena
Generating sales from marketing is a very complete sport. You have to master several facets of marketing and make them work together so that the message we convey is consistent across all channels. Getting a sale from someone who already knows he want our product / service is easy. The tricky thing is to get those sales of potential buyers who are not interested in our product but nevertheless because of the characteristics of their company and their role we know that our product / service would help them a lot and therefore, if they heard our message they would really consider using it. The problem is that when many of these prospects decide to look at our product we do not have all the digital assets prepared and well coordinated and as a result many prospects get lost along the way.
The aim of this article is to give you a global vision of all the digital assets that you should have in order to be able to make a good b2b marketing that contributes substantially to generate more sales. Let’s go with the points!
1. Write quality articles regularly on your company’s blog
A company that has a website but not an active blog is left a little helpless. It is as if he had no soul, a constant beat that pumps the blood in the company. Imagine that you make the new website for your company today. Imagine that during the next 3 years hardly any page of the web is modified, in fact it is usual, the corporate pages are very stable, the contact page, the typical page of “about us”, the pages with the description of the product , etc. Maybe a product page has been modified to add a new functionality? And where is the story behind this new functionality? Where is the virtues of this new functionality explained to the world? Where does the company communicate to say that this functionality is derived from the users having requested it?
From my point of view, a web without a blog is a “hermetic” web, almost static, that lacks oxygen. And that oxygen can come from posting on the blog periodically.
What benefits should you get from writing regularly on the blog?
- Create your community of followers , people who care about your world. An interesting KPI here is the number of subscribers to the blog.
- Generate awareness : make your business known to the world. Many people may discover your company thanks to a certain quality article, which perhaps they have discovered through Twitter (for a retweet of one of your followers).
- Position your company as an authority in your field. . Writing quality articles on your company’s blog is a great way to demonstrate the authority you have in a given field. Explaining how to do this, how to do the other, giving ideas about aspects of your field, the reader can make an idea of the level of domain that your company has over that field. Notice that the product pages of a website all tend to be very nice and optimistic. The product is wonderful, the product has many features, etc. But who is behind that company? Who are the thinkers behind the product? And what do they know about the problems of your business that they are supposed to cover with your product? The blog is a golden opportunity for your company to publicize all this.
- Position yourself on the web, rank in top positions of google (and other search engines) for certain searches. We are interested in being there for the authority but also for a strategy issue to attract new customers. Going out in Google in first positions means receiving clicks, visits to our website. From those visits some will be amazed with the quality of the articles and will decide to subscribe to the blog. And over time a percentage will surely end up being a client. Or if not, I’m sure that it contributes to share articles via social networks and helps to make bigger the community of followers that your company has.
2. Generate documents of interest for each phase of the sales funnel
From marketing a very important role is to generate useful documentation for the potential buyer. The documents have to intelligently combine a considerable dose of content with another equally large dose of design. Ebooks, marketing broschures are not usually like a normal book, only letter and more letters but usually combine illustrations, images, use different font sizes, etc. It would come to be more like a magazine.
The ideal is to create documents for all phases of the funnel. Simplifying a bit and as an example:
- Top Of The Funnel Phase (TOFU) : in this phase we can develop different types of documents that are of interest to our potential buyer. A line of documents that are usually interesting are market studies.
- Middle Of The Funnel Phase (MOFU) . If we have a SaaS (Software As A Service), it would be great to have a guide to our product. Some of the information in this document is sure to be scattered among one or several pages of the web, but it is surely useful for the user to download the guide to consult it, print it, etc.
- Bottom Of The Funnel Phase (BOFU) . An example could be a guide of aspects to consider when buying a solution like ours. The guide would talk about criteria to consider when evaluating several solutions and it is assumed that our solution is well stopped for each of these criteria.
What benefits you should get from generating documents?
- Generate leads for your Company . The documents are a good excuse to ask the user for their data (name, surname, email, company, etc.). It is a usual practice and to a certain extent the user is used to it and knows that the documentation he gets is in exchange for his contact information. For more information I suggest you read the article Basic concepts on lead generation.
- Generar awareness: if we promote content oriented to the top of the sales funnel then we will get to know people who probably do not know our company. It is a good way to generate awareness while generating leads.
- Make progress leads within the sales funnel : if we have content oriented to the lower-middle part of the funnel, we can make users download and evolve them within the sales funnel, increasing the probability of generating more sales for all these prospects.
3. Promote all the previous content through PPC channels
Your company has dedicated a lot of time, effort and ultimately money to generate quality content designed for your ideal audience, for your potential buyer. Once we have this content, what do we do? There is a way of organic positioning to attract users. It is very possible that if the articles of our blog are of quality, we capture users who search for things in the search engine and find us. Once in the blog you will surely find calls to action to download related content, etc.
In certain cases, using an organic traffic strategy, complemented by the intensive use of social networks, may be sufficient. But in certain cases it may not be enough, since the pace at which you want to grow is so high that the leads generated through organic traffic are not enough. In these cases it is very useful to complement the inbound marketing strategy with content promotion techniques through Pay Per Click Advertising .
In this section I will not elaborate on this topic, but if you want to know more, I recommend that you read the article Pay Per Click Advertising, In it, we explain to you what are the benefits of PPC as well as the main advertising platforms for B2B marketing.
4. Build a lead treatment system
In order to implement a good Inbound Marketing strategy, it is essential to have a software to manage the leads and perform actions such as sending emails automatically under certain conditions. It is what is known as marketing automation software.
In summary, through the leads management software we have to be able to do the following:
- Lead activity tracking: we are interested in knowing as much information as possible about the behavior of the user on our website and digital assets (micro-sites, landing pages, etc.). This includes a record with information on day and time, and what the user is doing, such as visiting several web pages, knowing whether or not to open the emails that we send, if content is downloaded or not, etc.
- Lead scoring : we are interested in giving a rating to each lead based on certain previously defined criteria. The goal is to classify the very-very good leads and also with a lot of engagement, good leads but with little engagement or bad leads (bad in the sense that the professional profile they have does not fit with the ideal profile of our buyer persona). If you want more information on this topic I recommend you read the article How to make a good lead scoring.
- Lead nurturing : we want to facilitate the user progress through the different phases of our sales funnel. Through lead nurturing techniques we can program sequences of sending emails to the user when certain conditions are met. Therefore, the lead management tool is crucial to allow us to implement these types of techniques.
5. Have a well-integrated sales management platform with marketing
Having a sales management platform, in other words, a Sales CRM, is not usually an issue that falls within the umbrella of the marketing department, if not within sales, but if you are in marketing I recommend you to be aware of the sales CRM that your company uses.
There are, from my point of view, 2 very important aspects to take into account in a Sales CRM with regard to the marketing part:
- Integration capacity of the Sales CRM with the Marketing CRM (or Marketing Automation Tool). Relevant information about the activity of the lead that is recorded in the marketing automation software has to be propagated or transferred to the Sales CRM. Why? Because the tool to report the sales is the CRM of Sales and therefore it is crucial that the lead actions’ information that has contributed to the sale is attributed in the Sales CRM.
If you are interested in this topic, I recommend you read the article How to use HubSpot to measure the sales pipeline generated by Marketing.
- Be clear about the relevant KPIs used by the sales department when dealing with leads, in order to check if the inbound leads comply with the desired KPIs. As an example, a KPIs with which Sales usually works is the number of “touching points” that it makes per lead. The average value of this KPI varies according to each company, but suppose that the average value is 6 times. This means that sales tries to interact with a lead an average of 6 times: perhaps it is called but can not be contacted at the moment, they try again after a few days later, they sent several emails, etc., so 6 times on average. Well, the question here is: For Inbound leads, is this true? If not, we have a problem that needs to be solved. If it is done and nevertheless the expected sales of Inbound are not generated then we have to analyze why and find the pertinent solutions.
This whole issue is very important, because in the end the sales management system we use has to facilitate the work of giving “insights” about what is failing or not working as well as we would like to feedback the Inbound Marketing strategy that we use.
6. Have a good website
It is crucial to have a good web page, with relevant information, well structured and with a well-thought navigation flow. Although it may seem very obvious, in many cases the websites of B2B sector companies are not well done as they should be. It is not the objective to enter now in depth in this subject, but only to give some brushstrokes, I leave you some questions that you can ask yourself about the web page of your company:
- Is the value proposition of your company clear? Can the user have an idea of what your company does, what value does it contribute and in what is your company unique?
- Is the information on the service or product (SaaS) of your company clear? And above all, is it complete? Are there functionalities of the product / service that are not explained? Or are poorly explained and should be explained better?
- Is the navigation flow well thought out? Can the user begin to discover your service/product and go deeper in an easy way? Are there pages with relevant product/service information difficult to access?
- Are the calls to action on each page natural? In other words, what we suggest to the user to do on each page makes sense?
- Do we have documents with information that complements the information on the website?
These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself to see to what extent your website is designed to facilitate B2B sales.
7. Have a good analysis system of what happens on your website.
This is usually the unfinished business of many B2B companies. Almost all companies have Google Analytics or a similar system, but how many have the knowledge of what happens on your website?
In our analytical system we have to translate our marketing objectives, measure things that the user does for us that has value. This can be to see key pages, to be more of a certain time looking at the web, to download certain contents, to see more than a certain X minutes of videos, etc. If we aim to generate demos we have to understand what the typical behavior of a user is until they request the demo, to feed back the system, apply improvements and improve conversion rates.
The world of Inbound Marketing is exciting, to think how we can attract thousands of users interested in what we can offer. Succeeding in this area requires having a good strategy and then having tools that allow a good implementation. At the heart of that strategy is the content, which must be of quality , designed for our target audience and adapted for each moment of the sales funnel in which the user is located.
On the other hand, the entire Inbound Marketing strategy can be benefited by promoting said content with Pay Per Click advertising. Platforms such as LinkedIn are an excellent way to promote our content for B2B.
n this article we have explained 7 key aspects to analyze within the Inbound Marketing strategy that your company plans. We hope it has been helpful!
- Essential roles in the marketing department to grow a SaaS B2B Company
- Why you need to create a strategy to push your leads through the sales funnel
- The phases of the B2B sales process
- Basic concepts about B2B lead generation
- Account Based Marketing techniques to generate leads for qualified
- 5 examples of LinkedIn Campaigns for generating quality sales leads