12 Nov Tune in your B2B Marketing for Inbound Power
Guest post from Luchy Edwards, Digital Marketing Specialist at Hudson Digital in New York.
Outbound marketing is familiar to all of us as “advertising”. It’s a one way stream of information hoping to connect with an anonymous audience. Outbound marketing includes direct mail, TV and radio ads, a booth at a tradeshow and cold-calling.
Digital Inbound Marketing is quite different. It’s very flexible, much more interactive and can be powerfully effective when done properly. One of the most important strengths of inbound marketing is that it’s based on the concept of “opt-in” communications: where a prospect has provided their contact information at some point in your company’s interaction with them in a manner which permits you to send them information chiefly via email and which can result in conversations.“In fact, it’s its core strength: the ability to create conversations – two way communication between you and your prospects. They’re not anonymous, and you grow to learn more about individual preferences and areas of interest with each interaction”.
Further, you can move prospects (using Marketing Automation tools) more rapidly to sales by nurturing them with information that is relevant to their business needs, while at the same time establishing yourself as the authority capable of helping them.
It’s fairly well known that digital marketing succeeds best when deploying different messages to different segments, or “behavioral groups”. Inbound marketing makes a science of this deployment, and here’s how…
Let’s say you wanted to reach a group of prospects about a new white paper offering from your company. You’d begin this campaign by emailing to your existing mailing list, blogging about it, and sharing on your social media channels. Then, when visitors arrived on the designated landing page, a form allowed them to supply information about their company size, phone number (or more) in exchange for a content deliverable (white paper, presentation, video, etc.) about a broad topic you want to tie your product to. Once the you’ve collected the names of the themed content respondents, you can then target that group with more specific messaging. This is called a “top of the funnel” tactic which brings in as many leads as possible.
A tool like Leadsius allows you to gather valuable information to qualify visitors as leads that are ready for the sales team. Using a tool like Leadsius will also boost the number of touch-points via automatic emails scheduled to be sent after your prospects have connected. Since the respondent has chosen to give you information that you’ve asked for such as company size, revenue range, what their struggles are, you can better segment your lists and further and personalize your message for a deeper engagement.“Inbound marketing enables very specific targeting of interested prospects that allows you to convert them in much higher numbers than any ad campaign would facilitate. It can even leverage ad campaigns as a way to initiate conversations with prospects”
Every company, and especially those engaged in business-to-business sales, can benefit enormously by using a marketing automation tool. With the ability to segment lists, you can define affinity groups, specific companies, individual preferences and eventually create direct contacts with prospects. Because of your nurturing emails and gathered information about what your potential customers need, you’ve fortified via marketing automation your inbound marketing efforts which can be turned over to sales for execution; and it’s often the case that these leads are much more qualified than leads coming from any other source
Here are the 3 stages to Inbound Marketing and how a tool like Leadsius facilitates your effort:
Top of the Funnel:
These are white papers, guides, videos, and presentations that establish your firm as a leader in the services or products provided. Your visitor arrives with questions about what they need and you provide answers. Visitors are required to give a minimal amount of information on the form placed on landing page in order to get access to the content such as email, business phone, maybe what challenge they’re facing as an option field.
Middle of the Funnel:
Respondents of top of the funnel offers are sent automated follow up emails that are scheduled regularly and point to offers more specifically aligned with your company’s services; these might include webinars (where attendees can ask questions) or case studies. Here, you can curate your middle of the funnel offers based on what your leads have shared with you. By creating a link between the customer’s need and your company’s services, you’ve now planted a seed for demand. The form on a middle of the funnel landing page can have more specific questions such as “What is your role in the company?” “What is your budget for a solution?” Respondents to middle of the funnel offers have had sufficient interaction with your company so that you can start engaging them deeper in the conversation.
Bottom of the Funnel:
At this point, you will have the least amount of names but they’ll be the best qualified for sales calls. You can offer them a free trial or a free assessment. This is the stage where where all the analytics and link segmentation is put to good use. Your bottom of the funnel leads have shared a lot about what they’re struggling with and because of the conversation through marketing automation, are aware of how your company can help them. Trust has been established, they’re ready to speak with someone on your staff about a specific need that may turn into a project or a sale.
Leadsius has a very user-friendly and intuitive dashboard that allows you to create well designed landing pages and emails according to your site’s look for your branding efforts. The forms are equally easy to create and highly responsive. The tool has robust email analytics and respondents will automatically be added to your list of leads. Leadsius allows you segment your leads to qualify them for offers that are targeted to their specific needs. Here, the email nurturing continues, and the lists are geared for more detailed information such as roles within the company, company’s budget, and further, more detailed information about what their challenges truly are. Blogging and social media sharing continue to place, capturing new visitors that are researching and ready to engage your company in this level in the funnel.
ConclusionInbound marketing doesn’t close the sale—salespeople still have to get deals done and contracts signed—but as shown above, it plays a key role in qualifying, nurturing and preparing leads for sales to make them into customers.
/Luchy Edwards (@luchyedwards)
About Hudson Digital:
Hudson Digital is a web development and digital marketing company located in Hudson, NY.
Hudson Digital has built web sites and marketing programs for some of the most demanding customers in the world, and are currently bringing that expertise to local businesses in the Hudson Valley (and beyond).
Hudson Digital works with small to medium size businesses creating great-looking, easily updatable, fully functional, responsive (mobile and tablet) and affordable WordPress sites, SEO, marketing automation, email campaigns, and Google Analytics.