The B2B Inbound marketing definitive guide 2023
Welcome to our 2023 definitive guide to B2B Inbound marketing. For more than ten years, Gotoclient has delivered marketing campaigns for clients across a multitude of industries. We’re delighted to share some of our experience with you.
Inbound marketing programs are becoming increasingly popular for several reasons. First, it is a cost-effective strategy in comparison to outbound marketing. Secondly, it enables your potential customers to become aware of your offerings when they are looking for help with a particular problem, and thus increases authority and brand awareness.. Finally, it increases credibility and trust, because it is underpinned by good-quality content.
We have created an advanced guide to give you all you need to successfully launch and manage B2B Inbound marketing campaigns that work. If you would like something more basic, we recommend HubSpot’s guideor Avidlyagency’s guide.
Why this guide?
Attract, convert, close and delight B2B qualified clients.
Find useful information on how to build a qualified B2B Inbound marketing strategy
According to HubSpot, prospects spend 50% of their time online engaging with custom content, and Gartner states that B2B buyers spend 27% of their time researching online, 18% researching offline, and 17% meeting with buyer groups . This confirms that it is essential to build an effective inbound marketing strategy considering the entirety of the buyer journey and also to attract prospects to your content.
Here’s what to expect from this guide:
- · High-quality information about B2B Inbound marketing.
- · Essential tips and tricks to build an optimal B2B Inbound marketing strategy.
- · Free available templates to create effective strategies.
1. The basics of Inbound. Specifics for B2B inbound marketing.
To start things off, let’s first understand the basics of inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is an increasingly useful strategy that generates new leads by attracting, engaging and delighting them with valuable content. While outbound marketing delivers content that your audience doesn’t always want, inbound marketing, provides content that your target audience definitely needs.
The concept of inbound marketing was born in 2005 by HubSpot’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan. It began to be well-known in 2007, but in 2012 the inbound marketing concept really started to grow. Here are some interesting stats:
- · According to New Voice Media, 51% of clients will never do business with companies after a negative experience.
- · Also, HubSpot confirms 93% of consumers said they are more likely to give repeat-business to companies who have previously given them reliable service.
In 2018, Brian Halligan introduced the Flywheelconcept, where the key change comes at the end of the buyer journey. Rather than dispensing with customers once they reach the bottom of the funnel, they form a fundamental part of the next phase of growth. The main idea of the Flywheel is that happy clients create more customers, so there is particular emphasis on the third part of the Flywheel, the delight.
We’re now going to dig deeper into the three flywheel concepts:
- · Attract: Here, the idea is to provide valuable and educational content in order to establish you as a trusted company. Users spend a lot of time researching on Google to find relevant information related to their needs. According to Gartner’s report, between 57% and 68% of the buying cycle on their own without talking to anyone in your company. This means that usually when generating leads, they are located at the consideration or decision phase.
- · Engage: In engage stage, the content is more focused on offering solutions according to your target audience pain points, needs and goals. You have to get users to trust you and your content.
- · Delight: Finally, when you get new clients, you must offer help and support to let them succeed with their purchase.
With inbound marketing strategies, it’s also worth considering the AIDA model, which is comprised by the following stages:
- · Awareness: At this stage, users are aware they have a problem to solve.
- · Investigation: Users do research to find solutions to their problems.
- · Decision: Having found solutions, they decide which is best.
- · Action: Finally, users take the action.
The main difference between the AIDA and Flywheel models is that the marketing department in AIDA is focused on the awareness, investigation and decision stages. The sales team targets users to take action. The flywheel on the other hand, is not only focused on generating new customers, but it also wants to keep them.
To conclude this first section, let’s see some of HubSpot’s inbound fundamentals:
- · Think about this: To do inbound, you need to be inbound.
- · Remember, buyers have the power. They are empowered and have more information about your product, industry and competition.
- · Help your customers.
- · Grow better over the long-term when you offer content good-for-the-client.
- · Empower your prospects rather than forcing them into interruptive experiences.
- · Create an experience to add value for your prospects.
- · Answer your prospect and clients questions with helpful content.
- · Provide solutions and insight.
- · Become a resource.
- · Make content easily understandable.
- · Make sure you understand what motivates your prospects and customers.
- · Find opportunities to provide additional insight or information—Standardise for consistency.
- · Contextualise for relevance. Optimise for clarity. Personalise for impact. Empathise for perspective.
2. Building your Buyer Personas
For a B2B Inbound marketing strategy, first, you must build the Buyer Persona. This will enable you to focus on qualified users and deliver relevant content to them. Consequently, you will be able to get high-value visitors, leads and, finally, clients.
The first thing you have to do to build the Buyer Persona is to get key information about your customers. To do that, you can do the following:
- · Look at your existing contacts database to fully understand what kind of clients and prospects you have.
- · Check your website forms and create new forms with questions you have never asked before (for example, the company size).
- · Talk with salespeople and ask for their feedback on the new leads generated.
- · Ask your clients’ opinion on your product or service, and also if they could improve any specific aspect of your product / service.
After collecting the information, it’s time to organise it and identify commonalities. At this point, we recommend sharing this information with your marketing and sales team to get any additional feedback. When the information is organised, you can start building the Buyer Personas.
Collect as much information as possible from your contacts database,
your current website forms and create new ones to gather the information you need.
Your Buyer Persona should contain the following information:
- · Demographics: Gender, age, location and family situation.
- · Business background: Job position and career.
- · Key values and goals
- · Needs
- · Pain points
See below for our buyer persona template:
Both Buyer Personas are structured in the same way. In the first example, the sample is focused on a senior account manager working in the marketing department of a pharmaceutical company. The second example is a woman working as an IT specialist. In both cases, the following information is collated:
- · Demographics: They talk about their age, if they’re married or not and where they live.
- · Key values and goals: Here, it’s explained what they want to achieve and what kind of information or solutions they need.
- · Needs: Both cases show what they need to achieve in their careers.
- · Business background: Their job role, how long they have been in the company and how many years of experience they have in their industry.
- · Pain points: Finally, we summarise their concerns and which goals they believe are out of reach.
Buyer Persona information needed:
Demographics, business background, key values and goals, needs and pain points.
After developing the Buyer Persona, you will know which pain points your target audience has. When understanding these pain points, you will then be able to define the Buyer-Persona goals.
Then you can determine which product or service aligns best with the pain points so you can deliver the positioning strategy and offer.
3. Buyer journey development
Building the Buyer Persona is essential to get an in-depth picture of your target audience. It’s also crucial to develop the buyer journey to know which stage your prospects are located in order to deliver the appropriate content. Now, we’re going to classify stage of the funnel:
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Top of the Funnel or TOFU
Also known as awareness. In this stage, you’re looking to attract your target audience with your content. Users have realised they have a problem to solve and so they want to learn more about it. Here, you need to create content to educate your target audience related to a specific question, need or pain point they’re looking for help with, but without a sales CTA.
Middle of the Funnel or MOFU
During the MOFU or consideration stage, they are more focused on finding out about the solution. Users are looking for concrete alternatives to solve the problem. As a result, the content must be educational but at the same time, position your company as the solution. The MOFU stage is designed to convert. In addition, the content must be more in-depth and more detailed compared with content in the TOFU stage.
Bottom of the Funnel or BOFU
The decision stage is the time to delight. It is comprised of users who know they need a solution. At this point, you need to give a more customised and engaging offer in order to increase the opportunities for a transaction and long-term relationship.
4. Buyer journey strategies
After defining each buyer journey, let’s see which strategies you should take into account to generate new leads and engage your prospects to convert them into new customers. Depending on the dedication in each channel, you’ll achieve specific goals. For example, if you focus your efforts in marketing automation, you probably will convert your prospects into clients, but you won’t be getting new ones. Otherwise, if you only invest time distributing and promoting your content, you only will obtain new leads. In addition, you can find opportunities with your website visitors. If you need a tool to help you to track your website visitors, you can check the VisitorQueue page. It offers many options to support your strategies.
An optimal branding strategy will help with your inbound marketing. The branding allows companies to increase the loyalty of current customers. As a result, this will have a positive impact in the revenue.
This strategy allows you to share and recommend new blog posts, content or offers to your prospects, and develop an automated workflow strategy. Sending targeted content to your prospects helps them to progress through the buyer journey. Let’s see some statistics about email marketing:
- · According to the Content Marketing Institute, 69% of B2B marketers say their most used form of content marketing is email newsletters.
- · The Content Marketing Institute also states 68% of B2B marketers say email is one of their top free organic distribution channels. They also confirm 90% of content marketers say email engagement is the top metric they track to measure content performance.
- · Finally, Email Tool Tester confirms 16% of all emails never make it into the intended inbox.
For B2B inbound marketing strategies, developing content is essential. The more content you create, the more value you will provide. It also helps to increase your company awareness and recognition, as you prove you’re an expert on a particular subject matter.
It’s important to write content based on the entirety of the buyer journey, from the TOFU to the BOFU stage, to provide all the information your audience needs. To do this, we recommend creating a content plan to schedule your posts. You can also attach other content like eBooks, guides, infographics, etc., to convert those visitors into new leads. For the downloadable content, you need to create attractive landing pages, with only the necessary fields. The landing page has to demonstrate the benefit of downloading the content. It’s also essential to introduce a thank-you page once somebody has completed the form. In the thank-you page, you can also add additional content related to the offer.
To understand which content you need to provide, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- · Do they prefer text, video or audio?
- · Do they want to receive short or long-form content?
- · Do they use social media?
- · Which social networks do they use?
- · Which tone of voice is best to engage them?
- · Do they want interactive tools?
- · Do they need to speak to your company directly?
It’s important to not focus solely on content creation, because you must also make sure your content reaches your target audience.
You need to think about which tools you need to distribute your content, i.e. social media, email, among others. Here, you can also consider collaborating with other companies to get them to share your links. Be careful which companies you want to collaborate with (i.e. it’s best to avoid contacting businesses working in the same industry as yours).
It’s a great way to update your CRM with new posts, offers, etc. via newsletters. Make sure you give valuable content, otherwise people will unsubscribe from your emails.
With social media, it’s important to develop a strategy with the content you want to share. Also, after posting the content, check the analytics to see which type of information users engage with. Via social media, you can also send messages directly to members that showed interest in your profile., commented on publications from other accounts and so on.
You can also use paid ads to promote your content. In this scenario, we recommend developing campaigns on LinkedIn Ads. If you’re interested to learn more about how to launch effective campaigns on LinkedIn Ads, you can read our definitive guide. In addition, tools like Google Ads or Xing Ads could also be good options.
Lead nurturing & marketing automation
According to HubSpot, 67% of marketeers are using automation. In addition, 70% of companies that automate report better-targeted potential customer communication.
Marketing automation aims to convert qualified leads to new potential clients. This strategy replaces the cold call with customised, relevant content. Lead nurturing through marketing automation allows you to nurture a lead with the right content and messaging at the right time.
However, in the guide, there’s a section where we talk in detail about marketing automation. If you prefer you can read it now.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Creating blog posts and advanced content must be accompanied by an SEO strategy, as the content won’t be found organically. In fact, SEO is integral to every part of an inbound marketing strategy. A qualified keyword strategy will enable your target audience to find your company. The SEO strategy also adds authority to your website and for B2B users is essential for the decision-making process.
In order to find the best keywords, we recommend using tools like SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner, to find the most-used keywords with relevant metrics.
When starting the inbound marketing strategy, we recommend starting by generating content to increase web traffic. In addition, it’s advisable to launch paid campaigns to get more traffic faster.
5. Key offers for each funnel stage
The offering is another key factor in obtaining B2B qualified leads and prospects. To provide the best offers, you should separate them into the different stages of the funnel. These are the appropriate offers for each stage:
Top of the Funnel or TOFU
Blogs are a good way to educate your target audience. Even though this strategy is generally more focused on the TOFU stage, it works at all stages.
- · Build a content plan: It’s essential to create a content plan to determine which content you are going to develop and when. Thus, you will avoid focusing on a specific topic and publish relevant content about the topic that is interesting to your target audience.
- · Share the content more than once: If you don’t promote your blog posts on other platforms, some of your target audience will miss it. That’s why we recommend sharing the content more than once over time. To do this, you can update your posts with new features to give you the licence to share them again.
- · Think about long-tail keywords: For SEO, long-tail keywords work better than single keywords. Nowadays, it’s a challenging task to rank specific keywords, so, we recommend inserting long-tail keywords.
This kind of content requires a mix of visuals with text content. They’re usually used to demonstrate statistics, step-by-step infographics, facts, among others. Infographics allow readers to understand and retain the information quickly.
- · Create a flow: An infographic should look like a story. It is advisable to structure the content in different phases in order to make it digestible.
- · Write briefly: It’s essential to provide well-written and valuable content, but it should be as brief as possible. Users do not expect a lot of content, so if there is a lot of text, they will probably not read it all.
Focused on more in-depth or more complex content. eBooks can be shared in all stages, but it’s a more common TOFU strategy.
- · Create content to position your company as a thought leader: You need to create relevant and qualified content for your target audience. An eBook is not used to provide only basic information (for example, definitions). It’s essential users perceive your company as an expert in the subject you talk about.
- · Prioritise the visual as much as the content: Users tend to judge content based on what it looks like. Therefore, it’s important to spend time on the eBook’s design.
- · Make the eBook interactive: Many users will read the eBook on a mobile device, so it’s a good idea to make the eBook interactive so users can skip to the sections that are most relevant to them.
Social media posts
Social networks are vital for sharing your solutions, news, trends, and specific relevant information.
- · Be aware of new trends: It’s important to carry out continuous research about what your industry is talking about on social media.
- · Measure your results: To judge the effectiveness of your social media posts, it’s vital to analyse metrics. This is how you can understand which content works best.
- · Interact with your target audience: Users usually interact with companies, so engage with your target audience. It’s also a good idea to comment on posts from other accounts that your target audience may be interested in.
In order to add some variety to your content offering (for example a blog post), it’s good practice to deliver content via FAQs.
- · Make sure the questions are relevant: Don’t be tempted to think of what you would like to be asked. Instead, you must focus on the questions your target audience is asking.
- · Allow search: For pages with a large number of questions, it is advisable to classify them into different groups. This will make for more comfortable reading.
Middle of the Funnel or MOFU
Case studies are a great way to demonstrate the value of your products or services. With case studies, you can share your successes and impress your target audience to the point where they could become a customer.
- · Add real numbers: Your case studies must show real numbers in order to show a measurable outcome. The more factual information you have, the more believable your case study will be.
- · Make them accessible: It’s a good idea to have your case studies in a prominent position on your website. Also add them to posts, social networks, landing pages etc.
- · Interview your clients to find out what they really think:
When your prospects are deciding if they want to pay for your products or services, it’s good for them to hear the opinion of other customers like them. The opinion of your clients is essential. Make sure you interview your best clients so you have a bank of positive content to share with your prospects.
Webinars are good for gaining qualified leads and trusted relationships. This is a very important part of the marketing mix.
- · Connect your target audience’s needs to your solution: In a webinar, we recommend talking about the challenges your target audience has, and how can your offerings can provide a solution.
- · Offer something else in the webinar: At the end of the webinar, you can give another offer related to the webinar’s content, i.e. an eBook, infographic etc. This gives additional value to your webinar and give a better experience for the attendees.
- · Provide value to those users who didn’t attend: It’s important to not forget about the people who filled in the form but didn’t attend. Here, we recommend sharing the presentation slides along with a recording of the webinar.
Unlike webinars, live streams are more about entertainment than education. Streams tend to be publically accessible for free, and can be replayed indefinitely. This is a good option to engage with your target audience and to find those users who have a busy schedule who probably won’t be able to watch it live.
- · Improve response times: When users ask something in live streams, they want an answer as quickly as possible. Good real-time interaction with users will influence their engagement.
- · Repurpose your live video: Live streams can be a useful resource for your website to reach more users.
Using white papers is recommended to increase awareness and consideration from your target audience.
- · Keep the content short: Users want to find relevant information, but they prefer not spending too much time reading it. So, keep white papers concise and straightforward.
- · Optimise the text: Although it’s an offline content, you need to add keywords and items that interest to your target audience.
- · Publish your white papers: White papers are an offline tool, but for search reasons, we recommend making them available on your website.
Podcasts are an excellent way of standing out from your competitors in the marketplace.
- · Think about SEO: It’s essential to have an SEO strategy alongside your podcasting in order to reach new audiences on podcast-hosting platforms like iTunes and Google Podcasts. So, we recommend dedicating time to think about a title and description for your podcasts.
- · Be consistent and find the balance: As with each strategy, you need to build a content plan and not dedicate lots of podcasts to the same topic. Otherwise, your audience will become bored.
According to Wyzowl, 88% of video marketers reported that video gives a positive ROI. Instead of offering content via the more common strategies (i.e. blog posts), you can use video content instead.
- · Put subtitles on the video: It’s likely that that people will watch your videos on mute, so consider adding subtitles.
- · Mix videos with text content: It’s a good practise to mix both and to intersperse them to offer more engaging content to read / watch.
- · Push your videos on social networks: Share your videos on social media to increase views.
Offering surveys is good method of capturing user information. You can release a survey asking specific questions and then give the users a comprehensive analysis of the results.
- · Don’t build surveys that are too long: It is essential to not ask too many questions tso as not to make the survey unwieldy. Only ask simple and necessary questions.
- · Ask closed questions: We recommend asking closed questions with specific choices (for example, yes or no). Consequently, it will be easier to collate and analyse the answers.
- · Start by explaining how your surveys can help your target audience: Users should know what your survey is about and also how it will help them. For example, you can refer to the findings from other surveys.
Checklists are useful to help your target audience understand the specific steps required to undertake a specific activity.
- · Provide additional information: When building a checklist, it’s advisable to add additional information. For example, if a specific step is difficult to understand or carry out, you can add a link to another post or tool that explains it.
- · Insert the checklist in other strategies: In order to increase a checklists’ visibility, we recommend adding them to other resources, such as blog posts, eBooks, webinars, social media posts, among others. It is essential to invest time in creating the checklists’ content but also in promoting them.
This kind of tool helps to build long-term relationships with your clients. Calculators help users to make better decisions on their projects.
- · Create useful calculators: Before creating a calculator, it’s essential to understand what users commonly struggle to measure. The more useful your calculator is, the more likely your target audience is to use it more than once.
- · Monitor the information: Analyse the information users insert and consider if you can give them a special offer that suits their needs.
- · Promote your calculator: It’s essential to share your calculators on social media, blog posts, etc.
Bottom of the Funnel or BOFU
More focused on products than services, a demo is an excellent option to enable your audience to get to know your product in-depth, showcasing how it works and its advantages.
- · Offer a demo for more complicated products: Some products require prior explanation in order for people to understand how they work. A free demo is a great way of doing this.
- · Focus on the most relevant benefits for your target audience: Be sure to show the product specifications and the specific benefits for your target audience.
- · Give free training: It’s recommended to not only provide information about how the product works, but also give free training to offer a value-add.
Trials are for both products and services. Trials enable users to compare your service / product with others.
- · Don’t ask for credit card information: It’s commonly assumed that credit card information will help in the process of getting new customers. But usually, when users see that they need to add this information, they don’t apply for the free trial. Only ask for the credit card information once leads are making a purchase.
- · Give a discount if leads buy before the expiration: In order to increase the opportunity for a sale, offer a discount if they buy the product / service before the trial ends.
It’s essential to make first contact with your leads before they purchase. Sales consultations are an excellent way to do this for both products and services.
- · Offer relevant information: Give essential info, like best practices, and share something they couldn’t easily find from a search engine.
- · Make sure your leads trust you: Give users reasons to trust your company. To do that, we recommend giving unbiased advice.
- · Offer free material: It’s advisable to offer freebies that your audience doesn’t expect. As a result, users will have a positive memory of your company.
Free quotation with added discount:
A free quotation with added discount: In order to increase sales opportunity, free quotes are a useful tool. Users will know exactly how much the service costs and why they need it. Adding a discount will increase the value of the offer.
- · Offer a limited discount: When you offer the quote and discount, it’s more tempting if the offer is only valid for a limited time, i.e. one month, two weeks etc.
- · Do a continuous follow-up: After sending the quote, it’s important to do a follow-up with your leads. Ask if they have any questions and where possible, schedule a meeting to make sure your leads don’t forget what you are offering.
To conclude this section, here’s a summary with the three phases and their corresponding strategies:
If you have launched B2B inbound marketing campaigns before,
we recommend you do a retrospective analysis to find which strategies worked best.
6. The importance of marketing automation
In simple terms, marketing automation consists of using software to automate marketing activities. This technology can provide a more customised experience for your leads, and also a more effective strategy. According to HubSpot, 50% of your leads are ready to buy. It’s essential to not only focus on lead generation but also to invest time on nurturing those leads. In addition, Nucleus Research confirms this increases a company’s efficiency by 20%. That’s why you need to combine both inbound marketing with marketing automation. See below for more on this:
Carrying out effective lead generation follow-up plans is crucial to converting new leads into potential customers. Listen now to this podcast with Adrian Falk!
- · Engage with your leads: Depending on where your leads are situated, you can create an email workflow with content that covers their needs. The marketing automation system will send an email automatically, depending on the prospect’s action.
- ·Nurture your leads: Marketing automation is designed to use relevant content to nurture leads into customers.
- · Give customised content: With marketing automation, you can create a unique experience for each prospect, giving personalised information.
- · Save time: With a marketing automation tool you can automate repetitive or difficult tasks. Also, it enables the scheduling of posts and emails with a marketing automation system. As a result, it will increase productivity too.
- · Guide your leads along the buyer journey: Make sure your prospects have a comfortable journey to the purchase stage.
- · Control the results: This software enables you to know where the lead comes from and where they are on the conversion journey.
Implement a marketing automation strategy to ensure you don’t lose potential leads.
Save time by using automation tools to help with your strategies.
Now we know what marketing automation is and why it’s important, let’s see how to implement a marketing automation strategy in an inbound marketing campaign.
- Define goals: You need to set how you will measure your results in order to know if the marketing automation plan is working. To do that, goals need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound). For example, a SMART goal might be: “increase number of new customers via marketing automation by 25%, by the end of 2023”.
- Consider the buyer journey: You need to be clear on which automated content you’re going to deliver at each stage, from the moment you gain a new lead to the moment they become a customer. Therefore, at each different stage, you will have to offer more educational content and some specific offers.
- Educate your leads with dynamic content: With dynamic content, you can send your leads customised information based on the action they take. For example, let’s say a user fills out a form to download an eBook. When receiving his / her information, you can automatically send an email with content related to the eBook.
Finally, we’re going to discuss the strategies that work best for marketing automation:
Website live chat
A live website chat is an excellent way to gain new qualified leads that would be lost if they didn’t get the opportunity to ask questions and receive immediate answers. Nowadays, there are many solutions that enable a live chat without needing someone to continually supervise the chat.
- · Give a quick answer: According to Econsultancy, 79% of clients say they prefer live chat because of the instant response it offers. So, the lower the response time, the higher the customer satisfaction.
- · Program scripts to for faster answers: Building well-designed live chat enables quicker responses and saves you time.
- · Measure your results: In order to know what you need to improve, it’s important to measure the first response time, total number of conversations and visitors. Consequently, you will be able to enhance your leads’ experience.
- · Obtain relevant information from conversations: Take notes from correspondence with your clients and get to know them properly. From this you can identify common needs, which can then inform your marketing strategy and offering(s).
Another effective strategy for marketing automation is email automation. You can create and schedule different emails for each stage of the buyer journey with customised content and offers.
- · Write attractive subject lines: Prospects receive a lot of emails every day. That’s why it’s essential to capture their attention immediately.
- · Segment your list: Segmenting your email list allows you to group leads based on certain characteristics, i.e. where they filled out a form, which content they already have, their demographics etc. This is how you build more personalised emails with relevant content.
- · Create an email workflow: Here, it is necessary to predict the possible action the leads will take. For example, once you send the initial email, you have to define which content you will send next based on whether they opened the original email.
- · Build an email calendar: We recommend building an email calendar to avoid email saturation or periods of inactivity.
- · Humanise your messaging: The more humanised your email is, the more opens and answers you will have. Hence why it is advisable to include personalised content.
Social Media Automation
Social media automation helps to optimise social interactions using automation tools. This strategy includes social post scheduling and post republishing. As a result, you will also save time and have a more organised publishing schedule.
- · Republish social media updates: For the social posts with the best results, you can consider republishing them. Don’t republish too much though, because users may get bored of your content.
- · Use chatbots: In order to answer user questions, you can use chatbots to provide immediate answers and support. In addition, you can use chatbots to inform users that you’ll give them information in X amount of hours.
- · Offer different types of content: Think about the topics you are going to discuss on your social networks. To do that, you have to understand what your audience is interested in.
Combine multiple strategies to provide the most customised experience to users.
7. Platforms to carry out a B2B InbouThe importance of lead nurturing and lead scoring
For a B2B inbound marketing strategy, there are effective platforms that help you deliver effective campaigns. See below for the tools we recommend for building an inbound marketing strategy.
HubSpot is one of the most recognised inbound marketing platforms. This platform offers tools and resources to build a complete inbound marketing strategy, from the awareness phase to lead generation and client conversion.
HubSpot helps you deliver CTAs, landing pages, blog posts, forms, lead flows, conversations, website platforms, email marketing, meetings, deals, tasks, activities etc. Also, it offers integration with platforms like Gmail, Outlook, WordPress, Zoom, and many more.
HubSpot is a good tool to grow your business for the following reasons:
- · Develop your software to obtain new qualified customers thanks to the Marketing Hub option. It offers an SEO tool to identify relevant topics and keywords. You can also manage your social media accounts and paid ads.
- · Automate contacts. This includes a lead scoring option to indicate which contacts are most likely to buy your services or products. HubSpot also has a workflow option to develop the journey from when you first get a lead until you convert them into a client. Key tip: If you find a group of users who like a specific topic, you should send them related content automatically.
- · Create chatbots to maintain an automated conversation with users. HubSpot also record the dialogues.
- · Build your website with dynamic content. It also allows the a /b testing of pages to see which is generating the most traffic.
Marketo is another platform that covers all buyer journey strategies, with facilities such as: CRM integrations, landing pages, marketing automation, email marketing, lead management etc.
It’s also worth noting that Marketo offers a solution to specific industries, which are: healthcare, manufacturing, higher education, financial services and technology.
Marketo will be a good fit for you, if:
- · You have previous experience of inbound marketing strategy. Marketo can be a difficult platform to use for companies with little experience in online marketing because of the multitude of options.
- · You need only a specific number of solutions. The platform offers customised solutions for professional clients.
This platform also offers solutions for all phases of the buyer journey through multiple activities, like email marketing, landing pages, forms, ads, reporting, content creation and lead management.
It integrates with some popular tools like Google Analytics, Marketo, Oracle, Datadog, etc. Eloqua is a good option for companies that:
- · Want to hire a customised and complete inbound marketing platform.
- · Focus on platforms for professionals with experience. As with Marketo, Eloqua is also more focused on experienced inbound marketing professionals.
- · Segment your audience properly. Eloqua has excellent segmentation tools to help you find the right audience for your campaigns.
Salesforce is a CRM that enables you to efficiently manage leads, prospects and client interactions. It also enables the building of workflows for marketing automation strategies. This platform is useful for companies that want to:
- · Analyse in-depth data and metrics.
- · Create more customised content for automated campaigns.
This platform is a CRM software tool aimed at smaller companies. Pipedrive helps to organise leads, generate leads and improve the sales process. It also offers email integration to connect your emails with your contacts.
So, Pipedrive is a good platform for companies that need:
- · A cheap CRM. Pipedrive is designed for companies with smaller budgets who don’t need a tool a fully comprehensive like HubSpot, for example.
- · Track every step of the marketing process in order to optimise strategy and get qualified results.
- · Get better sales insights.
This platform is a site builder that offers content management systems. WordPress can be used for more complete websites or more straightforward blogs. There are many tools available but note that some of them require knowledge of HTML, CSS and programming language PHP.
WordPress can be useful for professionals who:
- · Need a flexible and adaptable website builder that enables them to tweak their offering on an ongoing basis.
- · Want a user-friendly platform to run the website efficiently.
Gather content is a SaaS platform to create, edit and review website content. It’s great for organising your content in an intuitive way. In addition, Gather content offers many templates for building web pages.
Gather content is a good option for companies that want to:
- · Keep all their web content in only one platform.
- · Build qualified content with the help of step-by-step guides (for example, editorial review, SEO review, final edits, etc.).
- · Enable multiple team members to edit the content at the same time.
This platform is an online form builder with multiple form templates, reporting analytics, integrations and so on. So, Jotform is a good choice for companies that need to:
- · Create multiple forms in different formats (for example, smart pdf forms, mobile forms, etc.).
- · Build forms for specific industries. Jotform offers forms adapted to companies’ needs.
Typeform allows companies to build both forms and surveys. The main differentiating element of this platform is that it asks one question at a time to keep users engaged. It also allows the integration of the platform with many tools, i.e. Google Sheets, Mailchimp, HubSpot, etc.
This platform is for companies who:
- · Regularly interact with users in order to keep them interested.
- · Want to integrate forms and surveys with other tools (Typeform offers a free API to facilitate that integration).
- · Want to build forms and surveys easily.
Unbounce is a landing page creator platform. It has over a hundred landing page templates and also allows you to build a customised landing page. This platform works with many other tools like Google Analytics, Zapier, Facebook, etc.
When launching a landing page, the platform offers real-time data to help you judge performance. Unbounce is a good option for companies that:
- · Complement their inbound marketing platform with a complete landing page tool.
- · Need a platform with many options to create a landing page.
This platform offers a chatbot program to create automated conversations with users. Drift can develop customised chatbots with real-time personalisation and also provides metrics and results to give a clear picture of which conversation works and which pages are most popular.
Drift is for professionals who:
- · Hire a complete tool to create effective chatbots.
- · Prioritise chatbots in their marketing strategy.
- · Increase engagement with visitors.
One Signal offers push notifications for websites and mobile apps. When sending notifications, the platform provides data to help you judge their effectiveness.
This platform can be useful for companies that want to:
- · Build an optimal marketing automation plan.
- · Increase engagement with users.
- · Give a customised experience to their target audience.
MailChimp is an email marketing provider that helps you send offers, relevant information, updates etc. It’s an easy-to-use platform with a variety of different options to help you adapt to the needs of the clients.
MailChimp is a good option for professionals that need to:
- · Create email campaigns with no previous experience.
- · Use an email marketing platform at minimal cost (MailChimp offers a free plan and other cost-effective packages).
This platform is a social media management tool. You can schedule your posts on multiple social channels at the same time. Also, Hootsuite helps you keep track and manage your social accounts.
Hootsuite is focused on users that want to:
- · Control and manage multiple apps from one platform.
- · Save time with their social media content strategy.
- · Analyse post results from all social networks quickly and easily.
ClickMeeting is a web conferencing platform, which allows users to schedule meetings in advance. During the session, the platform also allows screen sharing, presentations and videos. Also, with ClickMeeting, you can create surveys and tests during the webinar.
So, this platform is a good option for professionals who need to:
- · Manage multiple webinars.
- · Minimise setup time for webinars.
Consider utilising more than one tool, depending on your company needs.
There are many more great tools out there that we haven’t mentioned.
These are simply the tools we know and trust the most.
8. Lead nurturing: Tips and tricks
When launching B2B inbound marketing strategies, it’s essential to track and measure the results to determine if your campaign is performing effectively. In addition, with KPIs you can develop long-term strategy.
Here are some KPIs to consider:
- · Backlinks: The number of times other sites linked to your web pages.
- · Keyword ranking: The position your website appears on search engines when users enter a specific keyword.
- · Organic search traffic: The number of users that came to your website via Google.
- · Pageviews: The number of times users visit your pages.
- · Sessions: The number of times users visit your website and stay for X minutes.
- ·Total traffic volume: The total number of visitors within a certain period.
- · Website conversion rate: Here, you have to take your purchases or conversions and divide them by the number of visits.
- · Return visits: The number of users who return to your website within a certain period.
- · Time on page: The number of minutes your visitors stay on your website.
- · Unique pageviews: The number of unique users that visit your website.
- · Bounce rate: The number of users that visit your website and leave immediately.
- · Paid traffic: The number of visitors from specific campaigns.
- · Display traffic: The number of users that visit your website through paid campaigns.
- · Direct traffic: The number of users that visit your website by typing your address into their browser.
- · Organic traffic: The number of users that visit your website from search engines.
- · Social traffic: The number of users that go to your website from your social media posts.
- · Email traffic: The number of visits generated by emails sent.
- · Referral traffic: The number of users that visit your website by clicking from other site links.
Paid Ads campaigns
- · Impressions: The number of times your audience sees the ad.
- · Clicks: The total number of times your audience clicked the ad.
- · CPC (Cost per Click): The total cost for each click.
- · Leads: The total number of users converted into leads.
- · CPL (Cost per Lead): The total cost of each lead.
- · SQL (Sales Qualified Lead): The total number of leads that convert into qualified sales leads.
- · MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead): The total number of SQLs that are likely to convert into clients.
- · CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost): The total cost of each client.
- · Delivery rate: The total number of emails delivered to users.
- · Email open rate: It shows the percentage of users that opened an email. In order to calculate it, you have to take the total number of emails opened and divide it by the total number of emails delivered.
- · Spam rate: The number of users who mark your emails as spam.
- · Unsubscribe rate: The rate of users who unsubscribe from your mailing list.
- · CTR: This represents the percentage of users who saw the email and clicked on the links. To calculate it, you have to take the total number of clicks and divide it by the total number of emails opened.
- · Form conversion rate: This represents the percentage of the total number of users that fill out a form on a landing page. To know this, you have to take the total number of completed forms and divide them by the number of landing page clicks.
- · Conversion rate: The total number of users that become a client or make a purchase.
- · Downloads: The total number of users that give their contact details to download content, attend a webinar, etc.
- · Leads
- · MQL
- · Organic traffic
- · Pages per session
- · Time on page
Represents the total amount you spend with each of your clients.
The total revenue in a specific period.
The return on investment. This helps to determine if it makes sense to launch the campaign.
9. [Checklist] Steps to follow to launch a B2B Inbound marketing campaign
As a B2B inbound marketing agency, we believe inbound marketing strategy is vital for all companies. That’s why we have shared our knowledge with you
Let’s recap the most important points:
- Understand the basics of Inbound marketing to be able to launch an inbound marketing campaign.
- Build an effective Buyer Persona with detailed information.
- Develop the buyer journey with strategies and offers.
- Carry out a marketing automation strategy.
- Choose the right platform for your inbound marketing campaign.
- Measure your results with inbound marketing KPIs.
We hope this helps you deliver some great campaigns!
We will end with a checklist to help you take all the necessary steps to launch a B2B inbound marketing campaign. Download it here.
If you have any questions about B2B inbound marketing, or would like us to work with you on a campaign, get in touch!