Inbound B2B marketing is the polite way to promote your services online. It doesn’t involve unsolicited emails, loud commercials, cold calls, or anything else B2B clients hate.
Inbound marketing is about how you welcome people who have willingly visited your site. As leads, these people are “hotter.” They have taken the most important step, the step all the obnoxious push strategies are trying to prompt (but rarely succeed). They have expressed interest in what you offer. Now it’s time for you to make them feel good about doing it.
All inbound marketing has a conversion “leg up” simply because this first milestone has already been reached. The client is coming to your online headquarters, ready to learn about and discuss your products and services.
You know they have the time to interact with your brand because they have taken the initiative. Whatever you have done through SEO, compelling off-site content,earned social media attention, advertising, or video…has worked. It has reached an interested B2B buyer or influencer, and they are now prepared to see and hear more.
Follow these 5 B2B inbound marketing strategies to keep them there and convert them to active clients.
1. Get them further inside for a look
Restaurants, theatres, and retail outlets know they must draw people in past the front door to get them ready to buy. Restaurants do it with pleasures: soft mood lighting, an outdoor patio, music, and exterior décor that reminds people of cuisine they like.
Theatres used to intentionally pump the smell of popcorn into the street and lobby. Retail outlets put their best items in the front window or hang a banner about a 70% off sale. You sell B2B products and services, and your off-site B2B marketing must do the same, but online – remind them of things they love.
You might think B2B buyers don’t love anything – it’s just their job. They most definitely love. They love service providers who make them look good in front of their boss. They love products that automate their work and make it easier. They love options that save their employer time and money.
To get and keep them interested, show them what they love: a happy supervisor or user base, products making a business more successful, or knowledge and insight that make these possible.
Your web site should be an extension of the pleasurable journey they’ve taken to get there. Optimize your search engine capabilities and paid search ads so that appealing options appear as soon as a buyer enters a search term.
Post abbreviated stories on social media about purchasers’ counterparts at other companies enjoying the benefits of your brand. Reinforce and extend those stories on your web site. Make interested visitors want to be part of this stimulating conversation. Make them want to know how the story ends.
2. Publish usable, memorable content that drives new business
You are a thought leader in your field. Show it. Pack your site with useful, downloadable content that clients come back for again and again. To be useful, your marketing content must be supported by relevant data and framed in memorable stories about how clients benefited from working with you.
If your inbound B2B leads can rely on you as part of their network to inform their process, they will assume they can rely on you as service providers. Publish client testimonial stories, instructional videos, course snippets, articles by your subject matter experts, blogs, and eBooks.
The temptation for B2B marketers is to horde intellectual property and on their web site, boast about projects they have done without providing anything their clients can really use to inform decisions. Resist that temptation. Don’t give away everything, of course, but be more generous with what you know.
Contrary to what your instincts might scream at you, this does not give potential clients (or competitors) just enough to take advantage of you. This generosity is consistently met with generous interest in working with you.
You want leads to arrive at your site and discover things they can take with them to their colleagues and build a case for working with your team.
3. Keep it fresh, regular and relevant to the B2B client
To maintain your status as thought leaders in your field, your content should be regular and new. Automate it. Create calendars that remind your marketers to get that robust content uploaded. Establish a sense of urgency.
The B2B purchasing process is longer and more rigorous. Some inbound B2B leads will visit the site multiple times before they are in a position to work with you.
Keep their interest by making them glad they visited. If they have subscribed to your newsletter, use it to notify them when new content is available.
4. Be responsible and efficient with the B2B buyer’s time
You have earned the privilege of this person’s time. Don’t waste it. Whatever route they took to get to your site, don’t make them take too many more steps to get to the next call to action. Avoid alanding page that scrolls through pretty (butmeaningless) images before giving them the option to subscribe or review the catalog.
Have the most important conversion task ready and obvious when they arrive. Make it easy for them to reach out to your representatives and chat with a real person if they want to. If you struggle to weigh competing priorities, conduct some A/B testing. This will tell you which of the two options is providing the best results.
5. Create reminders – not for you but for your inbound leads
If you track the activity on your site, you will know where inbound leads spent their time and attention. Set up automated systems to remind them about what they saw. This can be done through remarketing, a strategy that cookies your site visitors and follows them around the web with ads reminding them of the content they reviewed.
It can also be more old school. Have account managers reach out to those leads directly and ask if they need further information. Send an email via their subscription address to remind them that an update was posted for a report they read. Jog their memory. Re-use titles from the articles they clicked on in future newsletters. These five strategies will help you take advantage of a great resource: inbound B2B leads, otherwise known as people who stepped up to your virtual storefront and took a peek inside because,from where they were standing, they liked what they saw.