Best Practices: Inbound Marketing Strategies for B2B

Inbound marketing strategies for B2B business’s best practices include:

Recreate Existing Content and Try New Mediums

According to the Huffington Post, B2B companies who blog attract 67% more leads than those who don’t. This can give your company quite the competitive edge so if you haven’t already started blogging, try and recreate your previous posts into new formats to get more results for your time. Also try various mediums when releasing content, like videos. You never know which content medium match speaks most to your audience without testing them so find a way to place your content in new formats to generate more web traffic & leads!


Create Content from FAQs

People are bound to ask questions when visiting your site, so why not start building out your content from there? Unless your goal is to have customers reach out to you with questions, chances are you don’t want to be sitting at your computer all day answering them repeatedly.  Creating content that focuses on addressing these common questions will not only save you time but they will also improve the quality of your leads and can even speed up the sales process.


 Create a Content Calendar

This may seem like a lot of work at first, but once you see the true value behind your content marketing you will understand the power behind social media marketing.  Social media isn’t just for B2C, it can also play major roles in effective B2B marketing on platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Creating a content calendar will help you keep track of your social media presence eliminating any doubt about the strategic process halfway through the month. It will also keep you organized so you will always have content ready for posting. (How do I make one of these?)


Take Advantage of Marketing Automation Systems

Marketing Automation Systems exist to serve! Our personal favorite over at Corrao Group is Pardot because it offers a multitude of features that can save your team time, minimize manual mistakes, and align your sales and marketing teams. List segmentation, drip programs, email templates, A/B testing, content calendars, and auto responders are all at features at your fingertips with minimal to no effort.  Need proof? Check out our case study that made our client thousands.


Engage with Industry Influencers

Make yourself a valuable resource known to the leaders of influence within your industry. A great way of doing this is interacting on social media posts on LinkedIn or quoting tweets from influencers on Twitter. Other businesses follow and trust these people and therefore would be more likely to value an interaction or observation of yours involving them. Connecting with them via social media is a quick and easy way to make yourself known.


Focus on Your Titles

When searching for information on Google, title tags are what lets the search algorithm know that your content exists as a results option. This is a minor fix with your coding on both your website and your blog, but has the ability to make a huge (free) difference when it comes to driving traffic to your site. Make sure your text titles correspond with what readers expect to find on your page or you will face the wrath of Google penalties.


Make Your Web Pages Fast-Loading

B2B audiences consist of other professionals that are working and don’t have time to wait around, often times from their mobile phones. Don’t let a slow website be the reason they close the site and continue searching for the answers someone else.  There are a variety of tricks to make your website open faster including arrangement of your code, location of your code, the type of code, the size of your images, and many more factors that may give your company the competitive edge it deserves.

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10 Reasons to Use Marketing Automation

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1- Enhanced Accountability of Marketing and Sales: Accountability is a word that carries heavy meaning and without concrete proof, it can be easy to point the finger at someone else when you are the one that should be held accountable. With marketing automation, you know exactly what processes are being executed and all reports are easy to access. If certain marketing campaigns aren’t working because leads aren’t being nurtured, the marketing team will receive feedback, without the blame being put on sales (and vice-versa). This reduces stress in the office and allows sales and marketing to open up wider forms of communication.

2- Increased Revenue: Hearing increased revenue brings music to most peoples ears. After automating your marketing and sales efforts, an increase in customer lifetime value is likely to follow. Also, once your leads are prioritized via marketing automation, your sales ROI are bound to get better.

3- Less Repetition Means More Creativity: Mundane marketing tasks are taken over by automation. You will spend less time sending (what feels like 10,000) emails, and more time working on creative material! Not only is it more fun but also ups staff effectiveness and productivity.

4- Reach Prospects Across All Channels: Marketing automation allows you to reach potential customers in a more personalized way through different channels. This allows you to send messages through different mediums (email, postcard, text, phone call, etc.) based on the customer. Our partners at PrintSF are the go to if you send printed collateral and use either Salesforce or Pardot.

5- Extremely Customized Content: Every potential customer is different; therefore they all want different things and are on different tracks to purchasing your product. Marketing automation allows you to reach thousands of leads, with different messages targeted towards them. This ultimately gets the potential customer what they want and closer to purchasing.

6- Schedule Next Month’s Social Content In 1 Day: Social media is the reason teenagers stare at their phones all day, don’t let it be yours. Marketing automation allows you send a message out to all forms of social media at one time while tracking leads. You can also schedule these posts a head of time and be able to view them on a calendar once they have been sent (so you know what you’ve already sent without logging onto all your external accounts).

7- Reveal What’s Really Working: Marketing automation gives you data that tells you what campaigns are working and what leads they are working on. Now, you don’t have to spend your time trying to figure out where to focus your efforts.

8- Know The Right Time To Reach Out: You will never have to make a cold call again because marketing automation can read your customers mind (just kidding). You will be able to track when the customer has visited your site so you will know exactly when they are thinking about you, which makes it a perfect time to pick up the phone.

9- No More Cold Calls: No one likes making or answering cold calls. End of story.

10- Speed Up Prospect Conversion: Make the time between potential customer and customer shorter by making your sales process more effective and efficient with marketing automation!

6 Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs!

Recognize what you want to accomplish

Is your organization B2B? B2C? Recognizing this and your goals before moving forward gives you maximum clarity in the quest for what marketing methods you know will work best.

Bring out the value proposition!

Find it. Write it. Use it. This is what your product or service is all about and how it separates you from everyone else out there! Focus on how your product is different and evidently better than others out there. (Keep in mind this is different from your slogan)

Keep working on your email lists

When it comes to online marketing, email lists are a must. Build it, keep building it, and then build it some more. You won’t regret this in the end especially since email marketing has the highest ROI compared to any other channel,

 

Create better content (duh)

This is harder than it seems. Know your audience, do your research, and use A/B testing! Your leads and customers will tell you, by their interaction, where your effective content is. Although, it’s the content that you don’t hear much feedback on that needs the revising.

Outsource to a partner or affiliate

Get your feet off the ground by outsourcing your marketing to a partner or affiliate. Your business will grow with the increase of connections, and the results can be extraordinary.

Ask for customer feedback

It’s the customer’s world, and we’re all just living in it. How will your product/service get better if you don’t know how your customers feel about it?

Overcoming the 3 Common Barriers to Successful Marketing Automation

1-LACK OF EFFECTIVE MARKETING AUTOMATION STRATEGY

Without an effective strategy, automating your marketing is almost impossible. 58% of the survey respondents from the Marketing Automation Trends for Success report, find this as their toughest barrier.

Whether you are already using marketing automation or not, rethinking your strategies is never a bad idea. Pardot created a Marketing Automation Success Plan Template that you can download and personalize to help map out your plan for success.


2-POOR SALES-MARKETING ALIGNMENT

Poor communication is usually the #1 killer of sales-marketing alignment. Open up the fields of communication between the teams so that sales understands marketing better, and marketing understands sales better. (Check out Pardot’s 6 Steps to a Better Sales-Marketing Strategy blog for implementation tips!)


3-INADEQUATE CONTACT DATA QUALITY

“54% of B2B companies estimated that at least quarter of their marketing database was comprised of old, inaccurate, unusable, or duplicate leads.”- Spear Marketing Group

Using cleaning tools (such as Data.com Clean) will automatically match, attach, and enrich your prospect records in your CRM, which can then be synched to your marketing automation platform. This will help keep your data, complete, up-to-date, and accurate.

After cleaning all your past data, be sure to keep your future data organized and accurate as well. You can achieve this through progressive profiling because it allows you to gradually collect data on a lead over time. This gives the website viewers shorter forms to fill out each time they visit the site. Check out the progressive profiling overview from Pardot.

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10 Ways to Increase Sale and Lead Generation

1 – Make Calls-to-Action Matter 

Place your CTA where your viewer won’t have to scroll to see it. Don’t let it be generic either, make it specific to what you are offering.

2 – Make your Call-to-Action Stand Out with Images Rather than Text  

This is a given, pictures are worth a thousand words (and are a thousand times less boring). Try using colors in the picture that contrast with the main colors on your site so that it doesn’t blend in.

3 – Keep Messaging Consistent

Make sure the hyperlink from your CTA takes you to the corresponding landing page and try to match the headline on the landing page to your Call-to-Action. Don’t give the viewer a reason to go astray, keep them on track.

4 – Form Position Matters

No one likes to scroll and search, place the form in an easy to access location.

5 – Keep the Form Simple

The form doesn’t have to be limited to 3 questions but don’t ask for more than what’s necessary.

6 – Create a Thank You Page for New Leads

Once a contact has completed a form, send them to a thank you page. The thank you page will allow you to add links that will potentially navigate your new lead back to your site or other offers you might have.

7 – Create Offers for Each Stage of the Buying Cycle

Each stage of the buying cycle entails something different for the buyer. Make the offer brief and relatable to previous products purchased by this consumer.

8 – Include links back to your site in your emails

This is a huge deal for nurturing your lead. It keeps it easy for the lead, while allowing you to measure success. Keep CAN-SPAM rules in mind and don’t have too many links!

9 – Create Enticing Subject Lines for your Nurturing Leads

Wow, who would have thought of that? Leverage Email A/B testing to find out the best subject lines for your audience.

10 – Don’t be Afraid to Test your Campaign!

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius. You have to know your audience in order to have successful campaigns. This knowledge doesn’t come overnight, trial and error are a normality in this world.

Sales and Marketing Automation…Let’s Work Together

You’ve heard it many times before and we’ll say it again now, Sales and Marketing need to be on the same page. Marketing automation makes the connection simple because both departments have a shared common database where marketing insight is provided to the Sales team. Thus, making it easier for them to coexist efficiently. This will then allow them focus on more important tasks, like prospect conversion, instead of each other. Sales isn’t worried about unqualified leads because the marketing automation system is only handing them off when they are qualified.

Tracking data through marketing automation has never been easier. With that data you can determine the strengths and weaknesses in your sales funnel, allowing you to make any necessary changes for the better.  You can also track team member efforts within the sales and marketing departments…(hello incentive to do better).

The data you’ve collected (email clicks, content downloads, website visits) gives you insight into what the prospect/customer is thinking and ultimately what interests them. Knowing what they like and dislike gives you the upper hand to customize everything to them, creating a superior experience. In most cases, a customers mind sees experience > price.

With that being said, marketing automation helps sales by bringing them only qualified prospects and marketing will be able to attract new prospects. Win-Win for both departments.

Better Experience = More Loyal Customers

4 Easy Marketing Strategies to Attract the Millennial Generation

1- Utilize the Social Network Dynamic

Millennials = digital generation. Millennials consume content across multiple channels; utilize this by putting your content on their most active platforms.

2- Make Them Feel Like an Individual

No one likes being labeled as #basic. Recognize your millennial customer for what makes them stand out! Repost their photos with your product and why it makes them stand out from the regular consumer.

3- Don’t Forget About Word-of-Mouth

 “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is—it is what consumers tell each other it is”– Scott Cook, the founder and CEO of Intuit.

If you trust someone, you will generally listen to them and the advice they give you. Create dialogue with market influencers because this will create more talk between them and potentially millennial customers.

4- Talk to Them!

Have you ever talked to a wall? It’s not fun. Don’t let those who want to engage with your brand talk to a wall, talk back to them! Interacting with millennials via social media about your content and their thoughts creates more trust, which gets you one step closer to a brand-loyal customer.

 

 

5 Steps to Take Before your Salesforce Implementation

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Boost Implementation Support

Group projects are difficult when you’re doing it alone, get your organization on board with the implementation. Start at the top with the CEO, COO, etc. and work your way down. Once the top levels show enthusiasm and support, others will follow.

2

Acknowledge all Sectors in the Sales Cycle

The sales department is not the only division recognized in the Salesforce cycle. Make sure to identify all departments and know how to support them before and after the implementation.

3

Clean your Data before the Implementation

Cleansing your data prior to implementation will save you a lot of time and distress after the process is complete. Would your Sales team trust the system if the last two  contacts they called were the wrong number? Just imagine if the first name is incorrect…

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Implement the System in Phases

“You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation. You must have a solid foundation if you’re going to have a strong superstructure.” -Gordon B. Hinckley

Salesforce is not a pool you want to jump right into. With so many different capabilities to manage, it is easy for users to feel lost. Take on the implementation in phases so that you can build on a foundation and not get overwhelmed.

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Get a Professional

Salesforce can do wonders for you, it just needs to be setup correctly. Ask for professional consultation from certified Salesforce partners who have been implementing the product for years. Implementing Salesforce should not be taken lightly, it needs to be done right. 

Use Pardot Dynamic Content to Boost ROI

Within Pardot, Dynamic Content is one of the easiest ways to customize and personalize your prospects experience.Using what you know about your prospects,you can display to them relevant content based on their specific needs and criteria.

Say you want to send out a mass email but you want it to speak to all the recipients on a personal level. Easy. You have the ability to create different variations of the email’s content that will only be seen by prospects that fit within specified categories. For example, you can send one email to a list of 5,000 prospects and the content will be different based upon their Job title. Job title is only 1 of many criteria examples that you can use.

Now your prospect thinks you took the time to send them personal content when in reality all you did was click a few buttons. Just about 74% of people get flustered when content sent to them is irrelevant to their interests. Make it easy on your prospects by giving them exactly what they want thus making it easier for you to turn that prospect into a customer.

Paying customers = ROI

 

^Your prospect when they open their custom email^

What Is Disturbing Your Content Marketing Workflow?

You don’t collaborate


When all the pressure of content generation is put on one person, it is possible to publish topics unspecific to your customers’ needs. Eliminate these problems by collaborating on topics with every department, not just marketing. Regularly brainstorming new content allows all levels of the organization to be involved.

Don’t limit the creator or content within the workflow!

Your workflow isn’t  specific enough


Content workflow has many steps, be sure to specify all responsibilities to reduce the chance of content breaking up along the way. Having a well-documented marketing workflow with strict assignments not only helps with accountability but also reduces the creation of duplicate/irrelevant content.

Your workflow doesn’t adapt to all channels


Promote standalone content by posting straight onto social media channels. This changes most aspects of the content workflow by allowing you to surround prospects with content to view at their own pace. You can also use additional channels to talk more about your services and/or products you provide, without overbearing your main website.

You wait until the end to look at the analytics


Each stage of your workflow has different analytics and at each stage you should be studying them, don’t wait until the very end. Consulting your analytical data at every step can help you avoid putting your time and energy into content that will work ineffectively. It could help you find a channel that works best and what key words to use to help reach a certain audience. When writing your workflow make room for an analytics review at each step.

You Haven’t Automated Yet


Everyone knows what he or she is supposed to be doing within the workflow, but human error is inevitable. Automate the handoffs between processes to ensure that content moves quickly and harmoniously. These automations are not limited to automating processes, they can be simple email alerts as well.