B2B Inbound Marketing: Why every business needs this modern approach

B2B Inbound Marketing: Why every business needs this modern approach

B2B inbound marketing is all about highly targeted content which is aimed at attracting individuals within another business or organisation to your business.

It would be great to believe that prospective customers will naturally fall upon your website and come knocking down your door to buy your service or product, but the truth is that life in the connected world has never been noisier or more competitive, it’s now harder than ever to try and stand out, however inbound marketing allows you to get ahead of the game.

Traditional means of “push” marketing are simply not working, and businesses are beginning to see revenue stagnate or even drop as they fail to keep up. Shouting about offers in an impersonal and intrusive way via cold calls, direct mail and other forms of hard selling are wearing thin and customers are no longer responding.

B2B inbound marketing

Inbound marketing and sales are now the way forward – pulling your customers in through a campaign that offers valuable insight and solutions will not only cultivate results but help gain the trust, loyalty and respect of your audience that leads to the long-term relationship and advocacy your business craves.

Not only does B2B inbound marketing allow you to work better with your customers, but it also allows you and your business to work smarter with money. Traditional means of outbound marketing are costly, and don’t necessarily get you the results you so need, while inbound marketing is much more cost effective and works at directly addressing your audience and pulling your prospective customers in to you.

Remember, inbound is not about forcing your product or service on prospective leads and customers, but is about answering their questions, problems and pain points, educate and inform them by using your industry knowledge. There are thousands, if not millions, of potential customers out there who are searching for what you’re offering – by becoming a trusted source of information, you’re building a solid relationship and these people will want to come back, and eventually will buy into your product or service. If you’re using the old and outdated methods of outbound, this simply won’t happen, potential customers will become irritated and bored of your impersonal and pushy approach and will look elsewhere to answer their problems…and you don’t want that.

By putting your customers at the heart of what you do, you’re able to attract, engage and delight them at all stages of the buyers journey, and that way you’re building up a nice, healthy and positive relationship, rather than pushing away leads through annoying spam.

Buyer Centric Flywheel

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Why inbound instead of outbound?

  • Inbound marketing educates the audience, while outbound tries to hard sell to the audience.
  • Inbound marketing engages and interacts with the audience, while outbound rarely engages with the audience.
  • Inbound marketing uses effective content to pull audiences in, while the biggest budget will win with outbound.
  • With inbound, the audience gives permission to the marketer, while outbound interrupts the audience.

Read more about Inbound vs Outbound Marketing.

B2B Inbound Marketing Essentials:

  • Buyer personas and buyers journey: Buyer personas are the most important step in creating an inbound marketing campaign as they allow for you to get a real insight into your customers. They’re semi-fictional representations of your perfect customer and are key to ensuring that your campaigns are effectively targeting and speaking to the right people. Buyers journey relates to the route that your leads will take to becoming a customer.
buyer persona
  • Remarkable content: Content is important, content allows you to have a voice for your brand and is at the heart of inbound marketing. Content includes, but not limited to, blog posts, social media posts, images, videos, webinars, infographics and so on. Read more on why content is important.
  • Inbound marketing website: An inbound marketing website is built and designed with user experience in mind, using lead generation/conversion, content creation and personalisation. To do this, you should build your website on a CMS, a CMS will make it easier for you to maintain, update and improve.
  • Web analytics: In order to improve on what you’re doing, it’s important that you track what you’ve done. Using HubSpotGoogle AnalyticsHotjarWistia and other software, you can track and measure the performance of your marketing campaigns through metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, click-through rates, on-screen time etc.
     
    If you’re reading this and still using an outbound marketing methodology, then it’s time to switch up and adapt your business to the modern world by adopting a B2B inbound marketing strategy – Make sure you download our guide below.

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Video Email Marketing: Why Should You Include Videos in Your Emails?

Video Email Marketing: Why Should You Include Videos in Your Emails?

Have you ever considered the concept of using video within your emails? If you haven’t, then you really should consider adopting video email marketing.

You may be looking at this thinking that email is dead within marketing, but that simply isn’t true. Email marketing remains the best way to attract and even retain customers.

Video marketing as a whole:

Video marketing is the use of videos to promote and market your product or service to increase your digital and social platforms. Videos can be used to educate your customers and reach your audience with a new medium.

According to research carried out by HubSpot, video content performs much better than any other type of content, with email and newsletters coming in at second best – so why not combine the two?

video email marketing

Video and the flywheel:

Video content has completely revolutionised the way that salespeople connect with prospects, leads and even converting them into customers. You can attract, engage and delight your audience with videos and video emails, they’re not just about increasing brand awareness. Read more about Inbound Marketing and why it is important to help and educate your prospects rather than try a hard-sell and push your message onto people – they won’t want to listen.

Educate, inform and help your prospects and customers through video. It can do so much more for you than just increase engagement, analytics can help you and your salespeople to qualify and prioritise cold or unresponsive leads.

Video & email:

Using video in your email improves both the open and click-through rates, and video marketing itself isn’t a new trend. It has been a pivotal content marketing tool across every platform and social media channel. Video is no longer just one small piece of your marketing puzzle, it’s now central to your customer outreach strategy’s.

If you’re reading this and feeling a little overwhelmed by the concept of video, don’t be. You don’t need any fancy cameras, sound equipment or even editing software. Smartphones are now well equipped for video – most even shooting in 4K. Be real, raw and honest in your videos, your audience will love that, and it can have a real impact.

In the past, video was mainly seen as entertainment, while it still is, video is also an important marketing tool. Video has the ability to increase conversion rates on landing pages by over 80%. The mention of the word ‘video’ in your email subject line increases open rates by 20%. Finally, 90% of customers say that videos often help them when making a buying decision.

8 Types of video to include in your emails and make them stand out:

  • Demo videos – showcase how your product works, a tour of your software, for example. You can add these into your email to show potential prospects how you can help them.
  • Brand videos – These are usually part of your larger marketing campaign and showcase the company’s vision/ideas and services. These videos are about building up your brand awareness and to attract potential customers to you and your services.
  • Event videos – perhaps you’ve hosted a workshop, a charity event, a seminar or any other event, a highlight reel can showcase this to the world. Perhaps you’re hosting another similar event in a few weeks/months’ time and want to create an email marketing campaign to reach out to others who may be interested, including a small clip of a previous event may pique their interest.
  • Influencer Interviews – interviewing an influencer in your field is a great way of building credibility and trust with your intended audience. These can also be added to emails alongside your social platforms. Imagine the open rate with your audience if you’ve got an interview with Richard Branson ?
  • Educational & How-To videos – using educational and How to videos are a great way of engaging your audience. Use this to help them understand your business/product. What better way than to walk and talk them through it via a video? A much more cohesive way to fully explain things than it would be in plain text.
  • Animated videos – these can be really strong visually and are a great way to explain a product or service. Perhaps you may feel more comfortable producing an animated video than having your own face on screen.
  • Case studies & Testimonials – Your prospects want to know that your product will be the solution to their problem. Case studies help give real-life examples of how you have helped other people in their situation. Video testimonials from happy customers are also a great way of talking about your business through other people.
  • Personalised messages – video can be a creative tool for personal outreach, particularly via email. A personal buying experience is no longer a “nice to have” it is expected. Why not follow up recent meeting with a prospect by sending a personal video recapping the meeting. You can then give recommendations on how you can help them, next steps and recommendations.

Video can be added to emails to convert prospects into leads, nurture your leads into customers or to delight customers.

video email marketing

Example of what a video can look like when embedded into an email.

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Using Vidyard For Your Video Marketing

Vidyard is the perfect video hosting platform if you want to get involved in video emails. The platform allows you to publish, update to social media channels, as well as enabling you to embed these videos into emails.

From your Vidyard portal, you’re able to see viewer insights such as, how many views your video has received. This is extremely useful as you’ll be able to see what kind of videos your audience connects with.Valuable insights that can then be entered directly into your CRM.

Vidyard even makes it incredibly easy to personalise your videos. You can input features such as the viewers name and company directly into the video. What better way to connect with a prospect than to make it all about them and how important they are?

Elements to include in your video emails:

  • The word ‘video’ in the email subject line
  • Place the video below your email copy
  • Use closed caption and subtitles where possible – so people can watch the video in silence.
  • Include video captions – these will really help those who want to watch without sound.
  • Use an animated thumbnail
  • Film to fit the medium
  • Measure & track your videos – see what’s working and what’s not so you can achieve the best results possible.

Video Email Marketing Statistics from Vidyard:

Benefits of using video in emails:

Videos really give you a great opportunity to break through to your audience and really connect well with them, you can make complicated topics and issues a lot simpler while building up the trust and loyalty from your customers.

Videos are also great for B2B, most of the time buyers want to see interesting things but that doesn’t happen all too often. Video offers a range of creativity and captures the attention of the viewer, plus they’re much more visually pleasing than a paragraph of plain text that’s easy to ignore.

People receive hundreds of emails per day. Stand out from the crowd and get started with video email marketing today ?

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A Quick Guide to Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

A Quick Guide to Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

What is the difference between Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing ? The simple truth is that traditional outbound marketing is becoming very outdated with the message your are broadcasting designed to interrupt your prospects and force your message on them, this is a costly method and yields much lower ROI than Inbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing is the process of creating and sharing relevant and valuable content to prospects who are looking looking for information to solve a specific problem.

According to Forbes, the average person is exposed to around 4,000 – 10,000 ads each day which, as you can imagine, is rather annoying for both the consumer and you as the seller – the consumer doesn’t want to be inundated with useless information, while you wish to bring in new leads and generate sales, and not push potential customers further away from your brand.

With all these adverts and modern technology, it’s now easier for people to ignore and only focus on the messages they wish to engage with.

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

Outbound Marketing:

Outbound Marketing relates to the old traditional methods of marketing, these methods actually disrupt and obstruct any potential customers as messages being pushed out via businesses are intrusive and often impersonal to the customer.

HubSpot definition of outbound marketing: a traditional method of marketing seeking to obstruct potential customers. Outbound marketing includes activities such as trade shows, seminar series and cold calling. It is costly and the ROI (Return On Investment) is much lower than inbound marketing.

Methods include:

  • Trade shows
  • Telemarketing
  • Seminars
  • Cold calls
  • Email blasts

These methods are classes as outbound marketing as marketers using these techniques are pushing their message as far as they possibly can, hoping that it will resonate with someone, somewhere. These messages are broad and generalised so they don’t necessarily cater for an individual’s needs, and with so many options out there for us as consumers, it’s easy to simply ignore messages.

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But these methods no longer work. Why?

Well, as already mentioned previously, people are inundated with thousands of messages and emails every day and it’s become far easier for us to just block them out via spam, or people can simply just opt to unsubscribe to annoying emails, unless it’s a brand or product we are actually interested in. This is also just as easy with cold calling, the use of caller ID on phones has allowed for us to identify exactly who is calling, and if it’s someone we don’t recognise, we tend to simply ignore the call. If those calls continue to obstruct and disrupt us – we can simply block numbers.

As far as consumers are concerned, it’s now also fast, easy and cheap to search for things via the internet. If a consumer has a problem or pain point, they can simply search for answers on the internet which will then present a whole world of possibilities through search engines, blogs and social media. Without even leaving their house, their answers are presented to them so quickly, and this is where you come in…

Why you and your business should adopt an Inbound Marketing mindset:

If you’ve never heard of, or come across inbound marketing, then you may be asking yourself “what is inbound marketing?”

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

With inbound marketing, you are putting the customer at the centre of everything that you do, you are attracting customers like a magnet. Rather than pushing out your message and disrupting potential leads, you’re using your industry knowledge as a way to pull these potential customers in by attracting your best prospects who are out there looking for solutions to their problems.

Buyer Centric Flywheel

How you can do this:

Your website should act like a hub for your industry, not just shouting about what you do as a business or what your products offer, but by utilising content, such as blogs, to answer any potential customer questions. That way, you are nurturing them through their buying process and by the time they get to the all-important decision stage, they are left with no questions and both yourselves and the customer will know that they are ready to make that purchase.

Why inbound marketing?

  • More cost effective
  • Make use of content such as blogs to draw customers in
  • Draws 3x as many leads as traditional outbound methods
  • Build trust between you and the customer by providing knowledge and answers to their questions/pain points
  • Engage and interact with your audience/customer

So now you understand the difference between inbound marketing vs outbound marketing – which are you going to master and focus on ?

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The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Definition

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Definition

You might have heard of the term “Inbound Marketing”, but aren’t entirely sure what it means, well this blog post will tell you exactly what inbound is and how to embrace this powerful approach to connect and engage with the modern buyer. Make sure you check out our full in-depth article on Inbound Marketing here – Inbound Marketing: Your Ultimate Guide

On the whole, Inbound marketing is a type of business methodology that attracts customers by tailoring valuable content and experiences to them.

With inbound marketing, you are putting the customer at the centre of everything that you do, you are attracting customers like a magnet. Rather than pushing out your message and disrupting potential leads, you’re using your industry knowledge as a way to pull these potential customers in by attracting your best prospects who are out there looking for solutions to their problems.

Inbound differs to traditional means of outbound marketing that tends to interrupt your audience with content they don’t want while inbound ensures that you are making a connection that the audience/customer is looking for and solving problems they may have.

Buyer Centric Flywheel

Inbound marketing is all about attracting, engaging and delighting people to grow a business that provides value and builds trust. Consumers will trust, and usually buy, from those businesses and brands that are the first to add value in their buyers’ journey – this is exactly what inbound is all about. Using a human and holistic approach to selling to ensure that the buyer is at the heart of everything.

Why Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing enables you to build up a trusted and personal relationship between you and your customer by providing knowledge and answering customers questions or pain points, while also offering a human, holistic and personal approach to marketing.

Use your own knowledge and expertise of your sector, or area, to really consolidate your brand/business as a leading expert. Blogs are an excellent way of educating your audience, they’re easy to set up, and free, so it’s a cost-effective way to engage with potential customers.

With inbound, it’s all about attracting your audience, rather than pushing and hard selling your product or service.

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Customer Pain Points:

Pain points are specific problems your prospective customers have and hopefully ones that your product or service can solve. If you’re unsure what your customers pain points are then we strongly suggest taking a step back and rethinking your buyer personas.

The best pain points aren’t small niggling issues that would be ‘nice to solve’, but big glaring issues that NEED fixing. Our job as marketers is to reach out and offer a solution to solve these problems and so they should play a core part in all of our campaigns.

They generally fall into one of four categories –

  • Financial – Your prospects are either spending too much money on current solutions or struggling to make enough to cover their costs
  • Productivity – Your prospects are wasting too much time and want to make more efficient use of their time
  • Process – Your Prospects want to improve their current internal processes and boost overall efficiency
  • Support – Your prospects aren’t receiving the support they need to complete a task

If you’re not offering to solve a problem for your customers then why should they buy from you? Instead of continuing to produce content around the features of your particular product or service, consider addressing their most painful problem and helping them to overcome it. If you can deliver a solution to their problems better than anyone else then you’ll have won a customer for life!

Inbound Marketing definition

How to attract:

Your website should act like a hub for your industry, not just shouting about what you do as a business or what your products offer, but by utilising content, such as blogs, to answer any potential customer questions. That way, you are nurturing them through their buying process and by the time they get to the all-important decision stage, they are left with no questions and both yourselves and the customer will know that they are ready to make that purchase.

A good place to start is ensuring that your SEO is up to scratch and get yourself ranking for organic searches, e.g. someone Googling a term such as “Volkswagen car parts”, if your business were supplying Volkswagen car parts, you’d want to rank in Google so they would find your site.

Search engines actually make up for two thirds of all website traffic, so step up your SEO game!

To reach your intended and target audience, begin by creating and publishing valuable and insightful content, for example; blog posts, social media posts and content offers that all provide value to your customer. Within this you could post a complete guide to your product/service that informs and educates your audience.

Social posts could include top tips, handy hints and even informative infographics. Tweets and social posts accompanied by images will get better engagement than ones without, while posts with videos will get even more! Have a look and see what works best for you.

All in all, if you successful attract, engage and delight, you’ll be well on your way to being a successful Inbound Marketer.

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Your Guide To Inbound Marketing Tools

Your Guide To Inbound Marketing Tools

A solid tech stack of Inbound Marketing tools can help you deliver, measure and optimise your campaigns to guarantee return on investment and success. Effective inbound marketing campaigns are all about generating qualified “good-fit” leads or MQL’s for your sales team to convert into customers. With inbound marketing, you need to attract and nurture your leads through each stage of the customers buying journey, from awareness, through consideration and decision. You must build authority and become a trusted source for them. Make sure you read – Inbound Marketing: Your Ultimate Guide

Inbound Marketing Methodology

Using strategies such as content creation, social media marketing and search engine optimisation can all contribute to a solid inbound campaign. However, in order to be truly successful, you must also manage your data, and make an accurate analysis of return on investment. Your tech stack of software and tools should support you in this.

In this blog post we will break down each inbound stage for you, and the tools you can utilise to help you to achieve a successful inbound marketing campaign.

STAGE 1 – Attract

Tactics: Blogging, search engine optimisation and social media

Tools: Blogging platform such as WordPress, social publishing and keyword tracking

The use of blogging and social media is free – so why not get started if you haven’t already! Read our “Essential Guide to Writing Successful Blog posts“ to find out more. 

Some examples of free blog hosting sites:

Using social media can allow you to get creative – sharing images, videos, blogs, polls and so on!

A great (and FREE) tool to enhance your creativity is Canva.  Canva allows you to create professional looking designs for your campaigns – even if you have very little design ability!

Start from scratch or customise from the vast array of templates on offer, from infographics, to social media profile headers, there’s plenty to play around with!

inbound marketing content

STAGE 2 – Convert

Tactics: Lead generation, content offers and conversion rate optimisation

Tools: Forms, calls to action and landing pages

Add a content offer to a page on your website – that way visitors will have to utilise a form to input their data (email address) in order to receive the content offer, those contacts will then be part of your CRM (Customer Relationship Management). That way you’ll always have your contacts in one place.

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STAGE 3 – Close

Tactics: Marketing automation, email marketing and sales alignment

Tools: CRM, email marketing software, workflows

Aligning both your sales and marketing teams enables you to ensure that your customers are receiving the right message, at the right time, every time. You don’t want to spam people with emails and leave them frustrated, so be careful to avoid this.

HubSpot offers a free CRM, making it incredibly easy for you to align both your sales and marketing team. You can track deals, tasks, email conversations and contacts all in one dashboard. Finding contacts in your CRM has never been easier as you can also filter through.

Having everything in one dashboard makes it that much easier and more transparent – everyone in within sales and marketing can communicate, and you can even get in touch with prospects via your inbox or directly from their contacts records.

Free email marketing tools:

STAGE 4 –  Delight

Tactics: Personalisation, community engagement, surveys

Tools: Survey software, smart content, social monitoring

A great, free tool for surveys is SurveyMonkey – there’s plenty of pre-written templates so that you can create a survey within minutes and simply send out the link directly to the people you want involved in your survey.

Personalisation: Personalising emails ensures that your email will stand out in a customer/contacts inbox, they’re more likely to be clicked on and read while also strengthening the customer experience by sending the right content to the right people at the right time.

Other inbound marketing tools to consider:

  • Hotjar: allows you to gain valuable feedback from website visitors, showing how visitors engage with your site.
  • ClickToTweet: helps to create Tweetable links that your Web visitors can then easily use to share your content.
  • SproutSocial: social media management and optimisation platform, giving you a single hub for social media publishing, analytics and engagements.
  • HubSpot: offers an array of free inbound marketing tools such as ‘Make my Persona’, ‘Marketing Plan Generator’ and ‘Blog Ideas Generator’ and more.
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5 Top Tips for Improving your Inbound Marketing Campaigns in 2020

5 Top Tips for Improving your Inbound Marketing Campaigns in 2020

As inbound marketers, we know the ultimate purpose of inbound marketing is to attract new prospects, engage them with insightful content and delight them by delivering expert advice, products, and services. All without annoying or interrupting them. If this is news to you then consider checking out our guide to inbound marketing for an overview.

Of course, there is a fourth step every inbound marketer should follow . . . Improve! Regardless of how well our latest campaign is doing it’s never too early to be thinking about how we’ll improve upon it next time. After all, inbound should be an iterative process where we learn from our successes, failures and most importantly each other. With this in mind here are my top 5 tips to help you improve your inbound marketing campaigns in 2019. Of course, we’d love to hear your advice for fellow marketers too so be sure to leave your top tip in the comments!

1. Ensure your buyer personas are up to date

Buyer personas are in my opinion the most important step in creating an inbound marketing campaign, and yet you’d be surprised at how many marketers either don’t update or haven’t created buyer personas to focus their campaigns around! Buyer personas (also known as marketing personas) are semi-fictional representations of your perfect customer and are key to ensuring our marketing campaigns are effectively targeted and speak to the right people. If you’ve yet to create any buyer personas for your business then this great tool from HubSpot will help you through the process.Buyer Persona

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