B2B tends to be pretty old school when it comes to marketing. For a long time, companies in this realm have built their empires from scratch to the behemoths they are now with only a good product, a great sales team and solid connections. But with the advent of today’s digital age, where everything is a click away and the market is inundated with options, even big name B2B companies have to rely on well-strategized, customer-centric marketing pursuits to beat the next best option (who is most likely just a click away).
One of the biggest mistakes a B2B company can make is to think that whatever their competition is doing, is the industry “standard,” and because that is the standard, they should limit themselves to it. Innovation is the key to success. If you’re on this boat and a bit apprehensive on making the stride from cold calling towards inbound marketing, here are five reasons you should reconsider.
1. Your competition is not doing it right
If your competition is still relying on rolodexes and cold-calling, they are not doing it right. They are probably spending quite a bit of money on traditional marketing strategies that yield little results and are hard to measure or just plain untrackable.
They may implement one or two strategies, but few have taken the time to think through a lead generation funnel and allocated the budget to make it a success. This is a huge opportunity for the companies that make the leap to inbound marketing a priority, and will allow them to dominate their market organically. Let the leads come to you and capture them at the right moment.
2. Your website makes the first and sometimes the last impression.
A big part of your inbound marketing strategy includes a search engine optimized website focused on UX and supported by lead nurturing and conversion tools and activities. With today’s mobile technology, we all have immediate access to the internet and that is how we search for solutions to our problems. When your target market need your type of service, they will pull out their phone, do a quick search and analyzes their options.
Related Article: A Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing
Your website is your first impression, and first impressions don’t just last, but they can determine your target market’s choice between you and your competition. Think through their decision-making process and plan your website to be search engine optimized, visually appealing, mobile responsive, easy for a prospect to identify the services you offer, have testimonials or reviews that prove your quality and lastly conversion points that will convert them into a lead. The last thing you want is your site to fall short of a prospect’s expectations and they move on to the next company.
Remember your competition is only one click away. Taking the time and allocating your marketing budget to build a meaningful site where you can stage your inbound marketing strategy will secure the impact you want. You will also be able to measure what works and analyze every step of the way what strategies you can and should adjust.
3. Your clients want to business with companies that have a track record of success.
I think we can all relate to this. We want to hire someone that is going to come out and get the job done correctly. A part of inbound marketing is getting your customers to become loyal evangelizers of your product or service. If your competitor is stuck in the olden ways, you can beat them head-on by fostering an active social presence online where you can communicate with your customers, find out how they really feel about your company and gather reviews from delighted customers.
Success in this area starts with providing great service to your customers. Next create a system that prompts your clients to leave your reviews. This can be a printed piece you leave behind, or, even better, an email workflow that is sent out after the work is done. Dedicating the time or budget to build a positive online reputation will pay a continuous long-lasting ROI. Tracking and automating these activities can be achieved through marketing platforms like HubSpot.
4. Lead with value
The most searched phrases in Google start with “How To.” This is a huge opportunity for your company to be found and become the trusted thought leader in your industry by providing your target market with valuable information regarding their questions and interests relevant to your expertise. This will position your company as a true resource, and one that wants to help people in their time of need. This will build trust and lead them to hiring you when they really need your services. This can be in the form of how-to videos, blogs, ebooks, webinars, or even infographics.
5. Know what you don’t know
Inbound marketing enables you to back every piece of your marketing strategy with analysis. From knowing your buyer personas very well—their behavior, their likes and dislikes—to tracking what campaigns are working, just how much is the impact of your strategy and what components you can adjust, inbound marketing allows you to be informed way ahead of your competitors. Use this to your advantage.
So why are you still tailing the old, inefficient, and ineffective marketing strategies of your industry? Why not set the standard?