“We tried social media but it didn’t lead to any sales.”
“We’d do content marketing but we don’t know what to write about.”
At GoBeyond SEO, we’ve heard all the excuses. Heck, we’ve even used them ourselves sometimes. But believe me when I tell you that this 6 step B2B inbound marketing methodology will transform your business:
- Define your campaign target
- Set campaign goals and benchmarks
- Create High Value offers – 1 each for the top, middle and bottom of the funnel
- Address common sales questions and objections
- Leverage other offers to nurture your leads closer to a sale
- Win the business & their love!
Let’s take a deeper look into each one of these steps so you can finally ditch the excuses and get some results!
The Definitive 6 Step B2B Inbound Marketing Methodology
Step 1 – Define Your Campaign Target
In a recent conversation in the Inbound Marketing Group on LinkedIn, Jan Nathanson asked, “In your opinion what is the number one reason marketing campaigns fail or succeed?”
There were lots of great responses including the inability to make adjustments, can’t gain the trust of prospects, and no follow up.
While I agree that all of these things will derail a marketing campaign I left this response:
It’s gotten to the point that I am like a broken record around the office – “Let’s begin with the end in mind.”
Don’t get caught up in “creative” ways to be promotional or how to shoot the next viral video. Don’t even set up an Adwords campaign without first defining your goals and knowing what success will look like.
It has to start with knowing your target buyer for your campaign. Once you know who you are targeting, then you can begin to uncover her needs, wants, fears and desires. Without this information you will have no idea what kind of marketing content to produce.
And a campaign with-out a target, doesn’t go anywhere.
Step 2 – Set campaign goals and benchmarks
There is no way to determine the success of a marketing campaign without first establishing the definition of success. And “increasing revenue” or “leading to sales” is not a legitimate campaign goal.
You have to be SMART about your marketing campaign goals.
If you are putting together a campaign to promote your bookkeeping service and you generate sales of your business valuation service – was your marketing successful? I doubt it.
Your campaign goals should be specific, measurable and time sensitive.
In fact, the smart guys at Inbound Marketing Agency GuavaBox (who created the Inbound project management App, DoInbound), require all campaigns to have 3 elements:
- A starte date
- An end date
- And a specific goal
Some good examples of SMART goals are:
- Generate 500 new website leads in 3 months
- Close 2 new customers in 45 days
- Increase online lead generation by 5% every month, for 1 year.
Having these specific goals in the front of your mind, along with the avatar of your ideal buyer (created in step 1), will save your B2B inbound marketing campaign from getting derailed as you move closer to execution.
Step 3 – Create 3 High Value Offers
This is where the rubber really meets the road in this B2B inbound marketing methodology. Now that you know your target and your goals, you need to start creating content that moves your ideal buyer through your funnel.
Each visitor to your website can be classified into 3 main types –
- Top of the Funnel
- Middle of the Funnel
- Bottom of the Funnel
Most of your visitors will be in the top of the funnel. They are searching the internet looking for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. The need information!
You need to provide it or risk losing that visitor forever.
There are 2 main sources of top of the funnel content in your B2B inbound campaign. An informational e-book and your blog posts.
Here is the bad news – You need to create this content
Here is the good news – Create a great e-book and then use the information inside it as your blog posts
This is how you get leverage in your content marketing – repurpose and re-use everything you can.
Pro Tip: We understand that writing an ebook isn’t an easy process. If you can’t write it on your own, hire someone to write it for you. If you’re on a budget, get a journalism student to interview you, do some research and write the book. You can even email me for the outline our writers use to construct a top of the funnel e-book – trust me, it’s worth every penny!)
Once you are attracting visitors to your site with your informational content and converting them into leads with you e-book – you are going to need to nurture those leads to a sale.
This is where your other offers come in.
Step 4 – Address common sales questions and objections
Your sales team knows how to sell.
But does your website?
Any salesperson worth her salt knows that you have to overcome objections in order to get the sale. It’s a rare sale indeed when you just make your pitch and the prospect says – o.k., sign me up.
Prospects have questions. And as you answer their questions, they come up with more questions and objections.
It’s your job to answer their questions and objections. The best way to do this is to have your sales team write out all the questions and objections they typically get and then answer them.
Set up your answers in a drip e-mail sequence so that while your nurturing leads down your sales funnel, you are also overcoming providing every answer they need to pull the trigger and buy from you.
It is only when there are no questions or objections left that the sale can be made. Your best salespeople know this. Know it is time for website to learn it too.
Step 5 – Leverage Other Offers to Move Leads Down Your Funnel
You’ve gotten them to your website.
They downloaded a top of the funnel piece of content.
You are emailing them answers to their questions before they even ask them.
What else do you need to do?
You need to guide them down your funnel, closer to the point of acquisition.
How do you do that?
You make more down funnel offers while your answering their questions. Here is a potential workflow for a top of funnel lead:
- Downloaded Content & became a top of funnel lead
- Immediate follow up email to make sure they received content
- 3 Days later – Email to see if they have questions about content
- 5 days later – Email addressing a common sales questions AND making a a down funnel offer
- 5A – If they download the new offer you can move them to another workflow addressing objections and offering bottom of funnel offers
- 5B – If they don’t move down the funnel, keep sending them emails answering questions and making down funnel offers
You can have lots of fun with these workflows once you start to use them. The above 5 steps are a basic plan for moving prospects down your sales funnel.
Step 6 – Win the business & their love
If you’ve executed the above 5 steps, by the time you actually speak to the prospect, most of the selling will have been done for you.
They’ve read your content and like what you have to offer.
They’ve clicked your emails and engaged with your message.
You’ve answered their questions and overcome their objections.
You’re going to love it the first time a prospect calls you because they’ve been nurtured all the way from information qualified to sales qualified and are ready to buy.
It’s a happy day indeed when you turn your website into your best salesperson.
Move Your Off Line Sales Process Online
The B2B inbound marketing methodology we just outlined moves your offline sales process, online and onto your website.
Instead of having an electronic brochure for a website, we transform your site into a lead generating machine, and then nurture those leads through your sales funnel to the point of sale.
You know this process works because you already do it offline.
What benefits will you see when your website is able to generate and nurture leads?