In the current competitive climate, companies are looking for effective and scalable ways to do business with each other, especially if their business model is B2B, which is generally characterized by longer and more complex decision making processes and higher transaction values. With the traditional methods of marketing, companies are finding it much harder now to reach their customers, and distinguish themselves from their competitors. While everyone is playing the traditional marketing playbook, playing along becomes more difficult for them and the ‘noise’ from within their industry gets louder, drowning them out.
Enter Inbound Marketing, which is the process of helping prospective customers find your establishment, often before they are in the buying stage of their journey. With the help of content that your clients are looking for and love, companies can now build awareness for their brand and help make their prospective clients’ decision easier. This is done by targeted content that is relevant to their prospective customers, and through specific calls to action within that content, which funnel and ultimately drive new revenue to their business.
A big advantage of inbound marketing, which is often overlooked, is the increased opportunity for client engagement. By developing content for their prospective customers, they are also engaging and educating their existing client base. Many a times companies forget about their existing customers in their strategy, but by leveraging inbound marketing for engagement, they can grow net-new revenue and increase expansion revenue from their existing client base.
Lead Generation for B2Bs
So, what benefits do B2B businesses get from Inbound Marketing?
- Visibility – Gone are the days of leafing through the Yellow pages, everything is now done through online Google searches (and to a smaller extent Bing and Yahoo). And it’s not about getting products that are cheap or close to the area of business but about being fully informed about the product or service that is required. Therefore, using inbound marketing to create quality content and strategically dispersing it through the web creates the visibility companies require, which can help them grow organically and without a big budget that traditional advertising requires.
- Credibility – In addition to the visibility that companies will get by creating quality content which they would strategically disperse online, they will also start to be recognized as the experts within their fields. When choosing between a website that has a one page description of what they do, and another that has several blog posts with in depth analysis of their specialty, which way do you think the pendulum will swing for their prospective clients?
- Targeted Lead Generation – Traditional marketing can generate leads for the companies that use them, but how many of them are valuable, profitable or can bring them the type of client that they would like to work with? With Inbound marketing, companies can target the client they would like to attract by creating content that will only appeal to the type of company that they would like to work and create a relationship with.
- Fast tracking Trust – In the old days, it took a lot of time, including phone calls and several face-to-face meetings to understanding each other’s businesses and create a working relationship with a company. Nowadays, 70% of that process is done online by the prospective client. Creating useful and quality content attracts the right kind of client for those companies, and if the prospective client finds the digital content beneficial, informative and authentic they will come away from it trusting it, and that company will have earned their business, and their loyalty.
- Long Term Relationship – The best clients are those that come back to receive service or buy from their service providers or product sellers again and again. Therefore, the best clients to look for are those that they can create a relationship with. With Inbound marketing, companies can deliver content over a longer period, to build the trust required to create a strong relationship with the client to the point that the prospect is ready, and comfortable, to buy from them.
Looking at the benefits, it is sufficient to say that if you are a B2B business, and haven’t forayed into Inbound Marketing yet, you are missing out on targeting your ideal clients, and ensuring that you have a steady flow of loyal customers that can lead you into profitability and exponentially increase your bottom line.
Abbas is a professional business networker and director consultant of BNI, with over 10 years experience in project management and software development. He is an avid follower of web and social media trends, and writes to simplify marketing concepts that can help businesses reach the next level of success.