The following is based on an excellent white paper by Trew Marketing: Lead Generation for B2B
With the shift to online research as a part of the purchasing process, there is increasing emphasis on inbound marketing--the process of attracting traffic to your company’s website, converting visitors into leads, and converting leads into qualified opportunities with maximum efficiency and minimal wasted effort.
Work smarter, not harder. This is our mantra. At Smart PR Communications we keep our retainer low and almost never raise it. This is only possible because of an inbound marketing strategy that we continually hone. Strong, well-executed inbound marketing– makes every dollar and hour count--measuring throughout the process shows what’s working and where change is needed. Google Analytics will tell you just about everything you need to know.
The key to inbound marketing success is creating useful, informational content that is very relevant to your prospective customers so that when they’re searching, they find a link to it and visit your site.
Content is the engine that drives inbound marketing. To be effective, you can’t just write content once and have a static website; instead, you must continually offer a consistent flow of fresh content. This includes web landing pages, media releases, case studies, blog posts, etc. that your target audience can find through search engines and social media.
Inbound marketing’s focus on content generation and publishing moves your prospects through the following stages:
First driving visitors that are valuable to your business to your website
Then converting traffic to leads with a more personalized experience
Then turning leads into customers using a targeted lead nurturing strategy
And ultimately converting current customers into promoters of your brand
Through an integrated marketing strategy tied directly to your business and marketing goals, inbound marketing is a methodical, measurable, and cost-effective approach to promote corporate awareness, build credibility, and ultimately generate high-quality leads.
There are four classic characteristics of most technical offerings: long sales cycle, higher cost, complex offerings, and differentiated offerings. All of this necessitates a significant amount of education and guidance throughout the sales process. And this is where inbound marketing really shines.
The key to success is being where your prospects are looking online—everywhere they are researching. This, obviously, will require A LOT of key terms, but not necessarily a lot of content.
Not just any key terms. There are a lot of key term suggestion tools, but none as reliable as the terms your sales team suggests. In this, and many other regards, your frontline sales reps are the best source of info.
So start by asking your sales team for a list of terms they suggest. Then find a great key term research tool, like KW Finder (my favorite) and check out the traffic and difficulty stats. Terms in the sweet spot will be getting a lot of traffic (100+/month) and have a low difficulty score (<17).
The other route, of course, is pay-per-click—significantly less credible than organic search results (particularly for high-end and/or complex products) but an acceptable last resort. There is branding value with pay-per-click, even if it doesn’t produce leads.
Ranking on the first page of search results for terms your prospect are using to research what you are offering does take time. And there is some trial and error. But the payoff for this and every other element of an inbound marketing campaign can be huge.
The Trew article goes on to articulate a specific strategy and all of the steps involved. It is gated, but it may be available for download at https://www.trewmarketing.com/technical-resources.