What is B2B inbound marketing?
A quick introduction to B2B inbound marketing
B2B inbound marketing is a process for generating genuine leads for your organisation.
Making use of a broad range of skills to deliver real content to your ideal audience that allows them to learn about your business.
But they get to choose when, where and how they take this information on.
They also get to engage with content that suits them, audio, video, written, images etc.
Your audience also get to choose when they engage with you, not the other way around.
This doesn’t sound too hard… Right?
The differences to outbound marketing.
Without relying on old fashioned or outdated B2B lead gen processes.
Many B2B organisations are barely scratching the surface of marketing, even when they have a team dedicated to it.
For most, teams of inside sales execs, or cold callers are used to find prospects for the business to try and sell to.
Despite GDPR, many companies still purchase data sets of people that they feel should be in their target audience.
Although it is worth noting that this isn’t a breach of GDPR.
At it’s very heart though inbound marketing takes these lead gen processes, throws them out of the window and asks you to focus on your audience.
Inbound marketing in B2B is very similar to inbound marketing in the B2C world.
The premises are the same, and the execution often follows the same rules.
B2B inbound marketing is a change of mindset & attitude
If your company still relies on old data and teams of people cold calling (whatever their job title) this is likely a result of “it ain’t broke so don’t fix it” mindsets.
And these are dangerous. Dangerous to the long term success of the company, and to the success of the marketing professionals.
Although we have discussed this before, technology is fast making the role of cold calling obsolete.
And even if you can somehow argue that isn’t true the way in which we all buy certainly has! Just ask the retailers that have gone bust.
What this means for you as a marketer is that you have some convincing to do internally to make sure that your management team understand what is at risk.
We aren’t suggesting you tell them that they will go bust, but you can highlight a whole raft of other benefits from adopting B2B inbound marketing strategies.
Staff retention rates will increase, staff happiness will be boosted. The opportunity for education , learning and content creation are abundant.
For the business a boost in leads generated, and then passed to sales.
As for the sales team they can expect leads that are far better educated and informed and who are already bought into your companies product or service.
Of course there are any number of other reasons.
Don’t throw out everything you have
Something to be very careful of when you start making the change is not to throw out everything you already have.
It may not be perfect, but you will probably have a lot of content and information that you can leverage to start the process.
After all, inbound marketing is about providing your audience information, insights and education.
It is not about hard selling your product or service.
You may well have a product brochure, but it could just be a hard sell document.
Things like this can be uplifted or re-written to actually help you audience.
Some companies may have tried blogging before but not stuck with it, again, these documents can be reworked and reused for some early content pieces.
We have already mentioned your team of cold callers. Don’t dismiss them out of hand as no longer of use.
They have so much knowledge about your audience and the audience issues that they can become your best content creators.
Even if they were cold calling before they will have some sort of network of contacts that they can start sharing your content with.
Include them in the process, highlight the benefits to them.
In my working life I have only met 1 person who I don’t think would have been happy to change from cold calling…
Bringing these guys on the journey may well open up some hidden talents you can use and that you didn’t know they had.
The next Vlog super star, a great writer, someone with a flare for design.
At one company they had two guys who both took to UX and web design like ducks to water.
Should you care?
Yes, of course you should. Failure to adapt and to take B2B inbound marketing on is just a recipe for disaster.
You don’t need to take our word for it, just take a look on LinkedIn, do a quick Google search, check your competitors websites out.
If you decide that inbound marketing isn’t for you then you are saying that you don’t care about your leads, and by default your customers.
Check out this article to understand what we mean by this. THIS NEEDS A LINK FOR PUBLISHING
This isn’t about making everyone the next Gary Vaynerchuck or the next Marcus Sheridan. Inbound marketing is about sharing and educating.
By embracing it you will be starting on a journey of educating and understanding both internally and for your ideal audience.
And with a bit of luck you will fall in love with marketing again.
What do you think? Is the time for change now or is interruption marketing still viable? Let us know in the comments.