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The 5 Step Guide to Inbound Marketing for B2B

by | Jul 12, 2013 | Inbound marketing | 0 comments

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Running a business is tough. I’m sure you already know this and don’t need me to remind you! You will also know that getting your marketing to work for you can be difficult. This is where inbound marketing for B2B comes in.

Inbound marketing has been proven time and time again to work for business to business companies. Industrial training international has seen a 42% increase net income year-over-year since 2008 with inbound marketing. There has also been an increase in leads volume of over 172%. Would you like this to be your business? You can view many more success stories here.

There is nothing stopping you from achieving similar results with inbound marketing and I aim to help you do that with these 5 simple steps to inbound marketing for B2B.

Step one: Creating a buyer persona

Firstly you need to understand your audience as these are the people you will be marketing to and you need to be able to delight them with your marketing. So first things first, you need to create a buyer persona like the one in the image below.

buyer persona example

A customer persona is a fictional character or ideal customer. This person may not exist but their job, daily routines, pain points and challenges do. Think about your customers and think about the kind of issues and pain points they have. Think of the questions they ask you every day and start to build a picture of a persona. Most businesses have more than one type of customer so it is a good idea to create two or three different people.

You could also survey your existing clients and ask them probing questions that will help you create your persona. Some of the questions you could ask are:

  • What is their demographic?
  • What is their job and their seniority?
  • What does a normal day look like for them?
  • What are their pain points?
  • What are their goals?
  • Where do they go for information?
  • Which social networks are they active on?

By understanding these kinds of question this will help you build a picture of your buyers and will form the building blocks for future content and marketing. Don’t just create personas and forget them, revisit them about once a month to see if you can improve them.

Step two: Identify the right keywords

Now that you know what a typical buyer looks like you can identify the words they use online when searching for your products or services. Your newly created persona will give you an idea of what to look for and if you have access to advanced keyword research tools, like the HubSpot one in the video below, you can start to understand how they search.

[cf]persona[/cf]

If you don’t have access to Hubspot then try out Google AdWords tool or Uber Suggest to get ideas.

Step three: Discover the questions your customers ask

The next step is to take these keyphrases and add in questions your customers ask on a daily basis. A great idea here is to have a brain storming session with your sales team and come up with a list of questions and pain points.

These questions are going to be the frame work for step four.

Step four: Identify the buying stages

We are almost there! Now that we know who your customers are, how they search and what they search for we need to match all of this to three stages of the buying funnel. The buying funnel is broken up into three sections:

  • Top of the funnel
  • Middle of the funnel
  • Bottom of the funnel

The top of the funnel is where your potential customers are in research phase.  The middle of the funnel customers are more engaged and are looking for the best company to use and the bottom of the funnel customers are ready to buy but may just need a nudge in the right direction

Step five: Create great informative content

I know that creating great content may seem like a lot of work but it is an essential part of inbound marketing and if you do this, this alone will set you apart from most of your competitors.

Now you have all the pieces in the puzzle you can begin to create content targeting your buyer personas. Think about it for a second, if you are not producing content targeted to these people, then who are you creating it for?

Too many businesses have countless blog posts that speak to no one and generate them zero leads.

Be different and create content that counts.

Now it’s your turn

Do you know what your customers’ pain points are?

What holds you back from creating personas?

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