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6 Steps to Building a B2B Inbound Marketing Strategy that Works

By March 9, 2016May 13th, 2019

chess-14927_640_1.jpgSuccessful businesses don’t just wake up one day and decide that they are going to be number one. It takes a well thought out game plan that is implemented with precision and expertise. Successful inbound marketing is no different. In order to attain real success in inbound marketing, you must have a game
plan – or strategy – in place.

A successful inbound marketing strategy will ultimately act as a guide to keep you on-track and focused on the key result areas of your business. If you neglect to put a strategy in place to direct your actions and activities, you are probably wasting time and money. Below is a list of the benefits of a well thought-out strategy and some steps to help you get started on building your own.

Why do I need an inbound marketing strategy?

Gives you a focus. A gameplan acts like a set of directions. What do directions do? They take you from where you are to where you want to go.

Makes your efforts more efficient. By creating a gameplan that has a specific target and detailed plan you can focus your efforts and spend more time and energy on creating relevant content.

Save you time. A well thought-out gameplan can help you map out exactly what tasks need to be done and when they need to be done by.

Gives you metrics. Having a focused gameplan also enables you to look at the metrics of a campaign and see if it was a success or if there are areas where it can be tweaked to do better next time. No campaign is a failure if you can walk away saying you learned what worked and what didn’t.

1) Create Target Buyers Persona

Well-developed personas will lay the foundation for creating content that targets their specific questions and challenges. If you get these right, you can be sure to create content that will establish you as an industry expert on that subject.

Target personas are the types of contacts that you want as customers. These are usually the decision makers or strong influencers.

2) Set a goal

At Alaniz Marketing, we usually start with quarterly goals and then break them down into monthly goals.

For example, if we had 1000 new contacts last month, our goal might be 1100 new contacts by the end of this month. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T goals, using a single metric like number of contacts, or number of visitors, or number of new customers. Then you can use you conversion statistics to project these simple numbers into estimated new revenue.

More experienced HubSpotters can choose from a variety of metrics. Just be sure to understand from the beginning how  you’re going to measure success at the end!

3) Develop a list of FQAs

Every day, your sales team answers the same questions from prospects over and over again. These repeated questions indicate that there is a great opportunity for you to further educate your prospects and address some of their concerns (and even objections!) before sales gets involved.

Find these 10-20 questions for each of your personas, and use them as the basic for your blog content and an awareness stage ebook.

Free Template: Create your organization's FAQs(No form to fill out!)

4) Create quality premium content

Premium content is typically something that your prospect will download in exchange for their email address and other information as they move through the buyers journey.

Look at the frequently asked questions, as well as pain points, challenges or solutions for each persona, and determine how you can take some (or all) of that content and turn it into an ebook, webinar, slide deck, or a checklist. Be sure to make this new piece of content really helpful and valuable to your prospects.

To get your premium content, use a call-to-action to direct web visitors to your landing page. There they can fill out a short form (as short as you can make it) to get your ebook or whatever.

Smart marketers like you will also use this opportunity to get prospects to “bucket” themselves by persona, so you can send them further information addresses their concerns and challenges. We do this with a “Best describes me” required field in the form. This field gives then a choice of very short sentences that describe each of your personas. Be sure to include “Other” as a possibility in this drop down field, so that people aren’t forced to choose something that doesn’t describe them in order to get the exclusive content you’re offering them.

5) Create blogs that will support your premium content

Once you know the FAQs, pain points, challenges, and solutions, you can blog about them (and the answer, of course) every week for the next 90 days. If you can do this for at least two personas, and blog once about each every week, you’ll be hitting Google’s minimum for publishing good content on a regular basis, and you’ll have content you can share on social media each week.

Be sure each blog post is valuable and engaging for the persona you’re targeting. Your goal here is to educate, not to sell. Elaborate on a single point from your premium content, and then provide a Call-to-action at the bottom of your post to lead visitors to the related landing page.

The purpose of these posts is to engage the reader, provide them with an answer to their question, and offer them an opportunity to take a next step to learn more by downloading your content offer.

6) Review the analytics

Once your campaign is complete it’s time to dig into the data to find out what worked and what didn’t. This includes analyzing:

  • Emails. This includes the amount sent, opened, the opened percentage, and how many of the opened emails were then clicked and the click-through rate. This will tell you whether the email was a complete flop or if it’s just the subject line or maybe where the call to action link is placed within the email.
  • Landing pages. Make sure to take a look at the new contacts, customer views, and the submission rate. How did it measure up to past landing pages. Was there one that really took off? Was there one that was viewed a lot but received no submissions?
  • Calls to action. How many views did the CTA receive, how many times was it clicked, and how many submissions did you receive? If it was viewed often but no one clicked you may want to take a look at color. Is it too dull?  If the color was right-on, make sure your text is compelling enough for people to click.
  • Blog posts. You should have at least 12 blog posts for your 12-week campaign. How did these blogs do? Were topics that offered tips and trick more popular or did ones that had odd numbers in the title hit the mark?
  • Social Media. You should be socializing all your blog posts and your landing pages. Were there Tweets that drew more attention than others? Did LinkedIn draw more new visitors than Twitter?

These analytics  can help you decide what to keep, revamp or replace for your next campaign.

Setting up a successful strategy takes time but will pay off with results and the analytics to back it up. Want to learn more about how to make the most of your inbound marketing? Subscribe to our blog and get articles like this in your inbox once a week.

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Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.