Does your B2B business struggle with quality lead generation? Join the club.
B2B companies often list lead generation as the single biggest obstacle for their business, and it’s no wonder. In the world of Inbound Marketing, there are no magic bullets. There’s no one thing that will bring in a ton of leads. What Inbound Marketing does – and does very well – is attract high-quality leads through strategically-targeted, integrated campaigns. If you’re looking for overnight success, keep looking (and good luck to you). If you’re looking for steady, reliable, measurable growth, Inbound is where it’s at.
But you’ve heard this all before, and you’re probably already using Inbound Marketing in some form since 86% of B2Bs are already using content marketing.
You may be regularly updating your Facebook, blasting out content on LinkedIn, tweeting like mad and spending a respectable amount on paid search, but you’re still not seeing the results you want. So what’s the problem? My guess is lack of strategy.
At its core, Inbound Marketing can be summed up in one word: story. You can’t effectively execute any campaign without first knowing what your story is and how to tell your story to the right audience.
Know Your Story
This isn’t a slogan or a catch phrase – this is your value proposition. This is home page material: what your company does, how it benefits your customers, and why they should choose you over your competitors. It’s as simple as that. Strive to create a value proposition that is direct, compelling, and easily digestible.
If it can’t be clearly explained in one or two sentences, then it probably needs some reevaluation.
Here are some examples of companies with excellent value propositions:
“Grow your business. More than 13,500 companies in over 90 countries use HubSpot’s marketing and sales software.”
“A Highly-Skilled, Well-Regarded, Multi-Disciplinary MEP Engineering Firm with an Emphasis on Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Protection and Refrigeration Engineering Solutions.”
“Track, analyze and optimize your digital marketing performance. We show you what’s working and what’s not across all campaigns, mobile and web.”
“The Criterion Collection is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions of the highest technical quality, with supplemental features that enhance the appreciation of the art of film.”
Right out of the gate, tell your audience what you do and how that would benefit them. You want to position yourself in your industry and differentiate yourself from your competition. Show them that choosing you is the best choice that they could make.
How to create a value statement in 3 easy steps:
1. Identify how your product or service will benefit the customer.
2. Link those benefits to how valuable your product or service is to the customer.
3. Position yourself in your industry and differentiate yourself from your competition.Make it clear that you know who your target customer is, that you truly understand their goals and challenges (more on this in the next section), and, when it comes to solving their problems, choosing your company is the best choice they could make.
Once you have this nailed down – once you know your story – then it’s time to start sharing it with your audience.
Tell Your Story to the Right Audience
Buyer Personas are representations of your “ideal customers,” composited from interviews, observations, and industry trends. They’re generalized characters that emphasize the various needs, wants, goals, challenges, and pain points of your real and potential customers. You learn about who they are, what interests them, and where they go for information. But you learn more than that – more than just the Who’s and the What’s. You learn the Why’s and the How’s. These insights drive every component of the Inbound Marketing process.
After you have your value statement and your Buyer Personas, it’s time to put them to use.
Drive High-Quality Lead Generation with Buyer Personas
1. Create original content tailored specifically for your Buyer Personas
Address the needs, goals, and pain points of your ideal customers. They’re already online searching for these things, so this is your way of creating and giving them valuable information that they need. Write blogs, create videos, and publish eBooks and white papers. Discover the information that your Personas desire, then create it for them.
2. Rework your existing content
If you have a great blog post about “Tips for Effective Project Management” and you discover that your ideal customers include architects, tweak your post to be specifically about their industry. This may take as little as new introduction and a few additional sentences, or it may be slightly more involved. Either way, you’ve got the content already there and laid out, all you have to do is make it more targeted to reboot it as part of a lead generation campaign.
3. Utilize the right channels
Identify the various communities, social networks, and websites where your ideal customers spend their time. These are the places where you’ll share all of this highly-targeted content we’ve just outlined. Share and promote links to blog posts, CTAs (Call-To-Actions), landing pages, and free resources. The idea behind sharing things on multiple social platforms is simple: drive visitors back to your website for more information, and convert those visitors into leads.
4. Give away tools
Driving visitors to your website opens up a world of opportunities. One of the best way to convert visitors into leads is to give them free stuff in exchange for their contact information. This is called “gated content,” and it can be anything from “Download your free eBook” to “Request a free estimate.” All the visitor has to do is fill out a form with their name and email before the download begins. And voilà! That visitor is now a contact in your system and a lead for you to guide through your sales funnel.
5. Curate content on your social channels
Don’t limit yourself strictly to creating and reworking your own content for your audience to devour – you’ll never be able to keep up, especially on social media. You can continue to attract and engage those coveted high-quality leads using the same methods that we’ve already discussed – by sharing content that’s important to them. Even though the content is not originating with your company (and therefore doesn’t directly drive them back to your own website), your audience will continue to see you as a valuable resource for the content that they crave.
6. Personalize the experience
Let’s say your ideal customers consist of architects, electricians, and the construction firms. They all work together, but each of those industries needs different things from your business. Wouldn’t it be amazing if when each of them visited your website, your site was personalized for their specific industry? With HubSpot’s powerful smart tools, your site can do just that. If a visitor visits your site for the first time and exchanges their information for access to your free content, then your site will remember them in the system and every subsequent visit will be even further tailored to their specific needs.
If an electrician visits your site for the second time, your home page would be displayed as an alternate version just for that industry. Pretty cool, right? It is an incredibly powerful tool.
Having a strong, clear value proposition and knowing who your ideal customers are is the foundation for building all of your successful Inbound Marketing campaigns. Take this information, know your audience, perfect your story, and get started on generating some high-quality leads.