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How does a B2B marketing strategy work? What do you need to do to make it a success? To help you get it right, we’ve created a checklist for you. This means that at each stage of your inbound marketing strategy, our advice is there to help you generate more B2B leads. Here’s how to get started. Becoming a web marketing superhero is within your grasp!

01. Understand and target your personas

Any inbound marketing strategy has to begin with defining your personas. This enables you to paint a portrait of your prospective clients in order to understand their aspirations and cut-through to them effectively. As you start to consider your inbound marketing strategy, personas facilitate you and your marketing team to discuss ideas that are focused on the end-user of your product.

To dive-deep into your personas, here are some questions you can ask:

– What are the problems they need resolving?
– What needs do they have (immediately or underlying)?
– What would they like to improve?
– What questions are they asking?
– What constraints do they have (budget, time, human…) ?
– What product/service from your company meets their specific need?

If you want to know the ideal profile of your client, the best way is to ask them directly, whether that’s existing clients or not. Personas enable you to highlight commonalities, themes and issues. It may seem conceptual, but it will give you a greater understanding of how to communicate to your target audience.

What goals do you want to achieve with your campaigns? Even if you’re just starting out, it’s important that you set quantified goals. Always keep them in mind, they will help you stay on course and test all possible optimizations to get there.

As an aid, we’ve developed our persona kit here. It will help you create your interviews and has a template for the persona’s you create, as well as a guide.

02. Produce premium content

White papers, e-books, studies, whichever, offer your B2B prospects added value that makes them more committed to your product and brand.

Don’t lose sight of your goal: the premium content you offer must provide your prospect with educational or high-value information in order for them to leave their contact details in return. This approach means that you can give your expertise on the theme you’re dealing with and, over time, it will give a certain credibility that will reassure your prospects.

Think of your content as an aide to leading your customers through a funnel, from visitor to buying your product:
Discovery: your target is looking for general information on a subject. They haven’t quite realised their exact need, but they have got an interest in your product.
Evaluation: your target’s problem has been clearly identified. They’re looking for a solution to it on the market which fits their specific need.
Conclusion: your target wants to make sure they make the best choice. Why is your product unique? What is the difference between you and the marketplace. How can you convince them and demonstrate your added value.

You can offer your premium content via your website, blog or landing page.

Concentrate on landing pages: it is the best way to offer downloadable content and means that you can create specific pages for each theme and integrate your forms more easily.

To note: Landing pages can increase your conversion rate by 300% and your ROI by 291% according to Convertize.

For this, be specific with your message and create a form for downloading white papers, registration, demo’s, contact details, newsletters, quotes etc. in exchange for the contacts details.

How do you improve your conversion rate? You should always encourage your prospects to do something when they visit your website, blog or landing page. This is done by creating a “Call to Action” (CTA). If you place these buttons in the right strategic place, you’ll engage those otherwise lazy visitors, to download, purchase and register. They can be more numerous than you might think at first.

03. Increase your visibility!

Any inbound marketing strategy is based on one integral communication tool: your blog. It’s where you can publish articles and attract new visitors to your website.

Your editorial content must be regular and, above all, of good quality (bringing real added value).  In this way, you can create a bond of trust between your audience and your brand. Work on being an expert in your field and ask for feedback. This will also give you further ideas to feed your editorial planning. Create a spreadsheet where you have an overall view of what you are going to produce, with subjects, summaries, dates and visuals. Don’t forget, that initial work you did on your personas will also feed into this planning.

persona = questions = content that answers their questions
>> you bring your expertise to their pain-points <<

In order to create a bigger reach, you can publish your blog pieces on social media.

To get better results, you can look at:

– Linkedin: share your articles, join in conversations with different groups.
– Twitter: watch and master the use of hashtags, tweet and retweet.
– Quora groups that discuss your specialist field
– Youtube: add professional videos as well as tutorials
– SlideShare (from Linkedin): share your slides and presentations

Think about building bridges between your pages/profiles and create a route leading to your conversion pages.

You can also try out tests ( different hours of the day/title changes and visuals) on social networks to find the best hit rate and subjects and formats that appeal to your market.

This way social networks can become a good sounding board for the different messages you try out.

[SEO] Is your natural traffic enough? You can use sponsored link campaigns (Adwords, purchasing/media partnerships). They can also be an effective tool to attract new prospects. How does it work? Someone searches for information on the web, types their request into a search engine. When the results are displayed, on Google, for example, sponsored links (identifiable by the word “Ad”) take the first position. Companies have paid to have their links displayed in priority according to specific keywords.

04. Master the art of lead nurturing

Once you’ve followed our advice: you create great articles, white papers in exchange for contact details, Great! What you will start to get are various different leads – entrepreneurs, students, project managers, journalists, competitors, curious internet surfers, journalists etc. Not all of these leads should be treated in the sale way.

You can address each lead who is in your target market in a personalised way. according to how they have interacted with your content. For example:
– Propose content that is most likely to interest them (themes, type of content)
Interact with your visitor, question the on certain issues, create a close link without being intrusive
– Suggest additional options and offers, to keep your customer loyal.

Is this possible in reality? Isn’t it time-consuming?

Automation software exists that will help you reach your contacts with personalised messages. Rather than making them feel like one of many, marketing automation can help you set up a nurturing campaign to help you identify those prospects most likely to become customers. This will help you identify leads that are mature – or hot leads, ready to be contacted by your sales team.

For example, someone on your site who consults your blog page and then your recruitment section is less likely to become a customer than someone who looks at your blog and then goes to the pricing section. What is more, nurturing doesn’t stop! Once a lead goes to the sales team, don’t make the mistake of closing the process.

04. Automate your marketing process

Marketing automation is based on creating logical scenarios – what is often called workflows. But really, it comes down to two factors:

– the demographic score: whether that person matches you target market

– behavioural score: the nature and frequency of interactions between a prospect and your site.

Many software providers offer workflows that you need to create yourself – or become fixed, once they have been created. So you need to plan the scenario yourself that your prospects will follow. The problem with this is it doesn’t take in to account the myriad of actions taken by a visitor, or all the available data. Your target marketcan change over time – ,just like you! A workflow you created six months ago, may no longer be relevant if you have created a white paper or a new offer.

Does real marketing automation exist? That’s to say, really automated, but intelligent as well?

That’s what Plezi’s software offers and what makes us unique. algorithms that automatically determine the right content to send to the right person at the right time.

How does it work? Plezi takes into account your prospects collected data (activity, function, interests) and guides them through the buyers journey on your site. All of this information is analyzed. Then, our algorithms are able to determine the “next best action” to perform.

Rest assured, marketing automation is not an exact science and there’s little chance that you’ll make a flawless one on your first campaign. It’s why Plezi changes with your use. You won’t be left to your own devices in front of your dashboards. We guide and support you in order to measure your performance, carry out tests and try to help you continuously improve. The digital revolution has changed the behaviour of your prospects. You can use the appropriate means to target, transform and retain them.

Have you understood all the cogs and wheels of an inbound marketing strategy? Are you ready to start now to improve your conversion rate and your ROI? Leave us a comment or download our white paper.

Adeline Lemercier

Adeline Lemercier

Adeline is our Marketing Manager at Plezi. With 4 years of experience at Sage in the acquisition marketing department, her role is to develop the inbound marketing strategy at Plezi.