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Cintia Miranda Cintia Miranda
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Is your B2B demand generation strategy evolving with the market?

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A new year means a new marketing game plan. With ever-increasing access to online, mobile and social networking platforms, decision makers' purchasing habits have changed drastically over the last five years. Prospective clients now face a nearly endless array of options. What's more, they can switch from one vendor to another with the touch of a button. Inbound marketing has never played such a crucial role in B2B business strategy as it has in recent years. To capture leads in a buyer-driven market, the question has become not one of how to covert, but how to evangelize your prospects though effective content that sets your brand apart from the competition.

It's always crucial to know your target audience, so do some careful research. What are your prospects' most pressing challenges, and more importantly, how does your product or service can help solve those challenges? How and where do prospects search for information (this is especially useful for accurate SEO)? What kinds of content (i.e. white papers, video tutorials, webcasts) do they find appealing and relevant? Pay attention to the traffic trends in your website analytics, and make strategic decisions based on the behavior of your web visitors. Pay special attention to client postings on forums, blogs and social media pages - and learn from their input. Always answer viewers' questions provide insights about how to solve their problems, cite other customers' experiences and offer fresh perspectives.

With a better understanding of their motivations, you can then tailor compelling content that speaks to your audience in their own language, through their preferred medium and channels. Remember that many prospects visit the web to research, not to purchase, so don't simply list the benefits of your product or service. Rather, highlight the value of doing business with your brand and what sets you apart from your competitor next door. Be enthusiastic. Stoke your viewers' curiosity by sharing exciting information in your field - and don't be afraid to make creative or unusual connections from seemingly unrelated fields. Try a variety of content forms to see which ones get better responses. Whatever your structure, be certain your calls-to-action and contact options remain clear and accessible throughout all of your marketing collateral.

Don't give out the barn! Inbound marketing revolves around trading useful information (white papers, webinars, podcasts, etc.) for a lead. So the key is to provide content that persuades prospects to give you their contact information in exchange for information that they find valuable. Start with a strong headline and purpose, clearly describing what your product or service does and how it can help them solve their challenge. Drive this point home with visual context and emotion an image, video or preview that demonstrates why the viewer needs the product. Social proof such as customer testimonies will help establish expertise and credibility. Then, keep your request for information simple and friendly. Avoid asking for more information than you need. Test different versions of your form to see how much your prospects are willing to share. And, of course, optimize for mobile devices: keep all of your landing pages functional, forms simple and call-to-action buttons large and clickable.

A well-developed lead-generation program is the first step to a successful B2B marketing campaign. Now is a great time to re-examine your inbound marketing strategy and develop a strong, effective plan for 2013.


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