Potential customers are BOUND (see what I did there) to like you if you publish great content.
In fact, any form of marketing that works to appeal to the needs, interests, and goals of your audience is likely to have them itching to learn more about your brand. And we all know that the ultimate goal isn’t just leads, but closed-and-confirmed sales!
There’s been a lot of buzz about the difference between inbound versus outbound tactics, but inbound still stands to be one of the most effective attraction-based marketing tactics for B2B businesses to date.
So, in this article we share 5 smart ways to generate more inbound sales for your B2B business.
Inbound vs Outbound: What’s the Difference?
Inbound marketing and outbound marketing are two different approaches to attracting potential customers.
Inbound primarily focuses on drawing in customers by creating valuable content that appeals to their needs and interests. Outbound marketing, on the other hand, involves actively reaching out to potential customers (through paid ads, promotional messages, cold outreach, etc.)
Each of these approaches involve different strategies and techniques to reach and connect with potential customers. Both can be effective methods for B2B lead generation, depending on your target audience, your offer, the marketing platforms you use, etc.
Examples of Inbound Marketing
With inbound marketing, the goal is to attract people to your brand, build trust, and, ideally, generate new business. Here are a few common examples of inbound marketing:
- Content Creation: Publishing content such as blog posts, videos, ebooks, infographics, and more to educate and engage users.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Optimizing your content and website to rank well in search engines, making it easier for potential customers to find you.
- Social Media Marketing: Using social media to share content, engage with your audience, and build relationships with potential customers.
- Email Marketing: Sending targeted emails to leads and customers that nurture engagement and get them interested in your brand.
- Lead Magnets: Offering valuable resources in exchange for contact information in order to generate new leads.
Examples of Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing (also known as “interruption marketing”) involves reaching out to potential customers directly. This approach aims to capture their attention and persuade them to engage with your products or services. Some examples of outbound marketing tactics include:
- Cold Calling: Calling potential customers to introduce them to your products or services.
- Direct Mail: Sending physical marketing materials, like brochures or postcards, to people who might be interested in your services.
- TV and Radio Advertisements: Broadcasting commercials on TV or radio to connect people with your brand.
- Print Advertising: Running ads in newspapers, magazines, or other print publications.
- Trade Shows and Events: Showing up to industry events to showcase your products or services to potential customers.
- Telemarketing: Proactively contacting potential customers by phone to tell them about your business.
Both inbound and outbound marketing can be effective when used strategically and in the right context. Though there has been a shift towards inbound marketing due to its customer-centric approach, many stand by the philosophy that a balance between the two is key. The effectiveness of each may vary from business to business.
Benefits of Inbound Sales for B2B Companies
Inbound sales offers many compelling benefits that align well with buyers’ behaviors and preferences. As a B2B business owner, you certainly want to generate leads that are already looking for services or products like yours.
Here are a few of the many benefits of inbound sales for B2B businesses.
Inbound sales aligns strategically with modern buyer behavior.
Inbound sales strategies focus on creating valuable content and solutions that address the needs, pain points, and challenges of potential customers. This approach resonates with modern B2B buyers who prefer to conduct their own research and make informed decisions, rather than being bombarded with sketchy sales pitches.
Inbound marketing builds trust and credibility.
Inbound sales involve establishing your company as an authoritative, helpful, and trustworthy source of information. By providing valuable content and insights, you position your brand as a thought leader, which builds credibility and fosters trust among potential customers.
Inbound marketing means higher-quality leads.
Inbound strategies attract leads that are more likely to be interested in your brand because they are already seeking solutions related to your offerings. This results in a higher conversion rate and more efficient use of resources compared to reaching out to a broader, less targeted audience.
Inbound is cost-effective.
Inbound sales can be more cost-effective than traditional outbound approaches. While outbound methods like paid advertising can be expensive, inbound strategies like content creation and SEO have a longer-lasting impact and continue to generate leads for a long period of time.
Inbound is less intrusive than outbound.
Inbound methods respect the buyer’s space and preferences. It doesn’t interrupt them with promotional messages or invasive ads. This reduces the risk of annoying potential customers, which is a concern with some outbound methods.
Increase Inbound Sales with These 5 Tactics
The key to increasing B2B inbound sales is to combine marketing fundamentals with customer engagement and relationship building. Focus your efforts on satisfying the needs of your target customers and you are already halfway there to drawing in ready-to-buy leads.
Here are 5 strategies to help you increase your inbound sales.
1. Double-down on content and SEO
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Content is king”, and this is especially true for inbound marketing. Great content has to power to communicate your brand message, answer peoples’ most burning questions, address audience pain points, and so much more.
If you’re already creating now, great! But if you haven’t yet implemented an intentional strategy to use content for inbound marketing, it might be time for a touch up!
You’ll want to create high-quality, relevant content that addresses the pain points and challenges of your target audience. This can include blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, and/or videos. Create content that puts your brand’s best foot forward.
Then, optimize this content for search engines (SEO) to ensure it ranks well in search results. This involves incorporating the relevant keywords your audience is using to search for services or products like yours (Moz has great resources on how to do this). By incorporating relevant keywords, optimizing meta descriptions, and ensuring a user-friendly website structure, B2B companies can increase their visibility in search engine results pages.
High-quality content not only helps with SEO but also positions the company as an industry thought leader. When B2B buyers encounter insightful and helpful content, they are more likely to trust your company’s expertise and consider its solutions. This trust-building process is essential in the B2B landscape, where complex buying decisions often hinge credibility.
2. Expand your reach with marketing automation tools
Marketing automation tools can help you streamline and optimize various aspects of your lead nurturing and conversion process. These tools offer a range of functionalities that help you engage with potential clients throughout different stages of their buying journey.
For one, marketing automation platforms allow you to segment your audience based on important factors such as industry, company size, and interests. This segmentation allows for personalized communication, ensuring that the right content reaches the right prospects at the right time.
Tthese tools can also help with the creation of automated workflows and campaigns. You can easily create sequences of emails, messages, and drip campaigns that are triggered by specific actions or time intervals. For example, if a prospect downloads a whitepaper, they might automatically receive follow-up emails introducing company case studies. This automated engagement can help nurture your leads until they are ready to buy.
Last (but not least), many marketing automation tools offer lead scoring capabilities. This involves assigning scores to leads based on their interactions with your company’s content. Leads with higher scores indicate greater engagement and interest, signaling readiness for sales outreach.
Some of the best marketing automation tools for B2B companies are:
- Pardot (by Salesforce)
- Marketo (by Adobe)
- Eloqua (by Oracle)
3. Open up a line of communication with lead magnets
Lead magnets offer another creative way to capture the attention of your target audience. I mean, who doesn’t like free stuff?
You can offer valuable resources such as eBooks, webinars, tools, and other juicy freebies that get people interested in your brand. Of course, the “catch” is that you ask for their contact information in return, but this is often a low-stakes exchange for some great content.
Ultimately, lead magnets help you capture leads and initiate a relationship. Use strong calls-to-action (CTAs) to entice people to click through to your lead magnet and/or engage with your landing page. You can also run A/B tests of different elements to identify what resonates best with your audience and drives higher conversion rates.
You can then promote these lead magnets through various channels, such as the company website, blog posts, social media, and email marketing. Once the leads are captured, you can engage them through automated email sequences, nurturing their interest with additional valuable content and gradually introducing the company’s products or services.
4. Nurture engagement through social media
It’s no secret that social media is a great place to drum up engagement and build a following. Social media marketing is considered inbound since you are attracting users with content instead of bombarding them with ads (if you do run social ads, this should be considered outbound).
You can leverage social media platforms to connect with your target audience, share your content, and engage in industry discussions. LinkedIn is particularly useful for B2B interactions. Build your following, post interesting content, share insights, and start genuine conversations.
Here are a few tips for increasing engagement on social media:
- Know your audience: Get to understand your target audience’s preferences, and then tailor your content to match!
- Develop a posting schedule: Maintain a consistent posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and informed.
- Use hashtags: Research relevant hashtags to expand your content’s reach to a wider audience.
- Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage your followers to share their experiences with your products/services.
- Respond to users: Respond promptly to comments, messages, and mentions to show that you value interaction.
- Run Contests and giveaways: Hold interactive contests or giveaways to encourage participation and excitement.
Building relationships through social media can lead to inbound leads as prospects become familiar with your brand and its expertise.
5. Run targeted email campaigns
We’ve mentioned email a few times already, but email campaigns really are a great way to nurture new leads and improve inbound sales.
Once you’ve started your email list (lead magnets work great for this), you can create drip campaigns that tell a story to your audience. For example, the first email in the sequence could speak to their common problems. The next few emails could talk about solutions. The last email in the sequence could mention your services and a CTA to schedule a call.
This is an oversimplification but working with an email copywriter will allow you to fine-tune your campaigns to fit the needs of your audience and the specifics of your business. Building a consistent and value-driven email marketing strategy can keep your brand top-of-mind and encourage recipients to take the next step in the buying process.
Here’s an example of a B2B email sequence to generate inbound sales:
- “Welcome” email: Introduction to company, values, and offerings
- Educational Content: Industry insights, tips, and resources
- Product Benefits: Highlight features and solutions
- Case Study: Showcase successful client outcome
- Demo Invitation: Offer personalized product demonstration
- FAQs: Address common inquiries and objections
- Limited-Time Offer: Exclusive deal for recipients
- Client Testimonial: Showcase satisfied customer feedback
- Last Chance: Reminder of limited offer expiration
- “Thank You” email: Appreciation and next steps for engagement
Get More B2B Leads with Superhuman Prospecting
Remember, the key to successful inbound B2B sales is building trust, providing value, and maintaining a customer-centric approach throughout the sales journey. Don’t get too overwhelmed with the tactics; instead, focus on the needs of your target customers.
At Superhuman Prospecting, we use a variety of strategies to generate leads for our B2B companies. From cold calling to B2B appointment setting, we offer a range of services to save you time and attract higher-quality prospects. Want to learn more? Send us a message today!