B2B Articles - April 17, 2017

B2B Inbound Marketing: Innovative Strategies You Need by 2018

By its nature, B2B inbound marketing is innovative — that's why it works! But even within an inbound framework, marketers must stay up-to-date with technology to stay ahead.

Here are three innovative, technology-driven strategies to implement this year. By current trends, these tactics will become commonplace in the next few years, so stay up-to-date and stay ahead of competitors.


Smart Content to Create Relevancy (and Convert)

We're rapidly exiting the days when a one-size-fits-all website will do the trick.

Now, consumers are used to the idea that websites track their data. So they expect brands to personalize their online experiences — mainly based on relevant interests.

Just over half (58%) of web visitors want personalization based only on user information they proactively provide. Yet another group (38%) will specify their individual interests so that the site can personalize content. – CMO by Adobe

For example:

  • A first-time visitor will expect to see a "welcome" message, along with an enticing offer or promotion.
  • A return visitor who's already downloaded your content wants to see something new and even more relevant— something to keep them coming back.
  • A customer will expect to see helpful content, and will be impatient with sales language and CTAs.

In one personalization example, Optimizely saw a 113% jump in visits to its solutions page and 117% increase in clicks on secondary CTAs by personalizing its homepage.

But how can you dish up a meaningful experience for every visitor? By using smart content.

hubspot-workflows-smart-content HubSpot's smart content allows you to personalize any rich text box on your website.

Smart content is a feature of marketing automation software (like HubSpot.) Basically, you can select different user groups (like first-time visitors, leads from a certain region, those with an interest in technology vs. fashion). Then, you write different content, which appears for each group.

Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g., offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests. – HubSpot

This stat alone shows the urgent need for personalized content. By 2018, consumers will lose patience entirely for irrelevant web experiences — and bounce to your competitors instead.


Automated Workflows to Move Leads Through the Sales Funnel

B2B inbound marketing is very different from B2C in one main regard: Once you earn the initial conversion, your job isn't over yet.

Because in B2B, sales cycles are long (and still getting longer). In fact, sales cycles have grown by 22% on average, according to Kapost.

Therefore, buyers need to be more engaged through the buying journey than ever before — with more touches, more content, and more nurturing.

Yet, marketing automation can again help alleviate this pain point:

77% of businesses saw an increase in conversions when using marketing automation software. – VB Insight

This is largely because marketing automation makes conversion strategies more efficient and data-driven. And with automated workflows, no lead falls through the cracks.

In order to succeed with automated workflows, you'll need software that lets you create drip campaigns.

There are many versions of drip campaign software for all budgets. But we recommend a full-bodied tool like HubSpot, because it lets you "trigger" drip campaigns with cross-channel actions.

b2b inbound marketing - automated workflows HubSpot's workflows allow for gradual, triggered drip campaigns

For example, if a B2B lead visits a website page with pricing information, you could trigger a series of emails with product comparisons and pricing information.

And when you set up workflows for actions targeted through the funnel, you effectively move leads automatically through the buying cycle.


A Growth-Driven Website for More Reliable Growth

Traditional web design is on its way out. The legacy method often includes this redundant process:

  • Design website in large, expensive production process
  • Keep design stagnant, with minor updates, for 1-2 years
  • Redesign website in another long production process

But this method doesn't account for how well the website is actually performing. 

Over 80% of marketers consider increasing overall conversion a dominant priority for their website optimization programs. – MarketingSherpa

Therefore, a growth-driven model will be important for B2B inbound marketing in 2018 and beyond.

b2b inbound marketing - growth website model With growth driven design, you build by iterations, and inform decisions with data.

In a growth-driven model, you begin with marketing strategy — what are our business goals? How can we use our website for lead generation?

Then, you launch a launchpad website. Simply, this is a pared down website that lets you test out your message and gather data up front.

b2b inbound marketing - growth driven design Source: growthdrivendesign.com

After the launch phase, you analyze the results. Then, you would continually add to the website, and optimize what isn't performing well.

In other words, you're viewing your website redesign as an ongoing project — not a once-and-done item that gathers dust in between redesigns.

And with the vast availability of data today, there's no reason you shouldn't utilize it. Yet many marketers don't inform their website redesigns with data, analytics, or testing.

But the GDD model helps you in several ways:

  • Minimize failures
  • Lower production costs while increasing value
  • Realize opportunities more efficiently
  • Respond to data and changing audience needs
  • Keep content fresh, helping SEO

So why wouldn't you choose it? Don't get stuck with an old website model that doesn't grow your business. Instead, invest in a GDD model that's equipped for the future.

Related article:  What is Growth Driven Design


CMO by Adobe https://www.cmo.com/features/articles/2015/2/18/mind-blowing-stats-personalization.html#gs.JBEx7yE

HubSpot https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/data-personalize-marketing-li

VB Insight (2015) https://www.hatchbuck.com/blog/the-pulse-of-marketing-automation-platforms-in-2016/

Kapost https://kapost.com/content-marketing-facts/

MarketingSherpa via Shelley Media Arts https://blog.smamarketing.net/13-facts-that-prove-growth-driven-web-design-is-your-best-option


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