Is your marketing team struggling to deliver the right returns on their inbound marketing efforts? Our research analysis highlights some key areas that are holding B2B marketers back - see where you rank with our 5-point checklist.
B2B marketers have always had things in common with the content marketing approach. After all, they’ve been producing whitepapers, presentations and case studies for years, so it’s hardly surprising that inbound marketing found its place so quickly in B2B’s digital buying landscape.
The surprise might actually be that some aspects of B2B content marketing are actually falling short. Less than 8% of respondents to our survey of B2B marketers said they were completely satisfied with the returns they were seeing on their content marketing efforts, a failing which is a real cause for concern.
So where exactly are B2B marketers going wrong with their inbound efforts? We surveyed 202 B2B marketers and found that despite having the confidence to create and share engaging content, marketing teams are falling down on the overall level of sophistication of their approach and therefore failing to reach the levels of return they might be expecting.
Obviously the shift in mentality isn’t one which can happen overnight - but there are certain things that every B2B marketing team needs to check off on their list to inbound marketing success, and these 5 key elements of a high performing, strategic inbound marketing approach are a good place to start.
1. A website designed to encourage engagement
Your website lies at the heart of your inbound lead generation efforts, which is why you need to ensure it’s delivering on all fronts. Gone are the days of websites which behave like brochures - think about your prospects and build your website around their business pains, aligning the user journey to their decision making process. By encouraging prospect and customer engagement your website powers the inbound machine by driving leads, revenue and retention.
2. A single, centralised content strategy
Marketing is not about campaigns any more; nor is it about only producing content as and when you need it. Do your research, listen to your market and build content that fits into your wider strategic thinking. Targeted, persona-driven content is the key to attracting high quality leads, and a fully functional inbound content plan will cater to your prospects at every stage of the buying funnel, driving them down towards conversion.
3. A website attracting high numbers of visitors
If you’ve already checked off points one and two, then this should be a given. Your content strategy should take into account what your prospects are searching for and bring in the right visitors as a result. A high performing website will have a bounce rate of less than 40%, and the key to achieving this is providing your website visitors with content they want to read.
4. Hundreds of content downloads each month
Your content strategy should have this covered, providing you with content which reaches far and wide across the web and social media, pulling in leads as a result. You should see high levels of engagement from your target audience, but also provide content for current customers - by keeping them coming back for more you’ll see an improvement in your retention rates.
5. In excess of 5% of visitors becoming MQLs
How do you know the right people are visiting your site? If less than 5% of your visitors are going on to become marketing qualified leads, your website might not be performing as well as it should. If your site as a whole is failing to drive ongoing engagement or encourage revisits, you’ll need to dig into your data and see exactly where prospects are dropping off and tweak your approach accordingly.
Benchmark your inbound marketing efforts against our research and get best practice advice on your B2B strategy. Get your free report now: How good are you at inbound marketing?