If you’re a B2B company working your inbound marketing strategy but not you’re not quite getting the lead generation results you hoped for, you might be struggling with one of these myths.
Inbound marketing is the responsibility of the marketing department
How big is your marketing department? No matter your answer, it’s too small. I don’t suggest your marketing department double in size. It’s just not realistic for your marketing department to do all the inbound lead generation activities. The sales team and other employees with subject matter expertise (SME) must pull their weight, guided by the marketing department’s plan.
It’s not realistic to expect the marketing department to do all the social sharing. All SMEs should participate in social sharing of the content you create. If you have 100 employees with 5 people in marketing, it’s simple math. It’s far more effective for 100 employees to share the content as a LinkedIn status update, than the 5 people in marketing. All SMEs should participate in LinkedIn Groups and comment on relevant industry blogs to build authority and inbound links to create SEO juice.
The marketing department shouldn’t be responsible for creating all the content for your inbound strategy. Encourage your marketing department to approach content creation like producing a movie. Have them interview SMEs to create relevant content….My main point is that marketing is not a department.
We’re creating enough content…
Most B2B companies with less than one year of inbound marketing efforts under their belt don’t create enough content.
Quantity is important. One blog post per month isn’t enough. Rather, a more effective approach is one to three blog posts per week, one white paper per month and one e-book per quarter. Add one video per quarter, one Slideshare per quarter and one webinar per quarter into the mix and now we’re talking ample content. Of course, these numbers can vary for each company.
Image Source: HubSpot 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report.
But, it’s not only about quantity. It’s also about high quality, relevant content…Tap into your customer service people to learn the most common issues faced by your customers. If you sell a product that gets implemented or installed, what are the best practices for a successful customer implementation? If you sell a service, what are the best practices to be prepared for your service? Does your content address trending issues in your industry? Does your content provide high value or is it a thinly disguised sales pitch? Your audience doesn’t want a sales pitch in your content. That’s called advertising.
Our customers just want the facts…
No matter what product you sell, no matter how technical or complex it is, your customers are human. And, they want to be treated as human, even when they’re consuming content about your super technical widget.
Minimize content branded only by your logo. Maximize content that identifies the human behind your content. Let your hair down a little in your content. Show some humor. Adjust the writing style and delivery so that your content is a pleasant experience. I understand that your content might be very technical. You don’t have to water it down. But, you can write it in a way that proves it wasn’t produced by a robot. If you’re not comfortable with this approach, allow someone else to edit your content who is comfortable with this approach.
Another approach to being human is to add creative design to your content. Even the most technical B2B content can be delivered in a well designed format that makes it a better experience. Add creative design elements to your blog, white papers, case studies, etc.
Image Source: Anatomy of SSAE 16 by Auditwerx.
The only technology we need is CRM…
Chances are your business uses software that runs critical aspects of your business including resource planning, distribution, shipping, financial, human resource management and customer relationship management (CRM). Noticeably absent from this list is marketing automation software. If your business is serious about inbound lead generation, marketing automation software is a necessity. A competent marketing automation system allows you to plan, schedule, optimize, measure and iterate on all your inbound marketing plans.
Avoid these myths in B2B inbound lead generation. Adopt a methodical commitment with a “marathon, not a sprint” mindset for sustained results.