Inbound Marketing – a strategic blend of SEO, content marketing, social media and website conversion – has taken the B2B world by storm in recent years. And it’s no surprise why. Companies employing inbound marketing tactics generate 54% more leads than those using traditional paid marketing, according to HubSpot’s latest research.

Here are three ways that inbound marketing can help improve your sales funnel:

Drive Traffic

If you build it, they will come, right? Wrong. Simply building a website or creating a blog isn’t going to get you the web traffic that you need to capture the attention of your target audience. The strategic combination of SEO, blogging and social media will provide a targeted way to drive more traffic to your site. Once there, you have a captive audience that is interested in the products and services that your company provides. While most of them may only be looking to solve a particular problem, others may be further down the funnel and seeking to evaluate a specific solution. That said, it’s important that you provide information for customers at every stage of the sales funnel and capture their information quickly.

Segment Customers

Every stage of the funnel, you ask? Yes. You may have heard the terms TOFU (Top-of-Funnel), MOFU (Middle-of-Funnel) and BOFU (yep, you guessed it – Bottom-of-Funnel). These three stages of the sales funnel provide unique opportunities for you to not only provide targeted information to potential customers in each stage but also the ability to segment your customers for your sales teams. The idea here is quality over quantity. I can give you 200 email addresses, but with no additional information, all you know is that this person has an email account. By segmenting your customers and leading them through the sales funnel, you can offer targeted content that warrants additional information from the prospect. You can read more about segmenting customers and content here.

Build Trust

It’s all about the relationship, right? Yes, and trust. We all have websites or commentators that we trust. For instance, I’ll give HubSpot almost any profile information they ask for because I see them as thought leaders in the industry and the content is always valuable to me. On the other side of the coin, I’ve provided my email address to companies only to download a sub par “eBook” and then get bombarded with sales emails. Both of the companies are using inbound marketing tactics, but HubSpot has strategically driven me to their site, segmented me as a customer and earned my trust. In doing so, they have gained me as a client for life. Well, until they do something that breaks that trust.

Simply building places to communicate with your audience isn’t enough to provide quality leads to your sales teams. You need to focus on a strategic plan to attract your target audience with SEO and content offerings, segment them with targeted content and then use that content to establish your business as a thought leader. Your sales teams will thank you – and so will your bottom line.

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