Here’s a simple hack to boost your B2B inbound marketing results
I found a good article today by Carl Friesen over at the Content Marketing Institute. In it, Friesen addresses one of the biggest stumbling blocks in inbound marketing: Getting your content to right people. Friesen recommends getting your content published on the sites where your prospects are likely to see it. In this post, I’ll draw from my experience on both sides of this equation to expand on Friesen’s ideas and add a strategy that’s even more effective, and easier to execute.
B2B inbound marketing is a great way to attract and convert prospects into leads and customers. But manufacturers need to understand the obstacles they face when it comes to producing and distributing content and pulling people into their workflows. Key among these challenges is the fact that most companies do not have the SEO authority or distribution lists necessary to get their content in front of the right people. In almost all cases, your excellent content will wind up buried in the search rankings, below the professional journals, associations and other news outlets that Google recognizes as good content sources.
The answer, as Friesen points out, is to work with these outlets to give your content the boost it needs and position it where your prospects are already looking. “You could carefully post content onto your company’s website in the hopes that it will claw its way to the top of search-engine results,” Friesen writes. “Or, you could give your content a boost by getting it published in media already read and trusted by those high-level prospects.”
There are two ways to do this.
The first is to submit articles for publication on well-known and trusted professional websites. If your article is accepted for publication, you will be able to leverage the publication’s editing expertise, audience reach and trust to position your company and it’s people as trusted thought leaders. Avoid writing articles that are really just marketing or sales pieces. Editors will not accept these. But they will gladly welcome think pieces on market trends, results of surveys or research you have performed, updates on technology impacting the profession and, best of all, helpful tips that help their audience do their jobs better and enjoy their profession more.
If you lack time or confidence in your writing, approach your industry’s professional publications about doing a Q&A interview with one of your company’s leaders, or even one of your engineers. This is a simple way to extract your company’s expertise and thought leadership without have to worry about writing the piece yourself.
The second way is to work with publishers to develop concurrent inbound marketing programs. If you have a white paper, ebook or other asset that you want to promote, reach out to your industry publishers and find out how they can help you promote it. I have worked with advertisers for several years on projects like this, most recently in my position as digital media director and associate publisher of the process manufacturing and machine design titles, Control and Control Design and I’ve seen phenomenal results driving more downloads and top-level leads into manufacturers’ funnels, and pushing further action and lead qualification through follow-up emails and workflows from the publications.
B2B websites have a lot of assets advertisers can leverage:
- Wide access to the market you are trying to reach
- Excellent SERPS and domain authority
- Deep knowledge of their audience (especially if they are using inbound systems like HubSpot themselves) and unique insight into helping you fine tune your message to meet the specific online behavior of their readers
- Content authority and the trust and respect of their readers
- The ability to promote your campaign through their e-newsletters and social channels
- A staff of professional writers, editors and designers as well as experts in content optimization, SEO and audience-development
B2B inbound marketing is a powerful tool. Properly deployed, your content and workflows can act as virtual sales teams identifying, capturing and nurturing leads into your sales funnel. I encourage you to seek out the leading edge publishers who are moving beyond simply pushing content and ad space and truly partnering with their advertisers to drive the results you need.
If you’re a manufacturing solution provider looking for new ways to get the leads you need, contact me to see how the Putman Media brands can help. If you’re a marketer curious about working with B2B publications to boost your inbound results, drop me a line: I love geeking out about this stuff.
Either way, you can find more on this topic at my blog, B2Inbound.com.