Inbound Marketing: How to attract Clients for your B2B business

If you think it's hard to sell, put yourself in your clients' shoes. It's hard for them to buy, too. In fact, according to Gartner, 77% of B2Bbuyers consider their last purchase to have been "very complex or difficult". Your Clients have to decide where to invest money and time, and probably consider changing internal processes. It's not an easy decision, especially when all potential suppliers promise that their product is the best.
Now, we need to understand how your Clients react to that difficulty. According to the same Gartner study, B2B Clients spend 27% of their time independently researching online, 18% researching offline, 22% meeting with other decision makers in the company, and only 5 to 17% of their time talking to sales reps of potential suppliers (varies depending on the number of suppliers).
These numbers make it clear that your sales people get little airtime, while the information you produce online and offline, together with the opinion of your current Clients, which travels offline through word of mouth, retains almost 50% of the attention. But, for the more observant, these numbers reveal another change of habits. Current Clients are not interested in the classic Push Marketing, or Outbound Marketing, that "pushes" ads with handpicked information to sell the product.
Clients are attracted to information that helps them:
1) identify the problem;
2) explore possible solutions to the problem;
3) identify concrete solutions to buy;
4) select the supplier;
5) reinforce their choice of supplier;
6) build consensus among all decision makers.

Attraction Marketing

So how can we facilitate the entire buying process? Based on this information, we have only one answer: "Attraction Marketing" orInbound Marketing.Inbound Marketing is based on the development of content that helps the Client make decisions during all phases of the buying journey. This methodology promotes the so-called "buyer empowerment", that is, an "empowerment of the consumer", which makes him/her more autonomous and confident in his decisions.

Specifically, Inbound follows 3 phases:
        1. Attract
        2. Involve
        3. Enchant

1. The attraction phase

The attraction phase of Inbound is characterized by the development of informative content, usually in written and/or multimedia format, which is then distributed on the website, on social media, through ads and strategies such as SEO. B2B Clients- as we have already seen, spend at least 27% of their time researching information online. Another statistic shows that68% of B2B Customersprefer to do their research alone. Therefore, an ambitious company cannot ignore content.

What types of content should you explore in Inbound Marketing?

A survey conducted in 2019 in the UK ofB2B IT buyersidentified the types of content they find most useful. Video content is preferred with 53%, followed closely by case studies (50%) and blog articles (44%). Next come white papers and industry reports (37%), webinars (34%), infographics (33% ) and podcasts (27%).
It is an interesting indication, but it is nonetheless specific to the British context. To know what is the best content to attract qualified leads, you have to know your audience, in particular your buyer personas. The concept of a buyer persona, a kind of representation of your ideal customers, is central to an Inbound Marketing strategy.
Survey your audience or conduct a survey to collect data such as the size of the companies they work for, what industry they are from, what their role is within the company, what their pains/needs are, what information they are looking for, what format they prefer, and where they usually spend their time online (among other details you may find important).
Only then can you understand what topics interest your ideal Client, where to distribute content, and what formats to favor in order to attract - and later engage - your leads.

2. The involvement phase

Inbound Marketing doesn't just attract visitors to the website, it is also capable of capturing leads. Visitors/potential customers provide their contacts voluntarily, through forms throughout the website, in social networks or in ads. Often, these forms are associated with gated content offers, tools or newsletters.
TheRD Station CRMfor example, has a tool to calculate the ROI on your website. To receive the full report, the form asks for some data about you.
After capturing leads, Inbound Marketing focuses on engaging and nurturing them. Since most of the leads you raise are not ready to buy, you need to use tools like a CRM, Email Marketing and Marketing Automation to educate the lead and make them qualified. 
At the same time, the company gets to know the potential Client better. When they are ready to communicate with Sales, they have enough information to make a personalized proposal. And Sales, of course, can turn to content again to present a proposal or solutions that are aligned with the Client'spain points and objectives.
An added benefit of using content in this communication with the Client is to propagate your message and sales arguments more easily to all decision makers, unblocking a common barrier in B2B. Little by little, by demonstrating know-how and genuine concern for your Client's success, they gain confidence in their choice and move closer to closing the sale.

3. Enchantment Phase

After the Sale, comes the delight phase. The goal of any company is to keep the Client satisfied for a long time, in order to lower the acquisition cost and avoid churn. But how many companies "disconnect" from the Client and have poor Client support after closing the deal? Inbound promotes the opposite. After the purchase, it continues to focus on content to ensure that the Client gets the benefit of the solution and recommends it to colleagues and acquaintances, acting as a brand promoter.
Inbound Marketing seems to be the best way to remove the Client's doubts from the beginning to the cend of the process, and to give them confidence about the supplier they are choosing. Now, don't forget that Inbound depends on a deep knowledge about your persona and an absolute mastery of Content Marketing. If you want to know more, stay tuned to our blog!

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