Take the Stress Out of B2B Inbound Marketing

Posted by Scott Danish on Mar 26, 2019 11:32:23 AM

Beating the bushes for new clients can be disheartening. You make calls and constantly get voicemail. Send emails and a majority go unopened. Follow up and get ignored. Make a fabulous offer… and get ignored some more. You pay for a display ad in a trade publication and hope the right people happen to see it at the right time.

There’s an easier, less expensive, and more effective way to consistently fill your sales funnel with targeted prospects: B2B inbound marketing.

According to Demand Metric, inbound marketing generates three times more leads than traditional methods—and costs 62 percent less. So it seems like a worthwhile addition to your B2B marketing program. 

What is B2B inbound marketing? And why is it effective?

Why B2B Inbound Marketing Works

HubSpot coined the phrase “inbound marketing” in 2006. It means using a combination of relevant, informative content in various channels to increase your brand’s reach and draw people to your website, landing page, or tradeshow booth rather than outwardly pushing your brand, product, or service onto prospects. You attract people’s attention, engage with them, convert them to customers, and then delight them with more useful content.

It’s effective because by offering your audience something of interest and value, you’re cutting through their innate skepticism of advertising. If fact, it’s like you’re not even advertising at all. Rather, you’re communicating and helping them, and that difference can be powerful. You’re building trust, credibility, and momentum with your prospects and customers. 

Most Successful B2B Inbound Marketing Channels

The key to a successful inbound marketing program is to create content specifically designed to appeal to your targeted customers. Here are the most common channels used in inbound marketing:

  • Thought leadership pieces such as white papers, eBooks, and infographics that you post on your website or present on industry websites. Those pieces of content show audience members how to do something in a new and/or better way. If the reader likes what they read, they may look around your website to learn more.
  • Case studies. Here you’re showing the audience how an organization similar to their own solved a common problem—and maybe your reader will benefit from a similar approach.
  • A Blog (like this one!) that offers useful, practical advice that the audience can act on.
  • Videos that can take on the role of thought leadership, customer testimonials, product demos or blog posts.
  • Social media campaigns that offer quick insights into trends or useful tips and tricks.
  • Targeted pay-per-click campaigns on social media and online community pages that offer the promise of something relevant and useful to the viewer. It’s important that you deliver on that promise.

Inbound or Outbound? Both

An inbound marketing element can take some of the frustration and stress out of your marketing efforts by bringing prospects to you while you focus on outbound marketing efforts. That’s the key to an effective marketing strategy: It should incorporate both inbound and outbound marketing to capture the greatest number of prospects.

Lead Nurturing Accelerates the Sales Cycle

If someone choses to convert on your website (fill out a form) for certain types of content, you begin to identify at what level they are in your sales funnel. Designing and programming a series of lead nurturing workflows will help nurture these leads through the funnel over time in an automated fashion. Each month, as you add additional digital assets, these nurturing strategies get updated. It is common to have many of these campaigns running on your website.

Why?  Companies that automate marketing activity see up to a 10% revenue increase in just 6-9 months. (Source: Gartner Research).

Generally, it takes multiple touch points to successfully create a prospect. By building a relationship with a buyer, you can deliver the right content at the right time to move them to the next stage in the buying cycle. This allows you to deliver more highly qualified leads to your sales team and shorten the sales cycle when that conversation begins.

Email Marketing is Still an Efficient Way to Generate Leads at a Reasonable Cost

When you offer your website visitors useful or entertaining content, they choose to opt-in to your information by converting on your website forms. Email marketing is used to keep relationships with leads strong and to promote new content for effective lead nurturing.

Why? 50% of qualified leads are simply not ready to buy. (Source: Gartner Research)

Just because a website visitor becomes a lead doesn’t mean he or she is ready to buy. Email marketing is a great way to keep your name in front of your prospects. Moreover, one email blast can have different messages for different segments of your list. These highly targeted lists can improve your open and click-through rate, increasing engagement with a lead.

Make the Investment in B2B Inbound Marketing

Whatever mix you incorporate into your marketing efforts, you’ll need to invest either dollars or time. If you’re bandwidth is running thin and you need expert support, BayCreative can help. Please just let us know.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

From Forbes: “In order to stand out today, brands need something more. They need to focus on selectively, strategically positioning themselves as true thought leaders.”

From Neil Patel: “22 Inbound Marketing Strategies Your Startup Needs to Start Using Today

All the best,
- Team BayCreative -
Read More

Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Online Marketing, Content Development, inbound marketing, marketing strategies, lead generation, Messaging, b2b marketing, Pay-Per-Click, digital marketing, content

5 Strategies for Moving Your B2B Mobile-Friendly Website in the Right Direction

Posted by Scott Danish on Mar 19, 2019 12:26:28 PM

In 2018, 52.2 percent of web traffic came from mobile devices. Another study found that on average, people consume 69 percent of their media on smartphones.

According to Google, 53 percent of mobile website visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load, yet, most mobile websites still take longer than this. Putting people off with a poor mobile experience means you are losing them at the moment of their peak interest. Sure, they might make a note or check you out on their laptop later, but in terms of the relationship with the viewer, it’s terrible timing.

These stats are motivating to say the least, and it’s clear a website not optimized for mobile is not giving your audience what they need. But what shall we do about creating a great mobile experience?

To start, consider that mobile users are by definition less patient and more distracted. They’re usually out and about, and they’re viewing your website on a device designed to distract. Phone calls, alerts, pings, Twitter, Facebook, are all right there ready to draw attention away from your visitor.

Having a great mobile experience is about a lot more than just having a responsive site build. Design and writing, tailored for mobile, can play a big part and can help you compete with all those other distractions.

Here Are 5 Key Strategies for Making a Great B2B Mobile-Friendly Website

  • Swap for mobile
    Consider substituting content for mobile. Along with the sizing adjustments built into a responsive design, are ways to swap content as well. You may have a diagram with a horizontal orientation at the laptop size, but swap it out with a vertically oriented version for mobile. You might shorten some content, or provide links to content that would otherwise be in a longer piece?

  • Be wary of the scroll
    People have no problem scrolling—it’s even fun. But too much of it can be a pain, and be wary of long paragraphs and long blocks of copy. Try to break up the content with subheads, small graphics, paragraph breaks, etc. Pace those features in a long story so they can help the reader navigate a long story.

  • Fat thumbs welcome
    Few things are more frustrating than tiny, tiny buttons that you’re lucky to click after the 3rd or 4th try. Make your buttons and other “clickables” big (even if that means a little more scrolling). And this goes double for pop-ups and splash screens. Frustration quickly turns to irritation, not unlike that person who stands a little too close while talking to you.

  • Write progressively
    Whether your views are “progressive” or not, write content that starts at a high level and gets into the details as you go. Especially in the mobile universe where your attention span is anybody’s guess. People appreciate knowing what they are getting into with a story. Briefly finding out the main points up front, and then being presented with the option to delve deeper, gives readers options. You might even get some bookmarked pages out of this.

  • Give them a clear path to follow
    Unlike print and other form factors for bigger screens, it’s difficult for readers on mobile to navigate story components like sidebars and other “featured” elements. Try to avoid long detours from the main story flow. That said, do include pull quotes and other shorter items in the flow. (Per the prior tip–those help readers to stay oriented).

Partner with BayCreative for an Exceptional B2B Mobile-Friendly Website

Creating a B2B website optimized for mobile devices requires both expert design and a well-thought-out approach to content. BayCreative employs experienced web designers and talented writers to help our clients develop sites that visitors can read and interact with no matter what device they’re using. If you’re considering updating your website, give us a call.

More Resources
 
Want to check whether your website is mobile-friendly or not? Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can tell you .
 
All the best,
- Team BayCreative -
Read More

Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Content Development, website design and development, marketing strategies, Messaging, b2b marketing

6 Ways eBooks CAN Complement White Papers

Posted by Scott Danish on Mar 12, 2019 11:42:50 AM

We’ve previously talked about how B2B white papers can help bring in leads, convert those leads, and establish your company as a thought leader in the industry. All of those benefits hold true for eBooks, too:

  • In Demand Gen’s “2017 Content Preferences Survey Report,” 63 percent of buyers said they were willing to register and share personal information in exchange for an eBook

  • By identifying and solving problems in your industry, you show that you know your stuff, that you’ve paid attention to the industry and are an intelligent player in it

  • By demonstrating your knowledge of the industry, you present yourself as an attractive option when researchers, the government, or the media are looking for someone in your industry to talk about a topic

  • If you present real solutions to real problems, the audience will come to trust you, which can have a profound effect when it’s purchasing time

  • By highlighting the features that are unique to your product/solution, you’re showing how it’s different from the competition’s

  • Since B2B buyers rely on content to research and make purchasing decisions, eBooks allow you to present them with the research they’re seeking—and to suggest solutions to common problems that make your solution attractive

eBooks vs. White Papers

In B2B settings, eBooks are similar to white papers in that they explore a problem or antiquated process and then offer a solution or new way of doing the process. But eBooks take a wider look at the topic.

Here are a few ways the two are similar (and yet different.) We think they complement each other:

  • eBooks are more about “how to” do something, while white papers take a closer look at a specific topic

  • eBooks are broken into smaller chapters and use more bullets and pull-out boxes to maximize skimming and scanning; white papers tend to look denser and are more linear

  • eBooks are based on ideas and trends of interest; white papers tend to be more data-centric and based on formal research

  • eBools tend to be less scholarly, less formal, and less technical in language and tone; white papers have a more scholarly, technical tone

  • eBooks will bring in more data—including deeper looks at trends, reviews, and more curated content used elsewhere

  • eBooks are frequently used to initiate the buying process; white papers educate buyers through the decision-making process

Because of these similarities (and differences), eBooks are generally used in the earlier stages of the buying process—when the audience is still trying to narrow down their options and preferences—and white papers later in the process.

So, Which Is Best for a B2B Inbound Marketing Program?

In our experience, a combination of eBooks and white papers build a robust, effective inbound marketing program. That’s not just our observation, though: In the “2017 Content Preferences Survey Report,” 77 percent of buyers said they used white papers in the past year to research B2B purchasing decisions, and 67 percent said they used eBooks.

If you think one or the other might be right for you—or you’re unsure which is best at this time—please let us know. At BayCreative, we excel at creating engaging content of varying depth and lengths to fit our clients’ needs. When you’re ready to go, just reach out to us.

Read More

Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Content Development, marketing strategies, Messaging, b2b marketing

8 Step Checklist to Create Engaging B2B Advertising Content

Posted by Scott Danish on Mar 5, 2019 12:32:40 PM

In a new study, 48 percent of B2B decision makers polled said B2B advertising is boring, and only 22 percent feel B2B advertising prompts them to take the next step in the purchase funnel.

In other words, current and traditional B2B advertising isn’t doing its job. In the same survey, 82 percent of decision makers said they wished B2B had the creativity associated with B2C. Eighty-one percent said they feel they would make better decisions if B2B advertising was more engaging.

The way forward with B2B advertising is clear: make it more creative and engaging for the audience.

As we’ve said before, even in B2B advertising, you’re talking to people, selling to people, not machines. Your content needs to speak to those people.

How do you engage them?

BayCreative specializes in creating engaging content for B2B clients, so we’ve offered an 8 step checklist below.

8 Step Checklist to Focus on Your B2B Audience

  1. First and foremost, create content for a specific audience. That seems common sense, but so often, B2B content is created once, for all audiences, even though your audience is actually segmented. And because it’s created for all audiences, it comes across as too technical or too dumbed down, and the pain points don’t relate to the decision maker reading the content, or the messaging is simply off. Engaging content relies on knowing the specific audience you’re targeting and tapping into their hopes, fears, pain points, and situation.
  2. Create content of value for the customer. Teach them something, or show them something they didn’t know.
  3. Create stories that highlight your product/solution’s features and benefits, rather than list them. Case studies and videos are particularly good for this, but white papers and eBooks work well, too.
  4. Include numbers that tell a story of why your product or service is such a valuable option for the company. That tangible evidence of value will have them wanting to know more if you’ve targeted your content correctly.
  5. Share data. In the “2017 Content Preference Survey Report,” 76 percent of B2B buyers said that more data and research content would improve the quality of content provided by B2B vendors.
  6. Consider tying your content to current events. People are interested in current events, so your content is more likely to engage them if it’s tied to current events.
  7. Create a consistent, seamless brand message. The audience will become familiar and comfortable with your story and want to continue following it.
  8. Keep it simple and easy to read. There’s no reason to show off how smart you are. You’re creating content to connect with the audience, not to inflate your own ego. Don’t write like an MBA. Write it right at the level that’s appropriate for your audience, and that’s usually going to be a lower level than you think. When you’re writing for a B2B audience, you want to be professional, but you don’t have to use overly technical language. Revise your content one more time to simplify concepts and explanations.
Crafting Engaging B2B Ads and Content May Mean Engaging an Expert to Help

In the end, engaging B2B decision makers through advertising comes down to the same as engaging B2C audiences: expert, compelling storytelling that revolves around them. If it’s all about you, or the message is off target, you’ll lose them—from the marketing piece and likely from the sales funnel, too.

The BayCreative Team can help you craft engaging and persuasive content that moves prospects down your sales funnel. When you’re ready to tell your stories, please let us know.
Read More

Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Content Development, marketing strategies, Messaging, b2b marketing, Advertising

6 Reasons White Papers Build Your Authority (and Your Client List)

Posted by Scott Danish on Feb 26, 2019 8:45:00 AM

In Demand Gen’s “2017 Content Preferences Survey Report,” nearly half of B2B buyers said they rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions than they did the previous year. And 77 percent of respondents said they used white papers for that research.

When asked reasons why they selected a particular vendor over others, 66 percent of respondents in Demand Gen’s “2018 B2B Buyers Survey Report,” rated “Demonstrated a stronger knowledge of the solution area and the business landscape” as significant; 65 percent ranked “Provided informational content that was easy to consume” significant.

Finally, 56 percent of respondents in that survey said thought leadership content such as white papers was important when they visited the website of potential solution providers.

So, do you have white papers on your website?

A white paper is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. It’s not an overtly promotional document—the best white papers won’t mention the producing company’s solution until the end—but many or all of the features needed for the solution can be found—twist ending!—in the solution sold by the company that produced the white paper.

Why Would You Want to Produce B2B White Papers?
For any B2B company, producing a white paper offers several benefits:
  • Generate new leads: In Demand Gen’s “2017 Content Preferences Survey Report,” 76 percent of buyers said they were willing to register and share personal information in exchange for white papers
  • Increase your company’s profile as a thought leader: By identifying and solving industry-wide problems, you show that you know your stuff, that you’ve paid attention to the industry and are an intelligent player in it
  • Present you as an attractive option when researchers, the government, or the media are looking for someone in your industry to talk about a particular topic: That means added exposure for you
  • Increase your company’s visibility in the marketplace and the regard people have for your company: If you present real solutions to real problems, the audience will come to trust you, which can have a profound affect when it’s purchasing time
  • Set your brand apart from your competitors: By highlighting the features that are unique to your product/solution, you’re showing how it’s different from the competition’s
  • Perhaps most important: As mentioned, buyers rely on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions. White papers allow you to present clients and prospects with the research they’re seeking—and to suggest solutions to common problems that tilt the field in your product/solution’s favor; you can discuss the solution in such a way that using your solution becomes a no-brainer
The goal of your white paper should be to inform and persuade based on facts and evidence... not tell the world why people need to buy your product right now.

But Producing an Effective White Paper Requires an Investment
Selecting a compelling, persuasive topic, researching, and writing a white paper, though, eats up a lot of time. Time that many B2B companies (big or small) just don’t have.

Fortunately, you can work with an agency like BayCreative to develop and produce high-quality white papers that speak to, and subtly persuade your audience. BayCreative, a full-service B2B marketing agency, has produced technical land business white papers for some of the largest companies in the U.S... and we can do the same for you.
 
So if you're looking to build your company's authority (and client list) with white papers, please let us know when you’re ready!
Read More

Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Client Relationships, Content Development, marketing strategies, customer profile, Messaging, b2b marketing

How To Capture Great Data for Impactful Customer Success Stories

Posted by Scott Danish on Feb 19, 2019 1:37:31 PM

Not to brag, but we’ve helped a lot of enterprise, mid-market and SMB companies tell their B2B customer success stories. Doing so is always fun, and it helps our customers show prospects how the vendor’s solution has solved a problem that a company similar to the prospect’s company was having—and that they likely have themselves.

It’s important to show prospects that their peers are getting benefits from your solution, and to do so in their own words, because studies show that 53 percent of B2B buyers rely on peer recommendations before making any purchase decisions.

But there’s commonly one challenge we come across when building those stories: The customer has a challenge communicating the measurable performance improvements (metrics or key performance indicators [KPIs]) they’re seeing as a result of the new solution/product/service.

They may say "sales have increased", or they "definitely have better relationships with their clients and prospects", but they’re not able to give tangible data that supports those claims. Sales increases could be attributed to a number of factors, they’ll mention. Or they’re not sure how much interaction they had with clients and prospects before the implementation. 

And therein lies the problem: They don’t have enough “before” data for a great before-and-after comparison. And without strong, tangible data to support your solution’s impact, your success story will be weaker than it should.

For Convincing B2B Customer Success Stories, Start Early—Before The Implementation
But you (or we) can fix that problem easily enough. It just takes forethought.

You need to start collecting data before the implementation even begins. Early in the process have your marketing people ask the client questions like: "What are your specific goals?" and "What do you hope to accomplish with this solution?" 

Based on their responses, you’ll be able to figure out two or three areas that should improve after the implementation. Look at those areas and collect metrics associated with them. Write those metrics down for later. Then, after the implementation has been successful and the customer has (hopefully) been getting those anticipated results, go back and get those same metrics, which will now show improvements.

That will make for a persuasive before-and-after comparison. 

Other Roadblocks to Compelling Data—And How to Overcome Them
Sometimes, the lack of before numbers isn’t the problem. I have seen a variety of reasons why a customer hasn’t been able to provide solid measurable performance results: Some clients try to keep performance metrics confidential; others don’t invest in measuring performance results as well as they should; for others, the solution hasn’t been implemented long enough for good performance metrics; and, in some cases, the performance metrics aren’t that good, so they’re hesitant about divulging them.

I'd like to offer two quick tips if you’re having trouble getting great metrics from a customer:

  • Consider waiting longer; if you do, will you be able to better measure impact and KPIs?
  • If they’re concerned about revealing confidential numbers, or if the numbers aren’t really that impressive, consider using percentage improvements. An increase in sales from 50 to 60 a year might not sound too impressive, but a 20 percent increase in sales does!

BayCreative: We Get Them Talking
At BayCreative, we’re experts at drawing out the kinds of metrics that create strong B2B customer success stories. So if you’re looking to build your library, and tell some great stories, please let us know.

Read More

Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Client Relationships, Content Development, marketing strategies, customer profile, b2b marketing

6 Best Practices for Creating Unique Content (Building Great Brand Messaging: Step 2)

Posted by Scott Danish on Feb 5, 2019 9:11:15 AM

Now that you’ve got your positioning statement, you have the foundation for all marketing materials you produce. That foundation will help you create strong brand messaging across all B2B marketing materials.

Brand messaging refers to how you convey your value and your unique value proposition and the language you use in your content. If you select the right language and focus on the right aspects of your business, you can make it stand out from the competition—and ultimately motivate the audience to buy your product/solution.

How do you pick the right things to focus on in your B2B marketing materials? How do you ensure you have strong brand messaging? Read on and we’ll provide some tips.

Read More

Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Brand Development, Content Development, marketing strategies, b2b marketing

Clutch Names BayCreative a 2018 Top California B2B Service Provider

Posted by Scott Danish on Oct 2, 2018 4:47:44 PM

It’s not easy to choose the right digital agency. But since 1998, we’ve been making the choice easier by helping B2B marketers out there make better decisions (with better results) for their brand and growth.

Read More

Topics: strategic marketing, Brand Development, Content Development, creative marketing, Presentation, PowerPoint, demand generation, b2b marketing, digital marketing

PowerPoint: Get the Most Out of Your PPT Decks

Posted by Scott Danish on Jun 4, 2018 12:15:00 PM

PowerPoint is one of those handy tools that just won’t go out of style. Marketers lean on it for practically everything they do, and it’s no wonder. PPT files open and present from almost any device and they’re easy to edit. And with support for vector-based graphics and animation, your slide deck can be anything from simple explanation, to a detailed demonstration, to high-quality looping video.

Get the most out of your slides by making sure they are built with the highest quality design and attention to detail. 

At BayCreative we take PowerPoint creativity to the limits. We apply our 20 years of B2B marketing experience producing thousands of slides to get the very best possible. Often, people looking at decks we’ve produced have no idea they’re even made in PowerPoint. And, some of the decks we’ve produced:

  • Keynote presentations at large events
  • Fully integrated with video and audio
  • Interactive, self-navigable decks
  • Looping animated decks for passively viewed screens (lobbies, trade shows)
  • Sales presentation decks with easily customizable slides
  • Refined story flow and messaging 

Regardless of your specific need, let BayCreative take your work to the highest level of quality. And make sure you’re getting everything you can out of your PowerPoint presentations.

To find out more about what BayCreative clients say about our PowerPoint/presentation work and their experience collaborating with our agency, check out the BayCreative presentation examples in our website portfolio: http://www.baycreative.com/work-type/powerpoint/

Please keep us fresh-in-mind.

All the best!
- Team BayCreative -

Read More

Topics: strategic marketing, Brand Development, Content Development, creative marketing, Presentation, PowerPoint, demand generation, b2b marketing, digital marketing

BayCreative Named in "Top 10 Fastest Growing Digital Marketing Companies" (2018)

Posted by Scott Danish on Apr 26, 2018 5:00:00 PM

Great Clients + Great Team = Great Results
 

For the second year in a row, BayCreative has joined the ranks of The Silicon Review's "Top 10 Fastest Growing Digital Marketing Companies" as published in its April 2018 edition.

 


"[BayCreative] brings more than 20 years of B2B marketing, branding and creative experience to the table and as a full-service B2B marketing agency it delivers value to growing businesses by providing a 'Marketing Department-in-a-Box.'" - The Silicon Review (April 2018)

We're thrilled to be part of Silicon Review's list as well as being listed in Clutch Research's "2018 Top San Francisco Digital Agencies." We've come a long way from our start as a small design shop, but ultimately our ethos remains the same.

Our goal then, as now, is to serve as an extension of our clients team, build a strong relationship through collaboration, and generate tangible results. And, as a single source for all B2B marketing/branding/creative support, we are now more than ever better able to serve our clients' needs.

At the end of the day, our success is our clients success, and commendations like these simply reflect the success we have helped our client's achieve.

Discover what BayCreative clients say about their experience collaborating with our agency, and see portfolio examples of work.

Please keep us fresh-in-mind.

All the best!
- Team BayCreative -

Read More

Topics: strategic marketing, Brand Development, Content Development, website design and development, creative marketing, demand generation, b2b marketing, digital marketing

contact-bc2.jpg

Subscribe via E-mail

Follow BayCreative

Download our free Guide: 7 Steps for Successful Websites

Latest Posts