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Inbound marketing is an important element of the B2B marketing toolkit, but it can be made much more productive with the application of data and analytics. This presentation explains how to segment your target audience, apply predictive modeling to identify your high-value prospects, and develop content specifically intended to attract those prospects. It also discusses your options for metrics and benchmarks to analyze the results of your inbound marketing program. Finally, it suggests ways you can apply your inbound marketing to your company's larger data strategy, by gating your content with a registration form, to capture data about inbound visitors and kick off a long-term relationship with fresh prospects.
Analyzing Your Content & Audience
to Optimize Lead Gen
Ruth P. Stevens
Source: Marketing Sherpa B2B Benchmark Report 2012
In B2B, leads are the main event
Leads are the content priority, too
Source: IDG B2B Content Marketing Spotlight Report 2015
In B2B, data underlies everything
Table of Contents
1 The marketing database
2 Data sources
3 Data architecture
4 Person data
5 Data management
6 Data uses
7 International data
8 Data-driven marketing on a
10 Cases studies in data-driven
11 Where B2B data-driven
marketing is headed
WHAT IS “DATA-DRIVEN INBOUND”?
Three Strategic Approaches
1. Segmentation or modeling
What is a market segment?
A group with similar wants and needs.
– Distinct from other segments (different segments
have different needs).
– Homogeneous within the segment (common
– Responds similarly to market stimulus.
– Stable enough to market to.
– Actionable. Can be reached by communications
and distribution channels.
– Substantial enough to be profitable.
Defining your target customers
In business markets
• Company size
• Job title/function/role
• Product usage
• Buying process stage
In consumer markets
• Product usage
Create “personas,” or profiles
• Persona: A fictional character that represents a target
• Useful in crafting relevant messaging and motivational
Meet Joe. He's owner and CEO of a growing, mid-sized
stock brokerage company. Joe is a gregarious guy,
married, with two children. His wife works, so there’s
always more to get done in the day than they can
handle. Joe wears a suit to the office, but is actually
more comfortable in casual clothes. He drives a roomy
4-door. In the downturn, his company took quite a hit,
so he’s looking for ways to get back on track and run
the business more efficiently.
Produce content mapped to
B2B buying stage and role
Stage in the specifier’s buying process
Early Middle Late
2. Data-driven campaign analysis
• What metrics determine
the success of my
• Set benchmarks, to
Inbound marketing metrics
• Time on site
– Comments / responses
• Links (inbound links)
• Conversion to
addressable (form fill)
• Conversion to qualified
• Cost per lead
• Lead to sale conversion
• Cost per sale
Checklist of data applications for inbound tactics
Blog: Sort blog post titles by views/comments, and
choose future content topics based on popularity.
SEO: Analyze content popularity by keyword. Use
keyword performance for SEO, SEM and content
Social media: Determine which social networks drive
the most/best traffic, and focus your activity there.
Landing pages: Check landing page conversions to
identify high-performing offers and content types.
Testing: Split test offers, creative, and CTAs on
Case study: SuperOffice software
• SuperOffice is a European CRM company targeting SMB companies.
• 12,000 customers served in 6 languages. English, Dutch, German,
Swedish, Norwegian, Danish.
• Challenge: Competing with Salesforce and Microsoft.
• Goal: Use inbound marketing to generate organic traffic and leads.
• Benchmark: 32,000 organic visitors in 2012. Strove for 100,000 by 2014.
• 2-person team internally.
Search engine optimization
• Keyword research in 6 languages.
• Tools: Google's Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Buzzsumo
• Competitive analysis.
• Target: Keywords with a combination of high search volume and
Source: Marketing Sherpa
Example: The keyword phrase “Customer service email
templates” had practically zero content. The team created
content around that keyword string and launched a blog
post titled 7 Customer Service Email Templates Every
Business Needs. This became the most popular piece of
content, generating 50-60 leads per month.
Social media for content distribution
• Twitter: Post new content 3 times/day and 1-2 times/week at launch.
• Post new content 1x on LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.
• Goal: Stimulate social sharing.
Result: "We've grown from an average of 20 social
shares per post to more than 200 social shares per
post. Social shares increase brand awareness and that
generates the demand for organic search."
• Topics picked via:
– Keyword research
– Industry trends
– Google analytics.
• Content written in house.
• Design by agency.
Weekly blog post
• Structured for maximum website traffic.
• Posts analyzed for Visits, Shares,
• Most visited and shared topics:
– “Customer service”
Lesson learned: “You don't need multiple authors and several blog
posts per week. We started with 14 authors and three posts. We barely
saw any organic traffic improvements at all. We changed strategy and
published 1 post per week, with more emphasis on quality content —
switched from 500 words per post to 1000 words per post — and we've
since seen organic traffic explode."
Email to subscriber file
• 50,000 subscriber names on file,
– Website contact forms
• Email announces each new piece
• Follow-up email to non-openers,
with a new subject line.
• Result: Email spikes traffic and
Quarterly website optimization, using analytics
• Use Moz to assess keyword rankings, and focus on boosting page rank,
via new title tag, internal page links, or page text improvements.
• Set up a process:
– Look at the search query report in Google Webmaster Tools
– Analyze the data in terms of average rank or average CTR
– Review the existing title tag or meta description, and create new ones.
– Find opportunities to create internal links between relevant content on blog and
– Monitor the performance over the following weeks
Example: “If we see that a page ranks in position 7 for 'CRM
software U.K.,' we'll look at pages we can optimize to increase that
ranking to positions 3 to 5. This might mean creating a new title tag
or linking pages together and optimizing anchor texts."
Year on year inbound marketing results
• Increased organic traffic 97%.
• Increased organic leads 43%.
• Generated around 10,000 leads through
the blog, white papers, ebooks and
• Increased monthly blog readership 108%.
– Blog posts have been shared over 8,500 times.
"We're not an army of content creators, but we're able to put out more than 50
blog posts per year and several white papers. Whether you're a small business
or large corporation, the success we've seen at SuperOffice can be replicated."
3. Coming at it from the other
Deploy inbound marketing as
part of your larger data strategy.
Add new prospect records.
Enhance records with new data.
To gate or not to gate
• Free information casts a
• Encourages trust via thought
• Stimulates shares.
• Builds awareness.
• Reaches a vastly larger
• Allows ongoing
• Builds the database.
• Makes marketing
• Delivers the ROI.