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B2B Data-Driven Inbound Marketing

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.

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B2B Data-Driven Inbound Marketing

  1. 1. Data-Driven Inbound Analyzing Your Content & Audience to Optimize Lead Gen Ruth P. Stevens @RuthPStevens www.ruthstevens.com
  2. 2. Source: Marketing Sherpa B2B Benchmark Report 2012 In B2B, leads are the main event
  3. 3. Leads are the content priority, too Source: IDG B2B Content Marketing Spotlight Report 2015
  4. 4. 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 shoestring 9 Troubleshooting 10 Cases studies in data-driven marketing 11 Where B2B data-driven marketing is headed
  5. 5. WHAT IS “DATA-DRIVEN INBOUND”? Three Strategic Approaches
  6. 6. 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 needs). – Responds similarly to market stimulus. – Stable enough to market to. – Actionable. Can be reached by communications and distribution channels. – Substantial enough to be profitable.
  7. 7. Defining your target customers In business markets • Industry • Company size • Job title/function/role • Product usage • Buying process stage In consumer markets • Demographics • Geographics • Needs • Interests • Product usage
  8. 8. Modeling for top segments
  9. 9. Create “personas,” or profiles • Persona: A fictional character that represents a target segment. • Useful in crafting relevant messaging and motivational offers. 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.
  10. 10. Produce content mapped to B2B buying stage and role Stage in the specifier’s buying process Early Middle Late Specifier needs Education Specialized information Answers Type of content Online demo White paper Case study Webinar Seminar Live demo Technical white paper Technical comparison Case study Price comparison How-to video 12 Buying roles Decision-maker Specifier Influencer User Gatekeeper
  11. 11. 2. Data-driven campaign analysis • What metrics determine the success of my inbound programs? • Set benchmarks, to assess post-campaign results.
  12. 12. Inbound marketing metrics Activity metrics • Traffic • Time on site • Engagement – Views – Likes – Comments / responses – Shares • Links (inbound links) Results metrics • Conversion to addressable (form fill) • Conversion to qualified lead • Cost per lead • Lead to sale conversion • Cost per sale • ROI
  13. 13. 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 development. 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 landing pages.
  14. 14. Case study: SuperOffice software Background • 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.
  15. 15. Campaign tactics 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 medium competition. 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.
  16. 16. Campaign tactics 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."
  17. 17. Campaign tactics White papers • Topics picked via: – Keyword research – Industry trends – Google analytics. • Content written in house. • Design by agency.
  18. 18. Campaign tactics Weekly blog post • Structured for maximum website traffic. • Posts analyzed for Visits, Shares, Downloads • Most visited and shared topics: – “CRM” – “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."
  19. 19. Campaign tactics Email to subscriber file • 50,000 subscriber names on file, generated from: – Downloads – Events – Website contact forms • Email announces each new piece of content. • Follow-up email to non-openers, with a new subject line. • Result: Email spikes traffic and social shares.
  20. 20. 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 web pages. – 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."
  21. 21. 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 guides. • 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."
  22. 22. 3. Coming at it from the other direction Deploy inbound marketing as part of your larger data strategy. Add new prospect records. Enhance records with new data.
  23. 23. To gate or not to gate The cons • Free information casts a wide net. • Encourages trust via thought leadership. • Stimulates shares. • Builds awareness. • Reaches a vastly larger audience. The pros • Allows ongoing communications. • Builds the database. • Makes marketing investments measurable. • Delivers the ROI.
  24. 24. Gated content identifies inbound visitors
  25. 25. 27 Supplemented by IP address identification Providers VisitorTrack VisualVisitor Demandbase Visistat
  26. 26. And by the way…. Data strengthens your content itself.
  27. 27. Thank You ruth@ruthstevens.com @RuthPStevens