As B2B businesses start pulling themselves out of the whiplash caused by the pandemic, most are beginning to reinvest in marketing. However, money is tight. What type of marketing will work best and will prove to be the best investment?
While advertising still has its benefits, the bottom-line fact is that advertising does not have the punch it once had, even just a few years ago.
So, what does have a punch today? Inbound marketing appears to be the most powerful and cost-effective marketing tool we now have in the B2B sector.
Before we explain why this is true, let us first define what B2b inbound marketing is all about:
- Inbound marketing helps B2B businesspeople find the information they need about products and services to make purchase decisions. They find this information primarily online.
- Inbound marketing educates B2B businesspeople and, in the process, builds trust. This draws these prospects into the all-important sales funnel.
- Inbound marketing not only builds trust by providing credible information, it also builds a need/solution bond. Prospects have a business need that must be addressed; The B2B organization they trust provides the solution.
We should add that inbound marketing no longer just involves words. As you can see by visiting our Media section, it also involves newsletters, videos, infographics, webinars, and online presentations.
Okay, now that we have a better understanding of what inbound marketing is and its many forms, here are some stats that prove just how powerful it is. Most of these statistics are based on recent studies no more than five years old:
- Today’s buyers prefer to be anonymous. According to Google, almost 70 percent of the buyer’s journey is done anonymously and online.
- Approximately 77 percent of all Internet users read blogs, especially when they are in the process of making a purchasing decision.
- Companies that blog have, over time, 97 percent more inbound links (this refers to when second and third parties link to content on your web page), compared to companies that do not blog, and 55 percent have more website visitors.
- Blogging does build trust. According to one study, 81 percent of U.S. consumers, including B2B buyers, trust advice found on company blogs.
- As to making a purchasing decision, more than 60 percent of consumers say that it was information gathered from reading blogs that helped them acquire a product or hire a service.
- While we believe advertising can still be helpful, 70 percent of consumers prefer to learn about companies and their products through articles in trade publications and on company blogs; not through advertisements.
Okay. We know what inbound marketing is; we have seen the stats, now you may want to know if there is any product or service that can best take advantage of an inbound marketing program?
The best answer is that if yours is a product or service that needs to be explained for prospects to understand its real value, then inbound marketing is for you.
Often, the key features and benefits of some products cannot be described or understood in an advertisement. In fact, in some cases an advertisement can produce more questions about a product than it answers.
Additionally, if your products or services are considered “high ticket” items, inbound marketing is imperative. B2B buyers must feel comfortable before making a large purchase decision for their companies. They will not make a costly purchase decision based on an advertisement or even a referral any longer.
Instead, they must make sure all their questions have been addressed and answered and they are clear how the product or service will solve a problem and prove valuable to them. An inbound marketing program is the best way to accomplish this.