B2B marketing automation is a growing trend in the business world with more than half of B2B companies using some kind of automation technology. While a lot of software is available to help in automated marketing, this is not something that will do everything for you.
While B2B marketing automation tools help perform important tasks such as sending marketing emails and posting social content at the right times, there are still a number of things you’ll need to do yourself, especially before you choose which software you’re going to use.
Of course, it should be noted that for lead scoring and nurturing, marketing automation is still an invaluable tool. But you still need a marketing strategy in place that helps buyers find you. Part of this strategy includes deciding on the right type of content, as well as how and when people will receive these materials.
Even more important is finding balanced ways to ask for information from your leads. This can lead to problems if you ask for personal information, yet have weak content.
As we’ve mentioned before, lead generation and quality content work in perfect unison. So before you jump into marketing automation, let's look at each part of your strategy and see what you need to do on your own to make it work more effectively.
1. Find Ways To Help People Find You
It's worth noting that marketing automation software doesn't drive web traffic. Automation nurtures leads from the traffic you bring in, which means you need ways to attract people first.
One method used more often now is creating content that touches on buyer pain points. Solving problems is why you're in the B2B industry. In your case, it's solving the problem of a business, which can arguably mean more pain points than an ordinary consumer.
Analyze what those pains are and have your content tap into the worst of those problems. By positioning yourself as a source for solutions, you give potential customers more opportunities to find you and learn more about the services and/or products you provide.
Then focus on organic SEO techniques, which now brings in 51% of traffic for B2B companies. Quality content is the key in organic SEO, especially for Google. The latter has strict rules on making sure your content has proper value, and it will always favor quality over quantity.
2. Gate Content To Learn More About Your Leads
You'll need to gather information on your leads to make your marketing automation more effective. After all, you don’t want to start generating automated email newsletters about one topic and find out later that you’re sending them to leads who are actually interested in something completely different, do?
Gating content is one way to gather information about your leads, though what you create relates to success in persuading a lead. Your leads won't feel inspired to give their names, email addresses, or other data without knowing they can trust you to provide quality content first.
Use your strongest marketing content for gating. This may include things like webinars or white papers, which those in B2B use commonly. Using case studies is important in order to help validate points that prove your credibility and expertise.
3. Balancing Requests for Information
Again, your marketing automation software won't bring great results unless you have more thorough data on leads. Yet you don't want to ask for too much information at once, or you risk scaring those leads away.
Most buyers don't want too many information requests while reading your content. It's why doing this gradually through progressive profiling is the best strategy. Always ask the most critical questions first, then evolve to segmented forms for specific buyer personas. Getting rid of too many required form fields also prevents clutter on your website.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is this: The amount of information you request from your leads should be proportional to the amount of information you’re providing in return. You can’t ask for a lot of pointed, intimate details if all you’re offering is a one-page info sheet, but you can as for more if you’re giving them a 50-page ebook with exclusive insider tips and reports.
4. Sending the Right Content to Targeted Personas
When it comes to buyer personas, it's worth spending time to understanding the leads you're targeting. Then you can gear your automated content to the right people through segmenting.
You definitely shouldn't abuse any email addresses with unsolicited content. By sending targeted content to the people you know will respond, you can gauge what your buyers want to see. Then you can use your marketing automation tool(s) to deliver it to them. Study your metrics on what people respond to so your marketing automation can get to the right leads at the right times.
As with any kind of software, choosing the right B2B marketing automation tools can be tricky if you aren’t clear on how you’re going to use it. By keeping the aforementioned points in mind, you can set up a solid foundation of data that will help you get the most out of your automation and make the right decision as to which solution is right for your company’s specific needs.