If you are in the B2B world, you will know that sales is a long process. In addition to this, SEO is also a long process. Both of these factors require time and investment in order to succeed, but once you have built up that momentum, you’re flying! Going for the quick win in B2B is unstable and short-lived. Here is some sound advice to help your marketing team with their SEO.
Racing at the right speed
It may seem a little counter-intuitive to recommend that a racing car should slow down. But that is exactly what some team managers do, often in the heat of the battle in order to preserve fuel or manage tire wear and tear. Equally, the team manager knows if they are going to win the championship, the car has to get to the end of the season, and it’s a long haul. Smart team managers know that the secret to winning the championship is consistency and momentum, not the mad dash for glory!
For marketers the challenge is no different.
It’s important to understand how fast your marketing and your sales funnel needs to flow to deliver the right number of new customers and revenue to meet your objectives. What is your required race speed or funnel velocity?
We call this combined marketing and sales funnel the “go-to-market” funnel. To work out your funnel velocity we have a number of important variables to consider:
How many buyers in the form of contacts or visitors are entering the top of the funnel?
How long does it take a typical buyer to move through the stages of their buying journey: 6 weeks, 6 months a year? This is their lag time.
What are the conversion rates at each stage of the buyer’s journey?
What percentage progress to the next stage of the buyer’s journey?
Certainly not all buyers. All go-to-market funnels “leak” buyers who are not ready to progress in their buying journey.
Build a funnel velocity model that includes:
The stages of your buyer’s journey
How many buyers must progress from stage to stage
Over what time period the buyers must progress to meet your goals.
This will be used to guide the frequency and volume of marketing activity.
Use the right fuel
Fuel mixture is vital to optimize the performance of any engine. Race engineers can tune the engine to burn the right amount and mix of fuel at the right stage of the race and indeed change the fuel composition for different races.
For a marketer choosing the right fuel for the right stage of the race is one of the single most important tasks in the brave new world of inbound marketing.
In B2B marketing, “fuel” takes the form of content. It is absolutely critical to produce content that truly engages the buyer. This is where the work done earlier in defining the buyer’s problems pays off. In the era of search engines, mobile access everywhere and social media, the key challenge for today’s marketers is to get found and get heard above the volume of noise and information bombarding buyers from every direction. Only by a laser-like focus on the buyer’s pain point will you achieve what’s required to grab your buyer’s attention.
Content should clearly and deliberately address the problems you have identified, the pain it inflicts and the implications the problem creates for the buyer’s business. Content should squarely address the buyer’s problem, advance their understanding, contribute to their decision making process, and generate some thought leadership that genuinely assists the buyer.
Gone are the jargon filled, blatant product pitches that tout your latest software upgrade, hardware release or consulting service packaging. The sad fact is, that nobody, except you and possibly your competition, cares!
To complicate matters significantly, content that genuinely engages the buyer will change at different stages of the buying cycle. Indeed the primary buying influence may well change at different stages of the buying process.
As buyers move along the buying journey, their need for content changes from TOFU (educational style content such as white papers, eBooks, videos and case studies) to more MOFU (instructional and informational style content such as demonstrations, free trials and testimonials).
Key to mastering this challenge is to create a content map that provides the different buying influences with the content they need at different stages of their buying journey. Measuring and scoring which leads are consuming what content is vital to understanding how sales ready a lead is to engage with your sales team.
Create a content map (and later the content itself) that plots content that engages buyers at each of the stages of their journey and to determine what questions we must ask to determine when a lead is sales ready.