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How to build inbound marketing campaigns for global growth

02.09.2021

In this article we discuss everything you need to know about building successful inbound marketing campaigns that drive fast lead generation and global growth. This strategy is perfect for companies looking for high-growth rates, or disruptive marketing techniques. 

Table of contents

What is inbound marketing?  

Inbound marketing is all about putting your audience first. In contrast, traditional marketing puts your product or service first. This approach primarily facilitates friendly lead generation and building trustworthy, authoritative reputations.  

The aim is to centre your marketing activity around supporting your audience’s success and helping them reach their goals. By delivering genuinely valuable communications and content you can entice prospects to come to you (hence the term inbound) and build truly lasting relationships with your customers. 

The benefits of inbound marketing: 

  • Cost-effective lead generation with greater ROI, exploiting digital marketing 
  • Building digital presence, brand authority, and brand equity 
  • Defining a customer journey that creates sales qualified leads 
  • Continually tracking, evaluating and adapting strategies based on performance 

Marketing goals for B2B lead generation campaigns 

Using inbound strategies and marketing campaigns are an excellent way to meet ambitious commercial goals. When done right, an inbound methodology can help you efficiently break into new markets, generate a high volume of leads, and boost your marketing ROI.  

Centred around lead generation strategies, inbound marketing campaigns are the perfect vessel for any B2B company looking to get fast-paced, global results from their marketing activity. 

Here are some common inbound marketing goals which companies looking for global lead generation should consider in their marketing strategy: 

  • To achieve wide reach through digital marketing activity 
  • To penetrate new markets, sectors, or audiences  
  • To generate a consistent stream of warm leads and have more sales conversations that lead to conversions 
  • To solidify brand authority and market leadership 
  • To produce engaging campaigns that drive website traffic  

What is a digital marketing campaign? 

A “digital campaign” encompasses integrated, multi-platform activity that is centred around achieving a shared objective. A campaign is built around a multitude of coordinated activity – this could include content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and PPC campaigns that all flow within a single structured process.  

The benefit of using a digital marketing campaign for lead generation is that they are more strategic than disjointed activity. This way, you’re putting more resources and effort into a single objective, increasing reach and success rate. It also takes a more end-to-end approach which deeply considers the behaviours of your audience and how they make decisions. 

Everything you need to build a successful B2B marketing campaign 

“A successful inbound marketing campaign isn’t just about attracting customers. It’s about building meaningful relationships with your brand, fostering trust and creating global community.” 

Gemma Bailey, Head of Delivery

Many businesses when they first venture into digital marketing take a catch-all approach. They think, the more widespread the activity the more engagement I’ll get. But this isn’t necessarily true.  

What’s really happening is you’re throwing a huge net, but into an empty ocean. Or if you’re lucky, you’ll get a few good fish amongst a haul of junk. Either way – you aren’t going to get the leads you need to achieve global business growth. 

Without the right structure to guide your activities you’ll end up exhausting a huge number of resources with little return. To get real results, running targeted campaigns is much more effective.   

We’ve put together this guide to help you build the most effective marketing campaign possible: 

1. Establish a campaign focus 

Digital campaigns actually require an extensive amount of groundwork to build. Here are the 3 primary steps you need to take before building a digital marketing plan: 

Set an objective 

First things first. What is your overall objective? The answer to this question should be used to guide all your other activity, so it needs to be defined before anything else can happen. For example, whether you want to break into the US market, promote a new product release, or become leaders in a certain sector will necessitate very different strategies.  

It’s important to be relatively specific at this stage – such as choosing a market or business area, rather than aiming for overall growth. This will help you avoid the unfruitful net syndrome and see results.  

Define your audience 

Next, define and segment your target audience. Once again, this will help guide and structure your activity. First think about what sector you’re looking at. Sector-specific campaigns will allow you to hone your messaging and address your audience’s needs head on. 

It will also be important to segment your audience more closely. The B2B buyer funnel has become more complex, with various influencers contributing to the final purchase decision. You’ll need to ensure you understand all these audiences, alongside their pain points and demands, in order to get conversions.  

Some of these audiences include: 

  • C-suite or the board 
  • Technical buyers  
  • Senior management team 
  • Financial decision-makers
  • End users 

Choose SMART goals  

Defining your objectives and your audience will give you the information you need to create SMART goals. Now you can define exactly what success in that objective looks like, backed by measurable and realistic targets. This will not only help you monitor your performance properly, but it gives your campaign a targeted focus.  

Here are some examples of what success in raising your profile in the financial services sector could look like: 

  • Have 100 conversations with C-Suites in the financial services sector in 8 months 
  • Get 150 downloads on our gated finance e-book in 5 months 
  • Book 5 new customers (organisations over 100 people) by the end of the year 
  • Double our revenue from financial services customers by the end of the financial year 

Leverage market research 

Market research allows you to create data-centric campaign activity. While your business focus will help you can start to guide your activity, you need concrete data to refine your methods, messaging, and strategies in order to reach your target audience.  

Here are several types of data you need to support a marketing campaign: 

  • Audience data: Companies like Cognism provide company, people, and event data that help you get in touch with the right audience. 
  • SEO data: Tools like Semrush help you research what your audience is talking about, searching for, and reading online. 
  • Market data: Researching the sector you want to enter, the competitors doing will in this market, and the rising themes of this space is essential for performing well.

Build your campaign around the buyer funnel 

“The average customer engages with 3 to 5 pieces of content before purchasing” 

The journey from hearing about a product to making a buying decision is tougher than ever. It requires considered nurturing to get your leads through the sales cycle. Plus, this process needs to be repeated for each influencer within a company.  

It’s therefore necessary to curate different pieces of content to suit each influencer, for each stage of their buyer journey. In a single campaign this could look like; a social media advert, a blog article, a downloadable product sheet, a follow-up email, and a face-to-face (or screen-to-screen) chat. 

2. Consider account-based marketing 

Once you’ve evaluated your audience, you may realise you have a very narrow target audience, or a prospect that really stands out from the crowd. In this circumstance you should consider an account-based approach.  

What is account-based marketing? 

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a great campaign strategy for high-growth companies looking to see major marketing return on investment. This strategy is very focused, targeting only your most high-value clients. It follows the same principles as any digital marketing campaign but is completely curated to target one or two very large organisations.  

ABM also deeply integrated the sales and marketing process to ensure end-to-end, consistent communication with prospects as they journey through the buyer cycle.  

Find out more about account-based marketing

3. Build an SEO foundation for your campaign 

Many organisations are put off by the word SEO. Especially companies with a thought leadership stance, or leading companies with an innovative voice. But SEO doesn’t have to mean generic and contrived, it just means you’re listening to what your audience wants.  

SEO content and website optimisation at their core help build brand awareness. These actions help you penetrate more relevant searches and push your website content up the search results page.  

On a measurable level, this helps raise your visibility and drive more traffic to your site. On a more intangible level, it helps build better relationships with your audience by providing content they’re interested in seeing. Both points help generate more leads, which leads to more conversions, which leads to more revenue and growth. 

Here are several tips for including SEO practices in inbound marketing campaigns:  

  1. Use keyword research to formulate the topics and themes of your campaigns  
  2. Post SEO-optimised blogs regularly on the website to support your active campaign 
  3. Write at least 6 related blogs per topic during a campaign to monopolise this search term 
  4. Use keyword research to inform your PPC ads 
  5. Create landing pages centred around your campaign keywords 
  6. Constantly re-evaluate your organic and paid keyword performance and make adjustments when needed  

4. Use B2B social media marketing channels 

Social media has become a great platform for business marketing; especially for the B2B market. Here’s why it’s so valuable; 

  • It’s likely key influencers in your prospect organisations is on at least one of these channels 
  • It’s easy to find people who would be interested in your offering using hashtags and simple searches 
  • There are communities dedicated to specific interests, markets and themes 
  • It’s a (mostly) free tool 
  • Your potential reach is exponential 

Promoting your campaign content through social channels gives your audience an easy, direct way to view your content and find your website. You only need to grab their attention for them to begin their journey of discovering your offering.  

Here are 3 ways to utilise social media and digital channels: 

Build thought leaders 

Leverage your team’s personal brands to get more engagement and build brand authority. People are more likely to engage with a personal account over a company one. Content put out on personal channels feels less promotional, more open to conversation, and more trustworthy.  

So, if someone is widely known in the circuit, you should build their personal brand and turn them into industry influencers. Do this by providing useful insights and market commentary – start conversations and see who engages. This way, your company builds authority and opportunities by association, plus you can leverage the influencer’s followers for more reach.  

When to use promoted posts 

Promoting your social media posts helps boost your reach which promotes growth. But when to use this technique really depends on the objective of your campaign. If you’re targeting your existing audience with a new product, a targeted email marketing campaign may be more appropriate and get better engagement. 

Promoted posts are best suited if your objective is to reach new prospects or infiltrate new markets. Essentially – people you may not otherwise reach organically. You can add your target audience criteria here to make sure you’re spending your reach on the right people. 

When to use paid ads 

For a particularly valuable campaign you may want to support your promoted ad with paid ads or PPC campaigns elsewhere online, such as search engines or digital magazines. However, this would work best with a more high-level message or audience.  

5. Outreach to external publications 

For an even more global reach, consider hosting content in external publications. This of course gives you access to a wide, potentially completely fresh audience to target. This is a nice way to support whatever campaign you’re running by building awareness and getting people in the funnel.  

However, self-promotion isn’t the best way to go for these mediums. Instead, focus on building your thought leadership position and establishing yourself as an expert by writing an industry commentary piece on a related topic.   

6. Optimise your website for lead capture 

If your campaign is driving traffic back to the website, you need to ensure it’s optimised to receive these prospects. Any page your campaign links to should be designed to support lead capture. The key is giving your prospect enough value upfront before asking for their details.  

A website that isn’t optimised for lead capture is likely to see high bounce rates – with little click engagement. 

Here are some examples of online lead capture assets: 

  • Forms: Forms are the cornerstone of lead capture. Include forms throughout your website with tailored calls-to-action based on the content of each webpage. This means that when you drive traffic to the site, your prospects have a clear follow-up action. Forms should also be included within every lead capture asset. 
  • Landing pages: Landing pages are a great online marketing tool for lead capture. Use landing pages to host forms, gated content, and other useful resources. They become part of your website but can be created on an ad hoc basis and curated for individual campaigns.  
  • Gated content: Gated content means asking for people’s details before providing them with the resource in question. This is an easy way to capture leads in a contextual way, giving you immediate insight into their interests. Just note that gated content needs to be worthy of providing details, such as a comprehensive industry trends e-book.  
  • Newsletters: Newsletters sign-up pop-ups are also a simple way to gather people’s information and start consistent conversations. It’s a good idea to run several different newsletter streams based on your different target audiences or different stages of the buyer journey. This way, you’re definitely providing content that is relevant and useful for that person.  

Think carefully about what details you want to capture for any given campaign. Ideally you want to know as much as possible so you can create personalised responses but ask for too much and you’ll put people off. So decide what’s most valuable. For example, job title or company plus their name may be enough to qualify leads and give you a starting point for manual research. 

7. Be ready to nurture leads 

What’s next when your leads start pouring in?  

What do you do with all these emails and data? 

Once someone has input their details, it’s up to you to continue this conversation. Following up with your leads in a timely, professional, and personalised way is essential to effective lead nurturing and improving your conversion rate.  

The key is to tailor your content and form of communication to whatever stage your prospect is in and the lead capture campaign that led them to you. But this can be an arduous and time-consuming process.  

Properly managing your CRM and using marketing automation can ease this burden and help you maintain excellent lead nurturing at every turn. It’s also essential that your sales team understand the marketing activity of the campaigns they’re following up from to ensure consistent communication. 

RELATED: 4 ways to boost your sales funnel for maximum conversion and ROI

Here is a quick checklist for effective lead nurture: 

  1. Align your sales and marketing team activities 
  2. Organise your CRM based on your objectives or campaign focuses 
  3. Regularly clean up or clear out your CRM 
  4. Use a CRM that can link to your website and campaign activity 
  5. Utilise automation wherever you’re able 
  6. Create templated emails for every buyer stage  
  7. Create templated emails for every different campaign 
  8. Provide some additional value in your follow-up email 
  9. Use clear and customised CTAs in your emails to encourage a next step 
  10. Use more personalised, informal language  
  11. Create a templated lead nurturing workflow outlining all stages of the lead nurturing process
  12. Nurture leads into conversion stages and beyond into retention
  13. Leverage multiple touchpoints and channels where relevant  

Estrella Ventures is a strategic marketing agency for disruptive B2B technology companies. We specialise in integrated inbound marketing strategies as well as digital marketing campaigns that generate leads, accelerate growth, and build brand equity.  

You can find more marketing insights on our website here. We’re also always happy to talk more about our services and how B2B marketing could help you achieve your goals – so get in touch if you want to have a chat.