By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer
Last month, we began our discussion of inbound marketing by addressing the three-phased start to developing an effective program – Discovery, Brainstorming Phase, and Planning Phases.
Conor Bond, marketing blogger for Wordstream, succinctly defines the value of an effective inbound marketing effort for any B2B business: “It allows you to build trust with high-quality leads who demonstrate an active interest in your product or service, particularly important if your business has a relatively long sales cycle.”
In the fleet industry, prospects generally require time to assess myriad needs, research different offerings, and weigh the pros and cons of each alternative. For suppliers then, building brand awareness and trust over that long buyer decision process is mandatory.
Because of that extended timeframe, a singular branding message must be delivered through multiple tactics.B2B inbound marketing therefore encompasses a lot of unique tactics. Here are some ideas, as spelled out by Mr. Bond:
1. A blog
According to HubSpot—the SaaS company that popularized the term “inbound marketing” circa 2006—marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to get a positive ROI. It pays to be consistent, too: those who publish blog content at least 16 times a month generate 3.5x more website traffic and 4.5x more leads compared to companies that only update their blogs a few times a month.
A blog is also a terrific way to answer your prospects’ pressing questions (e.g., How should I structure my Google Ads account?) in accessible long-form content.
2: An infographic
As awesome as written content can be, people don’t always have the time (or the desire) to sit down and consume 2,000 words about long-tail keywords, for example. Sometimes, your prospect just wants a quick snapshot of insightful data, ideally presented in an aesthetically pleasing format.
Plus, if the information you’re sharing is especially valuable, there’s a good chance it will generate considerable buzz – retweets, follower sharing, and so on.
3. A whitepaper
The definition and purpose of a whitepaper depends on who you ask. The industry you’re in and the goals you pursue certainly influence the final product.
For our purposes, we’ll define a whitepaper as an in-depth, well-researched piece of educational content that adopts a somewhat more formal tone than your average blog post. As a rule, assume that the prospects who download your whitepaper are expecting higher degrees of rigor, depth, originality, and value.
The key advantage of a whitepaper over a blog post or an infographic is that—in addition to providing value to the people who qualify for your product or service—you can require contact information in exchange. That way, after readers have downloaded your content, you can use email marketing to nurture them closer to conversion.
Next month, we’ll continue to consider additional inbound marketing ideas. Feel free to contact me any time about marketing in the fleet industry. firstname.lastname@example.org