In digital marketing, B2B inbound marketing is arguably among its most pivotal pillars (along with its sibling, outbound marketing). It’s a collection of methods, tools, and assets for getting your prospective leads to reach you, instead of you reaching out to them.
See the chart below from HubSpot’s 2018 State of Inbound Report to see the top methods for inbound marketing in use today:
Of these, you can boil B2B inbound marketing down to two ‘pillars’: search engine optimization (SEO) and content development. Most of the other areas lead to these two pillars.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The best way to understand what SEO is by understanding what SEO is used for — i.e., to bring your website to the first page of Google (or as high as possible).
Of course, SEO isn’t restricted to just Google, but that’s the dominant search engine, so it’s where most companies invest their SEO resources.
But that’s just the starting point, from there SEO branches into sub-fields such as site audits, building backlink profiles, assessing keyword search intent and keyword difficulty, and much, much more.
How Does SEO Work?
With so much to do within SEO alone, there’s no one way describe how SEO works.
But if you had to boil it down, then you would need to get an expert with technical SEO training to use a wide range of tools (such as Ahrefs, SEMRush, Screaming Frog, etc) for each of the branches we described earlier.
So, Why is SEO important?
SEO is important because it’s a key method of pulling prospective leads to your website.
The idea is capitalize on the questions or queries your prospective leads are asking on Google by getting your website to answer them. The benefit is that you will get attention from the exact people you want to talk to for selling your products or services.
However, for SEO to pay off in terms of fetching potential leads, you need the content to actually convert those readers into leads (or potentially even sales).
Content can include — among other things — blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, podcasts, webinars, social media posts, and infographics.
How Does Content Work?
When it comes to B2B inbound marketing, content integrates into your SEO strategy by semantically using the keywords your SEO team found.
The keyword research part itself is multi-layered in that it requires experts to not just find the keywords, but ensure your actual target reader is using them in a sales relevant way.
Why is Content Important?
Your content delivers on that research by generating valuable content to answer those keyword-driven questions and queries. However, we must stress that quality is critical, especially in terms of providing the answers your potential leads expect.
If your content delivers, your reader will feel encouraged to give their contact information and, in turn, become a lead which you can work and turn into a sale.
As you might imagine, there are many processes involved in constructing a thorough SEO and content strategy. However, you can get a start by building a robust digital marketing department or, if you lack the time and resources to sustain it, work with a digital inbound