Inbound marketing is a clear trend in B2B marketing. In fact, Sirius Decisions, a research firm focused on B2B markets, predicts more than 75% of leads will be sourced through inbound channels by 2015.
What are the key challenges to B2B inbound marketing, how does inbound marketing change the type of content B2B marketers need to create and what tools are critical to inbound marketing?
These are some of the questions discussed during #B2Bchat on March 15, and I had the privilege of moderating. Here are my key takeaways from the discussion.
1. Content is the Core Challenge
This conclusion does not come as a surprise, content has been identified as a leading challenge in multiple B2B marketing surveys in recent years. The discussion highlighted three specific areas where content is challenging B2B inbound marketers.
- Content Development Resources. Multiple participants said getting the right people to create content was a key challenge, either internal or external.
- The New Inbound Marketing Content Requirements. Rallying an organization accustomed to producing product information sheets, webcasts and white papers around creating content that is optimized for search, easy to consume, timely and worth sharing is a difficult organizational change.
- Timely Content is a Key Opportunity. Many content development practices are moving towards an editorial calendar, however it is critical to maintain flexibility and continue to encourage publishing timely content.
2. Marketers Have Only Tapped the Surface of Inbound’s Potential
Steve Cassady (@stevecassady) shared a great example of using targeted social media to trigger conversations (his example is included in the chat summary below).
I believe marketers are only beginning to tap the potential of applications like this. As the tools that are available become more powerful, we will continue to hear of new ways marketers are applying inbound marketing.
3. Tools have not been Standardized
Particularly in social media, there are a plethora of tools with significant potential, directly as an element of an inbound marketing program or as tools for management. However, HubSpot is the only provider that is widely recognized as a provider for inbound marketing.
Tools like IFTTT, Hello Bar, Scoop.it, GetCurata and many more offer interesting applications for inbound marketing, but awareness and adoption of any individual tool is so low that many inbound marketers are not even aware of the things tools make possible today.
Join the Discussion
Join #B2Bchat every Thursday at 8:00 PM Eastern time on Twitter. Follow @B2B_chat for announcements of each week’s topic.
A summary of the discussion is included below. You can carry on the discussion in the comments or share your thoughts with me on Twitter (@wittlake).