This is the first contribution in our new content series B2B Marketing Sucks: The Stories from the People Fixing It. I met Dominic like I've met most of my marketing connections since joining The Juice - in a Content Marketing Slack Group (Shout Out Superpath!). After meeting him I quickly understood that his mindset around marketing was different than most. I recorded a podcast episode with him to discuss The State of Content Marketing in 2021 and was thrilled to have him contribute to this series. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn. His content is always refreshing and a reminder to think differently about the work that we do.
Why B2B marketing sucks
By Dominic Kent - Freelancer and Founder, UC Marketing
As a human - a person who uses social media all day, who listens to podcasts, who sees adverts on the train - I have never once been wooed into wanting to make a business purchase via traditional B2B marketing.
B2B marketing has long been an advertising game. Which football team are you sponsoring? Whose car has your logo on it this year? Which is fine for brand marketing.
But, I don’t think there’s much marketing going on here.
Signing a contract and sending over your logo sounds like a transaction. And marketing (B2B or otherwise) involves humans.
B2B marketing sucks because we forget humans are involved.
Sure, the bank account reads “Company XYZ” but there’s a whole chain of doers, managers, and signees involved before you get there.
At each stage of the marketing funnel, think about the human aspect:
- What is IT Manager, Marge, actually searching for?
- Which type of documentation is IT Director, Davide, going to find this most useful when building his business case?
- How many different people need to sign the purchase order? They should have all heard of your brand - at least.
This isn’t a lecture in buyer personas. They’re often out of touch with reality.
While I do recognize the importance to know your customers, talking to them IRL, on social media, and finding out how they search Google can tell you just as much - if not, more than creating a buyer persona.
Because, you know, that’s what humans do.
What you are doing in your role to try to make it better?
At Mio, and with all my freelance clients, I exist to drive organic search traffic that converts to freemium or paying customers.
It’s one thing to have huge numbers of readers on your blog, or a Twitter following of 50,000.
But, what if those readers found your site because they searched for something loosely related to their query and you did a really (erm) good job of SEO?
And what if 49,500 of those Twitter followers have muted your account and only followed you back to boost their own vanity numbers?
Is it worth the effort?
Okay, one day they might need you and you’ve planted a small seed in the back of their brain.
But, in reality, you’re dominating search engines for irrelevant traffic and your social media engagement rate is embarrassing.
That’s why, at Mio, we only write content targeted at our selection of potential customers.
I don’t hire thousand dollar writers to create 10 ways to work better from home because, while that’s apparently sexy, it’s not what Mio can help with and it’s not what our audience is searching for.
Sure, the net is cast for “potential one day” as well as “potential right now” so I have to balance T-shaped demand generation like Zapier does with genuine inbound marketing.
How Mio uses T-shaped demand generation
For example, we have an article titled “How to Delete Chats on Microsoft Teams” which is more often than not #1 on Google.
This is our highest traffic article at the moment but has the lowest conversion rate.
And I don’t mind that because we are answering the query based on the searcher’s intent. We’re not clickbaiting and trying to sell our product.
It’s useful content and it builds domain authority for the rest of our blog to thrive on.
And they are Microsoft Teams customers. So, one day, they might need us.
How Mio uses inbound marketing
Marketing gurus who get paid thousands of dollars to come up with something new at a trade show each year might tell you inbound is dead.
But it ain’t.
Our highest converting articles are those that literally match our audience’s language, search intent, and could be used as product marketing in nurture campaigns.
Yes, they are well-optimized for SEO. But, they also stand every chance of converting because we know who is searching, why they are searching, and we can solve their problem with our product.
These blog readers automatically become MQLs when they enter our site because they have only found our “Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams” article by searching “Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams”.
They came to us.
That’s inbound marketing.
And we’re bloody good at it.
Because we spend the time researching and talking with our customers as well as doing the SEO work.
Our B2B marketing doesn’t suck.
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Hope you enjoy this episode and have a great start to your week 💯.