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Taking Your Marketing Funnel Global
16 Aug 2019
As a B2B company, you offer something unique—whether that’s a product, service or some other niche-demand resource. You’re already well aware of the value of your offering, but the real challenge is recreating the same level of awareness, familiarity, and excitement among your prospects.
At the early stages of your growth cycle, it may be easier to convey your unique selling points through relationship-based selling: there are ample opportunities to network at expos or events, reach out through targeted platforms like LinkedIn, and communicate exactly what your company can do for them.
These types of prospects are often the most fruitful, leading to repeat business and frequent referrals when handled correctly.
As you scale, however, it will become increasingly difficult to sustain this level of one-to-one attention. You’re tapping into a wider—potentially international—market, with prospects that are further away and a sales team that is responsible for efficiently maintaining, scoring and converting a growing pipeline.
Let your marketing funnel do the selling for you.
Your marketing funnel is a series of processes that are meant to help guide potential clients, from a point of unawareness through all the necessary stages required to progress them as a prospective lead.
Why then should your sales team have to do all the heavy lifting? As your business scales, you should become more reliant on your marketing funnel as a means to not only attract leads but to educate them as well.
Effective Informational Marketing
According to research by Google,“89% of B2B researchers use the internet during the B2B research process.”.
If you’re not making the most of your digital marketing funnel, you’re probably missing out on an opportunity to get your message across early, depending almost entirely on your sales team to both educate and secure future client deals.
With an effective content strategy, you can mitigate this problem—putting more of an emphasis on education in the middle of the funnel, meaning you have much less selling to do once prospects are at the stage where they have a need or desire for your business offering!
As your business scales, your sales team will need to develop and strategize more around lead scoring and lead nurturing. In this context, the creation and effective syndication of high-quality content can prove even more important.
Quality Content Creation
In your marketing funnel, content is king. Here are some key considerations for creating quality content:
Humanise with video
As you become more global, you lose a certain human element. Your prospects spend less time interacting directly with your sales team and more time communicating by phone or over email.
Video is an effective tool when done correctly—not only is it easy to digest, video can also help visualise hard-to-grasp concepts and, most importantly, can create content with a face, a voice and a name.
Explore localised content
As you move towards global markets, the messaging that has served you well so far in your home market might not quite hit as hard in a different local.
Have you altered your messaging to suit all of your target markets? Each new market might carry with it a number of unknown factors—take the time to split-test your content and adapt to what works best.
Patch known gaps in your messaging
Are there common information shortcomings where your sales team has had to clarify or fill in the gaps? Ideally, now would be the time to address these.
As your marketing funnel takes over the brunt of the work, it becomes increasingly important that you are providing prospects with clear and accurate information. Failure to do so may mean you won’t get the opportunity to remediate it later on.
Avoid preaching to the choir
When creating content, remember that you’re not selling to yourself. Everything that you already know about your offering has to go out the window—what may seem apparent to you may not be quite as clear to a potential prospect.
Your objective when writing content is to help your prospects reach your level of understanding. Make sure you’re providing prospects with correct and accessible information at every step in their journey, from initial awareness all the way through to closing and after-sales support.
Meet prospects at their level
Don’t oversimplify unnecessarily, but don’t make your prospects feel like they need a cypher to understand what you’re saying.
Language is powerful and industry jargon may often help communicate an idea in a concise and precise manner, but when a reader isn’t familiar with a term then you’re likely to confuse, mislead or alienate them.
If you have to use jargon, use it wisely.
Consider everyone involved in the buying process
B2B sales have evolved massively in the last few years. The number of people involved in the B2B sales process has been increasing, meaning you’re no longer selling exclusively to industry experts who would recognise your offering straight away.
There is a key concept here: the Buying Committee.
Long gone is the dynamic where you sell to one contact in an organisation, who then gets to sign off and buy in all on their own…
These days big B2B decisions are made by consensus. A typical Buying Committee might comprise two C level execs and an in house manager. It might comprise a team of anywhere from three to double-digit people.
Targetting the key decision-makers
You need to identify who the overall Buying Committee is, and then how to contact and get each onside so that your products and sales messages have momentum.
Depending on where you ask, you're likely to get a slightly different answer as to which roles are involved, their level of influence in the purchasing process and how you should target their associated buying personas: you may be required to convince any number of employees, from technical buyers all the way up to the c-suite and financial controllers.
Each of these people will have different levels of expertise within your niche, different perspectives and different pain points you need to address:
- How does your offering affect ROI?
- What do you offer that they can’t simply do in-house?
- What advantages do you offer over the alternatives?
- What level of onboarding and after-sales support do you offer?
- Why should your solution be prioritised over addressing any number of other business issues?
Making your messaging stand out on-site
Creating effective content is only part of the solution. You also need to make sure that it is easy to find both on your site and off. There may be a limit on how long you have your prospect’s captive attention. Make it count.
Perform a User Experience audit
The correct information should never feel like a chore to find. Perform a User Experience (UX) audit to make sure that all information is easy to navigate to and stands out clearly on the page.
Tools like Hotjar can be invaluable for creating heat maps that show exactly where a prospect is interacting with a web page.
Ask yourself: What content is actually being seen and what is regularly being overlooked?
Give the right content at the right time
Structure your site in such a way that it provides all the relevant information when a potential client needs it, without overwhelming them with all the information they don’t need.
The more concisely your USP’s can be conveyed, the easier they are to remember.
Explore formats that allow in-depth information to be accessed quickly, without drastically increasing how far a prospect needs to scroll or how many links they need to click on. For example, a FAQ format with expandable content fields is one such effective solution.
Making your messaging stand out off-site
When your objective is increasing the availability of targeted information for your prospects, each additional required action becomes an additional buffer: including having to navigate back to your site in the first place.
Therefore, activities that will provide your prospects with relevant information off-site, or that ease their journey back to your site should factor into your marketing strategy.
Sometimes prospects will connect with you on social platforms before they make their final buying decision. Have you capitalised on this?
Use company news and regular updates as a means to highlight lesser-known aspects of your offering, push out educational information and supporting articles that target the different people involved in the buying process.
This one should be a no-brainer, but email marketing is one of your most powerful tools for providing prospects with the information they might need.
Take steps to segment your emails lists as much as you reasonably can: in an ideal world, your email communications would contain relevant and highly personalised information pertaining to how familiar the addressee would be with your niche and their involvement with the buying process.
Google remarketing campaigns are ideal for broadcasting to prospects who have shown a certain level of interest in your website but haven’t filled out a form, subscribed to your newsletter or connected with you on socials.
Remarketing audience segments are incredibly powerful and can be defined based on key website actions, which pages they visited, where they are in the world, amongst other factors.
For example, with remarketing, you can target prospects who have visited your website’s knowledge base but left without visiting certain key pages. You can then follow up with targeted paid ads directing them to come back and visit the page they may have missed.
Finding a digital agency that can do all this...
As you grow your business and reach new and exciting global markets, it can be daunting to make the shift from relationship-based selling and learn to depend on your marketing funnel to do more of the selling for you.
As an agency, we work with clients all over the world, helping them develop marketing strategies designed to scale. We have a full-spec team, capable of providing everything from video content, branding, tech integrations and marketing strategy for long-term growth.
Your marketing funnel isn’t just about creating awareness and putting your offering on your prospects radar—it is an integral member of your sales team (possibly the most important one at an international level).
Make sure you’re giving your marketing funnel the attention it deserves. Get in touch and let one of our strategists talk you through what we can do for you.