Inbound marketing is becoming increasingly important in the B2B sector since the sales cycle tends to be longer than in the B2C world. It can make a huge difference for energy companies because it establishes relationships with new customers and strengthens connections with existing ones.
It provides prospects with useful information they can absorb during every stage of the sales funnel via blogs, downloadable content, videos, and social media. In fact, inbound marketing is quickly becoming a preferred marketing method, with 75% of B2B marketers prioritizing it over other activities.
It’s particularly effective in an industry like the energy sector that can be quite complex.
For example, blog posts and inbound content can clear confusion and misconceptions around things like solar power. Often, leads will be uneducated on the benefits of solar power. By providing valuable information about it, energy providers can position themselves as experts and a trusted source.
If you’re still on the fence about inbound marketing, here are some compelling points to consider.
1. Boost Search Engine Rankings
Most people today start their research for products on Google – and this goes for B2B buyers, too. Creating blog posts and valuable pieces of content will help you attract more leads in the initial stages of the research process. This will bring them to your website, where they can find out more about your business and how you can help them.
The key to creating valuable content that will attract qualified leads is to know exactly what your prospects are searching for and to dig into their needs.
It helps to create a couple of customer personas that dig deeper than the normal demographic information. Think about what kind of companies they work for, their positions in those companies, and their biggest job struggles. Then, think about how you can help them.
You’ll then have a better understanding of what prospects are searching for, and you can integrate the common keywords they use into your content. This will push your website up the search engines and get you more click throughs. For example, IU Energy does a good job of this by posting about regular industry news and tips from the energy sector on its blog.
2. Save on Your Marketing Budget
Inbound marketing is one of the most affordable marketing activities for B2B companies. For the most part, it can be done relatively cheaply if you bring team members on board to help create content.
What’s more, inbound marketing strategies are easy to scale. For example, you can automate posts across a variety of social platforms, which will help bring traffic and leads to your site while conserving resources.
Start saving on your marketing budget by:
- Scheduling posts using a social media automating tool
- Encouraging team members to share short videos, images, and posts on their social channels
- Collect content generated by your customers and fans and share it across your social channels and other platforms
3. Generate Quality Leads
Getting qualified leads is the number one goal for B2B energy companies.
These are people who have already identified themselves as having a problem that you can solve. Since you know what kind of things your prospects are searching for based on your customer personas, you can create content that targets them directly.
In addition to generating quality leads, this also helps you save resources that would otherwise go to waste if you try to advertise to everyone.
Think about it: reaching 50 quality leads who are interested in what you offer is a far better model than reaching 500 leads who aren’t.
4. Nurture Leads Through the Sales Cycle
B2B sector sales cycles tends to be longer than the sales cycles for B2C companies. There are more stakeholders to go through, and their decisions are often based on logic rather than emotion.
Inbound marketing techniques are perfect for guiding prospects through the sales funnel, because they provide the information they need at the right time. With a well-planned inbound marketing campaign, you can make sure you have content for each and every stage of the buyer’s journey, right from the top of the funnel to the bottom.
The content you provide will tackle objections, help prospects figure out whether your solution is right for them, and get them ready to talk to your sales team.
Take Wholesale Solar, as an example.
They provide a ton of information and resources that target prospects at different stages of the funnel. They have a “Start Here” resource for people who are just getting into the idea of solar power, as well as technical videos for those who are further through the sales cycle.
Providing a mix of content like this not only means there’s something for everyone, regardless of what stage of the sales cycle they’re in, but it also positions them as an expert in the industry.
Get Started on Your Inbound Marketing Campaign
If you don’t already have inbound marketing measures in place, now’s the time to do so. In an industry as complex and technical as the energy industry, it’s vital to educate prospects on the benefits and solutions your business can provide.
Not only will creating valuable content attract qualified leads who are ready to buy, it will help position you as an industry expert and a go-to, trusted source.