B2B Marketing Guide:
Top 5 Pillars of
Global Inbound Marketing
Welcome to Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing and digital strategy are the new critical pillars
of successful global marketing. But, on average, marketers’ skills
have not kept pace with the rapid digital evolution that has
occurred over the past several years.
Conversion rates are going down, website traffic isn’t great, email
lists are fatigued. You can’t get enough engagement on social
media to make up the difference you need. You don’t have enough
budget or head count to break through. Times are challenging for
many B2B marketers. If you’re responsible for lead generation, in
particular, you’ve likely noticed this most acutely.
So how do you navigate the journey toward achieving inbound
marketing success on an international scale?
Let’s get started!
According to the HubSpot 2013
Inbound Marketing ROI Report,
93% of companies using inbound
marketing increase lead generation.
Global content marketing
SEO and PPC
Top 5 Pillars
As a global B2B marketer, you know you need content marketing in your mix – and you’ve been solidly
attempting to make content marketing a higher priority. But the truth is that many of you simply haven’t
figured out how to:
Make your global content stand out for quality, insight and thought leadership
Manage the process of creating, inventorying, optimizing and promoting content
Significantly scale the amount of content that you can produce in a given time period
Successfully shift the balance more toward inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing
Globalize your content for other target languages and regions to support international business objectives
These issues are the result of attempting content marketing without first taking a more comprehensive
assessment of your digital content strategy.
Global content strategy (and marketing strategy) is about managing the entire content lifecycle to deliver the
most optimized, elegant, seamless and authentic end-user content experience. It encompasses how you
create, manage, map, distribute and curate your content assets. It’s also how you strategically architect,
promote and position assets based on products, personas, target geos/languages, industry segments, stages
of the sales cycle, etc.
Pillar 1 Global Content Marketing
Many B2B marketers struggle with how to strategically scale content creation. Here are the essential components:
The ABC’s of a Global Content Strategy
Content translation. In a global digital world, language
is a marketing channel. Make sure you have clear (and
modern) processes and plans in place to support your
language needs. Re-evaluate your existing translation
strategy and processes based on regional business
objectives, content types that need translating, budget,
international SEO and overall marketing strategy.
Content quality. Accept that content creation is time
consuming and takes a lot of effort. Stay focused on
delivering high-quality content. Make sure your content has
a distinct voice, passion, and message to share that makes it
stand out. When you get lazy with your content, it shows and
creates a negative impact. Your content is your marketing
and it is your brand.
In-house content expertise: At least one person on
your B2B global marketing team must have heavy content
development experience. Hopefully this person also has
strong knowledge of digital marketing best practices, and
writing or editing in their DNA (not all marketers do).
Writer resources. Cultivate your own customized
team of content marketers. Commit to identifying and
nurturing a pool of freelancer writers into subject-
matter experts who know your space well enough to
have interesting insights into specific industries, topics,
products and personas.
Content planning. You need a content calendar.
What are you publishing and when? What bigger assets
are you planning for each month (white papers, ebooks,
videos, etc.) and how are you supplementing with
disciplined blogging and shorter, varied content types?
Planning three to six months out should be the goal.
Content editing. Expect it to take a few months of
heavy in-house editing. You may have to go through
the process of testing many freelancers to find the right
match for what you need. Make sure you have editing
resources and subject-matter experts identified to
support your efforts.
The level of attention to inventorying and cataloging your
content is critical to every aspect of your marketing strategy.
If you’re doing global content marketing right, you know every
single content asset you have (and don’t have), how it maps to
a target role, industry, company size, stage in the sales funnel/
customer lifecycle, content type, language, region. Multiply that
by every product you sell.
This is a laborious up front process, but critical to success in
all five global inbound marketing pillars discussed in this guide.
A prioritized list of your content gaps and a plan (on whatever
timeline it might be) on how to fill them is also extremely
important. Make sure there is a clear agreed-upon process in
place for ongoing inventorying and curation.
The ABC’s of a Global Content Strategy
WEBSITES AND CMS
Do your website and CMS support your needs as a content marketer (a.k.a., a digital publisher)?
In many organizations, content creators (read: marketing) do not have enough knowledge of best
practices, provide enough feedback on issues, or try hard enough to influence CMS usability.
Your website is home base for all your marketing. You need to be able to optimize
this experience in every way possible, and do it quickly, responsively, and agilely.
Assess your CMS and make sure that it actually serves your needs.
Can you quickly and easily post content, incorporate images, optimize
for search and social, test page designs?
Are you losing significant productivity because of slow, buggy or poorly
architected tools and systems?
Do you need better support to do marketing in multiple languages?
Do you have translation capabilities integrated into your CMS?
(If not, send this to your CMS vendor.)
Bottom line: Make sure your website and CMS do what you need to deliver high-impact marketing.
The ABC’s of a Global Content Strategy
WEB LAYOUT, DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
The best content in the world can’t make up for a poor user experience.
If your site design and functionality isn’t hitting the mark, you need to
address it. Content strategy also means understanding information
architecture and taxonomy, SEO, web design and user experience. Make
sure that your content is optimized for consumption by your audience
across all channels.
SEO AND SOCIAL MEDIA
If you are doing content marketing in any capacity, you need to feel
comfortable saying you are at least a 7.5 on a scale of 1 to 10 for SEO
knowledge. Social media is important for SEO and as an amplifier for your
content marketing and social influence. (More to come on this in next two
The ABC’s of a Global Content Strategy
People are your primary audience, but we all know that Google and Bing are
the true gatekeepers at the doors to your target audience. Search marketing is
a critical component of global inbound marketing – without it, no one is going to
find your content (and lead-generating calls-to-action).
Many marketers simply don’t understand SEO well enough to do their
jobs effectively in a digital marketing arena. Invest more time learning and
understanding SEO. Commit to following SEO best practices as part of your web,
content and social marketing efforts.
This requires the ability to do your own keyword research and understand what
you should be targeting. It also means understanding the competitive SEO and
PPC landscape and where you sit in the mix. From there, you must ensure that
your content creators understand SEO best practices and are following them in
the content creation process.
Finally, while you don’t necessarily have to manage it within marketing, you need
to understand the technical aspects of SEO well enough to validate that they are
being properly managed by your web team. There are a lot of people out there
doing SEO for a living that are not experts. Make sure you are well-versed enough
to know whether or not your technical SEO needs are being served.
Pillar 2 SEO and PPC
According to a Marketing
Sherpa study, organic
search ranks highest for
website traffic at 43%
and highest at traffic
conversion at 29%,
beating out email at 22%
and 25% respectively.
Have you identified and validated a list of target keyword phrases?
Do you know and use alternate search phrases for primary keyword targets?
Where do you and your competitors currently rank for your target keyword phrases?
Do you know how much it would cost to run PPC on your target keywords?
Do you know how your competitors are using PPC?
Do you use PPC to strategically fill in gaps in your organic search rankings (while you
continue to improve SEO)?
If you already rank high in SEO on a term, could you get higher conversions and maintain a
favorable cost per lead if you bought the PPC term also?
Are you familiar with current best practices for optimizing content for search?
Do you optimize your titles, tags, and meta descriptions when posting content in your CMS?
Have you evaluated international SEO and the inbound marketing opportunities you could
create if you were to translate more of your content ?
SEO and PPC: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself
While they may not have a lot of weight anymore algorithmically, they are still
critically important to the customer experience and can have a strong impact
on your search engine results page (SERP) conversion rates.
Your meta descriptions are calls-to-action (CTAs).
Keep them under 160 characters, including spaces, make them action-
oriented and easy to understand (read, get, find out, discover, learn, explore,
solve, fix, understand…these are all great words with which to start out a meta
description). Make sure you get your primary keyword phrase in there too.
There is art and science in writing titles and meta descriptions. Take the time
to hone this as part of your marketing craft.
Don’t Forget the Meta Descriptions!
Do you know what content pages on your
website get the most search traffic, and
have you optimized them further to improve
conversion, time on site, and pages per visit?
Social media is not only important because of its ability to amplify
your message. It has multifaceted implications to your entire
organization’s reputation and influence in the markets it serves -- as
such, it needs to be viewed within the context of an integrated digital
As a core pillar of your global inbound marketing strategy, make
sure your social media strategy and plans encompass each of the
Social influencer strategy
Social media management
Social media monitoring
Social media metrics
Pillar 3 Social Media
SOCIAL INFLUENCER STRATEGY
Who in your organization do you want to build up as a social influencer?
Also, who are the influencers in your target markets that you want to
build relationships with? Your executives and subject-matter experts are
your prime candidates for internal selection. Just realize marketing still
has to drive this.
Social isn’t just about real-time reach and engagement metrics. It’s
increasingly becoming a critical component in a successful SEO strategy.
If you care about content, you should care about SEO. If you care about
SEO, you should care about social. The three are now integrally linked
and should be viewed as a grand trine.
The 123’s of Social Media
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
Social media is not a figure-it-out-as-you-go marketing tactic. It should be part of a cohesive,
integrated content strategy. Think like a publisher and make sure you not only have an editorial
calendar for your content marketing efforts, but a social media publishing calendar as well. Your
social media calendar should follow the same “inventory, audit, curation and calendaring”
process that your content marketing efforts get. Inventory your posts by social media channel,
date, and campaign. Build a backlog of great social media posts you can use that point to your best
Also, as you are creating new content assets, make sure your content creators or your social media
managers are including 5-10 social posts/tweets (or more) you can use in association with those
SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING
Social content and conversations are contained in billions of tweets, Facebook posts, blog entries,
and websites and in numerous languages. To effectively expand your brand reputation and global
reach, you need to monitor social sentiment analysis . As a global marketing organization, you also
need a view of sentiment by region and language as well.
The 123’s of Social Media
SOCIAL MEDIA METRICS
This could be discussed as part of Pillar 5 in this B2B Marketing Guide, but it’s
important and relevant here and now. If you have not figured out how to measure
your social media efforts and tie them back to your overall marketing ROI, then you
have a gap in your social strategy (and therefore a gap in your inbound marketing
strategy as a whole).
First, you must be able to track every social media post on all channels from within
Google Analytics, using promo codes that link them back to specific marketing
campaigns in your CRM. This requires having a more disciplined approach to how
you post to social media channels. If you are doing it ad-hoc and are only focused
on activity levels, you’ll never reach your full potential with social media. You need
a process in place to capture your social metrics and tie those back to your other
marketing metrics, lead-generation and revenue.
This requires a lot of planning and an investment in new tools, training and
processes for your marketing team and others in your organization supporting
your social efforts.
The 123’s of Social Media
Marketing automation is the lead nurturing engine that maximizes the
impact of your inbound marketing efforts and ties them back into a
full yin-yang, balanced integrated marketing cycle. By using automated
lead nurturing email triggers that are tied to inbound lead-conversion
activities, you maximize the impact and ROI of all your marketing efforts.
The challenge for many marketers is that they’re just getting started with
marketing automation and aren’t sure how to get maximum benefit from
it. The real key to marketing automation is not the tool itself – it’s your
global content strategy.
If you know every asset you have, how it maps to industries, roles,
company size, languages, stage in marketing/sales cycle, you can map
really great drip campaigns and execute effective lead scoring. If your
content strategy and inventory are weak, your marketing automation will
Without a strong content strategy in place, marketing automation gets
reduced to a basic email marketing tool. Your global content strategy is
what allows you to deliver a personalized customer experience.
Marketing AutomationPillar 4
According to a recent survey of 840 B2B marketers by
Holger Schulze, 25% don’t know their lead conversion rates and
41% don’t know the average cost per marketing qualified lead
(MQLs). And according to a HubSpot stat, 34% of businesses
cannot or do not calculate inbound marketing ROI in 2013.
Without data to inform your decision-making, you are
marketing in the dark. This isn’t just about proving the worth of
your inbound marketing efforts. It’s about tracking, analyzing
and aligning all of your marketing metrics to understand the
current health of your marketing organization.
Are you comfortable describing your marketing organization
as data driven? This doesn’t mean throwing creativity out
the window. It means embracing both the art and science of
marketing and using your metrics to help guide your focus and
creativity in the right direction.
5 Marketing AnalyticsPillar 5
Web Traffic by Channel
Cost Per Lead
Cost Per Acquisition
Many marketers are not disciplined about tracking and analyzing data.
Others collect the information in spreadsheets but don’t take the time
to analyze it and extract the insights. It has become a rote process
that lacks investigative scrutiny.
Be as passionate about your metrics as you are about inbound
marketing, content, social, SEO, PPC, marketing automation, events
and whatever else you’ve got in your marketing mix. If you can’t
measure your marketing efforts, use your metrics to inform your
decision making, and demonstrate the impact of your marketing
efforts to the bottom line, you cannot compete successfully as a
Just as with your CMS, make sure you are an active participant in fixing
any gaps in your CRM, web or social analytics that don’t allow you to
get a clear view of your performance benchmarks from a marketing
and revenue perspective.
Today and tomorrow’s B2B global marketing
leaders are those that can and will act as
change agents for their organizations. They
must be willing to advocate for, evangelize
and execute inbound marketing. And they
must embrace a modern, multilingual,
multichannel marketing strategy to compete
in a rapidly evolving digital marketplace.
You may also like:
Modern Translation Guide: A Roadmap to Radically Simplified Translation
Analytics and Big Data: The Missing “Big Language” Link
Top 5 Big Language Business Challenges Solved by Machine Translation
Christine Polewarczyk is Senior Director of Global Marketing for SDL Language
Technologies. She is passionate about global marketing and the balance of art and
science required to deliver superior global customer experience through modern,
multilingual, and multichannel marketing strategies.
Her current mission is to educate the B2B masses about how to solve the Big Language
challenges associated with international branding and business and evangelize the era
You can reach Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Christine_Mktg.
Did you enjoy this B2B Marketing Guide?
About the author
SDL BeGlobal is an innovative translation-as-a-service platform that is revolutionizing translation by making
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Powered by SDL, the leader in translation for over 20 years, SDL BeGlobal offers the two following service
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A web-based interface where you can translate documents quickly, affordably, and in dozens of
A simple self-service translation API available via the BeGlobal Developer Portal that quickly and
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Learn more at BeGlobal.com.
About SDL BeGlobal
SDL enables global businesses to enrich their customers’ experience through the
entire customer journey. SDL’s technology and services help brands to predict
what their customers want and engage with them across multiple languages,
cultures, channels and devices. SDL has over 1,500 enterprise customers, 400
partners and a global infrastructure of 70 offices in 38 countries. 42 out of the top
50 brands work with SDL.
For more information, visit www.sdl.com.
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