The landscape of marketing among manufacturing companies is changing. If your company is still relying solely on outbound marketing (traditional advertising) by using print ads, trade shows, telemarketing and other costly tactics to generate new business by pushing messages outward – you are sure to experience something our partners at HubSpot call the “Oh S**T” Moment.
This is the moment when you realize that it is not only people looking for a Black Friday deal, a new phone or an electronic item that use Google for their search. Did you know that over 90% of B2B buyers (including those researching new manufacturing equipment and services) start their research online? If your potential customers can’t find you, they may find your competitor. And there is that moment…
1. Must-Haves for Successful Inbound Marketing
If you are new to inbound marketing, it may seem daunting to take the step to convert your marketing strategies. Getting started could be the biggest hurdle that you will have to jump. The first step is having a basic understanding of the must-have components of your inbound marketing program. Consider the following:
- Web Content and Blog: There is a certain amount of engineering that if done effectively, will set you apart from your competitors and boost the likelihood that your site will be found first. By pairing a strong keyword strategy with dynamic copywriting in addition to frequently updated blog posts, your site will position your business as the leader in your area of expertise.
- Fostering Collaboration between Marketing & Sales: It is important to establish a communication process between sales and marketing and help them align in order to continually move in the right direction. Each should be clear of their role in the inbound marketing strategy to successfully generate and convert leads.
- Landing Pages & Calls To Action: As you drive visitors to your website, you need a technique to convert the visitor to a lead. Creating a landing page as a place to capture contact information is a highly-effective tool to provide the necessary information for following up with a prospect. Not sure where to start? The free Essential Elements of High Converting Landing Pages ebook will help you optimize your landing pages to increase conversion rate and ultimately generate more customers.
- Social Media: Social media is an important factor in your inbound marketing plan for a couple of reasons. First, it allows you to expand on positioning your business and staff as experts in your industry by sharing relevant information and content that is posted on your website. By sharing that content, it drives traffic to your website, providing more opportunities for lead conversion. It also acts as a platform to listen to relevant conversations about your products and services and interact with potential, current or new customers.
- Analytics: Accountability and return on investment are trackable with a few key tools to review analytics. The great part about using analytics tools is that a number of them are free such as keyword graders, sources of traffic, social media reach and lead generation conversion metrics.
2. How To Get Found, First
We mentioned above how strong web content, keyword incorporation and frequent blogging plays a role in ranking high and being found when potential leads search for products and services online. It is important that we stress how imperative it is that you show up on the first page of search engine rankings. The reason for this is the first 10 results on the page get 90% of the click-thrus and of these, the first three get the most clicks. Building your site incorporating inbound marketing practices will allow you to be a lead generating superstar within your industry.
3. Lead Generation
Engineered in the most effective way and partnered with a strong inbound marketing plan, your website can be a lead generating machine. Part of your plan should include lead generation campaigns – a series of integrated strategies and tactics built around an offer that brings prospects to a landing page on your website where you collect the visitor’s contact information. The best lead generating campaigns include ways to promote a special offer both on your website and other vehicles including social media, pay-per-click advertising, e-newsletters and more. View the beginners guide to lead generation here.
Have you experienced a situation where you’ve asked for more information or provided your contact information to a business, and never received a follow up? Missed opportunity on their part, right? Nurturing a lead is a critical part of inbound marketing strategies (especially for manufacturing companies), because if you have a long sales cycle, prospects should receive communication over a period of time in order to convert the lead into a client. Nurturing can be done through marketing technology such as an automated series of emails allowing you to stay top of mind. Keep messaging around thought leadership (information the prospect will be interested in learning and which positions you as an expert – think educational, promotional, best practice sharing) and not just sales. Try to target messaging as specific to the lead as possible.
5. Tidal Wave
Manufacturing companies are realizing the value of inbound marketing versus traditional methods of advertising and promoting their business. Through the ability to be found, generate leads and position their business and employees as experts – the methods discussed in this post have the potential to deliver increased ROI.
Will your inbound marketing plan be ahead of your competitors in 2014? By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more. Learn how to become inbound-focused from industry experts themselves on Thursday, January 9 at the Harley-Davidson® Museum.
Featured Marketing and Sales Experts Include:
- Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, co-author of Inbound Marketing: Getting Found In Google, Blogs, and Social Media
- Frank Belzer, Author of Sales Shift, VP of Corporate Training at Kurlan & Associates
- Wayne Breitbarth, Author of Power Formula for LinkedIn Success and CEO of Power Formula LLC
View the full Experience Inbound speaker line-up and register here.
Learn the differences between outbound and inbound marketing, and why inbound marketing is transforming the way that manufacturers are marketing their services. You’re one click away from the path to bigger, better and faster growth of your top line.