Long gone are the days in which manufacturing companies could rest easy knowing their investments in magazine advertisements, billboards, cold-calling and attending trade shows would naturally pay itself off. While these traditional forms of outbound marketing can still work and can still be effective ways to attract prospects, using these tactics alone will undoubtedly yield your manufacturing business sub-par results.
Rather than always reaching out for new leads, look to attract them to your business through your website by leveraging the power of inbound marketing. The industrial manufacturing buyer is more than halfway done making their final purchasing decision before they decide to even contact the companies they’re interested in. Manufacturing buyers do their own research now, so the ball’s in their court for the most part. Since most manufacturing buyers tend to be other business owners, engineers and other intelligent individuals, they have no problem searching online, checking out social media profiles, learning the different product specifications for each company’s product, looking at build requirements, forming overall opinions for each business and narrowing their options. All without the help of an outside sales rep.
Inbound marketing plays such a pivotal role in today’s manufacturing world, that Thomas Net’s Industry Marketing Barometer shows that approximately 62% of manufacturing companies surveyed consider their websites to have more of a positive impact on sales than any other in or outbound marketing tactic.
As mentioned above, manufacturing buyers tend to form a small list of potential candidates before contacting any one manufacturer. Inbound marketing is all about making sure your brand is on that list. It’s about influencing the buyer’s decision early in the research process. Even though manufacturing companies do require a special touch for their inbound efforts to be successful, all-in-all the inbound marketing process for manufacturers isn’t that much different from any inbound strategy of other types of B2C or B2B businesses.
Let’s quickly go over a few key points of inbound marketing for manufacturing companies and how your business can better attain successful results through online marketing efforts.
You might have a few strategies laid out for good content marketing or social media campaigns, but going out and bringing those ideas into fruition in the manufacturing industry can easily feel like a daunting, overwhelming process. The biggest obstacle a manufacturer will face will be getting started.
But the reality is that grouping together all the elements necessary to create an effective inbound marketing strategy can be relatively simple. A few things that your manufacturing company should definitely consider including in your inbound marketing strategy are:
- Website and Blog Content – If appearing on the first page for a manufacturing keyword that your buyer’s frequently use to find information is important, then setting up a website filled with excellent content and insightful blog posts is a must. Through strategic keyword usage and well-written copy, your website carries the potential to be seen as an authority in your area of expertise.
- Aligning Marketing and Sales – Both your marketing and sales team need to frequently communicate with one another and need to have a clear understanding of what their role is in the sales funnel to better generate and convert more leads.
- Call to Action – At the end of the day the goal of your website is to convert visitors into leads. Create landing pages with opt-in forms to capture the lead’s information. Use this for lead scoring and follow up on the prospect’s buying journey. You can even create specialized landing pages meant for specific marketing campaigns. For example, it might not always be a great idea to use the landing page you use on your website for a social media marketing campaign.
- Social Media – Even though manufacturing might not seem like an exciting social media topic, you’re after a specific group of people who align with your buyer persona. Social media gives your brand the ability to establish itself as an expert on a specific topic, product or industry process. Share exciting new developments that impact the manufacturing world, strike conversations and listen for feedback from happy and unsatisfied customers.
Do More By Doing Less
Plenty of manufacturing companies feel like their budget limits what they can accomplish through inbound marketing. This is understandable. Inbound marketing isn’t free, but it’s actually very budget-friendly. It does take time and resources to start seeing results from any inbound marketing campaign, but if you took the amount you spend on traditional marketing methods and funnel it into your online campaigns, you will undoubtedly see superior results. Think of inbound marketing as a way to get more done by doing less.
Forget the noise, manufacturing companies need inbound marketing for one simple reason: It works. Want your investment dollars to start working smarter? Feel free to contact us at McAllister Marketing today.