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Written by Chris
Inbound marketing is a misunderstood and enigmatic marketing style to most manufacturing and engineering marketers. Agreed, the inbound space is fairly crowded and much of what we hear about inbound marketing is unilateral in concept, but how much of this is actually useful to manufacturing marketing infrastructures and processes? Well actually, quite a lot!
Businesses that fail to adapt, diversify and move with the times eventually find themselves upon rocky and unstable terrain, inevitably losing that competitive edge. Have you ever read the book ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ by the author Spencer Johnson? This is a clear depiction of how complacency can be extremely detrimental.
One of the biggest challenges marketers face is changing how manufacturers approach sales and marketing. Becoming so entrenched with old processes and outdated marketing practices will leave your marketing team noticing declining results and your sales team generating stagnating levels of business.
BUSINESS COMES TO US, SO WHY DO WE NEED IT?
Even if you’re the market leader for your product or service, the risk is that there’s someone on your tail waiting to overtake. Loosening the reigns on your content marketing or inbound activity could rapidly see your lead volumes snowball.
Continued content development is the difference between having an average month and exceptional month, and all it takes is for one of your competitors to start ranking higher than you for a high traffic term and you could be in a world of pain. Plus, always keep in mind that potential customers are always on the lookout for a better deal where it can be offered.
ATTRACT NEW LEADS WITH SOLUTION BASED BLOG CONTENT
Inbound marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Let your potential buyers find the answers to the most pertinent questions and challenges faced. Continue to nurture them with even more relevant information allowing them to find you – the ultimate solution.
Give each reader an appetite for more, and continue to add value throughout the full lifecycle. This will pay enormous dividend when new customers continue to delight and recommend your business.
BE VISIBLE WHEN PROSPECTS ARE LOOKING FOR YOU
Fair enough, you have a reliable network of contacts, but how do you ever expect to demonstrate growth if you can’t be found? Buyers are evermore savvy, and 70% prefer to perform their own research before contacting a sales person.
It’s probably quite apparent by now that those old school sales nurturing tactics aren’t quite as effective anymore. Even if you’re selling the most attractive product on the planet, potential buyers need more confidence to purchase than boat loads of sales calls.
Give them the information they need to learn about the product you manufacture, and help them to form their own conclusion without the pushy sales pitch.
Blogging and social sharing helps your potential buyer find you with ease, and at the precise moment they need information. Engage with relevant social groups, and harness your buyer personas to reach untapped audience pools.
OFFER ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO EMPHASISE YOUR MESSAGE
Continue to nurture and delight your potential buyers with additional resources to move them further down the purchase funnel. Ebooks, whitepapers and webinar registrations are all still great examples of gated content to keep potential buyers interested and offering further opportunities to re-engage with you.
CONSIDER SETTING SMART GOALS WHEN PLANNING AN INBOUND STRATEGY
SMART goals will help you define what success actually looks like, this will prevent your inbound campaigns from stalling or even being brought to an early end if targets aren’t shown to be met.
So, what are SMART goals?
- Agreed upon
Working with these set of rules can help strengthen collaboration and avoid disappointment.
BECOME MORE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL
Social media offers rich personal information. Use your buyer persona development to match your content to potential buyers across LinkedIn and share content with relevant groups who are likely to be engaged by your content. You may even wish to amplify the reach of your social content with paid advertising allowing manufacturers to target specific demographics, industries, job titles & geographies.
SPEAK TO YOUR TEAM TO IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES
Are there any patterns or common themes in the types of questions your leads ask? Or specific challenges that your sales team have faced with customers?
Take time to ask your teams about what these beliefs & challenges are and try understand where they stem from. This will help you steer your content plan and help even more potential buyers find you when performing early research.
Manufacturers need to showcase their product in the most visual way possible. Video or imagery-led content can help potential buyers quickly assess if your product is likely to suit their needs. This will in turn reduce irrelevant sales calls and improve lead conversion rates, boosting efficiency and ROI.
Manufacturing and engineering organisations have a tendency to rely on traditional marketing efforts such as trade shows to promote their products and services, however inbound marketing is a much more cost effective and contextually rich digital channel to help manufacturing and engineering organisations find new prospects, remain in contact with potential leads and organically build trust.
Futureproof your organisations digital proposition and continue to build new contacts, leads and customers effortlessly with a well planned and executed inbound marketing strategy.
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