Until recently, industrial marketers had success with traditional, “outbound,” marketing channels. New business was forged at trade shows, and leads were generated through printed directories, trade magazine ads and direct mail. Buyers were forced to seek out company sales reps for technical information, education or advice.
Today, the Internet has transformed the marketing and buying of industrial products and services. Manufacturing professionals use online sources for information to do their jobs better and more efficiently. Industrial engineers, designers, and other purchasing agents use the Internet to learn technical information, source products, and compare suppliers, all on their own, without any contact from a sales rep.
Successful manufacturing companies have recognized that the old ways of pushing out marketing messages no longer work as well as they once did. Attendance at trade shows is declining and the time and expense for staff and travel is increasingly hard to justify. Other traditional marketing methods are difficult to connect to a desired business outcome like lead conversion.
Instead, savvy manufacturing companies are adapting their marketing strategies, using inbound marketing and content marketing to attract traffic to their company website, convert visitors into leads and customers, and provide meaningful lead data to prove their inbound marketing results.
The inbound marketing philosophy is backed by a methodology that helps brands attract, convert, close, and delight visitors, leads and customers through a variety of channels such as social media, blogging, SEO, landing pages, forms, and email.
Attract strangers to your website
You want to attract buying decision makers and influencers that will potentially become leads. Attract your ideal customer, or buyer persona, on their own time, by creating content that’s valuable and easy for them to find.
Convert website visitors into leads
Once you start generating traffic to your website, the next step is to convert those visitors into leads by gathering their contact information. In order to get this valuable information, you need to offer something in return, such as an educational eBook, informative spec sheet, or useful CAD file download.
Close leads into customers through lead nurturing
Once you’ve attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, you need to transform those leads into customers with targeted, automated email nurturing and social media interaction.
Delight customers to turn them into promoters of your brand
Using context and personalization to deliver tailored messages, continue to engage with, delight, and (hopefully) upsell your current customer base into happy promoters of your company.
Over time, inbound marketing creates and cultivates relationships with buyers by fostering meaningful dialogue, and positions your company as a valuable resource, rather than just another potential supplier.