The industrial and manufacturing industries are complex, and usually you’re dealing with big time money for big time projects. The prime customers typically are engineers, facility and operations managers, supply directors and other, very responsible and diligent people who know how to make valuable decisions regarding their business. They understand their buyers’ behavior and how quickly it shifts. However, because of this complexity, sometimes they forget how things begin with the purchasing process, and that includes sites like Google.
B2B inbound marketing is shifting how many manufacturers get noticed because it happens at a very critical point, right when a customer is doing their initial research. Despite these highly complex jobs and decisions, studies show that 94% of B2B businesses still start their search for a product or service with Google. And before you go ahead and think that this is only for B2B businesses looking for cable service or a new service vehicle, you’d be wrong. This statistic includes those who are looking for things like packaging equipment, or building services too. Searches start on Google because a need or issue presented itself, and the quality companies that are leveraging inbound marketing are showing up as the first results from those searches. Those purchasing companies then make the short list of potential vendors for a high-level decision maker to evaluate.
In a very simplistic fashion, that’s exactly how the process of inbound marketing for manufacturing starts -- by making sure your company appears when decision makers are looking for what you have to offer.
This happens through content marketing with social media, SEO, and marketing automation. These tools turn traffic from sites like Google into site visitors who ultimately become qualified leads for your business. So what are some other reasons you should be implementing inbound besides being put on your potential customers ‘shortlist’?
- Locate Your Customers: Your customers are searching, reading, and evaluating a variety of solutions every day. They are using online search tools and social media to help them draw conclusions on the best options for their business. You want to be one of the businesses that they can’t help but notice during these activities. Being visible in every area of their search shows them you can solve their problem and even better, you want to.
- Grow Your Credibility: Because you know your customer and what they are looking for, you can use the complex terms and words that only your customer will probably understand. Doing so helps them identify who you are and the level of understanding you have about their high-level problem. Using content marketing through inbound gives you the ability to target your customer and prospects through your terminology and grow your credibility. Additionally, all those complex issues you solve and products you offer provide great content ideas for your website and social media channels.
- Enhance Your Traditional Marketing Efforts: Although inbound is the preferred way to grow your business in today’s shifting marketing landscape, that doesn’t mean you should completely abandoned all other marketing efforts. Using inbound methodology with your more traditional strategies can improve the overall effectiveness of your marketing processes.
- Guiding Your Buyers To Purchase: Being on the ‘short list’ of potential vendors doesn’t do a whole lot of good unless they end up buying from you in the end. Inbound marketing allows you the ability to create the content that your buyers’ will need through the various stages of the buyer's journey. After they find you on that initial search, your informational content will ensure they get the next phases of information they need at each step of the research process.
There is a massive window of opportunity available today for manufacturers who are willing to see beyond traditional marketing efforts so they can locate, engage and interact online the way the manufacturing audience now desires. So ask yourself, will you be the next one to take advantage of the opportunity, or will you be left behind?
To learn what you should to do next to get started with inbound, please download our complimentary guide, Inbound Marketing Fundamentals.