01 Jul Manufacturers Leads | Is Inbound marketing BS for Manufacturers?
Manufacturers leads come from digital marketing more and more often these days – but is all Google Ads, and e-mail blasts, or can a Manufacturing company or OEM land real, serious, and big deals from leads that come through their website from organic Google search. In short – can manufacturers employ ‘Inbound Marketing’ to drive serious profit?
Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers is BS if you do it ‘Half-Assed’ – Here’s why:
We’ve seen it over and over again – a manufacturer commits to a marketing strategy for 3 months and then quits because they see no, real meaningful results and they don’t trust that the effort is well spent.
What’s worse than spending 9 months on Inbound marketing and not seeing results?
Spending 3-5 months on inbound marketing – and then never finding out whether it would’ve paid off or not.
Inbound marketing isn’t a quick strategy, and honestly, it will likely take more effort than you realize to get your lead generation campaign based on inbound to get serious results. That’s why doing it half-assed is almost worse than not doing it at all.
Inbound Marketing in Manufacturing is not BS if you do it ‘Whole assed’ – Here’s how:
That’s the real clincher with inbound marketing – you have to push past the awkward time when it’s not really paying off yet, and push into the long-term. How can you do that?
- Watch for ‘leading indicators’ like more traffic and more people searching your brand – not just sales.
- Find ways to capture e-mails that aren’t just contact forms, lead forms, or phone calls. E-mail subscribers could tell you, at least your making a bit of dent, while you increase value in your offer and improve your website’s conversion rate.
- Ensure that before you give up, you double down and at least spend 6-9 months trying inbound marketing hard.
Skip ‘Persona’s’ – they don’t work, try ‘Ideal Customer Profiles’ instead.
What is a persona in marketing?
Marketing personas are not a single user. They are a representation of the goals and behaviors of a hypothesized. group of users. In many cases they are captured in a 1-2 page description that include behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and a few fictional details the make the persona a realistic character.
The problem with marketing persona’s
We often get really creative with marketing persona’s and thus they become almost unrecognizable as someone that would actually buy from your company. They get too hypothetical – to out there, to not connected to the emotional reality of your company and your customer’s needs.
Why not focus on your existing ideal customer’s first
We suggest focusing on existing ideal customers, because there are actual problems they’re facing, and actual real reasons they chose you, that can inform your marketing as it moves forward. For instance if you write a facebook ad, or a blog post as if it was directed at a real existing ideal customer, you could factor in the nuances of their personality – you can ask them what would appeal to them even if you’re close to the sales or customer service team, and we strongly suggest it.
Serve people content that’s not just at ‘decision phase’ but rather at ‘consideration’ and ‘awareness’ too
Are you familiar with these kinds of blog post topics?
- How to choose an industrial manufacturer
- How to know if an OEM is right for you
- How our manufacturing process is better
- 5 Ways to Know a Manufacturer is ripping you off
- How to Get Started with a new manufacturer
- 5 Things You need to know before working with a new OEM
People use ‘bottom of funnel’ content all the time. Meaning – they think that everyone is going to read their blog post, get all excited about their magical ‘differentiating features’ and contact them right away…
Queue gitty dancing, and manufacturing inbound marketers with sparkles in their eye.
But most people aren’t Google only when they are at the ‘ready to buy’ or ‘ready to make a decision’ phase – you need to serve them earlier in the process, with keywords and topics that would appeal to their other needs at the consideration and awareness phases too.
The real key to heavy-duty inbound marketing – in-depth content for ideal customers
So this is where you go deep.
Write the piece of content you would have been dreaming of if you were them.
Go crazy and tap some industry experts, pay them, ask some questions and interview them. Make a whole day of it, circle back and make the post better – do something nuts and actually create content like it matters. Because it does – and a one-off 30-minute blog post isn’t going to drive sales, but something of substance will.
Also – when it comes to inbound marketing – the biggest posts create an algorithmic rapport with Google’s algorithm, which absolutely loves long-form content and serves it up above anything less comprehensive.
Actually put time into images, and videos that serve them
If you don’t have multi-media however, a lot of people will bounce off your site and never look back, and you’ll never get the manufacturing leads you’re after.
This is actually bad for your site when it comes to inbound marketing because of the negative effect that has on your search traffic.
So – can you put effort into powerful images or videos to get more long-term results. Some suggestions:
- Charts and Graphs
- An interview with an industry expert
- An expert giving a little how-to demonstration.
- A video giving clarity to a commonly confused definition in your niche.
- Industrial manufacturing tips and tricks or process videos.
Write for other sites that hold your customer’s attention, and GET LINKS
It’s crazy how much links play in Google’s algorithm.
But beyond that, being on websites that are frequented by your ideal customers can be powerful for actually getting click-through’s and sharing the influence of your individual sites.
Try to find sites with real traffic – you can use the tool Ahrefs.com to determine without having access to their analytics so that you don’t waste a ton of time writing content for a site that doesn’t actually have a lot of people on it regularly.
Leverage “Influencers” in your specific niche to co-create
As we mentioned above – interviews can be a great way to get people of influence to be a part of what you’re doing, as many people enjoy the clout of being featured. But you can also create longer-term partnerships with experts in your niche, and do ’roundups’ with 5-10+ influencer types to curate a combination of awesome ideas, and also utilize the effect of many people sharing your post, simply because they were on it.
Overall, avoid creating content just to create it – and instead, have a DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY for every piece of content you create.
This might mean you plan on sharing it on social if you have a rabid LinkedIn following, promoting it with 2-300$ in ad spend on Facebook to a super-niche audience who you feel contains ideal customers, or if you do your keyword research right, depending on the magic of Google’s algorithm to slowly pick it up for organic search.
The key is – you have to create content with a strong keyword choice: that is a keyword phrase that has high volume, and not too high of difficulty.