There is a perception within the manufacturing industry that clients typically don’t care a lot about their content marketing efforts because the field is largely comprised of experts, professionals, and industry insiders who are already seeking their products.
To an extent, there’s some truth in this. The majority of manufacturers are designing and fabricating large, expensive specialized equipment and modules for serious buyers and developers. The perception is that blogs, videos, and creative content are only a high priority for young people who worship social media – not manufacturing industry pros who already know what they’re looking for.
Inbound Marketing for the Manufacturing Industry
That’s where we come in – we’re here to show you how this same stigma makes manufacturing an ideal industry for an inbound marketing approach. Why? Because experts and professionals always do their research prior to making a big purchasing decision. The premise of an inbound approach is to inform – not interrupt – the people searching for manufacturers like you. An inbound marketing approach allows these ideal customers to build trust and credibility in you, showing off your true expertise.
So yes, experts already know what they’re after – we help them realize your company provides an answer, a product, an advantage to their business challenge.
Let’s investigate some recent statistics that demonstrate the success of an inbound methodology adapted for manufacturing:
70% of buyers make purchases to solve problems, the other 30% make purchases to gain something pivotal to their businesses success.
According to the Marketing Blender’s 2016 B2B Buyer Statistics, 90% of online buyers agree that content has a big effect on purchasing decisions. Nearly 70% of the buyers’ journey takes place online, and 84% of CEO’s and VP’s use social media to make purchasing decisions.
The kicker: 80% of decision-makers and buyers prefer to get company information from a series of articles, rather than a traditional advertisement.
Manufacturing Content is King
An inbound approach uses content like videos, infographics, blogs, e-books, whitepapers and case studies to answer questions – and your ideal client base is already looking online for answers to their questions. What makes this important is that 95% of buyers choose a solution provider that has “provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process.”
In the ‘Attract’ stage of the inbound methodology, blogging is an incredible way to drive more traffic directly to your website. Blogging helps your company to demonstrate industry expertise on specific topics that can be custom-tailored to discussions your prospects are having, offering solutions to issues and building trust as a credible source.
Blogging is also a great way to give your business a character of its own, humanize its process. This helps make your brand more approachable and trustworthy.
Manufacturing Video Content
Video is a powerful tool in the inbound arsenal. It’s emotionally captivating, easily and aggressively promoted, and shareable online over nearly all social media platforms.
Statistically, 96% of B2B businesses use video in their marketing campaigns, of those, 73% report positive results to their ROI (return on investment) according to Hubspot.
In terms of the audience, 90% of users says that product videos are helpful in the decision-making process. Plus, video in an email has shown to elicit a 200%-300% increase in click-through rates.
Infographics are visual representations of important information, data, and knowledge intended to present and interpret complex info easily and quickly. The effectiveness of infographics as a medium has caused their prevalence to increase online by about 800% from 2010-2012,
In a world where 90% of the information we bother to remember is based on its visual impact, this makes infographics a sure-fire way to build confidence and credibility online.
Whitepapers are persuasive, in-depth reports that identify a problem and attempt to present a viable solution. These authoritative essays provide expansive information on specific issues and topics of importance to your industry or business.
The goal of a whitepaper is to “inform and persuade based on facts and evidence, states Hubspot’s Lindsay Kolowich. They can act as advanced problem-solving guides that differentiate themselves from blogs and e-books by providing academic marketing content. Readers of whitepapers will expect a high level of expertise, backed up by the applicable research to support solutions, and cited by respected resources.
Arguably the most important and wide-reaching marketing activity, social media allows your business to share its creative marketing content and position your staff as experts in your industry. Sharing content over social media directs traffic to your website, and provides more opportunities for lead conversion as your prospects progress through the sales funnel.
Social media also serves as a platform for you to monitor, analyze and interpret valuable discussions being had about your services, approachability, and products, allowing you to interact with your existing and potential customers.
Get Found, First
We have to emphasize just how important it is that your manufacturing business turns up as close to the top of the first search engine results page as humanly possible. Typically, the first 10 results on the page for a given search query will receive about 90% of the click-through rate.
This is done by utilizing SEO best practices to generate leads. SEO is critical to any company vying to attract qualified traffic via an online search. In layman’s terms, B2B SEO is a methodology of digital strategies & tactics used to increase the volume of visitors – aka traffic – to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine.
More Opportunity for Credibility Through Publicity
One of the best advantages an inbound approach brings to manufacturing companies is its ability to consistently produce high-quality, contextually relevant content. With the desire for manufactured goods already established, the problems and questions that marketing industry professionals and corporate buyers have are typically complex issues – this simply means that manufacturing businesses have varied and richer avenues to explore when it comes to connecting with qualified prospects through the development of engaging content.
Increased ROI Through Shortened Sales Cycle
B2B Inbound marketing works to shorten the sales process. Manufacturing businesses are especially well poised to take advantage of this – as many buyers are experts in their respective fields and therefore conduct significant in-depth research prior to decision-making. Inbound makes sure that the research they conduct has your companies brand associated with it, making you the first choice to explore when considering a purchase.
Many manufacturing companies are realizing the benefits of an inbound marketing methodology versus the continued use of traditional modes of advertising. By developing meaningful content that speaks to the questions and challenges of their audience, manufacturers can be found more quickly online, increase their public visibility, realize opportunities to bond with their ideal buyers via social media, and position themselves as trustworthy experts to a future client base. In fact, it’s been shown that companies that stick with traditional advertising as their primary marketing function can now expect a 22% longer sales process than 5 years ago. This is strong evidence that interruptive marketing has become far less effective than informative marketing. The evidence is clear – by creating and sharing content specific to your ideal customer, your manufacturing company will appeal to its dream clients, and attract qualified leads faster, with measurable results.