Here's How Inbound Marketing Can Help Your Manufacturing Business Grow

A Mac Computer setup on a desk showing their inbound marketing on the screen for a manufacturing business

Inbound Marketing is a strategic approach to marketing that focuses on creating and delivering valuable content to attract, engage, and convert customers. At each stage of the buyer journey, the customer makes the ‘inbound’ moves – the supplier’s job is to provide the appropriate content to address customer questions at each stage and to nurture each lead to the point where they are ready to instigate a sales enquiry. Inbound marketing uses digital content to lay the foundations for solid, profitable, and enduring customer relationships – built on trust and credibility.

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Manufacturing Businesses Can Benefit From Inbound Marketing In Several Key Ways: 

  • By producing engaging content that attracts visitors to your website you can generate more leads and sales.
  • Inbound marketing can help you build trust and credibility with potential and current customers, developing your reputation as an industry leader.
  • Inbound marketing can improve your search rankings, helping you reach more potential customers online by broadening your profile with important keywords and search phrases.

If you’re looking for a way to grow your manufacturing business using online channels, inbound marketing is a scalable solution that can be adapted to any budget and all levels of growth targets. 

What Steps Are Involved In An Inbound Marketing Campaign?

Step 1: Research Your Audience And Target Market

The first step in any inbound marketing campaign is to research your audience and target market. This step is crucial and underpins all others because it will help you determine what kind of content to create, what topics and messages to use, and how best to reach your target market. 

When researching your audience, you should consider defining characteristics like their demographics (age, gender, location, etc.), their interests and needs, and what kind of problems they are trying to solve. These factors all play a role in the buyer’s approach to products and services and the challenges that they may face at work, while also shining a light on the best means of reaching this person through their favoured online channels.

Step 2: Develop A Buyer Persona 

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on the research you conducted in Step One. 

Buyer personas are important because they enable you to create content that appeals directly to your target market. We recommend creating a buyer persona document for each type of person you regularly talk to in your sales process – e.g., SME business owners, finance directors, procurement managers, senior engineers etc. 

Some businesses may have one primary persona, whereas others may deal with several. When creating your personas, think of the challenges or pain points they face and how your products and services provide a solution to these. Other questions to address include where the persona usually goes to research information, common sales objections, and how they would resolve their challenges if they didn’t purchase your products and services. This information will enable you to tailor a sales-optimised value proposition and a series of marketing messages to address questions at every stage of the persona’s buyer journey.

Step 3: Create Engaging Content  

Now that you know who your target market is and what kind of problems they are trying to solve, it’s time to start creating engaging content that speaks directly to them. Some ideas for content you can create include blog posts, infographics, eBooks, white papers, case studies, email newsletters, webinars, and more. Your buyer persona research will advise you on the best types of content to use and where to publish it.

What distinguishes inbound marketing content from general-purpose content, however, is its purpose. A marketing blog article isn’t simply a blog post written to fill space, for example, it is a digital sales asset designed to make you money. Marketing content is tailored to a specific buyer persona and is intended to encourage a certain action. This could be an appeal to make a direct sales enquiry, or it could be a prompt to research more about a certain topic, subscribe to an email newsletter or YouTube video channel, or so on. Every aspect of your inbound marketing content should be optimised to fulfil its stated purpose and be closely monitored to assess its relative success or failure.

Step 4: Distribute Your Content 

You’ve invested in high-powered content marketing assets. Now you need to publish them in the appropriate places to draw the attention of your target personas. This step is critical because if no one sees your content then it won’t matter how good it is—it won’t do anything for your business. You can either distribute your content internally on your website or business blog and then optimise it for visibility through SEO, and/or you can leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Other distribution channels include email marketing campaigns; paid advertising/pay-per-click; guest blogging; and more. 

Step 5: Analyse Your Results And Adjust Your Strategy 

Inbound content marketing is not a fire-and-forget strategy. The final and ongoing step in any inbound marketing campaign is analysing the results of your efforts so far and adjusting your strategy to fine-tune and improve your results. Using a marketing analytics platform gives you real-world insights into the performance of each digital asset by letting you see the number of clicks and visits, your bounce rate, social shares, and other points of engagement. 

When analysing the results of your inbound campaign, there are a few key metrics you should pay special attention to such as website traffic statistics (how many people are visiting your website), conversion rates (how many people are taking the desired action), leads generated (how many new leads have come in), sales generated (how much new revenue has been generated), cost per lead (how much money did it take to acquire each new lead), cost per sale (how much money did it take to acquire each new sale), and overall ROI (return on investment). 

Understanding these metrics lets you see which approach works the best with your target audience, which keywords yield the most leads and sales, and which messages, if any, fall flat with your audience. You may be surprised at what you discover once you start analysing your content.

Marketing Services For Manufacturers

JDR Group delivers a range of inbound marketing services to help Manufacturing SMEs grow their customer base online. To discuss your growth plans or to find out more about inbound marketing, please call one of our experienced marketing team today on 01332 343281.

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