Taking hold of all that an online presence has to offer is a marketing maneuver that building product manufacturers are lagging a bit behind on. In a world where so much is done with a hands-on approach, getting into the nitty-gritty of digital marketing can feel foreign.
From driving more leads from the right people to generating real sales through digital marketing, a lot of resistance to digital marketing stems from a feeling of “this isn’t right for my company.”
We’re here to change your mind and show why inbound marketing is going to change the way you think about digital marketing entirely.
The Old Playbook is Broken
The tried and true methods of marketing’s past have fallen out of favor. If this disengagement has yet to hit your company, you’re one of the fortunate few. And it’s likely that your luck is going to run out soon.
The problem is that people in general have become very good at tuning out marketing messages–even when it’s something they are interested in. Too many commercials on television that don’t get watched; too many direct mail pieces that aren’t quite relevant; way, way too many emails delivered to inboxes every day.
- 90% of people skip pre-roll video ads online.
- 94% of people skip TV ads, either by fast-forwarding or choosing commercial-free viewing from services like Netflix.
- Less than half of all direct mail pieces are even read or scanned.
- More than 226 million people are on the National Do Not Call List.
What these numbers are telling us is that people are tired of being interrupted by advertising. If companies want to attract new customers, marketers have to give people what they want, when they want it.
What Makes Inbound Different
Traditional marketing relies on cold calling, cold emailing (SPAM), and interruptive ads. In other words, marketers push their way into a customer’s space and start selling whether or not the customer is ready to listen–or is even interested in the products and services. It’s focused on what marketers want, and it’s intrusive.
Inbound marketing focuses entirely on the needs and wants of customers. It uses blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), and other methods to attract customers. Inbound marketing seeks to capture people who are on the web searching for solutions and gently guide and nurture them into a sale–and it puts buyers in the driver’s seat.
When you use inbound, your customers will come to you.
The Inbound Method
The strict definition of inbound marketing is a holistic, data-driven approach to marketing that attracts individuals to your brand and turns them into lasting customers. Sounds like lot of marketing mumbo-jumbo, right?
However, when you break down that lingo into real actions, the inbound method becomes crystal clear:
- Attract Searchers. First, determine what words and phrases (keywords) people are typing into Google when they’re searching for answers to problems you can solve. Then, create a lot of content around those words and phrases that address the questions and problems behind them.
- Convert Visitors. Once a visitor has read or interacted with your content, gently nudge them along to the next step with calls-to-action, simple forms, and landing pages throughout your website. The goal of this step isn’t to make a sale. Instead, you want to collect contact information so you can start nurturing these new leads.
- Close the Deal. At this step, prospects need to be nurtured until they’re ripe for a pitch. What that process looks like will be different for every manufacturer and every segment of their audience. Most buyers are looking for more in-depth information, price comparisons, and resolving implementation concerns. Slowly and steadily start removing these roadblocks until the prospect is ready to buy.
- Delight Customers. The process doesn’t end when you make a sale. Instead, this is the time to start creating loyal customers instead of one-time buyers. From amazing customer service to delivering more helpful content along the way, the goal here is to make your customer so happy that they help your marketing efforts by leaving good reviews online and sharing their experiences with their colleagues.
How Inbound Marketing Works
There are two components of inbound marketing: content and context.
Content refers to all the materials you create for your online audience. Blog posts are the most common and most recognized form of content, but they’re hardly the end of the line. Content also includes photos, videos, podcasts, presentations, whitepapers, case studies, ebooks, infographics, and more.
The purpose of all this content is not to directly generate sales. Instead, content is meant to generate leads, bringing strangers to your website by answering questions and solving problems.
Considering context is how we get around being intrusive and interruptive. It’s the magic of seeming to appear at the right place at the right time, even though you’ve been there all along. When your content shows up at the exact moment someone is looking for it, it becomes relevant and helpful, not an advertisement that is likely to be ignored.
Getting context right means putting yourself into many digital spaces, a concept called multi-channel marketing. You want to be where people are, and you want your content to be in the format people want. Having your content show up in a Google search is one example. A friendly social media presence is another. Placing smart calls-to-action around your website, using dedicated landing pages, and marketing automation are all ways to get your content into the right context.
The Inbound Funnel
All your marketing channels–your blog, social media accounts, website, etc.–all combine into the inbound funnel:
- Get Website Traffic. Create blog content and optimize it so that search engines can include it in a list of search results. Promoting content on social media will also drive more traffic to your website.
- Get Leads. Calls-to-action are placed throughout your website that bring visitors to landing pages. Landing pages contain forms to fill out in exchange for high-value content, free consultations, or other valuable offers. Once the forms are submitted, you now have leads.
- Get Customers. Use email automation to send your leads more information that’s built around the initial form request so it’s tailored and relevant. Lead information should also be shared with your sales team so they can make more effective calls.
- Analyze. Take a look at how your marketing campaigns and tactics performed. Find out what’s working well so you can do more of the same, and determine which areas need a bit more work to be successful.
The Results are In
The concepts sound like a winning combination. You give people what they want and in turn, they become your customers. But does it work? Take a look:
- 90 percent of consumers find custom content useful.
- 78 percent of buyers believe that companies providing custom content are interested in building strong relationships.
- Website conversion rates are almost six times higher for inbound marketers than those who do not use content.
- Inbound marketing produces 54% more leads than traditional practices.
- Companies that create 15 blog posts every month average more than 1,200 new leads every month.
- Customers who receive email newsletters spend 82% more when they buy from that company.
- Inbound marketing creates 3 times more leads for every dollar spent when compared to traditional methods.
In short, yes. Inbound marketing works.
Make Inbound Work for You
By now, you’re (hopefully) convinced that the inbound method not only works, but it’s a better way to get new leads and build strong relationships with your customers. On the other hand, with so many different channels to keep up with, tools to manage, and content to create, inbound can take a lot of time and resources.
That’s where we come in. We make inbound marketing simple and effective for you. And we get results.