In the building products manufacturing industry, traditional marketing methods are alive and well. From trade shows to direct mail, plenty of tried-and-true methods are still bringing in new customers every day. On the other hand, your customers are getting more digitally savvy and are more open to modern marketing techniques. It won’t be long before they’re demanding them, and choosing your competitors that are using these newer methods.
The changing world of marketing might be frustrating for anyone used to the good old days, but now is the time to adapt. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming! We’re here to help you put those old skills to new use.
Inbound: Where Modern Marketing Begins
If you’re ready to jump into the future of marketing, inbound is where it begins. Inbound marketing for manufacturers is the process of attracting prospects who are searching the web for solutions to their problems, typically by doing a search on a site like Google.
Once you’ve attracted them to your website with your solutions, the next step is to convert those visitors into leads by providing lots of information in exchange for their contact information. Finally, you nurture that lead by demonstrating that your solutions are better than everyone else’s and by continuing to build trust. When the time is right, you go in for the pitch.
This hands-off approach works because that’s how people are choosing where and how to spend their money, both at home and at work. There’s no need for a high-pressure pitch right at the start. Instead, help your prospects out, build trust by providing answers, and showcase what sets you apart. The natural conclusion of the process is a sale.
Updating Your Pitch with Inbound
The good news is that you don’t have to completely abandon your old ways if you want inbound to work for you. Instead, you just need to see them in a new light and rework your old materials and methods just a bit to fit this new process. Let’s take a look at some inbound techniques for manufacturers, and how you can draw on your existing methods and materials.
Search. If you’re trying to bring prospects to your website with solutions, the first step is to make sure you’re visible. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, means making sure your website’s content and structure is enhanced so Google and other search engines can identify your site and index its contents.
Pay-per-click, or PPC, is another way to help searchers find you by paying to have your ads come up when certain words are entered into a search engine. A good mix of both techniques will help you get more visitors to your website.
Content Marketing. SEO and PPC will bring prospects to your site; content is where you do the work of educating prospects, building trust, and showcasing your expertise. Think of it this way: SEO and PPC are like promoting a trade show appearance and content is the materials you will have at your booth.
Blog posts, ebooks, guides, and case studies are all examples of content that will get the job done, and there’s no need to build these all from scratch. Take those packets, flyers, folders, and other collateral pieces and rework them to fill up your blog. Or turn longer pieces into a downloadable white paper or ebook that readers can get in exchange for their contact information.
Content doesn’t have to be limited to written materials. You can create a video that demonstrates one of your products, or gives a tour of your facility. Q&A sessions also make great videos and infographics can present industry statistics in an appealing way. Content is versatile, and all of it is useful for getting prospects the information they need while also generating leads.
Social Media. If you’re used to relying on in-person events, then social media is going to be a great fit. First, social media will allow you to position yourself as a leader by sharing important information. You’ll also be able to listen to prospects and current customers to learn more about their needs, and to build a strong relationship with your community.
Email Marketing. Are you used to handing out packets, mailing collateral folders, publishing print ads, and other hands-on marketing techniques? All of this–and more–can be done using email. Once you have the contact information for a lead, you can deliver tailored messaging based on their interests and continue to nurture that lead until they’re ready to make a purchase. What’s more, most email marketing can be automated, which saves you time and money.
The idea behind each of these inbound methods is to put your customers and prospects in the driver’s seat and let them interact with your company and your materials in their own time. Then, when they’re ready, you can reach out to close the deal.
Add Value to See Returns
Rather than sharpening your pitch, the inbound process allows you to add value to every interaction with a potential customer. As you use your website and content to help them with their problems before you go in for the hard sell, you’ll form the trust that’s necessary to close any deal.
You don’t have to give up your old ways–especially if they’re still working for you. However, inbound will boost your efforts so you get better results across the board. It’s ok to be a little intimidated by the technology–that’s what we’re here for! Need help creating an inbound marketing plan for your manufacturing company? Contact New Perspective to get started today.