When it comes to B2C marketing, inbound marketing has long surpassed traditional marketing as the most popular way to advertise a business. However, many businesses, especially manufacturers, still assume that traditional marketing is the best way to go when it comes to B2B. This is no longer true. In fact, there are some real benefits when it comes to inbound marketing for manufacturers that you will want to take advantage of.
What is Inbound Marketing?
The big difference between inbound marketing and traditional marketing (which would include TV commercials, print ads, direct mail, etc.), is that inbound marketing is essentially done online and focuses on positioning your company to be found by other businesses. For example, instead of sending out a pamphlet highlighting your manufacturing capabilities, you would publish content relevant to the manufacturing industry (and whatever niche within that industry you occupy) online. This content lives online from that moment on, giving visitors the chance to find it at any point.
Inbound marketing involves using a variety of strategies (such as creating a user-friendly website, producing high-quality content, using SEO, engaging on social media) that makes it easy for your target audience to find you online and to do a majority of the research about your company and services on their own. This is different than traditional marketing, which involves finding your audience and directly advertising to them.
The Benefits of Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers
The following are four reasons why you should strongly consider implementing an inbound marketing strategy for your manufacturing business:
1) Businesses are doing research online first
Around 70 percent of buyers will do research about manufacturers online before they make the decision to reach out to a potential partner. For example, maybe a buyer is looking for a PCB (printed circuit board) assembly manufacturer for their electronic products. They will probably begin researching PCB assemblies by looking for general information online. This will lead to them to a variety of blogs with informative content that they can read at their own time. Content that strikes them as particularly helpful will stand out, and they will do more research into the manufacturer that published that content. If you do not have an online presence, then you’re missing out on buyers like these. A good inbound marketing strategy will help position yourself online to be found by buyers who are doing research.
2) Inbound marketing provides long-term results
As you build your online presence through inbound marketing techniques, you’ll have the opportunity to nurture many potential leads over the long term. For example, let’s say you’re a PCB manufacturer. You have a blog on which you regularly produce PCB-related content (such as, for instance, the benefits of flexible circuits). There may be leads out there who read your content regularly and have done so for years. They may build their own PCBs in-house and a change in strategy has resulted in them deciding to outsource its build. At that point, they’ll be familiar with your site and will be more likely to reach out to you. Traditional advertising doesn’t have such a long-term impact.
3) What worked once won’t always work
You may have had a lot of success with traditional marketing methods–and you may continue having success with those efforts. However, if you expect to grow your business, then you’ll want to expand your customer base, which means that you shouldn’t limit your advertising efforts. Otherwise, the day might come where your traditional marketing efforts aren’t as effective as they once were, and you’ll be left scrambling to implement an inbound strategy.
4) Find out what your audience needs
Unlike traditional advertising, inbound marketing allows you to engage directly with your target audience, making it easier to develop relationships, receive feedback, and discover the needs of your leads.
As you can see, there are many benefits to inbound marketing for manufacturers. By implementing an inbound marketing strategy in your advertising efforts, you can position your company for marketing success well into the future.
The landscape of the Internet is ever changing and Nicole has the energy and aptitude to keep Stevens & Tate Marketing out in front of the pack. She leads an enthusiastic team in strategic planning, development, search engine marketing, online promotions and advertising for the web.