Consider your DVR.
Do you watch the ads that are recorded along with your favorite show, or do you fast-forward through them?
Studies show that 86 percent of people skip TV commercials. It’s one of several signs that consumers are turning away from traditional outbound marketing methods:
- More than 90 percent of cold calls don’t work, according to the Harvard Business Review. It also costs more than other methods, and yields meetings less than two percent of the time.
- More than 200 million Americans are on the National “Do Not Call” registry.
- 44 percent of direct mail never gets opened.
- 84 percent of people between 25 and 34 have stopped using a favorite website because of intrusive ads.
These factors seem to suggest that outbound marketing is on its way out. Here are a few reasons why manufacturing companies to embrace inbound marketing.
If You Don’t Use Inbound, the Competition Will
If you’re not using inbound marketing, trust that your competition is. Eighty-two percent of manufacturing marketers now say they’re creating content to attract their customers, and 65 percent of those companies say they’ve upped their efforts in the last year. Forty-five percent say they plan to spend more on it next year.
With that in mind, it becomes more important for your business to join the inbound movement.
Inbound Marketing Drives Traffic
When you create good content, you’ve also created a path to bring new traffic to your website.
Let’s say your company has a blog, where you offer readers news about your industry, or give them ways to solve their problems. Blogging gives you a bigger SEO footprint, and your stronger, more interesting posts have a better chance of getting shared on social media or linked to by other sites, all of which brings more customers back to you.
Inbound Marketing Brings You Leads
But before you have customers, you have to have leads, which you can cultivate with the right content. Blog posts, videos, infographics and other types of content can draw people to your site. Once they’re there, you can offer them content that has a little more value attached to it: an e-book or a white paper. To read them, your visitors need fill out a form with their name and e-mail, allowing you to keep in touch with them.
Now that you know some of the benefits of content marketing, it’s time to look at some of the steps you can take for a successful inbound strategy.
1. Make Yourself Easy to Find
Be sure you’ve researched the right SEO keywords for your site. Keep in mind that people use specific search terms, often based on geography. So if you lawn furniture in Bergen County, N.J., consider keywords like “north Jersey lawn furniture” instead of just “lawn chairs.”
2. Make Yourself Valuable to Them
At IQnection, we can help companies figure out a social media marketing strategy. Notice that we’re getting to this point now, 500 or so words into the blog, and that we haven’t spent the entire post talking about us. You should take the same approach when writing blog posts about your company.
That’s because your visitors may not be searching for a really great manufacturers. Rather, their search will deal with a particular problem they have. Use your site as a way to show an answer to their question. It’s helpful to them, and it shows you’re an authority in your field.
3. Make Yourself a Part of Their Community
The people who follow you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn., etc. want to see more than a company broadcasting news updates every day or so. Use your social media accounts to share your best content, but also talk to your fans, answer their questions, and also to see what people are talking about. Chances are the people you engage with are in your industry, and you’ll get new insights into what’s happening in your corner of the manufacturing world.
By creating and sharing strong content, you’ll reach people who are interested in what your company does. Inbound marketing is like making a commercial knowing the audience won’t hit fast forward.